Connect With Us

“Project Censored brings to light some of the most important stories of the year that you never saw or heard about. This is your chance to find out what got buried.” –Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System.
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“Project Censored is one of the organizations that we should listen to, to be assured that our newspapers and our broadcasting outlets are practicing thorough and ethical journalism.” —Walter Cronkite
“Project Censored interrogates the present in the same way that Oliver Stone and I tried to interrogate the past in our Untold History of the United States. It not only shines a penetrating light on the American Empire and all its deadly, destructive, and deceitful actions, it does so at a time when the Obama administration is mounting a fierce effort to silence truth-tellers and whistleblowers. Project Censored provides the kind of fearless and honest journalism we so desperately need in these dangerous times.” —Peter Kuznick, professor of history, American University, and coauthor, with Oliver Stone, of The Untold History of the United States
“Project Censored shines a spotlight on news that an informed public must have . . . a vital contribution to our democratic process.” —Rhoda H. Karpatkin, president, Consumer’s Union
“For ages, I’ve dreamed of a United States where Project Censored isn’t necessary, where these crucial stories and defining issues are on the front page of the New York Times, the cover of Time, and in heavy rotation on CNN. That world still doesn’t exist, but we always have Project Censored’s yearly book to pull together the most important things the corporate media ignored, missed, or botched.” –Russ Kick, author of You Are Being Lied To, Everything You Know Is Wrong, and the New York Times bestselling series The Graphic Canon.
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“[Censored] should be affixed to the bulletin boards in every newsroom in America. And, perhaps read aloud to a few publishers and television executives.” —Ralph Nader
“At a time when the need for independent journalism and for media outlets unaffiliated with and untainted by the government and corporate sponsors is greater than ever, Project Censored has created a context for reporting the complete truths in all matters that matter. . . . It is therefore left to us to find sources for information we can trust. . . . It is in this task that we are fortunate to have an ally like Project Cen-sored.” —Dahr Jamail
“The staff of Project Censored presents their annual compilation of the previous year’s 25 stories most overlooked by the mainstream media along with essays about censorship and its consequences. The stories include an 813% rise in hate and anti-government groups since 2008, human rights violations by the US Border Patrol, and Israeli doctors injecting Ethiopian immigrants with birth control without their consent. Other stories focus on the environment, like the effects of fracking and Monsantos GMO seeds. The writers point out misinformation and outright deception in the media, including CNN relegating factual accounts to the “opinion” section and the whitewashing of Margaret Thatcher’s career following her death in 2013, unlike Hugo Chavez, who was routinely disparaged in the coverage following his death. One essay deals with the proliferation of “Junk Food News,” in which “CNN and Fox News devoted more time to ‘Gangnam Style’ than the renewal of Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ law.” Another explains common media manipulation tactics and outlines practices to becoming a more engaged, free-thinking news consumer or even citizen journalist. Rob Williams remarks on Hollywood’s “deep and abiding role as a popular propaganda provider” via Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. An expose on working conditions in Chinese Apple factories is brutal yet essential reading. This book is evident of Project Censored’s profoundly important work in educating readers on current events and the skills needed to be a critical thinker.” -Publisher’s Weekly said about Censored 2014 (Oct.)
“Most journalists in the United States believe the press here is free. That grand illusion only helps obscure the fact that, by and large, the US corporate press does not report what’s really going on, while tuning out, or laughing off, all those who try to do just that. Americans–now more than ever–need those outlets that do labor to report some truth. Project Censored is not just among the bravest, smartest, and most rigorous of those outlets, but the only one that’s wholly focused on those stories that the corporate press ignores, downplays, and/or distorts. This latest book is therefore a must read for anyone who cares about this country, its tottering economy, and–most important– what’s now left of its democracy.” –Mark Crispin Miller, author, professor of media ecology, New York University.
“Activist groups like Project Censored . . . are helping to build the media democracy movement. We have to challenge the powers that be and rebuild media from the bottom up.” —Amy Goodman
“[Censored] offers devastating evidence of the dumbing-down of main-stream news in America. . . . Required reading for broadcasters, journalists, and well-informed citizens.” —Los Angeles Times
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“In another home run for Project Censored, Censored 2013 shows how the American public has been bamboozled, snookered, and dumbed down by the corporate media. It is chock-full of ‘ah-ha’ moments where we understand just how we’ve been fleeced by banksters, stripped of our civil liberties, and blindly led down a path of never-ending war.” –Medea Benjamin, author of Drone Warfare, cofounder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK.
“Project Censored continues to be an invaluable resource in exposing and highlighting shocking stories that are routinely minimized or ignored by the corporate media. The vital nature of this work is underscored by this year’s NSA leaks. The world needs more brave whistle blowers and independent journalists in the service of reclaiming democracy and challenging the abuse of power. Project Censored stands out for its commitment to such work.” —Deepa Kumar, author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire and associate professor of Media Studies and Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“Censored 2014 is a clarion call for truth telling. Not only does this volume highlight fearless speech in fateful times, it connect the dots between the key issues we face, lauds our whistleblowers and amplifies their voices, and shines light in the dark places of our government that most need exposure.” –Daniel Ellsberg, The Pentagon Papers

24. Epilepsy Drug Fiasco Ignored by Press

Source: Personal letter and documents, Date: 10/11/94, Author: Stephen Bertman

SYNOPSIS: On August 2, 1993, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first new epilepsy drug in more than ten years. The approval was announced with considerable fanfare at a press conference held at the National Press Club Ballroom in Washington, DC. On August 4, The New York Times reported that the drug, felbamate, will be used to prevent partial seizures in adults. The Times noted that some 2.5 mil­lion Americans have epilepsy, a chronic brain disorder that can cause seizures, and 125,000 new patients are diagnosed each year.

The FDA said that in clinical trials, felbamate reduced the fre­quency of seizures and had min­imal side effects. (Emphasis added.) David A. Kessler, the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, said “Felbamate provides a new weapon against the debilitating effects of epilepsy.” The Times reported that Wallace Labs of Cranbury, N.J., would market the new drug under the brand name Felbatol. It quoted the company as saying “An estimated 500,000 to 700,000 epilepsy patients suffer seizures that cannot be controlled by current medications.”

Just a year later, on August 2, 1994, The New York Times pub­lished a seven-column-inch story headlined “Carter-Wallace Stock Falls.” The lead paragraph read: “Carter-Wallace Inc.’s shares plum­meted yesterday, losing nearly a third of their value, after the com­pany warned doctors to quit treating patients with an epilepsy drug linked to two deaths.” The story then reported that the manu­facturer sent letters to some 240,000 doctors recommending that patients discontinue taking the drug, Felbatol, then went on to discuss the impact this action would have on Carter-Wallace shares and sales.

A Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article, also published August 2, 1994, was headlined “Carter­Wallace Stock Plummets as FDA Warns Against Firm’s Epilepsy Drug.” The WSJ article reported that “The (Felbatol) drug is the third Carter-Wallace pharmaceu­tical product hit by regulatory action this year. Production of Organidin, an expectorant, was halted in June after the FDA had raised concerns about its safety last year. In April, the company ended production of Deprol, an antide­pressant, after the FDA withdrew its approval because it lacked evi­dence of efficacy.” Organidin and Felbatol were the company’s two biggest-selling drugs, representing about a third of its health-care sales of $296.6 million in the last fiscal year.

On October 5, 1994, in a follow-­up story, The New York Times reported that Carter-Wallace was virtually abandoning all its drug research. It also noted that since the FDA approved the drug for the market, six people using Felbatol have died-four from blood disor­ders and two others of liver failure.

This story was submitted to Project Censored by Stephen Bertman, of West Bloomfield, Michigan. Aware of a patient who suffered multiple grand-mal seizures and other serious side effects, following withdrawal from Felbatol on her doctor’s advice, Bertman attempted to research the issue and found “Except for articles in The Wall Street Journal and on the financial (!) pages of The New York Times, the story and, in partic­ular, its tragic human impact have remained unreported.”

Project Censored researchers confirmed the limited coverage.

SSU Censored Researcher: Dave Lake

COMMENTS: Stephen Bertman, who originally brought this story to the attention of Project Censored, said, “The story received only min­imal coverage in terms of the human cost of what had happened and who was responsible. There were no follow-ups on victims; no coverage whatsoever of withdrawal causing grand-mal seizures.”

Facebook Comments