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“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.
“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
“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
“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
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“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.
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Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“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.)
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“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.

Falsified Drug Studies Led to Millions of Children Receiving Dangerous Antidepressants

In 2001, the pharmaceutical company SmithKline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithKline) published a trial known as Study 329, which claimed that the drug paroxetine – known as Paxil or Seroxat – was “generally well tolerated” and that it helped cure depression in children and adolescents. This led to some two million youngsters being prescribed the pill in the next year alone.

But the study ignored the fact that the drug may cause serious side effects, including suicide. Re-analysis of Study 329 by a team of independent researchers showed the drug was no more effective than a placebo, and that the risk of harm was significant, with at least 12 out of 93 children taking the drug developing suicidal thoughts. GlaxoSmithKline was fined $3 billion for one of the biggest frauds in American healthcare history.

This is but one example of pharmaceutical industry influence shaping the outcome of scientific research. A recent study, published in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, evaluated 185 meta-analyses, and found that one third of them were written by pharma industry employees, who were 22 times less likely to have negative statements about a drug than unaffiliated researchers. Almost 80 percent of the studies had some sort of industry tie, either through sponsorship (funding of the study), or conflicts of interest, where one or more authors were either industry employees or independent researchers receiving industry support (speaking fees, grants, etc.).

In a 2006 study examining industry impact on clinical trials of psychiatric medications, industry-sponsored trials reported favorable outcomes 78% of the time, compared with 48% in independently funded trials. Antidepressants are one of the largest pharmaceutical markets, yet it is likely that the problem of scientific fraud extends to other drugs and vaccines. The need for oversight (government and industry) is increasingly obvious.

Sources:

Sophie Borland, “Global drug giant GSK ‘published a flawed study which led to millions of children being wrongly prescribed dangerous antidepressants’.” Daily Mail. September 17, 2015, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3238108/Global-drug-giant-GSK-published-flawed-study-led-millions-children-wrongly-prescribed-dangerous-antidepressants.html

Kate Kelland, “Analysis of Antidepressant Paxil Finds Data on Teen Risk Was Held Back.” Scientific American. September 17, 2015, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/analysis-of-gsk-s-paroxetine-antidepressant-finds-key-data-was-held-back/

Stephen Luntz, “Antidepressant Trial Failed To Mention Numerous Suicide Attempts.” IFL Science. September 21, 2015, http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/study-antidepressant-safety-didnt-report-suicide-attempts

Roni Jacobson, “Many Antidepressant Studies Found Tainted by Pharma Company Influence.” Scientific American. October 21, 2015, http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/many-antidepressant-studies-found-tainted-by-pharma-company-influence/

Paul John Scott, “Why should it take 14 years to learn a drug’s safety risks?” Post-Bulletin. September 21, 2015. http://www.postbulletin.com/life/health/why-should-it-take-years-to-learn-a-drug-s/article_50f181c5-b6d8-5776-8df9-b0acf5b3108f.html

University of Adelaide. “Antidepressant For Adolescents Was Misrepresented As Safe.” AsianScientist. September 25, 2015. http://www.asianscientist.com/2015/09/health/adelaide-paroxetine-depression-riat/

Student Researcher: Adaeze Iroka, San Francisco State University

Faculty Evaluator: Kenn Burrows, San Francisco State University

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