Scientific American Falls for Drug Company Propaganda

September 21, 2010

wrongThe editors of Scientific American say that the FDA should hold foods “to the same scientific standards as those for drugs.”
This proves that even the smartest people can sometimes reach conclusions completely lacking in common sense.

Big Pharma’s company line—that food and supplements should be treated like drugs—is often quoted by policy-makers and analysts. What they don’t realize is that it both defies logic and tramples free speech about science. It also supports the drug companies’ monopoly, but that’s another story.
Scientific American is a justly venerable publication with a 150-year history. But in their most recent issue, an editorial entitled “Snake Oil in the Supermarket” states that consumers are currently getting a “rotten deal” with regards to functional foods.
“Although health claims for foods may appear to be authoritative, in many cases science does not support them and the government does not endorse them,” according to the editorial. “Not only do these products, many of which are nutritionally bereft, fail to deliver on their promises, but they may also give consumers a false sense of security that discourages them from taking more effective measures to attain wellness, such as exercise or medication.”
Here they go again. Can’t Scientific American grasp that drugs are generally synthetic, new-to-nature substances which are patentable? Because of the patent, it is feasible for drug companies to pay a billion dollars on average to get FDA approval. Natural substances, being generally not patentable, are shut out of this system, but for that very reason are much, much cheaper.
Do we really want a system where we go to our doctor for a food or supplement prescription and then pay $5 per cherry or $100 for a bottle of vitamin C? This would just wipe out functional foods and supplements and give drug companies a complete and total monopoly. What would drugs prices look like then?
Moreover, scientific research is already being performed on supplements and functional foods the world over—it’s the FDA that will not allow such scientific evidence to be cited.
It gets worse. Scientific American wants the FDA to adopt the standards used by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)! That’s the agency that says beta carotene supplements shouldn’t have more beta carotene than is in one-and-a-half carrots, and so on.
The SA editors offer yogurt manufacturer Dannon as an example. In the US, the Activia website “prominently displays the product’s putative health benefits, asserting that it can ‘help regulate your digestive system by helping reduce long intestinal transit time.’ The UK version, on the other hand, says only that the yogurt contains an exclusive bacterial culture and, like other yogurts, is a source of calcium and vitamin B12.”
But if scientific journals have reviewed and published findings like those from Tufts University that the probiotics in yogurt help control constipation, diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, and H. pylori infection, and may prevent colon cancer—shouldn’t a company selling yogurt be allowed to cite that evidence?
Drug companies are good at propaganda. But Scientific American editors of all people should be able to see right through it.

30 responses to “Scientific American Falls for Drug Company Propaganda”

  1. Matt Burns says:

    The drug companies have it backward. The drug companies should have to prove their manufactured products have the same beneficial qaulities as fruit naturally grown, not manufactured with various chemicals.

  2. ReginaKruczynska says:

    Give us natural food like our Father ate WE are not syntetic human.
    Food industry is making food last longer with chemical but shorter life span and create all
    illnesses and is appruved by FDA For finatial benefit of few individual.
    Time to wake up America

  3. Joseph C Moore, USN Ret says:

    I have not renewed my subscription to Scientific American after some years of relying on it for accuracy in scientific investigation. I found the magazine troubling in its support of such government agencies as the FDA that is supported by lobby money from the pharmaceutical industry.

  4. L.P. says:

    Scientific American: Bought by Big Pharma
    Another one bites the dust…uh-huh.
    L.P.

  5. eileen miller says:

    All of this tracks back to the campaign finance laws, the source of great income for elected officials. If we cap the amount allowed to be spent for every office to get elected or reelected, then we can stem some of the flow of corporate money which buys the laws and regulations that are good for them (and often deadly for the public). We can do this while we work for public funded elections. Then we can reorganize our regulatory agencies to protect the public and not major corporations, which pay to play. Every issue we now face starts here. Corporations have taken over the entire political system.

    • S.D. Carney says:

      I agree, campaign finance laws must be changed if we are to ever get BIG BUSINESS out of our law making process. Learn more about why the FAIR ELECTION NOW ACT is the most important reform right now to restore public trust in our democracy. See if you don’t agree after you watch the video at: Video: “Clean Elections, Changing the Face of America”.
      http://www.publicampaign.org/video
      We all must join our joices and our votes to make it happen.. Write your Senators/Represenatives in Washington. We really need a “grassroots” movement to make it happen.

  6. supplements are different than drugs that need to be reguklated. They could ultimately be unessarily restricted.

  7. Food products like dannon and others are nutritional foods and should not be restricted from giving factual information that has been known and used for many years in europe and other countries for hundreds of years and worked for them. End of subject.

  8. I actually agree with Scientific American.
    I don’t think there is a clinical scientist alive who doesn’t believe that food in it’s naturally whole, fresh, ripe. raw, organic state, isn’t healthier than drugs or even supplements. The problem at hand is whether companies – food based or otherwise – should be allowed to make beneficial health claims which may or may not render a solution to a particular malady.
    In my forty years of pursuing health, I have never seen a supplement – or food for that matter – live up to its hype; trust me, I’ve tried most of them.
    I now live as a 100% raw vegan eating only fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, nuts and seeds in the abovementioned manner, and for most days of my life – since 2004 – have lived with vibrant health; quite honestly, I’ve never been sick.
    I implore you all, to utilize food in the same manner as every other living organism on this planet; for fuel, not something to stimulate or sedate you. Eat enough calories to support your size and activity, get enough absorbable nitrogen and essential fatty acids – supplied readily by leafy greens, drink adequate amounts of pure clean water – aim for 1/2 your body weight in ounces, exercise moderately, and get sufficient rest which can only be provided by a good nights sleep.
    I can assure you, you will experience a world of difference.
    In the long run my friends, marketing schemes are ultimately designed to line the pockets of someone other than yourself.
    Your friend in abundant health,
    Malcolm Livingston

    • skatter says:

      The information about the health benefits of your life style would be banned under the new regulations Pharma and agracorps like Monsanto are pushing.

      • helen says:

        this debate isn’t about vegan verses carnivore or omnivore all diet styles are valid to those who untilise them. the debate is about the RIGHTS of people to pursue which ever life style they desire. To take vitamins and minerals if they wish to and to believe the drug propaganda and take the drugs if they wish to. but rarely are we given any information regarding the pros and cons of each approach we are dictated to by governments who want to smother us with “concern and care” – believe that and you will believe anything – all in the name of profit for their big money donantors the drug companies. Give governments the message loud and clear BUTT OUT OF OUR PERSONAL LIFE CHOICES we employ you to run the public untilities and to work out trade agreements and boarder interactions NOT TO TELL US WHAT WE CAN EAT OR TAKE TO ENSURE OUR HEALTH.

  9. Lee Schonher says:

    If foods were not mass produced from depleted soil, the need for natural supplements would not be as great. The body handles the natural supplements differently from synthetic chemicals. Don’t allow the EFSA to dictate what natural supplements we can buy.

  10. Cheryl says:

    This is actually laughable!!!!! I haven’t seen the FDA doing too much to protect people from harmful drugs. There is so much marketing and pushing drugs over the TV and radio and internet … talk about a “dumbed-down” and stupefied America!!! It’s the drug companies that NEED TO BE WATCHED AND MONITORED AND HELD ACCOUNTABLE.

  11. Julie R says:

    This comes as no surprise to me whatsoever. “Scientific” American sold out to corporations long ago. Just look at the ads in their publication.

  12. Ona says:

    It’s an apparent scorched earth policy for FDA (big pharma’s junkyard dog) control of a codex policy. They leave nothing uncorrupted to disseminate propaganda, confuse issues, manipulate, and divert attention. And editor Mariette DiChristina appears to have succumbed. Or was it print this or you’re fired?
    I note that Scientific American is owned by Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, a privately held German major media group with monopoly holdings in the billions. I would be most interested to see an article regarding all of the political leanings and other actions of Holtzbrinck, directly or indirectly by funding/ownership.

  13. Raymond Veenkant says:

    Dear Scientific American,
    I had been largely a whole foods consumer both by instinct. A few years ago, I got caught up in convenience losing my way. By profound good fortune, I found whole foods in variety again, and saw rapid and remarkable results. I have seen the difference real nutrition makes. I take some supplements, but very few, and very selectively. Regarding your editorial (referenced in link below), I find the implications: pro-pharmacy, financial, and anti-First Amendment astonishing. Your recent editorial referenced at http://www.anh-usa.org/scientific-american-falls-for-drug-company-propaganda/ is extremely surprising and troubling to me. Political movement by the FDA, big pharmacy, and big corporate agriculture, such as Monsanto in recent years is frightening. I hope you will read the link referenced here, http://www.anh-usa.org/scientific-american-falls-for-drug-company-propaganda/, for additional arguments against the viewpoint you have presented.
    Sincerely, Raymond Veenkant, Ph.D.

  14. jack eich says:

    free speech is the foundation of our country. our government is so corrupt and in bed with pharma drug dealers. not much different than the street dealers and maybe they are worse. everyone is on some kind of doctor drugs no days and they are worried about msm or glucosimine sulfate?? give me a break. going to have to move to cuba for freedom soon. LOL

  15. Blake says:

    NO drug is a GOOD drug!
    All drugs are synthesized from a component of a plant, solely because plants CANNOT be patented.
    Why not just eat the plant?
    Thanks,
    Blake

    • helen says:

      drug companies like to think they can improve on nature and build a better mouse trap but it is altimately all about the dollars and nothing about our health no matter what rubbish comes out of their publicity machines !!

    • S.D. Carney says:

      Don’t think plants can be patented????
      Then watch this video. It,s about genetically engineered (GM) food and the companies behind them and their right to “patent life”!
      Although this documentary was made in 2004 it is very informative and worth watching.
      http://www.thefutureoffood.com/onlinevideo.html

  16. If this ‘(Un)Scientific American’ kind thinking catches on, we are all headed down the tubes, nutritionally, and maybe financially as well!

  17. Patricia Panitz says:

    I’m surprised that the writer of this article is surprised that Scientific American is supporting Big Pharma. Evidently he/she is unaware that all mainstream media in this country is controlled by our corporate masters – and Big Pharma is one of the biggest. That’s why I no longer get my news and info from the mainstream (other than weather, sports, non-controversial things), but rely on the internet and progressive websites.

  18. RSW says:

    I used to be an avid reader of SA. But it’s been years since I’ve found them to be rock solid. Since going full bore to the internet, the quality of the publication has failed. I don’t know where their advertising comes from these days, but it probably influences their editorial practices.
    That they took this line of reasoning doesn’t surprise me.

  19. AS the global warning scandal proves , the scientific community is now no more than another politically motivated arm of the propaganda war to reduce citizens to an enslaved class .

  20. When did a banana last kill anyone, or Vitamin C, or Omega 3? Compare that with the so-called regulated Pharmaceutical drugs. Hundreds of thousands die each year from synthetic drugs, yet is Scientific American getting upset about that? I wonder why…

    • helen says:

      mmmmm yes it is a puzzle ……………NOT! the whole profits before people is about to be dumped on its head ………………………and the first now will later be last………………

  21. R.H.Girshick says:

    The level of corporate corruption continues to amaze me, though by now I guess I should be used to it!
    With a publication like SA under corporate rule, we are definitely on our way to the world portrayed in “Idiocracy”….

  22. Kelli says:

    I tire of seeing people calling food or supplements “hype”. Personally, I think Big Pharma hypes their drugs and makes the most outrageous claims.
    Every industry has its idiots. One of the bad things about alternative medicine going mainstream is that its going to attract some idiots who do try to scam people. But the real practitioners do not do that. But most people cannot tell the difference because we live in a brainwashed society where all the sheep follow the herd. And sometimes they follow it right to the slaughter when it goes mainstream.
    I’ll risk my health with a possibly tainted supplement product anyday over a drug. Most conventional treatments aren’t proven though they criticize alternative for not being “proven”. People don’t seem to realize that we need more nutrients today than ever before. The way food is grown and processed is an abomination. We need nutritional supplements to make up for the deficiency or we’ll start to suffer mass public health consequences.
    I do not want the FDA to ever regulate supplements even if they are tainted because I know they’ll ban them indiscriminately. Because they know nothing about real health.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *