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Latest Attempt to Discredit Vitamin
In August 1947, two years after the end of the Second World War, twenty-four managers of the I.G. Farben pharmaceutical and chemical cartel appeared before an international war crimes tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany, to be charged with crimes including mass murder and crimes against humanity. The tribunal’s verdicts, delivered 11 months later, resulted in thirteen of the Farben defendants being given prison terms ranging from eighteen months to eight years.
Jump forward sixty years, to April 2008, and we find that much of the world’s media is awash with stories claiming that taking vitamin supplements could lead to a premature death. According to a review conducted on behalf of the Cochrane Collaboration by researchers at Copenhagen University in Denmark, studies using beta-carotene, vitamin A and vitamin E showed “significantly increased mortality”, whilst trials of vitamin C “found no significant effect.”
Read on to discover what the world’s media didn’t tell you about this Cochrane review, including its potential historical parallel with crimes committed by the managers of the I.G. Farben cartel.
The first thing that one needs to understand about the recent Cochrane Collaboration review is that it was not a clinical study but a meta-analysis. This distinction is an important one in that whilst a clinical study is a scientific test of how a treatment works in people, a meta-analysis is merely a statistical evaluation of the data taken from several hand-picked existing studies, pooled together and presented as a separate piece of work.
This meta-analysis utilized 67 randomized trials with antioxidant supplements (vitamins A, C, E, beta carotene and selenium) and concluded that vitamins A, E and beta carotene increase mortality risk by up to 16%. However, despite the extensive media coverage it received, very little attention was given to the fact that this analysis was not even a new one. In fact, the same topic, the same studies and the same authors from Serbia, Denmark and Italy, were published a year ago in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Predictably therefore, and as has similarly been the case with this year’s version, the JAMA meta-analysis attracted much criticism from scientists, nutritionists and the dietary supplement industry. As a result, the authors later admitted that their paper contained errors and JAMA subsequently published corrections to it.
Now, however, we find that the same study has been “massaged” again and republished as “new”.
Moreover, and as the following article will show, this meta-analysis is simply the latest in a growing succession of anti-supplement publications by the same authors. In all of these publications, it is clear that the conclusions reached were essentially predetermined before so much as a single word had even been typed. As such, we are confident that the evidence we present here shows beyond reasonable doubt that the authors concerned are intent upon convincing national governments and the medical establishment that urgent political action should be brought to regulate vitamins as dangerous drugs.
However, with Cellular Health research having clearly identified the optimum daily intake of vitamins as a basic preventive and therapeutic measure against cardiovascular disease, cancer and many other health conditions, and the World Health Organization attributing 15.3 million deaths to cardiovascular disease and 6 million deaths to cancer annually, it is clear that the genocidal potential of these researchers’ recommendations – were they to be implemented into national health policies via restrictions on the sale of vitamin supplements – could ultimately exceed the total number of deaths caused by the aforesaid I.G. Farben managers by an order of magnitude.
From a total of 815 vitamin studies considered for evaluation, the authors selected a mere 68 of them for their analysis in the 2007 JAMA publication and 67 for this year’s Cochrane review. As such, it is interesting to note that while the researchers were studying the effects of selected antioxidants on mortality, they failed to include any studies in which no one died during either the trial period or the follow-up period. In addition, the selected studies differed vastly from each other in a number of important aspects that have impact on the results:
The meta-analysis included 20 trials conducted on healthy subjects and 47 studies in which vitamins were taken by people suffering from a variety of diseases, such as Alzheimer’s; heart disease; macular degeneration; various cancers and other diseases. The analysis did not investigate the details of the causes of death, which not only included heart disease, cancer and broken hips, but also accidents, suicides and other causes. It is likely that deaths occurred due to previously diagnosed diseases, not antioxidant supplementation. If a true risk of mortality was apparent in any of the trials with antioxidants, the study would have been stopped. None, in fact, were stopped and such conclusions were not even indicated by the authors of the trials.
In many studies, the participants were taking not only tested nutrients but also a long list of other supplements and pharmaceutical drugs. It is apparent that the underlying health problems, as well as various medical interventions, drug and supplement treatments could all interfere or mask the effects that the authors attributed to one or a selected combination of chosen antioxidants.
The doses of supplements in different trials used for the analysis were significantly different. For example, vitamin E was used in doses of 10 IU (U.S. RDA is 22IU) and 5,000 IU per day. Similarly, vitamin A was used in the amounts of 1333 IU daily (U.S. RDA is 2333 IU for women and 3000 IU for men) as well as in doses of 200,000 IU (well above the upper tolerable limit of 10,000 IU). It is known that mega-doses of vitamin A, taken for a long period of time, can cause side effects. Worse still, the duration of supplement use varied widely: in some trials it was 28 days in others, 12 years.
It is a well-known principle that the more similar the chosen studies are, the more valid the meta-analysis. It’s rather like saying that one gets more accurate results when comparing apples with apples instead of apples with oranges, for example. In this meta-analysis however the studies analyzed were very divergent and the conclusions drawn by the authors are not consistent with the findings of the actual studies.
As such, it is particularly notable that only after the authors divided these 67 studies into groups of “high risk bias” and “low risk bias,” using their own criteria, did they observe a statistically significant effect on mortality. Otherwise there was no effect. The authors even acknowledged that their results are in conflict with observational studies, which show benefits of antioxidant supplementation and with secondary prevention trials, such as cancer prevention studies published in journals such as Nutrition and Cancer, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, and Diseases of the Colon & Rectum. This exemplifies how the conclusion reached (antioxidant supplements increase mortality) was predetermined and that the authors just conducted a search for a method to support it.
Statistics show that the conclusions reached in this meta-analysis bear no relation whatsoever to real-world evidence.
For example, data from the 2003 annual report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers Toxic Exposure Surveillance System, published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine in September 2004, states that in 2003 there were a total of only 4 deaths in the United States from the ingestion of vitamin supplements.
To put this number into perspective, a review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2005 estimated that approximately 70 percent of the US population uses dietary supplements at least occasionally, with around 40 percent using them on a regular basis. Given that the US population currently numbers 300 million people, this means that with 210 million Americans using dietary supplements occasionally and 120 million using them on a regular basis, dietary supplements are extraordinarily safe.
Moreover, setting aside the issue as to whether or not vitamins were even responsible for these 4 deaths – and in our opinion, in at least two of them, this is questionable - it is highly significant that none of them occurred due to the ingestion of either beta carotene, vitamin A or vitamin E – all three of which nutrients the Cochrane review claims increase mortality when ingested as supplements.
Statistical data from New Zealand and Canada provides still further confirmation that the risk of death from supplements relative to other factors is astonishingly small. In both of these countries, the research shows that consumers of vitamin supplements have more chance of dying from being struck by lightning or from a wasp or bee sting than they have from dying as a result of ingesting their vitamin tablets.
As such, in response to the claim that antioxidant vitamin supplements increase mortality, we must therefore ask a simple question: where are the bodies?
Clearly, our hospitals are not full of people suffering and dying from the effects of vitamins and other natural therapies. Instead, with adverse drug reactions being known to cost the British National Health Service £2 billion ($4 billion / €2.5 billion) annually and research showing that such reactions are now between the fourth and sixth leading cause of death in hospitalized patients in the United States and the seventh most common in Sweden, it can be seen that the global pharmaceutical industry’s sales of toxic patented synthetic chemical drugs are already responsible for mass murder on a scale almost unprecedented in human history.
And yet, if the researchers responsible for this Cochrane review get their way, it is scientifically-researched vitamin supplements, not the pharmaceutical industry’s deadly drugs, that would be the subject of political action to enact draconian restrictions upon their free availability. Without any doubt therefore, the deaths that resulted from such restrictions would be a crime against humanity of truly unimaginable proportions.
Given this potential outcome, and with leading pharmaceutical and chemical industry managers already having been found guilty of mass murder in the past, we find ourselves wondering whether the Cochrane researchers’ seeming attempts to aid the modern-day multi-trillion dollar pharmaceutical industry in its efforts to ban non-patentable vitamin therapies might ultimately lead to them, too, being found guilty of such a crime?
It was no accident that the Cochrane Collaboration chose the Knowledge and Research Centre for Alternative Medicine (ViFAB) in Denmark, and the Copenhagen Trial Unit’s Centre for Clinical Intervention Research, located at the Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, also in Denmark, as its sources of support for this meta-analysis.
Danish legislation covering food supplements is notorious for being harsh and restrictive. So much so, in fact, that, in recent years, Danish pro-natural health campaigners have been voicing concerns that their government’s totalitarian assaults on free choice and liberty - disguised as “consumer safety” - will ultimately eliminate the concept of supplements entirely in that country.
Notably therefore, the two supporting Danish organizations concerned have a number of conflicts of interest - both in terms of their sources of funding and their institutional bias – that raise serious questions regarding the outcome of this meta-analysis.
For example, the Knowledge and Research Centre for Alternative Medicine’s operational expenditure is funded by an appropriation stipulated in the Danish Finance Act. Its board members include representatives of the Danish Medical Association; the Danish National Board of Health and the Danish Ministry of Health and Prevention.
As for the Copenhagen University Hospital , it is notable that its specialist units include the Finsen Laboratory, which specialises in cancer research; a Department of Radiation Biology , whose research is carried out with support from state funds, cancer societies, and private foundations; the Bartholin Institute, which hosts research groups within Cancer/Immunology and Diabetes; a Department of Haematology, which treats disorders including malignant lymphoma, multiple myeloma, acute leukaemias as well as chronic lympho and myeloproliferative disorders; and a Laboratory of Gene Therapy Research; amongst others.
As such, far from being independent and non-biased, it can be seen that the funders of this study have a strong bias towards pharmaceutical medicine and a close affiliation to the decidedly anti-supplement Danish government.
Drummond Rennie, a director of the Cochrane Center in San Francisco and a deputy editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, has long recognized the dangers that result from conflicts of interest of this nature. In 2004, for example, quoted in the British Medical Journal, he described it as “naive to think that those who have a financial conflict of interest will not be influenced when they do a review.” More to the point, he added that “there are avalanches of studies showing that studies and reviews are influenced by financial conflicts of interest, always in the direction that favours the commercial sponsor’s view.”
As we shall see next therefore, in the case of at least one of the authors of the Cochrane meta-analysis, Christian Gluud, MD, it turns out that Rennie’s observations are highly relevant.
Whilst media interest has tended to centre around Goran Bjelakovic, MD , the leader of the team authoring the anti-supplement meta-analysis, we find it unfortunate that far less attention has been paid to his main co-author, Christian Gluud, MD - especially so given that the latter would appear to have numerous conflicts of interest and connections to organizations having a strong institutional bias towards orthodox (i.e. pharmaceutical) medicine.
Along with his work at the Copenhagen University Hospital, for example, Gluud is an Ambassador and Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of BioLogue, where his scientific focus area is listed as being pharmaceutical research and development. Closely integrated with the Danish Pharma Consortium, the BioLogue network consists of several academic, governmental and regulatory partners; member companies - including pharmaceutical companies such as AstraZeneca Denmark; and the vast majority of biomedical researchers in Denmark. The members of BioLogue’s Steering Committee include representatives of the Danish Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry and the Danish Medicines Agency, amongst others. Significantly therefore, so far as the JAMA (2007) version of the meta-analysis is concerned, Gluud is stated as having been responsible for having obtained the funding for it. Moreover, and as we shall discover later, some sources even appear to infer that Gluud, rather than Bjelakovic, is the Cochrane review’s main author.
The Cochrane Collaboration describes itself as an “independent organisation”, saying that it was established “to ensure that up-to-date, accurate information about the effects of healthcare interventions is readily available worldwide.” It also states that its central functions are funded by royalties from its publishers, John Wiley and Sons Limited, and that these come from sales of subscriptions to The Cochrane Library. The individual entities of The Cochrane Collaboration, meanwhile, are stated as being funded by a large variety of governmental, institutional and private funding sources, bound by an organisation-wide policy limiting uses of funds from corporate sponsors.
As we shall see however, behind these claims lie a number of important and uncomfortable facts that Big Media - in its apparent eagerness to inform us that taking vitamin supplements could lead to a premature death - has curiously neglected to make mention of.
Regarding Cochrane’s widely-trumpeted claim to be “independent,” for example, it turns out that the validity of this assertion has long been highly questionable. As long ago as October 2003, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) pointed out that the Cochrane website contains two reviews of migraine drugs - Eletriptan and Rizatriptan – that were funded largely by Pfizer, the manufacturer of Eletriptan.
Whilst the lead researcher on both these reviews, Andrew Moore, has been quoted as saying that he “strongly defends” their sponsorship by Pfizer, the fact is that both he and another of the Eletriptan reviewers have worked as consultants for pharmaceutical companies and other bodies, and have received research grants from industry, government, and charities. As such, there is clearly an argument to be made that Moore’s defence of the two migraine drug reviews is anything but independent.
To make matters even worse however, Cochrane published the review of Eletriptan at a time when Pfizer’s then president and chief executive officer, Henry McKinnell, was simultaneously a director of the Cochrane Library’s publishers, John Wiley and Sons.
By November 2003 therefore, with the BMJ having openly stated that Cochrane had reached a crossroads over its drug company sponsorship, and Cochrane participants sharing stories of being offered cash for good reviews by drug companies, Cochrane’s leadership had no alternative but to announce that it was acting to allay fears over the influence of industry.
However, although the drug company sponsorship issue subsequently dominated Cochrane’s 2003 annual conference in Barcelona – the key sponsors of which included the drug makers Merck Sharpe & Dohme, Novartis, and AstraZeneca, whose logos were prominently displayed on the first page of the conference’s programme booklet - the Cochrane leadership failed to make a decision and opted instead for a complex consultation with its members.
Limits on commercial funding were subsequently proposed in February 2004, resulting in a new policy being issued in April 2004. Nevertheless, close examination of Cochrane's current policy on commercial sponsorship reveals that several highly significant anomalies remain.
For example, people who are employed by a pharmaceutical company are still not prohibited from taking part in reviews relating to the products of that company. Just as crucially, there is nothing to prevent people employed by pharmaceutical companies, people working as consultants for pharmaceutical companies, or people who have received research grants from pharmaceutical companies from taking part in reviews of competing products or systems of medicine such as vitamin therapies.
In addition, Cochrane’s current policy specifically states that government departments, not-for-profit medical insurance companies and health management organizations are not defined as commercial sources. As such, despite the fact that the vast majority of these have close links to, and tend to be strongly supportive of, the pharmaceutical industry, they are still permitted to sponsor Cochrane reviews. So, for example, although it is widely known that the US Food and Drug Administration has a close relationship with the pharmaceutical industry, Cochrane’s policy does not prevent it – or its counterparts in other countries – from sponsoring reviews. Revealingly therefore, Cochrane’s Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 March 2006 show that fully 79 percent of its funding for the preparation of reviews comes from “National and transnational government funding (including EU), typically from health and related ministries.”
As such, Cochrane’s stated claim that it was “established to ensure that up-to-date, accurate information about the effects of healthcare interventions is readily available worldwide” has to be balanced against the fact that the majority of its funding comes from bodies with close links to, and strong support for, the pharmaceutical industry. In light of this, it seems hardly surprising that the majority of its reviews deal with the evaluation of drug-based therapies. Indeed, bearing this in mind, it is particularly notable that the members of the Cochrane Collaboration’s Steering Group, who direct its activities, are themselves virtually all employed by either university medical departments, hospitals or government health departments, all of whom by their very nature have extremely close connections to the world of orthodox (i.e. pharmaceutical) medicine.
As a result, given that natural therapies such as vitamin supplements are increasingly now coming under heavy attack worldwide from governments and their health-related ministries, it is not difficult to imagine that the Cochrane Collaboration would not want to bite the hands that feed it financially – especially so given the revealing statements in its Report and Financial Statements that “a significant number” of the Cochrane Collaboration’s Review Groups and Centres “are facing severe financial pressures” and that “others are struggling to maintain all or part of their funding.”
The Cochrane Collaboration states that its central functions are funded by royalties from its publishers, John Wiley and Sons Ltd., which come from sales of subscriptions to The Cochrane Library. Even here however, it turns out that things are not quite as simple as they might initially seem.
For instance, Wiley's scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly business is known as Wiley-Blackwell and publishes over 300 medical journals, examples of which include: Cancer, the flagship journal of the American Cancer Society; Cancer Science, the official journal of the Japanese Cancer Association; the European Journal of Cancer Care; Diabetic Medicine, the journal of Diabetes UK; HIV Medicine, the official journal of the British HIV Association (BHIVA) and the European AIDS Clinical Society (EACS); the International Journal of Gynaecological Cancer, the official journal of the International Gynaecologic Cancer Society and the European Society of Gynaecological Oncology; and the Journal of Interventional Cardiology.
Moreover, it is also notable that Wiley’s acquisition in 1996 of VCH Publishing Group, the publishing arm of the German Chemical and Pharmaceutical societies, made it one of the largest chemistry publishers in the world.
As such, there is clearly an argument to be made that Wiley, as the Cochrane Library’s publisher, has a vested interest in the promotion of pharmaceutical and chemical medicine. From its perspective, any promotion of natural non-patentable alternatives - such as vitamin therapies – could likely be seen as a threat to its future profits.
Surprisingly, amidst the predictable media frenzy that resulted from the publication of this Cochrane review, there was very little attention paid to the reviewers’ ultimate aim.
Quoted in a Medical News Today article however, the reviewers made a "plea for urgent political action" to bring in stiffer regulation of antioxidant supplements. Even more interestingly, the Medical News Today article appears to infer that Christian Gluud - rather than Goran Bjelakovic – was the review’s main author and specifically quotes Gluud as saying “in no uncertain terms” that: "We should request that the regulatory authorities dare to regulate the industry without being financially dependent on the very same industry."
Of course, had Gluud’s criticism been levelled at pharmaceutical companies – in that regulatory agencies virtually the world over are highly dependent on licensing fees and other income from the drug industry - then it would clearly have been a reasonable one. By comparison, however, in most countries vitamin companies have traditionally contributed either very little or next to nothing, financially speaking, to the government agencies that regulate them. Notably therefore, Gluud neglected to make any mention of this important fact.
As such, enterprising journalists – and by this we mean journalists who prefer to do their own research, as opposed to those who took the lazy option and merely used the Cochrane Collaboration’s press release as the basis for their articles – should further take note that the call by these reviewers for stiffer regulation is not even a new one as they have been making similar statements for some four years now.
In an earlier Cochrane review, published in October 2004, for example, the same reviewers similarly contrived to show that there was no convincing evidence that antioxidant supplements have a beneficial effect on the occurrence of gastrointestinal cancers or on overall mortality and that beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, and/or vitamin E increase overall mortality. Significantly therefore, they were openly of the opinion in this review that “antioxidant supplements should be regulated as drugs.” Similarly, that very same month, Bjelakovic, Gluud and two of the other members of their team had a study published in the Lancet in which they claimed they “could not find evidence that antioxidant supplements can prevent gastrointestinal cancers” and that “on the contrary, they seem to increase overall mortality.”
The timing of these two October 2004 publications was highly significant, as they were brought to the attention of the worldwide media only weeks before a crucial meeting of the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU), whose agenda on which occasion included consideration of a proposed restrictive global guideline on vitamin and mineral supplements. Sponsored by the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the main functions of Codex committees revolve around drawing up standards and guidelines for the global food and food supplement industries. Codex texts carry binding authority under the World Trade Organization (WTO), which uses them as the benchmarks when adjudicating on international trade disputes involving food products. Because of this, WTO member countries almost invariably base their domestic food laws upon Codex’s standards and guidelines, not only as a means of promoting international trade but also to avoid having expensive trade dispute cases brought against them at the WTO.
Significantly therefore, the proposed Codex vitamin and mineral supplement guidelines had been subject to vehement worldwide protests for many years, and, as a result, their adoption had essentially been stalled since the mid-1990s. Nevertheless, perhaps due in no small part to the efforts of Bjelakovic, Gluud and their team, the CCNFSDU’s 2004 meeting resulted in the guidelines being advanced for final adoption at Step 8.
Finally, with respect to the Cochrane reviewer’s ultimate aims, it is also notable that Bjelakovic and Gluud wrote a particularly revealing editorial in the May 16, 2007 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Discussing a study claiming that taking multivitamins may be associated with an increased risk for advanced or fatal prostate cancers, they stated that the study’s authors "add to the growing evidence that questions the beneficial value of antioxidant vitamin pills in generally well-nourished populations and underscore the possibility that antioxidant supplements could have unintended consequences for our health." In their editorial’s conclusion, Bjelakovic and Gluud suggested that supplements should be tested for benefits and harms before they come to the market and infer that they should be treated in the same way as pharmaceutical drugs. Predictably, of course, in doing so they neglected to mention that such testing would be prohibitively expensive for non-patentable substances such as vitamins and that only patentable substances, i.e. synthetic chemical drug medicines, offer the possibility of recouping the huge costs involved.
As such, bearing in mind Gluud’s absurd inference that regulatory authorities are “financially dependent” upon “the [vitamin] industry”, as opposed to the multi-trillion dollar patented synthetic chemical drug industry, it would appear that both he and Bjelakovic are developing something of a habit of ignoring not only relevant studies, but also relevant facts.
Following the storm of protest that erupted after the recent Cochrane review’s publication, it didn’t take long for evidence to emerge that certain newspaper editors had put their journalists under pressure to back it .
The British journalist and writer Rachel Johnson, for example, had written an article entitled ‘Not so vital vitamins’ for the Sunday Times in which she cited the review, stated that vitamins are a waste of money and claimed that taking them may shorten life expectancy.
Subsequently however, upon being presented with an article – citing research published in the International Journal of Cancer – showing that a researcher who claimed vitamins can speed up the development of cancer has essentially admitted she got it wrong, Johnson confessed that she “knew there was something fishy” about the Cochrane review but that she “was under pressure to back it” even though she “thought it was simply impossible to pin any of the outcomes on taking vitamins.”
But why might Johnson have been put under pressure? Could it have anything to do with the fact that recent advertisers in the Sunday Times’ magazines have included companies such as Garnier, a division of L'Oréal – the latter of which is the world's largest cosmetics firm and currently holds an 8.7 percent stake in one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, Sanofi-Aventis; Boots, the UK’s dominant pharmaceutical retailer and wholesaler; and BUPA, the UK's leading provider of private health care insurance?
As was similarly the case with the 2004 Cochrane review and Lancet study, the publication of this latest Cochrane meta-analysis comes at a critical time in the global battle to maintain free access to non-patentable vitamin therapies.
The European Commission, aided and abetted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), is currently in the final stages of setting maximum permitted levels for vitamins and minerals in supplements. At present, it is currently expected that these levels will be announced sometime before January 2009 and that in many cases the permitted dosages will be far less than those that are necessary to prevent chronic diseases and promote optimum health.
Meanwhile, in Canada, New Zealand, the United States and many other countries, similar regulatory efforts are also underway to enact restrictions upon the availability of natural health therapies. Clearly therefore, should these actions be successful and patients subsequently be forced to worship at the deadly alter of pharmaceutical medicine, countless millions of deaths will occur that could otherwise have been prevented by the application of Cellular Health research.
Bearing all of this in mind, the question has to be asked as to whether the deliberate actions of the Cochrane researchers - in aiding and abetting those who want to bring in draconian regulations for vitamin supplements - are potentially criminal.
In considering this question, let us briefly summarize the evidence.
Firstly, we know that Cellular Health research has the potential to save millions of lives. Similarly, we also know that most prescription drugs don't work for most people and that adverse drug reactions are now between the fourth and sixth leading cause of death in hospitalized patients in the United States. And yet, if people are ultimately prevented from accessing safe natural health therapies, pharmaceutical drugs will essentially be the only option left available to them.
As regards the recent Cochrane meta-analysis, we know that the two organizations who supported it - the Knowledge and Research Centre for Alternative Medicine (ViFAB) in Denmark, and the Copenhagen Trial Unit’s Centre for Clinical Intervention Research, located at the Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, also in Denmark - have a strong bias towards pharmaceutical medicine and a close affiliation to the decidedly anti-supplement Danish government.
In addition, we also know that the majority of the Cochrane Collaboration’s funding comes from bodies with close links to, and strong support for, the pharmaceutical industry and that Wiley, the Cochrane Library’s publishers, has a vested interest in the promotion of pharmaceutical and chemical medicine.
Finally, and perhaps most seriously of all, we know that the scientific focus area of Christian Gluud, one of the leading authors of the Cochrane meta-analysis, is pharmaceutical research and development and that he has numerous conflicts of interest and connections to organizations having a strong institutional bias towards orthodox medicine.
As such, given all of the above, when Gluud and his colleagues make their pleas for “urgent political action" to bring in stiffer regulation of supplements, what are we to conclude? Are we supposed to believe that the various conflicts of interest described above are all merely coincidental and that the ongoing efforts of Gluud and his colleagues to discredit non-patentable vitamin therapies are somehow not intended to protect the interests of the multi-trillion dollar global pharmaceutical industry and its Investment “Business With Disease”?
Frankly, we think that the evidence presented here is already too strong for any reasonable person to dismiss out of hand. So much so, in fact, that we are confident the organizers of the “vitamins lead to a premature death” campaign will eventually be called to account for their actions.
Justice will prevail - the health and lives of countless millions of people are depending on it.
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