And why would this be any different in NZ Kiwis? Same drug companies. Same medical model. Same addressing of symptoms not root causes as is generally the case.
A damning Harvard University report has advised that according to the European Commission, about 328,000 patients in the U.S. and Europe die from prescription drugs each year – making prescription drugs the 4th highest cause of death, on a par with stroke.
We could get into legal trouble if we advised you to go against the recommendations of your doctor; however we can advise you to be as informed as possible about the risks involved in taking prescription meds.
According to the World Health Organization, the pharmaceutical industry is worth 300 billion dollars annually – with an additional hundred million expected to add to the value in the next three years. A third of this entire multi-billion-dollar market is controlled by ten of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. According to CMR International, a partner of Thomas Reuters, global pharmaceutical sales reached one trillion dollars in 2014 and will be booming to 1.3 trillion by 2018.
It goes without saying that this is big business – but like every big business, there is a dark side as well. Can we really trust the research – seeing as the same companies selling the pills are funding many of the medical journals? And then we have the issue of doctors receiving kickbacks for prescribing certain drugs, after being “educated” on the benefits of the drugs by pharma salesmen.
Take a look at this list of seven of the most dangerous prescription drug typesand see how they can hurt you. 
#1: Sleeping Pills (OTC and prescribed)
The use of sleeping pills has been associated with an increased risk factor for stroke. A study published by Petrov, et. al. in 2014 revealed that over-the-counter and prescription sleeping pills increased a person’s risk for stroke, independently and beyond any of the other known risk factors like blood pressure, personal history of heart disease, and vices like smoking and drinking alcohol. Isn’t it worrying that compared to all other factors that place a person at risk for stroke, sleeping pills top that list? 
Controversy over 1080 erupted this month, with five protesters arrested for interfering with a poison drop. In Taupo, a fake bomb was discovered at a firm behind the drops. In the middle of the debate is Taupo mayor Rick Cooper, who believes a 1080 `gravy train’ is making a small group of people rich. Special investigation by Tony Wall.
RICK COOPER looks uncannily like the figure in the oil painting in his Taupo District Council office, right down to the open-neck blue shirt and grey blazer. The subject is not an ancestor or a former mayor, but TV mob boss Tony Soprano. The inspiration? “He shot the bastards, encased them in concrete. He is my mentor – `just get on with it’.”
He is joking, of course, but you suspect His Worship wouldn’t mind meting out some mob justice to those he believes are poisoning the environment with the aerial spread of 1080.
Although Cooper “hates” 1080 – “if I was prime minister I would ban it by lunchtime” – he has no problem with ground control, where the poison is laid by hand in bait stations, targeting possums only.
What enrages him is “indiscriminate aerial bombardment”, which he says is causing “carnage” in our forests, killing everything from insects and plants to birds, pigs, deer and domestic farm animals, as well as threatening waterways.
Cooper’s council has passed a resolution – six for and four against – to advocate for the abolition of aerial 1080 poisoning and to seek alternative possum eradication methods. The Westland District Council has passed a similar resolution and the mayor of Kaikoura has called for a 1080 ban, as a groundswell of opposition to the deadly poison, banned in most countries, builds.
The Department of Conservation, regional councils and the Animal Health Board use 1080 to control possums in order to protect forests and birdlife and to prevent the spread of bovine TB. In 2007, after a lengthy submissions process, the Environmental Risk Management Agency (Erma) found 1080 was safe and decided to allow its continued use, including aerial operations.
But that has not silenced opponents such as Cooper, who fired off emails to all the agencies involved, as well as Prime Minister John Key, in a desperate attempt to halt a 1080 drop over 26,000ha of the Kaingaroa State Forest east of Taupo this month.
The operation was unnecessary, Cooper says, as the terrain was easily accessible – “it’s flat country my grandmother could ride her bike around” – and could have been done by foot. He says the obsession with aerial operations is denying work to possum trappers and undermining the trade in meat and fur.
A 1080 “gravy train” keeps the aerial drops going, Cooper claims. There is too much money being made for them to be abolished, he says, conspiratorially. He talks of closed-door deals, conflicts of interest and a lack of transparency from the agencies involved. “I think it’s a bit like something died in the back paddock and hasn’t been buried.”
Cooper points to multimillion-dollar contracts awarded to a local firm, Epro Ltd, to spread 1080 from the air. Its director and co-owner, Roger Lorigan, used to work at Environment Waikato, which issues resource consents for 1080 work, in its pest management unit. A former colleague, Kevin Christie, also has his own firm, Ecofx based in Otorohanga, which has also won big contracts.
Their boss at Environment Waikato was John Simmons, now the biosecurity and natural heritage group manager at the council, in charge of pest management. In the late 90s, the council sold its possum control business to Lorigan and Christie, and Cooper claims they have been milking it ever since. However, his concerns were not shared by the auditor-general, who in a 2004 report found no evidence of any conflict of interest.
But Cooper remains suspicious. “It doesn’t matter where you go with this stuff, you keep finding the same people, the same names, and no one you can independently trust. My question is, what methodology did they use to sell those companies?”
Cooper has been challenging Environment Waikato chairman Peter Buckley on the issue. Buckley says he initially had concerns about how the companies were set up, but since becoming chairman has been satisfied that everything was above board. Lorigan says they were simply management buy-outs of pest destruction businesses, no different to those conducted by several other councils around the country. He says that 1080 contracts awarded to his firm are won fairly. “We just tender along with everyone else.”
Simmons says allegations of bias and closed-door deals were raised by a rival operator in 2004, and dismissed by the auditor-general. “It is disappointing that this has again surfaced unnecessarily.” He says Epro and Ecofx are experts in their field and, “I am sure the majority of ratepayers… have a high level of assurance in the professional manner in which the work is undertaken.”
A copy of the auditor-general’s report, provided to the Sunday Star-Times, shows that, while there was no evidence that Simmons had ever had any financial interest in Epro or Ecofx and there was nothing to suggest their relationship was inappropriate, there was another conflict, involving an “independent consultant” employed by the council to act as moderator and recorder in the 1080 contract process.
The person had a business relationship with both Epro and Ecofx, and while the council knew this, it had done nothing about it. Figures released to the Star-Times by Environment Waikato show it has paid around $2 million to Epro and Ecofx for aerial 1080 contracts over the past 10 years, but most of the contracts the firms won were with the Animal Health Board, which refuses to reveal payments for reasons of commercial sensitivity.
Epro and Ecofx recently applied for 10 and 20-year consents to continue aerial 1080 operations on a non-notified basis, although they later withdrew the applications and settled for year-long consents. (Their current 10-year consents are due to expire next month.)
“We kicked up such a stink they had to back out,” Cooper says. “That’s protecting your business isn’t it? Non-notified consents, 10 years for a poison. You can’t even put a bedroom on your house without a resource consent.”
Lorigan says Cooper’s allegations and inflammatory comments are inciting threats against his firm. Just a day after the Star-Times visited Epro this month, staff discovered a suspicious package – a 20-litre container with a clock and protruding wires – on machinery at its depot. Bomb disposal experts were called in and houses evacuated, but it was a hoax.
The incident came a day after two dogs died, apparently after eating 1080 pellets by the side of the Napier-Taupo highway. A friend of the owner later paraded the body of one of the dogs through the middle of Taupo in a wheelbarrow.
Lorigan says the bomb hoax proves anti-1080 protesters are “terrorists”.
“You just get sick of it, where’s it going to end? We’ve had threats and stuff like that, at the end of the day we’re just a contractor. That’s what drives me nuts, we’re just a business.
“Rick’s taking it very personal and that’s quite a shame. We’re a business that has employed 50 people, I find it very disappointing that a mayor can do that in his own town. Why isn’t he worried about how the town is going and promoting tourism?”
Cooper does not condone the bomb hoax, but says he understands the anger of whoever was behind it.
“There are a lot of disappointed people around this district that know the truth behind this madness. I’m glad I have no part in this diabolical 1080 nonsense because if I did, I fear I would have been tarred and feathered.”
COOPER IS an unlikely crusader against 1080. Your typical protester is a bearded, Swanndri-wearing bushwhacker, but Cooper made his fortune selling cars, owns half of the commercial real estate in Taupo – “I’m the biggest ratepayer in this town… $280,000 a quarter” – and races Mustangs in his spare time. He gives his $81,000 mayoral salary to charity.
But he is also a keen deer hunter and has “hated” 1080 most of his life. Soon after he won the mayoralty for the first time in 2007, Epro bungled a 1080 drop at Turangi.
“They were spraying 1080 all over the place down the bottom of the lake… they threw it across this place where these kids’ ponies were. I go down there… can you imagine the scene? You’ve got four horses thrashing and dying on the ground, one takes four days to die. I was going, `What is going on in this country? How in God’s name did a helicopter pilot biff this shit here, in this horse paddock?’ To this day those kids haven’t even had an apology.”
Epro, which failed to tell the owners to move the horses, was formally warned by Environment Waikato and a year later the regional council finally paid the owners $9100 compensation.
The incident convinced Cooper to campaign for the abolishment of aerial 1080 drops. He has spent so much time on the issue the past three years he has had to employ a “mayoral support officer”, Graham Sperry, who is chairman of the anti-1080 New Zealand Wildlands Biodiversity Management Society, to take up some of the 1080 workload.
Documentary maker Clyde Graf, whose film on 1080, Poisoning Paradise, has been nominated for awards in the UK, is a hunting companion of Cooper. He says for 1080 opponents, having the mayor in their corner has been invaluable.
“He’s a fairly staunch, brave sort of a guy,” Graf says. “He doesn’t get pushed around easily, he just stands up for what he believes in. His position as mayor, he’s not trying to defend , he’s not sucking up to bureaucracies and the big bullies, following government policy – because 1080 is locked into government policy.”
But others are not so impressed.
The Conservation Department says it is “disappointed” the council has not recognised the “key role” aerial 1080 plays in protecting vulnerable wildlife such as kiwi, while the Animal Health Board, which spent $53m on possum control the past financial year, claims inaccurate comments have been made about the aerial use of the poison. Board chief executive William McCook disputes Cooper’s claim the east Taupo drop zone was flat country that could have been covered by foot.
He says the area is extensively forested and poses some “serious health and safety risks” for ground control operators. Aerial control is the most cost-effective method, he says, and provides even coverage. McCook says 80% of the operations in the region are ground based, using traps and poison.
Ailsa Gathergood, a Taupo district councillor and farmer who voted against the resolution to advocate for the abolishment of aerial 1080, says farmers are generally in favour of it to protect their cattle from TB. Birdlife in bush areas she has visited has bounced back after aerial drops, she says. Gathergood says farmers are feeling resentment that they did not get to put their side of the story before the council passed its resolution.
Will it cost Cooper votes? “We’ll see what happens at the next local body elections [in October],” she says.
Cooper claims not to care. “It could go either way, but I am true to my beliefs and I don’t give a shit if it sees me out of here – I’ll just go fishing.”
AT EPRO’S base on Broadlands Rd, there is a framed notice on the wall from Environment Waikato, praising the work the firm has done to prevent the spread of bovine TB.
Lorigan says in the mid 90s, Taupo had 250 cattle herds on movement control because of TB – today there are none. “Isn’t that pretty damn good?”
He confirms 1080 contracts have been worth millions to his firm, but denies it has made him wealthy. “Do you know any millionaire possum hunters?” Costs include helicopters, poison, staff and vehicles, he says.
Lorigan says aerial 1080 drops are more cost effective than ground control – helicopters can cover 20,000ha in two days, but the average man only 20ha a day. He believes 1080 is safe. Cooper claims a hunting estate Lorigan owns near the southern end of Lake Taupo has never had 1080 dropped on it, but Lorigan says that is simply not true. “I’m a mad-keen hunter, and I don’t have a problem with it .”
Lorigan says incidents where pets and domestic farm animals have died after eating 1080 were “human error”, and he’s not talking his own.
“It’s not the poison’s fault. It’s like if a dog runs out on the road and gets run over, is it the car’s fault? It’s the owner, and that’s what the story is with most of the problems with 1080 – people don’t take responsibility for their own dogs or for their domestic animals, keeping them under control.”
That comment shows Lorigan’s lack of compassion, Cooper says, and points out that the horses Epro killed in 2007 were in their own paddock.
Cooper questions the need for 1080 at all. He says possums simply aren’t there any more. He recently went spotlighting and in four hours, saw just two possums. He and other 1080 opponents have tried to prise data from the AHB showing possum numbers before and after aerial operations.
The board refuses to supply the information, McCook telling the Star-Times: “The AHB does not provide data like that requested by Mr Cooper because it forms just one aspect of the decision to undertake a pest control operation.
“This data may be interpreted in isolation from other contributing and often complex technical information, which has the potential to give an incomplete and even misleading perspective of why an operation is to take place.”
This just adds fuel to Cooper’s fire. He suspects the numbers are being “cooked” to justify further drops and keep the gravy train running.
“A lot of focus has been on `these anti-1080 radicals’,” Cooper says. “The funny thing though, is the anti-1080 people have got none of this [money] at stake, and people who like 1080 have got lots of it at stake – the helicopter operator, the farmer, the Animal Health Board guys on a hundred and fifty f—— thousand a year, the guys with their three-piece suits driving around in their BMWs, and the Epros the Ecofxs.
“If we all put the flag up now and said, `we’ve got this under control, possum populations are right down, we don’t need you [aerial operators] any more’, what would happen? The gravy train would stop.”
For all his strong words, Cooper has been powerless to stop the drops – this month Epro completed the east Taupo drop, on behalf of the AHB. Environment Waikato and other regional councils issue resource consents for aerial drops, and each operation has to be approved by the medical officer of health for the district. Local councils can make submissions, but essentially are cut out of the decision-making loop.
Cooper says he will keep up his vocal campaign against the poison until those in power start listening.
“My job is to protect the environment and the inhabitants therein. How do we stop it? It’s a real good question. It’s a bit like starting on P – how do you get off the shit? The only way is people power – that’s all we’ve got.”
1080 – a controversial killer
Sodium monofluoroacetate, or 1080, has been used for about 50 years in New Zealand to control possums. It is a chemical reproduction of a naturally occurring, biodegradable toxin which exotic plants produce. It has accidentally killed dogs, deer, horses, cows, and birds after being dropped from the air.
The SPCA is against the poison because of the cruel way it kills – animals can take days to die. Proponents of its use say it breaks down in the environment – opponents say it is a threat to our waterways, not to mention our “clean, green” image. Possum numbers are estimated to be the same today – about 70 million – as decades ago.
Opponents of 1080 say this is evidence the poison programme hasn’t worked.
Supporters say without it, possum numbers would be even higher. New Zealand uses most of the world’s supplies of 1080, and it is banned in most other countries. It is imported from the US by Animal Control Products Ltd, a state-owned enterprise, which mixes the poison into cereal bait and sells it to contractors such as Epro.
The contractors are hired by the Conservation Department and regional councils, which want possums eradicated to protect birdlife and forests, and by the Animal Health Board, an incorporated society tasked with eradicating bovine tuberculosis, which could cost farmers billions if it gets out of control. For this reason, the powerful lobby group Federated Farmers supports the use of 1080, as does Forest and Bird. In 2007, the Environmental Risk Management Agency reviewed the use of 1080, taking submissions and eventually ruling the poison was safe and could continue to be used. Opponents say the review was a whitewash and relied on dodgy science. Some 1080 protesters have been labelled “terrorists”, after a 1080 contractor’s dog was deliberately fed 1080 on the West Coast in 2008, and just this month a fake bomb was left at Epro’s depot in Taupo.
Taupo man Chris Short epitomises the lengths 1080 opponents are prepared to go to make their point. In 1995, he hijacked a crop-spraying helicopter and forced the pilot to fly him into Tongariro National Park. He spent eight months in jail. Last year a terminally ill Short spent six days on Mt Tongariro protesting 1080. He vowed to die on the mountain but was eventually persuaded to come down.
Journalists and political partisans have expressed the mistaken presumption that government is a “balancing force” against the excess powers of corporations. This video explains that most excess power of corporations is provided and granted by government and that government seeks partnership with corporations and shares in the profits. This “public-private partnership” is so advanced that the public interest is no longer a primary concern of government. Government is now a for-profit operation serving itself at the expense of the public interest.
Progressive Radio Network presents A Gary Null Production WAR ON HEALTH: The FDA’s Cult of Tyranny Introduced by the director (from his speech at the world premiere in New York City, June 15, 2012) In the near future, American medical practice may change dramatically for the worse. No longer will maximal dose natural supplements—vitamins, natural compounds, and scientifically proven medicinal herbs—be available over the counter in local health and grocery stores. Holistic practice, which relies upon non-prescription natural treatments instead of Big Pharma drugs prescribed life-long, will diminish. American healthcare will be imprisoned, patients will be forced to abide by a single medical paradigm defined by corporate drug and food executives and dictated by a government enforcement agency, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is the bleak scenario if the FDA succeeds in limiting Americans’ options to prevent and treat diseases. ‘War on Health’ is the first documentary detailing and challenging the FDA agenda and its allegiance with the international Codex Alimentarius, which hopes to establish a monolithic food and health regime. Betraying its founding mandate to assure drug, food and chemical safety in the interests of public health, the FDA today is a repressive bureaucracy serving pharmaceutical and agricultural greed and profits. Vaccines, medical devices, prescription drugs are fast tracked at alarming rates through the FDA at the expense of scientific oversight to assure their efficacy and safety. The result is hundreds of thousands premature deaths annually from pharmaceutical drugs, vaccines and medical devices and an epidemic of medical incompetence and fraud sanctioned by federal health officials. Featuring many pioneering American and European attorneys, physicians, medical researchers and advocates of health freedom, War on Health lifts the veil on FDA’s militaristic operations against organic food providers and alternative physicians. The film’s conclusion is perfectly clear: the FDA is a tyrannical cult founded upon the denial of sound medical science with little intention to improve the nation’s health and prevent disease. Written and Directed by Gary Null Produced by Valerie Van Cleve Associate Producer: Richard Gale Editor: Richie Williamson Offline Editing: Valerie Van Cleve, L.A. Jones Camera Operators: Marcello Coppuchino, Peter Bonilla, David Grier, L.A. Jones Gregory Jason Russ, Jake Hammer Mesmire, Edson Tanakae, Valerie Van Cleve, Richie Williamson
Labour buddies Phil Twyford and Phil Goff have unleashed a stampede of financial pariahs who will be jostling for a share of the profits from financing the $28 billion inAucklandtransport projects they jointly announced on Thursday.
Despite having promised before the election to stop the Public Private Partnership schemes of the previous National government, this latest announcement goes even further down the road of privatising new assets.
The new transport projects will be financed by combination ofPPPs and Crown Investment Partners, a government ownedPPPscheme in disguise, “which is all about introducing outside capital and attract[ing] co-investment from the private or other sectors”.
Labour used to be the party for the workers but it has just proved it really has turned into a party that shovels taxpayer money into the pockets of the rich, the overseas banks, and the international money shufflers.
Their big profits will be coming straight out of taxpayer’s pockets, who will effectively rent the new transport facilities, having to pay for the construction of the projects and a premium for the lender’s profits.
If you think that those who foment wars care about your kids you birthed and raised, think again. As we approach another Anzac Day and we do indeed remember our loved ones (my Papa & all of his four brothers who went faithfully to WW2 ‘for their country’ and fortunately for us returned, unlike many families, torn apart forever) …. let’s spread the word that wars are only necessary for the bankers and the corporations that make the weapons. PEACE. EnvirowatchRangitikei
***ORIGINAL UPLOAD BY RTAmerica*** Permission to repost granted. Aug 11, 2011 As the U.S. economy remains on a consistent downward spiral, one thing the U.S. Government is never shy to invest endless cash in is the Pentagon. Which – on its end — is pumping millions of dollars into luring in the young population of America into enrolling into the military. RT’s Anastasia Churkina looks at some of those mesmerizing techniques, and what kind of effect they have had on those fit to serve. http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/w… “WAR is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.” – Major General Smedley Butler (“War Is A Racket”) “I spent 33 years in active military service as a member of the Marine Corps. I served from 2nd Lt. to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism… Looking back, I might have given Al Capone a few hints….” – Major General Smedley Butler (“War Is A Racket”)
Of course most of us need wars like we need a hole in the head. Not the bankers however … war is an endless money spinner for them especially when you can fund both sides. So this ‘wonderful’ new weapon can take down a truck from a mile away, and can also destroy drones, vehicles, rockets, boats and more. We are buttered up with the promise of protecting hospitals and taking out the latest boogey man terrorists (appropriately named ATHENA, patron protectress of various Greek cities) … the essential pre requisites for more war & ‘ka-ching’, profits. Lockheed Martin partially fund the Mahia NZ rocket base along with our faithful-to-the US government/corporation, thanks to Key for that $25 mill that could’ve housed quite a few homeless instead. (See our War and Banking pages on all of that – main menu). A reminder of how money focused ‘protection’ is these days, a screen shot from the weapons fest we had in 2016 hosted by the NZ gov. $10K per head if you wanted to attend dinner with the trimmings. They also catered for the lower incomes so you could get a seat at $5K also, less trimmings. Far from these ‘banquet halls’ of the rich are the dying civilians… the real victims of war. The children. I’m for defense, sure, but our modern day packaging of war is illustrative of what it really is and always has been, corporate profits. Which is why I’ll never be ‘rejoicing’ over any new weaponry.
Silent, invisible, deadly. The powerful ATHENA laser weapon can destroy enemy threats within seconds. It just destroyed five Outlaw drones.
For the United States, thanks to pioneering efforts of American companies like Lockheed Martin and the military, laser weapons are no longer the stuff of Star Wars and Star Trek.
In near-term future battles, the U.S. military can choose to bring laser weapons mounted on vehicles, vessels, and more, to war. By comparison, the weapons of any enemy will look like bows and arrows.
ATHENA, (Advanced Test High Energy Asset), is one of the most exciting of these new American laser weapons. During recent testing with the U.S. Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command at the Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, the 30-kilowatt weapon slayed five Outlaw drones. Not toy hobby sized drones, but drones with nearly 11 foot wingspans.