On August 26th the first COVID-19 vaccine allegedly received FDA approval. Mere minutes after the announcement, military officials and democratic states issued new inoculation mandates. President Biden urged business owners to require their staff to receive the mRNA cocktail as a condition of employment. Nevertheless, countless citizens need no coaxing. They see the government organization as a benevolent institution that only endorses products deemed safe for human consumption. However, history has repeatedly proven the Federal Food & Drug Administration’s authorization is not always synonymous with safety. Here are just a few examples of their shady track record which cost the lives of thousands.
Electric Shock Therapy
Electrical stimulation devices are utilized to inflict pain during psychiatric treatments. Electrodes are placed on a patient which direct electrical currents through the skin. The controversial instrument was FDA approved in 1994 for use on vulnerable members of society including those with intellectual disabilities and children. Technicians would quite literally shock subjects into submission. Traumatized individuals left sessions with PTSD, anxiety, burns and tissue damage. Decades of community backlash ensued. Susan Mizner, director of the Disability Rights Program, called the practice “barbaric”. United Nations representatives asserted it was a form of torture. With surmounting civil outrage and widespread criticism, the FDA faced intense scrutiny. As a result, they banned ESD therapy in 2020 after 25 years of inhumane applications.
Known generically as isotretinoin, the retinoid is intended to treat severe acne and various types of skin conditions. Accutane is an artificial version of vitamin A which causes the epidermal glands to release less oil. While it helps reduce breakouts, the medication causes a plethora of unintended maladies. Many experienced psychiatric problems including depression and suicidal thoughts. Internal FDA documents acknowledged up to 20,000 took their own lives after taking the pharmaceutical. Additional internal memos indicated there had been 13,000 Accutane-related spontaneous abortions and 1,100 birth defects. Others acquired inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, bone loss, immune system disorders, cardiovascular damage, and central nervous system injuries. More than 7,000 lawsuits were filed against the manufacturer, Hoffman-La Roche, who was issued to pay $25 million in compensation.
Diethylstilbestrol, also known as stilboestrol or stilbestrol, is a chemical form of estrogen. Doctors told expectant mothers the substance prevented premature labor and miscarriages. Unfortunately, the synthetic female hormone was not only ineffective but incredibly harmful. Women who ingested the toxic prophylactic developed cervical, vaginal and breast cancers. Many suffered infertility in future contraception attempts. Fetal exposure resulted in babies born with birth defects, malformation, and developmental abnormalities. These issues and other diseases could be inherited by subsequent generations. Grandchildren of impacted mothers were plagued by dire repercussions. FDA representatives finally banned DES in 1971 after an estimated 10 million women and children had already been exposed.
Ranitidine hydrochloride, sold under the brand name Zantac, is a type of H2-blocker that decreases stomach acid production. People commonly took the antihistamine for heartburn, acid reflux, and peptic ulcers. It was the first drug to generate $1 billion dollars with doctors writing more than 18 million prescriptions. World Health Organization delegates included the antagonist on their List of Essential Medicines. In the 1980s, despite assertions of benign efficacy from the FDA, oncologists linked Zantac to cancers in a number of studies. Manufacturers Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim deliberately withheld mounting evidence from consumers. Millions of people were consequently exposed to lethal carcinogens. A large portion contracted cancers of the bladder, kidneys, esophagus, prostate, and stomach. Two years ago a respected pharmacy and independent laboratory discovered high amounts of NDMA during ranitidine batch testing. These levels registered 1,700 higher than exposure levels which cause cancer in humans.
Merck released the arthritis-treating NSAID in 1999 upon receiving full approval. At least 20 million people worldwide were prescribed this anti-inflammatory. Doctors began to notice concerning coronary conditions in patients taking the drug. Studies revealed a direct link between Vioxx use and increased risk of myocardial infarction. Conclusive data was submitted to the FDA yet they did not require any further investigations or issue a recall. Some speculate there was a financial incentive because sales brought in billions of dollars each year. Federal documents disclosed they were very much aware of the situation. One of the agency’s top scientists wrote that a minimum of 27,000 heart attacks were linked to the painkiller. By the time it had been withdrawn from market, an estimated 88,000 Americans sustained cardiac arrest after taking Vioxx and 38,000 died. Merk eventually agreed to pay $4.85 billion in a court settlement.
From 1962-1985 the general public used this synthetic nervous system depressant as a treatment for insomnia and anxiety. Before its emergence, researchers warned of potential dependency issues. During the 1970s they were one of the most frequently prescribed sedatives in America with thousands becoming addicted. Quaalude-induced emergency room visits skyrocketed as the pills rose in popularity. In one year there were over 2,700 hospitalizations. Users experienced side effects including vomiting, seizures, hypoventilation, and death. By 1984 the medication was reclassified by the FDA as an illegal Schedule 1 drug.
PTZ is a circulatory and respiratory stimulant used in therapy for certain psychiatric conditions. After neurologists discovered high doses caused convulsions, they began to administer it to schizophrenics. Psychologists believed it would help alleviate depression, subdue catatonia and minimize hallucinations. Thousands of mental hospital residents were given pentylenetetrazol to induce seizures. Some of their epileptic episodes became incessant and resulted in serious trauma. They lost control of essential bodily functions which stripped away any remaining dignity. Over 40% were left with pulled muscles, broken bones, or fractured spines. In 1982, after nearly half a century in circulation, PTZ was pulled by the FDA.
In 1975, the stimulant was released as a remedy for ADHD. Experts insisted the product was safe and effective in treating hyperactive children. Over 200,000 juveniles were prescribed throughout the period it was available. Nearly two hundred minors endured serious health ailments with twenty-one suffering from acute liver failure. More than half of those injured needed a liver transplant or died from complications. In the FDA’s official reference archive they state: “the reporting rate for liver failure with pemoline is 10 to 25 times greater than the background rate of liver failure in the general population.” Medical professionals suspect the true number of adverse reactions is substantially higher since most incidents are misdiagnosed or unreported.
The pain-reliever was advertised as a non-narcotic analgesic with the potency of codeine. Numerous consumers suffered from excessive receptor stimulation triggering both neurological and respiratory depression. Cardiovascular damage soared as the drug continued to be retailed. Darvocet caused the deaths of more than 2,000 people in under nine years. From 1978-2006 there were several petitions to prohibit transactions but the FDA was less than cooperative. An advisory committee voted to continue distributing the opioid. Cardiac specialists relentlessly protested this decision and performed clinical trials. Electrocardiograms proved a single standard dose altered the heart’s electrical activity. Such critical variations could potentially lead to fatal arrhythmias. In 2010 the lethal concoction was taken off the market.
Whether these instances are due to incompetence or something more sinister, it is apparent that FDA approval does carry much weight. Associate Director of the Food & Drug Administration’s Office of Drug Safety, Dr. David Graham, once stated “FDA is inherently biased in favor of the pharmaceutical industry. It views industry as its client, whose interests it must represent and advance. It views its primary mission as approving as many drugs it can, regardless of whether the drugs are safe or needed.” Each year prescribed medications cause 2.74 million hospitalizations from severe adverse reactions. Prescription drugs are the 4th leading cause of death in America. Money talks and financial gain is nearly infinite when it comes to a ‘global pandemic’. Pfizer’s revenue in the first half of 2021 alone was over $11.3 billion. One cannot help but wonder: is this truly about public health?