I follow food and nutrition science to some extent.  This caught my attention:

It’s been a profitable venture for the drug companies, as well as for the professors and their universities. Agriculture schools increasingly depend on the industry for research grants, a sizable portion of which cover overhead and administrative costs. And many professors now add to their personal bank accounts by working for the companies as consultants and speakers. More than two-thirds of animal scientists reported in a 2005 survey that they had received money from industry in the previous five years.

Yet unlike a growing number of medical schools around the country, where administrators have recently tightened rules to better police their faculty’s ties to pharmaceutical companies, the schools of agriculture have largely rejected critics’ concerns about industry cash. Administrators have set few limits on how much corporate money agricultural professors can accept. Faculty work with industry is governed by confidentiality rules that veil it from public view.

In certain ways, the close relationship between animal scientists and pharmaceutical companies has never served the public well. Few animal scientists have been interested in looking at what harm the livestock drugs may be causing to the cattle, the environment, or the people eating the meat. They’ve left most of that work to scientists outside of agriculture, consumer groups, and others who take interest.

But with the introduction of Zilmax, the situation may have reached a tipping point. Critics say some academic animal scientists have become so closely tied to the drug companies that they may be working more in the companies’ interests than in those of farmers and ranchers—the very groups that land-grant universities were created to serve.

Substitute patient for beef cattle and psychiatrist/primary care physician for animal scientist and voila! Patients growing enormous and iatrogenically ill and diseased on second generation antipsychotics, and their physicians so entangled with pharma and medical device industries that they fail to serve patients’ interests.

The Chronicle of Higher Education isn’t usually where I find in depth whistle-blower investigative reporting.  Read the entire article.  It will (or should) make your hair stand on end.

Ethics and malfeasance, anyone?

Social contract. In pieces.


7 thoughts on “Substitutions

    • I’m familiar with the Healthy Librarian and her eating agenda from her comments at the NYT. We are of like minds when it comes to the eating fresh whole foods piece. Then we part ways drastically when it comes to eating based on science and evolutionary history. B12, anyone? Humans are omnivores, and if we proactively steward and protect agricultural resources, and then create and nourish (punny) eating traditions and culture, we’d go a long way toward healthful eating and chronic disease reversal/prevention.

  1. aek? haven’t seen you post anything in a few days… I was on ‘thought broadcast,’ kind of interesting, all of these psychiatrists et al fighting over ‘what is psychiatry,’ will a blood test to identify depression make for less of a stigma for those afflicted, and so on. Just stopping by. Keep posting – I look forward to reading this blog, even if I don’t always respond to a specific post.

    • Hi – thanks for stopping by. Poor Steve has been pestered by me as my comments seem to disappear into his blog’s spam file, and he isn’t able to see that. I’ll mosey over there and update myself on the comments.

      I’ve been a bit rattled by an episode of pretty profound confusion – in the grocers, of all places. Trying to tell myself it’s not dementia and is probably related to chronic insomnia.

      How does one reorient oneself when there is no other person to verify orientation? Wasn’t fun.

  2. Sounds horrible. I don’t know from science but I DO know alot about insomnia. It’s now 1:40 a.m. I do very strange things when I don’t get proper sleep. Given what I’ve read about your background, I suspect you have an idea it’s not dementia but probably insomnia. It probably is the latter. Sometimes you just mess up – and it is what it is. Best way I know of to reorient myself is either to go to bed, even if just lying down (e.g. today, rough trial) to be quiet, for a while, or get involved in something whether it’s a movie / something online, work, whatever. It almost doesnt matter. I have to do that a lot. I hope you feel better soon – the Thought Broadcast blog is very lively, although frankly, everyone’s posts are so long – after a paragraph or two I get the gist, and unless it’s really compelling, I skip to the next one. That takes away from the fun there. It is a good place to learn from folks who know – what works, what doesn’t… and I’m learning a lot about psychiatrists and psychiatry which I could stand to do given I deal w/ them. Looking forward to more from your blog. I like the recent variety, too – not that your main thesis / theme isn’t important – it is – but the other posts are also interesting.

  3. I had my first psychotic episode at 51 (this year) caused by prolonged sleep-deprivation due to raging PTSD hypervigilance and MS pain along with severe night sweats. Sleep deprivation is profound. Getting inadequate sleep and poor sleep for days on end can certainly cause confusion and disorientation. It can make days feel hellishly long as well.

    Hey aek, have you seen the Florence Nightingale piece at the Met?

    • Thanks so much for visiting and commenting, Wileywitch. I’m sorry you’ve been through the ringer. And I hope you are able to sleep better now. As a fellow insomniac, I have a sense of how brutal that is in and of itself. As a main ingredient in your “witch’s brew” of MS and PTSD, it must have been a hellish time. I’m glad that you managed to come through it, and I’m appreciative of your sharing here! I hadn’t seen the Nightingale piece you referenced, and I thank you for pointing me to it. I love the MMA and hope to visit it sometime soon.

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