Philosophy of AR > Animal Testing - Index > Anti-Vivisection Index

Pharmaceutical Corporation Lies

One Reason For My Continuing Insanity

I have not previously written about this factor... it is giving me nightmares.

In 1990, I helped a 60 Minutes producer (Isadore Roesemarin) do a segment on aspartame/NutraSweet, the artificial sweetener. When Searle Pharmaceuticals got NutraPoison approved, their president was a man by the name of Donald Rumsfeld. They then sold the company to Monsanto. A 30-year-old named Clarence Thomas was then Monsanto's lawyer. A congressman by the name of John Ashcroft had received the greatest number of political donations from Monsanto. That's just a bit of trivia and not the primary point to be made here...

At that time I carefully went through Searle's research. They had submitted 112 studies to the FDA for approval. The FDA designated 17 of those studies to be "pivotal." By naming a study "pivital" it had to be available to the public in its entirety. So...I filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the 17 studies. One of them was performed at the University of Wisconsin on Rhesus Monkeys. After day 300 of that one-year study every single one of the monkeys (low dose, medium dose, and high dose groups) developed grand mal epileptic seizures.

Although I totally reject animal research, I recognize that the performance and review of such research is THEIR game. THEY set the criteria. When lab animals suffer adverse affects, THEY are responsible for telling the truth. In this case, THEY ignored the truth. I discovered the truth.

One month before the report aired, I met with a man by the name of Michael Friedman, a high level FDA bureaucrat. I shared the results of the study with him. FDA had approved aspartame by concluding that there were no adverse affects on laboratory animals. I found that FDA had erred. Friedman had my information.

I also found an ex-FDA employee willing to testify regarding internal FDA pressures to ignore the facts and approve NutraSweet. There was fraud and deceit at FDA. The public was about to be intentionally poisoned.

When the actual 60 Minutes piece aired, they left the testimony of the FDA employee on the cutting room floor. Furthermore, Friedman, armed with my information, was interviewed and said, "There were no adverse affects on lab animals." He lied and I was angry and disappointed. The man represented pure evil to me.

Three months later he was named FDA Commissioner. Six months after that he left FDA to become the new president of the NutraSweet company.

Now, I get to the real point of my story.

While I was addicted to Oxycontin, the FDA fined the manufacturer, Purdue Pharmaceuticals, $634 million for deceptive practices... for not revealing that Oxycontin was more addictive than heroin. This week after weaning myself from this powerful drug, I learned that the acting president of that company is the very same Michael Friedman.

I live in a world of conspiracy theories, and I do too much research for my own good. The paper trails seem impossible for investigative reporters to follow, while they are marked with day-glo paint for me. Call it my curse. I do what I do for the public, I guess. I keep no secrets. I immediately write about them. Perhaps, in a conspiracy theory world, that is what keeps me alive. I do not really give a damn any more about my safety. Their crimes against mankind are so serious that I must do what I do.

My Woodstock generation.. .we were going to change the world, remember? Remember our phony ideals and how everybody we know sold out and became our own parents?

Am I just wasting my time?

Robert Cohen

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