Onglyza Heart Failure Warning leads to Lawsuits

In 2016, the FDA called for stronger heart-failure warnings on the Onglyza label of AstraZeneca’s Type 2 diabetes drug. Since then, AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb (AZ’s former partner) have been hit with 14 lawsuits over Onglyza’s heart-failure risks.

Filed in the District of New Jersey, the lawsuits claim the drugmakers failed to warn users that Onglyza and a related combination product called Kombiglyza XR can cause cardiac arrest, congestive heart failure and death.

The New Jersey Law Journal reports plaintiffs charge that the Big Pharma duo began marketing Onglyza in 2009 before conducting clinical trials to see whether the drug increased users’ cardiac risks. Plaintiffs say the two ignored 2008 FDA guidance that urged drug companies to “demonstrate that” new therapies “will not result in an unacceptable increase in cardiovascular risk.”

An AstraZeneca spokeswoman said in a statement that the company “is confident in the safety and efficacy of Onglyza, when used in accordance with the FDA approved label, which has been established through clinical trials. We will vigorously defend against the allegations made by the plaintiffs.”

Some 150 to 200 Onglyza cases are pending so far across the U.S., but that number could eventually reach the thousands.

Onglyza Heart Failure Warning leads to Lawsuits
Onglyza’s heart risks most recently made the news in April 2016 when the FDA insisted the drug’s label include a warning of increased heart-failure risk. It wasn’t the only drug that regulators targeted, however. The FDA also required Takeda to update the labels for fellow DPP-4 Nesina and combinations Kazano and Oseni.

Januvia Outcomes Study for Merck
Merck’s DPP-4 drug Januvia did not suffer the same fate as Onglyza. A 2015 outcomes study seemed to exonerate Januvia. Later in 2015, a new analysis of the trial called TECOS – showed that even Type 2 diabetes patients with cardiovascular disease and a history of heart failure could take Januvia without increasing their risk of CV complications.

In April 2017, however, the FDA shot down Merck’s attempt to add the TECOS results to the labels of Januvia and combination drugs Janumet and Janumet XR.

DPP-4 is not the only diabetes class where AstraZeneca’s drugs face heart-related questions. The company is now running an outcomes study designed to show whether its SGLT2 drug Farxiga can match rival Jardiance (from Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim) at cutting the combined incidence of heart attack, stroke, and cardio-vascular-related death in high-risk patients.

Related
•  Onglyza Lawsuit

•  Onglyza Diabetes Drug linked to Heart Failure

•   Onglyza Heart Failure Warning leads to Lawsuits

•  Onglyza Heart Warnings Needed, says FDA

•  Dangerous Drugs

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Congress’ Secret Fund pays Sexual Harassment Claims

BuzzFeed reported last week that the office of Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) paid $27,000 to settle a previously undisclosed sexual harassment claim against him. What is even more troubling is that the money was paid out of a secret fund that Congress has used for 20 years to pay off sexual harassment and other lawsuits against lawmakers.  The House of Representatives secretly handles and conceals these lawsuits, and pays for them with our tax dollars.

The dirty little secret arrangement might never have been revealed, until Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) told MSNBC earlier in November that the House had paid out millions of dollars over the last ten years.  The money went to settle sexual harassment claims and other lawsuits.

$17 Million in Secret Settlements

In point of fact, the ludicrously named “Office of Compliance,” which operates something like a human resources department, released documents showing it had paid out $17 million since 1997 to settle a variety of workplace claims, including sexual harassment.

The details of those settlements, including their nature (sexual harassment, or what have you), are kept inexplicably confidential.  Claimants are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement to begin the lengthy mediation process.

Mr. Speier has now introduced legislation that would prohibit Congress from requiring non-disclosure agreements in such situations.  The bill would require regular reporting of settlements.

Office of Congressional Compliance (Not)
“In 1995, Congress created the Office of Congressional Compliance to protect itself from being exposed, and it has been remarkably successful,” Rep. Speier said. “Twenty years later, 260 settlements and more than $15 million have permanently silenced victims of all types of workplace discrimination.  Zero tolerance is meaningless unless it is backed up with enforcement and accountability.”

260 Settlements, $15 Million Unaccounted For
“It’s clear that our country is at an inflection point with respect to the behavior of powerful men across our society,” says Alex Howard, deputy director of the Sunlight Foundation, a group that works for government transparency. “Congress itself is neither excluded nor sacrosanct from that reckoning, but continued secrecy will hinder public understanding of how our representatives conduct themselves in office. . .”

How Secretive is the House Process?
In most cases, lawsuit settlements can be found online after they go through the federal government via the Treasury Department’s Judgement Fund.  The Fund has a searchable database online listing of previous payouts that are filterable by agency and date.

That fund shows the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has settled nearly 8,000 lawsuits between 2007 and 2016, according to records from the Judgement Fund database.  Most of those were for medical malpractice (which, thanks to so-called “tort reform,” is now often not even a viable option for those who work outside of government).  The VA has the second highest number of settlement payouts in the federal government, behind the Social Security Administration, which has about 13,000.

Congressional Lawsuits Hidden in Database
The House harassment payments described by Rep. Speier, however, do not appear in that huge database.  Neither do they appear in the disbursement disclosures which the House is regularly required to file.

Because of the provisions of the Congressional Accountability Act (the nomenclature apparently an inside joke, as the Act clearly offers near  zero accountability), settlement payments come from a special Treasury fund that the Office of Compliance draws from.  The offices responsible for the payouts, and the reasons for the settlements, are kept strictly confidential.  How is this possible in a Democracy – to use our tax dollars to pay off lawsuits against our congressional representatives? They seem to operate in this manner much like the politburo in Old Russia, with special privileges and financial resources not available to regular citizens. This also, by the way, gives the lie to the two party system.  The two sides of the aisle worked to protect themselves, their one party of career politicians, in this caper.

In Rep. Conyers’ case, his office didn’t even go through that process, according to BuzzFeed, which obtained and poured through damning documents.

Buzzfeed wrote: [O]ne of Conyers’ former employees was offered a settlement, in exchange for her silence, that would be paid out of Conyers’ taxpayer-funded office budget. His office would “rehire” the woman as a “temporary employee” despite her being directed not to come into the office or do any actual work, according to the document. The complainant would receive a total payment of $27,111.75 over the three months, after which point she would be removed from the payroll, according to the document.

Because of the secret non-disclosure agreement and the use of regular office payroll to obscure the payout, there was practically no way for us voters to know we were paying for Rep. Conyers’ settlement.

Bipartisan Bull****

Few words ring as hollow as “bipartisan” anymore.  The word is so phony it can only be used ironically, or in rage.  Here’s some “bipartisan” work for you.  .  . Former House Speaker John Boehner and current House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) both issued statements which said they were unaware of the Conyers payments. How convenient that they can hide behind ignorance which their little “Office of Compliance” arrangement created for themselves.  This little scam appears to be working just the way the representatives intended: see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.  It works like Sgt. Schultz on the old Hogan’s Heroes comedy show – “I know nothing!”

Congress’ Secret Hush Fund for Sexual Harassment

Let’s hope Rep. Speier’s new legislation puts an end to this skulduggery with taxpayer money, and holds sexual harassers and others accountable for their actions, as regular Americans are held accountable for theirs. It is not only unseemly but unconscionable that sexual harassers and other transgressors are able to use government monies to pay off their accusers, abusing voters’ trust and leaving us in the dark about their crimes and misdemeanors.

Call your Representatives!

Call your Washington representatives and tell them you want the list released of the 260 settlements which rendered $17 million for victims of sexual harassment and other crimes or misdemeanors committed by representatives.   Don’t let them hide behind the tiresome lie of “national security” on this one, or tell you they saved taxpayers money by avoiding a trial and paying some accuser.  We have a right to know what we paid for.  Any democrat or republican who can’t be found innocent in a sexual harassment trial or some other civil action has no right to represent us.

Related

•  Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

•  Congress’ Secret Fund pays Sexual Harassment Claims

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Dicamba Pesticide Damages Crops

Monsanto is being sued by several farmers and homeowners who claim dicamba drifted onto their property and harmed their crops, trees, and gardens. Iowa State University has reported that more than 106 dicamba-related complaints from Iowa farmers or homeowners have been filed in 2016. That is a record number of reported pesticide problems.  In past years, university officials said they never received more than 200 complaints regarding all pesticides in the state.

Dicamba harms or kills green leafy plants that are not genetically modified to withstand it. Farmers who plant dicamba-resistant soy or corn spray dicamba to kill weeds.  But when that poison drifts onto neighboring properties, it kills or harms non GMO plants or even GMO plants which are not engineered to be dicamba resistant. (If you suspect at this point that the entire model of pesticide-based chemical farming may have a major problem growing – pun intended – you may be right. Runaway chemical farming methods are demonstrably killing land, animals, and people.)

Dicamba Controversy Grows (pun intended)
Monsanto’s rollout of its latest version of Dicamba is the largest in the company’s history, so the chemical giant from Missouri is fighting hard to defend its popular poison.  Meanwhile, more and more farmers are joining the fight to ban or limit its use. Nationally, according to a University of Missouri report, 2,242 farmers say dicamba has damaged an estimated 3.1 million acres.

Iowa agriculture leaders are investigating a record 258 crop damage reports from pesticides this year. About 100 complaints on 150,000 acres are tied to dicamba.

Monsanto and other chemical giants like DuPont and BASF have developed seeds that are genetically modified (GMOs). The GMO seeds can then be sprayed with a weed-killing pesticide (or herbicide) that takes out weeds but leaves the crop unharmed (though nutritionally compromised and full of GMO toxins).

Dicamba Drift
Dicamba critics say the new dicamba products don’t stay where they’re sprayed.  They move onto neighboring fields, where they can damage non-resistant crops, fruits, vegetables, trees, flowers.

Volatility vs. Applicator Error
Monsanto claims dicamba problems come mostly from farm application errors.

“We did 1,200-some odd tests in connection with registration of our product with EPA,” said Scott Partridge, Monsanto’s vice president of global strategy. “They confirmed to us what the label says — if it’s followed … there will be no off-target movement of dicamba by wind or volatization.”

This defense is similar to the one Monsanto is using in Roundup cancer lawsuits. Monsanto claims it tested Roundup hundreds or even thousands of times, while critics say those tests were all done with Monsanto money, or at the behest of Monsanto; so the results cannot be trusted.

More than a few university weed scientists disagree with Monsanto’s user error defense of dicamba.

“The big debate is whether or not [dicamba] is volatilizing,” or turning from liquid to vapor, enabling it to easily move, potentially over a few days, said Robert Hartzler, an Iowa State University weed scientist.  “New formulations were supposed to have taken care of the volatility problem,” he said, “but all the research suggests that they’ve reduced the volatility, but not to a level that’s safe” after plants have emerged from the ground.

Toxipedia.com lists volatility as a dicamba problem.  It also cautions that dicamba can be highly mobile in soil and can easily contaminate water.  One must take care not to harm desirable plants and be very cautious near water sources.  One wonders if this is being done at all.

The U.S. EPA (Monsanto’s regulatory friend) is speaking with academic researchers, state farm regulators, Monsanto and other pesticide makers to determine whether new restrictions should be placed on dicamba’s use.

An EPA official told the Des Moines Register, “The underlying causes of the various damage incidents are not yet clear, as ongoing investigations have yet to be concluded.”

Monsanto said that it is cooperating with the EPA’s review and expects a decision soon.

Monsanto Challenges Arkansas’s Dicamba Regulation
In October 2017, Monsanto challenged an Arkansas task force recommendation to ban the use of dicamba-related products after April 15 next year.  In July, Arkansas issued a four-month prohibition on dicamba use.  Arkansas farmers have logged 963 dicamba-related complaints in 2017.

Bob Hartzler, weed specialist, Iowa State University
Bob Hartzler said he and other weed scientists support EPA restrictions on dicamba product-use after plants have emerged from the ground, a time that can vary depending on the state.

“If it is volatilizing, it’s nearly impossible to use, in my opinion, post-emergence,” he said.

Monsanto Profits Threatened

Mr. Hartzler said Monsanto and BASF are fighting restrictions because they would “greatly reduce the value” of their chemical and seed systems, which required “a huge investment” to develop over several years.

“The seed is where they make the majority of their money,” Hartzler said. “So if the chemical is restricted and it no longer controls waterhemp or Palmer amaranth, farmers would not see the need to pay additional money” for that technology.

Glyphosate Overuse triggers Dicamba Overuse
The vicious pesticide cycle dicamba continues began with overuse of glyphosate.  Used in Roundup and other pesticides/herbicides, glyphosate has been overused so much that it has spawned superweeds which have evolved to withstand it.  Monsanto’s answer, chemical farming’s answer, has been to pour more of another toxic cocktail on the problem, this time dicamba.

Iowa and U.S. farmers want some answer to battle weeds that can no longer be killed with glyphosate.

The Des Moines Register reports that several Southern states are struggling with glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth, a rapidly growing, fast-adapting “super weed” that can quickly overrun cotton and soybean fields.

Palmer amaranth is creeping across Iowa, moving into about half of its counties. So far, the weed can be killed with glyphosate, but weed scientists say it’s only a matter of time until it adapts to the the widely used chemical.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture has asked farmers in the state to check fields this harvest for Palmer amaranth, which can grow more than seven feet tall.

And so it goes. Many farmers fearing Palmer amaranth will turn to dicamba, and continue the awful chemical cycle of poisoning themselves and the land to produce substandard food.  GMO food and GMO food-growing methods have been found to be not only bad for the environment, but they also produce less nutritious food than conventional or organic farming.

Related

•  Dicamba Pesticide Lawsuit

•  Monsanto Lawsuit

•  Arkansas Farmer Murdered in Monsanto Feud

•  States move to restrict Monsanto Herbicide Use

•  Glyphosate devastates Brain Development

•  Kill Weeds without Monsanto’s Roundup

•  Monsanto Campaign to retract Seralini Study Revealed

•  Dicamba Pesticide Damages Crops

 

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Mother Jailed for Refusing Vaccines

A Michigan mother who refused to vaccinate her son was sentenced by a judge in October 2017 to seven days in prison.

Detroit-area mother Rebecca Bredow told local ABC News affiliate WXYZ that a judge had ordered her to vaccinate her 9-year-old son. The Associated Press reported Oct. 4 that Ms. Bredow was sentenced by Judge Karen McDonald. The judge ruled that Bredow’s ex-husband (the son’s father) “gets a say” in the decision. Part of that say, apparently, was the judge’s belief she had some “right” to sentence a mother to prison for exercising her parental rights to do what she thinks best for her child.

Parents Disagree on Vaccinations

Sadly, the estranged couple disagree on vaccination of their son, and the father was able to manipulate the legal system into putting his former wife behind bars for exercising her own parental rights.

The two parents have shared custody of their two children, but Ms. Bredow is the primary caregiver. Ms. Bredow told the judge that she takes “full responsibility” for her actions, but that she is philosophically opposed to vaccinating her son.

Judge assumes Mother Role

Ms. Bredow told the judge:  “I am an educated vaccine-choice mother and I have signed vaccine waivers and have been fully compliant with all state laws for both of my children for every school year,” she said.   The judge appeared very unsympathetic, prompting Ms. Bredow’s family members to suspect she handed down the sentence to make a point.

Judge Karen McDonald clearly has too much say in the lives of Michigan citizens.  In a tape of the trial, she orders,  “I want to make it perfectly clear: We’re leaving here today.  Dad’s picking the child up and he’s going to be vaccinated regardless of what Mom did or didn’t do.”

So the real mother’s wishes don’t count in the judge’s view.  But the fake mother, the judge, will not have to deal with the repercussions of the vaccines if something goes wrong.  As Joel Dorfman of the group Michigan for Vaccine Choice says: “If this child is injured because of being given eight immunizations, who do you think is going to take care of the child?  The judge?”

WXYZ reported in October 2017 that Ms. Bredow was “sentenced for contempt of court.”

The judge had given the mother one week to get her son vaccinated, but she did not follow the demand, citing her first amendment rights, her parental rights, her basic human rights, and her and her son’s right of informed consent.

The Nazi health network in Michigan which had informed on Ms. Bredow found that she had been ignoring their forced vaccination edicts for a while.  Documents the news station obtained state that a court previously asked Ms. Bredow to get immunizations for her son in November 2016, but she refused to bow to the court’s pressure.

Imprisoned Mother backs Informed Consent
“I would rather sit behind bars for standing up for what I believe in than giving into something I strongly don’t believe in,” she said during a television interview with WXYZ.  “God forbid he were to be injured by one of the vaccines, then what – that’s what scares me.”

Ms. Bredow has said she is not opposed to vaccines, but she believes it was the right decision for her family.

Many States now preempt Citizen’s Rights
In the United States, policies for childhood immunizations are controlled by the state.  (Much like the old Nazi system, “the state,” claimed to control its citizens from cradle to grave.)  The National Vaccine Information Center lists Michigan as one of more than a dozen states that allows all three vaccination exemptions: religious, philosophical and medical grounds.  Most states in the U.S. no longer permit families to forgo vaccines for philosophical reasons.  California has killed informed consent altogether, largely with the help of career politicians like Richard Pan, who took money from Merck, maker of the dubious MMR vaccine. Merck makes billions of dollars in vaccination profits, and it has been vaccinated against liability by the U.S. Congress and the corporation-controlled Supreme Court.  Vaccine makers, hence, have zero incentive to make vaccines that work, or that are not unavoidably unsafe.

Current Michigan state law requires students in all schools to have certificates of immunization for admittance into kindergarten, seventh grade or a new school district.

Michigan’s Corporate Control harms Citizens

If the state of Michigan really cared about the health of its citizens, maybe it would overturn its state representatives overturning Michigan law so that Michigan citizens injured by drugs or medical devices no longer have redress to sue the companies which made dubious products that injured or killed them. If Michigan really cared about the health of its citizens, maybe it would not have brain damaged thousands of children and adults in Flint by allowing private enterprise to poison the city water supply.

Mother Jailed for Refusing Vaccines

More than any state in the nation, Michigan backs corporate control over citizens’ rights. Those who care about their health or their human rights would be wise to move out of Michigan, or vote out their career politicians beholden to corporate money. Their lives may depend on it.

Bad Precedent

How many people see just what a horrible precedent this sets?  If a judge can erase a real mother’s wishes to do what she believe best for her child – regardless of where you stand on the vaccination issue – what can’t a judge decide?  We are at the door of medical tyrrany.  It is time to wake up and take back our right to informed consent, and take back our country from politicians beholden to Big Pharma profits.  Our human rights and our health depend on our ability to make our own health choices, not have them determined by political whores and activist judges.

Related

•   Vaccine Hysteria Reigns

•  Sacrifice the Children:  The Vaccine Lottery

•   Shingles Vaccine?  Really?

•  Shingles Vaccine Lawsuit

•  Mother Jailed for Refusing Vaccines

 

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H.R. 985 Misleads Citizens

Like the Republican-sponsored tax cut package that would cut taxes for the 1% but shift the deficit burden onto everybody else in the long run, the so-called “Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017” does everything but protect citizen’s access to healthcare.  It is part of a decades-old ploy to enact “tort reform” with the stated intent of stopping lawsuit abuse.  It’s real aim is to keep American citizens from being able to access the courts.

Tort Reform Scam Citizens

So-called “Tort Reform” has been a sustained attack by corporations on the rights of citizens to redress their grievances in civil court.  The scam works by disguising its real ends.  Corporate shills masquerade in astroturf groups using newspapers, television, and the internet, including paid bloggers.  They blame many of society’s ills as well as rising insurance rates on “frivolous lawsuits.”  No doubt some lawsuits are frivolous, but corporations file a lot more frivolous lawsuits than real people do.  The end result of “tort reform” has been to substantially curtail citizens’ access to the courts.

Medical Malpractice Virtually Disappears

Due to tort reform, medical malpractice is nearly impossible to pursue in most states today.  No matter how grossly incompetent one’s doctor was, or whether a doctor’s incompetence caused the death or maiming of a patient.  The caps which tort reform placed on damages have made pursuing medical malpractice lawsuits nearly impossible for most firms.  Only a scant few law firms left in the country still pursue med-mal cases.  And despite the dearth today of medical malpractice lawsuits, health insurance rates have only gone up. That gives the lie to the endless tort reform argument that insurance rates would go down when people could no longer sue their doctors (no matter how bad those doctors were).

Meanwhile, corporations’ deep pockets assure their own courtroom access, while they continue spending money on politicians and propaganda to further limit citizens’ access to those same courts.  H.R. 985 is more of the same.  Disguised as a bill to continue tort reform and attack frivolous lawsuits, its real aim is hidden.  HR 985’s real goal is to further limit ordinary citizens’ access to the courts. Even Fox News admitted in a headline: “Republicans introduce bill to kill class action lawsuits.”  (See that Fox story here.)

Corporations have worked for years to control the judiciary at the appellate, state and U.S. Supreme Court levels, to undermine the jury system, but most of their money has been spent on politicians who do their bidding.  Those career politicians are now pushing tax reform for the richest few Americans, shifting the deficit burden to the rest of us.  Meanwhile, they promote H.R. 985 to further take power from citizens and place it in the hands of corporate rulers.  (Many Republican lawmakers have openly admitted that if they don’t support the latest tax reform ploy – which helps only the elites and hurts all the rest of us, in the long run– their major corporate donors and billionaire benefactors will stop funding their campaigns.)

H.R. 985 does the opposite of its stated intent – Washington’s M.O.

H.R. 985 pretends to be all about helping people.  In reality, it does the exact opposite.  If it passes, class action lawsuits may well be wiped out entirely.  They will either be cost prohibitive to bring, or they will be so difficult to prosecute that only a fool would try.  It’s a crime how duplicitous these scams are.  It’s the same kind of disingenuous lying we’ve seen from Washington for years.  The so-called “Clear Skies initiative” wiped out rules for corporate polluters. The “Healthy Forests Initiative” was just a timber industry giveaway.  So-called “Operation Iraqi Liberation” (OIL) destroyed Iraq and gave its people endless war and foreign occupation.  If politicians are trying to sell us something “for our own good,” we can usually figure their real intent directly opposes their promotion and the name they give it.

H.R. 985 Misleads Citizens

If you care about your rights in dealing with banks, credit card companies, cell phone providers, doctors’ offices, hospitals, telemarketers, and almost anything else that directly impacts your pocketbook, your health, or your family, contact your Senators and tell them to vote “No” on H.R. 985.  The House of Representatives passed this awful bill, but it still needs to get through the senate to become law.

Related

House Bill would decimate Patients’ Rights

•  U.S. Senate could destroy your rights with H.R. 1215

•  H.R. 985 Misleads Citizens

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Third Hip Implant Verdict against Johnson & Johnson: $247 Million

(Nov. 17, 2017)  Johnson & Johnson was ordered by a Dallas jury to pay $247 million to six people who claimed J&J hid defects in its Pinnacle artificial hips.  It was the third multi-million-dollar verdict against J&J over its defective metal-on-metal hip implants.

The jury ruled yesterday that J&J’s DePuy unit officials knew the hip devices they made were defective, yet failed to warn doctors and patients about the risk that they would prematurely fail. The jury awarded $79 million in actual damages, plus $168 million in punitive damages to a group of six New Yorkers whose hips required surgical removal.

Nearly 10,000 lawsuits have now been filed against J&J and DePuy over the company’s mishandling of the metal-on-metal hips. J&J stopped selling the hip replacement devices in 2013 after the U.S. FDA toughened artificial-hip regulations.

A lawyer handling the cases called the medical device companies’ behavior “so reprehensible” as to demand “repeated punishment.”

In an emailed statement, J&J spokesmodel Stella Meirelles claimed the company acted “appropriately and responsibly” in developing and marketing the Pinnacle hips.  She said the company would “immediately begin the appeal process and remain committed to the long-term defense of the allegations in these lawsuits.”

J&J 1-3 Record in Pinnacle Hip Cases
In October 2014, Johnson & Johnson won the first Pinnacle hip case to go to trial, when a federal court jury in Dallas rejected a Montana woman’s claims that the devices were defective and gave her metal poisoning.

$502 Million Verdict
In 2016, another Dallas jury ordered J&J to pay $498 million to a group of five people who accused the company of hiding defects in the artificial hips. In July 2017, a judge slashed that verdict to about $150 million.

$1 Billion Verdict
Earlier in 2017, a third Dallas jury ordered J&J and DePuy to pay more than $1 billion to six California residents whose hips had to be removed after failing. That award was later slashed by nearly half.

$2.5 Billion Settlement
The Pinnacle hip devices were not covered by J&J’s $2.5 billion settlement of claims over its ASR line of artificial hips. Johnson & Johnson recalled 93,000 of those implants worldwide in August 2010, admitting that 12 percent failed within five years.

The metal-on-metal Pinnacle hip cases have been consolidated before U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade in Dallas for pretrial information exchanges and test (or bellwether) trials. Judge Kinkeade agreed to combine the six cases in the most recent trial.

The six New York plaintiffs in the latest Dallas trial are a physician (88 years old); an elementary school teacher (67); a chauffeur (61); a housing official (60); a health-care aide (53); a financial analyst (52).

Plaintiffs in the latest trial argued that DePuy officials rushed the Pinnacle hips to market with little testing, and misled doctors about the product’s safety profile. They erroneously assured doctors that there was little risk of metal poisoning and tissue damage from the metal-on-metal hip device.

Metal on Metal Problem for Johnson & Johnson

The plaintiffs’ attorney in closing argument told the jury that the company “ran a grand seduction.”  He said, “Surgeons were seduced into using metal-on-metal” by DePuy executives’ false claim that the company had “solved the metal-on-metal problem.”

J&J’s lawyers argued that the hip devices failed because of routine wear-and-tear.  They denied that the hip device design was  flawed.  They argued that the company marketed the product properly.

Hip Implant Verdict against Johnson & Johnson: $247 Million

Jurors found that J&J and DePuy relied on “intentional misrepresentations” about the hip device’s safety profile to bolster sales. According to a verdict form, the jury found that J&J and DePuy engaged in “deceptive business practices” when they marketed the defective devices.

Hip Implant Lawsuit

If you or someone you love was implanted with a metal-on-metal hip implant that failed, contact our experienced medical device lawyers today for a free legal consultation.

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Vaccine Failure Makes Mainstream News

Vaccine failure has made mainstream news, though couched in subterfuge, as usual.  We learned this week from the New York Times (Nov. 6, 2017)  that the mumps vaccine doesn’t work.  The old Gray Lady is a little slower than she used to be.   Lots of vaccine experts have been reporting the mumps vaccine’s failure for years.  But this is the first time the country’s paper of record admitted it.  After dropping this truth bomb as softly as a fuzzy slipper, the Times then quickly assures us that this doesn’t mean we should question the mumps vaccine.  Oh, no, all should continue submitting to the mumps vaccine, even though it doesn’t work, according to the New York Times.

Mumps Outbreak for Vaccinated People

There were 191 cases of mumps reported in one outbreak in 2017.  One hundred eighty seven (187) of those 191 were vaccinated.  You do the math.  The Times’  Nov. 6 2017 story is titled, “Mumps Makes a Comeback, Even Among the Vaccinated.” A longtime vaccine cheerleader, the Times admits that vaccinated children are spreading mumps, but very quietly in the story, if you read very closely.   The headline itself, however, is a lie of omission.  The mumps “comeback” is primarily from people who have been vaccinated, while the headline makes it appear that vaccinated people contracting mumps are in the minority.  A more honest headline would have read: “Mumps’ Comeback defies Vaccination.”

Most of the outbreaks were among 18 to 22 year olds.  Most of them had taken the requisite two doses of mumps vaccine in childhood.  “We are seeing it in a young and highly vaccinated population,” a Dr. Routh told the Times.

The Times mumps vaccine spin, however, goes something like this: ‘Regrettably, the mumps vaccine doesn’t work, but we’ve got to stick to the program.  We can’t have chaos.  The agenda must be followed.  Please hold your place in line. Nobody panic. Everything is under control. We are the Times; You are The People. We report and instruct; You read and follow instructions.’

A Limited Hangout
A limited hangout is an old CIA trick that the Times is not too proud to perform herself.  A limited hangout is necessary when so many people are reading the truth in other places that it can no longer be denied.   In this limited hangout, the newsplayer gives readers a modicum of truth that the readers can’t help but to see elsewhere.  The limited hangout is necessary because without it, the newsplayer risks becoming completely irrelevant. (Eh, MSM newsplayers?) The Times and other top newsplayers can’t keep this genie in the bottle any longer. So the Times’ gives its fans, admirers, longtime loyal readers an out, with a limited cutout.  Times loyalists can now say:  “The Gray Lady already told us the mumps vaccine doesn’t work, but she also said that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take it.”  (As every publisher knows: Brand loyalty is tough to beat.)

The problem with this transparent hangout is so glaring as to be laughable. Recommending that one take more toxic doses of a failed vaccine is beyond ludicrous, especially in this case.  Merck’s mumps vaccine appears to cause more mumps than it prevents, if it prevents any at all.

Mumps Vaccine Fraud
According to two Merck whistleblowers, Merck faked mumps vaccine data to defraud the U.S. government out of hundreds of millions of dollars. This vaccine is even arguably less than worthless. One story after another confirms the mumps vaccine to not only be a failure; it appears that the mumps vaccine causes mumps, perhaps for people who never would have gotten them in the first place.

The Times, however, just spins this story of abject vaccine failure to recommend that those recently vaccinated against the mumps who then contracted mumps, should just go ahead and get a second or third mumps shot. The Times fails to simply admit what any half wit can see is painfully obvious. Taking more shots of a failed vaccine doesn’t grant any more protection. In fact, if history is our guide, it may well grant less protection from the mumps.

Natural News has preempted the NYT in publishing several stories on the Mumps Vaccine:

•  Mumps stupidity: After vaccines fail to stop mumps outbreaks,  journalists call for more!
•  Measles outbreak likely caused by vaccinated children, science shows
•  85% of measles outbreak victims already received vaccinations
•  Soccer star gets mumps after being vaccinated with Merck’s fraudulent MMR vaccine
•  Mumps outbreak spreads among people who got vaccinated against mumps
•  Forty people contract mumps at Harvard … all were vaccinated … mumps vaccines fraud

Mumps Vaccine Quackery Reigns
Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, the medical director and state epidemiologist for the Iowa Department of Public Health, dealt with an outbreak at the University of Iowa and surrounding area in 2015 to 2016 of more than 450 cases of mumps. The students involved had all had their childhood M.M.R. shots, she said, as required by the university. Iowa decided to offer a third dose of mumps vaccine.

Mumps vaccines create their own repeat business by not working. It’s like buying corn from a farmer that gives you food poisoning. Should you then buy the same corn from the same farmer to reinforce the first case of food poisoning?  If that second corn load also sickens you, should you then buy a third load of corn from the same maker to “reinforce” the first two?

Mike Adams explains that the whole idea of immunization is that once your body is exposed to the virus, it builds antibodies for life: “But in an attempt to explain why mumps vaccines don’t work, the vaccine industry has fabricated a whole new concept rooted in complete fiction: The idea that vaccines ‘wear off’ and need to be repeated over and over again to make sure they ‘stick.’ This anti-science bunk is, of course, peddled for the sole purpose of selling more vaccines even when they don’t really work as claimed.”

Mumps Vaccine Fraud
Vaccinated people keep spreading mumps because the mumps vaccine is a fraud.  This fact has been openly admitted by two virologists who worked for Merck, one of the largest makers of the MMR vaccine.

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Proton Pump Inhibitor – Kidney Injury Lawsuits Consolidated

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) centralized all federally-filed proton pump inhibitor (PPI) – kidney injury lawsuits on August 2, 2017. All the suits involve kidney failure, chronic kidney disease, and other kidney injuries. U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey will host the JPML.

The JPML’s Transfer Order affected 166 lawsuits filed against the makers of Nexium, Prilosec, PrevAcid, Protonix, and Dexilant. Any similar PPI lawsuits filed in federal courts in future will be eligible for transfer to the District of New Jersey.

Creating a multidistrict litigation court can help both plaintiffs and defendants. This one will allow all federal proton pump inhibitor – kidney injury claims to follow coordinated pretrial proceedings, including discovery and motion practice. The JPML process is designed to improve judicial efficiency, prevent inconsistent court rulings and duplicative discovery. It is also meant to preserve court resources and lighten loads on witnesses and others in the litigation.

Individual Cases Must Stand on Own Merits
Though pretrial proceedings will be coordinated, each proton pump inhibitor lawsuit in the multidistrict litigation will maintain its own identity and be decided on its own merits. All plaintiffs will continue to maintain control over important decisions affecting their own individual claims. That control includes whether or not to accept any future settlement offers.

Proton Pump Inhibitor – Kidney Injury Claim
The nationwide law firm of Matthews & Associates is handling lawsuits for people who took a proton pump inhibitor and then developed kidney problems. Chronic kidney disease, kidney failure, acute interstitial nephritis, or acute kidney injury have all been linked with popular PPI drugs: Nexium, Prilosec, Protonix, PrevAcid, Dexilant.

PPPI-Lawsuit | Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with any kidney issues that could be related to proton pump inhibitors, contact our office today. Protect your legal rights.  Email us for a free legal case review, fill out our short form or call us at (888) 520-5202.

What are proton pump inhibitors?
Proton pump inhibitors are a class of heartburn medications that include the prescription drugs Nexium, Prilosec, Protonix, and PrevAcid, as well as various over-the-counter (OTC) brands and generics. Those sold via prescription are approved to treat symptoms associated with GERD, ulcers and other problems linked with the overproduction of stomach acid. OTC proton pump inhibitors are often recommended for people who suffer from frequent heartburn (two or more episodes per week.)

An estimated 15 million Americans used proton pump inhibitors in 2013. Research suggests these drugs are often overused, and that many people use them far too long. Proton pump inhibitors are thought to be generally safe for short-term use, but long-term use has been linked to several serious side effects, including C. diff infections, certain bone fractures, low magnesium levels, B12 deficiency, and more. Research also suggests extended PPI use may increase one’s risk for dementia, heart attacks, chronic kidney disease, acute kidney injury, kidney failure.

What causes kidney failure?
Kidney failure is the final stage of chronic kidney disease. Also known as end stage renal disease, the condition occurs when the kidneys no longer function in a way that would allow a patient to survive, resulting in the need for dialysis or kidney transplantation.

Diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading causes of kidney failure. Other causes include:

•  Toxic exposure
•  Certain acute and chronic diseases
•  Severe dehydration
•  Kidney trauma

Other recent studies also suggest proton pump inhibitors may harm kidneys.

•  April 2015: A study published by Canadian researchers found older people who used PPIs were more likely to suffer acute kidney injury, a form of sudden renal failure.
•  April 2016: A paper appearing in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology linked extended use of proton pump inhibitors to a 96% increased risk of renal failure compared to alternative medications.
•  January 2016: Research that appeared in JAMA Internal Medicine reported that proton pump inhibitors might increase the risk of chronic kidney disease by as much as 50%. The Journal of the American Society of Nephrology study also suggested PPI use was associated with a 28% increase in the risk for chronic kidney disease , compared to another class of heartburn drugs.

What is acute interstitial nephritis (AIN)?
Acute interstitial nephritis is a sudden inflammation of the kidney tubules often caused by a hypersensitivity reaction to a medication. AIN symptoms include:

•  Fever
•  Blood in the urine
•  Exhaustion, fatigue
•  Confusion
•  Nausea, vomiting
•  Rash
•  Water retention and weight gain
•  Swelling
•  Feeling bloated
•  Elevated blood pressure

When acute interstitial nephritis is caused by a drug, most doctors would cease treatment of that medication. If not recognized swiftly, the condition can progress to chronic kidney disease and renal failure.

FDA Label Warning Update
In 2014, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration ordered the makers of all prescription proton pump inhibitors to add information about acute interstitial nephritis to their product labels.

Proton Pump Inhibitor Settlements
Parties involved in the proton pump inhibitor litigation have not announced any settlements in kidney-related cases. The first such lawsuits were just filed in 2016. Pharmaceutical drug cases can take several years to come to fruition for plaintiffs, if they ever do. Anfyone suffering kidney injury after taking a protom pump inhibitor is encouraged to call our offices to discuss a potential case against the PPI maker.

Free Legal Consultation
Matthews & Associated drug injury lawyers offer free legal reviews to people who may have suffered chronic kidney disease, kidney failure, or other renal complications linked with Nexium, Prilosec, Protonix, or Prevacid.  Email for a free legal consultation or call us at (888) 520–5202.

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Flu Vaccine Fails Again in Latest Study

Flu vaccine makers know something you don’t.  Nobody would take the flu shot if all the facts were made clear.  If it weren’t for complete corporate control of the mainstream media and endless propaganda pushing the flu shot and other vaccines, nobody in her right mind would take a flu vaccine.  The latest study over the flu vaccine shows not only that it fails to protect most of the time for most people who take it, but also why it fails.

Conducted by the Scripps Research Institute and published in the science journal PloS, this study explains why people would be wise to educate themselves before lining up for their flu shots. The paper is titled: “A structural explanation for the low effectiveness of the seasonal influenza H3N2 vaccine.” It concludes that the very method of modern flu vaccine production causes viral strains to mutate to non-effective structures that do not confer the immunity being routinely claimed for flu vaccines.  This should and would be front-page news if the real fake news makers weren’t posing as real news outlets.

Related:  Shingles Vaccine Lawsuit

The production method for flu vaccines, the authors concluded, renders certain influenza viral strains nearly useless. This is clearly part of the reason why those who submit to flu shots still manage to catch the flu with alarming frequency. The failure of flu vaccine effectiveness, meanwhile, (and absurdly), is used by mainstream media to encourage people to take even more flu shots. Does receiving more of what doesn’t work help anything? The flu shot does help the flu vaccine industry, because those who take the flu shot shed the virus and infect others, before they often get the flu themselves.  Those “outbreaks” are trumped up and trumpeted by MSM, so that people stampede to Walgreens for a flu shot to continue the cycle.

The Study Abstract
The study abstract reads: The effectiveness of the annual influenza vaccine has declined in recent years, especially for the H3N2 component, and is a concern for global public health. A major cause for this lack in effectiveness has been attributed to the egg-based vaccine production process… Overall, these findings help explain the low effectiveness of the seasonal vaccine against H3N2 viruses… It is common to use chicken eggs for culturing clinical isolates and for large-scale production of vaccines.  However, influenza virus often mutates to adapt to being grown in chicken eggs, which can influence antigenicity and hence vaccine effectiveness.

The author’s summary makes clear that flu vaccines don’t work, and then urges the vaccine industry to change its production practices pronto:

“Our study describes a mechanism for the low influenza vaccine effectiveness and reaffirms the urgency for replacing the egg-based production of influenza vaccines…”

The author even admits that the flu vaccine propaganda which bombards us is largely false. Despite the first commercial influenza vaccines being approved in the US more than 70 years ago, complete and broad protection from an influenza vaccine has remained out of reach.  In the past decade, the effectiveness of the seasonal vaccine against H3N2 viruses has been particularly low.

The paper clearly exposes two absurd claims from the flu vaccine industry:
False claim #1: All vaccines work on all the people all the time.
False claim #2: Vaccines pose no risks and are always safe for everyone.

These two undying lies continue to be pushed by vaccine industry shills, trolls, doctors, pharmacists, no-nothing “news reporters” and dishonest medical quacks.  Many die of the flu after taking the flu shot, and the U.S. government has paid out more than $3 billion in the last 20 years to the families of children injured or killed by vaccines.

The flu vaccine label even ADMITS that no study has been done to show the vaccine to be effective.

144 Kids Killed by Vaccines in 2016
The U.S. government’s VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Events Reports System) database confirms that at least 144 children were killed by vaccines in 2016 alone. Thousands more were injured, maimed or sickened by the dangerous shots. One Texas girl went blind and was paralyzed just two days after being vaccinated. The Hepatitis B vaccine routinely kills newborns from system shock.  Vaccines have been repeatedly and scientifically linked to an increased risk of autism, despite the MSM’s endless lies to the contrary.  (See the film:  Vaxxed.) Merck vaccines reportedly killed babies in Mexico.  Health Ranger Mike Adams reports that in one Mexican town, 75% of the children who received vaccine shots ended up either dead or hospitalized.

Vaccine insert sheets openly admit that flu shots have never been subjected to medical studies that show they even work. Mr. Adams found this insert sheet from a 2014 Flulaval vaccine:

The insert sheet admits:

“…there have been no controlled trials adequately demonstrating a decrease in influenza disease after vaccination with FLULAVAL.”

If you keep reading the FLULAVAL insert, black and white text clearly states:  “Safety and effectiveness of FLULAVAL in pediatric patients have not been established.”  How can we give kids a flu vaccine when “safety and effectiveness have not been established”?

The same insert also admits, “FLULAVAL has not been evaluated for carcinogenic or mutagenic potential, or for impairment of fertility.”  The insert also explains that when you’re being injected with a flu shot, you’re also being injected with mercury, formaldehyde and other toxic ingredients:

“Thimerosal, a mercury derivative, is added as a preservative. Each … dose contains 50 mcg thimerosal. Each dose may also contain residual amounts of ovalbumin, formaldehyde, and sodium deoxycholate from the manufacturing process.”

Flu shot “side effects” include (but are not limited to):
Eye pain, chest pain
Arthritis
Dizziness, tremors, loss of consciousness (syncope)
Convulsions and seizures
Gullain-Barre Syndrome
Cranial nerve paralysis or limb paralysis
Swelling of the brain
Partial facial paralysis

The Flulaval flu shot even warns that you should never give it to anyone who has previously had a different flu shot, even in previous years:

“Do not administer Flulaval to anyone… following previous administration of any influenza vaccine.”

The real science proves flu shots are little more than medical fraud or outright superstition. The science for taking the flu shot is not on the side of safety and efficacy.  We must educate ourselves.  Our lives depend on it.  It’s all about fear for those endlessly pushing the flu shot.  Let it be all about science and truth for those of us with the courage and wisdom to find them.

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Arkansas Farmer Murdered in Monsanto Feud

An Arkansas farmer was murdered in a Monsanto related feud in October 2016.  Mike Wallace had objected to neighboring farmers illegally spraying Monsanto’s Dicamba, which drifted onto Mr. Wallace’s property.  The Dicamba began killing Mr. Wallace’s cotton and soy fields.  When Mr. Wallace objected, he was killed himself.  The murderer, who used a rifle, was seen arguing near a field with Mr. Wallace before he was shot.

Related: Dicamba Lawsuit

Monsanto’s Poison Products
Only one thing is certain:  Monsanto’s poison products were at the center of the conflict that led to Mr. Wallace’s murder.  He and most of his neighbors had used Monsanto’s Roundup themselves over many years.  Too many years.  So many years that pigweed evolved to resist the poison.  It had become nearly impossible to kill.  Pigweed is every farmer’s mortal enemy.  It can destroy entire fields.  Monsanto’s answer to the pigweed problem was to pour more poison on it.  (This is chemical farming 101; when one type of poison no longer works, use more of it, then use another.  It is a toxic, insane cycle that cannot, in the long run, benefit the land, animals, or the people who live off it.)  The other, bigger problem that never goes away with chemical farming is that Monsanto’s poison had caused the problem in the first place.  Mike Wallace’s neighbor had begun to use Dicamba to kill his own pigweed.  But Mr. Wallace’s crops had not been genetically engineered to withstand Dicamba; so it began to kill them.

Roundup Dependence Bites Farmers

Mr. Wallace’s “crop consultant,” Dave Pierce, told NPR in June 2017:  “Roundup made a lot of people good farmers.  It was a once-in-a-lifetime chemistry.  I mean, we depended on it for years and years.  And we depended on it too much.”

“Too much,” said Marianne McCune of NPR, “because after a decade or so, the pigweed did its own genetic morphing and became immune to Roundup.”

Then two years ago, the big chemical companies unveiled a new GMO seed to go with a new/old Monsanto poison called Dicamba.  But the new Dicamba spray concoction that Monsanto planned to sell with the seeds wasn’t approved.  Some farmers, meanwhile, had an old formulation of Dicamba, one especially prone to drift onto neighboring fields.

The murdered farmer’s cousin, Maleisa Finch, told NPR that farmers had always dealt with some drift, but had always just talked it out, and amicably paid one another for any damages.

But talking didn’t work for Dicamba, Ms. McCune reported, because it was illegal to spray the old Dicamba formulation during growing season.  Once farmers started planting Dicamba-tolerant seeds, they saw pigweed invading their fields, and started spraying Dicamba.

Question:  Why was Monsanto selling seed before the new Dicamba was approved?  Did the company think farmers would buy seed without using it?  Was Monsanto unaware that farmers had old Dicamba formulations and would use them?

Ms. McCune said, “When Mike saw the leaves on some of his cotton curling and puckering from Dicamba, he, like many farmers, filed a complaint with the Plant Board.  They’re like the pesticide police. And they tracked the cause of Mike’s damage to a neighboring farmer, Donald Masters.”

Ms. McCune spoke with Donald’s son Douglas about the Plant Board’s visit to the Masters’ farm in search of Dicamba.  Douglas said, “[E]verybody got in trouble.”  He laughed when she asked if he knew he wasn’t supposed to be spraying it.

Then Mr. Masters said, “It goes back to economics.”  He explained that, “Farmers take out huge loans every year to pay for seeds, pesticides and everything else. And with crop prices low, their profit margins are very thin.”  So when the pigweed started threatening his crops, he needed a “cheap and effective solution,” he said.  Dicamba was his only option left, he said.

Then she spoke with Donald Masters.  The patriarch of the Masters clan admitted to spraying Dicamba, even though he knew he wasn’t supposed to.

“Why’d I do it?” said Mr. Masters.  “Because I’ve got weeds you can’t kill otherwise.  But anyway, I paid the fine – and supposed to be done with, I hope.”

200,000 Acres of Crop Damage
The maximum fine then was just $1,000.  But a farmer could save tens of thousands of dollars by using the cheap Dicamba.  In 2016, farmers in the region saw damage on nearly 200,000 acres of crops – millions of dollars’ worth.  And Mike Wallace continued to speak out.

Mr. Wallace’s complaint to the Plant Board that summer led investigators to another neighboring farm. That farmer contested the accusation and refused to give over his pesticide records.  Tensions were still high after harvest, when farmers find out how much the damage is worth.  It was then that for reasons Mike’s family members say they don’t know, Mike got a phone number for an employee of that second farm.  The two men met to talk on a quiet county road, and Mike wound up dead.

Arkansas Farmer Murdered in Monsanto Feud

A man in Mississippi County was arrested for Mike’s murder.  Mike’s wife Karen said that more than a thousand people showed up for his funeral at their church.

Monsanto Lawsuit over Dicamba

Arkansas is now raising its fines for illegal spraying, and fighting to ban it altogether during certain growing periods.  Monsanto is, of course, fighting any ban.  Missouri’s biggest peach farmer is suing Monsanto for selling Dicamba-tolerant seeds without the new spray to go with it.  Monsanto claims the suit is baseless, that it’s not Monsanto’s fault if someone sprayed a chemical they weren’t supposed to.

Monsanto did warn people not to use the spray.  (But how else were they going to use the seeds they were sold?)  Meanwhile, a new, approved Dicamba has hit the market.  The new Dicamba is not supposed to “drift so much,” according to NPR, but how much is too much?  Crop damage is already being reported, whether from legal or illegal use of Dicamba.  Weed scientists’ concerns are that once everyone starts using Dicamba like they used Roundup, the pigweed will grow immune again.  Monsanto’s answer will again be to spray yet greater amounts of poison on the land and crops, into the air, onto the people.  Monsanto lawsuits have already been filed by the hundreds for people exposed to cancerous Roundup who were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Arkansas and other states are moving to ban Dicamba for certain growing periods.  Arkansas held a hearing this summer on the poison subject.  The most impassioned plea for banning Dicamba came from an Arkansas’ beekeeper, who said he has lost at least half his hives from Dicamba poisoning the land.  It’s now a well-known fact that pesticides are playing a major role in massive bee die offs.  Einstein said humanity wouldn’t last four years if our pollinator bees died off.  If true, we are now about halfway down the road to extinction.

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