How much should a for-profit company be allowed to charge for the one and only drug that may save a person’s life? From a strictly economic perspective the answer is: the highest price the greatest number of people are willing to pay. It’s a simple matter of supply and demand, and the demand for a life-saving drug is always high, so… So what should a for-profit company do if it has to determine whether a person lives, dies, or suffers? On the one hand, the company is obligated by business ethics and the law to deliver the highest possible returns to their shareholders. On the other hand ,the company has a moral responsibility to save lives. Which is it? Profits or people?
Rebecca Costa, The Watchman’s Rattle
THE CAPITALIST FREE MARKET CORRECTIONS ACT (CaFMaC)
* * CaFMaC Fixes [almost] Everything * *
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT (continued)
Section 78. (of the Capitalist Free Market Corrections Act – CaFMaC)
Plain English for the Voting Citizen: 1) The federal government will take charge of all pharmaceutical research so that developing life-saving new drugs needed for Americans’ health is no longer driven by the profit motive. 2) Highest priority will focus on finding out the safe levels, if any, down to parts per trillion, of all pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and other chemical residues in our medicinal drugs and in our nation’s food supply. 3) The retail price of every pharmaceutical drug sold in the USA will be set at a level that is affordable within the Adequate Living Wage paid to the lowest-paid employee of any co-op anywhere in the nation. 4) High priority will go to investigating herbs and natural healing methods used successfully for centuries by shamans and native healers, and the findings pro and con will be told to everybody. 5) You money-grubbing pharmaceutocrats can forget about patents on life saving drugs.
The Congressional blather version: The Cooperative Research and Technological Development Administration (CRTDA) shall fully command, control and coordinate all (meaning all) health-, dietary- and pharmaceutical-related research conducted in the United States, expressly including and integrally encompassing such research by co-ops and by pharmaceutical corporations that have not yet been converted to co-ops subject to the five percent (5%) market limitation, and further including all (meaning absolutely all) research conducted or funded by the National Institutes of Health and all (meaning all) other governmental funders of health- and nutrition-oriented research.
The CRTDA shall completely excise the research function from the Food and Drug Administration. The CRTDA shall itself conduct and/or contract out (the term “outsource” being hereby abolished) to certifiably neutral researchers all (meaning all) research relating to nutrition, including, but not limited to, research to determine the safe limits for human consumption, if any, at not less than parts per trillion, of all (meaning absolutely all) pharmaceutical drugs along with all (meaning all, every last one) pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, and their chemical residues, and every (meaning every) other form of chemical degradation, manipulation or processing of food at every (meaning every) point in the food-supply chain, of all (meaning all) presently recognized nineteen (19) categories of food additives and the many hundreds of individual chemical and organic additives represented by those nineteen (19) categories, including the latest way to adulterate food with nanoparticles unnoticed by consumers, and further including all (meaning absolutely all) types of processing, and/or modifications including genetic modifications, of organic edibles and of all (meaning all) seeds used to grow crops.
The cost of developing and testing pharmaceutical drugs in correlation with citizens’ health care needs shall be deemed a common good in the public interest, for which all costs shall be borne by the CRTDA budget, and correlation of research with public needs shall be determined by the CRTDA. The retail price of every pharmaceutical drug of every nature sold in the United States of America shall not exceed a level affordable within the living wage paid to the lowest-paid employee of any co-op in any region of the nation. The CRTDA shall place exceedingly high priority on investigating herbs and natural healing methods known to have been used successfully for centuries by shamans and other native healers, including but not limited to Ayurvedic medicine, placebos and nocebos. Efficacious findings shall be publicly shared on the official CRTDA website.
Section 79. (of the Capitalist Free Market Corrections Act – CaFMaC)
Plain English for the Voting Citizen: 1) Apparent correlations between pharmaceutical drugs and human disorders – such as chemical exposures and auto-immune disorders, or vaccines and autism – will be highest priority for research. 2) These investigations, down to parts per trillion, will be done in full knowledge that, of course!, “correlation does not prove causation” – although sometimes it does indeed lead to such proof – and despite high-ranking doctors’ exasperated declarations that “this has been disproved many times over” when in point of hard fact it has never been conclusively disproved at all. 3) We intend to find out why, in fact, the USA has the world’s most alarmingly rising autism rate, the occurrence now risen from one in every 150 children in 2007, to one in every 45 children in 2015 – the highest rate ever announced, a 333 percent increase in just eight years, and no sarcastic denials can change these horrifying facts. The increasing incidence, moreover, appears to be accelerating and so we, your representatives in the Congress, declare our intent that the matter is to be deeply investigated before our whole population becomes too autistic to be able to ask why.
The Congressional blather version: The first and highest health-related priority of the CRTDA shall be to investigate, beginning the day this Act becomes law, 1) the unproven but apparent correlation (UBAC) between the chemical exposures and sub-optimal diets of American citizens and the unproven but apparently correlated (UBAC) fast-rising incidence of obesity and autoimmune/functional disorders including, but not limited to, Alzheimers, asthma, Parkinson’s, muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, diabetes, and odd bowel disorders, and …
… 2) to investigate the equally unproven but equally apparent correlation (UBAC) between the administration of mega-bundled vaccinations administered to most infants and toddlers, presently risen to an all-time high of thirty-six (36) doses of vaccine which address fourteen (14) different diseases or alleged disorders, administered in twenty-six (26) separate vaccination events beginning at birth and continuing through the first two (2) years of life, and particularly addressing the chemical preservatives, additives and solutions within which those vaccines are combined and injected into infants and toddlers, vis-à-vis the unproven but apparently correlated (UBAC) and astronomically-rising incidence of previously rare developmental disorders, …
… including but not limited to autism and so-called hyperactive and attention deficit “disorders,” autism in particular having by the year 2013 risen alarmingly to one in every 68 pre-school American children, and evidencing an accelerating upward trend of incidence among young children, which Congress hereby designates as Suspicious Statistics which, though they conceivably could (might) be coincidental, shall in the name of common sense be investigated because they also could not (might not) be coincidental, given that other birth defect incidence of Downs Syndrome is only 1 in 691, incidence of cleft palate is only 1 in 1,574, and convincing evidence has by no means been presented that environmental and/or manmade pollution of newborns and toddlers is not indeed the unsuspected cause of this burgeoning tragedy, majority medical opinion notwithstanding.
In November 2015, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a new estimate for the prevalence of autism in children ages 3 to 17. The figure, 1 in 45, is the highest ever announced by the CDC, up from 1 in 150 in 2007 [333 percent increase in just eight years]. [T]he dominant narrative has been that real rates are going up and the United States is in the midst of an autism “epidemic,” even though most experts see that as a highly debatable proposition. Moreover, the “epidemic” story has helped crystallize the notion that “something must have happened” in the near past to cause autism in the first place.
John Donvan & Caren Zucker (in Smithsonian)
A major concern of the Congress being the fact that the incidence rates of these cruel and disabling conditions have now become not only uniquely higher but dramatically and inexplicably higher in the United States than in any other nation in the world, and that the U.S. incidence of such unusual disorders continues to increase faster than anywhere else, which facts logically should not easily be presumed coincidental, and it following as a reasonable assumption that these clearly abnormal high and accelerating incidence rates must result from some unknown cause(s) or condition(s) endemic in the American way of life, such as tens of thousands of chemical residues which science has found ubiquitously present everywhere in our U.S. environment, including in the very bodies of every last American adult, child and infant, it is the will of Congress that the CRTDA shall examine at extraordinarily high priority all such unproven but apparent correlations (UBAC) pursuant to identifying a cause or causes of these heartbreaking disorders with a goal of determining what measures it will take to effectively identify and reverse the cause(s) with neither further delay nor fatalistic dallying acceptance.
We of the Congress, recognizing that experts by the truckload will be lining up to impress upon us the conventional wisdom of medical-type scientific that “correlation is not causation” or its junior partner “correlation does not necessarily mean causation,” do hereby preempt any need for such lining up by affirming the obvious fact that on many occasions in many subjects the presence of correlation does in fact reveal causation. For those many contrarian experts who require above-average persuasion when their ego-based opinions are confronted by contrary evidence, Congress hereby refers all parties possessed of sufficient interest to the educational opportunities presented by gene C4A in chromosome 6. Lately discovered to correlate with an apparent malfunctional genetic basis for schizophrenia and acknowledged by psychiatric professionals as one of the most important discoveries in the history of schizophrenia research, and discovery of the correlation having opened up a broad new avenue of research with great potential to identify the genetic-physical causes of schizophrenia including further potential to identify medicines and/or genetic procedures for alleviating or overcoming this terribly crippling mental disorder, Congress hereby recognizes on a far wider scale the obvious utility of focusing publicly funded medical research in certain directions where unproven but blatantly evident correlation points the way.
Section 80. (of the Capitalist Free Market Corrections Act – CaFMaC)
Plain English for the Voting Citizen: 1) Food is to be defined. No product failing to meet the definition will be sold as food in the USA, beginning with Twinkies. Just think of all the shelf space that’s going to be freed up in supermarkets – we can have smaller stores! 2) No additive that has not first (meaning before it is sold) been proved safe for human consumption will be allowed to be added into our food. Food producers will immediately stop putting such stuff into our food before it is proven safe. 3) The Cooperatives Bank of America will help local co-ops develop quick field-to-table food distribution systems in local areas. 4) Congress intends to eliminate within three years most of the terrible waste of one-third (ONE THIRD) of all American food that occurs between the field and kitchen table, as spelled out by National Geographic Magazine’s March 2016 issue. 5) Congress intends that the USA will regain its former standing as the world’s leader in basic and applied research, including safe food and drugs – which leadership of the world has been steadily relinquished since 1980 to lesser nations that used to look to the USA for leadership because from 1941 to 1979 we did, in fact, lead.
The Congressional blather version: Within its first month of existence, and with advice and input from the National Interest Advisory Council, the CRTDA shall define food, and no substance failing to meet the new definition of food shall thereafter be sold as if it were food within the United States or subsidized as much as one thin dime by the Department of Agriculture. The Congress hereby directs that no additive of any nature whatsoever, organic or inorganic, shall be mixed with any food or permitted to come into contact with food consumed by humans, including human-consumed animals that consume feed containing an additive(s), unless and until CRTDA-approved research has first conclusively (conclusively) proved (proved) each additive, examined alone and in logical combinations with other common additives, to be safe for human consumption in quality and quantity specified at not less than parts per trillion.
The burden of proof for safe food consumption, and the cost of providing such proof, shall reside in the party wishing to insert an additive into food. All additives not yet so conclusively proven shall be immediately eliminated from foods sold for consumption by United States citizens, from feeds consumed by livestock destined for human consumption, and from feeds for dogs and cats. Where such eliminations delete preservatives which over the past half century have increasingly been added to extend the shipping time and shelf live of foods that otherwise could spoil before being consumed, the Cooperatives Bank of America (CBA) shall assist local co-ops to establish quick-turnaround field-to-table food distribution systems in local areas, including greenhouse and aquaponic food production facilities, across the nation. The CBA shall provide financial incentives which assist bakers and other food preparers to discover and use new non-adulterative safe ways to avoid spoilage of food on its journey to the people who consume it. The Department of Agriculture shall implement a primary new role of eliminating, within three (3) years, ninety-five percent (95%) of that incredible one-third (1/3) of all American food that incredibly is wasted in the chain from field to consumer’s plate as credibly spelled out by National Geographic Magazine’s March 2016 issue.
All cases of doubt or uncertainty shall default to the exclusion of additives from food, feeds, and prescription drugs sold or administered. The CRTDA shall ensure that the priorities of all pharmaceutical-, nutrition- and health-related research by all parties in the United States rationally correlate to the categorical nutritional and health care needs of the American people and are expressly separated from motive for profit or surplus, and the CRTDA may at its prerogative initiate new research deemed high priority and halt research deemed low priority, and is hereby vested with authority to override, change, move, transfer, direct, command and control the research activities, staff and equipment of all entities, public and private, conducting such research in the United States.
With these six measures it is the intent of Congress to reassert the United States’ former standing as the world’s leader in basic and applied research; to clarify and ensure governmental regulatory authority, at least equal to that of World War II food and commodity rationing authorities, for ensuring coherent and permanent coordination of all basic and applied research in the United States consistent with this nation’s role in world leadership and free from the limiting and prejudicial ties of research to commercial self interest; to match research efforts with research needs consistent with national values; to achieve total and complete national energy independence from fossil fuels and foreign nations; to speed achievement of the future economies and efficiencies of low-cost renewable energy; and to greatly improve the healthful nutrition of the American diet, for the common good of the nation and of equal treatment and opportunity or all U.S. citizens, and the common good of people in all nations throughout the earth.
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READERS COMMENT: Your ideas are invited for dealing with the issues addressed here. These posts present new perspectives – THIRD OPTIONS – to move beyond the conservative-liberal divide that is so poisoning our national sense of shared community. New and wiser options are always available to make life in America better for all the people. What are yours?