Bayer get stung by bees, we hope it hurts
Well I never, here’s some good news! If you use social media, you’ve probably seen people sharing and signing petitions about bees. If you’re Owen Paterson, you might have turned bright red and stamped up and down while pooing yourself a little bit every time you came across such a post, but more on this later.
A few days ago, the EU banned the use of neonicotinoids in pesticides, thanks to a large amount of global public pressure. Although it sounds like a race of aliens hailing from Sirius intent on smoking all the fags on earth, it is in fact a nicotine based pesticide, pushed by international drug dealers Bayer and developed by Shite, I mean Shell, in the 1980s.
Amazingly, or not surprisingly, depending on how cynical you are (probably very, if you’re reading this), nicotine makes a shit pesticide, as it takes more nicotine to kill a fly than a rat. It’s easy to see how this might have been an oversight. ‘Doctor, it seems nicotine is actually useless at killing insects, but great at wiping out birds and other mammals’.
You think they might have stopped there, but apparently Bayer thought they were half way to a solution: If it already kills everything else, then just refine it so it kills insects better too. I can now see why some of these people are the highest paid in the world. They certainly deserve it for their innovative and ‘blue sky’ thinking.
So, after the standard pharmaceutical industry practice of rigging a few clinical trials they were good to go. Unfortunately for them, proper peer reviewed trials were conducted in response to public and political pressure, and proved that neonicotwatiside was in fact very harmful to bees, who are rather important when it comes to, well, anything growing really Bayer, YOU FUCKING TWAT.
Yes, I can call Bayer a twat, because corporations are legally recognised as people – just like Owen Patterson. And yes, this is why Mr Patterson was having to change his pants on a regular basis. When the vote was made at the EU to ban this stuff, first the Great British Isles abstained, and then responded with a flat out no. I can’t for the life of me imagine why, but I’m sure it has nothing to do with Twat Patt receiving massive financial or gratis benefits by certain industries who wanted this crap peddled, and that he was merely acting in the best interests of the British people in his view (from inside Bayer’s’ sphincter).
It’s a good job it’s banned, because over in the US, this wonderful substance is wiping out all sorts of indigenous life, with what remains to be moved onto reservations and have attack helicopters named after them. The great thing is, if you live in the US, that neonicunticle or derivatives are being reviewed by the relevant US body, but they expect this to take until 2016, when everything will be dead.
This brings us on to the next slice of good news. As you might have noticed, crack dealers of the world, or ‘Big Pharma’ as they prefer to be called, are anything but the cuddly teddy bear such a name implies, and are quite happy to bribe, lie and cheat their way to getting new chemicals or drugs to market no matter how potentially dangerous they might be. This is an area that has been a real concern to Doctor and journalist Ben Goldacre, and he wrote a book about it: Bad Pharma. It’s an eye opening read, and caused quite a backlash from the pharmaceutical industry – especially in regards to the rigging of trials, but progress is being made. GSK actually signed up to ‘alltrials.net’ a site which aims to make sure that all clinical trials are public knowledge so they can be peer reviewed, and we know what happens when things get peer reviewed, they get banned if they’re full of shit and going to kill things.
So, we do seem to live in a world full of morons at the top, money grabbing corporate shit-swimmers, papers that promote devolving into club wielding cavemen and so on, but despite all that we can make a difference. Positive change can and does happen – we just need to give it a push. I’m not sure what’s come over me, maybe it’s because the sun’s out.. If you want to learn more about transparent clinical trials, click here and sign the petition. Oh, and although the EU banned neoneoneoeneoprick, it’s only for 2 years, not permanently. Sorry, the cynic won over in the end, and yes, twat is my word of the day.
When a new drug gets tested, the results of the trials should be published for the rest of the medical world – except much of the time, negative or inconclusive findings go unreported, leaving doctors and researchers in the dark.
In this impassioned talk, Ben Goldacre explains why these unreported instances of negative data are especially misleading and dangerous.
Ben is a best-selling author, broadcaster, medical doctor and academic who specialises in unpicking dodgy scientific claims from drug companies, newspapers, government reports, PR people and quacks. Unpicking bad science is the best way to explain good science.
He is known for his “Bad Science” column in The Guardian, and is the author of two books, Bad Science (2008), a critique of certain forms of alternative medicine, and Bad Pharma (2012), an examination of the pharmaceutical industry, its publishing and marketing practices, and its relationship with the medical profession.