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Open mike 04/09/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 4th, 2012 - 138 comments
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Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

138 comments on “Open mike 04/09/2012 ”

  1. OK so yesterday showed Key at his Crosby Textor PR directed best.

    He had to delay the sale of the power company shares.  Rio Tinto’s belligerent money grabbing stance made a delay inevitable.  The threat to the electricity wholesale market was far too high.

    So did Key acknowledge this?  No he blamed Maaaree.  It was all their fault.

    He is entering into consultation with Iwi to discuss an option the Government will never support so its chances at the inevitable court action will be increased. 

    And he then sowed confusion by bringing forward an announcement that kiwi soldiers were coming home early from Afghanistan.

    He is such a consummate politician.  And such an awful leader.  New Zealand should be ashamed …

  2. tracey 2

    +1

    Can i ask, does anyone know which seat cameron brewer is being lined up for national at the next election? He seems to have quite a pr team nehind him, and he has jumped on the greedy maori bandwagon today, the timing is very very interesting?

    • tc 2.1

      I thought he was being lined up to go against Brown at next years local body elections so they can plunder akl’s assets, he’s always tub thumping on rates, travel etc etc.

      Banksy f’d that up good and proper last time so it’s time for Blinky jnr.

    • muzza 2.2

      CB will stay in local politics for the time being, as his usefullness is seen to be there, and the timing of the comments deliberate.

      I would say that as long as good people are prepared to sit back and wait, hoping that perhaps the local/national political system will begin to represent them, things will continue to get worse.

      There are some half decent reps inside AKL Council, but CB is most certainly not one them!

      I would see the mayoral attack coming from CB/CF direction, as they want AKL assets, and they want them badly!

  3. Pete 3

    David Clark makes a good argument in support of his bill to increase the minimum wage: The PM’s cleaner deserves more

    • Carol 3.1

      Thanks for the link. Yes, it covers a lot of important points, including this:

      Lifting the minimum wage to $15 an hour, as proposed in my Bill awaiting debate in Parliament, will not change that overnight, but it is a step in the right direction.

      The truth is New Zealand is a low wage economy. Despite National’s promise of a brighter future and closing the wage gap with Australia, every week a thousand kiwis leave New Zealand for Australia.

      In fact, no direct link between lifting the minimum wage and job losses has ever been proved.

      What has been proved is the destructive effect of poverty and inequality.

  4. Carol 4

    So it seems the cronyist links between Westpac and the NAct government continue to register at the edges of the media radar, with a failure for the government to fulfill its promise of opening its banking contract (currently with Westpac) for tender:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/7606571/No-tender-yet-for-Government-banking-contract

    Westpac acts as the Government’s banker and holds the accounts of all government departments, but not Crown entities or state-owned enterprises. It is thought to be the largest banking contract in New Zealand and was last tendered in 1989.

    In 2010, Finance Minister Bill English indicated he would run a procurement process for government banking to ensure the Crown was getting value for money.

    But it is understood the Government is concerned the cost of tendering the contract could outweigh the benefits, because it already negotiates fee reductions with the bank, and there are complex arrangements with government departments.

    In the past year former Cabinet minister Simon Power became the head of Westpac’s private bank, and English’s former press secretary Grant Fleming became Westpac’s government relations manager.

    Greens co-leader Russel Norman says that shows there is a “cosy” relationship between the bank and the Government.
    ….
    ”Why does it not apply to Westpac when it seems to apply to everyone else? When it comes to banking, Westpac seems to have a dream run.”

    Meanwhile, ex-NAct minister Simon Power, now with Westpac, is ensuring his current employer, Westpac, has a significant presence in Christchurch:

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Westpac-ready-for-return-to-Christchurch-CBD/tabid/421/articleID/263293/Default.aspx

    But in the next few years, businesses will be heading back to be a part of a new low-rise precinct in the CBD.

    Westpac’s Simon Power told Firstline this morning why Westpac would be one of them.

    • thatguynz 4.1

      And more importantly – why is no one asking the question as to why the Government opts to bank with a foreign owned bank as opposed to using the bank that it conveniently happens to OWN? 
       
      Notwithstanding the fact that it would also provide additional capital reserves that apparently Kiwibank needs…

      • Fortran 4.1.1

        Whilst KiwiBank is doing a good job it is totally under capitalised.
        It regularly borrows money from NZ Post (taxpayer) from inception to prop up its finanncial structure.
        The Reserve Bank controls ALL Banks in New Zealand with secure financial limits.
        It would take the total partial sale assets of a couple of SOE’s to pay back what it owes and to be lodged to set it up competively.
        Could be done.

    • tc 4.2

      ‘concerned the cost of tendering the contract.’ yeah right Blagger Bill.

      They burn piles of dosh on consultants and ticket clippers on the now stalled MOMathon, intended share giveaways, RONS with little or negative payback, consulting culture in and around treasury etc etc etc.

      The arrogance continues to be world class from this gov’t but they’re consistent here with another broken promise.

    • millsy 4.3

      Government banking should be returned to the Reserve Bank IMO.

      • Colonial Viper 4.3.1

        The Reserve Bank isn’t set up as a retail bank so Kiwi Bank would have to do it.

        But the Reserve Bank could take back its right as the sole creator of interest-free, debt-free money into our economy.

  5. Carol 5

    More lies and anit-democratic practices by our government, exposed:

    http://www.labour.org.nz/news/government-mps-mislead-tvnz7%E2%80%99s-supporters

    National MPs on the Commerce Select Committee have misled New Zealanders on the options for saving public broadcaster TVNZ7 in a report released today, Labour’s broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran says.

    “The Government members of the Commerce Committee have claimed in their majority report that there was never any suggestion that Government funding would continue for TVNZ7 beyond the contracted period.

    “But Cabinet documents clearly show that there were proposals considered and then rejected by the National Government that could have kept TVNZ7 running.

    “The Government members have also refused to hear the views of the 36,000 petition signees to save TVNZ7. It is unacceptable that this committee has demonstrated a lack of respect or consideration for their views and refused to hear from them.

  6. VITAMIN C CAN CURE: So why does Auckland Hospital REFUSE to give it to you?
    ________________________________________________________________________________

    Man saved by Vitamin C to lead protest at Auckland Hospital

    Allan Smith, whose life was saved in 2009 by intravenous Vitamin C at Auckland Hospital, will be protesting from 12-2 pm on September 15 … at Auckland Hospital – for turning its back on this life saving treatment.

    Smith was featured on two segments on 60 Minutes in 2010.

    60 Minutes detailed his surprising story of near fatal illness with Swine Flu and pneumonia, and the willingness of Auckland Hospital to “pull the plug” on him – kill him – rather than give him Vitamin C.

    Vitamin C, especially in high doses, has been a well-known and scientifically accepted anti-viral for many years, andyet Auckland hospital initially refused to administer it,falsely claiming that they had “tried everything” to no avail.

    When the hospital, under pressure from the family, finally andRELUCTANTLY administered the vitamin C, Smith began to show a dramatic improvement within days.

    Within a few short weeks he was well again.

    Unfortunately, Auckland Hospital and many other NZ hospitals seem to have learned nothing from the experience and to this day they actually REFUSE to administer vitamin C to patients presenting with acute viral illnesses such as flu.

    They persistently and falsely claim that there is “no evidence” for the efficacy of vitamin C, but there is, indeed, massive amounts of evidence for it – even in their “peer reviewed” medical literature.

    Vitamin C is even a registered medicine in New Zealand.

    And yet they initially refused to give it to Allan Smith and they continue to refuse to give it to other people who are ill with viral (or bacterial) illnesses.

    And some people reportedly have died as a result of this refusal to even try it!

    Were it not for the persistence of Smith’s family, he would have died, too.

    Whatever the reason for this intransigence in the face of the obvious successes of Vitamin C, the people of New Zealand deserve to have a medical system that is truly evidence-based, and is focussed entirely on the best recovery strategies available – rather than one that refuses to acknowledge its mistakes.

    Across the board, mistakes such as this one are costing thousands of lives, in that the Medical System itself is now reliably VITAMIN C CAN CURE considered to be the third leading cause of death in New Zealand.

    Why, we ask, is it so difficult for Auckland Hospital to learn from the case of Allan Smith? Why is so hard to admit that a mistake was made? … and then change a ridiculous policy that is costing lives and public health.

    Contact: Allan Smith
    Tel 07 873 7572
    027-472-2975
    ________________________________________________________________________________

    I’ll be there – outside Auckland Hospital from 12 noon – 2pm Saturday 15 September 2012.

    Who else is coming?

    Penny Bright

    • So you just protest for the sake of protesting now? 

      • Penny Bright 6.1.1

        errr…………… A bit of a NO-BRAINER I would have thought?

        Aren’t hospitals and medical staff supposed to be in the business (as it were 🙂 of SAVING lives?

        If Vitamin C can cure – why is Auckland Hospital refusing to give this treatment?

        I’ll be protesting outside Auckland Hospital on 15 September 2012 from 12 noon to 2pm because I support this issue.

        In my considered opinion, as a ‘veteran’ activist with over 40 years experience – ‘it’s the masses who get off their asses’ – who help bring about change.

        Pity a few more people didn’t get off their butts and stand up to be counted, in order to help make a difference?

        Cheers!

        Penny Bright

        • TheContrarian 6.1.1.1

          “If Vitamin C can cure – why is Auckland Hospital refusing to give this treatment?”

          because it has never been proven and only tenuous links have been established. There have been no, to very few, double blind studies done and no real incontrovertible evidence that Vitamin C has any real effect.

          So it isn’t a ‘no-brainer’.  

          • Penny Bright 6.1.1.1.1

            This may help the informed debate on Vitamin C?

            _________________________________________________________________________

            http://www.vitaminccancure.org.nz/

            Home

            The Vitamin C Can Cure Coalition is is a patient and family support group which has come together to promote the benefits of high dose vitamin C to resolve a variety of life threatening illnesses. We also exist to support patients’ rights to access to this treatment.

            Intravenous vitamin C is a registered medicine in New Zealand, yet this medication is currently being refused patients requesting it in New Zealand hospitals. The dangers of such refusal is that it may lead to unnecessary deaths.

            Intravenous vitamin C can be a lifesaving treatment when administered in a timely manner and in sufficient doses. Last year New Zealander Allan Smith was critically ill with swine flu and was facing death as his life support was going to be turned off. At his family’s request, Allan Smith was administered high dose intravenous vitamin C and made a full recovery and is alive and well today.

            The Allan Smith Story
            Allan Smith’s recovery from Swine Flu and Hairy Cell Leukemia was documented on TV3′s 60 Minutes Programme. The story may be viewed at this link on TV3′s website:

            http://ondemand.tv3.co.nz/60-Minutes-Living-Proof/tabid/59/articleID/923/Default.aspx

            “Some physicians would stand by and see their patient die
            rather than use ascorbic acid (vitamin C) because
            in their finite minds it exists only as a vitamin”
            – Dr. Frederick Robert Klenner

            _________________________________________________________________________
            Kind regards,

            Penny Bright

            • Lanthanide 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Evidence is not the plural of anecdote, Penny.

              • muzza

                Of course, CODEX, S510, NZ Natural Health Products bill et al, have absolutely nothing to do with it eh!

                Its all about the control!

                Anecdote that!

                • McFlock

                  Sure. How about “that reminds me of the person who called everything a false-flag operation to the point that the person looked extremely delusional, but then it became evident that they didn’t know what ‘false flag’ actually meant. So beware of randoms on the internet making claims of miracles or conspiracies.”

                  • muzza

                    Hey McFlock how you doing buddy…

                    Nah, where that went wrong for you was, you assumed I care what the “official definition” of a FF is, when I just use the term for things which smell bad!

                    You asked me my opinion, I gave it, you didn’t like it and have got your g string in a twist!

                    • McFlock

                      Lol
                           
                      Okay then, it is apparent to me that you are an aardvark thinker. Although I’m not going to be nailed down by TPTB’s “official definition” of those words, but I’ll expect you to know what I mean.
                               
                      Oh, and your mother was a cucumber.

            • QoT 6.1.1.1.1.2

              It may look helpful to you, Penny, but I’m pretty sure if Contrarian responded by linking to a site called “novitaminccan’tcure.com” you might get an idea of why no one else finds it particularly compelling.

          • Vicky32 6.1.1.1.2

            because it has never been proven and only tenuous links have been established. There have been no, to very few, double blind studies done and no real incontrovertible evidence that Vitamin C has any real effect.

            A precious first, Contrarian… I agree wholeheartedly with you! 🙂

  7. Carol 7

    And more on NAct crony watch – Rebstock now confirmed as ACC chair and leader of its “culture change” – on her record, I can’t see that as being a change for the better:

    Also joining Ms Rebstock on the board are financial adviser and Public Trust chairman Trevor Janes, Auckland University School of Medicine head Professor Des Gorman and public and medical law expert Kristy McDonald QC, who have all been appointed for three-year terms.

    A fourth new board member has also been identified, but not named, and will start their role in 2013.

    The new appointees will join the existing board members Jill Spooner, John Meehan and Jane Huria.

    Ms Collins says the new appointments reflect the government’s commitment to rebuilding the public’s trust and confidence in ACC.

    She said Ms Rebstock has “demonstrated a commitment to culture change at ACC”.

    Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/Rebstock-to-head-ACC-culture-change/tabid/423/articleID/267947/Default.aspx#ixzz25RmiG000

    Also joining Ms Rebstock on the board are financial adviser and Public Trust chairman Trevor Janes, Auckland University School of Medicine head Professor Des Gorman and public and medical law expert Kristy McDonald QC, who have all been appointed for three-year terms.

    A fourth new board member has also been identified, but not named, and will start their role in 2013.

    The new appointees will join the existing board members Jill Spooner, John Meehan and Jane Huria.

    Ms Collins says the new appointments reflect the government’s commitment to rebuilding the public’s trust and confidence in ACC.

    She said Ms Rebstock has “demonstrated a commitment to culture change at ACC”.

    • tc 7.1

      Inevitable that one, she’s a trusted jackboot corporate animal of the Nat’s who jumped off the comcom monopoly train to take these roles up.

    • Bored 7.2

      There is a problem here, these are 3 year appointments and they are obviously political and ideological. The precedent is not good, should the government change and the direction / ideology change as well (by no means certain with PaganiLab) then they may just have to be ejected.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.3

      Ms Collins says the new appointments reflect the government’s commitment to rebuilding the public’s trust and confidence in ACC.

      Translation: Will continue the governments work to destroy the publics confidence in ACC so that private insurers can be brought in.

      She said Ms Rebstock has “demonstrated a commitment to culture change at ACC”.

      Considering the sociopathy that she showed in the Welfare Working Group I’m sure she will – it just won’t be a change for the better.

  8. Mary 8

    Rebstock the new chair of ACC. Culture change all right – they’ll be kicking even more people off now. Charming.

  9. fisiani 9

    http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/pauling.html

    Penny you have been conned by the powerful placebo effect.

    The alleged benefits of Vitamin C have been rigorously discredited.

    • fnjckg 9.1

      ol’ anal fissure aye

    • Got some FACTS and EVIDENCE to back up what you are saying ‘fisiani’?

      Penny Bright

        • weka 9.3.1.1

          That’s not evidence TC. That’s a one man trial. It’s interesting, but it doesn’t count as even being close to evidence of anything other than that the treatment didn’t work for him.

           You might have missed this in the article too – 

          “Debate about high-dose vitamin C had been raging for three decades and it was time proper clinical trials were conducted, he said. ”

          (my emphasis). That’s a university researcher saying that there is no evidence either way yet. 

          btw, I don’t believe that Vit C is a cure for cancer. It might be helpful for some people.  

          • TheContrarian 9.3.1.1.1

            Well, the burden of proof is on Penny not me. But you are right it isn’t evidence because there is no evidence the Vit. C can do what it claims and you can’t prove a negative.

            So this is why I queried Penny’s protest. She is protesting that a hospital isn’t dosing people up with Vitamin C when there isn’t any evidence it’d be helpful at all.

            • Colonial Viper 9.3.1.1.1.1

              But you are right it isn’t evidence because there is no evidence the Vit. C can do what it claims and you can’t prove a negative.

              Pure BS. You have no idea what you are talking about.

              You can demonstrate that something has no clinical effect. Its what ordinary drug tirals do all the time. That is not the case for vitamin C where the evidence remains inconclusive.

              • Its called the burden of proof. The burden of proof is on Penny who says Vitamin C has clinical effect so it is up to her to provide evidence and she made the original claim and her original claim is a positive assertion.

                • blue leopard

                  Interesting topic

                  Some proof for TheContrarian:

                  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16157892?dopt=Abstract

                  Also the next link mentions

                  “The only side effect of high doses of ascorbate is a mild laxative effect. There are no reliable reports of severe ascorbate toxicity, such as acidosis or kidney stones.”

                  http://www.aids.org/topics/vitamin-c-laboratory-tests-indicate-antiviral-effect/

                  If Vitamin C has no likelihood of posing danger to a patient, I do question why a hospital wouldn’t at least try it.

                  Hemachromatosis would have to be tested for I guess.

                  • “If Vitamin C  has no likelihood of posing danger to a patient , I do question why a hospital wouldn’t at least try it.”

                    True, but why not try Vitamin D? Or any other substance for that matter.

                    “has no likelihood of posing danger to a patient” is not a good way of deciding on treatment and the fear, as pointed out by medical officials is that people  won’t seek proper medical treatment thinking instead of trying Vitamin C

                    • blue leopard

                      My reference to “no likelihood of posing danger to a patient” rests on the logic that if something is believed to help a condition, that it has helped others, yet has not been through a rigorous scientific testing process-then I see no problem with giving it to patients who are requesting it as long as it will do no harm.

                      I believe medical staff are under an oath to do no harm. I assumed this would be the reason why they are not giving it to patients who request it.

                    • weka

                      “has no likelihood of posing danger to a patient” is not a good way of deciding on treatment and the fear, as pointed out by medical officials is that people  won’t seek proper medical treatment thinking instead of trying Vitamin C

                      Dude, the man was in a coma in the hospital. Do you really think that there was a fear that he would try vitamin C and not seek medical treatment?

                      Here’s a good look at the ethics of the situation, including details of what the man went through, and how the family had to get lawyers and the HDC involved in what eventually saved his life. (the link shows an ODT article by Grant Gillett, professor of medical ethics at the University of Otago Bioethics Centre)

                      http://www.vitaminccancure.org.nz/?p=34

                  • higherstandard

                    Hospitals don’t “try it” as there is no evidence that it works in a positive manner in vivo in any variety of cancer patient.

                    In terms of the occasional anecdotal report as per that provided by PB in a patient with the viral infections supportive data in this group is also lacking.

                    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15495002

                    • HS makes a good point.

                      Medicine is (or at least should be) evidence based – particularly in hospitals. You can’t have people just whacking up any old treatment because it might not do any harm based on anecdotal evidence.

                      They need to protect themselves as well as the patient and you’d be one death away from a serious issue.

                    • blue leopard

                      Higherstandard doesn’t make a good point, supplying investigative outcomes to the taking of Vit C orally when the discussion is about high dose intravenous application is not an effective response to what I posted.

                      “They need to protect themselves aswell…”

                      Which is precisely why I mentioned that if it does no harm…If it is clear that a patient is not going to be poisoned by the substance, and alongside the information supplied in this thread, that people have responded well to this treatment it appears a shame NOT to try it.

                    • weka

                      It wasn’t just any old treatment though. It’s a treatment that some physicians use. 

                      Doctor’s prescribe drugs for off label use quite often.

                      Personally if I was dying, I’d be happy to try any old treatment. 

                      I take your point about hospitals needing to protect themselves. And I agree that drugs should be properly tested But there are also situations where that is not appropriate and this case appears to be one of them.

                    • higherstandard

                      If you’re taking about high dose iv Vit C as far as I’m aware there is no in vivo data showing it to be efficacious.

                      I do know there are a couple of GPs supplying it for cancer patients that request it but no one in the hospital system would touch it as it is costly in both time and money for no gain and they have proven interventions to provide.

                      In response to Weka – would you prefer an intervention that was proven to have a benefit recommended by a specialist prior to “trying anything” ?

                      Frankly if there was any evidence too support giving it most doctors and PHARMAC would be delighted.

                    • ” alongside the information supplied in this thread, that people have responded well to this treatment it appears a shame NOT to try it.”

                      The information is anecdotal. The scientific evidence, the medical evidence  (what scant there is at this time) points to it not being an adequate or proper treatment for any condition neither have any studies proven any efficacy from its application.

                      In that case any doctor is going to shy away from using anything with any clear studies and research to back it up.

                      They place to test study such things isn’t by randomly shooting up patients in a hospital because it mightn’t hurt. You need double-blind, studies on a large group with a single methodology and similar doses vs. similar conditions – until such a time that takes place I think it is a good thing our hospitals are not used as laboratories.   

                      here is one such rigorous study which showed Vit C. failed:
                      http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM197909273011303

                    • weka

                      “In response to Weka – would you prefer an intervention that was proven to have a benefit recommended by a specialist prior to “trying anything” ?”

                      I’d prefer it if the medical establishment weren’t so closedminded, or captured by bigpharma. We’ve had decades to get over this chasm between mainstream and alternative medicine. Fault is on both sides, but just because some medical doctors say something doesn’t make it so. They have massive gaps in their knowledge and experience.

                      Here’s an example. Many people mitigate or completely relieve the effects of arthritis by making changes to their diets. Most doctors will say that there is no connection. I think there may now be some acceptance of taking things like glucosamine, but in general the line is that there is no evidence or even any useful theory. And yet many people are treating themselves and getting good results. Yes, that’s anecdotal, but if the people are feeling better, what is the problem? It’s not that people are self treating with diet. It’s that medical people aren’t taking that seriously and investigating it.

                      But to answer your question directly, honestly, if I was dying, I would be looking at the available options from within and outside mainstream medicine. Yes, trials and specialists are very useful, but they’re not the be all and end all. Drug trials aren’t the only useful way of knowing what works. As I already commented, off label use of drugs is not uncommon. 

                      btw, I think there is a huge amount of bullshit within the alternative sector too. I just don’t think that doctors are god.

                       

                       

                    • weka

                      TC, if you are going to make claims for a study, you need to link to the full article. Lots of dubious research going on, even in peer reviewed journals.

                      I’m not saying this isn’t reliable research (and as stated, I don’t believe that vitamin C can cure cancer), but it’s not enough to present and abstract and ask everyone to trust.

                       
                      I’m interested to know if you think that the hospital should have refused to give the vit C to the man with bird flu and pneumonia.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’m interested to know if you think that the hospital should have refused to give the vit C to the man with bird flu and pneumonia.

                      There was a well publicised case a couple years back of a Kiwi farmer who was almost fatally struck down by swine flu. Made it to TV in fact. His family finally convinced the hospital (AKL hospital?) to give his comatose body huge dosages of vitamin C and he started recovery almost immediately.

                      The ‘funny’ thing was that every time supervising doctors changed shift a new boss doctor would come onboard and go “WTF? Vitamin C? Get that quackery outta here”. They’d yank the IV lines out and literally, he would start to die again in front of their eyes until the family pleaded enough to restart it.

                    • blue leopard

                      The Contrarian

                      In response to the link you supplied

                      “Ascorbic acid (vitamin C, ascorbate) has a controversial history in cancer treatment (1). Observational reports described ascorbate, given in pharmacologic doses of 10 g daily, as effective in treating some cancers and in improving patient well-being (2-4).

                      Subsequently, the same dose had no effect on patient well-being and survival in two double-blind placebo-controlled trials, and ascorbate was discarded as a treatment modality (5, 6).

                      Recent clinical evidence, however, indicates that the role of ascorbate in cancer treatment should be examined anew (7). THE ORIGINALLY REPORTED OBSERVATIONAL STUDIES USED I.V. AND ORAL ASCORBATE, BUT THE SUBSEQUENT DOUBLE-BLIND PLACEBO-CONTROLLED STUDIES USED ONLY ORAL ASCORBATE. It was not recognized that the route of ascorbate administration might produce large differences in plasma concentrations….Despite inconsistencies, some in vitro studies showed that ascorbate killed cancer cells, although mechanisms and physiologic relevance were unclear (10-12). Complementary and alternative medicine practitioners worldwide currently use ascorbate i.v. in some patients, in part because there is no apparent harm (13-15).” [My emphasis]

                      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1224653/?tool=pubmed

                      Which may well be why the hospital allowed the treatment to be conducted on the person mentioned by Penny Bright.

                      I agree with Weka’s comments. I would wish to be allowed the treatment if I had the type of illness that MIGHT be cured by it.

                    • “TC, if you are going to make claims for a study, you need to link to the full article. Lots of dubious research going on, even in peer reviewed journals”

                      I can’t really with this one – it’s a paid service (most medical journals are) and sharing a copy if i did purchase it could possibly break copyright.

                      “I’m interested to know if you think that the hospital should have refused to give the vit C to the man with bird flu and pneumonia.”

                      I am not sure to be honest, I wasn’t there and can’t really answer outside yes because it is an untested, non-evidence based treated and no because the man and his family make the ultimate choice in the matter. I can’t really answer.

                      However, back to the original post, I don’t Penny Bright is particularly, errrr, ‘bright’  in protesting a hospital for not using a technique without sufficient scientific backing.

                    • weka

                      You just need to link to articles that are open access or have been reviewed elsewhere 😉

                      btw, a single study of vitamin C used to treat a specific kind of cancer is not evidence that vitamin C has no clinical use at all.

                      Vitamin C is a registered medicine. It’s use for the man with flu/pneumonia was (presumably) off-label drug use. Is there a reason why that can’t be done again, in a careful considered way?

            • Jackal 9.3.1.1.1.2

              TheContrarian

              Well, the burden of proof is on Penny not me. But you are right it isn’t evidence because there is no evidence the Vit. C can do what it claims and you can’t prove a negative.

              Actually the burden of proof is on you to provide evidence that Vitamin C is not an effective cancer treatment. If you cannot, you’re basing your belief on nothing but hot air.

              Evidence that Vitamin C is a viable cancer treatment has been around since 1976,
              when double Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling and Scottish surgeon Ewan Cameron showed an unparalleled increase in survival times in terminal cancer patients treated with vitamin C.

              Reevaluation of prolongation of survival times in terminal human cancer

              Tests confirm that the ascorbate-treated patients and the matched controls are representative subpopulations of the same population of “untreatable” patients. Survival times were measured not only from the date of “untreatability” but also from the precisely known date of first hospital attendance for the cancer that eventually reached the terminal stage. The ascorbate-treated patients were found to have a mean survival time about 300 days greater than that of the controls. Survival times greater than 1 yr after the date of untreatability were observed for 22% of the ascorbate-treated patients and for 0.4% of the controls. The mean survival time of these 22 ascorbate-treated patients is 2.4 yr after reaching the apparently terminal stage; 8 of the ascorbate-treated patients are still alive, with a mean survival time after untreatability of 3.5 yr.

              The reason the medical profession don’t recognize such studies is because cancer is a multi million dollar business that would not be anywhere near as profitable if people were encouraged to us a cheap and readily available treatment such as Vitamin C.

              The information is anecdotal. The scientific evidence, the medical evidence (what scant there is at this time) points to it not being an adequate or proper treatment for any condition neither have any studies proven any efficacy from its application.

              Oh dear… You really are an ignorant doofus! Vitamin C has been used to treat many ailments from Autism to LSD Abuse. It’s an essential vitamin after all that if depleted can cause serious health problems. Vitamin C helps the immune and the detoxification system to function properly. It has also been empirically proven with many peer reviewed scientific studies to help cancer patients.

              But don’t let your ignorance stop you from making a fool of yourself TheContrarian.

              • higherstandard

                The study you link to has been debunked numerous times and has been superceded by a number of better designed and more reliable trials.

                http://journal.nzma.org.nz/journal/123-1324/4404/

                Linus Pauling was a great man, however, his insistence that vitamin C could cure large proportions of patients with cancer was without foundation.

                • Jackal

                  Wow! That’s your evidence… An article written by Shaun Holt from Tauranga? FFS!

                  Are you aware that the Mayo Clinic study used relatively low oral doses for short periods, rather than the combination of high oral and intravenous (IV) doses in the Pauling and Cameron study?

                  Clearly that’s not debunking! It’s the pharmaceutical industry trying and failing to discredit alternative medication that works. Were you also aware that the Mayo Clinic has refused to provide anybody with all their research data so their process can be verified. As a result, the Mayo Clinic study is next to useless!

                  Besides, in 1982 a study (PDF) by Murata A. Morishige F. Yamaguchi H confirmed Linus Pauling and Ewan Cameron’s findings. Administering large doses of ascorbate prolongs survival times of terminal cancer patients.

                  Ascorbic acid and its salts (AA) are preferentially toxic to tumor cells in vitro and in vivo. Given in high enough doses to maintain plasma concentrations above levels that have been shown to be toxic to tumor cells in vitro, AA has the potential to selectively kill tumor cells in a manner similar to other tumor cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agents. Most studies of AA and cancer to date have not utilized high enough doses of AA to maintain tumor cytotoxic plasma concentrations of AA. Data are presented which demonstrate the ability to sustain plasma levels of AA in humans above levels which are toxic to tumor cells in vitro and suggests the feasibility of using AA as a cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agent.

                  That initial study by Linus Pauling and Ewan Cameron in 1976 was reevaluated and confirmed as correct by them in 1978. In fact its been verified on numerous occasions by institutions and researchers who don’t have a vested interest.

                  • higherstandard

                    Good oh, if you are ever unlucky enough to get cancer feel free to utilise Vitamin C to your hearts content in preference to proven treatments.

                    • Jackal

                      Large dosses of Vitamin C is a proven treatment higherstandard.

                      BTW, I linked to the wrong study above. The Murata A, Morishige F, Yamaguchi H study states:

                      Clinical trials administering supplemental ascorbate to terminal cancer patients were conducted at two hospitals in Japan. During the period 1973-1977 there were 99 patients with terminal cancer at the Fukuoka Torikai Hospital. The average times of survival after the date of designation as terminal were 43 days for 44 low-ascorbate patients and 246 days for 55 high-ascorbate patients. Three of the high-ascorbate patients were still alive, their average survival being 1550 days, on April 1, 1980. Similar effectiveness of ascorbate was also observed at the Kamioka Kozan Hospital. There were 31 patients with terminal cancer during the period 1975-1979. The average survival times were 48 days for 19 control patients and 115 days for 6 high-ascorbate patients. One of the high-ascorbate patients was still alive, his survival being 215 days. In addition to the increase in survival times, the administration of large doses of ascorbate seemed to improve the quality of life.

                      In comparison your argument is feckless!

                    • higherstandard

                      No, Vitamin C is a proven treatment for only the following conditions.

                      Vitamin C deficiency disorders such as scurvey and as an adjunct in idiopathic methaemoglobinaemia.

                    • Jackal

                      So those three independent studies I’ve linked to, which all have similar results prove nothing? It would seem that just like the doofus you’re only proving your own ignorance HS.

                    • higherstandard

                      Todd the studies you’ve linked to are laughable.

                      As I’ve said there is no reliable evidence that Vitamin C of any dose has a beneficial effect for patients suffering from tumours.

                      However if you are unlucky enough to ever be diagnosed with cancer there are a number of places in NZ you can access iv Vitamin C should you think it will be of benefit to you.

                      I would however suggest you access the more proven and effective mainstream therapies before going down that track.

                    • Jackal

                      Why are those studies laughable exactly? People cannot access Vitamin C treatment in a public hospital HS, which was kind of Penny’s point in the first place. PS my names not Todd.

                    • higherstandard

                      They cannot access Vitamin C in a public hospital due to its lack of proven efficacy, they can access it from a number of alternative medicine clinics around NZ.

                      Not surprisingly there are no reports from these alternative medicine centres of miraculous outcomes.

                      I haven’t the time or will power to attempt to educate you on what constitutes a well designed reliable trial but feel free to investigate on google scholar or the like.

                      I refer to your previous handle which was Todd prior to the Jackal I believe.

                    • Jackal

                      You haven’t the time HS because you’re talking shit. Those studies I’ve linked to constitute well designed and reliable research, unlike the piece of rubbish you linked to.

                      Answer me this if you can. Clearly the pharmaceutical industry has an ulterior motive to show that Vitamin C is not a viable medicine… What would be the ulterior motive for the researchers/scientists who show that high doses of vitamin C can treat cancer? Why would they lie HS?

                      Please use my current handle. Jackal

                    • higherstandard

                      Todd the studies you linked to were nether blinded, nor randomised according to tumour type, KS or previous treatment chemotherapy.

                      The commentary I linked to had a number of references at the bottom some of which are to randomised blinded studies if you would care to look the trials showing no effect of Vitamin C have generally been funded via the institution where they have been carried out of via educational grants.

                      If the pharmaceutical industry had any inkling that vitamin C was useful in cancer or nay other illness they would make minor modifcations in the molecule to make it more efficacious patent it and make a fortune.

                      I would dearly like vitamin C to be useful in the treatment of cancer due to its low toxicity unfortunately there balance of evidence suggests that this is the case.

                    • Jackal

                      Wrong again HS. Many of the studies showing a positive result are clinical trials that don’t actually require blinded testing. However the Linus Pauling and Ewan Cameron study used a thousand matched controls. This is used for observational data (i.e. non experimental data).

                      It’s obvious that you don’t really know what you’re talking about and haven’t even bothered to read that study properly, so here’s the guts of it again:

                      Analysis of the survival-time curves indicated that deaths occur for about 90% of the ascorbate-treated patients at one third the rate for the controls and that the other 10% have a much greater survival time.

                      You will find that any studies you’re able to provide that show Vitamin C has no effect on cancer tumors was because they didn’t use it at a high enough dose to achieve plasma concentrations that are generally cytotoxic to tumor cells.

                      I like your Freudian slip there BTW. On the balance of evidence it really does seem to be the case that Vitamin C is an effective treatment for cancer.

                    • higherstandard

                      “Many of the studies showing a positive result are clinical trials that don’t actually require blinded testing.”

                      Todd you don’t have the foggiest idea what you’re talking about, Paulins study has been evaluated and critiqued repeatedly and is still taught in medical shools in relation to poor study design.

                      To quote the chief of the clinical investigations branch of the National Cancer Institute’s cancer therapy program…..

                      ‘…the vitamin C and control groups had not been properly matched, no data had been published to demonstrate that the patients had been matched by stage of their disease, functional ability, weight loss, and sites of metastasis, all of which are important judging the stage of the disease. Pauling and Cameron’s patients began getting vitamin C when Cameron judged them “untreatable” and their subsequent survival was compared to that of the control patients from the time they had been labeled “untreatable.”

                      If the two groups were comparable, the average time from the initial diagnosis to “untreatable” status should be similar for both groups. But they were not. Hence Cameron’s patients had been labeled untreatable earlier in the course of their disease and would therefore be expected to live longer, also more than 20% of the patients in the control group had died within a few days of being labeled untreatable, whereas none of Cameron’s patients had died. This, too, suggested that Cameron’s patients had had less advanced disease when they were labeled untreatable…..’

                      As I’ve said if you are unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with cancer feel free to try alternative methods, I’ll stick with proven therapies.

                      Apologies for my poor typing this morning phones are shite to type upon.

                    • Jackal

                      Your evidence is an article written by Shaun Holt from Tauranga and one Medical Doctor… C’mon HS, surely you can do better than that?

                      Firstly William D. DeWys “research” does not seem to be available online? Secondly he makes a number of unfounded statements that are easily refuted.

                      Here’s how the selection process was undertaken:

                      The original group of matched controls was selected by senior members of the Medical Records Staff in Vale of Leven Hospital, who were asked to produce records of 10 patients for each ascorbate-treated patient matched as to sex, age (to within 5 yr), and tumor type (site of the primary cancer and histological type), without regard as to whether or not death had occurred. The individual case records were then examined by a physician employed for this purpose, Frances Meuli, who first determined the date of untreatability by such conventional standards as the establishment of inoperability at laparotomy, the abandonment of any definitive form of anti-cancer treatment, or the date of admission terminal nursing care and then calculated the survival time from that date until the factually recorded date of death. In carrying out her survey, Meuli was unaware of the survival times of the 100 ascorbate-treated test patients. In order to avoid possible bias, we did not supervise her work closely or attempt to refine it.

                      From the 1978 reevaluation study (PDF).

                      Looks like your doctor DeWys is full of shit HS. It would really help the debate if you actually bothered to read the research instead of regurgitating what is obviously false information… But I guess I’m asking for too much?

                    • higherstandard

                      Todd from memory the NCI made their comments on Paulings study well after all Paulings results were published.

                      As DeWys was at that stage one of the senior investigative clinicians at the NCI I’d hardly call him full of shit.

                      http://history.nih.gov/nihinownwords/docs/Dr.WilliamD.DeWys.htm

                      Pauling however, tended to get more and more bizarre in his claims regarding the utility of Vitamin C. As I’ve said previously if you are unfortunate enough to ever suffer from cancer I’d recommend starting with proven inteventions rather than the like of high dose iv Vitamin C.

                    • Jackal

                      DeWys is clearly full of shit HS. The paragraph I’ve quoted from Pauling and Cameron’s reevaluation study totally contradicts what he has said. DeWys claims that it was Linus Pauling himself who chose the test subjects when it was in fact senior members of the Medical Records Staff in Vale of Leven Hospital.

                      It really comes down to who has a reason to lie… I’ve provided a reason why the pharmaceutical industry would promote false information. I ask again… Why would Pauling and Cameron and all the other scientists and researchers who have shown high doses of Vitamin C can treat cancer lie?

                      As I’ve said previously if you are unfortunate…

                      Why do you keep repeating yourself like a broken record HS? This is becoming tedious! Let me know if you can provide some actual evidence that Vitamin C doesn’t work to treat cancer. Until then I think we should just agree to disagree.

                    • higherstandard

                      Todd, to suggest that this is some cover up by pharmaceutical suppliers is bizarre – Vit C is available from many alternative medical practitioners here and overseas who offer it alone or along with other therapies to persons who are mistrusting of standard treatment or who have no other options. It is not used for the treatment of cancer by the vast majority of oncologists due to there being no compelling data that is efficacious.

                      I repeat myself as you do not seem to understand that there is no robust evidence to support the use of Vit C in the treatment of cancer and it is wisest to defer to the experts in the field of medical, and radiation oncology for treatment options which have been the subject of more robust scientific study.

                      Regarding Pauling’s motives I do note that from histories online The Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine was founded in 1973 and operated under that name until 1995 [20]. The institute was dedicated to “orthomolecular medicine.” For many years, its largest corporate donor was Hoffmann-La Roche, the pharmaceutical giant that produces most of the world’s vitamin C. Many of the institute’s fundraising brochures contained questionable information. During the 1980s, for example, they falsely stated that no significant progress had been made in cancer treatment during the previous twenty years.

                      And yes I agree to disagree with you.

                    • Jackal

                      So you’ve discredited double Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling by providing information from a very dubious website. How do you propose to discredit Murata A, Morishige F, Yamaguchi H, N. H. Riordan, H. D. Riordan, X. Meng, Y. LI and J. A. Jackson, who are just a few of the researchers and scientists that found similar results?

                      You’re suggesting that there’s some sort of worldwide conspiracy to provide false information about Vitamin C so that manufacturers can sell more. Just to let you know, Acorbate can be purchased for as little as $1 per kg and even less in larger quantities.

                      In comparison, here’s a breakdown of what cancer treatment costs in the US:

                      Researchers used data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End-Results (SEER) Medicare database to examine the costs of initial cancer treatments in 306,709 breast, colorectal, lung and prostate cancer patients over the age of 65. These treatments included surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and other hospitalization.

                      Over the ten-year period studied, the average cost of breast cancer treatment increased $4,189 to $20,964. The average cost of treating prostate cancer increased $5,435 to $41,134, while the average cost of lung cancer treatment went up $7,139 to $39,891.

                      Nobody is going to get rich from using Vitamin C to treat cancer HS. Which makes the latest twist to your now completely defunct argument laughable!

                    • higherstandard

                      Todd

                      Not at all, Only Paulings views on cancer and Vitamin C/orthmolecular medicine have been discredited which in his defense he was starting to get somewhat senile towards the end of his life so one cannot really level any serious accusations at him, the vast majority of his scientific work was magnificent this can be said of many famous scientists and even several nobel laureates – I don’t think any of them would claim that every theory they had ever promulgated was correct.

                      I’m not suggesting there’s any sort of worldwide conspiracy at all, that appears to be your position in relation to the unwillingness of health professionals in particular those in the area of oncology to utilise Vitamin C to treat cancer, my position is that it is not used by health professionals in this setting as it has no utility.

                      Yes I do realise ascorbate is cheap as are many if not most APIs, this does not mean the actually finished product can be provided to patients cheaply and indeed even if they can be provided to patients cheaply there are unscrupulous individuals such as our own infamous Milan Brych who made fortunes from quackery.

                      I’m not sure what you’re trying to suggest in relation to cancer costs in the US ?

                      I thought you had agreed to disagree ?

                    • Jackal

                      I cannot find any verifiable information to show that Linus Pauling suffered from senility. You’re not making shit up again are you HS? This is the usual baseless accusations leveled against researchers by people who don’t like the results and have a vested interest in keeping the status quo.

                      The US cancer treatment costs from 2005 are to show the difference between conventional and alternative treatment using Acorbate. As clearly stated, nobody is going to get rich by using Vitamin C to treat Cancer, and that’s one of the reasons it’s not being utilized. There is therefore no financial reason to promote false information to promote Vitamin C as you believe. You must be suffering a bit of senility yourself if you didn’t understand that HS.

                      Your contention that Acorbate needs to have extensive changes made so it can be utilized is obviously incorect! The studies show that Acorbate in its present form is effective at treating cancer if administered at high enough doses intravenously and orally.

                      I’m not suggesting there’s any sort of worldwide conspiracy at all.

                      Then how do you explain the researchers and scientists listed above having the same results as Linus Pauling’s study if it’s not a conspiracy between them?

                      In contrast, I think it is a deplorable conspiracy to not generally use a cheap and effective alternative medication to treat a disease that one in three Kiwis will suffer from. Clearly there’s a profit motive to repressing an inexpensive medication and pharmaceutical companies are not beyond reproach. For instance Glaxo Smith and Kline was recently fined $3 billion for putting peoples lives in danger purely to make money. That criminal proceeding was an isolated case lost in a sea of medical corruption.

                      Whether you like it or not HS, there is robust evidence that shows categorically that high doses of Vitamin C is effective at treating cancer. I’ve provided some of this information here to which you’ve not adequately responded. That’s because there’s far more scientific research that shows Vitamin C is an effective treatment than says it isn’t.

                      Therefore there is a consensus amongst scientists that it works… It just needs to be recognized by medical practitioners, who unfortunately are in the pocket of big pharmaceutical companies. Until their profit motive to use inferior and more expensive medications is addressed, cancer patients will continue to not have ready access to an a proven and inexpensive treatment that works.

                      You still have not linked to DeWys’ “research” that apparently discredits the Reevaluation of prolongation of survival times in terminal human cancer? Making claims that are unverifiable is what quackery is all about. But feel free to keep quacking if you like HS.

                    • higherstandard

                      You really are a trifle odd Todd.

                      There’s really little point in trying to educate you on the methodologies and rationale supported by vast amounts of reputable, repeatable and robust clinical research for treating the various types of cancers they way we do and the various costs associated with either surgery, radiation and chemotherapy or combinations of all three as you appear set in your mind set that it’s all a massive conspiracy by company/s and person’s unknown who’ve duped the medical profession, regulators and scientists into treating cancer patients how we do rather than with Vitamin C.

                    • Jackal

                      It’s not odd at all to believe that the majority of studies into using Vitamin C to treat cancer are correct. If people just accepted the status quo as it is, we would never have any progress at all.

                  • blue leopard

                    @ The Jackal,

                    I don’t know why you bother to continue this debate with Higher Than a Kite, for despite having provided it with plenty of reasoned argument, AND evidence it continues to ignore you and bang on about “there being no evidence” when both you and myself provided substantial evidence that it has been an effective treatment. (the evidence I provided indicated that it would be worth further investigation).

                    Science would have gotten nowhere if the view prevailed that anything that hasn’t been fully scientifically evaluated doesn’t exist and is of no effect.

                    That it is now deemed only those with money are allowed the privilege to decide what gets scientifically evaluated or not, and that that decision is left to their poor imaginations as to what will lead to profit and what won’t, then methinks this situation is going to lead us to less and less discoveries.

                    • higherstandard

                      BL and Todd are either of you are qualified cancer specialists, clinicians of any sort or do you have science background ?

                      The evidence that Vitamin C has any utility in the treatment of cancer has not been demonstrated in any useful manner the interventions which are used in the treatment of cancer have been proven useful in modern blinded trials which is why those treating patients with cancer utilise these proven interventions and continue to treat and trial new interventions which may improve patient outcomes this has lead to major advances in the outcomes of patients with many tumour types over the last several decades

              • blue leopard

                Here’s one instead
                http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1224653/?tool=pubmed

                “Recent clinical evidence, however, indicates that the role of ascorbate in cancer treatment should be examined anew …Despite inconsistencies, some in vitro studies showed that ascorbate killed cancer cells, although mechanisms and physiologic relevance were unclear “

                • higherstandard

                  Yes it’s interesting – it’s also in vitro.

                  No well designed in vivo studies have shown a benefit of vitamin c in the treatment of cancer.

                  The thing that irked me about the comment by TJ was…

                  ‘The reason the medical profession don’t recognize such studies is because cancer is a multi million dollar business that would not be anywhere near as profitable if people were encouraged to us a cheap and readily available treatment such as Vitamin C.’

                  To suggest that oncologists only utilise surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy to treat cancer due to some profit motive is offensive.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    To suggest that oncologists only utilise surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy to treat cancer due to some profit motive is offensive.

                    Agreed. They utilise those methods because its the only options those practitioners are exposed to in their training and the only options they are given in a hospital setting.

                    The filtering happens faraway at the business case level in the big pharma and medical device corporates. There is nothing patentable or profitable about IV Vit C so no surprise it goes no where.

                    • higherstandard

                      Yes that’s obviously the reason, all clinicians, regulatory authorities, researchers, patient advocacy groups and QANGOS such as PHARMAC have been duped.

                      PS I am being sarcastic as this is about as useful as debating 9/11 with Eve.

                    • McFlock

                      Meanwhile, ebola rears its head again.
                          
                      Probably the secret world government preparing to send us all to lizard feeding farms.
                                 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      hs – don’t be a dick. I stated very clearly that the decisions are made BEFORE it gets to PHARMAC or any front line clinicians. Don’t go intellectually blind on me all of a sudden and refuse to think by hiding behind the Twin Towers.

                      You seem to be trying to say that pharmaceutical corporates don’t assess potential products for profitability before committing to their development, and that they don’t cull out all but the most financially promising treatment candidates/areas of health. Of course they do. They are profit driven private enterprises.

                      Its why we have a shitload ofexpensive drugs to deal with important health problems like Developed World Impotence and Developed World Obesity, and fuck all antibiotics for the 3rd world.

                    • higherstandard

                      CV I’m not being a dick just frustrated that persons such as yourself continue to spread such inanity and false hope and then seek to accuse some dark motive and cover up as the obvious rationale as to why no one heeds your advice.

                      for your information the WHO via a number of pharmaceutical companies in india and the like supplies anti virals, anti biotics and other medical supplies into the third world at very reasonable pricing.

                      Similarly R&D in the pharmaceutical arena is carried out less and less by the huge pharmaceutical players as they are Dilbert like and more and more by very small researchers like those we have in Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland.

                      Phase 1 and 11 research has been and is being carried out with iv Vitamin C by laboratories under the auspices of the NCI in a number of tumour types with less than exciting results.

                    • rosy

                      If it worked, Pharmac would demand it be used. Just like they demand the cheapest of any other drug be used, if mostly effective. This is the problem patients whose meds don’t relieve their disease face – Pharmac will not sign up to expensive drugs if there are, in their opinion, cheaper alternatives that suit most people. If there was evidence Vitamin C worked Pharmac would be all over it.

                      A case of watch this space if Vit C is proved useful.

                    • blue leopard

                      Hi Rosy,

                      There is an issue regarding what gets studied. I.e something may be effective, yet not so easily capitalized on therefore something that IS easier to capitalize on will be chosen over it.

                      Also

                      http://www.ucsusa.org/scientific_integrity/abuses_of_science/how-corporations-corrupt-science.html

                    • rosy

                      Blue Leopard, I understand your issues with pharmaceutical corporations, and it is valid in a profit-driven health service, but I think you’ve missed the point entirely. Pharmac have been shown to be quite willing to dump big pharma and it’s take on research outcomes to save money. That’s Pharmac’s brief. Keep the population provided with the drugs required, but at the cheapest possible price. The Herceptin issue is a case in point. So is funding for advanced auto-immune disease suppressants.

                      Pharmac will also fund research if they think a drugs regime that big pharma doesn’t want will save money. Once again the Herceptin debate is a good example. Pharmac will not rule out vitamin C if it thinks there is a chance that it will be effective at a cheaper price than any other drug. And with Vitamin C, that would have to be about all of them (barring, maybe, methotrexate and similar very old chemotherapy drugs). It simply makes no sense that Pharmac would abandon this model to avoid using Vitamin C if it was effective.

                    • blue leopard

                      @ Rosy

                      Its good to here that about Pharmac, however it would appear that if the rigorous clinical trials have not been conducted, I suspect that Pharmac could not follow the course of action you are suggesting they do.

                      From what you say, however, hopefully when word finally gets to them of the following studies, they might fund the further clinical trials recommended on the matter:

                      Pharmacologic ascorbic acid concentrations selectively kill cancer cells: action as a pro-drug to deliver hydrogen peroxide to tissues:

                      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16157892?dopt=Abstract

                      High-dose Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) Therapy in the Treatment of Patients with Advanced Cancer:

                      http://ar.iiarjournals.org/content/29/3/809.full

                      (The following scroll down to “Mega-dose vitamin C as cancer therapy”):

                      http://www.patrickholford.com/index.php/advice/betterhealtharticle/954/

                      Cystic Fybrosis barely understandable however scroll to ‘discussion’

                      “Several candidate molecules have been shown to be effective CFTR activators in vitro or in vivo (35); however, the majority of compounds that activate CFTR have additional pharmacological effects, whereas vitamin C is on the FDA’s list of substances generally recognized as safe, and mega-doses of vitamin C (up to 2.5 g/day) are well tolerated (33). Our study highlights the potential therapeutic use of vitamin C as a safe, nontoxic, and efficacious small molecule for the activation of CFTR-mediated Cl transport in epithelia.”

                      http://www.pnas.org/content/101/10/3691.full?sid=969ab485-314e-4d47-9ba3-881accae7334

                      Renal disease
                      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22706571

                      Hemodialysis (whatever that is)
                      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22634906

                      improved quality of life for breast cancer treatment side effects
                      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22021693

                • blue leopard

                  Higherstandard,

                  Thankyou for acknowledging the link I provided.

                  I do believe there are issues surrounding scientific study that can warp outcomes.
                  I provide a link about the issue which describes the summary of a report written by UCS (Union of Concerned Scientists)

                  http://www.ucsusa.org/scientific_integrity/abuses_of_science/how-corporations-corrupt-science.html

                  One thing that they don’t mention, which I have seen conveyed regarding scientific study is that the required finance will often flow where the most profits are to be had (understandable self interest in the part of investors, however this can lead to some areas of knowledge lacking the investigation it deserves)

              • No Jackal, you have it all wrong. The Burden of Proof lies on someone making the positive claim i.e. Vitamin C is a viable cancer treatment. I didn’t make that claim, you and Penny have therefore the Burden on Proof is on you.

                Please view this chart:
                http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/rhetological-fallacies/

                Specifically that ‘Under Attack section which lists an example of the burden of proof fallacy as thus,
                “I don’t need to prove my claim – you must proof it is false”.

                Hence your comment:
                “…the burden of proof is on you to provide evidence that Vitamin C is not an effective cancer treatment…”
                is logically invalid.

              • No Jackal, you have it all wrong. The Burden of Proof lies on someone making the positive claim i.e. Vitamin C is a viable cancer treatment. I didn’t make that claim, you and Penny have therefore the Burden on Proof is on you.

                Please view this chart:
                http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/rhetological-fallacies/

                Specifically that ‘Under Attack section which lists the burden of proof as thus,
                “I don’t need to prove my claim – you must proof it is false”.

                Hence your comment:
                “…the burden of proof is on you to provide evidence that Vitamin C is not an effective cancer treatment…”
                is logically invalid.

      • fisiani 9.3.2

        try opening the link that I posted. You will find FACTS and EVIDENCE

    • weka 9.4

      Only an idiot dismisses the usefulness of the placebo effect.

      I’m sure the man whose life was saved would be well please if he knew it was only placebo and so died instead 🙄

       

    • mike e 9.5

      Fisi anal Not true when it comes to this disease Alan Smith was in a coma for along time and everything they threw at him antibiotics etc did not work however after a short spell on high dose vitamin C he recovered miraculously Research in this area has not been carried out to completely dismiss it would be foolish.

  10. AAMC 10

    May have already been discussed on here, but WTF is our PM on!?

    “we welcome the opportunity to cooperate with the U.S. in the next conflicts”

    http://36th-parallel.com/2012/09/press-releases-remarks-with-new-zealand-prime-minister-key/

  11. fnjckg 11

    actually, there is a new potential warlord in town, so chew on those noodles

    Christchurch: It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself.
    As Simon Peter stood warming him-self, he was asked, “You are not one of his disciples, are you?
    He denied it, saying, “I am not.”

    “What is truth?” Pilate asked.
    (u could not make this stuff up)
    🙂

    and emperors have converted before
    🙂

  12. Dr Terry 12

    I hope that, on top of all the concern shown about child poverty, people will not have missed the dismal news of the rise in youth suicide (including at least one preteen child). Since the last quarter, suicides of those aged between 20 and 24 have risen from 11.4% to 13.5%; Ages between 15 and 19 have risen from from 25.5% to 27.5%.

    There will be a number of causes, largely on account of government “policies”, but 28% of the dead were unemployed, many depressed. Back in May, our youth unemployment had the 19th highest rate in OECD countries. Co-founder of the Foundation for Youth Development (FYD), Graeme Dingle, says “Youth unemployment is a growing issue and one that will have a huge impact on the country. If it is left to fester the cost is simply unaffordable in the long run.””

    Key boasts today of devoting 62 million dollars to problems of youth, but fails to mention this is to cover a four year period.

    Many will be tempted to think, “well, these figures reflect only upon Maori, so what?” Maori and Pakeha are all together citizens of Aotearoa/New Zealand, suicides (whatever the cause) are not to be fixed upon any one race.

    We have no idea, of course, of the huge number of attempted and unsuccessful suicides, hospitalised or covered up. How many were due to undue risks, for example in the road toll? Countless people are engaging in “suicidal living patterns”.

    Very many human beings have little, if any, conscience or compassion, we have to accept that this is the fact. But, at the least, people might be bothered for basic economical reasons.

    • Clashman 12.1

      The experts in this field will have some sort of formula with which to get a rough idea of failed attempts v “successful” attempts. I have no idea where you would find this for NZ, unfortunately.
      A WHO study estimates in Cananda 80-90% of suicide attempts fail.
      Dr Terry wrote ” Since the last quarter, suicides of those aged between 20 and 24 have risen from 11.4% to 13.5%; Ages between 15 and 19 have risen from from 25.5% to 27.5%. ”
      I dont understand these figures. 25-27% of those aged 15-19 commit suicide?

      • Uturn 12.1.1

        Yes it sounds shockingly high to say that almost one third of particular group are suicidal. Maybe they are. Otherwise the percentage increase relates to the figure of the period before, though in this case not supplied, i.e. let’s says 10 people died last year, and this year 12 or 13 people died; an increase on 10 by 27.5%

      • Dr Terry 12.1.2

        Clashman. For better accuracy, I suggest you research on Google. Sorry if my figures are misleading. I want only to point very clearly to the seriousness of the situation. What you quote from a Canadian source is probably fairly accurate for our society too.

        • Clashman 12.1.2.1

          From a quick look here; http://socialreport.msd.govt.nz/health/suicide.html it seems the figures should be per 100,000, not percentages.
          That makes alot more sense to me.
          I’m certainly not trying to diminish the seriousness of the situation, I just couldn’t get my head around the figuresquoted.

          • McFlock 12.1.2.1.1

            From memory, the latest coroner release might have been saying that 27% of those who committed suicide were aged 15-19.
                 
            But the point is valid – the government might hand-wring when attention is paid to the issue, but they sure won’t bother addressing any of the contributing factors (not solely economic, not solely counselling availability or bullying – it’s a very complex issue). I’m pretty sure this government will avoid 9 out of 10 of any identified possible contributing solutions, choosing only the least expensive tenth. But they’ll announce it 9 ties.

    • Morrissey 12.2

      Here’s erstwhile suicide advocate Michael Laws this morning on Radio Live, putting on his deadly serious low voice, pretending to be compassionate and concerned about teen suicide: “I sometimes wonder if we shouldn’t show the faces of the hanging corpses.”

      The woman caller on the other end of the line, obviously horrified, gasped, “Oh NO.”

      • Logie97 12.2.1

        M – it’s good to see you have weaned yourself off ZB, (or is that on the other radio in the kitchen?)

    • Carol 12.3

      And Family First, as part of it’s Marriage campaign, scores an own goal by trying to mock and satirise the high level of suicide amongst young LGBT people:

      http://www.gaynz.com/articles/publish/2/article_12229.php

      Family First is being slammed for “making light of youth suicide in New Zealand” within a blog post which compares the fight for marriage equality to rugby and soccer.

    • Vicky32 12.4

      Many will be tempted to think, “well, these figures reflect only upon Maori, so what?

      Excuse me, WTF? It’s not only Maori, never has been and never will be…
      The child who killed himself was non-Maori, and while there are proportionally fewer unemployed white people than there are unemployed Maori, there are still a huge number of unemployed white people.
      It’s very unhelpful to make out that it’s all about Maori… as it’s equally unhelpful to say it’s all about yoof. To use a phrase that makes my teeth ache but it nevertheless true – older, white unemployed people, and older white people who kill themselves, are ‘doubly invisible’, as for various reasons the media really don’t get too exercised about white unemployed people, or non-yoof suicides. Disclosure: A family member, a white man in his forties committed suicide 8 years ago, and I was stunned. The media, awareness groups etc had me convinced that a 40-something suiciding was so unlikely as to be impossible…

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    You know things have gone too far when copyright enforcement robots kill a legitimate broadcast:

    The point is, our ability to broadcast was entirely dependent on poorly-programmed bots. And once those bots had made their incorrect decision, there was absolutely nothing we could do to restart the signal, as it were. In case anyone still believes that copyright rules can’t stop free speech or snuff out a community, the automated censorship of the Hugo Awards is a case in point.

    Robots killed our legitimate broadcast. Welcome to the present.

  14. Morrissey 14

    Why are they trying to get Julian Assange?

    Why are the British and U.S. regimes trying to exact vengeance on Julian Assange?

    Watch this….

    Aficionadoes of black comedy will enjoy watching the bloviations of one Michael Mullen from 5:55 to 6:07 on the video.

    • vto 14.1

      Vengeance is something practiced by countries at war.

      It seems the US is at war with pretty much everything and everyone. What a sad failure.

      • Morrissey 14.1.1

        Vengeance is something practiced by countries at war.

        And gangsters and criminals.

        It seems the US is at war with pretty much everything and everyone.

        This is a campaign against a dissenting journalist, a teller of truth; it’s a war on democracy.

        What a sad failure.

        They have been stymied by Ecuador.

  15. Jim Nald 15

    Someone should ask John Key about his former mates are up to …

    “Even as Greece desperately tries to avoid defaulting on its debt, American companies are preparing for what was once unthinkable: that Greece could soon be forced to leave the euro zone.

    Bank of America Merrill Lynch has looked into filling trucks with cash and sending them over the Greek border so clients can continue to pay local employees and suppliers in the event money is unavailable.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/03/business/economy/us-companies-prepare-in-case-greece-exits-euro.html?pagewanted=all

  16. Colonial Viper 16

    Unilever sees poverty returning to Europe

    Says it will now enact in Europe the same marketing and product strategies that it uses profitably in 3rd world and developing countries.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/9501771/Unilever-sees-return-to-poverty-in-Europe.html

    GO CAPITALISM!!!

    • Clashman 16.1

      That would be bribes and other corrupt practices then.

    • Bill 16.2

      Aye. How long before the local entrepreneur is the one who ‘got ahead’ enough to afford an entire bottle of cooking oil that can then on-sold for a profit in ‘single meal worth’ polythene sachets?

      Okay. Perhaps quite some way off.

      But did you notice when they began selling 400g blocks of butter in competition with the 500g blocks at the ‘old’ 500g price? Or those 750g blocks of cheese that were all of a sudden available beside the 1 kg blocks at a price comparable with the ‘old’ 1 kg price? Or what about the air pumped into chocolate bars that kept the size and price (but not the weight) the same? Or how about charity shops rebranding as retail outlets?

      And back to Europe, is it worth mentioning the call by the eurozone for Greece to introduce a 6 day working week?
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/sep/04/eurozone-six-day-week-greece

      Tubes? Going down? Nah!

  17. fnjckg 17

    maori certainly playing govt at their own game: RHETORIC
    steering the discourse forward

    man! a lotta people losing their Grip on all that money they Hoarded (P.T Barnum)
    where your treasure is, there your heart will be

    -original renaissance man

    Heartbeat now (oh bucolic ol’ blighty) and the importance of being earnest

  18. Draco T Bastard 18

    Debunking Economics

    There was only one explanation: equating marginal cost and marginal revenue couldn’t be profit-maximizing behavior.

    No, it’s not. It’s actually profit minimising behaviour. It’s the one I like to twit neo-classical economists with because it uses their own theory to prove that profit is a dead weight loss.

    As Steve Keen says in his book, profit maximising firms (both monopoly and competition) will produce the same output. This leaves the firm in a competitive market with increased market share as the only option to increase profit and they can only do that if they lower the selling price which must lower profits for that firm. As each competitive firm will be doing the same thing the end result must, logically, be where marginal cost and marginal revenue are equal resulting in both the maximum output and minimum profit – in theory.

    At that point the firm should be able to maintain itself (income = costs) and the people working there but it won’t be paying out dividends to shareholders. Thus cost cutting usually comes in so that profitability and dividends can be returned resulting, most likely, in the redundancies of workers and a decline in product going to market pushing prices and profits back up again. Unfortunately, the cost cutting has also resulted in a decrease in market demand from the redundancies. After that, it gets complicated…

    There are two things that I take from this:

    1.) For numerous sectors a well regulated and government owned monopoly will be the better option than competition as competition adds it’s own costs (unnecessary duplication and an even more convoluted regulatory system for starters) that society can do without. This seems especially true of natural monopolies such as telecommunications and power.

    2.) Competition isn’t there to lower prices as the neo-classicals believe but to lower profits but it doesn’t work because A) we don’t have a perfectly competitive market B) corruption becomes an accepted means to maintain profits (i.e. collusion/cartel behaviour and cronyism) C) speculation for easy and high profits in the financial system replaces actually making stuff (especially in places where the market is saturated) and D) Firms are trying to maximise profit and not minimise it.

    This all results in a few mega corporations ruling the market with small companies being kept out and the dead weight loss of profit still hurting everybody.

  19. captain hook 19

    in another time they might have been called robber barons.
    now they are just robbers.
    stealing from ALL THE PEOPLE TO Pay for heka paratai and john banks juvenile fantasies of omnipotence.

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