Health

Grass Roots Seeded by Drugmaker

"Showing all the signs of a thriving grass-roots movement, a host of new health-care groups are drawing attention to the perils of a contagious, sometimes lethal virus called hepatitis C," writes Robert O'Harrow. "But contrary to appearances, these coalitions are not spontaneous gatherings of concerned citizens. They are instead a key part of a carefully orchestrated marketing campaign funded by Schering-Plough Corp. to sell the primary therapy for hepatitis C, Rebetron, which costs $18,000 a year." Several members of the Hepatitis C Coalition are on the payroll of the Shandwick PR firm.

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Junk Science for Junk Food

The food industry used an absurdly contrived "experiment" to prove that parents should let their kids eat junk foods in a study published in the June 1999 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The food-industry researchers taunted preschoolers by displaying an item of junk food while forbidding them to eat it. After five days of this treatment, they found, the kids' desire for the food item had increased.

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