This sentence is deeply misleading. “Peikoff took the job, and LeapsMag launched quietly last fall, with stories about Alzheimer’s diagnostics and gene therapy, and an essay defending the use CRISPR to edit embryos’ DNA.” The desired implication of the last example (“an essay defending the use CRISPR…” (ignoring the grammatical mistake/poor editing in missing “of”)) is to indicate that the pro-tech view comes from the biotech.
An actually well-reported piece of journalism would have noted that they published *three* essays on the subject in the very *same* issue, one defending, one condemning, and one in between.
Saying that “X published a series of opposing views on…” is very different from saying “X published an essay defending…”
Thanks for reading us so closely and bringing this typo to our attention, disappointed.
Not going to discuss medical journalism, but rather the comments. When this type of audience exists, well, that’s a sign that free press could not be available soon. You are as entitled to question journalism as they are entitled to challenge your questions. That’s not blurry; we’re all allowed to ask questions, even within the darkest areas of our very existence.
So dear commenters, I will so discuss your opinion in an Undark post about “question the questions about the corporate world.” Not here. Here we’re talking about Big Pharma and hypocrisy.
I want to suggest you check out my you tube web site,, Sandra olson dna fraud errors. The problem with the industry you are talking about is that they are not independently regulated. they verify their own work, they rarely release it for independent review,, if you could find someone independent to review it.. Last night on dr oz, there was a story about the honey industry. how it was not really honey, but a mix of honey and cheap syrups. some bad for your health. but with no regulatory body, and self verification of their own product, they made a fortune lying to the public and selling whatever was in their bottle. Sound familiar?? just like the dna industry. Just like the pharmaceutical industry. You have to ask yourself. If honey production is not to be relied upon,, why is any other industry that is unregulated and not safeguarded by independent review??
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I know from personal experience that the statement, “This may be the first time a biotech company has launched a media venture,” is mistaken.
I’m the senior managing editor of the U.S. version of Univadis.com, a news and information website for physicians that’s active in 90 countries around the world. Univadis is published by a company called Aptus Health, and Aptus Health, in turn, is owned by the pharmaceutical company known as MSD in Europe and Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, in the U.S. Univadis was formerly known as Merck Medicus.
MSD has a long history of publishing objective, non-commercial material for physicians. It published the first edition of the well known and highly respected Merck Manual 120 years ago. Although Univadis.com is indirectly owned by MSD, the company has a strong incentive to be scrupulous about our editorial independence. If it were not, every single thing published on Univadis.com would be considered an advertisement and would be subject to medical-legal review. I’m certain the situation is similar for Bayer and Leaps.
No publication is totally immune from interference from its corporate masters. Witness the recent kerfluffle at Newsweek, for example. Witness the many local newspapers who feel beholden to their advertisers. ABC News is owned by Disney. But the best news organizations (Univadis among them) have specific policies in place to guard against corporate interference in objective reporting.
The Dark History of Bayer Drugs
Bayer’s Role in the Holocaust
“To many people the Holocaust and Third Reich have become synonymous with World War II. Among the many crimes against humanity, perhaps the most renown horrors were the mass executions that took place in the extermination camps sprinkled throughout Europe. Auscwhitz is undoubtedly the most famous of them all, known for their quickness to execute prisoners and resident doctor, Josef Mengele. Wanting to better understand the human body and particularly the nuances of heredity, Mengele became infamous for his experiments that included injecting dye in to children’s eyeballs and repeated x-rays on the reproductive organs, to see if he could make prisoners infertile. By better understanding the reproductive process, Mengele wanted to propel the growth of the Aryan race while sterilizing “undesirables”- the handicapped, gypsies and those of the Jewish race.
Mengele also became well-known for performing a variety of other inhumane experiments. Some of them included injecting one twin with sickness like typhus or gangrene, and then immediately slaughtering the other when the first twin died to compare the two corpses to see the anatomical differences. To test the effectiveness of new drugs, Mengele also injected various chemicals in to his victims, often paralyzing or killing them. In other experiments Mengele would dissect pregnant mothers and children, without anesthesia. Many of these experiments were in a large part sponsored by IG Farben who paid Auschwitz doctors to test their drugs on the prison victims and to discover the “secrets to heredity”. IG Farben also manufactured the cans of Zyklon B gas that were used in Auschwitz’s gas chambers. As of 1952 the company was liquidated due to its egregious war crimes and participation in Nazi Germany. Bayer was one of the four original chemical companies that survived the company’s liquidation. In 1995 the head of Bayer, Helge Wehmeier, formally apologized to Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel for the company’s participation in Nazi Germany. The company has yet to issue a formal apology outside of that lecture.”
What a disgusting question. Bayer owned Aushwitz. Of course it isnt journalism. Own up to your creepy bussiness practices. Buy off all you cam before you fall…
There continues to be much hand-wringing about the appearance of an impossibility that a non-journalism entity can sponsor and support a publication without succumbing to some manipulation. And yet, major traditional news organizations are slowly but surely being dismembered by their companies’ leadership in search of more profit, editorial decisions are being made largely to maximize clicks and views, and writers or all sorts are being compensated less and less — if employed at all. As disheartening as this is, it still seems acutely disingenuous for journalists— and publications like Undark — to infer, or blatantly accuse others of prostituting their roles. Communications has changed and the traditional role of journalists as holier than other writers is simply hypocritical.
This is interesting to me from another perspective. Not long ago, Undark published a conspiracy-theory screed by Carey Gillam. Carey is paid by the organic industry to produce material. We have the documents that show what she makes from USRTK.
I don’t know if Undark paid her for the piece she wrote. But you published it.
What is Undark’s role in touting industry lines? Is that blurry at all to you?
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