"Occupy" and Diabetes 1 Research
In light of the recent “Occupy Wall Street” movement, we thought it would be timely to respond to their concerns from the point of view of Hdiabetes.com. Their protests against the corruption of corporations echoes many themes here at Hdiabetes.com
No Capitalism Allowed?
The old style of capitalism which existed to about the 1980’s does not exist today. This is where those in charge of production were working more or less in tandem with their workers. The workers were paid enough of a wage to live on, and workers didn’t strike for wages that would put the company in hardship or out of business. Owners and Management felt they had a duty to the public to provide jobs. Now factories are automatically moved to China or South America where companies can pay very low wages. The old style of capitalism is now being dumped in favour of a new beast: the Mega-Corporation. This organization is known now, as “Corporatism,” and there is only one action that it values: that of making money.
Definition of a Corporation
Corporations have a CEO (Chief Executive Officer) and a Board of Directors who run the day-to-day operations of the business. Shareholders are people who lend the corp money by buying its shares. In return for using their money, the shareholders are promised a portion of the profits.
Each of these components is organized for one purpose: to make money for each other. Each group ensures that the other fulfills their mandate in making money. For example, the CEO has very specialized skills in finance and marketing. The Board of Directors oversees the operations of the corp and the CEO. If either is seen lacking in their job of making money, they are replaced by someone who is able.
The shareholders don’t know about the inner workings and day-to-day operations of the corporation. They have no say in how it operates or if the choices it makes are ethical. There are often reports about what the corp is doing, but there is no way of determining if the information is true or complete.
Also, a corporation pays itself. The ruling bodies decide how much money goes to the top. They are always happy to pay themselves, and are always on the lookout to cut costs and increase income.
Monopolies Raise their Ugly Heads
Starting in the late 1980's, the wealthiest corporations like IT&T, Coca Cola, J P Morgan, etc started buying out many smaller corporations. Even though there are supposed to be laws against monopolies, either high-priced lawyers or high-priced laws (i.e. the right money in the right pocket) have been allowing:
1. Large conglomerates to buy smaller businesses whether they want to be bought or not, causing downsizing and fewer jobs.
2. Resulting monopolies causing rising prices (inflation).
3. Factories to be moved to third world countries, thus eliminating jobs in North America.
Ever since the start of the Industrial Revolution, increased industrialization has always made more jobs than it’s eliminated. In fact, people raised in the era of old-fashioned capitalism, before the 1990’s, might look at the rise of Corporatism as good.
But this is not what Corporatism i.e. globalization and "free" trade is about. Globalization is about a few corporations buying out all competition. Work is then centralized and streamlined, resulting in people being laid off. Prices of goods then rise because of monopolies.
You’ve also heard about the banks in the US who’ve had no mercy with the hundreds of thousands of people who were tricked into believing they could afford mortgages. They then ruthlessly foreclosed on people who’d lost their jobs or missed one month’s payment.
This is old news. I’m listing these instances to show that corporations by their very structure, are able to conduct their business without any ethical consideration at all. Ethical depravity of corporations is not a new observation. To what extent will corporations go to make money? Will corporations do anything and everything they can possibly do to make money?
Pharmaceuticals Are Corporations
Hdiabetes.com has been talking about how corporations conduct themselves regarding health matters, especially research. We’ve proven that science sponsored by corporations is used only as a pretext to maintain diseases and prevent the development of actual cures, thus ensuring profits from the sales of drugs. This is a good example of the ruthlessness and non-compassion of corporations. I refer you to those articles on our website for more information.
Where Capital is Concerned
Another source of capital for research projects is from organizations that gather donations from the public. These are, for example, the Canadian/American Cancer Societies/MS society/ Diabetes Society, the JDRF, and so on.
Their mandate, so they say, is the cure of these diseases. A noble aim. The public clearly, dearly, absolutely, wants these aims realized, and donate en masse. However these charitable organizations are also corporations. They have a CEO, Board of Directors, and employees, though they don’t have shareholders. They instead maintain themselves through donations.
Their main activity is to ask the public to donate money from which they fund research projects. Being a corporation, IF as a corporation, their first aim is to make money, the following question looms large: Why would the JDRF fund projects that would reduce or eliminate the influx of donation money, such as studies that have realized cures, or are near to realizing cures? Also, would the JDRF choose studies that would make them the most money?
To clarify this, let’s take a look at a page from JDRF’s own website. It is the agreement of what the researcher must agree to before the JDRF will sponsor them. It’s reproduced here in full in case they take it off their website. Go to http://www.jdrf.org/index.cfm?page_id=111017 A summary of this page is at the end of it, at the *********.
JDRF Grant Policies & Procedures -- Intellectual Property, Invention Reporting, and Royalties
Intellectual Property, Invention Reporting, and Royalties
Patent applications and the execution of royalty agreements to use inventions protected by such patent applications relating to any invention made with the support, in whole or in part, of JDRF research or training awards, must be reported within 60 days via the JDRF Grant Management Portal (GMP).
Awardees are required to report patent applications and/or the execution of royalty agreements (as stated above) to JDRF for a period of three years after the expiration of the JDRF grant in question.
Unless otherwise indicated or requested by the grantee institution, title to any invention will reside with the grantee institution. If a grantee institution has no established patent policy or procedure for administering inventions, JDRF reserves the right to determine the disposition of invention rights, including the right to take title to an invention or patent and develop technologies/products resulting from the JDRF-sponsored research in the event that the awardee institution elect not to patent and peruse these developments. In this event, it is JDRF's policy to request that the institution execute appropriate assignments in favor of JDRF (which assignments shall be prepared by JDRF at its own expense) for purposes of patenting the results of the JDRF-funded research.
In acknowledgement of JDRF's support, net royalties resulting from the commercialization of discoveries made with JDRF support will be shared with JDRF. The portion of royalties to be shared with JDRF shall be determined on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the policies of the grantee institution and will be based on the relative contribution of JDRF funding to the overall project. Net royalties shall mean gross royalties and other licensing payments less administrative, licensing, legal, and other reasonably related expenses. The grantee institution will provide to JDRF, upon request, financial information adequate to establish and document the amount of net royalties received.
No patent or patent application will be abandoned without first notifying the Research Department of JDRF and giving JDRF the opportunity to take title to or continue the patent/patent application at JDRF's own expense.
In making decisions whether to continue ongoing grants or whether to award additional grants to a researcher or his/her institution, JDRF will consider whether the institution has honored the above policy.
Awardees are required to indicate in their renewal progress reports and close-out final progress reports if any inventions were made during the funding period.
************ This means that the researcher will give a royalty to the JDRF from any monies made as a result of the study. Could it be that the JDRF would choose to fund studies that would make it the most money? Another way of looking at this is that the JDRF is choosing the studies that would make a profit later on. Investing, you might say. Why would they give money to a study that has already proven to cure Diabetes in clinical studies, such as Denise Faustman's. A realized cure would end all their incoming money.
Instead they give their funding to studies of new pumps, new insulins, new testing devices. i.e. things that will make money for themselves and the pharmaceuticals by taking attention away from a cure. To be accurate, the JDRF does fund some of its budget to what can be termed 'cures.' But it is only 18% of it's entire donations. And all but 1% of these studies are prevention oriented. They are targeted at people who don't already have the disease. So even if the study is successful, it won't help people who already have Diabetes type 1. Reference,
You can read the actual studies for yourself here:
The captions on the JDRFwebsite include "Dedicated to Finding a Cure" and "Improving Lives, Curing Diabetes Type 1" This is what the public thinks they are donating for. Perhaps the JDRF should be more transparent as to where our funding dollars are going? As well, maybe the public should be more interested to see which studies their money is going to?
High Investment and Low Results
The last cure for a disease was for Polio in 1959. Since then governments, pharmaceuticals and donations have poured untold billions and billions of dollars into research. But there hasn’t been one cure since then. Not one. High investment and low results are what happen now in research. Always. Every time. Could it be there just aren’t any more cures?
Could it be instead, that Big Pharma, Big Government, Big Banks and Big Charities are taking advantage of the trust we put in them? Could it be that, as long as it seems like they’re looking for cures, they will take advantage of our trust in them?
While researching articles for this website, we’ve found so many reports of researchers who wouldn’t knuckle under pressure and continued to search for cures. They had their medical licenses revoked, files confiscated (to destroy evidence), and were blacklisted, once they were on the verge, or actually did find a cure for an illness. Yes there are cures.
Occupy the Research Lie
Through the peaceful Occupy protests all over the world (that are continuing wherever it’s warm enough) people are saying they want corporations to use their economics for social good instead of bypassing that step and sending most of the money to the top 1%. We must all invent ways to free ourselves of the power of mega-corps, whether it’s lobbying government, or supporting smaller local economies, or taking out our shares in the top 5 corporations that own all other corporations.
Criticism and critical thinking is meaningless without actual solutions. The first step is finding peaceful ways to change the system to make the most important facets of our lives unreachable to the control of corporations. And this includes research.
One way we can free ourselves of the profit motive in research is to support independent researchers like Denise Faustman. People who really want a cure for Diabetes now have a choice.
Do you want to give your donations to an elitist organization, run by corporatist ethics that consistently has zero results? Or to a grassroots researcher who already has attained the cure of Diabetes type 1 in mice in clinical studies, and is moving to phase 2 of human trials? Denise Faustman, an independent researcher, has no ties to the pharmaceuticals, and thus is not shackled by the profit motive. We at hdiabetes.com believe that she is sincerely searching for a cure.
Please send this article to anyone you know who donates to the JDRF, or contributes to ‘Run for the Cure’ or ‘Bike for the Cure.’ They have no intention of finding a cure. Instead, tell them about Denise Faustman and her research at www.faustmanlab.org. and ask them to donate to a better bet.
We'd like to hear from you if you'd like to organize a peaceful protest at JDRF functions such as Bike for the Cure in the summer in your city. Just click the 'contact us' in the top menu. Don't believe there's nothing we can do!
The Editors, Hdiabetes.com
"Thomas Pogge on Pharmaceuticals" on Youtube A discussion on a new approach to research funding that can be based on actual results rather than on profit.
www.thrivemovement.com A report on how mega-corporations are organized and suggests some solutions to problems.