The Business Software Alliance's "copyright-crusading cartoon ferret" appears in "marketing campaigns to teach kids to be good cybercitizens," and its "antipiracy comic book and teacher's guide" is mailed to grade-school classrooms.
"The leading drug-industry trade group and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are working ... to demonstrate the cost of depression in the workplace and to show employers that treating affected workers would improve the bottom line," reports The Hill.
"It's been pretty well established that publication bias is associated with industry funding," says Brown University epidemiologist Kay Dickersin, about drug companies squashing unfavorable research results. Yet the "overwhelming majority" of drug researchers receive industry funding, according to Canadian clinical pharmacist Muhammad Mamdani.
British American Tobacco is carrying out animal tests on chocolate, wine, sherry, cocoa, corn syrup, cherry juice, maple syrup and vanilla-flavored tobacco. Former British health secretary Frank Dobson remarked, "We all know that hardly anyone takes up smoking when they are grown up. That is why the tobacco industry wants to target children [with flavored tobacco]." Flavored cigarettes, which were first sold by R.J.
How is Bush-Cheney '04 like a marketing campaign? "In 2000, Mr. Bush shattered fund-raising records... by recruiting supporters to join a program called the Pioneers, fund-raisers who pledged to raise at least $100,000.
"As food companies look for ways to cash in on the nation's obsession with healthy eating, an increasing number are copying marketing tactics that long have been used by the pharmaceuticals industry: They are pitching their products directly to doctors. The hope is that doctors will start recommending specific foods - and even brand names - to patients," reports the Wall Street Journal.
"To promote America's Army: Overmatch, a free game created by the Army as a recruitment tool, a group of Army Special Forces personnel staged an urban tactical assault exercise outside the [Los Angeles] convention center" hosting the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3. The "helicopters, machine guns and face-painted soldiers leaping off tall buildings" startled and even "panicked" passersby. One retired Army major with the game project said: "This game is what we do in reality.
Chrysler "is recalling more than 326,000 pickup trucks and Durango sport utility vehicles because of two potential safety problems," reports Reuters. Meanwhile, Hummer sales were down 21 percent in April, possibly due in part to "rising gasoline prices." General Motors is responding by "offering discounted financing on its Hummer H2, the icon of the market for supersize sport-utility vehicles," according to the Wall Street Journal.
In its damning report, the Red Cross states that "physical and psychological coercion were used by [U.S.] military intelligence in a systematic way to gain confessions and extract information and other forms of cooperation" from Iraqi detainees.
The British medical journal The Lancet published a review of "six published and six unpublished trials" studying antidepressant use by children that concluded that, in most cases, "the risks exceeded the benefits." More disturbingly, the review found evidence that pharmaceutical companies "had been aware of problems but did not reveal them." In a memo leaked last month from GlaxoSmithKline, the company w