UK watchdog may probe China state media’s role in ‘confession’ of Peter Humphrey

Glad to see Peter Humphrey is still fighting the good fight.
You can’t keep a good man down.
Keep fighting the corrupt bastards Peter.


For more on this breaking story see here:

UK watchdog may probe China state media’s role in ‘confession’ of Peter Humphrey

  • Humphrey, who was sentenced to over two years in prison by a Shanghai court in 2014, wants China Central Television punished
  • Complaint is being assessed as a ‘priority’
PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 November, 2018, 3:55am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 November, 2018, 3:55am

Peter Humphrey, who was sentenced to over two years in prison by a Shanghai court in 2014 but released seven months early and deported, wants the British watchdog Ofcom to punish China Central Television (CCTV) for its alleged role in the episode.

“CCTV journalists cooperated with police to extract, record, make post-production and then broadcast his confession,” the letter of complaint states.

Humphrey accuses Chinese authorities of drugging him and locking him in a chair inside a small metal cage to conduct the confession.

“China Central Television (CCTV) journalists then aimed their cameras at me and recorded me reading out the answers already prepared for me by the police,” his complaint added.

It added the images were then released worldwide through its international channels.

Humphrey said this was the first legal action he has launched against any of the Chinese entities involved in his incarceration.

“It will not be the last,” he added.

A spokesman for Ofcom confirmed it had “received a complaint which we are assessing as a priority”.

“If, following investigation, we find our rules have been broken we would take the necessary enforcement action,” he added.

Ofcom has the power to fine broadcasters for breaching British rules, and can revoke their licenses in the most serious cases.

Humphrey’s complaint notes Ofcom previously revoked the license of Iranian state media after ruling it had collaborated with police to record and then broadcast the forced confession a Canadian-Iranian journalist.

Humphrey and his wife Yu Yingzeng, a naturalised US citizen, were linked to a corruption case in China involving pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

The couple ran an investigative firm which was hired by GSK to probe a sex tape of the company’s then China boss and other issues shortly before the British pharmaceutical company itself became the target of a Chinese government investigation.


(ReBlogged From Peter Gordon’s Blog) My formal instruction of resignation as a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists

An extremely powerful resignation letter from one of the few ethical, humane (and non Pharma-compromised) psychiatrists in the UK- Dr Peter Gordon. Peter has long been a great advocate for those harmed by psychiatric medications. He has had direct experience of harm with the SSRI Seroxat. He also has tried to make his Royal College of Psychiatrists more ethical and transparent for many years.

Unfortunately the college’s response has been disappointingly lackluster and at times it seems Peter has been marginalized because of his views. At one point, a few months ago, he was told not to contact Wendy Burn (the royal college president) about his concerns. Peter has been treated disgracefully, and the Royal College should be ashamed. I hope that Peter continues on his path of blogging, writing, and bringing awareness to these issues. Perhaps now, free from the dogmatic chains of bureaucracy within the College of Psychiatry UK, Peter can be even more honest and transparent about his views. We need more Peter Gordon’s in this world in every facet. It’s a shame that the Royal College doesn’t value the beacons of hope and light like Peter, and instead protects it’s own interests, and Pharma’s interests, before ethics, and patient’s lives and health.

Hole Ousia

Saturday, 24th November 2018

To: The Registrar of the Royal College of Psychiatrists,
21 Prescot St, Whitechapel, London, E1 8BB

Dear Dr Adrian James,
Resignation as a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

I am writing with a heavy heart as I have decided to resign from the Royal College of Psychiatrists after nearly 25 years of membership. Please accept this letter as my formal instruction of resignation.

The reasons behind my decision are:

(1) Evidence does not support the conclusion of the Royal College of Psychiatrists that “the relationship between the College and Pharma is distant” [Vanessa Cameron, previous CEO, December 2016] and that “College policies and procedures around declarations of interest are sufficiently robust” [Paul Rees, current CEO, June 2018]. As a direct consequence informed consent and realistic psychiatry are compromised.

(2) I am concerned that the core values of the Royal College of Psychiatrists are not…

View original post 188 more words

Peter Gordon Is Resigning From The Royal College Of Psychiatrists..


“…When I was started on an SSRI antidepressant in 1998 for anxiety I was told by my doctor that this would correct a “chemical imbalance” in my brain.  As a doctor myself, then training in psychiatry, this is also what I “informed” patients when recommending SSRI antidepressants….”


Scottish psychiatrist Peter Gordon has been trying to change his (psychiatric) profession’s attitude towards conflicts of interest for many years now. He has been trying to bring awareness to these issues (and others) on his blog – Hole Ousia– but it seems that his concerns have largely fallen on deaf ears within the Royal College of psychiatry in the UK.

The questions must be asked: why is this? why does an ethical (articulate, insightful, perceptive, imaginative, compassionate) and humane psychiatrist like Peter Gordon have to resign from the profession- that he has dedicated himself to- for many years of his adult life?

Why did the Royal College of Psychiatry, and its head Wendy Burn, ignore and marginalize Peter to the point where he has had no option but to leave his profession altogether?

Surely, it is psychiatrists such as Peter that should be highly valued within the Royal College? Surely, people like Peter, with such empathic, understanding, and deeply knowledgeable personal qualities, should be held with great regard by an organization that needs people like this to work within its remit: the treatment of the most vulnerable- ‘the mentally ill’?

Like me, and many others, Peter has had a harrowing experience with the SSRI anti-depressant Seroxat. He has documented his experiences on his blog and elsewhere. Peter has been brave and honest in drawing attention to his experiences of psychiatric treatment and his treatment professionally by the college which is supposed to support him. Perhaps this is why he has been ignored, denied, and ultimately outcast by the mainstream psychiatric profession? Perhaps Peter’s experiences cut too close to the bones of contention for mainstream bio-psychiatrists, particularly those compromised by their own conflicts with the pharmaceutical industry? Perhaps Peter is too transparent for the psychiatric profession of the Royal College UK? Perhaps he is too good to be a psychiatrist?

Too ethical? too honest?

In a recent tweet, the college president, Wendy Burn, tweeted a picture of college guidelines when it comes to staff. Her slide was titled ‘We Need To Look After Staff‘. It seems these guidelines don’t apply to people like Peter. The irony and hypocrisy of the Royal College astounds me.

I think Peter made the right decision to resign from the College of Psychiatry, he is, and always has been: too goodhearted and soulful for an organization as corrupt and ignorant, and blinded by ego and ideology, as the Royal college has become. The Royal College (and psychiatric organizations in general) have become rotten to their core from conflicts of interests, and shameless self interests that put college survival above patient’s interests.

Peter is an immense and irreplaceable loss to them; they just don’t realize it.

People like Peter were beacons of light in the darkness of the psychiatric arena.

You will do well Peter.

I wish you the very best.




How Much Money Does Hamish McAllister Williams Receive From Pharma?

“…Professor Hamish-McAllister’s declarations of interest can be accessed from the British Association for Psychopharmacology. His declaration of 27th March 2017 confirms that in the previous three years, he had “accepted paid speaking engagements in industry supported symposia” from:

  1. AstraZeneca,

  2. Bristol Myers-Squibb,

  3. Eli Lilly,

  4. GlaxoSmithKline,

  5. Janssen-Cilag,

  6. LivaNova,

  7. Lundbeck,

  8. Merck Sharp & Dohme,

  9. Otsuka,

  10. Pfizer,

  11. Pulse,Association for Psychopharmacology. His declaration of 27th March 2017 confirms that in the previous three years, he had “accepted paid speaking engagements in industry supported symposia” from:

  12. AstraZeneca,

  13. Bristol Myers-Squibb,

  14. Eli Lilly,

  15. GlaxoSmithKline,

  16. Janssen-Cilag,

  17. LivaNova,

  18. Lundbeck,

  19. Merck Sharp & Dohme,

  20. Otsuka,

  21. Pfizer,

  22. Pulse,

  23. Roche,

  24. Servier,

  25. SPIMACO,

  26. Sunovian,

  27. Wyeth

  28. Roche,

  29. Servier,

  30. SPIMACO,

  31. Sunovian

  32. Wyeth




I’ve taken a break from the madness of twitter and blogging for a while, but the debates between mainstream psychiatrists and campaigners, activists, and ‘criticals’, continues to rage.

Hamish McAllister Williams is a ‘KOL’ (key opinion leader) in the mainstream psychiatric arena. He’s also one of those (many) psychiatrists who has questionable conflicts of interest with Pharmaceutical companies. In his declaration above, he has stated that he has had 32 conflicts with Pharma in the past 3 years alone! That’s a hell of a lot.

Some people don’t see a problem with psychiatrists like Hamish taking money from Pharmaceutical companies as long as they have declared their conflicts of interests (or COI’s).

Personally I think this is absurd.

Psychiatrists declaring conflicts of interests with pharmaceutical companies should be a red flag in terms of the questionable autonomy of opinion of the psychiatrist on Pharma’s payroll. The fact that they declare these interests does not establish credibility and make everything ok. It does quite the opposite in fact. It reveals the lack of credibility and integrity with the psychiatrist. Wendy Burn seems to be of the opinion that the psychiatrist would have the same opinion regardless of whether they have drug company money coming in- or not. This might be true, in some cases, however the pharma-money regularly coming in discredits them immediately anyhow, because, as Wendy realized herself (before she decided to abandon taking money from Pharma early in her career) – it just doesn’t look good.

Furthermore, most of the time psychiatrists only have to declare a possible COI if it has happened in the previous 3 years. Also, they don’t ever have to reveal the exact monetary amounts that they have received. This means that quite often conflicts of interests, and their influence upon the mindset of the individual, can be much worse than we know of; even if the psychiatrist/doctor has admitted the declarations.

The wise psychiatrist should surely just refuse to engage in any behavior that would jeopardize their integrity.

Don’t they make a good enough salary? surely they could survive on their salary alone?

It seems to me that some psychiatrists find the pharma money just too tempting despite most of these KOL’s usually on a good wage. In the process of their greed, they quash their integrity and also sell their patients and the public down the river.

The keen observer in this arena will notice that those psychiatrists who take the most money from Pharma in the UK, have formed a kind of anti-patient, medication misinformation cabal. This cabal includes Wendy Burn, Carmine Pariante, Andrea Cipriani, Paul Morrison, David Baldwin, Hamish MCalister Williams, David Nutt, and many others. Some are very prolific on Twitter, gas-lighting those harmed on a daily basis; it seems with some they sort of do it with a smug glee, as if they have somehow scored a point against those who are trying to bring awareness to the dangers of these drugs (although Wendy has said that she doesn’t take Pharma money anymore, this doesn’t stop her promoting the rest of the cabal at any given opportunity).

A lot of these ‘pharma-compromised’ psychiatrists see no issue whatsoever with taking money from pharmaceutical companies. Even the top dog- Wendy Burn- sees absolutely no problem with these conflicts of interests. In fact she has defended these pharma-compromised individuals much more on her Twitter than she has those harmed by medications.

What does that tell you about their priorities?

If the normalization of institutional corruption is sanctioned and approved, and actively encouraged, by those at the top (such as Wendy Burn and her anti-patient, pro-pharma Twitter cabal), what hope do those harmed by medications (and misinformed consent) have of eliciting a morsel of sympathy from the top professionals- never-mind obtaining a sense of social justice?

In an interesting soundcloud interview (see below) with another member of the anti-patient cabal (the mental elf) Hamish goes through the same tired discourse about anti-depressants that we have heard time and time again from psychiatrists of his ilk. He calls anti-depressants ‘life saving’, and he refers to the Cipriani meta-analysis to back up his views that anti-depressants are effective. He fails to mention his conflicts of interests with Pharmaceutical companies (and the monetary amounts he has received) and he fails to mention Cipriani’s conflicts of interests too. He also fails to mention that the Cipriani meta-analysis- as impressive as it might sound when inflated in an interview context- is in fact- a total and utter abysmal dud.

It’s a dud because the studies that he refers to were only of a few weeks duration. Most people are on these drugs for at least 6 months, and a lot more people are on them for many years, and sometimes decades. Therefore the Cipriani analysis does not hold up in real-world terms. The Cipriani study was more of a stunt than a genuine attempt at studying the effects of these drugs on people. It was a PR stunt in order to aggrandize psychiatrists (and psychiatric drugs) in the media. That was obvious to those of us observing these debates over many years now.

In the interview, Hamish seems to think that the : ‘critical psychiatry lobby’ think that ‘anti-depressants are not effective and shouldn’t be used’.

This is not what most of us think at all. What we think is: anti-depressants can be very dangerous for some people, and patients should be warned explicitly of these side effects such as akathsia, agitation, aggression etc. There is also the issue of severe withdrawal and SSRI induced suicide, this needs to be addressed. We also think the studies touting positive benefits are too short in duration. We don’t have access to the data anyhow, therefore Pharma can get away with inflating ‘benefits’ and suppressing harms. We also think that those taking money from Pharma are conflicted in how they interpret and present evidence and studies to the public. Nobody is asking to throw out all pharmacological treatments for depression. Nobody I know on Twitter on our side of the divide has ever asked for that. The issues are much more complex than Hamish’s glib view that : ‘critical psychiatrist lobby’ think that ‘antidepressants are not effective and shouldn’t be used’. The issues are vastly more complex and nuanced than this, and if Hamish doesn’t realize that perhaps he shouldn’t be claiming to be an expert on these matters?

The problem is that even if the side effects and withdrawal effects are relatively known now, many people weren’t warned 10 to 15 years ago, and their lives have been destroyed, some killed themselves, and some still can’t come off them. These are very serious issues that Hamish doesn’t seem to understand. Many hundreds of thousands of people globally have had their lives destroyed over very many years because of side effects of these meds and perilous prescribing habits. It is a combination of Pharma corrupting psychiatry, and psychiatrists themselves not wanting to hear negative experiences of their antidepressants, that has led to this impasse between those who are harmed by these drugs- a ‘critical’ like me,-and those who are pharma-compromised- like Hamish.

Perhaps if Hamish (and his ilk) told us exactly how much he has received from Pharma over his career, we- the takers/sufferers of these meds- can decide whether we trust his opinion or not?







Failure to enforce Vanessa’s Law is a deadly game

Failure to enforce Vanessa’s Law is a deadly game

Fifteen-year-old Vanessa Young of Oakville, Ont., died of a heart attack on March 19, 2000, after taking the prescription drug Prepulsid. Her father, Terence Young, established Drug Safety Canada in 2001 and has advocated for regulatory reform since. He was elected to Parliament in 2008 and galvanized both houses to pass Vanessa’s Law in 2014. It still has no regulations to empower key sections of the bill, four years after it received Royal Assent.           

Dear Prime Minister,

I write you as both Prime Minister and as a father of three young children to request your immediate intervention to enforce Vanessa’s Law in Canada.

In 2001, GlaxoSmithKline’s Study 329 reported that its antidepressant blockbuster Paxil was safe and effective in adolescents with depression. But Study 329 was later debunked using clinical trial data — too late for many teens, including 18-year-old Sara Carlin of Oakville, Ont., who hanged herself after abruptly stopping Paxil, never knowing that 10.5 per cent of adolescent patients on Paxil had dropped out of a clinical drug trial because of serious psychiatric events, including suicidal ideation.

Prescription drugs used as prescribed are the fourth-leading cause of death in Canada, and the most common reason Canadians end up in hospital emergency rooms. Tens of thousands of patients suffer serious harms yearly.

Informing patients that all prescription drugs cause adverse effects, and how to use them safely, is critical to preventing injuries and deaths.    

That is the reason both houses of Parliament passed the Protecting Canadians from Unsafe Drugs Act (Vanessa’s Law) without dissent — which received Royal Assent four years ago, on Nov. 6, 2014 — and the reason every Canadian has a personal stake in the law.   

It is also why the bill contains new transparency provisions for clinical-trial data, whereby the minister of health may order the release of that data to expose health risks. As the British Medical Journal reports, “a crisis of hidden or misreported information from clinical trials … is one of the leading scientific problems of our time.”

Yet the transparency provisions in Vanessa’s Law have been gutted with caveats and roadblocks in a Guidance Document that prioritizes protecting the data Big Pharma consider confidential business information (CBI), but Vanessa’s Law was written to expose. This helps drug companies hide the patient-level trial data critical to exposing risks, such as the number of people who died or dropped out of clinical trials, many of whom were experiencing dangerous adverse reactions that subsequently remained hidden.

These are deadly secrets. For example, the painkiller Vioxx was responsible for 60,000 deaths worldwide, in part because clinical trial data were ignored.     

How many teens would have taken Paxil and died, had they known more than 10 per cent of people in clinical trials had become suicidal?

Hiding patient-level clinical-trial data is comparable to hiding from investigators the mechanical records of a commercial jet that crashed. No sane person would help airlines keep them secret.       

Yet the hoops Health Canada demands independent researchers jump through do exactly that, such as requiring that they apply to an anonymous individual at Health Canada for data, who provides no reasons for a denial, and of whose decisions there are no appeals. To date, 10 of 12 applications from researchers have been rejected in this opaque process.

Incredibly, Health Canada also demands researchers sign a confidentiality agreement promising never to reveal to anyone the data they request, ensuring the most credible medical journals will not publish their results.

Assistant professor Peter Doshi from the University of Maryland had two applications rejected because he refused to sign the confidentiality agreement and sought a judicial review, arguing in the Canadian Federal Court that the denial had no basis in law and would impede his ability to conduct his research and get it published.   

On July 9, Justice Sébastien Grammond of the Federal Court agreed, slapping down Health Canada. He ordered the data released for several reasons, including contradicting the purpose of Vanessa’s Law — to improve clinical-trial transparency — and for failing “to assess the effects of its decision on Mr. Doshi’s freedom of expression,” as guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Health Canada breached the Charter. Yet the offending policy is still posted on its website three months later.

Your government has not published even one regulation in four years to empower other sections of Vanessa’s Law, which lie dormant. Yet the proposed regulations are no better.

One actually proposes cancelling the current requirement for drug companies to report patient-level data to get drugs approved in the first place. Health Canada plans to accept summaries instead, saying reporting is such a “burden” on the drug companies. How about just emailing the documents?

Another would limit the health-care institutions that must report all serious adverse drug reactions to only the largest hospitals, letting hundreds of clinics and long-term care (LTC) facilities across Canada totally off the hook, despite the fact that over-prescribing to seniors in LTC facilities is a common cause of serious harms.   

By the thinking at Health Canada, when vulnerable patients are killed or seriously harmed by prescription drugs in these institutions, it is too much of an administrative burden for administrators to take 20 minutes to fill out an online form answering nine questions to help prevent further such deaths.    

Is this acceptable to you?      

Does this sound like an agency or government concerned with the safety of patients, or one concerned with helping big Pharma protect its commercial prospects? Because the federal court just concluded there is no middle ground.

We have little reason to believe that Health Canada officials recognize the clear letter and spirit of Vanessa’s Law, or intend to enforce it as Parliament intended, or to recognize they regulate only in the public interest.     

We fully support your commitment as Prime Minister to transparency and evidence-based decision-making in governance, and assure you there is no place where transparency is more important than in the development and approvals of prescription drugs. It is a matter of life and death.

We respectfully request your support for parliamentary hearings on the Guidance Document and proposed regulations for Vanessa’s Law now, before it is too late.

Without your intervention, Vanessa’s Law will end up a false promise and dead letter to Canadians. Canada can, and must, do better.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by all iPolitics columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of iPolitics.

Mom’s Emotional Warning: Talk to Your Doctor Before Taking Antidepressants While Pregnant

Mom’s Emotional Warning: Talk to Your Doctor Before Taking Antidepressants While Pregnant

Photograph by Meg Boggs and Matilda Berrelez

From weight gain to postpartum depression, Meghan Boggs has been sharing her struggles, fears, failures and successes on Instagram for quite some time. Five days ago, she shared another. Only this time, it wasn’t her story to tell— it was her sister’s.


Meet my sister, Tilly. Her #iam1in5 story is one that has changed her, our family, and so many people around the world. Tilly has been on medication since she was 15 years old. During her second pregnancy, she was told that it was safe to continue taking her antidepressants (Paxil). She then discovered at an ultrasound just four weeks before her due date that Adrian, her son, had several heart defects. Adrian had open heart surgery at just 8 days old. Tilly found out just a few months later that this was all caused by the antidepressants she was on during her pregnancy and sued the company. Adrian was one of the very first cases, and she won. The labels were then changed to reflect the dangers of taking them while pregnant. But even though she won the case, she was left with a child who would never live a normal life. She was left with the guilt that came with her decision to continue the medication even though she was told it was safe. . It’s now been 14 years since she had Adrian, and he’s had 5 open heart surgeries, 3 pacemaker changers, countless heart catheterizations and will eventually need a heart transplant. She is the definition of strength and I have always looked up to her because she is an unbelievable mother. She is also 1 in 5, but even through all that she has been through, she has always done whatever it takes to be the best mother to all three of her children. She is a warrior and I am so thankful she agreed to share her story. * To read her full story and her advice for anyone who is struggling to cope with being off medication during their pregnancy, head over to my blog. And watch my stories to see photos of Adrian throughout his journey. ♥️ * Disclaimer: This post is not meant to provide medical advice. Always consult your doctor about any questions about your health, medications, and pregnancy. You have options. Let your voice be heard.

“Meet my sister, Tilly,” she wrote. “Her #iam1in5 story is one that has changed her, our family, and so many people around the world.”

Boggs’ sister, Matilda (Tilly) Berrelez, has been on antidepressants since she was 15 years old. She was 21 in 2003 when she found out she was pregnant with her second child.

At the time, Berrelez (then Vasquez) was told it was safe to continue taking Paxil—an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) drug she’d been taking to treat depression and anxiety. So, she did as she was told and continued taking the medication, unaware of any risk to her unborn child.

Four weeks prior to her due date, however, an ultrasound revealed that her baby had several heart defects.

Adrian Vasquez, born April 19, 2004, was only 8 days old when he underwent his first heart surgery. Five months later, news broke that taking Paxil during early pregnancy could cause heart defects, lung defects, clubfeet and cranial defects in newborns.

Paxil during early pregnancy could cause heart defects, lung defects, clubfeet and cranial defects in newborns.

Boggs told that Adrian’s case was “the very first one to go against a pharmaceutical company.” In fact, she added, “CNN covered this and came out to our house to film.”

After winning the case against GlaxoSmithKline—the makers of Paxil—Boggs said companies began changing their labels to reflect the risks and dangers of taking SSRI drugs while pregnant.

“But even though she won the case, she was left with a child who would never live a normal life. She was left with the guilt that came with her decision to continue the medication even though she was told it was safe.”

In a full story on Meg Boggs, Berrelez (now 36), recalls the moment she learned her son was in trouble. After waiting nearly 45 minutes for a technician to finish taking an ultrasound, she asked if there was something wrong.

“She stopped the ultrasound, looked me in the eyes for a split second, looked down, then told me she would be right back with me and left the room,” she wrote. A few minutes later, she returned with the doctor, who said, “I’m sorry to tell you this, honey, but there is something wrong with your baby’s heart.”

A month later, Berrelez was told that her son had a double outlet right ventricle, patent ductus arteriosus, and pulmonary stenosis. That was 14 years ago.

Since then, Adrian has had five open-heart surgeries, three pacemaker changers and countless heart catheterizations. A heart transplant is almost inevitable.

“We are estimating this will occur sometime in his teenage years,” wrote Berrelez, who says she wouldn’t wish this for anyone—mother, child or family.

“There is no greater worry, pain, anxiety or nauseating sensation that compares to what my little boy has gone through since the day he was born,” she wrote.

“If there is a chance of your child being harmed by the medication you are taking, do all you can to discontinue the medication for as long as possible.”