No Science for You!

January 24, 2012
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HR3699Congress wants to limit your access to research—even though your tax dollars paid for it. If this bill passes, you’ll learn only what mainstream medicine wishes you to know. Action Alert!

In 2008, the National Institutes of Health required that all federally funded research publications be made openly available. PubMedCentral (PMC) is a free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine.

The publishers of the journals weren’t so happy with this new arrangement—they were afraid no one would pay for their publications if the research results were immediately accessible. So the government agreed to give them a full year of journal sales before their research papers had to be posted on PMC, which lets them keep their subscriber base. Journal subscriptions to educational and medical institutions are expensive—and they’re big business.

But even this generous arrangement isn’t good enough for the Association of American Publishers (AAP). The trade group liked the old rules, where they could sell the tax-funded research back to the taxpayers. So the AAP got two members of Congress, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), to introduce HR 3699, the Research Works Act, just before the end of 2011.

This bill would prevent the NIH or any other agency from causing or even allowing private-sector research work to be disseminated online without prior consent of both the publisher and the study authors—even if the funding came from our tax dollars.

The AAP weren’t the only publishers involved. Elsevier—the Reed Elsevier Publishing Group, a multinational company that publishes around 2,000 journals and close to 20,000 books and major reference works—happens to be in Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s district, and Elsevier employees made campaign contributions to both Issa and Maloney. (Apparently, it only takes $10,500 to buy two members of Congress.)

Said contributors all work for Tom Reller, vice president for global corporate relations at Elsevier. Interestingly, an email about the bill from Rep. Maloney to one of her critics contained language that was nearly identical to language used by Reller when he was defending the same bill! Are members of Congress employing lobbyists as ghostwriters now?

This is about access to peer-reviewed scientific information—research that we pay for with our tax money. If this bill passes, Americans who want to read the results of federally funded research will have to buy access to each journal article individually—at a cost of $15 or $30 apiece. In other words, as the New York Times recently noted, taxpayers who already paid for the research would have to pay again to read the results.

Access to peer-reviewed scientific research is essential if you are to make informed choices regarding your family’s health—especially if you choose complementary and alternative medicine. Good research will let us choose wisely when it comes to questions of treatment modalities, vaccines, diet, nutrition, and medicine. Right now, supplement companies aren’t even allowed to tell you about the science behind their products, so we must get the scientific information directly from the source.

But that’s just the problem: consumers, integrative doctors, and small businesses might not have the funds to access all these scientific journals—which means your access to the science behind natural products will be limited to what mainstream medicine may wish you to know.

PMC compiles entire studies and has 2.3 million articles going back to 1965. It allows patients, physicians, students, teachers, and advocacy organization like ANH-USA to read about and cite the discoveries that our tax dollars paid for—to keep you informed in these pages, we may review as many as a hundred studies every year. If we needed to pay a publishing company every time we viewed a study which taxpayers have already paid for, we’d be giving thousands of dollars to a publishing company every year instead of protecting your access to natural health.

So what can you do? Two things will make a huge difference!

  • First, help us gain co-sponsors for the Free Speech about Science Act (FSAS). This landmark legislation enables the natural health products community to share peer-reviewed scientific findings about natural health products with the public. The problem, of course, is that if it becomes more difficult for supplement companies and consumers to access the scientific studies themselves, the entire point of FSAS is effectively undermined.
  • The second step is to ask Congress to defeat this new Research Works Act. Please send your message today and explain why limiting access to the results of important studies—which your tax dollars have already paid for—is such a terrible idea. Take action immediately!

Take Action!

We’d love to hear your comments about this article—just add your thoughts below—but remember that the messages below are only seen by ANH-USA readers, not members of Congress or the President. Click the button above to send your message to the Congress and the President!

35 Responses to “No Science for You!”

  1. alice says:

    We are becoming more like Russia with the iron hand tactics. Soon there will only be the rich and the poor. Not only is there greed in companies but it is everywhere in government.
    The rich help the rich and forget the working class. I believe that they have found cures for cancers etc but drug companies make too much money so they do not let the cures be known.
    sad sad, sad!
    Like our pension issue here in Canada, gov wants to cut back on those who have worked all these years for this pension but NO MENTION of government officlas giveing up or cutting back on pensions.Their pay and perks are never touched which is so sad.
    One can be a politician for 5 years and receive a life time pension. Too bad every citizen does not have the same benefits.
    Another example of poor government—We forget about our poor in our country but sent money to poor countries which is good— but then the rich take their share before the poor get it. So why not help our own people where they would get full benefit.
    We seem to cater to ervery one else except the people that are really suffering.
    Our head of the hospital makes more than 400 thousand a year plus perks— which is a far cry from what the working class make and there would be no hospital if it were not for them.
    Enough – what we say will not change things as they do what they want anyway

       2 likes

  2. Phyllis Peterman says:

    Good rule of thumb. If the food you eat, wasn’t around 100 years ago, don’t eat it.

       0 likes

  3. Felisa Manor says:

    Of course they don’t want us to know what is really going on so much for a free country. It is all about the money here. Other countrys that are not free at least they take care of there people or let them make a choice if they want to eat poison.

       1 likes

  4. Michelle says:

    Wow…. I would have to pay to read results of research my tax dollars have helped to fund?Where does the money go they make from selling the results of the research? Back to the tax payers who paid for it? I think not! The publishers want to line their own pocket.

       0 likes

  5. P Taylor says:

    Wow, this just beats all! Talk about limiting what people need to know to make healthy INFORMED choices! Just proves that congress is a bunch of crooks to even consider legislation like this. They should all be locked up for being bought and paid for by drug companies and the food industry!

       0 likes

  6. Charlotte Stubbs says:

    This is a very wrong choice on the part of the government. People should come first not companies. I do not support HR 3699, the Research Works Act. If my tax dollars are being used to fund research then I have a right to view reports that MY tax dollars pay for. I am sick of the government putting companies before citizens.

       1 likes

  7. Badnewsmessenger says:

    I assume this sentence in the article above is rhetorical?
    “Are members of Congress employing lobbyists as ghostwriters now?”
    Just like most print/tv/radio media literally take public relations hand-outs from gov’t bureaucracies and corporations and “reports” the words as if it were “news” written by reporters; well, members of CONgress take money from lobbyists who work for corporations and non-governmental organizations (also funded by your “generous donations” and extorted tax dollars) and use the “legislative bills” written by squadrons of lawyers who work for those corporations and NGOs and introduce the bills as if they’d written them themselves. Do you really think the “patriot act” and obama deathcare bills were written by anyone in CONgress?
    So write all the petitions you want, send all the emails and letters you want, sit and spin forever. What you are living through is a script and it has no political solution.

       0 likes

    • Badnews, since you see emails, contacts and letters just a big waste of time, what would you propose we do to counteract proposed legislation with which we have issues?

      If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

         0 likes

      • Lisa says:

        Don’t be a part of the problem, since Congress consists of more Republicans & Tbaggers than it does Democrats, we need to get the CORPORATE SLUTS OUT OF CONGRESS! Vote for President Obama in November & 2/3 of Congress will die of heart attacks from the shock! Any Dems who are left who support this crap will definately give in to pressure from other Dems to flush it. But you know the same people who voted that CORPORATIONS ARE PEOPLE, TOO & “PIZZA IS A VEGETABLE” will vote for this, crap, too! (REPUGS & TBAGGERS) Does anyone know where to get any of those PIZZA SEEDS? Like so many other things, I’d really like to grow my own & save some money!

           0 likes

  8. jredheadgirl says:

    As an indie artist/musician I am completely behind the enforcement of intellectual property rights…ie., I’m against piracy. With that said, the issue at hand here is entirely different: We the taxpayers have paid for these studies, therefore, they are a work for hire; we own the rights to any federally funded stories.

    The whole idea of this is such a distortion of actual copyright law that it’s hard to believe that they’re even suggesting legislation to bar the people (us) from viewing such studies. Adding an “extra” fee amounts to extortion. It’s our government colluding with special interests with federal money. Now if we were talking about studies that were/are privately funded, then that would be an entirely different story, such as is the case with the MPAA and the RIAA in their attempt to protect their private property. This (sorry if I’m repeating myself) is NOT private property, it’s the people’s property. In addition to that, even in the case of privately funded studies, there exists certain limitations of copyright (etc..), due to fair use. It’s fair use to use/quote a phrase or two, along with a link to the source if the subject matter has to do with reporting the news, goes along with a commentary, &/or serves to educate the public.

       0 likes

  9. Tami says:

    Have you heard of http://www.change.org ?I think you should check it out and start a slew of petitions for some of these issues you include in your newsletters. Check out the Web site, it’s making some great changes for people.

    Bank of America withdrew their greedy idea of charging people a monthly service charge to use their debt cards after change.org received so many signatures!

    This is a great new way to reach people and spread the word about some of these issues. It is quick and easy for people to do and I believe it can draw attention where the attention is needed. I’ll be happy to help spread the word about these petitions.

    I’d love to see someone write one that would make advertising of pharmaceutical drugs on illegal, just like it’s illegal to advertise cigarettes and liquor on TV. Why not try!?!?!?!?!?! I bet millions of people would sign it!

       0 likes

    • You’re 100% right. Chnge.org is a great website dedicated to enforcing our freedoms and looking out for many other issues as well. Its worth spending a couple of minutes to go check t out.

         0 likes

  10. SE says:

    I’m not against the publishers getting a cut of publishing revenue, but once the results of studies are bought and paid for by their subscribers, after that, the library of research information is in the public domain. But, as usual, if there’s any way to double and triple–dip to be found for exclusive interests in the name of “royalties” or imagined costs, the government will sucker-punch the unwitting tax–payer to save their own asses and skim off the double–triple a little in the process.

       0 likes

    • Jerry T. says:

      I agree with you. We can only own a song for as long as we don’t share it. An artist surly doesn’t get paid every time a picture is viewed, or sold..
      I write songs and play out. I don’t get much for it, but that’s not why I play music.
      The cult of personality is far to expensive and twisted for my tastes.
      Still playing real good for free.

         0 likes

  11. Phil Mumford says:

    The more I find out about our congress people the less I respect them.

       0 likes

  12. Tom Taylor says:

    CONgress is bought and paid for by industry. This is slowly tearing apart our country. The system is broken. I say pull the taxpayer funding of all medical studies! If the medicine WE are funding was so good then they wouldn’t need our help. If was so good the products of pharmaceuticals would be flying off the shelves, they wouldn’t need tax dollars at all. Vote RON PAUL.

       1 likes

  13. William Bourdon says:

    Well he who pays the piper calls the tune. The problem is that we didn’t “pay for it” in any customary sense. We allowed the Government to take money from some of us, spend it largely any way they wanted and to compete with private research firms. Now we have this situation: the piper, the payor, and the audience all think they own the music and demand to use it without limitations. The worst aspect of this is that audience appears to far outnumber the pipers and the payers. And it will only get worse.

       0 likes

  14. As a scientist and practitioner of Integrative medicine, I repeatedly have to go to the scientific and medical literature to solve clinical problems. I am also called upon to review articles in my field of Holistic and Integrative Medicine in peer-reviewed journals. Yet I am often not allowed to have access to the very articles I need for both of these processes. 24 hr Access to even one article can cost me $30! for Ironically, I am not payed for either reviewing or writing such articles, and have to do so at my own expense. If nation, with all its talk of health care, wants to cripple the ability of physicians and others to be able to help their patients and advance the application of basic discoveries to the practice of medicine, they should further limit journal access. But if it is important to improve the health of our American People, and we want to bring the latest information to make that possible, then all studies paid by public funds should be available to see.

       0 likes

  15. Ray Gaudette says:

    Time to move to a different country.

       0 likes

  16. Susan says:

    Come on now. are we really sleeping so much we don’t notice these things.. Thank God for folks like the publishers of this site to engage and let the public know what is happening under our noses.

       0 likes

  17. As long as we can not trust the Goverment to tell us the truth, we must be able to search and research all aspects of life.
    If it wasn’t for my research and natural health I would have died in 1994 when I was overdosed with phosphate and again in 2009 whe I was being over druged by my Doctor.
    We need to be able to do our own research.

       0 likes

  18. coalmine canary says:

    This is about as fascist as it comes.
    I suggest that the solution is not merely to sign one petition after the next (though no mistaking, ANH, we really appreciate what you are doing. Thank you deeply!)

    I suggest that this COngress needs to be replaced. We need to recruit one person after the next, to campaign for public office and challenge Congressional seats. Even to divert votes could help. We need to oust this fascist Congress and replace them with Real Americans, not Red China-like dictators who are manipulating the public mind for self-gain.

    And speaking of self-gain, campaign finance reform will be key too.

    Dennis Kucinich, D-OH, has drafted legislation, HJ Res. 100, to require that only private citizens may contribute to public campaigns. Even campaigners would be forbidden to contribute to their own cause, no corporate donations, only private sector allowed to make contributions….. Please see the petition here and sign it, and pass this around, it’ s part of the solution even to the problem ANH is writing about in the article above. The reasons will be obvious: http://action.kucinich.us/page/s/restore-our-democracy-pass-h-j-res-100

    Thank you all.

       0 likes

  19. Jerry T. says:

    As the world winds down, corruption ramps up.
    Foraging has always provided the best of medicines, Even the act of foraging is good medicine.
    For corporate profits, even the wilds are being taken away.
    I don’t trust allopathic medicine, even without this new assault against our human intelligence.
    This ownership doctrine aimed against the public has got to go. Over paid public servants tend to forget they are public servants.
    When one sees a doctor, one must establish self ownership. If the doc gets huffy, well, fire him. Unfortunately, humane, caring, listening doctors are getting scarce. Now days, it’s about running a person through a program. Well, I don’t seem to fit those programs.
    Now they want to shroud they’re medicine in mystery, it’s no mystery, it’s crap.
    The reason for this legislation is that they get busted screwing up to often. Don’t fix it, just hide it. And rub you’re hands together like a nice powermongering creep.

       0 likes

  20. Erika Davis says:

    I do health/medical research all the time on the internet because I have family members who struggle with health issues. If I were limited to just reading blogs and infomercial-type articles, I would myself be crippled, and unable to continue to help my family members. I rely on access to a large variety of journals and papers, and to have to pay for each one is inconceivable. I simply couldn’t afford it. And I don’t live close to a university where I might manage to get access to some of the journals.

       0 likes

  21. Tom Speck says:

    Hello to all
    the reason that man kind is where we are today is based on the research not by one but by many. Even the smartest mind can find an answer from a simpler minded person.So in other words we all help each other in finding the goal for which the research was aimed for in the first place. If the research is to help the ill in finding answers, would it not be in humane to make this part a closed book. I believe we have learned from times where books where burned knowledge being locked away for only one reason, POWER. If “we the people” “united we stand” ” and good education has a true meaning then we all have the right for knowledge especially if we have paid for and if it is for reasons of our own well being. Depriving this would step on the very ideals the country stands for.
    Sincerely
    Tom

       0 likes

  22. Barbara Smart says:

    I wholeheartedly agree that the propsoed bill is an infringement on the public’s right to know the results of federally funded research or any other research that has been published. This is just another step in the federal government wanting to have control of every facet of our lives!

       0 likes

  23. Cindy says:

    I just did the Action Alert for the “No Science.” I noticed it went to the wrong representative. Indiana had new congressional district lines go into effect on 1/1/12 and I am now in a different district number. I assume your system made the decision based on the Zip I provided, so you need to do some updates so the correct rep is contacted.

       0 likes

  24. Julie says:

    This bill is just another move by Big Pharma and one step closer to Agenda 21. This is an outrage. Everyday brings yet another ridiculous bill to stifle our rights and end our lives.

       0 likes

  25. Kenneth Webster says:

    If the public were to have restricted access to scientific findings about Pharma meds and Natural remedies alike, how can they (we) make an informed decision about whether to take a pharma med (with all of their possible side effects,known and yet unknown) or a natural remedy that has been proven throughout our previous history, even before pharma meds and FDA came into existence? I say let the public have unrestricted access to this information, after all, we paid for it! It is our bodies that are not feeling well, let us make the decision how to treat them, not FDA and big Pharma.

       0 likes

  26. Ann Fuller says:

    I’m a doctoral student, it is hard enough doing up-to-date research with the one year hold. I hate to see what it would be like by disallowing any of the literature that I can retrieve. My tuition is outrageous already and it is difficult to access some data bases because the school can’t afford them. Please take action!

       0 likes

  27. Ron says:

    That’s the problem with our elected politicians,they think they can do anything they want when they want without consequenes.If paid for by my tax dollars,I should have rights to view.This is an election year and I strongly believe that a number of politicians are going to pay a heavy price.

       0 likes

  28. Ian MacLeod says:

    This secrecy in America is becoming crazy. Taxpayers are “permitted”, to be generous, to pay for everything under the sun, but we’re not permitted to know about any of it! Personally, I’d like to see anything like this that we pay for left available for whoever wishes to see it. There are plenty of doctors who can’t afford all of these publications! I know that science is constantly learning about health effects from natural substances; a discovery like this could easily become a life-saver, but only if we know about it! Calling cherries an “unapproved drug” is itself crazy – it only does the corporations and their generally toxic medications bottom line good. It’s time to have our regulatory agencies on OUR side!

       0 likes

  29. MaryAnn Larson says:

    Thank you for bringing this information to us. It’s a crying shame that we need to go to these lengths for respectful and honest treatment by folks we pay, who are supposed to have our interests at heart.

       0 likes

  30. Argante Colageo says:

    when will this buying congress stop!

       0 likes

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