USA: Pfizer Agrees Record Fraud Fine

USA

 

 

 

Pfizer agrees record fraud fine

Source:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8234533.stm

US drugmaker Pfizer has agreed to pay $2.3bn (£1.4bn) in the largest healthcare fraud settlement in the history of the Department of Justice.

It follows the firm being found to have illegally promoted four drugs as treatments for conditions different to those which regulators had approved.

A subsidiary of the firm pleaded guilty to misbranding drugs “with the intent to defraud or mislead”.

US officials said Pfizer would have to enter a corporate integrity agreement.

It will be subject to additional public scrutiny by requiring it to make “detailed disclosures” on its website.

Pfizer’s general counsel said: “We regret certain actions taken in the past, but are proud of the action we’ve taken to strengthen our internal controls.”

Acting US attorney for the District of Massachusetts, Mike Loucks said that “the size and seriousness of this resolution, including the huge criminal fine, reflect the seriousness and scope of Pfizer’s crimes”.

The company faces a criminal fine of $1.195bn and a subsidiary company of Pfizer – Pharmacia & Upjohn – will forfeit $105m.

The remaining $1bn fine was levied to resolve the allegations under the civil False Claims Act.

Four drugs

The civil settlement also relates to allegations that Pfizer paid bribes and offered lavish hospitality to healthcare providers to encourage them them to prescribe four of the company’s drugs.

These were Bextra, an anti-inflammatory drug, Geodon, an anti-psychotic drug, Zyvox, an antibiotic and Lyrica, an epilepsy treatment.

The investigation was trigged by allegations made by six whistleblowers. They will receive $102m of the civil fines paid by Pfizer.

“Although these types of investigations are often long and complicated and require many resources to achieve positive results, the FBI will not be deterred from continuing to ensure that pharmaceutical companies conduct business in a lawful manner,” said Kevin Perkins, FBI assistant director, Criminal Investigative Division.

The pharmaceutical firm said earlier this year that it would pay the fine “to put issues that diminish trust behind us”.

Pfizer reported a 90% drop in profit to $268m in the fourth quarter of 2008, because of the $2.3bn legal settlement, indicating that the company was aware they would be paying this sum before the terms of the deal with the Department of Justice were announced.

 pfizer

USA: AP Exclusive: Video Shows Chicks Ground Up Alive

 USA

 

 

 

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iPz9o8x-bLqc-OwmcMPoaeJvlswQD9AECGVG0

AP Exclusive: Video shows chicks ground up alive

By FREDERIC J. FROMMER (AP) – 1 day ago

WASHINGTON — An undercover video shot by an animal rights group at an Iowa egg hatchery shows workers discarding unwanted chicks by sending them alive into a grinder, and other chicks falling through a sorting machine to die on the factory floor.

Chicago-based Mercy for Animals said it shot the video at Hy-Line North America’s hatchery in Spencer, Iowa, over a two-week period in May and June. The video was obtained Monday by The Associated Press.

Hy-Line said in a statement it has started an investigation “of the entire situation,” adding that it would have helped their investigation “had we been aware of the potential violation immediately after it occurred.”

The video, shot with a hidden camera and microphone by a Mercy for Animals employee who got a job at the plant, shows a Hy-Line worker sorting through a conveyor belt of chirping chicks, flipping some of them into a chute like a poker dealer flips cards.

These chicks, which a narrator says are males, are then shown being dropped alive into a grinding machine.

In other parts of the video, a chick is shown dying on the factory floor amid a heap of egg shells after falling through a sorting machine. Another chick, also still alive, is seen lying on the floor after getting scalded by a wash cycle, according to the video narrator.

Hy-Line said the video “appears to show an inappropriate action and violation of our animal welfare policies,” referring to chicks on the factory floor.

But the company also noted that “instantaneous euthanasia” — a reference to killing of male chicks by the grinder — is a standard practice supported by the animal veterinary and scientific community.

According to Mercy for Animals, male chicks are of no use to the industry because they can’t lay eggs and don’t grow large or quickly enough to be raised profitably for meat. That results in the killing of 200 million male chicks a year.

The United Egg Producers, a trade group for U.S. egg farmers, confirmed that figure and the practice behind it.

“There is, unfortunately, no way to breed eggs that only produce female hens,” said the group’s spokesman, Mitch Head. “If someone has a need for 200 million male chicks, we’re happy to provide them to anyone who wants them. But we can find no market, no need.”

Using a grinder, Head said, “is the most instantaneous way to euthanize chicks.”

Hy-Line says on its Web site that its Iowa facility produces 33.4 million chicks. Based on that figure, Mercy for Animals estimates a similar number of male chicks are killed at the facility each year. Hy-Line did not comment on that estimate.

Mercy for Animals says it will call on the nation’s 50 largest grocery chains to include labels on their eggs that say, “Warning: Male chicks are ground-up alive by the egg industry.”

Head called that proposal “almost a joke,” saying the group had no credible authority, and had questionable motives. “This is a group which espouses no egg consumption by anyone — so that is clearly their motive.” The video does in fact end with a call for people to adopt a vegan diet, which eliminates all animal products — meat, eggs or dairy.

Nathan Runkle, executive director of Mercy for Animals, said most people would be shocked to learn that 200 million chicks are killed a year.

“Is this justifiable just for cheap eggs?” he said.

As to more humane alternatives to disposing of male chicks, Runkle said the whole system is inherently flawed.

“The entire industrial hatchery system subjects these birds to stress, fear and pain from the first day,” he said.

On the Net:

Mercy for Animals video: http://www.mercyforanimals.org/hatchery

Hy-Line International: http://www.hyline.com/

http://www.mercyforanimals.org/hatchery/

Thrown, dropped, mutilated, and ground-up alive. This is the shocking reality faced by hundreds of thousands of chicks each day at the world’s largest egg-laying breed hatchery – Hy-Line International in Spencer, Iowa.

New hidden camera footage obtained at this facility during a Mercy For Animals undercover investigation gives a disturbing glimpse into the cruel and industrialized reality of modern hatcheries.

The warm, comforting, and protective wings of these newly hatched chicks’ mothers have been replaced with massive machines, quickly moving conveyor belts, harsh handling, and distressing noise. These young animals are sorted, discarded, and handled like mere cogs in a machine.

For the nearly 150,000 male chicks who hatch every 24 hours at this Hy-Line facility, their lives begin and end the same day. Grabbed by their fragile wings by workers known as “sexers,” who separate males from females, these young animals are callously thrown into chutes and hauled away to their deaths. They are destined to die on day one because they cannot produce eggs and do not grow large or fast enough to be raised profitably for meat. Their lives are cut short when they are dropped into a grinding machine – tossed around by a spinning auger before being torn to pieces by a high-pressure macerator.

Over 30 million male chicks meet their fate this way each year at this facility.

For the surviving females, this is the beginning of a life of cruelty and confinement at the hands of the egg industry. Before even leaving the hatchery they will be snapped by their heads into a spinning debeaker – a portion of their sensitive beaks removed by a laser. Workers toss and rummage through them before they are placed 100 per crowded box and shipped across the country.

The callous disregard for animal welfare at this facility is not isolated. In fact, the conditions documented during this investigation are completely standard and acceptable within the commercial egg industry. Referred to by Hy-Line corporate leaders as mere “genetic products,” these chicks are treated just as they are viewed – as inanimate objects, rather than the sentient creatures they are.

Egg producers have gone to great lengths to hide their cruel practices from consumers. Grocery aisles from coast-to-coast are stocked with egg cartons featuring idyllic images of free-roaming hens and crowing roosters. These deceptive marketing gimmicks conceal the cruel and violent nature of industrial hatcheries and egg factory farms.

Consumers have a right to know the truth behind egg production.

Citing the troubling findings of this investigation, Mercy For Animals is calling on the nation’s 50 largest grocery chains to require that all eggs sold in their stores bear a label reading, “Warning: Male chicks are ground-up alive by the egg industry.”

Hopefully, armed with the sobering truth, consumers nationwide will be able to make informed and compassionate food choices.

Driven by consumer demand, the egg industry will continue to exploit, abuse, and kill day-old animals as long as doing so remains profitable. Empowered consumers can put their ethics on the table by choosing kindness over cruelty at each meal by adopting an animal-friendly vegan diet.

France: Video Footage – INSIDE A FRENCH ABATTOIR (Kosher slaughter)

FRAN0001

 

 

 

 

INSIDE A FRENCH ABATTOIR (Kosher slaughter) 

** Viewer warning – DISTURBING images **

We hope that our French campaigner friends will raise hell with both the French and EU authorities about this.  We suggest the following link for further information:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_aspects_of_ritual_slaughter

As we have always said, the aim of this site is to show the REAL world of animal abuse and suffering.  Where and when images and video footage are needed to be shown to get across a message, then they will be.

The footage shown here is of immense animal suffering; it is time for the EU to take off its ‘religious protection’ hat which allows people to do almost anything in the name of religion,  and to get down to accepting the real wants of people, especially where religious slaughter is involved.  A total ban on religious slaughter throughout the EU, nothing less !!

 – SAV.

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Full length video:

http://www.l214.com/video/charal

Short version:        

http://www.lepost.fr/article/2009/08/28/1673251_un-abattoir-charal-vu-de-l-interieur.html

Other videos of animal abuse/Agribusiness (FR):

http://www.l214.com/video