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"And the beat goes on" (Archive in CODEX.)

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"And the beat goes on" (Archive in CODEX.)

Posted by Walt Stoll [9.8] on April 26, 2004 at 06:13:12:

Friends,

Comments?

Walt


This is hard to take this seriously and believe the FDA is remotely
sincere when regular medical care is the 3rd leading cause of death
in the US, documented by JAMA!! I think it is much more obvious
they are concerned about the health of their wallets!
Misty
http://www.searching-alternatives.com

FDA Propaganda Spin Attack


The Pharmaceutical Industry Mafia prepares for a hostile takeover
of non-prescription vitamins, minerals, herbs and suppplements
(18 billion US$ annual market), due to the declining 'popularity'
of FDA-approved (but NEVER guaranteed safe) prescription drugs :


http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99994853


Special report: A health fad that's hard to swallow

Exclusive from New Scientist Print Edition
10:30 12 April 04

One in four people in the US regularly pops a magic pill in the
hope it will improve their health, well-being and longevity.
Different people swear by different ingredients, but there is
one constant: the assumption that such pills, broadly known as
dietary supplements, are safe.

Most people assume that the vitamin A, B, C or D, or iron,
selenium, manganese or cod liver oil, or ginseng, Ginkgo biloba
or St John's wort they swallow has been rigorously tested by
government and declared harmless. It has not. And evidence is
mounting that many of these products contain ingredients that
can kill, especially if taken alongside certain prescription
drugs.

Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received a
report detailing the results of the first major investigation
into how the dietary supplements market should be regulated.
And the conclusions, from the Institute of Medicine (IoM), are
stark.

There are almost no figures on the efficacy or toxicity of the
29,000 dietary supplements sold in the US in a market worth $18
billion a year. Many supplements, including traditional
remedies, have been reformulated so often, and put to such a
wide variety of uses, that no one knows for sure if they are
still safe.

And unless the law governing supplements is changed, the FDA
will not be able to adequately protect the health of the
American people.


Adverse reactions

Calls for the regulation of dietary supplements have been
growing louder over the past two or three years, and 30 months
ago the FDA responded by commissioning the IoM to formulate a
strategy for identifying potentially dangerous supplements.

The timing was prescient. Since then, concerns have continued
to grow about the safety of one supplement in particular -
ephedra, a herbal extract also known as ma huang, that was
touted as an energy-giving, weight-reducing panacea.

In January this year, the FDA finally banned the product after
it had been linked to 155 deaths and was implicated in 16,000
adverse reactions, including raised heart rates and blood
pressure, which can spark a stroke or heart attack (New
Scientist, 10 January, p 6).

The FDA wants to stop people popping pills that contain
dangerous ingredients. But there is a problem, says the IoM
report, namely the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education
Act. This enshrined in US legislation the assumption that all
such supplements are safe until proved otherwise.

This differs markedly from the regulations governing
conventional pharmaceuticals and food ingredients, for which
the FDA demands stringent safety tests before approving for
sale or consumption.


Whistle blowing

That is unacceptable, says the IoM. It wants the law changed to
compel supplement manufacturers to notify the FDA whenever
there is an adverse reaction to one of their products. And to
help force the issue, the IoM is encouraging consumers to act
as whistleblowers, telling the FDA of any problems. It
recommends that a freephone number to call be clearly displayed
on all product labels.

The IoM also wants the act changed to force manufacturers who
reformulate supplements - essentially creating a new product -
to submit safety data to the FDA before putting them on sale.

But even these steps may not be enough, say commentators. "It
looks like they are taking some interim steps that may help,
but they will not solve many of the problems," says Stephen
Bent of the University of California in San Francisco. "It
would be much better to make the companies prove [all] their
products are safe to the FDA, in other words, pre-market
approval."

With his colleague Richard Ko of the California Department of
Health Services, Bent has conducted a major review of the known
hazards posed by some of the most popular dietary supplements
(The American Journal of Medicine, vol 116, p 478). Published
this month, it lists the toxic contaminants in supplements and
toxic effects of herbs such as ephedra, allergic reactions, and
dangerous interactions with mainstream drugs.


Liver failure

Examples include fatal liver failure suffered by consumers of
kava kava, and kidney damage in women taking the herb
Aristolochia fangchi. In a survey of 260 traditional Asian
medicines, researchers found a quarter contained high levels of
toxic metals such as lead and mercury, and seven per cent had
been spiked with undeclared pharmaceuticals to increase their
efficacy.

Herbs such as Ginkgo biloba and ginseng may increase the risk
of bleeding during surgery, and intensify the effects of
anti-clotting drugs such as warfarin.

Many of these dangers are acknowledged by the IoM. But the
institute says it would be almost impossible to conduct
clinical trials to gauge the safety of dietary supplements.
Unlike medical drugs, supplements are not taken according to a
prescribed regime, and may be taken occasionally or for
decades, so the effects are unclear and difficult to study.

The products may come from plants that vary in quality, with
fluctuating amounts of active ingredient, both between plants
and between different parts of a herb such as its roots or
leaves. One analysis, says Bent, shows that some ginseng
products contain up to 200 times as much active ingredient as
others. Similar variations have been found in products
containing St John's wort.

The IoM report says that such complications contradict one of
the basic tenets of the 1994 act - dietary products do not need
testing because they are natural, traditional and have a
"history of safe use". "The fact a substance was consumed over
a number of years does not indicate that it was consumed
without adverse effects," the report says.


Lost knowledge

For example, past communities may have known that a particular
herb could damage a fetus, yet that knowledge may have since
been lost, leaving pregnant women to unwittingly consume
extracts of the plant.

The IoM is calling for a surveillance programme to help the FDA
identify such risks, though it accepts that it may be
impossible to make definitive statements based on scientific
evidence about a product's safety. But it says that it should
not be incumbent on the FDA to prove that a supplement is
unsafe. Identifying a significant or unreasonable risk should
be enough to have the product recalled.

Data from laboratory studies and comparisons with related
substances should be collated, it says. And attention should be
paid to human and animal tests of supplement ingredients. Even
in the absence of information on adverse effects in humans,
evidence of harm from laboratory animal studies should indicate
that a supplement may be dangerous.

The notification of adverse reactions, both in lab studies and
among consumers, should also help the FDA to spot a problem
before it is too late; it took the FDA seven years to collate
enough evidence to ban ephedra. The agency should even be
encouraged to conduct its own pre-emptive investigations into
suspect supplements.

For critics of the unregulated supplements industry, the IoM
report is long overdue. The industry is booming, with sales
rising by 25 per cent each year, fuelled by the belief that
"natural" products are by definition safe, says Bent.

Yet, six out of 10 people asked in a survey cited by Bent's
review mistakenly think that food supplements carry a seal of
approval from the FDA. A similar irony can perhaps be found
within another study published earlier in 2004.

According to the research, supplement use tends to be higher
among older, educated people who are neither obese, nor smoke.
Many engage in exercise, eat low fat diets and consume healthy
amounts of fruit and vegetables (Journal of the American
Dietetic Association, vol 104, p 27). In short, people who are
likely to be most concerned about their health and critical of
what they put in their bodies.





Re: "And the beat goes on" (Archive in CODEX.)

Posted by Gregory [951.1009] on April 26, 2004 at 07:30:01:

In Reply to: "And the beat goes on" (Archive in CODEX.) posted by Walt Stoll [9.8] on April 26, 2004 at 06:13:12:

This isn't a mainstream magazine, and the buying public, by it's "declining" interest in precription drugs, I think, has spoken loud and clear.
Perhaps this falls to the people "in the know" to wage the war against the FDA and CODEX. As for New Scientist, conviently, they have
no way to submit feedback on their articles on the website, so I can only assume that it must be done via snail mail. Given what is already
known about what is going on by the alternative health community, is it worth it to worry about this sort of article by this sort of rag?

Follow Ups:


Re: "And the beat goes on" (Archive in CODEX.)

Posted by opinion [22.137] on April 26, 2004 at 12:15:35:

In Reply to: "And the beat goes on" (Archive in CODEX.) posted by Walt Stoll [9.8] on April 26, 2004 at 06:13:12:

I read as far as the phrase Pharmaceutical Industry Mafia. Although I agree that the CODEX supplement provision is a bad idea, I have come to avoid reading texts that descend to name-calling. I find the journalistic integrity of such writings to be entirely lacking, bordering at times on actionable libel. For example, the claim that someone is involved in organized crime cannot be taken lightly in view of the punishment for participation in organized crime.

The meager portion of verifiable truth in this sort of article consists mainly of matters on which I am already informed. Apart from references to supporting articles, I find that the remainder has little merit as an information resource. There are matters of public record and supporting articles that one could use to smear, for example, Dr. Stoll. If you google the archives you will find plenty of examples of these (I singled out one above but there are more). I feel that these smear-texts add little to the site. They don't present facts in a straightforward manner, so their value as opposing theories is negligible. At best they are mere token arguments or straw men that boost our egos over the knowledge we have acquired.

I like to be able to make my own informed opinion instead of having one provided for me. Or better still, I prefer to indefinitely reserve judgement while investigating claims in an area of interest until I lose interest.

These articles always call for action, even if the action is only commiseration. But the actions one can take are severely constrained. Boycotting, civil disobedience, letters to elected officials, voting, moving to another state, you name it, I have tried it. Not once has anything I have done had any effect on dubious legislation or corruption. For me, I have nothing to show for my efforts but frustration. I feel that for my civic duty, my time is better spent doing things that benefit others in a way I can see and feel. For example, although I did not support the current Iraq conflict, I recently contributed to some care packages for some of my friends overseas. My tiny contribution was greatly rewarded beyond anything I had imagined, and I got to participate in something so much greater than myself that I felt supernaturally blessed by the experience. I know that even if my package never makes it, the look of gratitude on the face of his wife can never be taken away from me. My contribution, though physically small, was tangible, and I already have assurance that it was not in vain.



Re: "And the beat goes on" (Archive in CODEX.)

Posted by Gregory [951.796] on April 26, 2004 at 12:52:55:

In Reply to: Re: "And the beat goes on" (Archive in CODEX.) posted by opinion [22.137] on April 26, 2004 at 12:15:35:

You response perhaps better than any I have ever read, exemplifes what I have always thought about "call to arms" type posts.
That they are largely futile due to the range of action that can be taken that will have a noticable effect on the subject at hand

Sometimes I think that just having the knowledge, and being able to act on it is worth more than the rallying around the flag and
putting on the war paint.



Re: "And the beat goes on" (Archive in CODEX.)

Posted by PhillyLady [1906.913] on April 26, 2004 at 13:19:48:

In Reply to: Re: "And the beat goes on" (Archive in CODEX.) posted by opinion [22.137] on April 26, 2004 at 12:15:35:

Hi Opinion:

The term "Pharmaceutical Industry Mafia" may be a bit overboard, but it does emphasize the industry's tactics as it attempts to go forth in its goal to create the impression that all supplements are harmful and that prescription drugs are all safe and have no harmful effects.

I, along with countless other consumers, am concerned about the harmful effects of prescription drugs. I know you are too.



Re: "And the beat goes on" (Archive in CODEX.)

Posted by opinion [22.137] on April 26, 2004 at 13:56:25:

In Reply to: Re: "And the beat goes on" (Archive in CODEX.) posted by Gregory [951.796] on April 26, 2004 at 12:52:55:

If this were happening at a neighborhood or municipal level, I might act. However I would worry that any action that might be suggested for me could do more harm than good.



Re: "And the beat goes on" (Archive in CODEX.)

Posted by opinion [22.137] on April 26, 2004 at 14:14:46:

In Reply to: Re: "And the beat goes on" (Archive in CODEX.) posted by PhillyLady [1906.913] on April 26, 2004 at 13:19:48:

Since you felt strongly enough to respond, I read the New Scientist article through and found it very informative. Apparently someone posted their own take in between the actual article and Walt's foreword. As you can see from my experience, this practice does not draw people to a cause and at worst may alienate would-be supporters. I believe we who are entrusted with experience-proven knowledge should hold ourselves to a higher ethical standard of communication for the sake of the community. Otherwise there is little to separate us from those who act despicably in telling half-truths and tricking others.



Re: "And the beat goes on" (Archive in CODEX.)

Posted by Gregory [951.1009] on April 26, 2004 at 23:26:28:

In Reply to: Re: "And the beat goes on" (Archive in CODEX.) posted by opinion [22.137] on April 26, 2004 at 13:56:25:

When I think of what might be done, it always seems to come back to working at the "I" level, like "I will plant some herbs" or "I will learn
what veggies are the source of vitmins and mineral and eat those." The politicians and large companies that are really waging this
battle are not interested in the goings on at the individual level. The want to steal the convienence of going to the Vitamin Shoppe or the
health food store and getting vitamins. In my opinion it is still, sooner or later, going to boil down to doing something about the
food supply and the way crops are grown. Having vitamin pills allows us to collectively ignore the poor shape the food supply is in.
When herbs, vitamins and minerals are no longer available, and everything has to be dispensed by a doctor or pharmacist, that is when
people will be sufficently disturbed to recognize what the real problem is -and do something about it.



Re: "And the beat goes on" (Archive in CODEX.)

Posted by Gregory [951.1009] on April 26, 2004 at 23:41:57:

In Reply to: Re: "And the beat goes on" (Archive in CODEX.) posted by opinion [22.137] on April 26, 2004 at 14:14:46:

That is really impressive. Very rigorous. The fallacies almost like it was written by lawyers (laywers who were tired of "lawyer jokes").

Or maybe Renee or ~CT. (Well OK Labrat can whip out the logic too, when she isn't be distracted by her dogs).

This really points out how prevalent sloppy thinking is.



Re: "And the beat goes on" (Archive in CODEX.)

Posted by Ron [1540.81] on April 27, 2004 at 08:05:39:

In Reply to: Re: "And the beat goes on" (Archive in CODEX.) posted by opinion [22.137] on April 26, 2004 at 12:15:35:

Hi Opinion,

You are right about the editorializing of a writer clouding the issue.
Often a description or an analogy can be inflammatory instead of informative.

In cases such as this... one has to listen to Jack Webb
and stick to "The Facts Ma'am, Just the facts!"

Ron (Friday)

Follow Ups:


Re: "And the beat goes on" (Archive in CODEX.)

Posted by peterb [17.14] on April 27, 2004 at 08:09:28:

In Reply to: Re: "And the beat goes on" (Archive in CODEX.) posted by Gregory [951.1009] on April 26, 2004 at 23:26:28:

You are oversimplifying, as usual. Industry itself is the reason for deterioration of soil conditions, as faster crop production allows for greater profit margins. Those same industry forces, in aggregate, are responsible for attempting to diminish our natural health care choices, including open access to concentrated nutrients. Still, a reaction to the widespread acidification of soil through improper farming techniques is already happening: it's called organic farming. Unfortunately, companies like Monsanto and Conagra are releasing GMO seeds into the open environment, nd filing patents on their creations in order to OWN the food supply, and threatening the very existence of naturally-evolved foods. Under these conditions, it becomes increasingly likely that we risk the illegal farming of our own, unintentionally GMO-modified foods, as prosecutions have already begun.

Follow Ups:


Re: "And the beat goes on" (TAKEOVER motives)

Posted by Ron [1540.81] on April 27, 2004 at 08:15:14:

In Reply to: Re: "And the beat goes on" (Archive in CODEX.) posted by Gregory [951.1009] on April 26, 2004 at 23:26:28:

Hi Gregory,

I have often wondered if the real motive in the pharmaceutical companies taking over the supplement business
is to put the expensive pharmacists out of business and
replace them with a much lower paid store clerk.

Could it be the HMOs which would benefit most by this?
Look at the bright side of such a change... supplements
would then be covered by drug plans if they actually worked.

Ron



Re: "And the beat goes on" (TAKEOVER motives)

Posted by peterb [17.14] on April 27, 2004 at 08:31:48:

In Reply to: Re: "And the beat goes on" (TAKEOVER motives) posted by Ron [1540.81] on April 27, 2004 at 08:15:14:

I cannot see how vitamin C prescribed by the AMA at a 500% markup would be the "bright side." It is now illegal for individuals to grow aloe vera plants in Germany because they provide a "pharmocological" effect. What people don't see coming via WTO-friendly conglomerate greed is the strategic acquisition of patent rights on virtually all food production (via GMO contamination), and the reclassification of nutrients as drugs, so that corrupt political ambitions and conglomerate greed can be 100% joined at the hip.



Re: "And the beat goes on" (TAKEOVER motives)

Posted by Ron [1540.81] on April 27, 2004 at 08:41:24:

In Reply to: Re: "And the beat goes on" (TAKEOVER motives) posted by peterb [17.14] on April 27, 2004 at 08:31:48:

Hi Peterb,

When I can get steak at the drugstore and it will be paid for by my drug plan, why would I complain?

Since steak is a source of Vitamin B12, shouldn't it be classified as a "nutrient"?

Ron



Re: "And the beat goes on" (Archive in CODEX.)

Posted by peterb [17.14] on April 27, 2004 at 08:42:21:

In Reply to: Re: "And the beat goes on" (Archive in CODEX.) posted by opinion [22.137] on April 26, 2004 at 12:15:35:

I think what's important about this activist writer's commentary is not the amount of technical data he includes, or whether he has a sufficient scientific background to discuss the relative merits of drug safety compared with lax criteria on supplement bans, but rather that he describes a political agenda unfolding on the world stage, alerting casual readers that their individual health choice freedoms are under assault. And we CAN do something. We can support the Alliance for Natural Health's litigation effort in England and potentially overturn the EU's Food Supplement Directive, which is part of the CODEX inititiative that threatens global access to natural supplements.

Follow Ups:


Re: "And the beat goes on" (TAKEOVER motives)

Posted by peterb [17.14] on April 27, 2004 at 08:52:14:

In Reply to: Re: "And the beat goes on" (TAKEOVER motives) posted by Ron [1540.81] on April 27, 2004 at 08:41:24:

I'm sure you know better than this, since nothing in society comes free. What percentage of taxation do you already pay to cover your failing entitlement programs? Would you truly be happy with state-controlled feeding? If you are an adult, you should remind yourself that adults are supposed to think and do for themselves. Government, especially on behalf of greedy conglomerates, have no ability to improve your life. When they tell you that is what they are doing, you'll notice more air in your pockets.



p.s.

Posted by peterb [17.14] on April 27, 2004 at 09:02:21:

In Reply to: Re: "And the beat goes on" (TAKEOVER motives) posted by Ron [1540.81] on April 27, 2004 at 08:41:24:

The point I was making about classification of nutrients as drugs is that this, in effect, means FOOD becomes a drug. Under this ludicrous pretext for increasing corporate profits, both water and air must eventually be classified as drugs, since we cannot live without them. And indeed, FDA once sought to control free access to bottled water, and I'm sure they will again.

Follow Ups:


Re: "And the beat goes on" (Archive in CODEX.)

Posted by opinion [22.1106] on April 27, 2004 at 11:07:13:

In Reply to: Re: "And the beat goes on" (Archive in CODEX.) posted by Gregory [951.1009] on April 26, 2004 at 23:41:57:

Humans have known for years that eating right, exercising, and getting enough rest are key to good health. Yet somehow when we talk about how wellness pushed back diabetes symptoms or cancer our argument is considered post hoc. The public think that the norm is for people in good health to suddenly get cancer for no apparent reason and die, to wake up one morning with diabetes. But I have found no biological system on Earth that works this way. Plants and animals grow stronger or weaker over time based on the resources they assimilate, unless discernable outside forces act on them (as in the death of a lightning-struck tree). Unless the public can change their way of looking at things and stop willfully ignoring the evidence, they will always call our experiences 'old wives tales'.

Follow Ups:


Re: "And the beat goes on" (TAKEOVER motives)

Posted by Ron [2014.81] on April 27, 2004 at 19:07:46:

In Reply to: Re: "And the beat goes on" (TAKEOVER motives) posted by peterb [17.14] on April 27, 2004 at 08:52:14:

Hi Peterb,

I can say that the last provincial government we had for
8 years was conservative... They kept their promises and reduced our taxes, but the service fees charged by privatized corporations (which were once government owned)
exceeded the savings in taxes.
Snow plowing of highways is now a privatized business
and the roads are nowhere near as well salted. They now salt after the snow has stopped or after the rain has
frozen. Some have successfully sued for serious injuries
due to poor maintenance. That never happened before.
Red light cameras were installed and run privately, sharing the income with the municipality. Now we have two worry
about a surprise of $120 in the mail for something we don't remember doing a few weeks before.
The only good thing is that there are no points deducted from the licenced driver, but they still get their... I mean
MY MONEY.

It quickly became a have and have-not society.
The summer before last, I had a hydro bill of over $300 a month for over 4 months. That was double the previous year.

Provincial parks now charge entry fees. Pevuiously, I could drive through one for free to look at the leaves changing colour... now it costs $4.50 per person and slightly less
per child in the car. Soon we would be charged to look at Niagara Falls.
That government was royally turfed last October leaving a
$5.5 Billion deficit. (I guess they gave too much away prior to the election in an attempt to save their sorry a$$es.) The friends of the government did well, but welfare payements were cut almost 30% to help them.

We now have market value assessment on residential property
and values have risen due to a lower interest rate.
My property tax went up coose to 30% in the last two years.
There goes the savings in income taxes.
What will happen when the interest rates go up?
I'll bet that the taxes will not drop.

I would rather have one government in my back pocket taking half of my earnings or more, than to have every Tom Dick and Harry in there picking it clean as well.
At least you can throw the government out every 4 years, but
businesses never stop the pillaging.

Ron



Re: "And the beat goes on" (TAKEOVER motives)

Posted by peterb [17.14] on April 28, 2004 at 12:03:00:

In Reply to: Re: "And the beat goes on" (TAKEOVER motives) posted by Ron [2014.81] on April 27, 2004 at 19:07:46:

I hear ya, Ron. De-regulation of industry (particularly utilities) has never been a positive benefit for consumers, at least not here in the states. An opportunity for referendum ballot voting on all issues affecting our lives would be one solution; at least our mistakes would be our own, rather than because some lobby fatcat buys out a bunch of cowardly politicians. Pigs will fly over Ottawa in a blizzard before that ever happens.



Re: "And the beat goes on" (TAKEOVER motives)

Posted by Ron [1540.81] on April 28, 2004 at 23:54:50:

In Reply to: Re: "And the beat goes on" (TAKEOVER motives) posted by peterb [17.14] on April 28, 2004 at 12:03:00:

Hi Peterb,

I just heard that the provincial government is discussing
the possibility of
TAXING LOTTERY AND CASINO WINNINGS...

They already get half or more of the lottery before the pot is given away. If they want even more, the ticket sales will drop like a stone.
I have not bought a lottery ticket in 8 years. I feel that
I have won just as often since then as I used to before.."0"

If casino winnings are taxed, I certainly hope that losses
will be deductible as well. (More jobs for more beaurucrats.)

I have not been in a casino since my trip to Nassau in 84
I won $400 then and spent it elsewhere. :)

Ron




Re: "And the beat goes on" (TAKEOVER motives)

Posted by peterb [27.23] on April 29, 2004 at 11:16:36:

In Reply to: Re: "And the beat goes on" (TAKEOVER motives) posted by Ron [1540.81] on April 28, 2004 at 23:54:50:

What's funny in American politics is that "conservatives" don't conserve anything and "liberals" don't liberate anyone. We'd be better off with 100% referendum voting using the Internet.



Re: "And the beat goes on" (TAKEOVER motives)

Posted by Ron [1540.81] on April 29, 2004 at 21:44:29:

In Reply to: Re: "And the beat goes on" (TAKEOVER motives) posted by peterb [27.23] on April 29, 2004 at 11:16:36:

Hi PeterB,

If referrendum was the norm, how could the Illuminati
lobby the politicians and get their way with laws, privledges, trade deals and the new world order?

The Builderbergers would be relegated to their keyboards, which would be force them to find some way of fudging the vote.
(Talk about "hanging chads" ) :(
You could end up with Bill Gates as president.

I don't trust computer programmers any more than politicians, so I hope that all referrendai would be
done on PAPER which is still there after it is counted.
Just ask Bob Dole.

Ron



Re: "And the beat goes on" (TAKEOVER motives)

Posted by peterb [17.14] on April 30, 2004 at 07:31:38:

In Reply to: Re: "And the beat goes on" (TAKEOVER motives) posted by Ron [1540.81] on April 29, 2004 at 21:44:29:

I agree with you. The US voting system is already compromised using technology that allows for circumventing the proper count, which suggests we are no longer a democracy except on magazine covers.

Follow Ups:


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