Martha Rosenberg

Martha Rosenberg

Martha Rosenberg is a former advertising copywriter who knows a lot about marketing. She began as an investigative journalist and since has been on TV and radio as a health expert. Martha has taught about drug marketing tactics at a Chicago medical school and is part of the FDA press corps. Her book "Born with a Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks, and Hacks Pimp the Public Health," exposes what goes on behind the scenes in the food and drug industries.

Latest by Martha Rosenberg

  • 42 shot, 5 dead in Chicago last weekend but gun zealots say “carrying” is reducing crime





    Open and concealed “carrying” lowers crime because the bad guys know they better not try anything. It is pretty much a gun zealot catechism ever since John Lott’s More Guns Less Crime, published in 1998. Lott lost credibility when he was unable to produce data or records showing a survey he cited in the book actually existed and for creating an online “sock puppet” named “Mary Rosh” to defend himself against online charges of lax methodology.


    But the myth of carriers deterring bad guys continues. This week, the Washington Times perpetuated the self-flattering fantasy by noting that “the number of robberies that have led to arrests in Chicago has declined 20 percent from last year” and the reason …

  • Victim of Chicago Killer, John Gacy, Becomes Author and Survivor Activist




    About 45 people gathered on a hot August night at a Chicago LBGT community center  to hear a chapter in Chicago history that is often forgotten–how John Gacy prowled the streets of Chicago’s northside from 1972 through 1978, picking up young men and murdering at least 33 of them. Gacy, one of the most vicious mass murderers in U.S. history, was found guilty of the murders, sentenced to death and executed by lethal injection at Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet, Illinois on May 10, 1994.


    Author and activist Patrick Dati spoke about his acclaimed memoir, I Am Me: Survivor of Child Abuse and Bullying Speaks Out which recounts how Dati overcame a life of bullying and emotional …

  • Should People Watch the Animals They Eat Slaughtered?



    In Omaha, Nebraska, there is a proposal on the table for people buying meat to choose an animal and watch it being slaughtered.  But many are saying this encourages insensitivity and lack of empathy for suffering, whether human or animal. Many anthropologists say there is a strong cultural link between barbaric treatment of animals and barbaric treatment of humans–agony and terror no longer disturb people because they have become used to it.


    Since the United States and other countries moved from an agrarian society to an urban one, many complain that kids think chicken nuggets grow on trees and that they have no awareness or respect for the fact than an animal died to make lunch.  Because meat …

  • Author of New Book Discusses Shame and Codependency



    Codependents often have trouble being open, honest and assertive with intimate partners says Darlene Lancer, an author and marriage and family therapist. In trying to manage, control and manipulate others, often by “people pleasing” or giving advice, codependents can “turn themselves into pretzels,” says Lancer.  Now, in her latest book, Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You, Lancer addresses the role of shame and especially childhood shame experiences in codependency.


    Martha Rosenberg: Your recent book about shame and codependency brings to mind popular books written by John Bradshaw on the topics 25 years ago, some of which even became PBS specials. What new perspectives does your book bring to the topic?


    Darlene Lancer: …

  • Many Asking if Cage-free Eggs Are More Humane After Deathly Fire


    by Merritt Clifton

    FORT WAYNE, Indiana––A predawn fire on July 28, 2014 killed 65,000 hens at an Egg Innovations barn in Kosciusko County, Indiana, reviving attention to a two-year-old National Fire Protection Association proposal to require sprinkler systems in farm animal housing.

    “Flames were showing. Probably shooting in the air about 20 feet,” Atwood fire chief Mike Harmon told WANE-TV of Fort Wayne.

    The Kosciusko County barn had been acquired by Egg Innovations about a year and a half before the fire, local media reported.  The dead hens were about four weeks from being introduced to egg production.

    “Though Egg Innovations bills itself as a ‘free range’ and ‘certified humane’ facility, this tragedy sheds light on the deceptiveness of …

  • Are US Executions Really Humane? Robert Wilbur/Martha Rosenberg



    As the nation is horrified by another botched execution, a capital defense lawyer in Texas, legal scholar in New York and the former warden of San Quentin work against capital punishment.




    Robert Wilbur and Martha Rosenberg



    There were only three people in the room: Jeanne Woodford, the chaplain and the man strapped to a gurney with tubes coming out of his arms. After hearing the man’s last words, Woodford signaled the corrections officer who was “working the chemicals,” which means in prison argot that he started infusions of lethal chemicals that flowed into the man on the gurney. As warden of California’s San Quentin, Woodford presided over this high-tech ritual of punishment four times. After a …

  • Can You Imagine “Forgetting” You Have a Gun? It Happens All the Time at Airports



    It is happening more and more. T.S.A. screeners at the airport, in addition to finding hidden bottles of shampoo, are finding guns that passengers “forgot.” It is “a vivid indication of the normalization of casual gun-ownership,” said the New York Times this week. “Airports in states with lax gun laws tend to have the highest incidence of firearms at checkpoints.”


    Last year, a Littlestown man on his way to Music City USA was found to have a loaded gun in his carry-on bag at the Baltimore–Washington International Airport. The wife of rock musician and NRA board member Ted (“Obama is a subhuman mongrel”) Nugent was caught with a gun in her carry-on luggage at the Dallas airport. At …

  • Vioxx Scandal Not Over as Merck returns to Court Over Charges of Bone Harm



    It has been a decade since Merck’s “super-aspirin” Vioxx was withdrawn from the market after a study showed it doubled the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Heavily advertised by celebrity athletes like Dorothy Hamill and Bruce Jenner and used by approximately 20 million patients, estimates of the heart attacks caused by Vioxx range from 27,000 to up to 140,000. The Vioxx scandal made Merck the poster child for deceptive marketing because the cardiovascular risk data was deliberately withheld from the FDA, medical journals and the drug-taking public and their doctors according to news reports. In 2010, Merck compensated 20,591 heart attack and 12,447 stroke plaintiffs out of a $4.85 billion settlement fund.


    Now, in an improbable …

  • Gun Violence Explodes But the NRA Silences Its Own Moderates



    Like the Taliban, the absolutist NRA annihilates moderates. Who can forget how outdoors personality Jim Zumbo was stripped of his Outdoor Channel show and editorship with Outdoor Life in 2007 for suggesting that AR and AK rifles have “no place … among our hunting fraternity,” especially for shooting prairie dogs, and calling them “terrorists rifles”?


    Promptly labeled a “turncoat” who has “put a stake in our hearts,” Zumbo issued an unctuous recantation. “I’ll do all I can to educate others who are, or were, as ignorant as I was about ‘black’ rifles and the controversy that surrounds them,” he vowed.  “My promise to you is that I’ll learn all I can about these firearms, and by the time …

  • The Suntan–Status Symbol or an Unnecessary Health Risk?





    After an interminable winter, it is sunny and 86 degrees in Chicago. Tank tops and shorts are the couture of the day in Millennium Park, in the heart of downtown–except for some young women visiting from Asia. They are also in summer clothes but they are shading themselves with umbrellas, like the parasols once common in the US.


    Before the 1920′s, a suntan in the US was not a status symbol. The US was still an agrarian society and a suntan meant you toiled in the fields on the country’s many family farms. To appear refined or upper class, women sought a fair-skinned look, untouched by the sun, and wore full-length sleeves, long skirts and sunbonnets …

  • US’s Pro-Gun Lobby Is Loud But Actually Becoming a Minority



    While there are more guns in the US than there were thirty years ago, less households actually have guns. According to UPI, over half of US households in 1977 had guns; now less than a third have guns. The reason for the steep decline, says UPI, is “aging of the current-gun owning population, a lack of interest in guns by youth, the end of military conscription, the decreasing popularity of hunting; land-use issues that limit hunting and shooting and the increase in single-parent homes headed by women.”


    Needless to say, gun sales are increasingly to households that already have guns, reflecting the sales pitches after the election of President Obama and the Sandy Hook massacre that new guns laws, …

  • What Would The Camel Filters Man Think About Today’s Gender Changes?




    Does anyone remember the Camel Filters Man? A Mark Spitz lookalike, he was always climbing mountains in Nepal or panning for gold with a Farrah Fawcett lookalike, or several, by his side. He carried rope and a Swiss Army knife not a messenger bag. He did not seem to hold a day job.



    If you told the Camel Filters Man that one day American men would be pushing strollers, hearing “erectile dysfunction” on TV or carrying “purses” called messenger bags, he’d think you were smoking something. If you told him gay marriage would be legal, shaved heads would be cool and men would ride “step through” Divvy bicycles (nee “girl’s bikes) he’d expect you to talk about …

  • Prion Disease in Deer is Worsening; Penned Hunting Operations are a Factor



    It has been over ten years since Wisconsin endured a kind of deer holocaust. The terminal deer and elk disease, chronic wasting disease (CWD), descended upon its deer population with such vengeance officials declared “CWD eradication” zones in which fauns and does would be killed before bucks. Thousands of deer carcasses were stored in refrigerated trucks in La Crosse while their severed heads were tested for CWD. If the carcasses were disease-free they were safe to eat (any takers?); if not, they were too dangerous to even put in a landfill. Why? Because “prions” (which also cause mad cow disease, scrapie in sheep and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans) are not inactivated by cooking, heat, autoclaves, ammonia, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, …

  • Are You Eating These High Estrogen Foods?


    It is no secret that our bodies and environment are swimming in estrogen. Puberty is occurring as early as eight-years-old in children and recently babies in China developed breasts. Frogs and fish are becoming “intersex” and losing their male characteristics from excreted estrogens in the environment and waterways. In England, the Daily Mail ran a feature on the phenomenon of women’s bra cup sizes increasing independent of their weights, likely because of environmental and livestock chemicals. The website Green Prophet, speculated that women in the Middle East are not yet experiencing cup inflation because their environments have not become similarly estrogenized.


    The issue of feminized women, men and wildlife should be a wake-up call.  Estrogen is blamed for …

  • Have You Ever Heard of the JOBS Act? Neither Have Many Would-be Entrepreneurs, Especially Women




    The JOBS Act is a “game changer” that would allow “ordinary Americans…to go online and invest in entrepreneurs they believe in,” says President Obama.


    Do you know what PIPRs (private issuers publicly raising) are? Do you know what the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 or JOBS Act is? If not, you are like many people who are legally and culturally cut off from Wall Street which tends to be a bastion of the wealthy.


    Until the JOBS Act, passed by the Obama administration in 2012, if you had a business, you could not advertise its stock unless you were registered with the Federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or state securities agencies. While this restriction, …

  • Controversial Art Exhibit in Cincinnati Provokes Discussion



    It has been 24 years since an inflammatory art exhibit vaulted the city of Cincinnati and its Contemporary Arts Center to national attention. A photo installation by the late Robert Mapplethorpe, condemned by the late North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms, forced what was believed to be the first criminal trial of an art museum, especially one centered on obscenity. If convicted, the museum faced up to $10,000 in fines and its director, Dennis Barrie, up to a year in jail. The Center was acquitted. Thanks to the face-off between Mapplethorpe and Helms and shocking photos, the trial put discussion of what is “art” and what is “obscenity” on the nation’s front burner.


    Flash forward to this spring when a …

  • A Dean of a Medical School on a Drug Company Board? Interview About High-Level Conflicts of Interest with Walid Gellad, MD




    Walid Gellad, MD, MPH is both assistant professor of medicine and assistant professor of health policy at the University of Pittsburgh and a physician in the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Pittsburgh Healthcare System. He is coauthor of a recent research letter in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) [Academic Medical Center Leadership on Pharmaceutical Company Boards of Directors, also by Timothy Anderson, MD, Chester Good, MD, MPH and Shravan Dave, BS] that reveals almost all US large drug companies and 40 percent of all drug companies studied have leaders in academic medical centers on their boards. These drug company board members include deans, chief executive officers, department chairs, trustees at academic medical centers, school of …

  • Abused Women See Familiar Patterns in Oscar Pistorius Trial




    Was your “ex” violent and possessive? Did he drink too much? Was he emotional, unpredictable and prone to rages and anger management problems? When you tried to end the relationship did he threaten or stalk you? If you tried to date someone else did he intervene? Did you have to notify the authorities?


    It is no coincidence that violent “exes” are so alike. There is a definite “domestic batterer” personality. The dark behavior begins with possessiveness and extreme suspicion and graduates into violence including violence against their partners’ pets. Many domestic batterers say “you’re never leaving me alive” and, despite orders of protection, their chilling prediction often comes through. No wonder one woman we know in …

  • Which is a Friendlier Town–New Orleans or Chicago?




    New Orleans



    As a Yankee I fell in love with the City that Care Forgot (aka the Crescent City, the Big Easy and the Birthplace of Jazz) in my twenties and, like many a Yankee before me, moved there. (It was also called the Land of the Lotus Eaters because we forgot where we came from.) Like many a Yankee before me, I learned that a bald egg is a boiled egg oysters are ersters, oil is erl and the plural of yall is yall’s (not your). Who knew?


    With apologies to F. Scott Fitzgerald, New Orleanians are different from you and me if you and me are Yankees. Difference Number One is–they socialize! They …

  • Soft Drinks May Fatten–Even When Artificially Sweetened



    No one would defend soft drinks as healthful or good for you. But recent research about high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and artificial sweeteners suggest soft drinks may be even worse for us than we thought. Especially because soft drinks likely contain either HFCS or sugar substitutes. The truth is soft drinks may do a lot more good for the big beverage companies that make them than the people who drink them.


    High Fructose Corn Syrup and GMO Corn

    Can anyone remember life before high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was in almost every “sweet” food? The consumption of high fructose corn syrup has grown 1,000 percent since its introduction in soft drinks in 1984. Food producers much prefer …