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From Freeganism to Living Food: Some Shocking Dietary Practices of Our World

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freeganism2If you were to visit China in the 21st century, you may well stumble across one of the popular speed cooking competitions, where frenetically paced chefs transform live animals into animated culinary oddities: snakes are decapitated then chopped up into inch-long segments, which squirm on the plate several feet away from their freshly-severed heads; Ying Yang fish, their sides deep-fried and coated in sweet and sour sauce are devoured as they stare up, still breathing (if the fish isn’t breathing, naturally the chef is disqualified). Note: the video here is of speed cooking for those who wish to see it, this is not pleasant and is cruel and inhumane. Watch Here

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For those of us who are a little squeamish about eating their dinner while it’s still alive, the popular dish Drunken Shrimp might be more palatable. The shrimp are served stunned in baijiu, a distilled white liquor, perhaps to impart a final pleasure to the creature before its untimely demise (although diners run the risk of becoming one of the 22 million people worldwide subjected to the food-borne parasitic infection Paragonimiasis – a fair compromise, from the perspective of the shrimp).

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Eating animals before they’re dead is something of a rare – and some might say cruel and sadistic – delicacy. Some Japanese seafood connoisseurs share their Chinese neighbours’ predilection for live animals, eating their fish, lobster or octopus ikizukuri-style, a preparation of sashimi using live seafood, or intoxicating baby shrimps in rice wine to make odori ebi. Koreans might prefer sannakji – raw, live and freshly chopped octopus which literally tries to escape as hungry locals and adventurous tourists attempt to cram the wriggling creatures into their mouths.

In the Western world such practices are often condemned as inhumane or even outlawed altogether, as is the case with ikizukuri in Australia and Germany. Most of us prefer our food to be dead before it reaches the plate, rather than staring at us with a mixture of desperation and horror as we tuck greedily into its flank. It is perhaps ironic, given the techniques used in the West for the mass production of animal food – from factory farms to industrialised slaughterhouses, where animals suffer torturous conditions before being killed en masse – that much of the opprobrium levelled against the approach to fresh meals in East Asia comes from those who live in regions of the world where animals have been reduced to mere commodities controlled by multinational corporations.

Ethical concerns bogged down in the quagmire of cultural relativism aside, few are likely to have any sympathy for the hapless victims squirming in the dish Casu Marzu, a pungent cheese made of sheep’s milk left out in the sun to become infested with maggots, a favourite on the Italian island of Sardinia. As a species it seems we have some way to go before extending our compassion towards insect larvae. A “Prehispanic Snackeria” in San Francisco called Don Bugito specialises in providing customers all their protein and vitamin needs in insect form – this enterprising advocate of “entomophagy” – the human consumption of insects – includes on its menu such delights as Wax Moth Larvae Tacos (“crunchy and tasty!” according to one satisfied customer), Salted Cricket Tostadita and Toffee Covered Mealworms over Vanilla Ice Cream.

Eating insects might be a something of a novelty – or perhaps a challenge – even for the residents of San Francisco, a city more deserving than most of the label “cosmopolitan”, where writer H. L. Menken felt the “subtle but unmistakable sense of escape from the United States.” Perhaps only New Yorkers can challenge San Franciscans in the arena of quirky cuisine – the East Coast plays host to a number of unusual restaurants which give Don Bugito a run for its money, where the clientèle can be found tucking into guinea pigs, finely chopped goat testicles and frog porridge. Such dishes, however, are not indigenous to the Big Apple; rather, they reflect the eccentric tastes of a city where obscure ethnic specialities sit comfortably alongside dining blindfolded to “challenge your palate to tease out the mysteries”.

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The eclectic restaurants of New York represent a tasting menu of the unusual foods to be found around the world. Well over a thousand insect species have been recorded as being eaten by over 3000 ethnic groups. Over 300 species of ants are eaten globally, from Thailand to Australia, sometimes grown on a special farm and encased in lollipops, sometimes covered in chocolate, providing children with a delicious, nutritional snack. Bug-themed special eating parties in Tokyo offer cockroach sushi, while the peckish shopper perusing the street stalls of Donghuamen Night Market in Beijing can choose from a selection of silkworm cocoons, fried scorpions, centipedes and locusts to stave off hunger. For something more substantial the Cambodians offer tarantula, stir frying the arthropod in mashed garlic, salt and oil.

It is unlikely that the widespread practice of entomophagy is just around the corner (in the western world, if not Asia), but the advantages to consuming the occasional grub or beetle may be greater – both to the individual and the environment – than most would assume. As well as being high in protein, insects could provide the ever-swelling human population of the planet with a possible alternative source to animal livestock. Environmentalists argue that this would reduce the need for huge tracts of land used for cattle grazing presently requiring extensive deforestation and the corresponding reduction in biodiversity, while simultaneously drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The only obstacle to such a radical revision of the human diet, some environmentalists lament, is the cultural taboo against eating insects which exists in Western culture.

While efforts by the Food and Agriculture Organization to promote entomophagy have so far largely focused on the Asia and Pacific region (and, if the foregoing overview is anything to go by, they have so far been hugely successful), cricket sticks and scorpion sandwiches are not likely to appear on the shelves of supermarkets in Europe and the US any time soon.

Or at least, not labelled. Many food laws limit the quantity of insect parts found in food rather than prohibiting them altogether. For instance, according to the US Food and Drug Administration’s “The Food Defect Action Levels” booklet, contamination of less than 150 insect fragments per 100 grams of wheat flour poses no threat. Whether you’re curious or not about trying out insects with your next meal, the chances are you already have.

In the modern world, we throw away almost as much food as we eat. A study conducted by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 2013 revealed that as much as half of all the food produced in the world ends up as waste each year – an amount equivalent to 2 billion tonnes. The report cites a number of factors which leads to this “staggering” statistic, from “poor engineering and agricultural practices” to unnecessarily strict sell-by dates and the demand from Western consumers for cosmetically perfect food. While the supermarkets rejected the findings – and with it, any culpability they may share – campaigners maintained that poorly managed food consumption habits were exacerbated by retailers. Tom Tanner, from the Sustainable Restaurants Association, said: “It is the power of major retailers – convenience shopping and supermarkets on everyone’s doorstep, you can nip out and buy a ready made meal in two minutes rather than make use of what’s in your fridge.”

One extreme form of anti-consumerist ideology striving to break away from the conventional economic and commercial system which exacerbates waste is Freeganism, which encourages minimal consumption of resources. Freegans “embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation, and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, conformity, and greed,” their activism characterised by the salvaging of discarded food from the skips and bins of supermarkets and restaurants. The perfectly edible food – thrown away because of the strict sell-by dates cited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers as one of the major causes of wastage – is often shared with the homeless and hungry, combining environmental activism and sustainability with humanitarianism. The problems created by rampant consumerism and free market capitalism are best solved, or at the very least addressed, by radical “community anarchists”.

The existence of Freeganism and other associated movements geared towards sustainable living, wild foraging and community gardens call to attention the complex and often ill-considered nature of contemporary food production and consumption. At one extreme, the unequal distribution of food has created a continuing increase in the world’s poor, with an estimated 925 million people in 2010 going hungry, the vast majority of whom live in developing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

Sitting on the opposite end of the spectrum, the rich and powerful may well start the day with a Zillion Dollar Frittata for $1000 before treating themselves to an Italian White Alba Truffle (price: $160,406). Foie gras – cooked duck or goose liver produced by force-feeding the animals until their livers enlarge to around 600% of their natural size – is just one dish eaten by the wealthy which has been condemned as cruel and inhumane treatment of animals. Endangered species are often sought after too – from Chinese giant salamanders and giant ditch frogs to dolphins and elephants; the rarer the delicacy the more highly sought after it is.

The eating habits of billionaires seem to reflect something of the decadent spirit of the age, voracious appetites to match their avaricious leanings, living in a world where the top 100 billionaires have the capacity to end global poverty.

From the waste pickers and scavengers who climb the mountains of refuse of Sao Paulo in Brazil to the increasing number gastro-tourism enthusiasts globe-trotting in search of the next exotic dish, it seems humans will eat just about anything. If the idea of eating bugs might sound like an unpleasant throwback to the primitive past, there are some who choose to diet on the menu of our distant ancestors.

The Paleolithic diet – also known as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet and hunter-gatherer diet – first became popular in the 1970s by gastroenterologist Walter L. Voegtlin, author of the self-published The Stone Age Diet: Based on in-depth Studies of Human Ecology and the Diet of Man, who proposed a nutritional program based on meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Controversial amongst dieticians and anthropologists, the diet was deemed to rank the lowest of 20 diets by US News and World Report. The panel of 22 experts took issue with the diet on every measure, including health, weight-loss and effects on the heart, determining that, while a “true Paleo diet might be a great option: very lean, pure meats, lots of wild plants. The modern approximations… are far from it.”

The idea that eating the food of ancestors so ancient they lived in a period of human history when more than one human species existed is considered a “fad diet” is not unreasonable – why deliberately deny yourself from sharing in the advantages of the Neolithic Revolution? Eleven thousand years of agriculture has played a pivotal role in the development of the human race; eschewing a grain-based diet in favour of that of the hunter-gatherer seems to represent a counter-intuitive regression from human achievement (although it is debatable whether or not the era of patriarchy-driven “civilization” has been truly beneficial to either the species or the planet – the verdict is still out), notwithstanding the inconvenient fact that the Paleolithic Era spanned some 3 million years – around 99% of human existence – of which there is much uncertainty and scholarly dispute. Anthropologists and archaeologists offer a number of competing hypothesis on the content and balance of the diet of the Paleolithic human, with some even arguing that cannibalism was common in human societies.

Of course, none of the contemporary advocates of a Paleolithic diet have suggested incorporating human flesh – at least, not in any of the literature in the public domain.

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Abductions & Car Vandalism – Startling Australian UFO Report Unclassified

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An uncovered Australian report performed by their Department of Defence. “Scientific Intelligence — General — Unidentified Flying Objects” is trending again. Those who have done extensive research on UFOs will find the Australian version of disclosure to be far more intellectually honest than the American version. Albeit it was conducted decades ago.

According to ex-US intelligence official Luis Elizondo, the Defense Department’s Inspector General is presently conducting three reviews. The inquiries vary from the Department of Defense’s handling of UFO claims to Elizondo’s alleged whistleblower retribution. The open IG cases are crucial to Australia’s report because they establish beyond a shadow of a doubt that the US Department of Defense is being dishonest and shady when it comes to the UFO subject. For decades, Australia has been a loyal friend of the United States. Within Australia’s boundaries, they share a military installation (Pine Gap). When a close defense ally’s intelligence agencies determined that the US was not being intellectually honest in its approach, perhaps it is reasonable to conclude that there is more to the tale than the 144 incidents studied since 2004 by the UAPTF.

The CIA became alarmed at the overloading of military communications during the mass sightings of 1952 and considered the possibility that the USSR may take advantage of such a situation.

Australian UFO study.

According to the summary, OSI, acting through the Robertson-Panel, encouraged the USAF to use Project Blue Book to publicly “debunk” UFOs. In a tragic twist of fate, when Australian authorities sought explanations from the US Air Force, the allegation was debunked. The authors of the study were depicted as conspiratorial and even crazy by the US Air Force. Ross Coulthart reported this, and it may be heard in a recent Project Unity interview. Courthart is an award-winning investigative journalist who is drawn to forbidden subjects. He also stated on the same podcast that a senior US Navy official identified as Nat Kobitz told him that the US had been in the midst of reverse-engineering numerous non-human craft. According to his obituary, Mr. Kobitz was a former Director of Research and Development at Naval Sea Systems Command.

Continue reading the entire article at The Pulse. 

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PGA Tour To End COVID Testing For Both Vaccinated & Non-Vaccinated Players

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CE Staff Writer 4 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The PGA Tour has announced that it will stop testing players every week, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not.

  • Reflect On:

    Are PCR tests appropriate to identify infectious people? Should people who are healthy and not sick be tested at all, anywhere?

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The picture you see above is of John Rahm, a professional golfer on the PGA tour being carted off the golf course after tournament officials told him he had COVID. He was healthy and had no symptoms, yet was forced to withdraw from the tournament. He was told in front of the camera’s, and a big scene was made out of the event. You would think something like that, especially when you are a big time sports figure, would be done behind closed doors with some privacy.

Earlier on in June a spokesperson for the PGA Tour said that more than 50 percent of players on the PGA tour have been vaccinated. Although it seems that the majority of players on the tour will be fully vaccinated judging by this statement, it does leave a fairly large minority who won’t be, and that’s something we’re seeing across the globe as COVID vaccine hesitancy remains high for multiple reasons.

We are pleased to announce, after consultation with PGA Tour medical advisors, that due to the high rate of vaccination among all constituents on the PGA Tour, as well as other positively trending factors across the country, testing for COVID-19 will no longer be required as a condition of competition beginning with the 3M Open. – PGA tour Senior VP Tyler Dennis

The tour recently announced that the testing of players every week will stop starting in July for both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. This was an unexpected announcement given the fact that, at least it seems in some countries, vaccinated individuals will enjoy previous rights and freedoms that everyone did before the pandemic. Travelling without need to quarantine and possibly in the future not having to be tested could be a few of those privileges. Others may include attending concerts, sporting events, or perhaps even keeping their job depending on whether or not their employer deems it to be mandatory, if that’s even legally possible. We will see what happens.

Luckily for professional golfers, regardless of their vaccination status they won’t have to worry about testing positive for COVID, especially if they’re not sick. This is the appropriate move by the PGA tour, who is represented by their players and it’s a move that the players themselves may have had a say in. It’s important because PCR tests are not designed nor are they appropriate for identifying infectious people. A number of scientists have been emphasizing this since the beginning of the pandemic. More recently, a letter to the editor published in the Journal of infection explain why more than half of al “positive” PCR tests are likely to have been people who are not infectious, otherwise known as “false positives.”

This is why the Swedish Public Health agency has a notice on their website explaining how and why polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are not useful for determining if someone is infected with COVID or if someone can transmit it to others, and it’s better to use someone who is actually showing symptoms as a judgement call of whether or not they could be infected or free from infection.

PCR tests using a high cycle threshold are extremely sensitive. An article published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that among positive PCR samples with a cycle count over 35, only 3 percent of the samples showed viral replication. This can be interpreted as, if someone tests positive via PCR when a Ct of 35 or higher is used, the probability that said person is actually infected is less than 3%, and the probability that said result is a false positive is 97 percent. This begs the question, why has Manitoba, Canada, for example, using cycle thresholds of up to 45 to identify “positive” people?

When it comes to golf, the fact that spread occurring in an outdoor setting is highly unlikely could have been a factor, but it’s also important to mention that asymptomatic spread within one’s own household is also considerably rare. It really makes you wonder what’s going on here, doesn’t it?

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New Study Questions The Safety of COVID Vaccinations & Urges Governments To Take Notice

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CE Staff Writer 9 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A new study published in the journal Vaccines has called into question the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are people hesitant to take the vaccine? Why are scientists and journalists who explain why hesitancy may exist censored?

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

A new study published in the journal Vaccines by three scientists and medical professionals from Europe has raised concerns about the safety of COVID vaccines, and it’s not the first to do so. The study found that there is a “lack of clear benefit” of the vaccines and this study should be a catalyst for “governments to rethink their vaccination policy.”

The study calculated the number needed to vaccinate (NNTV) in order to prevent one death, and to do so they used a large Israeli Field study. Using the Adverse Drug Reactions (ADR) database of the European Medicines Agency and of the Dutch National Register (lareb.nl), the researchers were able to assess the number of cases reporting severe side effects as well as the cases with fatal side effects as a result of a COVID vaccine.

They point out the following:

The NNTV is between 200-700 to prevent on case of COVID-19 for the mRNA vaccine marketed by Pfizer, while the NNTV to prevent one death is between 9000 and 50,000 (95 % confidence interval), with 16,000 as a point estimate. The number of cases experiencing adverse reactions has been reported to be 700 per 100,000 vaccinations. Currently, we see 16 serious side effects per 100,000 vaccinations, and the number of fatal side effects is at 4.11/100,000 vaccinations. For three deaths prevented by vaccination we have to accept two inflicted by vaccination. This lack of clear benefit should cause governments to rethink their vaccination policy.

The researchers estimates suggest that we have to exchange 4 fatal and 16 serious side effects per 100,000 vaccinations in order to save the lives of 2-11 individuals per 100,000 vaccinations. This puts the risk vs. benefit of COVID vaccination on the same order of magnitude.

We need to accept that around 16 cases will develop severe adverse reactions from COVID-19 vaccines per 100,000 vaccinations delivered, and approximately four people will die from the consequences of being vaccinated per 100,000 vaccinations delivered. Adopting the point estimate of NNTV = 16,000 (95% CI, 9000–50,000) to prevent one COVID-19-related death, for every six (95% CI, 2–11) deaths prevented by vaccination, we may incur four deaths as a consequence of or associated with the vaccination. Simply put: As we prevent three deaths by vaccinating, we incur two deaths.

The study does point out that COVID-19 vaccines are effective and can, according to the publication, prevent infections, morbidity and mortality associated with COVID, but the costs must be weighted. For example, many people have been asking themselves, what are the chances I will get severely ill and die from a COVID infection?

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, MD, PhD, from the Stanford University School of Medicine recently shared that the survival rate for people under 70 years of age is about 99.95 percent. He also said that COVID is less dangerous than the flu for children.  This comes based on approximately 50 studies that have been published, and information showing that more children in the U.S. have died from the flu than COVID. Here’s a meta analysis published by the WHO that gives this number. The number comes based on the idea that many more people than we have the capacity to test have most likely been infected.

How dangerous COVID is for healthy individuals has been a controversial discussion throughout this pandemic, with viewpoints differing.

Furthermore, as the study points out, one has to be mindful of a “positive” case determined by a PCR test. A PCR test cannot determine whether someone is infectious or not, and a recent study found that it’s highly likely that at least 50 percent of “positive” cases have been “false positives.”

This is the issue with testing asymptomatic healthy people, especially at a high cycle threshold. It’s the reason why many scientists and doctors have been urging government health authorities to determine cases and freedom from infections based on symptoms rather than a PCR test. You can read more in-depth about PCR testing and the issues with it here if you’re interested.

When it comes to the documented 4 deaths per 100,000 vaccinations and whether or not it’s a significant number, the researchers state,

This is difficult to say, and the answer is dependant on one’s view of how severe the pandemic is and whether the common assumption that there is hardly any innate immunological defense or cross-reactional immunity is true. Some argue that we can assume cross-reactivity of antibodies to conventional coronaviruses in 30–50% of the population [13,14,15,16]. This might explain why children and younger people are rarely afflicted by SARS-CoV2 [17,18,19].

Natural immunity is another interesting topic I’ve written in-depth about. There’s a possibility that more than a billion people have been infected, does this mean they have protection? What happens if previously infected individuals take the vaccine? What does this do to their natural immunity? The research suggesting natural immunity may last decades, or even a lifetime, is quite strong in my opinion.

There are also other health concerns that have been raised that go beyond deaths and adverse reactions as a result of the vaccine.

As the study points out,

A recent experimental study has shown that SARS-CoV2 spike protein is sufficient to produce endothelial damage. [23]. This provides a potential causal rationale for the most serious and most frequent side effects, namely, vascular problems such as thrombotic events. The vector-based COVID-19 vaccines can produce soluble spike proteins, which multiply the potential damage sites [24]. The spike protein also contains domains that may bind to cholinergic receptors, thereby compromising the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathways, enhancing inflammatory processes [25]. A recent review listed several other potential side effects of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines that may also emerge later than in the observation periods covered here [26]…Given this fact and the higher number of serious side effects already reported, the current political trend to vaccinate children who are at very low risk of suffering from COVID-19 in the first place must be reconsidered.

Concerns regarding the distribution of the spike protein our cells manufacture after injection have been recently raised by Byram Bridle, a viral immunologist from the University of Guelph who recently released a detailed in depth report regarding safety concerns about the COVID vaccines.

The report was released to act as a guide for parents when it comes to deciding whether or not their child should be vaccinated against COVID-19. Bridle published the paper on behalf of one hundred other scientists and doctors who part of the Canadian COVID Care Alliance, but who are afraid to ‘come out’ publicly and share their concerns. Byram, as many others, have received a lot of criticism and have been subjected to fact checking via Facebook third party fact-checkers.

A recent article published in the British Medical Journal by journalist Laurie Clarke has highlighted the fact that Facebook has already removed at least 16 million pieces of content from its platform and added warnings to approximately 167 million others. YouTube has removed nearly 1 million videos related to, according to them, “dangerous or misleading covid-19 medical information.”

It’s also important to note that only a small fraction of side effects are even reported to adverse events databases. The authors cite multiple sources showing this, and that the median underreporting can be as high as 95 percent. This begs the question, how many deaths and adverse reactions from COVID vaccines have not been reported? Furthermore, if there are long term concerns, will deaths resulting from an adverse reaction, perhaps a year later, even be considered as connected to to the vaccine? Probably not.

This isn’t the only study to bring awareness to the lack of injuries most likely not reported. For example, an HHS pilot study conducted by the Federal Agency for Health Care Research found that 1 in every 39 vaccines in the United States caused some type of injury, which is a shocking comparison to the 1 in every million claim. It’s also unsettling that those who are injured by the COVID-19 vaccine won’t be eligible for compensation from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) while COVID is still an “emergency”, at least in the United States.

Below is the most recent data from the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). Keep in mind that VAERS is not without its criticism. One common criticism we’ve seen from Facebook fact-checkers, for example, is there is no proof that the vaccine was actually the cause of these events.

A few other papers have raised concerns, for example. A study published in October of 2020 in the International Journal of Clinical Practice states:

COVID-19 vaccines designed to elicit neutralising antibodies may sensitise vaccine recipients to more severe disease than if they were not vaccinated. Vaccines for SARS, MERS and RSV have never been approved, and the data generated in the development and testing of these vaccines suggest a serious mechanistic concern: that vaccines designed empirically using the traditional approach (consisting of the unmodified or minimally modified coronavirus viral spike to elicit neutralising antibodies), be they composed of protein, viral vector, DNA or RNA and irrespective of delivery method, may worsen COVID-19 disease via antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). This risk is sufficiently obscured in clinical trial protocols and consent forms for ongoing COVID-19 vaccine trials that adequate patient comprehension of this risk is unlikely to occur, obviating truly informed consent by subjects in these trials.

In a new research article published in Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, veteran immunologist J. Bart Classen expresses similar concerns and writes that “RNA-based COVID vaccines have the potential to cause more disease than the epidemic of COVID-19.”

For decades, Classen has published papers exploring how vaccination can give rise to chronic conditions such as Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes — not right away, but three or four years down the road. In this latest paper, Classen warns that the RNA-based vaccine technology could create “new potential mechanisms” of vaccine adverse events that may take years to come to light.

There are a plethora of reasons why COVID vaccine hesitancy has been quite high. I wrote an in-depth article about this in April if you’re interested in learning about the other reasons.

Conversations like this are incredibly important in today’s climate of mass censorship. Who is right or wrong is not important, what’s important is that discussion about the vaccine and all other topics remain open and transparent. The amount of experts in the field who have been censored for sharing their views on this topic has been unprecedented. For example, in March, Harvard epidemiologist and vaccine expert Dr. Martin Kulldorff was subjected to censorship by Twitter for sharing his opinion that not everybody needed to take the COVID vaccine.

It’s good to see this recent study point out that the benefits of the vaccine, for some people, may not outweigh the potential costs.

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