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Fascinating Evidence Shows Why Water Fasting Could Be One Of The Healthiest Things You Can Do

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**Please be advised that you should properly research how to fast if it’s something you are considering. This is just a tidbit of information that’s out there.  If you have pre-existing health conditions, fasting may not be right for you. Make sure and do your research before embarking on something like this.

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Fasting is the process  of abstaining from food (and drink in some cases) for extended periods of time. It’s a practice that dates back thousands of years, utilized by various cultures around the world throughout human history for multiple purposes. These reasons include both health and spiritual reasons, which will be touched upon later in this article.

“Fasting is the first principle of medicine; fast and see the strength of the spirit reveal itself.” – Rumi

Today, fasting is considered to be taking place if you don’t eat for a period of at least 8-12 hours. So technically, most of us are participating in a period of fasting every night when we sleep. In the morning, we break our fast, this is where the term breakfast comes from. Animals are constantly fasting, especially when they are sick. In fact, humans are the only animals who eat when they are sick despite their body telling them not to do so.

“Everyone has a doctor in him; we just have to help him in his work. The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well. …to eat when you are sick, is to feed your sickness.” – Hippocrates

Contrary to popular belief, fasting isn’t dangerous or unhealthy if it’s done properly, it’s actually healthy and beneficial.

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A Brief Summary Of What Happens To Your Body When You Fast

When you fast, the body is deprived of its normal source of energy, food, by turning it into glucose. The liver stores lots of sugar, in a form called glycogen, which is used for energy when the body isn’t taking in any of the food. Most of this energy source is depleted within the first 24 hours of fasting.

After this, the body switches into a state known as ketosis, which uses the body’s fatty acids as fuel in replacement of the depleted glucose levels. This change usually begins on the second day, most likely ending on the third. What happens here is that the body converts glycerol, which is available in the body’s fat stores, into glucose for energy -but it’s still not enough. The body gets the rest of its energy from breaking down the amino acids in muscle tissue, which are used by the liver to make more glucose for energy.

After this process, ketone production is sufficient enough to provide almost all of the energy the body needs, and the body begins to conserve large amounts of protein. The body is capable of preserving this protein to protect muscle tissue and vital organs from damage during long periods of food deprivation. After prolonged fasts of more than a week, the body starts seeking out non-body protein sources of fuel, which include nonessential cellular masses like degenerative tissues, bacteria, viruses or anything else in the body that can be used for fuel.

The conservation of the body’s protein is believed by many to be an evolutionary development that exists to protect muscle tissue and vital organs from damage during periods of insufficient food availability.

When you fast, just like when you sleep, the body is focused on the removal of toxins and the regeneration of damaged tissue.

What Modern Day Science Tells Us About Fasting

The benefits of fasting have been outlined in numerous scientific studies.  Studies show that short term fasting can extend your life span, boost immunity and regenerate stem cells. The list goes on and on.

One of the most recent studies published on the subject was in June of this year, in the Journal Cell Stem Cell. It found that fasting 2-4 days at a time can actually cause a reduction in white blood cells. This means that fasting kills off old and damaged immune cells, and when the body rebounds it uses stem cells to create brand new, completely healthy cells. (1)

“Fasting is the greatest remedy, the physician within.”- Philippus Paracelsus, one of the three fathers of Western medicine

The study was actually conducted using human clinical trials on patients who were receiving chemotherapy, where fasting was effective in fighting cancer.

“During each cycle of fasting, this depletion of white blood cells induces changes that trigger stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells. Prolonged fasting also lowered levels of IGF-1, a growth-factor hormone that has been linked to aging, tumor progression and cancer risk.” (1)

“Chemotherapy causes significant collateral damage to the immune system. The results of this study suggest that fasting may mitigate some of the harmful effects of chemotherapy.”(1) – Co-Author Tanya Dorff

“We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the heatopoietic system. When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged.  What we started noticing in both our human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting. Then when you re-feed, the blood cells come back. ”(1) – Valter Longo, corresponding author

A scientific review of multiple scientific studies regarding fasting was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2007. It examined a multitude of human and animal studies, and determined that fasting is an effective way to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. It also showed significant potential in treating diabetes. (2)

The study concluded that fasting:

“May effectively modulate metabolic and functional risk factors, thereby preventing or delaying the future occurrence of common chronic diseases.” (2)

Scientists at the National Institute on Aging, led by Mark Mattson, a professor at the school of medicine has published several papers that discuss how fasting twice a week could significantly lower the the risk of developing both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. (3)

He explains how fasting stimulates two messaging chemicals that operate at the cellular level and are key to the growth of brain cells in both animals and humans. The shock of fasting leads the brain to create new brain cells, neurons are forced to grow and the brain becomes more resistant to protein plaques that are seen in cases of Alzheimer’s, or the damage created by Parkinson’s.

“Dietary changes have long been known to have an effect on the brain. Children who suffer from epileptic seizures have fewer of them when placed on caloric restriction or fasts. It is believed that fasting helps kick-start protective measures that help counteract the overexcited signals that epileptic brains often exhibit. (Some children with epilepsy have also benefited from a specific high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet) Normal brains, when overfed, can experience another kind of uncontrolled excitation, impairing the brain’s function, Mattson and another researcher reported in January in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience.” (3)

Scientists are continuing to uncover evidence that short term fasting could achieve a number of health benefits. Despite this evidence, current medical opinion remains unchanged, because there are many human studies that indicate a diet of at least 2000 calories a day is the best option.

Fasting As A Spiritual Practice 

As mentioned earlier, fasting has been practiced for thousands of years by various cultures all over the world. Seen as not only beneficial to health, but beneficial to the soul, as it is often done to intensify our connection to source, God, the creator or whatever you want to call it.  This is why it’s described  in various religions, texts, ancient civilizations and native american traditions. I won’t go into detail here, as that is a completely separate topic. It’s not hard to find more information on it if you do some research yourself.

“Fasting will bring spiritual rebirth to those of you who cleanse and purify your bodies. The light of the world will illuminate within you when you fast and purify yourself. What the eyes are for the outer world, fasts are for the inner.” – Mahatma Gandhi

My experience with fasting started approximately 10 years ago. I started practicing it to lose weight at first, more concerned with my appearance than anything else, it worked tremendously. But then something happened, it started to feel really good, I felt really light and more connected to my soul. I received bursts of energy quite often.

Eating was such a censorial experience, a censorial pleasure, a normal part of my human experience. Completely depriving myself of this pleasure allowed me to connect with myself on a spiritual level even more, and after I did the scientific research, I realized that it was quite normal to feel completely rejuvenated, energized and healthy.  The fact that it was an ancient spiritual practice drew me into it even more, given the fact that science (more so quantum physics) is now catching on to concepts that were already known thousands of years ago. I fast quite often, and it is really (for me) an invigorating process that assists me in maintaining a completely peaceful state, which I feel is my most natural state. For me, it just feels right and since I have been incorporating it into my life for 10 years now, my body is quite used to it.

Other Factors To Consider

***When you are coming out of a fast, it’s important to do your research on how to best break it. It’s not something you want to rush into, you don’t want to stuff yourself with food after. You want to ease your body back into the transition of consuming food with fruits and vegetables. 

If you are going to do a water fast, it’s best to make sure your water is completely purified.

 Sources:

(1) https://news.usc.edu/63669/fasting-triggers-stem-cell-regeneration-of-damaged-old-immune-system/

(2) http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/86/1/7.full

(3) http://hub.jhu.edu/magazine/2012/summer/dont-feed-your-head

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Awareness

Food Brands Owned By Monsanto

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Below is a list of food brands currently owned by Monsanto. The list was put out by Vocal Media.

  • Reflect On:

    Are the foods we eat safe? Are the chemicals we eat ingest with them safe? A lot of science has shown otherwise, so what's really going on here.

Monsanto is a biotech corporation that was founded in the early 1900s. They produce genetically modified foods (GMOs) and many chemicals that are sprayed onto our food, including several pesticides. A recent study published in the journal Environmental Research titled, Organic diet intervention significantly reduces urinary pesticide levels in U.S. children and adults” outlined the issue with these chemicals, many of which were actually originally designed by Monsanto as warfare weapons to be used as nerve agents.

The study highlighted that diet is the primary source of pesticide exposure in both children and adults. It found that an organic diet significantly reduced neonicotinoid, OP pyrethroid, 2,4-D exposure, with the greatest reduction observed in malathion, clothianidin, and chlorpyrifos.

The researchers noted that all of us are exposed “to a cocktail of toxic synthetic pesticides linked to a range of health problems from our daily diets.” They explained how “certified organic food is produced without these pesticides,” and attempted to answer the question, “Can eating organic really reduce levels of pesticides in our bodies?”

They tested four American families who typically don’t eat organic food to find out.

First, we tested the levels of pesticides in their bodies on a non-organic diet for six days. We found 14 chemicals representing potential exposure to 40 different pesticides in every study participant. These included organophosphates, pyrethroids, neonicotinoids and the phenoxy herbicide 2,4-D. Some of the pesticides we found are linked to increased risk of cancer, infertility, learning disabilities, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and more. (source)

This is one of multiple studies that’ve shown the benefits of switching to an organic diet.

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When it comes to GMOs, there is a wealth of information that shows corruption with regard to their approval. A great resource to learn more about that is  called Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverte.

The stranglehold that corporations like Monsanto have on governments and government agencies like the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is quite strong. Many senior CDC scientists actually stressed this, but there are several other examples of this type of corruption.

For example, glyphosate, an active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, was recently re-licensed and approved by European Parliament. However, MEPs found the science given to them was plagiarized, full of industry science written by Monsanto. You can read more about that here.

Glyphosate has been implicated in thousands of cancer cases, and Monsanto has already paid out billions of dollars to multiple victims. Dewayne Johnson is one of multiple examples.

Many mainstream foods were also found to be contaminated with glyphosate. Here’s a list of children’s foods that’ve been contaminated.

Monsanto was recently acquired by Bayer Pharmaceuticals. Big food and big pharma are one in the same. They own the press, they own politicians, and they practically dictate government policy. There are a multitude of examples that illustrate the massive amount of corruption that drives these corporations, yet they are still operating despite the fact that the products they offer have been proven to be extremely damaging to human health as well as the environment.

Those of you who have been involved in the past in the battle to protect our children from poorly made vaccines or toxic chemicals in our food or in our water know the power of these industries and how they’ve undermined every institution in our democracy that is supposed to protect little children from powerful, greedy corporations. Even the pharmaceutical companies have been able to purchase congress. They’re the largest lobbying entity in Washington D.C.. They have more lobbyists in Washington D.C. than there are congressman and senators combined. They give twice to congress what the next largest lobbying entity is, which is oil and gas… Imagine the power they exercise over both republicans and democrats. They’ve captured them (our regulatory agencies) and turned them into sock puppets. They’ve compromised the press… and they destroy the publications that publish real science. – Robert F. Kennedy (source)

Today, annual protests are held against the agrochemical company to demonstrate the public’s displeasure with Monsanto’s practices. Not only do the protests illustrate how many people are against genetically modified organisms, but they also represent how many people are against the dangerous pesticides Monsanto produces to kill off pests and insects.

Here are some of the brands that Monsanto works with.

The Brands

This list was recently put out by Vocal Media.

  • Aunt Jemima
  • Aurora Foods
  • Banquet
  • Best Foods
  • Betty Crocker
  • Bisquick
  • Cadbury
  • Campbell’s
  • Capri Sun
  • Carnation
  • Chef Boyardee
  • Coca Cola
  • ConAgra
  • Delicious Brand Cookies
  • Duncan Hines
  • Famous Amos
  • Frito Lay
  • General Mills
  • Green Giant
  • Healthy Choice
  • Heinz
  • Hellman’s
  • Hershey’s Nestle
  • Holsum
  • Hormel
  • Hungry Jack
  • Hunts
  • Interstate Bakeries
  • Jiffy
  • KC Masterpiece
  • Keebler/Flowers Industries
  • Kelloggs
  • Kid Cuisine
  • Knorr
  • Kool-Aid
  • Kraft/Phillip Morris
  • Lean Cuisine
  • Lipton
  • Loma Linda
  • Marie Callenders
  • Minute Maid
  • Morningstar
  • Butterworths
  • Nabisco
  • Nature Valley
  • Ocean Spray
  • Ore-Ida
  • Orville Redenbacher
  • Pasta- Roni
  • Pepperidge Farms
  • Pepsi
  • Pillsbury
  • Pop Secret
  • Post Cereals
  • Power Bar Brand
  • Prego Pasta Sauce
  • Pringles
  • Procter and Gamble
  • Quaker
  • Ragu Sauce
  • Rice-A-Roni
  • Smart Ones
  • Stouffers
  • Shweppes
  • Tombstone Pizza
  • Totinos
  • Uncle Ben’s
  • Unilever
  • V8

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, despite the massive amount of corruption and illegal activities these companies have engaged in, we are the ones buying their products and consuming their foods. All we have to do is make better choices–we can switch to organic produce, we can do our research and purchase from ethical companies, and we can refuse to spray our lawns with herbicides. Vote with your dollar.

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Awareness

New Study Finds Strong Link Between Glyphosate & Human Liver Disease

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A new study outlines a strong link between Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, and human liver disease.

  • Reflect On:

    Glyphosate has contaminated much of our soil and it's in many of the foods we eat. Decades of research has shown the dangers of this product, so how have our federal health regulatory agencies been able to approve this substance, and others, as safe?

Scientists and health professionals have been raising concerns about pesticides for decades. The idea that these products were ever approved as safe by our federal health regulatory agencies is truly mind blowing, given the fact that their toxicity and danger seem to be unquestionable. In 2012, the Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) stated that “Children today are sicker than they were a generation ago. From childhood cancers to autism, birth defects and asthma, a wide range of childhood diseases and disorders are on the rise. Our assessment of the latest science leaves little room for doubt; pesticides are one key driver of this sobering trend.”

Again, with all of the science available showing clear cause for concern, how are these products approved as safe? There are many examples one can use to answer this question. For example, a group called the CDC Scientists Preserving Integrity, Diligence and Ethics in Research, or CDC SPIDER, made up of CDC senior scientists, put a list of complaints in a letter to the CDC Chief of Staff and provided a copy of the letter to the public watchdog organization U.S. Right to Know (USRTK).

They outline the corporate connection to science in the statement below:

We are a group of scientists at CDC that are very concerned about the current state of ethics at our agency.  It appears that our mission is being influenced and shaped by outside parties and rogue interests. It seems that our mission and Congressional intent for our agency is being circumvented by some of our leaders. What concerns us most, is that it is becoming the norm and not the rare exception. Some senior management officials at CDC are clearly aware and even condone these behaviours.

This is how substances like Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, continue to gain approval–it’s pure corruption. What’s one of the latest examples of corruption? Look no further than the fact that it was recently re-licensed and approved by European Parliament. In this case, MEPs found out that the science given to them was plagiarized and full of industry science written by Monsanto. You can read more about that here.

In 1996, Monsanto was sued by the New York Attorney General based on its false and misleading advertising of Roundup products. Monsanto lost and agreed to stop, but to date they have not stopped those practices anywhere else other than New York State. You can read more about that here.

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The list of corruption is long, and these are only a few of many examples.

Despite this fact, Germany has said it will phase out the weedkiller because it wipes out insect populations crucial for ecosystems and pollination of food crops and because of the negative impact it has on human health.

Glyphosate & Liver Disease

Glyphosate has been making noise in the courtroom, with thousands of pending cases regarding the correlation between glyphosate and various types of cancer. The link between Roundup and non-Hodgkin lymphoma  has actually led to Monsanto paying victims billions of dollars. You can read about one example here.

A new study, conducted by researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, suggests an association between glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in human beings.

In a study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology , a team led by Paul J. Mills, PhD, professor and chief in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UC San Diego School of Medicine, examined glyphosate excretion in the urine samples of two patient groups — those with a diagnosis of NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, a type of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD), and those without. The results were significant, as glyphosate residue was significantly higher in patients with NASH than it was in patients with a healthier liver.

These results also compliment the findings from multiple animal studies that have already been conducted.

“There have been a handful of studies, all of which we cited in our paper, where animals either were or weren’t fed Roundup or glyphosate directly, and they all point to the same thing: the development of liver pathology,” said Mills. “So I naturally thought: ‘Well, could there be an association with this same herbicide and liver disease in the U.S.?’”

As the university points out:

The study examined urine samples of 93 patients. Forty-one percent were male; 42 percent were white or Caucasian; 35 percent were Hispanic or Latino. Average BMI was 31.8. Patients were originally recruited as part of a larger study at the UC San Diego NAFLD Research Center conducted between 2012 and 2018. Liver biopsies were used to determine the presence or absence of NAFLD while classifying the subjects by cohort.

Mills plans to next put a group of patients on an all-organic diet and track them over the course of several months, examining how a herbicide-free diet might affect biomarkers of liver disease.

Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the United States; it was developed and patented by agrochemical giant Monsanto in the 1970s and its sales represent approximately 50 percent of the company’s annual revenue.

Dr. Minkoff, who graduated from the University of Wisconsin Medical School in 1974 and was elected to the “Phi Beta Kappa” of medical schools, the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Medical Fraternity, for very high academic achievement, provides an excellent scientific explanation as to why glyphosate represents a big problem for human health. You can read about that here, if you’re interested.

Will An Organic Diet Make A Difference?

Professor Mills mentions his intention to put a group of patients on an all organic diet and track them over the course of several months while examining how an herbicide free diet might affect biomarkers of liver diseases.

This is important, as many of our foods are now contaminated with glyphosate, among other herbicides and pesticides. For example, here’s a list of children’s foods that have been contaminated with glyphosate. The chemical has also been discovered in major orange juice brands.

Science has already shown that an organic diet can make a tremendous difference. A recent study published in the journal Environmental Research examined four families who eat conventional diets. Pesticide levels were measured via urine before switching to an organic diet for 6 days. A dramatic drop in pesticide levels was found. You can access that study and read about more examples here.

The Takeaway

The approval of substances that are harmful to human health started long ago–remember DDT? It’s been decades, but it’s still happening. At the end of the day, you can refuse to buy and use these products, as many people are still purchasing them to use on their lawns and in their communities.

Despite the setbacks, progress is being made as this substance is now banned in multiple communities and countries as awareness continues to grow.

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Health

What Polio Vaccine Injury Looks Like, Decades Later

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When touting the merits of vaccination, public health officials often brag about the campaign to eradicate polio. What they rarely if ever disclose, however, is that both the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) developed by Jonas Salk and the live-virus oral polio vaccine (OPV)—developed first by Polish scientist Hilary Koprowski and later by Albert Sabin—frequently have caused the very condition they were supposed to prevent.

U.S. regulators fast-tracked the Salk vaccine in 1954, deliberating for just two hours before approving it for wide-scale use. Despite Salk’s belief that a “killed-virus” vaccine “could not accidentally cause polio in those inoculated,” the number of reported polio cases rose immediately and dramatically within a year, with particularly steep increases in some states—including a 642% spike in Massachusetts. According to one account, National Institutes of Health doctors and scientists were “well aware that the Salk vaccine was causing polio,” and some health departments even banned it. To make matters worse, in a “massive and highly publicised disaster,” over 200,000 unsuspecting children received a batch of polio vaccine later determined to be defective—manufactured by Cutter Laboratories, the batch contained improperly inactivated (and, therefore, live) polio virus that gave polio to at least 40,000 children.

In the early 1960s, the “cheaper to make, easier to take” live-virus OPV began to supplant the IPV as the polio vaccine of choice and remained in place for nearly 40 years. By then, scientists had been testing the OPV on American children for about a decade; as reported by Koprowski in a 2006 paper, U.S. testing of his oral vaccine took place from 1951-1962. Sabin tested his OPV on millions of Soviet citizens in 1959, immediately followed by U.S. trials. By the summer of 1960, Sabin’s OPV was on the cusp of licensure. 

Knowing that children gravitate toward sugar, U.S. health department personnel who administered the oral polio vaccine “helped the medicine go down” by delivering the vaccine serum on sugar cubes. By 1962, “children were lining up at school, tongues out to receive pink-stained lumps of sugar impregnated with Albert Sabin’s live, attenuated oral polio vaccine.” What officials neglected to tell the millions of American children who happily crunched on their sugar cubes was that the OPV, like the IPV, could give them full-blown, iron-lung-type polio. Nor were recipients of either type of polio vaccine informed of their exposure to the cancer-causing viral contaminant SV40, derived from the monkey kidneys used to produce the vaccines. When some vaccine recipients went on to develop polio or cancer (or both), all too often they met with an evasive and uncaring response from public health authorities who refused to admit that their vaccines could cause lifelong damage.

A true story

Cynthia Grady, now almost 65 years old, is a North Carolina resident who received a coerced “sugar cube” polio vaccine in South Carolina in July, 1960 and has lived with chronic pain and severe health problems ever since. Grady and her nearly 85-year-old mother, Connie Gallagher, consented to an August 2019 interview with Children’s Health Defense to tell Grady’s tragic and hair-raising story of vaccine injury and describe their encounters with an officialdom apparently committed to obfuscation, stonewalling and denial of harm.

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At the time, Grady and Gallagher (who had divorced Grady’s biological father) lived in New York. In July of 1960, Gallagher drove south to drop her “very healthy” six-year-old daughter off with relatives in South Carolina before continuing on to Florida to visit her parents. Unfortunately, Grady’s biological father—a member of the South Carolina Cherokee Nation—decided to take advantage of Gallagher’s absence and engaged in what would now be termed a parental kidnap, whisking the bewildered child away from her aunt and uncle shortly after her arrival. To qualify for social welfare benefits allocated on the basis of “number of mouths being fed,” he immediately took Grady to the Cherokee County Health Department for vaccination.

Scared and crying, Grady explained that she had already had her vaccines, which she had received in injected form prior to starting kindergarten the year before. Despite her protests, the health department employee got her to swallow a sugar cube polio vaccine. Within a couple of days, while staying in a house that had only an outhouse, Grady began to profusely vomit and became so ill that she was taken to an isolation room in Cherokee Memorial Hospital. Her rapid deterioration then prompted a transfer 25 miles away to Spartanburg General Hospital, where she found herself in a special basement ward with 20 or more other children in similar condition. All of the children, Grady included, were diagnosed with paralytic polio.

Grady’s laboratory report form dated August 4, 1960 (not obtainable by the family until 2016, see below) clearly shows that Grady and the other children in her basement ward were closely monitored by the CDC/Public Health Service’s “Poliomyelitis Surveillance Program.” The lab report provides evidence of positive culturing for “monkey kidney” and also shows that Grady tested positive for polioviruses Types I, II and III.

By the time that Gallagher received the terrifying phone call that her daughter was in the hospital in critical condition, Grady was in an iron lung, unable to speak and paralyzed from the neck down. (Her time in the iron lung ultimately left her with a scar on the back of her neck and motor neuron imbalances as well as heart deformities.) After Gallagher rushed north to join her daughter, finding that Grady could only move her head and blink “yes” or “no” in response to questions, Gallagher repeatedly heard her daughter described as being in “grave condition.”

The CDC’s Poliomyelitis Surveillance Report No. 205, published on August 5, 1960, indicates that the CDC monitored 33 cases of paralytic polio (and 10 nonparalytic cases) that occurred in the tri-county area of Cherokee and Spartanburg counties (South Carolina) and Cleveland county in North Carolina between June 11 and August 6, 1960. The report states that 11 of the 33 paralyzed children had previously received one or more doses of the Salk polio vaccine but does not discuss the OPV. However, during the many days spent at her daughter’s bedside at the Spartanburg hospital, Gallagher learned from the other mothers present that all of the children in the special ward had received the sugar cube vaccine and had similar monkey kidney serum test results.

Mother and daughter recall that the CDC “brought in equipment like you wouldn’t believe” and put Grady through the rigors of various forms of physical therapy and rehabilitation, not always reflecting good clinical decision-making. Gallagher reports never receiving a single medical bill nor any medical documentation of Grady’s treatment in South Carolina, leaving no paper trail. With Grady still largely unable to walk, the pair eventually returned to New York and later moved to Oregon. Many years of painful rehabilitation followed, and it took seven years for Grady to be able to walk without crutches. Since then, Grady has endured one costly medical problem after another, including meningitis, tachycardia, mood swings, problems with balance, a partial and then full hysterectomy, gallbladder and appendix removal, ovarian cancer and more. At present, Grady has “good days and bad days,” with many spent mostly in bed. Her ongoing balance difficulties have led to numerous falls, concussions and broken bones.

The runaround

For years, mother and daughter tried to obtain Grady’s hospital records, to little avail. In 2001, the Spartanburg hospital even told Grady that they had “no record that you were ever here.” After renewing their request in 2016, a kind hospital employee dedicated two weeks to searching through the institution’s microfiched archives and stumbled on the apparently suppressed records, which included the revelatory CDC lab report.

For many years, the government repeatedly denied Grady’s applications for Social Security Disability, telling her that her health problems were “all in her head.” Eventually, Social Security awarded Grady a small monthly disability stipend (currently $645), while still periodically asking her to “jump through hoops” such as seeing a psychiatrist.

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) was established in 1986 and became operational in the fall of 1988. Although it included a meager provision for individuals like Grady who had sustained vaccine injuries prior to October 1, 1988, there were several caveats—those individuals had to know about the NVICP, had to have medical documentation to prove the case and had to file their claims by January 31, 1991. The program also capped the number of petitioners who could be compensated retrospectively at 3,500; by early 1993, the slow-moving program had only adjudicated 32% of retrospective claims and had only awarded compensation to half of those (641 claimants). In 2014, the GAO reported that the average time to adjudicate a claim remained three and a half years.

From the beginning, the NVICP has done little to publicize its existence, so it is unsurprising that Grady and Gallagher did not learn about it until decades after the 1991 deadline for filing a retroactive claim. Moreover, the hospital in Spartanburg did not hand over Grady’s medical records until 2016. When Grady and Gallagher first reached out to the NVICP, the program told them to get a lawyer and sent them a list of 150 attorneys. More than 75 attorneys refused to take the case: “We couldn’t get an attorney to touch it with a 10-foot pole.” In an unanswered letter to President Trump, Grady noted her stepfather’s military service during World War II and stated that she had been “raised to believe that this is one great country and that there is justice for all,” adding that something was “wrong with this picture” when a criminal gets a court-appointed attorney while she couldn’t get one.

Next, Grady asked for help from her congressional representative, Congressman Mark Meadows. For eight months, the Congressman’s staff tried to help and even submitted a complete set of paperwork to the NVICP. After months of getting nowhere, the Congressman’s staff was unable to continue dedicating scarce time to the case.

Finally, aware of a legal provision called “equitable tolling,” Grady and Gallagher filed a retrospective pro se petition (i.e., without an attorney) on April 6, 2017. Equitable tolling “means that a person is not required to sue within the statutory period if he cannot in the circumstances reasonably be expected to do so.” The NVICP assigned a case number (17-509V) and a Special Master (Mindy Michaels Roth), conducted two audiotaped status conferences by phone and asked for a complete set of medical records, information about current health status, and equitable tolling paperwork; months later, Special Master Roth dismissed the petition “on statute of limitations grounds.” Grady followed up with a motion for review, which was met first by inappropriate procedural steps and then by complete closure of the case.

The dismissal document refers to a prior legal decision discussing the intent of the 1986 Act that put the NVICP in place, stating that while “Congress sought to extend relief to those vaccinated before the Act went into effect,” it “also wanted to provide the government with a definite date after which it would no longer have to defend against any such retroactive suits.” In other words, “tough luck.” In a phone conversation between Grady and Special Master Roth and a Department of Justice attorney, Grady asked, “What am I, your collateral damage?” The reply was, “Well, if you have to put it that way.”

Collateral damage

Historians admit that the history of polio vaccines is littered with unsavory “tough choices”—as one historical account puts it, “the scientists who raced toward effective polio vaccines tested their work on prisoners, institutionalized children, and tens of thousands of monkeys.” A Harvard-based writer goes even further, stating that “The success of mass immunization…comes at a price” and that “Many children…suffer major injuries and death from the administration of vaccines.”

n 2000, the U.S. stopped administering oral polio vaccines and reverted to the IPV after being forced by outraged parents to admit that the OPV was resulting in an unacceptably high number of actual cases of polio in children. (The OPV is still in wide use in many other countries.) Dr. Walter Orenstein, then the director of the CDC’s vaccination program, unashamedly described his prior stance, stating that when a small number of children a year contracted polio but millions were assumed to be protected, “my feeling was it was a small price to pay.” However, when confronted with the tragic story of a young man, David Salamone, who died at age 28 of complications from childhood vaccine-induced polio, Orenstein seemingly changed his tune, saying “Suddenly, the eight to 10 people were not just tiny numbers but were real people. Just seeing how these people’s lives were ruined made a big difference.”

Grady, likewise, wants people to understand that she is a “real person.” As she states:

I want to be able to tell my story and to help change these time constraints on timely filing and make these people understand that it is the residuals of the polio monkey kidney serum that took a 6-year-old girl and many, many others years of distress, misdiagnosis with health problems, caused heart problems, cancer and motor neuron problems with the brain and lots of other disability. I want them to understand that we were not properly informed that there was even a vaccine compensation program back in the ‘80s, that our records were suppressed [for] over 50 years by the CDC and that they were derelict in their duty to follow up and admit the wrongdoing.


Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.

 

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