It’s great to see more “academics” that openly push and encourage the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies to open their records to outsiders in an effort to better understand the potential harmful consequences of the drugs that billions of people across the world take everyday.
Should the transparency of drugs and vaccines that millions of people take every year not be a given? Unfortunately it’s not. This can be a scary thought, the fact that modern day health care is not transparent at all, often leaving patients and medical professionals completely in the dark and unaware when it comes to the truth about these things.
Pharma Hiding Information
It’s be revealed many times that pharmaceutical companies and vaccine manufactures purposely withhold critical information and data from the public domain when it comes to their products. One great example (I’ve used many times) comes from documents obtained by Lucija Tomljenovic, a PhD from the Neural Dynamics Research Group in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of British Columbia, Canada. The documents reveal that vaccine manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies, as well as (some) health authorities have known about multiple dangers associated with vaccines, but chose to withhold them from the public for decades. (1)
Unfortunately, this is also quite common when it comes to modern day health care products, not just drugs. For example, earlier this year a chemical called triclosan found in one of North America’s most popular toothpastes, Colgate Total, was linked to cancer and other harmful health ailments. Documents were kept from view of the public eye showing that the scientific findings that Colgate put together to establish the chemicals safety weren’t clear at all. These documents were not made available to the public domain until this year. (2) You can read more about this story in detail here.
As the New York Times points out, according to activists:
“The current system, the activists say, is one in which the meager details of clinical trials published in medical journals, often by authors with financial ties to the companies whose drugs they are writing about, is insufficient to the point of being misleading.” (4)
“This problem has been very well documented for at least three decades now in medicine, with no substantive fix” (4)
Another article you might want to check out regard fraud and the CDC is this:
One great example is the Influenza vaccine. In 2013, Dr Peter Doshi published a study in The British Medical Journal (BMJ) titled Influenza: Marketing Vaccine By Marketing Disease. A former post doctoral fellow at John Hopkins University and now an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Pharmacy. He is also an associate editor at the BMJ. His research focuses on policies related to drug safety and effectiveness evaluation in the context of regulation, evidence-based medicine, and debates over access to data. (source)
The main argument of the paper points to the fact that the CDC pledges “To base all public health decisions on the highest quality scientific data , openly and objectively derived,” and how this isn’t the case when it comes to the influenza vaccination and its marketing.
“The vaccine may be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and the threat of influenza seems to be overstated.”(3)
Today, there are approximately 135 million doses of the influenza vaccine that enter the United States market alone every single year. In 1990, there were approximately 30 million. Dr Doshi argues (and provides evidence) that this exponential rise in vaccination production does not stem from the need for it, or the demand for it, but rather by a public health marketing campaign that delivers “a straightforward, who in their right mind could possibly disagree message: influenza is a serious disease, we are all at risk of complications from influenza, the flu shot is virtually risk free, and vaccination saves lives.” (3)
It’s great to see Dr. Doshi speak out this mass marketing campaign. Through this type of marketing, there are those who feel opposing the vaccine is unethical, which is absolutely ridiculous. It seems those who do chose to take the influenza vaccine, do so as a result of heavy marketing. Every year we see a large amount of propaganda that tends to convince people the flu vaccine is extremely safe and necessary. A simple pharmacy radio advertisement or television (programming) commercial can do the trick, encouraging people to get the vaccine without doing any research, putting blind faith where it shouldn’t be put. Here is a great example that Dr Doshi points out in his paper:
“At a press briefing this winter, CDC director Thomas Frieden said a preliminary CDC study had found “the overall vaccine effectiveness to be 62%.” He explained that this estimate of relative risk reduction: “means that if you got vaccinated you’re about 60% less likely to get the flu that requires you to go to your doctor.” On the evening news, the CDC’s message was translated into a claim that influenza vaccines will cut the risk of death by 62%, despite the fact that the CDC study did not even measure mortality (box 2). Reflecting on the same CDC study, two authors editorialized in the Journal of the American Medical Association that there exists an irrational pessimism about influenza vaccine: “A prevention measure that reduced the risk of a serious outcome by 60% in most instances would be a noted achievement; yet for influenza vaccine, it is seen as a ‘failure.’” (3)
If you look at the science, the mass marketing by health authorities and drug manufacturers seems to be very misleading. Not that surprising, is it?
It’s clear that the majority of people, more so in North America, oppose the flu vaccination. As a result, the only way to maintain and keep vaccination numbers up is to implement mandatory vaccination programs. (5) How mandatory vaccination requirements, especially in health care facilities is seen as something ethical, and encouraging others to look at the science outlining potential dangers associated with the vaccine is seen as unethical is mind altering.
Dr Doshi cites the papers the CDC commonly uses to support the complete safety of the influenza vaccine, more specifically in older people. In doing so, he also points to the CDC’s national guidelines, a 68 page document that includes over 500 references. He claims that the studies cited in this document are undermined by bias, and that the agency itself acknowledges the fact that they may be undermined by bias.
“Studies demonstrating large reductions in hospitalizations and deaths among the vaccinated elderly have been conducted using medical record databases and have not measured reductions in laboratory-confirmed influenza illness. These studies have been challenged because of concerns that they have not controlled adequately for differences in the propensity for healthier persons to be more likely than less healthy persons to receive vaccination.” (Fiore AE, Uyeki TM, Broder K, Finelli L, Euler GL, Singleton JA, et al. Prevention and control of influenza with vaccines: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2010. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2010;59(RR-8):1-62.) (3)
If these observational studies cannot be trusted, what evidence is there?
“This means that influenza vaccines are approved for use in older people despite any clinical trials demonstrating a reduction in serious outcomes. Approval is instead tied to a demonstrated ability of the vaccine to induce antibody production, without any evidence that those antibodies translate into reductions in illness.”(3)
The paper also points to the fact that no evidence exists, however, to show that this reduction in risk of symptomatic influenza for a specific population—here, among healthy adults—extrapolates into any reduced risk of serious complications from influenza such as hospitalizations or death in another population (complications largely occur among the frail, older population).
“Marketing influenza vaccines thus involves marketing influenza as a threat of great proportions.”(3) Again, it’s great how the paper outlines this theme throughout. It also outlines how how recorded deaths from influenza declined sharply over the middle of the 20th century, and that this occurred before the great expansion of mass vaccination campaigns at the start of the 21st century.
Another marketing strategy used to push the flu vaccine is the claim by vaccine manufactures that “flu” and “influenza” are the same. The paper outlines how even the ideal influenza vaccine can only deal with a small part of the “flu” because because most “flu” appears to have nothing to do with influenza.
“Every year, hundreds of thousands of respiratory specimens are tested across the US. Of those tested, on average 16% are found to be influenza positive. All influenza is “flu,” but only one in six “flus” might be influenza. It’s no wonder so many people feel that “flu shots” don’t work: for most flu’s, they can’t.” (3)
This is a well researched paper, that’s why I decided to write about it. You have to pay to access the full publication, but if you don’t want to do that you can simply sign up for the 14 day free trial.
Please keep in mind, there are many more scientific studies published in various peer-reviewed scientific journals outlining potential dangers when it comes to the flu vaccine. It’s important to do your research, there are two sides to this coin.
So what are your thoughts on the flu vaccine, do you think it’s completely safe? Feel free to share your comments below
Related CE Article:
30-Year Study Finds Weekly Use Of Disinfectants Greatly Increases Your Chances Of Lung Disease
- The Facts:
A 30-year study conducted by Harvard researchers and the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research determined that people who use disinfectants just once a week have a 22-32% of developing lung disease.
- Reflect On:
There are many other natural alternatives out there these days. Some are listed in the article, be sure to do your research!
One of the most versatile cleaning supplies in the home, bleach disinfects anything it comes into contact with and can not only clean every surface but remove stains from fabrics, too. Despite its cleaning power, we’ve also long heard of the effects such chemicals can have on our health and wellbeing. The labels on such products make some of these clear, explaining they are corrosive and can irritate eyes, skin, and respiratory tract, often through simple inhalation. Despite these warnings signs, people continue to buy into this corporate propaganda.
As previously stated in an article of ours from 2013:
It is important to note that there is no FDA-type organization that regulates the cleaning products that are brought into your home. Instead groups such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) make warnings of the use of Chlorine Bleach publicly available. Under the assumption that consumers will continue to use Chlorine Bleach within their households, the following safety precautions are widely recommended:
- Dilute the chlorine bleach with water. The lower concentration poses a potentially lesser risk of unwanted exposure.
- Wear a safety mask and rubber gloves when working with bleach as a preventative measure.
- Only use chlorine bleach in a well ventilated area to allow for sufficient air flow and to prevent the unwanted gasses from remaining stationary in the working space.
- Never mix chlorine bleach with any other household cleaners.
It’s unlikely people exercise these precautions when dealing with this chemical, and it’s also interesting to note that even more studies have come forward since then confirming these risks.
A new study has found that people who use disinfectants just once a week have a 22-32% increased chance of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
“COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States. More than 11 million people have been diagnosed with COPD, but millions more may have the disease without even knowing it. COPD causes serious long-term disability and early death. At this time there is no cure, and the number of people dying from COPD is growing,” according to the American Lung Association.
The 30-year study was conducted by Harvard University and the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research. This new study could potentially link COPD to specific cleaning chemicals, as two other studies in European populations showed that “working as a cleaner was associated with a higher risk of COPD,” according to Orianne Dumas, a researcher at Inserm. Dumas goes on to say, “Earlier studies have found a link between asthma and exposure to cleaning products and disinfectants at home, such as bleach and sprays, so it is important to investigate this further.”
In 1989, the Harvard researchers found 55,185 working female nurses in the U.S. who did not have COPD, then analyzed those who were still working in 2009 over the next eight years. Participants were given a questionnaire to determine which disinfectants they used most frequently and why they used them. The disinfectants included glutaraldehyde (a strong disinfectant used for medical instruments), bleach, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, and quaternary ammonium compounds (known as “quats”). In addition to the questionnaire, they took into account factors such as age, weight and ethnicity.
During this period they found that 663 were diagnosed with the condition. “In our study population, 37% of nurses used disinfectants to clean surfaces on a weekly basis and 19% used disinfectants to clean medical instruments on a weekly basis,” says Dumas.
The study aims to highlight the lack of health guidelines when it comes to cleaning and disinfectants, especially in healthcare settings, and researchers hope their results will prompt further investigation and better safety precautions.
We need more people like these researchers, who dedicate their time to ensuring our safety when it comes to items we have incorporated into our lifestyle and assume are safe, doing this kind of work. This information isn’t meant to scare anyone, especially those of us who actively use these materials, but rather to bring more awareness so that we can educate ourselves and make healthier choices. There are countless healthy and safe alternatives when it comes to what we clean with, what we wear, and what we eat. You have to play the role of researcher in your own life if you expect to make positive change, and by having an open mind, you allow yourself to accept opportunities that can further your growth, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Alcohol Is Killing More People Than The Opioid Epidemic. So Why Aren’t We Talking About It?
- The Facts:
Alcohol related deaths are the third leading cause of preventable deaths in the US.
- Reflect On:
Should we be glamorizing the consumption of alcohol in the media and in advertisements? Is it time to get real about the potentially life threatening risks of this drug?
In recent years, we have been hearing a lot about the opioid epidemic that is sweeping the nation. The Center for Disease Control reported that over 47,000 people died in the United States alone from an opiate overdose in 2017, that is almost 5 times the amount of deaths caused by opiates in 1999. This is important, and yes it is good this is getting the attention that it deserves. However, in the same year, an estimated 88,000 people died from alcohol related causes — Did anyone hear about that?
Alcohol is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States, the first is tobacco and the second is poor diet and minimal physical activity. Given this, why aren’t we talking about it? And why don’t we see warning labels on alcoholic beverages? Why are we promoting such a harmful substance? We certainly don’t see huge billboards with people in bikinis popping oxycontin or injecting heroin, because we are well aware that these substances are addictive and can cause harm, so again, why are we openly promoting alcohol? Especially to young people?
Is It Because It’s Legal?
Is it possible that alcohol related deaths do not garner as much of a cause for concern because it is legal, easily available and socially acceptable? Most likely. Alcohol sales reached $253.8 billion in the US in 2018 — this might also have something to do with it.
I’m not suggesting that criminalizing alcohol is a solution to this issue or anything, the same way I don’t see how it’s still against the law to use any drugs at all, regardless of how bad they are for you. I believe that we should have the say in how we treat ourselves and what we put into our bodies, not the government or a legal system. But instead of being portrayed as a harmful substance, like opiates, crystel meth, and crack are — alcohol is glamorized by the media; often being portrayed as sophisticated, fun, sexy and generally just the cool thing to do.
Alcohol Is Basically Encouraged In Our Society
There is no doubt about it, the use of alcohol is deeply ingrained in our culture. So much so, that choosing not to drink is often the more odd thing to do. People will always ask, oh, how come you’re not drinking? As opposed to other drugs, people won’t typically ask, oh why aren’t you smoking meth tonight? Or whatever it may be.
Binge drinking is practically expected on the weekends, and for many people it is a way to unwind, let loose and have fun after a long workweek. Many people justify their consumption this way insisting that it’s fine, because, I don’t drink every day. The thing about alcohol abuse is that it doesn’t have to be every day to be considered a problem or for the person to be considered an alcoholic.
There are many ways we tend to justify our use, because the thought of giving it up entirely or admitting that we even have a problem can be extremely overwhelming — especially if our entire livelihoods are centered on it.
How Much Is Too Much?
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) created a web site called “Rethinking Drinking” to highlight the amount of misconceptions about what is considered “low-risk” and “high-risk” alcohol consumption. It turns out, more than three drinks in a day or more than seven drinks per week for women and four drinks per day or 14 drinks per week for men are considered “high-risk,” and these patterns can be detrimental both in the short and long-term.
Some people might have an attitude of, I don’t drink at all during the week, so I have all of my allotted alcoholic beverages on the weekend — however, for men consuming 5 or more drinks and for women consuming 4 or more drinks in about a 2 hour period is considered binge drinking.
Is It Time To ‘Rethink That Drink’?
Should we have more campaigns aimed to raise awareness about the potential harm caused by alcohol? Because it is legal it seems to have this view of also being safe, because our government officials and lawmakers always have our best interest at heart, right? 😉 But if we aren’t educating young people effectively on the potential risks associated with alcohol consumption, then perhaps there should be more of an effort to make the risks known on the packaging and even eliminating ads. In my opinion, it simply does not make sense to be legally allowed to advertise something that is so harmful — especially in such a glamorized way.
I don’t know what it’s like now for teens and if it is still considered “cool” to drink and if there is a ton of peer pressure around the whole thing. My hope is that this view will shift, young people will be made more aware of the risks and more people will find the courage to step away from what is no longer serving them or what’s not in their best interest.
Many health advocates and people that are very cautious with regards to what they are putting into their body are still completely overlooking alcohol as a harmful substance. Now, there is no judgment to anyone who chooses to drink, but I think it’s time to take a good hard look at these things and at least have the awareness behind it. Surely, it can be fun from time to time to relax, to loosen up, to be silly, but when we are relying on it to escape our unhappiness from our current situation, well then maybe it’s time to face these situations head on, rather than escape them and change whatever is encouraging us to reach for that glass of wine, whiskey or beer in the first place.
How Can We Support Others?
The fact of the matter remains, many people who drink can do so sparingly, not in excess and not very often. They have a handle on it and it doesn’t interfere with their lives in a negative way. However, for the ones who have struggled — with drinking too much, too frequently, with black outs, it can be difficult to even know if it’s a problem because of how acceptable it is in our society.
If someone says, no thanks I’m not drinking, don’t ask why, and instead try, right on! And no peer pressure. I’ve had problems with drinking, have quit and relapsed twice, currently I’m sober. Before I stopped drinking this time around I would open up to some people about it, questioning my use and whether or not it was harmful, many people would tell me, ahh don’t be so hard on yourself! We are allowed to enjoy life, or shut down from time to time if we need to. If someone is expressing to you that they are concerned they might have a drinking problem, don’t make them second guess themselves, if they are opening up about it please try to support them. We don’t always know what others are going through — apparently even if they flat out tell us. This may also challenge our own relationship with alcohol, but if you can keep that separate.
Do You Have A Problem?
If you are concerned that you might have a drinking problem, you probably do. Keeping in mind that having a problem with alcohol doesn’t necessarily make you an alcoholic. You may have a problem with alcohol if you can identify with any of the following scenarios:
- Spending a lot of time obtaining, using, and recovering from the effects of alcohol.
- Cravings, or a strong desire to use alcohol.
- Being unable to cut down on alcohol use despite a desire to do so.
- Continuing to abuse alcohol despite negative interpersonal or social problems that are likely due to alcohol use.
- Using alcohol in physically dangerous situations (such as driving or operating machinery).
- Drinking more or for a longer time than originally intended.
- Continuing to abuse alcohol despite the presence of a psychological or physical problem that is probably due to alcohol use.
- Being unable to fulfill major obligations at home, work, or school because of alcohol use.
- Giving up previously enjoyed social, occupational, or recreational activities because of alcohol use.
- Having a tolerance (i.e. needing to drink increasingly large or more frequent amounts of alcohol to achieve the desired effect).
- Developing symptoms of withdrawal when efforts are made to stop using alcohol.
A great way to get things in check is to commit to a period of time without any alcohol consumption and monitor how you feel, what you accomplish, and if you feel uplifted. You may need to ask your friends to support you during this time and have some sober activities prepared! Board games, cards, movies, sports, hiking — all these things can be great sober fun!
If your problem is more severe than this, or you are needing help in any way, reach out to a trusted friend or family member or you may benefit from your local Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for a whole slough of support and resources. If that’s not your jam, check out Hello Sunday Morning for assistance in moderating your use.
My hope is that in the near future it will be more common not to drink and doing so will be more like taking a drug, or having an experience that is typically out of the ordinary.
It is never too late to make a change, first step is to get really honest with yourself…
Joe Rogan May Take Down The Original Criticism Of “The Game Changers” Documentary
- The Facts:
Joe Rogan recently had James Wilks, the maker of "The Game Changers" documentary on to discuss the benefits of a plant base diet and to refute a previous episode where Chris Kresser debunked it.
- Reflect On:
When it comes to health, it's important sometimes to suspend what we believe and have been made to believe, and simply look at the information from a neutral perspective.
Joe Rogan has long ‘criticized’ vegans in various ways, and has also emphasized his belief that one cannot be optimally healthy on a vegan diet. He’s done this a number of times, which was hard for some onlookers to watch and listen to who have educated themselves on plant-based diets. Until recently, Rogan mainly focused on guests that were geared towards promoting meat-eating as optimal, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but a balance of understanding and information can go a long way to educating people.
One of the most recent examples of Joe Rogan and his guest ‘”debunking” a plant-based diet came from a critique of a recent documentary that is now airing on Netflix, called “The Game Changers,” made by filmmaker, James Wilks – a retired English mixed martial artist. The film was executively produced by James Cameron, and features interviews with the top scientists and doctors in their field who present an abundance of research and publications showing the benefits of a plant-based diet.
Not long ago, health coach and author Chris Kresser came on the “Joe Rogan Experience” after the documentary received a lot of attention, and the title of the podcast was titled: “Chris Kresser Debunks ‘The Game Changers Documentary.’
For someone like my self who has done a lot of research into the topic, it was frustrating to listen to it given the fact that it was quite clear, for me and others who had actually done thorough research from a neutral standpoint, that Kresser wasn’t really addressing all the facts, and was simply a big believer in what he was saying without even examining the information on the other side.
The challenge is, Rogan’s podcast was listened to by millions of people, and many came away actually believing the information that was said in the original debunking episode – information we later find out was completely incorrect. These types of episodes that massively mislead people are not just an issue with people who have large followings discussing vegan diets and health, but it’s a big issue with many other topics. This is why it was great that Rogan decided to have James Wilks on for a chance to defend his documentary, and the truth is he absolutely destroyed Kresser’s claims that were presented as facts in the previous podcast with Rogan. The best part was Kresser was on the show as well so he had a chance to truly make sure everyone was on the same page.
Wilks addressed every single criticism made by Kresser in the previous episode, from topics such as B12, protein amount, and protein quality, among many others. He also brought up the fact that we shouldn’t be listening to people like Kresser on such topics, but should be relying on properly published peer reviewed research that’s repeatable, non-industry conflicting research, as well as information that comes from the world’s leading scientists in the field of biology and nutrition, many of whom were presented in the Game Changers documentary. Or, people like Wilks, who have throughout done their research. This episode really exposes how Kresser is not accurate or factual in his position on this topic, an important note for his followers.
It’s important to keep in mind that not everything Kresser said previously had time to be addressed in this podcast, but it could have been. 100 percent of Kresser’s criticisms that were addressed were 100 percent completely debunked by Wilks, so much so that this is what Joe Rogan had to say via an Instagram post:
View this post on Instagram
Vegans, you’re gonna LOVE this one! @lightningwilks, one of the producers of “the game changers” came on to challenge some of the criticism that Chris Kresser presented about the movie, and to say he did well would be a tremendous understatement. James knocked it our of the park, and defended himself and the film quite spectacularly. So much so that I’m actually considering taking the original breakdown of the film offline. This podcast will be up today at noon PT.
If interested, you can watch The Game Changers documentary on Netflix, and check out the podcast in question below.
Some Quotes From The Game Changers Documentary
One of these experts is Dr. Christina Warinner, who earned her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2010 and received her postdoctoral training at the University of Zurich (2010-2012) and the University of Oklahoma (2012-2014). She became a Presidential Research Professor and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma in 2014, and is currently a Leader in Microbiome Sciences at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
Her work has led to some very interesting findings and conclusions:
“Humans do not have any specialized genetic anatomical or physiological adaptations to meat consumption. By contrast, we have many adaptations to plant consumption.” (The Game Changers documentary)
She goes deeper in her presentation at the 2016 International Conference on Nutrition in Medicine, and in this TEDX talk she gave a number of years ago.
Gradual increases in brain sizes of early humans have also been attributed to meat, but research is showing that “because there is not a very strong match between meat consumption and gradual increases in brain size, scientists have looked to other options. And given that plant foods are such an important part of modern humans that hunt and gather foods, the money is on plant foods and shift in the kinds of plant foods as being the major driving factor in increasing brain size.” – Nathaniel J. Dominy
“We have a brain, that just is desperate for glucose. It’s such a fussy organ, that’s the only thing it really takes in for energy. Well, meat is not a very good source of glucose, to have a big brain like this you need to eat something different. And the most efficient way to get glucose is to eat carbohydrates.” – Dr. Mark Thomas, geneticist, University College, London (The Game Changers documentary)
With overwhelming scientific evidence to many of the most common deadly diseases, I discovered that the meat, egg, and dairy industries have been engaged in a covert response, funding studies that deny this evidence while burying their involvement in the fine print. One of the hired guns paid to conduct these studies is Exponent, INC. A company whose research was used by the Tobacco industry to deny the connection between second hand smoke and cancer. For more than 50 years, Exponent has generated studies that challenge the health-risks of everything from asbestos, arsenic and and mercury, to animal foods.” – James Wilks, “The Game Changers” documentary
“The formula, works beautifully for people selling food, it works beautifully for people selling drugs to treat the diseases that bad food causes, and it works beautifully for the media, which can give us a new story about diet, everyday. But despite the appearance in our media of confusion, there’s massive global consensus about the fundamentals of a health-promoting, and it’s a diet that every time… In every population, every kind of research, it’s a plant food predominant diet, every time.” – Dr. David Katz, Founding Director of Yale University Prevention Research Center (The Game Changers documentary)
A Related CE Articles With More Information:
Alcohol Is Killing More People Than The Opioid Epidemic. So Why Aren’t We Talking About It?
In recent years, we have been hearing a lot about the opioid epidemic that is sweeping the nation. The Center...
Humans Are Not Designed To Eat Meat – Leading Microbiome Scientist Explains
There are many experts in the fields of anthropology, biology and all other sciences who have been creating awareness about...