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Why You Should Consider Going To An Organic Hair Salon

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Since making the transition over to organic foods and products, I have asked myself many times why I still go to a traditional salon. I didn’t even know organic salons existed until one of our writers, Organic Olivia, raved about her experience at Mauricio Hair, the first non-toxic/organic salon in NYC. Since I don’t live in New York, or even in a large city, I expected to have to travel pretty far to find one. When I learned there was actually one in my own region, I was ecstatic.

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I visited two salons, and the women working in both told me they had decided they simply couldn’t be subjected to the harsh chemicals they were being exposed to daily any longer, and didn’t want to expose their clients to them anymore, either. One woman became so sensitive to them that she had no choice but to use and learn about organic products so she could still practice her passion.

Naturally, people assume that if a product is used in a salon it is regulated and safe for use (a mistake we make with most things, including our food), but there are many loopholes in the Toxic Control Substance Act (TSCA) and within the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The U.S. Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (which hasn’t been updated since 1938) does not require premarket safety approval of products, nor does it require cosmetic companies to disclose the “chemicals [used] or gain approval for the 2,000 products that go on the market every year. And removing a cosmetic from sale takes a battle in federal court,” reports Scientific American. Which in short means that salon workers and clients have no way of knowing which products are safe, allowing them to be routinely exposed to hazardous chemicals. Even now, the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA), the agency responsible for establishing and enforcing the maximum exposure limit for chemicals, hasn’t updated its Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) for chemicals used in salon products that have adverse health effects.

How Hair Dye Works

Dana Oliver from The Huffington Post asked cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson, chief executive officer of Catalyst Cosmetic Development, and Elizabeth Cuannane Phillips, Philip Kingsley’s trichological expert, to explain what hair dye is really doing to our hair. The following is taken from the interview. 

For hair dye to work, ammonia literally lifts up your hair cuticle…

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Hair dye has a couple of barriers that it has to overcome before it actually deposits the color onto your hair. “It needs to be able to get into the hair shaft, and obstacle one is the cuticle, which is the hair’s protection,” explains Wilson. “If you think how tree bark has that outer covering, that is almost how our cuticle acts. So in order for [dye] to penetrate through the cuticle, it has to be lifted up.” Enter, ammonia. This chemical elevates the pH of the hair, and in doing so, the cuticle relaxes and lifts up. “The problem with that is once you’ve disturbed the cuticle, the damage has started because the cuticle is not meant to be lifted up,” says Wilson.

… and peroxide destroys your current color.

Now that the cuticle is lifted, the next step is to actually dye the hair. “In order to get the color that you wanted, your current color has to be destroyed,” according to Wilson. “That’s where the peroxide comes in, and that breaks down your natural hair pigment. Peroxide is very drying on the hair, which contributes to the damage of the hair. Now the cuticle is lifted, your pigment has been broken down, so now your hair should be straw-like.”

Now the color from the dye has to be developed, and that’s the pre-mix that you do. “You put that in and while it’s sitting, it’s going into the hair strand and beginning to develop. Keep in mind that your cuticle is lifted for however long you have before you rinse, and the dye is penetrating into your open cuticle and hair shaft. The longer your cuticle is lifted up, the more it’s weakening. Once you rinse, your cuticle comes down because the color has deposited, but the damage is already done,” says Wilson.

The result? Your hair is more damaged than before you entered the salon. According to Hilton Bell, owner of International Hair and Beauty Systems, the ammonia in normal hair colouring solutions creates tiny holes in the hair. “In fact the shaft of hair is starting to resemble Swiss cheese.” This leads to breakage, dryness, and overall hair damage.

Effects on Salon Workers

In 2014, Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE) released “Beauty and Its Beast: Unmasking the impact of toxic chemicals on salon workers,” a thorough report that “analyzes the unique chemical exposures that salon workers experience, the health impacts they suffer, and the need for greater research, regulation, and innovation to ensure improved health and safety in the salon industry.”

In the report, they revealed the following discoveries:

Hair salon workers have an increased risk of several types of cancer, including breast cancer, lung cancer, cancer of the larynx, bladder cancer, and multiple myeloma. Hairdressers and cosmetologists are also more likely to give birth to low birth weight babies, especially when their work involves using hairspray and permanent waves, and have an increased risk of miscarriage and babies born with cleft palates.

In addition, a significant proportion of salon workers experience skin conditions like dermatitis, and breathing problems, such as asthma and cough, due to chemical exposures from their work. Some studies found that over 60% of salon workers suffer from skin conditions, such as dermatitis, on their hands. Salon workers are significantly more likely than comparison groups like office workers to suffer from cough and nasal and throat irritation due to their work.

The WVE is especially against the Brazilian Blowout, a popular straightening treatment which, along with other straightening products, contains high levels of formaldehyde (up to 10%!) even when labeled “formaldehyde-free.” Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen and is so toxic that it continues to expose customers and salon workers to toxic fumes for months after its initial application.

Salon worker Jennifer Arce performed just one Brazilian Blowout treatment that exposed her to what her doctor suspected was “possible chemical poisoning.” She suffered breathing problems and migraines, bloody noses, blistery rashes, and bronchitis.

“Exposure to formaldehyde doesn’t end with the treatment—the fumes are reactivated every time heat is applied to the hair,” says Arce. “So when a client who’s had a Brazilian Blowout done elsewhere comes into the salon to get a haircut or color and has her hair blowdried, flatironed, curled, or processed under the hood dryer, the fumes that come out of her hair make me and several of my coworkers sick all over again.”

After hearing similar horror stories from other salon workers, Jennifer took to gathering letters to send to the FDA. When the California Superior Court ordered GIB, the makers of the Brazilian Blowout, to stop selling its product in California after finding that it emits smog-forming pollutants at levels higher than allowed by the California Air Resources Board, GIB was asked to present a new, reformulated product to meet California Air Quality Standards.

Other countries, most notably, Canada, France, Ireland, and Australia immediately recalled hair smoothing products containing formaldehyde, based on their own testing results.

Effects on Customers

Horror stories abound of people whose home hair dying experiences turned ugly, such as that of 17 year old Tabatha McCourt, who suffered a rare allergic reaction and died 20 minutes after applying the dye despite having coloured her hair plenty of times before. One Reddit user posted about his brother John, who suffered a terrible head swell from applying at-home dye. Such anaphylactic reactions, believed to be sparked from the chemical ingredient para-phenylenediamine (PPD) which is present in 99% of all hair dyes, can even cause people to go into a coma.

Asthma
Persulfates are chemicals found in bleaching agents and hair dye and comprise 60% of most commercial hair products. Continued inhalation of persulfates can lead to persistent cough, throat discomfort, wheezing, lung inflammation, and full-blown asthma attacks. Ammonia is another common contributor to asthma attacks when using hair dye. In high concentrations, it can easily exacerbate pre-existing breathing conditions.

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
According to data retrieved from the National Cancer Institute, 30% of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma cases are caused by regular use of commercial hair dye. 4-ABP is a hair dye byproduct that has also been proven to have carcinogenic effects. The byproduct is commonly found in blonde, red, and black hair dyes but may not be listed on the label.

Multiple Myeloma
Men who use hair dye every once in a while to cover up their greys may still be at risk for developing this cancer of the bone marrow. Research has shown that multiple myeloma risk is greatly increased in Caucasian males who use commercial dye products.

Alternatives With Quality

So what are your options? We hear it all the time. While natural may be better for us, it doesn’t seem to produce quite the results we’re looking for.

Huffington Post writer Rebecca Adams documented her experience going to an organic salon that used Organic Color System. She visited New York City’s Yarok Beauty Kitchen and was taken care of by Mordechai Alvow. “The process was exponentially more enjoyable, since the anti-oxidant blend of aloe vera leaf, comfrey root, orange peel and grapefruit seed in the organic dye didn’t have the same headache-inducing effects of the harsh-smelling, ammonia-filled dye you get in most salons.” In the end, she decided that this treatment was the best for her: “After Alvow was done with me, the color was the most striking shade of copper red I’ve ever had, and I didn’t have that pesky line of demarcation that always gives me what I call ‘fire roots’ (freshly dyed roots that never seem to blend properly until after a couple of washes). The best part: My hair felt 10 pounds lighter and as soft as an 8-year-old’s. Needless to say, I’m an organic hair dye convert.” (Check out her full experience, pictures and all, here).

Hilton Bell, the owner of International Hair and Beauty Systems and an exclusive distributor in the U.S. of Organic Color Systems, not only claims that organic products are better for everyone involved, but that they work better, too. A website dedicated to organic salon products explains just why his system is so great:

Bell is the exclusive distributor in the U.S. of Organic Color Systems, a revolutionary hair coloring product that, until recently, was only available in Europe. Unlike the old versions of organic color that merely coated the hair with semi-permanent tint, Organic Color Systems is a permanent color that uses modern advances in color technique.

By using a conditioning substance with a lower pH, Organic Color Systems gently opens the hair cuticle to color it. It’s simply a gentler way of altering the hair’s color. And, with less damage to the hair, the color comes out more vibrant, the hair more lustrous.

And, contrary to the common belief about natural hair products, this product can achieve all the results of traditional color. Even stubborn grays don’t stand a chance. All the ranges of the color chart are possible, from fiery reds to frosty platinums. Salon owners rave about their increased business as word of mouth spreads.

Here is another list of organic hair dyes you can check out if you want to scan the market.

Needless to say, the world is changing, and people are looking for healthier alternatives to common products which will work as well, if not better, than their chemically-laden and harmful counterparts. You might feel like a kid again trying to find that one salon you can call ‘yours’ and you may encounter some stylists who don’t quite meet your standards, but few things worthwhile in this life come easily!

I highly encourage you to seek out organic salons in your area and inquire about their methods and why they chose to make the switch. Their answers may inspire you. Or perhaps, armed with this information, you can convince a traditional salon to go organic, too.

Sources

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/01/hair-dye-process_n_4181186.html

http://www.stewartlonky.com/uncategorized/toxic-hair-salons-the-high-price-of-beauty/

http://healthscamsexposed.com/2013/05/5-deadly-reasons-to-stop-dying-your-hair/

http://www.greenamerica.org/livinggreen/how-to-go-nontoxic-at-the-salon.cfm

http://simplyorganicbeauty.com/more-hair-salons-going-green/

 

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Awareness

Fragrance/Perfumes Are Being Labelled As The New ‘Second Hand Smoke’

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Regulation on cosmetics and fragrances, like perfumes, are not quite strong and a host of toxic substances are used in their manufacturing. Over the years, evidence has emerged that these fragrances could be impacting our health in a negative way.

  • Reflect On:

    With awareness growing, the market for non-toxic replacements for perfumes, and other products, has expanded tremendously. If you're concerned, you can do your research and vote with your dollar.

If you have made an effort to remove as many chemicals from your life, be it in your food, cleaning supplies, personal care products and any other items you purchase, then you may have also found that the more you eliminate the more sensitive you seem to become.

Chemicals unfortunately, are all around us and often this is entirely out of our control. Something as simple as someone’s deodorant can be a smack to the face if you are not used to being bombarded with these smells on a regular basis.

You may be surprised to learn that simply by smelling a scent, you are in fact inhaling tiny molecules of the said scent that is giving off the aroma. Yes, sorry to disturb you or gross you out, but this includes everything that drifts across your nostrils, yes – everything. Unfortunately this means that even though you may do your best to avoid as many chemical toxins as possible in your own life, you are still exposed to them every time you step out into the real, chemical laden world.

Fragrances Being Considered The New Second Hand Smoke

If you’re thinking this is a bit extreme, then there’s a good chance that you are still using an array of chemical products and thus you are somewhat desensitized to these smells. You know that strong smell of someone who keeps reapplying cologne, without taking a shower? They don’t realize that they still smell like their cologne from before and fail to realize that they’ve become to be known as, “nose blind,” to the smell and just keep adding on more so they can smell it. The result of this is a very strong-smelling individual that is somewhat offensive to anyone who has to endure a bus ride with this oblivious culprit.

How about walking into a gift store or candle store? That extremely pungent aroma just hits you as soon as you open the door, sure, some consider these smells sweet or nice, but they are for the most part in fact, toxic. Natural essential oils and scents tend to be a lot more mild, smoother and enjoyable, this is likely because they are not created from a bunch of chemicals derived from petroleum in a lab.

It took decades for the workplace to acknowledge the dangers of smoking and to recognize the deadly effects of exposure to second-hand smoke. Once acknowledged, it was a few more years before the workplace became safe for all workers from the dangers of second hand smoke. We propose in this paper that fragrance is following the same trajectory. To date most of the research on fragrance exposure has been localized in the health care profession and has not received the necessary attention it deserves in the management literature for managers to become knowledgeable about the extent of employer liability and what constitutes a good faith effort to protect workers. This paper serves as a much-needed bridge to fill this vital gap in managerial knowledge. Current laws (e.g., Americans with Disabilities Act, Workers Compensation, and OSHA regulations) are identified that can be applied to fragrance exposure. The relevant laws and subsequent court cases are analyzed and the legal liability they create for employers with employees exposed to synthetic fragrance in the workplace are clearly identified. We also provide recommendations for organizations who want to demonstrate a good faith effort and be proactive to reduce or limit employees’ fragrance exposure in the workplace, before being sued We present the results of several organizations that have some experience with addressing the issue in their workplaces and identify the lessons learned We conclude by recommending actions employers can take to proactively respond (react) to common situations of exposure that arise for employees with fragrance sensitivity. (source)

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This Is About Much More Than Just Strong Smells & Sensitive Noses

Inhaling these chemicals that are coming from fragrances can cause damaging health effects if we aren’t cautious, but first it’s important that we become aware of the risks. Fragrances or perfumes have been treasured for thousands of years, all the way back to the ancient times, although in those days they were often derived directly from plants as pure, therapeutic essential oils that were sometimes worth more than gold.

Today, many of the chemical based perfumes we are using are still highly regarded as prized possessions, are often a small fortune to purchase, and yet they contain synthetic chemical compounds that have been linked to respiratory issues, diabetes, obesity, ADHD, autism, and hormone disruption.

These synthetic smells come in many forms and aren’t limited to only perfumes or cologne, they are almost always added to scented candles, car and home air fresheners, laundry detergents, personal care products, cleaning products and many more everyday products, many of which you may have not even realized. Even many products that are labeled as “all-natural,” simply aren’t and that word is nothing more than a marketing ploy designed to make you feel like you are purchasing a good, wholesome product for you and your family.

So, What Should We Do?

Of course the first step towards creating any kind of change is by raising awareness. So, getting educated on the matter and sharing it with your friends and family is a great start. Stress the importance of choosing only legitimately natural, pure, products made from organic, therapeutic grade essential oils, or to simplify things and save some money, opt for unscented products. It would still be wise to check these ingredients and opt for plant-based cleaning supplies and personal care products. If you want to take this even a step farther you may want to consider making your own cleaning supplies and personal care products, this way you have absolute control and a complete and thorough understanding about what is actually in said product.

As awareness is growing we have been seeing more and more bans in regards to fragrance, The American Lung Association has created a fragrance-free policy for workplaces and schools in the United States. Also, many Universities and Hospitals are catching on and implementing similar bans.

The most important thing, which almost always is, is to put your money where your mouth is and vote with your dollar. Be sure to check labels, know what you are buying, know what you are using to clean your house and know what you are putting into your body. The less chemicals in your life the better you’re likely to feel and there’s a good chance that you will notice them more, but this is how we create change. We can all do our part.

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Health

5 Reasons Why The Ketogenic Diet Might Not Be Right For You

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Dr, Michelle McMacken, an internal medicine physician shares why she doesn't recommend the ketogenic diet to her patients.

  • Reflect On:

    There is no doubt that ketone production has a wide range of benefits, but do we have to adopt a ketogenic diet to stimulate the production of ketones? What about fasting?

The ketogenic diet has gained a tremendous amount of popularity over the past few years, and it’s become a trend that many people are adopting without doing their own research first. We’ve written multiple articles on the ketogenic diet, a diet that promotes a high fat/low carb intake in order to prolong the production of ketone bodies in one’s blood. The release of these ketone bodies happens when we fast and deplete our glucose reserves, which develop from eating carbohydrates that turn into sugar. One can prolong the production of these ketones by sticking to a low carbohydrate/high fat diet, and essentially run off of fat instead of their glucose reserves.

The ketogenic diet is being used as an intervention for cancer, and there are multiple studies showing how ketones can actually kill cancer. It’s becoming well known that cancer cells cannot efficiently process ketone bodies for energy. Essentially, the cell starves itself, and ketones help slow the proliferation of tumor cells. Dietary ketones have been shown to completely halt metastasis. For example, a study titled “The Ketogenic Diet & Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Prolong Survival in Mice with Systemic Metastatic Cancer” explains how it’s already known that the ketogenic diet elevates blood ketones and has been shown to slow cancer progression in both animals and humans. The study also revealed that the ketogenic diet “significantly decreased blood glucose, slowed tumor growth, and increased mean survival time by 56.8 percent in mice with systemic metastatic cancer.”

Fasting (when you fast you produce ketones) is also being used for cancer intervention, seizure prevention (epilepsy), and as a potential therapy for alzheimer’s disease, parkinson’s disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders.

A TEDx talk given by Mark Mattson, the current Chief of the Laboratory of Neuroscience, at the National Institute on Aging goes into detail about fasting, ketones, and how beneficial it is for the brain. He is also a professor of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University and one of the foremost researchers of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying multiple neurodegenerative disorders.

In 1923, scientist Otto Warburg hypothesized that cancer was caused by a metabolic process whereby cancer cells fuel their growth “by swallowing up enormous amounts of glucose [blood sugar] and breaking it down without oxygen.” Coined the Warburg Effect, the theory was considered controversial at the time, but the past few decades have sparked new interest in it and oncologists now use the dependence on glucose that cancer cells have to locate tumours within a patient’s body.

Warburg made his discovery around the same time the ketogenic diet was found to be beneficial for epilepsy. Studies have shown that when the body produces ketones, they form a protective barrier around the brain, which is why more and more paediatricians are recommending the diet for children with epilepsy. It has a huge success rate, but since fasting is neither marketable nor profitable, it receives little mainstream attention.

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All of these are specific interventions for certain diseases, and they can be healthy. On a personal level, I believe fasting a few times a month is extremely healthy and can be very beneficial for the body. All of the studies in human and animal models show nothing but benefits.  Keep in mind that while you fast, you also get the benefits of ketones.

This is far different from continuing on with a no carb, high fat diet where you are constantly producing ketones and burning fat. It doesn’t seem normal unless you have to do it for a specific intervention, like cancer. Despite the potential health benefits, the ‘ketogenic diet’ has become a fad with potential dangers that people should also be aware of.

The Five Reasons

Below is a list of points regarding the ketogenic diet from Michelle McMacken, an internal medicine physician, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine, and Director of Bellevue Hospital Weight Management Clinic.

I came across these via her Instagram, which make it clear she does not support the diet:

1. That we know of, no population in history has ever thrived on a very-low-carb/high-fat diet. There is exactly zero scientific evidence that a keto diet is conducive to longevity & longstanding vitality – unlike a plant-centric diet, the foundation of the longest-lived people on earth.

2. A keto diet may cause short-term weight loss, but possibly at a serious price. A 2010 review found that low-carb, animal-based diets increased cardiovascular death by 14%, cancer death by 28%, & all-cause mortality by 23%- trends confirmed in other large studies.

3. A keto diet hasn’t been shown to prevent, control, or reverse type 2 diabetes in the long run. Avoiding carbs will temporarily lower your blood sugar if you have diabetes. But this simply masks the underlying problem, which is insulin resistance – ie. glucose in our blood can’t enter our cells & the liver overproduces sugar. This is NOT the fault of carbs from healthy foods – whole grains, legumes, fruit, or even starchy vegetables. In fact, a high-carb, high-fiber, plant-based diet is exceptionally protective against diabetes & can actually REVERSE insulin resistance & lower diabetes complications. In contrast, low-carb diets can promote diabetes over time, as they foster inflammation & fat buildup in our cells, causing insulin resistance.

4. Keto diet research is in its infancy, focusing on short-term blood results & body weight – not actual rates of disease or death. And some findings are concerning. LDL cholesterol levels tend to rise (or at best, stay the same) on keto diets. An overwhelming wealth of research shows that the higher the LDL, the higher the risk of cardiovascular disease.

5. A keto diet is low in refined grains & added sugar, which is great. But it also can be low in phytonutrients, antioxidants, & fiber, all of which have profound benefits, and it forbids some of the most powerfully health-promoting foods on earth – whole grains, legumes, & many fruits. To me, that’s just not good medicine.

Her references:


The Takeaway

It’s great to see the world becoming more health conscious, it’s one of multiple contributing factors in raising our vibrational frequency, and feeling more ‘alive.’ That being said, a lot of ‘fads’ seem to pop up in this field, which are coupled with a great misunderstanding of how these specific diets, like the ketogenic diet, is supposed to be used. At the end of the day, balance is key, and it’s best to incorporate more organic fruits and vegetables in your diet, and completely cut out all processed foods, and substances like high fructose corn syrup etc. Being healthy is not hard, and it’s not complicated. If you’re going to incorporate a specific diet into your lifestyle, just make sure it’s not one that’s specifically designed to combat certain diseases, like the ketogenic diet.

Related CE Articles:

Study Shows What A Ketogenic Diet Did To Mice With Systemic Metastatic Cancer

Doctor Explains What Happens To The Body When It Goes Into Ketosis

The Biggest Misconception About The Ketogenic Diet…You Don’t Actually Have To Follow It

Ending The Debate About The Ketogenic Diet – 9 Studies You Must Be Aware Of 


 

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Alternative News

Association of American Physicians & Surgeons Sues Rep. Adam Schiff For “Censoring Vaccine Debate”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Association of American Physicians & Surgeons are suing Rep. Adam Schiff for "censoring vaccine debate."

  • Reflect On:

    Should information that creates and generates concern among the population about vaccines and vaccine safety be censored, even if it's factual and not actually 'fake news?'

Vaccines are a hot topic right now, and vaccine hesitancy is growing and quickly gaining momentum. The reality of vaccine hesitancy is no longer a secret, as many studies on the matter have been published. And it is no longer simply among concerned parents. This study published in the journal EbioMedicine discusses how practitioners in France are becoming increasingly hesitant to prescribe some controversial vaccines to their patients.

The World Health Organization believes vaccine hesitancy is one of the biggest threats to global health security. Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project, was one of many academics to speak at the World Health Organization’s recent Global Vaccine Safety Summit, where she explained why this is being considered a major problem:

The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers. We have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen–and we’re constantly looking on any studies in this space–still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider. And if we lose that, we’re in trouble.

Dissenting Professionals, Conflicting Statements

This type of hesitancy among health professionals has begun to spawn organizations looking for answers to their questions. ‘The Physicians for Informed Consent’ is one of multiple examples. It’s promising that doctors, scientists and health safety advocates that have come together to share resources about vaccines, and more importantly voice concerns that they have about certain vaccines and their safety.

At the summit, Dr. Martin Howell Friede, Coordinator of Initiative For Vaccine Research at the World Health Organization, brought up the issue of adjuvants, noting some of the problems with using adjuvants that do not have a proven track record of safety. Many people at the conference also emphasized the need for more safety testing and studies to address the concerns that are being made by vaccine safety advocates. Personally, I think this is encouraging. Science should never cease to question, and who wouldn’t want more safety studies and testing on medications that are being administered worldwide?

As this issue becomes more scrutinized by the public as well as health care professionals, more and more conflicting statements made by high-ranking health authorities are being uncovered, which in themselves may lead to a breakdown of confidence in vaccines. For example, Soumya Swaminathan, MD and Chief Scientist at the World Health Organization, stated at the conference,

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I don’t think we can overemphasize the fact that we really don’t have very good safety monitoring systems in many countries and this adds to the miscommunication and the misapprehensions, because we’re not able to give clear cut answers when people ask questions about deaths that have occurred due to particular vaccines… One should be able to give a very factual account of what exactly is happening, what the cause of deaths are, but in most cases there’s some obfuscation at that level and therefore there’s less and less trust then in the system.

Prior to this statement, the WHO released a promotional video just days before the conference began, where Dr. Swaminathan contradicted her statement above, saying “we have vaccine safety systems, robust vaccine safety systems.”

It would be nice to have answers as to why the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act has paid close to 4 billion dollars to families of vaccine injured children, and what that says about these ‘safety systems’ she is talking about. Clearly, there seems to be a need to make our vaccines safer and more effective. Personally, I believe forced vaccination to be quite unethical given the fact that so many questions remain unanswered.

Read more about the conference here: Scientists Share Facts About Vaccines At World Health Organization Conference For Vaccine Safety

Association of American Physicians & Surgeons Sue Rep. Adam Schiff

The growing vaccine hesitancy has led the pharmaceutical industry and its supporters to a dangerous strategy: mass censorship. For those of you who haven’t heard, politicians and social media outlets are taking action steps to censor information about vaccines that is not aligned with the industry and its regulatory ‘arm,’ the CDC. In other words, just about anyone who is even questioning vaccine safety, let alone providing evidence that vaccines are not safe, is liable to be discredited, de-monitized, or de-platformed from social media.

Leading the charge is Congressman Adam Schiff, an advocate of vaccine safety and friend of the pharmaceutical industry, who has used his power and influence to immediately strengthen censorship efforts. His moves have been seen as unfair, unethical, and even illegal. In fact, on Jan 15, 2020, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, along with Katarina Verrelli, on behalf of herself and others who seek access to vaccine information, filed suit against Adam Schiff in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Plaintiffs allege that Defendant Schiff has abused government power and infringed on their free-speech rights.

Here’s how the association characterizes the situation:

Who appointed Congressman Adam Schiff as Censor-in-Chief?” asks AAPS General Counsel.  “No one did, and he should not be misusing his position to censor speech on the internet.”

In February and March 2019, Rep. Schiff contacted Google, Facebook, and Amazon, to encourage them to de-platform or discredit what Schiff asserted to be inaccurate information on vaccines. He then posted the letters and press release on the House.gov website.

Within 24 hours of Schiff’s letter to Amazon dated Mar 1, 2019, Amazon removed the popular videos Vaxxed and Shoot ’Em Up: the Truth About Vaccines from its platform for streaming videos, depriving members of the public of convenient access.

Under a policy announced in May 2019, Twitter includes a pro-government disclaimer placed above search results for an AAPS article on vaccine mandates: “Know the Facts. To make sure you get the best information on vaccination, resources are available from the US Department of Health and Human Services.” The implication of this disclaimer is that if information is not on a government website, then it is somehow less credible.

On Facebook, a search for an AAPS article on vaccines, which previously would lead directly to the AAPS article, now produces search results containing links to the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Visits to the AAPS website have declined significantly since March 2019, both in absolute terms and relative to the decline that would result from a story’s losing its recency.

“The internet is supposed to provide free access to information to people of different opinions,” stated AAPS Executive Director, Jane Orient, M.D.

Dr. Orient continues, “AAPS is not ‘anti-vaccine,’ but rather supports informed consent, based on an understanding of the full range of medical, legal, and economic considerations relevant to vaccination and any other medical intervention, which inevitably involves risks as well as benefits.”

AAPS argues in the complaint against Rep. Schiff: “The First Amendment protects the rights of free speech and association. Included within the right of free speech is a right to receive information from willing speakers. Under the First Amendment, Americans have the right to hear all sides of every issue and to make their own judgments about those issues without government interference or limitations. Content-based restrictions on speech are presumptively unconstitutional, and courts analyze such restrictions under strict scrutiny.”

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties since 1943.

The Takeaway

The terms “anti vax” and “pro vax” are really not serving in the best interest of the collective. All they do is divide people when in reality, all of us want the same thing, healthy children, and effective and safe medications if we are going to use them. With all of the concerns that are still being made about vaccines, questioning vaccine safety should not be a problem and in fact, should be welcomed by everybody. Forcing mandatory vaccination policy and censoring information on vaccines, in my opinion, seems to be quite tyrannical and immoral at this stage. I may have a different opinion if vaccines were 100 percent safe and effective for everybody, but they’re not.

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