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7 Unhealthy & Mindless Work Habits

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There are plenty of habits that we pick up while we work, very few of which are healthy or productive. Most people don’t even realize they’ve picked up these habits, so here’s a list of the main culprits, so you can watch out for them and rectify your behaviour.

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1. Drinking Too Much Coffee, Not Enough Water

While many people associate working with coffee, there are risks associated with drinking more than four cups a day, like anxiety and headaches — neither of which are ideal while you’re at work. While everyone enjoys a cup of Joe first thing in the morning, you may be surprised at how much better you feel after swapping out caffeine for water. Yes, water can be boring. However, when you’re spending the majority of your waking hours in the office, you need to stay hydrated while you’re there. This is good for your skin, good for your brain, and can even provide you with an energy boost. Bringing a big bottle to work every day and aiming to finish it before 5:00 is a great way to remember to keep up your H2O consumption.

2. Failing to Prioritize Your Tasks

While many of us are proud multitaskers, switching back and forth between tasks can actually lead to mistakes, depleted concentration, and some half done work at the end of the day. Figure out what is important, and do things in order of importance. You’ll be sure to find your focus and concentration improve, along with the quality of each piece of work you produce. It’s easier to track your progress and stay calm when you’re handling one task at a time, while a pile of assignments you’re flitting between can seem unsurmountable, as nothing is getting finished. Doing one thing at a time can actually help your attention span because it forces you to focus.

3. Having a Messy and Unorganized Desk

While some people are messy by nature, and others are just naturally clean and tidy, indulging in your messy habits can be really counterproductive at work. The mess will distract you, as there will be just so much stuff in your line of vision. While having a stimulating desk with pictures and personal touches can be good for you, rifling through mountains of business essays and old postcards to find anything (and suddenly noticing something on the pile marked ‘urgent’) can significantly affect how much you get done in a day.

4. Not Taking Healthy Breaks

Our attention span and focus are limited. It is absolutely essential to take a break when you’re offered one, especially at lunch, as working at your desk saps your energy further. Do some creative writing exercises, step away from your desk, and avoid screens altogether, for that matter. Leave social media and just recalibrate a little, and you will be surprised to find how much energy you have when you return. Bringing healthy snacks and lunches to work can lift you up for the afternoon and sustain your energy, while sugars and carbs, which may seem satisfying a the time, will leave you crashing by 3pm. It’s also a good idea to avoid any negative gossip from around the office, as this can send you back to your desk a little depleted. It is also completely unnecessary to check your emails every five minutes — that kind of procrastination is not a healthy break, and reduces your productivity.

5. Not Acknowledging Your Limits

Some of us do get a bit off a buzz when people comment on our capacity, dedication, and loyalty to the business — they sound like compliments. But if you say yes to absolutely every single request without ever suggesting it may be too much on top of your workload, you may end up being taken advantage of. You could even become overwhelmed and extremely stressed by the amount of work you’re expected to do. There’s only so much you can do in a day, and while working overtime may carry some favour with the boss, accepting that you’ll always be sticking around after 5:00 may lead to more time-wasting during the day than if you wanted to be out of the door at five and had to get everything done by then. While there will always be circumstances that warrant staying late, doing it all the time will just take away from the time you have to relax and re-energize for the next day. The importance of free time shouldn’t be underestimated, so don’t be afraid to say no from time to time, get out of the door at five, and take care of yourself a little. If your employer doesn’t approve of such behaviour, start your resume writing and new job searching now. You cannot serve from an empty cup.

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6. Skipping the Gym

Working full time can be intense, and with commitments to friends and family combined, it can feel like you have absolutely no time to yourself, and you can be so tired that all you want to do is sit on the couch and relax. However, this does you no good, and if you do feel super busy or overwhelmed, though it may seem counterintuitive, exercising can actually drastically improve your state of mind by releasing endorphins that combat anxiety, —meaning it’s good for your mental and physical health. Sitting at a desk all day is bad enough for you; not exercising outside of work only compounds the problem and guarantees poor health.

7. Bad Posture at Your Desk

It’s easy to fall into poor posture while you’re sitting in a desk chair all day. You’re tired, you may be bored, and you just naturally start to slump. Unfortunately, slouching like this affects how you are perceived by your colleagues, and you do not seem like a dynamic go-getter when hunched over your desk. More important, it’s bad for your body, and may cause back pain later on. Some experts also believe that slouching can affect your self-confidence, too, making you feel more depressed than if you were sitting up, ready to tackle to world. Sit up straight to be seen as assertive, feel more confident, and save yourself aches and pains later.

These habits slowly creep into you day-to-day routine, and they’re bad for you, and bad for your work. Now that you’re aware of what some of your unhealthy habits could be, it’s time to try to avoid repeating them, so you can enjoy a healthy, happy workplace.

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Awareness

Studies Show We Can Heal With Sound, Frequency & Vibration

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Multiple studies and examples have shown how sound, frequency and vibration can literally alter physical material matter. Research has also shown that sound, frequencies and vibration can be used as a significant healing method for various ailments.

  • Reflect On:

    How plausible would it be for these interventions to become a regular part of therapy, just as much as pharmaceutical drugs are now?

Cymatics is a very interesting topic. It illustrates how sound frequencies move through a particular medium such as water, air, or sand and as a result directly alter physical matter. There are a number of pictures all over the internet as well as youtube videos that demonstrate how matter (particles) adjust to different sounds and different frequencies of sound.

When it comes to ancient knowledge, sound, frequency and vibration have always been perceived as powerful forces that can influence and alter life all the way down to the cellular level. Sound healing methods are often used by Shamans, who employ drums and singing to access trance states. Research has even demonstrated that drumming and singing can can be used to slow fatal brain disease, and it can generate a sense of oneness with the universe . Sound therapy is getting more popular, and it can have many medical applications, especially within the psychological and mental health realms.

Sound, frequency and vibration are used all throughout the animal kingdom, and there are many examples. If we look at the wasp, they use antennal drumming to alter the caste development or phenotype of their larvae. Conventional thinking has held for quite some time that differential nutrition alone can explain why one larvae develops into a non-reproductive worker and one into a reproductive female (gyne).  However, this is not the case, according to a 2011 study:

“But nutrition level alone cannot explain how the first few females to be produced in a colony develop rapidly yet have small body sizes and worker phenotypes. Here, we provide evidence that a mechanical signal biases caste toward a worker phenotype. In Polistes fuscatus, the signal takes the form of antennal drumming (AD), wherein a female trills her antennae synchronously on the rims of nest cells while feeding prey-liquid to larvae. The frequency of AD occurrence is high early in the colony cycle, when larvae destined to become workers are being reared, and low late in the cycle, when gynes are being reared. Subjecting gyne-destined brood to simulated AD-frequency vibrations caused them to emerge as adults with reduced fat stores, a worker trait. This suggests that AD influences the larval developmental trajectory by inhibiting a physiological element that is necessary to trigger diapause, a gyne trait.”

This finding indicates that the acoustic signals produced through drumming within certain species carry biologically meaningful information (literally: ‘to put form into’) that operate epigenetically (i.e. working outside or above the genome to affect gene expression).

Pretty fascinating, isn’t it? Like many other ancient lines of thought, this has been backed by modern day scientific research.

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Cancer 

Another example comes from cancer research. In his Tedx talk, “Shattering Cancer with Resonant Frequencies,” Associate Professor and Director of Music at Skidmore College, Anthony Holland, tells the audience that he has a dream. That dream is to see a future where children no longer have to suffer from the effects of toxic cancer drugs or radiation treatment, and today he and his team believe they have found the answer, and that answer is sound. Holland and his team wondered if they could affect a cell by sending a specific electric signal, much like we do with LCD technology. After searching the patent database for a device that could accomplish this, they came across a therapeutic device invented by New Mexico physician Dr. James Bare. The device uses a plasma antenna that pulses on and off, which, as Holland explains, is important because a constant pulse of electricity would produce too much heat and therefore destroy the cell. For the next 15 months, Holland and his team searched for the exact frequency that would directly shatter a living microorganism. The magic number finally came in the form of two inputs, one high frequency and one low. The high frequency had to be exactly eleven times higher than the low, which in music is known as the 11th harmonic. At the 11th harmonic, micro organisms begin to shatter like crystal glass.

After consistently practicing until they became efficient at the procedure, Holland began working with a team of cancer researchers in an attempt to destroy targeted cancer cells. First they looked at pancreatic cancer cells, eventually discovering these cells were specifically vulnerable between 100,000 – 300,000 Hz.

Next they moved onto leukemia cells, and they were able to shatter the leukemia cells before they could divide. But, as Holland explains in his talk, he needed bigger stats in order to make the treatment a viable option for cancer patients.

In repeated and controlled experiments, the frequencies, known as oscillating pulsed electric field (OPEF) technology, killed an average of 25% to 40% of leukemia cells, going as high as 60% in some cases. Furthermore, the intervention even slowed cancer cell growth rates up to 65%.

You can read more about the story, find sources, and watch that TEDx talk here.

Another example occurred in  1981, when biologist Helene Grimal partnered with composer Fabien Maman to study the relationship of sound waves to living cells. For 18 months, the pair worked with the effects of 30-40 decibel sounds on human cells. With a camera mounted on a microscope, the researchers observed uterine cancer cells exposed to different acoustic instruments (guitar, gong, xylophone) as well as the human voice for 20-minute sessions.

They discovered that, when exposed to sound, cancer cells lost structural integrity until they exploded at the 14-minute mark. Far more dramatic was the sound of a human voice — the cells were destroyed at the nine-minute mark.

After this, they decided to work with two women with breast cancer. For one month, both of the women gave three-and-a-half-hours a day to “toning” or singing the scale. Apparently, the woman’s tumor became undetectable, and the other woman underwent surgery. Her surgeon reported that her tumor had shrunk dramatically and “dried up.” It was removed and the woman had a complete recovery and remission.

These are only a few out of multiple examples that are floating around out there.

Let’s not forget about when Royal Rife first identified the human cancer virus using the world’s most powerful microscope. After identifying and isolating the virus, he decided to culture it on salted pork. At the time this was a very good method for culturing a virus. He then took the culture and injected it into 400 rats, which, as you might expect, created cancer in all 400 rats very quickly. The next step for Rife was where things took an interesting turn. He later found a frequency of electromagnetic energy that would cause the cancer virus to diminish completely when entered into the energy field.  You can read more about that story here.

More Research

A 2014 study published in the Journal of Huntington’s Disease found that two months of drumming intervention in Huntington’s patients (considered an irreversible, lethal neurodegenerative disease) resulted in “improvements in executive function and changes in white matter microstructure, notably in the genu of the corpus callosum that connects prefrontal cortices of both hemispheres.” The study authors concluded that the pilot study provided novel preliminary evidence that drumming (or related targeted behavioral stimulation) may result in “cognitive enhancement and improvements in callosal white matter microstructure.”

A 2011 Finnish study observed that stroke patients who were given access to music as cognitive therapy had improved recovery. Other research has shown that patients suffering from loss of speech due to brain injury or stroke regain it more quickly by learning to sing before trying to speak. The phenomenon of music facilitating healing in the brain after a stroke is called the “Kenny Rogers Effect.”

A 2012 study published in Evolutionary Psychology found that active performance of music (singing, dancing and drumming) triggered endorphin release (measured by post-activity increases in pain tolerance), whereas merely listening to music did not. The researchers hypothesized that this may contribute to community bonding in activities involving dance and music-making.

According to a study published by the National Institute of Health, “Music effectively reduces anxiety for medical and surgical patients and often reduces surgical and chronic pain. [Also,] Providing music to caregivers may be a strategy to improve empathy, compassion, and care.” In other words, music is not only good for patients, it’s good for those who care for them as well.

Below is an interesting interview with Dr. Bruce Lipton. You can view his curriculum vitae here.

The Takeaway

The information presented in this article isn’t even the tip of the iceberg when it comes the the medical applications of sound, frequency and vibration, which are all obviously correlated. One thing is clear, however, which is that there are many more methods out there, like the ones discussed in this article, that should be taken more seriously and given more attention from the medical establishment. It seems all mainstream medicine is concerned about is making money and developing medications that don’t seem to be representative of our fullest potential to heal. “Alternative” therapies shouldn’t be labelled as alternative, they should be incorporated into the norm.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

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Awareness

Vaccine Rhetoric vs. Reality—Keeping Vaccination’s Unflattering Track Record Secret

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Note: This is Part VI in a series of articles adapted from the second Children’s Health Defense eBook: Conflicts of Interest Undermine Children’s Health. The first eBook, The Sickest Generation: The Facts Behind the Children’s Health Crisis and Why It Needs to End, described how children’s health began to worsen dramatically in the late 1980s following fateful changes in the childhood vaccine schedule.]

A concerted and “heavy-handed” effort is under way to censor information that contradicts the oversimplified sound bites put forth by public health agencies and the media about vaccines. However, while brazen, in-your-face censorship—and attacks on health freedom—have ratcheted up to an unprecedented degree,  officialdom’s wish to keep vaccination’s unflattering track record out of the public eye is nothing new.

There is a chasm between vaccine rhetoric and reality for most if not all vaccines, but four vaccines—varicella (chickenpox), rotavirus, human papillomavirus (HPV) and pertussis-containing vaccines—offer especially instructive before-and-after case studies. Analysis of the U.S. experience with these vaccines raises important questions. First, why did the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) race to approve—and why does the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) heavily promote—vaccines such as varicella and rotavirus when there is little public health justification for them? Second, why are federal agencies ignoring the many serious risks that have surfaced in the vaccines’ wake—problems unheard of before the vaccines’ introduction?

With the rollout of mass varicella vaccination, shingles started cropping up to an unprecedented extent in both children and adults, eliminating boosting for adults and shifting downward the average age at which shingles occurs.

Varicella and rotavirus vaccines

The rationale for the varicella and rotavirus vaccines was dubious from the start. In the U.S. and other wealthy countries, varicella and rotavirus were nearly universal and mostly benign childhood infections; in those settings, the pre-vaccine impact of the two conditions was largely measured in terms of “healthcare costs, missed daycare, and loss of time from work for parents/guardians” rather than in terms of serious illness or mortality.

Childhood chickenpox infections served an important purpose for all, conferring lifelong immunity to infected children while boosting adult immunity to the related shingles (herpes zoster) virus. With the rollout of mass varicella vaccination, shingles started cropping up to an unprecedented extent in both children and adults, eliminating boosting for adults and shifting downward the average age at which shingles occurs. Vaccine waning also began increasing young adults’ risk for varicella outbreaks and complications later in life, presenting “perverse public health implications.” Meanwhile, the CDC and its local public health partners worked hard to conceal these unwanted chickenpox vaccine outcomes from the public.

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Rotavirus vaccines have had a similarly checkered history. Soon after their introduction in the U.S., reports emerged of a substantially increased risk in infants of an otherwise rare bowel complication called intussusception. The FDA knew about the problem during the prelicensing regulatory review process but ignored it. Although the agency subsequently withdrew its approval for one of the problematic rotavirus vaccines, it was not until after an estimated 500,000 children received at least one million doses. The FDA never explained the “precise mechanism” by which the discontinued vaccine caused intussusception.

Two rotavirus vaccines that display the same intussusception risks are still on the U.S. market. Both are contaminated with foreign DNA from porcine viruses capable of causing severe immunodeficiency in pigs. Had the presence of these “adventitious agents” been discovered prior to vaccine licensure, the FDA probably would have been forced to shelve the vaccines, yet they remain on the vaccine schedule to this day.

The speed with which the FDA gave them [HPV vaccines Gardasil and Gardasil-9] the go-ahead—despite obvious red flags regarding their safety—illustrates the insincerity of the agency’s assertions that its vaccine approval process is committed to minimizing risks.

HPV vaccines

The HPV vaccines Gardasil and Gardasil-9 (manufactured by Merck) represent perhaps an even more compelling case study of risk-laden vaccines that should have attracted strong up-front regulatory scrutiny—but didn’t. The speed with which the FDA gave them the go-ahead—despite obvious red flags regarding their safety—illustrates the insincerity of the agency’s assertions that its vaccine approval process is committed to minimizing risks.

The FDA not only gave the quadrivalent Gardasil a free pass but has repeatedly reapproved it and the nine-valent Gardasil-9 for wider use. (Gardasil-9 is a newer formulation that contains more than twice the amount of neurotoxic aluminum adjuvant as Gardasil.) In 2009, the FDA also okayed GlaxoSmithKline’s HPV vaccine, Cervarix, but Merck’s FDA-facilitated stranglehold on the market prompted the company to withdraw Cervarix from the U.S. in 2016. Merck is now aggressively expanding its Gardasil “franchise” into other countries, generating unprecedentedworldwide demand, while continuing to “rev up” U.S. sales.

Since 2006, the FDA’s Gardasil-related decisions have included:

  • 2006: Granting fast-tracked approval for the original quadrivalent Gardasil vaccine (girls and women aged 9 to 26 years)
  • 2009: Approving Gardasil’s use in boys and men (ages 9-26)
  • 2014: Approving Gardasil-9 (girls ages 9-26, boys ages 9-15)
  • 2015: Approving Gardasil-9 for boys ages 16-26
  • 2018: Approving Gardasil-9 for older women and men (ages 27-45)

An eight-month investigation by Slate identified numerous troubling aspects of the clinical trials that encouraged U.S. and European regulators to approve Gardasil. The Slate reporter also criticized regulators for allowing “unreliable methods to be used to test the vaccine’s safety.” These included Merck’s use of “a convoluted method” that made it difficult to objectively evaluate and report side effects; its failure to document “symptom severity, duration, outcome, or overall seriousness”; restriction of adverse event reporting to just 14 days following each injection; and reliance on the subjective opinion of clinical trial investigators regarding “whether or not to report any medical problem as an adverse event.” Not infrequently, clinical trial participants who shared complaints of debilitating symptoms with trial investigators were dismissed with the response, “This is not the kind of side effects we see with this vaccine.”

The author of the Slate investigation reported:

Experts I talked to were baffled by the way Merck handled safety data in its trials. According to…a professor…who studies side effects, letting investigators judge whether adverse events should be reported is “not a very safe method of doing things, because it allows bias to creep in.” …Of the short follow-up…,“It’s not going to pick up serious long-term issues, which is a pity. Presumably, the regulators believe that the vaccine is so safe that they don’t need to worry beyond 14 days.”

Two years after Gardasil’s initial approval, Judicial Watch pronounced it a “large-scale public health experiment.” Post-licensure studies carried out since then confirm that HPV vaccines have grave risks, including impaired fertilitydemyelinating diseasechronic limb paincirculatory abnormalities and autoimmune illness, to name just some of the disabilities reported in the aftermath of HPV vaccines’ introduction. Overall, the “rate of reported serious adverse reactions (including deaths) from HPV vaccination” is many times higher than the cervical cancer mortality rate.

Recent data suggest that HPV vaccines may be increasing cervical cancer risks.

In a February 2019 letter to the CDC, Children’s Health Defense Chairman Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. noted, “During Gardasil’s clinical trials, an extraordinary 49.5% of the subjects receiving Gardasil reported serious medical conditions within seven months of the start of the clinical trials. Because Merck did not use a true placebo in its clinical trials, its researchers were able to dismiss these injuries as sad coincidences.” A current civil case brought on behalf of a 24-year-old who has suffered from systemic autoimmune dysregulation since receiving her third Gardasil vaccine at age 16 alleges that Merck “committed fraud during its clinical trials and then failed to warn [vaccine recipients] about the high risks and meager benefits of the vaccine.” The trial’s legal team is benefiting from the support of an “A-team” of plaintiffs’ law firms and attorneys, including Kennedy, Jr.

Recent data suggest that HPV vaccines may be increasing cervical cancer risks. A 2017 study out of Australia—which has heavily promoted routine HPV vaccination since 2007—reported an increased risk of difficult-to-detect malignant cervical lesions among the HPV-vaccinated. In all countries where HPV vaccination coverage is high, including Australia, official cancer registries show “an increase in the incidence of invasive cervical cancer” in the vaccinated age groups. In England, “2016 national statistics showed a worrying and substantial increase in the rate of cervical cancer…at ages 20-24”—the first HPV-vaccinated cohort.

The proper decision would be to take HPV vaccines off the market, but the FDA and CDC continue to look the other way. Both agencies’ unwavering support for Gardasil has clearly helped Merck’s commercial bottom line, so much so that the CDC director at the time of Gardasil’s approval (Julie Gerberding) went on to be appointed president of Merck’s profitable vaccine division (worth $5 billion globally) in 2009. The agencies’ willingness to aggressively promote HPV vaccination despite its readily apparent dangers illustrates a “public health flimflam” of the first order. Before the U.S. introduction of HPV vaccination, a decades-long pattern of declining cervical cancer rates was already well underway, thanks to routine cervical cancer screening. HPV vaccines have never even been proven to prevent cervical cancer. In 2016, researchers admitted that they would be unable to ascertain HPV vaccines’ long-term efficacy for “at least another 15-20 years.”

Officials also seem to have little interest in modern evidence documenting many vaccines’ inability to provide the promised protection, even when vaccine coverage is widespread.

Pertussis-containing vaccines

Alongside their many misplaced claims about various vaccines’ rationale and safety record, the FDA and CDC—as echo chambers for the vaccine industry—also have misinformed the public about vaccine effectiveness. Back in 1899, doctor William Bailey (vaccination enthusiast and member of the State Board of Health in Louisville, Kentucky) was more honest, cautioning that “nothing is gained by claiming too much” about vaccine-induced immunity and stating that “the degree of immunity may vary with time and circumstance”—presaging the troublesome modern phenomena of vaccine failure and waning immunity. In the present day, officials are only too willing to “claim too much,” conveniently ignoring historical evidence that reductions in infectious disease had little to do with vaccines and far more to do with improvements in sanitation and nutrition. Officials also seem to have little interest in modern evidence documenting many vaccines’ inability to provide the promised protection, even when vaccine coverage is widespread.

The acellular version of pertussis (whooping cough)—a component of U.S. vaccines such as DTaP and Tdap—is one of the vaccines noted for its abysmal effectiveness. The vaccine is supposed to protect against the respiratory infection caused by Bordetella pertussis. Instead, according to recent studies, pertussis is making a “surprising” comeback; between 1990 and 2005, pertussis epidemics increased in the U.S. “in both size and frequency,” and over half of all cases occurred in highly vaccinated adolescents aged 10 to 20 years old. In fact, not only is pertussis at its highest level since the mid-1950s, but, according to CDC researchers, it is showing signs of being vaccine-resistant. The CDC researchers also note “substantial heterogeneity among vaccine recipients in terms of the durability of the protection they receive.”

… the researchers concluded in 2017 that all currently available evidence suggests that DTP vaccine may kill more children from other causes than it saves from diphtheria, tetanus or pertussis …

West Africa has used the DTP vaccine since the 1980s—formulated with a whole-cell pertussis component instead of acellular pertussis—and it has an even more horrifying safety and effectiveness record than its acellular counterparts. Research published in 2017 by a prestigious team of international scientists and led by vaccinology expert Dr. Peter Aaby found that DTP vaccination had a negative effect on child survival, with fivefold higher mortality in young DTP-vaccinated infants (ages three to five months) compared to as-yet-unvaccinated infants. When the researchers published results in 2018 for slightly older DTP-vaccinated children (ages six months to three years), they continued to observe more than double the risk of death as similarly situated unvaccinated children. Explaining that vaccines can increase susceptibility to other infections, the researchers concluded in 2017 that “all currently available evidence suggests that DTP vaccine may kill more children from other causes than it saves from diphtheria, tetanus or pertussis” and added in 2018 that “all studies of the introduction of DTP have found increased overall mortality.”

Learning from history

Efforts to counter the official vaccine narrative with evidence about negative consequences date back to the days of smallpox. A doctor practicing in the 1870s observed that smallpox mortality doubled (from roughly 7% to 15%) after adoption of smallpox vaccination. During an outbreak in 1871 and 1872, this doctor stated, faith in vaccination received a “rude…shock” when “[e]very country in Europe was invaded with a severity greater than had ever been witnessed during the three preceding centuries.” The doctor also noted that “many vaccinated persons in almost every place were attacked by small-pox before any unvaccinated persons took the disease.” In this individual’s estimation, these facts were “sufficient to overthrow the entire theory of the protective efficacy of vaccination.”

In the present era, federal agencies continue to tout difficult-to-justify but money-spinning vaccines as beneficial, even in the face of substantial evidence to the contrary. Now, more than ever, it is important to illuminate the risks and downsides that public health agencies do not want us to know about.

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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Awareness

Close Ties & Financial Entanglements: The CDC-Guaranteed Vaccine Market

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Note: This is Part V in a series of articles adapted from the second Children’s Health Defense eBook: Conflicts of Interest Undermine Children’s Health. The first eBook, The Sickest Generation: The Facts Behind the Children’s Health Crisis and Why It Needs to End, described how children’s health began to worsen dramatically in the late 1980s following fateful changes in the childhood vaccine schedule.]

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has issued annual vaccine recommendations for the U.S. civilian population since 1995. ACIP works in partnership with leading medical trade organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the American College of Physicians (ACP) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

ACIP’s industry-beholden membership roster reads like a “who’s who” of the individuals and organizations who spearhead the nation’s vaccine business: fifteen voting members from leading medical schools, children’s hospitals and universities; eight ex officio members from federal agencies such as the FDA and the Department of Defense (DOD); and thirty non-voting representatives serving as liaisons with entities ranging from Sanofi to Cigna and Planned Parenthood (with the latter being a leading promoter and provider of HPV vaccines).

A tangled web

The longstanding conflicts of interest that hold ACIP members captive to pharmaceutical industry interests are well known and well documented. In the early 2000s, a four-month investigation by United Press International (UPI) identified “a web of close ties” and financial entanglements between ACIP members and vaccine companies, including:

  • Sharing vaccine patents
  • Owning vaccine company stock
  • Getting research funding or money to monitor vaccine testing
  • Receiving funding for academic departments or appointments

According to an investigation by the Committee on Government Reform in 2000, the CDC not only frequently grants waivers but also looks the other way when ACIP members provide incomplete financial disclosure.

In 2003, Congressman Dan Burton described the “paradox” of the CDC “routinely allow[ing] scientists with blatant conflicts of interest to serve on influential advisory committees that make recommendations on new vaccines, as well as policy matters,” even though “these same scientists have financial ties, academic affiliations, and other vested interests in the products and companies for which they are supposed to be providing unbiased oversight.”

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As per the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), individuals appointed to ACIP must file an Office of Government Ethics form and annually update a financial disclosure report. Voting members also are expected to publicly disclose “all vaccine-related interests and work” at the beginning of each ACIP meeting. However, the CDC has shown itself only too willing to issue conflicts of interest waivers if it ascertains (as it routinely does) that “the need for the individual’s services outweighs the potential for conflicts of interest created by the financial interests involved.” According to an investigation by the Committee on Government Reform in 2000, the CDC not only frequently grants waivers but also looks the other way when ACIP members provide incomplete financial disclosure. Moreover, a loophole allows a considerable amount of ACIP’s work to get done in Work Groups whose members are exempt from the FACA procedural conflict-of-interest requirements, even though the Work Groups “serve a key scientific role in support of vaccine policy development.”

Golden ticket

After ACIP makes its vaccine recommendations, the CDC publishes them in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The recommendations (in CDC officials’ own words) “have [a] major impact on immunization policies and practice in the United States and in other countries.” Stated another way, ACIP’s “imprimatur” is a “golden ticket” for vaccine manufacturers. Vaccines on the CDC’s schedule become virtually mandatory for American children attending a “public or private elementary, middle or secondary school, child care center, nursery school, family day care home or developmental center.”

At present, the childhood vaccine schedule requires almost six dozen doses through age 18 for sixteen diseases.

Vaccine exemptions are currently available to varying degrees in 47 states for medical, religious or philosophical reasons. Reflecting the public’s growing concerns about vaccine safety, the use of non-medical exemptions increased by 19% from 2009 to 2013. However, all three types of exemptions are under aggressive attack. Supported by pharmaceutical industry lobbying and CDC edicts, 12 of 13 exemption-related bills signed into law between 2011 and 2017 “limited the ability to exempt,” erecting more legal barriers for concerned parents.

Within the no-liability context of the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA), the CDC and ACIP played a major role in opening the floodgates for the childhood vaccine schedule’s dramatic expansion. In the early 1980s, children received three vaccines for seven illnesses—two combination vaccines (diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis and measles-mumps-rubella) and a polio vaccine—totaling two dozen doses by age 18. In the decade following 1989 (beginning soon after the NCVIA’s implementation), the CDC packed multiple doses of several more vaccines onto the childhood schedule, including those for Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), hepatitis B (on the day of birth) and varicella (chickenpox), as well as a rotavirus vaccine (withdrawn a year after its introduction). Next, in the first decade of the 2000s, the CDC recommended an even larger batchof new vaccines, going after not just children but also adolescents and adults: hepatitis A, human papillomavirus (HPV), meningococcal conjugate, pneumococcal conjugate, rotavirus (again) and zoster (shingles), along with an adult tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis booster (Tdap) and a massive expansion of influenza vaccine recommendations for all ages. At present, the childhood vaccine schedule requires almost six dozen doses through age 18 for sixteen diseases.

Profits and patents

The CDC is a major player in the vaccine marketplace, buying half of all childhood vaccines in the U.S. and then selling them to contracted public health agencies through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program, which pushes free and low-cost vaccines on indigent children. Over the past three decades, the CDC’s vaccine purchases have increased 15-fold as the average cost of fully vaccinating a child to age 18 rose from $100 to $2192—while vaccine companies have raked in the profits.

… the large number of patents held by the CDC deserves an in-depth review to determine exactly what current financial relationships with vaccine makers now exist and what…current impact those revenue streams are likely having on vaccine safety positions.

The agency’s involvement with vaccine manufacturers also extends to patents, licensing agreements and collaboration on projects to develop new vaccines. In fact, the CDC and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) profit handsomely from their ownership or co-ownership with private sector partners of vaccine-related patents. An early 2017 analysis of Google Patents results showed that the CDC held 56 patents pertaining to various aspects of vaccine development, manufacturing, delivery and adjuvants. By May 2019, the search terms “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccines” retrieved 143 results in the Google Patents search engine, and a separate legal website displayed 10 screens worth of CDC patents, both vaccine- and non-vaccine-related. The author of the 2017 analysis suggests that the large number of patents held by the CDC “deserves an in-depth review to determine exactly what current financial relationships with vaccine makers now exist and what…current impact those revenue streams are likely having on vaccine safety positions.”

Gardasil is “perhaps the leading example of a new form of unconstrained government self-dealing, in arrangements whereby [HHS] can transfer technology to pharmaceutical partners, [and] simultaneously both approve and protect their partners’ technology licenses while also taking a cut of the profits.” It seems doubtful that agencies can remain impartial in the face of these profits.

At NIH, the influence on policy of profit-generating patents and licenses warrants similar scrutiny. According to one in-depth report, because “NIH frequently funds research with commercially valuable outcomes,” when NIH patents its inventions, the patents become “valuable commercial property” for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the patents’ owner. In 2006, researchers described commercial partners as “essential to the NIH’s role of helping to facilitate the formation of novel healthcare products for the public.”

Some of the key technologies underlying the development of the HPV vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix emerged from research patented by the NIH’s National Cancer Institute (NCI), which then licensed the technology to Merck, MedImmune and GlaxoSmithKline. By 2009, HPV licensing had become NIH’s top generator of royalty revenues. Gardasil is “perhaps the leading example of a new form of unconstrained government self-dealing, in arrangements whereby [HHS] can transfer technology to pharmaceutical partners, [and] simultaneously both approve and protect their partners’ technology licenses while also taking a cut of the profits.” It seems doubtful that agencies can remain impartial in the face of these profits.

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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