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A Reminder of What Can Happen To Your Body When You Stop Eating Meat

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This article was inspired by  Michelle McMacken‘s article “7 Things That Happen When You Stop Eating meat.”  A bit more information has been added in, along with a few slightly different points. She’s an MD, a board-certified internal medicine physician and an assistant professor of medicine at NYU School of Medicine:

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“[T]he protein found in whole plant foods protects us from many chronic diseases.”

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It’s well established in scientific literature that a meat-free diet, when done correctly, offers tremendous health benefits. The notion that meat is necessary for human health is a myth that continues to pervade popular culture, but public perception is slowly shifting, and new research is showing that even our ancestors did not exclusively (or even predominantly) eat meat. While we don’t mean to say that eating any meat is unhealthy, we do wish to call attention to the growing body of research making clear that vegan and vegetarian diets are optimal for good health.

Katherine Milton, an anthropologist at the University of California, Berkeley, explains why the ‘paleo’ argument is flawed in the following statement:

“[I]t is difficult to comment on ‘the best diet’ for modern humans because there have been and are so many different yet successful diets in our species. . . . [B]ecause some hunter-gatherer societies obtained most of their dietary energy from wild animal fat and protein does not imply that this is the ideal diet for modern humans, nor does it imply that modern humans have genetic adaptations to such diets.”

To learn more about the paleo diet confusion and see examples and studies, you can refer to this article we published early last year.

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According to Harvard Medical School, “studies are confirming the health benefits of meat-free eating. Nowadays, plant-based eating is recognized as not only nutritionally sufficient but also as a way to reduce the risk for many chronic illnesses.”

Even the American Dietetic Association has weighed in with a position paper, concluding that “appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.”

These diseases include heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and more.

Want to try cutting down on meat? Try these recipes or this cookbook.

With that being said, let’s take a look at what can happen when you stop eating meat.

1. You’ll Help Protect The Environment

Eating meat is not like it used to be. Today, we raise and kill billions of animals every single year to feed our ever-increasing demand for meat — a demand which far outstrips our need. What’s worse, these animals we raise to be slaughtered are confined, tortured, and subjected to all manners of horrific treatment along the way. The cruelty alone is enough to discourage someone from eating meat, or at least encourage them to reduce their consumption. Although this article is mainly about health, this ethical issue can’t be ignored.

While we slaughter these animals, we also wreak havoc on the environment, as the video below illustrates. Called “feed lots,” though officially referred to as “Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation” (CAFO) and more commonly known as factory farms, they house thousands of animals in horrid conditions that breed disease and massive environmental degradation. Despite this fact, they remain a non-issue to several major organizations whose job it is to raise awareness on the various issues contributing to our planet’s destruction.

According to FarmForward, a nonprofit advocacy group, 99 percent of farmed animals in the U.S. are raised on feedlots. We are talking about billions of animals raised for slaughter every year, and that is in the U.S. alone. Globally, more than 70 billion of these animals are raised for slaughter every single year.

Did you know that the leading cause of rainforest destruction is our own food supply? We tear them down to make room for food crops and livestock grazing, and are doing so at an approximate rate of an entire football field’s worth of forest every single second. Every day, close to 100 plant/animal/insect species are lost because of this practice. You can read more about this here.

Water waste is another major issue here. About 2,000 gallons of water are needed to produce just one pound of beef in the U.S. The fish supply in our oceans is rapidly becoming depleted; by some estimates, oceans may be fishless by 2048. The current food system, based on meat and dairy production, also contributes to world hunger — many crops grown worldwide go toward feeding livestock, not feeding people.

2. You’ll Greatly Reduce Your Chances Of Getting Type 2 Diabetes

In America alone, approximately 40 percent of people are pre-diabetic. This translates to millions of people. Multiple studies have shown that red and processed meat (also recently linked to cancer by the WHO), as well as animal protein in general, increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. In omnivore populations, the risk of diabetes is doubled compared with vegans. Another study found that eating meat once a week or more over a 17-year period increased the risk of diabetes by a startling 74 percent. A follow up study was conducted and found that increasing red meat intake by more than just half a serving per day was closely associated with an almost 50 percent increased risk in contracting diabetes over 4 years.

3. You Will Get The Right Type, And The Right Amount Of Protein

While underconsumption of protein is harmful to the body, overconsumption comes with risks as well. In the United States, the average omnivore gets more than 1.5 times the optimal amount of protein, and most of that protein is from animal sources. This is bad news, because excess protein is turned into waste or turned into fat. This stored animal protein contributes to weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, inflammation and cancer.

On the other hand, the protein contained in whole plant foods is connected to disease prevention. According to Michelle McMacken, MD, a board-certified internal medicine physician and an assistant professor of medicine at NYU School of Medicine:

“[T]he protein found in whole plant foods protects us from many chronic diseases. There is no need to track protein intake or use protein supplements with plant-based diets; if you are meeting your daily calorie needs, you will get plenty of protein. The longest-lived people on Earth, those living in the “Blue Zones,” get about 10% of their calories from protein, compared with the U.S. average of 15-20%.”

Multiple studies have shown the difference between animal protein and plant protein. Another great example comes from Colin Campbell, professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University. His experiments on laboratory rats showed how it was entirely possible to switch the growth of cancer on and off by simply varying the amount of animal protein present in their diet. This was an enormous discovery with implications for the diets of millions of people. The fact that the results could be replicated made the conclusions scientifically irrefutable. It’s what’s known as the “China Study.”

Below is a video of him discussing his experiments.

4. You’ll Be Living A More Compassionate Lifestyle

As mentioned above, billions of animals are raised for slaughter every year just in the U.S.. Animals are sentient beings who suffer and experience a wide array of emotions. They even suffer in farms that we currently label as “humane.”  By giving up, or even cutting down on meat, you are helping to stop animals from enduring horrific experiences. If you do eat meat, perhaps you could make better choices or consume animals who have died from natural causes at the end of their life. One thing is for certain: eating meat ethically requires serious effort and care. As consumers, we’ve become so complacent and lazy, and the food industry wants to keep us this way.

5. You’ll Reduce Inflammation In Your Body

Many people eat processed foods regularly, despite the fact that they are known to cause cancer. Eating meat specifically increases your chances of having elevated levels of inflammation in your body, which can lead to a number of short-term and long-term health consequences.

Chronic inflammation has been linked to atherosclerosis, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases, among other problems.

Plant-based diets, on the other hand, are naturally anti-inflammatory. This is because they offer lower inflammatory triggers (saturated fat, endotoxins, and other toxins released from bacteria found in animal foods). Multiple studies have shown that those who switch to a plant-based diet can dramatically lower their level of C-reactive protein (CRP), an indicator of inflammation in the body.

6. You Will Lower Your Blood Cholesterol

Another big risk factor for heart problems is high blood cholesterol. Saturated fat, primarily found in meat, cheese, poultry, and various other animal products, dramatically influences our blood cholesterol levels.

Yet when people switch to plant-based diets, their blood cholesterol drops significantly, as several studies have shown. More surprising still, this decrease is equal to that which is seen with pharmaceutical drugs — but that’s a business unconcerned with healing. When a natural substance shows huge potential for healing, if it can’t be patented, it’s not of interest.

It’s a fact that those who require cardiovascular drugs can lower their risks by adopting a plant-based diet.

“Whole-food, plant-based diets reduce blood cholesterol because they tend to be very low in saturated fat and they contain zero cholesterol. Moreover, plant-based diets are high in fibre, which further reduces blood cholesterol levels. Soy has also been shown to play a role in lowering cholesterol, for those who choose to include it.”

— Michelle McMacken, MD

7. You’ll Give Your Gut A Makeover

Gut health is extremely important to your overall health. In fact, it could be the most important, as all health starts in your gut. If you have an unhealthy gut, you will have an unhealthy body with a variety of potential problems.

One aspect of the gut is what’s known as the ‘microbiome.’ It’s used to refer to the trillions of microorganisms that live inside of our bodies. Vital to our overall health, the microbiome produces critical nutrients, keeps our gut tissues healthy, protects us from cancer, turns genes on and off, and more. Studies have also shown that they play an important role in various other diseases, from liver and bowel diseases to diabetes and several autoimmune diseases.

Where do plant foods come in? Well, studies have confirmed that plant foods help shape a healthy intestinal microbiome. This is just another reason (out of many) why scientists and health professionals are becoming big advocates of plant-based diets. The fibre found in plant foods actually helps promote the good bacteria that’s needed in our guts. When your fibre comes from dairy, eggs and meat, this can help foster the growth of disease-causing bacteria.

“Landmark studies have shown that when omnivores eat choline or carnitine (found in meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy), gut bacteria make a substance that is converted by our liver to a toxic product called TMAO. TMAO leads to worsening cholesterol plaques in our blood vessels and escalates the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Interestingly, people eating plant-based diets make little or no TMAO after a meat-containing meal, because they have a totally different gut microbiome. It takes only a few days for our gut bacterial patterns to change – the benefits of a plant-based diet start quickly!”

– Michelle McMacken, MD

8. You’ll Live Longer

Valter Longo, Professor of Gerontology and Biological Sciences at USC, has discovered that through fasting (if done correctly), the body produces less 1GF1 (growth hormone factor), and, as a result, cells start repairing themselves instead of dividing. His research has shown that fasting actually regenerates stem cells, kills cancer cells, and prolongs life. Decreases in insulin and glucose, along with an increase in ketone bodies and IGFBP1 are also observed, for all of you scientists out there.

Last year, a press release from USC emphasized how fasting, in combination with chemotherapy, has already been shown to kill cancer cells. They also presented two new studies in mice suggesting that a less-toxic class of drugs combined with fasting could kill breast, colorectal, and lung cancer cells.

Mark Mattson, the current Chief of the Laboratory of Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging, and one of the foremost researchers in the area of cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying multiple neurodegenerative disorders, makes this quite plain in his TEDx talk on the subject:

“Calorie restriction (CR) extends life span and retards age-related chronic diseases in a variety of species, including rats, mice, fish, flies, worms, and yeast. The mechanism or mechanisms through which this occurs are unclear.”

The main relation to plant-based diets here is that in order to maintain the benefits of fasting, depending on body type, one has to do it regularly, possibly 1-2 times a month, or engage in what’s known as “intermittent fasting.” And in doing so, they are encouraged to stick to a predominately plant-based diet. According to Longo, “a plant-based diet is by far the best for longevity and disease prevention.”

Dr. Longo is a great place to start if you’re interested in fasting. Fasting can have a wide array of health benefits, but it can also be detrimental to someone who has no idea what they are doing, so please do your research if this is something you are considering.

Below is a video clip of Dr. Ellsworth Wareham, a 100-year-old recently retired heart surgeon who has been a vegan for half of his life (5o years). He shares why he made this choice.

9. You’ll Change How Your Genes Work

It wasn’t long ago that scientists figured out that environmental factors can turn genes off and on. Studies have shown that a plant-based diet can decrease the expression of cancer genes in men with low-risk prostate cancer. Plant-based diets have also been known to lengthen our telomeres, which are caps at the end of DNA chromosomes that assist us in keeping our DNA healthy. This suggests that we actually age more slowly, thus reducing our chances or contracting an age-related disease.

Once again, if you want to try cutting down on meat? Try these recipes or this cookbook.

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CDC Director: ‘Masks May Offer More Protection From COVID-19 Than The Vaccine’

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    CDC director Robert Redfield said on Wednesday that wearing a mask might be "more guaranteed" to protect an individual from the coronavirus than a vaccine.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is there so much conflicting information out there? Why is it so difficult to arrive at any concrete truth? How does the politicization of science play a role?

What Happened: Centers For Disease Control (CDC) Director Robert Redfield recently stated that wearing a mask may be “more guaranteed” to protect an individual from the coronavirus than a vaccine. This calls into question the efficacy of the vaccine, which is set to make its way into the public domain at the end of this year, or shortly after that. We thought we’d cover this story to bring up the efficacy of vaccines in general, and the growing vaccine hesitancy that now exists within a number of people, scientists and physicians across the world.

“I’m not gonna comment directly about the president, but I am going to comment as the CDC director that face masks, these face masks, are the most important powerful public health tool we have.” – Redfield

Not long ago, many scientists presented facts about vaccines and vaccine safety at the recent Global Health Vaccine Safety summit hosted by the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. At the conference, Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project emphasized the issue of growing vaccine hesitancy.

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… still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider…”

Redfield’s comments came after President Trump downplayed the effectiveness of wearing mask, and Trump also stated that Covid would probably go away without a vaccine, referring to the concept of ‘herd immunity’ as practiced in Sweden, but has also been quite outspoken about the fact that a vaccine may arrive by November.

When it comes to the COVID vaccine, multiple clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines have shown severe reactions within 10 days after taking the vaccine. You can read more about that here.  The US government and Yale University also recently collaborated in a clinical trial to determine the best messaging to persuade Americans to take the COVID-19 vaccine. You can read more about that here.

Are Masks Effective?

Multiple studies have claimed to show definitively  that mask-wearing effectively prevents transmission of the coronavirus, especially recent ones. This seems to be the general consensus and the information that’s come from our federal health regulatory agencies. There are also multiple studies calling the efficacy of masks into question. For example, a fairly recent study published in the New England Medical Journal  by a group of Harvard doctors outlines how it’s already known that masks provide little to zero benefit when it comes to protection a public setting. According to them,

We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.

You can read more about that story here and find other complimenting studies.

When it comes to masks, there are multiple studies on both sides of the coin.

Then we have many experts around the world calling into question everything from masks to lockdown. For example, The Physicians For Informed Consent (PIC) recently published a report titled “Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC) Compares COVID-19 to Previous Seasonal and Pandemic Flu Periods.” According to them, the infection/fatality rate of COVID-19 is 0.26%.

They are one of many who have emphasized this point.

More than 500 German doctors & scientists have signed on as representatives of an organization called the “Corona Extra-Parliamentary Inquiry Committee” to investigate what’s happening on our planet with regards to COVID-19, and also make similar points. You can read more about that story here.

Again, there are many examples from all over the world from various academics, doctors and scientists in the field.

This is why there is so much confusion surrounding this pandemic, because there is so much conflicting information that opposes what we are hearing from our health authorities. Furthermore, a lot of information that opposes the official narrative has been censored from social media platforms, also raising suspicion among the general public.

How Effective Are Vaccines?

Vaccines have been long claimed to be a miracle, and the most important health intervention for the sake of disease prevention of our time. But as mentioned above, vaccine hesitancy is growing, and it’s growing fast.

According to a study published in the journal EbioMedicine,

Over the past two decades several vaccine controversies have emerged in various countries, including France, inducing worries about severe adverse effects and eroding confidence in health authorities, experts, and science. These two dimensions are at the core of the vaccine hesitancy (VH) observed in the general population. These two dimensions are at the core of the vaccine hesitancy (VH) observed in the general population. VH is defined as delay in acceptance of vaccination, or refusal, or even acceptance with doubts about its safety and benefits, with all these behaviors and attitudes varying according to context, vaccine, and personal profile, despite the availability of vaccine services. VH presents a challenge to physicians who must address their patients’ concerns about vaccines..

In the United States, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) shows what vaccines have resulted in deaths, injury, permanent disabilities and hospitalizations. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury act has also paid out nearly $4 billion dollars to families of vaccine injured children.

According to a MedAlerts, the cumulative raw count of adverse events from measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines alone was: 93,929 adverse events, 1,810 disabilities, 6,902 hospitalizations, and 463 deaths. What is even more disturbing about these numbers is that VAERS is a voluntary and passive reporting system that has been found to only capture 1% of adverse events.

The measles vaccine has also been plagued with a lack of effectiveness, with constant measles outbreaks in heavily vaccinated population pointing towards a failing vaccine. You can read more about that in-depth and access more science on it here. In 2015, nearly 40 percent of measles cases analyzed in the US were a result of the vaccine.

It’s not just the MMR vaccine that shows a lack of effectiveness. For example, a new study published in The Royal Society of Medicine is one of multiple studies over the years that has emerged questioning the efficacy of the HPV vaccine. The researchers conducted an appraisal of published phase 2 and 3 efficacy trials in relation to the prevention of cervical cancer and their analysis showed “the trials themselves generated significant uncertainties undermining claims of efficacy” in the data they used. The researchers emphasized that “it is still uncertain whether human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination prevents cervical cancer as trials were not designed to detect this outcome, which takes decades to develop.”  The researchers point out that the trials used to test the vaccine may have “overestimated” the efficacy of the vaccine.

It’s one of multiple studies to call into question the efficacy and safety of the HPV vaccine. It’s also been responsible for multiple deaths and permanent disabilities.

Another point to make regarding vaccine injury is that data was collected from June 2006 through October 2009 on 715,000 patients, and 1.4 million doses (of 45 different vaccines) were given to 376,452 individuals. Of these doses, 35,570 possible reactions (2.6 percent of vaccinations) were identified. This is an average of 890 possible events, an average of 1.3 events per clinician, per month. This data was presented at the 2009 AMIA conference. This data comes 2010 HHS pilot study by the Federal Agency for Health Care Research (AHCR) that found that 1 in every 39 vaccines causes injury, a shocking comparison to the claims from the CDC of 1 in every million. You can access that report and read more about it here.

The Takeaway: 

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1 Million + People Download Study Showing Heavy Aluminum Deposits In Autistic Brains

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A landmark paper published in 2018 showing high amounts of aluminum in autistic brains has not been dowloaded more than 1 million times.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are federal health regulatory agencies ignoring the emerging science showing concerns with regards to injected aluminum? Why don't they address the concerns and conduct safety studies?

What Happened: In 2018, Professor of Bioinorganic Chemistry at Keele University, who is considered one of the world’s leading experts in aluminum toxicology, published a paper in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine & Biology showing very high amounts of aluminum in the brain tissue of people with autism. Exley has examined more than 100 brains, and the aluminum content in these people is some of the highest he has ever seen and raises new questions about the role of aluminum in the etiology of autism. Five people were used in the study, comprising of four males and one female, all between the ages of 14-50. Each of their brains contained what the authors considered unsafe and high amounts of aluminum compared to brain tissues of patients with other diseases where high brain aluminum content is common, like Alzheimer’s disease, for example.

It’s now been downloaded by more than 1 million people. The photo below was posted recently via his Instagram account.

Here is a summary of the study’s main findings:

-All five individuals had at least one brain tissue with a “pathologically significant” level of aluminum, defined as greater than or equal to 3.00 micrograms per gram of dry brain weight (μg/g dry wt). (Dr. Exley and colleagues developed categories to classify aluminum-related pathology after conducting other brain studies, wherein older adults who died healthy had less than 1 μg/g dry wt of brain aluminum.)

-Roughly two-thirds (67%) of all the tissue samples displayed a pathologically significant aluminum content.

-Aluminum levels were particularly high in the male brains, including in a 15-year-old boy with ASD who had the study’s single highest brain aluminum measurement (22.11 μg/g dry wt)—many times higher than the pathologically significant threshold and far greater than levels that might be considered as acceptable even for an aged adult.

-Some of the elevated aluminum levels rivaled the very high levels historically reported in victims of dialysis encephalopathy syndrome (a serious iatrogenic disorder resulting from aluminum-containing dialysis solutions).

-In males, most aluminum deposits were inside cells (80/129), whereas aluminum deposits in females were primarily extracellular (15/21). The majority of intracellular aluminum was inside non-neuronal cells (microglia and astrocytes).

-Aluminum was present in both grey matter (88 deposits) and white matter (62 deposits). (The brain’s grey matter serves to process information, while the white matter provides connectivity.)

-The researchers also identified aluminum-loaded lymphocytes in the meninges (the layers of protective tissue that surround the brain and spinal cord) and in similar inflammatory cells in the vasculature, furnishing evidence of aluminum’s entry into the brain “via immune cells circulating in the blood and lymph” and perhaps explaining how youth with ASD came to acquire such shockingly high levels of brain aluminum.

Following up this paper, Exely recently published recently published a paper titled “The role of aluminum adjuvants in vaccines raises issues that deserve independent, rigorous and honest science.” In their publication, they provide evidence for their position that “the safety of aluminium-based vaccine adjuvants, like that of any environmental factor presenting a risk of neurotoxicity and to which the young child is exposed, must be seriously evaluated without further delay, particularly at a time when the CDC is announcing a still increasing prevalence of autism spectrum disorders, of 1 child in 54 in the USA.”

In the interview below, Exley answers a lot of questions, but the part that caught my attention was:

We have looked at what happens to the aluminum adjuvant when it’s injected and we have shown that certain types of cells come to the injection site and take up the aluminum inside them. You know, these same cells we also see in the brain tissue in autism. So, for the first time we have a link that honestly I had never expected to find between aluminum as an adjuvant in vaccines and that same aluminum potentially could be carried by those same cells across the blood brain barrier into the brain tissue where it could deposit the aluminum and produce a disease, Encephalopathy (brain damage), it could produce the more severe and disabling form of autism. This is a really shocking finding for us.

The interview is quite informative with regards to aluminum toxicology in general, but if you’re interested in the quote above, you can fast forward to the twelve minutes and thirty seconds mark.

Why This Is Important: There are many concerns being raised about aluminum in vaccines, and where that aluminum goes when it’s injected into the body. Multiple animal studies have now shown that when you inject aluminum, it doesn’t exit the body but travels to distant organs and eventually ends up in the brain where it’s detectable 1-10 years after injection. When we take in aluminum from our food or whatever however, the body does a great job of getting rid of it.

When you inject aluminum, it goes into a different compartment of your body. It doesn’t come into that same mechanism of excretion. So, and of course it can’t because that’s the whole idea of aluminum adjuvants, aluminum adjuvants are meant to stick around and allow that antigen to be presented over and over and over again persistently, otherwise you wouldn’t put an adjuvant in in the first place. It can’t be inert, because if it were inert it couldn’t do the things it does. It can’t be excreted because again it couldn’t provide that prolonged exposure of the antigen to your immune system. – Dr Christopher Shaw, University of British Columbia. (source)

Furthermore, federal health regulatory agencies have not appropriately studied the aluminum adjuvants mechanisms of action after injection, it’s simply been presumed safe after more than 90 years of use in various vaccines.

It’s also important to note that A group of scientists and physicians known as The Physicians For Informed Consent (PIC) have discovered a crucial math error in a FDA paper regarding the safety of aluminum in vaccines.

If you want to access the science and studies about injected aluminum not exiting the body, and more information about aluminum in vaccines in general, you can refer to THIS article, and THIS article I recently published on the subject that goes into more detail and provides more sources, science and exampels. 

The Takeaway: When it comes to vaccine safety, why does mainstream media constantly point fingers and call those who have concerns “anti-vax conspiracy theorists?” Why don’t they ever address the science and concerns being raised that paint vaccines in a light that they’ve never been painted in? What’s going on here? Would more rigorous safety testing of our vaccines not be in the best interests of everybody? Who would ever oppose that and why?

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CDC Virologist: OP Vaccine Has Created Polio Outbreaks

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    According to Mark Pallansch, a CDC virologist, the oral polio vaccine has created more disease outbreaks than they've stopped. The oral polio vaccine is now responsible for many outbreaks across multiple countries.

  • Reflect On:

    Can these outbreaks caused by the oral polio vaccine really be brought under control by another vaccine used to combat the oral polio vaccine outbreaks? Is that such a good idea or is more caution warranted here?

This article has been updated and corrected. 

What Happened: In 2019 Mark Pallansch, a virologists with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, told sciencemag.org that by using mOPV2 (oral polio vaccine), “we have now created more new emergences of the virus than we have stopped.” This is known as “vaccine-derived poliovirus.” Yes, you read that correctly, and it’s one of multiple examples of vaccines causing disease outbreaks. For example, A study published in 2017 in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology found that “During the measles outbreak in California in 2015, a large number of suspected cases occurred in recent vaccinees. Of the 194 measles sequences obtained in the United States in 2015, 73 were identified as vaccine sequences…” This means 37 percent of the cases analyzed were a result of the vaccine. You can read more about the measles and the MMR vaccine specifically, here.

Why This Is Important: The spread of the virus due to the oral vaccine is plaguing Africa,

The global initiative to eradicate polio is badly stuck, battling the virus on two fronts. New figures show the wild polio virus remains entrenched in Afghanistan and in Pakistan, its other holdout, where cases are surging. In Africa, meanwhile, the vaccine itself is spawning virulent strains. The leaders of the world’s biggest public health program are now admitting that success is not just around the corner—and intensively debating how to break the impasse. (source)

Children’s Health Defense explains,

The oral polio vaccine (OPV) is in use around the world and constitutes the “workhorse” of global polio eradication efforts due to its low cost and ease of administration. The OPV contains live but weakened polioviruses that match up to wild polioviruses. Vaccine researchers have long known that these OPV-derived viruses can themselves cause polio, particularly when they get “loose in the environment.” In settings with poor sanitation and iffy hygiene, the vaccine viruses can easily “find their way into water sources, and onto contaminated hands or foods,” where they can then launch a self-perpetuating chain of transmission. Researchers concede that an OPV virus “can very rapidly regain its strength if it starts spreading on its own,” acquiring “mutations that make it basically indistinguishable from the wild-type virus.” In other words, there is no meaningful difference between a wild and OPV-derived poliovirus “in terms of virulence and in terms of how the virus spreads.”

The oral vaccine has been causing outbreaks in multiple countries for a long time, in fact,  it has been responsible for close to 90% of the vaccine-derived polioviruses circulating since the year 2000, but it was only recently when the World Health Organization (WHO) brought more attention to the issue via their website in September of this year.

In fact, between August 2019 and August 2020, there were 400 recorded cases of vaccine-derived polio in more than 20 countries worldwide

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), headed by the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation had scientists actually predict predict that some vaccine-virus-derived outbreaks would indeed occur, but they thought they could handle these outbreaks with another vaccine.

Now,

The frequency with which type 2 vaccine-derived outbreaks are occurring has far exceeded projections—and the rush to administer the new monovalent type 2 vaccine appears to be exacerbating rather than stemming the problem. In an astonishing admission, a CDC virologist has stated that due to the stop-gap use of the new type-2-only vaccine, “We have now created more new emergences of the virus than we have stopped.” Another vaccine expert has remarked, “if you just keep trickling in with a little bit of [monovalent] vaccine every time you think you have a problem all you’re doing is reseeding [more transmission chains].”

There had been no cases of wild poliovirus on the African continent since September 2016, but by July 2019, the WHO was cautioning that there was a high risk of ongoing type 2 vaccine virus spreading across Africa. Outbreak investigators have been documenting an uptick in circulating vaccine-derived  poliovirus type 2 in both human and environmental samples since mid-2017 (two years after the “switch”), generally obtaining human samples either from children presenting with acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) or from “healthy community contacts.” Although the WHO describes polio as just one of AFP’s possible causes, African labs have been isolating type 2 vaccine virus in case after case of AFP.

To date, surveillance reports have noted the presence of the vaccine-derived type 2 poliovirus in Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, and Somalia. In Nigeria, type 2 has spread from the north of the country to Lagos—Nigeria’s largest and most densely populated city. In Ghana, soon after investigators found type 2 vaccine viruses in sewage in the capital of Accra, a toddler 400 miles away was diagnosed with vaccine virus paralysis—representing Ghana’s “first ever” reported outbreak of type 2 vaccine-derived poliovirus.

And to think in Pakistan they were jailing parents who were refusing to give their children the oral polio vaccine, perhaps they still are?

Something else to consider: According to fact-checker Health Feedback, “Vaccination has been effective in eradicating polio from the vast majority of developing countries, preventing an estimated 16 million cases and 1.5 million deaths worldwide. While vaccine-derived polio cases do occur, they are very rare and can be avoided by improving sanitation and vaccine coverage in vulnerable communities.”

They go on to state that

While vaccine-derived polio cases currently exceed wild poliovirus cases, this is only because polio vaccination campaigns have eradicated the wild virus from the vast majority of countries. Only one of the three original strains of wild poliovirus remains. In contrast to the estimated 350,000 children paralyzed by polio in 1988, which is the year when the GPEI launched the vaccination program, the WHO reported only 539 polio cases worldwide in 2019. In the absence of the oral vaccine, the virus could have paralyzed more than 6.5 million children in the past ten years.

You can read more about what they have to say, about polio and the polio vaccine here.

The Takeaway: Why is so much credible information about the safety concerns regarding vaccines never addressed by the mainstream media? Why do they never address and counter the concerns, and why instead do they constantly use ridicule and terms like “anti-vax conspiracy theorists?”  Would more rigorous safety testing of our vaccines not be in the best interests of everybody? Who would ever oppose that and why?

Related CE Article: Scientists Call For Safety Testing of Aluminum Based Vaccine Adjuvants

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