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The Flu Vaccine: Why It’s Completely Useless & Potentially Dangerous

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A recent New York Times article urging readers to follow the CDC’s flu shot recommendation provides a useful case study of how the mainstream media manufacture consent for public vaccine policy by systematically deceiving the public about what the science says.

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By Jeremy R. Hammond, Guest Contributor, World Mercury Project 

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone aged six months and up, including pregnant women, get an annual flu shot to protect against the influenza virus. The mainstream media characterize this recommendation as being firmly grounded in science. The demonstrable truth of the matter, however, is that what the government and media say science says and what science actually tells us are two completely different things.

By deceiving the public about what the science says, the media serve to manufacture consent for public vaccine policy. A useful illustration of how the media serve this function is a New York Times article published in January and written by Aaron E. Carroll, a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine and regular Timesblogger. The article is titled “Why It’s Still Worth Getting a Flu Shot”, and Carroll’s purpose in writing was to persuade his readers that, even though this season’s influenza vaccine was “particularly ineffective”, everyone should still get it.

Details and Deceptions

The argument Carroll presents is that, even in flu seasons like this past one when the vaccine is not well-matched to the predominant circulating strain of the influenza virus, since the vaccine is so extraordinarily safe, it still confers a great benefit to society.

To support his argument, Carroll cites two studies from the prestigious Cochrane collaboration, a global independent organization specializing in meta-analysis that does not accept any industry funding. (A meta-analysis is a kind of study in which researchers search the literature for relevant studies and review the body of evidence available by combining the results of studies that meet the inclusion criteria.)

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According to Carroll, a 2010 Cochrane review of influenza vaccination in healthy adults found that 37 people need to be vaccinated in order for one person to see the benefit, which represents “a big payoff in public health.” Mistakenly describing it as having been published in 2016, Carroll also cites a subsequent 2012 Cochrane review of vaccine effectiveness in healthy children that found “an astonishing payoff in medical terms”: just six children aged six or younger had to be vaccinated in order to prevent one case of influenza. Carroll further claims that the science shows us that harms from the flu vaccine are “almost nonexistent”.

Carroll could have made his case stronger by citing the actual number from the 2010 Cochrane review, which is 33, not 37. This was an error Carroll evidently carried over from a secondary source, which is perhaps an indication that he never read the actual Cochrane review, which might also help explain how he could so grossly mischaracterize that review’s actual findings, as you’re about to see.

For starters, it is curious why Carroll would cite the estimated effectiveness of the vaccine “under ideal conditions”—which is to say when the vaccine completely matches the circulating virus—in order to support his argument that it’s worth getting even in poorly matched years. Why didn’t he instead cite the study’s more relevant estimate of vaccine effectiveness under “average conditions”, when the vaccine only partially matches the circulating strains?

The most obvious answer is that relaying the review’s finding that “100 people need to be vaccinated to avoid one set of influenza symptoms” would be counterproductive to his purpose.

And yet their review turned up ‘no evidence that vaccines prevent viral transmission or complications’

But that’s just the start of Carroll’s deception. Whereas he characterizes the 2010 review as though the science fully vindicates public policy, in fact the Cochrane researchers were highly critical of the CDC’s recommendation and challenged the fundamental assumptions underlying it. They observed that the primary rationales the CDC has offered are that mass vaccination will (1) reduce transmission of the virus and (2) reduce the risk of potentially deadly complications from influenza. And yet their review turned up “no evidence that vaccines prevent viral transmission or complications” (emphasis added).

In fact, none of the studies they looked at even presented any results “evaluating the ability of this vaccination to interrupt the spread of the disease”. Likewise, none bothered to report “any evidence of effect on complications.” In other words, none of the studies the Cochrane researchers looked at in their comprehensive review of the literature even seemed to consider the question of whether the central assumptions underlying the CDC’s recommendation were actually true.

This is a remarkable illustration of the institutional myopia that exists when it comes to the politically sensitive issue of vaccines.

Ignoring the Warnings

Once recent study, however, did bother to look at the question of whether the vaccine prevents transmission. Published on January 18, 2018, in the journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of AmericaPNAS, the study’s authors screened volunteers with confirmed cases of influenza and took breath samples. And among their findings was “an association between repeated vaccination and increasedviral aerosol generation” (emphasis added).

In fact, subjects who had received the influenza vaccine in both the current and the previous season were found to shed over six times more aerosolized virus than those who did not get a flu shot during either season.

The Cochrane researchers found not only that ‘reliable evidence on influenza vaccines is thin’, but also that ‘there is evidence of widespread manipulation of conclusions and spurious notoriety of the studies.

Another thing Aaron Carroll failed to disclose to Times readers is the rather important caveat that the Cochrane researchers attached to their findings about the vaccine’s effectiveness. And it’s not as though this caveat was easy for him to miss; it’s presented as an explicit “WARNING” right at the top of the review just below the abstract.

The authors’ warning notes that their review included numerous studies funded by the pharmaceutical industry, which independent studies have unsurprisingly shown to be biased in favor of their own products. The Cochrane researchers found not only that “reliable evidence on influenza vaccines is thin”, but also that “there is evidence of widespread manipulation of conclusions and spurious notoriety of the studies. The content and conclusions of this review should be interpreted in light of this finding.” (Emphasis added.)

In other words, even the estimate of 100 people needing to be vaccinated for one person to receive a benefit may be overly optimistic.

Whereas the Times would have us believe that the Cochrane review found that the flu vaccine confers “a big payoff in public health”, in fact, the conclusion the review authors actually arrived at was that their findings “seem to discourage the utilization of vaccination against influenza in healthy adults as a routine public health measure” (emphasis added).

The Cochrane Collaboration in a 2014 update of their review even more bluntly concluded, “The results of this review provide no evidence for the utilization of vaccination against influenza in healthy adults as a routine public health measure.” (Emphasis added.)

And whereas the Times would have us believe that the science has been settled that harms from the vaccine are “almost nonexistent”, in fact, the 2010 meta-analysis expressed concern about the lack of safety data. “The harms dataset from randomized studies is small”, they observed, and the studies’ authors “appear to regard harms as less important than effectiveness assessment.” Even among the studies that weren’t funded by the industry, “the quality of the majority of influenza vaccines studies is low”.

Where’s the Payoff?

Turning to the second Cochrane study Carroll cites, the 2012 review did find that evidence from randomized controlled trials “shows that six children under the age of six need to be vaccinated with live attenuated vaccine to prevent one case of influenza”. However, they once again cautioned that this finding needs to be interpreted in light of the “evidence of widespread manipulation of conclusions and spurious notoriety of the studies” tending to show favorable results.

While Carroll describes the finding of the vaccine’s effectiveness in children under six as “an astonishing payoff in medical terms”, he does not relay the review’s finding with respect to children aged two or younger, which was that the perceived benefit of the vaccine was “not significantly more efficacious than placebo.” In other words, there was no good evidence that the vaccine is effective at preventing influenza in children younger than three. One would think that information, too, would be worth relaying to the public; but, then, that disclosure would not align with his whole purpose for writing, so it is understandable why Carroll would choose not to mention it.

Perhaps the reason Carroll did not cite this number is that it wouldn’t have actually helped his case at all, since that result was “not significantly more efficacious than placebo.” In other words, there was no good evidence that the vaccine is effective at preventing influenza in children older than six. One would think that information, too, would be worth relaying to the public; but, then, that disclosure would not align with his whole purpose for writing, so it is understandable why Carroll would choose not to mention it.

While the Cochrane researchers had intended to examine the question of safety as well as effectiveness, the absence of good quality data meant that they could not even carry out safety comparisons. Furthermore, specific influenza vaccines were known to be “associated with serious harms such as narcolepsy and febrile convulsions.

Yet another fact the Times chose not to disclose to readers is that, far from science having established that harms from the vaccine are “almost nonexistent”, the 2012 review found that there was “no usable data” on the safety of the vaccine for children under two.

In other words, according to Carroll’s own source, the flu vaccine has not been properly studied for safety in children aged six months to two years, despite the CDC recommending routine vaccination of children in this age group.

In fact, while the Cochrane researchers had intended to examine the question of safety as well as effectiveness, the absence of good quality data meant that they could not even carry out safety comparisons. Furthermore, specific influenza vaccines were known to be “associated with serious harms such as narcolepsy and febrile convulsions.”

Especially in light of such known risks, the review authors remarked that “It was surprising to find only one study of inactivated vaccine in children under two years, given current recommendations to vaccinate healthy children from six months of age…. If immunization in children is to be recommended as a public health policy, large-scale studies assessing important outcomes, and directly comparing vaccine types are urgently required.” (Emphasis added.)

In addition to recommending the vaccine for infants as young as six, the CDC also advises pregnant women to get the flu shot, even during their first trimester. The aforementioned 2014 Cochrane review looked at the science specifically with this recommendation in mind. And what they found in their systematic review of the literature was that the number of randomized controlled trials assessing the effects of vaccinating pregnant women was zero.

The absence of proper safety studies is also noted right on the package inserts that the manufacturers include in the box with their products. For example, the insert for GlaxoSmithKline’s inactivated influenza vaccine, Fluarix, discloses that “Safety and effectiveness of FLUARIX have not been established in pregnant women or nursing mothers.” While limited studies have been done on reproductive and developmental toxicity in rats, there are “no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.” Furthermore, “caution should be exercised” when vaccinating breastfeeding mothers since “It is not known whether FLUARIX is excreted in human milk.” Medical practitioners are advised to inform patients “that safety and efficacy have not been established in pregnant women.”

Mercury Menace

The CDC’s recommendation that pregnant women get the flu shot is all the more disturbing given the fact that multi-dose vials of the flu vaccine contain the preservative Thimerosal, which is half ethylmercury by weight. Ethylmercury is a known neurotoxinthat can cross the blood-brain barrier and accumulate in the brain. It can also cross the placental barrier and enter the brain of the developing fetus.

While Thimerosal-free single-dose versions of the vaccine are available, the CDC does notspecify in its recommendation to pregnant women that they should opt for this version in order to avoid unnecessarily exposing their fetus to the toxic effects of mercury.

As a review published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in December 2017 noted, “there are no safe blood-level values for any of the heavy metals during pregnancy”, particularly since “the placenta is incapable of protecting a human fetus with regards to neurotoxicants or most other heavy metals.” The review stated that the practice of including known neurotoxins among vaccine ingredients “has to be considered dangerous, irresponsible, and certainly should be ended.”

The authors further commented that the use of mercury as a vaccine ingredient could explain the finding of a CDC-funded study published last September in the journal Vaccine that found an association between the influenza vaccine and spontaneous abortion. The CDC researchers looked at the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 flu seasons and found that women who received a flu shot had twice the risk of having a miscarriage within 28 days of receipt than women who did not get the vaccine. Looking just at the 2010-2011 season, vaccinated women had a 3.7 times greater risk of having a spontaneous abortion. Moreover, since the 2009 Influenza A(H1N1) pandemic, seasonal influenza vaccines have included a varying pandemic H1N1 (or pH1N1) antigen component; and most alarmingly, the CDC researchers found that vaccinated women who had also received a pH1N1-containing influenza vaccine in the prior season had a 7.7 times higher risk of spontaneous abortion.

…the Cochrane researchers actually went so far in their criticism of the agency as to accuse the CDC of deliberately misrepresenting the science in order to support their policy.

Toeing the CDC Line

In sum, whereas the New York Times would have us believe the science is settled that the influenza vaccine confers “a big payoff in public health” and carries “almost nonexistent” risk, even its own sources from the medical literature found no scientific evidence to support the CDC’s recommendation and highlighted the alarming lack of good quality safety studies despite the known serious harms associated with the vaccine.

In fact, whereas the New York Times characterizes the 2010 meta-analysis as though it vindicated public policy, the Cochrane researchers actually went so far in their criticism of the agency as to accuse the CDC of deliberately misrepresenting the science in order to support their policy.

Previous versions of their review, they noted, “have been extensively misquoted especially in public policy documents.” The specific example they presented of how their findings were being deceptively manipulated by public health officials was a 2009 CDC policy document outlining its rationale for universal influenza vaccination. As the Cochrane researchers stated, “The CDC authors clearly do not weight interpretation by quality of the evidence, but quote anything that supports their theory.”

It is perhaps not too surprising, therefore, that the New York Times would so deceptively mischaracterize the science regarding the effectiveness and safety of the influenza vaccine, given the fact that, by doing so, it was simply following the CDC’s example.

This article is a condensed adaptation of part one of a multi-part exposé on the influenza vaccine. Click here to read the full original essay. Click here to sign up for the author’s newsletter to stay updated with his work on vaccines and receive his free downloadable report, “5 Horrifying Facts about the FDA Vaccine Approval Process”.

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Awareness

Research Reveals How Sugar CAUSES Cancer

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    This article was written by Sayer Ji, Founder of Greenmedinfo.com where it first originally appeared. Posted here with permission.

  • Reflect On:

    The average American consumes their body weight annually in this cancer-causing substance, and yet hospitals freely feed it to their cancer patients, seemingly oblivious to the harm it does.

Hospitals feed cancer patients sugar and high carbohydrate diets for a simple reason: they are abysmally ignorant of the role of nutrition in health and disease — hence their burgeoning growth, packed rooms, and ‘return customers.’

Even though the science itself shows – at least since the mid-20’s with Otto Warburg’s cancer hypothesis — that tumors prefer to utilize sugar fermentation to produce energy rather than the much more efficient oxygen-based phosphorylation* – hospitals have actually invited corporations like McDonald’s to move into their facilities  to ‘enhance’ their patient’s gustatory experience, presumably to provide comfort and take the edge off of the painful surgery, radiation and chemo treatments erroneously proffered to them as the only reasonable ‘standard of care.’

But the times are changing, with new research requiring these medical institutions to reform their dietary strategies, at least if they wish to claim that their interventions are in fact ‘evidence-based,’ as they so often claim.

Study Reveals Sugar Doesn’t Just Feed But Causes Cancer

A groundbreaking study, uncovered by one of our volunteer researchers at Greenmedinfo, is the first of its kind to identify sugar, not only as fuel source for an already existing cancer, but as a primary driver in oncogenesis – i.e. the initiation of cancerous characteristics (phenotype) within previously healthy cells.

Published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation and titled, Increased sugar uptake promotes oncogenesis via EPAC/RAP1 and O-GlcNAc pathways, researchers addressed a common perception (or misperception) in the cancer research community regarding sugar’s relationship to cancer: namely, “increased glycolysis [sugar based metabolism] is frequently viewed as a consequence of oncogenic events that drive malignant cell growth and survival.”

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Contrary to this conventional view, the new study “provide[s] evidence that increased glycolytic activation itself can be an oncogenic event.”  That is to say, the activation of sugar-based metabolism in a cell – driven by both the presence of increased quantities of glucose and the increase glucose receptors on the cell membrane surface (i.e. “overexpression of a glucose transporter”) – drives cancer initiation.

Moreover, the study found that “Conversely, forced reduction of glucose uptake by breast cancer cells led to phenotypic reversion.” In other words, interfering with sugar availability and uptake to the cell causes the cancer cell to REGRESS towards its pre-cancer structure-function (phenotype).

What Are The Implications of This Research to the Diet?

What this new research indicates is that sugar – of which Americans consume an astounding 160 lbs annually (imagine: 31 five-pound bags for each of us!) – is one of the primary causes of metabolic cell changes in the body consistent with the initiation and promotion of cancer. And, the research indicates that removing it from the diet, and depriving the cells of it, could REVERSE cancer. Why is this so surprising? It’s because Americans have been lead like lambs to the slaughter to think of “prevention” as “early detection,” focusing not on identifying and removing the well known nutritional and environmental causes of cancer, rather, to spend their time, energy, and money on cause-marketing campaigns focused on “finding a cure” — as if one didn’t already exist right in front of our noses, or more aptly, on the end of our forks.

Hidden Sugar, Crouching Cancer

It has been estimated by the USDA that the average American consumes 200 lbs of grain products annually. Why is this relevant to the question of sugar in the diet? Because refined carbohydrate products – e.g. crackers, bread, pasta, cereal – are actually ‘hidden’ forms of sugar. In fact, puffed rice causes your blood to become sweeter (and presumably feeds more cancer cells sugar) than white sugar, as it is higher on the glycemic index. Adding the two figures together – annual per capita consumption of sugar and grain-based products – we get a jaw dropping 360 lbs of sugar (both overt (table sugar/high fructose corn syrup) and covert (grain carbs) annually – all of which may contribute to promoting the ideal metabolic situation of cancer cells: aerobic glycolysis.

This is one reason why the ketogenic diet – that is, a fat- and protein-focused diet devoid of carbohydrate, both in simple (sugar) and complex (grain product) form – has been found so useful in the most aggressive of cancers: including brain cancer. Once you ‘pull the rug out’ from under the sugar/carb-craving cancer cells, they are forced to either undergo programmed cell death (apoptosis) or re-differentiate back into non-cancerous phenotypes.

If It’s So Bad For Us, Why Do We Eat So Much?

One of the primary reasons why we eat sugar and carbohydrate rich diets is because they are addictive. Within minutes of consuming sugar/carbs our body goes through a neuroendocrine roller coaster. Your brain can not survive very long without glucose, the fundamental energy unit of the cell, and will ‘freak out’ if deprived of a steady stream of this ‘nutrient’ within only 2-3 minutes. The endocrine system, on the other hand, perceives the danger of high sugar – namely, glycation associated damage to protein and lipid structures within the cells of our body; think: blood caramelizing, getting sticky, and gumming up the finely tuned works – and will release hormones such as insulin, adrenaline and cortisol, in order to try to get the elevated sugar in the blood and tissues under control. Insulin forces the sugar into storage within the cell, both as glycogen and as fat, but often does its job too well, causing available glucose levels in the brain to be depleted – setting off a vicious cycle of ’emergency signals’ telling the body to release more cortisol and adrenaline to increase the levels of glucose in the blood. This, of course, will result in additional insulin production and release, causing the same cycle to be repeated over and over again.

This seemingly endless vicious cycle is responsible for the insatiable cravings a high carb/sugar diet generates – not to mention the fructose-based hedonic effects generated in the brain that modulate both opioid and dopamine receptors in the nervous system (not unlike alcohol), and the pharmacologically active peptides in many gluten-containing grains, which also drive addictive behaviors and an almost psychotic fixation on getting carbs at each meal.

No wonder we have an epidemic of cancer in a world where the Westernized diet prevails. Certainly, we do not mean to indicate that a sugar/carb-rich diet is the only cause of cancer. There are many other factors that contribute to cancer initiation and promotion, such as:

  • Chemical exposure
  • Radiation exposure
  • Chronic stress that suppresses the immune system
  • Vaccines containing hidden retroviruses and cancer causing viruses
  • Natural infection with bacteria and viruses that are cancer causing
  • Lack of sleep
  • Insufficient nutrients (lack of methyl donors such as B12, folate, and B6 will prevent the body from ‘turning off’ (methylating) cancer-promoting genes

Even though cancer is a complex, multi-factorial phenomena, with variables we can not always control, one thing we can do is control what goes into our mouth. Sugar, for instance, does not belong there if we truly want to prevent and/or treat cancer.  And don’t forget, carbohydrates that don’t taste sweet on the front end – bread, crackers, cereal – certainly convert to sugar in the body within minutes post-consumption.

In a nutshell, if you are concerned about cancer, have cancer, or would like to prevent recurrence, removing sugar and excess carbohydrates is a must. Not only is it common sense, but it is now validated by experimental research.

Additional Research

Note: another recent study found that Candida albicans (yeast) also contributes to cancer initiation and promotion. C. albicans thrives on sugar, lending additional support to the notion that sugar (consumed excessively) may be a primary driver of the cancer epidemic in those consuming the modern Western diet. For information on sugar alternatives that are not synthetic toxicants like Splenda (sucralose), read my latest article on the topic:  4 Sugar Alternatives That Won’t Poison You.


 *Note: Cancer cells prefer to ferment sugar as a form of energy even when there is sufficient oxygen available to the cells to do so; hence Warburg’s description of cancer metabolism as ‘aerobic glycolysis’ or the so-called ‘Warburg effect’

Originally published: 2017-12-04

Article udpated: 2019-07-19


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Link to the original article

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The Medical Journals’ Sell-Out—Getting Paid to Play

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[Note: This is Part IX 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 vaccine industry and its government and scientific partners routinely block meaningful science and fabricate misleading studies about vaccines. They could not do so, however, without having enticed medical journals into a mutually beneficial bargain. Pharmaceutical companies supply journals with needed income, and in return, journals play a key role in suppressing studies that raise critical questions about vaccine risks—which would endanger profits.

Journals are willing to accept even the most highly misleading advertisements. The FDA has flagged numerous instances of advertising violations, including ads that overstated a drug’s effectiveness or minimized its risks.

An exclusive and dependent relationship

Advertising is one of the most obviously beneficial ways that medical journals’ “exclusive and dependent relationship” with the pharmaceutical industry plays out. According to a 2006 analysis in PLOS Medicinedrugs and medical devices are the only products for which medical journals accept advertisements. Studies show that journal advertising generates “the highest return on investment of all promotional strategies employed by pharmaceutical companies.” The pharmaceutical industry puts a particularly “high value on advertising its products in print journals” because journals reach doctors—the “gatekeeper between drug companies and patients.” Almost nine in ten drug advertising dollars are directed at physicians.

In the U.S. in 2012, drug companies spent $24 billion marketing to physicians, with only $3 billion spent on direct-to-consumer advertising. By 2015, however, consumer-targeted advertising had jumped to $5.2 billion, a 60% increase that has reaped bountiful rewards. In 2015, Pfizer’s Prevnar-13 vaccine was the nation’s eighth most heavily advertised drug; after the launch of the intensive advertising campaign, Prevnar “awareness” increased by over 1,500% in eight months, and “44% of targeted consumers were talking to their physicians about getting vaccinated specifically with Prevnar.” Slick ad campaigns have also helped boost uptake of “unpopular” vaccines like Gardasil.

Advertising is such an established part of journals’ modus operandi that high-end journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) boldly invite medical marketers to “make NEJM the cornerstone of their advertising programs,” promising “no greater assurance that your ad will be seen, read, and acted upon.” In addition, medical journals benefit from pharmaceutical companies’ bulk purchases of thousands of journal reprints and industry’s sponsorship of journal subscriptions and journal supplements.

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In 2003, an editor at The BMJ wrote about the numerous ways in which drug company advertising can bias medical journals (and the practice of medicine)—all of which still hold true today. For example:

  • Advertising monies enable prestigious journals to get thousands of copies into doctors’ hands for free, which “almost certainly” goes on to affect prescribing.
  • Journals are willing to accept even the most highly misleading advertisements. The FDA has flagged numerous instances of advertising violations, including ads that overstated a drug’s effectiveness or minimized its risks.
  • Journals will guarantee favorable editorial mentions of a product in order to earn a company’s advertising dollars.
  • Journals can earn substantial fees for publishing supplements even when they are written by “paid industry hacks”—and the more favorable the supplement content is to the company that is funding it, the bigger the profit for the journal.

Discussing clinical trials, the BMJ editor added: “Major trials are very good for journals in that doctors around the world want to see them and so are more likely to subscribe to journals that publish them. Such trials also create lots of publicity, and journals like publicity. Finally, companies purchase large numbers of reprints of these trials…and the profit margin to the publisher is huge. These reprints are then used to market the drugs to doctors, and the journal’s name on the reprint is a vital part of that sell.”

… however, even these poor-quality studies—when funded by the pharmaceutical industry—got far more attention than equivalent studies not funded by industry.

Industry-funded bias

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), nearly three-fourths of all funding for clinical trials in the U.S.—presumably including vaccine trials—came from corporate sponsors as of the early 2000s. The pharmaceutical industry’s funding of studies (and investigators) is a factor that helps determine which studies get published, and where. As a Johns Hopkins University researcher has acknowledged, funding can lead to bias—and while the potential exists for governmental or departmental funding to produce bias, “the worst source of bias is industry-funded.”

In 2009, researchers published a systematic review of several hundred influenza vaccine trials. Noting “growing doubts about the validity of the scientific evidence underpinning [influenza vaccine] policy recommendations,” the authors showed that the vaccine-favorable studies were “of significantly lower methodological quality”; however, even these poor-quality studies—when funded by the pharmaceutical industry—got far more attention than equivalent studies not funded by industry. The authors commented:

[Studies] sponsored by industry had greater visibility as they were more likely to be published by high impact factor journals and were likely to be given higher prominence by the international scientific and lay media, despite their apparent equivalent methodological quality and size compared with studies with other funders.

In their discussion, the authors also described how the industry’s vast resources enable lavish and strategic dissemination of favorable results. For example, companies often distribute “expensively bound” abstracts and reprints (translated into various languages) to “decision makers, their advisors, and local researchers,” while also systematically plugging their studies at symposia and conferences.

The World Health Organization’s standards describe reporting of clinical trial results as a “scientific, ethical, and moral responsibility.” However, it appears that as many as half of all clinical trial results go unreported—particularly when their results are negative. A European official involved in drug assessment has described the problem as “widespread,” citing as an example GSK’s suppression of results from four clinical trials for an anti-anxiety drug when those results showed a possible increased risk of suicide in children and adolescents. Experts warn that “unreported studies leave an incomplete and potentially misleading picture of the risks and benefits of treatments.”

Many vaccine studies flagrantly illustrate biases and selective reporting that produce skewed write-ups that are more marketing than science.

Debased and biased results

The “significant association between funding sources and pro-industry conclusions” can play out in many different ways, notably through methodological bias and debasement of study designs and analytic strategies. Bias may be present in the form of inadequate sample sizes, short follow-up periods, inappropriate placebos or comparisons, use of improper surrogate endpoints, unsuitable statistical analyses or “misleading presentation of data.”

Occasionally, high-level journal insiders blow the whistle on the corruption of published science. In a widely circulated quote, Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of NEJM, acknowledged that “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines.” Dr. Angell added that she “[took] no pleasure in this conclusion, which [she] reached slowly and reluctantly” over two decades at the prestigious journal.

Many vaccine studies flagrantly illustrate biases and selective reporting that produce skewed write-ups that are more marketing than science. In formulaic articles that medical journals are only too happy to publish, the conclusion is almost always the same, no matter the vaccine: “We did not identify any new or unexpected safety concerns.” As an example of the use of inappropriate statistical techniques to exaggerate vaccine benefits, an influenza vaccine study reported a “69% efficacy rate” even though the vaccine failed “nearly all who [took] it.” As explained by Dr. David Brownstein, the study’s authors used a technique called relative risk analysis to derive their 69% statistic because it can make “a poorly performing drug or therapy look better than it actually is.” However, the absolute risk difference between the vaccine and the placebo group was 2.27%, meaning that the vaccine “was nearly 98% ineffective in preventing the flu.”

… the reviewers had done an incomplete job and had ignored important evidence of bias.

Trusted evidence?

In 2018, the Cochrane Collaboration—which bills its systematic reviews as the international gold standard for high-quality, “trusted” evidence—furnished conclusions about the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine that clearly signaled industry bias. In May of that year, Cochrane’s highly favorable review improbably declared the vaccine to have no increased risk of serious adverse effects and judged deaths observed in HPV studies “not to be related to the vaccine.” Cochrane claims to be free of conflicts of interest, but its roster of funders includes national governmental bodies and international organizations pushing for HPV vaccine mandates as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation—both of which are staunch funders and supporters of HPV vaccination. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s president is a former top CDC official who served as acting CDC director during the H1N1 “false pandemic” in 2009 that ensured millions in windfall profits for vaccine manufacturers.

Two months after publication of Cochrane’s HPV review, researchers affiliated with the Nordic Cochrane Centre (one of Cochrane’s member centers) published an exhaustive critique, declaring that the reviewers had done an incomplete job and had “ignored important evidence of bias.” The critics itemized numerous methodological and ethical missteps on the part of the Cochrane reviewers, including failure to count nearly half of the eligible HPV vaccine trials, incomplete assessment of serious and systemic adverse events and failure to note that many of the reviewed studies were industry-funded. They also upbraided the Cochrane reviewers for not paying attention to key design flaws in the original clinical trials, including the failure to use true placebos and the use of surrogate outcomes for cervical cancer.

In response to the criticisms, the editor-in-chief of the Cochrane Library initially stated that a team of editors would investigate the claims “as a matter of urgency.” Instead, however, Cochrane’s Governing Board quickly expelled one of the critique’s authors, Danish physician-researcher Peter Gøtzsche, who helped found Cochrane and was the head of the Nordic Cochrane Centre. Gøtzsche has been a vocal critic of Cochrane’s “increasingly commercial business model,” which he suggests is resulting in “stronger and stronger resistance to say anything that could bother pharmaceutical industry interests.” Adding insult to injury, Gøtzsche’s direct employer, the Rigshospitalet hospital in Denmark, then fired Gøtzsche. In response, Dr. Gøtzsche stated, “Firing me sends the unfortunate signal that if your research results are inconvenient and cause public turmoil, or threaten the pharmaceutical industry’s earnings, …you will be sacked.” In March 2019, Gøtzsche launched an independent Institute for Scientific Freedom.

In 2019, the editor-in-chief and research editor of BMJ Evidence Based Medicine—the journal that published the critique of Cochrane’s biased review—jointly defended the critique as having “provoke[d] healthy debate and pose[d] important questions,” affirming the value of publishing articles that “hold organisations to account.” They added that “Academic freedom means communicating ideas, facts and criticism without being censored, targeted or reprimanded” and urged publishers not to “shrink from offering criticisms that may be considered inconvenient.”

In recent years, a number of journals have invented bogus excuses to withdraw or retract articles critical of risky vaccine ingredients, even when written by top international scientists.

The censorship tsunami

Another favored tactic is to keep vaccine-critical studies out of medical journals altogether, either by refusing to publish them (even if peer reviewers recommend their publication) or by concocting excuses to pull articles after publication. In recent years, a number of journals have invented bogus excuses to withdraw or retract articles critical of risky vaccine ingredients, even when written by top international scientists. To cite just three examples:

  • The journal Vaccine withdrew a study that questioned the safety of the aluminum adjuvantused in Gardasil.
  • The journal Science and Engineering Ethics retracted an article that made a case for greater transparency regarding the link between mercury and autism.
  • Pharmacological Research withdrew a published veterinary article that implicated aluminum-containing vaccines in a mystery illness decimating sheep, citing “concerns” from an anonymous reader.

Elsevier, which publishes two of these journals, has a track record of setting up fake journals to market Merck’s drugs, and Springer, which publishes the third journal as well as influential publications like Nature and Scientific American, has been only too willing to accommodate censorship requests. However, even these forms of censorship may soon seem quaint in comparison to the censorship of vaccine-critical information now being implemented across social media and other platforms. This concerted campaign to prevent dissemination of vaccine content that does not toe the party line will make it harder than ever for American families to do their due diligence with regard to vaccine risks and benefits.


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Awareness

60% of Kale Samples Contaminated With Cancer Causing Pesticide – Organic Is Key!

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A new analysis by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found a high level of Dacthal in non-organic Kale.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do we justify the spraying of poison on our food? How does this make any sense? These substances have been linked to several diseases, how are they approved and marketed as safe in many countries? Why are they banned in so many others?

Do you still think organic is not necessary? A recent study published in the journal Environmental Research examined four families who eat conventional diets. Pesticide levels were measured via urine before switching to an organic diet for 6 days. A dramatic drop in pesticide levels was found. Another study conducted by researchers from RMIT University, published in the journal Environmental Research, found that eating an organic diet for just one week significantly reduced pesticide (commonly used in conventional food production) exposure in adults. This study found a dramatic 90 percent drop in pesticide levels. Both studies used urine samples to measure pesticide accumulation. You can access those studies and read more about them here and here.

A lot of these agents were initially developed as nerve gases for chemical warfare, so we do know that they have toxic effects on the nervous system at high doses. Conventional food production commonly uses organophosphate pesticides, among many others, which are neurotoxins that act on the nervous systems of humans by blocking an important enzyme. Recent studies have raised concerns for health effects of these chemicals even at relatively low levels.

There is no question or doubt about it, organic food not sprayed with pesticides is much better for our health, and eating organic is a great way to prevent multiple diseases, including cancer. Despite all of the publications and research on this subject, it’s confusing how cancer awareness initiatives continue to focus on raising money without ever addressing the root causes of the disease, one of which is clearly exposure to herbicides and pesticides.

This is why the Environmental Working Group (EWG) advocates buying organic products. Since its inception in 1993, EWG has fought for consumers’ rights to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. EWG’s very first report in 1993, “Pesticides in Children’s Foods,” played a pivotal role in Congress passing the Food Quality Protection Act two years later. They are a well known group of scientists and activists doing great work.

Recently, they discovered that approximately 60 percent of kale samples sold in the United States were contaminated with another carcinogenic pesticide, according to the  EWG’s analysis of the 2017 Department of Agriculture’s test data.

The pesticide is called DCPA, often marketed as Dacthal,  and it’s a substance that the EPA classified as a possible carcinogen in 1995. In 2005, its major manufacturer voluntarily terminated its registration for use on several U.S. crops, including artichokes, beans and cucumbers, after studies found that its breakdown products were highly persistent in the environment and could contaminate drinking water sources. This is why in 2009, the European Union prohibited all uses of Dacthal, enforcing a complete ban on it. With all this being said, the fact remains that it is still used in the U.S. on crops including kale, broccoli, sweet potatoes, eggplant, turnips, and who knows what else.

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Even as kale’s popularity as a health food rich in vitamins and antioxidants has soared in recent years, the level and type of pesticide residues on kale has expanded significantly. EWG’s new analysis places it third on the 2019 Dirty Dozen™, our annual ranking of the fruits and vegetables with the most pesticide residues. Recent EWG-commissioned tests of kale from grocery stores found that on two of eight samples, Dacthal residues were comparable to the average level reported by the USDA.

The USDA has not tested kale for pesticides since 2009, when it ranked eighth on the Dirty Dozen. Between 2007 and 2012, the acres of kale harvested in the U.S. grew by more than 56 percent, with more than 2.5 times as many commercial farms growing it.

Conventional kale farming relies heavily on the use of several synthetic pesticides, including Dacthal. The EPA’s 1995 classification of it as a possible carcinogen noted increases in liver and thyroid tumors. Dacthal can also cause other kinds of harm to the lungs, liver, kidney and thyroid.

According to U.S. Geological Survey data from 2016, about 500,000 pounds of Dacthal was sprayed in the U.S., mostly in California and Washington state. In California, the only state where all pesticide use must be reported, nearly 200,000 pounds were sprayed in 2016.

In states with high Dacthal use, concerns have grown about the capacity of its breakdown products to contaminate surface and groundwater. Not only can Dacthal contaminate areas near its use, but studies indicate it can also travel long distances in the atmosphere as well. (EWG)

You can read more from EWG on the subject here.

The Takeaway

Again, multiple agents can be found on non-organic produce, but this article just outlines one. At the end of the day, the choice is up to you whether or not you buy your fruits and vegetables organic. If you can afford conventional produce, you can afford organically grown produce as well. One helpful tip is to cut out junk food from your purchases if you have any, and that can make room for organic produce. Another way to look at it is spending the extra few bucks to invest in your health.

It’s unfortunate that organic food is more expensive, especially when organic food in general could be provided to the entire world if we actually utilized our fullest potential. It’s actually cheaper to produces, it’s just that governments subsidize convention farmers, not organic ones. At the end of the day, kale is extremely nutritious. It’s high in vitamins A, K and iron, and consumption of leafy greens is associated with reduced risk of various diseases. It’s best if we keep it that way by only growing organic kale.

You Can Help Stop The 5G Infrastructure

We plan to investigate the telecom industry, it’s ties to politics, and expose its efforts to push 5G while ignoring the dangers and without proper safety testing, but we can't do it without your support.

We've launched a funding campaign to fuel our efforts on this matter as we are confident we can make a difference and have a strong plan to get it done.

Check out our plan and join our campaign here.

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