- The Facts:
Vaccines can trigger autoimmunity with a laundry list of diseases to follow. With harmful and toxic metals as some vaccine ingredients, who is susceptible and which individuals are more at risk? A new study shows what they do to our immune system.
- Reflect On:
With so many scientists and publications emerging showing multiple concerns with vaccines, why are they marketed as completely life-saving and necessary when that's actually not the case?
No one would accuse Yehuda Shoenfeld of being a quack. The Israeli clinician has spent more than three decades studying the human immune system and is at the pinnacle of his profession. You might say he is more foundation than fringe in his specialty; he wrote the textbooks. The Mosaic of Autoimmunity, Autoantibodies, Diagnostic Criteria in Autoimmune Diseases, Infection and Autoimmunity, Cancer and Autoimmunity – the list is 25 titles long and some of them are cornerstones of clinical practice. Hardly surprising that Shoenfeld has been called the “Godfather of Autoimmunology” – the study of the immune system turned on itself in a wide array of diseases from type 1 diabetes to ulcerative colitis and multiple sclerosis.
But something strange is happening in the world of immunology lately and a small evidence of it is that the Godfather of Autoimmunology is pointing to vaccines – specifically, some of their ingredients including the toxic metal aluminum – as a significant contributor to the growing global epidemic of autoimmune diseases. The bigger evidence is a huge body of research that’s poured in in the past 15 years, and particularly in the past five years. Take for example, a recent article published in the journal Pharmacological Research in which Shoenfeld and colleagues issue unprecedented guidelines naming four categories of people who are most at risk for vaccine-induced autoimmunity.
“On one hand,” vaccines prevent infections which can trigger autoimmunity, say the paper’s authors, Alessandra Soriano, of the Department of Clinical Medicine and Rheumatology at the Campus Bio-Medico University in Rome, Gideon Nesher, of the Hebrew University Medical School in Jerusalem and Shoenfeld, founder and head of the Zabludowicz Center of Autoimmune Diseases in the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer. He is also editor of three medical journals and author of more than 1,500 research papers across the spectrum of medical journalism and founder of the International Congress on Autoimmunology. “On the other hand, many reports that describe post-vaccination autoimmunity strongly suggest that vaccines can indeed trigger autoimmunity. Defined autoimmune diseases that may occur following vaccinations include arthritis, lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE) diabetes mellitus, thrombocytopenia, vasculitis, dermatomyosiositis, Guillain-Barre syndrome and demyelinating disorders. Almost all types of vaccines have been reported to be associated with the onset of ASIA.”
ASIA – or Autoimmune/Inflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants (also known as Shoenfeld’s syndrome) — first appeared in the Journal of Autoimmunology four years ago. It is an umbrella term for a collection of similar symptoms, including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, that result after exposure to an adjuvant – an environmental agent including common vaccine ingredients that stimulate the immune system. Since then an enormous body of research, using ASIA as a paradigm, has begun to unravel the mystery of how environmental toxins, particularly the metal aluminum used in vaccines, can trigger an immune system chain reaction in susceptible individuals and may lead to overt autoimmune disease.
Autoimmune disease results when the body’s system meant to attack foreign invaders turns instead to attack part of the body it belongs to (auto is Greek for self). If the immune system is like a national defence system, antibodies are like drones programmed to recognize a certain type of invader (a bacteria say) and to destroy them or mark them for destruction by other special forces. Autoantibodies are like drones that are misidentifying a component of the human body and have launched a sustained attack on it. If they mistakenly target a component of the conductive sheath around neurons, for example, nerve impulses stop conducting properly, muscles go into spasm and coordination fails; multiple sclerosis results. If autoantibodies erroneously focus on joint tissue; rheumatoid arthritis results. If they target the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas, Type 1 diabetes, and so on
“Throughout our lifetime the normal immune system walks a fine line between preserving normal immune reactions and developing autoimmune diseases,” says the paper. “The healthy immune system is tolerant to self-antigens. When self-tolerance is disturbed, dysregulation of the immune system follows, resulting in emergence of an autoimmune disease. Vaccination is one of the conditions that may disturb this homeostasis in susceptible individuals, resulting in autoimmune phenomena and ASIA.”
Who is “susceptible” is the subject of the paper entitled, “Predicting post-vaccination autoimmunity: Who might be at risk?” It lists four categories of people: 1) those who have had a previous autoimmune reaction to a vaccine, 2) anyone with a medical history of autoimmunity, 3) patients with a history of allergic reactions, 4) anyone at high risk of developing autoimmune disease including anyone with a family history of autoimmunity, presence of autoantibodies which are detectable by blood tests and other factors including low vitamin D and smoking.
Regarding those who have had a previous adverse reaction to vaccines, the paper cites five relevant studies including the case of a death of a teenage girl six months following her third Gardasil injection against HPV virus. She had experienced a range of symptoms shortly after her first dose, including dizziness, numbness and tingling in her hands, and memory lapses. After her second injection, she developed “intermittent arm weakness, frequent tiredness requiring daytime naps,” worse tingling, night sweats, chest pain and palpitations. A full autopsy was unrevealing but blood and spleen tissue analysis revealed HPV-16 L1 gene DNA fragments – matching the DNA found in vials of the Gardasil vaccine against cervical cancer – “thus implicating the vaccine as a causal factor.” The DNA fragments had also been found to be “complexed with the aluminum adjuvant” which, according to the report, have been shown to persist for up to 8 to 10 years causing chronic immune system stimulation.
“Although data is limited,” Shoenfeld and his colleagues concluded, “it seems preferable that individuals with prior autoimmune or autoimmune-like reactions to vaccinations, should not be immunized, at least not with the same type of vaccine.”
ESTABLISHED AUTOIMMUNE CONDITION
The second group which the paper cites for vaccine exemption is patients with “established autoimmune conditions.” Vaccines don’t work so well in them, say Shoenfeld and his colleagues, and they are at “risk for flares following vaccination.” Inoculations that contain live viruses including chickenpox, yellow fever and the measles, mumps and rubella triple vaccine (MMR) are “generally contraindicated” for people with autoimmune conditions because of the risk of “uncontrolled viral replication.” But inactivated vaccines are not such a good idea either because they usually contain the added ingredient aluminum, linked to autoimmunity.
The immunologists describe recent studies in which patients with autoimmune rheumatic disease given the influenza vaccine (without aluminum) suffered more joint pain and fever than controls and whose levels of autoantibodies (the drones that attack self) increased after receiving the flu vaccine. What’s more, they developed new types of autoantibodies that weren’t present before the vaccines, and those persisted. As the presence of autoantibodies can be predictive of developing autoimmune disease in patients without symptoms, even years ahead of disease onset, this is troubling to those who understand immunology.
A number of studies claim vaccines are safe for the “overwhelming majority of patients with established autoimmune diseases,” the study allows, but they only looked at rheumatoid arthritis and lupus and not at severe and active cases so “the potential benefit of vaccination should be weighed against its potential risk,” they cautioned.
PATIENTS WITH A HISTORY OF ALLERGY
Vaccine trials have usually excluded “vulnerable” individuals — only extremely healthy individuals with no allergies are recruited. It’s a “selection bias,” say Soriano and Shoenfeld, and has likely resulted in serious adverse events being “considerably underestimated” in “real life where vaccines are mandated to all individuals regardless of their susceptibility.” The true incidence of allergic reactions to vaccines, normally estimated at between one in 50,000 to one in a million doses, is probably much higher and particularly where gelatin or egg proteins are on the ingredients list, they say.
There’s a long list of vaccine ingredients that are potential allergens: besides the infectious agents themselves, there are those from hen’s egg, horse serum, baker’s yeast, numerous antibiotics, formaldehyde and lactose, as well “inadvertent” ingredients such as latex. People’s allergic histories have to be taken before vaccination say the researchers. But some signs of reaction don’t show up until after the shot.
The public health nurse or GP might tell patients that a long-lasting swelling around the injection site after a vaccine is a normal reaction, for example. But that is not what the immunologists say. “[A]luminum sensitization manifests as nodules [hard lumps] at the injection site that often regress after weeks or months, but may persist for years.” In such cases, they say, a patch test can be done to confirm sensitivity and to avoid vaccination.
According to a growing body of research, though, allergy may be only the beginning of many dangerous aluminum-induced phenomena.
THE TROUBLE WITH ALUMINUM
Aluminum has been added to vaccines since about 1926 when Alexander Glenny and colleagues noticed it would produce better antibody responses in vaccines than the antigen alone. Glenny figured the alum was inducing what he called a “depot effect” – slowing the release of the antigen and heightening the immune response. For 60 years his theory was accepted dogma. And over the same time, the vaccine schedule grew decade on decade, but few ever questioned the effects of injecting aluminum into the body, which is strange considering its known toxicity.
A PubMed search on aluminum and “toxicity” turns up 4,258 entries. Its neurotoxicity is well documented. It affects memory, cognition, psychomotor control; it damages the blood brain barrier, activates brain inflammation, depresses mitochondrial function and plenty of research suggests it is a key player in the formation of the amyloid “plaques” and tangles in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. It’s been implicated in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and autism and demonstrated to induce allergy.
When kidney dialysis patients were accidentally infused with aluminum, the “dialysis-induced encephalopathy” (DAE) they developed neurological symptoms: speech abnormalities, tremors, memory loss, impaired concentration and behavioural changes. Many of the patients eventually went into comas and died. The lucky ones survived: when the source of toxicity, aluminum, was removed from their dialysis they recovered rapidly.
With these new observations, researchers began investigating the adjuvant effects of aluminum and in the past decade there has been a flurry of research. Far from being a sandbag that holds the antigen for a while and then gets excreted, it turns out that aluminum salts trigger a storm of defence action. Within hours of injection of the same aluminum oxyhydroxide in vaccines into mice, for example, armies of specialized immune cells are on the move, calling in grid coordinates for more specialist assault forces. Within a day, a whole host of immune system commandos are in play — neutrophils, eosinophils, inflammatory monocytes, myeloid and dendritic cells, activating lymphocytes and secreting proteins called cytokines. The cytokines themselves cause collateral damage but they send out signals, directing cell-to-cell communication and recruiting other cells into action. If the next phase of the attack is launched: fibroblast growth factor, interferons, interleukins, platelet derived growth factor, transforming growth factor and tumour necrosis factor might all be engaged. There’s evidence that poorly understood and pesky inflammasomes, (currently a topic of cutting- edge cancer causation research) such as the Nod-like receptor 3( NLRP) are activated too, but it’s all still too early to say exactly what they’re doing.
New research emerging from University of British Columbia has found that aluminum adjuvant injected into mice can alter the expression of genes associated with autoimmunity. And in their recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, immunologists at the University of Colorado found that even host DNA is recruited into the aluminum assault, that it rapidly coats injected alum, triggering effects that scientists have barely scratched the surface of understanding.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF MACROPHAGIC MYOFASCIITIS
This mobility or “translocation” of aluminum in the body is perhaps the most disturbing of the mounting evidence in current aluminum research. In 1998, French researcher Romain Gherardi and his colleagues observed an emerging condition of unknown origin which presented in patients post-vaccination with Chronic Fatigue like symptoms including swollen lymph nodes, joint and muscle pain and exhaustion. Tissue biopsies of the patients’ deltoid revealed lesions up to 1 cm in diameter and unique from similar lesions of other diseases. They went to the lab for analysis and to Gherardi’s astonishment, they mainly consisted of macrophages – large white blood cells in the immune system whose job is to swallow up foreign invaders in the body. Enclosed in the cellular fluid of these phagocytes were agglomerates of nanocrystals of aluminum.
Gherardi and his colleagues began injecting mice with aluminum to see what happened. Their research published in 2013 revealed that the metal particles were engulfed by macrophages and formed MMF-like granulomas that dispersed — to distant lymph nodes, spleen, liver and eventually the brain.
“This strongly suggests that long-term adjuvant biopersistence within phagocytic cells is a prerequisite of slow brain translocation and delayed neurotoxicity,” writes Gherardi in his February 2015 review of the relevant research in Frontiers in Neurology.
A more frightening animal study of aluminum is that of Spanish veterinary researcher Lluis Lujan’s study of ovine ASIA. After huge numbers of sheep in Spain died in 2008 in the wake of compulsory multiple vaccine campaigns against bluetongue in Spain in 2008, Lujan set out to find out what killed them – and he began by inoculating them with aluminum.
His 2013 study found that only 0.5% of sheep inoculated with aluminum vaccines showed immediate reactions of lethargy, transient blindness, stupor, prostration and seizures – “characterized by a severe meningoencephalitis, similar to post-vaccine reactions seen in humans.” Most of them recovered, temporarily, but postmortem exams of the ones who didn’t reveal acute brain inflammation.
The delayed onset “chronic” phase of the disease affected far more of the sheep — 50-70% of flocks and sometimes virtually 100% of animals within a given flock, usually including all of those who had previously recovered. The reaction was frequently triggered by exposure to cold and began with restlessness and compulsive wool-biting, then progressed to acute redness of the skin, generalized weakness, extreme weight loss and muscle tremors, and finally, entered the terminal phase where the animals went down on their front quarters, became comatose and died. Post-mortem examinations revealed “severe neuron necrosis” and aluminum in the nerve tissue.
The immune system’s reaction to aluminum “represents a major health challenge,” Gerhardi declares in his recent review, and he adds that “attempts to seriously examine safety concerns raised by the bio-persistent character and brain accumulation of alum particles have not been made… A lot must be done to understand how, in certain individuals, alum-containing vaccines may become insidiously unsafe.”
Back to the problem of which “certain individuals” should avoid vaccination to avoid autoimmune disease.
PEOPLE PRONE TO DEVELOP AUTOIMMUNITY
Soriano and Shoenfeld’s identify a final category: anyone at risk of developing autoimmune disease. Since a number of them have been shown to have genetic factors that would include anyone with a family history of autoimmune disease. It also includes anyone who has tested positive for autoantibodies which can indicate disease years before symptoms show up. Vaccinations, the doctors say, “may trigger or worsen the disease.”
Smokers too, have an exceptionally high risk of developing an autoimmune disease, says the report. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 18% of Americans smoke. That means about 42 million Americans have an elevated risk of developing an autoimmune disease and they’re stacking the odds with every vaccine.
And finally, factors that Shoenfeld and Soriano associate with high risk of developing autoimmunity are high estrogen and low vitamin D — which means anyone taking birth control or hormone replacement therapy and, according to one 2009 study of vitamin D status, about three quarters of American teens and adults should be wary of vaccines.
Shoenfeld doesn’t seem to mean to exclude all of these people from immunization, however. The paper concludes that “for the overwhelming majority of individuals, vaccines carry no risk of systemic autoimmune disease and should be administered according to current recommendations.” Which is in stark contrast to the body of the paper. The final word is cautionary about weighing the “potential benefit of vaccination…against its potential risk.”
It’s exemplary of a strange sort of schizophrenia in a wide range of recent immunology papers. The doctors seem to be trying to reconcile a century of “safe and effective” vaccine dogma with the last decade’s worth of terrifying research findings. There’s a lot of “on the one hand” and “on the other hand” in them.
The new research seems about to gain the upper hand, however. A 2013 overview of ASIA by six immunologists including Shoenfeld, for example, is a catalogue of vaccine side effects from Gardasil deaths, narcolepsy epidemics, infertility, chronic fatigue, dead sheep and aluminum-addled brains. It is rife with statements that would have been virtually unheard of inside mainstream medicine a decade ago. Like this shocker:
“Perhaps, in twenty years, physicians will be duelling with better-characterized particles of autoimmunity, and the vaccines may become fully safe as well as effective. Nonetheless, the recognition of ASIA has initiated the change to put more efforts in identifying the good, the bad and the ugly of vaccines and in particular of adjuvants as triggers of autoimmunity.” Bad and ugly of vaccines? What’s wrong with the adjuvants? That’s not in the CDC hand-out.
Or how about this one:
“Despite the huge amount of money invested in studying vaccines, there are few observational studies and virtually no randomized clinical trials documenting the effect on mortality of any of the existing vaccines. One recent paper found an increased hospitalization rate with the increase of the number of vaccine doses and a mortality rate ratio for 5-8 vaccine doses to 1-4 doses of 1.5, indicating a statistically significant increase of deaths associated with higher vaccine doses. Since vaccines are given to millions of infants annually, it is imperative that health authorities have scientific data from synergistic toxicity studies on all combinations of vaccines…” That could be any anti-vaxxer jabbering on…but it’s not.
But here is the topper:
“The US Supreme Court ruled that vaccines makers are immune from lawsuits charging that the design of the vaccine is defective. Thus there is need for innovative clinical trial design and the vaccines themselves should be redesigned.” Immunologists including the world’s leading authority on autoimmunity are saying it is time to take vaccines back to the drawing board.
Autoimmune disease is the third leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide and now among the top 10 killers of young American women. The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association estimates that 50 million Americans suffer from one of 88 autoimmune diseases — from type 1 diabetes to systemic lupus erythematosus — and some research puts the figure at one in five globally. At least 40 more diseases are suspected to be immune-mediated. Most of them are devastating — frequently crippling, expensive to treat and incurable. And they are increasing at an astonishing pace.
At this stage, it looks like the more the research pours in, the harder it is going to get for pro-vaccine immunologists to keep multiple personality disorder – or complete nervous breakdown — at bay. Ten years of cutting edge research into aluminum’s effects on the immune system has revealed primarily how wrong they were. And how little they know. If, after 90 years, doctors finally have begun to seriously examine the mechanism and question the merits of injecting metal toxins into newborn babies, what have they yet to discover? ASIA sounds awful. (Too bad for all the people whose kids suffered through chronic fatigue when it was just a Freudian yearning to sleep with their mother.) But what if, like Lujan’s sheep, the “negligible” minority that has been paying the price for the good of humanity is actually only the tip of the iceberg? What if some people with no apparent adverse immune reactions still have nanocrystals of aluminum silently depositing in their brains? What if ASIA really includes Alzheimer’s? ALS, autism? ADD? And that’s just the A’s.
Even if immunologists keep wearing their rose coloured glasses, and vaccine ingredients are only responsible for a tiny fraction of the exploding autoimmunity, the “ugly” in vaccines will still get harder and harder to ignore. When everyone on the planet is getting injected, 20 years is a long time for disabled people to stack up while scientists “duel with the characterized particles of autoimmunity.” In the fury over the Disneyland measles outbreak that is gripping the world’s vaccine promoters, time is running out for doctors and researchers who see the “bad and ugly” side of vaccines and their adjuvants to do something about it. There’s slim chance of a vaccine redesign in the absence of a profit incentive and a strong chance of universal vaccine mandates for one and all — previous anaphylactic shock reaction or not.
This article was written by Sayer Ji, Founder of Greenmedinfo.com. His work is reproduced and distributed here with the permission. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.”
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The Medical Journals’ Sell-Out—Getting Paid to Play
[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 Medicine, drugs 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.
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.
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.
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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60% of Kale Samples Contaminated With Cancer Causing Pesticide – Organic Is Key!
- 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.
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.
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.
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A List of Children’s Foods That Are Contaminated With Monsanto’s Roundup Herbicide
- The Facts:
Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the Roundup herbicide that was manufactured by Monsanto, has been found in multiple foods that've been marketed to children. You can view the list below.
- Reflect On:
With countless scientific publications and examples of fraud clearly showing that glyphosate is a major health and environmental hazard, how is it still on the market in multiple countries? Why? What is going on here?
It’s very confusing as to why poison is still being sprayed in our environment, and how anybody could ever justify the use of these poisons. Justification has come from mass brainwashing, marketing campaigns, and just downright deception. There are many examples of deception when it comes to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. A great example comes from Europe, where the product was recently re-licensed and approved by European Parliament. However, MEPs found the science given to them was plagiarized, full of industry science written by Monsanto. You can read more about that here. Another example would be the corruption that plagues our federal health regulatory agencies, which have been completely compromised by big corporations. There are several other great examples that illustrate this point, in fact there are decades of examples. One of the best would be the SPIDER papers. A group called the CDC Scientists Preserving Integrity, Diligence and Ethics in Research, or CDC SPIDER, put a list of complaints in a letter to the CDC Chief of Staff and provided a copy of the letter to the public watchdog organization U.S. Right to Know (USRTK).
We are a group of scientists at CDC that are very concerned about the current state of ethics at our agency. It appears that our mission is being influenced and shaped by outside parties and rogue interests. It seems that our mission and Congressional intent for our agency is being circumvented by some of our leaders. What concerns us most, is that it is becoming the norm and not the rare exception. Some senior management officials at CDC are clearly aware and even condone these behaviors.
When it comes to glyphosate, there are currently more than 10,000 pending cases with regards to ailments it’s caused people, and we are now starting to see cancer cases go through courts of law. One of the latest examples would be school groundskeeper Dewyane Johnson, who was awarded a victory after a jury found Bayer (Monsanto) to be guilty of causing/contributing to his terminal cancer. You can read more about that story here.
This is why it’s a bit concerning that this substance is ending up in our food, and that includes food that’s being marketed to children.
For example, Moms Across America, a National Coalition of Unstoppable Moms, recently discovered glyphosate in multiple brands of popular orange juice. You can read more about that here. The full report can be seen here. The testing methodology was “Glyphosate and AMPA Detection by UPLC-MS/MS.”
Major food companies like General Mills continue to sell popular children’s breakfast cereals and other foods contaminated with troubling levels of glyphosate, the cancer-causing ingredient in the herbicide Roundup. The weedkiller, produced by Bayer-Monsanto, was detected in all 21 oat-based cereal and snack products sampled in a new round of testing commissioned by the Environmental Working Group. All but four products contained levels of glyphosate higher than what EWG scientists consider protective for children’s health with a sufficient margin of safety.
The new tests confirm and amplify EWG’s findings from tests in July and October of last year, with levels of glyphosate consistently above EWG’s children’s health benchmark. The two highest levels of glyphosate were found in Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch, with 833 parts per billion, or ppb, and Cheerios, with 729 ppb. The EWG children’s health benchmark is 160 ppb. – Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., senior science advisor, and Alexis Temkin, Ph.D., Toxicologist for the Environmental Working Group (EWG)(source)
The EWG recently purchased a number of products via online retail sites, and then they packed and shipped approximately 300 grams of each of the products they purchased (listed in the chart below) to Anresco Laboratories in San Francisco. Glyphosate levels were analyzed using a liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method described here.
Glyphosate is used mostly as a weedkiller on genetically modified corn and soybean crops. But it is also sprayed on oats just before harvest as a drying agent or desiccant. It kills the crop, drying it out so it can be harvested sooner, which increases the likelihood that glyphosate ends up in the foods children love to eat. It’s present almost everywhere and it’s a great example of how we don’t really live in a democracy, and how big corporations are operating without any concern for human health or the health of our planet. So far, more than 236,000 people have signed a petition directed at these food companies, calling on them to take action to protect consumers’ health.
The best way for you to combat something like this is to help share information like this in any way you can and go organic. Multiple studies have shown that pesticide exposure dramatically drops from consuming organic food. Just one week of eating an organic diet can drop pesticide levels in the body up to 90 percent in both children and adults. You can read more about that study here.
There are more concerns here, as it’s not just glyphosate, but also pesticides like organophosphates, which are sprayed on our food and have been linked to multiple diseases. A lot of these agents were originally developed as nerve agents for warfare.
Change starts with you, so you can go organic and spread awareness. Just five years ago not many people would have even known what glyphosate is, so things are definitely changing for the better.
Check out our plan and join our campaign here.
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