- The Facts:
This article was written by By Jeremy R. Hammond, Contributing Writer, Children’s Health Defense.
- Reflect On:
Are vaccines as safe as they are marketed to be? Why has the mainstream and big health ridiculed and demonized those who question them instead of addressing and countering their points?
By telling parents not to do antibody blood tests to avoid needlessly vaccinating their child, Paul Offit unwittingly exposes scientific fraud by the FDA.
Many parents today are naturally concerned about the number of vaccine doses their children are exposed to by following the schedule recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To many parents, it makes sense to avoid vaccinating their children unnecessarily, and to this end a blood test can be done to determine an antibody titer, or the level of antibodies in the blood. If a child already has a protective antibody titer, indicating immunity to a given infectious disease, then there would be no reason for the child to undergo the risks associated with vaccinating against that disease.
To persuade parents that this is wrong thinking, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has published a video in which Dr. Paul Offit argues that such blood tests are of little practical use, and that the best thing for parents to do is just to get their children all of the vaccinations strictly according to the CDC’s schedule.
Offit’s argument, however, is fallacious.
Moreover, the nature of his argument reveals how advocates of existing public vaccine policy rely on deception in order to persuade the public to comply with the wishes of the bureaucrats and technocrats who determine that policy.
In fact, properly understood in its context, Offit’s argument undercuts the case for public vaccine policy inasmuch as it highlights how, in order to get vaccine products to the market, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) colludes with the pharmaceutical industry in what is arguably scientific fraud.
… just because someone doesn’t have a protective level of antibodies doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t immune.
In the video, Paul Offit introduces himself as coming from the so-called “Vaccine Education Center” at the CHOP. Then he acknowledges parents’ concern about unnecessary vaccinations:
One thing that parents worry about, or wonder about is, do I really need a vaccine if I’ve already had one or two doses? Do I really need to finish out the schedule, for example? Or maybe I’ve already been exposed to a virus or bacteria, so I don’t really need to even get vaccines at all.
So instead, how about if I just have my blood tested to see whether or not I have a protective immune response already against that particular virus or bacteria.
But, Offit argues, this is “not as easily done as you would think” because antibody titers are not necessarily indicative of immunity.
He names the hepatitis B virus and the Haemohilus influenzae type B bacterium as examples of pathogens for which a certain quantity of antibodies in the blood is equivalent to immunity.
This is not the case, however, for other pathogens, including the measles virus; rotavirus; and the pertussis bacterium, which causes whooping cough.
With measles, having a certain antibody titer does correlate with immunity, but a lack of antibodies isn’t necessarily indicative of a lack of immunity. In Offit’s words (bold emphasis added):
However, there was an outbreak of measles in the late 1980s, early 1990s that swept through the United States that caused more than 50,000 hospitalizations and caused about 120, children mostly, to die from measles.
When people looked back at that outbreak, you found that there were many people who had been vaccinated, but who didn’t have antibodies against measles who were still protected. The reason they were still protected is they had something called memory cells. Memory immunological cells, like B- and T-cells, which then when they were exposed to the virus became activated, differentiated, made antibodies, which then protected them. So even though they didn’t have circulating antibodies in their bloodstream, they still have these memory cells in their immune system that could then respond when they were exposed. So, if you looked at those people and saw they didn’t have antibodies, you would have falsely concluded they weren’t protected when they were.
n short, just because someone doesn’t have a protective level of antibodies doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t immune. One can still be immune to a disease due to what is known as cell-mediated immunity, which is a different branch of the immune system from humoral, or antibody, immunity.
Conversely, Offit continues (bold emphasis added):
Sometimes you can have antibodies in your bloodstream and not be protected.
So, for example rotavirus or pertussis bacteria affect really just the mucosal surfaces. So, rotaviruses just infect the lining of the small intestine. Pertussis or whooping cough infects sort of the lining of the trachea or windpipe and the lungs. That virus and that bacteria don’t really spread into the bloodstream and cause a systemic infection. They’re so-called mucosal infections. So when you look at immunity in the bloodstream, that doesn’t necessarily predict whether or not there’s going to be adequate immunity at that mucosal surface.
n short, just because someone has a high antibody titer doesn’t mean that they are immune. Cell-mediated immunity and mucosal immunity—or both—may also—or instead—be required to provide adequate protection against disease.
Offit summarizes by saying that “titers are difficult” and “not a perfect predictor” of immunity, concluding that “the best way of knowing that you’re protected is to get the vaccines that are recommended at the time they are recommended.”
Thus, Offit dismisses the idea of trying to avoid vaccination with a blood test as practically useless while characterizing vaccination as the best guarantee of immunity.
But this argument is neither logically valid nor honest.
That it’s safe to vaccinate children according to the CDC’s schedule, by his reasoning, is merely assumed.
Legitimate Concerns about Vaccine Safety
Today, children vaccinated according to the CDC’s schedule will have received fifty doses of fourteen vaccines by the age of six. By the age of eighteen, children may may have received upwards of seventy-two doses of nineteen vaccines.
As acknowledged by the Institute of Medicine in a 2013 report, no studies have been done to test the entire vaccination schedule to determine the long-term effects of the cumulative number of vaccines and their ingredients, which include the known neurotoxins aluminum and mercury.
(Aluminum is used in some vaccines as an adjuvant, or a substance intended to provoke a stronger immune response, i.e., an increased level of antibodies. Mercury is used as a preservative. Specifically, the preservative thimerosal is about half ethylmercury by weight. It was included in numerous childhood vaccines until the turn of the century, when it was removed from most after it became publicly known that the CDC’s schedule was exposing children to cumulative levels of mercury that exceeded the government’s own safety guidelines. Multi-dose vials of the inactivated influenza vaccine, which is recommended for pregnant women and infants as young as six months, still contain thimerosal.)
Naturally, the large number of vaccine doses and the lack of safety studies, coupled with alarming rates of chronic disease and developmental disorders among children, is a cause of concern for many parents. The idea that they should try to avoid unnecessary vaccinations is certainly a reasonable one.
Yet in his response to these parents, not even the slightest effort is made by Offit to address the question of safety. That it’s safe to vaccinate children according to the CDC’s schedule, by his reasoning, is merely assumed.
That, of course, is the fallacy of begging the question. But Offit’s fallacies don’t end there.
… during the mid to late 1980s, about 40 percent of measles cases were occurring in vaccinated schoolchildren, according to a study published in the journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA, in 1990.
To strengthen his characterization of vaccines as the best guarantee of immunity, Offit highlights cases in which vaccinated individuals did not have a protective antibody titer and yet were still immune to measles.
Naturally, he doesn’t mention that the outbreak he speaks of was to a much greater extent characterized by large numbers of children who were vaccinated and yet who still got measles.
Bringing up the phenomenon known as “vaccine failure” just wouldn’t do, given his purpose of persuading parents to vaccinate their children strictly according to the CDC’s schedule.
In fact, during the mid to late 1980s, about 40 percent of measles cases were occurring in vaccinated schoolchildren, according to a study published in the journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA, in 1990.
Most of these cases were attributed to what is known as “primary vaccine failure”, which refers to the failure of the vaccine to confer immunity. Another possible explanation was “secondary vaccine failure”, which refers to the waning effect of vaccine-conferred immunity.
For outbreaks occurring in the year 1989, according to a paper published in Clinical Microbiology Reviews in 1995, “Approximately 80% of the affected school-age children were appropriately vaccinated.” As prior studies had shown, “epidemics of measles can be sustained in school-age populations despite their having very high vaccination rates.”
Among the explanations for this were both primary and secondary vaccine failure.
Until that time, a single dose of measles vaccine was recommended for children by the CDC, to be administered between the ages of twelve and fifteen months. It was precisely because measles outbreaks were occurring in highly vaccinated populations, however, that the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) began considering adding a second dose to the schedule, to be administered between the ages of four and six years.
As the CDC itself explains in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) of June 14, 2013, “measles outbreaks among school-aged children who had received 1 dose of measles vaccine prompted ACIP in 1989 to recommend that all children receive 2 doses of measles-containing vaccine, preferably as MMR vaccine.”
Moreover, the CDC openly acknowledges that for most children who’ve received the first dose of measles vaccine, the second dose is unnecessary.
In the CDC’s own words (with my bold emphasis), “The second dose of measles-containing vaccine primarily was intended to induce immunity in the small percentage of persons who did not seroconvert after vaccination with the first dose of vaccine (primary vaccine failure).”
Offit’s argument is that since a negative antibody titer after the first dose is not necessarily indicative of a lack of immunity, therefore parents should just go ahead and get their child the second dose, too. But that argument doesn’t make any sense. It’s a non sequitur fallacy. The conclusion simply does not follow from the premise.
Rather, the conclusion that follows, in the case of the measles vaccine, is that parents who think that the second dose might provide no additional benefit and would hence pose an unnecessary risk for their child are probably correct in their assessment.
… for the purposes of licensure by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), vaccine manufacturers are not required to demonstrate that their product is actually protective against the target disease.
The FDA’s Unscientific Surrogate Marker of Immunity
The second part of the argument presented by Paul Offit on behalf of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is that, in the case of other pathogens such as rotavirus and pertussis, a high concentration of antibodies in the blood is not a good indicator of immunity.
It does not follow, however, that there’s no point in getting a blood test to determine antibody titer.
To illustrate, if a child has not yet received any doses of pertussis vaccine and yet has a high antibody titer, it would indicate that the child has already been exposed to and successfully mounted an immune response against the bacterial infection, hence rendering vaccination an unnecessary risk.
Nevertheless, Offit is correct to conclude that, for vaccinated children, there is little use in parents getting a blood test to determine antibody titer. But that’s just because of the differences between natural and vaccine-conferred immunity.
The example of pertussis is salient. Natural immunity to pertussis confers both cell-mediated (Th1) and mucosal immunity (Th17), whereas vaccination skews the immune system toward an antibody response (Th2). And as observed in a paper published in February 2019 in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, “The Th17/Th1 response prevents infection and disease and also provides longer-lasting protection than does the Th1/Th2 response.”
In other words, the immunity conferred by natural infection is superior to that conferred by the vaccine.
In light of that acknowledged fact, now consider the fact that, for the purposes of licensure by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), vaccine manufacturers are not required to demonstrate that their product is actually protective against the target disease. Instead, the FDA uses antibody titers as a surrogate measure of immunity, which is unscientific precisely for the reason given by Paul Offit and the CHOP: antibody titers are not necessarily evidence of immunity.
As an example, take Infarix, the brand name for the diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP) produced by GlaxoSmithKline Biologics (GSK). The pertussis component was approved by the FDA on the basis of blood tests to measure the antibody response to the pertussis antigens included in the vaccine.
The FDA did so even though, as GSK itself admits right on the package insert for Infarix, “The role of the different components produced by B. pertussis in either the pathogenesis of, or the immunity to, pertussis is not well understood. There is no well established serological correlate of protection for pertussis.” (Emphasis added.)
In other words, they don’t really understand how immunity to pertussis works or hence how the vaccine works (although continued science is illuminating those questions, as reflected in the recent study elucidating differences between naturally acquired and vaccine-conferred immunity). What they do know is that in most children, the vaccine stimulates the production of antibodies against the included pertussis antigens, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the vaccine confers immunity to those children.
In short, what Offit and the CHOP fail to inform their viewers when trying to convince parents that there’s no practical use for getting antibody blood tests is that antibody production is precisely the endpoint the FDA considers for vaccine licensure as a surrogate for demonstrated immunity.
Other inconvenient facts that Offit and the CHOP choose not to disclose to their viewers are that (1) the antibody protection conferred by vaccination lasts only two to four years, (2) vaccination does not prevent people from becoming carriers and spreading pertussis to others, and (3) mass vaccination has caused a genetic shift so that the dominant strains in circulation today lack a key antigen component of the vaccine called pertactin (PRN).
As the CDC itself concluded in 2013 based on data from pertussis outbreaks in Washington and Vermont, “vaccinated patients had significantly higher odds than unvaccinated patients of being infected with PRN-deficient strains.” Hence, pertactin-deficient strains “may have a selective advantage in infecting DTaP-vaccinated persons.”
Far from providing parents with a convincing argument for why they should strictly comply with the CDC’s childhood vaccine schedule, what Paul Offit and the CHOP have provided us with in this video is a strong argument for why the very process by which vaccines obtain licensure by the FDA is scientifically invalid.
Indeed, the conclusion seems inescapable that the FDA’s use of antibody titers as a surrogate measure of immunity for the purposes of vaccine licensure amounts to scientific fraud.
Offit and the CHOP’s Undisclosed Conflicts of Interest
That Paul Offit and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia would produce a piece of propaganda intended to manufacture parents’ consent for public vaccine policy should come as a surprise to no one.
After all, Paul Offit is a vaccine industry insider who has worked for both the pharmaceutical industry and the government. In fact, he once sat on the CDC’s advisory committee, and during his time on the ACIP, he advocated the rotavirus vaccine for routine use in children. At the same time, he was working on the development of a rotavirus vaccine under a grant from the pharmaceutical giant Merck.
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia co-owned the patent for that rotavirus vaccine with Offit. The patent was later sold to Merck under a deal in which Offit profited handsomely. He has publicly acknowledged making “several million dollars; a lot of money” from the deal.
In addition to profiting from the development of Merck’s RotaTeq vaccine and directing the so-called “Vaccine Education Center” at the CHOP, he also holds the hospital’s Maurice R. Hilleman Chair in Vaccinology, which was created in honor of the former senior vice president of Merck, which provided a $1.5 million endowment to the CHOP and the University of Pennsylvania to “accelerate the pace of vaccine research”.
Naturally, Offit didn’t disclose his or CHOP’s lucrative partnership with the pharmaceutical industry when introducing himself as coming from the “Vaccine Education Center” of a children’s hospital and presenting his argument that parents should strictly comply with the CDC’s recommendations by getting their children all of the vaccine doses on the schedule.
Paul Offit and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia argue that there’s no practical use to parents getting blood tests for their child to determine antibody titers and that vaccination is the best guarantee of immunity. But neither of those premises are true.
For one, in this propaganda video, Offit begs the question by presuming that its safe for children to be vaccinated strictly according to the CDC’s schedule despite no long-term clinical studies ever having been done to determine the schedule’s safety.
For another, he characterizes the measles vaccine as conferring a long-lasting immunity even after antibody levels have waned while completely ignoring the known phenomenon of vaccine failure.
He tries to dissuade parents from doing a blood test to avoid vaccinating unnecessarily, but the reality is that parents who believe the second dose of measles vaccine may be unnecessary for their child are likely correct, given the CDC’s acknowledgment that the second dose is specifically intended to try to stimulate a protective antibody titer among those who didn’t seroconvert after the first dose.
The argument presented is that the lack of correlation between antibodies and immunity for some pathogens, including rotavirus and pertussis, means parents should forego blood testing and just get their children all the vaccine doses on the CDC’s schedule. But the more valid conclusion to be drawn from this lack of correlation is that, in order to get vaccines to market, the FDA colludes with the pharmaceutical industry in what is arguably scientific fraud.
Paul Offit and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in this video aren’t presenting parents with the knowledge they need to know in order to make an informed choice about whether to vaccinate their children. Instead, they are issuing deceitful propaganda intended to manufacture consent for public vaccine policy, which isn’t too surprising given Offit and the hospital’s own partnership with the pharmaceutical industry.
Jeremy R. Hammond is an independent political analyst, publisher and editor of Foreign Policy Journal, author, and contributing writer for Children’s Health Defense. To stay updated with his independent journalism on vaccines, subscribe to his newsletter.
Updates On The New Coronavirus Vaccine – Are You Going To Take It? Will It Be Mandatory?
- The Facts:
Multiple companies have started clinical trials and testing of potential vaccines for the new coronavirus.
- Reflect On:
Vaccine hesitancy is at an all time high, will the coronavirus be mandatory, and what will be the penalty for those who refuse?
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The coronavirus is taking the world by storm, and many pharmaceutical companies are in a race to develop the vaccine that will be put into circulation for the public. Obviously, it takes some time to develop a vaccine, usually just over a year, but there have been some initiatives put in place to potentially fast-track the coronavirus vaccine. We will have to wait and see.
As of now, media outlets are reporting on multiple developments. For example, tests in mice of a potential vaccine for the new coronavirus have shown that it does indeed induce an immune response against it, at levels that could possibly prevent infection. According to Global News,
A team at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in the United States said they were able to move quickly in developing a potential COVID-19 vaccine after working on other coronaviruses that cause Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
Forbes is reporting that the second phase of human trials for a new vaccine from Moderna may start this spring. Moderna’s cofounder and chairman Noubar Afeyan told CNBC that, while it’s challenging to put a timetable on the vaccine’s progress, “We expect [phase two trials] to happen in the spring, perhaps early summer.”
The second phase involves expanding to hundreds of people in different groups based on certain characteristics like age and physical health. The third phase is potentially the last with the vaccine being given to thousands of people to test its efficacy and safety. Many vaccines also go through a fourth phase after they’ve been approved and licensed.
And President Donald Trump had this to say:
We’re working with the best scientists, doctors and researchers anywhere in the world, we’re racing to develop new ways to protect against the virus, as well as therapies, treatments, and ultimately a vaccine and we’re making a lot of progress. (source)
The Big Questions
So, it seems to be coming. The big questions are: When? Will it be mandatory? Will You Take it?
According to organizations like the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization, vaccine hesitancy continues to increase among people, parents, and yes, even health professionals and scientists. The latter was a big concern for some high-profile speakers at the World Health Organization’s recent Global Vaccine Safety Summit.
No longer a secret, challenging vaccine safety has become a very popular topic over the past few years alone. In fact, the World Health Organization lists ‘vaccine hesitancy’ as one of the biggest threats to global health security. This is discussed in the introduction of this study (one of many) published in the journal EbioMedicine:
Over the past two decades several vaccine controversies have emerged in various countries, including France, inducing worries about severe adverse effects and eroding confidence in health authorities, experts, and science (Larson et al., 2011). These two dimensions are at the core of the vaccine hesitancy (VH) observed in the general population. VH is defined as delay in acceptance of vaccination, or refusal, or even acceptance with doubts about its safety and benefits, with all these behaviors and attitudes varying according to context, vaccine, and personal profile, despite the availability of vaccine services (Group, 2014,Larson et al., 2014, Dubé et al., 2013). VH presents a challenge to physicians who must address their patients’ concerns about vaccines and ensure satisfactory vaccination coverage.
This fact has been emphasized by Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project. She is referenced by the authors in the study above.At the WHO conference, she emphasized that safety concerns among people and health professionals seem to be the biggest issue regarding vaccine hesitancy.
The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers, we have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen–and we’re constantly looking on any studies in this space–still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider, and if we lose that, we’re in trouble.
So, the point is, vaccine hesitancy is increasing around the world. Given this fact, it’s safe to say that many people are not going to be interested in taking the coronavirus vaccine. This includes many scientists and doctors. Will it be mandatory as some vaccines are for children to attend public school?
The Greater Good?
The vaccine space right now is truly something else at the moment. Those who wish to maintain their freedom and keep informed consent in place are receiving a harsh backlash from Federal Health regulatory agencies who wish to take this freedom away, it seems, in the name of the ‘greater good.’
Scientists and doctors who are creating awareness and explaining why they don’t believe vaccines should be mandatory, or as safe as they’re marketed to be, receive a large amount of pushback and censorship. Platforms like Collective Evolution are having their social media platform distribution and reach completely cut. Physicians for Informed Consent is another one of many examples.
Because of all of the attacks and censorship of our ability to discuss vaccine safety concerns, the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons are suing Rep. Adam Schiff for “censoring vaccine debate.” You can read more about that here.
Again, we ourselves have also received a tremendous amount of backlash, demonitizaton and more as a result of sharing peer-reviewed research and expert opinion that questions the safety of vaccines. There are many examples, the latest one being presenting the work of Dr. Christopher Exley, a Professor in Bioinorganic Chemistry at Keele University. In our article, we explained why he believes aluminum is playing some sort of role in Autism. And no, he doesn’t mean that aluminum is directly causing autism, we made that quite clear. We also presented multiple other studies questioning the safety of the aluminum adjuvant in some vaccines. You can read that article here.
Why are we being censored for presenting such science? Why are scientists like Exley subjected to so much character assassination when his questions, concerns, and science is solid? This CE article about Exley was flagged by ‘fact-checkers’ as false news, despite the fact that it is scientifically sound and simply presents the opinion and research of multiple scientists and experts.
Since when is science supposed to stop asking certain questions? What was actually ‘false’ about the article cannot be adequately explained, and perhaps this is why Facebook or the fact checkers will not reply to us nor even have a discussion about it. They’ve simply flagged the article, one of many, and greatly reduced the reach of our social media platform without replying to our inquiries. We go into more detail about what we and others are experiencing, in the article Proof: Fact Checkers Are Misleading You.
We are actually worried that Facebook may delete our entire Facebook page, so we are encouraging all those who want to continue to receive and be able to find our content to sign up for our email list.
At the end of the day, I didn’t want to go too deep into the issues that are being brought up with regards to vaccine safety, as much as I wanted to outline that a coronavirus vaccine is coming, while simultaneously pointing out that vaccine hesitancy is still on the rise. This combination no doubt will spark even more controversy and censorship in the near future, when really, there should be full transparency of all sides and the concerns raised.
Terms and ‘hostile language’ such as “anti-vax” should not be used. Encouraging people to ask questions about vaccine safety is in everyone’s best interest. After all, it makes sense–in order to make our vaccines safer and more effective, you would think everybody would be on board with constant questioning and examination. That’s just good science.
These times also highlight how much trust the public has lost when it comes to trusting government and federal health regulatory agencies. Perhaps this is not a result of misinformation, but a shift in consciousness and so many examples of lies and deceit. Our world is starting to question measures and actions like it never did before. People are waking, people are thinking, people are becoming much more intelligent, not the other way around.
Articles From Collective Evolution That Go Into More Detail About The New Coronavirus.
The “Inconvenient Truth” About Mental Illness & Prescription Medications
- The Facts:
Prescription drug sales and deaths are at an all time high. With side effects and dangers, and a lack of safety testing in some cases, are they always the best and only option for mental health treatment?
- Reflect On:
Why are alternative treatments for mental health lacking? Is it because they are not as effective as prescription medication or do not turn a profit?
A worrisome trend has emerged in the last few decades that many physicians are choosing to ignore: As the amount of psychiatric drug prescriptions increase, our mental health declines. It’s time we swallow the hard pill and ask ourselves, are psychiatrists doing more harm than good?
I know that, to some of you, this question seems absurd. Why would licensed medical practitioners purposefully harm their patients? But that isn’t really what’s happening here, as the issue relates more to the over-prescription and misuse of mental health drugs, and the corporately funded miseducation that prompts this behaviour, than any malicious intentions on the part of individual people.
The “Inconvenient Truth” About Mental Illness and Prescriptions
In 2013, approximately 17% of Americans were prescribed at least one mental health drug, in comparison to only 10% in 2011. The amount of people on psychiatric prescription drugs has drastically increased over the past 10 years and now 12% of adult Americans are taking some form of antidepressants alone (source).
It’s not just adults affected by the over-prescription of these drugs; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 11% of children between the ages of 4 and 17 were diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011. However, the American Psychiatric Association maintains that even though only 5% of American children suffer from the disorder, the diagnosis is actually given to around 15% of American children. This number has been steadily rising, jumping from 7.8% in 2003 to 9.5% in 2007. The simple reason for this increase? Profit.
However, despite the fact that the number of mental health drugs prescribed increases every year, our mental health has actually decreased. The amount of people who are considered to be so disabled by mental illness that they require Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) has increased by almost two and a half times between 1987 and 2007, from one in 184 Americans to one in seventy-six. Not surprisingly, the rise in the number of children affected by this is even worse, with a thirty-five-fold increase in that same timeframe (source). So, if the number of prescriptions are increasing, why is our mental health declining?
This phenomenon is what Thomas Insel, former Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, refers to as the “inconvenient truth” of mental illness. Suicide rates per 100,000 people have reached a 30-year high and substance abuse, especially with opiates, has become a national epidemic.
Edmund S. Higgins, MD and Professor of Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina, explains, “More people are getting treatment and taking medications today than ever before, so what is going on? I would argue that a lack of precision and objectivity in diagnosing and treating mental illness has stalled our progress.” Furthermore, Big Pharma has played a crucial role in creating the mental health drug epidemic.
Big Pharma’s Role in Increasing Prescriptions
This seems to be the general consensus of the North American population: If an advertisement or a misinformed MD says, “There’s a pill for that,” you take it. Our reliance on pharmaceutical drugs didn’t form by accident, however; it was carefully planned and funded by Big Pharma. The pharmaceutical industry manufactured it by heavily advertising drugs, bribing physicians, and funding health studies.
Big Pharma has done an excellent job of feeding the public propaganda through advertisements and education, as the more pills you take, the more money they make. The pharmaceutical industry has played a substantial role in increasing the amount of prescriptions and overall diagnoses of A.D.H.D. in the U.S. (read an article I wrote about this here) and other mental health illnesses. As Dr. Irwin Savodnik of UCLA explains, “The very vocabulary of psychiatry is now defined at all levels by the pharmaceutical industry.”
Doctors typically use the knowledge from the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to diagnose and treat mental illness. But the DSM has had its fair share of criticism, as it favours the use of pharmaceutical drugs over therapy and other healing modalities. Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine and Editor-in-Chief of The Carlat Psychiatry Report Daniel J. Carlat, M.D, criticized the DSM, stating, “In psychiatry, many diseases are treated equally well with medication or therapy, but the guidelines tend to be biased toward medication.”
Holistic mental health practitioner Dr. Tyler Woods further explains:
The DSM tends to pathologize normal behaviors. For instance, the label “Anxiety Disorder” can be given as a result of some kinds of normal and rather healthy anxieties but the DSM will have experts view it and treat it as mental illness. In addition simple shyness can be seen and treated as “Social Phobia”, while spirited and strong willed children as “Oppositional Disorder”. Consequently, many psychotherapists, regardless of their theoretical orientations, tend to follow the DSM as instructed. (source)
In fact, Big Pharma has played a significant role in manufacturing our very definitions of mental illnesses and how they form in the first place. For example, the U.S. considers A.D.H.D. a neurological disorder whose symptoms are the result of biological disfunction or a chemical imbalance in the brain, much like many other mental disorders. However, other countries such as France see these mental disorders, including A.D.H.D., as a social context issue rather than a biological one, with many contributing factors and recommended treatments other than drugs. Dr. Marcia Angell, a physician, author, and the Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, states:
When it was found that psychoactive drugs affect neurotransmitter levels in the brain, as evidenced mainly by the levels of their breakdown products in the spinal fluid, the theory arose that the cause of mental illness is an abnormality in the brain’s concentration of these chemicals that is specifically countered by the appropriate drug. For example, because Thorazine was found to lower dopamine levels in the brain, it was postulated that psychoses like schizophrenia are caused by too much dopamine. . . .
That was a great leap in logic . . . It was entirely possible that drugs that affected neurotransmitter levels could relieve symptoms even if neurotransmitters had nothing to do with the illness in the first place (and even possible that they relieved symptoms through some other mode of action entirely).
Why Pills Cannot Solve All of Our Problems
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t take prescription medication for mental illness; that’s something that you and your doctor should decide. However, if your doctor fails to address any other means of dealing with your mental health, always choosing pills first rather than as a last or even second resort, then perhaps you should think about finding a doctor who understands the benefits of at least considering alternative options.
It’s important to note that even if prescription drugs are the reason our mental health is worsening, they’re certainly not the only reason. We’ve increased our amount of time spent using technology, staying indoors, and being sedentary, as well as worsened our diets and overall physical health with fast food, chemicals, toxins, animal products, and more — all of which may contribute to this decline in mental health.
However, there’s no denying the fact that Big Pharma has had a tangible and worrisome role in the psychiatric drug epidemic. Medical journalist and Pulitzer Prize nominee Robert Whitaker addresses this “inconvenient truth” by using depression as an example. Depression used to be considered a self-limiting illness that, even in severe situations where a patient requires hospitalization, could be cured within six to eight months. Very rarely would patients relapse, and if they did it would typically be many years later.
When antidepressants hit the market, our outlook on depression completely shifted. Even though antidepressants may have been created with good intentions, the reality is that patients taking these drugs are relapsing more quickly and more often. Whitaker explains that many patients on antidepressants will only recover partially in comparison to the full recoveries he’s seen in people who never took them in the first place.
In fact, only around 15% of those treated with antidepressants actually go into remission and maintain their mental health long-term. The other 85% are continuously relapsing or experience chronic depression.
It is clear that in many cases, we need to stop looking for outside help when it comes to our mental health. Our mental health is just that — it’s ours. It’s controlled by us, whether we like it or not. Many mental illnesses don’t stem from biological issues, contrary to what Big Pharma wants you to think, but are rather the result of different stressors in our lives. So, if we were able to connect with ourselves on a deeper level and actually get to the root of the problem, perhaps some of these disorders wouldn’t be so severe.
Related CE Content:
Fact-Checking The Fact Checkers About Coronavirus & Vitamin C Treatment – Is It Really “Fake News”?
- The Facts:
The idea that vitamin C can have some potential in treating and preventing the new coronavirus is being invalidated and even labelled as 'fake news' by some. If this was true, why are clinical trials for intravenous vitamin C underway in China?
- Reflect On:
Can we rely on our medical system to provide the best possible solutions, or will profit always come first? How much trust have they lost among the general population over the years?
An article published by LiveScience, a mainstream science website, states that “Vitamin C is extremely unlikely to help people fight off the new coronavirus.” Mainstream media has been attacking the idea that vitamin C could have some potential to prevent or even treat the new coronavirus. This rhetoric follows statements that have come out from government health regulatory agencies. Take Health Canada, for example, who recently tweeted that there are no natural health products “that are authorized to protect against” the new coronavirus. They go on to state that “any claims otherwise are false.”
This is a problem that’s plagued our world since the introduction of the mainstream medical industry. Arnold Seymour Relman, a former Harvard professor of medicine and former Editor-in-Chief of The New England Medical Journal, states this problem clearly:
“The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.” (source)
The question people need to be asking is, where does government loyalty lie? Perhaps it’s with the industry that spends two times more than any other lobby in congress. This is why nothing can be used as a treatment, for any disease, unless it’s patented and presented to us by a pharmaceutical company. “Alternative” treatments are always branded as ‘fake’ and even ‘dangerous’.
Vitamin C Trials and Treatment
This recent coronavirus outbreak might provide the latest insight into this matter. Going back to the statement above from LiveScience that states “Vitamin C is extremely unlikely to help people fight off the new coronavirus”: if this is really the case, then why would China start multiple clinical trials to examine whether or not intravenous vitamin C can be helpful in treating people with coronavirus?
The article in LiveScience did not acknowledge this originally, but they added an update stating that researchers at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University had launched a clinical trial with 140 patients in February to test whether ultrahigh doses of vitamin C, delivered intravenously, could treat the viral infection more effectively than a placebo. The test group will receive infusions twice a day for seven days, with each infusion containing 12g of vitamin C. (The daily recommendation for an adult man is only 90mg.) The trial will be completed in September, and no results are yet available, according to ClinicalTrials.gov.
That being said, Dr. Richard Cheng, MD, has been updating everyone via his YouTube channel about vitamin C treatment cases out of China. We have been covering his updates as he is in direct contact with this treatment and isn’t simply an armchair scientist at the moment. We feel at this time this is a very important detail as he is seeing and hearing results first hand, not simply theoretically. Dr. Cheng is a US board-certified anti-aging specialist. He claims that vitamin C is now in the Shanghai Government treatment plan.
Dr. Cheng was paramount in bringing high-dose vitamin C to the table as part of potential treatment and prevention measures. Unfortunately in the West, this option is still being denied by much of mainstream media and governments are not talking about it. Instead, it’s fear and chaos which we do not feel helps anyone to stay healthy or get better.
According to Cheng, 50 moderate to severe cases of Covid-19 infection were treated with high-dose IVC. Dosing of IVC ranged from 10,000 – 20,000 mg a day for 7-10 days, with 10,000 mg for moderate cases and 20,000 for more severe cases. The first bit of good news was that all patients who received IVC improved and there has been no mortality. Secondly, as compared to the average of a 30-day hospital stay for all Covid-19 patients, those patients who received high dose IVC had a hospital stay of about 3-5 days shorter than the other patients.
In one particularly severe case where the patient was deteriorating rapidly, an extra dose of 50,000 mg IVC was given over a period of 4 hours and it caused the patient’s pulmonary (oxygenation index) status to stabilize and improve as the critical care team observed in real time. You can watch all of the updates from Cheng via his Youtube Channel.
Related CE Articles: Good Coronavirus News: High Dose Vitamin C Shows Good Results In China Hospital
So, at the very worst we can officially say that we don’t know, but there are some positive signs thus far, which again, is obvious due to the fact that they would even begin a clinical trial, and the explanation as to why such a hypothesis exists is explained within the clinical trial website listed earlier. To say that it’s false or extremely unlikely is, in fact, the false news.
Looking For Some Vitamin C?
For anyone looking for a high-quality vitamin C, we have been using and recommending liposomal vitamin C. There are many brands out there. We are using this one from PuraThrive as it is very high quality and has an incredible clinically proven absorption rate.
Is it really safe and truthful to make the claim that “Vitamin C is extremely unlikely to help people fight off the new coronavirus”? This is the rhetoric we’ve been hearing from mainstream media sources for quite a while, and articles posted on social media providing evidence that it may show some promise are being flagged by fact checkers as fake news. Again, if it was extremely unlikely, why use so many resources that are required to start a clinical trial in the first place? Why are we getting a completely different perspective from an MD in China that’s providing the world with updates? These are important questions to ask, as this example simply highlights one of the biggest problems that plagues the mainstream medical industry, which is a complete denial of the potential of natural treatments. Because these treatments cannot be patented and turned a profit, they are ridiculed, ignored and brushed off.