By Dr. Mercola
By the time your newborn is 12 hours old, federal health officials recommend administering the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine. TWELVE HOURS! If you want to avoid it you must make it VERY clear to all hospital staff well before the delivery and monitor your baby closely until you leave the hospital.
Three hepatitis B shots are part of the standard government-recommended childhood vaccination schedule, with the third dose to be given before 18 months of age.
But hepatitis B is a primarily blood-transmitted adult disease associated with risky lifestyle choices such as unprotected sex with multiple partners and intravenous drug use involving sharing needles — it is NOT primarily a "children's disease" or one that is a common threat to newborn babies.
In fact, according to the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC):1
“The primary reason that the CDC recommended hepatitis B vaccination for all newborns in the United States in 1991 is because public health officials and doctors could not persuade adults in high risk groups (primarily IV drug abusers and persons with multiple sexual partners) to get the vaccine.”
But now new research has shown that by the time a child reaches his or her teenage years – the time when acquiring a hepatitis B infection may be more likely – the protection from the childhood vaccine may have long since waned…
Infant Hepatitis B Vaccination May be Ineffective in Teenagers
The study, which involved nearly 9,000 high school students, found that by the age of 15, about 15 percent of teens who received the full series of hepatitis B shots as infants tested positive for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), which is an early indicator of infection or a sign that the person is a chronic carrier of the virus.2
This percentage was even higher among teens who had received the hepatitis B vaccine off schedule, or whose mothers were high risk, meaning they tested positive for hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg).
In other words, it appears that in many this vaccine does NOT provide lasting protection. The researchers noted:
“A significant proportion of complete vaccinees may have lost their immunological memories against HBsAg.”
It’s for this reason that the hepatitis B vaccine for newborns and young children is the least justifiable of any vaccine I can think of and certainly should not be mandated for daycare or school attendance. Remember, the disease is only transmitted via contaminated needles, blood transfusion, or contact with contaminated blood and/or body fluids.
In fact, it is described by the CDC primarily as a sexually-transmitted disease, e.g. vaginal, anal, oral sex transmitted. While babies can contract hepatitis B vertically via their mother at birth, this very rare risk can be identified via prebirth hepatitis screening of mothers, hence making vaccination essentially unnecessary in nearly every case.
And so, we must ask ourselves, if the only way a newborn infant can be infected with hepatitis B in a hospital is through infected blood or semen, either the hospital is doing a terrible job of protecting their newborns against such exposure, or the medical justification for vaccinating infants against Hepatitis B simply doesn’t exist.
Hepatitis B Vaccine Linked to SIDS and Other Serious Side Effects
The recommendation to vaccinate newborns against a disease they have little to no risk of catching becomes all the more ludicrous when you consider the serious side effects the vaccine may cause. As NVIC reported:3
“As of March 2012, there was a total of 66,654 hepatitis B vaccine-related adverse events reported to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), including reports of headache, irritability, extreme fatigue, brain inflammation, convulsions, rheumatoid arthritis, optic neuritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS) and neuropathy.
There have been more than 1,500 hepatitis B vaccine-related deaths reported, including deaths classified as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).”
Keep in mind that this is likely an underestimation because only a fraction of the serious health problems, including deaths, following vaccination are ever acknowledged due to a lack of public awareness about how to recognize signs and symptoms of vaccine reactions.
Also, vaccine adverse events are substantially underreported — some estimate only between one and 10 percent of all serious heath problems and deaths that occur after vaccination are ever reported — even though the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 mandated that all doctors and other vaccine providers report serious health problems, including hospitalizations, injuries and deaths following vaccination.
Moreover, often only acute reaction symptoms that occur soon after vaccination are recognized, since chronic inflammation and other subclinical adverse effects may take weeks, months, years or even decades to fully manifest. This makes it very difficult, if not impossible in many cases, to link chronic health problems back to an earlier vaccination or series of vaccinations, especially when doctors fail to inform themselves or their patients about vaccine risks and fail to keep accurate medical records.
The 1986 Act did not include sanctions for failing to inform, record or report potential vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). So most vaccine providers, for reasons that are obvious, e.g. their guilt and desire to conveniently write off all vaccine-associated health problems as a “coincidence,” do not file a report when the health of a person recently vaccinated begins to deteriorate.
Truth be told, many vaccine reactions are not even recognized by medical personnel as vaccine-related, in part because many have been mislead into believing that vaccine-induced injuries are exceedingly rare.
For instance, when babies die after hepatitis B vaccinations, most of the time their deaths are automatically attributed to SIDS -- without investigation into whether the vaccine caused the baby's sudden death. When a baby's death is listed as "SIDS," rarely does anyone ask about the deceased infant's vaccination history to find out whether there were symptoms of vaccine reactions before death, even though the biomedical literature has repeatedly signaled this connection.4
60 Diseases and Adverse Reactions are Associated With the Hepatitis B Vaccine
As Dr. Jane Orient of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) testified to Congress:
"For most children, the risk of a serious vaccine reaction may be 100 times greater than the risk of hepatitis B."
Indeed, at least 60 diseases or adverse unintended consequences are associated with hepatitis B vaccination.5 Common reactions to the vaccine include fatigue, muscle weakness, fever, headache, irritability and joint pain. A study published in Annals of Epidemiology6 also found that giving hepatitis B vaccine to infant boys more than tripled their risk for an autism spectrum disorder. This was doubly concerning because an earlier study by the same researcher group, using a different database, found the same results. And there have been reports of disabling neurological and immunological disorders that have developed following hepatitis B vaccinations as well, including:
Multiple sclerosis (MS) Guillain Barre syndrome Bell's Palsy Diabetes Rheumatoid arthritis Lupus Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia purpura Convulsions and brain disorders such as encephalitis (brain swelling) and brain demyelination Immune dysfunction Visual and hearing impairments, including optic neuritis Pancreatitis Autism spectrum disorders
The association between hepatitis B vaccine and autism, particularly the 3-fold higher risk in males as reported by parents,7 may be explained by the well-known phenomena of molecular mimicry. Some researchers have proposed that the hepatitis B vaccine induces autoimmune demyelinating disease through the molecular mimicry that exists between the vaccine antigen, Epstein-Barr virus and human myelin. Basically, the vaccine stimulates an antibody response that cross-reacts against neurological self-structures, such as myelin, resulting in neurological damage.8
What You Should Know About Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is often called "the silent killer" because as many as 95 percent of those with the disease exhibit no symptoms at all, until it's too late. The disease can progress unnoticed for years in some cases, and patients oftentimes learn they have chronic hepatitis B once they develop severe liver damage Hepatitis actually means liver inflammation. Ironically, hepatitis B vaccines have actually been shown to induce liver inflammation associated with hepatitis.9 The "A," "B" and "C" designations refer to the type of hepatitis virus involved. Symptoms of hepatitis A and B are very similar, and include:
- Abdominal pain
- Joint pain
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
Fortunately, in most cases the hepatitis B infection will resolve on its own provided you have a well-functioning immune system. Symptoms can be relieved by:
- Avoiding foods that weaken your immune function, such as sugars/fructose, grains, and processed foods. Healthful foods that help boost your immune system include fermented foods and organic vegetables. (For a list of the top 12 most beneficial foods for robust immune function, please see this previous article)
- Optimizing your vitamin D levels
- Drinking plenty of pure water
- Avoiding alcohol and drugs
If you recover completely from hepatitis B infection, you’ll acquire life-long immunity. A diagnosis of chronic hepatitis B, on the other hand, will typically include some form of antiviral medication, and depending on how far along your disease has progressed, you may even require a liver transplant. Even if you have been vaccinated as a child, it’s important to remember that you may not be protected from these risks, and could still be infected via IV drug abuse, sexual activity with an infected partner, a blood transfusion with contaminated blood or even getting a manicure or pedicure…
You Have a Choice Regarding Hepatitis B Vaccination
If you're an expecting parent, it's important to know that the hepatitis B vaccine is given to virtually every newborn in the hospital — many times without parents' consent — shortly after the child is born.
Please carefully review the reward-to-benefit ratio well before your deliver. If you conclude like many concerned health care professionals, that subjecting all healthy newborns to hepatitis B vaccination within hours of birth is both risky and unnecessary and you decide it is not appropriate for your baby, you can amend the "consent for medical treatment" forms you sign upon entering the hospital before giving birth by writing on the form that you do not give consent for your baby's hepatitis B vaccination in the newborn nursery. You should let any nurses or other medical staff taking care of you and your baby know this directly as well.
However, there are reports that some newborns are being vaccinated in the newborn nursery against the parent's wishes. So it is a good idea to keep your newborn with you at all times or have a family member stay with the baby while in the hospital.
That said, it is important to be tested for hepatitis B if you're pregnant, as it's possible to have a chronic infection with no symptoms and not know it. If you are pregnant and are a carrier for the hepatitis B virus, your baby could be at risk for being infected during childbirth.
And although hepatitis B vaccines may be "mandated" for your child to attend school or day care, most states offer different legal vaccine exemptions (medical, religious, and philosophical). On NVIC.org, you can research your state's specific vaccine laws and requirements and find out what kind of exemption to hepatitis B vaccination you are allowed to exercise in your state for your child to attend daycare or school.
Warning to Parents: This Vaccine Linked to Sudden Infant Death…
60 Things that Can Go Terribly Wrong with Hepatitis B Vaccination
By Dr. Mercola
If you've ever had qualms about eating genetically modified (GM) foods, you'd likely be deeply concerned about receiving a GM vaccine as well.
Such vaccines are already being produced – some are even on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) recommended vaccine schedule – even though, as is the case with GM foods, we know very little about their long-term effects.
In the interview above, Vicky Debold, PhD, RN, director of research and patient safety with the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), spoke with me about the many reasons to be very wary of this new technology, which is far more intertwined with other biotech "innovations," like GM food, than you might think.
Nobody Knows What Happens When You Inject People with GM Vaccines
There have been some fair warnings, though. In 2006, researchers wrote in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health:1
"Genetically modified (GM) viruses and genetically engineered virus-vector vaccines possess significant unpredictability and a number of inherent harmful potential hazards... Horizontal transfer of genes... is well established. New hybrid virus progenies resulting from genetic recombination between genetically engineered vaccine viruses and their naturally occurring relatives may possess totally unpredictable characteristics with regard to host preferences and disease-causing potentials.
...There is inadequate knowledge to define either the probability of unintended events or the consequences of genetic modifications."
Though this was six years ago, little has changed even as the technology has advanced. Today we have several different types of GM vaccines in production, development or research phases, such as:
- DNA vaccines: DNA for a microbe's antigens are introduced into the body, with the expectation that your cells will take up that DNA, which then instructs your cells to make antigen molecules. As the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (a division of the National Institutes of Health) put it, "In other words, the body's own cells become vaccine-making factories."2
- Naked DNA vaccines: A type of DNA vaccine in which microscopic particles coated with DNA are administered directly into your cells.
- Recombinant Vector vaccines: Similar to DNA vaccines, but they use a virus or bacteria to act as a vector (or "carrier) to introduce microbial DNA into your cells.
There are experimental GM vaccines being developed that use tumorigenic cancer cells and cells from humans, dogs, monkeys, cows, pigs, rodents, birds and insects. What happens when foreign DNA is inserted into the human body is a mystery. Will it trigger undesirable changes in human cells or tissues? Will it combine or exchange genetic material with human DNA? Will it transfer to future generations? No one knows...
"We don't know what portion of the [GM] DNA can be incorporated into our own genome, we don't know what portion could be inheritable to our children, we also don't know what happens when the immune system is exposed to DNA that has been recombined in lots of ways that the human body, through the course of time, has never had any exposure to... what diseases of the immune system may occur because of these exposures," Debold said.
"Use of foreign DNA in various forms has the potential to cause a great deal of trouble, not only because there is the potential for it to recombine with our own DNA, there is the potential for it to turn the DNA 'switches,' the epigenetic parts of the DNA, on and off."
Vaccine Adjuvants Used in GM Vaccines May be Even More Toxic Than Usual
An adjuvant is added to a vaccine in order to boost the body's immune reaction to the viral or bacterial antigen contained in a vaccine. Under ideal circumstances, the antigen is what your body responds to and makes antibodies against (e.g. the lab altered viral or bacterial organisms being injected). By boosting your body's immune response in this artificial way, the vaccine manufacturer can use a smaller amount of antigen, which makes production less expensive and the product more profitable (although definitely not safer, as adjuvants are usually foreign substances, metals or chemicals which can cause the immune system to overreact and attack the host body.)
Aluminum is a common vaccine adjuvant and also a well-known neurotoxin that can cause chronic inflammation in the body, including the brain. Although aluminum adjuvants have been added to inactivated vaccines used for decades in the U.S., aluminum-based adjuvants are not strong enough for GM vaccines, according to Debold, so drug companies are primarily interested in using oil-based adjuvants, like squalene, and other substances that can hyper-stimulate the body's immune response.
While oil-based vaccine adjuvants like squalene have been proven to generate powerful acute inflammatory immune responses that stimulate increased production of antibodies, they have also been associated with unresolved, chronic inflammation in the body that can cause brain and immune system dysfunction, including autoimmune diseases.3 While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has so far not licensed any vaccines distributed in the U.S. that contain squalene as an adjuvant, squalene adjuvants are used in some vaccines sold in Europe and other countries.
GM Vaccines You May Have Given to Your Kids...
Many are unaware that, despite the completely unknown long-term health consequences, GM vaccines are already in use and have been administered to American infants, children and adults for many years. Among them:
- Hepatitis B vaccine: An inactivated recombinant DNA vaccine licensed for newborn infants and children in 1991, in which parts of the hepatitis B virus gene are cloned into yeast
- Rotavirus vaccine: Live attenuated vaccines first licensed for infants and children licensed in 2006, which either contain genetically engineered human rotavirus strains or human-bovine hybridized reassortment rotavirus strains4
- HPV vaccine (Gardasil or Cervarix): A recombinant vaccine licensed in 2006, which is prepared from virus-like particles (VLP's) and may also include use of an insect-cell Baculovirus expression vector system for production
Then there are those "hybrid" vaccines that cross the (very narrow) threshold into the GM food realm... for instance, goats are being genetically engineered to become "pharm animals" that carry vaccines in their milk. If the experiments being conducted by researchers from Texas A&M are successful, they will produce an "edible" malaria vaccine, with the ultimate goal being that children drinking the milk will become vaccinated in the process. If vaccines in your milk sounds a bit to "out there," it shouldn't, as there are many connections between the companies that make GM food and those that make GM vaccines.
The Close Ties Between GM Foods and GM Vaccines
The companies that make vaccines and GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are deeply intertwined, only recently spinning off or merging to specialize in one or the other. Most vaccine revenues are earned by five companies that together held nearly 80 percent of the market in 2010:5
- Sanofi Pasteur
- Merck & Co.
These companies, which use genetic engineering to produce vaccines, are also primarily responsible for the introduction of genetic engineering into the food supply. For instance:
- Genetic engineering giant Syngenta (third in total sales in the commercial agricultural seeds market) is the progeny of parent companies Novartis and AstraZeneca.
- In 2001, Bayer CropScience became a leading genetically engineered crop producer with its purchase of Aventis' agribusiness division.6
- In 2004, Aventis merged with and into Sanofi. The new Sanofi-Aventis Group became the world's 3rd largest pharmaceutical company. Aventis Pasteur, the vaccine division of Sanofi-Aventis Group, changed its name to Sanofi Pasteur. Sanofi Pasteur is the vaccines division of Sanofi Group. It is the largest company in the world devoted entirely to vaccines.
- Prior to splitting its genetically engineered crop business from its vaccine business, Aventis was known primarily for the StarLink corn debacle (a type of GM corn grown for use in animal feed that contaminated the U.S. food supply in 2000). Bayer now sells Aventis's Liberty Link crops, engineered to tolerate high doses of the company's toxic herbicide called Liberty (glufosinate).7
- Stauffer Seeds was a spin-off of Stauffer Chemical, formerly a division of Novartis.8 Stauffer Seeds and Prodigene conducted clinical trials on pigs using an edible vaccine for transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV) expressed in corn.9
- Prodigene was caught contaminating the food supply with its edible vaccine and the company went out of business, but not before it received a $6-million investment from the Governors Biotechnology Partnership, chaired by Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack. Vilsack, now the Obama Administration's USDA Secretary, didn't want any restrictions placed on experimental pharma crops. In reaction to suggestions that pharma crops should be kept away from food crops, Vilsack argued that 'we should not overreact and hamstring this industry.'10
- Prior to 1997, Monsanto (the world leader in GM crops) operated under three parts, the Ag Business (for agricultural products), the Chemicals Business, and the Pharmaceuticals Business, which is now Pharmacia, a subsidiary of Pfizer, the biggest pharmaceutical company in the world and the largest manufacturer of vaccines for food animals.11, 12
- GlaxoSmithKline, while producing few products for food or agriculture, has been genetically engineering plants, animals and microorganisms for use in vaccines, pharmaceuticals and medical research.13
Bill Gates, Warren Buffet Supporting Propagation of Both Vaccines and GMOs
The most influential, and, of course, richest advocates for genetic engineering and vaccines are Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. They have business as well as philanthropic interests in these technologies and their Gates Foundation (Buffet has donated over $1.5 billion to the Foundation) allows them to mix business with philanthropy.
They – and the corporations they invite to join them – use the tax shelter of a non-profit organization to invest in for-profit enterprises. Gates & Buffet get tax write-offs for putting money in their foundation, but their foundation can give money (both as grants & investments) directly to for-profit corporations creating for-profit products.
This, obviously, creates huge conflict of interests.
For instance, Monsanto and other biotech companies have collaborated with the Gates Foundation via the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to promote the use of genetically modified (GM) crops in Africa. The Gates Foundation has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to AGRA, and in 2006 Robert Horsch was hired for the AGRA project. Horsch was a Monsanto executive for 25 years. In a nutshell, the project may be sold under the banner of altruism and 'sustainability,' but in reality it's anything but. It's just a multi-billion dollar enterprise to transform Africa into a GM-crop-friendly continent. The Foundation has also invested heavily in Monsanto stock, purchasing over $23 million worth in 2010.14
The Gates Foundation is also closely partnered with Big Pharma, to whom Bill Gates pledged $10 billion to distribute and administer multiple vaccines to children around the world. This, too, is billed as a humanitarian effort to save lives, but what children living in poverty in developing countries need most is healthy, plentiful food, clean water, better sanitation and improved living conditions. These are the keys to preventing the spread of infectious disease, and they appear to be wholly ignored by Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and non-profit organizations with financial ties to Big Pharma – at the children's expense.
The Gates Foundation is even funding surveillance of anti-vaccine groups, and the following vaccine companies are supported by the Foundation through both investments and philanthropic projects:
Important Movements on the Horizon for Both GM Foods and Vaccines
It's important to get all the facts before making your decision about vaccination; and to understand that in many state public health laws you still have the legal right to opt out of using a vaccine that you or your child do not want to receive. At present, all 50 states allow a medical exemption to vaccination (medical exemptions must be approved by an M.D. or D.O.); 48 states allow a religious exemption to vaccination; and 17 states allow a personal, philosophical or conscientious belief exemption to vaccination.
However, Washington state now requires parents to obtain the signature of a medical doctor or state-designated medical worker to obtain a philosophical exemption to vaccination. That is because non-medical vaccine exemptions have been restricted in Washington and Vermont and are under attack in California and New Jersey, while there is evidence that medical trade association lobbyists will be working to eliminate or severely restrict vaccine exemptions in Arizona, Connecticut, New York, Colorado and many other states.
Health liberty in America is being threatened by forced vaccination proponents employed by federal and state health departments, who are working with pharmaceutical companies and with Pharma-funded non-profit organizations to encourage government-enforced implementation of "no exceptions" one-size-fits-all vaccine laws. If you want to protect YOUR freedom to make informed, voluntary vaccination decisions in America, you need to take action today. (National vaccination policies are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level, and it is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights will have the greatest impact).
Signing up to be a user of NVIC's free online Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org gives you access to practical, useful information to help you communicate with your elected state legislators and become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community. You will get real-time Action Alerts about what you can do if there are threats to vaccine exemptions in your state. With the click of a mouse or one touch on a Smartphone screen, you will be put in contact with YOUR elected representatives so you can let them know how you feel and what you want them to do. Plus, when national vaccine issues come up, you will have all the information you need to make sure your voice is heard.
As for GM foods, you can help to pass the United States' first GMO labeling law – Proposition 37 – that will require labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods and food ingredients – and ban the routine industry practice of labeling and marketing such foods as "natural." Prop 37 is the best chance we have of defeating the corporate agri-giants, and of forcing food manufacturers to stop hiding dangerous ingredients in our food, without our knowledge.
Bill Gates: One of the World's Most Destructive Do-Gooders?
Massive Fund Attack on GMO Labeling Proposal in California
By Paul and Ellen Connett
A year ago, the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) joined the Health Liberty Coalition, formed by Mercola.com, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), the Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT), the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), and Consumers for Dental Choice.
The purpose of forming the nonprofit partnership was to advocate and actively campaign for the freedom of individuals to make personal health decisions, and to increase access to unbiased and accurate health information.
Since 2004, FAN has been dedicated to this same goal, and we were happy to join with the strong, dedicated team of advocates, researchers, and health professionals that make up the Health Liberty Coalition.
FAN is a nonprofit and international network of medical and scientific professionals who are focused on broadening public awareness about the toxicity of fluoride compounds and the health impacts of current fluoride exposures, particularly from fluoridation of the public drinking water.
When we joined the Health Liberty Coalition last year, FAN had just helped convince the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to phase out ALL sulfuryl fluoride pesticides from the U.S. food supply after a vigorous nine-year effort together with the Environmental Working Group and Beyond Pesticides.
This gas fumigant, used to kill insects and rodents in food processing warehouses, leaves extremely high levels of fluoride residue ?in or on? stored foods. We were also witnessing the beginning of a groundswell of fluoride-free campaigns and victories throughout the world that have freed at least 53 communities with 3.5 million residents from fluoridation since the October 2010 victory in Waterloo, Ontario.
Since joining the coalition, the fluoride-free movement has grown significantly. With the help of the Health Liberty coalition and Dr. Mercola, who has inspired many fluoride-free campaigners with his call for action at the local-level, the momentum has continued to build to what could be the tipping point for the end of fluoridation.
Removing Fluoride One Community At A Time
FAN's Director, Dr. Paul Connett, has said repeatedly that, "we need to beat fluoridation one open mind and one community at a time." Since 1990, more than 300 communities have "beat fluoridation" with a city council or referendum vote to end the practice. This number doesn't include the hundreds, if not thousands of communities, who have rejected the start of fluoridation programs in their city.
In just the past year alone, FAN has confirmed that at least 40 communities have voted to end fluoridation for more than 2 million residents, including in major urban areas such as:
- Fairbanks, Alaska (pop. 80,000)
- College Station, Texas (pop. 100,000)
- Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada (pop. 140,000)
- Albuquerque, New Mexico (pop. 500,000)
- Pinellas County, Florida (pop. 700,000)
Many of these victories were the result of regular citizens who opposed fluoridation, organizing local campaigns to educate their neighbors and local decision-makers about the serious health risks associated with the practice. But we have also seen something else happen that is a clear sign that our movement is growing at an accelerated rate.
Recently, prominent legislators and city councilors representing large cities have begun introducing fluoride prohibition legislation and resolutions. This is a sign that the issue is becoming less controversial in the eyes of decision-makers, and is losing its status as an undebateable issue.
The pro-fluoridation lobby?led and funded by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Pew Charitable Trust, and Delta Dental?are no longer able to hide the true facts about water fluoridation from decision-makers:
- The U.S. FDA classifies ingested fluoride for purposes of reducing tooth decay as an "unapproved" drug. Drugs shouldn't be in our drinking water,
- Water fluoridation is a violation of your individual right to informed consent to medication,
- Fluoride is not a nutrient. There is not a single process in your body that requires fluoride,
- Bottle-fed infants receive the highest doses of fluoride as they rely solely on liquids for food, combined with their small size. A baby being fed formula reconstituted with tap water receives approximately 175-200 times more fluoride than a breast-fed infant,
- 41% of all American children aged 12-15 now have dental fluorosis, a discoloration and pitting of the enamel caused by overexposure to fluoride as a child,
- Ingesting fluoride has been found to damage soft tissues (brain, kidneys, and endocrine system), as well as teeth (dental fluorosis) and bones (skeletal fluorosis). There are also 24 studies demonstrating a strong relationship between fairly modest exposure to fluoride and reduced IQ in children
- The chemicals used to fluoridate water supplies are largely hazardous by-products of the fertilizer industry and have never been required to undergo randomized clinical trials for safety or effectiveness by any regulatory agency in the world, and
- A multi-million dollar U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) -funded study found no relation between tooth decay and the amount of fluoride ingested by children.
At the municipal-level, there are a number of major campaigns heating up in heavily populated areas, showing just how quickly the momentum is building in opposition to fluoridation:
New York City (pop. 8.1 million) -- Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr. hosted a fluoride-free rally at city hall on May 15th to promote his resolution prohibiting fluoridation of NYC drinking water. A fluoride-free victory in NYC would gain international attention and likely lead to a domino-effect of victories throughout North America. The bill awaits a public hearing, which is at the discretion of Health committee Chair. If you would like to get involved with the NYC campaign, please contact FAN's New York state coordinator. You can also help by calling the Chair of the Health committee to urge her to hold a public hearing on Vallone's fluoridation prohibition resolution.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin (area pop. 1 million) ? In May, Alderman James Bohl introduced fluoridation prohibition legislation. A 7-hour long public hearing was held, which included testimony from Dr. Paul Connett, Dr. Bill Osmunson, and Dr. Yolanda Whyte, and many others (watch the full hearing). The committee is holding the legislation briefly as they collect more information and evidence from both sides. If you live in the Milwaukee area and would like to get involved, please contact End Fluoride Milwaukee (on Facebook). If you are a Milwaukee resident, or a medical or scientific professional, please contact Milwaukee Aldermen.
Phoenix, Arizona (pop. 1.5 million) -- The city council is reassessing their fluoridation program. The issue was raised by Councilman Tom Simplot and local fluoride-free campaigners. The city currently spends more than $500,000 annually on fluoridation, and currently joins only 9 other Arizona communities in fluoridating their water. The city council is expected to study the issue and meet on September 11, when it will hold further hearings and decide the fate of the practice. If you live in the Phoenix area and would like to get involved, please contact FAN's Phoenix coordinator. You can also help by contacting the Phoenix Mayor and City Council.
Santa Fe, New Mexico(pop. 70,000) -- City councilors are considering, and reportedly "leaning towards", ending fluoridation. Santa Fe is 1 of only 2 towns in New Mexico that add fluoride to their drinking water. The issue was raised by Councilor Chris Calvert who felt the health risk and $32,000 cost was enough reason to end the practice. If you live in the area, or are a medical or scientific professional, please contact the council and urge them to support an amendment ending fluoridation.
Anchorage, Alaska(pop. 300,000) -- On June 6th, the Anchorage Assembly Public Safety Committee held a fact-finding meeting on fluoridation. Future meetings are expected, and the locals are organizing for win. If you live in the Anchorage area, please contact FAN's Anchorage coordinator. You can also contact Anchorage Councilors and urge them to end fluoridation like Fairbanks and Juneau.
Making A Statement At The State-Level
FAN has also been increasing our focus on influencing fluoride-policy at the state-level. Over the past decade, we have seen the dental-lobby spending more effort and money trying to influence state-legislators to pass bills mandating statewide fluoridation. Just last year, Arkansas legislators passed a fluoride mandate bill without hearings, without public discussion, and as quickly and undemocratically as possible.
This year, the dental-lobby was again trying to force fluoridation down the throats of non-consenting citizens in New Jersey, Vermont, and Florida, where legislation and amendments mandating fluoride were introduced. Fortunately, strong opposition to these mandates have killed the bills in Vermont and Florida before hearings were ever held, and the mandatory fluoridation bill in New Jersey seems to have stalled before getting a vote by either the Assembly or Senate.
On the fluoride-free side, this year two bills were introduced in NH calling for a prohibition of fluoridation. In Illinois, legislators introduced a bill to end the state-wide fluoridation mandate there. And in Tennessee, a legislator introduced a bill to study the effects of fluoride on the human body, and another legislator introduced a bill requiring accountability for drinking water additives.
But the biggest state victory over the past year was in New Hampshire. On August 4th, 2012, the state of New Hampshire will become the first state to require fluoridating communities to warn their citizens about the fluorosis risk the additive poses to infants. On June 7, Governor John Lynch signed HB1416, "an act relative to a required fluoride statement." The law will require the following notice on all consumer confidence reports, which must be mailed to all water consumers, be posted online, and available at city halls:
"Your public water supply is fluoridated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if your child under the age of 6 months is exclusively consuming infant formula reconstituted with fluoridated water, there may be an increased chance of dental fluorosis. Consult your child's health care provider for more information."
This new law is a proactive approach to reducing NH fluorosis rates by notifying parents about the risk posed to their infants by fluoridated water. Not only should the law cause more parents to take preventative action by reducing infant fluoride exposure, but it should also inspire them to question why this toxic substance is in their tap water in the first place if it isn't safe for infant consumption. This marks a point when the State of New Hampshire has officially recognized that fluoridated water poses a risk to NH infants; a risk backed up by countless studies and a growing fluorosis epidemic that afflicts 41% of U.S. adolescents.
The legislation was opposed by more than a dozen groups, including the NH Dental Association, the NH Oral Health Coalition, Delta Dental, the American Water Works Association, the Municipal Association, and the NH Department of Health and Human Services. Even with this strong opposition from the well-financed dental lobby, the bill was still passed by the NH House by a vote of 253-23, and passed unanimously by the NH Senate. HB-1416 was also signed quickly by Governor John Lynch, rather than being approved without his signature, showing his strong support for this action.
It was a strong group effort, and it showed the dental lobby that we plan on influencing future fluoride policy at the local-level AND the state-level.
Working Together We Can Eliminate the Toxic Poison Fluoride from Our Water Supply
We on the FAN team are dedicated to keeping this momentum growing. If this next year is anything like the last, then the practice of fluoridation is certainly seeing it's last days. We expect to continue building and supporting local campaigns throughout the world, winning local battles that will create ripples of influence globally. We not only expect to fight and defeat the dental lobby's state-mandate strategy, but also continue to go on the offensive with legislation reversing existing mandates, creating infant warning statements, and prohibiting fluoridation completely.
Over the next year we also plan on increasing awareness of the fluoride risk to infants and fluorosis. This means opposing the sale of fluoride-added Nursery Water, and urging fluoride manufacturers to print labels on packaging that warn parents not to reconstitute the formula with fluoridated tap water. In conjunction with our infant warning campaign, we will also be planning and executing a campaign to bring greater awareness to fluorosis, which is the discoloration and molting of tooth enamel caused by overexposure to fluoride.
Many people don't even realize they have dental fluorosis, and many dentists don't report fluorosis cases or even alert their patients to the problem or it's cause. We want to expose the fluorosis epidemic and give victims an outlet to share their story and their frustration with fluoridation.
FAN will continue to build our supporter and advocate network, and create more resources for campaigners. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for citizens to organize around the opposition to fluoridation, and to successfully remove the toxic additive from their drinking water. This will involve improvements to our website, our downloadable materials, our advocacy resources, and our social networks.
We on the FAN team are committed to:
- Establishing the principle that the public water supply should never be used to deliver medicine;
- Ensuring that any medicine given to people be pharmaceutical grade-not an industrial waste product contaminated with known human carcinogens like arsenic, for which there are no safe levels;
- Upholding the principle that what medicines we take is an individual choice;
- Making sure that public health policies are shaped by honest science;
- Securing Environmental Justice for all our citizens. Some people simply cannot afford to use bottled water or buy expensive filters, and both Black and Mexican American children are more susceptible to fluoride's toxic effects (CDC, 2005, Table 23);
- Protecting our babies and children from fluoride's known harmful effects. 41% of US adolescents now have dental fluorosis (CDC, 2010); 25 studies indicate an association with lowered IQ and moderate fluoride exposure, and Bassin's unrefuted 2006 study conducted at Harvard University indicates that young boys exposed to fluoridated water in their 6th-8th years have a 5-7 fold increased risk of succumbing to osteosarcoma by the age of 20. Osteosarcoma is a rare but frequently fatal bone cancer.
- Upholding the Precautionary Principle. The risks from fluoride are simply too great to be ignored, especially considering that any potential benefit is small or even nonexistent. Who in their right mind could possibly justify the potential for lowering IQ, weakening bones with lifelong exposure, or even risk killing a handful of children each year in order to save what amounts to possibly only 0.6 of one tooth surface out of over 100 tooth surfaces in a child's mouth, based on the largest survey ever conducted in the US (Brunelle and Carlos, 1990)?
FAN will continue to fight for these things - and we will do so against any odds until the fluoridating world comes to its senses. But this is easier to do when we know we have the support of people like you.
By Barbara Loe Fisher
This month, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) joins with our Health Liberty partners to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the founding of the Health Liberty Coalition by Mercola.com.
For many years, NVIC and the non-profit Consumers for Dental Choice, Organic Consumers Association (OCA), Fluoride Action Network (FAN) and Institute for Responsible Technology have each worked to protect human health through public education and informed choice advocacy.i
At the heart of Health Liberty is respect for the informed consent and precautionary principles, which together serve as an ethical foundation for protecting consumer rights and ensuring product safety.
Whether it is the freedom to eat food that has not been genetically modified, drink water without fluoride in it, make voluntary vaccine choices, have access to affordable mercury free dental amalgams, or exercise the right to choose safer medical tests and options for healing and staying well, the partners of the Health Liberty coalition founded by Mercola.com are committed to protecting the consumer's right to know and freedom to choose.
Defending Informed Consent to Vaccination
Since 1982, NVIC's mission has been to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and we have defended without compromise the ethical principle of informed consent to medical risk-taking, which is a human right.ii
The consumer's right to know and freedom to make voluntary vaccine choices serves as a vital counterweight to lack of transparency and unchecked profit-making by pharmaceutical corporations shielded from civil liability for selling a growing list of vaccines that medical doctors and government officials insist every American should be legally required to buy and use.
This year, we are celebrating an awakening among Americans, who are rediscovering the power they individually have to make a difference by participating in the democratic process. That power was exercised in Vermont this year, when parents and enlightened health care professionals joined together to face down wealthy Pharma-funded medical trade lobbyists and influential state public health employees trying to take away the philosophical exemption to vaccination.
Health Liberty Award Goes to Citizens of Vermont
That is why NVIC is giving our 2012 Health Liberty Award to the independent-thinking, high spirited citizens of Vermont, who quickly organized this past January and successfully defended their informed consent rights by intelligently and responsibly participating in the democratic process.
For the past two years, the state of Vermont has been ranked as the number one "healthiest" state.iii Only 360 school children in Vermont had philosophical exemptions on file during the 2010-2011 school year,iv and we don't know how many parents filed a philosophical exemption because they could not find a pediatrician to write a medical exemption for their child. v Most pediatricians refuse to write medical exemptions because, in 2012, almost no vaccine reaction symptom or medical condition qualifies as an official reason to exempt a child medically. vi, vii
But, even though only 360 school children in Vermont were exempted from vaccination for philosophical belief reasons, that did not stop the Pharma/Medical Trade lobby from attacking the legal right for Vermonters to obtain a non-medical exemption to vaccination for their children. Clearly, they thought it would be easy to quickly ram anti-informed consent legislation through the Vermont legislature.
What they didn't count on was outraged Vermonters defending their right to know and freedom to choose.viii The legislative attack on the philosophical exemption to vaccination in Vermont generated heated political debate, national publicity and, in the end, was not only defeated but gave birth to a new public consciousness about what it takes to defend health liberty. As one of the bill's primary sponsors admitted: "I never thought this would turn into the mess it turned into."
Powerful Doctors Push Eliminating Personal Belief Exemption
The bill to eliminate the philosophical exemption to vaccination in Vermont (S199) was introduced on Jan. 3, 2012 in the state Senateix by Kevin Mullin (R-Rutland), who is VT chair of the Pharma-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).x It was introduced in the state House by Representative George Till, M.D. (D-Chittenden), at the request of Harry Chen, M.D., Vermont's Health Commissioner. Dr. Chen was a Vermont state representative and former chair of the Vermont House Health Care Committee for four years and has publicly downplayed vaccine risks.xi
The bill was supported by the VT Dept. of Health and many medical trade associations and special interest groups, including those that receive money from pharmaceutical corporations selling vaccines in the U.S., such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), March of Dimes, Every Child by Two and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
After S199 was quickly rammed through the Senate without a public hearing and passed with a nearly unanimous 25-4 vote, Vermont parents quickly organized and founded the Vermont Coalition for Vaccine Choice.xii The new Coalition's co-founder, Jennifer Stella, volunteered to be NVIC's Vermont state director and work with Dawn Richardson, NVIC's Director of Advocacy, who led a seven-year effort to obtain conscientious belief exemption to vaccination in Texas in 2003 and manages the online NVIC Advocacy Portal to educate citizens about how to become effective vaccine choice advocates.
By the end of February, the parents of seven-year old Kaylynne Matten, who died in Vermont after a routine flu shot in December 2011, began speaking out about the need to keep the philosophical exemption intact.
To learn more, please watch the following videoxiii, which includes an interview with Kaylynne's parents.
By March 15, the newly formed Vermont Coalition for Vaccine Choice held a public demonstration in Montpelier, the state Capitol.xiv The Vermont Coalition founders created a website and Facebook page and secured 1500 signatures on a petition opposing the bill.
After Vermont parents protested that the VT Senate had held no public hearings on the bill, House hearings were held March 21. The evening meeting was packed with Vermont families and health professionals opposing the billxv
Bill Rammed Through in the Senate
An amended version of S199 retaining the philosophical exemption was overwhelmingly approved by the full House on April 13.xvi While the amended version kept the philosophical exemption intact, it required parents to review vaccine benefit information and sign a statement every year acknowledging that taking the exemption will pose a risk to the health of their child and society.
On April 30, a specially appointed House and Senate Conference Committee was created. The Committee voted to keep the philosophical exemption unless the statewide vaccination rate drops below 90 percent for pertussis and MMR vaccine and, then, the Health Commissioner would suspend the philosophical exemption for those vaccines. xvii,xviii
The Vermont Coalition for Vaccination Choice and NVIC opposed the compromise. Jennifer Stella commented: "It basically says that only 10 percent of Vermonters get to use that right."
On May 3, behind the scenes modifications to the bill were made that removed the 90 percent vaccination rate cap and kept the philosophical exemption intact. However, the language, which forces parents to sign a statement that they agree that taking the exemption endangers their child and society, remained in the bill.
In addition, a "feasibility study" was added by bill supporters to pave the way for teachers and all school personnel to be required to show proof they are up-to-date on all government recommended vaccines in order to stay employed.
Philosophical Exemption Saved, Bill Signed by Governor
Without public hearings on the amended bill, it passed the House with a nearly unanimous 133-6 vote on May 3. On May 5, the Senate followed suit with a 20-5 vote and the bill was signed by Governor Peter Shumlin on May 16.
It was a victory for Vermont parents, who saved the exemption. Tom McLeod, a key member of the Vermont Coalition for Vaccine Choice, observed that "The most dangerous place in the woods is between a mother bear and her cubs." xix
The philosophical exemption to vaccination was saved because enough citizens in Vermont woke up to the very real threat posed by multi-national corporations, which have no restrictions on the aggressive marketing of liability-free vaccine products they want every American to be legally required to buy and use. Once Vermonters saw the threat, they did not sit back and let their informed consent rights be taken from them. Because they fought for their health liberty, they became an inspiration to all Americans, who want to be free to make informed, voluntary health choices.
Battle for Vaccine Choice Being Waged in Other States
The battle to protect vaccine freedom of choice in Vermont is not over, and it continues in states like West Virginia, Kansas, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and others. In California, a pediatrician legislator, Assemblyman Richard Pan, M.D., introduced a bill in February to impose restrictions on the personal belief exemption to vaccination and it was quickly passed by the Assembly and is rapidly moving through the Senate.
The California bill (AB2109) will force parents, who are filing a personal belief exemptionfor children to attend school, to pay a medical doctor or other designated medical practitioner (D.O., medical assistant, nurse practitioner or N.D. under the supervision of an M.D.) for an appointment to have the personal belief exemption form signed. Without a medical provider signature, the personal belief exemption form will not be valid and the child will be barred from attending school.
Watch an NVIC public service message about California Assembly bill AB2109.
Watch a public hearing on the CA bill.
Empower Yourself with Information and Take Action Now!
NVIC was on the front lines defending health liberty in 2011, as we have been for 30 years:
- Co-sponsoring anonline annual Vaccine Awareness Week with Mercola.com;xx, xxi
- Sponsoring informed choice messages on Delta Airlinesxxii,, xxiiiand in Times Square;xxiv, xxv
- Operating the oldest and largest vaccine safety and choice information website on the Internet and daily educating 35,000 Fans on Facebook;
- Serving as America's vaccine safety watchdog by monitoring and reporting on vaccine science,xvi regulation,xxvii policymaking xxviii,xxixand lawxxx through e-newsletters, press releases, referenced commentariesxxxi,xxxiiand special reports.xxxiii
You can be a vaccine safety and choice advocate today by becoming a user of the free online NVIC Advocacy Portal and participating in the democratic process. Go to www.NVICAdvocacy.org and use the Portal to contact your legislators with the touch of an iPhone screen or click of a computer mouse and make your voice heard.
Be part of the growing, state-based national network of concerned families and health care professionals working with NVIC and Mercola.com to protect vaccine choices in America. If we all fight for the consumer's right to know and freedom to choose, we can win back health liberty in the states, where it has been lost, and protect it in states, like Vermont, where citizens care enough and are brave enough to stand their ground.
Our mission continues: No forced vaccination. Not in America.
The Emergence of Vaccine-Induced Diseases
Why We Need a Fearless Conversation about Vaccines
By Ronnie Cummins
It has been a year since the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) joined with Mercola.com, National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), Fluoride Action Network (FAN), Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT), and Consumers for Dental Choice to form a new non-profit coalition, Health Liberty.
Over the past 12 months this alliance has proven to be a brilliant merging of talent, networks, resources and passion around consumer rights and protection.
Each of us in this coalition brings the knowledge gleaned from years of research on health and environmental issues, combined with strong track records of activism and successful campaigning for consumers' right to know what the potential risks are ? to their health and to their communities ? of food and other products they buy.
And each of us is committed to fighting on behalf of consumers everywhere for the right to make an informed choice about whether or not to avoid those risks. When it comes to genetically engineered foods, the risks to your health come from multiple angles. The genetic alteration itself can cause significant problems in animals and humans consuming the food, but the potential hazards of the chemicals sprayed in large quantities on such crops are just as great...
Genetically Engineered Foods: The Right to Know
With the help of our new coalition partners, and many other concerned organizations and individuals, the OCA has focused this past year on what we believe is the most critical threat to the health of consumers and our planet: genetically modified organisms (GMOs), also referred to as genetically engineered (GE) seeds and food.
With little or no regulatory restraints, labeling requirements, or scientific protocol, bio-engineers since the 1990s have been creating hundreds of new genetically engineered "Frankenfoods" and crops. The research is done with little concern for the human and environmental hazards and the negative socioeconomic impacts on the world's several billion farmers and rural villagers.
Since the advent of GMO testing, the OCA has relentlessly gone to bat against the biotech and agribusiness industries, Food Inc., and the FDA and the USDA, in an effort to protect human health and the environment from the potential hazards of these genetically modified organisms.
Over the years, we have fought the battle on numerous fronts, using every tactic in the book. Our latest and potentially most successful strategy has been to fight for consumers' basic right to know what is in their food ? and to take that battle directly to voters, through citizens' initiatives.
This two-pronged strategy ? demanding the basic right to know through the use of direct democracy tools - is our best chance at winning the fight against genetically engineered foods.
We believe that once food manufacturers are required to label any and all genetically modified ingredients in their food products ? which will finally give consumers the ability to choose whether or not to buy those products ? consumers will stop buying them, and manufacturers will stop making them.
That strategy has been successful in Europe and more than 20 other countries that require labeling of genetically engineered foods. Consumers in those countries have spoken clearly: We don't want those products. And manufacturers have responded by reformulating their products to be GMO-free.
Using Direct Democracy to Force GMO Labeling
The notion that consumers have the right to know about genetically engineered foods has gathered steam, culminating this year in an unprecedented number of state ? and one federal ? campaigns to require GMO labeling. The OCA has supported individual legislative efforts this past year in Washington State, Vermont, Hawaii, and Connecticut.
In all, 18 states tried and failed to pass popular GMO labeling legislation this year, watching cowardly Governors and state legislatures back down under the weight of massive lobbying efforts on the part of Big Biotech and in some states, threats of lawsuits from Monsanto.
But now we are on the verge of what we believe will be our first major victory ? a citizens' ballot initiative in California that, if passed, will mark the single biggest victory in the GMO right to know battle, and will finally change the direction of food and farming in our country. Forever.
On May 2, campaign volunteers representing a broad and unprecedented health, environmental, and consumer coalition, spearheaded by the Organic Consumers Association, Mercola.com, Food Democracy Now LabelGMOs, Natural News, and scores of other groups, filed ballot petition papers signed by almost a million California registered voters to place a Citizens Initiative on the Ballot in November 2012 that will require labeling of genetically engineered foods and food ingredients, and ban the routine industry practice of labeling and marketing such foods as "natural."
This battle has not yet been won ? we are stepping up efforts to educate California's voters on the dangers of genetically engineered foods, mobilize them to spread the word, and get out the vote.
To fund the campaign OCA, the Organic Consumers Fund (our grassroots lobbying ally), Mercola.com, and our allies have been forced to raise over $4 million dollars thus far, with another $4-6 million needed before November, to counter the anticipated $50 million dollar war chest of Monsanto, the biotech industry, and the Grocery Manufacturers Association. The good news is that although we may be outspent 10 to one, polls show that 80-90 percent of California voters support labeling of genetically engineered foods. In other words we are confident that we can win.
Scientists Warn about the Potential Health Hazards of Genetically Engineered Foods
An increasing number of scientists are warning that current gene-splicing techniques are crude, inexact, and unpredictable?and therefore inherently dangerous. Yet, pro-biotech governments and regulatory agencies maintain that genetically engineered foods and crops are "substantially equivalent" to conventional foods, and therefore require neither labeling nor pre?market safety-testing.
This Brave New World of Frankenfoods is frightening. Today, nearly 80 percent of all processed foods containing corn, soy, or canola oil contain unlabeled genetically altered ingredients. This, despite a long list of potential health hazards, including:
- Toxins and poisons: GE products clearly have the potential to be toxic and a threat to human health. In 1989, a GE brand of L-tryptophan, a common dietary supplement, killed 37 Americans. More than 5,000 others were permanently disabled or afflicted with a potentially fatal and painful blood disorder, eosinophilia myalgia syndrome (EMS), before it was recalled by the FDA.
- Increased cancer risks: In 1994, the FDA approved the sale of Monsanto's controversial recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH). This genetically engineered hormone is injected into dairy cows to force them to produce more milk.
Scientists have warned that significantly higher levels (400-500 percent or more) of a potent chemical hormone, Insulin-Like Growth Factor (igf-1), in the milk and dairy products of rBGH injected cows, could pose serious hazards such as human breast, prostate, and colon cancer. A number of studies have shown that humans with elevated levels of igf-1 in their bodies are much more likely to get cancer.
- Food allergies: The alarming rise in childhood allergies in the past two decades has been linked by scientists to the arrival of genetically engineered foods in the 1990s. In 1996, a major GE food disaster was narrowly averted when Nebraska researchers learned that a Brazil nut gene spliced into soybeans could induce potentially fatal allergies in people sensitive to Brazil nuts. Animal tests of these Brazil nut-spliced soybeans had turned up negative.
People with food allergies whose symptoms can range from mild unpleasantness to sudden death, may likely be harmed by exposure to foreign proteins spliced into common food products. Since humans have never before eaten most of the foreign proteins now being gene-spliced into foods, stringent pre-market safety-testing (including long-term animal feeding and volunteer human feeding studies) is necessary in order to prevent a future public health disaster.
- Antibiotic resistance: When gene engineers splice a foreign gene into a plant or microbe, they often link it to another gene, called an antibiotic resistance marker gene (arm), that helps determine if the first gene was successfully spliced into the host organism.
Some researchers warn that these arm genes might unexpectedly recombine with disease-causing bacteria or microbes in the environment or in the guts of animals or people who eat genetically engineered food. These new combinations may be contributing to the growing public health danger of antibiotic resistance?of infections that cannot be cured with traditional antibiotics, for example new strains of salmonella, e-coli, campylobacter, and enterococci
- Damage to food quality and nutrition: A 1999 study by Dr. Marc Lappe published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that concentrations of the beneficial phytoestrogen compounds thought to protect against heart disease and cancer were lower in GE soybeans than in traditional strains. These and other studies, including Dr. Pusztai's, indicate that GE food will likely result in foods lower in quality and nutrition. For example, the milk from cows injected with rBGH contains higher levels of pus, bacteria, and fat.
GE Crops and Farming Techniques Threaten the Planet
From the decimation of the planet's critical honeybee and monarch butterfly populations, to the creation of superweeds and superinsects, to the depletion of valuable nutrient-rich farming soil, genetic engineering poses a dangerous, and potentially irreversible threat, to planet Earth.
Among the dangers of GE crops, are:
- Increased Pesticide Residues: Contrary to biotech industry propaganda, recent studies have found that US farmers growing GE crops are using just as many toxic pesticides and herbicides as conventional farmers and in some cases more. The "benefits" of these herbicide-resistant crops are that farmers can spray as much of a particular herbicide on their crops as they want-killing the weeds without damaging their crop.
Scientists estimate that herbicide-resistant crops planted around the globe will triple the amount of toxic broad-spectrum herbicides used in agriculture. These broad-spectrum herbicides are designed to literally kill everything green.
- Damage to Beneficial Insects and Soil Fertility: In 1999, Cornell University researchers made a startling discovery. They found that pollen from genetically engineered bt corn was poisonous to Monarch butterflies. The study adds to a growing body of evidence that GE crops are adversely affecting a number of beneficial insects, including ladybugs and lacewings, as well as beneficial soil microorganisms, bees, and possibly birds.
- Creation of GE "Superweeds" and "Superpests": Genetically engineering crops to be herbicide-resistant or to produce their own pesticide presents dangerous problems. Pests and weeds will inevitably emerge that are pesticide or herbicide-resistant, which means that stronger, more toxic chemicals will be needed to get rid of the pests.
Herbicide resistant "superweeds" are already emerging. GE crops such as rapeseed (canola) have spread their herbicide-resistance traits to related weeds such as wild mustard plants. Lab and field tests also indicate that common plant pests such as cotton bollworms, living under constant pressure from GE crops, are evolving into "superpests" completely immune to bt sprays and other environmentally sustainable bio-pesticides.
This will present a serious danger for organic and sustainable farmers whose biological pest management practices will be unable to cope with increasing numbers of superpests and superweeds.
- Genetic Pollution: "Genetic pollution" and collateral damage from GE field crops already have begun to wreak environmental havoc. Wind, rain, birds, bees, and insect pollinators have begun carrying genetically-altered pollen into adjoining fields, polluting the DNA of crops of organic and non-GE farmers. An organic farm in Texas has been contaminated with genetic drift from GE crops grown on a nearby farm.
Because they are alive, gene-altered crops are inherently more unpredictable than chemical pollutants-they can reproduce, migrate, and mutate. Once released, it is virtually impossible to recall GE organisms back to the laboratory or the field.
- Genetic "Bio-Invasion": By virtue of their "superior" genes, some GE plants and animals will inevitably run amok, overpowering wild species in the same way that exotic species, such as kudzu vine and Dutch elm disease have created problems when introduced in North America. What will happen to wild fish and marine species, for example, when scientists release into the environment carp, salmon, and trout that are twice as large, and eat twice as much food, as their wild counterparts?
Most Commonly Used Herbicide Found to be Carcinogenic
As if the health hazards of genetically altered food crops weren't bad enough, glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, has also been deemed a major health hazard both to the environment, and to animal and human health. It is toxic to human cells, and according to a French research team, it is also carcinogenic. The team has studied the herbicide extensively, and published at least five articles on glysphosate's potential for wide-ranging environmental and human harmi. Their research shows that glyphosate:
- Causes cell cycle dysregulation, which is a hallmark of tumor cells and human cancers
- Inhibits DNA synthesis in certain parts of the cell cycle?the process by which cells reproduce that underlies the growth and development of all living organisms
- Impedes the hatchings of sea urchins. (Sea urchins were used because they constitute an appropriate model for the identification of undesirable cellular and molecular targets of pollutants.) The delay was found to be dose dependent on the concentration of Roundup. The surfactant polyoxyethylene amine (POEA), another major component of Roundup, was also found to be highly toxic to the embryos when tested alone, and could therefore be a contributing factor
It doesn't matter that the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health recently published "research" to the contraryii, the French team says?the world needs to know the truth about who did that "safety-finding" research. It was funded by none other than Monsanto itself! Is it any wonder they came to the conclusion that:
"[T]he available literature shows no solid evidence linking glyphosate exposure to adverse developmental or reproductive effects at environmentally realistic exposure concentrations."
The new Monsanto-funded safety research actually used the French team's original research to debunk the evidence that Roundup could have human or environmental safety issues. And that didn't sit well with the French team, which was so angered they wrote a detailed response to Monsanto's article, accusing the researchers of minimalizing the French group's work and publishing misleading information.
What Lies Ahead: The Food Fight of Our Lives
Monsanto and Food Inc.'s stranglehold over the nation's food and farming system is being challenged in a food fight that will largely determine the future of American agriculture. Genetically engineered foods have absolutely no benefits for consumers or the environment, only hazards.
After 20 years of biotech bullying and force-feeding unlabeled and hazardous genetically engineered (GE) foods to animals and humans, a critical mass of food and health activists have decided it's time to move beyond small skirmishes and losing battles and go on the offensive.
It's time to move the food fight over labeling GE food from the unfavorable terrain of Washington DC and Capital Hill, where Monsanto and Food Inc. exercise near-dictatorial control, to California, the heartland of organic food and farming and anti-GMO sentiment, where 90 percent of the body politic, according to recent polls, support GMO labeling.
Monsanto and their allies understand the threat that truth-in-labeling poses for the future of genetically engineered foods. As soon as genetically engineered foods start to be labeled in the US. millions of consumers will start to read these labels and react. They'll complain to grocery store managers and companies, they'll talk to their family and friends. They'll start switching to foods that are organic or at least GMO-free. Once enough consumers start complaining about GE foods and food ingredients; stores will eventually stop selling them; and farmers will stop planting them.
If you are willing to volunteer or donate money to this campaign visit the Organic Consumers Fund website or call the OCA office at 218-226-4164. It's time to stand up to Monsanto and win the Food Fight of our lives. Please join us!
About the Author
Ronnie Cummins is the founder and Director of the Organic Consumers Association. He has been a writer and activist since the 1960s, with massive expertise in human rights, anti-war, anti-nuclear, consumer, labor, environmental, and sustainable agricultural areas. He is the author of several published articles, a children's book series called Children of the World, and Genetically Engineered Food: A Self-Defense Guide for Consumers.
About the Organic Consumers Association
The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots 501(c)3 public interest organization promoting health, justice, and sustainability. It prides itself as the only organization in the United States focused on promoting the views and interests of the country's estimated 76 million organic and socially responsible consumers.
The OCA participates in the important issues of food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, children's health, corporate accountability, Fair Trade, environmental sustainability, and other key topics. The Organic Consumers Fund, a 501(c)4, is the OCA's grassroots action and lobbying arm.
- i  Marc, J., Mulner-Lorillon, O., Boulben, S., Hureau, D., Durand, G., and Belle, R. 2002. Pesticide Roundup provokes cell division dysfunction at the level of CDK1/cyclin B activation. Chem. Res. Toxicol. 15: 326?31
 Marc, J., Mulner-Lorillon, O., Durand, G., and Belle, R. 2003. Embryonic cell cycle for risk assessment of pesticides at the molecular level. Environnemental. Chemistry. letters. 1: 8?12
 Marc, J., Belle, R., Morales, J., Cormier, P., and Mulner-Lorillon, O. 2004a. Formulated glyphosate activates the DNA-response checkpoint of the cell cycle leading to the prevention of G2/M transition. Toxicol. Sci. 82: 436?42
 Marc, J., Mulner-Lorillon, O., and Belle, R. 2004b. Glyphosate-based pesticides affect cell cycle regulation. Biol. Cell. 96: 245?49
 Marc, J., Le Breton, M., Cormier, P., Morales, J., Belle, R., and Mulner-Lorillon, O. 2005. A glyphosate-based pesticide impinges on transcription. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 203:1?8
- ii Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health 2012: 15(1)
Eating This Could Turn Your Gut into a Living Pesticide Factory
Kashi Cereal Stirs Anger - Exposed by Small Rhode Island Grocer