By Dr. Mercola
Yep, it’s time for yet another pandemic flu drill... “WHO says new bird strain is "one of most lethal" flu viruses,” Reuters1 recently declared.
Every few years, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and related agencies drum up another flu emergency; each promised to be worse than the last, and this year you’re likely to start hearing a lot more about “lethal bird flu” again.
What many don’t realize is that these agencies actually need these faux flu emergencies to practice — to fine-tune their strategies and test the latest disease surveillance systems.
They also need them to justify their own existence, not to mention growth and expansion. As noted in a recent article by Medical News Today2:
“After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. and the potential threat of bioterrorism, many new advanced systems for disease surveillance and notification have been developed and implemented throughout the world.
The goal of these systems is not only to detect a possible biological attack, but to characterize emerging pathogens so that a public health response can be implemented rapidly.
'You can't test these systems on a day-to-day basis,' says... Michael A. Stoto, PhD... 'The only way to test these systems is how they perform in a real public health emergency.'
... 'What really made a difference in 2009 was that people from the US and Mexico talked to each other through a formalized system of communication,' he says. 'I think taxpayers and policymakers want to know if the billions invested after 9-11 to prepare for a biological event is paying off. I think the answer is 'yes.'"
One Profitable Flu Hoax After Another...
So far, these pandemic threats have never been anywhere near as lethal as predicted. Unfortunately, many are still hopelessly addicted to fear, so these dramatic warnings will likely continue to be successful in enabling WHO and CDC health officials to accumulate more power and control.
Hyping fear of microorganisms has already led to an increase in the numbers of state vaccine mandates, which are now threatening people’s health and right to get an education or keep a job.
In recent years, we've seen a number of aggressively hyped flu pandemics that were based more on media spin than on hard science and never materialized.
While it's prudent to be aware that a pandemic involving a mutated, lethal microorganism could occur in the future, what we've repeatedly seen is that the possibility has been massively over-sold in the past, allowing drug companies to rake in billions of dollars for fast-tracked, inadequately tested vaccines and other dangerous and/or ineffective anti-viral drugs.
Sadly, each time a greater number of people tend to end up being harmed by the drugs and ”pandemic” vaccines than actually succumb to the viral infection.
- The 2005 bird flu hoax: Headlines warned the U.S. was facing a cataclysmic extermination event, with a projected two million Americans at risk of potentially succumbing to the bird flu. The best case scenario had public health experts warning that the bird flu could kill at least 200,000 Americans. Then, as now, constant references to the tragic 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic heightened the fear factor to a fever pitch, despite the fact that the scientific data did not support any of these hyped claims.
Of course, 200,000 people in the US did not die from bird flu in 2005. The number was zero. I even wrote a NY Times best seller book on the topic, The Great Bird Flu Hoax.
At that time, they mysteriously translated the minuscule number of deaths of bird handlers that had occurred worldwide into an impending extermination-level event from a virus that did not — and still does not — readily spread from birds to humans, nor between humans.
Most of the people who acquire the infection were, and still are, bird handlers in continuous contact with sick birds. How anyone in their right mind could envision similar circumstances among the general population of the United States is a mystery, but it goes to show that it's unwise to throw common sense to the wind...
- Bird flu hoax repeats: In 2006, 2007, and again in 2008, hyped warnings over the bird flu were repeatedly exposed as little more than a cruel hoax, designed to instill fear and line the pocketbooks of industry and various vested individuals.
- The 2009 swine flu hoax: After four consecutive years of bird flu warnings that just refused to come to fruition, the H1N1 swine flu became front-page news again. This turned out to be yet another faux threat that cost tax payers billions for fast-tracked vaccines, which wrought havoc across the world. Ironically, the 2009 H1N1 "pandemic" actually turned out to be one of the MILDEST flu seasons in recent years with a low number of reported influenza-related deaths.
Meanwhile, the fast-tracked 2009 H1N1 vaccine turned out to be the most reactive flu vaccine ever created, harming far more people than the virus itself.
- The dire predictions of 2012: The summer of 2012 was filled with dire predictions of bird flu sufficiently mutating to cause a human pandemic, immediately followed by urgent calls for fast-tracked vaccines.
New Bird Flu Strain ‘One of the Most Lethal’ WHO Claims
If we are to believe recent reports3, a new more easily transmittable strain of bird flu has emerged in China, reportedly killing 22 people since its discovery in March. According to a World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson, the strain is far more lethal than another strain of bird flu that has “killed hundreds” since 2003. According to the featured article4:
“The H7N9 flu has infected 108 people in China since it was first detected in March, according to the Geneva-based WHO. Although it is not clear exactly how people are being infected, experts say they see no evidence so far of the most worrisome scenario — sustained transmission between people. An international team of scientists led by the WHO and the Chinese government conducted a five-day investigation in China, but said they were no closer to determining whether the virus might become transmissible between people.
... Another bird flu strain - H5N1 - has killed 30 of the 45 people it infected in China between 2003 and 2013, and although the H7N9 strain in the current outbreak has a lower fatality rate to date, Fukuda said: 'This is definitely one of the most lethal influenza viruses that we've seen so far.' ... Based on the evidence, 'this virus is more easily transmissible from poultry to humans than H5N1...'"
While each death is tragic, flu death statistics can’t compare to the death toll wrought by pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines. If you want to protect your health, at least compare the odds. In 2009/2010, many who gambled on the fast-tracked pandemic H1N1 influenza vaccine sacrificed their health and in some cases their lives to what at final count turned out to be one of the mildest flu seasons in years. An estimated 125,000 people die each year in the US from prescription medications taken correctly as prescribed. And in just six years (from 2006 to 2013), more than 100 deaths were reported after vaccination with the HPV vaccine Gardasil.
No investigation or remedial action whatsoever has been launched by public health authorities in response to these “lethal medicine” statistics. Yet, each time a new influenza virus is identified, we’re supposed to “do the right thing” without asking any questions —meaning, “just get your damn vaccine,” as so bluntly stated by NBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman during the 2009 swine flu pandemic debacle. That wouldn’t be such a problematic demand were it not for the fact that pandemic flu vaccines are virtually untested in adequate clinical trials before they are released to the public, and therefore carry unknown risks over and above the “normal” risk you take with any vaccination.
H7N9 Vaccine At Least 6 Weeks Away
To further feed people’s stomach-churning anxiety over potentially lethal bird flu viruses proliferating and mutating, current media articles warn that the remedy, an H7N9 vaccine, is still several weeks away from being developed.
“If the strain proves to be a candidate for a pandemic outbreak, it might be a while before health professionals have a vaccine to protect against the strain, according to Joseph Kim, president of Inovio, a California-based company that is currently in the initial stages of developing an H7N9 vaccine,” US News writes5.
'The fastest we'd be able to have a vaccine to test in animals for H7N9 would probably be 4-6 weeks from now,' he says.... Under normal circumstances, the path from animal testing to 'small scale human tests' to full approval takes another couple months 'in an accelerated path,' Kim says.
But in the case of a pandemic, the animal testing stage is sometimes skipped and the vaccine is immediately used to treat humans. 'In a pandemic setting, you can potentially grow the vaccine and use them without human testing in emergency cases,' Kim says.” [Emphasis mine]
And therein lies the rub. Pandemic vaccines are among the most high-profit and low-risk business ventures for vaccine makers. They stand to make billions of dollars in revenue while being completely shielded from liability if the vaccine turns out to be hazardous, like it turned out to be in 2009. Not to mention they save a ton of money on development, since drug companies can duck under FDA standard pre-licensure testing regulations and skip certain types of either animal or human testing—or BOTH! It’s a triple-win for liability free vaccine manufacturers assured of big profits and a risky game of Vaccine Roulette for you.
This macabre situation was created in the U.S. when Congress passed the 2006 Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (the PREP Act), which is part of the “Bioshield” legislation Big Pharma lobbied for and was enacted following 9-11 reportedly to address national “biosecurity” concerns. The PREP Act removes your right to a trial jury in a civil court unless you can provide clear evidence of willful misconduct by the vaccine maker that resulted in death or serious physical injury. But first, you must apply for and be granted permission to sue by the DHHS Secretary.
The most problematic aspect of the PREP Act is that it removes all financial incentive to make a safe product in the first place. In fact, vaccine makers now have a negative incentive to test it for safety, because if they are aware of problems, then they could potentially be held liable for willful misconduct! As long as they can prove they "didn't know" of any problem — a statement widely used during the 2009/2010 season — they will not be liable for damages. Hence it's in their best interest to know as little as possible about the adverse reactions it might cause.
How to Protect Yourself Against the Flu Without Vaccination
Be prepared to hear more fear mongering about the H7N9 bird flu. In the meantime, I'd like to remind you that a healthy immune system is your best and primary defense against any viral threat. Following these simple guidelines will help you keep your immune system in optimal working order so that you're far less likely to acquire the infection to begin with. Or, if you do get sick with type A or B influenza, you are better prepared to recover without serious complications—which by the way will give you a longer lasting naturally acquired immunity to the strain of influenza you experienced.
- Optimize Your Gut Flora. This may be the single most important strategy you can implement as the bacteria in your gut have enormous control of your immune response. The best way to improve your beneficial bacteria ratio is to avoid sugars as they will feed the pathogenic bacteria. Additionally, processed foods and most grains should be limited and replaced with healthy fats like coconut oil, avocados, olives, olive oil, butter, eggs and nuts. Once you change your diet, then regular use of fermented foods can radically optimize the function of your immune response.
- Optimize your vitamin D levels. As I've previously reported, optimizing your vitamin D levels is one of the absolute best strategies for avoiding infections of ALL kinds, and vitamin D deficiency may actually be the true culprit behind the seasonality of the flu – not the flu virus itself. This is probably the single most important and least expensive action you can take. Regularly monitor your vitamin D levels to confirm your levels are within the therapeutic range of 50-70 ng/ml.
Ideally, you'll want to get all your vitamin D from sun exposure or a safe tanning bed, but you can also take an oral vitamin D3 supplement. According to the latest review by Carole Baggerly (Grassrootshealth.org), adults need about 8,000 IU's a day to reach a serum level of 40 ng/ml. Be sure to take vitamin K2 if you are taking oral vitamin D as it has a powerful synergy and will help prevent vitamin D toxicity.
- Avoid Sugar and Processed Foods. Sugar impairs the quality of your immune response almost immediately, and as you likely know, a healthy immune system is one of the most important keys to fighting off viruses and other illness. It also can decimate your beneficial bacteria and feed the pathogenic yeast and viruses. Be aware that sugar (typically in the form of high fructose corn syrup) is present in foods you may not suspect, like ketchup and fruit juice. If you are healthy, then sugar can be consumed but the LAST thing you should be eating when you are sick is sugar.
- Get Plenty of Rest. Just like it becomes harder for you to get your daily tasks done if you're tired, if your body is overly fatigued it will be harder for it to fight the flu. Be sure to check out my article Guide to a Good Night's Sleep for some great tips to help you get quality rest.
- Have Effective Tools to Address Stress. We all face some stress every day, but if stress becomes overwhelming then your body will be less able to fight off the flu and other illness. If you feel that stress is taking a toll on your health, consider using an energy psychology tool such as the Emotional Freedom Technique, which is remarkably effective in relieving stress associated with all kinds of events, from work to family to trauma.
- Get Regular Exercise. When you exercise, you increase your circulation and your blood flow throughout your body. The components of your immune system are also better circulated, which means your immune system has a better chance of responding to infection before it spreads. Be sure to stay hydrated – drink plenty of fluids, especially water. However, it would be wise to radically reduce the intensity of your workouts while you are sick. No Peak Fitness exercises until you are better.
- Take a High-Quality Source of Animal-Based Omega-3 Fats. Increase your intake of healthy and essential fats like the omega-3 found in krill oil, which is crucial for maintaining health. It is also vitally important to avoid damaged omega-6 oils that are trans fats and in processed foods as it will seriously damage your immune response.
- Wash Your Hands. Washing your hands will decrease your likelihood of spreading a virus to your nose, mouth or other people. Be sure you don't use antibacterial soap for this – antibacterial soaps are completely unnecessary, and they cause far more harm than good. Instead, identify a simple chemical-free soap that you can switch your family to.
- Tried and True Hygiene Measures. In addition to washing your hands regularly, cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. If possible, avoid close contact with those, who are sick and, if you are sick, avoid close contact with those who are well.
- Use Natural Immune Boosters. Examples include oil of oregano and garlic. Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, these do not appear to lead to resistance, so they can be used again and again.
- Avoid Hospitals. I'd recommend you stay away from hospitals unless you're having an emergency and need expert medical care, as hospitals are prime breeding grounds for infections of all kinds. The best place to get plenty of rest and recover from illness that is not life-threatening is usually in the comfort of your own home.
Protect Your Right to Informed Consent and Defend Vaccine Exemptions
With all the uncertainty surrounding the safety and efficacy of vaccines, it's critical to protect your right to informed consent to vaccination and fight to protect and expand vaccine exemptions in state public health laws. The best way to do this is to get personally involved with your state legislators and the leaders in your community.
THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY.
Mass vaccination policies are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level. It is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact. It is critical for EVERYONE to get involved now in standing up for the legal right to make vaccine choices in America because those choices are being threatened by lobbyists representing drug companies, medical trade associations and public health officials, who are trying to persuade legislators to strip all vaccine exemptions from public health laws.
Signing up for NVIC's free Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org gives you immediate, easy access to your own state legislators on your Smart Phone or computer so you can make your voice heard. You will be kept up-to-date on the latest state bills threatening your vaccine choices and get practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community. Also, when national vaccine issues come up, you will have the up-to-date information and call to action items you need at your fingertips..
So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.
Share Your Story with the Media and People You Know
If you or a family member has suffered a serious vaccine reaction, injury or death, please talk about it. If we don't share information and experiences with each other, everybody feels alone and afraid to speak up. Write a letter to the editor if you have a different perspective on a vaccine story that appears in your local newspaper. Make a call in to a radio talk show that is only presenting one side of the vaccine story.
I must be frank with you; you have to be brave because you might be strongly criticized for daring to talk about the "other side" of the vaccine story. Be prepared for it and have the courage to not back down. Only by sharing our perspective and what we know to be true about vaccination will the public conversation about vaccination open up so people are not afraid to talk about it.
We cannot allow the drug companies and medical trade associations funded by drug companies or public health officials promoting forced use of a growing list of vaccines to dominate the conversation about vaccination. The vaccine injured cannot be swept under the carpet and treated like nothing more than "statistically acceptable collateral damage" of national one-size-fits-all mandatory vaccination policies that put way too many people at risk for injury and death. We shouldn't be treating people like guinea pigs instead of human beings.
Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More
I encourage you to visit the following web pages on the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) website at www.NVIC.org:
- NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.
- If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.
- Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment and sanctions by doctors, employers, school and health officials for making independent vaccine choices.
Connect with Your Doctor or Find a New One that Will Listen and Care
If your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don't want, I strongly encourage you to have the courage to find another doctor. Harassment, intimidation, and refusal of medical care is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment in an effort to stop the change in attitude of many parents about vaccinations after they become truly educated about health and vaccination.
However, there is hope.
At least 15 percent of young doctors recently polled admit that they're starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents. It is good news that there is a growing number of smart young doctors, who prefer to work as partners with parents in making personalized vaccine decisions for children, including delaying vaccinations or giving children fewer vaccines on the same day or continuing to provide medical care for those families, who decline use of one or more vaccines.
So take the time to locate a doctor, who treats you with compassion and respect and is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child.
By Dr. Mercola
If fluoride is really the panacea for dental disease that it’s been portrayed as, then why is it that the United States is one of the only developed countries that fluoridates their citizens’ drinking water?
Hint: It’s not because the other countries aren’t aware of fluoride’s supposed “miracle” powers for your teeth … it’s because they fully realize that adding a known poison to your population’s water supply is probably not a good idea.
Even in North America, water fluoridation has come under increasing scrutiny; since 2010, more than 75 US and Canadian communities have voted to end water fluoridation, and the issue is heating up as more and more people begin to demand water that does not expose them to this highly toxic industrial waste product.
If you’re new to this issue, and even if you’re not, please take 20 minutes to watch Michael Connett, an attorney with the Fluoride Action Network (FAN), summarize 10 important facts about fluoride that everyone needs to know.1
10 Facts About Fluoride
1. Most Developed Countries Do Not Fluoridate Their Water
More people drink fluoridated water in the US alone than in the rest of the world combined. In Western Europe, for instance, 97 percent of the population drinks non-fluoridated water.
2. Fluoridated Countries Do Not Have Less Tooth Decay Than Non-Fluoridated Countries
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no discernible difference in tooth decay between developed countries that fluoridate their water and those that do not. The decline in tooth decay the US has experienced over the last 60 years, which is often attributed to fluoridated water, has likewise occurred in all developed countries (most of which do not fluoridate their water).
3. Fluoride Affects Many Tissues in Your Body Besides Your Teeth
Many assume that consuming fluoride is only an issue that involves your dental health. But according to a 500-page scientific review, fluoride is an endocrine disruptor that can affect your bones, brain, thyroid gland, pineal gland and even your blood sugar levels.2
There have been over 34 human studies and 100 animal studies linking fluoride to brain damage,3 including lower IQ in children, and studies have shown that fluoride toxicity can lead to a wide variety of health problems, including:
Increased lead absorption Disrupts synthesis of collagen Hyperactivity and/or lethargy Muscle disorders Thyroid disease Arthritis Dementia Bone fractures Lowered thyroid function Bone cancer (osteosarcoma) Inactivates 62 enzymes and inhibits more than 100 Inhibited formation of antibodies Genetic damage and cell death Increased tumor and cancer rate Disrupted immune system Damaged sperm and increased infertility
4. Fluoridation is Not a “Natural” Process
Fluoride is naturally occurring in some areas, leading to high levels in certain water supplies “naturally.” Fluoridation advocates often use this to support its safety, however naturally occurring substances are not automatically safe (think of arsenic, for instance).
Further, the fluoride added to most water supplies is not the naturally occurring variety but rather fluorosilicic acid, which is captured in air pollution control devices of the phosphate fertilizer industry. As FAN reported:
“This captured fluoride acid is the most contaminated chemical added to public water supplies, and may impose additional risks to those presented by natural fluorides. These risks include a possible cancer hazard from the acid’s elevated arsenic content, and a possible neurotoxic hazard from the acid’s ability--under some conditions--to increase the erosion of lead from old pipes.”
5. 40% of American Teenagers Show Visible Signs of Fluoride Overexposure
About 40 percent of American teens have dental fluorosis,4 a condition that refers to changes in the appearance of tooth enamel that are caused by long-term ingestion of fluoride during the time teeth are forming. In some areas, fluorosis rates are as high as 70-80 percent, with some children suffering from advanced forms.
It’s likely this is a sign that children are receiving large amounts of fluoride from multiple sources, including not only drinking water but also fluoride toothpaste, processed beverages/foods, fluoride pesticides, tea, non-stick pans and some fluorinated drugs. So not only do we need to address the issue of water fluoridation, but how this exposure is magnified by other sources of fluoride that are now common.
It's also important to realize that dental fluorosis is NOT "just cosmetic." It can also be an indication that the rest of your body, such as your bones and internal organs, including your brain, have been overexposed to fluoride as well. In other words, if fluoride is having a visually detrimental effect on the surface of your teeth, you can be virtually guaranteed that it's also damaging other parts of your body, such as your bones.
6. For Infants, Fluoridated Water Provides No Benefits, Only Risks
Infants who consume formula made with fluoridated tap water may consume up to 1,200 micrograms of fluoride, or about 100 times more than the recommended amounts. Such “spikes” of fluoride exposure during infancy provide no known advantage to teeth, but they do have plenty of known harmful effects.
Babies given fluoridated water in their formula are not only more likely to develop dental fluorosis, but may also have reduced IQ scores. In fact, a Harvard University meta-analysis funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) concluded that children who live in areas with highly fluoridated water have "significantly lower" IQ scores than those who live in low fluoride areas.5 A number of prominent dental researchers now advise that parents should not add fluoridated water to baby formula.
7. Fluoride Supplements Have Never Been Approved by the FDA
The fluoride supplements sometimes prescribed to those who are not drinking fluoridated water have not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the prevention of tooth decay. In fact, the fluoride supplements that the FDA has reviewed have been rejected.
“So with fluoridation, we are adding to the water a prescription-strength dose of a drug that has never been approved by the FDA,” FAN noted.
8. Fluoride is the Only Medicine Added to Public Water
Fluoride is added to drinking water to prevent a disease (tooth decay), and as such becomes a medicine by FDA definition. While proponents claim this is no different than adding vitamin D to milk, fluoride is not an essential nutrient. Many European nations have rejected fluoride for the very reason that delivering medication via the water supply would be inappropriate. Water fluoridation is a form of mass medication that denies you the right to informed consent.
9. Swallowing Fluoride Provides Little Benefit to Teeth
It is now widely recognized that fluoride’s only justifiable benefit comes from topical contact with teeth, which even the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has acknowledged. Adding it to water and pills, which are swallowed, offers little, if any, benefit to your teeth.
10. Disadvantaged Communities are the Most Disadvantaged by Fluoride
Fluoride toxicity is exacerbated by conditions that occur much more frequently in low-income areas. This includes:
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Infant formula consumption
- Kidney disease
African American and Mexican American children have significantly higher rates of dental fluorosis, and many low-income urban communities also have severe oral health crises, despite decades of water fluoridation. FAN continues:
“The simple fact is that poor populations need dental care, not fluoridation chemicals in their water. The millions of dollars spent each year promoting fluoridation would be better spent advocating for policies that provide real dental care: like allowing dental therapists to provide affordable care to populations with little access to dentists. In short, fluoridation provides good PR for dental trade associations, but bad medicine for those it’s supposedly meant to serve.”
Pro-Fluoride Group Rewards Minority and Immigrant Groups With Cash Payments for Support
Portland, Oregon, gets its water from the Bull Run watershed, a 102-square mile protected watershed that is so pristine and pure the city was even granted a waiver from having to build a water treatment plant. In May, Portland residents will vote for or against adding risky fluoridation chemicals to their unusually pristine water supply.
Not only will adding fluoride add to environmental chemical pollution and increase residents’ risks of dental fluorosis and other health concerns, it will also raise monthly water bills since adding these industrial waste chemicals costs millions of dollars.
As the vote on May 21, 2013 nears, the pro-fluoride campaign, Healthy Kids, Healthy Portland, has been increasing its “outreach” to gain the votes of minority groups. Not only did the organization recently gain another $325,000 in new contributions, giving them a large monetary lead over the fluoride opponents, Clean Water Portland, but they also reported some eyebrow-raising expenditures to groups working with minorities and immigrants. Among them:
- $20,000 to the Center For Intercultural Organizing
- $20,000 to the Native American Youth and Family Center
- $20,000 to the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon
- $20,000 to the Latino Network
- $20,000 to the Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization
- $19,100 to the Urban League
That’s nearly $100,000 “donated” to essentially buy votes from the low-income communities that are among those at risk of being most harmed by water fluoridation. As WW reported:6
“ … Healthy Kids has aggressively sought the support of such organizations. That's not unusual. What is somewhat uncommon is rewarding that support with cash payments, which the campaign characterized in its filings as 'grant[s] for outreach services.' Campaigns typically spend their money on advertising, consultants, polling, rent and other direct expenses, not making grants to other groups. Evyn Mitchell, the campaign manager for Healthy Kids, says the grants to minority and immigrant groups are 'a new and different approach.'”
Call to Action as Portland Readies to Vote on Water Fluoridation
Portland rejected water fluoridation in 1956, 1962, and 1980. But after more than a year of secretive planning, fluoride lobbyists convinced the Portland city council to add this toxic waste for their public's consumption. Luckily, the citizens of Portland stood together by gathering enough signatures to force the decision to a vote on May 21, 2013.
Hopefully, with your help in spreading the message, Portland will once again stop this measure. If you live in Portland and want to sign up as a volunteer or pledge to vote No on water fluoridation on the City of Portland ballot, please do so on the Clean Water Portland Pledge Page.
Remember, these lobbyists are well funded, and we're going to see a campaign similar to Prop 37 in California. The citizens need your help to keep Portland free of this contaminant. So, regardless of where you live, please help by donating to their campaign to ensure Portland's pure water source remains that way.
Fluoridegate—Why is Poisoning of Children Considered a Valuable Public Health Policy?
Latest Fluoride News
By Dr. Mercola
Salt has long been a treasured food staple. Far from being harmful, high-quality salt is actually essential for life, but in the United States and many other developed countries salt has been vilified as a primary cause of high blood pressure and heart disease.
According to preliminary research presented at an American Heart Association meeting in New Orleans on March 21,1 excessive salt consumption contributed to 2.3 million heart-related deaths worldwide in 2010; 42 percent from coronary heart disease and 41 percent from stroke.
This includes sodium intake from commercially available table salt and sodium found in processed foods and soy sauce. According to the researchers, 40 percent of deaths were premature, occurring in those under the age of 69. Sixty percent of the deaths were in men; 40 percent were women.
To reach these conclusions, the researchers analyzed 247 food surveys on sodium consumption collected between 1990 and 2010. From these, they tried to determine how the various salt intakes affected cardiovascular disease risks. The ideal salt intake was determined to be less than 1,000 mg per day.
Kazakhstan had the highest average salt intake at 6,000 mg per day. Kenya and Malawi had the lowest average intake at about 2,000 mg. Other salty regions included Central Asia, with an average of 5,500 mg sodium per day; high-income countries in the Asia-Pacific area, averaging 5,000 mg per day; and East Asia at 4,800 mg per day.
According to the featured article:2
“Global sodium intake from various sources such as prepared food and soy sauce averaged nearly 4,000 milligrams a day in 2010... In the U.S., the average intake was about 3,600 milligrams a day. While the World Health Organization recommends sodium intake of fewer than 2,000 milligrams a day, 181 of 187 countries representing 99 percent of the world’s population exceeded the recommended level.”
You Need Salt, But Make Sure It’s the Right Kind
So is salt a dietary friend or foe? Salt is actually a nutritional goldmine, provided you consume the right kind, and maintain a proper salt-to-potassium ratio, which I’ll discuss in a moment. Unfortunately, modern table salt has very little in common with natural, unrefined salt.
Salt provides two elements – sodium and chloride – that are essential for life. Your body cannot make these elements on its own, so you must get them from your diet. Some of the many biological processes for which natural salt is crucial include:
Being a major component of your blood plasma, lymphatic fluid, extracellular fluid, and even amniotic fluid Carrying nutrients into and out of your cells, and helping maintain your acid-base balance Increasing the glial cells in your brain, which are responsible for creative thinking and long-term planning. Both sodium and chloride are also necessary for the firing of neurons Maintain and regulate blood pressure Helping your brain communicate with your muscles, so that you can move on demand via sodium-potassium ion exchange Supporting the function of your adrenal glands, which produce dozens of vital hormones
However, not all salts are created equal. Natural salt contains 84 percent sodium chloride, and 16 percent naturally-occurring trace minerals, including silicon, phosphorous and vanadium.
Processed (table) salt, on the other hand, contains 97.5 percent sodium chloride and the rest is man-made chemicals, such as moisture absorbents and flow agents. These are dangerous chemicals like ferrocyanide and aluminosilicate. A small amount of iodine may also be added.
Some European countries, where water fluoridation is not practiced, also add fluoride to their salt.3 In France for example, 35 percent of table salt sold contains either sodium fluoride or potassium fluoride, and use of fluoridated salt is widespread in South America.
Besides these basic differences in nutritional content, the processing—which involve drying the salt above 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit—also radically alters the chemical structure of the salt. So, while you definitely need salt for optimal health, not just any salt will do. What your body needs is natural, unprocessed salt, without added chemicals.
Does Salt Really Cause Heart Disease?
Overindulgence in the typically used commercially processed table salt can lead to fluid retention, high blood pressure, swelling of your limbs, and shortness of breath. In the long term, it is thought to contribute to high blood pressure, kidney and heart disease, heart attacks, and heart failure.
However, compelling evidence suggests that while processed salt can indeed cause fluid retention and related health problems, numerous studies have, overall, refuted the salt-heart disease connection.
For example, a 2011 meta-analysis of seven studies involving more than 6,000 people found NO strong evidence that cutting salt intake reduces the risk for heart attacks, strokes or death.4 In fact, salt restriction actually increased the risk of death in those with heart failure.
Similarly, research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that same year revealed that the less sodium excreted in your urine (a marker of salt consumption), the greater the risk of dying from heart disease.5 This study followed 3,681 middle-aged healthy Europeans for eight years. The participants were divided into three groups: low salt, moderate salt, and high salt consumption. Researchers tracked mortality rates for the three groups, with the following results:
- Low-salt group: 50 people died
- Moderate salt group: 24 people died
- High-salt group: 10 people died
The risk for heart disease was 56 percent higher for the low-salt group than for the group who ate the most salt! Some studies have shown a modest benefit to salt restriction among some people with high blood pressure, but the evidence does not extend to the rest of the population. So what’s really going on? Well, there are at least three factors that need to be taken into consideration.
- First, an ingredient that contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease across the board is fructose, and since so much of salt intake comes from processed foods, it’s easy to see how the lines of causation may get blurred. Virtually all processed foods are high not just in sodium, but also fructose, particularly in processed foods sold in the US.
- Another factor is that there’s a huge difference between natural salt and the processed salt added to processed foods and salt shakers in most homes and restaurants. The former is essential for good health, whereas the latter is best avoided altogether.
- A third factor that can have a significant impact on whether salt will harm or aid your health is the ratio between the salt and potassium in your diet.
That said, it’s clear that many are consuming far too much processed table salt and not enough natural salt. This begins early. According to the featured article, nearly 75 percent of processed meals and snacks for toddlers contain 210 mg of sodium per serving or more. Some toddler fare contains as much as 630 mg per serving, which equates to 40 percent of the daily limit recommended by the American Heart Association for adults. Lead researcher Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, MPH told MedPageToday:6
"'These findings highlight both the tremendous disease burdens caused by sodium but also the incredible opportunities for prevention.' ...He urged global public health efforts rather than relying on individuals to control intake of so pervasive an element. 'Our results should inspire both food industry and policymakers to take rapid and decisive actions to reduce sodium in the food supply... If voluntary agreements are not enough, taxation or restrictions on amounts of sodium should be implemented.'"
The Importance of Maintaining Optimal Sodium-Potassium Ratio
As mentioned earlier, another important factor that needs to be taken into account is the potassium to sodium ratio of your diet. Imbalance in this ratio can not only lead to hypertension (high blood pressure) but also contribute to a number of other diseases, including those highlighted in the featured research, along with a few others:
Heart disease and stroke Memory decline Osteoporosis Ulcers and stomach cancer Kidney stones Cataracts Erectile dysfunction Rheumatoid arthritis
The easiest way to achieve this imbalance is by consuming a diet of processed foods, which are notoriously low in potassium while high in sodium. (And, to reiterate, processed foods are also loaded with fructose, which is clearly associated with increased heart disease risk, as well as virtually all chronic diseases.)
Why is potassium so important?
Among other things, your body needs potassium to maintain proper pH levels in your body fluids, and it also plays an integral role in regulating your blood pressure. It’s possible that potassium deficiency may be more responsible for hypertension than excess sodium. Potassium deficiency leads to electrolyte imbalance, and can result in a condition called hypokalemia. Symptoms include:
- Water retention
- Raised blood pressure and hypertension
- Heart irregularities/arrhythmias
- Muscular weakness and muscle cramps
- Continual thirst and constipation
According to a 1985 article in The New England Journal of Medicine, titled "Paleolithic Nutrition,"7 our ancient ancestors got about 11,000 mg of potassium a day, and about 700 mg of sodium. This equates to nearly 16 times more potassium than sodium. Compare that to the Standard American Diet where daily potassium consumption averages about 2,500 mg (the RDA is 4,700 mg/day), along with 3,600 mg of sodium... As mentioned earlier, if you eat a diet of processed foods, you can be virtually guaranteed that your potassium-sodium ratio is upside-down.
This may also explain why high-sodium diets appear to affect some people but not others. According to a 2011 federal study into sodium and potassium intake, those at greatest risk of cardiovascular disease were those who got a combination of too much sodium along with too little potassium.
The research, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine,8 was one of the first and largest US studies to evaluate the relationship of salt, potassium and heart disease deaths. According to Dr. Elena Kuklina, one of the lead authors of the study at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), potassium may neutralize the heart-damaging effects of salt. Tellingly, those who ate a lot of salt and very little potassium were more than twice as likely to die from a heart attack as those who ate about equal amounts of both nutrients.
How Can You Ensure Proper Sodium-to-Potassium Ratio?
So, how do you ensure you get these two important nutrients in more appropriate ratios?
- First, ditch all processed foods, which are very high in processed salt and low in potassium and other essential nutrients.
- Eat a diet of whole, unprocessed foods, ideally organically and locally-grown to ensure optimal nutrient content. This type of diet will naturally provide much larger amounts of potassium in relation to sodium.
I do not recommend taking potassium supplements to correct a sodium-potassium imbalance. Instead, it is best to simply alter your diet and incorporate more potassium-rich whole foods. Green vegetable juicing is an excellent way to ensure you’re getting enough nutrients for optimal health, including about 300-400 mg of potassium per cup. By removing the fiber you can consume even larger volumes of important naturally occurring potassium. Some additional rich sources in potassium are:
- Lima beans (955 mg/cup)
- Winter squash (896 mg/cup)
- Cooked spinach (839 mg/cup)
- Avocado (500 mg per medium)
Other potassium-rich fruits and vegetables include:
- Fruits: papayas, prunes, cantaloupe, and bananas. (But be careful of bananas as they are high in sugar and have half the potassium that an equivalent of amount of green vegetables. It is an old wives tale that you are getting loads of potassium from bananas, the potassium is twice as high in green vegetables)
- Vegetables: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, avocados, asparagus, and pumpkin
Putting Salt Consumption into Proper Context
More than 80 percent of the salt most people consume is from processed foods. Indeed, there is far too much sodium in processed foods. But you shouldn't be eating those foods anyway—sodium is just one of MANY ingredients in packaged foods that will adversely affect your health. The salt added to these convenience foods is bleached out, trace mineral deficient and mostly sodium—as opposed to natural salt, which is much lower in sodium and contains a myriad of other critical trace minerals. Himalayan salt, for example, contains about 86 different minerals, and in terms of taste, you cannot compare it to regular table salt. Natural salt has flavor, over and above just salty taste.
The more you can move toward a diet of whole organic foods in their natural state, the healthier you'll be—whether it's veggies, meat, dairy products, or salt. And increasing your vegetable intake will help insure you’re getting the ideal ratio of sodium-to-potassium, which may be more crucial for overall health than we currently imagine.
Given that salt is absolutely essential to good health, I recommend limiting, or ideally, eliminating processed foods and processed table salt and switching to a pure, unrefined salt. Generally speaking, it is perfectly fine to salt your food to taste, provided the salt you're using is natural and unrefined and you’re eating plenty of vegetables.
The Guilty Pleasure that Could Save You From Heart Disease
Known as the "Deadliest Nutrient" - but There's No Meaningful Evidence
By Dr. Mercola
Air pollution and chemicals found in common household and personal care goods are major sources of exposure that can lead to an accumulation of toxins in your body.
Forbes Magazine1 recently listed the 20 most polluted cities in the US. Topping the list is Fresno, California, where inhabitants are exposed to both groundwater pollution from agriculture and the worst year-round air particle pollution in the nation.
Number two and three on the list are Bakersfield, CA, the oil capital of the US, and Philadelphia, PA, known for its foul-smelling refineries and chemical plants.
The best advice I could give you should you happen to live in a heavily polluted area is to move, but I realize that isn’t always a practical option.
It’s tough to address environmental issues that you don’t have control over. It’s better to focus most of your attention on your immediate environment, which you have more, if not full, control over. After all, what you put on, in, and keep around your body on a daily basis is going to have the greatest impact on your health.
Landmark Study Links Common Household Chemicals to Human Disease
A typical American comes in regular contact with some 6,000 chemicals and an untold number of potentially toxic substances on a less frequent basis. There are about 75,000 chemicals regularly manufactured and imported by U.S. industries, so you could be exposed to any number of them. Disturbingly, many of them have never been fully tested for safety.
Some of the most pervasive chemicals are used in plastic products, and are known as endocrine disrupters. These chemicals are similar in structure to natural sex hormones, thereby interfering with their normal functions.
On February 19, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced2 a new report co-produced with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), titled: State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals.
The report suggests aban of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) may be needed to protect the health of future generations. The joint study is touted as the most comprehensive report on EDCs to date, highlighting a wide variety of health problems associated with exposure, including:
Non-descended testes in young males Breast cancer in women Prostate cancer in men Developmental effects on the nervous system in children Attention deficit hyperactivity in children Thyroid cancer
According to the report:
“The diverse systems affected by endocrine-disrupting chemicals likely include all hormonal systems and range from those controlling development and function of reproductive organs to the tissues and organs regulating metabolism and satiety. Effects on these systems can lead to obesity, infertility or reduced fertility, learning and memory difficulties, adult-onset diabetes or cardiovascular disease, as well as a variety of other diseases.”
The High Price of 'Convenience' Products...
The joint study flags several of the most common culprits, including Bisphenol-A (BPA), PCB’s, phthalates and agricultural pesticides. According to the report, animal studies have demonstrated that there’s “very strong evidence” BPA can interfere with thyroid hormones. Brain damage, decreased intelligence, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism were also found to be potential side effects. BPA is one of the world's highest production-volume chemicals and is widely used in the production of:
Plastic water bottles Tooth sealants Plastic gallon milk bottles Canned foods and soda cans (most have plastic lining in the cans) Plastic microwavable plates, ovenware, and utensils Baby toys, bottles, pacifiers, and sippy cups
Beware that many manufacturers have simply replaced BPA with bisphenol-S (BPS), an equally toxic chemical.3 Studies now show BPS is showing up in human urine concentrations at levels similar to those of BPA--an indication that manufacturers are simply switching one for the other, while still being able to advertise their products as "BPA-free." A 2012 study4 found 81 percent of those tested from the United States and seven Asian countries had BPS in their urine.
An even more recent study5 has raised the alarm on BPS, showing the chemical estrogenic activity comparable to estradiol, the most potent human estrogen. It was also found to be capable of enhancing estradiol-mediated cell signaling, making it a particularly potent endocrine disruptor. Furthermore, the study showed BPS can induce apoptosis (cell death) and interfere with cellular secretion of prolactin (PRL)—a hormone that regulates hundreds of biological functions, including metabolism, reproduction and lactation.
Another chemical used in the manufacturing of plastics is phthalates, which make plastics like polyvinyl chloride (PVC) more flexible and resilient. They're also one of the most pervasive endocrine disrupters so far discovered. These chemicals have increasingly become associated with changes in the development of the male brain as well as with genital defects, metabolic abnormalities and reduced testosterone in babies and adults. Phthalates are found in, among other things:
Processed food packaging Lubricant and adhesives Hoses Detergents Raincoats Beauty products like nail polish, hair spray, shampoo, deodorants, and fragrances Shower curtains Cosmetics Vinyl flooring and wall coverings Toys
Three More Common Chemicals to Avoid…
“Research has made great strides in the last ten years showing endocrine disruption to be far more extensive and complicated than realized a decade ago. As science continues to advance, it is time for both management of endocrine disrupting chemicals and further research on exposure and effects of these chemicals in wildlife and humans." said Åke Bergman, Chief Editor of the report.
If you’ve been a longtime reader of this newsletter, the findings of this UN report come as no surprise. Rather it’s a “better late than never” type confirmation that the evidence truly has stacked up to the point of being undeniable. Those of you who took action when these fears were initially raised are now years ahead of your friends and family. In addition to BPAs and phthalates, the following three are among the most widely used chemicals around that should be avoided as much as possible:
- PFOA: Non-stick cookware is the primary source of dangerous perfluorinated chemicals (PFOAs). Non-stick pans quickly reach temperatures that cause the coating to begin breaking down, releasing toxins that have been linked to cancer, birth defects and thyroid disease into the air in your kitchen. I highly recommend you throw away this type of cookware immediately and replace it with either ceramic or glass. My personal choice is ceramic cookware, because it's very durable and easy to clean, and there's virtually no risk of exposure to harmful chemicals.
- Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde, most commonly known as embalming fluid, serves a number of purposes in manufactured products. It is actually frequently used in fabrics to give them a variety of "easy care properties" as well as being a common component of pressed-wood products. Formaldehyde has been shown to cause cancer in animals, and may cause cancer in humans. Other common adverse health effects include fatigue, skin rashes, and allergic reactions. Choosing all natural materials for your clothing and furniture can help cut down on your exposure.
It would be also be wise to avoid all aspartame, as well as bottled or canned fruit juices as they have methanol which your body converts to formaldehyde. This is even more dangerous than the formaldehyde in products, as your body carries the methanol like a Trojan horse to sensitive tissues like your brain where an enzyme converts it to formaldehyde.
- PBDEs: These flame-retardant chemicals have been linked to altered thyroid levels, decreased fertility and numerous problems with development when exposure occurs in utero. PBDEs are commonly found in household items like upholstery and television and computer housings. Fortunately, several states now ban the use of PBDEs, so there is some progress toward reducing exposure.
Another common source of PBDEs is your mattress, and since you can spend up to a third of your life in bed, this is a significant health concern. Mattress manufacturers are not required to label or disclose which chemicals their mattresses contain. Look for 100 percent wool, toxin-free mattresses. Another viable option is to look for a mattress that uses a Kevlar, bullet-proof type of material in lieu of chemicals for fire-proofing. Stearns and Foster uses this process for their mattresses, which is sufficient to pass fire safety standards.
What Can You do to Reduce Unnecessary Chemical Exposure to Your Family?
Rather than compile an endless list of what you should avoid, it's far easier to focus on what you should do to lead a healthy lifestyle with as minimal a chemical exposure as possible:
- As much as possible, buy and eat organic produce and free-range, organic foods to reduce your exposure to pesticides and fertilizers.
- Rather than eating conventional or farm-raised fish, which are often heavily contaminated with PCBs and mercury, supplement with a high-quality purified krill oil, or eat fish that is wild-caught and lab tested for purity.
- Eat mostly raw, fresh foods, steering clear of processed, prepackaged foods of all kinds. This way you automatically avoid artificial food additives, including dangerous artificial sweeteners, food coloring and MSG.
- Store your food and beverages in glass rather than plastic, and avoid using plastic wrap and canned foods (which are often lined with BPA-containing liners).
- Have your tap water tested and, if contaminants are found, install an appropriate water filter on all your faucets (even those in your shower or bath).
- Only use natural cleaning products in your home.
- Switch over to natural brands of toiletries such as shampoo, toothpaste, antiperspirants and cosmetics. The Environmental Working Group has a great database6 to help you find personal care products that are free of phthalates and other potentially dangerous chemicals. I also offer one of the highest quality organic skin care lines, shampoo and conditioner, and body butter that are completely natural and safe.
- Avoid using artificial air fresheners, dryer sheets, fabric softeners or other synthetic fragrances.
- Replace your non-stick pots and pans with ceramic or glass cookware.
- When redoing your home, look for "green," toxin-free alternatives in lieu of regular paint and vinyl floor coverings.
- Replace your vinyl shower curtain with one made of fabric, or install a glass shower door. Most all flexible plastics, like shower curtains, contain dangerous plasticizers like phthalates.
- Limit your use of drugs (prescription and over-the-counter) as much as possible. Drugs are chemicals too, and they will leave residues and accumulate in your body over time.
- Avoid spraying pesticides around your home or insect repellants that contain DEET on your body. There are safe, effective and natural alternatives out there.
Limiting Chemical Exposure is Important for Optimal Health
It is important to make these positive and gradual steps toward decreasing your chemical risk through healthy lifestyle choices. While you make the switch to remove and reduce chemicals around your home, remember that one of the ways to significantly reduce your toxic load is to pay careful attention to what you eat.
Organically-grown, biodynamic whole foods are really the key to success here, and, as an added bonus, when you eat right, you're also optimizing your body's natural detoxification system, which can help eliminate toxins your body encounters from other sources.
Environmental pollution is a massive problem, but for most there aren’t many immediate solutions to address it. Your time is better spent focusing on your immediate environment; your home, and all the products you use or come in contact with on a daily basis. Cleaning that up can go a long way to reduce your toxic load, and hence decrease your risk of chemical-induced health problems. The costs of inaction and not regulating and removing these pernicious toxins from our lives will have tremendous long lasting deleterious, health, environmental and economic costs. For more detailed reports you can review two comprehensive PDFs on the topic.
BPA-Free Products Still Contain Bisphenols of Equal Toxicity
99 Percent of Pregnant Women in U.S. Test Positive for Multiple Chemicals -- Including Banned Ones
By Dr. Mercola
According to public health doctors and a medical trade association representing U.S. pediatricians, poor children in developing countries should continue to get vaccines containing the mercury preservative, thimerosal, because providing these children with mercury-free vaccines "would devastate public health efforts in developing countries," the New York Times reports.1
The defense for keeping thimerosal in vaccines was published in a medical journal and commentaries authored by Drs. Walter Orenstein, Louis Cooper, Samuel Katz et al was widely promoted in the media by Dr. Paul Offit and others supporting the "pro-mercury" stance officially endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
The article and commentaries, published in the journal Pediatrics,2 were written in response to consumer calls for thimerosal removal to be included in a United Nations Environmental Program's (UNEP) global treaty to reduce mercury pollution and protect human health. The binding treaty calls for the global reduction or banning of certain mercury-containing products and exposures.
Dental amalgams, which contain mercury, are included in the treaty, but thimerosal was removed from the product list during the beginning of the treaty development process. Advocacy groups like SAFEMINDS and Co-Med have been working to add thimerosal removal from vaccines back in to the treaty.
Interestingly, the AAP has been inaccurately publicizing the idea that a thimerosal ban is, in fact, part of the treaty in order to have an excuse to globally defend the safety of mercury preservatives in vaccines.
According to U.S. News Health:3
"The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) joins the World Health Organization (WHO) in urging the U.N. to drop the proposal from an international treaty seeking to cut down on mercury exposures in a variety of ways. Both the WHO and AAP say a thimerosal ban could keep children in poor nations from getting needed vaccines."
Thimerosal—Is it Really Worth the Risk?
Thimerosal (TMS), which is used in vaccines as a preservative, is 49.6 percent ethylmercury (eHg). The compound was removed from most pediatric vaccines in 2001, but it's still used in some multi-dose vials, and is present in many seasonal flu vaccines. (Pregnant women and children are generally advised to request thimerosal-free flu vaccines.)
It is already an established fact that exposure to mercury can cause immune, sensory, neurological, motor, and behavioral disorders. But many doctors and health officials are still refusing to admit that ethylmercury may cause harm, stating that there's no evidence for such fears, and that ethylmercury is harmless compared to methylmercury—the form typically found in contaminated fish.
Dr. Paul Offit, chief of infectious diseases at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, claims that the U.S. government's 1999 directive to drug companies to remove thimerosal from pediatric vaccines was not based on scientific evidence of harm, but rather was simply done as a precautionary measure until researchers could learn more about thimerosal health effects. He goes so far as to call the removal of thimerosal in the US "a mistake," and one that should not be repeated globally.
According to U.S. News Health:
"Numerous international studies since have uncovered no evidence of harm—including no link between thimerosal and autism, which had been a concern. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is 'no convincing evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines.
...Developing nations rely on vaccines containing thimerosal, Orenstein said. The preservative is used in vials that contain more than one dose of a vaccine, to prevent contamination, which can happen when a syringe needle is inserted into the vial. Rich countries such as the United States can get around the need for thimerosal by using single-dose vials. But for poor countries, multi-dose vials make vaccination programs more feasible, Orenstein explained.'"
Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), strongly disagrees with the AAP's stance, and so do I. She points out that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have not rescinded their 1999 directive to the pharmaceutical industry to take thimerosal out of childhood vaccines.
"If unused vials of thimerosal-containing vaccines must be disposed of as hazardous waste because of the mercury content, then why is the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly advocating that thimerosal-containing vaccines continue to be injected into children's bodies?" she asks.4
SAFEMINDS has been working to urge the UN treaty group to include thimerosal in the treaty so that mercury containing vaccines will be phased out around the world. The Coalition for Mercury-Free Drugs has also weighed in by issuing an open letter to UNEP.5 The group disputes the assertion that scientific studies has proven thimerosal safe, and urge the Program to include thimerosal in the global ban. They also point out that including thimerosal in vaccines given to children in poor developing nations, but not in developed countries, is "an injustice that characterizes this most iatrogenic of toxic exposures."
"In an era when cost-effective, much less toxic, non-bioaccumulative, and more effective alternatives are available and in-use as in-process sanitizers and preservatives, there is no conscionable justification for the continuing presence of thimerosal in human pharmaceuticals," the letter states.
More Vaccines = Worse Health Outcomes, Groundbreaking Study Finds
While concerns about thimerosal are valid, it's by no means the only vaccine ingredient or factor that can make childhood vaccinations a risky proposition. Even more important is the issue of use of too many vaccines in general, and the routine administration of multiple vaccines simultaneously during one doctor's visit.
Vaccine safety advocates have long called for studies evaluating the health outcomes of vaccinated versus unvaccinated children. One study addressing this issue recently has been published. The NVIC donated $2,500 to make the full study available to the public free of charge. The study, Relative trends in hospitalizations and mortality among infants by the number of vaccine doses and age, based on the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), 1990–20106 found a positive correlation between the number of vaccine doses administered and the percentage of hospitalizations and infant deaths:
- Hospitalization rate increased linearly from 11.0 percent for 2 doses to 23.5 percent for 8 doses
- Hospitalization rate decreased linearly from 20.1 percent for children aged <0.1 year to 10.7 percent for children aged 0.9 year
- Mortality rate for 1-4 vaccine doses was 3.6 percent
- Mortality rate for 5-8 vaccine doses rose to 5.5 percent
- A disproportionate number of hospitalizations were due to the administration of the at-birth dose of the hepatitis B vaccination (73 percent of VAERS cases reported the receipt of hepatitis B vaccine, and 30 percent of these required hospitalization)
According to the authors:7
"In 1990, infants received a total of 15 vaccine doses prior to their first year of life: 3 DPT injections (9 vaccine doses), 3 polio, and 3 Hib vaccines—5 vaccine doses at 2, 4, and 6 months of age. By 2007, the CDC recommended 26 vaccine doses for infants: 3 DTaP, 3 polio, 3 Hib, 3 hepatitis B, 3 pneumococcal, 3 rotavirus, and 2 influenza vaccines. While each childhood vaccine has individually undergone clinical trials to assess safety, studies have not been conducted to determine the safety (or efficacy) of combining vaccines during a single physician visit as recommended by CDC guidelines.
For example, 2-, 4-, and 6-month-old infants are expected to receive vaccines for polio, hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, rotavirus, Haemophilus influenzae type B, and pneumococcal, all during a single well-baby visit—even though this combination of 8 vaccine doses was never tested in clinical trials.
...Administering six, seven, or eight vaccine doses to an infant during a single physician visit may certainly be more convenient for parents—rather than making additional trips to the doctor's office—but evidence of a positive association between infant adverse reactions and the number of vaccine doses administered confirms that vaccine safety must remain the highest priority.
... Since vaccines are administered to millions of infants every year, it is imperative that health authorities have scientific data from synergistic toxicity studies on all combinations of vaccines that infants are likely to receive; universal vaccine recommendations must be supported by such studies."
Findings in Girl Who Died After Receiving Gardasil Vaccine Now Released
In related vaccine news, a lab scientist, who discovered HPV DNA fragments in the blood of a teenage girl who died after receiving the Gardasil vaccine, has published a case report in the peer reviewed journal Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology.8 The otherwise healthy girl died in her sleep six months after receiving her third and final dose of the HPV vaccine. A full autopsy revealed no cause of death.
Sin Hang Lee with the Milford Molecular Laboratory in Connecticut confirmed the presence of HPV-16 L1 gene DNA in the girl's postmortem blood and spleen tissue. These DNA fragments are also found in the vaccine. The fragments were protected from degradation by binding firmly to the particulate aluminum adjuvant used in the vaccine.
"The significance of these HPV DNA fragments of a vaccine origin found in post-mortem materials is not clear and warrants further investigation," he writes.
However, Lee suggests the presence of vaccine-associated HPV DNA fragments might offer a plausible explanation for the high immunogenicity of Gardasil, meaning the ability of the vaccine to provoke an exaggerated immune response. He points out that the rate of anaphylaxis in girls receiving Gardasil is far higher than normal—reportedly five to 20 times higher than any other school-based vaccination program. Other health problems associated with Gardasil vaccine include immune-based inflammatory neurodegenerative disorders, also indicative that something is causing the immune system to overreact in a detrimental way. Between June 1, 2006 and December 31, 2008, there were 12,424 reported adverse events following Gardasil vaccination, including 32 deaths. The girls, who were on average 18 years old, died within 2 to 405 days after their last Gardasil injection.
"No investigative work was attempted to confirm or exclude any link of a death to Gardasil vaccination although there was disproportional reporting of syncope [fainting] among the Gardasil recipients," he notes.
Since then, many more have died.
- Between May 2009 and September 2010, 16 deaths after Gardasil vaccination were reported. For that timeframe, there were also 789 reports of "serious" Gardasil adverse reactions, including 213 cases of permanent disability and 25 diagnosed cases of Guillain-Barre Syndrome
- Between September 1, 2010 and September 15, 2011, another 26 deaths were reported following HPV vaccination
Under Attack, NVIC Helps Americans Stand Up and Speak Out
There can be no doubt that we are in urgent need of a serious vaccine safety review in the US. Quality science is simply not being done. And very few vaccine recommendations, which prop up state vaccine mandates, stand on firm scientific ground.
I urge you to make 2013 the year that you engage and get actively involved in the monumentally important task of defending YOUR right to know and freedom to choose which vaccines you and your child will use. Supporting the NVIC is one way you can help.
In a recent update, Barbara Loe Fisher writes:9
"In 2013, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) enters our fourth decade of preventing vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and defending the legal right to make voluntary vaccination decisions in America. Each year during the past 30, NVIC has become more successful in achieving our mission. With that success has come more fierce opposition by politically powerful medical trade associations and special interest groups allied with drug companies doing everything they can to censor truthful vaccine information and strip vaccine informed consent protections from public health laws.
At a recent federal advisory committee meeting, we learned that public opinion surveys reveal that NVIC ranks as one of the most trusted sources of vaccine information among Americans, who choose to vaccinate, and also among those, who do not. This means that our small charity and the well-referenced information on our website at NVIC.org is helping to inform the health decisions made by millions of Americans. This is a huge accomplishment and it would not have been possible without 30 years of loyal support by tens of thousands of parents, grandparents, doctors, nurses and students coming from every single state and every walk of life, who offer donations to NVIC every year.
No Liability for Drug Companies & Doctors
A lot of people still don't realize that Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court have completely shielded drug companies and doctors in America from product liability and malpractice lawsuits when vaccines injure or kill someone. But pharmaceutical corporations and medical trade groups are not satisfied with total liability protection and no accountability. They also want the power to legally force 310 million Americans to buy and use every single vaccine that Big Pharma produces and public health doctors endorse - no exceptions.
NVIC Attacked for Defending Informed Consent Rights
NVIC and our uncompromising defense of informed consent to medical risk taking, including vaccine risk taking, has stood in their way for 30 years. And that is one reason why we are witnessing vicious assaults on NVIC and courageous Americans in every state, who are trying to protect their right to know and freedom to choose how they and their children will stay well. At this time last year, NVIC was the subject of a smear campaign led by American Academy of Pediatrics officials, who put pressure on Delta Airlines in a failed attempt to remove an NVIC-sponsored flu prevention video from inflight health programming. A month later, another online disinformation campaign about NVIC was launched by forced vaccination proponents to get a 15-second NVIC-sponsored digital ad taken down from Times Square. It failed and our vaccine risk awareness message was broadcast throughout the holiday season and on New Year's Eve.
Big Pharma & Doctor Groups Lobby to Eliminate Vaccine Exemptions
And this year, drug company and medical trade association lobbyists tried to persuade legislators in Vermont and California to remove philosophical and personal belief exemptions to vaccination from public health laws. But we fought back in both states, using our free online NVIC Advocacy Portal to empower citizens to quickly organize and electronically stay connected to their legislators and up-to-date on breaking news.
Next year, NVIC will face more censorship and well-orchestrated, well-funded assaults on vaccine exemptions in multiple states. Our parental, civil and human rights in America are in grave jeopardy. All you have to do is read the heartbreaking descriptions posted on the Cry forVaccine Freedom Wall at NVIC.org to understand how bad it is.
Health Care Workers Being Fired
Children are being denied medical care if parents ask pediatricians questions about vaccines or object to a baby being injected with eight to ten different vaccines on one day. Health care workers are being threatened and fired if they don't get an annual flu shot. This is what one nurse posted on the Vaccine Freedom Wall:
'I have taken the flu shot in the past and had body aches for weeks afterward. I started educating myself on vaccines and haven't taken a flu shot in years. I am a nurse and love my job. I take every precaution in the interest of my patients, utilize hand washing, etc. I found out at a meeting yesterday that our organization's policy has changed and that I will have to take the flu shot or be terminated from employment. I am at a crossroads and am actually thinking about leaving a job that I love because I feel so strongly about my personal freedom.'
No Vaccinations? No Prescription Medications.
Americans needing public assistance are being coerced into getting many vaccines against their will or be cut off from prescription medications. This is what one American suffering financial hardship had to say:
'During this past recession, I had to seek medical care from the county public health program. I had high blood pressure, probably due to stress. My last and final visit to that place was to refill the [blood pressure] prescription, which was denied until I allowed myself to be injected with three vaccines: tetanus, flu and pneumococcal. At first I refused but finally consented because I was afraid of what would happen if I suddenly stopped taking the medicine. I was sick for nine days after receiving those shots. Being forced to accept vaccines under duress as an adult is a horrible feeling, a sense of loss of freedom. Using coercion by withholding medication is just plain evil.'
No Vaccinations? No Medicare Benefits
The elderly are being bullied, too. A couple on Medicare described their frightening experience:
'My wife and I are in our mid-sixties and on Medicare. We saw our primary care physician today for a routine 'well care' visit and were shocked to hear what our physician for over 26 years had to tell us! The doctor made it clear that he was referring to 'new' [federal health care program] mandates that, if we did not voluntarily receive the pneumonia vaccine, we would be terminated from his practice! My wife and I have never felt so violated.'
Doctors Pushing More Vaccines on Vaccine Injured Children
Even parents of vaccine injured children are being pressured to give their children more vaccines because many liability-free doctors now feel comfortable taking a risky, one-size-fits-all approach to vaccination. Mothers are fighting back and are warning others that doctors are behaving badly and that vaccine exemptions must be protected at all costs. One mother said:
'My daughter is a proven vaccine injury of the pertussis vaccine. I urge people to please help to defend the personal belief exemption. My child almost died from vaccines and there are doctors, even most recently a neurologist whom we visited in California, who suggested that we continue the very vaccine that almost took her life. Our daughter suffered an encephalopathy, rare seizures, global developmental delays, speech delays.
She is eight years old and crawls. She can't walk or ambulate alone. She has multiple chemical disorder and it causes her to have seizures. She is unable to attend public schools and we no longer have health insurance and no job, due to what this vaccine damage has taken from our family. If you think doctors are going to sign the [personal belief] exemption, you are wrong. They won't.' This Mom knows first-hand that vaccine risks are greater for some than others and that, at our peril, do we give up our freedom to make personalized vaccine decisions for ourselves and our children.
Help NVIC Help Americans Stand Up & Speak Out
There is no time to waste. Now, more than ever, NVIC needs the financial resources to educate more Americans about vaccination and health and help citizens protect vaccine exemptions in the states. Please visit NVIC.org and offer a donation – big or small - to help NVIC continue to defend parental, civil and human rights in America. What you choose to do today WILL determine what happens to you, your children, your grandchildren and everyone you love tomorrow."
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