By Dr. Mercola

An outbreak of the foodborne illness listeriosis has been reported by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)… you get this potentially serious infection by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.

This is the disease the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) often uses as its “poster child” in its warnings against drinking raw milk, but this actually deflects from the fact that people are dying from listeria found in other commonly eaten foods.

Perhaps the FDA and the CDC should start letting people know that raw milk is not the only source of listeria… nor is it the most common one! In the latest outbreak, reported in February 2014, people were sickened by eating cheese… that was pasteurized.

Pasteurized Mexican Cheeses at Root of Latest Listeria Outbreak

According to the CDC, a total of eight people have been infected with listeria in two states (Maryland and California). One person has died. The illnesses have been traced back to soft or semi-soft Hispanic-style cheese made by Roos Foods of Kenton, Delaware.

The cheeses have been recalled and the CDC is warning consumers not to eat any of the following brands of cheese manufactured or repackaged by Roos Foods:

  • Mexicana
  • Amigo
  • Santa Rosa De Lima
  • Anita

Past listeria outbreaks have been linked to soft ripened cheeses made from unpasteurized milk, particularly queso fresco, a fresh Mexican cheese. But in this case it appears the cheeses that caused the listeria outbreak were pasteurized. According to Food Safety News:1 “The cheeses were pasteurized and not sold as raw milk products.”

When Will Raw Milk Stop Being the Scapegoat?

Listeriosis is generally a mild illness in healthy people, causing few or no symptoms. But people with compromised immune systems and pregnant women are at more serious risk.

In pregnant women, listeriosis can cause miscarriage, premature delivery, infection, or death to the newborn. In the current outbreak, for instance, five of the illnesses were related to pregnancy (two mother-newborn pairs and one newborn).

It is therefore very important that people at high risk receive reliable information about how to best lower their risk of contracting this infection. US health officials are doing a disservice by highlighting raw milk as though it is the largest risk factor for this disease.

According to the CDC, 1,600 illnesses and 260 deaths due to listeriosis occur every year in the US. What foods are responsible for the most recent listeria outbreaks? According to CDC data:2

  • 2011: Whole cantaloupes were responsible for 147 illnesses, 33 deaths, and one miscarriage. This was the largest listeriosis outbreak in US history.
  • 2012: Pasteurized Frescolina Marte brand ricotta salata cheese sickened 22 people, and four deaths occurred.
  • 2013: Three types of pasteurized cheese made by Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Company of Waterloo, Wisconsin sickened six people, with one death reported.
  • 2014: Pasteurized cheese products made by Roos Foods have sickened eight people with one death reported so far.

The fact of the matter is, due to health officials fear-mongering regarding raw milk, many people immediately equate listeria with raw milk. But as you can see, all recent outbreaks have involved produce or pasteurized milk products. A 2011 study also revealed deli meats to be the most risky choice, as ready-to-eat foods like these can become contaminated after cooking during the packaging process.3

According to the 2011 report, the risks associated with deli meats from the supermarket deli are five times higher than for prepackaged deli meats. Raw vegetables are also a potential source of contamination, as are other meats.

Can raw milk and raw-milk cheese cause listeriosis? If it’s contaminated, yes. But so can fresh produce, meats and pasteurized dairy products… yet these latter foods – responsible for the last four listeriosis outbreaks in the US -- receive only a fraction of the mention that raw milk does in regards to “high-risk” foods for listeria contamination. The US FDA tells pregnant women that pasteurized cheeses and milk are safe to eat without warning that they, too, have caused listeriosis.

Food-Borne Illness Can Occur from Virtually Any Food

An estimated one in six Americans gets sick every year from contaminated food. Sometimes this results in a 24-hour bout of diarrhea and vomiting that clears on its own, but in other cases food-borne pathogens can lead to organ failure, paralysis, neurological impairment, blindness, stillbirths, and even death. Health officials have been waging a war against raw milk, but it’s not an inherently “risky” food.

It’s important to keep in mind that the potential for foodborne illness applies to ANY food, and where it comes from is probably the greatest indicator of whether it’s likely to be safe or contaminated.

For instance, in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), large groups of animals are kept in a small space, oftentimes without natural light or access to the outdoors. The conditions are filthy, with animals standing in one another's waste. Needless to say, harmful bacteria naturally thrive in these conditions.

To combat disease (and promote unnatural growth), the animals are fed antibiotics, the result of which is they become living and breathing “bioreactors” for the generation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. They may also receive hormones, which increase milk production, and they're fed a diet of grains and soy (most of which is now the genetically engineered variety) rather than grass, which alters their gut flora and makes them even more prone to disease.

I wouldn’t touch milk that came from a CAFO unless it had been pasteurized, as it’s virtually guaranteed to be contaminated. This isn’t the case, however, for milk that comes from a small, well-run organic farm. But this isn’t only true for milk – it goes for meat and eggs, too. It should come as absolutely no surprise that, after reviewing data on the 14 pathogens that cause 95 percent of total cases of food-borne illness, the top-ranked pathogen-food combinations most likely to make you sick came from CAFO meats, including:4

  • Chickens and turkey (contaminated with campylobacter or salmonella)
  • Pork (contaminated with toxoplasma)
  • Deli meats (contaminated with listeria)
  • Eggs (contaminated with salmonella)

Contaminated produce, especially tomatoes, sprouts and cantaloupe, were also major food poisoning risks as were so-called "complex foods" – foods that contain a number of ingredients so that the specific culprit could not be pinpointed. Often these foods came from restaurants, which suggests contamination may have occurred during preparation or cooking. The report found: "…Consumption of FDA-regulated foods is estimated to cause about half of the overall national burden of foodborne disease.” So the real solution to creating healthier, safer foods lies in cleaning up the growing conditions and processing plants, and most certainly in returning farming to a small-scale basis – not in vilifying one beneficial food like raw milk.

Tips for Avoiding Food-Borne Illness

Sometimes, food-borne illness may be inevitable, but there are steps you can take to lower your risk. This includes commonsense measures like washing your hands and sanitizing counters/cutting boards after handling potentially contaminated foods, rinsing fruits and vegetables before eating, and storing foods at the proper temperature. One important factor impacting whether your food is “safe” isn’t total storage time, but rather how much time it spends in the temperature “danger zone” (between 40-120 degrees F).5 You’ll want to avoid leaving your groceries in a hot car for too long, for instance, as this will generally promote food-borne illness.

Ultimately, though, the key to making sure that any food you eat is safe is to get it from a high-quality source. I can't stress the importance of this enough. When you get your produce from small farmers that raise their food in natural settings using clean water, as opposed to massive agribusiness conglomerations that use sewage sludge as fertilizer, there is very little risk in eating these foods raw. The same goes for meat, eggs, and raw dairy products, as well. If you’re interested in raw milk, here are tips for finding high-quality raw milk sources.

I also suggest browsing through my Sustainable Agriculture resource page to find farmer's markets, family farms, and other sources of safe, high-quality food. Not only are these sources likely to raise food in more sanitary conditions than a conventional agribusiness farm, but there's a better chance that it will also be locally grown. The closer you are to the source of your food, the fewer hands it has to pass through and the less time it will sit in storage -- so the better, and likely safer, it will be for you and your family.

Finally, along with the practical precautions mentioned above, lowering your chances of becoming ill from food poisoning also involves keeping your immune system healthy by following these five steps to boost your immune system health.


Related Articles:

  Pesticide Spraying May Spread Norovirus

  Raw Milk on the Rise -- No Illness Seen

  Will You Continue Allowing the FDA to Dictate What Foods You’re Allowed to Eat?

 Comments (17)

By Dr. Mercola

While the beta-agonist drug Zilmax (Zilpaterol) has been used to promote muscle growth in American-grown cattle since 2007, news of the dramatic adverse effects of this drug didn't hit mainstream news—and hence public consciousness—until late last year.1

In early August, 2013, Tyson Food Inc issued a statement saying it would no longer purchase Zilmax-fed cattle for slaughter due to animal welfare concerns.2 The company had noticed that many of the cows that had been fed the drug had trouble walking. The cattle also displayed other behavioral issues.

Since then, Cargill Inc. has also decided to reject Zilmax-fed cattle until it is confident that any animal welfare issues associated with the drug have been resolved.

Merck, the maker of the drug, initially said it would halt US and Canadian sales of Zilmax, pending company research and review. It wasn't long however before Merck announced it had no plans to discontinue the product,3 saying the company stands behind the safety of the drug.

At present, Merck does not need approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to return Zilmax to market, as the FDA has not taken any action against the drug.

Agricultural drug use has become a major health concern for animals and humans alike, and in my view, organic, grass-fed meat that is humanely raised and butchered is really the only type of meat worth eating, if you want to maintain good health. 

It is important to understand that grass-fed animals not only produce better eggs, milk & meat - but the return to native perennial grasses is key to future.  We destroyed most of the grasslands and replaced them with monocultures like corn and soy.   We then produce hydrogenated vegetable oil and high fructose corn syrup for human consumption, and use much of the remainder for feed in concentrated animal feeding operations.

The grasslands act very much like forests, while deforestation is very well known the destruction of grasslands have similar effects.  Perennial grass farming produces more nutritious products, while work in a perfect cycle with nature.


Special Report Reveals Shocking Side Effects of Zilmax

Beta-agonist drugs such as Zilmax belong to a class of non-hormone drugs used as a growth promoter in livestock. As a class, beta-agonist drugs have been used in US cattle production since 2003. 

They're fed to cattle in the weeks prior to slaughter to increase weight by as much as 30 pounds of lean meat per cow. Due to the short window between administration of the drug and slaughter, as much as 20 percent of it may remain in the meat you buy. A recent special report by Reuters4 revealed some of the more horrific effects Zilmax has on cattle:

"As cattle trailers that had traveled up to four hours in 95-degree heat began to unload, 15 heifers and steers hobbled down the ramps on August 5, barely able to walk. The reason: the animals had lost their hooves, according to US Department of Agriculture documents reviewed by Reuters...

The next day... two more animals with missing hooves arrived by truck... The animals' feet were 'basically coming apart,' said Keith Belk, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University."

Merck responded to Reuters with a statement saying that:

"Several third-party experts were brought in to evaluate the situation, review the data and identify potential causes for the hoof issue... The findings from the investigation showed that the hoof loss was not due to the fact these animals had received Zilmax."

It would not, however, disclose the identities of these third-party experts; nor would they release any more details on the investigation. According to Reuters, Tyson Foods had noticed "cattle mobility issues" prior to the August 5 and 6 events that spurred the company to refuse Zilmax-fed cattle, but none of them had been quite this severe.

Increased Use of Livestock Drugs Is Cause for Concern

Merck is required by federal law to report all deaths occurring in treated animals, and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) records show at least 285 cattle have unexpectedly died or been euthanized after receiving Zilmax since the drug's introduction in 2007. At least 75 cows lost their hooves and were euthanized within the past two years. Other reported adverse effects in cattle following the administration of Zilmax include:

Stomach ulcers Brain lesions Blindness Lethargy and lameness
Bloody nose Respiratory problems Heart failure Sudden death


According to the featured report, it still has not been determined whether Zilmax is responsible for causing all these side effects—some of them so severe that cattle have to be euthanized. Some of the statistics are telling, however. Within the first two years of Zilmax's introduction to market, the number of euthanized cattle skyrocketed; shooting up by 175 percent compared to the pre-Zilmax range.

One working theory is that the drug might compound the adverse effects of ailments associated with confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), such as acidosis, which results when a cow eats too many grains or sugar. Excessive heat may be another compounding factor, as well as animal genetics.

"Regardless, the episode at the Tyson plant - which hasn't been publicly disclosed until now - is coming to light at a time of growing concern over risks to animal and human health posed by the increased use of pharmaceuticals in food production," Reuters5 says.

"Livestock pharmaceuticals use is expanding as part of the push to produce more meat at lower cost... The cases of hoofless cattle also raise ethical questions about whether the drive by modern agriculture to produce greater volumes of food, as cheaply as possible, is coming at the cost of animal welfare."

Zilmax Banned for Use in Horses Due to Side Effects

Zilmax is already banned for use in horses due to severe side effects, including muscle tremors and rapid heart rates.6 According to a 2008 veterinary case report7 involving three horses that were given Zilmax:

"Within 90 minutes the horses had muscular tremors which began in the skeletal muscles of the neck, shoulder, and foreleg and spread throughout the visible skeletal muscles. Intermittent visible muscular tremors continued for up to 1 week after the initial dose of zilpaterol. They also all had certain changes to their blood chemistry, such as elevated BUN, creatinine, and glucose and mild hyponatremia and hypochloremia... Liver and kidney changes were also noted."

Ractopamine, another beta-agonist, is yet another drug used in the US, even though it's been banned in 160 other countries due to its potential health hazards. The researchers also noted that Zilmax is about 125 times more potent than ractopamine, saying this may be why side effects were overlooked in connection with ractopamine studies.

It's worth noting that, in human medicine, the same class of drugs (beta-agonists) can be found in certain asthma medications, such as Advair. One long-acting beta-agonist called salmeterol was linked to an epidemic of asthma deaths in the 1960s. Weight gain is also a common complaint among Advair users—so much so that the manufacturer has added weight gain to the post-marketing side effects. Other adverse reactions to beta-agonist drugs include increased heart rate, insomnia, headaches, and essential tremor—eerily similar to those experienced by horses. So why wouldn't the drug affect cows in a similar fashion?

Might Beta-Agonists in Meat Pose Human Health Hazards?

According to Randox Food Diagnostics,8 which has created tests for Zilmax residue in beef, use of beta-agonists prior to slaughter is of particular concern "as this poses a risk to the consumer and may result in consumer toxicity." Research findings to this effect include:

  • A 2003 study in Analytica Chimica Acta:9 residue behaviour of Zilmax in urine, plasma, muscle, liver, kidney, and retina of cattle and pig was assessed. Two heifers and 16 pigs were treated with Zilmax and slaughtered after withdrawal times varying from 1 to 10 days. The drug was detectable at each point of time examined in all matrices except plasma after a withdrawal period of 10 days. It's worth noting that in the US, the recommended market window is three to 10 days after discontinuing Zilmax10
  • A 2006 study11 on residues of Zilmax  in sheep found detectable levels in liver and muscle tissues up to nine days after discontinuation of the drug

Even before it was approved, scientists expressed concerns that beta-agonists might result in increased cardiovascular risk for consumers.12 According to an article published in the Journal of Animal Science in 1998:13

"The use of highly active beta-agonists as growth promoters is not appropriate because of the potential hazard for human and animal health, as was recently concluded at the scientific Conference on Growth Promotion in Meat Production (Nov. 1995, Brussels)."

Not All Meat Is Created Equal

I believe the movement toward ethical and sustainable meat eating is an important one, both in terms of animal welfare and human health. Agricultural drug use is indeed becoming a major health concern for animals and humans alike, courtesy of factory farming methods where efficiency and low cost is the primary objective.

Besides beta-agonist drugs like Zilmax and Ractopamine (the latter of which, by the way, is banned in 160 countries), animals raised in American confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are also typically given a number of other drugs, including antibiotics and hormones.

You are essentially getting a concoction of drugs in every piece of meat you eat. The routine use of antibiotics alone now poses a significant threat to human health, as it has spawned a dramatic rise in antibiotic-resistant disease. Instead of their natural diet, which is plain grass, CAFO cattle are also fed a wholly unnatural diet consisting of pesticide-laden and oftentimes genetically engineered (GE) grains—primarilyGE corn and soy.

Organic, grass-fed and finished meat that is humanely raised and butchered is really about the only type of meat that is healthy to eat. By purchasing your meat from smaller farms that raise their animals in a humane fashion, according to organic principles, you're promoting the proliferation of such farms, which in the end will benefit everyone, including all the animals.

I've also previously written about the atrocities that take place in some U.S. CAFOs, where filthy, crowded conditions are the norm, and I think most people would agree that such animal abuse is inexcusable, even if they're "only" being raised for food. It would be foolish to think that the end result—the meat from these animals—would have any major health benefits.

In fact, the differences between CAFO beef and organic grass-fed beef are so vast; you're really talking about two different animals, and two separate industries with entirely different farming practices and environmental impact. The latter also tends to favor far more humane butchering practices, which is also a very important part of "ethical meat."

Rethink Your Shopping Habits, to Protect Your Family's Health

Whether you do so for ethical, environmental, or health reasons — or all of the above -- the closer you can get to the "backyard barnyard," the better. Ideally, you'll want to get all your animal products, including meat, chicken and eggs, from smaller community farms with free-ranging animals that are organically fed and locally marketed. This is the way food has been raised and distributed for centuries... before it was corrupted by politics, corporate greed, and the blaring arrogance of the food industry.

You can do this not only by visiting the farm directly, if you have one nearby, but also by taking part in farmer's markets and community-supported agriculture programs. The following organizations can also help you locate farm-fresh foods in your local area, raised in a humane, sustainable manner:

  1. Local Harvest -- This Web site will help you find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies.
  2. Farmers' Markets -- A national listing of farmers' markets.
  3. Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals -- The Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns, and hotels, and online outlets in the United States and Canada.
  4. Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) -- CISA is dedicated to sustaining agriculture and promoting the products of small farms.
  5. FoodRoutes -- The FoodRoutes "Find Good Food" map can help you connect with local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive map, you can find a listing for local farmers, CSAs, and markets near you.

Related Articles:

  Zilmax: Slaughterhouse Observations Raise New Concerns about This Growth-Promoting Drug

  Ractopamine: The Meat Additive Banned Almost Everywhere But America

  Beef Burgers Made of Horse Meat and Salmonella Outbreak from Ground Beef -- The Unsavory Truth of Rising Food Fraud and Contamination

 Comments (39)

By Dr. Mercola

The US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act was enacted in 2011 as a supposed way to ‘better protect public health by strengthening the safety of the food system.’

The Act came in response to a rash of recent deadly foodborne-disease outbreaks involving spinach, peanuts, eggs and other foods. According to the FDA, about one in 6 Americans get sick, and 3,000 die each year from foodborne diseases.1

Unfortunately, the FDA does not readily admit the fact that most deadly food outbreaks can be traced back to foods raised on industrial concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

The FSMA, which requires extensive mandatory compliance with new FDA-approved production, growing, harvest and other safety standards, also does not distinguish between the massive CAFO and the small, family-run organic farm... and therein lies the problem.

The FSMA Could Force Small Farmers Out of Business

It is quite possible, perhaps even most probable, that the FSMA is designed to halt the growing trend of small organic farms – not through a direct, frontal assault on organic farming, but rather by insidiously creating rules and laws that make it extremely difficult, and incredibly expensive, for small farms to comply.

And in this case, the rules and regulations created by this proposed bill are mandatory, not voluntary, meaning they apply equally to a tiny farmer with half a dozen cows as to a massive CAFO.

This wasn’t supposed to be the case, as the Tester amendment, which was adopted by Congress in 2010, said the FDA’s new federal requirements would not apply to food producers that have less than $500,000 per year in sales, or who sell the majority of their food directly to consumers or within a 275-mile radius of where it was produced.

This, for instance, would protect small farmers who just sell their fruits and vegetables at farmer’s markets or to a local food coop from the extensive new regulations. Unfortunately, it seems this exemption is not what it had originally appeared to be, as small farmers are still seriously at risk.

FDA Seems to Want a One-Size-Fits-All Food Safety Law

As reported by the Cornucopia Institute, the FSMA is not only designed to protect public health; it’s designed to protect industrial agriculture and CAFOs. For starters, they are making it clear that small farms may, in fact, be forced to comply with the new regulations. According to the Cornucopia Institute:2

In reality, these small farms are not really exempt. The FDA is proposing that the agency can, without any due process, almost immediately force small farms to comply with the same expensive testing and record-keeping requirements for factory farms.

The added expense and record-keeping time will potentially force many small farms — those selling to local farmers markets, co-ops and restaurants — out of business instantly.

Just as important, for farms over $500,000 in volume (and there are plenty of excellent medium-sized organic farms in the $1-$3 million range or larger), some of the provisions will not only be economically damaging (some farmers might not survive this) but actually prohibit some basic practices in the

Organic Food Production Act. Yet if all farms, conventional as well as organic, had to follow the organic regulations for manures/composts, we’d have safer produce.”

CAFOs Are Responsible for the Most Dangerous Foods...

Small family farms are rarely responsible for major food outbreaks – CAFOs, however, are, and this is why they should be more strictly regulated, if not eliminated entirely. For instance:

  • In 2010, over half a billion eggs from two Iowa CAFOs were recalled due to Salmonella poisoning
  • The massive spinach recall in 2006 was due to E. coli commonly found in CAFO cattle
  • In the largest meat recall in US history, 143 million pounds of CAFO beef were recalled because the company did not prevent sick animals from entering the US food supply

Yet the FDA’s draft regulations designed to implement FSMA are not only targeting the CAFOs guilty of the most serious abuses and risks to public health. As the Cornucopia Institute put it:

“...the FDA’s draft regulations designed to implement the new law appear to ignore the will of Congress. Instead, the regulations would ensnare the country’s safest family farmers in burdensome regulations in a misdirected attempt to rein in abuses that are mostly emanating from industrial-scale factory farms and giant agribusiness food processing facilities.”

The FDA’s Draft Guidelines Ignore the Root Causes of Foodborne-Disease Outbreaks

The riskiest pathogens are found on CAFOs, and it is on these giant industrial farms where nearly all pathogenic pollution that contaminates groundwater, fertilizers and the air come from. But the FDA’s draft guidelines do not address the rampant disease on CAFOs, nor their pathogen-filled manure, which contaminates surrounding communities, farms and the food supply, spreading antibiotic resistance in its wake.

The regulations should be targeting high-risk areas to food safety, including CAFOs, and often the processing stage of food production. Yet these are the very practices being ignored or given leniency. The Cornucopia Institute expands on a handful of other issues with the proposed guidelines:3

1. The FDA draft rules do not address a major root source of pathogenic contamination of produce: intensive feeding/confinement of livestock (CAFOs).

2. The draft rules fail to target risky practices, such as fresh-cut produce (bagged spinach and lettuce, etc.), which is inherently riskier, causing over 90% of the E.coli O157:H7 (a particularly deadly strain) illnesses stemming from contaminated produce, according to CDC/FDA data. Yet fresh-cut is not covered in the Produce Rule: it is exempt because it is "processed."

3. The draft rules show a bias against biodiversity.

The proposals would "sterilize" farmland removing habitat for wildlife and beneficial insects which offer biological controls of pests (rather than using toxic agrichemicals). The FDA tends to view farms as food processing facilities: closed controlled environments which need to be sterilized.

4. The draft rules show a strong bias against organic farming methods.

The draft rules fail to discuss how scientific evidence demonstrates that increasing organic matter and biodiversity in the soil can help control pathogenic bacteria. The rule denigrates the effectiveness of thorough manure composting while allowing sewage sludge (banned in organics) in fresh vegetable and fruit production.

5. Agribusiness/government regulation may economically crush our country's safest family-scale farms.

The FDA's own economic analysis of the draft rules acknowledges that certain produce farms and food processors will be driven out of business, and that the cost to a small farm might be as much as $12,000 per year. Large industrial operations already have, as they should, quality control staff and laboratories. Small and medium sized operations do not, due to limitations in terms of economy of scale.

6. The FDA is engaging in "food safety theater" rather than investing in hard research to focus limited resources on the riskiest farms and processors.

The FDA lacks the data to properly assess the risks on organic farms - or on any farms for that matter - yet insists on applying uniform standards, favoring a sterility paradigm based on inadequate science, to all farms. Adequate research is imperative before placing widespread regulatory burdens on family farmers!

7. The egg guidance lacks scientific merit and will hasten a shift of organic production to CAFOs.

The draft guidance makes it expensive and impractical to provide legitimate outdoor access for commercial-scale organic flocks. At the same time, in consort with the USDA, the FDA institutionalizes tiny screened structures as meeting the legal requirement for "access to the outdoors." The FDA has ignored published research that suggests public safety would be improved by addressing giant older buildings, caged production and forced molting.”

You Can Help Protect Small Farmers: Let Your Opinion Be Heard

Do you enjoy purchasing your food from a local farmer’s market, food co-op or community-supported agriculture (CSA) program? Do you believe small organic farmers should be able to continue to provide food to their communities? The Cornucopia Institute has developed a proxy letter that you can print out and sign. They are going to hand deliver these letters to the FDA. They said:

We have heard time and again that regulators and lawmakers, who have no problem blowing off online petitions, sit up and take notice when they receive hard-copy communications – especially when they’re hand-signed and hand-delivered!”

Download your proxy letter now, feel free to add additional comments and concerns on the back of the letter, and mail it to:

The Cornucopia Institute
PO BOX 126
Cornucopia, WI 54827

The Real Power Is in Your Hands

You may feel that there’s little you can do to change the corrupted food system in the US. But the truth is, if every American decided to not purchase food that comes from CAFOs, the entire system would collapse overnight. It doesn't take an act of Congress to change the food system. All that is required is for each and every person, or at least a majority, to change their shopping habits.

Sourcing your foods from a local farmer is one of your best bets to ensure you're getting food that is wholesome and that is grown in a sustainable fashion. I encourage you to visit your local farm directly, if you have one nearby, and also take part in farmer's markets and community-supported agriculture programs.

Ask the farmers how they grow their food, bring your children so they can see it first-hand, and revel in the connection you re-establish between yourself and your source of food; it’s a connection that is in many ways a representation of life itself. You can find an ever-increasing number of "eat local" and "buy local" directories, in which local farms across the US will be listed. The following organizations can also help you locate farm-fresh foods in your local area:

  1. Local Harvest -- This Web site will help you find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies.
  2. Farmers' Markets-- A national listing of farmers' markets.
  3. Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals -- The Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns, and hotels, and online outlets in the United States and Canada.
  4. Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) -- CISA is dedicated to sustaining agriculture and promoting the products of small farms.
  5. FoodRoutes -- The FoodRoutes "Find Good Food" map can help you connect with local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive map, you can find a listing for local farmers, CSAs, and markets near you.


Related Articles:

  Another Way to Kill Small U.S. Farmers: Seize Their Bank Accounts on Phony Charges

  Walmart Plans Grocery Push: Not Good for Small Farmers

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 Comments (38)

By Dr. Mercola

This week, September 15-21, is Mercury-Free Dentistry Week. The Natural Health Research Foundation, which I founded, will match every contribution received this week to the nonprofit group Consumers for Dental Choice, who runs the Campaign for Mercury-Free Dentistry.

Last year’s Mercury-Free Dentistry Week was quite a success. With your help, the Campaign for Mercury-Free Dentistry met the match goal of $50,000, which we matched dollar-for dollar. So this week, I up the ante by $25,000.

I pledge to match all contributions received – up to $75,000!

Dental amalgam is a primitive, pre-Civil War, polluting product that cracks and damages your teeth. In 21st-century dentistry, it owes its continued use to the machinations of the American Dental Association (ADA).

The ADA is a trade group created in the Civil War era with the goal of advancing mercury fillings as dentistry’s mainstay; to maintain its hold, the ADA resorted to deceptive and manipulative techniques.

These include strategies like acquiring patents on amalgam, adopting a gag rule to order dentists to stand silent about amalgam’s mercury, and handing out brochures deceptively promoting amalgam as “silver fillings” rather than the accurate term “mercury fillings.”

ADA’s Stronghold Over Amalgam Is Finally Crumbling

As its power reached monopoly status, the ADA became the puppeteer for amalgam. Its string-pulling caused regulators to dance, lawmakers to speak, and the mainstream media to stay silent. Following the ADA line, state dental boards enforced the gag rule at the threat of license removal.

Choosing to please the ADA and hence defying its legal duty to classify amalgam, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) drew the wrath of a United States District Judge.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), instead of trying to reduce mercury pollution, cut the infamous “midnight deal” with the ADA so dentists could continue to pollute instead of buy separators.1 ADA’s actions gave license to profiteering ADA members to reap quick and easy profits by, in the generations-old dental school joke, the method of “drill, fill, and bill.”

Enter Consumers for Dental Choice, the nonprofit group led by attorney and advocate Charlie Brown. In their first campaign, they destroyed the gag rule, freeing up dentists to talk to patients and the public about the value of mercury-free dentistry.

Later, they sued the FDA, and a federal judge forced the agency to classify amalgam. At the dawn of the International treaty on mercury talks, they organized the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry, so they could go toe-to-toe with the pro-mercury World Dental Federation (the ADA is its major member).

Then came 2013, and things started to fall apart for the ADA. In the past nine months, this pro-mercury trade group has suffered a succession of humiliating defeats -- at the mercury treaty, in the mainstream media, and in the public health community.

In Geneva in January, at its fifth session stretching over three years, 140 nations reached an agreement on the language of the mercury treaty on amalgam. Here is why our side won at the mercury treaty, and why the ADA side lost:

  • For the first time, nations have acknowledged that amalgam waste management is not enough. The final treaty language calls for nations to take measures “to phase down the use of dental amalgam.”
  • Amalgam is the only mercury-added product in the treaty with a road map for how to phase down its use, providing nations with specific guidance on what measures can be taken to transition to mercury-free alternatives. That’s how seriously the nations are taking this issue.
  • Phase-down measures listed in the treaty include adopting national objectives to minimize amalgam use, promoting the use of mercury-free alternatives, training dentists and dental students on alternatives, encouraging insurance policies that disfavor amalgam, and ending the use of unencapsulated bulk amalgam.

  • The American Dental Association (ADA) fought hard to keep amalgam out of Annex C, the part of the treaty that will be regularly reviewed and can be easily amended. The world alliance led by Charlie Brown pushed hard to get amalgam into Annex C – and won! So now, the treaty’s amalgam provision that currently calls for a phase-down can be upgraded later… to set a phase-out date that will end amalgam use once and for all.

Amalgam’s Days Are Numbered...

The American media was quick to understand the value of the treaty. Even in its hometown of Chicago, the ADA is facing stories saying amalgam’s days may be numbered. The Chicago Tribune2 ran a long article on amalgam, explaining that “momentum is building to phase out dental amalgam.”

The widely-watched Dr. Oz Show aired “Are Your Silver Fillings Making You Sick?” – an episode devoted to telling dental consumers the truth about dental amalgam. Dr. Oz, audience members, and even dentists roundly condemned the continued use of mercury-releasing dental amalgam. If you missed the Dr. Oz show, you can watch the episode here.

In the old days, the ADA would go to the producer, a retraction would be made, and the status quo ante would return. This time, it did not work. Dr. Oz stood his ground, and the ADA threw in the towel, severing its affiliation with Dr. Oz’s website. The public health community, an integral part of health care in America, now realizes the value of mercury-free dentistry. An American Public Health Association panel met last month to review policy proposals and soundly rejected one backed by the ADA to “preserve” the use of dental amalgam. The panel suggested that any revised resolution “…be reflective for support of eventual phase out of the use of dental amalgam” and presented comments from several APHA sections:

  • “Recent studies verifying the benefits of mercury-free alternatives over amalgam (in terms of longevity, accessibility, and the environment) are neglected,”
  • “Scientific evidence, as well as updated data from the United Nations Environment Program and other reputable sources, indicates that amalgam is a significant source of mercury pollution and largely cannot be prevented except by source reduction,” and
  • From the Environment section of the APHA: …the [ADA] proposed resolution is plainly inconsistent with the Association’s comprehensive, precautionary approach to anthropogenic mercury use.”

Let’s Keep the Momentum Going!

On Sunday, I wrote about a major reason to celebrate Mercury-Free Dentistry Week: the new treaty on mercury includes amalgam; each nation who signed the treaty (and every major nation and virtually every small one is indicating support)  pledges at least to reduce its use (or end its use entirely).

Today, I write about another reason to celebrate: the ADA’s power over amalgam is collapsing -- and their leaders know it. Please keep this momentum going -- give to the Mercury-Free Dentistry Campaign. If you give this week, we double the size of your gift.

Donate Today!

That the ADA recognizes its power is dissipating was illustrated at a treaty briefing in Washington on September 4. Seven U.S. government agencies hosted a meeting at the August U.S. State Department for treaty “stakeholders” -- non-government organizations representing business, consumer, and environmental interests. Among those attending were Charlie Brown for Consumers for Dental Choice and the outside counsel for  the American Dental Association.

Speaking humbly, the ADA attorney said he had two areas to address. First, , he asked the Environmental Protection Agency to move forward and adopt its proposed rule to mandate amalgam separators. The action  is a startling reversal of a 2008  ADA -  EPA “Memorandum of Understanding” -- exposed by Michael Bender of the Mercury Policy Project in his paper entitled “Midnight Deal on Dental Mercury.”3

Second, he promised the government agencies that the ADA would work on phasing down amalgam. That the ADA would make such promises to seven U.S. government agencies is astonishing. At the least it is a reversal of the ADA’s previous no-holds-barred robust protectionism of amalgam, a recognition that their monopoly power has gone to the dustbins of history.

But will the ADA back up this talk with action? Two things are clear:

  • With their 150 years of protecting mercury-based dentistry, we must hold their feet to the fire to see if they are serious. Charlie Brown advises me that we have been down this road before.
  • Consumers for Dental Choice is the team who has gotten us to this point -- and who will be the ones to work to hold the ADA accountable,to its promise.  I hope you will help Charlie lead us to the finish line -- mercury-free dentistry!

How You Can Help Bring Mercury-Free Dentistry to America and the World

Consumers for Dental Choice and its allies have made amazing progress in exposing the truth about mercury fillings… a truth that the ADA masked in myth for far too long. But the battle’s not won yet – while more and more governments, journalists, and consumers are now questioning the ADA’s myths, many people still buy into the ADA’s slick marketing of a mercury product.

You can help stop dental mercury today! Will you please consider a donation to Consumers for Dental Choice, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to advocating mercury-free dentistry?

Donations are tax-exempt and can be made online at Checks can be mailed to:

Consumers for Dental Choice
316 F St., N.E., Suite 210
Washington DC 20002

For updates on the movement for mercury-free dentistry, join Consumers for Dental Choice on Facebook or sign up to receive email newsletter. Thank you for supporting mercury-free dentistry!

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By Dr. Mercola

Despite powerful evidence to the contrary, the conventional view is that the best way to protect yourself against influenza is to get a seasonal flu shot. This flies in the face of a multitude of studies showing that:

  1. The flu vaccine fails to work for many people.

    Case in point: The 2012/2013 flu vaccine contained a very good match to the circulating strains, yet the reported effectiveness of the vaccine was still only slightly over 60 percent.

    According to Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota:1 "A match doesn't tell us how well a vaccine is going to work. It's almost meaningless."

  2. Vaccinating against one strain of influenza may actually increase your risk of exposure to related but different strains.

The latter point makes recent vaccine developments particularly troublesome, as vaccine researchers are hard at work developing a “universal” flu vaccine that is supposed to protect against virtually all subtypes of influenza—hypothetically, at least.

As new research shows, this may be a very dangerous hypothesis to pursue in order to promote the idea that universal use of a “universal” flu vaccine is necessary and will be a safe and effective public health policy.

Could Universal Flu Vaccine Result in Universal Poor Health?

Recent research2 on pigs, using whole, killed flu viruses, raises very important questions about the approach taken in the development of a universal flu vaccine. The study in piglets found that getting vaccinated against one strain of influenza raised the risk of severe infection with a related but different influenza strain.

It may be worth noting that the researchers are all with either the US Department of Agriculture’s Research Service or the US Food and Drug Administration, should anyone want to dismiss these findings as propaganda thought up by the vaccine safety and choice movement.

The researchers refer to this effect as “vaccine-associated enhanced respiratory disease.” Wisely enough, they recommend their findings “should be considered during the development and assessment of experimental universal flu vaccines.” According to the senior author Dr. Amy Vincent:3

“We need to ask questions and make sure the appropriate experiments and studies are done to ensure this will or will not happen in different vaccine scenarios.”

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently approved several new flu vaccines, including quadrivalent (four strain) vaccines using eggs for production, as well as trivalent vaccines.

These were created using either a baculovirus (army worm) expression system or MDCK (dog kidney) cells and recombinant DNA technology4 for production--the first of its kind. These new influenza vaccines using novel cell substrates may be opening the door to a whole host of potential unknown health effects, both short- and long-term.

This season you will have quite an array of flu vaccines to choose from. As recently reported in Time Magazine,5 available choices this year will include:

  1. Standard three-strain flu vaccine. This year’s version includes influenza strains H1N1 and H3N2, and an influenza B virus
  2. Quadrivalent, or four-strain vaccine, which includes two A class of viruses and two from the B class, which tends to cause illness primarily in young children
  3. Nasal spray, called FluMist. This year it will contain four strains opposed to three, matching the quadrivalent injection
  4. Egg-free vaccine (FluBlok), in which the influenza virus were grown in caterpillar cells instead of chicken eggs
  5. High-dose vaccines, promoted for seniors aged 65 and over
  6. Intradermal vaccine, promoted for those afraid of needles. The vaccine is delivered through a panel of micro-needles rather than a single needle

Will a 'Universal' Flu Vaccine Work?

Typically, most flu vaccines stimulate the production of antibodies to the main protein of the flu virus, called hemagglutinin, which is located on the outer shell of the virus. This protein gives you the “H” designation of a given strain, and it is this protein that attaches to the cell it’s trying to invade. There are 17 known hemagglutinins and the antibodies created to an H1 virus will not protect against an H3 or H5 virus, and so on.

Making matters even more complex, there are also different strains within each of these subtypes, and the artificial immunity you get from a vaccine may or may not extend to all strains of any given hemagglutinin subtype. So the vaccine industry is trying to boost vaccine acquired immunity by targeting “stalk antibodies.”

Here’s what this means, and why their efforts may end up producing the opposite effect they’re seeking: The hemagglutinin is shaped much like a lollipop, with the mutating part making up the head. Researchers have learned that the stem or stalk of the protein, on the other hand, tends to remain fairly unchanged across the various viruses. This is the discovery that has resulted in the current search for a “universal” flu vaccine. Vaccine developers believe that by removing the head portion, namely the stalk—i.e. the dominant protein portion of the virus—they might be able to induce cross-reactive antibodies capable of protecting against virtually any influenza virus, regardless of whether it’s an H1, H3, or H5, and so on.

The recent flu vaccine research in pigs raises a huge red flag calling into question the validity of this hypothesis, however. After giving piglets an H1N2 vaccine, they were then exposed to the H1N1 virus in circulation during 2009. As reported in the featured article:

“Instead of being protected, the H1N2-vaccinated pigs developed more severe disease than exposed pigs that hadn’t been pre-vaccinated. When the researchers tested the blood of the vaccinated pigs, they found high levels of antibodies that attached to the stalk of the H1N1 hemagglutinin, but not to the head of the protein.

Vincent said she and her colleagues are still trying to figure out why this produces more severe disease. But the theory is that while the stalk antibodies can’t neutralize or kill invading viruses, they do bind to them. And that may actually help the viruses enter the cells and multiply to higher levels—the paper calls them 'fusion enhancing.'” [Emphasis mine]

Canadian Results from 2009 Pandemic May Offer Glimpse of Troubles to Come

We saw evidence of this “fusion enhancing” scenario in Canada during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. The connection between previous flu vaccination and increased risk of disease during the 2009 season was initially spotted by Dr. Danuta Skowronski, a flu expert at the Canadian B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

She noticed that people who had gotten a flu shot the previous fall were MORE likely to succumb to the novel H1N1 strain, compared to those who had not received a flu shot the previous year.6 When blood samples from 27 healthy, unvaccinated children and 14 children who had received an annual flu shot were compared, the former unvaccinated group naturally built up more antibodies across a wider variety of influenza strains compared to the latter vaccinated group.

Not surprisingly, her findings were promptly dismissed by the influenza community at large. Some dubbed it “the Canadian problem,” although it’s unclear why anyone would think that such consequences would be limited within the confines of the Canadian borders... A similar trend was also noted in data from Hong Kong,7 should anyone be tempted to write off the Canadian data as being an anomaly.

Dr. Skowronski’s team tested the hypothesis on ferrets,8 and found that the ferrets in the vaccine group also became significantly sicker than the unvaccinated animals. As reported in the featured article:9

“Asked about Vincent’s study, Skowronski said she’s been watching results from that group for years, and even cited vaccine-associated enhanced respiratory disease when she was asked by skeptics to describe what might explain her unexpected results in 2009.

'I think... what they’re showing is a biological mechanism that warrants further evaluation in terms of its relevance to the use of seasonal vaccines in human...” Skowronski said. 'It’s concerning, obviously, because if this is the mechanism, then it means there needs to be a lot more... attention paid to these universal vaccine candidates that are targeting that stalk antibody.'

The big question is, are we in fact weakening our overall ability to fight viruses by getting too many vaccines? While this question can apply to any vaccine, it’s particularly pertinent with regards to influenza vaccine, which public health officials say we must get each and every year from the age of six months throughout our lives until death! An even larger question, and one which researchers have only just begun to scratch the surface of, is whether or not universal use of vaccines can have a generational effect.

Infants Born to Vaccinated Mothers May Lose Initial Immunity Sooner

One study offering a glimpse into this question was recently published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.10 As reported by Medical News Today:11

“Newborns are protected from measles, mumps, and rubella during their first few months of life by antibodies they receive from their mothers. An infant's level of immunity is based, in part, on the mother's blood antibody level. A child's first dose of MMR vaccine is usually administered at around age one. Prior to the first vaccination, however, an infant's immunity begins to wane.

Previous studies have demonstrated that mothers who received MMR vaccination tend to have a lower concentration of measles-specific antibodies compared to mothers who naturally acquired measles infection. As a result, babies born to mothers who received the MMR vaccine have a shorter duration of protection and may remain unprotected for a period of time before they receive the first vaccination.”

The study in question12 found that infants born to mothers who received the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine lose natural, passively acquired immunity from their mothers sooner than those born to mothers who’d been naturally infected with measles.

Another study13 published in the same issue of the same journal found that, on average, the duration of passive protection against measles was two months longer for infants born to unvaccinated mothers.

Sadly, the authors use these worrying facts to support recommendations to get infants vaccinated sooner, rather than address the elephant in the room, which is whether or not we’re seriously compromising natural immunity over generations. Contracting a childhood disease naturally creates a positive feedback loop of robust, longer lasting immunity that is then transferred to your baby (if you’re a woman) and kept in place during early infancy.

By mass-vaccinating against childhood diseases that are not deadly for the vast majority of children in the U.S. and other developed countries with good sanitation, nutritous food and health care, are we slowly but surely, one generation at a time, eliminating the body’s natural ability to develop a qualitatively superior immunity to infectious diseases? And if so, where does that leave us? And, more importantly, why are we trading a more robust and longer lasting natural immunity for an artificial more temporary vaccine acquired immunity?

UNICEF Monitors and Defames Health Sites for Reporting Vaccine Research

Getting back to the flu vaccine, a recent review of published research shows flu vaccines are marginally effective at best, and produce neurological complications at worst, while having no effect at all on hospitalizations or working days lost. One of the most recent examples is the devastating side effects of the 2009-2010 flu vaccine, which caused some 800+ cases of narcolepsy in Sweden and other European countries.14

Despite such evidence, vaccine-safety and choice advocates such as myself are being increasingly targeted by the vaccine industry and those associated with that very profitable industry. We’re the “bad guys,” apparently simply because we bring the scientific evidence to the attention of the public and urge that everyone make well-educated vaccine and other health care decisions..

For example, a new report15 by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) reveals that the organization is tracking "the rise of online anti-vaccination sentiments in Central and Eastern Europe,” and has identified the most influential “anti-vaccine influencers” on the web. This list includes yours truly, along with other independent health websites like, and, just to name a few.

This is indeed a sad state of affairs.

Instead of addressing the scientific evidence showing the potential harm of vaccines, both short- and long-term (perhaps even generational), they’re spending precious time, resources and brain power on public relations schemes to convince you not to pay attention to the available science. After all, many of the referenced articles published in this newsletter and on highlight documented evidence published in peer-reviewed journals! The only reason they’ve tagged me as an “anti-vaccine influencer” charged with the crime of lowering vaccine uptake, is because they’d rather keep that evidence under wraps so the public remains uninformed.

As stated by Sayer Ji, owner of

“UNICEF's opening reference to the 'lie' (misinformation) spread by the above-mentioned web-based organizations indicates that while the document purports to be analytical and descriptive, it has proscriptive and defamatory undertones, and only thinly conceals an agenda to discredit opposing views and voices.

UNICEF's derogatory stance is all the more surprising considering that websites such as aggregate, disseminate and provide open access to peer-reviewed research on vaccine adverse effects and safety concerns extracted directly from the US National Library of Medicine, much of which comes from high-impact journals.”

Flu Vaccines Fail to Work Well According to Independent Research Review

Take the independent study review from the Cochrane Collaboration, for example. As Tom Jefferson, a researcher with the Cochrane Collaboration told “There is no evidence that vaccines can prevent deaths or prevent person-to-person spread of infection.”

According to these independent research reviewers:17

“At best, vaccines might be effective against only influenza A and B, which represent about 10 percent of all circulating viruses. Authors of this review assessed all trials that compared vaccinated people with unvaccinated people. The combined results of these trials showed that under ideal conditions (vaccine completely matching circulating viral configuration) 33 healthy adults need to be vaccinated to avoid one set of influenza symptoms. In average conditions (partially matching vaccine) 100 people need to be vaccinated to avoid one set of influenza symptoms.

Vaccine use did not affect the number of people hospitalized or working days lost but caused one case of Guillian-Barré syndrome (a major neurological condition leading to paralysis) for every one million vaccinations.

Fifteen of the 36 trials were funded by vaccine companies and four had no funding declaration. Our results may be an optimistic estimate because company-sponsored influenza vaccines trials tend to produce results favorable to their products and some of the evidence comes from trials carried out in ideal viral circulation and matching conditions and because the harms evidence base is limited.”

Protect Your Right to Informed Consent and 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.

Vaccine Awareness Week


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 the National Vaccine Information Center’s free Advocacy Portal at 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 should be treating people like human beings instead of guinea pigs.

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

  • 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.

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  Latest Vaccine News

  During One of the Worst Flu Seasons, is the Flu Vaccine the Answer?

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