Friday, December 28, 2012

Dr Hegde: Vaccines an excuse to make money.

Rotavirus is the bogeyman to make money

Prof Dr B M Hegde
For the full article please visit:
http://www.moneylife.in/article/rotavirus-is-the-bogeyman-to-make-money/30234.html?dhiti=1&p=

Disease mongering occurs at a feverish pitch in the vaccination industry, one of the richest medical industries, mostly controlled by the Forbes’ list toppers in the west. Our best bet to avoid diseases is to strengthen our inbuilt immune guard, the healer within

“There is no logic to science. Scientists create and adhere to scientific theories for what are ultimately subjective and even irrational reasons. It can not be denied that the chief engine of human destructiveness has been the phenomenal success of science in the 20th century”—
Paul Karl Feyerabend, in Against Method written in 1975
Vaccination is a big business. While reductionist chemical drugs to treat diseases might have been a boon to the western pharmaceutical companies, vaccination has come as awindfall to them. The clientele for vaccination is the whole world of the new-born babies, a business that will thrive even if the whole of humanity gets rid of diseases. So the rich and the powerful are in this business—big names like Bill Gates, Gavi Alliance are no exception if one cares to read the findings of The Lancet investigations into Bill Gates’s so called charity vis-√†-vis vaccines. Gavi Alliance lures poorer countries’ governments withsubsidized vaccines when new vaccines are put out in the market. Once the vaccination catches up they naturally withdraw the subsidy making the governments pay through their nose to the greedy drug firms pushing that country deeper into the debt trap! Single dose rotavirus vaccine costs double digit dollars to buy in the regular market!
Corporate business thrives on profit as per the dictates of Bernard Mandeville, Adam Smith’s teacher, who propounded the theory that “corporate business should concentrate only on profit irrespective of consequences.” As long as pharma companies make moneyconsequences are not their problem! Now comes the bogey of rotavirus vaccine for childhood diarrhoea in India. Thank God, the British Medical Journal, surprisingly, commissioned two Indian researchers, Jacob Puliyal and Joseph Mathew, to give their opinion on this new virus vaccine. Their paper is now published in that journal. I strongly appeal to all our doctors that have anything to do with vaccinations to read that article. One has also to read the opposing view in the same journal to know how we sell our ideas to the readers!
Rotavirus diarrhoea does not kill, bacterial diarrhoeas could kill. Even the deadly cholera could be controlled if we could keep up the hydration in the patient for long enough for the germ to get out of the system! In the west now adult bacterial diarrhoeas caused by such simple non-virulent strains like Clostridium deficile cannot be controlled by the most powerful antibiotics or vaccines and the patients die unless they are given clean SHIT from a healthy donor through the Ryle’s tube into the patients gut, nicknamed a faecal transplant. This effective treatment was in vogue in veterinary science since the 1700s.

The very foundation of the vaccination protection hypothesis has been now scientifically seriously questioned. An Australian worker, in his PhD thesis, has debunked the statistical science of vaccination success. If one has to have real immunity against any disease one must have that disease and survive. Provoking antibodies and measuring their levels in blood after vaccination is not synonymous with disease protection.

http://www.moneylife.in/article/rotavirus-is-the-bogeyman-to-make-money/30234.html?dhiti=1&p=

Read also:
How drug companies use Rotavirus to frighten new moms and dads
http://www.moneylife.in/article/how-drug-companies-use-rotavirus-to-frighten-new-moms-and-dads/30311.html

OPV an exercise in futility?


Polio eradication was an ideological project

Full article at:
http://www.bmj.com/content/345/bmj.e8545


In the 1980s, why was polio, with its rather small mortality rate, chosen for a worldwide “eradication” campaign, when other infectious diseases such as measles, pneumonia, and diarrhoea causing infections each killed millions of children a year? It had little to do with the priorities of most developing countries where polio was endemic. It was more to do with the ideology of a small number of powerful and well placed players in global public health who were dedicated to the concept of so called eradication as perhaps the major tool for international public health.1

Many of these people had been involved in the successful campaign to eradicate smallpox. However, after that great achievement near consensus had formed in public health circles that primary healthcare (including routine immunisation) rather than vertical eradication campaigns should be the focus of global and national efforts. It looked as though smallpox would be the first and last human disease to be eradicated.

Those who I would call “eradicationists” had to find a disease that could be quickly and inexpensively disposed of to keep the concept of eradication alive in the face of popular indifference and active hostility from the World Health Organization.


"Unfortunately, it was not that difficult to get the members of the World Health Assembly to support a major global policy without fully understanding the implications for their own home countries. One of the costs was that national health priorities formulated by developing nations themselves (such as building routine immunisation systems, neonatal health, maternal mortality, controlling diarrhoeal diseases) may have been pushed aside in favour of an agenda that these countries didn’t even know existed. They would not only have had to subordinate their own public health goals to engage in a fight against a relatively minor disease, but they were doing it not merely for the stated goal of vanquishing polio, but to prove the point that disease eradication can be maintained as a major tool of public health. For eradicationists today it is polio, but tomorrow it may be measles, mumps, and rubella. And woe betide any country that should want to put its own health goals above these global aims."

 Vaccine-Derived Polio Virus: Status and Challenges
http://www.jfmpc.com/article.asp?issn=2249-4863%3Byear%3D2012%3Bvolume%3D1%3Bissue%3D2%3Bspage%3D84%3Bepage%3D85%3Baulast%3DBhaumik
The "endgame strategy" for polio eradication has taken the scientific community by storm. Almost everything from the choice of vaccine, tactical strategies to the achievability of the eradication target, are being questioned [6] on account of the problem of vaccine-derived polio virus (VDPV). VDPV causes vaccine-associated paralytic polio (VAPP) in a miniscule of OPV receivers. Though high rates of OPV coverage will prevent all poliovirus spread, including spread of VDPVs, it will not prevent establishment of prolonged VDPV infections in certain persons with B-cell immune-deficiencies. [6] Moreover inevitable gaps in vaccination coverage will give rise to VDPVs as long as OPV use continues. Thus even when wild polio transmission is stopped OPV will continue to generate VDPV which in effect means that the risk of polio although very small will remain. 

Vaccine Study in India Throws Up Controversy


Jacob Puliyel on the pentavalent study in Kerala

21 Dec, 12 | by BMJ Group

For the complete article please visit:
http://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2012/12/21/jacob-puliyel-on-the-pentavalent-study-in-kerala/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bmj%2Fblogs+%28Latest+BMJ+blogs%29&g=widget_default

The controversy surrounding the vaccine relates to the fact that when introduced in neighbouring countries Sri LankaBhutan, and Pakistan there were numerous “isolated instances” of unexplained or “sudden death” following vaccination. The deaths in Bhutan were said to be unrelated to vaccine, but probably related to viral encephalitis; the evidence provided for this was that the vaccine had not increased the death rate from viral encephalitis, when deaths following vaccination were added to the encephalitis deaths. However, after the vaccine was suspended in Bhutan there were “no further deaths from the encephalitis” in children under one year of age.
The WHO report on adverse events following immunisation in Sri Lanka found no alternate cause for deaths that would fall in the category “probably related” to vaccine under theBrighton Classification. The category “probably related” was removed, and the report stated that the deaths were unrelated to the vaccine.
The deaths in Pakistan were declared as “sudden infant death.” While these deaths were indeed sudden, it certainly is not SIDS, which refers only to unexplained death.
In view of these reports the National Technical Advisory on Immunization (NTAGI) in India suggested that the pentavalent vaccine be introduced only in two states and the harms and benefits evaluated after a year before it is considered for further rollout in the country.
A statistician friend analysed the deaths in Kerala against background mortality in the State. In the first six months of the immunisation programme 40,000 children were vaccinated with the new vaccine. Five of them died soon afterwards (in the next 36 hours or so). Four of the five occurred after the first dose of the vaccine and one after the second dose. Infant mortality in the state is 13 per 1000, and neonatal mortality is 7 per 1000. Post neonatal infant mortality of 6 per 1000 during 337 days (365-28 days of neonatal period) is 0.0178 per day per 1000 children. Using the Poisson probability theory my friend tells me that an observation of four deaths among the vaccinated 40000 vaccinated for the first time is highly inconsistent with the background mortality.
If five children were to die for every 40,000 vaccinated it means we can anticipate 3125 deaths after vaccination in India’s birth cohort of 25 million a year. A meticulously donepopulation based study of Hib meningitis in India has shown that the incidence of haemophilus influenzae type b meningitis is 7/100,000 children under 5. This suggests there are 1750 cases of haemophilus influenzae type b meningitis in the nationwide birth cohort of 25 million. Given the estimated mortality rate 10% there would be 175 deaths from haemophilus influenzae type b meningitis in this cohort.  The vaccine related deaths appear to be far higher than the deaths likely to be prevented from meningitis.

The government standard operating procedure for AEFI recommends that all serious adverse events including seizures and hypotonic pathology be recorded. It states that approximately 570 cases of seizure, 570 cases of HHE and 20 cases of encephalopathy per 1 million doses of the DPT. The fact that none of these have been recorded after 40,000 children were immunised is suggestive that the recordings of adverse events are inadequate.

Hundreds of Genetic Mutations in Autism: More expected.


High-Throughput Sequencing Shows Potentially Hundreds of Gene Mutations Related to Autism

Dec. 19, 2012 — Genomic technology has revolutionized gene discovery and disease understanding in autism, according to an article published in the Dec. 20 issue of the journal Neuron




For the complete article please visit:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121219132731.htm
The paper highlights the impact of a genomic technology called high-throughput sequencing (HTS) in discovering numerous new genes that are associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
"These new discoveries using HTS confirm that the genetic origins of autism are far more complex than previously believed," said Joseph D. Buxbaum, PhD, Director of the Seaver Autism Center at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and lead author of the article inNeuron.
Dr. Buxbaum is co-founder and co-director of the Autism Sequencing Consortium (ASC), a large multisite collaboration which is a model for future research. The co-authors of the article are Mark J. Daly, Broad Institute and Harvard Medical School; Bernie Devlin, University of Pittsburgh; Thomas Lehner, National Institute of Mental Health; Kathryn Roeder, Carnegie-Mellon University; Matthew W. State (co-director), Yale University, and the ASC.
HTS is a revolutionary new technology that allows scientists to obtain the sequence of all 22,000 human genes and the entire human genome in one experiment. This provides an unparalleled look at an individual's genetic makeup and allows for gene discovery and for genetic testing.
"HTS shows us that there are not just a few mutations, but potentially hundreds of mutations that are linked to autism," said Dr. Buxbaum. "By identifying the many genetic roots of this disorder, we can better understand its biology, which in turn will allow us to develop more tailored treatments for individuals. It is a transformative time for genetic research in autism."
Ground-breaking, highly reproducible discoveries identified through HTS described in the article include:
  • the "staggering degree" of genetic heterogeneity in autism, which means that many individuals with autism do not share similar gene mutations;
  • the identification of an increasing number of specific genes and chromosomal intervals conferring risk;
  • the important emerging role in autism of both rare and "de novo germline mutations," or mutations developed in the sperm or ovaries of parents and passed on to children; and
  • gene loci associated with autism that overlap with gene loci associated with other illnesses, such as intellectual disability and epilepsy.
Dr. Buxbaum estimates that researchers have already identified 50-100 specific genes and 20-40 chromosomal loci conferring risk. The researchers predict, based on the first studies in 1,000 families, that there are many hundreds of undiscovered ASD associated genes.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Autism: Deflecting the Truth


Brian Hooker's Testimony From Congressional Autism Hearing

Brian and SonBy Anne Dachel
http://www.ageofautism.com/2012/12/brian-hookers-testimony-autism.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ageofautism+%28AGE+OF+AUTISM%29

Brian Hooker is the father of a son with autism and he holds a PhD in Biochemical Engineering, in addition to being a dedicated member of the autism community.  He also played a role in how the House autism hearing came to be.
Brian explained how he became involved in the hearing.
My initial thanks go to Dr. Mark Geier and David Geier, who strategically linked me up with a friend of theirs, who in turn has become my good friend as well. Through the work of this individual, Dr. Andrew Wakefield and I were invited to meet with Rep. Darrell Issa, Rep. Vern Buchanan and their wives in early May, 2012 to discuss malfeasance in the CDC regarding autism and vaccines.  Andy discussed the MMR vaccine and the vaccine schedule.  I talked specifically about thimerosal and the cover-up of CDC data that affirm a causal relationship between thimerosal and neurodevelopmental disorders including autism.  Rep. Issa was concerned regarding the CDC information and stated that this was the type of government misconduct that his committee (Oversight and Government Reform) specifically addressed.
I was in DC for a National Science Foundation function later the same month and had the opportunity to meet with Reps. Issa and Buchanan again, this time with Rep. Dan Burton.  Rep. Issa affirmed his commitment to hold a hearing at that time.  Rep. Burton detailed his valiant efforts to get the CDC and large pharma to remove mercury from vaccines and indicated that they wouldn’t listen to him.
I’ve worked very diligently since May with the Oversight committee staff to convey what I had found via the FOIA and to get additional information from CDC relevant to thimerosal.  Along the way, I gained the support of Barry and Dolly Segal, through Focus Autism and they have become pivotal to this entire effort.  In addition, I received a very significant amount of assistance from Dawn Loughborough, Bob Krakow, Bobbie Manning and Louise Habakus.  They are all amazing sources of insight and have advised me throughout the process.  I also need to acknowledge my friends at EBCALA, especially Louis Conte, Rolf Hazlehurst, Becky Estepp and Kevin Barry, who have been working with the committee staff very effectively regarding NVICP reform. 
I was able to meet with the Oversight committee staff several times between May and November, up to the day before the hearing, to discuss the pertinent details.  I also was corresponding with Beth Clay from SafeMinds who was working very diligently on the issue as well.  When the committee staff finally indicated the participants in the panel, I was disappointed because there was only one participating organization (Safeminds) that included the relationship of vaccines (specifically thimerosal) to autism causation within their mission.The rest of the panel would either avoid the issue or deny any causal relationship.  Given the importance of autism causation, this was just not a balanced panel.
(Here is the testimony that Brian Hooker prepared for the hearing but he was unable to give.)
I asked Brian about his efforts to gather information about the actions of the CDC.
What kind of information were you seeking from the CDC with your FOIA requests?
All kinds.  I have made over 100 FOIA requests to the CDC over the last 8 years and received thousands of pages of information.  This has been a very thorough compilation of work.  David Geier, who is my mentor regarding the FOIA, got me started doing FOIA requests back in 2004.  David has also reviewed nearly everything I have received.
I have specifically requested information for the 5 CDC studies on thimerosal and autism prior to 2004 that led to the IOM Immunization Safety Review Committee report “Vaccines and Autism” released in May 2004.  In this report, primarily due to committee chairperson Dr. Marie McCormick (Harvard University) and study director Dr. Kathleen Stratton (IOM), causation was denied between thimerosal containing vaccines and autism (as well as the MMR vaccine and autism).  This report also effectively shut down government funding for any further "independent" research on vaccines and autism.  This information is crucial, given the constant reference that the CDC and others make to the 2004 IOM report.  Most of the key components of the FOIAed information have been completely redacted by the CDC.
I also requested information on PoulThorsen and his connection to CDC, obviously because of his co-authorship in studies that bolstered the body of evidence denying vaccine causation in autism and his known culpability and fraud indictments, being on the DHHS OIG Most Wanted Fugitive list.  The majority of this information has been withheld by the CDC.
Finally, I have requested information on two of the latest CDC studies again denying causation between neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) and thimerosal exposure including Thompson et al. 2007 (NEJM 357:1281) and Price et al. 2010 (Pediatrics 126:656).  These two publications are indiscernible from an epidemiology standpoint.  This information has yet to be released from the CDC.
For years the CDC has acted as though they’ve seriously addressed the question of a link between vaccines and autism and according to their research; there simply isn’t any.  How would you characterize what the CDC has done?
I would challenge anyone who would rely in the veracity of the CDC studies.  They've repeatedly, purposefully withheld data that clearly show a link between thimerosal and autism (among other NDD's).  They've obfuscated the main issue via obviously biased statistical manipulation.  Clearly, the CDC's conflicted role of vaccine advocate and vaccine safety guardian has contributed to this whole problem.   
How did the agency charged with the oversight of our children’s health instead become complicit in covering up a disaster?
Several reasons.  I believe the physicians and scientists who have controlled the agenda for CDC for many years have a fear of infectious disease that is unsupported by science.  As a good friend reminded me recently, the United States by far has the most recommended vaccinations given to children than any other nation in the world (49 by age 6 years old), yet we have some of the sickest children.  We rank 34th in infant mortality based on 2009 data. The fear of epidemics of infectious disease drummed by U.S. public health officials and pharmaceutical manufacturers is extremely heightened. However, in other countries where they vaccinate less and had banned thimerosal use many years ago, we do not see evidence of mass infectious disease spread. 
I also believe that thimerosal has not been removed from U.S. vaccines due to various issues in a concerted effort towards the globalization of vaccines.  This is heavily influenced by three things: (1) perceived manufacturing and cold chain distribution problems, (2) the influence of the GAVI Alliance and the World Health Organization involving the preceding factors and (3) international political considerations because of the perception in developing nations about distributing thimerosal containing vaccines there when there is removal of thimerosal here.
Unfortunately we have seen a lack of integrity in other industries, and we can’t assume CDC employees are not immune to falling into this vicious cycle.  Many vaccine scientists and other officials look forward to very lucrative careers with pharmaceutical manufacturers after they have worked professionally at CDC.  Two rather dubious examples are Dr. Julie Gerberding, former Director of CDC during the last decade who was recently appointed as head of the vaccine division of Merck and Dr. Thomas Verstraeten, who was the lead author of the Verstraeten et al. 2003 study on thimerosal and neurodevelopmental disorders and left CDC for a career at GlaxoSmithKline in July 2001.  This revolving door between CDC and pharma is fostered by an incestuous relationship between the two entities, as we have been exposed to many “government-industry” partnerships that are supposed to help provide the U.S. with effective, safe vaccines but instead seem to only help vaccine manufacturers with their bottom line.  Also, the pharmaceutical industry is bolstered by the fact that it cannot be sued for vaccine design defects.
This adds up to more and more vaccines given to our most vulnerable citizens.  Some of these vaccines still contain thimerosal and are now given to pregnant women, exposing very tiny unborn children to this potent neurotoxin.  Both of these factor into the current autism epidemic.
Finally, I hate to even think about it, but I believe that CDC officials are truly afraid of the consequences of completely removing thimerosal and/or revising the current vaccine schedule, limiting the exposure of infants and children to the many vaccine antigens their immune systems now have to endure.  What if autism rates do go down?  J.B. Handley sent me a T-shirt several years ago with the saying, “If you caused a 6000% increase in autism, wouldn’t you try to cover it up too.” 
What difference has your work with Chairman Issa, the committee and creation of this hearing made?"
Well, the coordinated effort to expose malfeasance has enabled our community, after years of watching the prevalence rising, to have the hearings and start to get to the bottom of this enormous concern for our society.  With the material I have compiled via the FOIA and other sources, I present a clear distinction between what the CDC has claimed publicly and what goes on behind closed doors.  In addition, I have collaborative insight and support from a team of advisors, medical professional resources and government agency members conferring with me on a significant body of “evidence of malfeasance” case studies. 
My FOIAed documents focus on thimerosal in vaccines so I’ll limit my comments here to that issue. 
As I stated earlier, 2004 IOM Immunization Safety Review Committee report was bought by CDC specifically to say that vaccines don't cause autism and no more government research should be funded regarding that issue.  The committee made their "decision" in this regard based solely on 5 epidemiological studies.  The scientific merit of these studies is poor and the results have been critiqued very accurately by me and others in our community many times.  Quite frankly, challenging the science presented in these papers is like sandblasting a soup cracker.
My goal was to shed light on the malfeasance by the CDC and others around these studies and the 2004 IOM report.  This is crucial!  Coleen Boyle of the CDC invoked the 2004 IOM report several times when she tried to sidestep questions asked in the hearing.  The report has led to grant funds denied for solid research from top universities specifically to address the autism-vaccine question.  And, the report was quoted many times by Special Master Hastings in his decision regarding the Cedillo test case of the Autism Omnibus in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in order to deny compensation.  This paved the way for the dismissal of the majority of over 5000 cases involving "autism", most without any type of hearing.
I also wanted to drive home the intertwined nature of the relationship between Dr. PoulThorsen (who was indicted in Federal court on April 14, 2011 for fraud and embezzlement of CDC grant funds) and the National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD).  Dr. Thorsen wrote 36 papers in collaboration with NCBDDD scientist Dr. Diana Schendel, many as "cover" to deflect the issue of autism causation from vaccines.  It is unclear whether CDC continues to work with Thorsen, but four papers, co-authored by Thorsen and Schendel, have appeared in the scientific literature since his Federal indictment.  Why is this happening? 
Shouldn't the veracity of all 36 publications be investigated by CDC?  Thorsen received the majority of his grant funds from CDC after the Madsen et al. 2003 Pediatrics publication.  Thorsen co-authored the paper and coordinated (with Dr. Boyle) the CDC review and recommendation of publication to Pediatrics.  It is perhaps the most blatantly fraudulent of the 5 studies quoted in the 2004 IOM report, as the Madsen et al. authors claimed that autism rates went up after the removal of thimerosal from vaccines in Denmark in 1992.  I really want to know why CDC paid Thorsen so handsomely after this paper was published, given the fact that the original Madsen manuscript was rejected by the Journal of the American Medical Association and the Lancet, prior to finally being accepted in the journal Pediatrics.
How did it happen that you weren’t allowed to speak at the hearing?
I had been told by Oversight committee staff prior to Thanksgiving that I would not be testifying and I was not on the original list of speakers that appeared on the Oversight committee website on Monday, November 26, prior to the hearing.  However, on Tuesday after I arrived in DC, I was notified that Chairman Issa had added me to panel.  I stayed up until 3:00 a.m. preparing my testimony.  Later, on Wednesday, the Oversight committee staff informed me that someone from the minority side of the committee had been blocking me from testifying and that the Rules of Order did not allow for Chairman Issa’s last minute addition.  I don't know who specifically kept me off of the panel or why at this time.  Chairman Issa kindly recognized my involvement at the start of the hearing and provided great, front-row seats for me and my good friends Barry and Dolly Segal and Dawn Loughborough, all who contributed immensely to the success of the hearing. 
Since you did attend the hearing, what are your feelings about what was said?
First of all, Mark Blaxill of Safeminds did a great job highlighting the connection between environmental factors and autism, and included a slide in his testimony that showed the connection between thimerosal and autism. He also was able to address the complete lack of effectiveness of IACC as well as Mr. Michael Carley's erroneous assertions about diagnostic substitution and the current autism epidemic. 
Dr. Boyle and Dr. Alan Guttmacher (NIH) were evasive in their testimony and the committee members were very concerned about this.  Many statements by Dr. Boyle from the CDC are not supported by the information I have via the FOIA. This is a matter of great concern to the committee and it’s a bipartisan issue.  Although Boyle invoked the 2004 IOM report to deflect questions regarding vaccines and autism, she omitted the fact that even this report could not exclude that a significant portion of new autism cases were caused by vaccines in a genetically susceptible subset.
The questions regarding vaccines and autism posed by the committee members were extremely encouraging.  Rep. Bill Posey and Rep. Vern Buchanan (my heroes) really were able to drill down to the heart of the issue by challenging Dr. Boyle on the current state of the science regarding causation and the lack of a vax/unvax study.  It was like listening to Dr. Dave Weldon (former rep. from Florida) in stereo. In addition, Rep. Burton's call for the removal of mercury from all vaccines was extremely powerful.  Also, Rep. Cummings (ranking minority member of the committee), Rep. Maloney and Rep. Smith all highlighted the connection between vaccines and autism within their questions, stemming from a decade of mounting verbal evidence of vaccine causation from their constituents, and requested common sense from the CDC to review the vaccine schedule and thimerosal. Undeniably, the door has been opened for future investigation and better outcomes for our children.
Of the 8 panelists that spoke, only one (Mark Blaxill) spoke about autism causation related to vaccination, when specifically questioned by the committee members.  Of the remaining panelists, Autism Speaks co-founder Bob Wright in his opening remarks, mentioned that his daughter, Katie Wright was concerned that vaccines were involved in his grandson’s autism.  Four panelists did not speak to the issue and two actually denied a connection between vaccines and autism.  In my opinion, this is not a balanced panel.  If it weren't for the many questions raised by the committee members (due in large part to many great parents in our community that visited, called or wrote these representatives), the vaccine autism issue would have been woefully underrepresented.
What do you hope the federal government will do next?
In his remarks to me after the hearing, Chairman Issa indicated that the committee will continue to investigate the connection between autism and vaccines.  This needs to include the thimerosal issue as well as the expanding vaccine schedule where infants are given up to nine vaccines in one day.
The CDC needs a comprehensive, independent investigation, obviously.  It shouldn't stop there - the entire Department of Health and Human Services (including CDC, NIH, FDA, the Health Resources Services Administration, etc.) has shown bias against even researching the connection between vaccines and autism and continues to suppress any science that would suggest a link.  The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program should also be investigated, with an emphasis on the whole Omnibus Autism Proceeding.  The Oversight committee members need to know that they have the power to stop the autism epidemic by getting to the bottom of this issue.

30 Vaccine Studies Congressmen Should Go Through


For the links please visit:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/mercury-vaccines-hot-topi_b_2241825.html
---------------------------
Post-Natal Pollution Exposure: The risk from exposure was greater during the first year of life than gestation, suggesting that the maxim "autism always begins in the womb" is a myth.

No Autism Before 7 Months: This study refuted the belief that children show symptoms at birth, and reported two time-frames (pre- and post-14-months) for changes in brain wiring.
Endocrine Disruptors Increase Autism Risk: This literature review concluded that exposure shortly before or after birth, "appears to be associated with the occurrence of ASD as well as ADHD."
Mercury Is an Endocrine Disruptor: This study "is the first to document an association between blood mercury, systemic inflammation, and endocrine disruption."
Mercury and Autism - Biological Plausibility: This review examined mercury and cellular mechanisms, genetic sensitivity, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and immune dysregulation found in autism.

Toxic Metals and Autism: ASD children had 150%-to-365 % higher levels of heavy metals than controls which "corroborates data from previous studies in different parts of the world." (Not all studies have found an association between metal concentrations and ASD).
Toxic Metals and Autism Severity (I): This study "found a strong association of levels of toxic metals with variation in the degree of severity of autism." Cadmium and mercury, "were the most consistently significant."
Toxic Metals and Autism Severity (II): These data "support the historic evidence that heavy metals [including mercury and aluminum] play a role in the development of ASD," and the "toxic effect of metals increase along with the severity of symptoms."
Thimerosal Causes Autism Signs in Rats: Male pups of a certain genetic strain were most susceptible (including from post-natal exposure) to oxidative stress, motor delays and thyroid problems, all found in autism.
Thimerosal Is a "Mitochondrial Toxin": This study found a "five-fold increase in the levels of oxidant damaged mitochondrial DNA bases" from thimerosal, which "inhibits mitochondrial respiration leading to a drop in the steady state membrane potential."
Mercury/Lead Linked to ADHD: Cord blood mercury concentrations were associated with higher scores for attention problems and disruptive behavior "consistent with ADHD."
Prenatal Mercury Linked to ADHD: Mercury exposure increased inattention by 40% and impulsive/hyperactive behaviors by 70%, and were "detected primarily for boys."
ADHD Linked to Autism: This paper "provides the first genetically informative, longitudinal analysis of the interaction between traits of ASD and ADHD, and explores their genetic and environmental overlap." Its findings "add to a growing body of literature suggesting that traits of ASD and ADHD may arise via similar (causes)."

Mercury and Neuroimmune Damage in Male Voles Linked to Autism: 
"Environmental exposure to mercury may contribute to ASD," this study said. "Mercury exposure and neuroinflammation both are implicated in certain neuropathologies (i.e., autism)." Findings were "consistent with our previously reported male-specific mercury-induced deficits in social behavior and further support a role for heavy metals exposure in autism."

"Altered heavy metals" in Autism: "Accumulation or altered mercury clearance, as well as concomitant oxidative stress... offers an intriguing component or possible mechanism for oxidative stress-mediated neurodegeneration in ASD patients."
Aluminum in Hepatitis-B Vaccine Causes Mitochondrial Damage and Cell Death: "A low dose of adjuvanted hepatitis B vaccine leads to loss of mitochondrial integrity, apoptosis induction, and cell death."
Thimerosal Impairs Psychomotor Development"The overall deficit attributable to neonatal thimerosal containing vaccines... was significantly higher" (4.42 times) than in controls.
Cytokine Imbalances Associated with Autism: Regulation of these immune chemicals "change dramatically in the face of infection, disease, and toxic exposures."
Mercury and Lead Inhibit Cytokine Signaling: They also lead to oxidative stress, mitochondrial damage and T-cell death, all found in autism.
Increased Glutamate Found in Cortex of Autism Patients: Elevated levels were not found in parents or siblings, discounting a purely genetic cause.
Thimerosal Increases Glutamate in Rat Cortexes: This study concluded that "neonatal exposure to thimerosal-containing vaccines might induce excitotoxic brain injuries, leading to neurodevelopmental disorders." 

Thimerosal Exacerbates Other Mercury Exposures:
 This study found that among "nurslings whose mothers are exposed to different levels of fish mercury, a higher score of neurological development at six months was negatively associated with exposure" to thimerosal in vaccines. "Neurotoxic effects from the combined chemical forms of mercury seemed sensitive for infants exposed to additional thimerosal."

Vaccine Schedule Safety Unproven: A recent IOM paper concluded that, "All aspects of the vaccine schedule are currently under‐studied with regards to potential adverse events" including "febrile seizures or autism," and said possible studies might include "the total number of vaccines given; the average age at which the vaccines are given; or the cumulative amount of immune‐stimulating content, immunogenic adjuvants [i.e., aluminum] or preservatives [i.e., thimerosal]."
Autism Rates Fall In At Least Two States: Both Alabama and Iowa have reported declines of autism incidence by about 20%. While these apparent drops must be studied further, it's worth noting that Iowa was the first US state to ban thimerosal in vaccines.

Congress Hearing Reopens Mercury-Autism Debate


Mercury, Vaccines Hot Topics at Autism Hearing

Posted: 12/06/2012 4:17 pm
David Kirby
For the entire article please visit:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/mercury-vaccines-hot-topi_b_2241825.html
You probably didn't know it, but Congress recently held a major hearing on the government's response to autism, grilling two key federal officials on everything from prevalence studies to services for adults with the disorder.

But much of the nearly four-hour hearing was focused on the causes of autism. And though mercury and vaccines have been ruled out as contributing factors by many in science and the media, questions about them dominated much of the afternoon.
The hearing, on Thursday, November 29, was convened by the House Government Oversight Committee, chaired by Darrell Issa (R-CA), one of President Obama's most vocal conservative critics. But it wasn't just the Republican majority demanding answers about mercury and vaccines. Some of Congress's most progressive Democrats, including Elijah Cummings (MD), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), John Tierney (MA), Carolyn Maloney (NY) and Dennis Kucinich (OH) also issued pointed queries.
Most members expressed deep frustration at the slow pace of federal autism research: Their constituents are complaining about the government's intensive focus on genetic issues over environmental factors.
It was, perhaps, one of the most bipartisan get-togethers Capitol Hill has witnessed in years. Republicans and Democrats calmly turned their sights on the federal policymakers, launching an unexpected barrage of questions about the impact of mercury on children, the intensity of the vaccine schedule, and the safety of simultaneously giving 6-9 immunizations to an infant.
Vaccines came up right away.
"Was there autism before there was vaccination?" Issa asked in opening the questioning of two federal witnesses: Alan Guttmacher, M.D., director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and Coleen Boyle, Ph.D., director of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities at the CDC.
Boyle said "definitely," and Guttmacher said there was "heavy suspicion," though neither could offer any evidence.
"Is it fair to say that we can rule nothing out?" Issa continued, asking about mercury in air pollution and the vaccine preservative thimerosal.
"It's always difficult in science to rule anything out as a possibility for occasional individuals," 
Guttmacher said, "but we can rule them out as being involved in the vast majority of individuals." Boyle noted that the Institute of Medicine had issued reports in 2004 and 2011 "suggesting that vaccines did not increase the risk."
But those assurances did nothing to stop the mercury and vaccine questions.
Rep. Dan Burton, (R-IN) a Tea Party member who is retiring this year, showed a video from the University of Calgary depicting the rapid disintegration of neurons following exposure to mere ions of mercury.
Burton noted that US autism rates had exploded from 1-in-10,000 to 1-in-88 and called it "worse than an epidemic; it's an absolute disaster. How can anyone at the CDC and FDA watch something like that and say that the mercury does not have an impact on neurological problems?"
Rep. Holmes Norton wanted a response to the video from the scientists at the table, but she didn't get one. The CDC's Boyle simply said that mercury had been removed from childhood vaccines in 2001 (not 1999, as widely reported) except for multi-dose flu vaccines.
Rep. Kucinich raised the issue of thimerosal, but said mercury from coal was also a likely culprit. In either case, he said, money in politics was impeding the search for autism's causes. "We're not only talking about drug manufacturers, we might be talking about coal companies too," he said.
Rep. Tierney asked the CDC's Boyle why thimerosal was taken out of childhood vaccines, except the flu shot, if there were no concerns about its safety profile, but she had no ready answer for him.
Many members wanted to know why children receive multiple shots at once.
"I've had so many parents write to me or come to me saying they had a healthy child who then got 10, 9, 6 vaccines at one time and that child changed overnight," Rep. Maloney said. "Why does the schedule require a child to receive so many vaccines in such a short period? I'm totally for (vaccines) but why do you have to cram 9, or 6, at a time when the verbal evidence seems so strong from so many people?"
The schedule was designed "to make sure everyone gets it," Boyle replied. "Not everybody goes to the doctor routinely, so they use that opportunity to make sure that happens."
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) countered that his constituents "feel strongly that this has to be looked at in a very, very aggressive way that, if we're over-vaccinating our children."
"We know vaccines save lives," Boyle responded. For each US birth cohort, vaccines saved 43,000 lives, prevented 20 million illnesses and saved $13.6 billion in medical costs, she said, without addressing the concerns of the members' constituents. Buchanan said autism costs are estimated at $137 billion annually: "We need to fix this problem because it's obviously out of control."
The conservative Buchanan was echoed by his equally liberal counterpart Rep. Cummings, the committee's ranking member, who delivered an impassioned soliloquy to the scientists.
"There's something wrong with this picture. When you've got this combination of shots, and you go from 1-in-10,000 to 1-in-88, it seems to me somebody would say, 'Wait a minute. Let's put the brakes on this,'" he said. "I wish you could see the people behind you. There are grown men crying behind you... Let's err on the side of keeping children safe, even if we have to do a pause and give children one shot per day."
Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) grilled Boyle on a Danish scientist named Poul Thorsen, indicted for embezzling more than $1 million in CDC research funds and now the most-wanted fugitive at the Office of the Investigator General at HHS.
Thorsen was chief of a major research group, North Atlantic Neuro-Epidemiology Alliances (NANEA) founded in 2000 with a $7.8 million CDC grant and tasked with researching a number of disorders including autism, according to Danish news accounts.
"What steps has the CDC undertaken to ensure the integrity of the research that was performed by Dr. Thorsen?" Posey asked. Boyle said he was, "a co-investigator on a couple of studies that came out on autism. He was really just one investigator."
But had CDC gone back to validate the studies? "This guy is a humongous scumbag, one of the most wanted men on earth," Posey charged. "And you relied on him for data to determine if thimerosal had a negative effect?"
"Two studies don't conclude a body of work," Boyle replied.
Issa promised more hearings and suggested that the federal Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee should expect to testify soon. Meanwhile, he may help obtain CDC emails and other documents hitherto redacted that could shed light on the agency's alleged mishandling of thimerosal data, and its cozy relationship with Thorsen (more on that later).
Like many people, I thought the autism-mercury-vaccine discussion was essentially over. But clearly, it is not. And though many fretted that the controversy would drive fearful parents away from vaccination, the opposite it true: US rates remain at all-time highs.
Critics of the committee will say its members are mere politicians and we must listen to scientists. But when it comes to autism's causation, the scientists in the room that day had little to say.
Guttmacher didn't "know all the studies in the autism literature," but said he'd "be happy to look into them."
Below are 30 recent studies that support a potential role for environmental factors, including mercury and vaccines, that Guttmacher and the committee might want to read.
For the entire article please visit:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/mercury-vaccines-hot-topi_b_2241825.html

Your Money AND Your Health! - Dr Hegde Hits Out.


Money is Mammon in pharmaceutical world

PROFESSOR B. M. HEGDE
http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/money-is-mammon-in-pharmaceutical-world/article4179010.ece
The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. — Jesus
Wall Street has three major players — pharmaceuticals, oil and banking. The first is the only one that has been growing at 20% a year in the last one decade or so. The pharmaceuticals lobby is thrice as big and powerful as that of oil, although oil is much bigger than drugs in total turnover! To understand how the industry works one must read the new book by two French medical specialists appointed by the former French President Nicolas Sarkozy to study the working of the drugs lobby in the country. Although the book is in French, Kim Wilsher of the The Guardian has written about this book and the interview with the authors on September 14, 2012.
The best part of the interview was the answer given by the first author: “There is nothing revolutionary in this book. This has all been known for some time.” I was happy as I was writing about this in India, the U.K. and the U.S. for at least four decades but to no avail. The powers that be do not seem to take notice, at least in India. The two authors, Professor Philippe Even, director of the prestigious Necker Institute, and Bernard Debr√©, a doctor and member of Parliament, feel that removing what they describe as superfluous and hazardous drugs from the list of those paid for by the French health service would save up to €10bn (£8bn) a year. It would also prevent up to 20,000 deaths linked to the medication and reduce hospital admissions by up to 1,00,000, they claim.
The book, Guide to 4000 Useful, Useless or Dangerous Medicines, in all its 900 pages, looked at the effectiveness, risk, and the prohibitively high cost of the drugs. Among those which were completely useless the first rank was taken by STATINS, the most fashionable and doctor-friendly anti-cholesterol drug. The authors blacklisted a total of 58 drugs which included anti-inflammatory drugs, painkillers; cardiovascular drugs many of which are useless, anti-diabetics — many of them are dangerous to say the least — and the useless drugs for osteoporosis, contraception, muscular cramps and tobacco addiction! According to these specialists, roughly one half of the drugs prescribed by doctors in France are useless and many of them downright dangerous. The authors feel that the powerful companies keep these drugs moving for their own benefit.
Most of these drugs are produced in France. Professor Evans felt that the companies push these drugs on doctors who then push them on to patients. “The pharmaceutical industry is the most lucrative, the most cynical and the least ethical of all the industries,” he said. “It is like an octopus with tentacles that has infiltrated all the decision-making bodies, world health organisations, governments, parliaments, high administrations in health and hospitals and the medical profession,” he felt. “For the last 40 years, patients have been told that medicines are necessary for them, so they ask for them. Today, we have doctors who want to give people medicines and sick people asking for medicines. There’s nothing objective or realistic about this.”
The story is the same in India. The only difference is that the number of useless drugs sold here will run into hundreds, if not thousands. The Indian public have shown lukewarm response to my writings on the subject in the last four decades. Now that the information comes from the West, people might sit up and take note. That would be good for mankind as Oliver Wendell Holmes put it succinctly thus: “If the whole pharmacopeia were to be sunk to the bottom of the seas, that will be that much good for people and that much worse for the fishes.” How true indeed? There is no pill for every ill but there is definitely an ill following every pill!
How can we change all these? One would shudder to see this report in a recent issue of the prestigiousThe New England Journal of Medicine: “The global pharmaceutical industry has racked up fines of more than $11billion in the past three years for criminal wrongdoing, including withholding safety data and promoting drugs for use beyond their licensed conditions.
In all, 26 companies, including eight of the 10 top players in the global industry, have been found to be acting dishonestly. The scale of the wrongdoing, revealed for the first time, has undermined public and professional trust in the industry and is holding back clinical progress.”
A fine of $3 billion, imposed on the U.K.-based GlaxoSmithKline in July after it admitted to three counts of criminal behaviour in U.S. courts, was probably the highest paid so far in the history of pharmaceuticals. Nine other companies have had fines imposed, ranging from $420m on Novartis to $2.3bn on Pfizer since 2009, totalling over $11bn.
The be-all and end-all of life should not be to get rich, but to enrich the world. — B.C. Forbes
(The writer is a former Professor of Cardiology, Middlesex Medical School, London, and former Vice-Chancellor, Manipal University. Email: hegdebm@gmail.com)