Category Archives: journalism

Why I wrote ‘Gardasil: Fast-Tracked and Flawed’

 

Since a diagnosis of cervical dysplasia in the 1980s I have followed the positioning of cervical cancer as a disease caused by the wart virus, the human papilloma virus with dismay and fury. Dismay at the numbers of unwell teenagers in the wake of the HPV vaccines and fury over the very idea promoted by science and health experts that a virus causes cervical cancer.

The idea that a virus could cause cervical cancer is a relatively new one. In 1977  German virologist Harald zur Hausen claimed that the human papilloma virus – HPV known for causing warts could also cause cervical cancer. From then on all common sense flew out the window.

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Why and how the focus changed from an understanding of cervical cancer as a disease associated with social and environmental conditions to a cancer caused by a virus is addressed in Gardasil: Fast-Tracked and Flawed along with the disastrous ramifications for the health of young girls and boys who, in the wake of a scare campaign, are now injected with HPV vaccines.

In the 19th century, cancer of the uterus including the cervix was responsible for more deaths than breast cancer. Physicians of the time suspected that the disease had something to do with sex. They thought this because cervical cancer was found to be common in single, city women whereas it was absent in nuns. However further research revealed that religious sisters were affected and so were women in long-term relationships.

Later research found that social circumstances such as poverty and inequality were in some way implicated in the cause of cervical cancer. Many stressed the  importance of a balanced diet and claimed that deficiencies in vitamin C, beta carotene and folic acid were common in women with cervical precancerous cells.

Then there’s the problem with the contraceptive pill and it’s negative effect on natural immunity. 1988 update of a study that had been going on in Britain for the last 20 years links the pill with cervical cancer. The incidence of cervical cancer in women who had taken the pill for more than ten years was four times greater than for women who had not. The overall incidence of cancer of the cervix was increased in women who had used the pill.

Women who smoke are around twice as likely to develop cervical cancer than non- smokers and research has shown that toxins from first-hand and second-hand smoking can be found in cervical tissue. Smoking has been implicated in the causation of cervical cancer since the 1970s.

But don’t let sense and facts get in the way of a new vaccine. And other facts of life that you won’t hear from the mainstream media but you should.

In the middle of the 20th century, cervical cancer rates in western nations were plummeting firstly due to an improvement in these socio-economic conditions followed by the advent of the Pap smear programs.

Australia has one of the lowest rates of cervical cancer in the world with the annual incidence being 900 cases of the disease with the rate of deaths around 200 women per year.

Most of the deaths occur in women in the 70s and 80’s.

There is no epidemic of cervical cancer in Australia or other western nations.

Cervical cancer is a slow growing cancer that is amenable to treatment if discovered early through Pap smear with the five – year survival rate being 72%.

Thus cervical cancer was under control due to improved living condition and Pap smears programs and yet in 1977 a German viriologist called Harald zur Hausen announced that the human papilloma virus known for causing warts could also cause cervical cancer.

The public love hearing about science discoveries and the race began to develop a vaccine and even before there was scientific consensus that HPV was involved in cervical cancer, Professor Ian Frazer and his partner Dr Jian Zhou were given funding to develop an HPV vaccine.

Amazing how the science community and vaccine makers managed to convince most of the world that this common wart virus causes cervical cancer.

The roll – out and acceptance by the Australian community of the Gardasil vaccine was preceded by months of heavy promotion by the manufacturer Merck (USA) and CSL Ltd, the New Zealand and Australian distributor, and the mainstream media. Behind the Australian Gardasil campaign was the PR giant Edelman producing around 1000 pieces of media devoted to promoting the vaccine. The US manufacturer Merck supplied the various medical associations with lecture kits comprising of readymade presentations promoting Gardasil.

Around the country education campaigns took place stressing the incidence of cervical cancer to a public most of whom had rarely heard of cervical cancer but were now very concerned that their daughters should not develop it and were keen to have the vaccine as soon as possible.

Gardasil was fast-tracked though the U.S FDA, the food and drug administration, a process usually reserved for a drug or treatment for which there was no treatment available. Gardasil did not meet this criteria. There was no epidemic of cervical cancer and the Pap smear programs were in place and able to pick up abnormal smears.

Merck used a placebo which contained aluminium, the vaccine itself has 225 mcg of aluminium – so this was no placebo and conveniently hid the dangerous adverse effects of the vaccine. A placebo should be an inert substance such as normal saline.

Amazingly this vaccine that was sold as a prevention of cervical cancer was never tested against cervical cancer outcomes – this cannot be done for cervical cancer develops usually decades after the ‘supposed infection’ with HPV. Instead a surrogate endpoint was used to try to support the hypothesis that HPV vaccines would be effective in the prevention of cervical cancer. They chose cervical intra-epithelial grade 2/3 lesions. These are common in young women under 25 years and rarely progress to cancer. Any reduction of precursor lesions in this age group is no indication that cervical cancer will develop from high risk HPV infections.

When HPV was licensed phase 3 trials had not been completed. Nevertheless all over the world girls and boys are injected with this vaccine and thousands are maimed in the process. The severe adverse events following Gardasil vaccination include sudden collapse, paralysis, seizures, multiple sclerosis, strokes, heart palpitations, death, chronic muscle pain and weakness, autoimmune diseases, infertility and cervical cancer.

Each dose of Gardasil contains antigens (virus-like particles) which are genetically engineered. Ian Frazer and his partner couldn’t get the HPV virus to reproduce so they turned to biotechnology and produced the antigens in the laboratory. Other ingredients include polysorbate 80 known to cause infertility, L-histidine a vaso dilator which may be the cause of fainting and collapse that is occurring in the vaccinated girls.

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I hope the world is beginning to wake up to this travesty that has no basis. For as molecular biologist Professor Peter Duesberg puts it so well: If HPV is found in cervical cancer tumours it is a fossil of a previous HPV infection. He claims that there is no causal relationship between the human papilloma virus and cervical cancer. And yet we have this entire vaccination program based on the idea that this fragment or fossil causes cervical cancer and that we need to vaccinate the whole teenage population against it.

These young people are not likely to ever develop cervical cancer and if they do it will be decades later. The vaccine is said to last only up to 5 years – so what is this all about? More boosters!

In the interests of this generation of teenagers about to be vaccinated with these fast-tracked HPV vaccines we need to bring back some commonsense. For that I commend the work of Peter Duesberg and the findings presented in a paper published in Molecular Cytogenetics (2013) of which Peter Duesberg is one of six authors which found that the changes seen in cervical cells are caused by exposure to carcinogens such as cigarette smoke. According to the authors, the pieces of inactive HPV DNA that can be found in cervical cancers are from infections or warts that occurred 20-50 years before the cancer.

The damaged girls are taking legal action. In Japan 28 girls and women are suing the government and the manufacturers – each demanding 15 million yen in compensation for a wide range of health problems including all over body pain and impaired mobility after HPV vaccination. The Japanese government ceased promotion of the HPV vaccines in 2013 after girls were becoming unwell. The vaccination rate fell to 1%. Other government such as ours has not taken any action – they are unreceptive to any discussion of any vaccine at all.

700 Columbian girls are suing Merck for damages caused to life and health. After their vaccination they were accused of being hysterical with health officials suggesting their illnesses were the result of illicit drug use. The sick Irish girls and their parents are part of the support group Regret- reactions and effects of Gardasil resulting in extreme trauma. They have met with their health officials who have listened to their stories concluding that the vaccine was not at fault and that the girls are suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome. In Ireland the rate of cervical cancer is 300 women annually and yet now there are at least 400 girls who have become extremely unwell after their unnecessary vaccinations. It is madness.

These very unwell girls have been high achievers, excelled at school and sport and post vaccination many can’t even go to school and some can’t manage to get out of bed. Here in Australia you would think that this was the best thing that had happened for women ever with Ian ‘Frazer claiming The vaccine will be of benefit to women. But tell that to the thousands of vaccine injured women, Professor.

Let’s face it. HPV is a very common wart virus. Over 80 percent of us are affected at some stage in our lives. Most of this infection is cleared by the body within two years. Only around 1 percent of the world’s women develop cervical cancer and yet most of us have the virus. We are made of germs.

This is a cancer much like others in that it is caused by social conditions and environmental factors and other influences such as ageing.

 

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Harare’s Herald lauds Zimbabwe’s HPV vaccination programme

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This week in Mutare, Zimbabwe, First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa launched the National Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programme. The vaccine is to be given to over 800,000 girls between the ages of 10 to 14 in an attempt to alleviate the country’s growing cervical cancer rate. However in light of the fact that there is no proof that HPV vaccines have ever prevented a single case of the disease any decrease in the rate of the cancer from this provision alone will not take place.

The Herald refers to the benefit that this decision will bring to young girls and provides further details:

 Beneficiaries will be vaccinated against cervical cancer between now and May next year

From my vast research on the subject of Gardasil and other HPV vaccines the only beneficiaries are likely to be the vaccine industry. To date there have been over 85,000 recorded adverse events following the administration of Gardasil. This is far from the correct number of events for many of the injured and their doctors are uninformed of the existence of vaccine adverse event databases such as Vaers or VigiBase .

These life-altering events include sudden collapse with unconsciousness within 24 hours seizures; muscle pain and weakness; disabling fatigue; Guillain-Barr Syndrome (GBS); facial paralysis; brain inflammation; rheumatoid arthritis; lupus; blood clots; optic neuritis; multiple sclerosis; strokes; heart and other problems, including death.

Zimbabwe does not need this vaccine. There is an estimated 2, 270 women diagnosed with cervical cancer in Zimbabwe annually with a mortality rate of 64 percent so yes something needs to be done to address the level of cancer and the lack of appropriate treatment facilities. But there are other and much safer ways to fix the problem.

However when there are organisations such as the GAVI Alliance, a multibillion-dollar public–private partnership that funds and delivers vaccines to developing countries, and which in 2013 introduced HPV vaccines in eight African countries with it’s aim to vaccinate 30 million girls in 40 nations by 2020 then any other way of looking at the problem is ignored.

The GAVI Alliance, based on partnership between the public and private sectors, was launched in 1999 to combat falling immunisation levels by providing vaccines to 74 of the world’s poorest countries. Dubbed the “billion dollar fund” after a contribution of $750m (£517m; 839m) from Microsoft’s founder and chief executive, Bill Gates, it seeks to achieve this by incorporating new vaccines into national health systems while promoting the existing immunisation program

Criticism of GAVI is not hard to find with Princeton University academic Donald Light reporting in The Guardian that

“I think the taxpayers of affluent countries and their leaders should support saving poor children and reducing global poverty but this is a moment when they could critically review how that money is being spent.” …”The Gavi model depends on giving more and more money year after year to get vaccines to poor countries in ways that are not self-sustaining and at prices that are unaffordable.”

 

Before the advent of HPV vaccines it was found that social circumstances such as poverty and inequality were strongly implicated in the development of cervical cancer. It is well documented that tobacco smoking, having multiple children and the long-term use of hormonal contraceptives are associated with an increased risk of cervical cancer. When a woman stops taking hormonal contraceptives, the risk gradually declines.

Other factors that contribute to the cancer rate are the late presentation of disease, poor screening, and inadequate diagnosis and treatment facilities.

Knowing the risk factors and addressing them will help reduce the burden and mortality of cervical cancer along with the provision of Pap smear screening facilities and access to treatment for cervical lesions and cervical cancer.

Although there is government and public support for cervical cancer screening throughout the world, many countries lack well-funded, organised programs such as exist in the UK, Australia and other developed nations. From the 1960s to 1991, cervical cancer screening was available to women in Australia on an opportunistic basis in that the test was done on the request of the doctor or the woman herself. Then, in 1991, an organised program was set up which in 1995 became the National Cervical Screening Program. Such organised programs are more effective than those of an opportunistic nature because they specify a defined target population and include policies on method and interval of screening. Europe has few such organised programs with many countries relying on opportunistic screening. Screening in the USA and Canada varies from opportunistic to organised screening, and among the Latin American countries, Chile and Colombia boast national organised programs that have been operating for at least 15 years. Of all the countries in Africa, only South Africa has an official national cervical screening policy. Developing nations such as India have no organised screening program, with testing only available to a small population of mainly urban women. Since the Australian National Cervical Screening Program began in 1991, the number of deaths from the disease have halved.

The rollout makes Zimbabwe the eighth African country to introduce the HPV vaccine into its routine immunisation programme. The others are Botswana, Kenya, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa and Uganda. This is tragic!

See: Gardasil: Fast-Tracked and Flawed

 

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A must-see documentary: ‘Manufactured Crisis – HPV, Hype & Horror’

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Sixteen year-old girls are going into ovarian dysfunction. Let me put that clearly for you in simple terms. That means a sixteen-year-old girl is going into menopause which is criminal.

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— A passionate mother speaking in Manufactured Crisis – HPV, Hype & Horror

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There is no other industry in this world that has that kind of protection. They make their products not subject to any legal liability and then they have the government on top of that mandating that all of us purchase their products and they are not accountable.

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— Gretchen DuBeau Esq. Executive and legal director, Alliance for Natural Health

Manufactured Crisis – HPV, Hype and Horror was produced by the Alliance for Natural Health and features the stories of families from the United Kingdom, America, Spain and Denmark. The documentary needs to form the basis of informed consent and given to any parent considering Gardasil or Cervarix for their daughters and now sons.

Here is the synopsis:

The pharmaceutical industry used faulty research, paid doctors and manipulated the media to push an unsafe vaccine onto the market.

They used political pressure to force this vaccine onto the public, despite any demonstrable public threat.

The result has been the devastation of many young girls’ lives.

Through interviews with leading experts, victims, and our own analysis of the vaccines themselves, the Alliance for Natural Health uncovered a conspiracy of greed that is being perpetrated on families around the world.

HPV vaccines were hyped and marketed to be given as a preventative against cervical cancer.

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But as Sin Hang Lee M.D states:

Cervical cancer is the most preventable cancer.

This he explains is because it takes 15-30 years from infection with HPV to develop. First all that is needed is to catch the precancerous lesions and treat these. This is why it is so important that Pap smear programs continue.

The police came to the house to tell me she was found dead. She was found dead in her bed at school and that they didn’t know what happened

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— Emily Tarsell, mother of Chrisina who tragically died in bed in 2008.

After 8 long years Emily Tarsell has managed to get justice for her daughter. The US government has finally conceded that Gardasil caused the death of her daughter Christina. Christina died from an arrhythmia induced by an autoimmune response to the HPV vaccine Gardasil which she had received only days before her death. 

The rate of cervical cancer in western countries such as the US is 12 per 100,000.

By Merck’s own admission for every 100,000 people who use Gardasil or Gardasil 9 you expect a minimum of 2300 serious adverse events to combat 12 potential cases of cervical cancer.

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— Norma Erickson, President of SaneVax 

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Laurie Powell a former pharmaceutical marketing executive comments on the spin and deception of Big Pharma.

She recalls a commercial that she saw on TV that targeted pre sexual girls that she considered was the most ‘egregious form of marketing’ she had ever seen.

‘Mum you wouldn’t let me get cancer if you could prevent it would you?’

The mainstream media ignores the plight of the thousands of girls and boys left damaged after HPV vaccination. The families of the vaccine injured can’t walk away from their problems and must deal with this dismissal of their situation and are often told it’s just a coincidence.

‘It’s all in the mind, a mental health condition’

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— Freda Birrell, President of the UK Association of vaccination injured daughters.

HPV vaccination is mandated for school children in three states of the US. It is required in the district of Colombia, Virginia State and Rhode Island.

They have to choose between putting their health at risk and attending school in order to be vaccinated for something that is believed can only be to be transmitted through sexual contact.

When you look more closely you see that the largest pharmaceutical companies including the largest vaccine makers have spent over 5.2 billion advertising during the last 12 months. They are keeping many of these news outlets in business with advertising dollars. It is no wonder the media is hesitant to criticise these products.

— Gretchen Du Beau Esq, Executive and legal director, Alliance for Natural Health.

Gardasil was fast-tracked by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) due to industry lobbying from the manufacturer Merck who in December 2005 submitted an application to the FDA for fast track approval. Shortly after in February 2006 Merck announced that the FDA had given the go-ahead and that Gardasil was to be given a ‘priority review’. Such an accelerated review is reserved for vaccines and other products that are urgent and for conditions where other treatment does not exist. Did Gardasil fulfill this unmet need? No it did not.

Cervical cancer is a rare outcome of HPV infection and in countries with cervical cancer screening programs, cases of the disease and fatalities have more than halved and if a cancer is found early and treatment given, the 5 year survival rate is 72%. But in spite of these facts the FDA review date was scheduled for June 8 , 2006 whereupon the first HPV vaccine was approved and recommended for all women aged between 9-26 years even though it had not been tested for the prevention of precursor lesions in females younger than 15 years of age.

If you have a girl who has been exposed to HPV and then she goes and gets a vaccine the pre-licensing data from Merck shows that she is 44.6% more likely to develop cervical lesions.

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—  Shannon Mulvihill, RN

Many risks are concealed by authorities. In the UK it was only through a freedom of information request that it was determined that the level of adverse events that were recorded by the MHRA was several times higher than any other known vaccine. With MMR vaccine the next…This is not being communicated to the medical profession.

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—  Robert Verkerk, BSc, MSc, PhD FACN

There are 225 mcgs of Amorphous Aluminum Hydroxyphosphate Sulfate per shot of Gardasil with the recommendation being 3 doses. Both Gardasil and Cervarix use the newer aluminium adjuvants which cause a stronger immune response than other such adjuvants.

It has no known function in any living system…The only evidence indicates that aluminium is being toxic.

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— Dr. Christopher Exley, PHd in Ecotoxicology of Aluminium, University of Stirling

Samples of HPV vaccines were tested.

We have been looking at the results of our analyses…we have small number of samples.

What we found with Cervarix was very interesting. We found 2.6 times the amount of aluminium in the product than that which was stated on the label.

Gardasil was absolutely within range but was 2.5 times the stated amount than in Cervarix. Both products were hovering  around 1000 parts per million level of aluminium.

There is a whole range of data emerging reminding us that there are some real issues in terms of animal studies that are showing those kind of exposure levels triggering significant  responses inflammatory responses,neurological responses.

— Robert Verkerk, BSc MSc, PhD FACN

This is just a snapshot of the interviews taken from Manufactured Crisis – HPV, Hype & Horror. It needs to be seen by the public before more damage is done to even more innocent teenagers who are told they need these vaccines to prevent cancers they are unlikely to ever get.

 

 

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ABC’s Media Watch bullies Northern Rivers newspaper into changing its headline

 

The Northern Star has been in the business of bringing news to the people of the Northern Rivers since 1876. It’s about us  page informs that it focuses strongly on readers, with stories told through the eyes, ears and mouths of local people. And that’s what it did when it ran ‘Teen left in wheelchair after Gardasil HPV vaccine ‘reaction’. However the story about teenager Olivia Odey now has a new headline ‘Teen’s nightmare battle with mystery illness’.

Some Background:

Olivia Odey became ill three years ago complaining of joint pain, along with tingling and numbness. She also suffered light sensitivity and heart palpitations. The young teenager couldn’t stand up and needed a wheelchair to get around. After 8 months of seeking help from our medical system which as usual in the case of vaccine injury was devoid of any clues, Olivia upon referral to a specialised pain doctor was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome and central neural sensitisation syndrome. Reporter  Alina Rylkor described the syndrome as ‘Her nervous system interpreted signals sent through her body as pain messages.’ After months of rehabilitation and pain management the teenager has now recovered.  Odey believes that her ill-health began shortly after she was given her Gardasil shot. “I definitely think there was a link, but there’s no way to prove it, Odey told The Northern Star, ” acknowledging that her reality was denied by her doctors.

This week Media Watch upheld the censorship that has seen the media continually ignore the suffering of thousands of girls and now boys who have become ill with similar symptoms to those experienced by Olivia. The Northern Star was doing its job of informing the public that all is not well in regard to Gardasil, Gardasil 9 and Cervarix.

Media Watch‘s segment was called Northern Star HPV headline wrong.   Presenter Paul Barry called the headline ‘scary and damaging’. The story of HPV vaccines is very scary and there’s plenty of damage but I don’t think that is what Barry meant. For that we have to fast forward to the statements made by Melbourne University virologist Dr David Hawkes who was asked his opinion of The Northern Star headline. It puts people at risk. Because what it does it puts them off vaccinations. It’s actually hurting our healthcare system,” said Hawkes.

We should not be surprised by the virologist’s position – that’s his job and the way he sees the world but I am surprised and alarmed at  the heavy handedness of Media Watch who approached The Northern Star with its criticism resulting in the paper agreeing to change the headline of the story to ‘Teen’s nightmare battle with mystery illness’.

How does the program get away with this? And why did The Northern Star agree? I wasn’t alone in my fury at what Media Watch had done. A comment from Jenna Finch from the Media Watch website summed it up:

Do some further research on HPV adverse events and you will see it’s not fabricated. Look at Colombia High Court’s recent decision and what’s going on in Denmark. A little broader view in this story would have restored my faith in your program but I’m back to realising you are simply a government puppet.

Dr Judy Wilyman author A critical analysis of the Australian Government’s rationale for its vaccination policy.’ puts out a rallying cry to us all that we cannot ignore:

It is time for all Australians to get involved in the vaccination debate as mandatory vaccination is now being forced on many adults in employment situations. The government has also implemented the Adult Immunisation Register to monitor and enforce adult compliance with the recommended schedule of 16 plus vaccines.   

Don’t expect Media Watch to cover this though.

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A ‘serious policy discussion’ for ABC TV’s Q&A

 

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Last week’s visit by  Prime Minister Tony Abbott to a US warship off Sydney where he told visiting American sailors their navy was a “comforting presence” in Australia should provoke a public conversation.

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Anzac Day, Propaganda, and the Making of Endless Wars

 

Screen shot 2015-04-15 at 5.42.51 PMAnzac Day will soon be upon us and publicity surrounding the centenary has reached fever pitch. But what is really going on?

Last wednesday, I attended a forum Anzac Day: Past, Present and Future   held at the Camberwell Civic Centre where Professors Joe Camilleri and Marilyn Lake were joined by Ted Baillieu, Serdar Baycan, Neil Smith and Claire Chisholm in an ABC-style Q&A discussion on the history and future of Anzac Day. Continue reading

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Free speech – not on vaccination it seems!

A SOCIAL media campaign is in progress to stop an American anti-vaccination campaigner running a series of lectures in Australia in March. Following on from the success of a campaign which resulted in the cancellation of the misogynist Julien Blanc’s visa, pro-vaccination activists are calling on the immigration department to have Dr Sherri Tenpenny’s visa cancelled because she speaks about the harms associated with vaccines.

Screen shot 2015-01-11 at 11.44.26 AMDr Sherri Tenpenny has planned to deliver six seminars around Australia in March and to be joined by Norma Erickson who runs Sanevax an organisation which promotes only Safe, Affordable, Necessary & Effective vaccines and vaccination practices through education and information. A homoeopathic practitioner from Victoria, Isaac Golden, who promotes the use of natural medicines to prevent disease is also scheduled to speak at the seminars. Unfortunately the seminars are now in jeopardy as most of the venues where her presentations were to be held have cancelled.

Tenpenny, who runs an alternative medicines clinic in Ohio, has written a book called Saying No To Vaccines and regularly lectures on the dangers of immunisation. Tenpenny says that she wrote her book because parents needed a tool that did their homework for them. She says that the evidence is there to support their decision to not vaccinate; you just have to do a little work to find it. ‘Everyone seems to be so afraid of “bugs” and their potential ability to make us sick. But the reality is that we swim in “bugs” every day and we are not dropping over like flies.. The only “bugs” we seem to obsess over are associated with vaccines. Only two generations ago, measles, mumps and chickenpox were normal experiences of childhood. Why we have complete fear of these infections is media and money driven and unfounded.’

And the Australian mainstream media perpetuates this fear and supports the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the vaccines when it fails to support Dr Tenpenny’s tour.  Her ideas are so sensible:

If the focus of Public Health was on sleep, exercise, clean water and safe, non-GMO food, we would have a healthy society without vaccines but we would not have billion dollar industries employing millions of people to keep us “healthy.” The fact is, we are a very UNhealthy society with vaccines, so the Public health and argument that we must vaccinate ‘for greater good’ is a failure.

Our hospitals are full of unhealthy adults and children despite all the vaccines, antibiotics and other medical interventions. Many people are living longer yet more debilitated lives, needing expensive medical management. Sherri Tenpenny and her fellow speakers just might be able to teach us how to live healthier lives and they should be given their right to speak.

 

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Raw milk madness!

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The Herald Sun has reported that a three-year-old Mornington Peninsula child has died and four other young children have become seriously ill in recent weeks after drinking unpasteurised milk  sold in Victoria. The reports of this death and injuries were accompanied by screaming headlines in both large font and capital letters KILLER MILK, and the next day Cosmetic milk controversy: State in grip of toxic milk madness.

Let’s put this death into perspective. Was it the consumption of the raw milk that caused the child’s death? Was this a healthy child or was the child already unwell? Where are the mainstream stories that question this assertion?

Raw milk is sold in health food shops across the country as bath milk for cosmetic purposes although everyone knows that it’s really being bought to be consumed, not bathed in. The Herald Sun found the raw milk in health stores in Malvern, Carlton, Fitzroy, Balaclava, Thornbury, Elsternwick, Albert Park, Box Hill and Belgrave. As to the benefits of drinking raw milk: A new study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, has found that raw milk can actually help prevent colds, viruses and respiratory tract infections from forming in kids, as opposed to commercially processed milk which provides little or no health benefits.

The reporting of this story is a great example of over reacting, a classic case of media sensationalism done in the pathetic endeavour to sell more copy. And there are major ramifications: Already there are calls to ban the sale of raw milk. Even the Federal Government has weighed in and is saying it’ll crack down on the ‘killer’ bath milk and Daniel Andrews, the new Premier of Victoria says he’s not satisfied with the regulations surrounding the sale of raw milk.

Fortunately large numbers of raw milk drinkers have contacted the Herald Sun saying that they will continue to drink it because they believe that raw milk is healthier. And it is! Raw milk is unpasteurised milk straight from the organically pasture fed cow. Raw milk contains the delicate enzymes and essential bacteria which are destroyed with pasteurisation. It is the lack of these natural enzymes in pasteurised milk which makes it indigestible for many people.

For thousands of years, raw milk nourished and produced generations of strong, healthy humans. But now it’s illegal to sell nature’s real milk, the raw product and that is why raw milk  is being sold under pseudonyms such as Aphrodite’s bath milk or Cosmetic milk and found in health food stores  all over the country.

The story of why raw milk became illegal has its origins in the early years of the 19th century in USA which saw a rapid growth in the population with immigrants making their way to the cities. These new arrivals wished to access milk but with the cities a long way from the farms and lacking the transport and refrigeration this was no easy task. So they made do with the milk that was produced in the cities – a far from healthy product. Around this time the whisky industry was booming and the waste product of the distillery was swill or slop which was fed to cows that were conveniently housed next to the whisky distilleries. This waste product of the distilleries was obviously not a food that cows generally ate but it made the cows produce a lot of milk. These cows were sick, crowded, dirty, poorly nourished and forced to spend their short lives chained in one place, handled and milked by, often, very unwell people who poured the milk into dirty containers and sold it to the unsuspecting public. Very soon and not surprisingly the death rates of infants and children soared and it was generally recognised that there was a “milk problem”.

At this time microbiology was in its infancy. The belief in this new science which recognised germs and microbes as the cause of all illness, led to the call for pasteurisation, or heating, of milk to make it free of any potentially harmful bacteria, regardless of how it changed the quality of the milk. As the media and governmental spin continued, dairies found it easier to go with pasteurisation than to clean up their acts.

The mainstream media are once again negligent in their reporting of this young death and the alleged link to raw milk. Was this child healthy? Did he die from the consumption of raw milk? According to the vendors of raw milk in the municipality of Darebin there is no evidence that the very unwell child who died, died as a direct result of raw (bath) milk consumption.The milk that was tested found a toxin, not a bacteria. This toxin can be found in lots of other places.

Our food is increasingly processed and devoid of essential minerals and trace elements – goodness really. Pasteurisation of milk destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamin content, denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys vitamin B12, and vitamin B6, kills beneficial bacteria, promotes pathogens and is associated with allergies, increased tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problems in children, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease and cancer.

A ban on raw milk is a knee- jerk reaction to media hype and shouldn’t take place!

 

 

 

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In search of cerebral content

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What happened to the opinion page? Remember The Age  when it was a broadsheet and there were three or more opinion pieces in the middle pages that bordered the letters to the editor. These were lengthy pieces of analysis  on topics relating to current public debate. Usually 800-1000 words of worthy content  engaging the reader and leading to enjoyable swapping of ideas and information among family and friends later in the day. Of course there are still opinion pieces  in The Age but these are poor replacements, and badly positioned so as not to be  easily seen and rarely read.

And as for ABC radio: Jonathan Holmes former host on ABC TV’s ‘Media Watch’ and now a columnist at The Age recently wrote about content in this digital era lamenting the fact that on Radio National, long-form, specialist journalism is being down-sized in favour of the radio equivalent of fast food. This is sad for those of us who like to read and listen to programs that make us think and not just designed to dumb us down.

Article%20Lead%20-%20narrow6376523111ysdvimage_related_articleLeadNarrow_353x0_11ypkf_png1417557002488_jpg-300x0And it’s not just radio, TV and newsprint that are changing for the worse, it’s the cinema too. Reflecting on her 28 years presenting ‘The Movie Show’, retiring presenter Margaret Pomeranz says: the big change has been how much money has come to dominate the industry, with studios bankrolling sequels but not taking risks on smaller films.

And then there’s the publishing industry – same problem, different product. This time it’s books and the wonderful ideas within that are at risk from technology giants such as Google, Amazon and Apple .

The blurb for  Bibliodiversity: A Manifesto for Independent Publishing written by Susan Hawthorne reads:  In a globalised world, megacorp publishing is all about numbers, about sameness, about following a formula based on the latest megasuccess. Each book is expected to pay for itself and all the externalities of publishing such as offices and CEO salaries. It means that books which take off slowly but have long lives, the books that change social 269norms, are less likely to be published.

Independent publishers such as Susan Hawthorne of Spinifex Press are seeking another way. A way of engagement with society and methods that reflect something important about the locale or the niche they inhabit. In  Bibliodiversity Hawthorne writes that Independent and small publishers are like rare plants that pop up among the larger growth but add something different, perhaps they feed the soil, bring colour or scent into the world.

We need to cherish our remaining newspapers, our beleaguered ABC , and nurture our book and movie industries from which we gain so much.  And in the words of author P.D James who died last week: Write what you need to write, not what is currently popular or what you think will sell.

And hang on to the dwindling hope that good content sees the light of day in a world where money, not thought, rules.

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Write what you need to write!

P.D. James on writing:
Screen shot 2014-11-28 at 4.39.11 PM“Write what you need to write, not what is currently popular or what you think will sell.” Continue reading

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