Medical Tyranny in Maryland: Parents Threatened With Jail Time for Not Vaccinating Children
by Mike Adams
(NewsTarget) This is an action item alert for all those who believe in health freedom. State and County officials in Maryland have announced they will send parents to jail if they don't submit their children to forced vaccinations. State Attorney General Glenn F. Ivey has announced he is willing to criminalize parents if they don't bring them to the courthouse to have them injected, on the spot, with vaccines that contain methyl mercury -- a highly toxic nerve chemical that causes brain damage and is linked to autism. The action is backed by Circuit Judge William D. Missouri, Circuit Judge C. Philip Nichols Jr., and the chairman of the Prince George school board, R. Owen Johnson Jr.
Together, these judges and officials have conspired to turn Maryland into a medical police state, invoking the threat of imprisonment in order to achieve a vaccination goal that has more to do with politics than children's actual health or safety. By threatening to imprison parents who object to the supposed health benefits of vaccinations, these state officials are effectively conspiring to cause thousands of children to be separated from their parents -- a move that would create a humanitarian and public health disaster. This thought has not deterred Attorney General Glenn F. Ivey, who said, "We can do this the easy way or the hard way, but it's got to get done." That's the kind of quote that might be uttered by a corrupt police officer pointing a gun in your face and demanding that you do something you don't want to do. Actually, that's not far off base from what the state of Maryland is now asking parents to do: Submit to the harming of their children through the injection of a toxic chemical, all enforced at gunpoint.
These vaccines contain thimerosal, a chemical preservative made, in part, with toxic methyl mercury. This toxic substance was banned decades ago in many countries, but not in the U.S. where corrupt health officials cater to the financial interests of drug companies rather than protecting the public. Read NewsTarget's full report on Thimerosal here: http://www.newstarget.com/011764.html
NewsTarget is launching a grassroots action campaign to file an avalanche of complaints with the relevant Maryland officials, demanding that they reverse their position on this issue and apologize for threatening to throw parents in jail for refusing to have their children forcibly vaccinated. We believe that Attorney General Ivey -- a Democrat -- should be ashamed of himself for invoking such tyrannical actions against his own people, and that judges William Missouri and C. Philip Nichols Jr. should be rebuked for conspiring to threaten the free people of Maryland with imprisonment.
Join NewsTarget in complaining to Maryland officials, in your own words, about this outrageous application of state power against the people. Here's who you can contact:
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley
http://www.governor.maryland.gov/staff.asp 100 State Circle, Annapolis, Maryland 21401-1925 Phone: 410.974.3901 • 1.800.811.8336 • MD Relay 1.800.735.2258 Colm O'Comartun, Director of Governor's Office Fax: (410) 974-3275 Phone: (410) 974-3901; 1-800-811-8336 (toll free)
Maryland Attorney General Glenn F. Ivey
Office of State's Attorney Courthouse, Room 349M, 14735 Main St., Upper Marlboro, MD 20772 Tel: (301) 952-3500/55; Fax: (301) 952-3775
This is the tyrant who is threatening to arrest and imprison parents who fail to get their children vaccinated.
Tel: (301) 952-6115 Phone the Board of Ed. office: 301 952-6308 or fax at 952-6114
Elected by Voters to 4-year terms: R. Owen Johnson, Jr., Chair (chosen by Board in Dec., 4-year term), Dist. 5 Verjeana M. Jacobs, Esq., Vice-Chair (chosen by Board in Dec., 4-year term), At Large Rosalind A. Johnson, Dist. 1 Heather Iliff, Dist. 2 Pat J. Fletcher, Dist. 3 Linda T. Thomas, Dist. 4 Donna Hathaway Beck, At Large Ronald L. Watson, Ph.D., At Large Amber P. Waller,* At Large
Elected by Voters to 4-year term: Jack B. Johnson (D), County Executive, 2010 County Administration Building, Suite 5032 14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772 - 3070 (301) 952-4131 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org web: www.co.pg.md.us/Government/ExecutiveBranch/
Donald Shell, M.D., M.A. Health Officer Headquarters Building 1701 McCormick Drive Suite 200 Largo, Maryland 20774
Tel: (301) 883-7879 Fax: (301) 883-7896
Prince George's County Public Schools 14201 School Lane Upper Marlboro, MD 20772 301-952-6000
ACLU already contacted
NewsTarget has also contacted the Maryland ACLU, who told us that they cannot take action on this issue until a parent is actually arrested and charged. But at that point, they may take an interest in this case.
If you feel passionate about this issue and want to take a stand, we urge you to call, fax or email the officials named above.
Be sure to contact the office of Attorney General Glenn F. Ivey as well as the school board office of R. Owen Johnson Jr. These are key players in this latest example of medical tyranny.
You do not have to live in Maryland to make your voice heard on this issue. This impacts us all, because if Maryland officials learn they can get away with this kind of Big Brother Medicine scheme, other states may be inspired to pull out their guns and try the same thing. It is crucial that we remind these officials of what country they live in, and here in the United States, We the People still demand our freedoms and our right to choose what kind of medicine is best for our children.
The dangers of vaccines
What's clear is that there is a substantial and scientifically validated link between vaccinations and neurological disorders in children. Maryland state officials apparently have no concern over this matter and are enforcing mandatory vaccinations as if the injections were entirely harmless. This myopic view of the safety of pharmaceuticals is typical of state officials and conventional medical doctors, both of whom are almost always influenced to a large degree by the financial aims of powerful pharmaceutical companies. (Doctors, for example, aren't even taught about the dangers of mercury in vaccines and are told that ALL drugs are safe for use on children, even if those drugs have never been tested on children!)
Due to the enormous amount of information now available about the dangers of vaccinations, there is no question that concerned parents have a right -- if not the responsibility -- to consciously object to the harming of their children via such vaccines. Rejecting mandatory vaccinations is one of the most responsible health decisions an informed parent can make. It is, in fact, all the mindless parents who submit to such vaccinations who are demonstrating a complete lack of concern for the health of their children. These are, no doubt, the same parents who feed their children processed foods, soda pop and school lunches (which contain numerous harmful chemical additives such as sodium nitrite, sodium benzoate and artificial food colors).
Join NewsTarget in taking action, and we'll help put a stop to this medical tyranny. If there's one thing state Attorneys General hate worse than parents who won't get their kids vaccinated, it's waking up to an avalanche of screaming angry parents from all across the country who are tired of being criminalized for merely protecting their children from the dangers of vaccines.
Educate yourself. Stay informed and empowered. Do not tolerate medical tyranny in your community or country!
Dissecting A Thimerosal Study
by Heidi Stevenson
(NewsTarget) They're at it again. The campaign to make people believe that vaccines and their preservative, thimerosal, are safe is in full swing. The usual technique of a pseudo-scientific test is being used, with the medical system jumping on the bandwagon. The upshot of the reports is always the same: to belittle the legitimate fear of serious risks.
What's the hoopla?
Susan Jeffrey, news editor of Medscape.com, has produced an article touting "Weight of Evidence Against Thimerosal Causing Neuropsychological Deficits”. On reading the article, it sounds convincing. To top it off, Dr. Paul A. Offitt is quoted as calling the issue of thimerosal a “cautionary tale”. He refers to a “cottage industry of charlatans offering false hope, partly in the form of mercury-chelating agents” to help children with autism. Pretty strong statement, isn't it?
The first point that should be made is that the study in question specifically does not include children with autism. The issue on which Offitt is making his point has absolutely nothing to do with the study.
Who is Dr. Offitt? He serves on the scientific advisory board of Merck and holds a patent on RotaTeq, a vaccine against rotavirus gastroenteritis. It's produced by Merck and has been noted for causing intussuseption, which is intestinal twisting, a life-threatening condition. Merck advocates giving this vaccine to babies aged 6 to 12 weeks, and it is now being routinely pushed by doctors. This new vaccine, with its life-threatening risk, is being given to prevent a disease that usually lasts from 3-8 days. Death from rotavirus gastroenteritis is almost unknown in the U.S. and common only where access to adequate nutrition or clean water is an issue.
So, the expert quoted has made a statement that has nothing to do with the study and he holds a patent on a dangerous vaccine being pushed on tiny babies for a disease that holds almost no risk if they're healthy. Is this the sort of person whose opinion on the issue—especially considering the fact that his statement has nothing to do with the study in question—is worthwhile?
What does the study actually say?
The bottom line, though, should be the quality of the study on which all the hoopla is based. So, let's take a look.
The study was reported by The New England Journal of Medicine on September 27, 2007. First, let's take a look at conflicts of interest of some of its authors:
*Dr. Thompson—the lead investigator—is a former employee of Merck.
*Dr. Marcy has received consulting fees from Merck, Sanofi Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKline, and MedImmune.
*Dr. Jackson received grant money from Wyeth, Sanofi Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKline, and Novartis. He received lecture fees from Sanofi Pasteur and consulting fees from Wyeth and Abbott. Currently, he is a consultant to the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee.
*Dr. Lieu is a consultant to the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunication Practices.
*Dr. Black receives consulting fees from MedImmune, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, and Merck, and grant support from MedImmune, GlaxoSmithKline, Aventis, Merck, and Novartis.
*Dr. Davis receives consulting fees from Merck and grant support from Merck and GlaxoSmithKline.
The article then states, “No other potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.” One must wonder if it might have been easier to identify researchers who don't have a conflict of interest!
Then, we have the fact that the primary concern about thimerosal, that it might cause autism, is not even addressed by the study in question. In fact, it is specifically not included!
Looking at the report of the study itself reveals:
Any child with a preexisting neurological condition was eliminated from the test. However, is it not possible—in fact, probable—that these children are the most at risk from exposure to thimerosal? Any child who developed certain neurological conditions was excluded. These conditions included encephalitis and meningitis. The possibility that thimerosal might cause these conditions was eliminated from consideration. Of the 3,648 originally selected for the study: 959 dropped out. Of these, 68% cited a lack of time. However, there is no consideration for why they couldn't spend the time. The possibility that some of these mothers were overburdened by having children with neurological problems, which is, of course, the focus of the study, simply isn't considered.
13% of these mothers are reported to have been distrustful or ambivalent about the research, but what their bias was is not indicated. Could they have decided not to take part because they noted a bias on the part of the researchers? 512 were eliminated because they "did not meet one or more of the eligibility requirements". (The aforementioned issue of conditions that might predispose to harm from thimerosal or be caused by thimerosal are not considered.) Thus, 1288, 35%, of the children, were eliminated from the study for reasons that, at best, are not adequately documented.
Other children were eliminated for various other reasons. One group excluded was children whose birth weight was under 2,500 grams, about 5.5 pounds. How many babies were eliminated for being underweight is not stated. Babies of this weight are hardly rare and they are not excluded from vaccinations. What legitimate reason could be given for this exclusion?
In the end, only 30% of the originally-selected children were included in the study.
The study itself acknowledges that selection bias might have been a factor in the findings. It acknowledged that interventional treatments for neurological deficits were not considered and that parents had not been trained to assess tics, so reports of such abnormalities may not have been made. Finally, the study noted that autism itself—the condition most often connected with thimerosal—was not considered.
So what are the results on the 30% of children—the ones least likely to be affected by the toxin mercury—who were not excluded from the study? They appear to show sex-related changes in neuropsychological tests, both positive and negative.
According to the article, “An increase of 2 SD [second deviations] in mercury exposure was associated with an average of a 3-point increase in performance IQ among boys and a 3-point decrease in verbal IQ among girls.” Even if this statement is accurate—and the means by which the study excluded children makes that doubtful—the consistency of a three point drop in verbal IQ among girls at the second standard deviation would likely be enough to give most parents second thoughts before subjecting their daughters to thimerosal.
The study also noted an increase in tics, a replication of a result from an HMO. The article suggests that “The replication of the findings regarding tics suggests the potential need for further studies. ”
So, even by excluding 70% of the children, the study itself concluded that there is an indication of risk that should be evaluated further. This is hardly the same as the screaming headline in Medscape claiming that there is no risk from thimerosal.
What does it all mean?
Here's the bottom line: Mercury, which is the dangerous element in thimerosal, is known to be extremely toxic, causing a wide range of neurological disorders and possibly others, including cancer. This is not even open to discussion; it's a statement of fact. It is also known that it accumulates in the body. Thus, each and every exposure to mercury increases the risk of harm. These inescapable facts make it quite clear that any study showing that thimerosal is not dangerous must be playing games. Even if it is not harmful at the doses used in vaccinations, the fact remains that the mercury stays in the body, adding to the toxic load that invariably exists in everyone in this modern age.
Clearly, it is disingenuous to suggest that there is no risk in thimerosal. It doesn't require studies to realize that fact. The study examined in this article shows clearly that those producing it are well paid by the pharmaceutical firms that profit by its use. The flaws in the study are huge. Over two-thirds of its original sample group were eliminated, and many of those eliminated have characteristics that would be more likely to document harm.
Yet, the news media and medical shills for the pharmaceutical industry are already hawking the claims. Worse, they're doing so by using the people in the medical industry who are already deep in the pockets of pharmaceutical firms. This is the reality of most of the medical studies being done and touted today: They are bought and paid for by those who profit from the results. Thus, whatever is necessary to show whatever the profiteers wish to see is done. Could there be any other valid reason for eliminating small babies from this study?
About the author: Heidi Stevenson, Gaia Therapy The author is a practicing homeopath who became concerned with medically-induced harm as a result of her own experiences and those of family members. She says that medicine is the arena that best describes the motto, "Buyer beware." Iatrogenic disease is illness, disability, and death caused by medical practice. It is common, resulting in huge costs to society and individuals. It's possible - even common - to suffer an iatrogenic illness without realizing its source. Heidi hopes to provide information about medically-induced problems, so the public can protect themselves.
I use the homeopathic nosodes for my family and self instead of vaccinations because they're safe, effective and contain no poisonous toxins or extra cancer-causing viruses, bacteria, foreign debris and proteins (unlike vaccinations):
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Each bottle contains complete prevention treatment for a family. 3 pellets per week for 4 weeks, wait 3 weeks and take a final dose. That's it! For additional protection, I also take an additional if directly exposed to someone who is ill. flu Influenzinum for the 2007-2008 as determined by the WHO, World Health Organization, to be the flu in Northern Hemisphere this year. The flu shot and homeopathic Influenzinum are from the same source so covers same virus strains, but homeopathy is safely taken by mouth and not injected and is without preservatives such as mercury.
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The great thimerosal cover-up: Mercury, vaccines, autism and your child's health
by Dawn Prate
You have probably seen your nurse insert a syringe into a large vial, extract some liquid, and then leave a substantial amount of vaccine in the original container. If you've witnessed this seemingly benign procedure, you've seen how vaccine manufacturers are saving money at the expense of public health. In order to store larger amounts of vaccine at a lower cost, companies began offering "multi-dose units" while adding preservatives to prevent contaminations. That way doctors can open and close a vaccine container, inviting germs into the once-sterile solution, while assuring the public that those contaminants are quickly killed by the preservative.
Sound familiar? It's the same story of corporate America's love affair with preservatives. It saves them money, while posing an undue risk to your health. But like many toxic preservatives found in food, a vaccine preservative kills more than just bacteria and fungi; it can lead to extensive neurological damage in your children, and has even been implicated in autism.
Thimerosal is the preservative of choice for vaccine manufacturers. First introduced by Eli Lilly and Company in the late 1920s and early 1930s, the company began selling it as a preservative in vaccines in the 1940s. Thimerosal contains 49.6 percent mercury by weight and is metabolized or degraded into ethylmercury and thiosalicylate. Mercury, or more precisely, ethylmercury, is the principle agent that kills contaminants. Unfortunately, mercury also kills much more than that.
The Department of Defense classifies mercury as a hazardous material that could cause death if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Studies indicate that mercury tends to accumulate in the brains of primates and other animals after they are injected with vaccines. Mercury poisoning has been linked to cardiovascular disease, autism, seizures, mental retardation, hyperactivity, dyslexia and many other nervous system conditions. That's why the FDA rigorously limits exposure to mercury in foods and drugs. Some common sources of mercury include dental amalgam fillings, various vaccines and certain fish contaminated by polluted ocean waters.
The toxicity of mercury has never been in question. The real question is precisely how much mercury-laced thimerosal is toxic, and what are the possible consequences for our children at low doses?
Eli Lilly and Co. supposedly answered this question for us back in 1930. Concluding thimerosal to be of "a very low order of toxicity . . . for man," the company hired its own doctors to perform thimerosal experiments in Indianapolis City Hospital on meningitis patients during a severe outbreak in 1929. This 60-year-old evidence was still quoted on the company's brochures as recently as 1990. Andrew Waters, who is involved in a lawsuit against Eli Lilly, claims that most critical studies on the toxicity of thimerosal were suppressed by the company until now.
That might explain why thimerosal was eliminated in many countries 20 years ago. In 1977, a Russian study found that adults exposed to ethylmercury, the form of mercury in thimerosal, suffered brain damage years later. Studies on thimerosal poisoning also describe tubular necrosis and nervous system injury, including obtundation, coma and death. As a result of these findings, Russia banned thimerosal from children's vaccines in 1980. Denmark, Austria, Japan, Great Britain and all the Scandinavian countries have also banned the preservative.
Eli Lilly stuck to its "scientific" facts, but the truth began slipping between the cracks in 1999. After the number of immunizations rose to 12 to 15 per child, the public finally became privy to the possible dangers of thimerosal. One 1999 study revealed that some infants, due to a genetic or developmental factor, lack the ability to eliminate mercury. Trace amounts of mercury in these infants, when accumulated over several vaccines, could pose a severe health risk. Some vaccines, such as vaccines for hepatitis B, contained as much as 12.5 micrograms of mercury per dose. That's more than 100 times the EPA's upper limit standard when administered to infants.
Hepatitis B vaccines aren't the only immunizations under suspicion. According to Burton Goldberg in Alternative Medicine, scientists are finding stronger and stronger links between thimerosal and neurological damage. One report by Dr. Vijendra Singh of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Michigan found a higher incidence of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) antibodies in autistic children.
The National Vaccine Information Center in Vienna, Virginia, has noted a strong association between the MMR vaccine and autistic features. Reporting similar findings, the Encephalitis Support Group in England claims that children who became autistic after the MMR vaccine started showing autistic symptoms as early as 30 days after vaccination. The diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus vaccine (DPT) given at two, four and six months has triggered autistic symptoms, as well.
When the FDA finally formally released this information in 1999, the news came too little too late for some parents. The damage had already been done.
Links between autism and thimerosal
Autism affects 500,000 to 1.5 million Americans and has grown at an annual rate of 10 to 17 percent since the late 1980s. California found a 273 percent increase in autism between 1987 and 1998. Maryland reported a 513 percent increase in autism between 1993 and 1998 and several dozen other states reported similar findings. Some scientists say the estimated number of cases of autism has increased 15-fold –1,500 percent – since 1991, when the number of childhood vaccinations doubled. Whereas one in every 2,500 children was diagnosed with autism before 1991, one in 166 children now have the disease.
This increase in reported autism cases eerily parallels the increase in the number and frequency of thimerosal-containing vaccinations administered to infants. As of today, children are given as many as 21 immunizations in the first 15 months of life. After a number of scientists and concerned activists noticed the correlation, an investigation was launched to get to the heart of the matter.
Statistical evidence links thimerosal with nervous system disorders
In June 2000, federal officials and industry representatives were assembled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to discuss the disturbing evidence. According to Tom Verstraeten, an epidemiologist who had analyzed the data on the CDC's database, thimerosal appeared to be responsible for a dramatic increase in autism and other neurological disorders. Verstraeten told those at the meeting that a number of earlier studies indicate a link between thimerosal and speech delays, attention-deficit disorder, hyperactivity and autism.
Verstraeten offered no possible cause for this correlation, but held that the statistical evidence linking vaccines and neurological disorders was strong. Dr. Bill Weil, a consultant for the American Academy of Pediatrics, and Dr. Richard Johnston, an immunologist and pediatrician from the University of Colorado, presented similar concerns to the group. However, given no causal relationship, the CDC and industry representatives were quick to discredit the evidence.
Consequently, the CDC paid the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to conduct another study on thimerosal. According to Robert F. Kennedy Jr., this study was fixed in order to "whitewash" previous findings. In its 2001 report, the IOM's Immunization Safety Review Committee did conclude that the link between thimerosal and neurodevelopmental disorders was biologically plausible, though the evidence neither proved nor negated it. The Committee stated that phasing out thimerosal from vaccines was “a prudent measure in support of the public health goal to reduce mercury exposure of infants and children as much as possible.” However, these findings offered no imperative. The data presented at the 2000 meeting was withheld from publication and the link between thimerosal and autism remained "inconclusive."
But what does "inconclusive" mean? Well, that depends on who you talk to. According to the FDA, these "inconclusive" findings negate the risk of a causal relationship between thimerosal and autism. Even Tom Verstraeten, one of the presenters of epidemiological evidence at the CDC meeting, seemingly changed his tune a bit. In 2000, Verstraeten vigorously campaigned against thimerosal based upon his "inconclusive" correlation, but after he was hired by GlaxoSmithKline, the doctor changed his position. The same evidence from 2000, in Verstraeten's eyes, became "neutral" in 2003. After criticism for this apparent flip-flop, Verstaeten wrote a letter to the editor of Pediatrics in 2004 backing the CDC's actions and his own research methods.
Without an imperative to eradicate thimerosal immediately, vaccine manufacturers like Merck & Co. seemingly took their time in reducing thimerosal levels in vaccines. After a large public outcry in 1999, Merck & Co. began decreasing or eliminating the amount of thimerosal in its vaccines. In September 1999, Merck announced that its new line of vaccines were preservative-free, but still continued to distribute the remainder of thimerosal-preserved vaccines until 2001. Only after a congressional inquiry in 2002 did they stop distributing their stockpile. Rep. Dave Weldon, R-Fla., called Merck's actions "misleading."
While officials at the Center for Disease Control claim evidence is lacking to support the possible risks of thimerosal, Dr. Mark Geier, a Maryland geneticist and vaccinologist, along with his son and research partner David Geier, says the CDC has chosen to ignore the science. According to Dr. Geier, more than 5,000 articles have been published that question the safety of thimerosal in vaccines.
The Geiers analyzed the data and determined that the more thimerosal a child receives, the greater his or her chances are of being autistic. The CDC says the Geiers misused information from a CDC database that was not intended to help prove theories. Given no real causal mechanism linking thimerosal and autism, the game seems to have become one of slanting the data to suit the needs of government and industrial interests. Even Verstraeten has admitted that these "inconclusive" findings certainly don't rule out the possibility of finding a link in the future.
Grassroots action against vaccine manufacturers
Given the dearth of health organizations owning up to the dangers of thimerosal, many parents followed their gut instincts and took legal action against vaccine manufacturers. More than 4,200 families have filed lawsuits claiming thimerosal caused injuries to their children. These lawsuits often have two goals: First, to seek reparations for the loss of consortium (basically meaning that an autistic child creates emotional and psychological burdens on their family life), and second, to ensure that these companies exercise more concern for public health and less concern for their own bottom line.
The lawsuits are slow in producing results. The first constraint on these lawsuits is the National Childhood Vaccine Act of 1986. This act stipulates that victims cannot seek redress in the courts without first filing a claim for recovery in the federal Vaccine Court. The statute of limitations for this is within three years of "the first symptom or manifestation of onset or of the significant aggravation of a [vaccine-related] injury."
In the cases of many thimerosal victims, the link between autism and vaccines didn't appear until six years after the first vaccine was administered. While this statute has stopped some claims against vaccine manufacturers, including such big firms as Aventis, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck and Johnson & Johnson, many judges are now allowing suits against Eli Lilly, the maker of thimerosal, to stand. While the Vaccine Act shields vaccine manufacturers, one judge reasons that the legislation does not protect the production of thimerosal because it is a "component."
The burden of proof in court is also extremely problematic for most of these suits. Given the supposed lack of scientific data, lawyers are hard-pressed to prove the link between thimerosal and autism. In what seems like an underhanded move, the CDC sold its data to a private company, ensuring that lawyers could not access it under the Freedom of Information Act.
In the past five years, Congress has also aided vaccine manufacturers, supposedly for "security" reasons. In 2002, a mysterious piggyback on the 2002 Homeland Security bill freed drug companies of liability in lawsuits regarding thimerosal. Called the "Eli Lilly Protection Act" by outraged parents and activists, the then-House Majority Leader Dick Armey told CBS News he snuck the amendment in to keep vaccine-makers from going out of business. Armey claimed it was a matter of national security. "We need their vaccines if the country is attacked with germ weapons."
Ironically, foreign biological terrorism hasn't been a big problem for American citizens, but those whose lives (and the lives of their children) have been affected if not ruined by the harmful effects of thimerisol would undoubtedly say these potentially harmful vaccines are indeed a problem. Armey's piggyback bill was repealed in 2003, but that didn't stop lawmakers from continuing to protect the vaccine industry.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is no stranger to the thimerosal debate, having received $873,000 in contributions from the pharmaceutical industry and $10,000 from Eli Lilly. Frist's position allowed him to attempt to help the industry from the inside, according to Kennedy. Kennedy reports that on five occasions, Frist tried to seal the government's vaccine-related documents and shield Eli Lilly from subpoenas. Frist also introduced a provision in the 2005 Senate Bill S-3 called the "Protecting America in the War on Terror Act," that would effectively insulate the pharmaceutical industry from liability for thimerosal poisoning. Pharmaceutical manufacturers, including Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, Aventis, Weyeth and Eli Lilly, can basically get off scot-free for their actions, even as more and more evidence suggests that top company officials were aware of the possible dangers and did nothing.
A secret memo leaked to the Los Angeles Times reportedly implicates one vaccine manufacturer, Merck & Co., for knowing that thimerosal could pose serious threats to infants. Allegedly, Dr. Maurice Hilleman, one of Merck's top scientists, warned the president of Merck of a possible threat as early as 1991. Dr. Hilleman told executives that six-month-old children receiving regular immunizations frequently received mercury doses 87 times higher than guidelines for the maximum consumption of mercury. Given today's more prudent mercury standards, those thimerosal doses would be 400 times that of safe levels. Dr. Hilleman recommended in the memo that thimerosal be discontinued.
Not only do government and industry officials seem to be trying to downplay the possible harms of thimerosal; the media is also denying the issue coverage. Just recently, ABC flip-flopped on whether it will air interviews with Robert Kennedy Jr., a leading critic of thimerosal. ABC has been accused of suppressing the interviews because of its ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
The thimerosal debate continues
Along with the enormous amount of controversy surrounding this issue, the five-year-old plea for "more research" may have finally produced some results. Burton Goldberg notes that a defect in the myelinization process (insulation of nerve fibers) could explain mercury's propensity to cause autism and neurological damage. This may also account for the frequent development of epilepsy in older autistic children.
Scientists are also working on biological links that support the strong correlations. Researchers at Northeastern University, working with scientists from the University of Nebraska, Tufts and Johns Hopkins University, may have recently found the mechanism by which thimerosal interferes with brain activity. If these researchers are right, vaccine manufacturers could do little to keep the damaging effects of thimerosal hidden.
Pharmacy professor Richard Deth and colleagues found that exposure to thimerosal potently interrupts growth factor signaling, causing adverse effects on the transfer of carbon atoms. These carbon atoms play a significant role in regulating normal DNA function and gene expression and are critical to proper neurological development. Additionally, the scientists recently obtained more insight into the mechanism by which thimerosal interferes with folate-dependent methylation. The mechanism inhibits the biosynthesis of the active form of vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin), a vitamin now being administered to autistic children.
The experts speak on mercury, vaccines and thimerosal
Now all childhood vaccines have at least one mercury-free version, and I urge parents to ask for those versions if they choose to vaccinate their children. Injecting mercury into children, especially infants whose immune systems are still underdeveloped (hepatitis B shots are typically given at birth, before the immune system has developed), can be an assault to the immune system. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Autoimmune Disorders by Stephen B Edelson MD, page 65
In 1999 studies began to surface showing that multi-dose vial vaccines, such as the MMR and hepatitis B vaccines, contained enough thimerosal to expose vaccinated children to 62.5 ug of mercury per visit to the pediatrician. This is one hundred times the dose considered safe by the Federal Environmental Protection Guidelines for infants! Worse yet, some infants will receive doses even higher; because thimerosal tends to settle in the vial. If it is not shaken up before being drawn, the first dose will contain low concentrations of mercury and the last dose will contain enormously high concentrations. If your baby is the unlucky one that gets the last dose, serious brain injury can result… Health And Nutrition Secrets by Russell L Blaylock MD, page 166
Thousands of families say they can demonstrate with videotapes and photos that their children were normal prior to being vaccinated, reacted badly to the vaccines, and became autistic shortly thereafter. The number of vaccines given before age two has risen from 3 in 1940, when autism occurred in perhaps one case per 10,000 births, to 22 different vaccines given before the age of two in the year 2000. Building Wellness with DMG by Roger V Kendall PhD, page 104
We know that certain forms of mercury, such as methylmercury and phenylmercury, are highly lipid soluble, which makes the brain especially susceptible to mercury accumulation. These forms of mercury are found in vaccines as the preservative thimerosal. Once in the brain, it tends to attach itself to protein structures, especially to the cell membrane, where it can disrupt membrane functions.23 By binding to the cell membrane, mercury changes the membrane's fluid-like quality, making it stiffer and causing the cell to age faster.24 The brain is unique in that neurons depend on special microscopic tube-like structures within the cell, appropriately called neurotubules, for their function. These neurotubules are manufactured by the cell from a substance called tubulin. We know that mercury interacts with tubulin causing it to unravel. Studies in rats have shown that doses of mercury corresponding to those seen in humans can cause a 75 percent increase in tubulin inhibition. Health And Nutrition Secrets by Russell L Blaylock MD, page 53
In the case of the susceptible newborn infant and toddler, multiple exposures to mercury-containing and multiple antigen vaccines are highly suspect in the causation of multiple organ injury (Bernard et al. 2000). The GI tract, the liver, the pancreas, the kidneys, the immune system, and the brain are major sites of mercury absorption. Researchers have clearly shown a chronic inflammatory bowel disease due to vaccine strain measles in a subset of children with autism (Thompson et al. 1995; Wakefield et al. 1995, 1999, 2000a,b; Kawashima et al. 2000; Pardi et al. 2000; Uhlmann et al. 2002). Disease Prevention And Treatment by Life Extension Foundation, page 153
Studies of autistic children have frequently shown very high levels of mercury, with no other source but vaccines found for the exposure. These levels are equal to those seen in adults during toxic industrial exposures. Several autism clinics have found dramatic improvements in the behavior and social interactions in children from whom the mercury was chelated. Results depended on how soon the mercury was removed following exposure, but permanent damage can be caused if the metal is not chelated soon enough. Still, even in cases of severe damage, because of the infant brain's tremendous reparative ability, improvements are possible. The problem of autism involves numerous body systems including the gastrointestinal, immune and nervous systems; as a result we see numerous infections and magnified effects of malnutrition. Intrepid workers in the shadows, that is outside the medial establishment, have worked many miracles with these children using a multidisciplinary scientific approach completely ignored by the orthodoxy. Some children have even experienced a return to complete physiological normalcy. Health And Nutrition Secrets by Russell L Blaylock MD, page 166
Mercury and autism mercury toxicity is a suspected cause of a steep rise—a tenfold increase between 1984 and 1994—in diagnosed cases of autism in children around the world, according to some scientists. Specifically, the culprit is thimerosal, a mercury-based compound used as a preservative in vaccines commonly administered to babies and infants. thimerosal-free vaccines are available. If you have a child who will be receiving vaccinations, ask for and make sure thimerosal-free vaccines are used. Kelp, with its essential minerals (especially calcium and magnesium), helps remove unwanted metal deposits. Prescription For Dietary Wellness by Phyllis A Balch, page 198
The pertussis vaccine (DPT) may cause 45,000 cases of autism per year in America, affecting 15 cases out of 10,000 vaccinations; also caused by the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR) that causes mental impairment, gastrointestinal damage, and increased mortality in 6-12 months from impaired immunity; 9 out of 10 cases were not breast-fed; eating dairy products caused parasites in the autistic (take Vermex; contact Dr. Nelson in Mexico for control of parasites in children with autism). There are now over 500,000 victims of autism residing in the United States, in 1994. The pertussis vaccination is not used in Sweden, which has virtually 0 cases of autism, as does Holland. This mental illness afflicts environmentally and socially non-reactive persons, ofwithdrawn personality; with inability to speak, violenttantrums, insomnia, actions such as bolting across aroad with no regard for the dire consequences. May be caused infant antibiotic use in ear infections with subsequent yeast overgrowth, by cumulative genetic Brain damage, Vitamin deficiencies, or milk and additives allergies. Immune disorders in autism include white blood cellneutrophil Myeloperoxidase enzyme deficiency for insufficient hypochlorite ions to kill yeast - genetic type from Chromosome 17 mutation or biotinidase deficiency, or acquired type from lead poisoning, Folic acid or B-l 2 deficiency, infection or leukemias… Anti-Aging Manual by Joseph B Marion, page 450
Multiple vaccinations, especially in newborns, are another major source of childhood mercury exposure because of the mercury-containing thimerosal preservative. Over twenty-two vaccinations are now recommended for children before the age of two! Health And Nutrition Secrets by Russell L Blaylock MD, page 64
In addition, there is some anecdotal evidence that autism may be tied to diet. One theory is that, in very rare cases, a child's immune system could be weakened by the measles-mumps-rubella vaccination (MMR), which is usually administered before a child turns 2. As a result of this weakening, the theory goes, the child's digestive system is unable to break down certain food proteins, leading to abnormal brain development. Proponents of this theory believe that putting the child on a diet that eliminates certain foods, such as wheat and dairy products, could in certain cases reverse the course of the disease. This theory remains speculative, however, and research needs to be done to determine its validity. In fact, a 2001 report issued by an Institute of Medicine committee examining studies about the health effects of the MMR vaccine in young children suggests that there is no proven link between the vaccine and autism. The committee recommends that there be no change in immunization practices that require children to be immunized during early childhood. The Immune Advantage by Ellen Mazo and Keith Berndtson MD, page 292
Rather than calling for an all-out immediate ban on thimerosal-containing vaccines, they suggested that parents continue to have their children vaccinated with mercury-contaminated vaccines until new stocks of uncontaminated vaccine could be made available. Here are two doctors' unions that had to be beat over the head with an overwhelming amount of data that mercury-contaminated vaccines were harming children far worse than the actual diseases against which the vaccine was intended to protect them, only to have them suggest that parents continue to harm their children just to satisfy their vaccination obsession. Are you surprised to discover that recent investigations have found that several doctor-members of vaccine boards were either receiving grants from vaccine manufacturers or held stock in the companies? They were willing to sacrifice the health of millions of children just to fill their pockets with cash. These people should be looking through bars, not serving on boards. Health And Nutrition Secrets by Russell L Blaylock MD, page 167
Vaccines may afflict 45,000 cases of autism per year in America, which afflicts 15 victims in every 10.000 births: there are now 5 00,000 of these victims in the U.S. In Sweden not using the pertussis vaccine, there is virtually no autism (and likewise in Holland). Anti-Aging Manual by Joseph B Marion, page 600
Many symptoms of autism are similar to those of mercury poisoning. Immune dysfunction, visual disturbances, and motor dysfunction are seen in both. Treating autistic children for removal of mercury and other heavy metals has shown significant improvement in their autistic symptoms. Most autistic individuals have poor liver detoxification, low antioxidant levels, and low levels of glutathione. Vaccines are effective, but the production and use of vaccines should proceed more cautiously. Currently manufactured vaccines still contain harmful substances like mercury. The link between vaccines and autism is far stronger than the medical community is willing to admit, and more research in this area should be an urgent priority. Building Wellness with DMG by Roger V Kendall PhD, page 105
Studies indicate that autism may be the result of adverse reactions to childhood vaccinations. Dr. Alan Cohen, an environmental physician from Connecticut, notes that high levels of autism and attention deficit disorder (ADD) did not occur until the mandatory use of childhood vaccinations, and suggests that there may be a connection between certain vaccines and the onset of these conditions. Complete Encyclopedia Of Natural Healing by Gary Null PhD, page 46
Almost from the inception of vaccination programs, manufacturers added a mercury preservative called thimerosal to vaccines. The practice continued until recently, and was stopped only because of the outcry from thousands of concerned parents and numerous experts in the field. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Practice did not warn parents or pediatricians that the mercury was dangerous until they were forced to. That mercury was toxic to cells had been known for over sixty years, but manufacturers apparently were more worried about lawsuits… Health And Nutrition Secrets by Russell L Blaylock MD, page 165
In fact, a 2001 report issued by an Institute of Medicine committee examining studies about the health effects of the MMR vaccine in young children suggests that there is no proven link between the vaccine and autism. The committee recommends that there be no change in immunization practices that require children to be immunized during early childhood. Another disorder affecting the brain, Alzheimer's disease, may also have an immune connection. Alzheimer's is a degenerative disease that slowly attacks nerve cells in the brain. It eventually results in the loss of all memory and mental functioning. Scientists are currently investigating the role that the immune system plays in producing an overabundance of the amino acid glutamate, a powerful nerve-cell killer. Another immune connection that researchers are investigating is the idea that Alzheimer's might be triggered, in part, by a virus. The Immune Advantage by Ellen Mazo and Keith Berndtson MD, page 292
In the past 10 years, the number of autistic children has risen between 200 and 500 per cent in every state in the U.S. This sharp increase in autism followed the introduction of MMR vaccine in 1975. Representative Dan Burton's healthy grandson was given injections for 9 diseases in one day. These injections were followed by autism. A Physicians Guide To Natural Health Products That Work By James Howenstine MD, page 267
"Probably 20% of American children, one in five, suffers from a "development disability'," according to Harris Coulter, Ph.D., Founder and Director of the Center for Empirical Medicine, in Washington, D.C. "This is a stupefying figure and we have inflicted it on ourselves. 'Development disabilities' are nearly always generated by encephalitis. And the primary cause of encephalitis in the U.S. and other industrialized countries is the childhood vaccination program. To be specific, a large proportion of the millions of U.S. children and adults suffering from autism, seizures, mental retardation, hyperactivity, dyslexia, and other branches of the hydra-headed entity called 'development disabilities' owe their disorders to one of the vaccines against childhood diseases." Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 1101
Martin noted that the increased incidence of chronic fatigue syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, and other behavior-linked illnesses "may be an inadvertent consequence of stealth virus vaccine contaminants." AIDS And Ebola by Leonard Horowitz, page 493
Just for perspective if we go back to 1971 up to 1980, we see that California consistently added 100 to 200 new cases a year; but in the year 2002, California added 3,577 new cases. Since 1980, the documented start of California's autism epidemic, the number of new cases has steadily increased. If we break down those statistics it means that from 1994 to 1995, California only added on average 2 new autistic children a day into its system. In 2001, it was a rate of 8 new autistic children added a day; in 2002, it jumped up to 10 children a day. mercury-containing vaccines are still in use today, including the most recently recommended addition to the childhood immunization schedule, 2 shots of flu vaccine for infants, bringing the total number of vaccines up to 41 in California that a child will receive before the age of two. It will take a few years to start seeing the effect of the phasing out of the mercury-containing preservative thimerosal from childhood vaccines on this autism epidemic. Many symptoms of autism are similar to those of mercury poisoning. Immune dysfunction, visual disturbances, and motor dysfunction are seen in both. Treating autistic children for removal of mercury and other heavy metals has shown significant improvement in their autistic symptoms. Most autistic individuals have poor liver detoxification, low antioxidant levels, and low levels of glutathione. Building Wellness with DMG by Roger V Kendall PhD, page 105
Since the 1990s, there has been a tenfold or 1000-percent increase in autism, an increase which has been linked by some researchers to the organic mercury preservative commonly found in baby vaccines. A greatly increased incidence of juvenile diabetes has been correlated to specific vaccination sequences and to the number of vaccines given. In some Australian Aboriginal communities, every second child died shortly after vaccination. The Natural Way to Heal by Walter Last, page 309
The best current estimates are that autism occurs in 40 to 67 children per 10,000 live births. This means that the prevalence of autism has increased 1,000 percent in the last decade. According to the latest figures just released in January 2003 by the California Department of Developmental Services, California experienced an astounding 31 percent increase in the number of new children… Building Wellness with DMG by Roger V Kendall PhD, page 104
It has been publicly suggested in the UK Sunday Times, 30th September 07, by one of Britain’s most senior scientists, Professor Colin Blakemore, (the out-going chief executive of the government funded Medical Research Council), that humans should be used as guinea pigs by chemical companies to cut the costs and time of developing medicines.
Professor Blakemore insists that extensive and expensive trials on animals could be cut by up to 90%. This could be done by testing new drugs directly on patients instead of wasting time on animals. Additionally fewer people need to be trialed before approval. It is claimed the current animal drug trials methodology involves extensive experiments, costing hundreds of millions of dollars and takes up to 10 years to bring to the market place.
The professor admits that his proposals raise ethical issues about placing the advancement of medical science and development of new drugs before the welfare of individual patients. Professor Blakemore admits that there are ethical problems because people are actually acting as guinea pigs. He says, “The new approach is not only for the benefit of the individual but for the broader good of the community”.
He also claims, “Patients ought to feel a duty to take part in medical trials”. He added, “It will be done with the full understanding and consent of the individuals”.
It is interesting that a retiring senior member of Britain’s Medical Research Council should express such a controversial opinion. The pharmaceutical multinationals have an appalling record with drug testing already, without such a risky and perilous suggestion being actively promoted.
As a naturopath I have often commented upon my concerns about the long term testing of new drugs. It seems very few medicinal drugs available from pharmaceutical companies have been truly long term tested before being placed on the market. (Despite regulations to the contrary).
Most people are unaware that for many years drugs have already been tested on patients, we are already guinea pigs!
How often a doctor has pulled a packet or bottle from his drawer during a visit and said,” try these and let me know how they go”. Don’t do it, you are being guinea pigged!
These giant multi billion dollar drug conglomerates were originally supposed to have their new products tested by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, the FDA is generally regarded as toothless, infiltrated by ex drug company employees and overwhelmed by a constant supply of new drugs, so the drug companies are often doing their own testing, with predictable results.
According to a report from the FDA, 797 of the 1231 trials supposed to have been commenced last year have yet to start. They also reported the obvious fact that failure to complete tests could place consumers at risk.
Generally the regulators monitor drug safety through voluntary reporting by doctors and pharmacists on any side effects, a system that has obvious drawbacks. This pattern causes a severe under reporting, leading both doctors and patients to believe drugs are much safer than they really are.
The subject of drug testing has long been a cause of suspected cover-ups and lies by multinational companies.
There are literally dozens of reports of humans being tested with new drugs in third world countries, mostly without being told what the drugs were for and not being advised of their right of refusal. In 1996 Reuter’s news agency reported the drug company Pfizer tested an unapproved drug Trovan on children in Nigeria. Five children died and many contracted brain damage and arthritis.
This year the Nigerian government finally attempted to sue Pfizer, who of course deny everything.
In England two years ago six backpackers were tempted by an offer of $5,000 each from the drug company TeGenero who apparently were aware of great concern over the dangers of the drug, TGN1412, but went ahead with the tests anyway. In the process they destroyed the lives of the six volunteers and their families.
According to Time magazine, (April22nd 02) since 1997 even pesticide makers have submitted more than a dozen human studies to the Environmental Protection Agency. Time reports as recently as nine years ago college students in Nebraska, America were offered $460 each to swallow a pill containing pesticide.
The results were found to cause brain damage, weakness and vomiting and the pesticide concerned, chlorpyrifos, was subsequently banned.
Genuine long term tests now appear to be virtually non existent. It seems to be ‘let’s get the drug out in the market and see what happens!’
A classic example is the new Merck drug Gardisil recently released when it was only approved less than a year ago. It is to suppose to prevent cervical cancer in young girls and women. There are already a long list of complaints and side effects from Gardisil all over the world, including a reported five deaths. The Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS) currently shows 82 reactions ranging from seizures to black-outs. It is still being heavily promoted and even being suggested as suitable for young boys. That would seem to be a desperate wild card to create an ‘ill for a pill’ and surely difficult to justify.
An important fact that seems to have been totally missed is nobody, anywhere, appears to have tested the long term reactions in the body of more than one drug being taken at the same time.
There is growing evidence that the public need to be much more aware of the dangerous possibilities in a cocktail of drugs.
If he thinks volunteering is a ‘duty’ it would be interesting to see if Professor Blakemore would offer himself as a guinea pig.
Michael is a naturopath with nearly 30 years experience and is now semi-retired. Michael has 13 published books on various health topics. Michael would be delighted to make contact.
As ClinicalTrials.gov reveals, in 2005, Massachusetts General Hospital conducted an 8-week trial study that recruited children as young as four years old to be drugged and monitored, including having their blood drawn, to see if their tiny four-year-old bodies would tolerate a powerful psychotropic drug (Seroquel).
Here's more from ClinicalTrials.gov: This is an 8-week open-label study aimed at assessing the effectiveness and tolerability of Quetiapine, in the treatment of preschool children aged 4 to 6 years with bipolar and bipolar spectrum disorder. This is an exploratory, pilot study, seeking to determine whether Quetiapine is efficacious and well tolerated in the treatment of preschoolers with pediatric bipolar and bipolar spectrum disorder in this age group.
Ages Eligible for Study:4 Years - 6 Years, Genders Eligible for Study: Both
Subject must be able to participate in mandatory blood draws.
Massachusetts General Hospital, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02138, United States; Recruiting
Joseph Biederman, MD, Principal Investigator
Chemical child abuse In my view, this exploitation of young children for drug testing amounts to nothing less than chemical child abuse. What possible medical justification could these doctors, hospital staff and drug pushers have for prescribing mind-altering drugs to four-year-olds? Even the "disease" being treated here is entirely fictional. So-called "bi-polar disorder" was wholly invented by psychiatrists with strong financial ties to drug companies. The purpose of this disease is not to help children, but to sell drugs to anyone and everyone, including toddlers. I often wonder when the rest of the country will wake up and notice that the mass-drugging of our nation's children has gone too far. Why isn't the mainstream media giving this front-page coverage? Why aren't lawmakers demanding an end to the chemical abuse of our children? Why isn't the FDA halting these trials on toddlers out of plain decency?
You already know the answer: Because they're all making money from this chemical assault on our nation's children. The doctors, hospitals, drug companies, psychiatrists and mainstream media all profit handsomely from the sales of mind-altering drugs to children. Ethics will never get in the way of old-fashioned greed, even when we're talking about the health and lives of four-year-olds.
Modern psychiatry, with all its false authority, drugging of children and rampant disease mongering, is an affront to all people who believe in honest medical science and basic human decency. Armed with the DSM-IV, on-the-take psychiatrists invent diseases out of thin air (like "bi-polar disorder"), then vote official treatment protocols into the reference books. Yet a recent review of such decision panels reveals that one hundred percent of the psychiatrists and doctors involved in such decisions have financial ties to the drug companies that coincidentally happen to manufacture the recommended drugs.
This is a life-threatening scandal of such proportion that it deserves a Dept. of Justice investigation, complete with criminal charges being brought against many of these so-called "doctors." To characterize this as a crime against humanity is not an exaggeration.
Blatant quackery Let's face it: Modern psychiatry and its incessant disease mongering amounts to quackery at its worst. This group both invents the diseases, then hawks the snake oil that "treats" those diseases. And underneath it all, there's absolutely no physiological evidence of any such diseases at all. They can be diagnosed in children on a whim, based on a mere sixty seconds of casual observation combined with the biased opinion of a drug-pushing psychiatrist being bribed by Big Pharma. This is not medicine, folks. And it's certainly not science. It's just plain medical fraud. Yet the whole of conventional medicine goes along with it, pretending that nothing is amiss. Doctors, hospitals, FDA bureaucrats, teachers and even many parents just pretend that all these mysterious brain chemistry diseases have spontaneously appeared in the world over the last ten years, suddenly afflicting tens of millions of children. And thank goodness the drug companies just happened to have invented all these treatment drugs at the exact same moment in history when these psychiatric diseases became so widespread! Imagine the odds...
Where are the skeptics on this issue? Where are the quack busters on the drugging of our children? The silence is deafening. They have nothing to say about the lack of science behind psychiatric disease mongering. They aren't skeptical at all. Clear thinking, it seems, isn't allowed when the conclusions might question the institutions of modern medicine. And thus, the skeptics reveal themselves as little more than purveyors of medical dogma; protectors of a drug-the-children medical cult that demands unquestioning obedience to its profit-minded beliefs.
Good science has long since left psychiatry. And if you want to know the true, horrifying history of the mental health industry, visit the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights. Prepare to be shocked.
Born psychotic Psychiatry believes there is no child too young to diagnose as having psychiatric disorders. It won't be long before psychiatrists will be hanging out in delivery rooms, declaring children to be mentally diseased at birth (because they keep crying, obviously) and immediately injected with powerful mind-altering drugs. To psychiatry, human life has no value other than the possibility of creating a new paying customer, and every new birth is seen as another opportunity for dispensing profitable drugs. There's no end to the evil that psychiatry might do in the years ahead. As long as society continues to give psychiatrists carte blanche to invent fictitious diseases, there is no human behavior, emotion or condition that's safe from being labeled a pathology. So-called "adult ADHD screening tests" label a whopping 80 percent of participants with the disease. Behavioral disorders screenings for children demonstrate similar numbers. And the things that can get you labeled as "diseased" are all too mundane: Feeling overwhelmed, feeling distracted by modern life, handling too many projects as once, being afraid of public speaking, feeling shy in social situations... gee, is there anyone who doesn't experience these sooner or later?
But it wasn't enough to attempt to drug up all the adults, you see. Modern psychiatry had to expand its markets, and that meant reaching younger and younger "customers." A couple of decades ago, they started drugging teens with antidepressant drugs. Then they attacked younger schoolchildren with Ritalin. Now they're targeting preschoolers, and the trend is clear: Children will soon be "born psychotic" if psychiatry has anything to do with it.
Years ago, the giant soda companies handed out baby bottles emblazed with the logos of their flagship soft drink products. The idea was to get mothers to feed their infants soda instead of infant formula, thereby altering the taste of the infant for life, creating a lifelong consumer of soft drinks. When I first uncovered this disturbing report, I thought it was perhaps the most evil thing a corporation could do to the health of infants. But now, psychiatry takes the prize.
Using four-year-olds as guinea pigs to test psychotropic drugs is more than merely unethical; it's predatory. It's Nazi-esque in its use of human beings for medical experiments, and yet it remains strangely acceptable across society. Child Protective Services does nothing. Hospitals gladly run the trials (they get paid, of course). Psychiatrists and doctors happily drug these children, observe them, then draw their blood, all in the name of corporate profits. And thus, they all join the long and sordid history of human medical experimentation that demonstrates ethics, or human lives, or plain decency will never get in the way of the forward march of medicine.
The complicity of conventional medicine is astounding. The American Medical Association, to my knowledge, says nothing skeptical about disease mongering by psychiatry. Few doctors see any problem at all, and fewer still have the courage to speak out. The FDA, which is supposed to protect people, gladly approves one psychotropic drug after another, even for use on toddlers. Lawmakers take campaign finance contributions from drug companies and look the other way, and the mainstream media continues publicizing fictitious diseases, lending them false credibility and creating customer demand for dangerous drugs.
Only a handful of doctors, authors, organizations and celebrities dare tell the truth on this issue, and they are singled out for incessant ridicule. Take Tom Cruise, for example. Although he speaks the truth about the drugging of children, he is endlessly dragged through the mud of public opinion simply because he expresses authentic passion for ending this chemical child abuse. Cruise should be applauded for his efforts, not ridiculed.
Let's hospitalize the psychiatrists When it comes to mental health, there is one group of people in this country that truly needs to be drugged: The psychiatrists. Because to practice psychiatry today, and to support the mass drugging of toddlers and schoolchildren, is to demonstrate a deep-rooted madness that may justify chemical restraint. To drug toddlers, or to use them for medical experiments, should be rightly regarded as a crime. And there's no question whatsoever that the children of our nation would be safer, healthier and happier if the practice of modern psychiatry simply disappeared. Besides, the real cause of depression, mood swings, emotional disorders or other so-called "diseases" mostly comes down to diet and lifestyle. Remove the food additives and refined sugars from a child's diet, and he returns to normal in about two weeks. Feed children healthy oils, live foods, whole grains and superfoods, and you automatically create energetic, curious, fast-learning children who need no drugs. Give children some sunshine, play time and some time with nature, and you get balanced, healthy children. It's no secret, it's just common sense.
But psychiatry has no common sense, and no one in the industry dares mention that most so-called mental disorders are really just caused by nutritional imbalances. Because to admit to the truth about the mental health of children would be to render their careers irrelevant. And no psychiatrist is going to commit career suicide by admitting that bi-polar disorder was just made up, or that toddlers need good food, not expensive drugs. Just like conventional doctors, psychiatrists have to protect their egos and revenue streams, and that means convincing parents that little Johnny has a brain chemistry imbalance and he'll have to take psychotropic drugs for life. The parents, as gullible as ever, naively go along with the scam, usually after being frightened into compliance by a psychiatrist who warns them what might happy to little Johnny of they don't drug him. "He might commit suicide," they're sternly warned.
Will the scams of modern medicine never cease? Is there no child too young to be targeted for medical experiments? Will the sinister desire for Big Pharma profits ever be balanced against basic human decency?
Probably not. The world has, indeed, gone half mad. And psychiatry is standing by, ready to drug everyone, regardless of their age or mental health status.
Human medical experimentation in modern times: How immigrants, poor people, minorities and children are modern-day guinea pigs for Big Pharma (part one) by Dani Veracity
"The concentration camps were used as a huge laboratory for human experimentation," says Wolfgang Eckhart, professor of Historical Medicine at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. During the Holocaust, Bayer, Hoechst, BASF and other German pharmaceutical and chemical companies combined into a powerful cartel known as Interessengemeinschaft Farbenindustrie Aktiengesellschaft (IG Farben). As well as manufacturing everything from the deadly gas used to kill Holocaust victims, the gasoline used to move war vehicles and the explosives used to bomb enemies and conquer Europe, IG Farben was also trying its best to put a large number of highly profitable new drugs on the market and used concentration camp prisoners as human guinea pigs to do so. Now, over 60 years after the Holocaust, we'd all like to think that society is above such cruelty, but in reality, human experimentation is still a common practice in modern medicine. Big Pharma operates by many of the same rules and motives as IG Farben did, and the test subjects are still the most vulnerable members of society -- the poor, immigrants, minority groups and children.
"Few doctors dispute that testing drugs on people is necessary. No amount of experimentation on laboratory rats will reliably show how a chemical will affect people," David Evans, et al. writes in the Bloomberg article "Drug Industry Human Testing Masks Death, Injury, Compliant FDA". Doctors have recognized the importance of human experimentation since the days of Hippocrates, though the ancient Greeks used it to benefit individual patients rather than science itself or any profit-driven industry. In 1833, William Beaumont, the army surgeon physician who pioneered gastric medicine with his study of a patient who'd sustained a gunshot wound that left his digestive system permanently exposed, established the importance of human experimentation as long as it is with the subject's consent.
However, sometimes it's difficult to find human test subjects, especially for studies involving pain or high risk. In the 1930s, research scientists discovered a solution to their difficulty in finding willing test subjects: Don't ask for their consent. In the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study, the United States Public Health Service diagnosed 200 black men with syphilis and, rather than treating or even informing them of their illness, used them as human guinea pigs to study the symptoms and progression of the disease. Today, as the University of Virginia Health System writes in its online documentary "Bad Blood", "The Tuskegee Syphilis Study has become a powerful symbol of racism in medicine, ethical misconduct in human research, and government abuse of the vulnerable."
During the Holocaust, IG Farben trumped the moral depravity of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. Why use and abuse only 200 unwilling human test subjects when you can choose from the multitudes imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps? IG Farben callously used concentration camp inmates of all ages for painful, debilitating and often deadly experiments. Because of this, medical experimentation has become synonymous with injustice, cruelty, prejudice and total disregard for human life. Today, few people would try to justify or support IG Farben's medical experiements, but the sad truth is that modern human medical experimentation is in many ways similar to the horrors carried out by IG Farben.
Experimental drug testing centers During the Nuremberg Trial, Dr. Waldemar Hoven, the Nazi doctor who gave lethal injections to his patients at Buchenwald, gave the following account of the medical experiments he and other concentration camp physicians performed: "It should be generally known, and especially in German scientific circles, that the SS did not have notable scientists at its disposal. It is clear that the experiments in the concentration camps with IG preparations only took place in the interests of the IG, which strived by all means to determine the effectiveness of these preparations. They let the SS deal with the -- shall I say -- dirty work in the concentration camps. It was not the IG’s intention to bring any of this out in the open, but rather to put up a smoke screen around the experiments so that ... they could keep any profits to themselves. Not the SS but the IG took the initiative for the concentration camp experiments." Like IG Farben, Big Pharma doesn't perform its own experiments. Instead, it doles out the "dirty work" to experimental drug testing centers, some of which confine test subjects for portions of the study. In a Bloomberg article entitled "Miami Test Center Lures Poor Immigrants as Human Guinea Pigs", Argentinian immigrant Roberto Alvarez describes the eight days he spent confined to the Miami-based SFBC testing center: "It can be weird inside. It's like a jail."
In many ways, it is like a jail. In Miami's SFBC, which is the largest center of its kind in North America, test subjects sleep six to a room in double-decker beds. They even have uniforms to wear -- purple drawstring pants and T-shirts, much like the uniforms of concentrate camp victims. Dr. Hoven's criticism of IG Farben's experiments in Nazi concentration camps could easily be directed to Big Pharma's human experiments. In fact, it has. "Some test centers, FDA records show, have used poorly trained and unlicensed clinicians to give participants experimental drugs. The centers ... sometimes have incomplete or illegible records," David Evans, et al. writes.
Informed consent? Even though the FDA has required informed consent of test subjects since 1981, many people believe that researchers often don't fully explain risks and potential side effects, so as not to deter potential test subjects. "Human subjects are in very short supply, so it's not surprising that under the growing pressure to find them, there are sometimes terrible ethical violations," says Marcia Angell, who was editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine from 1999 to 2000. The centers meet the legal requirements of informed consent by providing an informed consent form, but the form may be written in a language the potential subjects do not fully understand because they are immigrants, who make up a large portion of human test subjects. Even if they are written in the subjects' native language, the forms may be long and dominated by obscure technical jargon. In "Drug Industry Human Testing Masks Death, Injury, Compliant FDA", Argentinian immigrant Roberto Alvarez admits, "The thing I pay most attention to when filling this thing out is this: How much it pays and how long it takes. I don't read them too carefully," while skimming through a 12-page consent form. The Nazi doctors didn't even bother with consent forms. Why waste time when you can just force-feed concentration camp inmates a pill or inject them with an experimental substance? "I remember one of the SS doctors holding my jaw open and forcing pills down my throat," Auschwitz survivor Zoe Polanska Palmer told BBC Radio 4 reporter Mark Handscomb in It's My Story. Granted, giving potential subjects long consent forms written in language they can't fully understand is better than shoving pills down someone's throat, but it still seems unethical and it can still put human life at risk.
Even Kenneth Lasseter, the executive medical director of the SFBC experimental drug testing center, admitted in the Bloomberg article, "It's clear to me. Perhaps it needs to be explained more." Lasseter was speaking of the consent form for an experimental drug that may treat overactive bladders. "The goal of this study is to determine the highest daily dose of TD-6301 that will not cause an undesired increase in heart rate." Yes, that wording may be clear to Lasseter, but it may not be clear to the average test subject. "They're saying it backwards to a population that may not be of the highest education level. The real purpose of the study is, 'We're going to make you sick in order to find out at what level you get sick when given this drug.' Obviously, they don't want to say that," University of Miami bioethicist Ken Goodman told David Evans, et al..
Preying on immigrants and other poverty-stricken individuals During the Holocaust, the Nazis confined the marginalized sectors of society -- Jews (including children), gypsies, homosexuals, the mentally ill and the mentally retarded -- into camps that became human guinea pig-filled laboratories for IG Farben's experimental drug studies. Today, marginalized populations still make up a large portion of experimental drug test subjects; however, socioeconomic factors, rather than concentration camp authorities, make them more likely to sell their bodies to Big Pharma. It's no accident that SFBC, the largest experimental drug testing center in North America, is located in Miami. According to the St. Petersburg Times, Miami-Dade County "is the only county in the country where more than half the residents are foreign-born." After immigrants come to Miami from countries like Cuba, Colombia, Haiti, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Argentina and Mexico, they need money, yet experience the employment limitations that little or no fluency in English, little education, unfamiliarity, prejudice and, in some cases, lack of a work permit brings. With few other options available, these immigrants find one of the few legal jobs that doesn't require any amount of English proficiency or education and may even accept forged social security cards: Professional guinea pig.
Many immigrants participate in multiple, simultaneous drug studies. Combining these experimental drugs is a recipe for disaster "because researchers don't know how the different chemicals interact or what side effects the mix may have on a person," according to the Bloomberg article "Miami Test Center Lures Poor Immigrants as Human Guinea Pigs". However, given the fact that some studies only pay $25 per day, what else are the truly marginalized subjects supposed to do? "It's not the job I would choose, but financial circumstances require you to do it sometimes,'' Venezuelan immigrant Oscar Cabanerio told Bloomberg.
Human medical experimentation on children: The exploitation of poor children by Big Pharma (part two) by Dani Veracity
The crimes committed against children define some of the Holocaust's most morally despicable horrors. In It's My Story, Palmer told Handscomb of the abuses she received as a 13-year-old at Auschwitz. As a result of the damage done to her body by the contraceptive drug experiments forced upon her at Auschwitz, she had to undergo several painful surgeries immediately following the war and, even after the surgeries, Palmer remained unable to bear children for the rest of her life. Today, in her 70s, Palmer has cancer. Now, no one can say for certain whether or not Palmer's cancer is linked to the medical experiments she underwent roughly 60 years earlier, but it is a likely possibility. Exposure to drugs and other chemicals produces extremely negative effects on children, especially those who are even younger than Palmer was during the experiments.
In the April 2004 Pediatrics article "Trends in Environmentally Related Childhood Diseases," Tracey Woodruff, et al. writes, "Children may be particularly susceptible to exposures in utero or during early life because the fetus' or young child’s physiology is undergoing rapid development, such as rapid cell division, changing metabolic activity, and evolving hormonal systems."
With this in mind, running experimental drug studies on children seems especially dangerous and thus horrendous, yet it is still a common occurrence even in modern society. In her Nov. 30, 2004 BBC News article "Guinea Pig Kids" and her subsequent documentary of the same name, Jamie Doran reveals New York City's Administration for Children's Services' (ACS) little-known practice of using HIV-positive children kept in the city's orphanages and foster care homes as human guinea pigs for experimental AIDS drugs. For his documentary and article, Doran interviewed Jacklyn Hoerger, a pediatric nurse who worked at the Catholic Church-run Incarnation Children's Home in Harlem. Hoerger maintains that social work authorities never told her that the drugs she and the other Incarnation employees were administering the orphans and foster care children were experimental. "We were told that if they were vomiting, if they lost their ability to walk, if they were having diarrhea, if they were dying, then all of this was because of their HIV infection," she said to BBC.
In reality, these symptoms were due to the experimental drugs that the workers were giving them. When BBC asked him his opinion on the experimental drug studies done on New York City's orphans and foster children, University of Berkeley visiting scholar Dr. David Rasnick explained, "We're talking about serious, serious side effects. These children are going to be absolutely miserable. They're going to have cramps, diarrhea and their joints are going to swell up. They're going to roll around the ground and you can't touch them." According to BBC reporter Doran, Dr. Rasnick went on to call the experimental AIDS drugs that were given to the children "lethal." If children refused to take them by mouth, workers at Incarnation force-fed them the drugs through feeding tubes inserted into their stomachs.
It's no doubt that these HIV-positive and AIDS symptomatic children needed medication. The question is why were they given experimental drugs, rather than the same medications that a child living in an expensive brownstone on the Upper East Side would have received? In the words of Alliance for Human Research Protection spokesperson Vera Sherav: "They tested these highly experimental drugs. Why didn't they provide the children with the current best treatment? That's the question we have. Why did they expose them to risk and pain, when they were helpless? Would they have done those experiments with their own children? I doubt it." Furthermore -- when you consider the fact that, according to the BBC article, 99 percent of the children in New York City children's homes are either African American or Hispanic -- issues of race and prejudice also come into play.
Hoerger told BBC that she didn't realize what was going on until she later took two children from Incarnation home as foster children. As a trained pediatric nurse, she decided to take the two children she was caring for in her home off the medications given to them while at Incarnation. This resulted in "an immediate boost to their health and happiness," according to BBC. However, soon after her decision, ACS came to her home and took the children out of her care. She was then labeled a child abuser in court and, after that, she never saw the children again.
Performing medical experiments on children is a serious accusation. Realizing this, while working on his documentary and article, Doran went to Incarnation for its side of the story, but it only referred him to its public relations firm. The expensive Manhattan firm told him that it didn't give comments about what goes on inside the home. In light of these accusations, former ACS Commissioner John B. Mattingly ordered a comprehensive review of all ACS records. By early April, based on the records they had examined, ACS staff members revealed just how common the experimentation Hoerger described at Incarnation was throughout the city:
Between 1988 and 2001, 465 foster care children and orphans were used in experimental AIDS drug trials. Most of these children participated before 1996. The majority of HIV-positive children living in New York City were diagnosed from the mid-1980s through the mid-1990s. The highest number of AIDS-related deaths among New York City children happened from 1990 to 1995. The 465 children used in the studies were in approximately two dozen different independent agencies operating under contract to ACS. Then, on Apr. 22, 2005, ACS sent out a press release stating that it had "contracted with the Vera Institute of Justice to conduct an independent review of ACS policy and practice regarding the enrollment of HIV-positive children in foster care in clinical drug trials during the late 1980s and 1990s." It also asserted: "The last child to enter an HIV-related clinical trial while in foster care did so in 2001. There are no ongoing HIV-related clinical trials involving children in foster care in New York City." This directly contradicts the conclusion Doran writes in his 2004 article: "The experiments continue to be carried out on the poor children of New York City." ACS maintains that it ordered the studies with the best interest of HIV-positive children in mind. "The purpose of the drug trials was to develop effective treatments for pediatric AIDS, at a time when there were no known, FDA-approved medications available to treat children with the disease, and many children were dying," reads the press release. As proof of the gravity of the AIDS crisis ACS faced when conducting the trials, the press release cites the following figures from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene:
Out of the 13,927 HIV-positive children under age 13 nationwide prior to 2003 (according to CDC estimates), the percentage of HIV-positive children in New York City was "the highest by far of any jurisdiction in the country." From 1979 through 2003, 3,634 children living in New York City and under the age of 13 were HIV positive. Even though ACS believes that its decision to give the experimental AIDS drugs to the 465 foster children and orphans was not wrong, it is nevertheless ordering the Vera Institute to conduct the independent study, so as to assure the public and the media. As Commissioner Mattingly explained, "We are taking this step because, while we believe that the policies in place at the time reflected good practice, we acknowledge the need for transparency in all of our dealings with the public. In order for us to be effective in our mission to protect New York City’s children, we must have a sense of mutual trust with those families we seek to serve." According to the press release, the Vera Institute "will research ACS policies and procedures to ensure that HIV-positive children and children with AIDS who were in the care of ACS were appropriately enrolled in the correct clinical drug trials." This includes finding out whether: ACS obtained consent from the children's parents or other guardians before enrolling them in the experimental drug studies. The children enrolled in the trials met the medical criteria to do so. ACS adequately and properly monitored the children who were enrolled. Enrollment was "appropriate based on sound medical knowledge at the time." As of an Oct. 5, 2005 update to its web site regarding the analysis, the Vera Institute still had not completed its investigation. It writes that it is "assembling an advisory board of medical, child welfare, legal, and community experts to review our findings and assure the public of the independence of our research." Meanwhile, in its description of the project, the Vera Institute acknowledges both sides of the controversy: "Opponents of involving foster children in clinical trials -- where the risks and benefits are often unknown -- worry that this highly vulnerable population may be too-easily neglected or even exploited. When it comes to children of color, in particular, they point to historic examples where the health care system has acted in discriminatory and prejudicial ways.
"On the other hand, those who favor including foster children in clinical trials argue that enrollment can provide high quality care and cutting-edge medicine to children who otherwise would receive only routine medical services. In this view, excluding foster children unfairly bars them from the best the medical profession has to offer."
It will be very interesting to see the Vera Institute's findings -- which are, according to the Institute itself -- "part of Vera's mission to improve government systems." "We hope that the information we provide will contribute to the public debate that will help shape future policies regarding clinical trials and children in government custody," the site reads. On a national level, between 12,000 and 13,000 children under the age of 13 have participated in National Institutes of Health-sponsored AIDS drug trials from 1986 to 2005.
Even though the Vera Institute's findings are not yet complete, the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Apr. 8, 2005 cancellation of its Children's Health Environmental Exposure Research Study (CHEERS) shows what a combination of intense opposition from environmental and public health groups (as well as a little help from Congress) can do to end experimentation on poverty-stricken children.
Child medical experiments at the EPA In October 2005, the American Chemistry Council gave the EPA $2.1 million to study how children ranging from infancy to three years old ingest, inhale or absorb chemicals. Like IG Farben was for the German pharmaceutical companies of Nazi Germany, the American Chemistry Council acts much like a front group for chemical industry bigwigs like Bayer (which was incidentally also a member of IG Farben), BP, Chevron, Dow, DuPont, Exxon, Honeywell, 3M, Monsanto and Procter & Gamble. Studies have already proven that the chemicals made by these companies have long-term effects on children and adults. A short, two-year study like CHEERS would of course fail to reveal these long-term effects and the American Chemistry Council could then publicize these findings as "proof" that its chemicals were safe. This represents an ethical problem in itself, but the demographic of the proposed child test subjects worsen the issue, especially in light of the use of foster children (the majority of which were African-American and Hispanic) by both the New York City ACS and the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. According to the EPA's original study proposal, portions of which were reprinted by the Organic Consumers Association, test subjects would be chosen from six health clinics in Duvall County, Fla. Given the characteristics of these health centers, page 23 of the study proposal itself highlights that minority children from low-income families would be the likely test subjects: "Although all Duval County citizens are eligible to use the [health care] centers, they primarily serve individuals with lower incomes. In the year 2000, seventy five percent of the users of the clinics for pregnancy issues were at or below the poverty level ... The percentage of births to individuals classified as black in the U.S. Census is higher at these three hospitals than for the County as a whole."
In fact, the health care centers report that 51 percent of their births are to non-Caucasian mothers, and that 62 percent of mothers received only elementary school or secondary school educations. If the EPA were to have proceeded with CHEERS, children born to these health care centers would have been used as human guinea pigs simply because they belong to minority groups and poverty-stricken families. In return for allowing their children to be exposed to toxic chemicals, the families were to have received $970, a free video camera, a T-shirt and a framed certificate of appreciation.
Fortunately, the EPA decided not to go through with CHEERS, once U.S. Senators Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) decided to put their feet down and block President Bush's nomination of Stephen Johnson for head of the EPA. In his Apr. 8 statement, Johnson reversed the EPA's earlier decision to await a report from an independent science advisory panel before making a decision about CHEERS. He explained his decision as being a result of public and media "misrepresentations" of the study:
"Last fall, in light of questions about the study design, I directed that all work on the study stop immediately and requested an independent review. Since that time, many misrepresentations about the study have been made. EPA senior scientists have briefed me on the impact these misrepresentations have had on the ability to proceed with the study.
"I have concluded that the study cannot go forward, regardless of the outcome of the independent review. EPA must conduct quality, credible research in an atmosphere absent of gross misrepresentation and controversy."
Boxer, who says that she will continue to oppose testing toxins on humans, called CHEERS an "immoral program to test pesticides on children" and "a reprehensible idea that never should have made it out of the boardroom" in her statement to the Associated Press following Johnson's decision. Luckily, unlike Tuskegee, the study was stopped before anyone got hurt.
Human medical experimentation in modern times: Silencing the victims (part three) by Dani Veracity
Even though it is openly denying any wrongdoing, New York City's ACS (Administration for Children's Services) deserves some credit for taking the effort to investigate its past involvement in medical experimentation on humans and contracting the Vera Institute of Justice to conduct an independent review. IG Farben "daughter" companies like modern Bayer, though openly denying connection to IG Farben's war crimes, have also made an effort to help human medical experiment victims. These companies have worked with the German government to set up a compensation fund for those Holocaust survivors who lived through the gruesome medical experiments to which they were subjected by their captors. According to a Bayer spokesperson who was quoted in Handscomb's It's My Story, "The company's contribution to this fund amounted to more than £40 million (over $70 million)." On the other hand, as Handscomb points out, some Holocaust victims have had to campaign to receive money from this fund for decades. Palmer, for example, fought to receive compensation for 28 years, yet received nothing from authorities until her story received media attention. As Handscomb writes, "Within weeks of the authorities being contacted by the BBC, Zoe received a check for a little over £2,000 (approximately $3,500) from the German compensation fund."
In contrast to both ACS and Bayer, SFBC is both failing to acknowledge wrongdoing and trying to silence test subjects. According to a Nov. 20 Seattle Times article by original Bloomberg drug experiment exposé authors Evans and Michael Smith, SFBC threatened three of the experimental drug test subjects they interviewed for their Bloomberg series. According to the threatened participants who now wish to remain anonymous, shortly after the Bloomberg articles were published, SFBC placed them in separate rooms with SFBC officials, including Chief Executive Arnold Hantman. While keeping them confined, Hantman used profanity and told the foreign-born participants that he would call the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and have them deported if they didn't agree to sign statements saying that the Bloomberg reporters who had interviewed them hadn't clearly said they would publish an article or use their photographs, thus undermining the credibility of the Bloomberg exposés. Though they signed the statements, the test subjects told Smith and Evans that they only did so out of fear of getting arrested and deported, and that they would be willing to tell their story to U.S. Senate investigators.
SFBC denies the information revealed in the Bloomberg articles "Drug Industry Human Testing Masks Death, Injury, Compliant FDA" and "Miami Test Center Lures Poor Immigrants as Human Guinea Pigs". In a conference call, SFBC President Lisa Krinsky said of the articles, "Approximately 99 percent of the information that was documented regarding SFBC is a total fabrication, and the remaining one percent was entirely misquoted."
If SFBC officials in fact threatened the test study participants, it is injustice upon injustice. As Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, explained in the Seattle Times article, "It's clearly beyond the pale to bully and coerce people because they reported ethical violations. It's simply heinous to try and cover up misdeeds with these actions."
On this note, though human medical experimentation is a valuable part of science, its ethics are questionable at best. For this reason, it is important for the Office for Human Research Protections, organizations like the Vera Institute of Justice and human rights activist groups to make sure that test subjects are not being exploited, especially when these subjects include children, immigrants, poor people and other groups that are especially susceptible to exploitation. Humanity and the public good should always be given priority over profit.