A necessary shot of truth from Bobby Kennedy, Jr. MCM
Instead of demanding blue-ribbon safety science and encouraging honest, open and responsible debate on the science, too many online outlets are silencing critics and shutting down discussion on this key public health and civil rights issue
Incoming kindergartener Jeremy Conner, 5, reacts to a Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccination (MMR) as his father Mark Conner tries to comfort him August 26, 2002 in Santa Ana, California. (Photo: David McNew/Getty Images)
Late last year, Slate published an investigative report detailing how pharmaceutical giant, Merck, used “flawed” and “unreliable” pre-licensing safety studies to push through approval of its multi-billion-dollar bonanza, the HPV vaccine. For veteran safe vaccine advocates, like myself, the most shocking aspect of the expose was that Slate published it at all. Slate and other liberal online publications including Salon, Huffington Post and The Daily Beast customarily block articles that critique vaccine safety in order, they argue, to encourage vaccination and protect public health. Motivated by this noble purpose, the liberal media—the supposed antidote to corporate and government power—has helped insulate from scrutiny the burgeoning vaccine industry and its two regulators, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Both agencies have pervasive and potentially corrupting financial entanglements with the vaccine manufacturers, according to extensive congressional
Ironically, liberals routinely lambaste Pharma, and its FDA enablers for putting profits over people. Recent examples include Vioxx (100,000 injured—Merck paid more than$5 billion in fines and settlements), Abilify (Bristol Meyers Squibb paid $515 million for marketing the drug to nursing homes, knowing it can be fatal to seniors), Celebrex and Bextra (Pfizer paid $894 million for bribing public officials and false advertising about safety and effectiveness) and, of course, the opioid crisis, which in 2016 killed more Americans than the 20-year Vietnam War. What then, makes liberals think that these same companies are immune from similar temptations when it comes to vaccines? There is plenty of evidence that they are not. Merck, the world’s largest vaccine maker, is currently fighting multiple lawsuits, brought by its own scientists, claiming that the company forced them to falsify efficacy data for its MMR vaccine.
“The absence of critical attention to this exploding industry by liberal online sites is particularly troubling since pharma, using strategic investments, has effectively sidelined, not just Congress, lawyers and courts, but virtually all of our democracy’s usual public health sentinels.”
The Slate article nowhere discloses that FDA licenses virtually all vaccines using the same mawing safety science deficiencies that brought us Gardasil. FDA claims that “vaccines undergo rigorous safety testing to determine their safety.” But that’s not true. FDA’s choice to classify vaccine makers as “biologics” rather than “drugs” opened a regulatory loophole that allows vaccines to evade any meaningful safety testing. Instead of the multi-year double-blind inert placebo studies—the gold standard of safety science—that the FDA requires prior to licensing other medications, most vaccines now on the CDC’s recommended childhood vaccine schedule were safety tested for only a few days or weeks. For example, the manufacturer’s package insert discloses that Merck’s Hep B vaccine (almost every American infant receives a Hep B shot on the day of birth) underwent, not five years, but a mere five days of safety testing. If the babies in these studies had a seizure—or died—on day six, Merck was under no obligation to disclose those facts.
Furthermore, many vaccines contain dangerous amounts of known neurotoxins like mercury and aluminum and carcinogens like formaldehyde, that are associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, autoimmune problems, food allergies and cancers that might not be diagnosed for many years. A five-day study has no way of spotting such associations. Equally shocking, FDA does not require vaccine manufacturers to measure proposed vaccines against true inert placebos, further obscuring researchers’ capacity to see adverse health effects and virtually guaranteeing that more subtle injuries, such as impaired immune response, loss of IQ or depression, will never be detected—no matter how widespread. Furthermore, the CDC has never studied the impacts on children’s health of combining 50 plus vaccines.