by Vera Sharav
Alliance for Human Research Protection
APPENDIX 9: of L’Affaire Wakefield: Shades of Dreyfus (Dr. Andrew Wakefield: Fraud or Scapegoat?)
[Fully referenced pdf copy of Appendix 9]
The exponential increase in the autism/autism spectrum prevalence rate since 1985 (1 in 2,500) to (1 in 45) in 2916, is evidence of an epidemic, not, as the deniers will have it, “an optical illusion” or “a statistical mirage”:
“today a million and more Americans, almost all under thirty, have been formally diagnosed with autism…Most with an autism diagnosis will never [lead normal lives] or be responsible for their health and welfare. Both the increase and the burden it imposes are widely recognized by thousands of parents and frontline professionals such as nurses and teachers. Yet some of the most prominent and powerful people in medicine, the media, and government deny it.”
[DENIAL: How Refusing to Face the Facts about Our Autism Epidemic Hurts Children, Families, and Our Future, Mark Blaxill & Dan Olmsted 2017]
Are children’s right to a normal life being sacrificed as collateral damage to protect high utilization of vaccines?
The focus of this appendix is how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the vaccine industry control vaccine safety assessments, control the science of vaccines and control the scientific and mass channels of information about vaccines.
These primary stakeholders gained control by establishing an elaborate web of collaborating institutional partnerships which they fund. The collaborating institutional stakeholders include:
- the American Academy of Pediatrics,
- the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI, UK),
- the World Health Organization (WHO -Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS)),
- the European Medicines Agency (EMA),
- the European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control (ECDPC),
- the Brighton Collaboration and the Brighton Collaboration Foundation,
- the Cochrane Collaboration,
- the Institute of Medicine,
- the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS),
- the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) which is bankrolled by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and
- the World Bank and others.
Numerous additional industry front groups are popping up on social media to spread vaccine propaganda, such as the European Health Parliament (EHP, situated in Brussels, created in 2017). EHP is bankrolled by Johnson and Johnson and is affiliated with Google, Politico. [See Appendix 10]
All of these institutions became de facto stakeholders in promoting vaccination policies while presenting themselves as independent authoritative sources of information about vaccine safety.
Through this elaborate network of collaborative partnerships, industry gained global control of vaccine safety assessments – which are applied as the single standard, used mostly to rule out a causal relationship between vaccination and serious adverse events following vaccination. These centrally controlled assessments are applied indiscriminately in all cases, disregarding individual human susceptibility factors.
One of the intended features of these collaborating partnerships is to camouflage the identity of the funding source for vaccine research and professed independent reviews of vaccine research. Medical journals, as the editor-in-chief of The Lancet, Dr. Richard Horton acknowledged, “devolved into information laundering operations for the pharmaceutical industry.” Indeed, the BMJ (British Medical Journal) entered into undisclosed partnership agreements with both major vaccine manufacturers. In 2008, BMJ and Merck entered into partnership and in 2016, BMJ and GlaxoSmithKline formed a partnership as well. Additionally, vaccine stakeholders control the vast channels of propaganda – including Google, which has formed a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline.
The financial interest of these collaborating partnerships conflicts with the tenets of medical ethics and scientific integrity – such as transparency and independent assessment of the data. The consequences of these ill-suited partnerships are demonstrated by evidence of corrupt vaccine safety assessments; evidence of harm following vaccination is either concealed or defined as non-related; journal publications are corrupted by fraudulent reports, and honest scientific findings are suppressed. The entire web of vaccine stakeholder- collaborations is geared toward issuing uniform vaccine safety pronouncements that promote vaccination policies crafted to ensure high vaccination rates, translating to ever higher profit margins.
Much of the evidence is documented in thousands of internal CDC documents (some were obtained in 2011); additional CDC internal documents were obtained in July 2017. The evidence is also documented in transcripts of closed-door meetings, such as the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) at Simpsonwood (2000); the Institute of Medicine Committee on Immunization Safety Review (2001); and the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI, 1990). These documents were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Evidence was also gathered in the course of a criminal investigation of Dr. Poul Thorsen by the U.S. Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
What Did CDC Officials Know About Thimerosal; When Did They Know It, & What Did They Do About It?
In 1974, the FDA convened a panel of experts to conduct a comprehensive review of the safety and effectiveness of over-the-counter medicines. One facet of the review was OTC drugs that contained mercury whose function was to kill bacteria to prevent infection. In 1980, the Advisory Review Panel submitted its report to the FDA, having reviewed 18 products containing mercury. It found the products either unsafe or ineffective. The report cited several studies demonstrating human hypersensitivity to thimerosal:
“mercury compounds as a class are of dubious value for anti-microbial use. Mercury inhibits the growth of bacteria, but does not act swiftly to kill them.”
“The Panel concludes that thimerosal is not safe for OTC topical use because of its potential for cell damage if applied to broken skin, and its allergy potential. It is not effective as a topical antimicrobial because its bacteriostatic action can be reversed.”
After the determination by the FDA advisory committee, Eli Lilly chose to cease production of Thimerosal-containing products. Despite the evidence, Thimerosal continued to be added to vaccines. In 1990, Professor Hans Wigzell, Rector of the Karolinska Institute, Sweden, and member Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine, wrote “Difficult to Substitute Mercury as a Preservative in Bacterial Vaccines”, in which he recommended that:
“a study [be conducted] to show if there is a difference in general toxicity when uptake of mercury is from the stomach-intestines or after injections…This should be studied in relation to the tremendous large number of subjects vaccinated with preparations containing thimerosal sodium; Our goal is to develop, as soon as possible, vaccines completely free of mercury.”
In 1991, Dr. Maurice Hilleman, an internationally renowned Merck vaccinologist, wrote a memo to the president of Merck’s vaccine division stating:
“6-month-old children who received their shots on schedule would get a mercury dose up to 87 times higher than guidelines for the maximum daily consumption of mercury from fish. When viewed in this way, the mercury load appears rather large. The key issue is whether thimerosal, in the amount given with the vaccine, does or does not constitute a safety hazard. However, perception of hazard may be equally important.”
The FDA delayed issuing its final rule on thimerosal until 1998, stating: “safety and effectiveness have not been established for the ingredients (mercury based preservatives)… manufacturers have not submitted the necessary data in response to earlier opportunities.” The rule, however, applied only to OTC products.
In 1991, Dr. Peter Aaby, Director of the Bandim Health Project, a demographic surveillance system (in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa), which is affiliated with the Statens Serum Institute, identified non-specific adverse vaccine effects which go beyond the specific protective effects of the targeted disease. He noted that these non-specific effects can be beneficial or harmful. Dr. Aaby has conducted a series of comparative “natural studies” of vaccinated and unvaccinated children in high-mortality regions in rural Africa, that consistently confirmed that:
- “Though a vaccine protects children against the target disease it may simultaneously increase susceptibility to unrelated infections.”
The First Large-Scale Scientifically Sound CDC Epidemiological Study
The 1999 CDC study sought to determine the relative risk for infants following exposure to thimerosal-containing childhood vaccines was conducted by Dr. Thomas Verstraeten and three CDC colleagues who examined the evidence documented in CDC’s Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD). They analyzed the medical records of 400,000 infants born between 1991 and 1997 that were maintained by four HMOs and assessed the risk of autism for the children at different ages.
This was a scientifically solid study; it provided scientific documentation that: exposure to thimerosal during the first month of life increased the relative risk of autism by 7.6 i.e., 760%.
The VSD data revealed additional risks as well: 1.8 increased relative risk for a neurodevelopmental disorder; 2.1 relative risk for speech disorder; and 5-fold increased relative risk for a nonorganic sleep disorder. The evidence documents that infants exposed to vaccines laced with thimerosal during the first month of life are at alarmingly high increased the relative risk of serious harm.
In December 1999, Dr. Verstraeten sent an email to his co-authors and CDC colleagues, Dr. Robert Davis and Dr. Frank DeStefano; the subject line was “it just won’t go away”. The email attachments included four tables with relative risk data and the Abstract of their study findings, that he was submitting for a presentation, at the high level (by invitation only) meeting, convened by CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service, at Simpsonwood Retreat Center in Georgia (2000).
- The title of their study: “Increased Risk Of Developmental Neurologic Impairment After High Exposure To Thimerosal-Containing Vaccine In First Month Of Life.”
The meeting was chaired by Richard Johnston, M.D., an immunologist and pediatrician (University of Colorado) who stated:
“The data on its toxicity (shows) it can cause neurologic and renal toxicity, including death. We learned [sic] a number of important things about aluminum, and I think they also are important in our considerations today.”
“Aluminum salts are important in the formulating process of vaccines, both in antigen stabilization and absorption of endotoxin. Aluminum and mercury are often simultaneously administered to infants, both at the same site and at different sites.”
“However [sic] there is absolutely no data, including animal data, about the potential for synergy, additively or antagonism, all of which can occur in binary metal mixtures that relate and allow us to draw any conclusions from the simultaneous exposure to these two salts in vaccines…” [p. 19-20]
Dr. Verstraeten began his presentation by stating: “what I will present to you is the study that nobody thought we should do.” The study categorized the cumulative effect of thimerosal-containing vaccines administered to infants after one month of life and assessed the subsequent risk of degenerative and developmental neurologic disorders, and renal disorders before the age of six. Dr. Verstraeten stated that ALL of these relative risks were statistically significant.
And he noted that:
“mercury at one month of age is not the same as mercury at three months, at 12 months, prenatal mercury, later mercury. There is a whole range of plausible outcomes from mercury.” When asked about the risk of aluminum, he stated: “the results were almost identical to ethylmercury because the amount of aluminum goes along almost exactly with the mercury one.”
Following the presentation, Dr. Roger Bernier (Associate Director for Science NIP) stated:
“We have asked you to keep this information confidential….Consider this embargoed information.”[p. 113]
It is clear from the EIS transcript that the response to Dr. Verstraeten’s research findings differed between pediatricians, who were genuinely concerned about the hazards of both Thimerosal and aluminum, whereas officials of government and non-government organizations (NGOs, that are dependent on government and industry support, such as the World Health Organization), focused on the threat to vaccination policy and the risk of litigation.were intent on burying the data and maintaining secrecy about the findings.
Pediatricians focused on the risks, public health: Dr. William Weil, represented the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) stated:
“moving from one month or one day of birth to six months of birth changes enormously the potential for toxicity. There are just a host of neurodevelopmental data that would suggest that we’ve got a serious problem. the potential for aluminum and central nervous system toxicity was established by dialysis data. To think there isn’t some possible problem here is unreal.”[p.24]
“Although the data presents a number of uncertainties, there is adequate consistency, biological plausibility, a lack of relationship with phenomenon not expected to be related, and a potential causal role that is as good as any other hypothesized etiology of explanation of the noted associations.
In addition, the possibility that the associations could be causal has major significance for public and professional acceptance of Thimerosal containing vaccines. I think that is a critical issue. Finally, lack of further study would be horrendous grist for the anti-vaccination bill. That’s why we need to go on, and urgently I would add.” [pg. 187 & 188]
“The number of dose related relationships are linear and statistically significant. You can play with this all you want. They are linear. They are statistically significant.” [p.207]
[Dr. Weil may well have been informed by the following research report: Aluminum Neurotoxicity in Preterm Infants Receiving Intravenous-Feeding Solutions in the NEJM (1997) whose authors concluded: “In preterm infants, prolonged intravenous feeding with solutions containing aluminum is associated with impaired neurologic development.” More on aluminum vaccine adjuvants below]