National Public Radio Sells its Soul to Big Pharma

By, Gary Null, PhD and Richard Gale

Febuary 19th, 2010


The American public is confused. They no longer know who or what to believe concerning the efficacy and safety of the H1N1 flu vaccine and, by extension, all vaccines. We have been told vaccines are not only effective and safe but are absolutely necessary to prevent widespread epidemics. Those who refuse vaccines are labeled irresponsible and denialists, even “crazy” by more fanatical voices in pro-vaccine community.

If we write or call our legislators, either Republican or Democrat, or our health officials and public health services to ask basic questions such as whether or not there is an authentic pandemic, is this the big one, or how can we be assured the flu vaccines are safe, we are reassured that our top officials at the Centers for Disease Control, the FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services are unanimous in their affirmative reply to each question. So the public gets vaccinated and parents have their children inoculated with a sense of assurance that no one would put financial interests ahead of public health and protection regarding something as serious as a dangerous flu pandemic. But, is the public being told the truth?

Our entire body politic has been compromised. Thirty thousand lobbyists representing pharmaceutical industrial complex’s interests, plus numerous private consultants from foundations, professional medical associations and think tanks, work overtime to influence and purchase almost every health initiative. The pharmaceutical industry alone has bought many of the most respected minds in both medicine and science. Similar to retired generals employed by the military industry, these vaccine “experts” appear on major media, from MSNBC to Fox, as independent voices of reason without having to divulge conflicts of interest with the drug industry. The media then becomes nothing more than a coveted vehicle for corporate propaganda.

It is only the rare legislator, scientist, physician or journalist who acts beyond official statements to seek truth. And when they do discover the official position is at odds with that truth they frequently have the difficult task to be seen or heard. This is indeed the case when it comes to vaccines and the H1N1 pandemic.

A careful review of scientific studies about the H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines reveals neither has been proven significantly effective nor at all safe by any legitimate gold standard. We can no longer trust the political process in our federal health agencies that are responsible for overseeing and funding the private and institutional research when it comes to vaccine science and policy. A case in point is a recent commentary on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Joanne Silberner, a noted and respected health policy journalist for NPR with impeccable credentials, recently reported on the benefits of vaccines on NPR’s February 8th airing of Morning Edition. It is a shame that such a crucial topic on the minds of many Americans would be treated amateurishly, consistently ignore scientific objectivity and represent corporate interests. Silberner relies solely upon the voices of a group of the vaccine industry’s most favored scientists and spokespersons with known collaborative and financial relationships with private vaccine makers . They have also been deeply involved in the CDC’s vaccination policy and vaccine approval for the nation.

A leading source for Silberner’s attack on parents’ concerns regarding vaccination is an article published in the Journal of Pediatrics authored by these very same vaccine opinion leaders. The authors includes Paul Offit from the University of Pennsylvania, the same man who made the thoroughly irresponsible, erroneous public statement that a child can tolerate 100,000 vaccinations. Other authors include faculty members from the University of Washington and Vanderbilt — two of the more heavily funded and supported research institutions funded by government health agencies and vaccine makers. Both institutions are regular centers for carrying out the CDC’s and NIAID’s scientifically faulty clinical trials to manipulate vaccine efficacy and safety. Finally, the paper is co-authored by scientists from the NIAID. This agency is responsible for one of the worst vaccine trials performed in collaboration with two of the H1N1 vaccine manufacturers–Novartis and Sanofi Pasteur– to prove the H1N1 vaccine’s efficacy and safety in pregnant women  Bracing Ourselves for More Sham Vaccine Studies</a>).

You do not have to be expert in vaccine science to realize the intentional manipulation of science for ideological reasons in the NIAID’s H1N1 clinical trials. How were the studies designed? First, any pregnant woman spiking a temperature over 100 degrees during the first 72 hours after receiving the vaccine were excluded from the study. Second, omen with diabetes, compromised immune systems, chronic illnesses, past histories of antidepressant, drug and alcohol use, cancer therapy, and over a dozen other indications were rejected from enrollment. Yet the NIAID press release following the study declared the H1N1 vaccine was safe for all pregnant women, and the media happily obliged to report this.

The novelist Upton Sinclair wisely described the character of Silberner’s vaccine “experts” when he wrote, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.” Denial of real science is an epidemic today in the vaccine industry and among its supporters at the federal health agencies and the institutions that support them. Last December, the New York Times reported on an alarm raised by the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services, Daniel Levinson, over the CDC’s failure to screen outside vaccine experts over conflict of interest issues with vaccine makers. The HHS report found 64 percent of the advisors influencing the nation’s vaccine policies had financial ties to private industry. Another 13 percent of active experts never reported their associations. These are the sources Silberner relies upon to assure her listeners and readers that vaccines have value and are safe.

Silberner accepts the CDC’s assumptions that babies’ immune systems are capable of handling an onslaught of vaccines. But she bases this only on mathematical calculations determining antibody production in order to generate an immune response that were conducted by Dr. Marcuse at the University of Washington. However there has been no clinical proof to confirm this assumption because no gold standard clinical studies have ever been performed to measure either short or long term effects in any group of children receiving multiple vaccinations simultaneously. Instead the pro-vaccine contingent has relied on a handful of poorly designed studies and questionable mathematical data to fuel its sound bites against its opponents and to influence policies to protect vaccine makers from liability.

There remains a crucial question that has never been satisfactorily answered by the pro-vaccine community. Does the body generate an identical immune response when infected with a wild virus as it does when introduced to a vaccine virus intravenously? This is a question not unknown to our vaccine policy makers. During an FDA Scientific and Regulatory Perspective Workshop gathering of the nation’s top vaccine proponents and experts, which was closed to the press, one participant stated, “when you consider that almost every one of these vaccines is injected right into the tissue… I think you couldn’t do much more to get the DNA expressed [a reference to the numerous known and unknown genetic contaminants, including viral carcinogens, in vaccines that were the primary subject of the Workshop’s meeting] than to inject it into a muscle the way it is being done.” By relying on antibody load, Silberner is blindsided by focusing only upon a small slice of the body’s many activities following vaccination. Other processes are involved besides identifying and measuring antibodies, such as the biomolecular regulatory functions required to generate an antibody and subsequent cascading events when a slurry of unnatural ingredients are introduced intravenously into the body. Proper study of vaccination requires a systems approach, measuring how many interrelated biomolecular processes interface and react when exposed to a vaccine virus.

A very important discovery that is being further validated by independent research is the relationship between wild viruses and vaccinations to abnormal cytokine levels. Cytokines are naturally occurring immunomodulating substances carrying signals between cells to induce a response from the immune system. They also play a role in the development of a fetus and abnormal cytokine levels have been associated with a wide range of diseases such as neurological and developmental disorders and diabetes. We are now learning that vaccination can interfere with normal cytokine activity. An onslaught of vaccinations into a child or pregnant mother can induce what is known as a “cytokine storm” that can have long term detrimental effects, including chronic illnesses and schizophrenia according to a 2009 article appearing in the Frontiers of Behavioral Neuroscience. A 2002 study published in Vaccine showed that the Hepatitis B vaccine actually generated mutant cytokine variants. Another study in the Journal of Laboratory Clinical Medicine found that individuals vaccinated with a Salmonella vaccine exhibited abnormal IL-6 levels associated with atherosclerosis and a disruption of insulin metabolism. The DTP vaccine in a 2004 study found cytokine irregularities leading to urinary tract diseases.

Countries such as Japan and Sweden have shown in their national epidemiological studies that spacing vaccines and starting vaccination after a child reaches 24 months, reduces serious adverse effects, including the rise of many neurological disorders. Extensive Japanese studies published in the Japan Journal of Infectious Diseases have shown conclusively that spacing out vaccines and commencing vaccination later in a child’s life dramatically decreased autism spectrum disorders rates. Vaccine schedule regimens can be very different in other developed countries compared to the US, which has the world’s most aggressive vaccine regimen. This fact should not be completely separated from other statistics showing the US leads the world with the highest rates of childhood asthma and allergies, autism spectrum disorders, diabetes, various cancers and other autoimmune diseases.

Even the health officials at the Department of Defense are coming to this conclusion. According to one figure, children in military families have a higher autism rate than the civilian population, approximately 1 in 67 compared to Harvard University’s most recent survey of 1 in 91 as the national average. The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology acknowledges that “exposure to mercury in utero and in children may cause mild to severe mental retardation and mild to severe motor coordination impairment.” Military health officials also suspect that the growing number of vaccines assaulting children are having a negative cumulative effect on children’s health. Of course, as Dr. Frank Anders, a former Command Surgeon of the US Army Special Operations Command in Africa, explained to us, unlike the federal health agencies such as the CDC and FDA, it is illegal for military health officials and scientists to have any vested interests with private drug makers. Therefore, there is more objectivity nurtured in the military to consider unpopular causes for the growing rates of disease and illnesses among children in military families.

Silberner quotes Dr. Saad Omer, another fanatical vaccine advocate with strong industry ties and an advisor to the CDC, that vaccines are “cleaner” now. This only pertains to vaccines containing less viral antigens. It ignores the other ingredients used to manufacture and preserve vaccines. Moreover, it is a known fact by all vaccine experts that there is no such thing as a pure sterile vaccine, especially vaccines that require virus culturing on animal based media such as fertilized chicken eggs, dog and monkey organs. In such vaccines, smaller genetic fragments from other viruses and bacteria common in these substrates, are unable to be filtered out. Among these genetic residues, are oncogenes (genetic fragments causing cancer) and genetic information from many known and unknown viruses harbored in animal tissue that would otherwise never enter a child’s bloodstream naturally. Dr. Leonard Hayflick, a virologist from Stanford University who has participated in closed CDC sessions on vaccine safety has stated that the medium used for primary cultures in vaccine production has created a situation where it is “apparent that these cells contained many unwanted viruses, some of which are lethal to humans.” These genetic fragments can be highly volatile and can recombine with DNA in other body cells causing unknown long-term damage, adverse autoimmune reactions and inflammatory conditions that can go unnoticed for years before manifesting as symptoms of a disease. A thorough investigation about the CDC meetings to address known and unknown contamination in vaccines can be found in our report

Silberner also fails to inform her listeners and readers that while some vaccines may contain fewer antigens than in the past, they require other agents to trigger or boost an immune response. This is where adjuvants play a role in vaccine efficacy. The omission of this vital detail is incomprehensible. Viral fragments alone are unable to produce the sufficient immune response being propagandized by Omer. Therefore other ingredients with a certain affinity to given vaccine virus are added to trigger the body’s response to a foreign viral agent. The two most common adjuvants today are the highly neurotoxic aluminum hydroxide or alum, and the oil based squalene derived from the oil of shark livers. Squalene has yet to be approved in the US; however, it is being positioned for approval following a recent FDA press release announcing that squalene would enable more rapid vaccine manufacturing in the event of a real pandemic. A fundamental reason behind squalene’s health risks can be found in conclusions drawn from research at Tulane University Medical School and the prestigious Karolinska Institute in Sweden. These studies confirmed that squalene is one of the primary causes for the several 100,000 inflammatory adverse effects, including rheumatoid arthritis, in the anthrax vaccine given to Gulf War veterans.

Finally, Silberner supports the old repeated myth that the vaccine miracle is responsible for the reduction of infectious diseases that once wreaked havoc on populations. In the case of measles, mortality rates had already dropped almost 99 percent from the 1830s to the time the vaccine was first introduced to the public. This is rather remarkable and a clear indicator of the value of better sanitation, food, preventative health, cleaner energy and households and public spaces in reducing measles’ infectious rates and mortality when taken into consideration that measles was already dipping towards zero while the American population grew rapidly with immigration and a boom of newborns.

No, Ms. Silberner, there is no miracle associated with vaccination. The miracle is found in the wisdom of the human body’s intelligence and rigor to defend itself from the criminal onslaught of vaccines our health officials and their masters in the vaccine industrial complex inflict on the American citizens. How much better it would have been at NPR to allow a scientist, physician or educated vaccine journalist to have appeared with Silberner to have offered a counter point of view to provide balance to listeners. But now we see that even NPR has allowed itself to become just another propaganda arm of special interest groups in the private vaccine industry.

Richard Gale is the Executive Producer of the Progressive Radio Network and a former Senior Research Analyst in the biotechnology and genomic industries. Dr. Gary Null is the host of the nation’s longest running public radio program on nutrition and natural health and a multi-award-winning director of progressive documentary films, including Vaccine Nation and Autism: Made in the USA. Dr. Null is also the plaintiff on a law suit against the FDA to prevent the launch of the swine flu vaccine until safety studies have been thoroughly conducted