Especially pay attention to the very bottom words on the image above...
Especially pay attention to the very bottom words on the image above...
I saw. But this enabled me to appreciate this bigger picture before I was, "educated" to not find it problematic: How companies create biased science and then use it to shape public health policy.
(Note -- this article was originally published on my Compassionate Souls website shortly after my first book came out (about 2001). Neil Miller republished it with permission in his booklet on the Chickenpox vaccine, and 4 years ago I posted it to this blog. I am bringing it to the front of my blog now, because this issue is timely again.)
When I was a child, chickenpox was universally understood to be a generally benign disease in otherwise healthy children. Every spring, chickenpox would wash through the younger grades at my elementary school, and initiate a new group of kids. Most of us remember the disease for its horrendous itching and the occasional scar, but I don't remember any of us fearing it. I grew up accepting Chickenpox as a fact of life, and a normal passage of childhood -- like skinning your knees.
According to the Merck Manual, Chickenpox is a highly contagious infection caused by the
Which one are we being told to fear more?
In the Nuremburg Trials which followed the Holocaust, the court drafted what is known as the Nuremburg Code -- rules requiring the voluntary, informed consent of an individual before they are given a medical procedure or are part of a medical experiment. "Informed consent" has been embraced by the global medical community, and most people consider it a basic human right.
So why would well-meaning people push policies that take away our informed consent?
The Cardiovascular Health Study, a project of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute concluded that all males over the age of 65 exposed to the Western-style diet probably have cardiovascular disease and should be treated as such. Cardiovascular disease costs the US about 1 billion dollars a day in healthcare costs and lost productivity. It's the number one cause of death in our country. Because blocked arteries contribute to many premature deaths, some heart doctors propose that as a public health measure, we put statins in the public water supply -- forcing everyone to be exposed to their risks. Though this might prevent some deaths, it would also deprive everyone of the choice to refuse this medical intervention -- which like ALL medical interventions may have unintended consequences for some. Plenty of people on statins have discontinued them, because of the side effects -- even though not taking them might increase their risk of death.
With most health care we do not have a one-size-fits-all approach. Antibiotics can be life saving. They can also ruin people's health. Differing lifestyles, family histories, and even different times, can make the risk-benefit of any medical intervention unique to each. We also have different values. Joan Rivers died after accepting the small risk of death from elective plastic surgery. She valued looking younger more than avoiding this risk. Some with terminal illnesses, agree to be in medical trials and endure horrific, experimental treatments, for a long-shot at living a little longer. But not all of us would make such choices.
But what happens when the financial incentives for certain medical interventions become enormous....AND then corrupt the science seeking to really understand the risk/benefit of those interventions? Doctors and public health officials can be misled too!
Antidepressants are one case in point. Aggressive "education" of doctors made these drugs blockbusters for pharma while side-effects were downplayed. They were widely recommended for pediatric populations before we had data showing safety in this group. Evidence now suggests antidepressant benefits were actually far more modest than advertised -- and they increased suicides in young people. The book Anatomy of an Epidemic carefully deconstructs the long tr ail of biased science, "bought" researchers and "captured" regulatory agencies that fueled record drug company profits, while sacrificing untold numbers of citizens who fell prey to pharma's scheme. That book is a must read for anyone who cares about public health -- because too many pubic servants are acting like pharma's interests are OUR interests and can be trusted. (Note: after writing this post, I was watching this video --and 10 min in learned about how a medical doctor/Pam Popper's business partner, nearly lost his medical license for appearing on the Oprah show and voicing his opinion that psychological problems were NOT caused by chemical imbalances and no one should take antidepresants.)
So given that history, it should concern everyone, that bills that will increase pharma profits by eliminating informed consent for ALL the recommended vaccines (and there are a lot of them with a lot more in the pipeline) are right now flooding state legislatures. What most people don't know, is that we already had creeping financial incentives from insurance companies that reward doctors who have practices with a high compliance among their patients getting every single vaccine that is recommended.
Could it get any worse?
What if Congress passed a law that, gave drug companies complete immunity if their products injured or maimed citizens? Of course to make such a crazy thing more palatable to the public, they would have to include in such a law something that says Health and Human Services would have the task of overseeing the safety on these products and that they would be charged with filing a report every two years discussing what they were doing to assure that these products were being made as safely as possible...
Imagine if a car manufacturer could NOT be sued if someone died because their car brakes were poorly designed or data on crash tests had been fudged to make a car appear safer than it really was....How safe do you think our automobiles would be?
In fact, in 1986, Congress passed the National Vaccine Injury Act, which gave complete immunity to pharmaceutical companies when vaccines injured or killed children. And HHS was tasked with overseeing vaccine safety -- but we now know HHS did not do their job...NOT ONE TIME in over thirty years!
But, as a result of the 1986 law, vaccine companies were incentivized to rush to market with as many new, poorly tested vaccines as possible. None of these vaccines got tested to see if they might harm the immune system, trigger allergies or autoimmune diseases, or cause cancer...not only that, much of the short term safety testing that was done didn't even use a TRUE CONTROL. In fact overall, I have tell you that the "science" they are using to tell us these new vaccines are safe is pretty terrible, HHS has not been doing their job, you can't sue if vaccines hurt your child and oh -- more and more are being mandated for school entry. As a result vaccines are poised to be pharma's best cash cow yet -- and that's saying a lot for an industry that is one of the most powerful in the world (and also has an egregious record of fraud and misconduct.)
It's no surprise given these facts, that growing numbers of parents -- who either witnessed a vaccine reaction in one of their children or heard about someone being tragically harmed by a vaccine, are doing their own research and choosing to NOT do one or more of the recommended vaccines because the risk/benefit of THAT vaccine does not make sense for THEIR child.
Following introduction of the chickenpox vaccine, I met parents who told me that after getting this vaccine for their child, she came down with SHINGLES -- a disease far worse than chickenpox, which was unheard of in children before the chicken pox vaccine was introduced. But soon Chicken pox joined the others as a required vaccine in most states.
Perhaps the worst of all vaccines -- in terms of the risk/benefit for children in wealthy countries is the HPV vaccine. If you have access to the PAP test, you can prevent almost all cervical cancer -- making this vaccine pretty unnecessary. However the HPV vaccine uses a powerful new adjuvant that some science suggests is quite dangerous for some children. An entire meticulously researched book well-referenced to the scientific literature deconstructs the egregious conflicts of interest that paved the way for this vaccine to become recommended -- and even mandated in 3 states. Check out The HPV Vaccine on Trial if you would like to see for yourself what the science really says and how many whistle-blowers have been attacked for trying raise awareness about the shoddy science and terrible safety testing that supposedly showed this vaccine was safe and effective. When a member of the once highly esteemed Cochrane Collaboration failed to fall in-line with pressure to ignore half the published science on the HPV vaccine it led to his firing and then mass resignations of the Cochrane board in protest. And even if you don't have kids this issue could impact you. It appears the CDC is about to recommend this vaccine now for people in the 20s, 30s and 40s. And I know adults who have been forced to get vaccines as conditions of holding on to their jobs.
But it gets even worse. Pharma shills (and those caught in their cult-like mind control) have become impatient with states who still allow parents to refuse a vaccine they don't want for their child. (including in some states the HPV vaccine which has not only harmed many kids, but is for a disease that is not spread by casual contact -- so it cannot be argued that someone eschewing that vaccine poses a threat in a public setting...yet they are claiming that as justification for forcing our young people to get it.
Next week the federal government will be having hearings to consider new federal mandates that will override state laws that do allow parents the right of informed consent on behalf of their child. This would be a travesty of justice -- and I believe would materially harm many children.
Please contact your elected representatives and let them know how much you care about maintaining medical freedom. This page has more information.
I am a microbiologist and I have looked at a lot of the science, and I can tell you that the risk/benefit ratio of every single vaccine varies a lot from one to another...and it varies from one child to another as well. Chickenpox and Diphtheria are not equally dangerous diseases and Hepatitis B does not pose an equal threat to all populations. Parents are not stupid, and when they actually look at the facts and discover that the reasons to vaccinate do not apply equally to all vaccines -- AND that some children really do die or become disabled from vaccines (far more than our media admits too -- that's why the government gave vaccine manufacturers immunity.) THAT is what is undermining our vaccine program -- it's the half truths and the coercion -- not the parent's doing their job and trying hard to make the best decision for their child. No one cares more about the well-being of any individual child, nor appreciates that child's unique family history and environment than that child's parents. That is why parents, not doctors and not the state, must be allowed the basic human right of informed consent and the right to refuse any medical intervention after considering the risks and benefits for their child.
The death rate from infectious disease in America, declined sharply BEFORE vaccines were in widespread use -- and as vaccines for specific illnesses were being introduced the death rate between those we vaccinated for and those we did not (like scarlet fever, TB, Typhoid, Typhus, Malaria) mostly declined at similar rates suggesting that other public health measures (like sanitation) were more responsible for declining death rates than vaccines. So we take away informed consent for vaccines, it will be much easier to take away informed consent for other medical interventions where a stronger argument of saving more lives can probably be made (like putting statins in the drinking water.)
Informed consent is a basic human right. Taking it away on top of giving drug companies immunity if their products injure is a very very bad idea.
One of the things that has been very helpful to me I learned from my years of involvement with Montessori schools. Integral to the philosophy is something Montessori refers to as the, "Prepared Environment." The idea is to thoughtfully set up the physical space in a way that is visually appealing and invites one to engage in activities beneficial to well-being. This facilitates desired behaviors while discouraging that which might be destructive. Or as engineers, architects and planners like to say, "Structure determines function."
Get ready --- the deluge has already begun. We are being bombarded with media reports about yet another dangerous disease -- West Nile Virus. No doubt this helps to sell lots of bug repellent, and enable applications of toxic chemicals to our environment, while priming the populace to accept yet another vaccine once it becomes available (google it -- and you'll see it's in development now.)
Do news reports like this make you fearful (as they do me)? Then this post is for you. The first thing I did after I read a recent news report about the scary West Nile Virus, was to visit this CDC Page:
I originally wrote this post two years ago. I have just added a bit of video from the entertainment at last year's (2017) Summerfest --- It's a really funny musical skit featuring Miyoko Shinner (Founder of Miyoko's Kitchen) Dr. Michael Greger of NutritionFacts.org and Dr. Ted Barnett (Rochester Lifestyle Medicine). This year, (2018) The big news is that Vegetarian Summerfest will henceforth be called Vegan Summerfest. Enjoy!
Highlights of the 2016 NAVS Vegetarian Summerfest
If you've never been there -- words and pictures simply fall far short of capturing the magic, the love, and the soul-affirming feeling of connection, hope and healing that is the essence of the North American Vegetarian Society's Summerfest Conference. Scroll down to see lots of pictures from this year's conference -- and notice what a vibrant looking bunch of humans are there! I've been to many other conferences -- and although they may share similar speakers, offer equivalent educational opportunities, provide tantalizing food and fun social gatherings, nothing I have yet experienced comes close to creating what the majority of the 600 plus attendees who pilgrimage to this event each year experience: Summerfest quite spectacularly and reliably renews people by immersing them
Of all the new products I sampled at the HUGE Asheville VeganFest...one in particular stood out as something I needed to tell everyone about. It's a delicious new product called "Hempe." The sample I tasted was air fried with very little oil, and used no additional seasonings and was AMAZING!
Even better --- now my soy-allergic friends have yet another terrific vegan protein to enjoy -- that is entirely free of soy products!
I bought this package here at the festival (it has "FARB PAID" on it because I had them hold it for me in their coolers a bit before I was ready to trek it back to my
When I was in grade school in the 1960s-70s I never heard of anyone with a peanut allergy. I knew of exactly one case of someone with asthma. Her diagnosis stood out in my mind for two reasons: First because she didn't have to run laps in gym class, (which I envied at the time) and second because her disease, "Asthma" was so rare. I virtually never heard of any other cases for at least ten more years. (Full disclosure to give some perspective here -- as a child, I read our Family Medical Reference Book for fun.) Allergy, Asthma, Autism and ADHD, are referred to by many as the, "Four A's." There is much overlap in the populations afflicted with each of these.
In 1941 Allergist Warren Vaughan wrote what appears to be the very first book to explain to the public what an allergy was. It was titled, Strange Malady. That book also documents milk, egg, strawberry and wheat as the most significant allergies at that time. There was no mention of peanuts as a trigger for allergies...
It’s no secret that gluten-free foods are one of the fastest growing sectors in the food industry. Yet many mainstream health and nutrition sources still discourage adoption of a gluten free diet for anyone without a laboratory confirmed diagnosis of Celiac Disease (CD). Some widely touted studies have suggested that “gluten sensitivity” may not exist, and suggest that FODMAPS, not gluten are causing the GI symptoms that people assumed were from gluten.
There are other studies that suggest many who are harmed from gluten have no obvious GI symptoms and may be negative for CD by every known test. Sometimes they present only with anemia, or osteoporosis which many doctors still don't know can be caused from consuming gluten.
Every currently used medical test to identify those who might be harmed by gluten, has many
I remember clearly how I felt the day I learned that I might be at risk of exposure to Mad Cow Disease from buying and eating locally grown organic kale from my food co-op.
I'd been vegan at that point for over 20 years. One of the benefits I had counted on for myself and my family from our choice to be vegan, was the fact that by not eating meat or dairy, we were not being exposed to the prions that cause Mad Cow Disease.
But that was before I signed up for a gardening class taught by local organic farmers. Imagine my surprise when I heard them describe how they sprayed dried animal blood, bone-meal and fish emulsion right onto the leaves of their organicly grown greens. This they said, was a superb way to quickly, "feed" the plants nutrients which they would absorb directly through their leaves.
I felt sick.
It had never occurred to me that by supporting local organic farmers and buying their garden
I learned about Phenylketonuria in my prenatal class, when I was pregnant. PKU is a genetic disease in which the gene that codes for a certain protein (an enzyme) that enables one to break down the amino acid, phenylalanine is defective. As a result, this amino acid accumulates and becomes toxic to the brain. Left untreated it can quickly result in severe and permanent mental disability. Although the incidence of PKU is only one in ten thousand births, all fifty states have laws requiring newborns to be tested for this genetic disease. That is because the effects of untreated PKU are devastating but completely preventable with treatment. Detection is simple -- they prick the heal of the newborn, and get a small blood sample. If the blood has high levels of phenylalanine this is considered positive for PKU. The treatment then is a strict, low protein diet for the rest of one's life.
Unfortunately the timing of when this test is done most of the time, increases the risk of a false negative -- meaning there is the possibility of NOT identifying a baby with PKU. Babies born to vegan mothers may even be at INCREASED risk of being falsely told their baby does not have PKU, because the vegan diet...
A new study, just published in the Lancet gives us more evidence for #4. This Nov 2, 2017 study examined a procedure, inserting stents to relieve stable angina, that has been a standard of care for coronary patients, and found little benefit. Stents are widely done, very expensive, and can have negative consequences that patients aren't made aware of. For
Vitamin A Deficiency -- Mowing Down Vegans?
I did it again. As I have been known to do on occasion, I went over to the dark side. That is I followed some links that led me to that part of the blogosphere, that thinks being vegan is not safe, and that the only people who are vegan long term, must be cheating, otherwise they would die.
This time my journey started because I just had to know for myself if those discussing a particular issue on-line (and I have now completely forgotten what it was) were cherry picking studies or taking lines from research papers out of context to shore up their perspective -- the plant-based proponents or the die-hard omnivores, so down the rabbit hole I went. Although I certainly don't have time to deeply pursue every point-of-disagreement between bloggers with differing nutritional perspectives, sometimes when the disagreement is over specific, "facts." I just have to know for myself, who is really misrepresenting the science. It was a recent such foray that led me to yet another alarmist post declaring that vegan diets are dangerously deficient in many
As my good friends know, I am always on the lookout for new science that may shed light on lifestyle options that may be helpful for preventing or reversing various common health issues-- and then sharing this information with those I think might have an interest in it. I had just been privately emailing a new study that I found, suggesting reversal of Hashimoto's Disease might be possible, to several friends when it occurred to me that with thyroid disease as prevalent as it is -- this one might be worth sharing on my blog and in my newsletter -- as thyroid disorders are becoming extremely common.
First a little background. Hypothyroidism is what results when the body has too little thyroid hormone, and is usually evidenced by an increase in the blood TSH levels. Hyperthyroidism is the result of too much thyroid hormone and is associated with depression or lowering of the TSH. Low thyroid or the "hypo" form is far more common and in the US is most often caused by an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. Graves Disease is also an autoimmune thyroid disease, but it results in an overactive thyroid and too much thyroid hormone.
There has been evidence for some time, that both Hashimotos and Graves, may be triggered and even maintained by the consumption of gluten, in genetically susceptible people. There is also evidence that about 2/3 of Americans probably carry the genes to become gluten intolerant, that the incidence of gluten intolerance is increasing, and that many people who would benefit from a gluten-free diet, are negative by every single currently used diagnostic test for gluten intolerance and Celiac Disease.
However, it is likely that once enough damage has been done to the thyroid as a result of exposure to gluten, simply going gluten free may not be enough to enable the thyroid to function optimally again. However complete elimination of gluten would still be important, because there is evidence that the risk of developing additional autoimmune diseases, and other health problems increases over time with the continued exposure to gluten. If you want to learn more about science on this issue, the folks down in Jackson Mississippi recorded and posted a talk I gave there on this subject awhile back. Click on the image of me giving this talk below to watch that video.
So now I'd like to share with you an interesting study that might suggest some additional possibilities for healing thyroid dysfunction. The study was published earlier this year in the International Journal of Endocrinology. Clicking on the image below will take you directly to the study, in case you would like to read it for yourself.
This study basically took people with diagnosed but very early Hashimoto's Disease (and one person with Graves Disease) and had them take Inositol and selenium for six months. They demonstrated significant normalization of TSH in this population, which translated into noticeable improvements in well-being.
If someone is already taking thyroid replacement for hypothyroidism and tries this protocol, they would probably want to carefully monitor thyroid function -- and taper medications as necessary, or else they could experience hyperthyroid symptoms and/or have the medication interfere with the body's attempts to heal and normalize the endocrine system. I will add, I am not a medical doctor, and am sharing this information for educational purposes only. If you are interested in trying this you should consult your appropriate health-care provider. : )
I do love the work of both Dr. T Colin Campbell and his Son Dr. Thomas Campbell. I believe my life, and health have benefitted immensely from my knowledge of their work, and I am a regular subscriber to their newsletter, published by the Center for Nutrition Studies. So it was with great interest that I read their article, "A Plant Based Doctor's Take on Choosing a Plant-Based Milk." However I found this article to be incomplete in addressing the wide variety of health concerns that are relevant to such a discussion. So this blog post is not only to honor their work, but expand upon this subject a bit more.
There are many good reasons to leave all dairy products out of your diet. Dairy proteins stimulate the growth of existing cancers, trigger damage to arteries, and trigger Type One Diabetes in genetically susceptible people. Dairy products are loaded with artery clogging saturated fat, and trans-fats, and they contain dozens of hormones, which increase acne and can disrupt our own hormone balance. They are rich sources of environmental contaminants that animal's concentrate in their body and only release these when lactating. Dairy is loaded with pus, and often contains pathogens, not killed by pasteurization -- such as the MAP bacteria, which may trigger Crohn's Disease, and bovine leukemia viruses, which are suspected as a cause of leukemia and breast cancer in humans.
Given the overwhelming science showing multiple harms from dairy, it makes sense to find plant based alternatives to all dairy products (I have an entire page HERE dedicated to just that) however Campbells's article really only addressed the fat, sugar and calorie content of plant-milks, and I have additional concerns:
1) Most plant-milks have added calcium. This is no different than taking a calcium supplement, and the most recent research shows that calcium supplements are associated with increased mortality -- probably by contributing to calcification of the arteries. I'd suggest avoiding the milks with added calcium.
2) Many plant milks also have added chemicals (like carrageenan) which may have some harmful impacts. I recommend avoiding these too. Look for labels that list very few ingredients.
3) Almond milk has some additional concerns. The California Almond Board requires almonds to be pastueurized either by steam or treatment with Propylene Oxide (PPO) a possible carcinogen. I suggest avoiding PPO. You can call the manufacturer to determine which method was used on the almonds in your milk, or buy organic. Natural Grocer's has a statement on this subject too.
4) Because soy is likely to be Genetically modified, which means it could detrimentally alter our gut micro biome, and or have much higher levels of Round-up, and or high levels of BT-toxin, I recommend avoiding soy like the plague -- unless it is certified non-GMO project verified.
5) Some milks are sweetened with barley malt, or have other ingredients that contain gluten -- so I look for those that are gluten-free as well.
Here are examples of soy milks that I buy for my family:
And while I do keep packaged soy milk on hand -- most of the time when I need milk, I make my own from almonds, cashews or sunflower seeds. It's very simple, quick and saves me money. See my post right below this one to learn how.
Did you know that you can make your own fresh, "milk" quickly, inexpensively and even save money? Best of all -- you can easily avoid additives you don't want -- like carrageenan, or added calcium which is very bad for arteries -- as are added sugars and oils. And on top of all that -- you can even have a truly RAW product -- none of the packaged milks are raw, they must be heated to kill bacteria in order to be shelf-stable in the package. For all these reasons, I LOVE to make my own nut and seed milks. It is super easy. All you need is a high speed blender, a brand new ankle-high nylon stocking (or you can purchase a regular nut milk bag -- but I prefer the stocking!) and a bowl or measuring cup that you can stretch the stocking over.
Optional: liquid stevia, maple syrup or vanilla
1) Take a scissor and cut off the top two inches of the stocking -- so that the elastic part at the top is completely removed. (We don't want the substances in the elastic to come in contact with our milk.)
2) Wash the stocking super well with dish soap, carefully and completely rinsing well. Then set the stocking aside.
3) Measure out 1/2 cup of raw cashews, sunflower seeds or almonds and rinse them in a strainer, then place them into the blender. Add one cup of filtered water and blend on high until you have a completely white liquid -- at least a full 60 seconds. Then add the additional 2 cups of water and blend again on high.
4) Stretch the clean nylon stocking over a bowl or large measuring cup as shown and pour the freshly made milk through the stocking. (Note: If using cashews, you do NOT need to do this -- they have so little fiber that you need not filter - just blend and drink!)
5) Lift the stocking off the cup and gently squeeze it to force the liquid out and and collect it in the cup. (see photo below)
For savory dishes -- like making mash potatoes, I use the milk as is. For pouring over breakfast cereal, or drinking as a beverage, I add a few drops of liquid stevia extract, or you could simply stir in your favorite sweetener and vanilla extract. Vary the amount of water used to create a richer product (use less water) or to reduce calories and or cost (use more water.)
Also -- if you can plan ahead...it's nice to soak the nuts or seeds in water for a few hours to overnight -- and then discard the soaking water. This makes the nutrients in your finished milk even MORE bio-available, as nature packages nuts and seeds with enzyme inhibitors that prevent sprouting until enough water is present to insure germination and growth. Soaking removes those.