Rural populist party emerges as big winner in Dutch elections

The Guardian | March 16, 2023

A new populist party surfing a wave of rural anger at government environmental policies has emerged as the big winner in Dutch provincial elections, dealing a heavy blow to the four-party coalition of the prime minister, Mark Rutte.

The success of the Farmer-Citizen Movement (BBB) in Wednesday’s vote, which will determine the makeup of the senate, casts doubt over the government’s ability to pass key legislation, including its plans to slash nitrogen emissions.

“The Netherlands has clearly shown we’re fed up with these policies,” BBB’s founder, Caroline van der Plas, told the public broadcaster NOS. “It’s not just about nitrogen, it’s about citizens who are not seen, not heard, not taken seriously.”

(***)

REVEALED: Trans activist behind lie that Charlie Kirk called for ‘lynchings’ is a serial hoaxer

Human Events | March 16, 2023

TPUSA founder Charlie Kirk’s talk at UC Davis on Tuesday was marred by violence and vandalism courtesy of Antifa and trans activists who believed—because they were told to believe it—that Kirk had called for the actual lynching of trans people.

Kirk’s statements that men should stand up for women in keeping entitled trans-identified males out of women’s bathrooms were misrepresented by Erin Reed, a trans-identified biological male who is one of those who feel entitled to women’s spaces, women’s language, and advocates for child sex changes.

In a tweet, Reed said “Charlie Kirk, CEO of Turning Point USA, is openly calling for the lynching of transgender individuals. Says that trans people should be ‘dealt with’ like men did ‘in the 50s and 60s.’ He’s the latest major conservative calling for violence against us.”

(***)

“A Policy Error of Historic Proportions”

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This post is the first in a series about the war in Ukraine.

When Dr. McCullough and I started this Substack, we agreed that he would primarily focus on COVID-19 scientific-medical scholarship, and I would investigate how the COVID-19 pandemic response is related to other major public policy issues. Occasionally, some of our readers have exhorted me to “stay in our lane”—that is, to remain focused on matters pertaining to the COVID-19 fiasco.

Because Substack is a free speech platform, and because we welcome critical opinions, I have never felt compelled to respond to these exhortations to “stay in our lane.” To some degree, I consider my critics to have a valid point. As Fitzgerald elegantly put it in The Great Gatsby, “Life is much more successfully looked at from a single window.”

On the other hand, I believe my critics are overlooking a point so obvious that it might as well strike them in the head with a baseball bat—namely, the same corrupt government nincompoops responsible for the COVID-19 fiasco are also responsible for every other catastrophic policy blunder they are currently afflicting on mankind.

For example, let’s take the U.S. government’s catastrophic mismanagement of its relations with Russia for the last thirty years. I have closely observed this disaster in the making since I moved to Vienna, Austria for an academic fellowship in 1996. On the plane to Vienna I read the July 15, 1996 Time Magazine cover story about how secret American advisors helped Boris Yeltsin to win that year’s presidential election.

Even at the time I remember thinking it was a bit presumptuous to think that it was perfectly okay for American agents to meddle in a Russian election, and I wondered how Americans would feel if it were reported that Russian agents had provided clandestine assistance to Bill Clinton in his 1996 presidential campaign against Bob Dole.

I read the Time cover story with keen interest, because for many years I’d been an avid student of 20th century Russian history. Yeltsin’s presidency marked the total triumph of American interests with respect to Russia, which had suffered a decisive loss of the Cold War. As I saw it—living in Austria, whose neutrality the Soviets had recognized and respected since 1955—in 1996 it was up to the Americans to welcome and assist Russia in becoming a partner with the West.

The following year, I read the news of how the Clinton Administration had decided to expand NATO membership to the east, ever closer to Russia’s border, and I wondered about the rationale for doing this. Though I’d never really known what to make of Henry Kissinger, I found his “Balance of Power” thesis compelling.

1866 cartoon by Daumier, L’Equilibre Européen,

We humans are constantly making assurances of our good will and altruism, but it’s a rare man or woman indeed who doesn’t press his or her advantage if a disagreement arises. This is why the Soviet Premier Khrushchev refused to tolerate U.S. nuclear missiles in Turkey, and why President Kennedy refused to tolerate Soviet missiles in Cuba.

I therefore believed I understood why 50 major U.S. foreign policy experts—including top cold warriors such as Robert McNamara, Paul Nitze, Richard Pipes, and Stansfield Turner—wrote a letter to President Clinton on June 26, 1997, stating the following:

We, the undersigned, believe that the current U.S.led effort to expand NATO, the focus of the recent Helsinki and Paris Summits, is a policy error of historic proportions. We believe that NATO expansion will decrease allied security and unsettle European stability for the following reasons:

In Russia, NATO expansion, which continues to be opposed across the entire political spectrum, will strengthen the nondemocratic opposition, undercut those who favor reform and cooperation with the West, bring the Russians to question the entire post-Cold War settlement, and galvanize resistance in the Duma to the START II and III treaties; In Europe, NATO expansion will draw a new line of division between the “ins” and the “outs,” foster instability, and ultimately diminish the sense of security of those countries which are not included;

In NATO, expansion, which the Alliance has indicated is open-ended, will inevitably degrade NATO’s ability to carry out its primary mission and will involve U.S. security guarantees to countries with serious border and national minority problems, and unevenly developed systems of democratic government;

In the U.S., NATO expansion will trigger an extended debate over its indeterminate, but certainly high, cost and will call into question the U.S. commitment to the Alliance, traditionally and rightly regarded as a centerpiece of U.S. foreign policy.

Because of these serious objections, and in the absence of any reason for rapid decision, we strongly urge that the NATO expansion process be suspended while alternative actions are pursued. These include:

—opening the economic and political doors of the European Union to Central and Eastern Europe;

—developing an enhanced Partnership for Peace program;

—supporting a cooperative NATO-Russian relationship; and

—continuing the arms reduction and transparency process, particularly with respect to nuclear weapons and materials, the major threat to U.S. security, and with respect to conventional military forces in Europe.

Russia does not now pose a threat to its western neighbors and the nations of Central and Eastern Europe are not in danger. For this reason, and the others cited above, we believe that NATO expansion is neither necessary nor desirable and that this ill-conceived policy can and should be put on hold.

Joe Rogan and Russell Brand on Censorship, Control and Media

Click here for Part 2

  • Podcast host Joe Rogan interviewed comedian and activist Russell Brand, discussing the overarching agenda of control that’s accelerated since the pandemic

  • The pandemic brought to light how quickly reality can move from that safe space where “everything’s OK” to one that’s Orwellian, with rampant censorship and smear campaigns against any and all dissent

  • Brand feels an obligation to ensure a distinction is made between the empirical facts that are discussed and the joy of speculation

  • Openly discussing controversial topics from all sides builds credibility while censorship ultimately leads to a loss of trust and authority

  • Tech giants use demonetization to get people to stop posting certain types of content online without it appearing as outright censorship

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Has the apocalypse already happened? Are we hurdling toward a post-AI reality where it’s impossible to know what’s real and what’s fake? Podcast host Joe Rogan interviewed comedian and activist Russell Brand, delving into these questions and more, including the overarching agenda of control that’s accelerated since the pandemic.

Regarding the apocalypse, Brand likened it to homeless people living their lives in tents on the street, essentially “living a hunter-gatherer lifestyle in contemporary America, or living a post-apocalyptic lifestyle in contemporary America.”

“You know, when you’re in comfortable … spaces, you feel like everything’s OK, the end of the world is impossible. And it just seems like entertainment when you hear about nuclear treaties being torn up, that it can’t actually happen. But, of course it can. It’s so temporal,” Brand says.

The pandemic brought to light how quickly reality can move from that safe space where “everything’s OK” to one that’s Orwellian, with rampant censorship and smear campaigns against any and all dissent.

What most people see and hear online is a carefully orchestrated narrative — one that globalists weren’t expecting people like Rogan and Brand to disrupt. “What our obligation is, as people that participate in this conversation, is to ensure that there is a distinction made between the empirical facts that are discussed and … the sort of joy of speculation,” Brand says.

But many ideas that sound far-fetched — like a social credit system — have already been implemented in other countries, like China. Rogan explains he was warned, “They’re going to try to implement a social credit score system, and your money is going to be tied to decentralized digital currency.”

“And your money will be tied to your social credit score system and you step out of line, you won’t be able to buy things, you won’t be able to travel, you won’t be able to do anything. They’re going to try to keep you within a 15-minute radius of your home. And they’re starting to do that in places. Yeah, all of it’s real.”

So, too, is the fact that “centralized systems of corruption that bypass democracy” exist, while the military-industrial complex “through their overt and covert connections to government” is able to “dictate … [or] at least influence, foreign policy.” But, Brand says, once you open your eyes to the truths of these matters, you become “porous” and ready to absorb even more of the truth:

“They’ve obviously got an agenda. And it’s their agenda that is driving the discourse, not the facts of the matter. And I suppose, in a way, we should be grateful that they are unwilling to have these open conversations — that they’re not willing to get people on with various views, opposing views, to listen to people that they disagree with, to openly criticize the establishment.

Because what I’ve been able to learn in the last couple of years is if you start focusing on the relationship between Big Pharma and the media, or Big Pharma and the government, just by focusing on that, you can really create clear narratives of corruption, hypocrisy, dishonesty, those things are there.

But me, because my background is not a journalist, it’s not a conventional education, I’m sort of open to the more extraordinary, exciting, visceral ideas, which once in a while proved to be true … but then you become kind of porous.”

Brand believes there’s power to be had when you’re open to having conversations with all sides, however, while censorship ultimately leads to a loss of trust and authority. During the pandemic, he describes the “ivermectin moment” as pivotal in revealing the need for open conversation.

When Rogan, who is unvaxxed, revealed he’d treated his bout of COVID-19 with ivermectin and other remedies — fully recovering within three days — he was openly attacked. But Rogan believes it ultimately made the mainstream press lose credibility:

“When you had CNN and MSNBC and all these different Cable News Network shows calling it [ivermectin] horse dewormer, when it was a drug that won the Nobel Prize for the inventor of it, it’s a drug that has had billions — literally billions — of prescriptions filled. It’s a drug that saved lives of drug addicts.

It’s on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines, and for them to have the gall and the sheer audacity to just out and out lie to people about what a medication is — and it’s used on humans far more than it’s used on horses.

And that they were calling that horse dewormer to try to mock me because they knew that I was unvaccinated, and I kicked COVID very quickly. And they did not want that narrative out there. And they were beholden to their handlers. They were beholden to the people that give them exorbitant amounts of money in advertising revenue. And they … followed in line, and they all piled on. And they lost … credibility.”

Many believed the media lies, regarding not only ivermectin but other pandemic measures, like face masks and lockdowns. But not everyone will — and this is where the chance for transformation lies. However, those in the middle are vulnerable to being influenced by the propaganda. Brand notes:

“I heard this thing that that guy, Pavlov of the dogs, you know, he did other experimentation, the results of which were that 20% of people are highly susceptible to hypnosis, and similarly highly susceptible to placebos … It will be effective under … the right conditions … and the same with hypnosis, and 20% of people will not be hypnotized and will not respond to placebos.

The middle 60% is where propaganda operates. How many of that middle 60% can you persuade? And I was just astonished that authoritarianism could suddenly be repackaged in this manner, that authoritarianism could tell you that war is a good thing, that authoritarianism can tell you that Big Pharma is a good thing, that being locked in your home is good.”

A key illustration of the corruption was the blatant vilification of any COVID-19 solution that wasn’t tied to Big Pharma. “Convenient that of all the remedies, that only the ones that are controlled by pharmaceutical companies are the ones that get highlighted,” Rogan says.

“And one … of the best pieces of evidence for that is vitamin D.”

One recent study found giving vitamin D to people with COVID-19 cut risk of death from SARS-CoV-2 by 51% and reduced risk of admission to the intensive care unit by 72%.

I also launched an information campaign to raise awareness about the use of vitamin D for COVID-19 back in June 2020. My own vitamin D review was published October 31, 2020, in the high-impact, peer-reviewed journal Nutrients.

At the time, 14 observational studies suggested vitamin D levels are inversely linked with the incidence or severity of COVID-19, and my paper concluded, “The evidence seems strong enough that people and physicians can use or recommend vitamin D supplements to prevent or treat COVID-19.”

Yet, I was widely vilified and discredited in the media for bringing attention to vitamin D’s potential for COVID-19. If this information had been allowed out, Rogan wonders, how many deaths could have been prevented?

“There was a recent study that estimated somewhere in the range of 70% of all hospitalizations and deaths from COVID could have been prevented with vitamin D … I remember reading that article going, that is the most insane thing I’ve ever seen in my life. And when did they know that this was true?

Because if they just started handing out vitamin D — it’s readily available, so easy to get, so easy to make, so cheap — they just handed out vitamin D to everybody.

How many deaths could they have prevented? If that really is the case that high doses of vitamin D, along with you know, it’s great with magnesium and vitamin K, but if they educated people about nutrients, yes, about the value of nutrition, the value of supplementation? Yes. How many people could have been saved? And how cheaply could that have been done?”

Both Rogan and Brand moved platforms online due to censorship. In May 2020, Rogan signed an exclusivity contract with Spotify for his “Joe Rogan Experience Podcast.”

Rogan received $100 million for the deal; however, he said the move away from YouTube was intentional to fight back against its censorship — and particularly YouTube’s decision to block differing opinions on COVID-19, as he wanted to interview a variety of doctors and experts about it.

The tech giants use demonetization to get people to stop posting certain types of content, without it appearing as outright censorship. Instead, it appears as self-censorship. Rogan says:

“Advertisements that are on YouTube, those people that are spending all that money, they can dictate what they want to be advertised on. And then they said, ‘Look, I don’t want to be on anything that talks about COVID or anything where they talk about Ukraine …

So OK. They just say, ‘Oh, well, we’ve got to stop people from doing that. What’s the best way?’ Well, the best way to self-censor? Or how do you get people to self-censor? You impact them economically. How do we do that and not make it look like we’re censoring them? We give strikes, giving strikes or demonetized.”

Brand experienced the same issues on YouTube and switched to Rumble as a result:

“When YouTube was our primary platform, we would look at your [Rogan’s] content. All right, that’s the title of this Rogan video and this is the content. OK? Well, we can try that. And then we would get demonetized. And it becomes like a weird algebra.

You change this word, you change that word, you have to or you have, there’s certain things you just can’t say. This is what Rumble fundamentally offered. They gave me a good deal and the assurance that we’re not going to censor you.”

Even when the truth is heard by a sizeable minority, many don’t take action. But this is part of enacting positive change, whether it be for freedom and autonomy or your personal health.

“You have to take the action, and it usually involves suffering,” Brand says. “And yeah, that’s a hard thing to sell. People don’t want that. Now, they don’t want that information that you can tell people there’s a quick fix and an easy way. But whether it’s getting off drugs, becoming a standup comedian or accomplishing stuff in a martial art, normally it means you incrementally, day by day, hour by hour, session by session, you are going to experience a degree of suffering.”

While you may feel powerless to fight back against globalist agendas and Big Tech censorship, by embracing changes you can control, you can make a difference in your own life and beyond. Rogan explains:

“You don’t realize that in embracing discomfort and forcing yourself to do something very uncomfortable that you can control, like an ice bath, like a sauna, like a run, like a workout, you are eliminating another form of discomfort. You can do that. It’s one of the reasons why I’ve been able to mitigate all the stress and issues that come with success and with fame.

Your body is almost like a battery. And when you don’t use it, it’s almost like the juice runs over the side and it becomes unmanageable. But when you use it, you have a certain requirement that your body has to go through every day, because I think we evolved in a very specific way. I think we evolved running away from predators, protecting ourselves from invading tribes.

And this is just a natural part of being a human being, every human being. And I think that if you don’t give your body something to do it … [messes] with your brain, and I think that’s where a lot of people’s anxiety comes from, a lot of people’s insecurities.”

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Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Mercola, unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked.

The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Mercola and his community. Dr. Mercola encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. The subscription fee being requested is for access to the articles and information posted on this site, and is not being paid for any individual medical advice.

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A Chemical Accident Is Happening Every Two Days on Average

  • During the first seven weeks of 2023, the Coalition to Prevent Chemical Disasters (CPCD) reported 30 chemical accidents in the U.S., or one every 1.5 days

  • On average, one estimate suggests accidental chemical releases due to train derailments, leaks from industrial plants, truck accidents and pipeline ruptures occur every two days

  • Every U.S. state is home to chemical facilities that store or use hazardous chemicals, such as fertilizer plants, petroleum refineries, chemical manufacturers, wastewater treatment plants and more

  • In all, about 12,500 such facilities exist in the U.S., and 39% of the population — nearly 124 million people — live within 3 miles of one

  • In the event of a fire or spill, people up to 25 miles away from these industrial and commercial sites can be affected; many low-income communities are disproportionately affected by these risks

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Hearing news of toxic chemical accidents — like the February 2023 Ohio train derailment — is shocking. What’s alarming, however, is that many assume such disasters are rare occurrences when, in fact, they’re incredibly common.

During the first seven weeks of 2023, the Coalition to Prevent Chemical Disasters (CPCD) reported 30 chemical accidents in the U.S., or one every 1.5 days. On average, one estimate suggests accidental chemical releases due to train derailments, leaks from industrial plants, truck accidents and pipeline ruptures, occur every two days.

It’s a myth that chemical accidents are unusual in the U.S. CPCD maintains a list of such incidents, detailing at least 224 since January 1, 2022.

Among them:

  • February 25, 2023, a fire at Schulz Xtruded Products in Hernando, Mississippi, caused a container of hydrofluoric acid to leak into Mussacuna Creek.

  • February 18, 2023, a fire broke out at Clean Harbors storage facility in Braintree, Massachusetts. Clean Harbors collects, transports and processes hazardous waste, and the trailers that caught fire were full of paints, epoxy, oil filters and solvents. Residents in the area were advised to shelter in place with their windows closed.

  • February 16, 2023, a fire took place at Nursery Supplies in Kissimmee, Florida, which produces flower pots made from recycled plastics. Two acres of planters were burned, and residents were ordered to shelter in place.

  • February 14, 2023, a tanker truck overturned in Tucson, Arizona, spilling explosive nitric acid and causing a fire that shut down parts of Interstate 10. The truck driver was killed and area residents were ordered to either evacuate or shelter in place.

  • January 28, 2023, two train cars carrying propionic acid and acetic anhydride derailed, causing the chemicals to leak. About 130 people were evacuated as a result.

In 2013, after an explosion at a fertilizer facility in Texas killed 15 people, an executive order was issued, directing the EPA to provide new rules to help prevent disasters at chemical facilities. New rules were issued in 2017, but they were suspended and overturned soon after. According to CPCD:

“On August 19, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the Safer Communities by Chemical Accident Prevention (SCCAP) rule, which made long-awaited revisions to the Risk Management Program (RMP), intended to prevent chemical disasters and regulate facilities that use or store highly hazardous chemicals.

But over 100 organizations have since urged the EPA to further strengthen its proposal in key ways ‘to fully satisfy the law and the agency’s core commitments on environmental justice [and] worker safety …’

150 serious incidents at RMP facilities occur each year in the U.S. on average. This does not include the fires, releases, and explosions that occur with regularity at facilities not covered by the RMP, or hazardous materials being transported by rail or highway.”

Every U.S. state is home to chemical facilities that store or use hazardous chemicals, such as fertilizer plants, petroleum refineries, chemical manufacturers, wastewater treatment plants and more.

In all, about 12,500 such facilities exist in the U.S., and 39% of the population — nearly 124 million people — live within 3 miles of one.

Further, in the event of a fire or spill, people up to 25 miles away from these industrial and commercial sites can be affected.

Many low-income communities are disproportionately affected by these risks, which are compounded by threats from air pollution and lack of access to healthy foods.

A report by the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform (EJHA), Coming Clean and the Campaign for Healthier Solutions analyzed cumulative health hazards for those living in these areas, with a focus on Los Angeles; Houston and Dallas, Texas; Louisville, Kentucky; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Charleston, West Virginia. It revealed:

“In most of the areas researched, large majorities of the population live in fenceline zones around highly hazardous facilities, and most schools and medical institutions are located in these zones, at much greater rates than nationally.

… In addition to the constant threat of catastrophic chemical releases or explosions, in every area researched for this report fenceline zones face higher risk of cancer from toxic air pollution than the entire area (and often much higher than for the US as a whole). In 8 of the 9 areas, the potential for respiratory illness is higher in fenceline zones than for the entire area, and in every area is above the national rate.”

The Guardian also analyzed data related to U.S. chemical accidents. EPA data revealed 1,650 accidents at hazardous chemical facilities across the U.S. from 2004 to 2013, with disasters occurring at particularly high rates at petroleum, coal manufacturing and chemical manufacturing facilities.

From 2004 to 2020, accidents at hazardous chemical facilities occurred most often in Texas, followed by Louisiana, California, Illinois and Iowa.

“What happened in East Palestine [the Ohio train derailment], this is a regular occurrence for communities living adjacent to chemical plants,” Mathy Stanislaus, former assistant administrator of the EPA’s office of land and emergency management, told The Guardian. “They live in daily fear of an accident.”

A report by EJHA and Coming Clean examined three chemical accidents that occurred within a two-week timeframe in January 2022. “These incidents caused significant harm to workers and communities … [and] demonstrate the urgent need for commonsense reforms to the RMP rule, which is not currently doing enough to reduce hazards and prevent chemical fires, explosions and releases,” the report notes.

One incident took place January 31, 2022, at the Winston Weaver Fertilizer Plant in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. More than 1 million pounds of ammonium nitrate fertilizer were stored at the plant when a fire broke out. “Acrid smoke” filled the air and 6,500 people within a 1-mile radius were evacuated over explosion risks. Fine particulate matter in surrounding neighborhoods had reached hazardous levels when measured 36 hours later.

Further, “In their efforts to manage the fire, firefighters poured hundreds of thousands of gallons of water onto the site, creating toxic runoff that entered the nearby Monarcas Creek,” according to the report.

Despite this disaster, the EPA’s proposed revisions to the RMP rule do not cover ammonium nitrate.

“Many dangerous chemicals and facilities are currently exempt from disaster prevention requirements. EPA must expand the RMP program to cover ammonium nitrate production and storage facilities, as well as other highly hazardous chemicals,” the authors state.

In another incident, an explosion occurred at Westlake Chemical South Plant in Westlake, Louisiana, January 26, 2022. This facility is the second largest chlorine facility in the Western Hemisphere and manufactures vinyl chloride, which is used to produce PVC (polyvinyl chloride).

A mushroom-shaped cloud appeared immediately after a loud boom was heard in the area. A chemical storage tank had exploded sending five employees to the hospital while 7,000 students sheltered in place at nearby schools. But the potential for even greater disaster exists. According to an RMP (risk management plan) created by the facility:

“A worst-case chemical incident could release up to 660,000 pounds of highly toxic gas that could travel up to 25 miles in radius, covering all of Lake Charles and more than a dozen smaller towns. This would immediately threaten more than 210,000 people with serious injury or death.”

The third incident covered in the report occurred January 14, 2022, at Majestic Industries and Qualco Inc., in Passaic, New Jersey. Hundreds of firefighters battled a blaze that broke out at the facilities for days, leading to $15 million in damages.

However, the fire came close to igniting a warehouse were 3 million pounds of chemicals, including chlorine pellets, were stored. If that had occurred, fire officials stated it could have caused “one of the most catastrophic chemical disasters in the region in recent history.”

Yet, the current RMP rule doesn’t account for adjacent or co-located facilities, considering them separate even when they’re part of the same complex.

February 3, 2023, a train carrying toxic chemicals derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, a town near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border. In total, 38 rail cars derailed, and a massive fire that broke out damaged an additional 12 cars.

Five of the cars that derailed were carrying vinyl chloride, a flammable gas that can lead to life-threatening respiratory issues and an increased risk of cancer.

The East Palestine derailment, like many recent chemical incidents, serves as a wake-up call of the potential disaster looming. In this case, the lack of safety on U.S. railways became apparent, but it’s something railway workers have been warning of for years.

Every day, about 12,000 rail cars transporting toxic chemicals travel through cities across the U.S. Annually, 4.5 million tons of hazardous materials are shipped by trains in the U.S.

Liquified natural gas (LNG) may pose a particularly significant concern. In 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation approved rail transport of LNG with no extra safety precautions, even though an accident could be catastrophic. In a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation opposing the rule change, environmental group Earth Justice wrote:

“The amount of energy contained in LNG is quite alarming. One gallon of LNG has 0.89975 therms of energy. One DOT-113 tank car has a capacity of approximately 30,000 gallons, meaning that there would be approximately 27,000 therms worth of energy per tank car.

With this much LNG per tank car, it would only take 22 tank cars to hold the equivalent energy of the Hiroshima bomb.55 A unit train of 110 LNG tank cars would thus have five-times the energy of the Hiroshima bomb.”

U.S. Representative Nanette Barragan told The Guardian that we need the “same urgency” from the federal government given to the East Palestine train derailment “to focus on the prevention of these chemical disasters from occurring in the first place.”

Yet, industry and even government opposition for enhanced emergency preparedness, new accident prevention requirements and other measures to enhance safety at facilities dealing with hazardous chemicals is fierce. As The Guardian reported:

“The US Chamber of Commerce has pushed back on stronger regulations, arguing that most facilities operate safely, accidents are declining and that the facilities impacted by any rule changes are supplying ‘essential products and services that help drive our economy and provide jobs in our communities.’

Other opponents to strengthening safety rules include the American Chemistry Council, American Forest & Paper Association, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers and the American Petroleum Institute.”

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The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Mercola and his community. Dr. Mercola encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. The subscription fee being requested is for access to the articles and information posted on this site, and is not being paid for any individual medical advice.

If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your health care professional before using products based on this content.

Questionable Tactics Used in Vaccine ‘Safety’ Testing

  • An eight-month investigation revealed shocking flaws in Merck’s clinical trial design, which effectively prevented assessment of safety. Serious adverse events arising outside of a two-week period post-vaccination were simply marked down as “medical history”

  • A systematic review of pre- and post-licensure trials of the HPV vaccine concluded its effectiveness is both overstated and unproven. Merck’s own research reveals you increase your risk of precancerous lesions if you’ve been exposed to HPV strains 16 or 18 prior to vaccination

  • Reported side effects of Gardasil vaccination include immune-based inflammatory neurodegenerative disorders, suggesting something is causing the immune system to overreact in a detrimental way, sometimes fatally

  • One Gardasil 9 trial reported nearly 10% of subjects experienced “severe systemic adverse events” affecting multiple system organ classes, and over 3% suffered “severe vaccine-related adverse events”

  • HPV infection is spread through sexual contact and research has demonstrated that using condoms can reduce risk of HPV infection by 70%, which is far more effective than the HPV vaccine

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Editor’s Note: This article is a reprint. It was originally published June 12, 2018.

In December 2017, Slate magazine published an astonishing article about the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil, revealing how the safety trials for this controversial vaccine actually “weren’t designed to properly assess safety.”

Gardasil is supposed to prevent infection by certain strains of HPV virus, which in rare cases may cause cervical cancer if left untreated.

However, trial data from Merck shows that Gardasil vaccinations may actually increase your risk of cervical cancer by 44.6% if you have been exposed to HPV strains 16 or 18 prior to vaccination.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has made this document inaccessible, but we’ve saved a copy of it. In his Slate article, investigative journalist Frederik Joelving recounts the story of Kesia Lyng, a 30-year-old Danish woman who, at the age of 19, participated in a clinical trial for Merck’s Gardasil vaccine.

“Lyng’s grandmother had died of cervical cancer the year before, so when a letter arrived offering her $500 to take part in a crucial international test of Gardasil, the decision was easy,” Joelving writes. “She got her first shot of the vaccine at Hvidovre Hospital in Copenhagen on September 19, 2002. The symptoms snuck up on her shortly after her second shot on November 14.

They never abated. It wasn’t until 2016 that she received her diagnosis — chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) … In recent years, Lyng has become suspicious that there is a connection between her disease and her Gardasil immunization. Her ailments evoke descriptions found in hundreds of news stories from women who also received the vaccine, as well as several medical case reports from around the world.”

Reported side effects of Gardasil vaccination include immune-based inflammatory neurodegenerative disorders, suggesting something is causing the immune system to overreact in a detrimental way, sometimes fatally.

The dangers of high immunogenicity was addressed in my 2015 interview with Lucija Tomljenovic, Ph.D., a research scientist at the University of British Columbia. In it, she explains that by triggering an exaggerated inflammatory immune response, vaccine adjuvants end up affecting brain function.

In collaboration with a team led by professor Yehuda Shoenfeld, a world expert in autoimmune diseases who heads the Zabludowicz Autoimmunity Research Centre at the Sheba Hospital in Israel, Tomljenovic has demonstrated how the HPV vaccine can cause brain autoimmune disorders. It was these findings that prompted the Japanese government to remove the HPV vaccine from its list of recommended vaccines.

The vaccine injury law firm Sadaka Associates also claims that:

“Medical researchers have accused drug regulators and manufacturers of concealing the real dangers of the HPV vaccine. Many girls have suffered life-threatening injuries as the result of the vaccine. The HPV vaccine has also caused death …

The drug regulators have also been accused of adding aluminum to the placebo in order to manipulate scientific data. Even though aluminum was used in the placebo, scientists have confirmed that the HPV vaccine has been linked to death.

There was a study done that involved 2,881 girls who receive the vaccine. Fourteen of the girls who received the vaccine died. Three of the girls who received the placebo died. There was a team of researchers at the National Institute of Cardiology that also found that there is a link between HPV vaccine and life-threatening reactions.

They looked at 28 studies that involved girls who had been given the HPV vaccine. They also looked at 16 randomized trials. They found that girls were given a placebo with aluminum in 14 of the randomized trials.

If aluminum is placed in a placebo, then a person is more likely to have an adverse reaction. Spanish researchers found that girls who receive the HPV vaccine are 10 times more likely to react to it. Canadian scientists found that 10 percent of the girls who were vaccinated had to be hospitalized due to a reaction. These girls had to be hospitalized within 42 days of receiving the vaccination.”

A 2012 systematic review

of pre- and post-licensure trials of the HPV vaccine also concluded that the vaccine’s effectiveness is both overstated and unproven. According to the authors, the review revealed:

“… [E]vidence of selective reporting of results from clinical trials (i.e., exclusion of vaccine efficacy figures related to study subgroups in which efficacy might be lower or even negative from peer-reviewed publications).

Given this, the widespread optimism regarding HPV vaccines long-term benefits appears to rest on a number of unproven assumptions (or such which are at odd with factual evidence) and significant misinterpretation of available data.

For example, the claim that HPV vaccination will result in approximately 70 percent reduction of cervical cancers is made despite the fact that the clinical trials data have not demonstrated to date that the vaccines have actually prevented a single case of cervical cancer (let alone cervical cancer death), nor that the current overly optimistic surrogate marker-based extrapolations are justified.

Likewise, the notion that HPV vaccines have an impressive safety profile is only supported by highly flawed design of safety trials and is contrary to accumulating evidence from vaccine safety surveillance databases and case reports which continue to link HPV vaccination to serious adverse outcomes (including death and permanent disabilities).”

It’s precisely these kinds of design flaws that are highlighted in the December 17, 2017, Slate article.

Joelving reports that Merck has repeatedly “issued reassurances about the thorough randomized trials the vaccines were subjected to before approval.”

The public was told that the three HPV vaccines marketed in the U.S. were tested on tens of thousands of individuals around the world, without any compelling evidence of serious side effects having emerged. While that reads well on paper, the shocking truth appears to be that these trials were never designed to detect and evaluate serious side effects in the first place. According to Joelving:

“An eight-month investigation by Slate found the major Gardasil trials were flawed from the outset … and that regulators allowed unreliable methods to be used to test the vaccine’s safety. Drug regulators tend to look much more seriously at potential side effects that surface during a pre-licensure study, which is what Lyng participated in, rather than after a product has already been found to be safe and been put on the market.

But regulators never learned of Lyng’s plight. In fact, her repeated complaints of debilitating symptoms were not even registered in the study as potential side effects … Lyng’s experience was not unique. Interviews with five study participants and more than 2,300 pages of documents obtained through freedom-of-information requests from hospitals and health authorities suggest inadequacies built into Merck’s major clinical tests of Gardasil.”

Joelving describes these inadequacies in great detail, showing how Merck made the vaccine appear far safer than it actually is by using “a convoluted method that made objective evaluation and reporting of potential side effects impossible during all but a few weeks of its yearslong trials.” Serious adverse events were only recorded during a two-week period post-vaccination.

Moreover, during this narrow window of time, trial investigators “used their personal judgment to decide whether or not to report any medical problem as an adverse event.”

Importantly, and shockingly, most of the health problems that arose after vaccination were simply marked down as “medical history” rather than potential side effects — a tactic that basically ensured that most side effects would be overlooked. No record was made of symptom severity, duration or outcome.

Even with this gross reporting flaw, at least one Gardasil trial of the new nine-valent vaccine reported nearly 10% of subjects experienced “severe systemic adverse events” affecting multiple system organ classes, and over 3% suffered “severe vaccine-related adverse events.”

The 2012 systematic review

of Gardasil pre- and post-licensure trials mentioned earlier isn’t the only report out there that has offered up severe criticism of Merck’s trial tactics. Joelving writes:

“In an internal 2014 EMA report

about Gardasil 9 obtained through a freedom-of-information request, senior experts called the company’s approach ‘unconventional and suboptimal’ and said it left some ‘uncertainty’ about the safety results.

EMA trial inspectors made similar observations in another report, noting that Merck’s procedure was ‘not an optimal method of collecting safety data, especially not systemic side effects that could appear long after the vaccinations were given.'”

In other words, when Merck says Gardasil has been extensively studied for safety, it’s referring to studies set up in such a way that data on potential side effects were actually excluded. If side effects are not included in the data collection, how can you rightfully claim that no significant problems exist?

Sadly, shoddy and incomplete documentation of adverse events, and follow-up periods that are too short to detect problems, can have tragic ramifications, and this is what appears to have happened with the release of Gardasil.

Joelving’s investigation reveals at least five other Danish women went on to develop debilitating health problems during the Gardasil trial. One developed severe fatigue, persistent flu-like symptoms and had to be admitted to the hospital for a serious infection shortly after one of her vaccinations. All of her symptoms were marked down as “medical history” and were not processed as adverse events.

A year after her vaccination, she developed such debilitating pain she had to use a wheelchair. To this day, she still sometimes has to use crutches, and has been given a tentative diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis. Another young woman also developed severe fatigue and headaches. She told Joelving she reported it to study personnel, yet there’s no mention of these problems anywhere in her file. Joelving writes:

“‘If I were a research subject, I would feel betrayed,’ Trudo Lemmens, a bioethicist and professor of health law and policy at the University of Toronto, told me. ‘If the purpose of a clinical trial is to establish the safety and efficacy of a new product, whether it’s a vaccine or something else, I would expect that they gathered all relevant data, including whether it had side effects or not.'”

Vaccines are often riskier than oral drugs, since they’re injected into your body and contain a number of toxic adjuvants. When there’s risk, you’d expect the benefit to be worth it, but research shows many drugs provide shockingly little benefit for a majority of people, and one wonders whether the same does not hold true for vaccines as well.

The following graphic is from a Nature article published April 29, 2015.

It shows the effectiveness of the top 10 highest-grossing drugs in the U.S. Nexium, for example, commonly prescribed for heartburn, is beneficial for just 1 out of every 25 patients.

Advair, prescribed for asthma, helps 1 in 20; Cymbalta eases symptoms of depression in 1 out of 9 patients; Crestor, prescribed for high cholesterol, benefits 1 in 20. While not included in the graphic below, the article

also cites research

suggesting statins may benefit as few as 1 in 50.

Truly, when you’re talking about a benefit rate of 5% or less, can you really say that the drug in question is an effective one? Yet they’re certainly marketed as such. Meanwhile, all of these drugs have side effects, which means all those who gain no benefit from the drug are risking their health for no good reason whatsoever.

As noted in Nature, a wide variety of factors play into how you might respond to any given medication, including your gender, age, ethnicity and genetics giving rise to differences in absorption, metabolism, excretion and more.

“The drug vemurafenib, for instance, was approved in the United States to treat late-stage melanoma in people whose tumors carry the BRAF(V600E) mutation. But some tumor cells develop other anomalies that make them resistant to the drug. Thus clinicians considering whether to prescribe vemurafenib may need to take into account a whole slew of biomarkers,” the article states.

Historically, pregnant women have been discouraged from taking drugs and vaccines during pregnancy, as there’s very little data on their safety for the growing fetus. Pregnant women have thus far not been included in clinical drug and vaccine trials. The reason for this should be obvious.

A pregnant woman is not only putting her own health on the line, but also that of her unborn child. Now, that’s all about to change. In April 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued draft guidance

for industry on when and how they may include pregnant women in clinical trials for drugs and therapies. As reported by Science News:

“It addresses considerations such as the effect pregnancy has on the absorption of drugs, nonclinical studies that should be conducted, and appropriate data collection and safety monitoring. The key concern with pregnant women participating in clinical trials is safety of the fetus.

The terrible birth defects that resulted from the wide use of the sedative thalidomide in the 1950s and ’60s weighed heavily on the eventual decision to largely exclude pregnant women from trials that test drugs. But that tragedy didn’t happen because pregnant women were studied, [obstetrician Anne] Lyerly says — it was because they weren’t studied.

‘If you don’t study a drug in a highly-controlled research setting,’ Lyerly says, ‘it’s not like the risk that would be imposed on those individuals goes away.’ Instead, the risk gets shifted to women who need the drug or women who get pregnant while on the drug.'”

According to research

published in 2011, 94% of pregnant women in the study had taken one or more over-the-counter or prescription medications during their pregnancy; 70% used at least one prescription drug.

The average number of drugs used during pregnancy has also nearly doubled in recent decades, from 2.5 in 1976/1978 to 4.2 in 2006/2008. The researchers also concluded there was insufficient data to determine the risks to the baby for 98% of these drugs.

While the inclusion of pregnant women in drug trials may be justifiable, as Lyerly tries to claim above, what guarantee do we have that drug companies will design studies to actually FIND side effects, opposed to doctoring studies in such a way that side effects are simply obscured?

The fact is, there are no guarantees whatsoever, as these studies will be a) done by the same companies mass-marketing drugs that are effective for 5% of patients or less, and b) regulated by the same government agencies that let drug companies get away with doing safety studies that don’t actually record side effects.

Getting back to the HPV vaccine, research

shows Merck played a distinct role in state HPV vaccination policy, promoting school-entry mandates

“by serving as an information resource, lobbying legislators, drafting legislation, mobilizing female legislators and physician organizations, conducting consumer marketing campaigns and filling gaps in access to the vaccine.”

It also found that most stakeholders thought the company “had acted too aggressively and nontransparently” to achieve their aim. Again, Merck designed their safety studies so as not to find side effects, and then aggressively lobbied to maximize vaccine uptake.

So, in essence, children and teens were sacrificed in these studies just to allow the company to say they had studied the vaccine and found it safe and effective (even though it has NEVER been proven to have prevented a single case of HPV and/or cervical cancer).

And now we’re going to allow Merck and others to include pregnant women in their studies as well? What could possibly go wrong? Again and again, we see a pattern suggesting safety is not allowed to get in the way of profits and policy. History also reveals a pattern of marketing drugs and vaccines by playing on people’s fears.

Most recently, Bill Gates stated he believes a global pandemic that could kill 30 million in six months is on its way, and we’re completely unprepared for it.

His comments archived the following month in The New England Journal of Medicine,

were made during an “Epidemics Going Viral, Innovation Vs. Nature” speaker series on April 27, 2018, sponsored by Massachusetts Medical Society and The New England Journal of Medicine. According to Gates, the next pandemic killer might well be a disease we’ve never encountered before.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has a history of supporting questionable vaccination agendas with their millions, so it makes sense, I guess, that Gates would be anxious to create a need for some costly remedy by amping up the fear factor. In the past decade, there’s been a string of attempts to rile up the masses and increase demand for pandemic vaccines.

The predicted pandemics all fell flat, and no mass casualties ever occurred, yet the fearmongering strategy is not easily abandoned. In the case of the HPV vaccine, it’s promoted as an anticancer vaccine, even though no proof exists that it actually prevents cancer. As mentioned earlier, Merck’s own research revealed an increased risk of cervical cancer with the vaccine under certain circumstances.

It may be worth remembering the basics when pondering the decision of whether or not to vaccinate your child against HPV:

  • There are over 200 viral strains of HPV. Gardasil 9, licensed in 2015, contains the original Gardasil HPV types 16, 18, 6 and 11, plus types 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58, which are associated with cervical, vulvar, vaginal and anal cancers.

    Cervical cancer accounts for less than 1% of all cancer deaths in the U.S. and anal cancer kills approximately 300 Americans each year. So, HPV vaccine is not targeting a major public health threat, no matter which way you look at it.

  • Most HPV cases are in fact harmless, and your immune system is typically able to fight and clear out the infection naturally, even without treatment. In 90% of cases, HPV resolves within two years or less; 70% clear within one year.

    In a small percentage of individuals, HPV can persist for years, and may cause symptoms to appear, particularly when the immune system weakens. High-risk HPV strains may also cause lesions that sometimes can evolve into cervical cancer if left untreated.

  • To avoid contracting HPV, use condoms during sexual activity. Research

    has demonstrated that using condoms can reduce the risk of HPV infection by 70%, which is far more effective than the HPV vaccine.

    If you have children nearing sexual maturation, teach them about the importance of safe sex — not just for the avoidance of HPV, but also to avoid other sexually transmitted diseases, many of which are now resistant to antibiotics and exceptionally difficult to treat.

  • Get regular Pap smears once sexually active, and get treatment if testing positive for HPV infection. Remember, it’s the long-term, untreated infections that can trigger cancer. According to research published in 2014, shiitake mushroom extract can speed up the elimination of HPV infection in women by boosting immune function.

    Routine Pap smear testing is a far more rational, less expensive and less dangerous strategy for cervical cancer prevention, as it can identify chronic HPV infection and may provide greater protection against development of cervical cancer than blind faith in an unproven HPV vaccine.

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