By Anna Von Reitz
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By Anna Von Reitz
By Dr. Mercola
Using satellite data, the Health Effects Institute found that 95 percent of the world is breathing polluted air.1 Their statistics are based on outdoor sources of pollution, including transportation vehicles, industrial activity and coal power plants. Although these numbers are considerable, they are likely conservative and do not account for small particulate pollution in your home.
Over the past 50 years the number of soaps and detergents have grown at an amazing rate as manufacturers work to meet the demands of consumers looking for quick, fragrant solutions to a dirty problem.2 However, using these chemical household cleaners as seldom as once a week come with significant health risks.
For example, one recent study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine3 demonstrated weekly exposure to chemical cleaning solutions increases your risk of lung damage from fine particulate air pollution.
Another study4 has linked exposure to cleaning products in early childhood to an increased risk of obesity. According to research published in 2013,5 20 percent of American deaths are associated with obesity, and the younger you are, the greater the influence on your mortality. Since 1980, childhood obesity rates have tripled in the U.S. and the rate of obese teens has quadrupled.
In this study, the researchers evaluated the gut flora of more than 750 babies between the ages of 3 and 4 months who were part of the Canadian Health Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) cohort. Fecal samples were collected at the start and end of the study to evaluate the type and number of bacteria.
During the study, researchers asked parents how often cleaning products were used and confirmed these answers with a visit to the residence. Reassessment was done at age 1 and 3 years, including a measurement of the child’s weight.6 The data revealed a change in the child’s gut microbiota, which differed depending upon the cleaning products used in the home.
For instance, children exposed to disinfectants had higher levels of Lachnospiraceae bacteria while levels of Haemophilus dropped. Children who lived in homes where eco-friendly products were used had lower levels of Enterobacteriaceae.
When the child’s weight was measured at the end of the study, those in contact with disinfectants had higher BMI scores, whereas homes where eco-friendly products were used experienced an inverse trend. The researchers controlled for a wide range of other potential factors affecting changes in gut bacteria, such as vaginal or cesarean birth, breastfeeding and exposure to antibiotics.7
While there was no evidence that gut microbiome changes caused the reduction in obesity risk, the analysis showed exposure to detergents and disinfectants did increase the risk.8 Lead author and pediatric professor at the University of Alberta, Anita Kozyrskyj, commented on the results:9
“A possible explanation is that mothers who used eco-friendly products during pregnancy had more nutritious diets and a healthier pregnancy.
As a result, their healthy microbiome was passed on to their newborns, leading to both a lower chance of their infants having lower levels of Enterobacteriaceae three to four months later and becoming overweight. When infants are implicated, changing the composition of microbiota at a critical time of development may affect the immune system.”
In December 2011, severe obesity was included as a qualifying disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, raising the cost to society as a whole. Data collected from thousands of Canadians has also confirmed obesity surpasses smoking in terms of creating ill-health, and Dutch researchers have predicted obesity and inactivity will overtake smoking as a leading cause of cancer deaths.
One study10 reviewed data from more than 170 countries measuring health effects associated with body mass index (BMI) and found 12 percent of adults, globally, are obese. When those who are overweight but not obese are included, the global rate is nearly 30 percent. This echoes previous studies and suggests there are now more overweight people than there are underweight ones.11
Many who are obese develop Type 2 diabetes, a condition caused by insulin and leptin resistance. Those with Type 2 diabetes are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, peripheral vascular disease, stroke, heart attack and negative health conditions associated with damage to microvasculature, including blindness and kidney disease.
Obesity also increases your risk of developing gallstones, crystal-like deposits created inside your gallbladder.12 The stones may be made from cholesterol in individuals who are obese, and the size can vary from a grain of sand to the size of a golf ball. While they don’t always cause symptoms, if they block the pancreatic duct you may experience noticeable pain lasting several hours.
A study published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging has also found structural changes in the brains of overweight individuals typically seen in far older people.13 The researchers discovered those who are overweight had accelerated loss of the brain’s white matter, and calculated the volume lost in an overweight 50-year-old was comparable to the same volume lost in a slim 60-year-old.
The loss may be related to an increased inflammatory response, but the exact reason remains undetermined. Higher amounts of body fat can contribute to various forms of cancer. While the connection isn’t clear, doctors believe low-level inflammation caused by obesity can gradually damage DNA over time, leading to cancer. The following types of cancer have been linked to obesity:
Gastric cardia cancer
The importance of the human gut microbiome to health is only beginning to be explored. Several studies have described the structure and capacity of the microbiome in a healthy state and a variety of disease states.14 Ongoing efforts to characterize the function and mechanism continue to provide a better understanding of the role gut microbiome plays in health and disease.
The gut microbiome changes quickly during the first year or two of life and is shaped by breast milk, the environment and other factors. However, the number and type of bacteria tends to stabilize by the time you are 3 years old.15 That said, exposure to antibiotics, cleaning supplies, stress, processed foods and medications can all impact the health of your gut microbiome.
The bacteria have been linked to how people respond to medications, and it’s been suggested it may be linked with how well you sleep. Weight management is another area of health affected by the type of bacteria living in your gut. Your gut microbes influence appetite, inflammation and efficiency of metabolizing, and have a significant impact on your immune system.
“Human intestinal bacteria have been linked to the increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity, and scientists have started to investigate whether the intestinal bacteria can play a role in the treatment of overweight.
But it is only now that we have a breakthrough demonstrating that certain bacterial species play a decisive role in weight regulation and weight loss.”
In studies comparing intestinal bacteria in obese and lean individuals, researchers found lean individuals had a rich community of microbes brimming with many species, but obese individuals had a less diverse group of microbiota.18
Although documenting the differences does not indicate discrepancies are responsible for obesity, further research in animal studies19 and the featured study indicate changes in got microbiome may hold a significant clue to weight management.
For example, in one small study,20 calorie restriction and physical activity was found to impact the composition of the gut microbiome. The goal of the study was to determine the influence of a treatment program on the gut microbiome, finding those in the high weight loss group experienced a greater change in total bacterial growth and diversity than those in the low weight loss group.
As mentioned earlier, exposure to cleaning solutions as seldom as once a week may accelerate decline in lung function, as demonstrated by research from the University of Bergen in Norway.21 The researchers found once-weekly use of cleaning solutions for 20 years produced damage to lung tissue equivalent to smoking 20 cigarettes a day for 10 to 12 years.
The researchers used data from over 6,000 participants whose average age was 34 at the time of enrollment in the study. After 20 years of follow-up, women who used commercial cleaning solutions experienced reductions in lung function, measured by forced expiratory volume and forced vital capacity, at a much faster rate than those who used them less frequently or not at all.
The average American worker spends nearly one hour on housework daily.22 However, there’s a misconception that in order to get a truly clean home, you have to put on rubber gloves and spray harsh chemicals.
One of the primary reasons to regularly clean is to remove many of the toxic chemicals accumulating in house dust, including flame retardants and phthalates.23 However using commercial sprays, wipes and scrubs actually introduces more toxins into your environment.
If you’ve ever felt sick, dizzy or gotten a headache after cleaning your home with typical supplies, it’s likely because of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Long-term use of these chemicals can damage your liver, kidneys, central nervous system and even cause cancer.24
After testing 25 household products, including air fresheners and all-purpose cleaners, researchers found the average product contains 17 VOCs.25 Products with fragrances are particularly problematic and studies reveal nearly 35 percent of Americans have had health problems when exposed to them.26
Meanwhile, a typical professional cleaning product will contain more than a 132 different chemicals, among them fragrances, surfactants, phosphates, detergents and more.
If you are ready to switch to nontoxic, efficient and effective cleaners, discover how you may create your own at home using most of what you already have in your cabinets in my previous article, “Keep a Clean House with Nontoxic Cleaners.”
By Dr. Mercola
According to a recent report by the Health Effects Institute,1 95 percent of the world live in areas where the pollution levels are higher than deemed safe by the World Health Organization (WHO). This makes air pollution the fourth largest cause of death, following high blood pressure, diet and smoking.
Fine particulate matter (PM) concentration exceeds 10 micrograms per meters cubed (ug/m3) for 95 percent of the world, and nearly 60 percent live in areas where the PM exceeds even the least stringent WHO air quality target of 35 ug/m3.2 Fine PM measuring less than 2.5 micrograms (PM2.5) is one indicator of outdoor pollution levels.
Experts estimate exposure to PM2.5 contributes to more than 6 million deaths worldwide and plays a large role in increasing the risk of stroke, lung cancer and heart attack. Although many developed countries have made significant moves toward reducing air pollution, developing countries have fallen further behind as they struggle for economic growth.3
Bob O’Keefe, vice president of the Health Effects Institute, believes there’s reason for optimism, though, as both China and India are taking steps to reduce pollution.4 Although the physical effects of air pollution are well-known, a recent study5 demonstrates it may cause a large reduction in intelligence, indicating damage of toxic air is far more significant than previously believed.
Although data was collected on 20,000 people living in China, the researchers believe the findings are relevant to the entire world. They found6 language and arithmetic skills were affected, with the average impact on those tested equivalent to losing one year of education.
However, a member of the research team believes the effects may be even worse for the elderly and for those with a low education level. Calculating the loss in those individuals may increase damage to several years. The study authors concluded:7
“The damage on the aging brain by air pollution likely imposes substantial health and economic costs, considering that cognitive functioning is critical for the elderly for both running daily errands and making high-stake decisions.”
According to this study, the longer people were exposed, the greater the damage. Language skills were the most dramatically affected, in men more than women. Researchers monitored individuals for more than four years.8 Other studies have found air pollution harms cognitive performance in students. However, this is the first to examine individuals of all ages and the differences between men and women.
Data from other studies have linked air pollution to high mortality in those who suffer mental disorders.9 It’s also been found to raise the risk of mental illness in children,10 and those living near busy roads have an increased risk of dementia.11
According to researcher Derek Ho, Ph.D., from Hong Kong Polytechnic University, air pollution likely affects cognition because “high air pollution can potentially be associated with oxidative stress, neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration of humans.”12
Another member of the research team, Xi Chen at Yale School of Public Health, believes air pollution is most likely the cause of loss of intelligence rather than simply being correlated.
The team noted air pollution has a short-term impact on intelligence as well, which could have significant consequences for students who have to take crucial exams on polluted days. Dr. Aarash Saleh, from Doctors Against Diesel campaign, remarked:13
“This study adds to the concerning bank of evidence showing that exposure to air pollution can worsen our cognitive function. Road traffic is the biggest contributor to air pollution in residential areas and the government needs to act urgently to remove heavily-polluting vehicles from our roads.”
Another study, conducted over 20 years in Sweden, demonstrated those with asthma — a potential health risk with exposure to air pollutants — were three and a half times more likely to leave school by the age of 16 and twice as likely to drop out of the university. This suggests exposure to pollutants at a young age may impact the future education and jobs of these children.14
There is ample evidence air pollution triggers negative health conditions in adults and children, but recent research presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress demonstrate tiny particles of carbon are capable of migrating through the lungs and the placenta.15
Previously, research has linked air pollution exposure in pregnant moms with premature birth, low birth weight, infant mortality and childhood respiratory problems. Although this new study adds to existing evidence, the work concerned the researchers, as they were surprised to find the number of particles present.
The team gathered data from five pregnant women who lived in London and were due for a planned cesarean section delivery. All of the women were nonsmokers and had a history of an uncomplicated pregnancy and each gave birth to a healthy baby. The women gave permission for the team to study the placenta after delivery.16
Analysis found 60 cells contained 72 small black areas believed to be carbon particles.17 On average, each placenta had nearly 5 square micrometers of this black substance. Lisa Miyashita, one of the research team from Queen Mary University, commented on the importance of the findings:18
“We’ve known for a while that air pollution affects fetal development and can continue to affect babies after birth and throughout their lives. We were interested to see if these effects could be due to pollution particles moving from the mother’s lungs to the placenta. Until now, there has been very little evidence that inhaled particles get into the blood from the lung.”
The kidneys are sensitive organs, reacting quickly to environmental toxins and medications. A recent study found a widely used household and industrial chemical, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), may damage your kidneys.19 PFASs are used to create heat, water and oil resistance in applications such as carpeting, apparel, food paper wrappings and firefighting foams.
The chemicals are not biodegradable, and bioaccumulate through the food chain. People and animals are exposed through contaminated soil, food, water and air, and exposure has been linked to adverse health effects including low birth weight, delayed puberty and reduced immunological responses.20
Lead author, Dr. John Stanifer of Duke University, commented on the importance of understanding how the chemicals in the environment interact with each other and impact human health:21
“Because so many people are exposed to these PFAS chemicals, and to the newer, increasingly produced alternative PFAS agents such as GenX, it is critical to understand if and how these chemicals may contribute to kidney disease.”
The literature review included toxicological studies of human and animal data as well as human epidemiological studies. These revealed significant association between PFAS exposure with poor overall kidney health and lower estimated glomerular filtration rate.22
The researchers also found a higher prevalence of chronic kidney disease. Stanifer23 was surprised at the amount of evidence supporting a link between PFAS exposure and kidney disease. As they are with so many other environmental toxins, researchers are still unclear how they interact to worsen kidney disease in those who also have other risk factors, such as diabetes and hypertension.
This is just one of three studies in recent months demonstrating the effect air pollution has on kidney function. The second was published in PLOS One by University of Michigan researchers who found air pollutants may trigger the development of chronic kidney disease.24
The third25 also evaluated the impact of environmental pollution on the kidneys and found long-term exposure to PM 2.5 was associated with an increased risk of rapid decline in renal function.
Studies show Americans spend nearly 92 percent of their time indoors,26 which means your indoor air is critical to your overall health. There are steps you may consider to improve the quality of air you breathe each day in your home, many of which are very cost-effective in the short run and may help significantly reduce your health care costs long-term.
Ventilation — One of the simplest and easiest ways to reduce pollution levels in your home is to open a couple of windows to create cross-ventilation. Since most new homes have little air leakage, opening the windows for as little as 15 minutes each day can improve the quality of the air you’re breathing.
An attic fan may reduce your air conditioning costs and bring in fresh outdoor air. Kitchen and bathroom fans venting outside help remove contaminants from these rooms.27 Some builders are installing heat recovery ventilation systems to help prevent condensation and mold growth and improve indoor air quality in energy efficient homes.28
The same principles apply to ventilating your car. Chemicals from plastics, solvents, carpet and audio equipment in new cars add to the toxic mix in your car’s cabin. The “new car smell” can contain up to 35 times the health limit for VOCs, as discussed in my previous article, “What’s in That New Car Smell?“
However, when driving in heavy traffic you’ll want to reduce air pollution from car exhaust by closing your windows and recirculating the air in your car until you are out of traffic.
Purification — An inexpensive method of removing toxins from the air and destressing your environment is using plants as discussed in the video below.29 Also see “12 Healthy Houseplants That Improve Your Indoor Air Quality” for a list of plants you may consider.
A high-quality air purifier using photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) is one of the best technologies available. Rather than merely filtering the air, PCO actually cleans the air using ultraviolet light. PCO transforms the pollutants into nontoxic substances. In addition to using them in your home, portable air purifiers are available to take with you when you work or travel.
Filtration — Water filters function to reduce the amount of airborne chlorine during a bath or shower.30 Shop for a filter with NSF/ANSI 177: Shower Filtration Systems-Aesthetic Effects. These filters are tested by a third party to make sure they effectively remove chlorine.31
Also vacuum your floors regularly using a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner or, even better, a central vacuum cleaner which can be retrofitted to your existing house. Standard bag or bagless vacuum cleaners are another primary contributor to poor indoor air quality.
A regular vacuum cleaner typically has about a 20 micron tolerance. However, far more microscopic particles flow right through the vacuum cleaner than it actually picks up. Beware of cheaper knock-offs professing to have “HEPA-like” filters — get the real deal.
Cleaning — Avoid hanging dry-cleaned clothing in your closet as soon as you bring them home. Instead, hang them outside for an entire day or two if possible. Better yet, see if there’s an eco-friendly dry cleaner in your city using some of the newer dry cleaning technologies, such as liquid CO2.
Most cleaning products, air fresheners and scented candles contribute to poor indoor air quality. Research has linked once-weekly use of cleaning products with a 24 to 32 percent higher risk of progressive lung disease.32
Fortunately, there are safe, cost-effective and efficient options, including soap and water, or vinegar and baking soda.33 Strategies in my previous article, “Are Household Products Killing Us?” may help reduce your toxic load. Consider these suggestions to clean your home using simple products you may already have in your cabinets.
Service your appliances — A poorly maintained furnace, space heater, hot water heater, water softener, natural gas heater or stove and other fuel burning appliances may leak carbon dioxide or nitrogen dioxide. Have your appliances serviced per the manufacturer’s recommendations to reduce potential indoor air pollution.
Your air conditioner may also be a source of dangerous bacteria. On several occasions, outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease have been traced back to contaminated air conditioner units.
Your air conditioner compressor might be outside your house, but inside, often in the attic or basement, is where the condensation occurs. Mold grows in damp and humid environments. Use a dehumidifier and air conditioner to keep your humidity under 50 percent. Keep the units cleaned so they aren’t a source of pollution.
The air ducts from your forced air heating and air conditioning units can be a source of pollution in your home. If there is mold growth, a buildup of dust and debris or if the ducts have become home to vermin, it’s time to call a professional and have them cleaned.
Prevention — Ask smokers to go outside. Secondhand smoke from cigarettes, pipes and cigars contains over 200 known carcinogenic chemicals, endangering your health.
Test for radon, a colorless, odorless gas linked to lung cancer. It can get trapped under your home during construction and may leak into your air system over time. Radon testing kits are a quick and cheap way to determine if you are at risk.
Avoid storing paints, adhesives, solvents and other harsh chemicals in your house. If you must have them, keep them in a detached garage or shed. Avoid using cookware with nonstick coating, as these pots and pans can release toxins into the air when heated.
Avoid powders, whether cleansing scrubs, talcum or other personal care powders — these can be problematic as they float and linger in the air after each use. Many powders are allergens due to their tiny size, and can cause respiratory problems.
By Dr. Mercola
I’ve written many articles highlighting the bias created by funding and the dangers of basing health decisions on industry-funded science. Independent, unbiased research is absolutely crucial for getting to the truth; without it science becomes little more than an extension of marketing, and hence useless.
So, what’s happening at Cochrane right now is nothing short of tragic.1,2,3 Cochrane (an international network of scientists that promotes evidence-based medicine), formerly known as the Cochrane Collaboration, has been the gold standard for independent scientific meta-reviews, and the organization’s reputation has managed to stay remarkably unblemished — until now.
Cochrane publishes hundreds of scientific reviews each year, looking at what works and what doesn’t. For example, Cochrane has repeatedly found that flu vaccinations are ineffective and have no appreciable effect on hospitalizations and mortality.4,5,6,7,8
Considering the flimsy evidence underpinning recommendations for the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine, it was therefore surprising when Cochrane published such a strongly favorable review of the vaccine.
The review,9 published May 9, 2018, looked at 26 studies, concluding “There is high-certainty evidence that HPV vaccines protect against cervical precancer in adolescent girls and women who are vaccinated between 15 and 26 years of age,” and that “The risk of serious adverse events is similar in HPV and control vaccines.”
Two months later, Peter Gøtzsche along with Cochrane-affiliated researchers Lars Jørgensen and Tom Jefferson, published a scathing critique of the HPV review in BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine,10 pointing out methodological flaws and conflicts of interest.
Gøtzsche, a Danish physician-researcher and outspoken critic of the drug industry (as his book, “Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime: How Big Pharma Has Corrupted Healthcare,”11 suggests) helped found the Cochrane Collaboration in 1993 and later launched the Nordic Cochrane Centre.
According to Gøtzsche and his coauthors, the HPV vaccine review “missed nearly half of the eligible trials,” and “was influenced by reporting bias and biased trial designs.” Overall, the review failed to meet Cochrane standards, Gøtzsche says.
Importantly, all 26 trials included in the HPV vaccine review used active comparators, meaning aluminum-containing vaccines, which can significantly skew results by hiding adverse effects. Making matters worse, the reviewers incorrectly described these active comparators as “placebos.”
Results may also have been skewed by the exclusion of women who had a history of immunological or nervous system disorders. “These exclusion criteria lowered the external validity of the trials and suggest that the vaccine manufacturers were worried about harms caused by the adjuvants,” Gøtzsche and his team writes.
According to Gøtzsche, the review also “incompletely assessed serious and systemic adverse events” and ignored “HPV vaccine-related safety signals.” These are exactly the kinds of tactics I discussed in “Questionable Tactics Used in Vaccine ‘Safety’ Testing.”
Gøtzsche also notes the HPV vaccine reviewers incorrectly concluded the impact of industry funding on the included studies was insignificant. In reality, all 26 studies were funded by industry, and therefore assessment of funding impact could not even be done in a meaningful way. What’s more, the reviewers brought their own conflicts of interest to the table.
“The Cochrane Collaboration aims to be free from conflicts of interest related to the manufacturers of the reviewed products … The Cochrane review only has four authors; three of whom had such conflicts of interest a decade ago.
The review’s first author currently leads EMA’s ‘post-marketing surveillance of HPV vaccination effects in non-Nordic member states of the European Union,’ which is funded by Sanofi-Pasteur-MSD that was the co-manufacturer of Gardasil,” Gøtzsche and his teammates state.
To Gøtzsche’s and many others’ surprise, the Cochrane governing board decided to simply expel Gøtzsche from the board. Four other board members (Gerald Gartlehner, David Hammerstein Mintz, Joerg Meerpohl and Nancy Santesso) immediately resigned in protest,12 leaving just eight of the 13-member board. In a joint statement, Gartlehner, Hammerstein Mintz, Meerpohl and Santesso said:13
“We believe that the expulsion of inconvenient members from the Collaboration goes against Cochrane ethos and neither reflects its founding spirit nor promotes the Collaboration’s best interests.”
In a three-page letter14 to the Nordic Cochrane Centre — which is well worth reading in its entirety — Gøtzsche not only addresses his expulsion but also questions the path Cochrane’s leadership has chosen in more recent years. Given its revelatory nature, I’ve included this longer-than-normal quote:
“No clear reasoned justification has been given for my expulsion aside from accusing me of causing ‘disrepute’ for the organization. This is the first time in 25 years that a member has been excluded from membership of Cochrane …
[T]he Cochrane Collaboration has entered an unchartered territory of crisis and lack of strategic direction … Recently the central executive team of Cochrane has failed to activate adequate safeguards … to assure sufficient policies in the fields of epistemology, ethics and morality.
Transparency, open debate, criticism and expanded participation are tools that guarantee the reduction of uncertainty of reviews and improve the public perception of the democratic scientific process.
These are conditions and tools that cannot be eliminated, as has happened recently, without placing into serious doubt the rigorous scientific undertaking of Cochrane and eroding public confidence in Cochrane’s work. My expulsion should be seen in this context.
There has also been a serious democratic deficit. The role of the Governing Board has been radically diminished under the intense guidance of the current central executive team and the Board has increasingly become a testimonial body that rubber-stamps highly finalized proposals with practically no ongoing input and exchange of views to formulate new policies …
This growing top-down authoritarian culture and an increasingly commercial business model that have been manifested within the Cochrane leadership over the past few years threaten the scientific, moral and social objectives of the organization …
There has also been criticism in Cochrane concerning the overpromotion of favorable reviews and conflicts of interest and the biased nature of some scientific expert commentary … There is stronger and stronger resistance to say anything that could bother pharmaceutical industry interests. The excuse of lack of time and staff (around 50) is not credible.
There has also been great resistance and stalling on the part of the central executive team to improving Cochrane’s conflict of interest policy. A year ago, I proposed that there should be no authors of Cochrane reviews to have financial conflicts of interests with companies related to the products considered in the reviews. This proposal was supported by other members of the Board, but the proposal has not progressed at all.”
Cochrane announced it was launching an investigation into the HPV vaccine review August 9.15 September 3, Cochrane’s editor-in-chief issued a rebuttal16 to Gøtzsche’s critique, saying the organization stands by the findings of the review. Considering the clear conflicts of interest, this seems rather ill advised.
One of the authors of the HPV vaccine review protocol17 — meaning the individuals who designed and determined the scope of the review — was Dr. Lauri Markowitz, who just so happens to be the HPV team lead for the division of viral diseases at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).18,19
Markowitz was also part of the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) HPV working group in 2006, and is the designated correspondent on ACIP’s HPV vaccination recommendation issued in March 2007.20
This is about as clear a conflict of interest as you can get — especially when you consider the U.S. government has a financial interest in the sale of HPV vaccine.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) receives royalties from the sale of this vaccine. Remarkably, NIH royalties from vaccines are protected from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA),21 so there’s no telling just how much it stands to gain. The fact that these royalties are kept secret may be telling in and of itself, however. But there’s more.
Merck, which manufactures and distributes the HPV vaccine Gardasil, has worked with a global health group called PATH22 to get the vaccine approved for use across the world. PATH, in turn, has received tens of millions of dollars from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — $84.3 million in 2005 alone, for the expansion of low-cost tools that promote newborn health,23 and $10 million in 2013 to reduce cervical cancer deaths caused by HPV.24
In a June 5, 2018, article,28 the World Mercury Project, led by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., analyzed the financial ties between Cochrane, Gates and other vested players, noting that with Cochrane’s HPV review, it appears several of them are “getting plenty of bang for their charitable buck.”
It’s worth noting that while Markowitz is not listed as an author of the final report,29 she is still listed in the acknowledgements section as having provided “invaluable advice and contributions by reviewing the results and discussion sections.”
The failure to disclose conflicts of interest has become so incredibly widespread, it seems more the norm than the exception these days. As just one among countless examples, last year I wrote about how STAT News, an otherwise reputable science and health news source, published an op-ed piece praising the benefits of pharma sales reps.
The article, “How Pharma Sales Reps Help Me Be a More Up-to-Date Doctor,” was written by Dr. Robert Yapundich, an experienced neurologist. The problem? Yapundich has received more than $300,000 from drug companies in recent years, and this fact was not disclosed anywhere, either by Yapundich himself or the editor.
Astute sleuths then pointed out other discrepancies, such as the fact that while Yapundich claimed he’d not heard of the drug Nuplazid until he had lunch with a drug rep, he’d actually been a paid consultant for that very drug. STAT News eventually retracted the article after multiple complaints.
The problem goes deeper than medical professionals and academics repaying the hand that feeds them with positive press, however. Sometimes, op-ed pieces such as these are actually written by the drug company itself, while it’s being passed off as expert opinion. This practice is known as ghostwriting, and is one of the most insidious and deceptive tactics around.
Speaking of retractions, in related news, Cornell nutrition researcher Brian Wansink recently resigned after an internal investigation revealed “academic misconduct in his research and scholarship, including misreporting of research data, problematic statistical techniques, failure to properly document and preserve research results, and inappropriate authorship.”30
Researchers who have pored over Wansink’s studies have identified more than 40 that are problematic, and, according to ARS Technica,31 “Those studies had collectively been cited by other researchers 3,700 times [and] been published in over 25 journals and eight books.” So far, 13 of Wansink’s popular studies have now been retracted, and another 15 have been formally corrected. ARS Technica writes:
“The retractions, corrections and [September 20] resignation all stem from Wansink’s own admission of statistical scavenging to find meaningful conclusions in otherwise messy dieting data. The result is that many common dieting tips — such as using smaller plates to trick yourself into shoveling in less food and stashing unhealthy snacks in hard-to-reach places — are now on the cutting board and possibly destined for the garbage bin.
Prior to the scandal, Wansink made a name for himself publishing studies indicating, generally, that such subtle environmental changes could lead to distinct eating and health benefits. He helped cook up the idea for the now ubiquitous 100-calorie snack packs, for instance. And he served up the suggestion to have fruit bowls placed prominently on our kitchen counters.”
While the drug industry is quick to claim that anyone questioning its integrity is part of a “war against science,” the evidence of malfeasance is simply too great and too disturbing to ignore. From my perspective, the industry itself is to blame for the public’s dwindling confidence in scientific findings.
Loss of confidence is a natural result when lie after lie is unearthed, and there’s been no shortage of scientific scandals to shake public confidence in recent years.
Still, the industry just keeps plugging away using the same propaganda tactics perfected by the tobacco industry, a key strategy of which is simply to keep uncertainty alive. Sometimes this may require the manufacture of biased research, but oftentimes it’s as easy as repeating a lie enough times that it starts to sound like an established fact.
Whether intentional or not, she follows a well-worn industry talking point groove, dishing out such classic statements as: “The goal is to protect the public — to ensure that more people embrace vaccines …” “The internet has made it easy for anti-vaccine activists to mislead,” and “[C]oncerns over what these groups might do are starting to take precedence over scientific progress.” What she — like everyone else before her — fails to address is the motive.
The vaccine industry has a significant vested interest in producing favorable results in their research. Ditto for the drug industry and chemical industry and most other industries that fund, conduct and publish their own research. When they publish flawed studies, they have a strong motive for doing so, which is why the public needs to be aware that the bias is real.
However, when independent researchers, journalists or indeed regular laypeople point out those flaws and refuse to buy the industry’s nonsensical conclusions, what is the motive behind the rejection? According to industry, the motive is a “war on science.” Basically, we all hate science, we cannot tolerate progress and want to go back to the Dark Ages of bloodletting and humours.
A more pathetic and unconvincing motive simply cannot be manufactured. It’s so illogical it can be ignored without comment or defense. If there’s a war on science, it’s fought by industry, because they’re the ones benefiting.
In closing, I would direct you to read through Dr. Marcia Angell’s article “Transparency Hasn’t Stopped Drug Companies From Corrupting Medical Research.”34 A former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine for over 20 years, she has profound insight into these issues and has written extensively about how industry funding affects and distorts scientific research.
The ex-minister of National Defence for Canada said at least four species of aliens have been visiting Earth for decades and claimed top authorities are constantly in discussions with extraterrestrial beings.
Paul Hellyer, who was the Canadian Minister of National Defence in the 1960?s during the Cold War, claims to have inside information that top governments are in cahoots with aliens. Mr Hellyer first spoke about his belief that aliens were on Earth in 1995, and since then has become an authoritative figure in the UFO community.
Mr Hellyer said: “In one of the cases during the Cold War, 1961, there were about 50 UFOs in formation flying South from Russia across Europe. The supreme allied commander was very concerned and was about ready to press the panic button when they turned around and went back over the North Pole”.
“They decided to do an investigation and they investigated for three years and they decided that with absolute certainty that four different species, at least, have been visiting this planet for thousands of years.”
The video linked below is very worth watching. Judge Napolitano at his best. Only about 38 minutes, so definitely check it out. Please comment.
Found Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uTR3qNW70w
The Constitution represented a coup from the beginning, and it’s a dead letter today. The Declaration of Independence, however, is a truly radical libertarian document still worthy of consideration. Judge Andrew Napolitiano, our Distinguished Scholar in Law and Jurisprudence, recently gave a rousing talk at Mises University on the Declaration’s natural law tradition–and how federal courts relentlessly and successfully attacked the principles it represented. This is Judge Nap at his scorching best, and you won’t want to miss his comments on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
I received this in an email from one of our subscribers along with him comments below.
Your comments please on this whole thread.
It took Emery Smith over a decade of being an anonymous insider to David Wilcock to finally decide to come out into the public realm and share his stories in person. You may have heard of him already if you follow the work of David Wilcock, Steven Greer, Corey Goode or others. If you have not, be prepared to hear about a hidden world of laboratories in secret underground bases that seems almost too fantastical to be made up.
The video embedded below is from Emery Smith’s first appearance on David Wilcock’s ‘Cosmic Disclosure.’ If Emery appears to be nervous in the first interview to reveal his identity, he has reason to be. He was aware that he had testimony that powerful people would not want disclosed. Near the end of the interview, they discuss Emery’s decision to reveal himself to the public. Emery gets quite emotional, saying that ‘Recently…it’s gotten a little violent.’
Emery: Been shot at, been stabbed, been jumped by 3 agents, gotten my butt kicked, I mean, I’ve been through it all…They really got angry and that’s where I lost everything. They broke into my house, rammed my gate, my concrete gate, down, you know, where all this stuff was stored, cut into the walls, where things in safes were hidden, that you can only know by satellite, using–these people definitely had perfect satellite imagery, of, you know, I know about the satellites, very well, and the stuff they can do with them, and they can look into every brick, and every wall of the house.
David: Wow, it’s unbelievable. I’m very glad that you made it here alive, that we’re doing this now, we’re gonna try to get as much on camera as we can for your safety.
While David had long been telling Emery that coming forward publicly to reveal what he knows would probably be better for his safety than staying anonymous, Emery finally decided that David was right, after having so much violence inflicted upon him. It seemed to be enough to give him the resolve to expose himself and speak about this important information. All this and more is spoken about in the video below.
Starting off as a surgical technician in the military at a young age, he showed great promise with his skill and rapidly growing knowledge. When he was moved out to Kirtland Air Force Base he was offered a special ‘Moonlighting’ job, which he would do part-time at first but eventually became full-time while still being ranked and paid as an above-board active duty service member.
He discusses his first day of work which involved going into an underground facility on the base through a secret elevator that could go down at least 30 levels:
‘On my first day I just remember I was in this little room, kind of like you would see in the movies where the rooms were all white with the little steel table, and all these instruments there, and you’re escorted to this place, and you get in there and there’s this piece of tissue, and it’s all positive-pressure air system, and you do scrub-out just like a surgeon scrubs and puts his gowns on and all that, and you label like you would in biology school a frog–this is a muscle, this is a tongue, whatever–and I was just there to label and take small samples, and put them in these different types of jars and vats and containers, which I would then push through a drawer in a wall, and someone else would take it, and that was it.’
At first, the samples were small and nondescript, at times resembling a piece of salmon filet. But every three to six months Emery would rise to a higher security clearance, and as he did so,
‘…the samples started getting more ‘intact,’ where you could see that, well, this is a hand, you know, and I could not tell you what that is, at that point <ET or not>, I couldn’t even say–and you’re not allowed to ask, anything. You just do that, and you don’t talk to anybody, and that’s your job, and that’s it.
David: What if you told your friends or your family, like, were you given security briefings for that?
Emery: Yes. I would be killed.
Emery began seeing things that were fully not what one would see on the planet, but seemed to look like highly evolved pieces of animal or even insect bodies. He said at this point he didn’t know if he was working with extraterrestrial beings, because there were possibilities that these were hybrids of different animal DNA and even human DNA.
It did not take too long, about 10 months, for Emery to advance to the point where he was getting large body parts of clearly extraterrestrial beings to autopsy, since he was doing his job well and keeping his mouth shut. Emery describes the first partial body he worked on.
Emery: It was a leopard-colored skin, it was a torso, it looked like it had got blown up, and it had reptilian skin, it had normal body parts like we had on our insides, so I did see a spleen, a heart, lungs, the face was too distorted and destroyed so I couldn’t tell you what the face looked like, but it had perfect, normal bone structure like we do, and it was just the skin, was beautiful, it was iridescent blue leopard skin, it reminded me of growing up in the Everglades, with the leopard frogs, where they had those round circles–and peacock feathers, mixed.
David: Did it scare you the first time you got a partial body, were you, like, ‘Oh my god, what’s going on here?’
Emery: Yeah, I was in shock. They’re measuring my heart rate, by the way, the whole time, they’re measuring how I’m reacting, so I kept cool, and they didn’t ask me ‘How are you doing?’
On the one hand, Emery had an insatiable curiosity about the beings he was working on, about where they came from, how they came to be in the lab, what had happened to them. He was, however, not even allowed to ask questions, and so a bit of disenchantment with the whole process was settling in.
After working with full bodies of extraterrestrial beings for a while, many of which defied description, he started feeling that there was something not right, that he was no longer feeling comfortable with what he had been doing. The day he received a full body that was warm, and which he knew had just died, he started to realized that he no longer wanted to do the work and applied for and received an honorable discharge.
Emery Smith has recently appeared as a guest on many shows, and it becomes clear that his knowledge and understanding of the workings of black projects and a whole world that is hidden from us is quite vast and comprehensive. The fact that he has autopsied extraterrestrial beings could almost be considered the tip of the iceberg, though it gives some indication of the high level of secrecy, compartmentalization, and vastness of this secret world that most human beings are still not aware of.
With the testimony of insiders like Emery Smith and Corey Goode, the Awakening Community has no choice but to evaluate their claims and try to piece together a picture of the vast operations that are being hidden from us, not only on the Earth but deep underground and in space. The more we work together to understand not only the nature of these activities but also the agenda, the closer we will be to getting the truth revealed to humanity at large.
By Don Quijones | 24 September 2018
WOLF STREET — Around 200 central bank employees, including 20 senior executives, have left their posts at the Bank of Mexico (Banxico) since presidential elections on July 1 handed a resounding victory to populist Andrés Manual Lopez Obrador (or AMLO). Unsurprisingly, their sudden departure has a lot to do with money.
One of AMLO’s manifesto pledges was to slash salaries for senior government officials and bureaucrats as part of sweeping cost-cutting measures. So far, he’s kept to his word. Last week, Congress, now under the majority control of his party, Morena, passed a law that will make it impossible for any state employee to earn more than the president. The gross monthly salary of the current president, Enrique Peña Nieto, is 209,135 pesos ($11,700). AMLO has pledged to cut the salary in half when he takes over the post on December 1.
The law will come into force in January and will apply to all three federal branches of government as well as regional and local government institutions. This could be a major problem for employees of Banxico, since all of them are considered public officials and many of them earn more than the current president. The average monthly salary of a Banxico board member is 365,000 pesos ($19,400), around 70% more than Peña Nieto’s and over 230% higher than the salary AMLO has pledged to pay himself.
Banxico has refused to comment on the matter but it’s safe to assume that the gathering exodus of central bank employees has at least something to do with AMLO’s plan to slash their salaries. Mexico’s central bank workers, it seems, are less enthralled by the austerity principle when it’s applied to their own income rather than others’. Naturally, many of the officials leaving Banxico will slot seamlessly into better paid jobs in the private sector, where their expert knowledge and lists of handy contacts will be put to excellent use. […]
By Tyler Durden | 24 September 2018
ZERO HEDGE — China is developing a digital dictatorship to exert control over its 1.4 billion citizens. For some, “social credit” will bring great opportunities — for others, punishment. The Communist Party’s plan is to monitor its citizens 24/7 and rank them on their behavior, as the dystopian social ranking system will be fully operational by 2020.
According to Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), an active pilot program has already assigned a score out of 800 to millions of people across the country. More than 200 million surveillance cameras are currently using artificial intelligence and facial recognition software that adds or subtracts social points based on physical and digital behavior.
The data collected from the vast network of cameras is blended with information collected from individuals’ government records, medical, financial, and even internet browsing histories. People’s scores can oscillate from good to bad in “real time” dependent on the person’s behavior, but also the people they associate with can affect scores as well. […]