Monsanto Argues Roundup Cancer Victim Should Receive Less Money Because of Imminent Death

August 10, 2018, a jury found Monsanto (now owned by Bayer AG1,2) had “acted with malice or oppression” and was responsible for “negligent failure” by not warning consumers about the carcinogenicity of its weed killer, Roundup.3,4 The plaintiff in this historic case was 46-year-old Dewayne Johnson, who is dying from Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Johnson sprayed about 150 gallons of Roundup 20 to 40 times per year while working as a groundskeeper for the Benicia Unified School District in California, from 2012 through late 2015.5 His lawsuit, filed in 2016 after he became too ill to work, accused Monsanto of hiding the health hazards of Roundup.

The jury ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages to Johnson, $33 million of which was noneconomic damages for pain and suffering. In October, the judge upheld the guilty verdict but reduced the total award to $78 million.6,7,8

Monsanto/Bayer Wants Damages Reduced on Grounds That Plaintiff Is Near Death

As expected, Bayer/Monsanto appealed. What’s shocking is the company’s argument for significantly reducing the damage amount further. In its appellate brief,9 the company asks for reversal of the damages awarded based on the fact that Johnson is near death. On page 87, the appeal states:10

A jury may award future noneconomic damages only for pain and suffering that a plaintiff is reasonably certain to experience based on his ‘projected life span at the time of trial’ …

[‘[D]amages for future pain and suffering are based upon plaintiff’s probable life expectancy in his or her injured condition … [C]ompensation for pain and suffering is recompense for pain and suffering actually experienced, and to the extent that premature death terminates the pain and suffering, compensation should be terminated’] …

An award is excessive if it ‘suggest[s] the jury was influenced by improper considerations’ … At closing argument, Plaintiff’s counsel ignored these principles. He implored the jury to award $1 million per year for both past and future noneconomic damages, and asserted that Plaintiff ‘will live between two more to 33 years.’

In so doing, Plaintiff’s counsel urged the jury to disregard the evidence presented through his medical expert, Dr. Nabhan, that Plaintiff would not live past December 2019, or roughly one and a half years after trial …

He then asked for $33 million in future noneconomic damages: ‘[I]f he lives for only two years, then the remaining years that he doesn’t get to live is also a million dollars. So it doesn’t matter if he dies in two years or dies in 20 … [H]e deserves that money’ … [asking jury to award $33 million in future noneconomic damages based on Plaintiff’s ‘potential life expectancy over the years he won’t live’ … ]).

And the jury awarded Plaintiff exactly what his lawyer requested: $33 million in future noneconomic damages … The court posed two questions for the parties to address at argument:

‘Is the $33 million award for future non- economic damages based on Plaintiff’s argument to award $1 million for each year of lost life expectancy? If so, is this award improper as a matter of law?’ Yet the trial court declined to follow this line of inquiry to its inevitable conclusion …

Dr. Kuzel also suggested that Plaintiff ‘could be cured of this disease and live his normal life expectancy.’ But even under this hypothetical … the jury had no basis to award damages for pain and suffering occurring after Plaintiff was cured … In sum, the court should reverse the award of future noneconomic damages because that award is not supported by the evidence of Plaintiff’s projected life expectancy at the time of trial.”

The company is essentially guilty of killing Johnson 33 years before his time, if you assume he’d have a normal life span of 79, and now Bayer wants reduced damages because he’s only got less than two years to live! It’s a new low even for Monsanto, and clear proof of the company’s callous disregard for human life.

Second Lawsuit Ends in Guilty Verdict and $80 Million in Damages

March 19, 2019, a U.S. jury ruled Roundup was a substantial causative factor in the cancer of a second plaintiff, Edwin Hardeman.11,12 Judge Vince Chhabria had approved Monsanto’s motion to divide the trial into two phases, the first phase limiting evidence to that relating to causation only.

In the second phase, jurors heard evidence related to liability. March 27, 2019, the jury found Monsanto had acted with negligence and awarded Hardeman $80 million in damages, including $75 million in punitive damages.13

A third case against Monsanto (Stevick et al v. Monsanto) was originally slated to go to trial May 20, 2019. However, Chhabria recently vacated the trial date and ordered Monsanto/Bayer to begin mediation with all remaining plaintiffs in the federal multidistrict litigation overseen by him — some 800 in all.14 Aside from these, Monsanto faces roughly 11,000 additional plaintiffs who claim Roundup caused their Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.15

Plaintiffs Request Restraining Order Against Monsanto Advertising

In another Roundup trial, this one in Alameda County Superior Court of California, a married couple, Alva and Alberta Pilliod, claim they both developed Non-Hodgkin lymphoma after regular use of Roundup. As reported by U.S. Right to Know (USRTK):16

“Plaintiffs’ attorney Mike Miller asked judge Winifred Smith to issue a temporary restraining order against Monsanto for heavy advertising the company has been doing in defense of the safety of its herbicides, including a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal on March 25, the day the voir dire for jury selection in the Pilliod case began.”

Monsanto’s legal team countered saying The Miller Firm has engaged in its own ad campaign in an effort to add more clients for its Roundup litigation. The firm also published an ad in the San Francisco Chronicle seven days before the Pilliod case began, in which they claimed Roundup exposure could double or triple the risk of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Monsanto also argued 2,187 anti-Roundup ads have aired on TV and radio between December 1, 2018 and March 21, 2019 in the San Francisco market. In the end, Judge Smith denied the plaintiffs’ request to stop Monsanto from advertising Roundup as having 40 years of safe product use and science proving its safety.

Monsanto Documents Reveal Close Relationship With Reuters Reporter

In related news, documents unearthed during the many lawsuits against Monsanto (colloquially and collectively known as The Monsanto Papers17) reveal the company enlisted Reuters reporter Kate Kelland in its attempts to discredit the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organization (WHO), after IARC scientists reclassified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen in 2015.18,19 Investigative reporter for USRTK, Carey Gillam, writes:20

“Not only did Kelland write a 2017 story that Monsanto asked her to write in exactly the way Monsanto executive Sam Murphey asked her to write it (without disclosing to readers that Monsanto was the source), but now we see evidence21 that a draft of a separate story Kelland did about glyphosate was delivered to Monsanto before it was published, a practice typically frowned on by news outlets … The final version22 was published on April 13, 2017.”

Another email 23 suggests Monsanto was involved in the crafting at least two other Kelland reports that were critical of the IARC, including her “Special Report: How the World Health Organization’s Cancer Agency Confuses Consumers”24 story, published in April, 2016. According to Gillam, Kelland also “helped Monsanto drive a false narrative about cancer scientist Aaron Blair in his role as head of the IARC working group that classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen.”

Internal company correspondence shows Murphey sent the narrative and talking points he wanted her to use and cover, including portions of a deposition Blair had given that was not filed in court. Kelland published the story,25 citing “court documents” as her source, when the source was in fact Monsanto.

“By falsely attributing the information as based on court documents she avoided disclosing Monsanto’s role in driving the story,” Gillam writes,26 adding, “When the story came out, it portrayed Blair as hiding ‘important information’ that found no links between glyphosate and cancer from IARC.

Kelland wrote that a deposition showed that Blair ‘said the data would have altered IARC’s analysis’ even though a review of the actual deposition shows that Blair did not say that. Kelland provided no link to the documents she cited, making it impossible for readers to see for themselves how far she veered from accuracy.”

This story was widely used by Monsanto in its efforts to discredit IARC and strip them of U.S. funding. Gillam adds, “On a personal note, I spent 17 years as a reporter at Reuters covering Monsanto and I am horrified at this violation of journalistic standards.”

According to Gillam, Reuters editor Mike Williams and ethics editor Alix Freedman both stand by Kelland’s story on Blair and have refused to issue a correction, to which she says, “It is particularly noteworthy that Alix Freedman is the same person who told me I was not allowed to write about many independent scientific studies of Monsanto’s glyphosate that were showing harmful impacts.”

EPA Is Just Another Monsanto Captured Agency

Emails and internal documents also show high-ranking officials at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have colluded with and protected Monsanto’s interests by manipulating and preventing key investigations into glyphosate’s cancer-causing potential. In other words, taxpayers’ money has been used to shield Monsanto from liability and obstruct consumers’ ability to prove damages.

Monsanto has defended Roundup’s safety in court by leaning on a 2016 EPA report that found glyphosate is “not likely to be carcinogenic” to humans.27 At the time, Jess Rowland was the deputy division director of the EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP), Health Effects Division,28 and Rowland was a key author of that report.

The EPA’s conclusion, which runs counter to the IARC’s determination that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic, met with severe criticism — so much so, a scientific advisory panel was recently convened to evaluate the strength of the EPA’s decision. According to some of the members on this panel, the EPA violated its own guidelines by discounting and downplaying data from studies linking glyphosate to cancer.29

Email correspondence between EPA toxicologist Marion Copley and Rowland suggest Rowland colluded with Monsanto to find glyphosate noncarcinogenic.30,31 Copley cited evidence showing glyphosate is toxic to animals and accused Rowland of playing “political conniving games with the science” to help Monsanto. Rowland also warned Monsanto of the IARC’s determination months before it was made public,32 giving the company time to plan its defense strategy.

Email correspondence also showed Rowland helped stop a glyphosate investigation by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, on Monsanto’s behalf.

In an email, Jenkins recounts a conversation he’d had with Rowland, in which Rowland said, “If I can kill this I should get a medal,”33,34 referring to the ATSDR investigation.

In correspondence35 between Daniel Jenkins, Monsanto’s manager for regulatory affairs, and Monsanto chief scientist William Heydens, Jenkins also confirms that Monsanto indeed had far more reason to worry about the ATSDR than the EPA, as the ATSDR had a reputation of being “VERY conservative and IARC like,” and “hazard based.”

Rowland Wasn’t the Only EPA Official Working on Monsanto’s Behalf

In a 2017 Huffington Post article,36 Gillam cites evidence showing Rowland was not acting alone. Other high-ranking EPA officials that also appear to have worked on Monsanto’s behalf include Jim Jones, assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, who oversaw the EPA’s OPP, “a presidential appointee who carried significant clout,” Gillam writes,37 and OPP director Jack Housenger.

“Rather than encourage and assist the toxicology review of glyphosate, Monsanto and EPA officials repeatedly complained to ATSDR and HHS [U.S. Department of Health and Human Services] that such a review was unnecessarily ‘duplicative’ and should take a back seat to an EPA review also underway,” Gillam writes.38

In her article, she presents a day-by-day timeline of correspondence (with links to the documents in question) taking place between May 19, 2015 and October 23, 2015, at which point the ATSDR review was “fully on hold.”

New Study Shows Glyphosate Causes Multigenerational Health Damage

In other related news, Washington State University researchers report39 glyphosate has multigenerational effects. Said to be the first study of its kind, the researchers found pregnant rats exposed to glyphosate between the eighth and 14th day of gestation had offspring with higher rates of birth defects, obesity and diseases of the kidneys, prostate, testes, ovaries and mammary glands (breasts).

Third generation rats also had significantly higher rates of certain pathologies. For example, third generation males had a 30% higher rate of prostate disease than the controls, while third generation females had a 40% higher rate of kidney disease.

One-third of second generation females also ended up having difficult births, and 2 in 5 third-generation rats were obese. Remarkably, the dose used (25 mg/kg of bodyweight per day) was half the no-observed-adverse-effect-level (50 mg/kg/day) established by the European Food Safety Authority in 2015.40,41

Cancer increased in second generation rats but not in the first and third generations. Curiously, delayed puberty affected first and second generation males, but not the third generation males, while in females puberty was delayed only in the second generation. According to the authors: 42

“The current study provides the first analysis of potential transgenerational impacts of glyphosate in mammals. The exposure of a gestating female directly exposes the F0 generation female, the F1 generation offspring, and the germline within the F1 generation offspring that will generate the F2 generation grand-offspring.

Therefore, the first transgenerational generation is the F3 generation great-grand-offspring not having any direct exposure, Fig. 7 …  

glyphosate impacts in mammals

The impacts of environmental exposures on subsequent generations can be referred to as ‘Generational Toxicology,’ and suggests ancestral exposures can promote the onset of disease and pathology in subsequent generations. The mechanism involved is epigenetic transgenerational inheritance through epigenetic alterations of the germline.

Although many exposures can influence both the directly exposed individuals and transgenerational individuals, recent observations suggest some toxicants or exposures have negligible impacts on the direct exposed individuals, but can influence subsequent generations never having direct exposure …

The F1 generation offspring had negligible pathologies in any of the tissues analyzed. The only effects observed were on weaning weights in both males and females, and a delay in puberty in males. Therefore, classic toxicology analysis of the F0 and F1 generations demonstrated negligible toxicity or pathology from direct glyphosate exposure.

In contrast, the F2 generation grand-offspring, derived from a direct exposure F1 generation germline, had significant increases in testis disease, kidney disease, obesity, and multiple diseases in males.

The F2 generation females had significant increases in ovary disease, obesity, mammary gland tumors, parturition abnormalities, and multiple disease susceptibility.

The transgenerational F3 generation great-grand-offspring males had increased prostate disease, obesity, and single disease frequencies, while females had increased ovarian disease, kidney disease, parturition abnormalities, and multiple disease susceptibility.

A unique pathology observed with glyphosate exposure, and seldom seen in previous transgenerational studies, was the parturition [editor’s note: childbirth] abnormalities. Over 30% of the F2 generation female rats in the later stages of gestation died of dystocia and/or had litter mortality. This was also seen in the paternal outcross F3 generation gestating female rats.”

Dystocia is the medical term for difficult birth, typically resulting from an abnormally larger or improperly positioned baby. Having a small pelvis can also be at play, or the uterus or cervix might not contract and expand normally, making the delivery difficult.

According to the researchers, these underlying pathologies may be at play in the “premature birth rates and infant abnormalities seen today.” While not mentioned, it’s also worth noting that the U.S., where glyphosate-contaminated foods are extremely common and widely consumed, also has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world.43

How to Test Your Glyphosate Level and Eliminate It From Your System

Considering the possible dangers of glyphosate, it would make sense to minimize your exposure, and if you have high levels already, to take steps to detoxify it.

HRI Labs has developed home test kits for both water and urine, and if you have elevated levels, you can drive out the glyphosate by taking an inexpensive glycine supplement.  They will very shortly also be offering a hair test for glyphosate, which will be a better indicator of your long-term exposure.

Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, and expert in metal and environmental toxicity, recommends taking 1 teaspoon (4 grams) of glycine powder twice a day for a few weeks and then lowering the dose to one-fourth teaspoon (1 gram) twice a day. This forces the glyphosate out of your system, allowing it to be eliminated through your urine.

Genetic Editing Goes Rogue

Advancements in genetic editing claim to offer a precise way to modify an organism’s DNA, opening new doors to treat diseases, improve food crops, manufacture fuel and chemicals and more. The possibilities seem virtually endless, but emerging research suggests the edits may not be as precise as once thought and may lead to significant off-target mutations, with completely unknown consequences.

As increasing off-target implications are uncovered from gene-editing tools such as CRISPR, or Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat, and TALEN (Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nuclease), the reality is the opposite of what was advertised: the perfectly precise snips to DNA may not be so exact after all, highlighting the complete lack of understanding of the complexities that come with attempting to alter genetics.

CRISPR Gene Editing Leads to Widespread Unintended Changes to RNA

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have revealed that CRISPR base editors, which are intended to target a single DNA base, induce widespread off-target effects in RNA.1 Dr. J. Keith Joung, the study’s senior author, explained in a news release:2

“Most investigation of off-target base editing has focused on DNA, but we have found that this technology can induce large numbers of RNA alterations as well … This surprising finding suggests the need to look at more than just genetic alterations when considering unintended off-target effects of base editors in cells.

We also show the feasibility of reducing these effects by creating variants that selectively reduce off-target RNA editing while preserving the intended on-target DNA activity.”

Tens of thousands of base changes were revealed as a result of CRISPR-Cas base editor technology. The widespread RNA changes led to mutations in protein-coding and noncoding sequences.3 “We were quite surprised at the number — tens of thousands — of RNA edits and the frequency of these alterations that we observed with the two classes of base editors,” study author Dr. Julian Grünewald, MGH Molecular Pathology and Harvard Medical School stated.4

As for the consequences of these unintended changes, the team plans to study any potential impact next, but suggests such repercussions should be taken into account in safety assessments of the technology.

How Do CRISPR and CRISPR Cas-9 Work?

Whereas gene editing was once a very imprecise and expensive process, scientists can now go into your DNA and essentially cut and paste it at specified places. The technology can be traced back to bacteria, which protect themselves by cutting out invading virus’ DNA and inserting it into their own, then replicating the new sequences to prevent future viral invasions.5

In 2012, researchers refined the system and revealed that any DNA (not just bacteria) has this ability — and the process works in humans.6 With CRISPR-Cas 9, the technology was said to be even more precise, acting as a pair of scissors to “snip” DNA at specific locations. As explained by the U.S. National Institutes of Health:7

“CRISPR-Cas9 was adapted from a naturally occurring genome editing system in bacteria. The bacteria capture snippets of DNA from invading viruses and use them to create DNA segments known as CRISPR arrays. The CRISPR arrays allow the bacteria to ‘remember’ the viruses (or closely related ones).

If the viruses attack again, the bacteria produce RNA segments from the CRISPR arrays to target the viruses’ DNA. The bacteria then use Cas9 or a similar enzyme to cut the DNA apart, which disables the virus.

… Although Cas9 is the enzyme that is used most often, other enzymes (for example Cpf1) can also be used. Once the DNA is cut, researchers use the cell’s own DNA repair machinery to add or delete pieces of genetic material, or to make changes to the DNA by replacing an existing segment with a customized DNA sequence.”

In the featured study, researchers looked into CRISPR base editors, which they compared to a pencil, as opposed to scissors. CRISPR base editors use deaminase, an enzyme, to modify specific nucleotides, which are the basic structural units of DNA.

Unexpected Mutations Common With Gene Editing

Off-target mutations seem to be the rule rather than the exception when it comes to genetic editing. This flaw isn’t unheard of, and it’s been tested for before, typically using a computer algorithm to predict where such off-target mutations are likely to occur, then searching those areas to see if such mutations did, in fact occur.

However, one study used a different method to search for unintended mutations, based on a separate study that used CRISPR-Cas9 to restore sight in blind mice by correcting a genetic mutation.

The researchers sequenced the entire genome of the CRISPR-edited mice to search for mutations. In addition to the intended genetic edit, they found more than 100 additional deletions and insertions along with more than 1,500 single-nucleotide mutations, raising concerns that testing CRISPR in humans may be premature, even with CRISPR-Cas 9.8

Study author Dr. Stephen Tsang of Columbia University Medical Center said that even a single change to a nucleotide could have a “huge impact.”9 Indeed, in animals, gene editing has led to unexpected side effects, including enlarged tongues and extra vertebrae.10,11

The fact is, researchers typically don’t know the extent of a gene’s functions until they attempt to tweak it, and something like an extra vertebra reveals itself. Speaking with Yale Insights, Dr. Greg Licholai, a biotech entrepreneur, explained some of the very real risks of CRISPR and other gene-editing technologies:12

“One of the biggest risks of CRISPR is what’s called gene drive, or genetic drive. What that means is that because you’re actually manipulating genes and those genes get incorporated into the genome, into the encyclopedia, basically, that sits within cells, potentially those genes can then be transferred on to other organisms.

And once they’re transferred on to other organisms, once they become part of the cycle, then those genes are in the environment. That’s probably the biggest fear of CRISPR. Humans manipulating the genetic code, and those manipulations get passed on generation to generation to generation.

We think we know what we’re doing, we think we’re measuring exactly what changes we’re doing to the genes, but there’s always the possibility that either we miss something or our technology can’t pick up on other changes that have been made that haven’t been directed by us.”

Do the Risks of Gene Editing Outweigh the Benefits?

The benefits of gene editing, such as potentially providing a cure for various blood disorders, lung diseases and cancers, are so alluring that scientists are moving full-speed ahead without stopping to fully assess whether or not they should. Particularly in the case of editing germline cells, such as embryos, eggs and sperm, changes made to the genome will be inherited by future generations.

While experts have previously said CRISPR and Cas 9 should not be used on human babies, a report released in February 2017 by the National Academies of Sciences and Medicine stated DNA in germline cells may be altered to eliminate genetic diseases.13

The stipulation was that the technology be used only to correct disease or disability, not enhance health or ability.14 Many support the use of gene-editing technology for the purpose of eliminating genetic diseases, but what about nondisease conditions like poor impulse control to increase a child’s opportunities in life?

“There is, for example, the risk that the introduction and eventual wide utilization of gene editing technology will exacerbate existing inequalities resulting in human rights abuses, a new wave of eugenics, increased discrimination and increased stigmatization,” writes bioethicist Francoise Baylis of Dalhousie University in Canada, in Clinical Chemistry.15

She believes that the primary risks of CRISPIR Cas 9 are based on the broadening of social and economic inequalities that could result if “designer babies” and the use of gene editing for nonmedical purposes become commonplace. Bavlis explains:16

“As such, the overarching risks with human gene editing by use of CRISPR-Cas9 are two-fold. First, there is the risk that certain social, economic, and political forces will come to bear on those deemed “unfit” in an effort to pressure them to change their genetics so that they might better conform to certain external norms or expectations. Second, there is the risk that those who resist pressure to conform will experience (further) oppression.”

Gene Editing May Trigger Tumor Growth

Off-target mutations that occur as the result of gene editing may take on many forms, including rearranging chromosomes, inactivating essential genes or improperly activating others, such as cancer-causing genes.17

For instance, CRISPR-Cas 9 leads to the activation of the p53 gene, which works to either repair the DNA break or kill off the CRISPR-edited cell.18 CRISPR actually has a low efficacy rate for this reason, and CRISPR-edited cells that survive are able to do so because of a dysfunctional p53.

The problem is that p53 dysfunction is also linked to cancer (including close to half of ovarian and colorectal cancers and a sizable portion of lung, pancreatic, stomach, breast and liver cancers as well).19

In one study, researchers were able to boost average insertion or deletion efficiency to greater than 80 percent, but that was because of a dysfunctional p53 gene,20 which would mean the cells could be predisposed to cancer.

The researchers noted, ” … it will be critical to ensure that [CRISPR-edited cells] have a functional p53 before and after engineering.”21 A second study, this one by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, found similar results and concluded, ” … p53 function should be monitored when developing cell-based therapies utilizing CRISPR–Cas9.”22

Some have suggested that if CRISPR could cure one chronic or terminal disease at the “cost” of an increased cancer risk later,23 it could still be a beneficial technology, but most agree that more work is needed and caution warranted.

Gene Editing Is Uncharted Territory

Gene editing is here to stay and is quickly moving from the medical realm to agricultural. A gene-edited soybean oil created by biotech company Calyxt hit the market in 2019 and is being used by a Midwest company with both restaurant and foodservice locations for frying as well as in dressings and sauces.

In food, off-target edits could cause unintended changes to plant DNA, with consequences that could include growth disturbances, exposure to plant diseases or the introduction of allergens or toxins.24 Further, although they’re genetically engineered, gene-edited foods are not marketed as GMOs, nor are they labeled as such.

So choosing organic or biodynamic is the only way to ensure that gene-edited oils aren’t making it onto your dinner table. Low-gluten wheat, mushrooms that don’t turn brown and tomatoes that can be produced in areas with shorter growing seasons are among the products created using genetic editing.

While the European Union has ruled that gene edited crops must go through the same approval process as GMOs, Japan recently concluded that such foods could enter the consumer marketplace without any safety studies, as did the U.S.

While the potential benefits are driving gene editing research forward at an unprecedented pace, studies show that tinkering with genetics is far more complex than making a snip here and an insertion there.

Adding in the potential ethical considerations, an article in Religions recommends scientists invoke the Precautionary Principle, using due caution but proceeding with proper risk assessments. However, it also posits:25

“Human civilization must critically examine the scientific (technological) imperative. Simply because society can pursue a particular medical, reproductive or genetic procedure does not mandate that it must!

Especially in the area of genetics, ‘can’ does not mandate ‘ought.’ The potential for power and control and its obvious abuse mandates an examination of this imperative. Perhaps with some of these procedures, such as gene editing, it would be wise to not do them at all.”

Vaccinated Flight Attendant in Coma

In the midst of rising hysteria over measles outbreaks in the U.S., media outlets have featured a story about a 43-year-old flight attendant who’s been in a coma for days due to encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, which is a rare complication of both measles and the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine.

While spinning the story as a reason to be very afraid of measles, and typically spreading the rhetoric that the best way to stay “safe” is to get vaccinated, it’s only mentioned in passing that the flight attendant had been vaccinated.1

“With fewer people getting vaccinated, measles is on the rise,” Health noted,2 but clearly vaccinated people are also getting measles, so what’s really going on?

Are Unvaccinated People Responsible for Spreading Measles?

As of April 26, 2019, 704 cases of measles were reported in the U.S. in 2019, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says is the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1994.3

The media, as well as public health organizations, typically blame pockets of unvaccinated individuals for measles outbreaks in the U.S., but the percentage of people vaccinated with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is actually very high.

In the 2013-2014 school year, almost 95 percent of U.S. children entering kindergarten had received two doses of MMR vaccine,4 as had 92 percent of school children ages 13 to 17 years.5 That high rate of vaccination for MMR among U.S. school children continues today.6

This high MMR vaccination rate should theoretically ensure “herd immunity,” but outbreaks of both measles and mumps keep occurring, which hints at vaccine failure. One proposed solution is to introduce a third MMR vaccination as a “booster” dose at age 18. However, the fact remains that measles outbreaks continue to occur even in highly vaccinated populations.

The case of measles that reportedly occurred in a vaccinated flight attendant is one example. Others include a 2017 measles outbreak in a highly vaccinated military population in Israel, ranging in age from 19 to 37. The first two patients identified had both received two doses of measles vaccine. Patient zero, a 21-year-old soldier, had documentation of having received three doses of MMR vaccine.7

In another example, a 2014 study conducted in the Zhejiang province in China found that populations that have achieved a measles vaccination rate of 99 percent through mandatory vaccination programs are still experiencing consistent outbreaks far beyond what the World Health Organization expects.8

What’s more, 93.6 percent of the 1,015 participants in this study tested seropositive for measles antibodies, which theoretically means they should have been protected against the disease. Measles has natural cyclical increases and decreases every few years in populations.

Booster MMR Dose Doesn’t Lead to Increased, Long-Lasting Protection

The CDC currently recommends that children get two doses of MMR vaccine; the first dose is recommended between the ages of 12 and 15 months, and the second dose between 4 and 6 years. The second dose was recommended starting in 1989, “in response to instances of primary vaccine failure of one dose.”9

Some may assume that two doses of MMR vaccine will give double the protection against measles, or at least boost the protection that the first dose provides, but this may be a misleading assumption.

The second dose is intended to produce immunity in the proportion of people who fail to respond to the first dose. It’s said that more than 90 percent of people will achieve immunity when the first dose is given after the first birthday (the rate is lower, about 85 percent, if given at 9 months).

However, because measles is so highly contagious, the threshold for herd immunity may need to be as high as 94 percent. So the second MMR dose was recommended, which, according to a report in PLOS Medicine, “seroconverts more than 90% of those who fail to seroconvert after the first dose.”10

While there is an assumption that getting a second “booster” dose of MMR will “boost” immunity to the diseases, this may or may not be the case. Provided a person has already responded to the first MMR vaccination, there is a question about whether a second or third dose will give a “boost” in vaccine-acquired immunity that is long-lasting.

According to the CDC, “Although some persons who develop normal antibody titers in response to a single dose of MMR vaccine will develop higher antibody titers to the three component vaccines when administered a second dose of vaccine, these increased antibody levels typically do not persist.”11

In other words, if you already responded to the first MMR dose, getting a second (and perhaps third) will not typically give you any more or longer-lasting protection.

Is Measles Really an Emergency?

The last recorded measles-associated death in the U.S. occurred in 2015, but even before the measles vaccine was licensed in 1963, measles resulted in roughly 450 to 500 deaths annually12 — about the same number dying from acetaminophen overdoses today.13

While acetaminophen and vaccines are different in that one is given to treat an infection and the other is intended to prevent it, deaths from either are tragic. Yet, you don’t see public health emergencies being called over acetaminophen deaths.

Case in point: In April 2019, New York City declared a public health emergency due to a measles outbreak in Brooklyn and Queens, which involved just over 400 cases and zero deaths.14

Despite the clear lack of “emergency,” this was then used as an impetus to implement mandatory MMR vaccination for people living in certain zip codes (11205, 11206, 11211, 11249) in the state. The Health Department went so far as to state that if a person with measles is identified in those zip codes, or an unvaccinated child is exposed to measles, a fine of $1,000 would be issued.15

And, this wasn’t just an idle threat: By the end of April, New York City health officials had closed at least seven Jewish schools for failing to provide vaccination and attendance records of their students. The officials also issued summonses to 57 people for failing to abide by the order to vaccinate — with warnings that each one could be ordered to pay the fine.16

New York Covers Up Outbreaks in Hospitals, but Forces Vaccination for Measles — Public Interest or Medical Industry Influence?

While some New Yorkers may be panicked at the thought of measles, a much more insidious and dangerous health threat has emerged in the state, with little warning to the public. New York has had more than 300 cases of Candida auris in 2019 — more than any other state. The fungal superbug may be drug-resistant and can cause severe illness and death. 17

Candida auris spreads in health care facilities, both from patient to patient and contaminated surfaces or medical equipment, but alerts haven’t been issued to let people know which hospitals have outbreaks occurring, which would allow patients to make informed decisions about where to receive care. The New York Times tells the tale of a man admitted to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York who died after 90 days.

Tests showed C. auris was everywhere in his room, so special equipment was brought in to clean it. Some of the ceiling and floor tiles were even ripped out. The hospital president commented:18

“Everything was positive — the walls, the bed, the doors, the curtains, the phones, the sink, the whiteboard, the poles, the pump. The mattress, the bed rails, the canister holes, the window shades, the ceiling, everything in the room was positive.”

Unfortunately, despite the CDC’s admission that the fungus is particularly virulent and dangerous, they have collaborated with U.S. hospitals to maintain confidentiality.

Meanwhile, New York has taken to forcing vaccination for measles, which has not caused any deaths, but continues to hide which hospitals have outbreaks of C. auris — an important bit of potentially lifesaving knowledge for someone choosing where to have elective surgery or other medical procedures.

Is MMR Vaccine Safer Than Measles?

Measles can cause serious complications for some individuals, such as pneumonia and encephalitis. In rare cases, it can cause death, particularly in people who are vitamin A deficient or live in an underdeveloped country where there is substandard nutrition and a lack of basic access to health care and sanitation.

In the U.S., in fact, before the measles vaccine was licensed in 1963 and recommended for children, most children got measles before the age of 10. The number of measles cases may have been far underreported, and it’s likely that about 3.5 million children or more (an entire birth cohort) may have been infected in the U.S. annually, with 380 measles-related deaths reported in 1960, three years before the vaccine was licensed.19

The disease was not feared the way it is today; it was considered a normal part of childhood — and was one that provided lifelong immunity. Unfortunately, with the waning effectiveness of MMR vaccine, protection is not lifelong, leaving older adults potentially vulnerable.

Authors of one study in The Lancet Infectious Diseases reported that when measles infection is delayed, negative outcomes are 4.5 times worse “than would be expected in a prevaccine era in which the average age at infection would have been lower.”20

In the majority of cases, measles infection resolves on its own without complications. It also must be acknowledged that vaccines do carry risks, including those that can cause permanent disability and death.

The U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) has revealed that approximately $4 billion has been paid out to vaccine-injured victims since 1988,21 and the fact remains that adequate safety studies have not been conducted.

“For example,” Dr. K. Paul Stoller, fellow, American College of Hyperbaric Medicine, wrote in Acta Scientific Paediatrics, “it has not been proven that the MMR vaccine is safer than measles,” continuing:22

“The nonprofit organization Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC) recently reported in The BMJ that every year an estimated 5,700 U.S. children (approximately 1 in 640 children) suffer febrile seizures from the first dose of the MMR vaccine — which is five times more than the number of seizures expected from measles.23

This amounts to 57,000 febrile seizures over the past 10 years due to the MMR vaccine alone. And, as five percent of children with febrile seizures progress to epilepsy, the estimated number of children develop epilepsy due to the MMR vaccine, in the past 10 years, is 2,850.”

Finally a use for biosludge: Scientists recycle biosolids into construction-ready bricks

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NO JAIL for Man Who Kidnapped Child, Held Her in Dog Cage, Raped and Tortured Her

A man kidnapped teenage girl and kept her in a dog cage, only letting her out to violently rape her, and he will NOT be going to jail. The system is broken.

In the country with the world’s largest prison population, who sentences non-violent offenders to life in prison for a plant, one would think that kidnapping and child rape charges would likely land a person in prison for a very long time. However, one would be wrong.

Michael Wysolovski, 33, admitted to luring a 15-year-old girl to his home in 2016 where he engaged in abusive sexual torture for over a year.

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