Investors Outraged With Bayer Purchase

Bayer is the largest seed and pesticide company in the world, due to its $63 billion Monsanto purchase. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) approved the merger in 2018, with Bayer CEO Werner Baumann stating at the time that the acquisition would further their goal of creating a leading agriculture company, adding, “We want to help farmers across the world grow more nutritious food in a more sustainable way.”1

All has not remained rosy, however, as Monsanto came along with a heavy liability, including 13,400 lawsuits from people who claim exposure to their glyphosate-containing Roundup herbicide caused them health problems, including cancer. Already, Bayer’s been tagged with $158 million in damages, and that’s just the verdict from two of the cases.

Now some are calling the takeover “disastrous,”2 a sentiment seemingly shared by many of the company’s shareholders, more than half of whom voted against Baumann’s actions with a strong no-confidence vote.

More Than Half of Bayer Shareholders Vote Against Management

In a September 2018 interview with Bloomberg TV, Baumann defended the massive Monsanto purchase, even as shares fell. “We are as excited as we have ever been about the combination, and there are absolutely no regrets.”3 Fast forward to seven months later to Bayer’s annual general meeting in Bonn, Germany, and 55.5% of shareholders voted against ratifying the management’s actions.4

The vote was symbolic in nature and won’t legally change anything, but stems largely from the company’s plummeting market value as a result of rising legal battles over Roundup. The consensus was that replacing the CEO would only add to the chaos during an already perilous time.

“A hasty replacement of the CEO would only increase the risk of a break-up and therefore can’t be in the interest of long-term oriented investors … ,” top Bayer shareholder Janne Werning said.5 It’s been decades since a majority of shareholders have voted against management’s actions, and in 2015, a 39 percent nonapproval vote against Deutsche Bank AG co-CEO Anshu Jain led to him stepping down.6

This won’t be the case for Baumann, who said he “understands shareholders’ disappointment over the performance of Bayer shares since the first glyphosate verdict in August 2018” and added that “legal uncertainty has weighed on the share price.”7

In response to the minority percentage of votes in favor of ratifying the actions of Bayer’s board of management, the company’s supervisory board said it would stand behind them, including in their efforts to appeal the trials concerning glyphosate.

“While we take the outcome of the vote at the annual stockholders’ meeting very seriously, Bayer’s supervisory board unanimously stands behind the board of management,” Werner Wenning, chairman of the supervisory board, said in a news release.

“The outcome of the vote … does nonetheless show that the annual stockholders’ meeting wanted to send a clear signal to the board of management that Bayer AG should bring out the company’s strengths to a greater extent in the future.”8

Investors had complained that Bayer was not revealing enough about its strategy for defeating upcoming lawsuits. Writing for Reuters Breakingviews, columnist Ed Cropley suggested Baumann could help to quell their concerns as follows:9

“Another option would be to tweak Baumann’s pay to ensure his interests are aligned with shareholders. In 2018, his compensation was linked to the integration of the Monsanto deal and net income, allowing him to take home a 1.7 million euro [about $1.9 million] cash bonus — more than 2017 — and total compensation of 5.3 million euros [about $5.9 million].

That’s in spite of a 40 percent share-price slump. Paying a greater portion of his salary in shares, and linking the bonus to the Roundup litigation, would sharpen his mind, and blunt investors’ criticism.”

$78 Million Verdict Is Major Blow Against Roundup

Thousands of people across the U.S. have filed lawsuits alleging that Monsanto’s (and now Bayer’s) Roundup herbicide caused them to develop cancer. In March 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) determined glyphosate to be a “probable carcinogen” based on evidence showing the popular weed-killing chemical can cause Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and lung cancer in humans, along with “convincing evidence” it can also cause cancer in animals.

In August 2018, a jury ruled in favor of plaintiff Dewayne Johnson in a truly historic case against Monsanto. Johnson — the first of the cases pending against the chemical company — claimed Roundup caused his Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and the court agreed.

Monsanto was ordered to pay $289 million in damages to Johnson, although the award was later reduced to $78 million. Bayer asked the court to throw out the judgment in April 2019, going so far as to ask 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’] …”

Bayer Loses Second Case, Third Is Ongoing

In a second case, a judge ruled in favor of the plaintiff, ordering Bayer to pay more than $80 million. The jury agreed that Edwin Hardeman’s repeated exposures to Roundup, which he used to kill weeds on his 56-acre property, not only played a role in his cancer diagnosis but also that the company did not warn consumers that the product carried a cancer risk.11

The case was split into two phases, with jurors first finding the chemical to have caused the cancer on purely scientific grounds and the next phase finding that Bayer is liable for damages.12 Ultimately, Hardeman was awarded $75 million in punitive damages, $5.6 million in compensatory damages and $200,000 for medical expenses.13

In a statement, Hardeman’s attorneys Jennifer Moore and Aimee Wagstaff said, “… [T]he jury resoundingly held Monsanto accountable for its 40 years of corporate malfeasance and sent a message to Monsanto that it needs to change the way it does business.”14

In a third and ongoing trial before 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. Their attorneys stated:15

“They started using Roundup in the 1970s and continued using the weed killer until only a few years ago … Alva suffers from non-Hodgkin lymphoma in his bones that spread to his pelvis and spine. He was diagnosed in 2011. Alberta was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma brain cancer in 2015.”

EPA Reaffirms Glyphosate Is Safe as Trial Continues

While court cases continue to find that glyphosate causes cancer, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in their latest review of glyphosate, released a draft conclusion stating the chemical poses potential risks to mammals and birds that eat treated leaves, as well as risks to plants,16 but “no risks of concern” for people and “is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.”17

During the 60-day public comment period for the EPA’s glyphosate preliminary risk assessment, many commenters disagreed with the EPA’s assessment that glyphosate is safe based on IARC’s 2015 finding that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” As for why their conclusion differs from IARC’s, the EPA stated:18

“EPA’s cancer evaluation is more robust than IARC’s evaluation. IARC’s evaluation only considers data that have been published or accepted for publication in the openly available scientific literature. As a result, IARC only considered a subset of the studies included in the EPA’s evaluation.

For instance, IARC only considered 8 animal carcinogenicity studies while the agency used 15 acceptable carcinogenicity studies in its evaluation. The EPA also excluded some studies that were not appropriate for determining the human carcinogenic potential of glyphosate, such as studies in non-mammalian species (i.e., worms, fish, reptiles, and plants) which IARC used in its evaluation.”

However, critics, including Nathan Donley, a scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity, said the EPA relied heavily on industry-backed studies and ignored research pointing to cancer risks.19 Even the EPA stated:20

“Many commenters asserted that the EPA relies too heavily on industry-funded studies and that these studies are not accessible to the public. Commenters requested that the EPA use open literature studies to assess glyphosate and point to various open literature studies describing various human health and ecological effects.”

EPA Captured by Monsanto Long Ago

In the 2018 case involving Dewayne Johnson, it was found Monsanto “acted with malice or oppression” and was responsible for “negligent failure” by not warning consumers about the carcinogenicity.21

Internal documents have revealed the EPA has colluded with Monsanto to protect the company’s interests. California’s Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) also announced in 2015 that they intended to list glyphosate as a chemical known to cause cancer under Proposition 65, which requires consumer products with potential cancer-causing ingredients to bear warning labels.

Monsanto filed formal comments with OEHHA saying the plan to list glyphosate as a carcinogen should be withdrawn. When they didn’t give in, Monsanto took it a step further and filed a lawsuit against OEHHA in January 2016 to stop the glyphosate/cancer classification. OEHHA filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, and a Fresno, California superior court judge ruled on their behalf in February 2017.

As far back as 1983, when a Monsanto study revealed an increased cancer risk in mice exposed to glyphosate, the EPA asked for further studies, but the company simply refused. They claimed the study wasn’t a concern because one mouse not exposed to glyphosate also developed a tumor, and used this to support its safety.

Johnson’s lawyer, Timothy Litzenburg, told Rolling Stone, “They fought over that one mouse’s kidney for years, spent millions of dollars on experts, instead of just doing the test again. The EPA even offered a compromise — let’s just do a kidney and liver test. Monsanto said ‘no.’ It’s amazing how often they’re able to say no to the EPA.”22

Previously court-ordered unsealed documents have revealed that Monsanto scientists ghost-wrote studies to clear glyphosate’s name and even hired a scientist to persuade the EPA to change its cancer classification decision on the chemical.23

Further, government email communications released through a Freedom of Information Act request showed that the EPA coordinated with Monsanto to slow its review of glyphosate.24 The draft conclusion that was finally released in April 2019 was supposed to have been published by October 2015.

Email correspondence showed Jess Rowland, who at the time was the EPA’s deputy division director of the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention and chair of the Cancer Assessment Review Committee (CARC), 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 (HHS), on Monsanto’s behalf.

In an email, Monsanto regulatory affairs manager Dan Jenkins recounts a conversation he’d had with Rowland, in which Rowland said, “If I can kill this I should get a medal,”25 referring to the ATSDR investigation, which was put off for years. However, according to U.S. Right to Know, the deception runs even deeper:26

“[T]he trove of documents newly obtained from within EPA and HHS demonstrate that the assistance to Monsanto came not only from Rowland but also from even higher-level EPA officials.

Rather than encourage and assist the toxicology review of glyphosate, Monsanto and EPA officials repeatedly complained to ATSDR and HHS that such a review was unnecessarily ‘duplicative’ and should take a back seat to an EPA review also underway.”

Glyphosate Continues To Be the Most Used Agricultural Chemical

There are many routes of exposure to this likely carcinogen, including via your drinking water and diet. In testing done by Friends of the Earth (FOE), 100 percent of oat cereal samples tested positive for residues of glyphosate.27

The average level of glyphosate in cereal samples was 360 parts per billion (ppb), which FOE noted is more than twice the level set by Environmental Working Group (EWG) scientists for lifetime cancer risk in children. Some of the cereal samples contained residues as high as 931 ppb.

As it stands, nearly 300 million pounds of glyphosate are used in the U.S. each year,28 with unknown consequences to human health — but what we know so far doesn’t look good.

What’s clear is that Monsanto/Bayer continues to work very hard to suppress any and all negative publicity about its golden child glyphosate, even as the truth continues to emerge. Unfortunately, Bayer’s top priority continues to be appeasing its shareholders and appealing glyphosate lawsuits instead of stopping the use of this dangerous chemical.

Inoculating Against Manipulation

Letting teenagers know they’re being manipulated by food marketers may be a deceptively simple way to encourage healthier eating, according to research from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.1

Many of the leading chronic diseases threatening human health, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, are the result of poor dietary choices. These dietary habits may start in childhood, in part due to pervasive and carefully orchestrated advertisements from the junk food industry.

Teenagers are among those who are heavily targeted by food manufacturers, and public health researchers have long been looking for ways to get teens to eat better. Tapping into their natural desire to rebel against adult authority may be key to countering the manipulation spread via junk food ads.

Telling Teens They’re Being Manipulated May Lead to Healthier Eating

No one likes to be deceived, even in adolescence. In preliminary research, a group of eighth graders read an exposé that revealed the manipulative practices and deceptive product labels used by marketing companies aimed at pedaling addictive junk food in order to boost their profits. A control group of students read conventional information about healthier eating.

The next day, the students who read the exposé chose to eat less junk food and drink water instead of soda.2 In the next part of the study, another group of eighth graders read the exposé and were sent images of marketing material on their tablets. They were told to draw over the ads in graffiti style to make them true.

It turned out that those who read about the junk food industry’s manipulation chose healthier foods for the remainder of the school year — a period of about three months. Teen boys, in particular, a group that’s notoriously keen on junk food, reduced their junk food intake by 31% compared to those who read material on healthy eating.

Study author Christopher J. Bryan of the University of Chicago said in a news release, “Most past interventions seemed to assume that alerting teenagers to the negative long-term health consequences of bad diets would be an effective way to motivate them to change their behavior. That’s clearly a problematic assumption. We thought it could be the main reason why no one has been able to get teenagers to change their eating habits in a lasting way.”3

Instead, tapping into teens’ natural desire to rebel against authority proved to be an effective way to prompt significant changes in dietary choices. Teen girls also responded to reading about junk food makers’ manipulative marketing practices, showing a more negative immediate response to junk food. However, their purchases in the cafeteria stayed mostly the same regardless of which material they read.

The researchers speculated that girls may have responded more to the healthy eating material because it talked about calories, and they felt social pressure to be thin. However, the exposé material may be preferable, as it led to similar eating habits with less potential for body shaming.4

“These findings suggest that reframing unhealthy dietary choices as incompatible with important values could be a low-cost, scalable solution to producing lasting, internalized change in adolescents’ dietary attitudes and choices,” the researchers explained.5

Marketers Using Instagram to Get Youth Emotionally Attached to Junk Food

Youth are especially vulnerable to social pressure, and they spend time regularly on social media. This makes platforms like Instagram a treasure trove of potential new clients for junk food companies.

Researchers conducted a content analysis of 15 Instagram accounts for the “most popular, energy-dense, nutrient-poor food and beverage brands on Instagram,” using 12 months of posts.6 Each brand used six to 11 different marketing strategies but typically adhered to an overall theme such as athleticism or being relatable.

While the Instagram accounts were highly branded, they did not necessarily contain much product information or health claims. The researchers believed the brands are using social media platforms such as Instagram to manipulate consumer emotions rather than to present information.

Fortunately, you may be able to fight back simply by letting your teen know about the hidden motives behind such posts: Junk food companies trying to hook kids on junk food while they’re young. The featured study also found that framing junk food marketing as a form of manipulation helps to counteract the emotional connections the junk food marketers are counting on.

“Food marketing is deliberately designed to create positive emotional associations with junk food, to connect it with feelings of happiness and fun,” said Bryan. “One of the most exciting things is that we got kids to have a more negative immediate gut reaction to junk food and junk food marketing, and a more positive immediate gut reaction to healthy foods.”7

Kids Are Exposed to 27 Junk Food Ads a Day

In the last 30 years, the incidence of childhood overweight and obesity has grown by 47%. The marketing of junk food has contributed to this increase, as it encourages the repeated purchase and consumption of unhealthy foods.8 In order to test just how pervasive junk food marketing is in the average child’s life, researchers used wearable cameras that took photos every seven seconds.

A group of 168 children wore the cameras for four days, revealing they were exposed to junk food marketing 27.3 times a day, at home, in public spaces and even at school. Marketing for sugary drinks, fast food, candy and snack foods were the types most commonly encountered by the children. The researchers believe:9

“This research suggests that children live in an obesogenic food marketing environment that promotes obesity as a normal response to their everyday environment.

Children are more than twice as likely to be exposed to non-core food marketing, not recommended to be marketed to children, than core food marketing, and to be exposed multiple times a day across various settings and via multiple media. All children, regardless of socio-economic position, were exposed to more non-core than core food marketing, and there appears to be some ethnic patterning.”

Indeed, a report from the University of Connecticut Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity found that junk food companies often target black and Hispanic consumers. “Therefore, greater exposure to this marketing by Hispanic and black children and teens, both in the media and in their communities, likely contributes to diet-related health disparities affecting communities of color, including obesity, diabetes and heart disease.”10

Further, it’s been shown that intake of junk foods increases significantly during or shortly after exposure to junk food ads.11

Junk Food Marketers Rely on Persuasive Marketing Techniques

In their quest to hook kids on junk food early on, marketers use a variety of persuasive marketing techniques. When researchers conducted a systematic review of eight online databases, they found the most commonly reported marketing techniques used to promote food to children on television. These included:12

  • Premium offers
  • Promotional characters
  • Nutrition and health-related claims
  • The theme of taste
  • The emotional appeal of fun

When children associate a food with an animated character, they perceive it to taste better and have a stronger preference for that food.13 Marketers know this, and in a study comparing the marketing tactics used in ads geared toward children or adults, those aimed at children emphasized toy premiums and movie tie-ins, as well as brands and logos.14

They also emphasized a street view of the restaurant, perhaps so children can more easily recognize a fast food restaurant as they’re driving by, while the adult ads emphasized taste, portion size and price. The most commonly reported persuasive techniques used on television to promote food to children were the use of premium offers, promotional characters, nutrition and health-related claims, the theme of taste and the emotional appeal of fun.

Health Risks of a Junk Food Diet

Focusing your diet on junk food is dangerous at any age, but children may suffer lifelong effects from too much junk food. Obesity among children is significantly associated with fast food intake,15 but the risks extend even beyond weight gain.

In one study, eating fast food three or more times per week was associated with an increased risk of severe asthma, rhinitis and eczema.16 Children who eat more fast food also progress slower academically, with lower test score gains in children who ate the most fast food compared to those who ate none.17

One British study also revealed that kids who ate a predominantly processed food diet at age 3 had lower IQ scores at age 8.5.18 Nutritional deficiencies early on in life can also lead to deficits in brain function that put your child at risk of behavioral problems — from hyperactivity to aggression — that can last into the teenage years and beyond.

Other research also found junk food consumption may increase the risk of psychiatric distress and violent behaviors in children and adolescents, suggesting that improved eating habits may be an effective approach for improving mental health.19 The World Health Organization (WHO) is among those calling for more protections for children from the harmful effects of junk food and junk food marketing:20

“Food advertising and other forms of marketing have been shown to influence children’s food preferences, purchasing behaviour and overall dietary behaviour. Marketing has also been associated with an increased risk of overweight and obesity in children.

The habits children develop early in life may encourage them to adopt unhealthy dietary practices which persist into adulthood, increasing the likelihood of overweight, obesity and associated health problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.”

Tell Your Teen the Truth About Junk Food

The truth is, junk food is highly addictive, and it’s easy to become biologically hooked on these high-sugar foods. The more junk food you eat, the more you’ll likely crave, and this is true for kids, too. However, breaking free from the trap and focusing your diet on real food instead is one of the best health moves you can make, and children are no exception.

For younger kids, try to get them involved in meal planning, shopping for healthy foods and cooking. You can even plant a vegetable garden together. Ultimately, when kids are young, you’re the best role model for a healthy diet, so choose to eat real foods, and your kids will follow suit.

For teens, when they start to rebel, use it to their own advantage. As the featured study showed, telling your teen about the profit-driven motives behind junk food ads may be enough to help trigger a newfound desire for healthier eating.

What’s the Truth Behind MMR Vaccine Testing?

April 2, 2018, I posted an article in which I discussed the 2010 lawsuit filed against Merck by two former virologists employed by the company. The whistleblowers claim Merck lied about the effectiveness of the mumps portion of its MMR II (mumps, measles, rubella) vaccine, artificially inflating its efficacy in testing.1,2

For example, the MMR vaccine’s effectiveness was tested against the virus used in the vaccine rather than the natural, wild mumps virus that you’d actually be exposed to in the real world. Animal antibodies were also said to have been added to the test results to give the appearance of a robust immune response.3

While the lawsuit was given the green light to proceed in 2014,4,5 it’s still pending to this day — a remarkable fact considering the call for mandatory MMR vaccination following recent outbreaks of measles. You’d think such a lawsuit would be given at least some measure of consideration.

MMR Vaccine Licensing Tests Revealed Serious Problems

Now, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) documents6 obtained via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed by the Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN) reveal disturbing facts about the 1978 MMR vaccine’s licensing data. According to a May 2, 2019, ICAN press release:7

“[T]he MMR vaccine was licensed based on clinical trials which in total had less than 1,000 [editor’s note: exact total 834] participants and far more adverse reactions than previously acknowledged … The MMR vaccine is at the heart of the vaccine debate. The following are some of the key facts learned from the clinical trial reports produced by the FDA, which the agency relied upon to license the MMR:

  • There were eight clinical trials that in total had less than 1,000 individuals, out of which only 342 children received the MMR vaccine
  • The safety review period only tracked ‘adverse events’ for 42 days after injection
  • More than half or a significant percent of all participants in each of the eight trials developed gastrointestinal symptoms and upper respiratory infections
  • All adverse events were generically described as ‘other viruses’ and not considered in safety profile of licensure
  • The control group received other vaccines for either rubella or measles and rubella, and none of the controls received a placebo (an inert substance such as a saline injection)”

As noted by ICAN founder Del Bigtree,8 342 children are an “irresponsibly small” test group for a vaccine that will be given to hundreds of millions of children, and far smaller than many other studies showing vaccine harm. Yet the vaccine industry has routinely dismissed such negative studies on the grounds that the studies were too small.

Forty-two days of follow-up is also not long enough to determine its full effects, and testing safety against other vaccines rather than a placebo is not going to give you a valid indication of the vaccine’s safety profile. “Imagine what they might have found had they tracked safety for three years against an appropriate control, like they do for drugs,” Bigtree says.9 Every single trial used another vaccine as the control, either a measles-rubella, rubella-only, or different lots of the MMR itself.

Licensing Studies Reveal Significant Ratios of Vaccine Injuries

Bigtree discusses these FOIA documents in the featured video above, after setting the stage with a discussion about studies linking MMR vaccine to gut dysfunction, which in turn can trigger symptoms of autism spectrum disorder.

At 48 minutes, 20 seconds, he starts reviewing some of the details of the MMR II vaccine trials submitted to the FDA by Merck for licensing purposes. You can view these documents for yourself on icandecide.org.10

In one trial, which included 199 children that received the MMR vaccine, 22 of them developed gastrointestinal illness (which is a common complaint among autistic children) within the 42-day follow-up period. That’s 11%. Twenty-three children (nearly 12%) developed upper respiratory illness. In all, 73 of the 199 children experienced a side effect within the follow-up period.

In another trial, which included just 102 children, 64 of them (62.7%) developed upper respiratory illness, and the data suggest some of these children remained ill throughout the whole follow-up period. Here, 43 out of the 102 children (42%) developed gastrointestinal illness.

A third trial, where just 41 children received the MMR vaccine, 28 (68%) developed upper respiratory illness and 24 (58.5%) developed gastrointestinal illness.

In a trial where one lot of MMR was tested against another lot of MMR as the control, 53 of 117 children (45%) in the test group developed upper respiratory infection and 31 of 117 (26.5%) developed gastrointestinal illness.

In a trial where one lot of MMR was tested against two other lots of MMR, 8 in 20 (40%) developed upper respiratory illness and 4 in 20 (20%) developed gastrointestinal illness.

A third trial with 53 children in which one lot of MMR was tested against two other lots of MMR, 25 (47%) developed upper respiratory illness and 18 (34%) developed gastrointestinal illness. Here, they also included measles-like rash in their side effects list, and 6 of the 53 children had this side effect.

In other words, 11% developed vaccine strain measles. This result flies in the face of claims you cannot contract a type of measles from the vaccine. Fifteen children also developed “nonspecific” rash.

Merck Profits Soar Amid Measles Hysteria

Based on the results from these tests, it seems there’s a clear cause for concern. It also negates claims that the MMR vaccine is perfectly safe and “never” causes harm. Today, we know gastrointestinal problems can have quite serious implications for health, both physically and mentally, and every single one of the licensing trials demonstrated the vaccine causes gastrointestinal harm in a large portion of those vaccinated.

Meanwhile, Merck is now profiting handsomely from the manufactured hysteria over measles and calls for mandatory MMR vaccinations and revaccinations. An April 30, 2019, report by the Associated Press11 notes “surging sales of vaccines” and a new cancer drug “led to a quadrupling of profit at Merck during the first quarter.”

On May 1, CNBC reported12 Merck has increased production of its MMR vaccine “to meet an uptick in demand … in the midst of the country’s biggest outbreak in 25 years.” As of May 3, 2019, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 764 cases of measles in 23 states, the highest case count since 1994.13

“The measles virus is highly contagious and can cause blindness, deafness, brain damage or death. It is currently spreading in outbreaks in many parts of the world,” CNBC writes, adding that:

“Adults in the United States who were vaccinated against measles decades ago may also need a new dose of the vaccine depending on when they received the shot and whether they live in an outbreak zone or plan to travel to one.”

In New York, the MMR vaccine is now also being recommended for Infants as young as 6 months,14 even though the vaccine was not demonstrated to be safe or effective in very young infants before it was licensed and recommended by federal health officials. In the U.S., normally a child would be given the first dose of MMR vaccine between 12 and 15 months old with a booster given at between 4 and 6 years old..

Measles Outbreak, or Clustered MMR Reactions?

As reported by NPR,15 measles outbreaks have been documented in more than a third (actually now nearly half, if you consider the most recent CDC reports) of U.S. states this year, with New York and Washington16 having the highest caseloads. These cases also include children and adults who are fully vaccinated against measles. As reported by CNN:17

“In a video18 posted to YouTube last week, a rabbi in Detroit who said he was ‘fully vaccinated’ nevertheless came down with measles … In another recent case,19 an Israeli flight attendant has been unable to breathe on her own after experiencing a dire complication of measles: inflammation and swelling of the brain, called encephalitis. Health authorities believe she also received a vaccine.”

Less well-publicized is that a portion of measles reported in recently vaccinated persons may in fact be vaccine strain measles, an MMR vaccine side effect that is often misdiagnosed as wild type measles. According to a paper20 published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology in 2017:

“During the measles outbreak in California in 2015, a large number of suspected cases occurred in recent vaccinees. Of the 194 measles virus sequences obtained in the United States in 2015, 73 were identified as vaccine sequences.”

In other words, about 38 percent of suspected measles cases in the 2015 Disneyland measles scare in California were actually vaccine strain measles cases in recently vaccinated persons and not caused by transmission of wild-type measles. A reasonable question then would be: How many of the 704 cases reported in the U.S. so far this year are actually vaccine strain measles, a side effect of MMR vaccine?

Mainstream Media Caught Faking Pictures to Fuel Measles Hysteria

March 26, 2019, the county executive for Rockland County, New York, declared a state of emergency after more than 150 cases of measles had been confirmed since October 2018 and banned unvaccinated children from public places, including schools, restaurants, public transportation, churches and synagogues.21

A lawsuit calling the order “arbitrary and capricious” was filed by civil rights attorney Michael Sussman on behalf of parents of unvaccinated children attending school in Rockland county.

April 5, 2019, New York Supreme Court Judge Rolf Thorsen questioned the county’s definition of “health emergency” and issued an injunction suspending the county’s ban on unvaccinated children appearing in public places.22 That injunction was upheld April 19, 2019, by the state Supreme Court Appellate Division.23

April 25, 2019, Rockland County issued a second emergency order that banned persons with measles or those who had been exposed to measles from entering “indoor or outdoor places of public assembly for a period of up to 21 days.”24 Anyone who fails to comply with the order can be fined $2,000-a-day.

After 285 cases of measles had been confirmed in Brooklyn since September 2018, a similar emergency order was issued by the mayor of New York on April 9 for four neighborhoods (zip codes 11205, 11206, 11211, 11249) barring unvaccinated children and adults living or working in those neighborhoods from entering public places.25

Kings County Supreme Court Judge Lawrence Knipel upheld the mayor’s order April 18, 2019, after dismissing a lawsuit brought on behalf of parents of unvaccinated children attending school in the four targeted zip codes. Knipel quipped, “A fireman need not obtain the informed consent of the owner before extinguishing a house fire. Vaccination is known to extinguish the fire of contagion.”26

As of May 4, 2019, the emergency order is still in effect in New York City. Anyone identified in the targeted four zip codes with measles or the parent of an unvaccinated child who has been exposed to measles could face a $1,000 fine unless they have a medical or religious vaccine exemption or there is evidence of natural measles immunity (assumed for most people born before 1957).27

If this strikes you as excessive, you’re not alone. Mainstream media and public health officials have pushed the “measles emergency” message hard this year. Ironically, they’ve apparently been unable to photograph an active case of measles, as one media outlet after another has been caught publishing fake stock and retouched photos to stoke measles fears.

For example, April 22, 2019, The Clover Chronicle reported “NBC News Caught Faking Photo of Baby Infected With Measles.”28 The photo was in fact a royalty-free stock photo featuring a doctor holding a perfectly healthy newborn baby. The red chicken-foot-shaped splotches were crudely added in Photoshop.

CNN also used a faked measles photo. In this case, they used a 1968 image of a toddler with roseola vaccinia,29 “an extensive eruption which may appear during the second week after primary smallpox vaccination,” according to a paper in JAMA Dermatology.30

CBS News was also caught using an image of a vaccine-injured child.31 The mother, Dawn Neufeld, wife of former NFL player Ryan Neufeld, posted the following comment on Twitter after reading the CBS report in which her son’s image was used:32

“… [T]his is my kid you used in your story without my permission. He does not have the measles. This was his reaction to the MMR shot. Take it down. Now. Issue a retraction. It’s much easier than having to litigate a defamation case. I’ll wait.”

One of the Neufeld’s two children was diagnosed with autism at age 3, and the couple has become active in the autism community.33 In an August 14, 2012, Twitter post, Dawn Neufeld said, “I am pro-safe vaccine but we now also vaccinate on a delayed schedule after watching Will spiral into autism after his 12-month shots.”34

It’s hard to miss the irony that CBS used an image of a child having a reaction to the MMR vaccine to scare people about the possibility of measles. CBS eventually issued a correction to its article, stating that “Due to an editing error, the child was misidentified in the caption as having measles.” No apology, however, was issued for snatching the private photo from Neufeld’s social media account and using it without permission or attribution. As noted by The Free Thought Project:35

“Even if it was an honest mistake, the case is made to show the lack of credibility these institutions have when calling for the silencing of those who do nothing other than question the safety of vaccines.

As Amazon purges books and films on vaccine information and as politicians literally beg for pro-safe vaccine folks to be silenced, examples like this prove that those who wish to control the flow of information and take away your right to ask questions, are not always right — a telling notion indeed.”

Countering Measles Myths Perpetuated by Mainstream Media

The media have also been lax in their reporting on other measles-related facts, as demonstrated in a recent article36 by investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson. In “Measles: Facts and Misconceptions in a Near-Hysterical Media Environment,” she breaks down commonly repeated statements and corrects them according to CDC data and other scientific evidence. Among them:

“7. ‘Measles is a highly dangerous disease for many in the U.S. … false, according to various experts. While measles can be miserable and — rarely — dangerous or deadly for the immune-suppressed or chronically ill, it was once treated as a routine childhood rite of passage in the U.S. and considered by scientists to be a ‘mild disease.’

Most people who catch measles in the U.S. will emerge with no longlasting effects and will have a lifelong immunity, according to scientists. There has been one measles-related death in the U.S. in the past decade, according to CDC. The death was that of a woman in Washington state who died in 2015. CDC did not have other details.

News reports indicate the patient may have been vaccinated and had no obvious symptoms of measles, but was tested after she passed away. She ‘died of pneumonia, had other health conditions and was taking medications that suppressed her immune system,’ said state health officials.

There have been three measles-related deaths in the U.S. since 2000. Two of them were in patients with serious underlying health conditions prior to the measles infection, according to health officials. One of them was a 13-year old who had recently had a bone marrow transplant for chronic granulomatous disease.

According to CDC, the patient ‘received a bone marrow transplant in October 2002, and died in January 2003. Measles was confirmed [after death] by a positive serologic test for measles IgM and isolation of measles virus from a brain biopsy.’

A second 2003 measles-related death happened to a 75 year old international traveler who was infected in Israel and got ‘measles pneumonitis and encephalopathy. Measles was confirmed by reverse transciptase-polymerase chain reaction from nasopharyngeal swab and urine,’ according to CDC.

On the other hand, there have been 483 measles vaccine injury and death claims paid by the U.S. government since 1988.”

A Rabbi’s Views on Measles


In the video above, a Brooklyn-based rabbi discusses his viewpoints on measles and the MMR vaccine.

“It’s called disease-mongering,” rabbi Handler says, “Using fear tactics; that’s standard procedure, recommended by the CDC at their seminars for the various health departments …

What’s happening right now is a very concerning development. In the 1950s, doctors recommended children should get the measles and chickenpox … It’s safe, it’s a childhood disease; it’s not ebola, it’s not the black plague … And then they have lifetime immunity.

However, in 1963 when Merck invented the measles vaccine, they used the typical fear tactics. They exaggerated the dangers of measles, which in an advanced country like the United States … where there is proper nutrition and sanitation, proper sewage disposal, Harvard University has shown that 97% of the deaths have been reduced because of these simple techniques.”

He goes on to recount a quick history of the introduction of the measles vaccine. How initially it was said getting vaccinated would confer the same benefits as getting the measles — lifetime immunity. However, it soon became apparent vaccine-induced immunity did not last.

Indeed, in 1986, public health officials stated that MMR vaccination rates for kindergarten children were in excess of 95 percent and that one dose of live attenuated MMR would eliminate these three childhood diseases (measles, mumps and rubella) in the U.S.37 Just three years later, parents were informed that a single dose of MMR vaccine was inadequate for providing lifelong protection against these common childhood diseases and that children would need to get a second dose of MMR.38

Today, 94.3% of children entering kindergarten39 have received two doses of MMR vaccine, as have 92 percent of school children ages 13 to 17 years.40 In some states, the MMR vaccination rate is approaching 100 percent.41

Yet despite achieving the sought-for MMR vaccination rate for more than three decades, which theoretically should ensure “herd immunity,” outbreaks of both measles and mumps keep occurring — and many of those who get sick are children and adults who have been vaccinated.

“Now we have a situation where instead of getting measles at a safe age, at 5 years old, they suppressed it, and now, children 20 years old are getting it; grownups are getting measles,” rabbi Handler says.

“Even more dangerous, babies under 1 year of age [are getting it], because the mothers are not lifetime protected. They got the vaccine. [In the past] the mother’s milk used to carry over the immunity to the baby …

But rather than admitting the vaccine is a flop and a failure, and [is] dangerous, they’re doubling down saying we have to get more vaccines. They’re using the argument that people are getting hurt as an argument to give more vaccines, instead of going back to where it was the 50s …

Another big, criminal omission of the media is that they are not taking care of the people who are getting the measles … who need to know the truth, that in order to reduce the symptoms … they need to take massive amounts of vitamin A, which is proven to cut down the problem [by] 50%.

[Also] be careful not to take Tylenol to reduce fever, because that fever gets rid of the measles faster … And good hydration. That’s what’s really needed. The doctors and the media are criminally negligent just pushing shots, shots, shots and not helping people to get through it safely.”

Why We Have to Keep Fighting for Medical Freedom and the Right to Choose

Indeed, as noted by National Vaccine Information Center cofounder Barbara Loe Fisher in “Taking No Prisoners in the Vaccine Culture War,” the vaccine industry is looking to shut down the public conversation about health and vaccination, and is lobbying for government mandates to force every child and adult to use every vaccine recommended by government health officials.

Forced use of MMR vaccine is just one vaccine in a long list of current and future vaccines you and your children will be mandated to get if things keep going the way they are going.

Drug companies are fast tracking more than a dozen new “priority” vaccines for children, pregnant women and adults, including respiratory syncytial virus, streptococcus A and B, HIV, herpes simplex virus, gonorrhea, E-coli, Shigella, Salmonella, tuberculosis, malaria and more, and industry will likely lobby governments to mandate all of them.

This is why we cannot be complacent and ignore calls for punishment of those who make an informed decision not to use MMR vaccine for health or personal belief reasons. Once we lose the legal right to opt out of using one vaccine, we’ll rapidly lose the right to opt out of any of them.

Last but not least, it’s important to realize that most of the parents who are speaking out about vaccine risks are not “anti-vaxxers.” Quite the contrary! They often call themselves “ex-vaxxers” because they followed the CDC’s vaccine recommendations and their healthy children were harmed in the process and became chronically ill or disabled.

Like any rational person, once they learn more about vaccine risks they were not told about, they’re fighting to prevent the same devastation from happening to others and we should all be grateful for their public service.

“Vaccine hesitancy” is not the result of exposure to information critical of vaccines; in most cases, it’s born from personal experience with vaccine injuries.

“Pulsating Anomalies In The Schumann Resonance And Sun”

By Gregg Prescott, M.S.

 

An interesting development has arisen in regard to the Schumann Resonance chart and our sun. While it is still unclear if the two are related, they both have similar attributes.

Schumann Resonance

The Schumann Resonance charts started showing an unusual pattern after the 2-3 hour blackout earlier in the month of April 2019:

Many believe the blackout represent a reset.

Shortly after the blackout, the Schumann Resonance (SR) charts began showing a new and unusual pattern:

The long, vertical lines are approximately 10 minutes apart from one another:

At the top of the chart, when magnified to a higher resolution, we can see what literally looks like a fence:

Is it possible that this represents the new organic matrix being put into place?

Pulsating Sun

In a related story, there have been many reports of the sun pulsating, as evidenced by many photographs:

 

 

As we have witnessed, the sun changed in color from yellow to white beginning in the late 1980’s when our entire solar system entered the Photon Belt.

This is what has caused dramatic climate changes on all of the planets within our solar system.

Some people have mistakenly attributed this solar-system-wide climate change to the presence of the planet Nibiru, which is not true.

It will take our solar system approximately 2,000 to fully move through the Photon Belt, which is basically a humongous cosmic cloud of interdimensional photonic light.

This cosmic energy has the ability to transform our DNA as well as activate beneficial dormant codons within our RNA.

In the meanwhile, scientists are having a difficult time describing what is happening to our sun. You can read more about that in this article called, Scientists Baffled – Concentric Ring Phenomenon Goes Mainstream“.

Is the Pulsating Sun related to the new Schumann Resonance grid?

Intuitively, I would say yes, although it may be too early to definitively answer.

There seems to be a correlation between the two. Keep in mind that we are still on the outer edges of the Photon Belt and are not even closely being fully emerged into it.

Time speeding up

In conjunction with the pulsating sun and the Schumann Resonance anomalies, we are looking at evidence of the “time speeding uptime speeding up” phenomena playing out right before our eyes.

Undeniably, there is a quickening going on and while many people feel this in their every day lives, we have been looking for proof of this phenomena.

I recently wrote an article that explains many of these occurrences in an article called, Strange Ongoing Time Anomalies“.

As the incoming photonic and plasma energy increases, it may well be the physical proof that we have been looking for. Pulsating energy is being shown through photographs of the sun as well as on the Schumann Resonance charts. SOMETHING is certainly speeding up!

What can we expect in the near future?

As we move further into the Photon Belt, expect more concentric ring photographs of the sun along with other atmospheric anomalies.

As for the Schumann Resonance charts, what we are witnessing may well be come the “norm”. In the past several years, we have seen SR anomalies on a regular basis, moreso than in the previous years preceding 2015 or so… now more than ever!
We can expect more whiteouts on the SR charts and perhaps more anomalies that we’ve never seen before.

This is the first time in recorded history that we are witnessing such events with the capabilities to report on them in real-time.

Many people can sense and feel that we are on the precipice of something magnanimous.

I truly believe it. Do you?

Sending you all infinite LOVE & Light!

Gregg.

 

Source: https://in5d.com

Can acupuncture manage rheumatoid arthritis of the hand?

(Natural News) For thousands of years, acupuncture has been used in Chinese medicine to treat various ailments. This healing art involves the insertion of fine needles in certain sites along the body called acupoints. A study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine confirmed that acupuncture safely and effectively improves rheumatoid arthritis of…

California jury awards couple $2 billion in Monsanto/Bayer Roundup cancer trial

A California jury on Monday awarded more than $2 billion to a couple who claimed Bayer AG’s glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer caused their cancer, in the largest U.S. jury verdict to date against the company in litigation over the chemical.

The large punitive damages award is likely to be reduced due to U.S. Supreme Court rulings that limit the ratio of punitive to compensatory damages to 9:1. The jury awarded a total of $2 billion in punitive damages and $55 million in compensatory damages.

It was the third consecutive U.S. jury verdict against the company in litigation over the chemical, which Bayer acquired as part of its $63 billion purchase of Monsanto last year. Both other jury verdicts also came in California, one in state court and one in federal court.

The jury in Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland on Monday said the company was liable for plaintiffs Alva and Alberta Pilliod’s contracting non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a spokeswoman for the couple said.

It awarded $18 million in compensatory and $1 billion in punitive damages to Alva Pilliod, and $37 million in compensatory and $1 billion in punitive damages to his wife, Alberta Pilliod. The jury found Roundup had been defectively designed, that the company failed to warn of the herbicide’s cancer risk and that the company acted negligently.

The German chemicals giant faces more than 13,400 U.S. lawsuits over the herbicide’s alleged cancer risk.

The next jury trial in the glyphosate litigation is scheduled for August in Missouri state court, the first time a jury outside of California will hear a Roundup case. The trial will take place in St. Louis County, where Monsanto’s former headquarters are located.

Bayer in a statement on Monday said it was disappointed with the verdict and will appeal. A spokesman called the jury’s decision “excessive and unjustifiable.”

The company said both Alva and Alberta Pilliod had long histories of illnesses known to be substantial risk factors for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“The contrast between today’s verdict and (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s) conclusion that there are ‘no risks to public health from the current registered uses of glyphosate’ could not be more stark,” Bayer said.

Bayer says that decades of studies by the company and independent scientists have shown glyphosate and Roundup to be safe for human use. Bayer also points to several regulators around the world that found that glyphosate was not carcinogenic to humans.

Brent Wisner, a lawyer for the Pilliods, at a news conference following the verdict said Bayer had to take responsibility for its product.

“Monsanto keeps denying that it causes cancer and these two fine people here are casualties of that deception,” Wisner said, standing next to the California couple, who are in their 70s.

Alberta Pilliod called on Bayer to add a warning label to Roundup, saying she and her husband would not have used the product had it alerted them to a cancer risk. “We’ve been fighting cancer for more than nine years now and we can’t do any of the things we wanted to do. We really resent Monsanto for that,” Pilliod said.

The prior two jury verdicts against Bayer in U.S. Roundup trials triggered steep declines in Bayer shares.

A San Francisco state court jury in August 2018 awarded $289 million to a California groundskeeper, finding Monsanto’s glyphosate-based weed killers caused his cancer. That award was later reduced to $78 million and is on appeal.

In March, a federal jury in San Francisco awarded $80 million to another California man after finding Roundup caused his cancer. The company also said it would appeal that decision.

Adam Zimmerman, a law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, on Monday said it was too early to speculate about a potential settlement of the litigation by Bayer.

“The legal questions on appeal in the previous two cases will ultimately inform how this litigation proceeds,” Zimmerman said. It also remains to be seen how juries in other part of the country react to the evidence in upcoming trials, he said.

Shareholders have rebuked the company’s top management over its handling of the Monsanto acquisition and the litigation it inherited, which has wiped around 30 billion euros ($33.68 billion) from Bayer’s market value since the first jury verdict.

The Pilliods allege the regular use of Roundup on their property between 1975 and 2011 caused them to develop cancers of the lymph system.

They filed their lawsuit in 2017 after being diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and 2015, respectively. Both of them are currently in remission, but their trial had been expedited due to the risk of a relapse and potentially short life expectancy.

Plaintiffs in the litigation allege that Monsanto had known about the herbicide’s cancer risk for decades, but failed to warn consumers and instead attempted to influence scientists and regulators to receive favorable assessments of its products. Bayer denies those allegations.

Lawsuits are largely based on a 2015 conclusion by the World Health Organization’s cancer arm, which classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

A 2017 Reuters investigatihere found that the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer had dismissed and edited out “non-carcinogenic” findings that were at odds with its final conclusion that the chemical probably causes cancer.

The U.S. EPA, the European Chemicals Agency and other regulators have found that glyphosate is not likely carcinogenic to humans.

Reporting by Tina Bellon in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler

 

Source: https://www.reuters.com