By Anna Von Reitz
By Anna Von Reitz
By Anna Von Reitz
By Anna Von Reitz
The HPV vaccine Gardasil was granted European license in February 2006,1 followed by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval that same year in June.2 Gardasil was controversial in the U.S. from the beginning, with vaccine safety activists questioning the quality of the clinical trials used to fast track the vaccine to licensure.3
Lauded as a silver bullet against cervical cancer, there have been multiple continuing reports since it was licensed that Gardasil vaccine has wrought havoc on the lives of young girls (and young boys) in the U.S. and in countries across the world. Serious adverse reactions reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) in relation to Gardasil include but are not limited to:4
Transverse myelitis (inflammation of the spinal cord)
Venous thromboembolic events (blood clots)
Autoimmune initiated motor neuron disease (a neurodegenerative disease that causes rapidly progressive muscle weakness)
Postmarketing experiences and adverse events reported during post-approval use listed on the Gardasil vaccine insert5 include blood and lymphatic system disorders such as autoimmune hemolytic anemia, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura and lymphadenopathy; pulmonary embolus; pancreatitis; autoimmune diseases; anaphylactic reactions; arthralgia and myalgia (musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders); nervous system disorders such as acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, Guillain-Barre? syndrome, motor neuron disease, paralysis, seizures and transverse myelitis; and deep venous thrombosis, a vascular disorder.
According to “Manufactured Crisis — HPV, Hype and Horror,” a film6 by The Alliance for Natural Health, there have also been cases of 16-year-old girls developing ovarian dysfunction, meaning they’re going into menopause, which in turn means they will not be able to have children.
Despite such serious effects, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and FDA allege the vast majority, or even all, of these tragic cases are unrelated to the vaccine, and that Gardasil is safe.
The Plaintiff’s Science Day Presentation on Gardasil video features Robert F. Kennedy Jr., chairman and chief legal counsel for Children’s Health Defense,7 an organization originally founded in 2016 as World Mercury Project and renamed in 2018 to focus on exposing and eliminating multiple harmful exposures contributing to the epidemic of chronic ill health among children. The video details the many safety problems associated with Merck’s HPV vaccine, Gardasil.
The information presented is based on publicly available government documents. Kennedy notes that, if what he says about Merck in this video presentation were untrue, they would be considered slanderous.
However, Kennedy says he is not concerned about being sued for slander. He says he knows Merck won’t sue, “because in the U.S., truth is an absolute defense against slander” and Merck knows that, were the company to sue for slander, Kennedy would file discovery requests that would unearth even more documents detailing Merck’s fraudulent activities.
Kennedy’s presentation does not go into the biological mechanisms by which Gardasil causes harm. He directs parents and pediatricians to the Children’s Health Defense website8 to read peer reviewed medical literature sources for that information.
Instead, Kennedy’s presentation focuses on what he describes as Merck’s fraudulent clinical trials of Gardasil vaccine, which were used to gain FDA approval. While this article provides you with a summary of the key points, I urge you to watch Kennedy’s presentation in in its entirety, as this information may well save you or your child a lifetime of heartache and exorbitant medical expenses.
According to Merck, Gardasil will “eliminate cervical cancer and other HPV-associated cancers.” While that may sound impressive, just how great is a woman’s risk of dying from cervical cancer in the U.S. to begin with?
According to Kennedy, National Cancer Institute (NCI) data show the mortality rate for cervical cancer is 1 in 43,478 (2.3 per 100,000), and the median age of cervical cancer death is 58.
To eliminate that one death, all 43,478 must pay $420 — the average cost of the three Gardasil injections. According to Kennedy, 76 million American children have been mandated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to receive the vaccine, providing Merck with an annual revenue of $2.3 billion.
When you crunch the numbers, you realize that the cost of using Gardasil to save one life is $18.3 million. Meanwhile, compensation paid by the Vaccine Court for the death of a child maxes out at $250,000.
Put another way, $18.3 million is being spent in an effort to save a life from a disease, while the U.S. Health and Human Services values human life at just a quarter of a million dollars per person when a person dies from using a government recommended vaccine in that effort.
As noted by Kennedy, some will argue that $18.3 million is a reasonable cost for saving a life, but the criteria we should use, he says, when evaluating the cost of saving a life is whether there are less expensive ways to achieve the same goal.
In the case of HPV infection and cervical cancer, there’s ample evidence showing that inexpensive PAP smears are the most effective way to identify an HPV infection, and by treating it to prevent it from turning into cancer.
By law, Merck must demonstrate that the HPV vaccine is safe. By legal definition, “The word safety means the relative freedom from harmful effect to persons affected, directly or indirectly, by a product when prudently administered, taking into consideration the character of the product in relation to the condition of the recipient at the time.”
Kennedy points out that, in the case of the HPV vaccine, recipients are healthy preteen and teen girls and boys, for whom the risk of dying from cervical cancer and other related HPV cancers is zero. Remember, the median age of cervical cancer death is 58.
The median age of detection is 50. What this means, Kennedy stresses, is that the threshold for tolerance of vaccine-associated risks should be extremely low, since the risk of death at the time it’s given is nil.
What’s more, the HPV vaccine is a mandated requirement in some jurisdictions, and available without parental consent in others, which further lowers the bar of tolerance for vaccine-induced risks. In other words, especially when it comes to mandated use of the vaccine or use by teens without parental knowledge or consent, there should be virtually no conceivable risk associated with Gardasil vaccine.
As for determining the risk associated with a medical intervention prelicensure, the gold standard in medicine is double-blind placebo-controlled trials. In such a trial, one group of people, typically in the thousands, receives the experimental drug product, while the other half receives a placebo, an inert substance such as saline or a sugar pill that has no chemical or biological effects that might muddy the waters and interfere with the evaluation of the drug effects.
What’s more, to control for the placebo effect, no one knows which of the participants received the medication or the placebo until the very end of the trial. Lastly, drug trials typically last for several years, as it’s well-known that many side effects are latent and don’t show up until years down the road.
Cancer, for example, can take four to five years to develop after exposure to a carcinogenic substance. For less carcinogenic yet still harmful substances, cancer may take decades to develop.
Kennedy says the fraud Merck committed in its safety testing is (a) testing Gardasil against a toxic placebo, and (b) hiding a 2.3% incidence of autoimmune disease occurring within seven months of vaccination.
In his presentation, Kennedy shows Table 1 from the package insert9 for Gardasil, which looks at vaccine injuries at the site of injection. It shows that Gardasil was administered to 5,088 girls; another 3,470 received the control, amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate (AAAH) — a neurotoxic aluminum vaccine adjuvant that has been associated with many serious vaccine injuries in the medical literature.
A third group, consisting of 320 individuals, received a proper placebo (saline). In the Gardasil and AAAH control groups, the number of injuries were fairly close; 83.9% in the Gardasil group and 75.4% in the AAAH control group. Meanwhile, the rate of injury (again, relating to injuries at the injection site only), was significantly lower at 48.6%.
Next, he shows Table 9 from the vaccine insert, which is the “Summary of girls and women 9 through 26 years of age who reported an incident condition potentially indicative of a systemic autoimmune disorder after enrollment in clinical trials of Gardasil, regardless of causality.” These conditions include serious systemic reactions, chronic and debilitating disorders and autoimmune diseases.
Now all of a sudden, there are only two columns, not three as shown for the injection site injuries. The column left out is that of the saline placebo group. Kennedy points out that Merck cleverly hides the hazards of Gardasil by combining the saline group with the aluminum control, thereby watering down the side effects reported in the controls. “They hide the saline group as a way of fooling you, your pediatrician and the regulatory agency,” Kennedy says.
Looking at the effects reported in the two groups, 2.3% of those receiving Gardasil reported an effect of this nature, as did 2.3% of those receiving the AAAH (aluminum) control or saline placebo. The same exact ratio of harm is reported in both groups, which makes it appear as though Gardasil is harmless.
In reality, we know very little about Gardasil vaccine safety from the data as presented, since the vast majority of the controls were given a toxic substance, and they don’t tell us how many of those receiving a truly inert substance developed these systemic injuries. Still, we can draw some educated guesses, seeing how the injection site injury ratios between Gardasil and the aluminum group were similar.
Merck’s use of AAAH, a neurotoxic aluminum adjuvant instead of a biologically inactive placebo, effectively nullifies its prelicensure Gardasil safety testing.
As noted by Peter Gotzche with the Cochrane Center in 2016, when he co-filed an unofficial complaint against the European Medical Agency for bias in its assessment of the HPV vaccine, “The use of active comparators probably increased the occurrence of harms in the comparator group, thereby masking harms caused by the HPV vaccine.”
When making an informed decision, you need to know both sides of the equation — the risk you’re trying to avoid, and the risk you’re taking on. Recall that, on average, 1 in 43,478 women will die from cervical cancer.
If 2.3% of girls develop an autoimmune disease from Gardasil, then that translates into 1,000 per 43,500. Even if a 1 in 43,478 chance of dying from cancer is gone, does it makes sense to trade that for a 1 in 43 chance of getting an autoimmune disease?
And how many parents are comfortable giving a child a substance knowing there’s a 1 in 43 chance that this substance will cause a lifelong disability? Yet that’s the choice parents have been fooled into making.
Merck has not disclosed how many clinical safety trials (also called protocols) it conducted for Gardasil. A slide in Kennedy’s presentation shows a listing of several of the ones known, including protocol 18. Kennedy says this clinical trial is critical because that was the one that FDA used as its basis for giving Merck a license to market the vaccine for use in children as young as 9 years old.
Protocol 18 is the only trial in which the target audience, 9- through 15-year-old girls and boys, was tested prelicensure. The other trials looked at the vaccine’s safety in 16- through 26-year-olds. Protocol 18 included just 939 children — “a very, very tiny group of people,” Kennedy says, “for a product that is going to be marketed to millions of children around the world.”
Aside from its small cohort size, protocol 18 is also filled with “fraud and flimflam,” according to Kennedy. Merck presented protocol 18 to the FDA and HHS as the only safety trial that used a true nonbioactive inert placebo. This, however, was a misrepresentation.
Instead of pure saline, the placebo used in protocol 18 contained a carrier solution composed of polysorbate 80, sodium borate (borax, which is banned for food products in the U.S. and Europe), genetically modified yeast, L-histidine and DNA fragments. In essence, the “placebo” was all of the vaccine components with the exception of the aluminum adjuvant and the antigen (viral portion).
Very little if any safety testing has been done on these ingredients, so their biological effects in the body are largely unknown. What we can say for sure is that these are not inert substances like saline. Still, the 596 children given the carrier solution control “fared much better than any other cohort in the study,” Kennedy says.
None of them had any serious adverse events in the first 15 days. Now, here’s where Merck committed fraud yet again. As Kennedy points out, Table 20 in protocol 18 shows that Merck cut the amount of aluminum used in the Gardasil vaccine by half.
“They tested a completely different formulation,” he says. “And, obviously, they took the amount of aluminum out to reduce the amount of injuries and mask the really bad safety profile of this vaccine …
Since Merck deceptively cut the amount of aluminum — Gardasil’s most toxic component — in half, the data from that study does not support the safety of the standard Gardasil formulation. Since protocol 18 data are not based on the Gardasil vaccine formulation, the trial constitutes scientific fraud.”
Kennedy also describes another trick used by Merck to skew results: exclusion criteria. By selecting trial participants that do not reflect the general population, they mask potentially injurious effects on vulnerable subgroups.
For example, individuals with severe allergies and prior genital infections were excluded, as were those who’d had more than four sex partners, those with a history of immunological or nervous system disorders, chronic illnesses, seizure disorders, other medical conditions, reactions to vaccine ingredients such as aluminum, yeast and benzonase, and anyone with a history of drug or alcohol abuse.
Yet Merck recommends Gardasil for all of these unstudied groups. Merck’s investigators also had unlimited discretion to exclude anyone with “any condition which in the opinion of the investigator might interfere with the evaluation of the study objectives.”
Merck also used “sloppy protocols to suppress reports of vaccine injury,” Kennedy says. For example, only 10% of participants were given daily report cards to fill out, and they were only to be filled out for 14 days post-vaccination. What’s more, these report cards only collected information about vaccination site effects, such as redness, itching and bruising.
Also ignored were autoimmune problems, seizures and menstrual cycle disruptions experienced by many of the girls. They also did not follow up with those who reported serious side effects. Merck also granted broad discretionary powers to its paid investigators to determine what they thought constituted a reportable adverse event and to dismiss potential vaccine reactions.
The researchers did not systematically collect adverse event data, which is the whole point of doing a safety study in the first place, and by not paying for the additional time required by investigators to fill out time-consuming adverse event reports, Merck effectively incentivized the dismissal of side effects.
Many of the illnesses and injuries reported were also classified as “new medical conditions” rather than adverse events, and no rigorous investigation of these new conditions were performed.
According to Kennedy, at the time of the vaccine’s approval, 49.5% of the Gardasil group and 52% of the controls (who received either the aluminum adjuvant or the vaccine carrier solution) had “new medical history” after the seventh month (Table 303, which included protocols 7, 13, 15 and 18), many of which were serious, chronic diseases.
Taking all of this into account, here’s how the risk-benefit equation looks now: The 1 in 43,478 chance of dying from cervical cancer may have been removed (assuming the vaccine actually works), but by taking the vaccine there is now a 1 in 43 chance of getting an autoimmune disease, and a 1 in 2 chance of developing some form of serious medical condition.
According to Kennedy, Merck also submitted fraudulent information to its Worldwide Adverse Experience System and the federal Vaccine Adverse Effects Reporting System (VAERS) about the death of Christina Tarsell, one of its study participants.
“Merck claimed that Chris’ gynecologist had told the company that her death was due to viral infection. Chris’ gynecologist denies that she ever gave this information to Merck. To this day, Merck has refused to change its false entry on its own reporting system,” Kennedy says.
“Furthermore, Merck lied to the girls participating in these studies, telling them that the placebo was saline and contained no other ingredients. And No. 2, that the study in which they were participating was not a safety study. They were told that there had already been safety studies and that the vaccine had been proven safe …
They made it so that the girls were less likely to report injuries associated with the vaccine, because they believed the vaccine they were receiving had already been proven safe and that any injuries did experience, maybe a month, two months or three months after the vaccine must just be coincidental and had nothing to do with the vaccine.”
So, what about the claims the HPV vaccine prevents cervical cancer? If a girl or woman is trading a 1 in 43,478 chance of dying from cervical cancer for a 1 in 2 chance of developing a serious medical condition, it better be near 100% effective, wouldn’t you say? However, according to Kennedy’s presentation, there’s scant evidence to support such claims.
In fact, it’s nearly impossible to prove the efficacy of the HPV vaccine. Why? Because the target age for inoculation is 11, and the median age of death from cervical cancer is 58. There’s a time gap of 47 years there. So, all Gardasil can offer, at this time, is the hope that 47 years down the line, all 11-year-olds who received the vaccine will be cancer free.
What’s more, with such a tiny risk (1 in 43,478) there would need to be an enormous lifelong cohort to determine whether the vaccine actually decreased cancer deaths five decades down the line.
To get around the 47-year lag time, Merck used surrogate endpoints. None of the clinical trials actually tested whether the vaccine can prevent cancer. Instead, the vaccine was tested to see if it could prevent the development of CIN2 and CIN3 lesions, which are considered precancerous cervical lesions. As noted by Kennedy:
“Under Merck’s’ hypothetical theory, the reduction of precancerous lesions would translate into fewer cases of cervical cancer in 20 to 30 years. This gimmick of using ‘surrogate endpoints’ allowed Merck to shorten the clinical trials to a few years and get approvals for a drug that is utterly unproven to prevent cancer.
Since correlation does not prove causation, nobody knows if HPV virus actually causes cancer or whether it is a co-variable like yellow fingers and lung cancer.”
The problem with these endpoints is that “only a tiny fraction of CINs ever progress to cancer,” Kennedy says, and “How can you call something ‘precancerous’ when it was never going to result in cancer?” As noted in a 2010 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology:10
“Misclassification of exposure and surrogate endpoints of disease can obscure causal relations. Using data from the Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance/Low-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion Triage Study … the authors explored the impact of exposure (human papillomavirus (HPV) detection) and endpoint (histologic cervical precancer) classification on their mutual association …
CIN3 is an imperfect diagnosis of precancer and an immediate surrogate for cancer because not all CIN3 invades, such lesions are occasionally caused by noncarcinogenic HPV genotypes that are unlikely to invade, CIN3 can be a false positive diagnosis, and the classification is not perfectly reproducible.”
According to Kennedy, Merck’s internal ethics protocols actually state that marketers must avoid making claims based on the surrogate endpoints, meaning they cannot market Gardasil as a vaccine that prevents cervical cancer. All marketers can say is that it helps prevent risk factors for cervical cancer:
“A surrogate endpoint is a regulatory ‘stand-in’ for an ultimate endpoint, based on the assumption that a drug that affects the surrogate endpoint will also affect the ultimate endpoint. Often, surrogate endpoints are ‘risk factors’ for ultimate endpoints.
Surrogate endpoints are used when effects on ultimate endpoints have not been demonstrated … For these products, the indication is the surrogate, not the ultimate, endpoint. Promotion cannot make any claim vis-à-vis the ultimate endpoint.”
Another study11 cited by Kennedy that raises serious doubts about Merck’s claim that Gardasil will eliminate cervical cancer was published in 2008 in the journal Gynecologic Oncology. According to this paper, “Only 28.2% of women with CIN2 or CIN3 confirmed by biopsy were infected exclusively by HPV type 16 or 18, a finding that places in doubt the degree of protection afforded by HPV vaccination.”
Similarly, a 2014 study12 in the Journal of Experimental Therapeutics and Oncology found that “The prevalence of HPV in premalignant and malignant cervical lesions … was 39.5% and 33.3% respectively.”
In other words, it appears HPV may be involved in just one-third of cervical cancers, which lowers the potential of young girls benefiting from this vaccine even further. It also decimates Merck’s claim that the HPV vaccine will eliminate cervical cancer. At best, it might eliminate one-third of cases.
But it gets worse, because there’s a possibility Gardasil could cause cancer. The Gardasil insert13 admits it has never been evaluated for carcinogenicity or genotoxicity, yet its ingredients “include potential carcinogens and mutagens, including aluminum and human DNA,” Kennedy says.
He goes on to show the results of Merck’s study protocol 13 (Table 17: Applicant’s analysis of efficacy against vaccine-relevant HPV types CIN 2/3 or worse among subjects who were PCR positive and seropositive for relevant HPV types at day 1.)
What this protocol showed is that women who had previous exposure to the HPV strains used in the vaccine had a 44.6% increased risk of developing CIN2 and CIN3 lesions after vaccination. Taking the dubious efficacy of Gardasil into account, and the fact that it may only impact one-third of cervical cancer cases, the risk-benefit lineup when taking the vaccine now looks like this:
“To make things even worse, there are recent scientific studies that suggest a phenomenon known as type replacement,” Kennedy says. “Type replacement” refers to when the elimination or suppression of one viral strain allows a more virulent strain to colonize.
The study,14 “Shift in Prevalence of HPV Types in Cervical Cytology Specimens in the Era of HPV Vaccination,” published in the journal Oncology Letters in 2016 — which analyzed the association between the prevalence of 32 types of HPV virus in 615 women who had abnormal cervical cytopathology — reported that:
“… HPV16, which is recognized as the main HR-HPV type responsible for the development of cervical cancer, was observed in 32.98% of HPV participants, followed by HPV42 (18.09%), HPV31 (17.66%), HPV51 (13.83%), HPV56 (10.00%), HPV53 (8.72%) and HPV66 (8.72%).
The prevalence of HR-HPV types, which may be suppressed directly (in the case of HPV16 and 18), or possibly via cross-protection (in the case of HPV31) following vaccination, was considerably lower in participants ?22 years of age (HPV16, 28.57%; HPV18, 2.04%; HPV31, 6.12%), compared with participants 23–29 years of age (HPV16, 45.71%; HPV18, 7.86%; HPV31, 22.86%), who were less likely to be vaccinated.
Consequently, the present study hypothesizes that there may be a continuous shift in the prevalence of HPV types as a result of vaccination. Furthermore, the percentage of non-vaccine HR-HPV types was higher than expected, considering that eight HPV types formerly classified as ‘low-risk’ or ‘probably high-risk’ are in fact HR-HPV types.
Therefore, it may be important to monitor non-vaccine HPV types in future studies, and an investigation concerning several HR-HPV types as risk factors for the development of cervical cancer is required.”
We’ve already covered some of the vaccine injuries, such as autoimmune disorders, shown in Merck’s preclinical studies. Here are several more data points to consider:
How’s the Gardasil risk-benefit looking now?
In other words, Gardasil vaccinations appear to increase the overall risk of death by 370%, the risk of autoimmune disease by 2.3% and the risk of a serious medical condition by 50%.
To get an idea of how Gardasil is faring in the real world, we turn to VAERS. Unfortunately, vaccine adverse events reporting is voluntary, and investigations have revealed less than 1% of adverse events that occur after vaccination are ever reported to VAERS. Still, despite that debilitating shortcoming, “Gardasil has distinguished itself as the most dangerous vaccine ever invented,” Kennedy says.
Between 2006 and November 2018, more than 60,000 adverse events following HPV vaccination were reported, 8,782 of which were categorized as “serious,” including 439 deaths. Compared to the meningitis vaccine Menactra, which is given to the same age group (teens), Gardasil has:
In 2015, the Australian Department of Health Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) reported that the rate of adverse events following Gardasil vaccination is 17 times greater than the cervical cancer rate throughout an Australian woman’s lifetime, and this study limited its analysis to anaphylaxis, fainting, allergic reactions and hospitalizations. This is just a handful of the many injuries linked to this vaccine.
Kennedy goes on to review findings from a number of different countries, including India, Japan, Denmark15 and Colombia, and how those countries have responded to findings of harm. He also notes that in countries with strong HPV vaccine coverage, cervical cancer rates have actually started creeping upward rather than downward.
According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers,1 each year 55 centers receive millions of calls, the majority from people who have come into contact with dangerous or potentially dangerous substances. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention2 says every day more than 300 children in the U.S. are treated in an emergency room as a result of poisoning.
However, these are not just linked to chemicals but also to everyday items such as household cleaners and medications. A recent study from the Central Ohio Poison Center3 evaluated those who had eye exposures to dangerous products and found while the annual frequency of exposures has declined by 37%, cleaning products accounted for 22%.
Poison statistics4 reveal cleaning substances are the second most common reason for poison exposure in children younger than 6. The greatest number of exposures were from cosmetics and personal care products, followed closely by cleaning substances, for which there were 109,563 reports in 2017.
One cleaning supply that has come under the microscope in the past several years is single-load laundry detergent pods. They hit the market in early 2012 and since then two things have become clear: They are a convenient way to do laundry and are a serious health hazard for children and adults alike.
A recent study5 published in the journal Pediatrics found the number, rate and severity of exposure have modestly decreased, but exposure among older children and adults is increasing.
This short news broadcast highlights the findings of the current study. Researchers gathered data from the National Poison Data System in which exposure to liquid detergent were reported from 2012 to 2017. During this period, there were 72,947 exposures to liquid laundry detergent packets.6
Most of those reported were documented in children under the age of 6. Although the researchers found a slight increase from 2012 to 2015, the number and rate of exposure decreased by 18% from the beginning of 2015 to 2017. However, in those older than 6, the rate of exposure increased an astounding 292.7% by 2015 and 276.7% by 2017.7
Hospital admissions increased by 63.4% through 2015 but declined 55.5% by 2017. The researchers concluded the number, rate and severity may have decreased in part due to the voluntary product safety standard enforcement and public awareness campaigns.8
However, researchers found the number of exposures in older children and adults increased from 2012 to 2017. With exposure increasing in older individuals, the researchers called for strengthening of the current product safety standard to further reduce exposure.9
In 2015, the American Society for Testing and Material created new standards and recommended manufacturers producing laundry pods to make design changes to make the pods less attractive to young children, and to use materials that would be harder to tear open or chew through.10
The changes reached the market in 2015 and are reflected in the statistics found by the researchers. The researchers note safety standards may have fallen short because manufacturers were allowed to voluntarily meet child-resistant requirements in a variety of ways instead of adhering to a single standard.
Unlike products that are stored for many years, laundry pods are often used quickly, meaning any changes to the packaging could reach the market faster than products used less quickly. It’s estimated laundry pods might be more dangerous as the detergent is more concentrated than in bottles or powder.11
This means parents should take immediate action if they suspect their child has been exposed. Chemicals in these pods may trigger seizures, coma, eye damage, skin burns and/or severe breathing difficulty. During the study period, eight people died after eating laundry pods, two of whom were babies.12
The other six deaths were adults with dementia or developmental disability. Of those injured, 239 survived “major effects” from the laundry pod exposure that were life-threatening or resulted in significant disability, according to Reuters.13 Senior study author Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus Ohio commented:14
“Like other poisons, young children can become much sicker than other older individuals with any given dose of liquid laundry detergent because their body weight is less. Fortunately, traditional liquid or powder laundry detergent is far less toxic than (laundry pods) and therefore is a safer alternative.”
One of the more well-known laundry pods is made by Tide. According to their website,15 “Every Tide detergent contains many ingredients with long, complicated names.” The labeling also claims,16 “Tide PODS consist of up to 90% active ingredients,” which they say means you are paying for “clean” and not water.
The list of ingredients does indeed contain a long list of chemicals, concentrated and packed into a degradable pod designed to break apart in your washing machine. The ingredient list is provided by Procter and Gamble, manufacturers of Tide.17
As you read through the list in this one detergent, it’s important to remember that while the health effects and grading listed by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) are for the individual ingredients, these ingredients don’t exist in a vacuum.
Chemicals combine in the environment creating unknown effects. Each has a grade from the EWG from A to F — where “A” is the best grade the ingredient could receive — and a list of known health effects:
Linear alkylbenzene sulfonates — (C) Toxic to aquatic life18
Alcoholethoxy sulfate — (C) Asthma or respiratory irritant, skin and allergies, developmental and reproductive toxicity, environmental toxin and damage to DNA19
Propylene glycol — (A) Skin and allergy irritation20
Fatty acid salts
Polyethyleneimine ethoxylate — (D) Asthma and respiratory irritation, skin and allergies, developmental and reproductive toxicity and DNA damage21
Dipropylene glycol — (C) Asthma and respiratory irritation, skin and allergies, developmental and reproductive toxicity and DNA damage22
Polyvinyl alcohol film
Alcohol ethoxylates — (C) Asthma and respiratory irritation, skin and allergies, developmental and reproductive toxicity and DNA damage23
Peg-136 polyvinyl acetate — No information found on the product in the EWG database, but it was noted as found in only six products24
Monoethanolamine citrate — (F) Asthma, respiratory, skin and allergy irritant25
Diethylenetriamine pentaacetate, sodium salt
Sodium bisulfite — (C) Asthma, respiratory, skin and allergy irritant26
Disodium distyrylbiphenyl disulfonate
Sodium formate — (B)27
Subtilisin — (B) Asthma and respiratory irritant28
Hydrogenated castor oil
Calcium formate — (B)29
Amylase — (B) Asthma and respiratory irritant30
Mannanase — (B) Asthma and respiratory irritant31
Benzisothiazolinone — (C) Developmental and reproductive toxicity, skin and allergy irritant, environmentally toxic32
In the short term, researchers found the chemicals in laundry pods caused seizures, coma, severe breathing impairments, eye damage and burns.33 Other dangerous chemicals added to products by design are the fragrance and scents.
Scenting a product is intended to play on your memory to link the product to a good experience, and is a powerful technique used by manufacturers to manipulate your attraction to personal care products and laundry products. One study34 investigated how odor-evoked memories influence perception of a product, finding fragrances evoking stronger personal emotional memories were preferred by the study participants.35
One exposure at a low level will likely not trigger an immediate health condition, but repetitive and chronic exposure often does. Imagine smoking one cigarette and claiming there was no health effect since you didn’t get sick immediately. The effect from toxins is cumulative and may add quickly when you’re exposed to chemicals in your food, furniture and clothing, all at once, and on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, perfumes and fragrances are considered proprietary information and remain relatively unregulated. Thirty years ago, the issue was secondhand smoke, but currently, scent from perfume, air fresheners, scented laundry products and numerous other products using fragrances, are triggering health issues.
The chemical cocktails in fragrances are often toxic as they are derived from petroleum and coal tar. As soon as you smell an air freshener, scented candle or laundry detergent, you have already absorbed the chemicals into your body as they enter through your lungs. Even when you no longer smell the fragrance, you’re still absorbing the chemicals through your clothing, bedding and towels.
As an example, one study measured the chemicals emitted through laundry vents during typical use of fragranced products. University of Washington scientist, Anne Steinemann, Ph.D., found the following from 25 common brands of scented laundry products:36,37
The Alliance for Water Efficiency38 states washing machines are the largest water user in the average home, accounting for up to 40% of the overall water consumption. A typical family of four will generate more than 300 loads of laundry every year, and while high-efficiency washing machines will reduce the water load, laundry detergent is still necessary.
With a population of 329,006,000 and growing,39 those in the U.S. may be doing 24,673,125,000 loads of laundry every year. There are some relatively painless steps you can take to reduce your exposure, such as making your own laundry detergent.
Once you’ve tried it, you’ll find the possibilities are endless and most of what you need may already be in your kitchen. Here’s a recipe from Mommypotamus40 to help you get started on your own laundry detergent; consider adding the essential oils you like for a natural scent.
Homemade Natural Laundry Detergent41
Magnesium is a mineral that comes from the soil1 and is present in various foods. It plays an important role in proper health because it is a cofactor in over 300 enzyme systems that are responsible for various biological processes, such as:2
It’s clear that magnesium is an essential mineral that everyone should sufficiently have. Sadly, this is not the case for most Americans. It’s estimated that almost half of Americans9,10 are not getting enough magnesium from their diet and are at risk of deficiency, which can lead to various health-related problems.
Magnesium deficiency is a serious cause of concern among Americans today. If your body lacks this mineral, you may develop conditions such as:11
Quite simply, your best way to counteract the dangers of magnesium deficiency is to increase your intake of magnesium-rich foods.
Magnesium can be conveniently increased through your diet. There are many magnesium-rich foods you can eat and enjoy regularly to help optimize your health, such as:
Aside from getting your magnesium from foods, taking magnesium supplements can boost your magnesium levels. However, supplements can be very confusing if you’re unfamiliar with them. For example, there are different types of magnesium supplements, such as magnesium chloride, magnesium oxide, magnesium citrate and magnesium sulfate.
The reason for this is because pure magnesium is not easily absorbed by the body, so it must be bound to a carrier substance. All of these products use different carriers depending on the intended purpose and how bioavailable they are. Bioavailability is the amount of magnesium that can be absorbed in your digestive system for your body to use.22
Remember that when it comes to increasing magnesium, getting it through your diet is the healthiest approach. Supplements may work, but relying on them too much may cause digestive problems because increased magnesium levels have laxative effects.23 If you still want to try this approach, though, one magnesium supplement you can try is magnesium sulfate, also known as Epsom salt.
One of the main benefits of magnesium sulfate is its potential ability to boost the overall amount of magnesium in your body. To do this, magnesium sulfate is typically dissolved in bathwater, allowing your skin to absorb the substance.24 It may also be taken as a capsule depending on the user’s preference.25
In a study conducted at the University of Birmingham in the U.K., 19 healthy participants were asked to soak in magnesium sulfate baths for 12 minutes, and their magnesium levels were measured afterward through blood and urine samples. Results indicated that most of the subjects had increased magnesium concentrations in their plasma, and that consistent bathing increased the concentration further.26
Magnesium sulfate has other uses aside from increasing magnesium levels in the blood. Here are other practical applications of this substance:
• Treatment for preeclampsia — Preeclampsia is a complication that may occur during pregnancy. It is marked by high blood pressure, abnormal function of organs and excess protein in the urine.27
To help treat preeclampsia, magnesium sulfate can be administered intravenously to help reduce the risk of seizures in the mother’s body, and is actually one of the most common methods used for those who develop this condition.28 Dosages are strictly controlled in a hospital setting to minimize further complications.29
• Relief from constipation — Magnesium supplements are commonly taken for their laxative effect, and magnesium sulfate has been found to be helpful in this regard. Research suggests that magnesium helps improve bowel movements by pulling more water from your body into the colon.30 After taking a dosage, bowel movement should occur within 30 minutes to six hours.31
• Ease asthma symptoms — Asthma is a respiratory condition defined by breathing difficulties, coughing, wheezing and chest tightness.32 If this condition becomes severe, magnesium sulfate may be administered to provide immediate relief by inducing relaxation in the bronchial smooth muscles.33
Research suggests that the muscle-relaxing properties of magnesium work by inhibiting calcium influx into the cytosol.34
• Improved muscle recovery — Research has shown that magnesium may benefit muscle recovery after intense physical activity. According to a study in Magnesium Research, magnesium is responsible for oxygen uptake, energy production and electrolyte balance.
Furthermore, evidence suggests that even a slight deficiency in magnesium can already amplify the negative effects of strenuous exercise, such as oxidative stress. Therefore, increasing magnesium intake may help improve physical activity and recovery.35
• Better cognitive function — Magnesium deficiency has been linked to various neurological pathologies such as migraines, depression, epilepsy, stroke, traumatic brain and spinal injuries and Parkinson’s disease.36
To help prevent the loss of brain function, magnesium sulfate may be utilized. According to a rodent study published in PLoS One, administration of magnesium sulfate in rats helped increase magnesium levels in the brain, as well as reverse impairments in long-term potentiation. In addition, insulin sensitivity had improved.37
Taking a magnesium sulfate supplement may benefit your health, however it may also introduce sudden changes in your system. Before you even consider taking a magnesium sulfate product, be sure to consult with your doctor, especially if you are dealing with kidney disease.38
Pregnant women should not take magnesium sulfate supplements without their physician’s advice. Furthermore, it is not known if magnesium sulfate can pass into breastmilk, so before taking the supplement after giving birth, consult with your doctor for safety reasons.39
While published studies have suggested that magnesium sulfate can optimize your health, there’s still a chance that you may experience side effects. Reported side effects include:40,41
While there are many side effects indicated, not all of them are alarming and do not require medical attention. However, if you experience the more severe effects, such as a drop in blood pressure, anxiety attacks and heart disturbances, stop taking magnesium sulfate and visit a doctor immediately.
While it looks like magnesium sulfate can help you, don’t just simply load up on it all the time. Too much magnesium in your body can result in hypermagnesemia, a condition that causes dangerous side effects like low blood pressure, respiratory paralysis and abnormal cardiac conduction.42
To prevent the effects of hypermagnesemia, you need to increase your intake of calcium as well. Ideally, your calcium to magnesium ratio should be 1-to-1. The muscle-relaxing properties of magnesium balance out with the muscle-contraction properties of calcium.43
Consumption of vitamin K2 should also be increased alongside calcium as well because it helps direct calcium into the parts where it is needed the most, such as the bones and teeth. Without vitamin K2, arterial calcification can occur.44
Q: Is magnesium sulfate soluble?
A: Yes, magnesium sulfate is a soluble substance, especially in water.45
Q: What does magnesium sulfate do?
A: Magnesium sulfate, also known as Epsom salt, increases the magnesium levels in your body, which may help avoid deficiency. Studies also found that it can help with a variety of conditions such as preeclampsia,46 digestive health, muscle repair and pain relief.47
Q: Is magnesium sulfate flammable?
A: Magnesium sulfate is not a flammable substance.48 However, it may release toxic or irritating fumes when exposed to a fire.49
Q: Is magnesium sulfate safe?
A: Magnesium sulfate is considered generally safe. However, as with other supplements, it may introduce undesirable side effects. Commonly reported problems include diarrhea, nausea, headache and lightheadedness. Be sure to consult with a doctor before taking magnesium sulfate, or any other form of magnesium supplements for that matter.50
By Anna Von Reitz
This is a video that revolves around exposing some of the connections among Bill Ayers (The Weathermen), Barack Obama, and Sidley Austin (mentioned once by Q (Q post #238)), and whose NY offices were affected by a helicopter crashed into by a (link).
The information in the video may or may not be helpful in understanding some of what is going on now. It is pretty long, and winding.
Just a few time points that “struck the innards” (not necessarily the “Higher” ones):
14 min.: Hulton interview by J. Corsi re: conversation with Ayers where the phrase “Barack Obama is a foreign student” was recalled.
20 min.: fmr. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder with one of the greatest Afros I’ve ever seen!
32 min.: Weathermen discuss “re-education centers” for non-compliant people.
49 min.: Sidley-Austin moves out of World Trade Center, just before 9-11.
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