By Raphael Satter and Elizabeth Culliford | 29 October 2019 REUTERS — WhatsApp sued Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group on Tuesday, accusing it of helping government spies break into the phones of roughly 1,400 users across […]
And then a later email after Dennis and Anna talked on the phone.
Well, Dennis, since we just talked, and came to an amiable understanding of what you were trying to do and why it is important to be precise about what the purpose and the name of the activity is— in order to avoid international misunderstandings, I trust that all that is now settled. I will let Paul know and ask you to send out a second “corrected” announcement that makes it clear that this is being offered as a “State Assemblies Forum” for Coordinators and Members from the Several States to help disseminate information and provide a channel for people who have questions, to get questions answered. That’s all well and good. Just don’t want to cause any more confusion than exists already with the nomenclature!
Hi Folks ;The First National Assembly Call, now called, State Assemblies Forum, will be on Wednesday November 6th, 2019. at ( 7:00 pm. Az. time, 6:00 pm. Pacific and 9:00 pm . Eastern. )They will continue on the first and 3rd Wednesday of every month.The call in number is 712-775-7465 the pin code is 706517The playback number is 712-775-7470Spread the word !!!We need everybody in the Country on the same page !Thank You !Dennis KnillYavapai County CoordinatorArizona State Coordinator
A number of chemicals found in plastic products are known to act as endocrine disruptors. Some of the most pervasive and well-known include phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA). Being similar in structure to natural sex hormones, these chemicals interfere with the normal functioning of those hormones.
This is particularly problematic in children who are still growing and developing, as the glands of your endocrine system and the hormones they release influence almost every cell, organ and function of your body.
Your endocrine system as a whole is instrumental in regulating mood, growth and development, tissue function and metabolism, as well as sexual function and reproductive processes. And, endocrine-disrupting chemicals have in fact been linked to a number of reproductive health problems.
In the video1 above, Pete Myers,2 Ph.D., an adjunct professor of chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University and founder, CEO and chief scientist of Environmental Health Sciences, talks about what we know about plastic chemicals and their impact on the human endocrine system.
According to Myers, there’s evidence plastic chemicals are harming the health of future generations through intergenerational endocrine disruption, so clearly, this is no small concern.
Interestingly, Myers attributes the premature birth of his own granddaughter to wildfires that took place in the months before the delivery in the area where his daughter lived. As reported by Environmental Health News:3
“Many homes, full of plastics, burned during the fire, releasing contaminants such as bisphenol-A (BPA) and phthalates that are linked to the ‘very condition that forced that premature birth,’ [Myers] said.”
Myers also points out that no plastic in existence has ever been thoroughly tested for safety, and that the testing that is used is based on “16th century principles.”
To address the known and unknown harms of plastics, Myers is calling for redesign to make sure the plastic is nontoxic, and regulatory reform to account for the fact that even low doses may cause harm.
Health Effects Associated With Phthalates and BPA
Phthalate exposure has been linked to a wide range of health problems, including but not limited to:
- Birth defects4 and miscarriage5
- Low sperm count6,7
- Polycystic ovary disease8
- Early or delayed puberty9
- Autistic behavior,10 reduced IQ and impaired brain function in children11
Similarly, BPA, which mimics the hormone estrogen, has been linked to:
Neurological perturbations due to neurotoxicity12
Hyperactivity, increased aggressiveness and impaired learning
Increased fat formation and risk of obesity in both children13 and adults14
Altered immune function15
Disruption of female sex hormone production,18 ovarian toxicity19 and reduced fertility due to reduced viability of eggs20
Stimulation of prostate cancer cells, increased prostate size, decreased sperm production and hypospadias21 (penis deformation)
Reduced efficacy of chemotherapy treatment24
According to a report by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Program titled “State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals,”26 issued in 2014, endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) may need to be banned across the board to protect the health of future generations.
Similarly, an Endocrine Society task force issued a scientific statement27,28 on EDCs in 2015, noting that the health effects of hormone-disrupting chemicals are such that everyone needs to take proactive steps to avoid them.
EDCs like BPA and phthalates are particularly concerning for pregnant women and young children, as they can interfere with normal physiology and maturation even in extremely minute amounts.
BPA Substitutes Are Just as Hazardous
As the harms of BPA have become more widely known, many companies have started replacing it with other chemicals. However, these replacement chemicals also have no safety record, and as time goes on, we’re finding they’re just as hazardous as BPA.
This includes bisphenol S (BPS), bisphenol F (BPF) and bisphenol B (BPB). Judging by their names alone, you can tell these chemicals are in the same family as BPA, and as noted by Environmental Health News,29 “Replacing BPA with similar chemicals does nothing to mitigate the harms chemical exposure has on our health.”
For example, a recent study measuring BPA, BPS and BPF levels in children and adolescents found 97.5% had detectable levels of BPA in their urine; 87.8% had BPS; and 55.2% had BPF.
All three correlated with an increased risk for obesity, even after the researchers controlled for caloric intake.30 As noted by lead author Melanie Jacobson, a research scientist at NYU School of Medicine:31
“Although diet and exercise are still understood to the main drivers of obesity, this research suggests that common chemical exposures may also play a role, specifically among children.”
Another scientific review,32 published October 16, 2019, found BPB (just like BPA) has endocrine disruptive effects. Studies looking at subchronic intake found it affected reproductive function, damaging sperm and lowering egg production.
Others found it lowered testosterone production and had estrogenic activity, “similar to or greater than BPAs.” According to the reviewers, “The available in vivo, ex vivo and in vitro data … coherently indicates that BPB meets the WHO definition of an endocrine disrupting chemical currently used in a regulatory context.”
The take-home message from this is that “BPA-free” labels are not a guarantee that the plastic in question is free of EDCs. Chances are they simply replaced BPA with one of the other bisphenols, all of which are likely to have similar endocrine-disrupting effects.
We’re Drowning in Plastic Waste Unnecessarily
When we look at plastic pollution, plastic bags, plastic food packaging and bottled beverages are among the top offenders. In the CBC News Marketplace special report, “Raging Against Plastic,” the reporter takes an in-depth look at how grocery stores and food manufacturers are contributing to the plastic pollution problem by wrapping every conceivable item in nonbiodegradable plastic.
Eliminating some of this unnecessary packaging could go a long way toward reducing plastic waste, and it can be done. “Raging Against Plastic” features Andrew Thornton, owner of Thornton’s Budgens, a local U.K. grocer, whose store went plastic-free in just 10 weeks.
The products affected by the store’s plastic ban include everything from fresh produce to eggs, fish, bread, cheese and packaged foods. The store even sells plastic-free bacon packaged in paper instead. They also use a plant-based cellulose film as an alternative to plastic wrap. It looks and acts like plastic, but it’s not. The cellulose is biodegradable, so you can put it in your compost bin.
Not only is Budgens helping curb plastic waste, but it’s making more money, too. “We didn’t set out to do it for commercial reasons, but there is a commercial benefit,” Thornton told Marketplace.
To achieve its plastic-free goal, the store worked with Frankie Gillard of the environmental group A Plastic Planet, who points out that big supermarkets have the power to get major brands to switch to more sustainable packaging methods:
“You basically say, ‘We’re going to delist your product otherwise.’ They have the power to make or break a brand. So, of course, they have the power to say how it should be packaged.”
Beverage manufacturers could also make a very big dent — not just in pollution but also in adverse health effects — were they to revert back to inert and easily recyclable glass bottles.
Many companies have promised to tackle plastic pollution, yet virtually nothing is actually being done. One glaring example is The Coca-Cola Co. Last year, James Quincey, president and CEO of The Coca-Cola Co., announced a “World Without Waste” campaign in which the company promised to “collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle or can it sells globally by 2030.”33
In reality, the facts suggest Coca-Cola is doing next to nothing to reach its stated goals — especially in poorer countries.34 The effects of Coca-Cola’s pollution are illustrated in raw detail in a 2019 documentary by the German public broadcaster DW, “Plastic Tide: Choking on Coke.”35
It’s a riveting exposé, showing how Coca-Cola deceives customers and environmentalists about its plastic pollution. I will discuss that documentary in another article in the near future.
Coca-Cola Named ‘Most Polluting Brand’
Up until the early 1980s, Coke was in many areas still sold in glass bottles for which the customer paid a deposit. You got your deposit back when you returned the empty bottles.
Coca-Cola’s switch to plastic bottles that required no deposit and no return effectively outsourced the problem and the costs of pollution to consumers and taxpayers — and it shows. As reported in an October 2019 article in The Intercept:36
“Coca-Cola was found to for the second year in a row to be the most polluting brand in a global audit37 of plastic trash conducted by the Break Free From Plastic global movement. The giant soda company was responsible for more plastic litter than the next top three polluters combined …
After Coca-Cola, the next biggest contributors to the plastic pollution in the audit were Nestle, PepsiCo, Mondelez International — purveyor of snack brands like Oreo, Ritz, Nabisco, and Nutter Butter — and Unilever …
Coke was the top source of plastic in Africa and Europe and the second largest source in Asia and South America. In North America, the company responsible for the most plastic found in the cleanups was Nestle, followed by the Solo Cup Company … and Starbucks. Coca-Cola ranked fifth among the companies responsible for plastic waste in North America.”
Coca-Cola Undermines Recycling Efforts
In its response to the Break Free From Plastic report, Coca-Cola claims it is “working to address this critical global issue, both to help turn off the tap in terms of plastic waste entering our oceans and to help clean up the existing pollution,” and that it is “investing locally in every market to increase recovery of our bottles and cans …”38
Coca-Cola also says it’s investing in new waste reduction technologies such as “enhanced recycling technologies that allow us to recycle poor quality PET plastic.”
However, while Coca-Cola has worked hard to develop and maintain an eco-friendly image with promises to reduce plastic waste and improve recycling, the company’s behavior in the real world suggests these are mostly empty promises.
Importantly, the company has repeatedly been caught working against efforts to reduce plastic pollution. It’s even been caught undermining recycling efforts. As reported by The Intercept October 18, 2019:39
“Audio from a meeting of recycling leaders … reveals how the soda giant’s ‘green’ philanthropy helped squelch what could have been an important tool in fighting the plastic crisis — and shines a light on the behind-the-scenes tactics beverage and plastics companies have quietly used for decades to evade responsibility for their waste … One possible avenue for boosting recycling rates — a bottle bill — was off the table.”
Bottle Deposit Laws Improve Recycling Rates
Bottle bills, also known as deposit laws, are basically a return to the practices of times past: Companies are required to add a deposit charge to their bottled beverages, which is refunded when the bottle is returned. According to The Intercept:40
“States with bottle bills recycle about 60 percent of their bottles and cans, as opposed to 24 percent in other states. And states that have bottle bills also have an average of 40 percent less beverage container litter on their coasts, according to a 2018 study41 of the U.S. and Australia …”
However, these kinds of bills also place a portion of the responsibility and cost of recycling on the companies selling the bottles. Undoubtedly, this is why Coca-Cola and other beverage makers keep fighting against them whenever they come up.
So, while Coca-Cola promises to improve recycling and help cut down on plastic waste, it keeps working in the opposite direction — using virgin plastic (so-called nurdles, which are a key plastic pollutant) to make bottles rather than using recycled materials, and fighting against any and all legislation that might force it to clean up its act or pay a price.
Coca-Cola Caught Weakening Zero Waste Message
The Intercept also details how Coca-Cola has managed to water down “zero waste” messages across Europe:42
“Hundreds of cities and towns have recently committed to becoming ‘zero waste’ cities … The zero waste movement focuses on a hierarchy that puts the reduction and conservation of plastic and other materials above recycling and emphasizes the reduction of waste at its source.
Yet last October, zero waste advocates noticed that another effort had emerged with the same name but very different goals.
The new zero waste push didn’t have the same comprehensive approach to reducing waste that theirs did, and seemed designed ‘to confuse people on the zero waste hierarchy,’ said [Alexandra] Aubertin [founder of Zero Waste Montenegro].
It was ‘telling people the solution is recycling. But that’s not what the zero waste hierarchy is all about.’ Aubertin was dismayed to learn that the new weakened ‘zero waste’ messaging was in fact coming from the world’s biggest plastic polluter: Coca-Cola.”
Plastic Pollution Affects Entire Food Chain
It’s estimated that a plastic bottle can take 450 years to break down in a marine environment,43 but even then, it never fully goes away. It simply breaks down into smaller pieces that may persist in the environment indefinitely. These tiny pieces of plastic, commonly known as microplastics, also migrate up the food chain as they’re consumed by fish and other marine life.
In 2017, a malnourished and dying whale found off the coast of Norway had to be euthanized. The subsequent autopsy revealed 30 plastic bags and a large amount of plastic packaging waste in its stomach and intestines, which was causing blockages, malnutrition and pain.44
Like the poor marine animals, this microplastic pollution makes its way into your body as well. Microplastics have been found not only in seafood but also in sea salt and drinking water (both tap water and bottled water45).
A study commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund found people, on average, consume the equivalent weight of one credit card — about 5 grams — of plastic each week.46
While the full effects of this ingested plastic is unknown, we do know that endocrine disrupting chemicals in the plastic can wreak havoc even at very low levels. As Myers told Consumer Reports, “There cannot be no effect.”47
How to Reduce Your Plastic Exposure
It can be extraordinarily difficult to avoid plastic, and it’s probably not possible to avoid all exposure, considering the exposure routes include air,48 dust,49 water, food, food packaging and bottles, flooring50 and any number of household items. Even cashier receipts are a source of BPA51 that can enter your bloodstream through your skin.
However, you can certainly minimize your exposure by taking a few common-sense precautions. One basic strategy is to opt for products sold in glass containers rather than plastic whenever possible. Another is to look for plastic-free alternatives to common items such as toys and toothbrushes. Other suggestions offered by Consumer Reports include: 52
- Drink filtered tap water rather than bottled water — Bottled water tends to have far higher amounts of plastic debris than tap water. I recommend filtering your tap water, not only to get rid of potential plastic debris, but also to avoid the many chemical and heavy metal pollutants found in most water supplies.
- Avoid reheating food in plastic containers — Instead, heat your food in a pot on the stove, an oven-safe pan or a glass container if using a microwave.
- Store foods in glass rather than plastic — Consumer Reports specifically warns against using plastic food containers marked with the recycle codes 3, 6 and 7, as these contain phthalates, styrene and bisphenols.
- Ditch processed foods and takeout for fresh food — Most food wrappers and containers, including cans, contain plastic.
- Vacuum regularly — Microplastic and plastic chemicals are found in most household dust, which can end up being either digested or inhaled. Maintaining your home as dust-free as possible is therefore recommended, especially if you have young children that spend a lot of time on the floor. Ideally, use a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter.
The clothes on your back probably don’t come to mind when you think about the biggest polluters on the planet, but the clothing industry is a toxic one, nearing the top of the list. Along with being a water intensive industry, the dyeing and treatment of textiles uses many dangerous chemicals, such that these processes are said to contribute 20% of industrial water pollution globally.1
As noted by Rita Kant of the University Institute of Fashion Technology at Panjab University in India, color is a major reason why people choose to buy certain articles of clothing. “No matter how excellent its constitution, if unsuitably colored it is bound to be a failure as a commercial fabric.”2
While there are ways to dye clothing that are safe and do not harm the environment, the majority of textile dyes are toxic for virtually all forms of life.
Why Textile Dyes Are so Dangerous
When clothing is dyed, about 80% of the chemicals stay on the fabric, while the rest go down the drain.3 Problems exist not only with the dyes themselves but also with the chemicals used to fix or set the colors onto the fabrics. According to Kant:4
“The textile dyeing and finishing industry has created a huge pollution problem as it is one of the most chemically intensive industries on earth, and the No. 1 polluter of clean water (after agriculture). More than 3600 individual textile dyes are being manufactured by the industry today.
The industry is using more than 8000 chemicals in various processes of textile manufacture including dyeing and printing … Many of these chemicals are poisonous and dam- aging to human health directly or indirectly.”
Examples of some of the toxic chemicals used to dye textiles include the following:5
Formaldehyde-based dye fixing agents
Chlorinated stain removers
Hydrocarbon based softeners
Nonbiodegradable dyeing chemicals
Toxic Dye Chemicals Lead to Water Pollution
Millions of gallons of toxic effluent are discharged from textile mills, often at high temperature and pH, which in and of themselves are damaging. Combined with the chemicals, the wastewater can contaminate drinking water and soil and even deplete the water of oxygen, harming marine life. Kant explained:6
“It [mill effluent] prevents the penetration of sunlight necessary for the process of photosynthesis. This interferes with the oxygen transfer mechanism at air water interface. Depletion of dissolved oxygen in water is the most serious effect of textile waste as dissolved oxygen is very essential for marine life.
This also hinders with self purification process of water. In addition when this effluent is allowed to flow in the fields it clogs the pores of the soil resulting in loss of soil productivity. The texture of soil gets hardened and penetration of roots is prevented.
The waste water that flows in the drains corrodes and incrustates the sewerage pipes. If allowed to flow in drains and rivers it effects the quality of drinking water in hand pumps making it unfit for human consumption. It also leads to leakage in drains increasing their maintenance cost. Such polluted water can be a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses.”
Some of the heavy metals used in dyes are known to cause cancer and accumulate in crops and fish via contaminated water and soil. Chronic exposure to dye chemicals has also been linked to cancer and hormone disruption in animals and humans.7
Azo dyes are among the most commonly used and the most toxic, as they break down into cancer-causing amines. According to the Soil Association, in their report “Thirsty for fashion?” even azo dyes in very small quantities of less than 1 part per million in water may kill beneficial microorganisms in soil such that it affects agricultural productivity and may also be toxic to flora and fauna in water.8
Further, textile dyeing facilities tend to be located in developing countries where regulations are lax and labor costs are low. Untreated or minimally treated wastewater is typically discharged into nearby rivers, from where it spreads into seas and oceans, traveling across the globe with the currents.
An estimated 40% of textile chemicals are discharged by China.9 According to Ecowatch, Indonesia is also struggling with the chemical fallout of the garment industry. The Citarum River is now one of the most heavily polluted rivers in the world, thanks to the congregation of hundreds of textile factories along its shorelines.
When Greenpeace tested discharge from a textile plant along the river, they found antimony, tributylphosphate and nonylphenol, a toxic endocrine-disrupting surfactant.10 Kant further noted, “Some 72 toxic chemicals have been identified in water solely from textile dyeing, 30 of which cannot be removed. This represents an appalling environmental problem for the clothing and textile manufacturers.”11
Clothing Manufacturing Uses Staggering Amounts of Water
The clothing industry is not only polluting water but also using massive quantities of it. Kant stated that the daily water consumption of a textile mill that produces about 8,000 kilograms (17,637 pounds) of fabric a day is about 1.6 million liters (422,675 gallons).12 Further, some of the greatest water usage comes from growing the cotton used to make the clothing.
The Soil Association stated that growing cotton accounts for 69% of the water footprint of textile fiber production, with just 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of cotton requiring 10,000 (2,641 gallons) to 20,000 liters (5,283 gallons) of water to produce.13
Green America also noted that it takes 2,700 liters (713 gallons) of water to grow enough cotton to make a T-shirt (and this doesn’t account for the water used for dyeing and finishing).14 Cotton is also considered to be a “dirty” crop, requiring 200,000 tons of pesticides and 8 million tons of fertilizers to grow, annually.15 The Soil Association added:16
“Cotton production uses 2.5% of the world’s cultivated land, yet it accounts for 16% of all insecticides sold globally. It also accounts for 4% of artificial nitrogen and phosphorus fertilisers used globally. It is estimated that growing cotton requires 200,000 tonnes of pesticides and 8 million tonnes of synthetic fertilisers every year.”
Problems With ‘Fast Fashion’
The fast fashion industry dictates that you must buy the latest new clothing fad each season, adding more garments to your probably already overstuffed closet. Americans have increased how much clothing they buy due to this consumption trend, with the average person bringing home more than 65 articles of clothing in 2016, according to the “Toxic Textiles” report by Green America.17
At the same time, Americans throw away 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles each year.18 According to the U.S. EPA, textiles made up 6.1% of municipal solid waste in 2015. Only 15.3%, or 2.5 million tons, was recycled while landfills received 10.5 million tons of textiles in 2015, accounting for 7.6% of all municipal solid waste landfills.19
Even when clothing is recycled, Green America notes that “less than 1% of the resources required to make clothing is recaptured and reused to create new clothing.”20 When you donate clothes, it’s also not a sustainable solution, as the majority end up getting sold to textile “recyclers” and exported to other countries.
The Ellen Macarthur Foundation’s Circular Fibres Initiative describes the clothing industry as a linear system that is “ripe for disruption:”21
“The textiles system operates in an almost completely linear way: large amounts of non-renewable resources are extracted to produce clothes that are often used for only a short time, after which the materials are mostly sent to landfill or incinerated. More than USD 500 billion of value is lost every year due to clothing underutilisation and the lack of recycling.
Furthermore, this take-make-dispose model has numerous negative environmental and societal impacts. For instance, total greenhouse gas emissions from textiles production, at 1.2 billion tonnes annually, are more than those of all international flights and maritime shipping combined.
Hazardous substances affect the health of both textile workers and wearers of clothes, and they escape into the environment. When washed, some garments release plastic microbreads, of which around half a million tonnes every year contribute to ocean pollution – 16 times more than plastic microbeads from cosmetics. Trends point to these negative impacts rising inexorably, with the potential for catastrophic outcomes in future.”
Care What You Wear
We can all do our part to opt out of the demands of fast fashion and minimize our support of this highly polluting industry by choosing high-quality garments and using them until they wear out.
If you no longer need an item, try to give it to a friend or family member who can use it. Also, choose to buy, sell or swap used clothing items online or via thrift stores, and opt out of the fast-fashion mindset of buying excessive amounts of low-quality, “throwaway” clothes.
When shopping for clothing, make sure it’s organic, biodynamic and/or GOTS-certified. Organic cotton certified by GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards) restricts the chemicals that can be used during manufacturing, making them preferable options.
I’ve chosen to carry SITO (Soil Integrity for Textiles Organically) brand socks and underwear, as SITO supports our global mission for improving fabric production and putting an end to fast fashion. To learn more about our Dirt Shirt and SITO brand products, see the video above — 100% of the profits from every Dirt Shirt sold on our site will support the regenerative agricultural movement.
The Mercola-RESET Biodynamic Organic Project is also currently working with 55 certified organic farmers in India, with a mission of converting them to biodynamic and planting biodynamic cotton on 110 acres of land this season.
RESET (Regenerate, Environment, Society, Economy, Textiles) will pay all organic biodynamic farmers in our project a 25% premium over conventional cotton prices, which will be paid directly to the farmers, helping to stop the cycle of toxic clothing.
Bills to either remove or restrict vaccine exemptions have been filed across the U.S. in 2019. One of the most striking was New York’s A2371, which eliminated the religious exemption to vaccination in one day, with no public hearings. Soon after, New York state health officials eliminated the ability of doctors to grant medical exemptions to schoolchildren, too.1
The bill’s sponsors justified its passage by bringing up the more than 800 cases of measles reported in New York City from September 2018 to June 2019, although reportedly no schoolchildren with religious vaccine exemptions had developed the disease.2
Measles continues to be a Trojan Horse for legislators to increase vaccine mandates and eliminate vaccine exemptions, but mandatory vaccination laws built around measles fearmongering aren’t aimed only at measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination.
Once a policy or law is put in place, like the elimination of the religious exemption to vaccines that occurred in New York, it applies to all vaccines, not just MMR. It’s a slippery slope, one that could significantly increase mandates for everyone to use all federally recommended vaccines already on the overloaded vaccine schedules for children and adults, as well as new vaccines that will be added in the future.
New York Bill May Require HPV Vaccine to Attend School
A new bill introduced in New York, S298/A2912, would require children to receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to attend public school or daycare, even though HPV is a disease that cannot be transmitted in a school or other public setting. Albany Update reported:3
“The repeal of New York’s religious exemption made one thing clear: Most New York lawmakers believe that decisions about child vaccination should be made by the state, not by parents. This message raises a troubling question: Will the Legislature look to take further steps to mandate child vaccinations? What might those steps look like?
One possible move the Legislature might make is to pass a law mandating the vaccination of children against the human papillomavirus (HPV).”
There are three FDA licensed HPV vaccines, but only Gardasil 9, which is manufactured by Merck, is available in the U.S. The U.S. CDC recommends two doses of Gardasil 9, which is approved for females and males aged 9 to 26 years.4 HPV is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) — one of the most common STDs in the U.S.
There are more than 200 HPV types,5 but most are not harmful. According to the American Cancer Society,6 about 75% of HPV types may cause noncancerous warts on the hands, chest, arms and feet, while about 16 HPV types7 are considered high-risk and may increase the risk of certain cancers, including of the cervix.8 However, in 90% of cases, HPV infection of the cervix clears and goes away on its own without complications that can lead to chronic HPV infection and cancer.
Further, in developed countries, pap screening programs have reduced the incidence of cervical cancer significantly. As noted by the National Vaccine Information Center, “After Pap smear tests that screen for cancerous conditions became a routine part of gynecological health care for American women in the 1960s, U.S. cervical cancer cases dropped by 75 percent.”9
HPV Vaccine Associated With Serious Adverse Reactions
New York’s proposed bill to make HPV vaccination mandatory for children to attend school or daycare has been met with backlash from parents for multiple reasons. Opponents have raised issue with the notion of requiring children to get a vaccine for a sexually transmitted disease, for starters. Albany Update explained:10
“[R]equiring parents to vaccinate their children against a sexually transmitted disease is a troubling prospect … A mandated vaccination for a sexually transmitted disease implicitly assumes that young people will be sexually active with multiple partners. This assumption is both untrue and damaging; it sends young people message that sexual promiscuity is expected, or even encouraged.”
HPV vaccine is also associated with serious adverse reactions. When Merck’s Gardasil vaccine was first approved in 2006, thousands of reports of seizures, Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS), facial paralysis, disabling fatigue, blood clots, muscle pain and weakness were reported. When Gardasil 9 was approved in 2015, the number of recommended doses was reduced from three to two, but adverse event reports continued. According to NVIC:11
“Using the MedAlerts search engine, as of May 31, 2019, the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) contains more than 62,393 reports of HPV vaccine reactions, hospitalizations, injuries and deaths and, includes 503 related deaths, 6,286 hospitalizations, and 3,018 disabling conditions. Nearly 47 percent of the reported serious adverse events occurred in children and teens 12-17 years of age.”
“Gardasil has distinguished itself as the most dangerous vaccine ever invented,” stated Robert F. Kennedy Jr., chairman and chief legal counsel for Children’s Health Defense. In “The Plaintiff’s Science Day Presentation on Gardasil,” Kennedy revealed Merck data showing Gardasil increases the overall risk of death by 370%, risk of autoimmune disease by 2.3% and risk of a serious medical condition by 50%.
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.
Kennedy said that a recommendation by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for all children to get HPV vaccinations has provided Merck with an annual revenue of $2.3 billion.
New York City Requires Flu Shots for Preschoolers
In June 2018, the New York Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that the New York City health department has the right to require annual influenza vaccinations for children attending child care and preschool. Now, children aged 6 months to 59 months must get a flu shot every year or they cannot attend child care or preschool.
As with HPV, the influenza vaccine has serious adverse effects, including potentially lifelong health problems such as GBS and chronic shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA). Flu shots may also increase your risk of contracting more serious influenza infections. Research suggests those who have been vaccinated annually may be less protected than those with no prior flu vaccination history.12
Research presented at the 105th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society in San Diego also revealed that children who get seasonal flu shots are more at risk of hospitalization than children who do not. Children who had received the influenza vaccine in previous years had three times the risk of hospitalization as children who had not. Among children with asthma, the risk was even higher.13
There’s also the potential for vaccine strain influenza virus shedding by recently vaccinated persons, which has taken on renewed importance with the reintroduction of the live virus vaccine FluMist during the 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 seasons. While the CDC states that the live vaccine strain influenza virus in FluMist is too weak to actually give recipients vaccine strain influenza, research has raised some serious questions.
MedImmune, the company that developed FluMist, is aware that the vaccine sheds vaccine-strain virus. In its prescribing information, they describe a study on the transmission of vaccine-strain viruses from vaccinated children to nonvaccinated children in a day care setting.
In 80% of the FluMist recipients, at least one vaccine-strain virus was isolated anywhere from one to 21 days following vaccination. They further noted, “One placebo subject had mild symptomatic Type B virus infection confirmed as a transmitted vaccine virus by a FluMist recipient in the same playgroup.”14
Type A and B Influenza virus infections can be silently spread from person to person with few or no symptoms, whether a person has been vaccinated or not.15 One study revealed not only that influenza virus may be spread via simple breathing (i.e., no sneezing or coughing required) but also that repeated vaccination increases the amount of virus released into the air.16 According to the CDC, for the past 14 flu seasons, the influenza vaccine has been less than 50 percent effective.17
Measles Hype and Fearmongering Taking Away Civil Liberties
The CDC recommends that children get two doses of MMR vaccine; the first dose is given between the ages of 12 and 15 months, and the second dose between 4 and 6 years. The second dose was recommended starting in 1989, “in response to instances of primary vaccine failure of one dose.”18
Measles outbreaks in the U.S. over the past decade highlight increasing instances of vaccine failure, and there have been recent calls for a third “booster” dose of MMR. As of October 3, 2019, the CDC reported that 1,250 cases of measles had been confirmed in 31 states since January 2019 — the largest number reported since 1992.19 No deaths have occurred.20
Further, before the measles vaccine was developed and recommended for use by all children in the U.S. in the 1960s, virtually all children got measles. The number of cases were vastly underreported because there were relatively few complications in developed countries like the U.S. It’s likely that upward of 3.5 million children (an entire birth cohort) may have been infected annually, with 380 related deaths.21
Authors of one study in The Lancet Infectious Diseases reported that when measles infection is delayed, negative outcomes are 4.5 times worse “than would be expected in a prevaccine era in which the average age at infection would have been lower.”22 Meanwhile, in the majority of cases, measles infection resolves on its own without complications.
As discussed in a special report published in May by NVIC on “The Science and Politics of Eradicating Measles,” the once common childhood disease was not feared the way it is today; getting measles was considered a normal part of passage through childhood — one that helped the immune system mature and provided durable immunity that mothers could pass on to their newborns to protect them in the first year of life.23
Unfortunately, with the waning effectiveness of MMR vaccine, protection is not lifelong, leaving older children and adults potentially vulnerable. As pregnant women no longer have natural immunity to pass on to their newborns, very young infants are also more susceptible to the disease.
Despite this, with each new reported measles case there have been increased calls for vaccine mandates across the board. Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of NVIC, stated:
“This year, the fearmongering about measles has reached epidemic proportions in America. A day doesn’t go by without media outlets publishing angry articles and editorials spewing hatred toward a tiny minority of parents with unvaccinated children, who are being blamed for measles outbreaks.
The remedy is always a call to track down, persecute and punish any parent whose child is not vaccinated. Some state and federal lawmakers are reacting to the relentless fearmongering by proposing to severely restrict the medical vaccine exemption and eliminate all religious and conscientious belief exemptions in state vaccine laws.
These exemptions, which help prevent vaccine injuries and deaths, also protect parental rights, civil liberties and the ethical principle of informed consent to medical risk taking.”
MMR and HPV vaccines, along with annual flu shots, are only a few in a long list of current and future vaccines you and your children may be mandated to get if things keep going the way they are going. What’s next after MMR, flu shots and HPV?
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.
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