At least 67 cases of the measles
have been reported in the last month, largely stemming from an outbreak that began at Disneyland
in mid-December. Although largely considered to have been eradicated in the United States in 2000, this latest outbreak
follows the 400 cases reported last year in Ohio. [more inside]
The Illusion of "Natural":
In an excerpt from her new book On Immunity
, Eula Biss deconstructs desires to flee from "toxins" and embrace what is "natural". Where the word filth once suggested, with its moralist air, the evils of the flesh, the word toxic now condemns the chemical evils of our industrial world. This is not to say that concerns over environmental pollution are not justified—like filth theory, toxicity theory is anchored in legitimate dangers—but that the way we think about toxicity bears some resemblance to the way we once thought about filth. [more inside]
A federal judge
in New York has ruled against a group of parents who had filed a lawsuit, asserting
that the New York City policy
that allows schools to ban unvaccinated kids from attending classes when another child has come down with a vaccine preventable illness infringed on their practice of religion. The decision cites Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905)
, where the SCOTUS upheld Cambridge, Mass, Board of Health’s authority to require vaccination against smallpox during a smallpox epidemic.
Setting the record straight:
Debunking ALL the flu vaccine myths [via
This week the FDA announced
that they were approving a new kind of flu vaccine
. Nestled in the articles was an odd fact: unlike traditional flu vaccines, the new kind, called Flublok, is produced by the cells of insects. This is the kind of detail that you might skim over without giving it a thought. If you did pause to ponder, you might be puzzled: how could insects possibly make a vaccine against viruses that infect humans? The answer may surprise you. To make vaccines, scientists are tapping into a battle between viruses and insects that’s raging in forests and fields and backyards all around us. It’s an important lesson in how to find new ideas in biotechnology: first, leave biologists free to explore the weirdest corners of nature they can find. [more inside]
Since mid-2011, a substantial rise in pertussis [Whooping Cough] cases has been reported in the state of Washington. In response to this increase, the Washington State Secretary of Health declared a pertussis epidemic on April 3, 2012. By June 16, the reported number of cases in Washington in 2012 had reached 2,520 (37.5 cases per 100,000 residents), a 1,300% increase compared with the same period in 2011 and the highest number of cases reported in any year since 1942 [Make sure you don't miss Figure 1]. Commentators are already drawing corellations
with the fact that Washington State leads the nation in vaccine non-compliance
, Washington State's recent cutbacks in public health funding
, and increases in the number of uninsured (PDF)
. [more inside]
"if you don’t have the science and evidence
to back up your point of view, in order to persuade someone, make a movie
." Science-Based Medicine reviews "rational and scientific" vaccine skeptic film, The Greater Good.
A journalist is filing charges
against Big Pharma, the WHO, UN officials and Barack Obama, among others. For attempted mass genocide. Michael Jackson's death plays a part in this. [more inside]
Is Oprah helping you live your best life?
A six page article from Newsweek reports on some of the more controversial pieces of advice featured in Oprah's "Live your Best Life" series. Most recently, Oprah has attracted attention for yielding the stage to Suzanne Somers, who advocates for experimental synthetic hormone replacement therapy for women in order to prevent aging, as well as other potentially dangerous medical treatments. Somers responds to the criticism.
Researchers long ago rejected the theory that vaccines cause autism, yet many parents don't believe them. Can scientists bridge the gap between evidence and doubt?
A five-thousand-word article, via Danny Yee
On April Fools Day 2009, the James Randi Educational Foundation
announced the Pigasus Awards for 2008
for the worst in pseudoscientific irrationality. The Scientist award was given to Dr. Colin A. Ross
for his claims that he can shoot electromagnetic energy beams from his eyes
. The Funding Organization award went to Walt Ruloff
and his co-producers for bankrolling the Intelligent Design documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
. The Media award went to cable channels such as Comedy Central
that still run ads for Enzyte
even though the company's owner is now serving a 25-year sentence for fraud
. The Perfomer award was typically awarded in the past to cheesy psychics such as Uri Geller
or Sylvia Browne
, but this year the (dis)honor goes to actress/spokesmodel Jenny McCarthy
for her antivaccination activism
, a stance that inspired the Jenny McCarthy Body Count
. Finally, a new award for "most persistent refusal to face reality" was presented to infomercial pitchman Kevin Trudeau
, who continues selling his books on "natural cures"
despite a judge slapping him with a $37 million fine
for false claims.
After ten years of legal battles, three federal judges rejected the theory that the MMR vaccine causes autism
. "Petitioners' theories of causation were speculative and unpersuasive," wrote Special Master Denise Vowell in the case of Colten Snyder v. HHS
. "To conclude that Colten's condition was the result of his MMR vaccine, an objective observer would have to emulate Lewis Carroll's White Queen and be able to believe six impossible (or at least highly improbable) things before breakfast." [more inside]
Cure for teh gay?
I was relaxing in front of X-Men 3
when a friend mentioned that the United States "gay sheep" experiments
were wrapping up (though not uneventfully
), with considerable successes. Lesbian tennis champ Martina Navaratilova has been fighting to end the tests
for some time, but it appears a "gay vaccine" for pregnant mothers may be inevitable. Meanwhile, the GOP's only gay congressman retires
A "stunning" link between an ingredient in childhood vaccines and autism leads to a cover-up conspiracy. "But instead of taking immediate steps to alert the public and rid the vaccine supply of thimerosal, the officials and executives at Simpsonwood spent most of the next two days discussing how to cover up the damaging data. According to transcripts obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, many at the meeting were concerned about how the damaging revelations about thimerosal would affect the vaccine industry's bottom line."
An earlier post
(concerned only with fish) asked, "Got mercury?" Why, yes you do
- and fish is the least of your problems. Interestingly, hints of this story surfaced in the media in the Spring/Summer of 2005
. There may also be a link between thimerosal and Alzheimer's, A.D.D., and Asperger's Syndrome. A thimerosal resource guide
. Maybe we'll take notice this time around?
Today is world AIDS day,
and two days ago a joint French/Brazilian project has had some starling success
in creating a vaccine that shows promise in stemming the epidemic
which has killed 20 million
since 1981. Whether you realize it or not, chances are you know somebody who is HIV+, so please take some time today to remember the suffering and fallen...and remember to practice safe sex
. Also: AIDS blogs
. (Second link via POE News
New form of mousepox developed.
A scientist has created an extremely deadly form of mousepox (a relative of smallpox) through genetic engineering. The new virus kills mice even if they have been given antiviral drugs as well as a vaccine that would normally protect them.
This isn't irony. The Department of Justice wants to deny justice to the families who have to deal with kids with autism
I guess if you're a vaccine manufacturer, you don't want people to know that what you're putting in kids is gonna screw their lives up forever, right? That would cost you alot of money
If the Vaccine makers are scared about huge rewards for families harmed by their products, they should have made sure their vaccines didn't cause children to develop autism
I guess it trumps dying a horrible death (but not by much)
... "A young calf has his belly shaved. Many slashes are made in the skin. A prior batch of smallpox vaccine is dropped into the slashes and allowed to fester over a period of days. During this period of time, the calf stands in a head stall so that he can’t lick his belly. The calf is led out of the stock to a table where he is strapped down. His belly scabs and pus are scraped off and ground into a powder. The powder is the next batch of smallpox vaccine." (Excerpt from Vaccines : A Second Opinion, and link swiped wholesale from Randomwalks.)
Model health law empowers states.
"Patients could be forced to take medicines or receive vaccines for contagious diseases that pose a public health threat, such as smallpox, under the model law." (originally published in Boston Globe, but that link is now gone)
Will members of the religious right pass on smallpox vaccines
in the event of an attack? Apparently many of the smallpox vaccines now in use come from work done in 1966 on aborted fetuses – which presents a small dilemma for some anti-abortion conservatives.
"I think this scenario puts pro-lifers in a tough spot, and I'm not sure we need to accept this as the only alternative," Earll said. "We need to call on the government to put more research effort into this before we invest our tax dollars into a vaccine that comes from a tainted source."
Of course these are the same people who oppose potentially life saving research on stem cells
. Some think that eventually the religious right will have to make some hard choices about their stance
on fetus research. As scientific research marches on, will potential medical pay offs out weigh moral opposition in the future?
A few years back I remember seeing a news report asking whether adverse reactions to Anthrax vaccination during the Gulf War was responsible for Persian Gulf War Syndrome. How come no one is talking about this now?
If congress or the media start clambering for Anthrax Vaccinations, will anyone remember the adverse side effects suspected by many soldiers and scientists? Yes the FDA approved the Anthrax Vaccine, but there are still many questions about it's safety. The military is not unaware of the ongoing debate, but The FDA does not have an unblemished record.
This is all getting very X-Files... (scroll down to 1991)
Vaccine Prevents AIDS in Monkeys
and could lead to human medicine. Exciting huh? Anyway, if that should happen, how much do you think they'll charge for treatment, considering the conspiracy theories and all that?