Sunday, December 4, 2016

the Chemical Feast - America at its most profitable

When I was a youth, growing up in Arizona, my family ate all of the foods associated with the good modern life/ Meat, potatoes, white rice, frozen vegetables. And white bread. Everyone ate white bread. It was a staple. For pretty much every American wanting to live the American Dream. House, car, job, mortgage, taxes, a TV and two point five children playing on the swingset in the backyard. The American Dream. 

Back in the fifties, families bought white bread every couple of days. That's because the bread would go stale quickly, and within a week, it would grow mold on it. Back then, bread was made using enriched white flour, yeast, water, sugar and salt. They beat the hell out of it to whip air into the batter and that's why it was light and fluffy. It also wasn't exactly nutritious, the enrichment process developed back in the late thirties and early forties only replaced eight of the forty-six nutritional minerals and vitamins that occur naturally in real whole wheat grains. Eight, versus forty-six. Marketing and advertising helped to feed the desire for non-nutritive foods versus their healthier counterparts. White bread became the staple of the American Dream, lack of nutrition not with standing.

But it made great grilled cheese sandwiches.

While I was in high school, junior year I believe; I did a book report on a book written by an attorney under the guise of the Ralph Nader group. It was very critical of the FDA and their policies regarding the introduction of several hundred chemicals to be added to what has morphed into the GRAS, or Generally Recognized As Safe list of chemicals that food manufacturers can add to foods. At that time, it was about three hundred. Chemicals that did some extremely profit enhancing things to foods. Tricks, actually. Compounds that actually enhanced flavor, chemicals that allowed baked goods to st on shelves for months with no loss of perceived freshness, and the hardest one to believe; chemicals derived from coal tars, that were bright colors. Artificial food dye. This class of chemical compounds were added to the GRAS list, because no one ever tested to see just how carcinogenic they really are. It's only in the last twenty years that a number of them have been dropped from GRAS, but are still allowed to be used in food manufacturing because they are cheap, and the American Dream includes foods that have bright colors.

Things have changed dramatically in the food world since that book was published. Today, the FDA admits that they track three thousand chemicals on the EAFUS list. (Everything Added to Food in the US) However they also admit, that food manufacturers don't even have to submit new chemical compounds to the FDA for determination if they themselves, meaning those that manufacture the chemicals, find them to be relatively safe. There are over a thousand compounds on the GRAS list, and again, the FDA admits that they don't give a rat's ass about American Health and as long as the manufacturer of a chemical says they tested it and they themselves claim it is GRAS, then the FDA are fine with it being added to food. 

Isn't that like parents buying a hundred six packs of beer and putting them in the garage with a hundred cartons of cigarrettes and then telling their teenage kids that they are leaving for the summer. It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt.

Maybe that's the problem. No one has actually died from the Chemical Feast that is American Food. Well, at least they didn't just eat a burger and keel over dead anyway. I've never heard of that. However, what we know, WE KNOW is happening to the American Dream is that Americans are suffering greatly increased incidences of Cancer, Heart Disease, Diabetes, Infant mortality, Autism, the list is endless. But the worst thing possible, greater numbers of Americans suffer from two, three or more degenerative long term diseases.

WHY?

Poor nutrition, perhaps. Environmental toxin exposure, maybe. Definitely in some areas. Radiation from fallout, nuclear accidents etc., possibly. Chemtrails, REALLY? that one is kinda whacko. But how about the huge numbers of chemicals added to food to make it sweeter tastier less metallic tasting (from other additives) colorful lighter fluffier whiter more shelf stable and the big one, MORE PROFITABLE. Isn't that possible. When the manufacturer of a chemical gets to determine whether or not it is safe, that sort of sets the stage for greater amounts of chemicals to be added to food for that driving force in all of America, profit. 

Here's the big one though. Even if there was no motivation for getting approval for chemicals to be added to manufacturing processes, if the testing done on any one specific chemical compound was done in the true spirit of finding and testing said chemical, determining it it's safe and without any possible deleterious effects on humans; that testing could never encompass just how that specific chemical would interact with any other of the three thousand KNOWN chemicals that the FDA does track. Let alone the seven or eight thousand additional chemicals that Princeton University estimates are ACTUALLY being used in food manufacturing. And it isn't like the FDA has never heard of interactions. It happens all the time. In the drug industry, and in the food industry. And with eleven thousand chemicals to randomly select to interact, do we know where we are?

Then again, it isn't just chemicals directly added to foods during the manufacturing process. There are indirect additions of chemicals that get dumped in as well. (see footnotes below) Everything from machine oils, to sanitizing agents to pesticide usage inside manufacturing plants. And of course, these have nothing to do with the inherent contamination of the basic crops grown by modern mechanized farming techniques that liberally douse growing plant crops with weed killers, insecticides, fungicides and petrochemical fertilizers. 

Yeah, those are all allowed in the processed manufactured food that is part of the American Dream.

Back in the seventies, I got my first wheat grinder. I began to grind my own wheat into flour and then bake real bread. Over the years, I have stopped eating more and more of the processed foods that contain chemicals listed right on the packaging. Chemicals that when you look them up, are found to be, not so good for us. But the FDA allows them to be added because we are Americans, Living the Dream in our very own American, Chemical Feast.


Yep

Expose on FDA and one specific toxin allowed in food
Oops, FDA on GRAS and EAFUS numbers
FDA EAFUS list 
FDA stating that the 40 pesticides are no longer reglated  
Chemical Industry report on total number of chemicals in use 
Indirect additives to food from the FDA viewpoint 
Because they can do these things 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Is the Shikimate Pathway proof that there is a Higher Power?

Makes one wonder what this is really about now doesn't it? It might seem obvious that the title was meant to conjure up beliefs in what's known as Intelligent Design. I was once referred to a scholarly article about how life could not have originated on Earth on its own as the possible combinations of molecules needing to come together in a specific way to create the proteins needed for life had been calculated to be so enormous that they could not possibly have occurred. Mathematically speaking. The religious zealots had used science to prove that Intelligent Design was the only possible explanation for life.

I haven't figured that one out yet. There are a lot of people out there with way more time on their hands to think about stupid shit than what I want to indulge in.

Realistically, this is the problem of an infinite number of monkeys typing away randomly at an infinite number of keyboards and given an infinite amount of time, one of them will produce Shakespeare. The problem with all that is when the first monkey writes the first sonnet, then you no longer have an infinite number, it has then become finite. And the predicted result has occurred. Just because you calculate the odds against a random set of complex proteins forming as being too great to ever happen only means that when it did, the experiment was over. 

Life formed. The monkey wrote 'To be or not to be.'

And here on Earth, one random broken down old man, a former chef, a scholar, a former researcher into the world of mycology; writes about how one company, has elevated itself from just a corporation that made money to that pinnacle of achievement, Deification. 

Monsanto Corporation, soon to be Bayer/Monsanto, has declared itself to be without fault. Without blame. Bearing no responsibility for any wrongdoing that lowly mortal men might ever consider as having been attributed to the machinations of modern corporate existence. That throughout their existence, the products they manufactured, the methods they used, and the irresponsible way in which they disposed of industrial waste, were just a part of doing business, and as such, we, the public, must bear the brunt of cleanup costs, suffer the ecological damage and rejoice in the benefits that Monsanto believes that they have brought to our lowly, mortal existences. That things from their past (DDT, PCBs, Dioxin, etc.) have nothing to do with their drive to create the most comprehensive seed monopoly possible along with the complete control over all agricultural chemical production. 

Whether or not those chemicals harm the environment or not. Monsanto is going to control them. And the outcries of mere mortals be damned.

I assume that everyone out in the real world knows about the Hague Tribunal against Monsanto that took place last month in the Netherlands. I'm probably wrong, in my short life I have discovered that most people don't want to know anything about things they believe they have no control over. Like ecological disasters. It doesn't affect them, so watch the Kardashians on TV and the world is just fine. American food manufacturing is riff with horrific toxic chemicals that are causing long term diseases and degradation of our environment. Oh well, watch Dancing with the Stars and football and all is good. 

Unfortunately, it is not all good. There have been several studies done that have begun to show us just how pervasive and omnipresent the pesticide Glyphosate is in our environment, in our food supply, and in our bodies. And this is where the problems begin. Glyphosate interferes with the Shikimate Pathway in plants, (that's why they die when sprayed with the stuff) and also in bacteria. When we consume foods containing Glyphosate, it interferes with the life processes of the bacteria that live in our intestinal tracts. Both good and bad ones. Research show us this is happening, the conclusions are a lot harder to prove, but we know, WE KNOW, it is happening.

Monsanto response: So!

Something to think about.   
Yep

Shikimate Pathway
Odds against life  
GMO Answers as to why Glyphosate won't hurt you 
a bit better review of Samsel & Seneff 
Why gluten intolerance is growing

Sunday, November 6, 2016

It isn't groundbreaking to any thinking cognizant American. BUT, for the FDA it's GYNORMOUS

Couple days ago I wrote about how Almonds have now made it to the FDA 'Healthy" list. Not a bad thing. Probably from some corporate pressure, not saying which big Blue colored Diamond rated corporation that ten years ago got the FDA to change their rules for selling RAW almonds and thus put very nearly every other almond processor out of business. But that's the FDA's function, to do the bidding of BIG AGRIBUSINESSES and BIG DRUG COMPANIES. 

Well, that's what their function appears to be. Creating rules and procedures that protect the population from unsafe drugs, bad food manufacturing processes, and to be guardians of the health of all America might be their stated purpose, the reality is far far different. And I write about their failures all the time here on this blog. But for now, I want to congratulate the FDA for, well, for taking a step forward. The latest Dietary Guidelines came out a couple months ago. And they are a RADICAL change from the previous ones. In the past, the guidelines were drafted to ensure that the powerful food manufacturing corporations were happy. Concessions to each industry, making sure that processed foods were included. And in fact were placed with greater emphasis than real whole foods. 

This new Guide, is a departure from those concessions. It doesn't go quite far enough, however it's a start. You can take a look here (FDA Food Guidelines)  It's a hundred and forty-four pages of concepts that actually are a bit innovative for an agency that has never once done something like this. And by that I mean that this one time, the FDA has stated nutrition and health are closely related. Page 21.  They also tell us that we should 'limit calories from added sugars'. Page 33. Now, they also tell us to limit intake of transfats. The FDA earlier this year came out and declared that in two more years, transfats will no longer be allowed as an ingredient in any foods. Well, that's not true. Most manufacturers can petition to continue using the stuff and it probably won't make much difference, they will fill the shelves of stores much as they do now. But the FDA did finally admit they are not healthy. The Guide also tells us that we should consume low fat dairy products and/or soy. That was the seventies belief, and so much research is out now regarding how soy products are not in anyway healthy. But then soy is the third largest agricultural commodity in the US, so there's that concession.

The Guide also explains that you should eat grains, and at least fifty percent should be whole grains.

Then there are a couple of declarations that are just, well, weird. Page 35. "Nutritional needs should be met primarily with food"  This is a jab at the supplement industry. The FDA wants to control, sorry, REGULATE the supplement industry in a very bad way. And realistically, that isn't a bad idea, there has been some independent lab testing done of herbal stuff that was quite revealing. Hint hint, Large Arkansas Chain and some corner drug store brands that had little to none of the advertised herbs within the packages. Buyer Beware. And you get what you pay for. So, well, the advice is just odd. 

Page 44. Coconut oil and palm oils are not considered oils because they contain high levels of saturated fat. However the FDA says Canola, Soy other oils should be a part of your diet. Up to 27 grams. Daily. Really, CANOLA is toxic. But, it is the fifth largest agricultural commodity in America. Big bucks there. And then there is that saturated fat thing, these new guidelines tell us that we should be eating 26 ounces of meats, every week. TWENTY-SIX OUNCES!!!  And meats, all contain saturated fat. The really big thing that I don't understand is that same page 44 at the bottom is the statement that "Fats provide essential fatty acids and Vitamin E"  This one just makes me think that these provisions were added to keep the processed oil manufacturers happy. Because there isn't a single one of the oils they recommend, except olive oil, that contains much of the needed fatty acid, DHA. They all have ultra high levels of Omega-6 and low levels of the necessary Omega-3s. Read a bit about those here (the Omegas) Now I would like someone to please tell me how humans evolved needing processed plant oils in their diet in order to live. They are bad for humans, they should all be avoided at all costs, and especially, canola. Well, soy, corn, cottonseed, peanut, and well, all of them. The Guide describes how the Omegas comprise the polyunsaturated oil group. And that they are essential. We need to eat polyunsaturated fats to live. It's as if these people that wrote this Guide have not ever looked at the definitions of Omega fats, let alone the research defining how the body deals with the fats that are consumed. Yes, it's true we need Omega-6 fats, but you can get by with tiny amounts in your diet. And they will be a part of most of the vegetable material that you eat. And Omega-3 fats are the ones responsible for good health. Too many of the 6's and they outstrip the healthy aspects of the 3's. Processed oils contain HIGH amounts of Omega-6 and low amounts of Omega-3. The opposite of what you need for optimum health.

And just because back in the fifties one researcher, Dr. Ansel Keyes did a very poor job of assessing the effect of saturated fat on health, the world has taken those old worn out and outdated concepts as gospel. And the new research is showing that saturated fats are in fact healthy. Well, way way better than processed oils. But not a lot of money to be made telling the truth to anyone. 

Well, page 55. The Guide then tells about the Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian lifestyle. Man, why do the Feds push soy products. We know they are anti-nutritive, meaning they block the absorption of vitamins and minerals. They are extremely high in Lectins, which are toxic, and they have compounds that mimic human hormones. Not a good choice for anyone. EVER. And blah blah blah, I get the idea that none of these authors of the Guide have ever met a vegetarian. What would they do with someone that's a Vegan, that's beyond my guess. It must be the concept that Americans think for themselves and only eat real food and forgo the non-nutritive, convenience, chemical laden plasticized food that is manufactured for the sole purpose of keeping the agribusiness engine finely tuned to makiing money. Lots of it. 

Anyway, I gave up trying to read anymore than the first 70 pages of the new Guide. There is some pretty interesting stuff there. And the push toward Americans eating "Healthier" foods and living "Healthier Lifestyles" is a first for the FDA. Generally they tell us all to eat sugar, Crisco, Coke and Gatorade with every white flour white rice meal. So, for that, I applaud the FDA. 

They have just got a long long long way to go before they are even close to defining what is healthy, and what isn't.

Yep

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Almonds are now considered HEALTHY. Or so says the FDA

LThe SCARY part of that title is that up until last month, the FDA has considered almonds as being, 'Not Healthy'. On September 17 just a bit over a month ago, the FDA published new rules over what they have defined as being, 'Healthy'. And the usage of that terminology in any labeling. Let's not forget that the FDA are the ones that took over 50 years to determine that transfats are 'Not Healthy'. Despite over 50 years of definitive research showing how horrific ALL artificially made transfats are to the human body. So that begs one to ask the question, 'What is the role of the FDA anyway?'

They do have a mission statement. FDA Mission   Personally I think they have failed at just about all of what they profess to be doing. But, that's just me. I mean 175 medications recalled and removed from the approved list after serious incidents, deaths and horrific complications became too great. Taking drug manufacturers to court for violating FDA regulations, including falsifying data to get drugs approved, and then fining those drug companies 20 billion dollars in total; is too little, too late. The FDA had approved each and every one of those 175 drugs to begin with. Inspections of imported food products are at an all time high of 2% of total imports; and of those inspected, over 80% are rejected for contamination, spoilage or other problems. The other 98% are on store shelves. addendum (I was called out on this and am now revising this by telling you it's 80% of fresh foods that are rejected. The number is not so high for seafood, hard candies and spices) The list of chemical additives used in the food-like substance manufacturing process is now over ELEVEN THOUSAND different chemicals. And of which over 700 are known carcinogens. And there is no way of knowing if that number is greater because so many have never been tested for toxicity or carcinogenicity. No, the FDA is not in any way shape or form fulfilling their Mission. My favorite example of FDA failure

The list of failures is endless. The FDA tells us the term Natural can be used on any product really. FDA Guideline. Then the FDA further defines the use of the word Natural by saying pesticides and other contaminates are fine and dandy FDA Further Guide to Natural So where does that leave the food processors that actually make real food that is NATURAL? Well, at a competitive disadvantage.

Then the FDA has somewhat stricter rules about using the term Healthy FDA on Healthy

I haven't figured that one out. 

Realistically the FDA had to revise the rules that Food and Food-like Substance Manufacturers utilize in labeling of their products as "Healthy". The revisions were needed because the FDA recently published their ALL NEW and IMPROVED DIETARY GUIDELINES FOR AMERICANS for 2015-2020. Which you can read here. Dietary Guidelines. And it is long, full of some interesting changes that the Feds recommend, and yet, doesn't do enough. Not anywhere near enough. It is recommended that Americans reduce their intake of sugary drinks, and reduce their intake of saturated fat. See page 14 of the pdf at the link above.

It isn't enough. But then big business controls what the FDA does and doesn't do. And the FDA in setting "Guidelines" can only recommend. There is no action taken other than tiny things like this change in the status of almonds going from "Not-Healthy" to their new status of "HEALTHY". The reason for the change--
  • Foods must meet the “low fat” requirement (<3 g fat per serving) or total fat per serving must be primarily comprised of mono- and polyunsaturated fats. Mono- and polyunsaturated fat content must be declared on the Nutrition Facts Panel.
  • Foods must contain at least 10% of the Daily Value for vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, protein, fiber, potassium or vitamin D. If using potassium or vitamin D to substantiate, the amount per serving must be declared on the label.
 Almonds haven't changed at all. It's the perception of their inherent nutrient density that has changed. And certainly for the better. That isn't in dispute. It's the whole concept that the FDA uses to create food guidelines without actually using available data and research showing the world just how horrific processed foods are. Ever since the inception of the program, the food pyramid, the FDA has bowed to the wishes of food manufacturers and changed what humans NEED to be healthy to include food-like substances that make manufacturers healthy. Profit wise. And at the expense of the health of Americans. You can read about the first "Food Pyramid" here.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a bad thing. It's just like all the other failures of the FDA, it's too little, too late.

Yep

Monday, October 17, 2016

What would Woody Allen say if he really looked around in the future?

The future of food:

What a future we have in store for us all. Great things, flying cars, supermen and women, interstellar travel and wondrous monumental technological innovations. Or, depending on who you listen to, a world that has little life left on it, nuclear winter, or even blazing heat having killed off most of the life. And all a result of human intervention. 

Who knows what tomorrow brings.

Woody Allen made a movie with my secret crush Diane Keaton long ago called Sleeper. Nerdish Woody wakes up 200 years in the future, and the world is very different. Cigarettes and chocolate are good for you. And the Orgasmatron is the most popular entertainment around. Well at least to Woody anyway. Time alone where he can think of post pubescent Korean girls.

I want to explore that world a bit more in depth. Given the path that America, and the international corporate system of the manufacturing of food like products have begun to follow. And the technology that has developed to accomplish what just might be, our food future...

I wake up, after having been accidentally frozen in liquid nitrogen in a bizarre calamity that would, well, make anyone laugh. Hey, it's me, a lot of weird crap has happened to me. The year is 2266, I was out of touch for 250 years. The company owners, give me an apology, and register my thumbprint so I can live, at their expense, for a while anyway. I have a young secretary assigned to me to help, at least until I can acclimate to the new world. I am sort of hungry, so we go out and find a diner. There in the front counter space are two huge blobs of quivering fleshy looking mounds. The counter man barks at us, "Hey we got the finest Chicken Little in the city. What you want us to make for you. Or maybe a little Beef Supremo. Just look at healthy they both are, tell me which you want."
My guide tells the man two sandwiches, Chicken Little. The man behind the counter slices off two hunks of the quivering flesh and tosses them behind him onto the hot griddle where they sizzle. We stand at the counter and watch as the sandwiches are made. Once finished, we sit at a booth near the back of the diner.

"What was that?" I ask
"The greatest technological innovation ever! Just think, when scientists were able to genetically create a living piece of flesh, it made it possible to feed a nutrient based solution to the living material, it grows and becomes real living chicken or beef."
"No pork?"
"This diner is Kosher."
That made sense, my people persevere. "So what's this green stuff on the sandwich, it isn't lettuce."
"Well Mr. Marshall, when the corporations assumed control of the world some 200 years ago, Bayer, our Almighty Guardian," and here she bowed her head in a religious sort of gesture, "outlawed all plants except those needed to create our foods we have today. Now days, the only things growing on the planet, outside the few remaining acres of forest preserve in San Francisco, are corn, wheat, soy, cotton, beets and canola. Every single thing that we consume can be artificially manufactured from those basic ingredients. Life is ever more wondrous than ever before."

I know it sounds like an impossibility, but think about it. 
This scenario is in fact, the goal of every CEO of every one of the food like substance manufacturing corporations, the CEOs of every agrichemical corporation, and every politician as well. That's because when the takeover happens, the politicos will already have structured a deal with their corporate rulers to ensure they live high on the hog and not have to worry about anything.

Like they do now.

Yep

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Flu Vaccines A reprint

I don't do this often, but I found this to be pretty spectacular. So this woman gives very credible arguments for not getting the flu vaccine. It's a multi multi billion dollar business with no viable efficacy. It's never been proven they work. Read it, it's very well done.  And wait, look, there are initials after name. Some think that's more important than anything else in the world.


Flu Vaccines Part I
 by Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D.
 
 
 
It’s fall, the time when health authorities, medical doctors, and government officials start aggressively promoting flu vaccines for everyone. My advice - just say “no.”
 
Marketing the flu vaccine to the public requires a lot of misrepresentation, which includes overstating the incidence and risks associated with the flu. The flu virus is constantly present and does not make a brief appearance during “flu season.” Influenza is often confused with influenza-like illness (ILI) which can result from 200 viruses in addition to influenza A and B.  These viruses produce the same symptoms as flu, which include fever, headache, aches, pains, cough, and runny noses, making it impossible to distinguish between the two without diagnostic testing. An individual is seven times more likely to have an influenza-like illness than influenza, but ILI is rarely serious.
 
Nonetheless The Centers for Disease Control promotes flu vaccines, stating, “Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. Over a period of 31 seasons between 1976 and 2007, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people.”[i]  But on another page of its website, the agency states, “CDC does not know exactly how many people die from seasonal flu each year.[ii] In other words, the CDC aggressively promotes a solution for a problem that it cannot quantify.
 
What can be more easily quantified is risks associated with the vaccine. On several occasions, flu vaccine programs have been terminated due to side effects. In October 1976, The National Influenza Immunization Program (NIIP) started with about one million vaccinations per week, and grew quickly to four million per week. But within only two months, ten states had reported cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome linked to the vaccine. In December 1976, the program was discontinued.
 
By January 1977, more than 500 cases of GBS had been reported. Some patients recovered completely, some partially, and 25 people died. The NIIP determined that the risk of developing GBS within 6 weeks was 10 times higher for those receiving a flu vaccine than for unvaccinated people. While this should have been the end of promoting population-wide vaccination for flu until safety could be established, flu vaccine promotion programs continued. In 1992, 1993, and 1994 flu vaccines again were shown to increase the risk of GBS.[iii] [iv] [v]
 
As of November 2013, there were 93,000 reactions attributed to flu vaccines reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) including 1,080 deaths, 8,888 hospitalizations, 1,801 disabilities, and 1,700 cases of Guillian Barre Syndrome.[vi]
 
According to data from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, the flu shot is the most dangerous vaccine in America. During one reporting period, out of 134 cases settled before the court, 79 were due to the flu shot, and these included three deaths. While the most common injury resulting from flu shots was Guillain-Barre syndrome, others included acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, transverse myelitis, shingles (herpes zoster), neuropathic demyelination, seizures, neuropathy, brachial plexopathy, rheumatoid arthritis, optic neuritis, and Bell's palsy.[vii] 
 
The adjuvants in flu vaccines, which include mercury (25 mcg), formaldehyde, polyethylene glycol, egg protein, polysorbate 80, MSG, pig gelatin, and antibiotics are equally concerning. Between 2009-2010, fetal deaths reported to VAERS had increased 4,250% just with the addition of Thimerosal to flu vaccines.[viii]
 
Just as concerning is the efficacy (or lack of efficacy) of the vaccine. A Cochrane review analyzed the impact of flu vaccines on healthy adults including pregnant women and newborns by looking at 90 reports of 116 studies that compared flu vaccines to placebo or no intervention. Combined, the studies included close to ten million people. The group concluded that 40 people would have to be vaccinated to prevent just one case of influenza-like illness (ILI), and 71 people have to be vaccinated to prevent one case of influenza. The vaccine had no effect on the number of working days lost or hospitalization rates. The vaccine also had almost no effect on pregnant women or their newborn babies. Live aerosol vaccine was similarly useless.[ix]
 
In another review, Cochrane reported that flu vaccines were not effective for the elderly either.[x]
 
Cochrane conducted a similar review to evaluate the efficacy rates (defined as prevention of confirmed influenza), effectiveness (defined as prevention of influenza-like illness), and adverse events of influenza vaccines in healthy children. The review included 75 studies and showed:
  • Six children under age 6 have to be vaccinated with live attenuated vaccine in order to prevent one case of flu.
  • In all of the studies, there was no useable data for children under the age of two.
  • For children age two or younger, inactivated flu vaccines were no more effective than placebo.
  • In order to prevent one case of influenza in children over the age of six, 28 children need to be vaccinated, and eight need to be vaccinated to prevent just one case of influenza-like illness.
 
The researchers found “no evidence of effect on secondary cases, lower respiratory tract disease, drug prescriptions, otitis media… (only) weak single study evidence of effect on school absenteeism and caring parents from work.”  In other words, the children had almost no reduction in risk of developing the flu, flu-like illness, or of developing complications from flu. The vaccine was shown to be almost worthless.
Side effects were noted, however, and some were serious such as narcolepsy and febrile convulsions.
 
The researchers expressed surprise that the current recommendation is to vaccinate healthy children starting at 6 months of age in the U.S. and several other countries based on such limited evidence, and advised that research is needed in order to identify all potential harm resulting from flu vaccines.
 
Just as important, researchers identified issues concerning study design, funding, and scientific misbehavior. The Cochrane group reported that industry-funded studies showed more positive results than those funded with public money. They reported that “An earlier systematic review of 274 influenza vaccine studies published up to 2007 found industry-funded studies were published in more prestigious journals and cited more than other studies independently from methodological quality and size…the review showed that reliable evidence on influenza vaccines is thin but there is evidence of widespread manipulation of conclusions and spurious notoriety of the studies. The content and conclusions of this review should be interpreted in light of this finding.”[xi]  Translation:  lots of misconduct is required in order to report conclusions that support flu vaccines.
         
Even the package inserts on the vaccines state that they are not effective. For example, the package insert for FLULAVAL 2013-2014 formula for Influenza subtype A viruses and type B virus states, “…there have been no controlled trials adequately demonstrating a decrease in influenza disease after vaccinations with FLULAVAL.[xii]
 
Next week, flu vaccines for pregnant women, healthcare workers, and widespread misbehavior in promoting flu vaccines.


[iii] Lasky T, Terracciano G, Magder L, et al. “The Guillain-BarrĂ© syndrome and the 1992-1993 and 1993-1994 influenza vaccines.” NEJM 1998;339(25):1797-802.
[iv] Schonberger L, Bregman D, Sullivan-Bolyai J, et al. “Guillain-Barre syndrome following vaccination in the National Influenza Immunization Program, United States, 1976–1977.” Am J Epidemiol  1979; 110(5):105–23.
[v] Geier M, Geier D, Zahalsky A. “Influenza vaccination and Guillain Barre syndrome small star, filled.” Clin Immunol 2003;107(2):116-21.
[ix] Demicheli V, Jefferson T, Al-Ansary LA, Ferroni E, Rivetti A, Di Pietrantonj C. “Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy adults.” Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD001269. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001269.pub5
[x] Rivetti D, Jefferson T, Thomas R, Rudin M, Rivetti A, Di Pietrantonj C, Demicheli V. “Vaccines for preventing influenza in the elderly.” Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006 Jul 19;(3):CD004876.
[xi] Jefferson T, Rivetti A, Di Piettrantonj C, Demicheli V, FerroniE. “Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy children.” Cochrane Database Syst Rev August 15 2012 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2289594