by: Dr. Mercola
August 2, 2012
There’s no shortage of stories detailing conflicts of interest—so many in fact that you may be getting sick and tired of hearing of them. However, this is a truly important issue that must be tackled, and one of the ways of doing that is by exposing it to the harsh light of day. As long as people remain unaware, or turn a blind eye, it will continue unabated.
The price we pay for not paying attention is the loss of health, as the information disseminated by grossly compromised health agencies is skewed in favor of various industries, with Big Pharma leading the pack as one of the most powerful political and governmental influences.
Here, I will review two important revolving-door cases, and while neither is recent news, many of you may still be unaware of them.
Former CDC Director Now President of Merck’s Vaccine Unit
In the summer of 2011, Merck president Julie Gerberding said in a news interview1 that she’s “very bullish on vaccines,” as she recounted the various ways she helps Merck sell its products. What she didn’t divulge was her motivation for leaving her job as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—an agency charged with overseeing vaccines and drug companies—and join Merck in the first place, back in January 2010.
If you don’t see the enormity of the influence her former high-level ties to the CDC can have, just consider the fact that Merck makes 14 of the 17 pediatric vaccines recommended by the CDC, and 9 of the 10 recommended for adults, and while vaccine safety advocates are trying to rein in the number of vaccines given to babies, safety concerns keep falling on deaf ears. The vaccine industry is booming, and it’s become quite clear that profit potential is the driving factor behind it.
One of the reasons for this is because vaccine patents do not expire like drugs do, so each vaccine adopted for widespread use has the potential to make enormous, continuous profits for decades to come. Vaccine makers also enjoy a high degree of immunity against lawsuits—and in the case of pandemic vaccines, absolute immunity—so the financial liability when something goes wrong is very low, compared to drugs.
Gerberding has a Long History of Disregard for Vaccine Safety
Joining a parade of other high-ranking government officials who pass through the revolving doors between government and Big Pharma, Gerberding left a trail of controversy behind her when she left the CDC. While a 2009 article by the Institute for Southern Studies lists a number of them2, I believe they left out the most important ones, namely her misinformation campaign about the pandemic swine flu vaccine, as well as her naive stance on vaccine safety issues in general.
The CDC disseminated extremely exaggerated data on the 2009 H1N1 “pandemic” and urged almost everyone in the U.S. to take the new, untested vaccines. When questions arose, they blocked CBS’s requests for samples of the swine flu cases and added obstacles to getting information. Despite the many dangers that have since been linked to the hastily developed vaccine—including the confirmed link to narcolepsy—the H1N1 vaccine is now part and parcel of the “regular” seasonal flu vaccine, although most people are completely unaware of this fact. And the CDC is now, for the first time ever, urging the seasonal flu vaccine on everyone in the country, from six months’ of age until death.
Even more disturbing, the CDC withheld data on miscarriages from the H1N1 vaccines under Gerberding’s lead, while insisting that pregnant women be put first in line to receive it. This was a dramatic reversal of its own recommendations. More than 3,500 post-vaccination miscarriages may have simply been ignored by the CDC.
One of Merck’s potentially most dangerous vaccines right now is Gardasil; a vaccine that so far has been linked to thousands of adverse events and at least 49 unexplained deaths. It’s a situation that the FDA and CDC have repeatedly denied, even as the adverse reports mount.
Gerberding’s 2004 report to Congress, ‘Prevention of Genital Human Papillomavirus Infection‘3 likely played a significant role in getting the controversial vaccine approved in the first place. Needless to say, the approval of this questionable vaccine guaranteed her future employer billions of dollars-worth of profits. Gerberding has also been a staunch defender of thimerosal, the mercury-based preservative used in many vaccines, and has consistently denied any links between vaccines and autism.
All in all, Gerberding has repeatedly demonstrated that safety is nowhere on her list of priorities or concerns when it comes to vaccines. It’s easy to see why Merck would want her to head up their vaccine unit. For the rest of us, however, her blatant disregard for provenvaccine safety is bad news indeed.