Saturday, August 18, 2012

An Interview with Barbara Loe Fisher

An Interview with Barbara Loe Fisher
By Dr. Joseph Mercola
DM: Dr. Joseph Mercola
BF: Barbara Loe Fisher


DM:Welcome,everyone. This is Dr. Mercola, and today I’m joined by Barbara Loe Fisher, who is a founding member of our Health Liberty initiative. She’s really one of the pioneers in the vaccine choice and education movement and has been doing this for over three decades.

She joined us today to discuss a really important news topic, which for the most part has been utterly suppressed by the traditional and conventional media, and that topic relates to vaccines. It’s a really important issue, where we’ve had not one but two whistleblowers who were virologists who worked with Merck, and filed a lawsuit because for the last 10 years Merck has been suppressing information about the efficacy of the mumps vaccine. In other words, they’ve been lying to the federal government, who actually purchases most of the vaccine.

It really is a scandalous issue. It really goes to the heart of the central issue, which is that these companies, superficially, claim to be as helping humanity to decrease and lessen the burden of illness, when actually nothing could be further from the truth. Their actions speak much louder than any other words they issue through their press releases. And that they are totally committed to the bottom-line profits, as you’ll see as we review this scandalous issue.

So, Barbara, thank you for joining us in helping expose this massive fraud that Merck’s involved in.
BF:I think a lot of people don’t know that Merck is one of the largest vaccine manufacturers in the world. They have a 20-billion-dollar-a-year business selling vaccines around the world. And they are the sole provider of MMR vaccines – measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine.

What you’re talking about, these two whistleblowers who used to work for Merck in their testing division, this is about the mumps vaccine, which is part of that MMR vaccine. The United States purchases about four million doses of MMR vaccine every year. They purchase it at approximately 19 dollars a dose from Merck to provide to the public health clinics.

But a private pediatrician pays about 52 or 53 dollars for a dose of MMR vaccine. And of course, the families who go and get their children vaccinated in a private pediatrician’s office pay even more with the administration fee, etc. This is a lot of money we’re talking about with this MMR vaccine.

These two whistleblowers, apparently according to the legal brief, after trying to get Merck to fix the problem with the effectiveness of this vaccine, or the efficacy of this vaccine, and actually reported it to the Food and Drug Administration (which is the federal government agency that’s supposed to be regulating vaccines in this country), did not get satisfaction, eventually resigned,
and have now launched this lawsuit, because they feel, apparently, that the United States is being defrauded or, you know, fraud is being committed.

It’s going to be very interesting to see what happens, because the Department of Justice so far has declined to prosecute, has declined to move and do something about these allegations that Merck has withheld information and has not been forthright about the effectiveness of this mumps vaccine.

DM:Now, you had mentioned that Merck is one of the largest vaccine manufacturers in the world. I also want to add to that comment, about Merck as a company, that this is also the very same company that in 2004, I believe, voluntarily removed Vioxx from the market, which was a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (drug), because it had killed dead 60,000 people. And they had known. In fact, I had published warnings of this five years before it was voluntarily removed from the market and before it was actually proven in the United States that this is a dangerous drug; that people are going to die from cardiovascular side effects.
And then internal documents came up of subsequent lawsuits that were filed, because obviously class action lawsuits are filed when 60,000 people die. In those papers that were filed, it became very clear through internal memos that Merck knew about this. They have a history of this scandalous behavior. I mean, it’s just reprehensible that they can get away this stuff time and time and time again.

BF:Well, they do have a rather spotty record in terms of being forthright about the composition of their vaccines. I remember you and I did an interview back in 2010 about their rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq®, that was contaminated with a DNA from a pig virus that was lethal to baby pigs. And we had that discussion about what kind of testing is going on or what kind of quality control is going on. I think that this again brings up the issue of these companies. There doesn’t seem to be an oversight in terms of quality control.
When you have this kind of a lawsuit, and we all know lawsuits are very expensive… People don’t launch lawsuits anymore lightly, because Merck has the pockets and these vaccine companies have very deep pockets. It’s very expensive to bring a lawsuit. I’m sure that these two former employees of Merck feel very strongly that the public has not been informed about the fact that – from what they witnessed – the vaccine is not being tested properly.

DM:Why don’t we go into some of the details of the lawsuit? I think that our viewers would be interested in the specifics. And essentially, as I understand it, this mumps vaccine, which was – I guess – initially derived from a virus extracted from Maurice Hilleman, who is one of the founders of Merck or at least their vaccine division – from his daughter.

BF:His daughter.

DM:The same virus has actually been used over 40 years or even longer and is just sort of mutated or become less potent over the years. And there were some changes in the process they did that occurred 10, 20, or 15 years ago. Then they essentially changed the testing procedure and completely modified it to show that it was efficacious when in fact it wasn’t. That’s the summary. But if you can go into some of the details, I’m sure our viewers would be interested in that.

BF:What they did was, this Jeryl Lynn virus… It’s an attenuated virus, because MMR vaccine is an attenuated vaccine. It’s a viral vaccine. Measles, mumps, and rubella are all viral diseases. It’s attenuated, which means it’s weakened and, in lay terms, the weakened form of the virus. So, you have basically a vaccine strain virus – measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine strain viruses.

What they did is that in their testing for efficacy, instead of testing it against the wild-type mumps virus to see how effective vaccine is, to check and make sure it’s still effective, they tested it against the Jeryl Lynn strain. It made the vaccine look as if it was more efficacious than it really is. It’s kind of complicated. I understand they also threw in some sort of animal antibodies to, again, help make it look as if it’s more effective.
When these two researchers or employees of Merck saw this going on, they complained to their superiors at Merck and said, “This isn’t right.” They even tried to warn the FDA about it. Now, in the complaint, in this legal brief, again, these are all allegations. This lawsuit has yet to be… They’re asking for a jury trial.
It has yet to be tried, so we have to position us in terms of allegations.

But it’s a very strong legal brief. It’s about 55 pages, very comprehensive, and unusually strong. I don’t think that these two researchers would have done this lightly.

They described how the FDA inspector came and kind of did a couple of cursory interviews, but didn’t really pursue it. The thing I’m concerned about is the justice department doesn’t seem to be interested. They have not pursued it. The question is: is there a strong oversight on these pharmaceutical companies who are manufacturing these vaccines?

As I’ve mentioned before, you take a look at the fact that they found a pig virus DNA in one of Merck’s other vaccines, RotaTeq®.And you have questions about the issue of the Merck varicella-zoster vaccine – the chicken pox vaccine – which was only 80 percent effective when it was licensed in 1995.
[-----10:00-----] Our organization, the National Vaccine Information Center, protested that that should not be a mandatory vaccine, because we are going to totally change the epidemiology of chicken pox. We know now that we have caused an outbreak or an epidemic of herpes zoster, which is very painful and is known as shingles.

The sole producer of chicken pox vaccine in this country, Merck, that was licensed in 1995, is now the sole producer of the herpes zoster vaccine – the shingles vaccine. I mean, this company has a history of being a sole source provider of vaccines for children.

What these two virologists are saying is that the reason that Merck changed the testing, in effect, allegedly falsified the testing of mumps vaccine that made it look like it was still 95 percent effective, which was what the FDA gave it a license for in 1967 based on 95 percent efficacy… What these former employees of Merck are alleging is they changed this because they wanted to continue to be the sole source provider of mumps vaccine in this country, which is, at this point, the MMR vaccine.

The MMR vaccine, which has Merck selling four million doses a year to the government and private doctors to give to children in this country – that’s a very big market. These former employees were saying that they wanted to keep that market.

DM:You pointed out in your comment that you were surprised that the justice department being made aware of this hasn’t done anything yet. I would point out that this is just yet another confirmation of the enormous collusion between the federal government – the regulatory agencies – and large multinational corporations, like Merck.

To validate that, all we have to look is not too far back to see that the former head of the Center for Disease Control, the CDC, is Julie Gerberding. She is now the president of the division of vaccines for Merck. How much more collusions could you get? Because the CDC is the federal regulatory agency that’s responsible for overseeing the vaccines, authorizing, and making the recommendations. It’s just shocking. Then we have another more recent one, where the former head of the NIH or the director of the NIH is now the CEO of Sanofi vaccines.

You’ve got this tremendous revolving door between industry and the federal government that facilitates this type of corruption and scandal.

BF:My organization, NVIC, has been calling for a look at the conflicts of interest that exist in the federal agencies – a too-cozy relationship with the pharmaceutical companies that now exist. I think that it has been growing since the last 30 years.

But particularly since September 11, 2001, we’ve seen a formalization of the public-private partnership (it’s being called) between the pharmaceutical companies and the federal agencies, which are responsible for regulating the purity and potency of vaccines (that is the FDA who makes policy for universal use of childhood vaccines and all vaccines and the Center for Disease Control). The research is going on in a public-private financial partnership at NIH, between NIH researchers and the pharmaceutical companies.

This is very serious. Because if you can have a vaccine allegedly not being properly tested for how effective it is and it’s continued to be sold, people who get their children vaccinated think that their children are going to be protected. And they really aren’t, because the company is not doing what it should do and the regulators are not doing what they should do to make sure that the vaccine and their law – the vaccine that is released for public use under FDA law – must have been proven potent. That means it works and is pure, meaning that it is safe to use.

I think that unfortunately there’s not a lot of public oversight, with the exception of groups like the National Vaccine Information Center and other watchdog nonprofit groups. There’s not a lot of formal public oversight on what the federal agencies are doing. We have been calling for an independent vaccine safety oversight agency not connected with NIH, CDC, or FDA, but independent, like a consumer protection agency basically, to oversee what is being done with regard to vaccines being released for public use.

DM:Now, let me get back to the mumps situation, which this lawsuit’s being filed for. The fraud, the scientific misconduct, and the misrepresentation in the laboratory data was one thing. But the reality is – or the way this was manifested in the clinical reality – is this resulted in actually an increase in mumps infections within certain communities. I’m wondering if you can comment on that, and also on the concept that one would superficially lead to believe that these vaccines work. They work to a certain extent, but it’s a different type of immunity that ultimately is going to fail in the long run that requires recurrent or repetitive use of these vaccines.

That’s a complex question, but you’re really very good at eloquently simplifying that and helping people understand that process.

BF:Well, you have two types of immunity. When you come in contact with a virus or bacteria and you go ahead and experience, for example, mumps, rubella, or whooping cough, what your body does is first, it mounts the response that initiates cell-mediated immunity, which is innate immunity. And then you have humoral immunity, which is measured with antibodies.

Vaccines really bypass, to a great extent, cell-mediated immunity and go right for the antibodies – the antibody production. If you don’t have both kinds of immunity, you’re not going to have a robust, long-lasting immunity. In fact, this has been one of the great problems that have faced vaccine researchers for decades: trying to make vaccines that induce a very robust, long-lasting cell-mediated and humoral immunity.

What you have when you’re talking about what happened with the mumps vaccine, if you have a vaccine that is not inducing a really robust and long-lastingimmunity, you’re going to have breakthrough cases. In fact, in 2006 and 2009, and as talked about in this legal brief, you had outbreaks of mumps in highly vaccinated ones, or people who have been vaccinated with one or two doses of MMR vaccine. The question became….

I remember there was a press conference in 2006 that was held at the CDC, where the question was: why is there this mumps outbreak among highly vaccinated individuals? And the CDC basically said, “Well, we’re looking into it.” We don’t know whether it’s a problem with manufacturing. We don’t know if it’s a problem with waning immunity. But the result was that a lot of people who were vaccinated in 2006 and 2009 came down with mumps.

DM:Interesting. Thank you for that explanation. Part of the reason why vaccines have become so important to the process of lowering these types of epidemics is the complete perversion of the American food supply (which is in a large part related to, again, interference with the normal market mechanisms by these tremendous subsidies of crops like corn, which essentially motivate food manufacturers to use this really almost non-food source essentially providing calories and not much else),which causes a massive disruption of our normal physiological processes and massively decreases our normal immune responses, making us more susceptible to these types of infections.

See, the way that we were designed to defeat these infections as our ancestors did is to have a healthy lifestyle – to minimize our exposure to toxins, to not have lots of processed foods or sugars, and having plenty of good nutrients.

[----- 20:00 -----]

Then you basically give your immune system a support or provide it with a support that it requires to generate this robust immune response, which will allow you to get the infection. There’s nothing wrong with getting infections. It’s just that you don’t want that infection to proceed, progress, and to develop complications. You’re only getting a partial protection with these vaccines, not the full one you would get if you countered the virus in the wild.

It’s my belief that this is a large reason why when people don’t get vaccinated they have these problems. You can’t have that vaccine and expect to get healthy. You need to do the whole program, which is really leading a healthy lifestyle. It really is the combinationwhich will allow you, in my view, to effectively avoid many of these vaccines without suffering any complications.

BF:Well, you know, you’re right. I remember when I was young. I was born in the 40s and grew up in the 50s and 60s. Most children – virtually all children – in the 1940s or 1950s got measles, mumps, and rubella. Certainly, mumps was not considered... I remember at the time it was not considered that serious of a disease. Yes, there were some complications, particularly if you were older when you got mumps. And particularly if you were a boy, you could have sterility from an experience with the mumps at an older age.

Most people would get it under the 10-year-old age. And 99.9 percent of us did not have any complications.

But when the vaccines came in… I know that the MMR vaccine that we’re using right now was licensed in 1978. There were single vaccines prior to that. But in 1978, it’s really when the combination MMR vaccine began to be used quite widely. Slowly, you had a listing of the numbers of cases of mumps, rubella, and measles.

We’ve looked today at so many children who are so chronically ill with all kinds of brain and immune system disorders. You and I have talked about this before. It’s only been about 40 to 60 years that we’ve been using so many vaccines in childhood. The question still is out there: have we traded a temporary, artificial immunity stimulated by these vaccines for most children who take them? Have we traded that for a longer-term, chronic-type illness that we’re seeing in so many kids today?I think that’s the big question that still needs to be answered.

When you have these kinds of issues come up, where you have former employees of a big company like Merck coming forward and saying not on a safety issue but on an effectiveness issue, it really starts to raise very serious questions about vaccine policies, about the quality of these vaccines, and about whether or not we really need to take a step back and look at what we’re doing.

What is true health?

As you always point out, Dr. Mercola, what is true health? Not artificial, not the myth, or what people have been taught to believe. But what is true health?
And I think that, you know, that question needs to be asked, needs to be asked in a public way, and needs to be analyzed without so much rhetoric coming from the pharmaceutical companies and agencies that have committed themselves – I think – blindly to a one-size-fits-all approach to more and more vaccination without really taking a look at what the potential price has been.

DM:I couldn’t agree more. I want to thank you for enlightening us on this topic not only now, but over the last three decades that you’ve done such an enormously great job of providing parents who are making this very important decision of whether or not to vaccinate their child with an independent, objective information that they can use to get the other side of the story. Becauseessentially, largely as a result of this massive conflict of interest through revolving doors
between the industry and the government, you are not going to receive the truth from federal public health officials, the media, or most physicians.

You really need to research this yourself, because making the decision to determine whether to vaccinate or not is very important. One could have very significant consequences. I would implore you to do the research and really investigate this yourself. Do not rely on these typical sources of authority in this place, because there’s a very high probability that they’re going to provide you with incorrect information.

And you know what? This is really shocking to me. Maybe not shocking, but sort of a really good example that we have is that in Forbes, which is one of the only media sources reporting on this lawsuit,at the end, they appended a comment from Merck, who issued a statement in response to the litigation. Their statement was: Merck is committed (I’m paraphrasing it) to offering the highest-quality products to consumers.
That is like the biggest fraudulent lie. Nothing could be further from the truth, because actions speak louder than words. You just have to look at what they did. If you read the specific details, if you go through the 55-page court briefing…Look at what happened in Vioxx, where they wound up paying billions of dollars for the tens of thousands of people they killed. You can’t believe what they say. You really have to do independent, third-party, objective analysis on this before you make these decisions.

Because committing yourself to a healthy lifestyle, taking control of your health, is ultimately the way that you’re going to allow you and your family to resist not only these infections, which are typically promoted or recommended to be used be prevented by vaccines. But you also prevent all the other infections that we don’t even necessarily have vaccines for now or other chronic illnesses like heart disease and cancer. And cancer in childhood is certainly a serious problem.

You’re immunizing yourself with a healthy lifestyle not only from the infectious disease, but pretty much all the diseases for the most part, except for acute traumas, which is sort of an artifact of living.
I implore you to do your due diligence, to use sources like the National Vaccine Information Center, which is, to thoroughly research. Barbara has been doing this work for over 30 years and has an enormous amount of information on their site, where you can really independently acquire the information that you could use to make a solidly informed choice when you are left to these decisions, so that you and your family could ultimately take control of your health.

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