Is CBC’s ‘Marketplace’ Planning a “Spy vs. Spy” Hit Piece on IPAK and James Lyons-Weiler, PhD For Educating the Public on Science?
On New Year’s Eve, I received an email from a Katie Pedersen from CBC News informing me that CBC news had sent an undercover reporter to a VIP event following the VIE event in Washington, DC. I had a conversation with a man who represented himself as being interested in how best to organize vaccine risk awareness in the Western Provinces of Canada. I offered by opinion, and then he pursued setting up an IPAK Science Day (to my knowledge unconnected to any particular piece of legislation, but nevertheless) and asked an IPAK Science Facilitator (SF) to inquire about costs. In email exchanges, he proferred that he could bring in 400 people; obviously, the more people, the lower the cost. I think the last communication I had about this with my SF was a quote of $15 if it were that many people. We never agreed on a final donation level per person for the fictional event he was planning. Nevertheless, here is the statement I shared with Ms. Pederson. See what you think?
I notice in the message that they twist my words a bit to make it seem like I want to inflict damage to the public via “death by 1,000 cuts”; clearly, that would be rather psychopathic. I’m grateful to Katie for sharing their misinterpretation, and the chance to correct it. I represent the public’s interests in objective, evidence-based medicine and biomedical research. I am looking forward to their broadcast sometime after January 7th, I’m told.
MY REPLY/STATEMENT TO CBC NEWS
Thank you for your email message.
My statement is provided below, with the proviso that the entire statement be used, and if you decide to use part of the statement, that you inform the public that you have edited by comment, and where they can
access the complete comment.
Given the misinformation campaigns that our, and other organizations have uncovered regarding the unscientific claims made by US CDC and other organizations on the universal safety of vaccines, I stand by my position that we must educate the public and the medical/regulatory community at all points (“death (of ignorance) by 1,000 cuts).
The question posed about strategy was in the context of whether one large organization would be effective. One organization would likely underrepresent the size of the population of vaccine risk aware Canadians. Clearly, one large organization would also be susceptible to capture by those who profit to the tune of $US27Billion a year from vaccines in the United States. Regulatory capture of US regulatory agencies is now 100%; FDA receives most of its funding from pharmaceutical companies’ fees for processing clinical trials submissions; CDC receives over $20 million per year from pharmaceutical interests via their “not-for-profit” CDC Foundation, which also funds activists organizations that deny that vaccine injury and death do occur. Whether such funds are also funneled into lobbying efforts is under investigation.
The US National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has paid out over US$4.5 Billion in compensation and settlements for vaccine injuries in the US, and has become a seriously adversarial program when it was promised to US citizens that it would be set up as a non-adversarial application process for settlements following vaccine injury or death. There is so much wrong with the ethics of the regulation of vaccines that effective organizations would work on all points at one time, thus keeping our adversaries’ (Pharma lobbyists’) head spinning on how to counter the emerging truths. In speaking with me on how to organize vaccine risk aware organizations, your reporter asked my opinion, which I gladly gave, because I am convinced that we need vaccine risk esearch reform. The solution to ignorance is Science, and society has been kept in the dark on 1,000 issues on vaccine. The larger the number of orgnizations, the more effective the pursuit to educate as many as possible, and thus, my analogy is apt. Truly informed choice requires knowledge, and citizens should be entitled to free, prior, informed and voluntary consent, under international bioethics guidelines.
In my analytical and professional review of observational/correlation studies conducted and contracted by the US CDC and considered by the National Academy of Sciences’ Institutes of Medicine (IOM) on the question of vaccines and autism, the quality of the science used by CDC to propagate misinformation is extremely poor, with underpowered studies predominating, which are not capable of detecting an association between vaccines and autism given the type of study. This problem was recognized by IOM in a 2012 report in which they rejected 17/22 studies forwarded to them by CDC for consideration, including the now infamous Destefano et al. study, which excluded results showing increased risk of autism from on-time MMR vaccination in African American males and in children with isolated autism. In the end, the IOM did not find that vaccines do not cause autism. They found that insufficient evidence existed to determine whether a causal relationship exists or not. In a series of reports, that were supposed to continue into perpetuity under the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, the IOM found insufficient evidence, rejected 17/22 studies as flawed, and then came to a determination somehow that the issue was settled. HHS stipulated in a lawsuit to the Informed Choice Action Network, and to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., that further bienniel safety reports by HHS/CDC to Congress never occured, in spite of the provisions in the 1986 act mandating continuing studies and reports. How the announced IOM determination came about is circumspect; it appears the chairperson unilaterally announced a determination at a press conference that was not quite what the committee had found and misrepresented the full committee’s position. In 2001, the IOM was informed by Dr. Marie McCormick that Dr. Walter Orenstein of the CDC did not want them to find evidence that supported the association between vaccines and autism. In minutes acquired by Safeminds (attached), Dr. McCormick had made it clear – the committee was not to conclude that vaccines are related to autism is any way, and that was the preferred outcome of the CDC. The IOM was supposed to be an independent research body, not one dictated to by the CDC.
I have further formally evaluated the 5 studies, along with the 46 sent to POTUS by AAP, and found methodological flaws that make the conclusion “Vaccine Do Not Cause Autism” an unlikelyconclusion.
Moreover, no studies have been conducted on the presence of a genetic risk of vaccine sensitivity leading to autism. It is my published scientific view that autism is a detoxification deficiency syndrome with a genetic basis, and that vaccines are not exonerated as a causal factor. The late great Dr. Bernadine Healy, former Director of the US National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Julie Gerberding, former Director the US CDC, who left CDC for a lucrative high-ranking position at Merck, both stated on public television that individuals with certain genetic risk factors might be predisposed to develop autism following vaccination.
CDC studies on vaccines and autism have only focused on two vaccines. It is stunning, therefore, that CDC relies on an unwarranted and unscientific claim that “Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism” based on studies focused on two vaccines. Consider that most vaccines on the CDC schedule have not been tested for association. Science that has found association has been ignored by CDC. CDC has relied on the wrong types of studies because correlation studies cannot test causality, and not all vaccines have been tested for association with autism. The correct type of retrospective study seeking a genetic and vaccine interaction would look at those who are highest risk of ASD with, and without any vaccination. Such studies, we are told, would be unethical, but that position begs the question of the risk:benefit ratio of vaccines, which is unknown. Harvard-Pilgrim reported that only as few of 1% of vaccine adverse events are reported to the US HHS’s VAERS system, which is touted as evidence that vaccine adverse events are studied in so-called “post-market surveillance studies”. This is odd because any user of the VAERS system must acknowledge that the system cannot be used to assess causality. When CDC learned of the ESP-VAERS project results, they stopped returning phone calls.
Regarding payment for coming to any location to meet and educate citizens, lawmakers, or regulatory body members, it is a fair balance of the role of truly not-for-profit organizations to educate, while others lobby on any specific legislation that might be pending. Clearly, as a lifelong educator, it is not unexpected that I would be paid for services at an educational event. In my travels, I have neither testified for, nor against any particular pending bill, and in fact when I do testify or provide comment to elected bodies, I always make a point to state clearly, and up front, that I will not be sharing my position for, or against, any particular bill or piece of legislation. I also reveal that I have a potential conflict of interest given that I am an expert witness on numerous cases of vaccine injury pending and concluded in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. It is not my position to lobby for votes or campaign for, or against any particular candidate for public office, and I refrain from doing so. If your reporter had asked me my position on any particular bill, which he did not, I certainly could have shared my position to him, for he is not an elected official charged with voting for, or against, any legislation, and I am free to voice my opinion to individuals. If any reporter were to ask me my opinion on any particular candidate, I would likely refrain unless that candidate was running for office in my district, and I do not spend time scrutinizing individual candidates nor elected representatives.
The IPAK Science Day program, new to 2020, has only just begun, but your math assumes a specific “cost” and attendance combination that is not assured, and does not include consideration of costs associated with running such a conference. IPAK has, and will continue to offer other, larger conferences in the past, including a conference on Vaccine Safety Science in 2017 (see e.g., http://www.ipakfocus.com/ ) with speakers from academia and from other organizations. IPAK offers online courses as well, focused on how to read, interpret and critically evaluate scientific research studies. Your reporter insinuated that there must be a way for me to “get paid”, and I merely informed him (or intended to inform him) of our planned Science Days as an alternative, which for maximum public benefit will occur the day before large gatherings in state capitols, whether I testify or offer public comment, or not. Regardless, for the record, IPAK, not I, as an individual, receives payment for such events as suggested donations for conferences, Science Days and online courses via registration “fees” collected as donations to IPAK via our website, and such funds are used to meet the cost of the events (venue, catering, AV, etc), and to support biomedical research in the public interest. We have allowed individuals who attend such events who do not wish to donate to attend without donation.
Rather than conduct politics, I much prefer to stay in the education and research zone to fill in the gaps by conducting the scientific biomedical research and education that US regulatory agencies and Universities have neglected. For example, US FDA has never published a per body-weight informed, per-day pediatric dose limit of aluminum for childhood vaccination practices. We have filled that gap with two recent peer-reviewed publication in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology (attached (Study 1 Study 2)) comparing the expected aluminum exposure in three vaccine schedules. Our results suggest that under the CDC schedule, we are subjecting infants to toxic levels (whole body burden) aluminum toxicity for 70% of days in the first seven months of life, compared to Dr. Paul Thomas’ “Vaccine Friendly Plan“, (an alternative vaccine schedule) which leads to an expected 5% of days up to seven months in aluminum toxicity. No body weight consideration is given to vaccination of pre-term, low birthweight infants in the NICU with 250 mcg of aluminum injected on Day 1 in the Hepatitis B vaccine. In 2017, in our #NICUChallenge, I issued a challenge to the medical community to provide evidence, in the form of peer-reviewed research, that 250 mcg of aluminum injections into 2kg infants in the NICU is safe; none provided any such evidence. About 80% of influenza vaccines contain thimerosal, and no reliable research studies have been conducted that show that aluminum in pediatric vaccines do not interact synergistically with thimerosal to cause problems with infant brain development. While vaccines are represented by some as universally “safe and effective”, the Informed Consent Action Network has provided a fantastically thorough assesment of the randomized clinical trials that have been conducted, and have reported that nearly all vaccines were tested against an adjuvant, or another vaccine, instead of an inert (inactive) placebo (See Vaccine Science White Paper, attached [Link]). No study of the health of children under the entire US CDC-recommended pediatric vaccination schedule has been compared to the health of children who are not vaccinated, and thus no such knowledge claims of universal safety and effectiveness are warranted. In the US, citizens in an identifiable at-risk group are entitled to equal protection from harm, and the denial of vaccine injury and death is a very cruel example of institutionalized and codified bigotry against the most at-risk families.
Your reporter neglected to ask me who the “them” was to which I was referencing, in terms of my comment of “keeping their heads spinning”, so I will take a moment to clarify: by “them”, I meant, specifically, the small number of agents working on behalf of pharmaceutical companies to misinform the public and lawmakers by exaggerations of the quality of vaccine safety science; those who misinform the public, through the media, on important facts that an informed public should want to know: that vaccines contain neurotoxins, immunotoxins, some are made with aborted fetal cells, that science certainly does exist that aluminum hydroxide induces conditions such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune conditions in mice and rats at doses that overlap the per-body weight doses of aluminum exposure in human children on the CDC schedule, and that if a genetic basis of autoimmunity is present, the dose used in animal studies is smaller. Most of the public does not know that autoimmune conditions can be reliably and reproducibly induced in rats and mice with aluminum hydroxide. In terms of ‘weaponizing books’ against misinformation and Science-Like Activities that have been used as poor substitutes for bona fide vaccine science, I believe such books, including “HPV Vaccine on Trial“, which reveals serious flaws in Merck’s submitted research to the FDA for approval of their Gardasil vaccine, and my own book, “The Environmental and Genetic Causes of Autism” (Simon & Schuster), which cites primary, peer-reviewed source material (1,000 peer-reviewed studies cited in the latter), are excellent tools to educate as many people as possible of the balance of the evidence and Science that exists in spite of cherry-picking by CDC, AAP, and others. (For what it’s worth, I borrowed the term “weaponize books” from an online detractor who accused us of weaponizing books. I think you will agree that books are an excellent weapon against ignorance?)
For the record, I am far from anti-vaccine; I am pro-science, and the problems with vaccines that have been buried by a denialist agenda are now becoming common knowledge in the public. Continued denial of vaccine risk and injury will only increase the number of families with vaccine injured members, increase the number of vaccine risk aware citizens, and we therefore need to chart a new path toward, as US Congress mandated in 1986, to make vaccines safer, and to identify those at highest risk.
Science is for asking questions, and vaccines are in no way immune to independent scientific inquiry. Studies on toxicity, safety and efficacy are all fair game to scientists worthy of the title. US regulatory agencies including CDC, NIH, and the FDA have abdicated their roles as keepers of the public trust in Science, and that explains why IPAK, the Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge, has such broad and growing international appeal to the public as an alternative, truly not-for-profit entity is carrying the torch of objectivity in Science into the next decade. Hopefully, others will respond by following in kind with objectivity and concern for the safety of all children and adults who choose to vaccinate.
If you need any further details on statements I have made, I will gladly provide additional reference material.
James Lyons-Weiler, PhD
PS See http:/icandecide.org/ for more information from that organizations’ research and legal dealings with the captured regulatory agencies in the US.
PPS The following is a direct quote from the IOM 2012 report in which IOM soundly rejected 17/22 studies as flawed. Those studies were cited by the Taylor meta-analysis, and by AAP, as if IOM had not scrutinized them. This is an example of fact white-washing that lead to ignorance, which must die by 1,000 cuts. The quote begins at “The committee”. I provided the link as Link 0, above.
The Taylor meta-analysis’ conclusion is based in part on studies rejected by IOM in 2012 as too flawed to be considered for the report on vaccines/autism link. In fact they rejected 17/22 studies. leaving five studies:
“The committee reviewed 22 studies to evaluate the risk of autism after the administration of MMR vaccine. Twelve studies (Chen et al., 2004; Dales et al., 2001; Fombonne and Chakrabarti, 2001; Fombonne et al., 2006; Geier and Geier, 2004; Honda et al., 2005; Kaye et al., 2001; Makela et al., 2002; Mrozek-Budzyn and Kieltyka, 2008; Steffenburg et al., 2003; Takahashi et al., 2001, 2003) were not considered in the weight of epidemiologic evidence because they provided data from a passive surveillance system lacking an unvaccinated comparison population or an ecological comparison study lacking individual-level data. Five controlled studies (DeStefano et al., 2004; Richler et al., 2006; Schultz et al., 2008; Taylor et al., 2002; Uchiyama et al., 2007) had very serious methodological limitations that precluded their inclusion in this assessment. Taylor et al. (2002) inadequately described the data analysis used to compare autism compounded by serious bowel problems or regression (cases) with autism free of such problems (controls).
DeStefano et al. (2004) and Uchiyama et al. (2007) did not provide sufficient data on whether autism onset or diagnosis preceded or followed MMR vaccination.
The study by Richler et al. (2006) had the potential for recall bias since the age at autism onset was determined using parental interviews, and their data analysis appeared to ignore pair-matching of cases and controls, which could have biased their findings toward the null. Schultz et al. (2008) conducted an Internet-based case-control study and excluded many participants due to missing survey data, which increased the potential for selection and information bias. The five remaining controlled studies (Farrington et al., 2001; Madsen et al., 2002; Mrozek-Budzyn et al., 2010; Smeeth et al., 2004; Taylor et al., 1999) contributed to the weight of epidemiologic evidence and are described below.”
EMAIL FROM CBC’S KATIE PEDERSEN:
On Tue, Dec 31, 2019, 3:18 PM KATIE PEDERSEN email@example.com wrote:
Dear James Lyons-Weiler,
I am a journalist with CBC News: Marketplace, a national consumer affairs program with Canada’s public broadcaster.
Our team is working on a story about vaccine hesitancy and recently attended the V.I.E. Event in Washington, DC as part of our research.
While at the VIP event on the evening of November 14, we documented a conversation that took place between one of our journalists and yourself about the anti-vaccination movement and your role within it.
During this conversation, our journalist asked you for advice about how to start regional anti-vax movements in Canada. You told him among other things to use a tactic of “death by 1000 cuts.” You also told him “keep their heads spinning” in reference to how to further progress the cause with the public and legislators. You also recommended “weaponizing” books by giving out publications that raise questions about HPV.
You told the journalist that you wouldn’t charge to speak at an event in Canada because that would make you an “international lobbyist,” but you proposed another way to get paid where you would hold a “science day” the day before and charge admission in return for speaking.
When we later followed up with you and your team via email, we learned from these conversations that fees would be $20 to $45 USD depending on attendance. Based on an attendance of 400, this would have totalled $8,000 USD.
We plan to report what we’ve learned from our team’s conversations with you in an upcoming broadcast on Marketplace. We also plan to report that you have spoken at other events, claiming that vaccines “can and do cause autism.”
Over the course of our research, we spoke with many leaders in the anti-vaccination movement and consulted with scientists, medical doctors, researchers and vaccinologists about the issue of vaccine hesitancy in Canada and around the world. The broadcast is not about yourself specifically, but rather, a broader documentary about vaccine hesitancy.
Now in our 47th season, Marketplace is broadcast across Canada and is one of the longest-running current affairs programs in the country. We are committed to fair and responsible journalism in all our reports.
We would like to provide you the opportunity to respond to our findings. Our report will be one of our first episodes after the holidays, so we sincerely hope you can provide us with a statement by Tuesday, January 7.
If you have any questions, you can reach me on the phone at xxx-xxx-xxxx or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you in advance for your response