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Letters to the Editor Issue 253

by Letters(more info)

listed in letters to the editor, originally published in issue 253 - April 2019

Republished from

URGENT: Feds Aim to End Vax Exemptions


Urgent ANH-USA


Some federal officials think vaccine exemptions are used too widely and want Congress to eliminate your right to choose! Action Alert!

In response to several measles outbreaks that have been reported across the US by the CDC, the Senate Health, Education, Labour, and Pensions Committee is planning to meet on March 5 to discuss vaccine-preventable diseases and efforts to boost vaccination rates and fight vaccine hesitancy. A House subcommittee is holding a similar hearing next week. Ahead of these hearings, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has warned states offering vaccine exemptions that the federal government may intervene. This attack on exemptions is unprecedented. We must ensure that Congressional members are properly educated about the numerous safety issues that have been demonstrated. We must also respond in force to protect vaccine exemptions from federal interference.

We should say at the outset that to want safer vaccines is not “anti-vax.” Reasonable people can ask reasonable questions about vaccination – indeed, we must ask these questions given the risks that are involved. For example, why must vaccines contain dangerous neurotoxins such as aluminium, formaldehyde, and even mercury? When the government pays out billions of dollars over the years to families damaged by vaccines (see more on this below), we have a right to call for safer vaccines. Such sentiments are not “anti-vax,” but rather pro-safer vaccination.

Commissioner Gottlieb made a number of alarming remarks about exemptions. He said that states might “force the hand of the federal health agencies” if they continue to allow vaccine exemptions amid disease outbreaks, and that he was “deeply skeptical” of exemptions that are not for medical reasons. Gottlieb speculated that the federal government “could mandate certain rules about what is and isn’t permissible when it comes to allowing people to have exemptions.”

It is deeply concerning that the head of the FDA appears so willing to trample the rights of individuals and to supersede state authority. Under the Constitution, the US government has the authority to use police power to prevent those with serious communicable diseases from entering the US or transmitting disease across state borders. Established legal precedents dating back to the early 20th century, however, leave vaccine and school admission policies up to the states, so if the federal government tried to interfere there would be strong grounds for a Constitutional challenge. The danger is that the federal government could, perhaps, indirectly influence states to abandon non-medical exemptions through revoking funding for projects or other such means. If we care about states’ rights and individual rights, we must vehemently oppose Gottlieb’s insinuations.

The assumption, of course, is that unvaccinated children contract a disease and spread it to other children who may or may not have been vaccinated. As we’ve pointed out in past instances of measles outbreaks, this is simply false. Experts found in 2015 that one in ten measles-vaccinated individuals were at risk of measles because of the waning effectiveness of the measles vaccine. Because of this health authorities are now suggesting booster shots for measles.

There have even been cases where measles was transmitted in a school with a documented immunization level of 100%. What this tells us is that vaccination is not as effective at preventing disease as the public is often led to believe. Multiple studies  have shown that vaccinated kids, especially those recently vaccinated, can spread disease, because the vaccine contains a live virus (vaccines that contain the live virus include chicken pox, measles, rubella, nasal flu, polio, and smallpox).

The same goes for mumps. Unvaccinated kids were similarly blamed for a mumps outbreak in recent years, despite the CDC reporting that most mumps patients said they had received both shots of the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine.

It is pure propaganda to blame unvaccinated kids for these outbreaks. The goal seems to be the passage of laws that eliminate vaccine exemptions as California has done. The tragedy is that, while states and apparently the federal government work to boost vaccine uptake, important questions about the safety of vaccines are swept under the rug. In fact, federal health authorities exhibit a dogged determination not to investigate the safety of vaccines or work to make them safer.

The 1986 National Childhood Vaccination Injury Act shielded vaccine manufacturers from liability. Children harmed or killed by vaccines cannot sue the manufacturer. This eliminates any incentive vaccine makers have to ensure their products are safe. Instead, the 1986 Act set up a Vaccine Court funded by a tax on each vaccine sold to compensate victims of vaccines—but the process is an uphill battle for most victims that takes years and is often unsuccessful. To date, the Vaccine Court has paid out $4 billion to victims. Additionally, the US Department of Health was, according to the 1986 law, supposed to issue regular reports to Congress about what actions it was taking to make vaccines safer.

As of 2019, HHS has issued exactly ZERO of these reports to Congress. This revelation came about as the result of a Freedom of Information Act request from the Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN). For three decades, HHS has been breaking the law. It is one example among many of how HHS almost exclusively prioritizes its mandate to increase vaccination rates over the goal of vaccine safety.

Another example is the shockingly deficient pre-licensure safety review of vaccines. In drug trials, a group of subjects who take the drug under study is compared to a group of subjects on an inert placebo, like a saline injection or a sugar pill. This way the rate of adverse events for the drug can be more accurately assessed.

Trials to determine a vaccine’s safety, by contrast, almost never use placebos. Without placebo controls, it is impossible to accurately determine a vaccine’s safety profile. Other vaccines are then approved by HHS as long as they have a similar adverse event rate as a previous vaccine, creating a “pyramid scheme” of safety.

HHS defends this absurd policy by arguing that it would be unethical to have inert controls – some kids in the trials would go unvaccinated for the duration of the trial, after all. HHS apparently sees no ethical problem with injecting millions of children with vaccines that have not been properly assessed for safety.

Additionally, most vaccines are approved with inadequate follow-up periods of a few days or weeks; drug trials follow subjects for months or years to better determine the dangers and potential adverse events.

It is irresponsible for Congress and public health authorities to be discussing ways to increase vaccination rates without also taking the idea of vaccine safety seriously; it is unconscionable that Commissioner Gottlieb is calling for the elimination of exemptions given the safety record of vaccines. We also know that adverse events from vaccines are underreported by a large margin – some experts say as little as one percent of vaccine adverse events are actually reported. Adjusting for this underreporting, since 2005 FDA-approved vaccines have caused 3,213,700 serious adverse events and 367,000 deaths.

It’s time to stop blaming unvaccinated children for disease outbreaks and for HHS to start doing its job to ensure vaccines are as safe as possible.

Action Alert! Write to Congress, the FDA, and CDC, telling them to stop discussing mandates and that HHS must comply with the law by issuing reports detailing what is being done to make vaccines safer. Please send your message immediately.

Take Action

Source and Contact

"The Alliance for Natural Health USA"

Republished from



Town Hall Discussion on Vaccines

Following the measles “outbreak” in Washington State, a CBS affiliate hosted a Town Hall about vaccinating children.


Guests: Ashley Everly, Toxicologist & Health Freedom Idaho,

Consultant Dr Alicia Lachiondo, Get Immunized Idaho Coalition Spokesperson

Source: Ashley Everly



Measles Virus Wipes Out Golf-Ball-Sized Cancer Tumour In 36 Hours

Author: Sara Burrows


Republished from


Clinical trials underway at the Mayo Clinic are revealing an unlikely friend in the fight against cancer… the measles virus.

Scientists have long known that getting sick with the measles can sometimes trigger spontaneous reduction in the size of  tumours, but recent clinical trials at the Mayo Clinic have demonstrated just what a powerful weapon the little virus can be. In a 2014 trial, a concentrated dose of the measles put a late-stage cancer patient into long-term remission.

The terminally ill woman had suffered through every type of chemotherapy available and two stem cell transplants, only to relapse again and again. She had an advanced case of multiple myeloma, a deadly cancer of the blood spread throughout her body and bone marrow, when researchers offered her a last-ditch resort – a massive dose of the measles.

Within 5 minutes, she got a splitting headache and a fever of 105, followed by vomiting and shaking.Within 36 hours, a tumor the size of a golf ball on her forehead had disappeared, and within two weeks there was no cancer detectable in her body.

“It’s been the easiest treatment I’ve done by far,” she tells CNN.

The virus strain was engineered and weakened in a lab, and then given in a dose strong enough to vaccinate 10 million people.

Treating cancer with viruses is not new. Mayo Clinic scientists say “virotherapy” has been used successfully on thousands of cancer patients, but this is the first case of a patient with cancer spread throughout her body going into remission.

“I think we succeeded because we pushed the dose higher than others have pushed it,” said lead study author Dr Stephen Russell. “And I think that is critical. The amount of virus that’s in the bloodstream really is the driver of how much gets into the tumors.”

The measles virus makes cancer cells join together and explode, Mayo Clinic researcher Dr Angela Dispenzieri explains. There’s also evidence that the virus stimulates the immune system, helping it recognize any recurring cancer cells and “mop them up.”

Subsequent clinical trials have shown similar results with ovarian cancer, breast cancer and non-Hodgkins lymphoma, according to a 2016 research paper titled “Measles to the Rescue.” And current trials are looking at the effect of the measles on glioblastoma multiforme, mesothelioma and squamous cell carcinoma.

“We recently have begun to think about the idea of a single shot cure for cancer – and that’s our goal with this therapy,” Russell said.

Acknowledgement Citation

Republished from



Stress and Dream Sleep Linked to Pathways of Brain Cell Death and Survival

The first and most distinct consequence of daily mild stress is an increase in rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep, a new study in the journal PNAS reports.[1] The research also demonstrated that this increase is associated with genes involved in cell death and survival.

REM sleep, also known as paradoxical sleep, is the sleep state during which we have most of our dreams and is involved in the regulation of emotions and memory consolidation. REM sleep disturbances are common in mood disorders, such as depression. However, little was known about how sleep changes are linked to molecular changes in the brain. 

During this 9-week study, conducted by researchers from the Surrey Sleep Research Centre at the University of Surrey in collaboration with Eli Lilly, mice were intermittently exposed to a variety of mild stressors, such as the odour of a predator. Mice exposed to mild stressors developed signs of depression; they were less engaged in self-care activities; were less likely to participate in pleasurable activities such as eating appetising food, and became less social and interested in mice they hadn’t encountered before.

Monitoring their sleeping patterns, researchers identified an increase in the duration and continuity of REM sleep and specific brain oscillations characteristic of REM sleep, whereas ‘deep’ sleep, or non-REM sleep, did not change.  The changes in REM sleep were very tightly linked to deficiency in the regulation of the stress hormone corticosterone. Mild stress also caused changes in gene expression in the brain.

To further understand the link between stress, the stress hormone, REM sleep and gene expression, researchers undertook a novel machine-learning approach, which identifies groups of genes that can predict the observed sleep, behavioural and hormonal characteristics. This revealed that REM sleep, the regulation of the stress hormone and a behavioural sign of depression were closely associated with molecular pathways involved in the death and survival of cells in the brain, primarily in the hippocampus.

These data suggest that an increase in REM sleep can activate signalling pathways in the brain which allow it to change in response to ‘mildly stressful’ waking experiences. The findings may provide a better understanding of how stress leads to mood disorders and how changes in sleep may contribute to this.

First author Dr Mathieu Nollet said: “The comprehensive analysis of the behavioural changes in combination with the sleep and gene expression analyses make a strong case for the important role of REM sleep in the brain response to stress.”

Senior Author Dr Raphaelle Winsky-Sommerer, Reader in Sleep & Circadian Rhythms at the University of Surrey, said: “The behavioural and sleep changes are very similar to those observed in depression and we therefore believe that the molecular changes observed in mice may also be relevant to the response to stress and mood disorders in humans.”

Professor Derk-Jan Dijk, who leads the Surrey Sleep Research Centre at the University of Surrey, said:  “Once again we see that sleep is a very sensitive and early marker of the brain response to the challenges faced during wakefulness. It now will be important to see how sleep is involved in the recovery from stress.” 

The research was supported by a Lilly Innovation Fellowship Award from Eli Lilly and Company Ltd.


1. Mathieu Nollet, Harriet Hicks, Andrew P. McCarthy, Huihai Wu, Carla S. Möller-Levet, Emma E. Laing, Karim Malki, Nathan Lawless, Keith A. Wafford, Derk-Jan Dijk, and Raphaelle Winsky-Sommerer. REM sleep’s unique associations with corticosterone regulation, apoptotic pathways, and behavior in chronic stress in mice. PNAS 116 (7) 2733-2742. February 12, 2019.  Published ahead of print February 12, 2019

Source and Contact:

Natasha Meredith, Media Relations Officer, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH Tel: +44 (0)1483 68 4380



New Acupuncture Review Rebuffs Negative Subfertility Claims

The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) has launched a comprehensive research review in a bid to rebuff claims that acupuncture is not an effective treatment for subfertility.

The review, which is for both health professionals and subfertile patients, brings together the latest research and evidence on the effectiveness of acupuncture with in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

Authored by BAcC member Lianne Aquilina – who holds an MSc in applied health research and a BSc Hons in acupuncture – and the BAcC’s research manager, Mark Bovey, the review shows that acupuncture improves the birth rate of subfertile women undergoing reproductive treatment.

In June 2018, journalist Fay Schopen wrote a damning article in the Guardian accusing IVF clinics of taking advantage of vulnerable women by offering them unnecessary add-on treatments.

Ms Aquilina said: ‘The article cast a negative shadow over what is a useful and effective intervention for subfertility’.

In her article, Ms Schopen referred to the results of a study which had found that acupuncture does not improve the chances of women undergoing IVF having a baby. However, the study – during which 848 women across 16 IVF centres in Australia and New Zealand were given either acupuncture or sham acupuncture prior to a fresh embryo transfer – was subsequently found to be methodologically flawed.

Following publication of the study in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) in May 2018, the British Acupuncture Council issued an official response saying the findings were misleading because women undergoing IVF had not received the recommended number of acupuncture treatments.

In a letter to JAMA, which was not published, the president of the Italian Federation of Acupuncture Societies (FISA), Carlo Maria Giovanardi MD, also questioned the validity of the study saying it lacked a ‘true control group’ because sham acupuncture, used as a control in the study, is not ‘an inert placebo’ and can itself have a positive impact on pregnancy rates.

Ms Aquilina said: ‘Had the journalist taken the time to critically review the paper or interview a professional acupuncture representative these issues would have been highlighted and a well-informed position on the topic could have been presented. 
‘The problem with this approach is that subfertile women are at risk of becoming “collateral damage”, whereby they are not able to easily access innovative treatments or techniques that may help actually them achieve a positive outcome. It is essential that research explores the evidence base, and proper information is provided. Without this approach, health professionals and women become unable to make a well-informed decision as part of their care pathway, and busy clinicians may be unable to keep up with the research landscape or even be aware of the present evidence base on a range of topics.’

The new BAcC research resource aims to critically appraise the evidence base, dispel the myths around acupuncture for IVF and ICSI, and help researchers, healthcare professionals and patients make informed choices.


The review can be found here:

Further Information

For further information, case studies or interviews, please contact Katie Osborne on 07990 922615 or  For a full list of British Acupuncture Council press releases visit the newsroom.


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