Invokana Amputation Warning

An Invokana amputation warning will be added to the Invokana label. On May 16, 2017, the U.S. FDA confirmed that this black-box warning must be included in the Invokana label. The revised label will state that Invokana raises the risk of people needing to have their legs or feet amputated.  A black box warning is the strongest label warning in the FDA’s rusty tool box.(It habitually comes too late for many. How do dangerous drugs like this ever get FDA approval in the first place? Could the agency be compromised by the drug industry with which it works so closely?)

Related: Invokana Lawsuit

The FDA first sent out an alert May 18, 2016, which said patients in Invokana clinical trials were twice as likely to need amputations as those on a placebo. On May 16, 2017, the FDA issued the final results from those two clinical trials. Those dire results triggered the new warning label.

Invokana / Invokamet / Canagliflozin
Invokana, Invokamet and Invokamet XR are brand names for canagliflozin, which is used to treat Type 2 diabetes. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a division of baby-powder-beleaguered Johnson & Johnson, makes and markets Invokana (Canagliflozin).

Invokana Clinical Trials show Double Risk of Amputations
In the first clinical trial – CANVAS – 5.9 of 1,000 patients on the drug needed an amputation in a year, vs. the placebo totals of 2.8 of 1,000. In the second trial – CANVAS-R – 7.5 of 1,000 patients needed amputation compared with 4.2 of 1,000 on the placebo.

Most of the amputations were of the foot or a toe, said FDA, while others lost legs. Some patients needed more than one amputation.

FDA Safety Communication
The FDA said in a safety communication: “Patients taking canagliflozin should notify your health care professionals right away if you develop new pain or tenderness, sores or ulcers, or infections in your legs or feet. Talk to your healthcare professional if you have questions or concerns.”

FDA also cautioned Invokana users not to stop taking the medication without first speaking with a “health care professional.”

Janssen Speaks
A Janssen spokesmodel, William Foster, said, “At Janssen, patient safety is our highest priority. (We) are working with FDA to include (this) in the prescribing information for canagliflozin and look forward to the presentation of the full CANVAS Program results at the American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions in June.”

Invokana Amputation Warning

Invokana (canagliflozin) was approved despite concerns about cardiovascular health and bone safety. The FDA has since updated the drug’s labels to reflect risks of bone fractures, blood disorders, and urinary tract infections.

SGLT2 Inhibitors
Other drug makers and drugs in Invokana’s class of sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (or SGLT2) inhibitors include:

•  AstraZeneca PLC – Farxiga and Xigduo XR

•  Boehringer Ingelheim – GmbH

•  Eli Lilly and Co. – Jardiance and Glyxambi

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Monsanto EPA Collusion?

Is there Monsanto EPA collusion? Even before industry was invited to regulate itself by Donald Trump’s billionaire businessmen appointments, multi-national corporations have long enjoyed cozy relationships with American “regulators.” Monsanto, of course, is no exception. Everyone knows Monsanto and the FDA have enjoyed revolving-door relations for years, but recent discoveries now show possible collusion between between Monsanto and the EPA.

Related: Monsanto Roundup Cancer Lawsuit

Roundup / Glyophosate Cancer Link
Glyphosate – the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup and other herbicides – is the most widely used agricultural chemical in the world. Testing shows a huge portion of the global population is contaminated with glyphosate, which several  organizations not aligned with Monsanto have termed “probably carcinogenic.”

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a research arm of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the “gold standard” in carcinogenicity research, glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen.”

Monsanto knows Glyphosate-Cancer Linked

Research scientist Anthony Samsel has reported evidence shows Monsanto has known since 1981 that glyphosate promotes cancer.

Monsanto has insisted publicly that glyphosate is harmless to both environmental and human health. However, recent revelations are starting to show the chemical company’s carefully orchestrated plan to deceive the public. Newly uncovered evidence suggests the U.S. EPA has colluded with Monsanto to protect corporate interests. Monsanto and the EPA have manipulated and prevented key investigations into the glyphosate cancer link. It appears the EPA has used taxpayer money to help keep us in the dark about Roundup health risks, shield companies from liability, obstruct people’s ability to prove damages in Monsanto Lawsuits.

Environmental Protection Agency Accused of Colluding With Monsanto

After the IARC classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) also declared glyphosate a carcinogen, under Proposition 65. That means all products containing glyphosate must carry a cancer warning. Monsanto tried to overturn the OEHHA’s decision; however, Fresno County Superior Court Judge Kristi Kapetan ruled against Monsanto.

non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Cancer Link
More than 700 plaintiffs are now suing Monsanto for a glyphosate cancer link. All claim Roundup caused or contributed to their non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Some of the plaintiffs are dead from lymphoma. Some have lost sensation in their fingers and jaws due to nerve damage.

EPA / Monsanto Man Jess Rowland
Monsanto has defended Roundup’s safety in court. The company leans heavily on a 2016 EPA report that found glyphosate is “not likely to be carcinogenic.” At that time, Jess Rowland was associate director of the EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs, Health Effects Division. Mr. Rowland was a key author of that report; his participation is especially troubling for Monsanto defenders.

Mr. Rowland was in charge of evaluating the cancer risk of Monsanto’s Roundup. He allegedly bragged to a company executive that he deserved a medal if he could kill another government agency’s investigation into Roundup’s key chemical, glyphosate.

Mr. Rowland made his boast in an April 2015 phone call, according to farmers and others who say they’ve been sickened by Roundup. After leaving his job as a manager in the EPA’s pesticide division last year, Jess Rowland will likelyh become a central figure in the more than 700 Monsanto lawsuits now filed in the U.S. All the Roundup lawsuits accuse Monsanto of failing to warn consumers and regulators that glyphosate-based herbicide can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Monsanto, EPA Cozy Relationships
“If I can kill this I should get a medal,” the EPA’s Mr. Rowland told a Monsanto regulatory affairs manager who recounted the conversation in an email to colleagues. That’s according to a court filing made public last month. Monsanto sought Mr. Rowland’s help in stopping an investigation of glyphosate by a separate office, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. That agency is part of the U.S. Health and Human Service Department.

Highly Suspicious Relationship
A federal judge overseeing the glyphosate litigation in San Francisco said last month that he’s inclined to order Mr. Rowland to submit to questioning by lawyers for the plaintiffs. They contend he had a “highly suspicious” relationship with Monsanto. Mr. Rowland oversaw a committee that found insufficient evidence to conclude glyphosate causes cancer. He quit last year shortly after his report was leaked to the press.

The EPA’s conclusion, which exonerates glyphosate and contradicts the IARC’s determination, met with so much criticism that a scientific advisory panel was recently convened to evaluate the EPA’s decision. According to some panel members, the EPA appears to have violated its own guidelines by discounting and downplaying data from studies linking glyphosate to cancer.

Glyphosate Causes Cancer, says EPA Scientist
Attorneys for people suing Monsanto also found email correspondence between EPA toxicologist Marion Copley and Mr. Rowland. Those emails suggested he may have colluded with Monsanto to falsely declare glyphosate non-carcinogenic. In one email, Ms. Copley cites evidence showing glyphosate is toxic to animals. She wrote: “It is essentially certain that glyphosate causes cancer.” She then accuses Mr. Rowland of playing “political conniving games with the science” to help Monsanto and other pesticide makers.

Monsanto EPA Collusion?

Court records also show that Mr. Rowland warned Monsanto of the IARC’s determination months before it was made public. That gave Monsanto time to plan its defense strategy and its ongoing disinformation campaign.

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IVC Filter Lawsuit filed in Dallas

A Cook IVC filter lawsuit has been filed in Dallas by the law firms of Matthews & Associates and Freese & Goss. The two firms jointly represent the plaintiff, a Texas resident.

The plaintiff was implanted with the Cook Gunther Tulip IVC filter April 19, 2016, according to his lawsuit petition. Just three days later, on April 22, the implanting surgeon attempted to remove the temporary filter. The surgeon attempted removal through the jugular vein and also the right common femoral vein.

IVC Filter stuck in Patient
The surgeon, who is named a party in the lawsuit, was unable to remove the Cook Gunther Tulip filter. In his first attempts, he noted that it had migrated from the inferior vena cava and was lodged in the right ventricle of  the man’s heart.

The petition reads: “During the numerous attempts to retrieve (the filter), Plaintiff’s heart rate slowed on a number of occasions and Plaintiff suffered from severe episodes of bradycardia, pericardial effusion, and symptomatic pericardial tamponade requiring urgent pericardiocentesis and pericardial catheter placement.”

The filter could not be retrieved intravascularly; it was stuck . This situation led to emergency bypass surgery. There was no other way to remove the filter from the right ventricle of the man’s heart, according to the petition. The surgery required the opening of his sternum and pericardium and led to his cardiopulmonary bypass. Surgeons found the filter in the right ventricle of the heart “with the tip pointed toward the right ventricular apex and the legs of the filter entwined with the chordae tendinae of the tricuspid valve preventing the closure of the tricuspid leaflets.”

Cook IVC Filter Lawsuit Petition

The plaintiff’s lawyers allege in the petition that because of the open heart surgery caused by the filter’s migration and embedment in his heart ventricle, the man “suffered injury and pain and suffering, and currently suffers from and will continue to suffer from numerous health risks for the remainder of his lifetime, including increase risk of heart failure, kidney damage, and increased risk of death.” They also allege that he will also require ongoing medical care and monitoring for the rest of his life and may ultimately require additional surgeries.

The petition further charges that the surgeon knew or should have known that only certain patients were proper candidates for an IVC Filter, that the Cook Gunther Tulip had a high rate of device migration and failure, that it is not effective to prevent clots and/or increases the risks of clots, that safer alternatives existed, that IVC filters such as the Cook Gunther Tulip frequently tilt, migrate, perforate or fracture, and thus involve an increasing degree of risk to a patient implanted with one.

The plaintiff’s petition also charges that the Cook Defendants knew or should have known that the device was defective and unreasonably dangerous for six reasons. Cook defendants::

* failed to conduct any clinical testing, such as animal studies

* knew or should have known that the Gunther Tulip had a high rate of fracture, migration, excessive tilting, perforation of the vena cava. Such failures exposed patients to serious injuries including death, hemorrhage, cardiac/pericardial tamponade, cardiac arrhythmia, severe and persistent pain, perforations of tissue, vessels, organs such as the heart, inability to remove the device, and/or extensive surgeries to remove it.

* knew or should have known these risks were substantially higher than other similar devices

* knew or should have known that the Gunther Tulip contained conditions that resulted in the device not performing as safely as the customer would expect

* misprepresented , omitted, and/or failed to provide adequate warnings of these risks or instructions for safe use

* failed to issue a recall or otherwise notify people that a safer device was available

IVC Filter Lawsuit filed in Dallas

The case has been filed in Dallas County. The plaintiff has requested a trial by jury and submitted the appropriate fee.

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Monsanto secretly attacks anti-GMO Activists, Court Documents show

The world is waking up to Monsanto. The biotech bully from Missouri was recently found guilty of crimes against humanity by the International Monsanto Tribunal at The Hague. Millions of thinking people now know just what this company represents and why. It recently came to light that the world’s most despised company has been colluding with the EPA to lie about the risks of glyphosate. Now Monsanto stands accused of another misdeed, and evidence backs up the charge. Monsanto secretly attacks anti-GMO Activists, court documents show.

Monsanto secretly attacks anti-GMO Activists, Court Documents show

Recently obtained court documents reveal that Monsanto has been secretly feeding money to “think tanks,” such as the infamous ‘Genetic Literacy Project.’ A lawsuit filed against Monsanto in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California has begun to spill the beans on the company.

The lawsuit petition charges that Monsanto quietly funnels money to “think tanks” such as the “Genetic Literacy Project” and the “American Council on Science and Health.” Such organizations are used by corporations like Monsanto in an attempt to influence (Read: bully) scientists and promote (mis)information flattering to Monsanto and other chemical companies.

Glyphosate a Probable Carcinogen
After the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) announced last year that glyphosate was a probable carcinogen, Monsanto has sought to discredit the agency. Monsanto has used proxies such as the so-called ‘American Council on Science and Health’ and the so-called ‘Genetic Literacy Project,’ to do the dirty work.

The American Council on Science and Health (tied to Monsanto through hidden means) recently published articles accusing the IARC of ignoring the “science” on glyphosate. Natural News reports that the Genetic Literacy Project, led by former Forbes.com writer/wife beater Jon Entine, has also published pieces calling for the IARC to be abolished. The phony ‘Project,’ an Astroturf organization, has even accused the US of “unwittingly funding” conspiracies against Monsanto. (“Conspiracy Theory” was first trotted out in a memo to staffers that CIA – Murder, Inc. – used to discredit anyone researching JFK’s murder in Dallas.)

These allegations against Monsanto are backed up by a string of emails submitted in court as evidence. Some of these exchanges involve Monsanto executives suggesting that their staff “ghost write” material on Monsanto products and then have some “independent scientists” sign their names to save on costs. One such exchange occurred between Monsanto’s William Heydens and his colleagues:

Mr. Heydens wrote: “A less expensive/more palatable approach might be to involve experts only for the areas of contention, epidemiology and possibly MOA (depending on what comes out of the IARC meeting), and we ghost-write the Exposure Tox & Genetox sections. An option would be to add Greim and Kier or Kirkland to have their names on the publication, but we would be keeping the cost down by us doing the writing and they would just edit & sign their names so to speak. Recall that is how we handled Williams Kroes & Munro, 2000.”

Besides the emails and evidence of Monsanto’s collusion with government agencies and “think tanks,” Monsanto also stands accused of hiring “trolls” to defend the company on the web and attack any Monsanto detractors. (Tall order, considering the number of people who hate Monsanto; but Monsanto can afford it.)

Monsanto’s ‘Let Nothing Go’ Program
Evidence presented in the pretrials of Monsanto court cases at the US District Court in San Francisco has shown that in its “Let Nothing Go” program, Monsanto hired bloggers who appeared to have no relation to the company. The people were hired to troll the internet in support of Monsanto. Fake bloggers (‘fake’ because they were paid and they hid their Monsanto ties) were hired to post positive comments about Monsanto and praise the wonders of its toxic chemicals and GMO crops.

Monsanto Facebook
The goal of the Let Nothing Go program was “to leave nothing, not even Facebook comments, unanswered…” Monsanto emails show the plan in court documents. The plaintiffs say Monsanto has, through this program, been targeting all forms of social media and other online materials. Even comments on social networks that merely mention the potential hazards of things like glyphosate or genetically modified crops have been targeted by Monsanto’s trolls, according to the petition.

Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, and other anti-GMO activists, have been particularly targeted by Monsanto attacks. Adams was also recently de-listed by Google in a stunning violation of his first amendment rights; so one can also now wonder about ties between Google and Monsanto. Mr. Adams has been a prime target of pro-GMO trolls: The so-called ‘Genetic Literacy Project’ and other corporate front groups have published hit pieces on Mr. Adams and other anti-GMO activists and Monsanto critics.

Monsanto secretly attacks anti-GMO Activists, Court Documents show

The evidence revealed in these court documents sheds bright light on just how Monsanto works to destroy its critics and destroy or control discourse on GMO’s.  Lie as they may, and collude as they must, Monsanto is still losing this battle, despite its profits. More and more people are waking up to the dawn of a new day, one with fewer pesticides spoiling our air, food, water, and public discourse. The truth will out, and out will go Monsanto.

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Johnson & Johnson loses $110 Million Talc Powder Verdict

Johnson & Johnson just lost another huge verdict over its talc products. On May 4, 2017, a jury ordered J&J to pay a Virginia woman more than $110 million for failing to warn her that Johnson’s talc powder contains cancer-causing asbestos. The jurors agreed with the plaintiff’s lawyers that asbestos in J&J’s talc powder caused the woman’s ovarian cancer.

Related: Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuit

The Missouri jury ordered J&J to pay the woman damages. They agreed that she developed ovarian cancer after decades of using J&J talc-based products for feminine hygiene.

Largest Talc Cancer Verdict to date  (May 2017)

The verdict in state court in St. Louis is the largest to date. It stems from one of an estimated 2,400 lawsuits that accuse J&J of failing to adequately warn of cancer risks linked with talc-based products. Johnson’s Baby Powder is, of course, one of the world’s best-known talc products. It is also J&J’s flagship product; so the company is not going gentle into that good night. Its lawyers will continue to vigorously defend J&J, a company spokesman said, despite mounting jury losses.

$197 Million in Jury Verdicts
J&J has faced four prior trials in St. Louis, home to many of the talc cancer lawsuits. Three have resulted in $197 million in verdicts against J&J and a related talc supplier.

The May 4, 2017 verdict came in a talc cancer lawsuit against J&J and talc supplier Imerys Talc. The plaintiff was Virginia resident Lois Slemp. Diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012, she is now undergoing chemotherapy after her cancer returned and spread to her liver.

Ms. Slemp testified that she developed cancer after four decades of using talc-containing products made by J&J. She said she used J&J’s Baby Powder and also its Shower to Shower Powder.

Punitive Damages in $110 Million Verdict
The jury awarded $5.4 million in compensatory damages. They ruled that J&J was 99 percent at fault, while Imerys was one (1) percent to blame. The jury awarded punitive damages of $105 million against J&J, $50,000 against Imerys.

A lawyer for Ms. Slemp said, “[T]hese companies ignored the scientific evidence and continue to deny their responsibilities to the women of America.”

Johnson & Johnson Response
J&J announced in a statement that it “sympathized” with women impacted by ovarian cancer but planned to appeal the verdict. A company spokes model said J&J is “preparing for additional trials this year and will continue to defend the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder.”

J&J loses 4 of 5 Trials over Baby Powder
In March 2017, J&J scored its first trial win in the Missouri litigation.  That jury sided with the company in a lawsuit brought by a Tennessee woman who said her ovarian cancer was caused by Johnson’s Baby Powder.

Paintiffs had won all three previous trials against J&J and its talc powders. In February 2017, a jury awarded $72 million to the family of a woman who died from ovarian cancer. In May 2016, a jury awarded $55 million to a woman who said J&J’s talc-powder products caused her ovrian cancer. A third jury hit J&J and Imerys with a $70 million verdict in October 2016.  Plaintiffs also beat J&J in a fourth talcum powder cancer trial in South Dakota, in 2014. However, the jury in that case was told that the woman who sued was in remission from her ovarian cancer. The jury did not award that lucky woman any damages.

The $110 million verdict is Slemp v. Johnson & Johnson, 22nd Judicial Circuit of Missouri, No. 1422-CC09326-01.

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Taxotere Whistleblower Lawsuit Proceeds

A Taxotere whistleblower lawsuit will proceed,  a judge ruled in January 2017. The Taxotere whistleblower lawsuit accuses Sanofi-Aventis of marketing Taxotere “off-label.” The case will go forward because the judge refused the company’s petition to have it dismissed. The “off-label” marketing accusation says the company illegally marketed the drug to doctors and hospitals.

Illegal Kickbacks for Taxotere Sales

Reuters reported that a federal judge in Philadelphia ruled marketing claims in the case are not protected under the 1st Amendment’s free speech guarantees. Court records show a former Sanofi-Aventis employee filed the whistleblower complaint. The petition claims the company paid doctors illegal kickbacks to promote Taxotere for uses outside its FDA-approved indications.

Taxotere Whistleblower Lawsuit
The whistleblower lawsuit charges that Aventis’ fraudulent marketing scheme caused several health care providers to submit claims for reimbursement to governmental medical reimbursement systems. The petition says these claims would not have been paid “had the government reimbursement programs known of Aventis’ fraudulent marketing scheme” for Taxotere.

Sanofi-Aventis fails to have case dismissed
Sanofi-Aventis had sought dismissal of the whistleblower lawsuit on statute of limitations and 1st Amendment grounds. U.S. District Judge Lawrence F. Stengel of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania rejected those arguments. Judge Stengel ruled marketing claims are not protected speech if they are false and misleading. Whether or not Sanofi-Aventis used false and misleading marketing statements remains a question for a jury, the judge wrote.

The U.S. Department of Justice is supporting the Taxotere whistleblower lawsuit. If successful, the department would collect compensation on behalf of U.S. taxpayers.

What is Taxotere?
Taxotere is a drug used in conjunction with chemotherapy. It was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in 1996 to treat breast cancer. Taxotere is now indicated to treat other malignancies, including head and neck cancer, gastric cancer, prostate cancer and non-small cell lung cancer.

Taxotere Hair Loss Lawsuits

Sanofi-Aventis is also named as a defendant in some 1,000 Taxotere lawsuits filed for women who say they suffer permanent hair loss – or alopecia – related to Taxotere use. While chemotherapy drugs often cause hair loss, Taxotere used with chemotherapy often makes hair fall out and not grow back. Other chemo drugs cause only temporary hair loss. Plaintiffs pursuing Taxotere lawsuits claim Taxotere alopecia is much more likely to be permanent, compared with similar chemo drugs.

Europeans Warned, Americans Not Warned
Plaintiffs point out that Sanofi-Aventis has long provided information regarding the potential for permanent alopecia to individual patients and regulatory agencies overseas. Taxotere’s U.S. label, however, included only generic, vague, insufficient warnings that “hair generally grows back.” That is the crux of this case and most drug cases, that the manufacturer failed to adequately warn of the drug’s actual “side effects,” though it was legally bound to do so.

Federal Taxotere Lawsuits
Taxotere lawsuits filed in federal court have been centralized in multi-district litigation court in the U.S. District Court (MDL) in Eastern District of Louisiana.

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Thousands sue over Shingles Vaccine Injuries

Thousands of people injured by the Zostavax vaccine for shingles are suing Merck in Shingles Vaccine Lawsuits. The company that makes Zostavax has caused worse complications than shingles itself. “Side effects” (actual effects!) from Merck’s singles vaccine include shingles, meningitis, encephalitis, stroke, palsy, eye injuries, and many others. These so-called side effects are all features of shingles.

Zostavax was approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) despite a dearth of convincing efficacy tests. The CDC has since recommended that only those 60 and older should take the vaccine. The FDA, by contrast, approved it for people 50 and older. The CDC has also warned that those aged 50 – 59 may lose the alleged protection benefits of the vaccine by the time they reach 60.

People in their 60s are at the greatest risk of getting shingles, which is why the CDC recommends it for that age group. Meanwhile, the vaccine’s labeling does not make clear how long an injection might last (if it works at all, which is an open question). The CDC recommends that people don’t get the shot until they are at least 60,  because that’s probably when they are going to need it the most.

Shingles Vaccine Efficacy Questionable
The CDC has stated – with Merck’s encouragement through short-term studies –  that the Zostovax vaccine reduces the risk of shingles by a mere 51 percent. That paltry number makes it difficult to discern whether it works at all for anyone. Two unconvincing studies by Merck provide flimsy cover for whether the vaccine works at all or is worth the risk.

Shingles Vaccine Injury Lawyer

Attorney David Matthews, whose law firm is handling shingles cases, said injuries from the Zostavax vaccine are many and varied. Shingles vaccine injuries can vary from a person’s contracting shingles to going blind in one eye, suffering brain damage or paralysis in the extremities, or even dying.

Mr. Matthews said, “Merck failed to warn about Zostavax’ serious side effects and the vaccine doesn’t do what Merck claims it does.” (Related: Shingles vaccine made with pig gelatin, MSG and residual components of human DNA from an aborted fetus. Why?)

Merck Comments

Responding to a Natural News story, a Merck spokesperson said, “Nothing is more important to Merck than the safety of our medicines and vaccines.”

If so, then why are thousands of people experiencing ailments associated with the disease the vaccine is supposed to cure? Part of the problem appears to be that the vaccine is made from a live shingles virus. Is Zostavax causing more harm than good? According to Shingles vaccine lawsuits, that is exactly what is happening.

Zostavax Background

•   Zostavax was approved by the FDA in 2006.
•   Zostavax pulled in $749 million in sales for Merck in 2016.
•   Zostavax is the only approved shingles vaccine in the United States.

Meanwhile, GlaxoSmithKline is working on a second shingles vaccine called Shingrix. GSK is still seeking FDA approval for its new vaccine.

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To Vaccinate or Not To Vaccinate?

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate? That is the question. Is it nobler to follow your own doctor’s or pediatrician’s advice? Is it noble to believe the slings and arrows of media gatekeepers hyping measles or Zika hysteria to promote vaccination? Or is it nobler to study the science for one’s self, to think for one’s self, to decide for one’s self whether vaccination is a good thing or not?

We live in a world where it is possible to “phone it in,” to virtually phone in our lives. Many do two or three things at once, perhaps none of them well, at that clip, and this is precisely the point. If we read on the home computer, say, while talking to a friend on the phone, while petting the cat, we can’t be wholly engaged in any one activity. We can’t do one thing well or study it properly in a distracted way.

The problem with learning about vaccination is that we don’t have the luxury of phoning it in. Learning about vaccination is not something we can do while trying to do other things at the same time. It is a very complex subject, one rife with dark emotional arguments, knee-jerk name calling and, of course, fear. This is not an atmosphere that encourages the shining light of learning.

It’s All About FEAR
Every salesman knows that inspiring fear in the mark (or customer) is about short-circuiting Reason. Runaway fear derails Reason, stimulates the fight or flight response, and makes frightened people respond. This includes most of the population, probably most people in the history of the world. Wars, which usually make no sense except for anyone save arms merchants and politicians acting to pad their friends’ business coffers, are typically started in this manner. (Remember the “Weapons of Mass Deception.”) Throughout history, people have been triggered to act out of fear, and to demonize as the “other” all those who haven’t jumped aboard the fear train to drink the Kool-Aide.

Death & Disease Fears for Both Sides
It’s all about fear for those selling vaccination, but it’s also (at least partly) about fear for those opposed to it. The difference in the two sides is that the former rely primarily on fear. They typically try to shame and bully and use name calling fallacies (Anti vaxxer!) to undermine any real discussion of the facts. The latter (those damn ‘anti vaxxers’) use fear too, but they rely more on Reason and Science. The rubber hits the road right there. It’s always easier to get people to act on an emotional response rather than on a reasonable one, even to turn people against their own neighbors, friends, families, with an emotional argument. Even if that argument is completely unbacked by Logic or Reason.

Stubborn Facts
Vaccination facts are something else again, and they are not alternative facts. There are factual reasons that can tell us why it makes sense not to vaccinate, to avoid vaccination altogether. Dr. Suzanne Humphries gives you those facts in her book, “Dissolving Illusions.” But it’s a long book, full of history and science and boring old Reason, so many will likely not bother to read it. (You can’t read and engage with a good book while doing 2-3 other things.)

Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist, gives a more condensed version of the argument against vaccination. Her essay, “Six Reasons To Say NO to Vaccination,” lays out incontrovertible facts which show vaccination as a pretty insane choice.

Sarah’s Six Reasons to Just Say No

1. Pharmaceutical companies can’t be trusted
Remember HRT? Vioxx? How about 35 other FDA-approved drugs from Big Pharma pulled from the market in the last 30 years or so? Merck, maker of MMR vaccine, the Zostavax Shingles vaccine (which doesn’t work but could make you blind), Gardasil, and other dangerous vaccines, is embroiled in at least two whistleblower lawsuits. Former Merck scientists claim the company faked vaccine data in order to keep lucrative government contracts in the billions of dollars.

2. ALL vaccines are Loaded with Chemicals and Heavy Metals
MSG, antifreeze, phenol, formaldehyde (cancer causing), aluminum (Alzheimer’s, seizures, etc.), glycerin (toxic to kidney, liver, lungs, etc.), lead, cadmium, sulfates, antibiotics, acetone (nail polish remover), neomycin, streptomycin. And THIMERISOL, more toxic than mercury.

A January 2017 study found that ALL vaccines tested were contaminated with heavy metals NOT DECLARED ON THE INGREDIENTS. Any questions?

3. Vaccinated Children Unhealthiest, Most Chronically Sick
Surveys of 12,000 children in the U.S. and Europe revealed the truth of the vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children debate. The great vaxxed are more chronically ill than the great unvaxxed. The VAXXED have higher rates for autism, ear infections, ADHD, asthma, allergies (some 30% higher than unvaxxed) and other health problems.

Vaccination Linked with Mental Illness
Yale and Penn State research has demonstrated a strong link between vaccination and mental illness in children. Some 95,000 children analyzed by the Dept. of Public Health Services at Penn State University College of Medicine and Yale University showed the awful truth of vaccination injuries. Vaccinated children showed a strong association with development of brain-related autoimmune and inflammatory disorders: ADHD, OCD, depression, bipolar, anorexia, chronic tic disorder.

4. Other Countries Waking Up to Vaccine Dangers
No country vaccinates more children per capita than the U.S., which stands a woeful #33 in infant mortality rate. How is vaccination helping us again? Japan formerly also had a terrible infant mortality rate, but when it raised its minimum vax age to 2, Japan’s infant mortality rate jumped to No. 3 in the world. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – SIDS – is most likely caused by vaccination, as poor parents who have experienced it already know. Australia suspended the flu vaccine for children under 5 in 2010 after a huge number were being raced to emergency rooms with febrile convulsions and other vaccine reactions within hours of the jab.

The shingles vaccine doesn’t work, which is likely why the UK continues to not offer it to children, and it triggers the risk of shingles epidemic for adults.

5. Many Troublesome Vaccines have already been removed from market
in 2002, GlaxoSmithKline removed the Lyme Disease vaccine from the market after several vaccinated victims reported symptoms worse than the disease itself. The Rotavirus was removed in 1999 due to life-threatening bowel obstruction or twisting of the bowl. (The label change warning came too late for many, in 2007)

Gardasil, another unnecessary vaccine for a problem that is seldom life-threatening, is a nightmare that has sadly killed or crippled hundreds of young people.

FACT: If these vaccines have problems, all of them likely have problems, as vaccine makers follow the same basic formula when they come up with each new witch’s brew of a shot.

6. You can Always get Vaccinated; You can Never Unvaccinate.
‘First, do no harm,’ is the golden rule for doctors. That’s not how the vaccination works for the thousands of people it has injured or killed. The whole idea of pumping toxins directly into the bloodstream is questionable at best; just plain absurd, or criminal, at worst, especially for children. To assault a newborn with these toxic chemicals is tantamount to insanity, to cruel and unusual punishment, like the absurd practice of circumcision, another dirty little secret, unnecessary and dangerous for defenseless babies, but profitable for their “professional” handlers.

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Monsanto, Roundup Face New Safety Doubts

Monsanto’s Roundup (glyphosate) weed killer took a hit March 13, 2017. On that day, a federal court unsealed documents that raise questions not only about Roundup’s safety, but also about Monsanto’s research practices.

Roundup Poison Everywhere

Roundup is used around the world on everything from corporate farm crops to home gardens. Roundup is Monsanto’s flagship product, the cornerstone of its whole operation. Science funded by Monsanto and other Ag-industry corporations has found Roundup to be relatively safe. Independent science, by contrast, including the World Health Organization, has found glyphosate to be likely carcinogenic. Monsanto consequently faces Roundup cancer lawsuits across the country.

Roundup Lymphoma Link
Independent research reviews have found that Roundup exposure increases the risk of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL), hairy cell leukemia (HCL),  multiple myeloma, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Monsanto’s Damning Emails with Regulators
A federal case against Monsanto for Roundup has been filed in San Francisco. Court documents include Monsanto’s internal emails, as well as ethically troubling emails between Monsanto officials and federal regulators. The records suggest Monsanto had ghostwritten research later attributed to academics. A senior EPA official had worked to quash a review of Roundup’s main ingredient. A study on glyphosate was supposed to have been conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. That study was never done. The documents also show internal E.P.A. disagreement over glyphosate safety assessments.

Judge Unseals Secret Monsanto Files
The files were unsealed by Judge Vince Chabria. He is presiding over a lawsuit brought by people who say they developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from glyphosate exposure. The litigation stems from a determination made in 2015 that glyphosate was a probable carcinogen. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization, cited research linking glyphosate to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Monsanto Insider with EPA
Court records show Monsanto was alerted to the damning determination months earlier by a deputy division director at the E.P.A., Jess Rowland. That EPA/Monsanto insider gave the biotech bully a head start to prepare a public relations assault on the finding before its publication. Monsanto executives’ internal emails said Mr. Rowland had promised to fight Department of Health and Human Services’ efforts to conduct independent review. He appears to have been successful.

EPA Official Works For Monsanto to Defend Glyphosate
Dan Jenkins, a Monsanto executive, wrote in a 2015 email that Mr. Rowland had told him, “If I can kill this [his agency’s review], I should get a medal.” Mr. Rowland should have gotten his Monsanto medal, because the review never happened. Mr. Jenkins noted in another email to a colleague that Mr. Rowland was planning to retire. The Monsanto man said Mr. Rowland “could be useful as we move forward with ongoing glyphosate defense.”

Glyphosate Unsafe on Any Plate
Glyphosate has never been proven safe by any objective review of the science. Several agencies, including the European Food Safety Agency and the E.P.A., have disagreed with the international cancer agency that plays down concerns of a cancer risk. Monsanto has always aggressively defended glyphosate through million-dollar PR campaigns, advertising money that also buys friendly copy, and political contributions. Monsanto has also leaned on its minions in the EPA (like Jess Rowland), the judiciary (like former Monsanto lawyer and Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas), in the White House (like former first lady and former lawyer for Monsanto, Hilary Clinton), and the House of Congress (2016 total to Democrats: $89,500; to Republicans: $267,000).

But the court records also reveal a level of debate within the E.P.A. The agency’s Office of Research and Development raised concerns about the robustness of an assessment carried out by the agency’s Office of Pesticide Programs. There, Jess Rowland was then a senior official. He had recommended in December 2015 that EPA take steps to “strengthen” its “human health assessment”on glyphosate.

Monsanto:  “Glyphosate is not a carcinogen”

Monsanto said in a statement: “Glyphosate is not a carcinogen.” The company added: “The allegation that glyphosate can cause cancer in humans is inconsistent with decades of comprehensive safety reviews by the leading regulatory authorities around the world. The plaintiffs have submitted isolated documents that are taken out of context.”

The New York Times reported that the E.P.A. had no immediate comment to the judge’s March 13 ruling. The paper said it could not immediately reach Mr. Rowland for comment.

Monsanto through Both Sides of Its Corporate Mouth
Monsanto also refuted suggestions that the disclosures the judge forced it to make highlighted concerns that the academic research it underwrites is compromised. The problem, of course, is that Monsanto always cites such vested-interest research to back up its Roundup pesticide-safety claims.

Monsanto Ghostwrites its own Research, Hides Authorship
In one email unsealed last month, Monsanto executive William Heydens told other Monsanto employees that they could ghostwrite research on glyphosate by hiring academics to put their names on papers that were actually written by Monsanto.

Mr. Heydens wrote: “We would be keeping the cost down by us doing the writing and they would just edit & sign their names so to speak.” He said the company had done so previously, citing a previous case.

When questioned about the exchange, Monsanto said in another statement that its “scientists did not ghostwrite the paper” referred to or previous work, adding that a paper that eventually appeared “underwent the journal’s rigorous peer review process before it was published.”

Roundup Cancer Link – Rat Study

We have also seen an instance where Monsanto hired its own friendly editor and then had him pull peer reviewed research paper pulled from publication, because it showed glyphosate as a probable carcinogen. That was the Giles Seralini rat study, in which rats developed hideous tumors that gave the lie to Monsanto’s proclamation of glyphosate safety.

Researcher denies Ghostwritten Work
David Kirkland, one of the scientists mentioned in the email, said in an interview, “I would not publish a document that had been written by someone else.” He added, “We had no interaction with Monsanto at all during the process of reviewing the data and writing the papers.”

Integrity of Academic Research Questioned
The disclosures are the latest to raise concerns about the integrity of academic research financed by agrochemical companies. A review by The New York Times in 2016 showed how the industry can manipulate academic research or misstate findings. Declarations of interest included in a Monsanto-financed paper on glyphosate that appeared in the journal Critical Reviews in Toxicology said panel members were recruited by a consulting firm. Email traffic made public shows Monsanto officials discussed and debated scientists who should be considered, and shaped the project.

Monsanto, Roundup Face New Safety Doubts

Most of Monsanto’s glyphosate research is highly questionable, given the many conflicts of interest that often come to light only after a lawsuit is filed,” said attorney David Matthews, whose law firm is handling Monsanto and Roundup cancer lawsuits.

Roundup Weedkiller Everywhere
In the last 20 years, Monsanto has genetically re-engineered corn, soybeans and cotton. Some 220 million pounds of glyphosate were used in 2015 in the United States.

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Scientists say Glyphosate Needs Safety Review

Scientific experts say Monsanto’s  glyphosate weedkiller chemical needs an urgent safety review. New evidence suggests the safety standards for glyphosate (Roundup) may be failing to protect the public and environment. Health experts just published that conclusion in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Monsanto’s out-of-date Science
Current standards that assess glyphosate dangers are based on out-of-date science, say the researchers. That old “science” (also performed only by those with vested interest in its outcomes) may not be able to address the full complement of health hazards associated with pesticide exposure. The experts call for an urgent review of these outdated “standards.”

Monsanto has Us Covered
Glyphosate use has increased rapidly in the U.S. over the past twenty years. Today it is the most widely used weed-killer in the nation and the world. Global estimates suggest that in 2014 enough glyphosate was used to spray nearly 0.5 kg on every hectare of farmable land across the entire earth.

Glyphosate is used to kill off weeds (and, incidentally, bees, insects, and birds) before crops are planted. Then it is further used to control weed growth. Then it is also used to speed up the natural drying of seeds before harvest. Pesticide residues have been found in soybeans, wheat, barley, and many other crops and foods, the researchers say.

Peer Review Science Absent
Most of the science used to support the safety standards applied in the US was carried out more than 30 years ago. Relatively little of it was subject to peer review. Since then, more than 1500 glyphosate studies have been published, hundreds in just the past decade, many in peer-reviewed journals that set the standard for law.

The experts say, “It is incongruous that safety assessments of the most widely-used herbicide on the planet rely largely on fewer than 300 unpublished, non-peer reviewed studies while excluding the vast modern literature on glyphosate effects.”

Despite the rapid increase in glyphosate being sprayed everywhere, there is no systematic monitoring system for tracking levels in human tissue. Few studies have researched potential harm to humans.

Glyphosate Damage to Liver, Kidney, Eye, Cardio Systems
Recent animal studies, however, have suggested glyphosate at doses lower than those used to assess risk, may be linked to heightened risks of liver, kidney, eye, and cardiovascular system damage.

Monsanto avoids Public Scrutiny
Weed-killers which combine glyphosate with other ‘so-called inert ingredients,’ may be even more potent, say the experts. The problem is like the voting machine owners hiding behind “proprietary interests” to keep us from counting our votes. Monsanto and other ag businesses hide behind their own corporate shield. Monsanto and others argue that these pesticide mixtures are “commercially sensitive” and therefore need to be made unavailable to the public.  (Editorial comment alert: So, you see, you can’t know what is in your food or how it is made – that is for corporate eyes only, because some other corporation could steal the secret of poisoning the world, killing off bees birds, animals, humans, and also profit from the devastation.)

The researchers are far from alone in claiming that glyphosate is associated with a heightened risk of cancer and has the potential to disrupt hormone function. Monsanto, of course, begs to differ.

The researchers call for several sensible measures:

  • improved surveillance of the levels of glyphosate and its metabolites in people
  • the latest state of the art tests and technology to be applied to risk assessments of these chemicals and other combination weed-killers
  • further research to track occupational exposures in agricultural workers, manufacturers, and other vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women and their children
  • evaluations of commercial combination weed-killers containing glyphosate.

Scientists say Glyphosate Needs Safety Review

The researchers wrote: “After a review of all evaluations, we conclude that the current safety standards are outdated and may fail to protect public health and the environment.” (BMJ)

Journal Reference:

Laura N Vandenberg, Bruce Blumberg, Michael N Antoniou, Charles M Benbrook, Lynn Carroll, Theo Colborn, Lorne G Everett, Michael Hansen, Philip J Landrigan, Bruce P Lanphear, Robin Mesnage, Frederick S vom Saal, Wade V Welshons, John Peterson Myers. Is it time to reassess current safety standards for glyphosate-based herbicides? Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 2017; jech-2016-208463 DOI: 10.1136/jech-2016-208463

BMJ. “Weedkiller chemical (glyphosate) safety standards need urgent review: Emerging evidence suggests they may be failing to protect public/environmental health.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 March 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170323125427.htm>.

Top Ten GMO Foods to Avoid

1. Corn – as much as 80% of the corn produced in the US is GMO.

2. Soy – Monsanto has about 90 percent of the soy market. In 2006, some 96.7 million pounds of glyphosate was sprayed on soybeans alone.

3. Sugar – According to NaturalNews, genetically-modified sugar beets were introduced to the U.S. market in 2009. Like others, they’ve been modified by Monsanto to resist herbicides.

4. Aspartame – Aspartame is a toxic additive used in numerous food products, and should be avoided for numerous reasons, including the fact that it is created with genetically modified bacteria.

5. Papayas – Bad surprise for tropical-fruit lovers. GMO papayas have been grown in Hawaii since 1999. They can’t be sold to countries in the European Union, but US regulators can’t wait for you to buy and eat them.

6. Canola – Canola is a great con. It is one of the most chemically altered foods in the U.S.

7. Cotton – More sprayed with pesticides than any other product in the U.S. Buy organic cotton if you can.

8. Dairy – Dairy products may contain growth hormones. As many as 20% of all dairy cows in the US are pumped with these harmful hormones. Monasnto’s health-hazardous rBGH has been banned in 27 countries, but US regulators give the company a free pass.

9. and 10. – Zucchini and Yellow Squash are often genetically modified.

The FDA simply gave Monsanto and other biotech bullies free reign to unleash these GMOs on us. Monsanto claims they’re safe. Independent labs and smart consumers beg to differ.

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