Lenient laws defining non-profits allow "charities" such as ECBT to aid the bottom line of industries that fund them. CBS reported on ECBT's ties to the vaccine industry in "How Independent Are Vaccine Defenders?"
CBS News found that American Academy of Pediatrics, ECBT, and pediatrician Dr. Paul Offit all have some more in common - strong financial ties to the industry whose products they promote and defend, yet they're some of the most trusted voices in the defense of vaccine safety. Despite representing a strong bias, Dr. Offit has stated that he has absolutely no conflict of interest to declare.
Vaccine Industry Funded Propaganda
ECBT claims Invisible Threat was "produced by award-winning high school student filmmakers" associated with Carlsbad High School Television (CHSTV). However, the film's executive producer, Lisa Posard, is not a Carlsbad student, but a parent. Film teacher Douglas Green is the film's director and cameraman. And a woman conducting interviews for the film was "clearly not a student," according to Dr. Shawn K. Centers, who was interviewed for the film.
You can watch the fear mongering production here.
Adding to the film's controversy, Mr. Green has been accused of filming autistic children and their parents "under false pretenses." Autism expert and pediatrician Dr. Centers said he and parents of his patients were misled to believe the purpose of the film was for students to learn about autism. "Only one student attended the shoot, and he participated very little," said Centers. "I don't think the student realized this was a vaccine propaganda film run by adults and that he was being used to gain entry to my office, my practice, my patients and their parents." Dr. Centers later learned that Dr. Paul Offit -- ECBT board member and millionaire vaccine developer for Merck, - is listed as the film's "Scientific Technical Advisor." Offit was also featured in the film, calling critics of vaccines "evil."
The vaccine industry gives millions to the Academy of Pediatrics for conferences, grants, medical education classes and even helped build their headquarters. The totals are kept secret, but public documents reveal bits and pieces. Many critics have stated that Dr. Paul Offit has become a very rich man from the greed generated by the vaccine industry.
According to Dr. Centers, producer Lisa Posard had asked permission to film the children and interview the parents and doctor on two occasions. Lisa Megyesi, an autism parent featured in the film, said Ms. Posard later told her, "We honestly did not know there was a controversy about vaccines," and, "the students were planning on doing a film on the immune system, but after visiting Dr. Centers' office, the direction changed." Posard's story is contradicted by CHSTV's own Facebook page, where the film's topic was stated on April 18, 2012, to be "Vaccination" (not autism) seven months prior to the filming at Dr. Centers' office.
ECBT promotes the goal of every child being vaccinated with all 39 recommended vaccine doses by the age of two, despite what PhD biochemist Brian Hooker calls "the complete lack of safety studies of the cumulative effects of those vaccines." Dr. Hooker added, "'Invisible Threat' attempts to refute the vaccine-autism link despite the existence of over one hundred published peer-reviewed studies that give evidence for an association between serious vaccine complications and the development of autism and other neurological injury in some children."
Although promoted as "unbiased" and "balanced," Invisible Threat is "scripted with industry talking points," according to Teri Arranga, executive director of AutismOne. Based on her viewing of the trailer, "the film appears to downplay the side effects of vaccines, which range from neurodevelopmental disorders to seizures to death." Arranga continued, "There is no controversy that vaccines can cause injury, a fact incorporated into U.S. law and policy by the enactment of the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act."
Barry Segal, philanthropist and founder of Focus Autism, said, "All of the deceptions involved in the making of this film are a good reminder of how the vaccine industry operates." The film's "national premier" in January was hosted by The Immunization Project, whose activities include pro-vaccination lobbying efforts. The film is sponsored by a local Rotary grant; Rotary International receives large grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a major investor in vaccines and also in surveillance projects focused on monitoring and detection of public concerns around vaccines. The film is being promoted for student viewing and is approved by Common Core.
Follow The Money
A spokesman told CBS News: "There are simply no conflicts to be unearthed." But guess who's listed as the group's treasurers? Officials from Wyeth and a paid advisor to big pharmaceutical clients.
- A $342,000 payment from Wyeth, maker of the pneumococcal vaccine - which makes $2 billion a year in sales.
- A $433,000 contribution from Merck, the same year the academy endorsed Merck's HPV vaccine - which made $1.5 billion a year in sales.
- Another top donor: Sanofi Aventis, maker of 17 vaccines and a new five-in-one combo shot just added to the childhood vaccine schedule last month.
Take a look at
the vaccine contracts awarded in 2011
Indeed, the love of money (greed) is a very common human attribute and becomes a problem as in the case of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.
They were charged by the Department of Justice with payments to influence government officials. In turn, Pfizer was ‘fined’ 40 million dollars.
Put in context, it is about 2.5 percent of the grant money given to them by the CDC for making vaccines.
ECBT admits the group takes money from the vaccine industry, too - but won't reveal exactly how much.
Then there's Paul Offit, perhaps the most widely-quoted defender of vaccine safety.
He's gone so far as to say babies can tolerate "10,000 vaccines at once."
Offit ialso s a prime example of how mainstream medicine attempts to exert control and how those in positions of influence try to convince the public that the right to choose should not be an option. He has stated:
"Children whose parents hold certain religious beliefs shouldn't be afforded less protection than other children. That the commonwealth has allowed children to die from measles, bacterial pneumonia, or leukemia in the name of religion is inexplicable. That it continues to allow such abuse in the face of recent deaths is unconscionable. ... should repeal its religious exemptions for medical neglect. Otherwise, children will continue to suffer and die needlessly."
Offit holds in a $1.5 million dollar research chair at Children's Hospital, funded by Merck. He holds the patent on an anti-diarrhea vaccine he developed with Merck, Rotateq, which has prevented thousands of hospitalizations.
And future royalties for the vaccine were just sold for $182 million cash. Dr. Offit's share of vaccine profits? Unknown.
There's nothing illegal about the financial relationships, but to critics, they pose a serious risk for conflicts of interest. As one member of Congress put it, money from the pharmaceutical industry can shape the practices of those who hold themselves out to be "independent."
The American Academy of Pediatrics, Every Child By Two and Dr. Offit would not agree to interviews with CBS News, but all told them they're up front about the money they receive, and it doesn't sway their opinions.
The Freedom of Choice or The Right for Big Pharma To Choose?
Critics worry that industry ties are impacting the advice given to the public about all those vaccines and as well infringing on human rights. Today's immunization schedule now calls for kids to get 55 doses of vaccines by age 6. Children in all 50 states are required to have received all mandatory vaccines to attend school.
The right to refuse vaccine is not only a choice but part of our human rights and freedoms, regardless of who disagrees with that choice. The results of one recent poll on PreventDisease showed that out of 4,056 people, 68% do not support the use of vaccines at all and that the risks outweigh any benefits.
Anothert poll on Fox News asked if not vaccinating children was irresponsible or a right parents have. Surprisingly, that poll was even more lopsided with 84% of people voting agreeing that it was a parents right. Image below was a screenshot as of today's date (May 1, 2014).
U.S. Congressman Compares Corruption in CDC's Vaccine Safety Studies to SEC's Handling of Bernie Madoff Scandal
In an April 8 interview on AutismOne's A Conversation of Hope radio show, Congressman Bill Posey's strong resolve and demands for transparency were evident as he discussed the Center for Disease Control (CDC)'s handling of vaccine safety studies which affect "our most precious resource in our nation - our children." The 30-minute interview, conducted by vaccine industry watchdog, PhD biochemist Brian Hooker, delves into what Posey called "the incestuous relationship between the public health community and the vaccine makers and public officials."
The Florida legislator, known as "Mr. Accountabililty," did not mince words when criticizing current and past CDC officials including indicted fraudster Dr. Poul Thorsen; CDC director turned Merck Vaccine President Dr. Julie Gerberding; and the agency's current spokesperson regarding autism and vaccines, Dr. Coleen Boyle.
On Thorsen, Posey said "If you read through the emails and learned about the meetings and the financial arrangement this crook had with the CDC, it will make you absolutely sick to your stomach. This was no casual researcher way down the line. This is the CDC's key man in Denmark. He was closely tied to the CDC's top vaccine safety researchers... as long as Thorsen was cooking the books to produce the results they wanted, they didn't care whether the studies were valid or how much money was being siphoned off the top...It's like the Security and Exchange Commission and Bernie Madoff. But it's worse because we're talking about someone who basically stole money that was supposed to be used to improve the health and safety of our most vulnerable in our society - our young babies."
Dr. Hooker remarked that Thorsen had collaborated with the CDC on 36 papers, not just one paper as claimed by Dr. Boyle, and that the agency refused to investigate studies exonerating vaccines' role in causing autism following his indictment on wire fraud and money laundering. Posey described Boyle as "intentionally evasive," in his questioning of her at a Congressional hearing. "I asked her a very direct question. 'Have you done a study comparing autism rates in vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children?...' She started telling us about everything she's done ...After she wasted three minutes, I cut her off and I demanded that she answer the question. And then, only then, did she admit that the federal government has never done that very simple, fundamental, basic study."
About Boyle's denial of a true increase in autism, Posey said, "I know we have an autism epidemic. You know it. She knows it. She knows we know it. But for some reason they refuse to acknowledge it publicly." Regarding Boyle's assertion that the increase is due to better diagnosing, Posey said, "I don't think anybody that's intellectually honest with this issue can begin to fathom that lame excuse that she uses." He also described an orchestrated campaign on behalf of the CDC and vaccine industry: "people who do all the blogging and shredding anyone who dares question the unaccountable bureaucrats." He spoke of "their little media network [that will] twist the truth to disparage, to malign, to vilify, to denigrate anybody who wants any kind of accountability...."
Posey then discussed his co-sponsorship with Rep. Carolyn Maloney of the Vaccine Safety Study Act. He said the proposed legislation would compel the government to conduct a retrospective vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study of health outcomes. He felt it could be done with "accountability and direct oversight of the government"
In his closing remarks, Posey said, "The CDC can't be trusted regarding investigating vaccine safety. Huge conflict of interest. I think the CDC should be investigated."
Dave Mihalovic is a Naturopathic Doctor who specializes in vaccine research, cancer prevention and a natural approach to treatment.