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By Mary Starrett
26, 2006

Can we trust the FDA, Big Pharmaceutical companies and most of all our media to tell us the truth behind the medical/health stories we read?

The Oregonian�s story was titled �Panel pushes cancer shield for preteens � The vaccine for cancer works best before girls have sex.�[Read] (June 30,2006)

Just like that, game over, the vaccine works, period. Now, let�s all roll up our sleeves and get some. What the story did not mention would have been as simple as following the money.

Merck, the big-pharma giant behind the Gardasil vaccine against cervical cancer has been watching its stock price plummet. Since 2002 stocks plunged from $70 to $35 a share. What with the Vioxx recall, pending lawsuits potentially costing the company $50 billion, patent expirations of big sellers like cholesterol drug Zocor and Fosamax (along with negative reports about some nasty side effects of this bone density drug) things at Merck are looking gloomy at best.

The solution? Fast track some �must-have� vaccines like Gardasil and voila! Just what the doctor ordered for bottom line financial recovery.

There is a huge effort aided by government regulatory agencies to rescue Merck from its woes. News reports said that Gardasil is �100%� effective against Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), but only against the two more prevalent strains of the virus that represent 70% of cervical cancer cases. According to respected health journalist Bill Sardi, �eventually, sexually active women may become infected with less common strains of the virus and in the long run, there may be no reduction in mortality rates from the cancer caused by��( this sexually-transmitted virus.) Merck�s gotten a lot of free publicity about Gardisil when you consider that government agencies like The National Institutes of Health are pushing the vaccine saying it could effectively eliminate HPV completely.

Not so fast� What readers haven�t been privy to in all the hoopla over the push to vaccinate girls as young as 9 years old (ostensibly before they start having sex) is, that, Gardasil contains aluminum and there have been serious side effects associated with this, as with many vaccines, according to Barbara Loe Fisher of the National Vaccine Information Center. Just one of many concerns about the vaccine and the way it�s being marketed through �news� stories. Can we really trust Merck, the FDA or our media to tell us the truth?

Apparently not.

We read still more of the same type of reporting a day earlier:

�The debate is over, the science is clear� said surgeon general Richard Carmona in a recent announcement that second hand smoke is a �serious health hazard� (June 29, 2006). He warned that the evidence is �indisputable� and that even brief exposure can cause harm.

The Oregonian rushed to use this announcement as proof we should be moving public health policy toward even more controls on where people are permitted to smoke.

I say, take a deep breath and back off.

Consider this forgotten news tidbit which has heretofore gotten scant ink. In 1993 the EPA released a study ranking passive smoking at the tippy top of its carcinogen list. It did so based on a compilation of 11 studies done in the U.S. The media quickly jumped on board blaring headlines such as � Passive Smoking Kills Thousands.�

Soon the smokers amongst us were hanging their heads in shame as they lit up; hiding their faces like they�d just been caught molesting a toddler.

Since that �study� citing passive smoke as killer smoke, the EPA fought the tobacco companies, the Congressional Research Service and lots of science journalists who called the EPA�s conclusion bunk.

After five years of legal wrangling, a federal judge (U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Osteen, Middle District of North Carolina) ruled that the EPA ignored accepted scientific and statistical practices when saying it concluded that second hand smoke is a killing vapor.

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Nevertheless, the smoking bans came faster and with more fury. By now the �science� is accepted and like so many lies not nipped early, it has become �fact�. Reports on the effects of second hand smoke have long been controversial. One study by the International Agency for research on Cancer found no statistically significant risk to second hand smoke, according to The Washington Post (July, 19, 1998). What might be �widely accepted� is not quite the same as scientifically proven. Nevertheless, in what Judge Robert Bork referred to as �authoritarian regulation propelled by moral intimidation� we see the rush to control people by invasive smoking bans which get more intrusive all the time.

It�s all about brutally honest reporting which is getting harder and harder to find.

� 2006 Mary Starrett - All Rights Reserved

Related Article:
Cancer Drug Causes Serious Heart Damage

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Mary Starrett was on television for 21 years as a news anchor, morning talk show host and medical reporter. For the last 5 years she hosted a radio program. Mary is a frequent guest on radio talk shows.












What readers haven�t been privy to in all the hoopla over the push to vaccinate girls as young as 9 years old...