Paul Haeder

Paul has been writing in a journalistic way since 1974. He's covered the environment and all daily newspaper beats since that time. He has worked in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Vietnam on environmental justice stories. He has a master's in English and a graduate degree in urban and regional planning. Additionally, he writes regularly for Dissident Voice, LA Progressive and other venues. He is a member of the Society for Professional Journalists for which he has won a few writing awards. He lives and works in the Pacific Northwest-Portland. His teaching career has taken him to Texas, Juarez, New Mexico, Washington, Oregon, and Vietnam. His short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam can be purchased at www.cirquejournal.com

Walking the Wrack Line: Poisonous Potatoes

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The wrack line is that “line” of organic material that ends up on beaches when tides go back out. It is a biologically important micro-ecosystem of seaweeds, crustaceans, shells, decaying birds and fish and mammals. When I need to think, I walk the wrack line. The idea for this environmental series comes from those walks; walks that for the past two years have conjured up all sorts of topics for me. Many are worthy of many books. It is a simple walk I conduct on a calm, mostly sandy, and driftwood-strewn beach in Central Oregon. The solitude allows some of my own decades studying environmental harms to both animals and plants to filter through my thoughts. For this short essay, the topic is conventionally grown potatoes, which are now grown largely as a monoculture product and have been found to contain 35 separate toxic chemicals.

The Potato Monoculture

I was just talking with an 80-year-old woman whose father’s side of the family, all 56 of them, were murdered in Germany’s death camps. She grew up in Chile, and alas, ended up Oregon. She is working on stopping the aerial spraying of 2-4-D and other weedicides onto the clear-cuts. She remarked at how insane the world is with so much lack of common sense and connecting of the dots when it comes to our factory/industrial food systems. She held up a potato:

“How did it ever become normal to use poisons on our food? Poisons that have a direct vector not just to your gut and mine, but to the developing guts and brains of fetuses?”

Oh, that potato! Originally from Peru, the potato has crossed oceans and ended up in every part of the globe.

Only two things in this world are too serious to be jested on, potatoes and matrimony.
—Irish saying.

Now, they are genetically engineered,  and part of the monoculture that triggered the Great Famine, also called the Irish Potato Famine. Then, the Irish used a single breed of potato called the Irish Lumper. It was vulnerable to a fungus to which the breed had no resistance. Other cultures, farming practices over come this vulnerability by growing many different variety of each crop. The Peruvians, for example, grow many hundreds of varieties. The diversity of breed/varieties is what keeps a single fungus or other pests from decimating a food stock.

potatoes

In the US, however, we grow only few varieties of potatoes, making them sensitive to all sorts of microbial threats and because we rely so heavily on chemical solutions for these threats, we have decimated the soils in which these crops grow. Many of the problems with conventional potatoes are tied to the fact the soil has been so eroded and robbed of nutrients, that there are no natural fungi or bacteria left. This means that ungodly amounts of chemical fertilizers have to be applied each season to contain the growth of super predator weeds and microorganisms. Each year, the amount of chemicals required increases.

But it’s the pesticides, man! Leave my spuds alone.

Just how many chemicals are there in a conventionally grown potato? According to the USDA’s Pesticide Data Program, conventionally grown potatoes carry 35 different pesticides. As is true of many of the plastic compounds, these pesticides have some lethal side effects:

One herbicide, chlorpropham, is used to stop the growth of weeds and to inhibit potatoes sprouting. Chlorpropham is found on up to 80 percent of all conventionally-grown potatoes. According to the Extension Toxicology Network, this poison is toxic to honey bees. In labs, tests bare out the effects of chronic exposure to the herbicide where the animals show “retarded growth, increased liver, kidney and spleen weights, congestion of the spleen, and death.”

Poison Potatoes

All those poisons, then, are integrated into the spud. As a root vegetable, potatoes absorb all of the pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides sprayed above the ground, which eventually spread into the soil. There are many insider testimonies from potato farmers — Jeff Moyer, CEO at the Rodale Institute and former chair of the National Organic Standards Board, says,

I’ve talked with potato growers who say point-blank they would never eat the potatoes they sell. They have separate plots where they grow potatoes for themselves without all the chemicals.

The potato is a great example of an industrial system gone crazy. Terms like Frankenfoods, fishy tomatoes and assassin seeds are not benign. Imagine, the now defunct DNA Plant Technology of Oakland, California, developed the gene therapy (sic) of inserting a fish gene into a tomato. It was the gene that helps a flounder survive in frigid waters. This “anti-freeze” fish gene was spliced into tomato cells to enhance the plant’s resistance to cold.

Monsanto, developers of the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup, also developed the gene technology to create suicide seeds. Of all wonderfully bad things, they call this technology: Genetic use restriction technology (GURT), but it’s more commonly referred to as terminator technology or suicide seeds. This keeps farmers from saving seeds from a Monsanto crop, as the genetic alterations either activate or deactivate some genes only in response to certain stimuli. The second generation of seeds is infertile.

Roundup is what is sprayed all over our Oregon forests when clear cuts raze stands of trees – to keep opportunistic and invasive brush and other tree species, from overtaking the sawed over hills and valleys. (The Intercept)

The history and politics are not lost on people like my Chilean friend — Dow Chemical and Monsanto were the two largest producers of Agent Orange, a fifty-fifty mix of the n-butyl esters 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T) known for a long list of neurological symptoms and physiological malformities found not only in those exposed but in their offspring; effects that were denied and ignored by both the manufacturer and the government, for decades.

Industrial Foods

The potato is just one food crop. Every conventionally grown crop contains multiple chemical pesticides and herbicides. There are many groups looking into industrial vegetables and fruits, but they all have their own version of the Dirty Dozen.  The dirty dozen are the twelve most chemically laden fruits and vegetables for that year. These foods should be purchased organic when possible. Here, another group’s dirty dozen with some specifics connected to each food.

  • Apples – at least 99 % have residue
  • Strawberries – contained 13 different pesticides each
  • Grapes- contained 15 different pesticides
  • Celery- 13 different pesticides per sample
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Imported Nectarines – every sample tested positive for pesticides
  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry Tomatoes – contained 13 different pesticides each
  • Imported Snap Peas – contained 13 different pesticides each
  • Potatoes – had more pesticides by weight than any other food

Remember, there are literally dozens of active ingredients in one type of herbicide. There are hundreds and sometimes thousands of chemicals in a scoop or pint of poison used in industrial agriculture. There are no studies on how any of these chemical interact with each other as they bioaccumulate in the soils, plants, animals or in us. There are no studies on how two, three, or four different chemicals might interact in the lab or in life, let alone 10, 15, or 35 as in the case of the potato. Although industry boasts the safety of these chemicals, no one with a modicum of common sense believes them, unless they choose too. As I walk the wrack line, I cannot help but agreeing with my Chilean friend. The world is insane to believe that it is normal to poison our food.

When we look at what is truly sustainable, the only real model that has worked over long periods of time is the natural world. – Biomimicry Institute founder, Janine Benyus.

To Learn More:

The Future of Food

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Walking the Wrack Line: Thoughts on Plastic Pollution

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The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.

Rachel Carson

The Wrack Line: An Ecological Bridge Between Land and Sea

For decades, I’ve been looking at the unimagined biological and genetic effects on planet earth caused by “better living through chemistry” capitalist mentality. While Rachel Carson’s seminal work, Silent Spring, catalogued just one aspect of the plethora of physiological effects on animal life, in 2021 we can confidently state there is so much evidence of all the pollutants, toxins, spewing gasses, pesticides, hormone disruptors, radioactive isotopes, forever chemicals, nanoparticles, fungicides, heavy metals and waste pits conspiring to completely disrupt all manner of life. Microplastics are a key contributor to this problem.

In that process of contemplating this recently, while railing against local older folk who will for Year Two have a Zoom Earth Day (April 22) instead of celebrating this day utilizing our amazing atmosphere and beachside waysides to bring people together, I walked the wrack line. This is that “line” of organic material that ends up on beaches when tides go back out. It is a biologically important micro-ecosystem of seaweeds, crustaceans, shells, decaying birds and fish and mammals. This wrack line is studied by marine biologists. It provides an amazing supply of food and building components for living crustaceans.

Here on the Coast Surfrider Foundation and other groups have organized beach clean-ups, where the majority of junk found, collected and disposed of is plastic. The first part of the instruction for beach clean-up volunteers is to use gloves, and that the plastics can be super toxic, virtual magnets for heavy metals, poisons and even radioactive materials as they float throughout the ocean and eventually end up on the beach, the wrack lines.

Homo sapiens pick through the wrack line for treasures like polished agates, whole shells, burled drift wood, and seeds from afar. These wrack lines, unfortunately, are now clogged with that deadline by-product of “better living with chemistry,” plastics. There is other rubbish from the by-products and by-processes of consumerism and industrialism, but by and far, plastics present the largest problem.

Plastics and Capitalism

The work of artist Chris Jordan on plastics and just on the consumer waste in our capitalist consumer society is amazing. His documentary, Albatross, stays with me as I walk the wrack lines on the Central Oregon Coast. I’ve walked wrack lines all over the world, and been in places where plastic bags and single-use plastic containers and bottles have destroyed ecosystems, on beaches, in harbors and along river ways.

microplastic pollution birds

As a diver, as an environmentalist, as a deep green sustainability proponent, and as a journalist and teacher and someone with a load of urban and regional planning under my belts, the reality for me is we have been at war with nature, with ourselves. Plastic is yet another symbolic manufactured element that is emblematic of our capitalism gone wild. Plastics are the thing of fossil fuels, and heavy natural gas consumption. Those fancy polymers are more than just a physical eyesore in the form of Pepsi bottles and single serving ketchup packets. Every hour of every day, we touch plastic. Just imagine what teeny-tiny bits of plastic could do to our brains. This stuff is crossing the blood-brain barrier and is causing untold havoc on the human biological ecosystem. It is also linked to:

Deep Sea Plastics

Last year, I viewed online a Remote Operated Vehicle filming the deepest part of the globe, the Mariana Trench, with ghostly images of single use plastic shopping bags floating by. It wasn’t a surprise, since I have been a scuba diver for more than 45 years. That revelation was, however, yet another cut in the 10,000 cuts of spiritual and intellectual death people like me have to steel himself from.

deep sea plastic

The Consequences of All of This Plastic

Microplastics have been found in the liver, lungs, spleens and other organs of humans and as one might expect, in feces too. BPA, also known as bisphenol A, is a chemical in the production of plastics. It is a reproductive, developmental and systemic toxicant in animal and human studies. BPA levels in humans have been dramatically underestimated.

 It would be naïve to believe there is plastic everywhere but just not in us, said Rolf Halden at Arizona State University. We are now providing a research platform that will allow us and others to look for what is invisible – these particles too small for the naked eye to see. The risk [to health] really resides in the small particles.

This bioaccumulation in tissues, that is, in the animals we eat, like tuna or salmon, is also part of the bioaccumulation of plastic particles in the food we eat, air we breathe, water we drink. The US Environmental Protection Agency is concerned about BPA because “it is a reproductive, developmental and systemic toxicant in animal studies”. The researchers examined lung, liver, spleen and kidney tissue as these organs are likely to be exposed to microplastics or collect them.

We never want to be alarmist, but it is concerning that these non-biodegradable materials that are present everywhere [may] enter and accumulate in human tissues, and we don’t know the possible health effects,” said Varun Kelkar of Arizona State University, part of the research team.

Just how is all of that plastic getting into our systems? With everything we eat and drink. The latest research found:

Evaluating approximately 15% of Americans’ caloric intake, we estimate that annual microplastics consumption ranges from 39000 to 52000 particles depending on age and sex. These estimates increase to 74000 and 121000 when inhalation is considered. Additionally, individuals who meet their recommended water intake through only bottled sources may be ingesting an additional 90000 microplastics annually, compared to 4000 microplastics for those who consume only tap water.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch: An Emblem of Plastic Pollution

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the largest accumulation of ocean plastic in the world and is located between Hawaii and California. It is the result of the billions of tons plastic released into the environment since the 1950s. In total there are five large gyres around the world, so-called floating garbage patches where current and wave and wind conditions are set to harmonize where some of the refuse humans create end up as these dumps for anything that floats, plastic and its components being a large percentage of floating junk.

This is emblematic of the problem of throw away societies and rampant consumerism that is predicated on disposability or one single use products. As we can see, this is not just an eyesore – these plastics get ground down by wave action, wind, and sun, along with the chemical reactions of all of that combined. Hence, the very concept of micro-plastics ending up in the food chain, which ends up in humans as the apex predator or high on the food chain consumer. This article talks about how plastics and their components get to the human biome through more direct ways like plastic lined canned foods, PFAS, and BPA. Breathing plastics from all the plastic fibers in clothes, furniture, carpeting and other consumer sources is yet another vector that has created the Plastic Human.

The reality is we do not know all the possible negative health outcomes of microplastics alone, as opposed to microplastics mixing with all those nanoparticles and the other chemicals coming into play in the human physiology. The convenience of plastic bottles and pipes in our homes represent the cancers of the future. Those plastics in the belly of whales, birds and albacore are the bio-accumulated toxins in our daily meals. We don’t need to study the great Pacific plastic gyre to understand how plastics break down, unseen, or subsurface. We will at some point have more plastic particles in the oceans than all the organic biomass. These are not the fictions of Ursula La Guinn or Margaret Atwood. They are readily visible to anyone who looks, but there are especially visible at the wrack lines, where land and sea meet.

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Gardasil and the American Bald Eagle – What Would Rachel Carson Do?

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A mated pair of bald eagles twenty yards above me both tip their wings and set a synchronized dive wing-tip to wing-tip toward me. The Willamette River and the Oregon City’s Willamette Falls are the sources of interest for these youngsters. The raptors are giving me pause and hope – a certain sanity floods my head seeing things in balance, nature in action over a plugged-up Interstate 205, the gas guzzlers of the elite and the endless serpent of 18-wheelers looking like a monster to these eagles. These birds’ orange-yellow beaks and pitch-black body feathers remind me of this big web of life that is continually being disrupted, torn apart, and obliterated by the master species’ addiction to oil, chemicals, and industrial-strength-and-sized unnatural interventions.

Over the last few weeks, I have been thinking about Rachel Carson (Silent Spring, 1962) and her efforts to preserve the integrity of natural ecosystems from industrialized greed. I am reminded of all those foggers tooling through neighborhoods with DDT gas spewing out and kids chasing after in the vortex of the poison. Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, synthesized in 1886, was deemed perfectly safe to life and limb by a battalion of scientists and medical impresarios backed by the likes of Monsanto. Carson, a biologist by trade, understood the dangers of these chemicals and fought arduously to inform the public. Through a series of letters and short chapters published first in the New Yorker and then compiled into the now landmark book Silent Spring, Carson’s efforts ultimately resulted in the banning of DDT but not before she was thoroughly castigated in the press.

For her robust scientific skepticism of the safety of all those government-approved and scientifically-proven chemicals polluting the landscape, she endured endless personal attacks. For me and countless other ecologists, Carson is the mother of the environmental movement. One such attack demonstrates the misogyny and scientific-technology chauvinism of her time:

Miss Rachel Carson’s reference to the selfishness of insecticide manufacturers probably reflects her Communist sympathies, like a lot of our writers these days. We can live without birds and animals, but, as the current market slump shows, we cannot live without business. As for insects, isn’t it just like a woman to be scared to death of a few little bugs! As long as we have the H-bomb everything will be O.K.—Letter to the editor of the New Yorker, 1962

Though tame by comparison to the vitriol of 21st century social media attacks, the playbook remains much the same, and sadly, so too are the battles. Fifty years after Rachel Carson felt the sting of the attacks on her character and intellect, we are still fighting against these chemical companies, only now we fight from multiple fronts. The same companies polluting our ecosystem, our rivers, streams, lakes and ground soil, pollute our bodies.

Poisons, and now the slide into poisoned and colonized minds, have taken me from my birth in 1957 to a truly Kafkaesque carnival show of incompetence, perverted power, and inverse logic at all levels of the societal ladder. I questioned the safety of Gardasil and was fired from a non-profit for doing so. My story is all over the internet, and that’s fine. See “Social Worker Helping Troubled Teens Loses Job for Questioning Gardasil Vaccine During Planned Parenthood Required Training”. This sort of cause célèbre doesn’t pay the mortgage and doesn’t restore my character and professional standing that have been sullied by the events of recent weeks, but it does, open a door to a perspective once blocked from view.

Call it the Pandora’s Box opening up, or the tip of the iceberg surfacing. Since the forced paid leave and then the sacking, I have delved into the nefarious connections between non-profits and their funding agencies. What I found was disturbing and points to a much larger problem, a forced collusion between medical marketing, non-profits, foundations and scientists, a relationship that demands acquiescence or risks the loss of funding. While I have long understood that money influences decision-making, the extent to which profits are blocking questions about medication safety from being asked is unprecedented. The implications are frightening. This collusion is forcing people, cultures and their ecologies to bear the burden of illness, disease, cancers, ecocide and inter-generational hardships because of greed, galvanized through the adoption of a wholly market-driven science.

Amidst this unholy trinity of ideology-economics-politics, I cannot help but wonder, what would Rachel Carson do? She would write, of course. She would write passionately and clearly not to the institutions capitalism is beholden to, but to us, the people most affected by these decisions. I will do the same.

It is common practice among these chemical companies to attack prominent scientists who speak out against their products. This is a well-known part of the chemical industry playbook, dating back to the battles against DDT and refined by the tobacco industry. To censure unknown, low level employees of non-profits, however, speaks to a new level of message control, one, even I, an old journalist, educator and environmental activist, find surprising. I think you will too.

Over the coming weeks, I will publish a series of articles exploring the influence of pharmaceutical funding to non-profits on the messaging and marketing of health related information. As you read these posts, we encourage you to look at your own circumstances and ask yourself how what you know or think you know about a given chemical might be influenced by corporate interests. If you work at non-profit tasked with disseminating health or environmental information, how are questions of efficacy and product safety dealt with? Are there certain topics that cannot be broached, even by lower level employees? Has anyone been terminated for asking the wrong questions? Then ask yourself, “What would Rachel Carson do?” and consider sharing your story with us.

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More people than ever are reading Hormones Matter, a testament to the need for independent voices in health and medicine. We are not funded and accept limited advertising. Unlike many health sites, we don’t force you to purchase a subscription. We believe health information should be open to all. If you read Hormones Matter, like it, please help support it. Contribute now.

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This article was published originally on November 7, 2017.

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Injecting Aluminum: Documentary Questions Vaccine Safety

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Hope Spells Help Our People Exist

Fact One: Aluminum is present in U.S. childhood vaccines that prevent hepatitis A, hepatitis B, diphtheria-tetanuspertussis (DTaP, Tdap), Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), human papillomavirus (HPV) and pneumococcus infection

For someone always skeptical of big money-big business tied to anything in the realm of medicine or science in general, I have lifted myself way beyond hope when it comes to any amount of efficacy in medicine or all the other nodes tied to our modern industrial-postindustrial world.

The vaccination debate is a misnomer in itself, since the debate is really an attack on anyone who dares question the science and chemistry and genetic engineering of the vaccine industry, an industry that plows through so many of our rights as citizens, individuals and patients. We have states and school systems ordering people of all ages to submit to the needle.

A new film airing in May, Injecting Aluminum, looks at a specific aspect of the vaccine “debate” through what easily is the one giant Gordian knot metaphor of the entire vaccine injury and death history – the adjuvant aluminum hydroxide developed in the 1920s as the “best” optimizer of the immune response when injecting the disease.

The subtitle of 90-minute film by director Marie-Ange Poyet, How Toxic are Vaccines?, really takes the air out of the sails of the pro-vaccine-and-never-question-the-vaccinologist zealots. In fact, it’s the Gordian knot we can cut away: disentangling an impossible knot but cutting that damned thing, or finding a loophole through creative and robust outside the box thinking:

Turn him to any cause of policy,
The Gordian Knot of it he will unloose,
Familiar as his garter
— Shakespeare, Henry V, Act 1 Scene 1. 45–47

The director says things about the power of film, or the limits of documentaries, that I too voice:

“I don’t think movies can change things,” Marie-Ange Poyet says: “They bring new information, they contribute to change, but they don’t carry themselves the ability to deeply shake the system in which we are.”

She states that if the film can educate the public and rally around the “real drama” of those lives affected by aluminum salts in vaccines, then Marie-Ange would be satisfied.

The commitment of citizens is the only way things will change. I hope this citizen-driven film can be a step in that direction.

Storytelling Straight in the Eye

Viewing the interviews in this documentary for 90 minutes, I came to the realization that the story of the wounded and chronically ill — because of their bodies’ reaction to the aluminum — is the taproot of this film’s blossoming.

We have some heavy players in medicine and some compelling victims of the vaccines, as well as intrepid journalists. More than 16 powerful voices from a myriad of perspectives give shape to the film. And this is a film of a special order – the voices are captured in straightforward narrative style. No asides or typical documentary bells and whistles. No graphics, no tours of the drug manufacturers research facilities, no laboratory microscopic images, no up close and personal looks at rehabilitation.

Just interviews are captured, as if this is an inquest on the very substance that is at the center of this disease the French medical and research community discovered in the 1990s – Macrophagic Myofascitis, or MMF. It’s a very simple and to the point look at one element that is toxic to the human body, and an element tied to MS and Alzheimer’s and here now, MMF, which has destroyed young people’s ability to lead regular lives.

Anti-Aluminum isn’t Anti-Vaccine: Precaution Over Profits

Some of the heavy-hitters are MDs like Romain Gherardi and Jerome Authier, professor Christopher Exley, member of the European Parlimante Michele Rivasi, Le Monde journalist Stephane Foucart, and President of E3M (Entraide aux Malades of Myofascite to Macrophages) Didier Lambert.

The NGO E3M and victims of MMF support scientific research to buttress their campaign to have aluminum removed from vaccines. Lambert is currently on disability, which is a state of survival 80 percent of the members of the association E3M share.

He is outspoken and on a mission of protecting his country and others by advocating taking aluminum out of vaccines, “without calling into question the very principle of vaccination.”

The simple aim is to reverse the felonious push to keep aluminum in vaccines by going back to the gold standard of the Precautionary Principle. This is a simple oath and operating system science that scientists (and all sectors of civilization) ought to abide by, but also embrace before any chemical, product, service or process is pushed onto us. Where money and profits and vast accumulation of power rides roughshod over our civilization, there rarely is a deep look at the unintended consequences or negative feedback loops.

It is easy to undergird the documentary with a proviso tied to the ideas of “first do no harm,” or, “better safe than sorry,” or, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In the past 100 years, at least, Western Civilization has been moved by demonic ideas of profit tied to these aphorisms: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained” and, “Let the devil take the hindmost.”

Some of the film’s “stars” are folk like Dr. Exley, bioinorganic chemistry professor at University of Stirling, who has been for more than three decades researching “how the third most abundant element of the Earth’s crust, aluminum, is non-essential and largely inimical to life.”

Ironically, he investigates the most abundant element on Earth’s crust, silicon, and how it is almost devoid of biological function: “One possible function of silicon is to keep (aluminium) aluminum out of biota.”

Here, the Precautionary Principle with the help of Peter Montague :

The release and use of toxic substances, the exploitation of resources, and physical alterations of the environment have had substantial unintended consequences affecting human health and the environment. Some of these concerns are high rates of learning deficiencies, asthma, cancer, birth defects and species extinctions, along with global climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion and worldwide contamination with toxic substances and nuclear materials.

We believe existing environmental regulations and other decisions, particularly those based on risk assessment, have failed to protect adequately human health and the environment the larger system of which humans are but a part.

We believe there is compelling evidence that damage to humans and the worldwide environment is of such magnitude and seriousness that new principles for conducting human activities are necessary.

While we realize that human activities may involve hazards, people must proceed more carefully than has been the case in recent history. Corporations, government entities, organizations, communities, scientists and other individuals must adopt a precautionary approach to all human endeavors.

Therefore, it is necessary to implement the Precautionary Principle: When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. In this context the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof.

The process of applying the Precautionary Principle must be open, informed and democratic and must include potentially affected parties. It must also involve an examination of the full range of alternatives, including no action.

Mountains of Studies Indicting Aluminum Adjuvants

Compelling for me about the film is the detail both the citizens patients of MMF and the established biology, chemistry, immunology, medical experts lay out for the viewer. Exely is both trustworthy and compassionate, quirky and interesting. He is interviewed in his office with towers of research papers and journal articles behind him like many Leaning Towers of Pisa.

His scientific bent is on deep research, unclouded by some profit margin derived by selling the aluminum to labs and the manufacturing facilities and pharmaceuticals making billions on these vaccines.

He cites the common known fact that adjuvants in vaccines do not require clinical approve. The vaccine preparation does go through trials, so when the aluminum is put in vaccine, it is the vaccine that gets approved, not the aluminum or another adjuvant.

The articulate scientist knows the field of aluminum research. For instance, he states that he can’t say the cause of Alzheimer’s is aluminum, but aluminum does make Alzheimer’s worse, and aluminum does make Alzheimer’s occur at an earlier age. He goes on:

You have this fantasy of, I think it’s the World Health Organization, giving a safe limit for aluminum, and they say, as long as it’s low, one milligram per kilogram body weight per day, you’re safe. I asked them, how do you know that, when I don’t know it? I’ve been working on aluminum for 30 odd years, trying to understand it, you know this. I asked them for the details, how did you work this out, and who did it?

They have people that I call the aluminum ambassadors…Usually, good scientists all around the world, who are paid by the aluminum industry to say that aluminum is not a problem, but these are not individuals who work on aluminum. Most of them have absolutely no background in aluminum whatsoever. They are individuals, who for example, work on Alzheimer’s disease, and then they, whenever someone with the Alzheimer’s society, a major charity, asks for advice, they ask this well-known person in Alzheimer’s disease, what’s the role of aluminum? No, there’s nothing to worry about. They don’t ask me.

“It’s the Calcium Phosphate, Stupid, We Need!”

Fact Two: A small proportion of vaccinated people present with delayed onset of diffuse myalgia, chronic fatigue and cognitive dysfunction, and exhibit very long-term persistence of aluminum-loaded macrophages at site of previous intra-muscular (I.M.) immunization, forming a granulomatous lesion called Macrophagic Myofasciitis (MMF). Clinical symptoms associated with MMF are paradigmatic of the recently delineated “autoimmune/ inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants” (ASIA)

Here we have aluminum hydroxide dating back to 1927. The same compound used in vaccines in 2018. Yet, in 1974, the Insitut Pasteur developed calcium-phosphate adjuvant, and the president of the French vaccination committee admitted that the calcium phosphate adjuvant was no less effective than aluminum salts. That adjuvant could be brought back. It takes a political decision. “Then our vaccines would be safe,” says Didier Lambert.

Aluminum salts are identified as neurotoxic by many health authorities and organizations. Count Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Crown’s, Sarcoidosis, development of allergies, cases of chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, autism and many more as the unintended side effects of aluminum, according to Professor Exley and many more.

The evidence in the documentary mounts minute by minute, and the interviews are clear but not charged with emotions or with a music track overlay.

Professor Jérôme Authier, a neurologist and coordinator of the Centre of Reference for Neuromuscular Diseases at H. Mondor Hospital, states the aluminum stays at the injection site for months, and migrates to the liver, spleen and brain. He sees unique conditions/factors that slow down or speed up the migration:

• The injection site: faster migration if the injection is administrated by subcutaneously rather than intramuscularly
• Genetics: faster migration on some people more than others
• The dose: a moderate dose of aluminum adjuvant forms small aggregates of particle. It migrates in the brain faster than a significant dose which in turn forms larger aggregates, long stored in the periphery.
• It also accumulates in the lymph nodes and spleen, which are organs related to the immune system.
• Patients with Macrophagic Myofasciitis (MMF)suffer from cognitive disorders such as brain dysfunction, associated with persistence extended aluminum in their body at the injection site.

Even the so-called godfather of autoimmunology, Dr. Yehuda Shoenfeld, was brought forth by Poyet to discuss aluminum adjuvant; and he lists MMF as one of the Autoimmune/inflammatory Syndromes Adjuvants, also known as ASIA. Shoenfeld founded the Centre for Autoimmune Diseases in Israel and has written 25 books about autoimmunity.

The Israeli doctor is clear about this injecting aluminum question: How Toxic Are Our Vaccines?

Aluminum is foreign to our body. It is one of strongest adjuvants. It can cause toxicity to the brain, ovaries and the immune system. We should avoid it from our lives.

Studying Cause and Effect in Vaccine Use, Ingredients and Frequency Makes Us Smart, Not Antivax

It is clear that researchers calling into question the prevailing “norm” or the current baseline, aluminum adjuvants, are called charlatans, and the media (paid for in large measure by Big Pharma) go on the attack. But, again, the godfather, Shoenfeld, submits a counter to that propaganda:

I have to say that, for my experience, both in Israel, as well as in Denmark, for instance, one of the countries where we have a large number of subjects who suffer the severe side effect, especially from the HPV. People see these cases in which, immediately after the vaccine, or very close to the vaccine, healthy girls who were apparently athletic, and suddenly, they find themselves wheel chaired or bed ridden.

The issue of primary ovarian failure, which means young women can’t get pregnant, and the reason is that the aluminum destroyed or affected the maturation of the eggs in the ovaries. Shoenfeld:

It [ovarian failure] has been reported in several cases, it’s still under reported, because many of those girls are on contraceptive pills, and therefore, they delay the diagnosis only after they will stop or discontinue to take these contraceptive pills, but it has been shown that if you inject aluminum into mice, you destroy or you affect the maturation of the eggs in the ovaries.

Exley points out that aluminum is a “silent visitor.” We do not get the sudden sickness from aluminum as we do lead, cyanide, or cadmium. It would take a huge amount of single exposure to cause immediate and profound ailments or even death. “Now, there is a proviso for that, an exception, and I believe the exception to that can be vaccination,” he states.

Oh No, Show Me the Money (again?)

The film exposes many aspects of why this 91-year-old aluminum salt is still in use. In addition, we find out why the French government isn’t doing anything to take aluminum out of vaccines. Think Sanofi, L’Oreal, and Nestle. We know the French multinational, Sanofi, is the world’s largest producer of vaccines. Ironically, the majority shareholder in that Titan of Vaccines is L’Oréal, which is the world’s largest cosmetics company. Now, following the tangled web of multinationals, we see that the principal shareholders of the cosmetics company L’Oreal is the Bettencourt family and Nestlé. Moreover, Nestlé is the world’s largest food-industry corporation.

Didier Lambert is blunt about the entanglement and special interests the corporations have, and the power they wield to control regulators and governments:

These three corporations have a special interest in aluminum. Sanofi uses aluminum in vaccines. L’Oréal uses it in cosmetics, and Nestlé, in food packaging, infant formula, etc. Note that the people who oppose the research by Drs. Gherardi and Authier are mainly financed by either Sanofi or the Bettencourt Foundation. Is that a coincidence?

Bunnies and then the Big Guns of Injecting Aluminum

Ironically, two German scientists in 1891 looked at aluminum, to see how it breaks down and dissolves in food and therefore was deemed toxic. To settle court cases, manufacturers of products aluminum were used as hired scientists on both sides of the argument. In 1908, Theodore Roosevelt appointed a commission to look into the safety of aluminum. The stakes were high, and those researchers incriminating aluminum had little funding, whereas the special interests backing aluminum eventually got the green light from a book two decades later written by a recognized scientist, Ernest Ellsworth Smith, that was biased and in favor of aluminum and omitted findings from other scientists showing aluminum was harmful.

The key study cited as the main reference on how the body absorbs the aluminum adjuvant in a vaccine was done in 1997. It was carried out by an American researcher named Richard Flarend and his co-author Stanley Hem. Their study involved two New Zealand white rabbits being injected with radioactive aluminum hydroxide. We are talking about 28 days of monitoring the elimination rate of radioactive aluminum through urine samples. Their findings? Elimination, 28 days after injection, was 6%. So 94% of the aluminum stayed in the animals’ bodies. Even with this scrawny one study, scientists still claim that it only takes a few weeks to eliminate aluminum injected into humans.

“Aluminum, Vaccines and the Two Rabbits” was the original title of this documentary in France. The director, Marie-Ange, did not go with that moniker:

In a nutshell, aluminum’s pharmacology is founded on a study based on two rabbits only. And their bones have been lost. That study lasted only 28 days. So, all what you hear about aluminum in vaccines is based on that incomplete work. We hear that the illnesses linked to aluminum are not dramatic, and it’s based on this study. It’s unbelievable. Since the vaccine market represents billions of dollars, we can say that the industry makes all this money thanks to these two rabbits. The original title of the film was a funny and dramatic wink to that story.

Those not winking are the big guns of the documentary are Professor Jérôme Authier, a neurologist and coordinator of the Center of Reference of neuromuscular diseases of the Henri Mondor Hospital, and Doctor Romain Gherardi, the Director of the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research. Gherardi has written more than 100 articles in refereed journals including topics tied to the physiopathology and therapeutics of adult neuromuscular diseases, as well as the cellular and molecular mechanisms of postnatal myogenesis and post-lesion regeneration.

Three sources stand out:

a. “Macrophagic myofasciitis lesions assess long-term persistence of vaccine-derived aluminum hydroxide in muscle” (Brain – 2001) by both Authier and Gherardi.
b. “Macrophagic myofasciitis: characterization and pathophysiology” ( Authier and Gherardi) .
c. Gherardi recently wrote a book about his experiences with aluminum and vaccines called, Toxic Story – Two or Three Embarrassing Truths about Vaccines and their Adjuvants.

Here is a compelling example of “throwing caution and verified facts to the wind” by Dr. Romain Gherardi:

“The guiltiest act is that once it has been pointed out that the aluminum persists for much longer than a month, that it remains in the immune system for many years, no watchdog agency sat up and said, ‘Stop. Back to the laboratory, guys.’ That should have been done in the early 2000s. And it was not. So we’re fifteen years late, in terms of the natural reaction elicited by the normal application of intellectual discipline.”

The entire case for aluminum adjuvants being safe is based on a 28-day rabbit study where the animals’ bones were “lost” by researchers. Hmm, bones are one area of the body that stores aluminum. The muscle that was injected was never examined.

This is not science as I have known it starting in 1975 as a marine biology major. We can’t determine whether the injected aluminum stayed at the muscle site. A 28-day study is for bean plant germination in kindergarten, not for vaccines. The aluminum adjuvant stays in the body for years, as the experts interviewed in the film attest. Amazingly, that the entire world of vaccinology takes this two New Zealand rabbit study from 20 years ago as proof of aluminum’s safety? This begs the question why this study has not been done over and over (maybe using some of the pro-aluminum adjuvant hominids as rabbits)?

“Not one of the experts who has studied the material we have compiled on MMF… and I am speaking of experts in their own capacity,” Gherardi states. “I’m not talking about … experts from public agency staff. I really mean independent experts we’ve asked to assess our research and give an opinion. Not one of them is free of strong connections to the vaccine industry. That’s all I can say.”

While the scientists and public policy people make compelling arguments around the toxicity of aluminum and the genetic variations some people possess, disallowing their bodies to “dissolve” mineralized aluminum, it’s also the individuals and married couples in the film that tell a story of life- changing medical issues that have plagued them, causing debilitating chronic pain and illness, necessitating complete life changes.

In the film: Laurent Lehrer and Marie-Christine Lehrer — patient with Macrophagic Myofascitis and wife; Nathalie Etienne and Patrice Nicosia — patient with Macrophagic Myofascitis and her partner; and Didier Lambert — patient with Macrophagic Myofascitis.

Their stories juxtaposed to the science and policy make this film compelling documentary viewing. We learn about all those genetic and cellular variations on a theme, including:

• autophagic xenophagy
• macrophage fusing with an organic killer, lysosome
• lysosome contains highly destructive enzymes and they only operate at acidic pH, so it has an acidic pH and the enzymes kill living organisms like bacteria
• They can also kill proteins or old mitochondria – any cellular waste material, but the pH, or acidity, is capable of corroding or dissolving mineral substances

In simpler terms, though, we know that some children and adults are more predisposed to vaccine injuries and adverse effects; we all are products of our epigenetics, when it comes to cancer, obesity, depression and thousands of other bio-physiological issues.

Again, the words of wisdom from Dr. Gherardi:

We know there are 34 genes which code for this highly complex machinery. So we looked for 109 variants; that is, genetic variations on each of these genes. They are ‘normal.’ That means the mutations do not cause disease in and of themselves. But they do predispose the system to dysfunctions. Of the 109 variants we checked out, we found 7 variants, located on six different genes, which are significantly found more frequently in patients with MMF, as compared to the general public. There are international consensus guidelines indicating normal ranges. It is interesting to note that these genetic mutations are cumulative. That is, our MMF patients present more than one variation. They have three, four, or five, and their effects probably combine. As a result, in a normal situation, when the macrophage just performs standard duties, it works fine.

If the job makes extra demands on the macrophage, most people overcome the difficulty, with a struggle. But a small minority will be totally unable to secrete the enzyme, and the toxin will remain. If 10, 20, or 25 vaccines are administered, regardless of genes, everyone will be overcome by the toxic burden. The cause of the system breakdown will be the toxicity itself.

The researchers and injured patient groups in France, USA and the other 20 countries looking at MMF and the connection to the adjuvant aluminum hydroxide have a universal battle to wage against the industries that make profit off of their mistakes, and who have utilized billions of dollars in marketing, which is another term for “covering up” or “falsifying data” or “burying the maimed or killed” or “denigrating truth-seekers and truth-tellers.”

Why is it that public and civil society proponents and social justice warriors are the ones crushed by the boulder of Sisyphus when it was the king of Corinth who was punished by the gods for “chronic deceitfulness by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, repeating this action forever.”

This film explores the truth around that deceit and maleficence and arrogance, and we the viewers have to decide who pays the ferryman, who pushes that boulder back up the hill of Capitalism. I sure as hell do not want to be responsible for the deceit and the outright felonies of the harbingers of capitalism at any cost.

We have too many examples in recent history around the failures of US medicine and the chemical and pharmaceutical industries to believe these people with the slick advertising departments and extra sleazy lobbyists and sales people.

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Falling into the Planned Parenthood Gardasil Snake Pit

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“With 80 percent of clinical trials failing to meet recruitment deadlines in the West, major drug companies are today conducting half or more of their trials outside the major markets, often in countries–like Nigeria–with poor human rights records and weak regulatory infrastructures. Pfizer’s Nigeria trial is unusually sensational and high profile, but its bending of the rules may be more the rule than the exception.” – Sonia Shah, author of The Body Hunters

“It is clear from the evidence presented in this book that the pharmaceutical industry does a biased job of disseminating evidence – to be surprised by this would be absurd – whether it is through advertising, drug reps, ghostwriting, hiding data, bribing people, or running educational programmes for doctors.” ― Ben Goldacre, Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients

The entire mess of questioning one vaccination – HPV, human papilloma virus vaccine known as Gardasil produced by Merck, and, Cervarix from GlaxoSmithKline’s labs – has opened up more than a Pandora’s Box for me. A viper pit I have been dumped into. I am facing a Medusa of sorts, a monster I already battled in other arenas, but I never thought I’d be up against it as a social worker for foster youth.

For four and a half decades, I have witnessed up close the Medusa of Disaster Capitalism and the Unfettered Military Industrial Complex as a reporter in the Southwest USA and throughout Mexico and Central America.

Today, that mythical Medusa’s many snakes as hair strands is most troublesome: I call it the Military-Surveillance-Fossil Fuel-Penal-Medicine-Financial-Education-Media-Pharma-Digital Industrial Complex. It’s turned into an all-encompassing monster.

That reality is a given for many of us who question authority, who see a world better served as non-hierarchical, non-patriarchal and earth/ecosystems/cultures focused. The reader can go to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights  or something like the Earth Charter and get a sense of how millions of us have not only a yearning for something more just than the current global financial Medusa running things, but we’ve worked for that social-earth-economic justice hard and long.

Fear of Advocating for Clients

One of the rights we hold as self-evident, supposedly held as a God-given American tenet, is the unrestricted ability for any person to find work to both help the person survive in this pay-as-we-go society and to, in some cases, help a person achieve some sort of self-worth and dignity.

The careers I have had include college instructor/faculty, newspaper journalist, community organizer and social worker. My work in the past seven years includes working with adults with severe developmental disabilities; with adults in a memory care facility as their educator and outings lead. I’ve worked to help adults in a sheltered workshop find competitive employment; I have worked with clients deemed homeless/addicts/felons to gain skills, services and employment on their road to recovery-reentry-resuscitating.

I was working a pretty cool job most recently as a social worker/case manager for an independent living program, a suite of services set up nationally for foster youth, 16 to 21 years of age, mainly to get them to finish high school and go onto college or trade school. My gifts as teacher, outdoor educator, world traveler, communicator, and creative soul aided me in making deep and profound connections to youth who have seen the underbelly of life and face many challenges tied to the disconnected nature of living sometimes in dozens of foster care homes. Exposure to drug use, pornography, drug dealing, violence, sexual assault and criminal acts are just some of the histories of these youth.

I worked hands on with youth one-on-one and in groups. I got to take them on outings like surfing in the Pacific and a four-day conference at a private university. I had some level of independence and developed great relationships with other professionals in state, county, city public sector jobs and with foster parents and the youth. The job also afforded me decent training in all sorts of areas, including trauma-informed care and motivational interviewing.

Sex Ed and Me

I came face-to-face, though, with the inner workings of Planned Parenthood, as in my first intersection with PP while training to be a facilitator for one five-hour curriculum attempting to get youth to understand the high risks associated with alcohol use and unprotected sex.

The specific training I had taken as part of my job description was focused on case managers becoming trainers, titled Sexual Health and Adolescent Risk Prevention (SHARP). My former employers, Lifeworks Northwest, a 46-year-old non-profit, receives thousands of dollars from Planned Parenthood each year to allow PP to utilize our caseloads, youth, 16 to 21, characterized as high risk for homelessness, dropping out of school, substance abuse, pregnancy and contracting an STI, sexually transmitted infection:

“The goal of the Healthy Youth Collaborative is to reach youth by bringing evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs to scale. To achieve this goal, Planned Parenthood implements Healthy Youth Collaborative programming within each community, in four different settings including schools (middle and high school), health centers, community-based organizations, and juvenile justice facilities. A curriculum has been chosen so that there is an appropriate evidence-based program for each of these settings.”

I’m all for protecting youth and having myriad of ways to incite responsibility through education and modeling. What I found from the training was a bizarrely out-of-touch with current youth culture Planned Parenthood. I found the insistence to follow their curriculum word for word both interfering and hobbling. I also found a lot of condescension, and what I have seen in my many years working in educational circles: both a dumb-downing and infantilizing of many important aspects of a training or course.

While I have always supported the mission to help youth not face unwanted pregnancies, to have strong information and tools tied to sexual health and sexuality, and a place to obtain services for either preventing or curing STI’s/STD’s, I have also worked on the frontlines in El Paso as a volunteer escort for anyone seeking services at that Planned Parenthood. Those Saturday episodes found me face-to-face with angry, picket-bearing extremists who wanted to harass the women we were escorting in for family planning services. I even facilitated media workshops to that same Planned Parenthood on how to handle rough and pervasive anti-Planned Parenthood characters like those in the 1980s and ‘90s making headlines not only in the El Paso Times where I also worked but Time Magazine and the NYT.

Questioning Authority

Ironic, now, that just one month ago, I was in a PP second training, this time at the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, and I was summarily not only banned from finishing the two-day course, Fundamentals of Sex, but I was then put on administrative leave in Portland by my former employer and then fired ten days later. I’ve pretty much exhausted the scenario tied to that banishment and termination here at Hormones Matter and other venues in the blog sphere.

I had no ax to grind with Planned Parenthood concerning training us – case managers — on how to communicate sex ed to youth. I expected to get through 16 hours of training with flying colors and a three-hour road trip back to Portland.

That did not happen, and Planned Parenthood – four trainers and two supervisors – contacted my employer to not only ban me from the second day of training, but fraudulently stated that I was against Western medicine, was untrainable related to the subject matter, and was a disruption to the learning environment for the other 39 students.

There wasn’t even a kernel of truth to what they stated to my former employer on Oct. 15; however, during my termination meeting Oct. 26, the HR director stated that “the trainers with Planned Parenthood stated you voiced your disagreement with vaccines.” The only voicing I did was anonymously, on paper, about Gardasil. Not vaccines in general.

The relationship between non-profits working with vulnerable youth, including homeless youngsters, and Planned Parenthood is more than just cooperative or symbiotic. My case exposes the fact Planned Parenthood’s falsehoods concerning my participation at a training led directly to my termination.

While I am currently receiving unemployment benefits after the Oregon State adjudicator contacted both my former employer and myself, and here are the findings below, I am really vulnerable on the job market because of the short duration as a case manager (six months) with Lifeworks Northwest when I was really committed for years on this job. The first thing coming to mind for prospective employers is “why such a short tenure with your previous employer?”

You ARE allowed benefits on this claim . . . .

Findings: You were employed by Lifeworks NW until Oct. 26, 2017 when you were fired because you received too many complaints about being unprofessional, confrontational and argumentative. This was not a willful or wantonly negligent disregard of the employer’s interest because there was no policy or rule violation. You deny the accusations of being a disruption to a training that occurred on October 16, 2017. Employer failed to respond to additional attempts to retrieve information.

Legal Conclusion: You were fired but not for misconduct connected with work.

They Say Follow the Money – How about Follow the Compassion!

Writing these articles does bring things into perspective, but anyone with a decent amount of psychological grounding will note that this journalistic process also opens up repeatedly the ludicrousness and trauma tied to what happened to me – wrongful termination without any due process.

I’ve used up my three “free” psychologist visits through the company’s EAP, employee assistance program. I’ve also reached out to a national legal firm on the viability of pursuing a case against Lifeworks Northwest but specifically Planned Parenthood.

I am disenchanted with the characterizations of me as unprofessional, confrontational and argumentative, since I was one of three males at a training with 45 total people, and also, I am working in a field – social services – predominately staffed and managed by females.

Given that, though, I still am following the money:

The 2015-16 budget from Lifeworks Northwest shows some of the money trail, i.e. revenue –

SERVICES BY CLIENT — $24,280,894
PUBLIC GRANTS & CONTRACTS — $16,645,143
CONTRIBUTIONS — $830,512
OTHER REVENUE — $220,952

TOTAL –$41,977,501

The money coming from Planned Parenthood to my former employer — which is money Planned Parenthood receives in the form of federal grant money largely from the Health and Human Services adolescent division – is significant in that Lifeworks NW has dozens of programs, and the Independent Living Program is relatively small so any funding coming into that program is significant.

What’s troubling is that I broke no policy, did not act bizarrely or unprofessionally, and did not engage in argumentative or combative behavior at the Planned Parenthood training, as the Oregon Employment Department’s findings belay –

“This was not a willful or wantonly negligent disregard of the employer’s interest because there was no policy or rule violation.”

The precipitating factor for Planned Parenthood essentially informing my employer that I was not trainable and that I was incapable of imparting sound, evidence-based sex ed information to my clients, was a handwritten suggestion/inquiry solicited by the trainers (stated by them to stay anonymous) after each of the seven modules. One of my two notes was a deep skepticism about one of Planned Parenthood’s money makers – the HPV vaccine, manufactured as Gardasil by Merck. I imparted disappointment that Planned Parenthood trainers were not even aware of or concerned about the negative press around Gardasil.

I never mentioned any disregard for the sex ed training, nor did I state I would not allow my clients to pursue getting any contraceptive or vaccine.

It was clear that the training was all about Planned Parenthood’s word on everything or the highway.

I am not a big fan of any forced (or group-think) hyper rah-rah-rah of any organization, or what I am now calling the “ich liebe dich Planned Parenthood uber alles in der Welt … I love you Planned Parenthood above anything else in the world” syndrome.

Of note, in my six months working with 40 youth, I was asked more than just occasionally about the safety of IUDs, birth control pills, the transdermal patch, Depo-Provera and once, the Gardasil series of vaccines. I encouraged those youth to check out the Planned Parenthood site and to use Google to find out if there were any large forums commenting on those products so my youth would have more information to make an informed choice.

Planned Parenthood never gave me a chance to meet with the three trainers and two supervisors to discuss their concerns. And, after the banishment, my former employer never sought testimony from me concerning my beliefs about contraception and abortion, nor did they solicit comments from two fellow case managers who were at the training with me to determine my participation and commentary at the training.

If the reader looks at the $16.6 million in public grants and contracts the Lifeworks non-profit received last year, ipso facto this large Portland non-profit depends significantly on money coming from the state, county, and US taxpayer in the form of Planned Parenthood.

It’s All About Language, Narrative Framing, Intent

“What, really, is a word? In its written form, it’s a great many things. It is a symbol. A representation of individual phonics that, when assembled in such a sequence, produces a gestalt. Rearrange the letters corresponding to those sounds, and you’ve eliminated or transformed that symbol. A word is an idea. Not simply a representation of an idea, but an idea in itself. The idea that what we think can not only be thought, not only expressed verbally, but also textually, a physical marking of the presence of thought — the evidence of its spatial existence.” —  Daniel Choudhury, What’s Your Word Worth?

Before I go further, a quick glossary of terms should be inserted to help the reader see the context from which I am writing this third part of a series I could thumbnail title as “ My Run-in with Gardasil, Planned Parenthood, and a Culture of No Questions Asked – A Firing Story!”

Sacrosanct – An adjective is defined as anything (principle, place or routine) regarded as too important or valuable to be interfered with.
Antivaxxer – A derogatory term used by industry to describe individuals who question vaccine safety or efficacy; typically parents of children injured by vaccines.
Planned Parenthood – A noun defined as a nonprofit organization that does research into and gives advice on contraception, family planning, and reproductive problems.
Big Pharma – A noun defined as large pharmaceutical companies (= companies producing medical drugs), especially when these are seen as having a powerful and bad influence.
Whistleblower – A noun defined as a person who tells someone in authority about something illegal that is happening, esp. in a business or government.

Of course, I could insert the Urban Dictionary’s definitions of these items, and I certainly could link profoundly to various narratives around the mission, vision, and history of Planned Parenthood, what I would call the good, the bad and the ugly of its roots in the 1920’s with Margaret Sanger, a slew of eugenicists, and its oddly racist backers of contraception and sterilization. Sanger founded the American Birth Control League in 1921, and 21 years later changed its name to Planned Parenthood.

Note that I am now in dangerous territory for many readers – the sacrosanct right to seek contraceptive and abortion services. In some ways, I have crossed that line in the sand by criticizing that Sacred Cow in the minds of many, Planned Parenthood.

I am really just attacking the malfeasance and unethical behavior and then treatment of me as a human being in the context of a Planned Parenthood training. I didn’t even get out of the gate, so to speak, with an adult, robust, discussion about the HPV, cervical cancer, the vaccine and its risks.

Almost everything now that I written about Big Pharma-GSK-Merck-HPV Vaccine-Planned Parenthood came AFTER I was fired on the word of Planned Parenthood staff.

Like this doozy – the 2017 Lasker Awards (sort of dubbed the US Nobel Prize) was given to Planned Parenthood and the developers of the HPV vaccine September of this year:

The winners “are being honored for their work in basic and clinical medical research and in public service,” Claire Pomeroy, MD, president of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, said at a teleconference today.

Douglas R. Lowy, MD, and John T. Schiller, PhD, both from the National Cancer Institute, Rockville, Maryland, won the Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award for a major advance that improves the lives of many thousands of people. Their research centers on the development of HPV vaccines that prevent cervical cancer and other tumors caused by HPVs.

Planned Parenthood won the Lasker-Bloomberg Public Service Award for providing vital health services and reproductive care to millions of women for more than 100 years.

The Lasker-Bloomberg Public Service Award comes with a $250,000 award for each winner. Planned Parenthood in 2012 received 45 percent of its revenues from government health services grants and reimbursements. Now that’s around 35 percent of their revenue stream. In addition, in 2012, 16 percent of revenues were tied to non-medical programs.

From 1939 to 1942 Margaret Sanger was part of the Birth Control Federation of America alongside Mary Lasker and Clarence Gamble in the Negro Project, an effort to deliver birth control to poor black people.

I know my research into Big Pharma’s duplicitous, double-dealing and dangerous schemes is not as risky as throwing down criticism of Planned Parenthood. At Hormones Matter, maybe the idea of questioning Gardasil and Cervarix or even the birth control pill, especially by a white male, also is not dangerous territory.

The reality of how suspect, dangerous and medically unnecessary the HPV vaccine is also puts me into a league of its own vis-à-vis the antivaxxer campaigners, a title I have never adopted or will adopt. I never expected this pebble into the pond – my superficial questioning a vaccine – to turn into a tsunami-like rippling effect in my life.

Vaccines, Science, Anti-Science, Marketing, Propaganda, Resistance to Business as Usual a la Big Pharma

Interestingly, during my research, I came across a story out this February about a meteorologist who questioned the safety of vaccine schedules and chemical ingredients being fired, and hit with the Scarlet Letter, A, as an Antivaxxer.

Did WGBH News hire a science reporter who doesn’t believe in science?

That’s the question being asked by some employees of the PBS affiliate after learning that Mish Michaels, a former meteorologist at WBZ-TV who has been outspoken in her controversial belief that vaccines cause autism, had been hired as the station’s new science reporter.

Among those who wondered whether Michaels was right for the job was Jim Braude, host of WGBH News’s “Greater Boston,” for which Michaels was supposed to report stories. We’re told that Braude this week raised his concerns with station bosses, including WGBH News GM Phil Redo and “Greater Boston” executive producer Bob Dumas, and they have since changed their minds.

“The decision was made that [Michaels] is not a good fit for ‘Greater Boston’ and she won’t be working there, Braude stated.

Most of the 240 comments on the Boston Globe website that carried the news were stinging like this one:

cra-cra-in-sherborn: 02/08/17
Vaccines work because of herd immunity. Everything has risks and benefits and with vaccines the benefit outweighs the risk. What gets me is the antivaxxies lost in the world of narcissistic oblivion who decide they don’t want to take the small risk of vaccinating their kids and mooch off the herd immunity that everyone else created by vaccinating their own kids. If everyone opted out we would all have measles mumps and small pox.

Vaccines should be required for school entry no exceptions. Or home school your kids.

or this one:

mauthedog: 02/09/17
Through work over the last thirty years I’ve made friends across the United States. A few are anti-vaxxers. They constantly share anti-vaxxer posts on Facebook. Over the last couple of years I’ve noted how they have started attacking the “herd” theory and even attacking flu shots.

Most of them are quite religious. Several are right-wing evangelical Christians. They are generally anti-science.

During a FB discussion, one wrote to me how I “chose Science over God.” I didn’t realize there was a choice.

You can’t reason with them. Facts don’t matter. They’ve told me—-Tests can be faked. The CDC is a profit center. It’s about money, not safety. The government is helping big pharma. The government is covering it up.

And so on.

I fear under the current administration, this quackery will grow worse.

Using one giant latex brush, then, by questioning the safety of Gardasil at a Planned Parenthood training, I am now being painted with that same broad stroke into the same corner as the anti-evolution, anti-science “quacks or loonies” or whatever pejorative is the flavor of the digital hour.

Talk of the herd effect is now parlayed into the “rule of the mob,” as everyone, including mainstream and progressive media, attack anyone who dares question Gardasil or the MMR — all the scientists and researchers making a connection with vaccinations like HPV to physical (and brain specific) injuries are vilified. Or the fact that Merck has paid out millions of dollars (and we don’t have all the dollars tied to really how much Merck is shelling out because of courts awarding damages are tied to non-disclosure provisos) gets swept under the rug as “nuisance lawsuits”?

Yet, the story of HPV vaccine and injuries and deaths keeps coming around: Japan pulls Gardasil off the shelves three years ago. A lawsuit, class action, followed this move:

Lawyer Masumi Minaguchi, a representative from the planned lawsuit’s defense team, told a news conference in Tokyo the victims will file the suit sometime after June against the central government, GlaxoSmithKlien PLC, the maker of Cervarix, and Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., the maker of Gardsil, at four district courts in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka.

“The victims wish to live a peaceful life and prevent further suffering by finding out the truth (about the vaccine side effects),” Minaguchi added.

She said the defense team will seek additional plaintiffs to join the lawsuit by holding seminars in April and May. Currently, 12 plaintiffs are taking part in the suit, according to Minaguchi.

Saitama Prefecture resident Nanami Sakai, who plans to be one of the plaintiffs, was one of four to attend the news conference. The 21-year-old, who was given Cervarix twice in 2011, said she did not receive information about the pros and cons of the vaccine before receiving the injections.

“I’d like to know why I was left scarred by the vaccine, why I was not able to receive proper treatment right away and why my situation was not adequately conveyed to the state,” Sakai said.

Sitting in a wheelchair, Sakai said she has numbness in the right side of her body, back and around her chest.

And what about in Colombia, and the injured, dead and lawsuits there tied to HPV vaccine?

Lloyd Phillips, an American researcher of infectious diseases and genetics, has studied the adverse effects of Gardasil for five years. His work has revealed how Gardasil works differently in different people. He has documented related and biologically plausible mechanisms of action which could cause the many serious and life-threatening side effects which are being reported by girls and young women around the world after receiving the HPV vaccine.

In Colombia we have a potential crisis of major proportions resulting from the use of Gardasil because it is “free and compulsory” by “Law of the Republic”. It is assumed that this HPV vaccine is effective when used to combat cervical cancer, which can be caused by human papilloma virus. However, this vaccine has been hotly debated internationally for allegedly being dangerous and ineffective. It is currently being administered in Colombia without obtaining informed consent from young girls and their parents as to the potential and unknown risks of use.

Is the Ending Full-Circle Back to Bad Pharma and Big Non-profits?

So where does the next installment — part four — go now after not getting to the two big definitions left in my glossary – Big Pharma and Whistleblower? There are literally thousands of documents out there from researchers and scientists and whistleblowers on just what is happening to the human population tied to the vaccine for HPV, let alone those other mandatory childhood vaccinations we are supposed to get for our children before they turn three.

Listening to hours of radio shows on the blog-sphere, and viewing hours of interviews and documentaries on the internet and Netflix, I may sound jaded or exhausted, but alas, I am not. The only way through this is to keep up some hope that change is possible, whether as a climate-environment activist or social worker. Writing is just one rung in the ladder helping me and I hope you, kind reader, get above the miasma and smoke and mirrors our Western For-Profit Medical Industrial Complex has deployed with their endless billions for lobbying and marketing and subterfuge and obfuscation.

Keep reading until Part Four comes out.

“No one should approach the temple of science with the soul of a money changer.” —  Thomas Browne

“Big Pharma needs sick people to prosper. Patients, not healthy people, are their customers. If everybody was cured of a particular illness or disease, pharmaceutical companies would lose 100% of their profits on the products they sell for that ailment. What all this means is because modern medicine is so heavily intertwined with the financial profits culture, it’s a sickness industry more than it is a health industry.” ― James MorcanThe Orphan Conspiracies: 29 Conspiracy Theories from The Orphan Trilogy

HPV Vaccine Debate — Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell 
Gardasil Scandal Brewing in Colombia 
Four Year Analysis of Adverse Reactions to Gardasil 
Gardasil Syndrome 
Clinical Trials 
In The Know w/ Lloyd W. Phillips (he starts talking at 10:53 into the interview)
Vaccines/Gardasil 

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Death by a Thousand Cuts: Vaccines, Non-Profits, and the Dissemination of Medical Information

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The vaccine debate and prying into Planned Parenthood’s Standard Operating Procedure are two arenas I have not gravitated toward. Genetically engineered crops, industrial farming, confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), dams killing wild salmon, these are my fortes. The news daily is like death by a thousand cuts for me tied to new studies on collapsing ecosystems, indigenous people fighting against mines and other extractive industries, and more and more on climate change.

I never thought I’d be embroiled in a fight for my livelihood because I lightly questioned the efficacy of rampant vaccination of girls (and now boys) with the Merck-marketed HPV vaccine, Gardasil. To date, more than 270,000,000 doses have been distributed worldwide with the HPV vaccine (World Health Organization’s Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety), both the GlaxoSmithKline and Merck versions.

My story started when I was in a Planned Parenthood training, a mandatory course for social workers titled Fundamentals of Sex Ed. For a total of possibly 30 seconds out of a 16-hour two-day training (I was kicked out after day one), I voiced my opinion about the potential risks associated with Gardasil. On a slip of paper, then, in an anonymous forum, I went further with about 60 words answering this first day evaluation question: What could Planned Parenthood have done differently today in the training?

I am really disappointed that Planned Parenthood in Seattle is so lock-step in line with Big Pharma. Especially in the case of Gardasil, which is a vaccine that has gotten tens of thousands complaints about it. Anyone, including my 16 to 21 year old clients, could easily Google ‘Gardasil Dangers’ and find a plethora of very disturbing and legitimate information about its dangers. I wish Planned Parenthood showed more critical thinking and independent pedagogical standards, including informed consent.

Less than two hours after the training, I was called at my hotel room by my supervisor, who let me know:

The Planned Parenthood trainers said they do not want you back for the second day of training. I am putting you on administrative leave. I am looking into what happened in Seattle. Do not return to the office until further notice.

That was Oct. 15, and I have since been terminated, have been on the job market, am attempting to collect a few weeks of unemployment assistance, have a lawyer investigating my case, and started writing about my case on multiple forums. You can read my posts: Gardasil and the American Bald Eagle – What Would Rachel Carson Do?, My Fate as a Social Worker Sealed by a Vaccine Named GardasilPlanned Parenthood, A VaccineDouble-think Alive and Well in the World of Non-profits.

The Sordid History of the HPV Vaccine Marketing

I have collected a hundred reports, articles, documentaries and blogs tied to the HPV vaccine, which has been in use since 2006. The treasure trove is enlightening, intimidating, depressing and validating. Every drug and chemical in the world should have this amount of scrutiny, preferably before it is released, and yet, the depressing part is that these chemicals get very little advance review and once introduced into our systems of medicine, food production/ processing, and modern industrial existence, the unintended consequences and synergistic downsides are more difficult to elevate to a level of grave public concern. Indeed, it often takes 20 years before the FDA will take action and the lessons of our folly reaches clinical care. Why so long? Perhaps it has to do the intense marketing of these chemicals.

The PR firms, legal teams, government agencies, law makers, and politicians all have a stake in the game with billions of dollars in profits at stake. In fact, the pharmaceutical industry is the single largest contributor to congressional accounts in the United States, spending almost 4 billion dollars annually in lobbying efforts, more than double the spending of the defense industry. This is, of course, in addition to the many millions more spent on marketing their products. The issues whirling around Gardasil represent a microcosm of all that is wrong with our healthcare industry. It is difficult at best and impossible for most to speak out against the power purchased with these multi-million dollar budgets. For citizens, consumer groups, watchdog agencies or journalists going against the grain, the road to hell is paved with threats, lawsuits, and vitriol. We are labeled conspiracists, Luddites, anti-science extremists and crazies or nuts.

Fact is Stranger than Fiction

What I am finding in my own nascent life tied to Gardasil and Planned Parenthood is a type of bearing witness, knowing there are deeper and more layered and nuanced ways of looking at the mad men in advertising, marketing, propaganda and more existential ways of contemplating the insanity of unlimited growth, the consumer assault and battery from the merchants of death. Decades ago, Rachel Carson wrote:

The crusade to create a chemically sterile, insect-free world seems to have engendered a fanatic zeal on the part of many specialists and most of the so-called control agencies.

She believed that she was living in an era

…dominated by industry, in which the right to make a dollar at whatever cost is seldom challenged. When the public protests, confronted with some obvious evidence of damaging results of pesticide applications, it is fed little tranquilizing pills of half-truth. We urgently need an end to these false assurances, to the sugar coating of unpalatable facts.

The cross-pollination of a huge marketing campaigns with scientists and medical companies and pharmaceuticals is both bizarre and business as usual. Here, in 2006, from one of those marketing firms:

More than 95 insurance plans–covering 94 percent of insured individuals–have decided to reimburse Gardasil, according to Merck. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also added the vaccine to its Vaccines for Children Contract, making it available to Medicaid-eligible, uninsured, under-insured, or Native American children up to the age of 18.

Analysts are optimistic about the vaccine’s market potential. “It’s very clear that patients are going to be interested in it,” said John Lebbos, MD, therapeutic area director of infectious diseases at market research firm Decision Resources. “From what I’ve seen, it’s going to be a blockbuster.”

Education about the vaccine is going to be a critical piece–due both to a lack of understanding about HPV as well as early controversy that vaccination might lead to teen promiscuity.

Note the terminology of the purveyors of capital and profit-making health care: “vaccine’s market potential” and “it’s going to be a blockbuster.” These are the sentiments of a physician whose Hippocratic oath states first do no harm. More importantly, these are the sentiments that drive our healthcare industry. It is profit driven, not necessarily health driven, and therein lay one the many problems associated with the promotion of medications, vaccines, and/or environmental chemicals; profits and health need not align.

Setting the Stage

From the onset of Gardasil, after the fast-tracked shoddy FDA approval (Examining the FDA’s HPV Vaccine Records), Merck deployed the services of one of the world’s more powerful propaganda firms, AKA PR outfits:

The PR genius behind all stages of Merck’s HPV and Gardasil campaigns is the PR giant Edelman. The world’s largest independent PR firm, Edelman boasts more than 2,100 employees working in 46 wholly owned offices worldwide, plus the additional resources of more than 50 affiliates. Apparently Merck is hoping that most, if not all the states in the US, will mandate a vaccine against HPV as a pre-requisite for school attendance. And beat rivals to it, before GlaxoSmithKline gets FDA approval for its Cervarix.

In the dozens and dozens of articles in the New York Times, in reports by PR Watch and Judicial Watch, scant few mentioning of the untold physical incapacitation, chronic illness and deaths tied to Gardasil by many citizen groups with some scientists behind the calls to stop the Gardasil-Cervarix mass vaccination program (TruthWikiUS Court Pays $6 Million to Gardasil Victims Judicial Watch:a, bc, Are You Concerned Over Genetically Modified Vaccine? HPV Researchers, Planned Parenthood Win Prestigious Lasker Medical Awards).

But, 11 years ago, even before FDA approval, Merck and Edelman were on the PR war-path beating the cervical cancer drums:

Merck used its deep pockets to make sure that even before the FDA had approved Gardasil, there was a growing awareness of and concern about HPV and its link to cervical cancer. According to Bloomberg News, Merck spent $841,000 for Internet ads alone relating to HPV in the first quarter of 2006 — months before the FDA had even approved Gardasil (Part One: Setting the Stage).

Drug Marketing through Non-Profit Support and Favorable Legislation

How does this marketing affect the non-profit sector? A report in the New England Journal of Medicine found that “83 percent of the nation’s 104 largest patient advocacy groups take contributions from the drug, medical device and biotech industries,” and “one-fifth of the patient advocacy groups studied accepted $1 million or more from drugmakers, but exactly how much those groups accepted is fuzzy.” It is fuzzy because non-profit funding streams are not disclosed and/or are purposefully channeled through pharma subsidiaries in order to obfuscate obvious connections. If the organization’s existence depends upon funding from a product manufacturer, is it unreasonable to assume that the organization might be beholden to the views of their funders? I don’t think so. Check out the interview with one of the world’s richest men’s son, Peter Buffet, on the Charitable Industrial Complex here: My talk with Peter Buffett ,Warren Buffett’s son, about what’s wrong with philanthropy.

Here’s just one example of non-profit collusion with the pharmaceutical companies and health care for-profits. This is a three-part series written for PR Watch in 2017 by journalist Judith Siers-Poisson:

According to their website, “Women in Government is a national 501(c)(3), non-profit, bi-partisan organization of women state legislators providing leadership opportunities, networking, expert forums, and educational resources to address and resolve complex public policy issues.” The campaigns that they feature on their home page deal with kidney health, Medicare preventive services, higher education policy, and the “Challenge to Eliminate Cervical Cancer,” which was publicly launched in 2004.

On February 2, 2007, Texas Governor Rick Perry, against the wishes of his conservative base and to the surprise of critics, signed an executive order mandating HPV vaccination for girls entering seventh grade. Then, unfortunately for Perry and Merck, details of his many connections with both Merck and Women in Government became public.

Ellen Goodman of the Boston Globe noted, “It turned out that Perry’s former chief of staff is now a lobbyist for Merck. Did that look bad? Whoa, Nellie. Did it look bad that Merck had funded an organization of women legislators backing similar bills? Whoa, Merck.” USA Today reported that Perry’s current chief of staff’s mother-in-law, Texas Republican State Representative Dianne White Delisi, is a state director for Women in Government. Perry’s wife, Anita, a nurse by training, addressed a WIG summit on cervical cancer in Atlanta in November 2005. Perry also received $6,000 from Merck’s political action committee during his re-election campaign.

In 2004, more than 20 WIG funders were pharmaceutical companies or entities heavily invested in health care issues that could come before state legislators. A short list includes both Merck & Co., Inc and Merck Vaccine, GlaxoSmithKline (which will soon have the second HPV vaccine on the market), and Digene Corporation (which manufactures an HPV test). Other drug interests listed as donors to WIG include Novartis, Eli Lilly, AstraZeneca, Bayer Healthcare, Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb (both the company and their foundation), and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, also known as PhRMA, one of the largest and most influential lobbying organizations in Washington representing 48 drug companies.

The funders of Women in Government today, as I am looking at their website, are still those big ones listed above and others in the for-profit health care fields.

So here the pharmaceutical companies funded a non-profit organization that then supported legislators and legislation favorable for the companies and products. By all accounts, a common practice. What happens when they also fund the organizations tasked with providing healthcare, organizations such as Planned Parenthood? Can we tie Planned Parenthood to the makers of Gardasil? I think we can. Here is just an introduction to their funding.

According to a Washington Post article run in August 2015, during the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2014, Planned Parenthood affiliates around the country received $528.4 million in government funds (a combination of state, federal and sometimes local government dollars). Those federal dollars were the single largest source of money coming into the organization and its local affiliates, by far. Another $305.3 million came from non-government sources, about $257.4 million reached the organization after private donors and foundations made contributions and bequests. The organization also raised another $54.7 million in fees charged for its services. Government funding, with federal dollars comprising the biggest portion of this part of the organization’s budget, are absolutely critical to Planned Parenthood’s total operation, but so too are the private funds. How and from whom those private funds come aligns quite clearly with the organization’s view on certain drugs and vaccines. On the surface, this seems perfectly reasonable. Why wouldn’t a private foundation support an organization that aligns with its goals? It would be illogical to support an organization with contrary views. What becomes clear though, once we begin to unravel these connections, is just how deeply entrenched these alliances are. It begs the question, if a significant portion of one’s operational budget comes from a foundation and/or a manufacturer who supports a particular product or set of products, is it possible to question those products in any meaningful way or at all? Probably not.

Just recently, Peter Doshi, associate editor of the British Medical Journal, published a scathing report about the specious relationships between vaccine educators like Every Child by Two, the Immunization Action Coalition and even the American Academy Pediatrics, the CDC and the pharmaceutical industry. Each organization received millions of dollars in funding both directly from the CDC and from industry, and as a consequence, their recommendations regarding vaccines are in lockstep with their funders. When pressed about these relationships and whether any of the organizations had ever questioned the safety or efficacy of the products they recommend, each admitted that they had not.

So just how independent and reliable is the health information put forth both non-profit organizations like Planned Parenthood, who receive their funding from industry or foundations supported by industry? Moreover, how closely must the organization’s employees adhere to the accepted party line? If my case is any indication, pretty damned closely.

Stay tuned for part three in this series, where I’ll detail the complicated and compromising funding sources of Planned Parenthood and its affiliates.

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Hormones Matter needs funding now. Our research funding was cut recently and because of our commitment to independent health research and journalism unbiased by commercial interests, we allow minimal advertising on the site. That means all funding must come from you, our readers. Don’t let Hormones Matter die.

Yes, I’d like to support Hormones Matter

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