Strange bedfellows?

Recently, I received the latest issue of Eureka magazine, from the London Times, a periodic science publication, with a photo of cancerous lungs in a museum case. The article featured inside promised that scientists were making such magnificent discoveries about cancer that they were soon to consign specimens such as this to a museum curio.

I have to chuckle when I think about this rosy-hued view of the way medicine works.  It’s reassuring to think that there are big organizations out there so wedded to our best interests that they are beyond reproach, impossible to buy or sell.

WHO cares
The premiere organization with this kind of impeccable reputation the world over is the World Health Organization, one of original agencies set up by the newly formed United Nations. Its objectives were lofty; as described in its founding constitution, it was intended to “combat disease, especially key infectious diseases, and to promote the general health of the people of the world”.

The WHO, as it’s commonly known, was set up three years after the end of World War II, and its headquarters—as if to underscore its even-handed mandate—were in formerly neutral Switzerland.

At the time of its inception, polio raged around the world. In short order, the WHO’s main line of focus became infectious disease. In 1980 the WHO triumphantly declared that smallpox had been wiped off the face of the earth and set as its next target the eradication of polio.

So, it came as a shock to me recently to find out just how cozy a relationship there had been between senior members of the WHO and the pharmaceutical industry in the swine-flu affair of last year.

The pandemic that wasn’t
As you may recall, it was the WHO that first raised the alarm over swine flu, predicting a phase-6, or runaway, pandemic that was expected to claim the lives of millions of people just in the US, the UK and Europe alone. This, of course, persuaded countries in Europe and in North America to splash out millions for supplies of Tamiflu and flu vaccines.

As we all now realize, the pandemic never arrived, leaving many countries with huge unused stocks of antivirals and vaccines that were not needed—and lots of egg on their faces.

As my magazine What Doctors Don’t Tell You recently learned, senior representatives of the drug companies making the drugs in question funded a group of scientists claiming to be an independent working party on influenza, headed by someone who is among the WHO’s most influential scientists on vaccines.

Furthermore, a batch of senior execs met with the WHO’s Director-General to press her into revealing when she was going to announce a phase-6 pandemic. These disquieting relations led to worldwide fear, damage by unnecessary (and dangerous) drugs and, of course, record profits for Big Pharma.

Rounding up renegades
That the line between regulation and commerce is becoming ever thinner is also apparent in the cancer industry. Recently, my husband Bryan Hubbard (also a journalist) unearthed an enormous body of evidence shows that cancer may be caused by bugs after all—specifically, by an imbalance in our usual bacterial flora caused by environmental insults.

Nevertheless, every scientist who has ever touched this proposition has been vilified or even imprisoned by the regulatory agencies or big cancer organizations—again largely advised or funded by the pharmaceuticals.

Monkey business
I also refer you to the case of Dr. Andrew Wakefield.  The US and UK governments and the press are exulting in the recent highly public hanging of Dr. Andrew Wakefield, recently found guilty of misconduct by the British General Medical Council.  Wakefield, you may recall, is the British gastroenterologist who first raised the alarm bells over the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR).

Wakefield never maintained that the MMR vaccine caused autism.  All he did was to raise a cautious alarm after finding that a number of children with autism were presenting with the same gut problems that seemed to have developed right after their MMR jabs.

He and his colleagues in America have carried out a subsequent study on monkeys, which demonstrated that the hepatitis B vaccine can cause neurological damage and progressively severe chronic inflammation in gastrointestinal tissue—exactly what he originally discovered with the MMR vaccine and autistic children.

Despite being exhaustively peer-reviewed and accepted for publication, Wakefield’s monkey study was subsequently pulled as ‘not suitable’ for publication after the GMC delivered its verdict.  The more the editors of my publication WDDTY have dug into this issue, the more layers of deceit we have uncovered in the form of censorship, data-massaging and burying of damning data.

We have found dirty tricks at the very heart of medicine that would have made Richard Nixon’s Watergate henchmen proud.  We havefound journalism ought and paid for by drug companys.

Journalism in collusion
But what has been most shocking to me as a journalist is the misinformation spread about by my own colleagues in the press. Virtually no major newspaper, TV or radio station (save The Huffington Post) has bothered to look beyond the official releases of the GMC or government agencies to learn the truth about MMR.  Some journalists have even allowed themselves to get in bed with drug companies.

Recently I heard from one of Wakefield’s colleagues.  His phone is tapped, and all his good research – much of it having nothing to do with MMR – is all getting publicly repudiated by the various publications in which he has published in the past.  Wakefield is like a character in a Kafka novel, whose footprint on the planet slowly being erased, one research article at a time.

What needs to be put on display is not false promises about winning the War on Cancer or an honest scientist like Wakefield, but the level of deceit that is now routine — among scientists, researchers and reporters — all in the name of the public ‘interest’.