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Saturday 27 April 2013

Measles and the MMR vaccine. Only one 'acceptable' opinion?

Press Freedom was hard won over previous centuries. It is important as it ensures that we can criticise our government, the people who govern us, and in this way maintain the freedoms we have won. And there is little doubt that the press does question and challenge our government and our politicians. This makes press freedom one of the foundations of our democracy.

But what about the Media's ability (or preparedness) to question and challenge the big, powerful, hugely wealthy and influential Corporations?  Does it provide for us the same protection from industrial conglomerates such as:
  • The Petro-Chemical Industry
  • The Defence and Armaments Industry
  • Finance and Banking
  • The Pharmaceutical Industry
  • and many others?
We know that many of these powerful Corporations, and industrial conglomerations, are now much bigger than most national governments, and influential within even the larger and apparently more powerful nations, such as Britain and the USA. "Big Corp's" power and influence rests, of course, on their ability to invest (or dis-invest) in national economies, to create (or destroy) jobs, to advertise, promote and sell their products, and to make links with, and influence other powerful social and economic forces.

Even the largest independent media groups (many themselves large corporate enterprises) are not only reliant on advertising revenues, their boardrooms appear to be full of people from other powerful corporations. What this mwNA is that it is difficult for the media to challenge and question these large and powerful vested interests - without compromising their advertising revenues, and SO their viability. It is always difficult, and sometime quite foolish, to bite the hand that feeds you!

The 'epidemic' of measles in Swansea is a small, but almost perfect example of this. In the last few weeks, the mainstream media in Britain have been quite unable to provide us with anything other than what the Conventional Medical Establishment, dominated as it is by one of the most powerful corporate conglomerates of all, Big Pharma, wants us to know.

In particular, I have been watching and questioning the failure of BBC News to challenge the 'received wisdom' of the ConMed Establishment. Throughout, the BBC has been content to provide conventional medical spokespersons with a pulpit from which to express their views. Rarely, if ever, have they questioned or challenged these views

So let's examine how the BBC has been reporting this 'serious epidemic' of measles? My assessment suggests that these 7 features have dominated its coverage.

1. The Measles outbreak in Swansea is a serious health problem.
This mirrors exactly the views of the Conventional Medical Establishment.

It must really be questioned whether the numbers involved, still under 1,000 cases, really constitutes 'an epidemic', or a news story that really deserve the attention it has received. In comparison, during the first 3 weeks of 1959, there were 41,000 cases reported in England and Wales. Yet the BBC has never deviated from this alarmist description of the measles outbreak.

Nor has the BBC ever discussed how 'serious' the illness of measles really is. If it had wanted to add some balance to the hysteria generated by the NHS it might have pointed to at least two sources of information:
  • The consistent statistical decline in deaths caused by measles from the mid- to late 19th century onwards. It is no longer a 'killer' disease, and this could and should have been examined.
  • Conventional medical descriptions of measles prior to the introduction of the MMR vaccination. These do not describe measles in the terms currently being used. For instance, the BMJ, on 7th February 1959, published an article in which GP's expressed their views about the epidemic that year. Most agreed that measles was, at that time, a mild infection, and that they rarely had occasions to treat it with anything other than bed-rest, or an occasional antibiotic!
How times have changed! In an apparent attempt to emphasise the seriousness of the recent measles 'epidemic', the BBC has made much of the single measles-related death that was reported in the area, although since it became clear that the man concerned had more serious underlying health problems, and was actually seen by doctors shortly prior to his death, this association seems to have been quickly dropped, at least for the moment.

2. The 'epidemic' has been caused by parents not taking up the MMR vaccination in the late 1990's
This mirrors exactly the views of the Conventional Medical Establishment

Other than the blank and apparently definitive assertion that it is unvaccinated children who are now contracting measles, there appears to be a paucity of evidence to support the allegation? And the BBC has certainly never questioned ConMed spokespersons about why they are making this link, and what evidence they have to support it.

Certainly, outbreaks of similar diseases in recent times has shown that it is the vaccinated population, and not the unvaccinated population, that has suffered from these 'epidemic' diseases, and are in general more vulnerable to illness in general.

In this, and much else, the BBC appears quite happy to parrot the conventional medical view that all would be well if only they had been able to treat people in their preferred way

3. The reason for parents not taking up the vaccine is due to ignorance, particularly based on 'misinformation' about the MMR vaccine.
This mirrors exactly the views of the Conventional Medical Establishment.

From the very beginning of BBC coverage, their reporting was happy to lay the blame for the measles outbreak by referring to Dr Andrew Wakefield, and the concerns he raised about the MMR vaccine in the late 1990's. Despite the repeated replication of his research (which have never been mentioned), and the ongoing concerns about the safety of the vaccine, the BBC have been quite content to repeat the conventional medical view that Wakefield's research as been entirely dismissed.

At no stage has the BBC examined why people are opting out of vaccines. And certainly it has never reported on the experience of many parents who, over the years, have made serious allegations about the MMR vaccine, and the serious harmful impact it has had on the health of their children.

Nor has the BBC been willing to make any reference to the many hefty compensation payments made to parents of children who have been damaged by the MMR vaccine, and to court judgements which have confirmed the association between vaccines and serious illness.

5. The MMR vaccine is effective.
This mirrors exactly the views of the Conventional Medical Establishment

The BBC has never questioned the implicit assumption of conventional medicine that the MMR vaccine if an effective treatment. Indeed, the BBC seems to have accepted this assumption without question or challenge, and has never questioned the ConMed claim that measles has declined as a direct result of the MMR vaccine.

The BBC has completely ignored the freely and readily available evidence provided by statistics, and the graphs that arise from them, that chart the decline of measles, as a 'killer' disease since the mid-19th century, and which clearly shows that since the MMR vaccine was introduced in the late 1970's, it has had no effect on the rate of this decline.

Nor have the BBC ever questioned conventional medical spokesperson about the evidence that in similar outbreaks of disease (whooping cough, mumps and measles) have affected children who have already been vaccinated against the disease.

6. The MMR vaccine is safe.
This mirrors exactly the views of the Conventional Medical Establishment

The BBC has never questioned this assumption, and indeed it seems to refuse to consider any evidence to the contrary. They have been entirely clear that there are no links between the MMR vaccine,and Autism, and seem to believe that as long as no-one is given the opportunity to discuss the evidence for this link, it will just go away!

So instead, has the BBC looked at the information that is known, and accepted by the ConMed establishment, about the 'adverse reactions' to the MMR vaccine? Merck, in its MMR package insert provides a long list of illnesses and diseases that are known to be caused by the vaccine, includes the following: pancreatitis, diabetes mellitus, purpura, meningitis, and death. Yes, death!

  • So, do the BBC mention this? Absolutely not! 
  • Do they still recommend that we all rush off for the vaccine? Yes, without reservation. 
  • Does the BBC believe they should share this information about adverse reactions with their viewers, listeners and readers so that they can make an 'informed choice'? Most certainly not! 
  • Does the BBC inform us that one version of the MMR vaccine, the Urabe vaccine, was withdrawn for safety reasons in the early 1980's? Certainly not. 
  • Nor do they tell us that Japan has banned one MMR vaccine for safety reasons.
  • Does the BBC seek to speak to the parents of children who believe that their child has been damaged by the MMR vaccine? Of course not. 
  • Have they bothered to speak to organisations like 'Informed Parent', who support these families, and seek to provide new parents with balanced information about vaccination? Of course not.
  • Does the BBC inform the public of the court adjudications in the USA, Italy, and elsewhere, that have made compensation payments the the victims of this, and other vaccines? 
Not a word, not a mention of any of this.

7. Vaccination policy is good, and is the right (if not the only) health policy
This mirrors exactly the views of the Conventional Medical Establishment

The BBC has made it absolutely clear in recent years that it supports conventional medical treatment, and is not prepared to allow any discussion about alternatives, except when it goes out of its way to attack them. As far as the Swansea measles outbreak is concerned, there is no alternative to the MMR vaccine. The BBC has actively promoted vaccines, and regularly given information about the number of new measles cases, the special vaccine clinics that have been set up in the area, and has given an open and unchallenged platform to the ConMed spokespersons to express their opinions, freely and without question.

The BBC has provided no platform for alternative treatments. There is no platform for those people who, like myself, believe in the 'natural' immunity that arises when children are allowed contract illnesses like measles. There is no mention of parents who, like my mum and many of her generation, encouraged children to contract measles, and arranged 'measles parties' to facilitate this.

Within the BBC, it would appear, the conventional medical establishment rules supreme!

8. Should vaccination be mandatory?
This mirrors exactly questions being asked within parts of the Conventional Medical Establishment.

There can be little doubt, from the way questions are being asked by BBC journalists and presenters, notably Jeremy Paxman, that the BBC is taking up a position that favours this view. Indeed, if the BBC accepts so passively all the 7 poinra above, then it may, indeed, be considered a 'common sense' view. If they can ignore the evidence of families who have been damaged by this vaccine, if they can ignore the 'adverse reactions' admitted by the vaccine manufacturers, if they continue to accept without question what they are told by the Cnventional Medical Establishment, than mandatory vaccination might seem to be a sensible and reasonable policy.

Watching, listening to, and reading the BBC account of the measles outbreak in Swansea leaves me with little doubt that whilst Jeremy Paxman, John Humphrys and others question and challenge our political leaders aggressively, they fail entirely and completely to question and challenge the views and practices of the Conventional Medical Establishment. Perhaps they are not allowed to do so (?) And in fairness, they share this failing with the rest of the mainstream media in Britain!

Yet health freedom is every bit as important as political freedom. 

Alongside many other people, I refuse to allow myself to be damaged by conventional drugs and vaccines. I consider them to be both ineffective and unsafe - dangerous in fact.

Just as the BBC should reserve my right to vote in political elections as I please, they should also reserve my right to choose the medical treatments I accept, and refuse. But they do not do so.

The BBC regularly contravenes its editorial policy of fairness and impartiality in matters of health. Our news media should no more give exclusive and unquestioned coverage to one form of medicine, however dominant it has become within the NHS, than it would give exclusive and unquestioned coverage to one political party. I have complained about the BBC's coverage of this Swansea measles outbreak, and the response I have received makes it quite clear that the BBC does not understand, or perhaps does not want to understand, the issues raised by this sort of biased coverage.

The threat to our freedoms no longer comes exclusively from our government and our politicians. It comes also from powerful corporate conglomerates, and not least Big Pharma. The pharmaceutical companies want us to believe that their drugs and vaccines are safe. They want us to believe that only through these drugs and vaccines provide the route to good health, that nothing else works, that we should all have the 'benefits' of conventional medical treatment.

It would appear from their performance over the Swansea measles outbreak that the BBC agrees with this, and is actively promoting it.

Whether it is 85%, 90% or 95% people accepting vaccination, the failure to give them full, accurate and honest information about the dangers of their decision, is not only a dereliction of duty, it is a failure to provide them with an opportunity to make an informed decision. The BBC is guilty of this.

Whether it is 5%, 10% or 15% of people refusing vaccination, to ignore them, and to dismiss their views, is an unacceptable and negligent media response, especially from a public broadcaster. In doing this, the BBC is in breach of its editorial guidelines of impartiality.