Adults need whooping cough booster

Presently Australia is experiencing a major whooping cough (pertussis) epidemic.

It’s been in epidemic proportions since 2008-2009. Interestingly 2007 was the third lowest year on record since notification became compulsory in 1991. 2009 was a notably bad year for pertussis. A major contributor to epidemics is low pertussis vaccination rates, as evidenced here, in the UK and the USA. Adult boosters are crucial in combating this.

Contrary to certain claims this epidemic is not due to the pertussis vaccine nor does it demonstrate inherent flaws in the efficacy of pertussis vaccination. We do know that the age at which pertussis vaccine induced immunity wanes has fallen. Exactly how this relates to the acellular vaccine vs the older whole cell vaccine and the bordetella pertussis bacteria, is complex. However, there is a basic account here, along with interviews on The World Today and some musing on the error in blaming vaccine efficacy.

California experienced a severe epidemic in 2010, confirming the problem with waning immunity. Often used as a trick by antivaccination lobbyists to claim “the vaccinated” mostly get pertussis, the reality is different. Vaccinated individuals can catch a much milder form of pertussis, yet unvaccinated patients experience severe illness, disability and even death. In this same article, under Waning Pertussis Immunity Comes as No Surprise Dr. Carol Baker writes in part:

The California epidemic was caused by underimmunization of some children, and by waning immunity in fully vaccinated children. It showed that we are not where we need to be to have herd immunity. The 2010 California outbreak caught everyone’s attention.

Recently in Australia claims were made about pertussis vaccine inefficacy on ABC which I looked at here. It’s a favourite theme of the AVN and if you’re keen to look at exposing tactics it has popped up here, and here involving abuse of WHO data whilst we even have a cameo from Viera Scheibner pushing much the same at about the 6:45 mark.

Regarding adult boosters of 1 dose, the NCIRS fact sheet on pertussis (below), backed by citations states [my bold]:

The efficacy of the pertussis components of dTpa vaccines administered to adolescents and adults is inferred from the serologic results obtained in infants immunised with paediatric DTPa in pertussis efficacy trials. For both dTpa vaccine formulations, the immune responses to all pertussis vaccine antigens in adolescents and adults 1 month after a single dose of dTpa were non-inferior to those of infants after 3 doses of DTPa.

A large clinical trial in adolescents and adults demonstrated overall vaccine efficacy against confirmed pertussis of 92%, and a clinical trial in adults demonstrated prolonged immunogenicity from a single dTpa booster dose, with pertussis antibodies remaining above pre-booster dose levels in 85% of participants for 5 years after immunisation.

It’s widely known pertussis boosters are or have been available free in many states and territories. This may vary between new parents, family members, foster parents and other adults as a view of this Immunise Australia page suggests. It’s probably best to contact your own health department or just call the local GP. So, how are adults going keeping up with boosters?

According to the Australian Government 2009 Adult Vaccination Survey:

An estimated 11.3% of Australians aged 18 years and over had received a pertussis vaccination as an adult or adolescent. Uptake was substantially higher among parents of infants aged less than 12 months old (51.5%).

Hmmm. It seems we can certainly lift our game. If you haven’t had a booster for 4-5 years please get one. If you’re an adult likely to be in contact with a newborn then definitely get one.

If you’re none too happy with the conduct of the antivaccination lobby the single greatest effect you can have against them is to get a pertussis booster. As adult herd immunity rises less infections will be passed to at risk children, non-immunised infants, other adults and there will be less notification in total. This will serve to deflate the claim that rising diagnoses are ipso facto proof that childhood vaccination is a failure.

The Australian Vaccination Network wrongly compares 95% pertussis vaccination rates in young children (11% of diagnosed age groups) with 11.3% of adult vaccination (89% of diagnosed age groups). Then claim total population infection (100% of all diagnoses) is due to ineffectiveness of childhood vaccination alone.

For example Meryl Dorey compares vaccination rates of small children – which are around 95% – with diagnosis across all age groups – which include adults at around 11.3% – to secure high notification levels. Of the 18 age groups making up notifications only 2 correspond to the 95% vaccination rate. 16 age groups fall outside that at which immunity begins to wane (the 11.3% vaccination rate). Including numbers of infants too young to have completed pertussis vaccination, it’s clear Dorey’s figures come most primarily from the unvaccinated and non immune.

Today, ABC AM interviewed a parent who lost a four week old to pertussis. She said:

I hadn’t had a booster and the most heart-wrenching thing for us is that we were not warned, there was meant to be a yellow warning sticker go on [her] blue book in the hospital, we didn’t get one.

We didn’t know about adults requiring boosters, nor did any of the adults around us, none of our family or friends knew and we also didn’t know that the area I was living in was in the grip of an epidemic.

Well, now we do know. There’s really no excuse if you’re able to be vaccinated.

Please get your pertussis booster ASAP.

Listen here:

Or download mp3 here

NCIRS pertussis Fact Sheet

Quick Pertussis Facts

Chiropractic: “The science that makes people well and happy”

A most annoying non-sequitur logical fallacy, is the allusion to large or seemingly large numbers of adherents as proof something is genuine.

Whenever a pseudoscientist tries to hypnotise me with big numbers I’m reminded of Tony Ferguson and his scam weight loss programme sold in pharmacies. Following a scathing Choice review which included extra demerits for pushing it onto children, Ferguson declared, “600,000 People Can’t be Wrong but Choice Magazine can’t get it right with weight loss investigation!” And yes, if you remember the first part as his sales pitch itself you’re correct. 600,000 people can’t be wrong.

Well, 600,000 people were quite wrong if they were to all argue Ferguson’s magic shakes worked. That’s probably the first problem with this trick. Those figures come from signups and undoubtedly, in this case, the vast majority of that 600,000 had given no feedback and probably tried a number of fads before and since. To cut to the chase it’s a jump from sample size to claims of efficacy without bothering to do or document any science in between. We have no idea how many persisted, lost weight, kept it off or indeed ended up worse off.

Presently fundamentalist chiropractors are defending their hanky panky with the claim that 215,000 people across Australia visit a chiropractor every week. We don’t know how many are first time visitors, how many were unsatisfied, how many show no improvement, how many were injured, disabled or worse and so on. All it tells us is that 215,000 people per week visit these touchy feely agents of cosmic cockypop as part of their foray into alternatives to medicine. It also causes me quite some concern.

In removing insurance cover for the practice of neck manipulation (as reported by the National Council Against Health Fraud – Consumer Health Digest #10-34), popular US health insurer Kaiser Permanente revised their policy of coverage for chirpractic manipulation to read:

Chiropractic manipulation of the cervical spine is associated with vertebral artery dissection and stroke. The incidence is estimated at 1.3-5 events per 100,000 manipulations. Given the paucity of data related to beneficial effects of chiropractic manipulation of the cervical spine and the real potential for catastrophic adverse events, it was decided to exclude chiropractic manipulation of the cervical spine from coverage.

Now I shan’t apply the same logical fallacy and insist that at least 2.6 Aussies per week, or 10 per month, are at risk of “vertebral artery dissection and stroke”, because I have no idea how many are being, well, abused in this way. I also don’t know how accurate that figure is. I am quite sure however were I to put this to Chiropractors Association of Australia president Lawrence Tassell, he would quite rightly reveal the flaws in my reasoning.

He may even repeat the erroneous view of his immediate predecessor, Simon Floreani that the risk is 1 in 5.85 million (see Lateline video below). Quite a difference, and a figure described as “totally inaccurate” by Professor Roy Beran who published Serious complications with neck manipulation and informed consent in the MJA (2001) including deaths, stroke and other injuries from chiropractic neck manipulation.

His paper was:

…initially knocked back because it was so common knowledge and so frequent that the journal didn’t want to publish it

So all being fair the CAA are welcome to keep promoting their 215,000 patients per week visiting chiropractors, so long as we all accept the very same sales pitch should include Ten Vertebral Artery Dissections and Stroke per month.

Yet a concern of current critics increasingly involves the practice of paediatric chiropractic. Fundamentalists are taking it up in droves and at most appear to offer a light touch in a “clinical setting” to babies, gradually increasing the scope of manipulation with age. Of course the waving of hands over a small baby is an absolute scam. A goldmine given that we know trials have shown no visible effect. Chiropractors have invented “irritable baby syndrome” to revive what used to be called colic which ultimately emerged as an irritable baby, and no actual disorder at all.

Now their unproven rituals and adjustments of invisible subluxations are blessed with claims of “curing” or treating psychological conditions, improving immunity, croup, allergies, wheezing, pertussis, influenza, poor posture, stomachache, hearing loss, headaches, asthma, bedwetting, bronchitis, learning disorders, arthritis…. Soon I won’t even blink if ESP or Cosmic Consciousness makes it onto the list.

That’s only part of it. The level of mumbo jumbo that defies even basic science is close to frightening. Moderate infant complications are ramped to frightening levels as “deficits” are grossly misrepresented, paediatricians mocked and normal motor skill expression deemed a “neurological delay”. The claim that spinal adjustments improve total awareness because “all senses pass through the spinal column” is news to my ears… and eyes, and smell, and taste and vestibular balance.

Studies show that in blind trials, if parents believe the baby is being treated, they report improvement whether treatment took place or not. If told no treatment took place when in fact it did, parents report no improvement in their baby.

It may be expensive woo now but sooner or later, the USA trend of manipulating children’s necks will pick up pace in Australia. John Reggars (in the Today Tonight video), past president of the Chiropractors Registration Board of Victoria and present vice president of the Chiropractic and Osteopathic College of Australasia insists there is no evidence.

A read of Jeremy Youngblood’s death certificate gives insight into what those who stroke and die from vertebral tears brought on by cervical manipulation go through. It is doubly tragic given the view of Kaiser Permanente that there is a “paucity of data related to beneficial effects” in the first place.

In a case report review of serious adverse effects following cervical manipulation published by Edward Ernst in the eMJA in 2002 there is only one death amongst the multiple adverse outcomes. In this case it is a three month old baby and the practitioner is the sole physiotherapist listed. A physiotherapist practising Vojta Therapy which is in fact paediatric physiotherapy. The adverse event was:

Bleeding into adventitia of both vertebral arteries causing ischaemia of caudal brainstem with subarachnoid haemorrhage [and] death

The crucial point here is that regardless of profession, spinal manipulation of all types has been shown to carry significant risks. In 2001 Stevinson and Ernst published Risks Associated With Spinal Manipulation in the American Journal of Medicine, and note in the abstract:

Data from prospective studies suggest that minor, transient adverse events occur in approximately half of all patients receiving spinal manipulation. The most common serious adverse events are vertebrobasilar accidents, disk herniation, and cauda equina syndrome. Estimates of the incidence of serious complications range from 1 per 2 million manipulations to 1 per 400,000. Given the popularity of spinal manipulation, its safety requires rigorous investigation.

In fact according to this RCT published in the Lancet there is no difference between manipulation or placebo when it comes to recovery from low back pain. Physiotherapists confident in spinal manipulation carried out the trial. As Chris Maher says in the Lateline video below recovery rates were almost “exactly the same”. So basically, there’s good evidence to suggest a 50% chance of sustaining an injury to any part of the spine undergoing a procedure not shown to be any more effective than placebo, when the low back is involved. Serious complications and death apply to manipulation of the neck. There is no evidence supporting application of the latter.

As reported by John Dwyer, Emeritus professor Uni NSW, the literature contains 700 cases of adverse reactions in children following chiropractic adjustments. Given the danger of all spinal manipulation, the copious numbers of adverse effects from vertebral manipulation and the inherent danger of paediatric manipulation, chiropractic faces an uphill battle in the eyes of evidence based treatment.

Added to this however, is the rapid rise of the fundamentalists, who I prefer to call the Mystic Chiropractors. Their disillusioned appreciation of conventional medicine and aversion to supporting it is nicely summed up by Lawrence Tassell on the topic of vaccination. From Adelaide Now:

He also dismisses suggestions chiropractors are anti-immunisation.

“We don’t recommend for or against vaccination; we simply say it’s a choice factor,” he says.

Which is of course, the anti-vaccination cover. Who would choose to risk their child’s life when availed of all the evidence? Yet when fed misinformation and outmoded fear mongering vaccination may seem like a “choice factor”. Chiropractors are misleadingly allowed to use the title “doctor”. They still make up the bulk of the “professional” members of the Australian Vaccination Network. In 2009 Floreani and Tassell’s CAA had a grand aim:

To achieve a fundamental paradigm shift in healthcare direction where chiropractic is recognised as the most effective and cost efficient health regime of first choice that is readily accessible to all people

Reggars claims the “all-encompassing alternative system of healthcare is both misguided and irrational”. He’s exposed the money angle informing us:

Chiropractic trade publications and so-called educational seminar promotion material often abound with advertisements of how practitioners can effectively sell the vertebral subluxation complex to an ignorant public. Phrases such as ‘double your income’, ‘attract new patients’ and ‘keep your patients longer in care’, are common enticements for chiropractors to attend technique and practice management seminars.

Selling such concepts as lifetime chiropractic care, the use of contracts of care, the misuse of diagnostic equipment such as thermography and surface electromyography and the X-raying of every new patient, all contribute to our poor reputation, public distrust and official complaints.

This video by the Council on Chiropractic Practice refers to, “the Dark Side of the profession… keeping the imprisoned impulse captive… and [its] innate potential chained”. What’s it mean? Those who reject the made up notion of “subluxation” are the dark side and as the video states the “right to treat it” is under attack. Sound familiar? It seems the theme of having a right to apply demonstrably dangerous beliefs and practices at the expense of genuine medical intervention is “a right”.

What’s insane about chiropractic is that it’s assumed everyone needs treatment. Their impulse is “imprisoned” along with its “innate potential”. The only result of pursuing this potential offered by the “science that makes everyone well and happy” is certain loss of money and a definite risk of injury, disability or death. Palmer’s 19th century superstitious and completely subjective “God given energy flows” are today’s “very principles this profession was founded on”.

In The Age yesterday it was reported in Doctors take aim at chiropractors:

CHIROPRACTORS are peddling shonky treatments that could be dangerous for people, including babies and children, a group of high-profile doctors says.

In an extraordinary attack, 34 professors, doctors and scientists issued a statement yesterday calling for more policing of chiropractors’ false claims and said the federal government should not fund chiropractic courses at Australian universities because it gave their ”pseudoscience” credibility.

The group, which includes the president of the Australian Medical Association, Dr Steve Hambleton, and head of public health at Monash University Professor John McNeil, said although some chiropractic treatments had an evidence base, claims it could cure 95 per cent of ailments was nonsense. […]

In a letter to Central Queensland University protesting against its recent inclusion of a chiropractic course, the doctors said they were also concerned about chiropractors being the largest ”professional” group in the anti-vaccination network.

One of the signatories, Professor of Neurophysiology at Flinders University Marcello Costa, said universities running such courses were encouraging the spread of quackery, misusing public money and delaying effective treatments for people who falsely believed chiropractors could cure their illnesses.

Exactly why these cosmic cuddlers assume they have a right to bring about a shift in the direction of healthcare that is overflowing with pseudoscience and risk, so they can profit, is well beyond my ethics tolerance threshold. Added to the defensive battle posture they have taken up against the “attack”, that is in reality a request for proper evidence on the magic of subluxation, a distinct malignancy is in the air.

Chiropractors aren’t treating you. You’re treating them to a free ride at risk to yourselves and your loved ones.

Today Tonight December 7th 2011

Lateline July 9th 2009

Skeptic Shoppers’ Victory Over Noble Slime

Following our exclusive report yesterday on the bloody gangland SensaSlim war coming to the Melbourne Laser Skin and Wellness Clinic at Chadstone, investigations today indicate a partial victory.

Skeptical Shoopers swung into action standing up to underworld associate and SensaSlim dealer, Julie Grinberg. After going on record publically and assuring the consumers of Australia she had removed advertisements for SensaSlim we revealed yesterday this claim was in fact a complete fugazi. Chadstone Wellness were continuing to sell their Full Sliming Solution claiming it was backed by a Noble prize.

Despite this victory, we have only cracked open the door into this massive criminal enterprise. Underworld figures are known to seamlessly shift from one income source to another, coldly eliminating competition on “their turf”. The page on Noble Slime has been replaced with a replica of the age old scam of cellulite treatment. This advertising is quite misleading even on the face of it. A visit to the website yields a link to “Cellulite Therapy”. This takes you to a page with the psychologically damaging and completely misleading fearmongering:

Anything that can make us look awkward or out of shape can be considered as a problem

Do not ignore cellulite, it is very likely to get worse if you don’t do anything about it

Yet following the link Slimming Solution Weight Loss offers the same page, the same treatment []. Documented, unproven, invasive treatment. Again we have misleading advertising but now on two fronts. The TGA clearly state they must “ensure advertisements are socially responsible, truthful, appropriate and not misleading.” But we have one treatment being sold as two. You can access the complaints page here for that reason alone or as we’ll see below for the clearly false advertising on “cellulite”.

Today’s models might wear less but the techno-scam beauty industry is now in full regalia

Of course the claim that any such cellulite treatment works is utterly bogus and serves only to drain money from hard working women who have been hoodwinked by the phrases above. A search for cellulite myths may come in handy and remember shoppers, all cellulite snake oil is backed by no research. Liposuction will produce results for some clients, and make it worse in others. The best non invasive approach, skeptical shoppers, is ongoing exercise for muscle toning and loss of adipose (fat) tissue.

Even then, it’s important to remember what’s going on. “Cellulite” itself is really a made up term to draw marketing attention to perfectly normal cellular changes and histology. It’s proved a boon to gadget makers and charlatans pushing massage, creams, lasers, lymphatic drainage, vacuums, injections (mesotherapy) and now the oxymoron scam “needle free mesotherapy”. “Wellness” itself is a made up term meaning absolutely nothing, but acts as an umbrella term which unproven scams and con artists make liberal use of to avoid in depth explanation of any real purpose.

There is a lengthy critique here of the many scams peddled by Wellness Warriors such as Melbourne Laser Skin and Wellness Clinic and Chadstone Wellness. It actually leads to another pitch for ridding yourself of cellulite via exercise. It may be a sneaky and competitive tactic but is in fact, quite accurate for most women. I will stress I’ve no problem with wanting to feel better about oneself. But do be aware that we’re often told there’s something wrong with us that leads to the belief initially. Body image is a part of us and even mild body dysmorphia is a problem for which some scams have a helpful short term placebo effect. Yet, like the “Seven Signs Of Ageing” skeptical shoppers, “Cellulite” was born to make the cosmetic industry and associates money.

In essence cellulite is nothing more than a description imbibed with negative connotations by the “Wellness” industry to shatter self confidence and take your money. The subcutaneous fat (just under the skin) is bound by connective tissue (collagen). These collagen fibers can and do tear away (or herniate) from other body tissues particularly dermal. Thus with the cells no longer bound smoothly to the underside of outer dermal tissue  – or the inside of your skin – we have the traditional dimple appearance that is misleadingly known as cellulite. With herniation away from deeper tissue and other fatty deposits we have bulges of larger mass.

The reality shoppers, is with tearing of connective tissue comes more collagen. There are different types of collagen cells with different purposes, but we know them better as connective tissue or scar tissue. After a time there is nothing apart from surgery that can alter it’s structure. More to the point the notion of repairing or altering the collagen changes that produce what’s called cellulite is from the beginning absurd. This brings us to fat cells. As very young toddlers and children we go through a period of adipose hyperplasia – the growing of new fat cells. They increase in number in response to the growing body’s need to store energy as fat.

At a certain point this process of readily growing new fat cells slows notably. Thereafter extra fat is laid down in the main via hypertrophy – an increase in size of the fat cells. These cells can swell to enormous proportions, dwarfing the original size. Also with obesity levels today hyperplasia is playing a greater role in adults. It follows that the more adipose tissue one has, the more fat one can store. Rubbing in a well marketed cream or using spas and electrical stimulation will not burn off stored energy. Remember Revitol? Promising you’d be in a bikini in 6 weeks.

And yet, skeptical shoppers, the quick thinking folk at Chadstone Wellness would have you believe One of the biggest problems that can ruin our silhouettes is of course cellulite. Predictably they roll out a warehouse of discredited, dangerous, unproven and very expensive scams. Even the research free Bowen Therapy invented by Aussie pseudoscientist Tom Bowen in the early 1950’s is offered with a straight face. I cannot stress this enough.  Have nothing to do with Bowen Therapy Scams. It has no body of supporting evidence. So shoppers, what is it? According to the ABC (believe it or not):

Bowen Therapy asks the body to recognise where it is out of balance and bring itself back into balance. A Bowen therapist gives a few succinct messages and the body does the work itself. A therapist rolls their hands in a specific way across the muscle fibre, giving the brain a message to help it heal a particular area.

A therapist may leave the room or sit quietly for 2-3 minutes after each movement to allow the body to process the information. Once the body has had a good treatment, it remembers the moves and each following treatment enhances the healing process. There is no ailment you wouldn’t address with Bowen – a therapist does not cure anything but asks the body to recognise the problems and correct itself.

Ah, it’s sheer Quackery shoppers! But Chadstone Wellness manage to plonk in complete falsehoods that sound sort of sciency:

Bowen Therapy works on the unique structure in the body called connective tissue. These connective tissue fibres, through injury, illness, stress (both physical or emotional) become “dehydrated” or “glued” causing imbalances to occur in the normal functioning of the body.

In applying the Bowen Move, the therapy works to release the “glued” or “stuck” connective tissue fibres in the body allowing them to re-hydrate naturally as connective tissue has the capacity to transform from a glued state to a more fluid state. Blockages are freed. Reconnections are made. From the first move, the body is sent a message that the emergency is over.

Bowen therapy naturally brings about the best rate of healing based on the individual’s own body resources and their level of injury. Over the last 45 years, it has successfully helped thousands of people suffering from a wide variety of conditions.

Yes. A magic touch and scar tissue heals itself! The body does the rest, knowing the “emergency is over”. Can you believe that skeptical shoppers?! 45 years eh? “Successful… thousands of people…suffering… wide variety…”. Be sure to include that in your complaint to the TGA. They’ll want to see documented evidence of these helped people shoppers, evidence! Let’s put this myth of healing connective tissue (collagen) in the trash where it belongs.

Anyone who has been through orthopaedic surgery or suffered an injury that threatens to reduce range of motion or leave a huge scar will remember the painful physiotherapy or occupational therapy that seemed to begin at a cruelly early stage. The threat of losing range of joint motion due to scar tissue gives us some insight into why all cellulite scams are bogus. The tearing of muscle tissue and ligaments in joints leads to the laying down of collagen. The first cells to begin the repair might be thought of as scaffolding or framework. More so, it responds morphologically to mechanical stimuli.

It is this process that offers a window of opportunity to regain range. As this “scaffolding” collagen tissue is laid down the tendons, ligaments or muscle it’s repairing can be forced into as great a range as possible. Then when the next type of collagen begins to form – that which is unyielding – it complies with the range that’s already on offer but provides a much stronger unyielding scar tissue. When the collagen associated with adipose herniates it simply hardens. If “cellulite” is visible the tearing is done and there is nothing that can “reconnect” the fibers that gave integrity before.

Even if there was a technique, it would be flying in the face of collagen histology and also assuming some incredible microsurgery is occurring. So combined with what we know about adipose, we now have some decent evidence as to why all the rituals and tricks are never going to remove the reality of human histology and physiology. One of the most common cellulite scams listed shoppers, is No Needle Mesotherapy. Dr. Lionel Bissoon seems to be the most vocal critic claiming on many a website:

This is truly an oxymoron, since one cannot perform Mesotherapy without injections. This procedure utilizes a technology known as iontophoresis which was used in physical therapy with very little success. It is now essentially repackaged with a new name for cellulite.

Others are a little more scathing of the concept. Some of you will know of the S.A. Mesotherapy Alert concerning Wellness Industry Guru, Monika Milka. Injecting stuff under the skin seems pretty extreme so perhaps we should give Chadstone Wellness a thumbs up. Regarding no needle mesotherapy, they claim:

There are four components to the technology. Let’s take a brief look at each of them.

Activating Current – Promotes greater vascularisation ensuring maximum amount of active ingredient is absorbed uniformly. As a positive “side effect” can reduce appearance of spider veins and enlarged capillaries.

Hydroelectrophoresis – Help active ingredients in water solutions to penetrate inside the skin tissue and transports molecules across the dermal barrier.

Electroporation – Promotes electropermeability of the cell membrane which helps the passage of substances. (This is “virtual needle” part of the discovery).

Cryophoresis – Application of cold temperature to lock the active ingredients into the skin cells. It also moves substances into lower layers under optimum conditions so that more is reabsorbed. This improves the performance of the solution’s active ingredients.

What an amazing library of evidence they must have ready to send to the TGA to back all that up, skeptic shoppers. The TGA are within their rights to demand all evidence that substantiates any claim made. So I’m mighty impressed at what these guys must have ready to hand out. Be sure to copy each one down accurately now. Virtual needles, activating currents, locking cold temperatures. That data must be impressive! And all for your cellulite riddled silhouette.

At least they aren’t jabbing stuff under the skin. Are they? What’s Lipodissolve?”

This is the first clinically proven way of fat reduction without liposuction

Many people see Lipodissolve and Mesotherapy as the same procedure. The major difference is that Lipodissolve is the treatment of the body’s fat layer with PC (Phosphatidylcholine) to permanently dissolve away fat cells…

Phosphatidylcholine has been used intravenously for many years to remove fat blocking the circulatory system and to protect the liver during severe liver illness. When injected into your fatty tissues the PC concentration destabilizes the PC membranes of some of your fat cell membranes, resulting in cell destruction and the release of their fatty contents into the fatty tissue.

Another natural component within Lipodissolve chemical cocktail, Deoxycholate (DC) dissolves the fatty contents into a “milky” emulsion. Your body’s scavenging cells slowly remove this milky emulsion over the next 2-3 months in the same way that they also remove a bruise. The removed fat is partly eliminated from your body via the intestines but it doesn’t cause any discomfort, nausea or diarrhoea. It is also partly used as preferential source of fuel for your body. This means that Lipodissolve forces your body to burn and utilize your unwanted fat.

Wow! Just like walking does! Or any exercise skeptical shoppers! But how safe is it? Shouldn’t there be at least some warnings? I mean Deoxycholic acid is a bile acid here guys – an ionic detergent. Some researchers think Phosphatidylcholine acts to break down fat. It can also rupture cells. Phosphatidylcholine/deoxycholate was banned in 2003 in Brazil from the exact practice described above for safety concerns and lack of efficacy as documented here in Quackwatch (Reprinted from Mortality & Morbidity Weekly Report November 11, 2005 / 54:1127-1130, 2005). Deoxycholate is regarded as the more dangerous and should not be used until a much larger body of evidence supports it.

Stephen Barrett also investigates Phosphatidylcholine/deoxycholate treatment thoroughly, delivering an extensive and not good report, a fraction of which shoppers, includes:

Adverse reactions to cosmetic mesotherapy have been reported…. A major British law firm is representing a young woman who is suing a surgeon who injected her with Lipostabil.

Professional groups representing plastic surgeons and dermatologists in the United States have warned against mesotherapy.

  • In 2005, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ Device & Technique Assessment (DATA) Committee published a report advising patients to be wary of mesotherapy until the safety and effectiveness of the procedure are confirmed.
  • In 2006, The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery concluded:
    • Despite the growing popularity of mesotherapy there is a paucity of available data and no randomized, double-blinded controlled studies unequivocally establish that the procedure is safe and efficacious for medical or aesthetic conditions.
    • Mesotherapy may ultimately prove to be a viable adjunct or option for these concerns, but further study is warranted before this technique can be endorsed.
    • Controlled research to determine the optimal formulation and treatment regimens as well as the safety, efficacy and further insight into the mechanism of action of this procedure is strongly encouraged.
  • In 2007, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery warned against using injection fat-loss procedures until sufficient data are available to demonstrate safety and effectivess.

Clearly “Lipodissolve” is a high risk and potentially very dangerous therapy skeptical shoppers. One should speak only to their GP before considering any such pseudo-technique and be availed of all the risks in a proper clinical setting. Do not believe these advertising claims that seek to lighten you by $750 five times over. Also sold as an oral wonder treatment one would be wise to exercise extreme caution in the presence of anyone wielding a syringe of something not known to be safe or effective and that has a history of complications.

Melbourne Laser Skin and Wellness Clinic (cough) aka Chadstone Wellness also use Pressor Therapy which runs on the myth that as the body is 63% water that’s terribly important. By using scientician jargon and pressure cuffs fluid is forced away from it’s most unsightly location helping with “lymphatic drainage disorders and other organic filtering mechanisms” as you lie horizontal only to redistribute within minutes of you ending “therapy”. It’s actually recommended for 10 conditions so when you see it did nothing for one, you have nine more lives… so to speak, shoppers. It does have uses for bedridden or severely incapacitated patients. Don’t be fooled and ask for a physiotherapist to confirm your need.

There is of course and endless stream of hokus pokus going on down there. And I do mean, down there shoppers. They have struggled yet finally succeeded to find a cure for the hideous condition known as “normal anus”, through a brief yet highly unnatural process of Anal Bleaching:

Just as were losing our home (sic) and were about to take this page off the website we came across a lovely formulation that actually worked. The formulation contains a proprietary patented blend of natural skin lightening ingredients which bleaches your skin, even on most sensitive areas, without causing any irritation except for occasional dryness which can be easily treated by an application of a suitable quick absorbing moisturiser.

Ah, just “occasional dryness” for which they can sell you a moisturiser shoppers. Being inflicted with normal anus may not ruin your silhouette like cellulite does but just think of the confidence as you strut your bleached anus about to your friends’ envy. The pride when you drop the soap in the Fernwood gym showers to gasps of jealousy. Smirk confidently at your colonic irrigationist. Imagine all those hours when you can contort yourself in front of the mirror and admire your new BA in Beauty. Not to mention immediate friendships sealed over your next colonoscopy. Should you end up incapacitated in hospital you’ll be the talk of the nurses office. As for all those worries about what to get Grandma for Christmas…

But wait! There’s more!

Melbourne Laser Skin and Wellness Clinic proudly announce on another page, Nobody’s done what we’re about to do !!!. What?! You mean other people are successful anus bleachers?! But it’s true. Curing normal anus is nothing it seems. They don’t just do anti-aging – they do Speed Anti-Aging! The superiority of Speed Anti-Aging is proven in this table of complex data below. You, shopper, are the green bit:

How can this be possible you’re wondering? Simple:

Our unique five corner approach consists of the following:

  • Modern scientific methods in combination with natural formulations
  • Naturopathic involvement to take care of food cravings, deficiencies etc
  • Self Empowerment therapy to help your mind set
  • Acupuncture to enhance and speed up the process
  • Bowen Therapy to help eliminate toxins and waste from your body

A unique blend of modern science and debunked charlatanism at an incredibly inflated price will actually make you live longer. Incredible skeptical shoppers, just incredible. What are you waiting for?! And acupuncture can speed up Speed Anti-Aging! More years with your bleached anus and adverse effects from the mesotherapy that’s better known as Lipodissolve.

Truly, if you aren’t satisfied with these eminent Wellness warriors poking lasers at you, injecting you under the skin, defending your silhouette, bleaching your anus or extending your lifespan newly imbibed with “the body and mindset of a champion”, then you must check the menu on the website.

Sick of putting on makeup? Then perhaps cosmetic tattooing – or “permanent makeup” – is for you. Never wake up looking… well, normal again. After flashing your bleached anus to the girls in the shower at Fernwood you can scare them witless by washing your face and emerging unchanged! Swim laps fully made up and when you’re old, white haired and dying in hospital you’ll double as a clown for other folk. Kids will come from everywhere just to visit!

Of course most of the scams at Melbourne Laser Skin and Wellness Clinic will do nothing of much consequence bar drain your savings and raise your credit bill. That’s not too bad. Unless you want to trust “a talented artist” called Moira to tattoo your face or let someone stick you full of acidic cell destroying compounds. Then shoppers I can guarantee you’ll never forget.

Simply pick your scam from the many on offer and visit the TGA complaints page. It may not come to much because speed anti-aging is in no way misleading or socially irresponsible. Bleaching your anus to the point of dryness needing moisturiser is certainly “quality use of the product”. Everyone needs their organic filtering systems fired up by an over sized blood pressure cuff. Virtual needles are essential in every girls life and in no way deceptive. Bowen therapists will publish evidence any day now.

I’m sure everything’s completely above board.

The Unstoppable Underworld of SensaSlim

Have you wanted a total wellness experience? Do you deserve some ‘me time’? Your wellness and health are in your hands!

Imagine how good it would feel to let your day drain away as you DO something just for You

So says Melbourne Laser Skin and Wellness Clinic. Sound a bit too good to be true? Confused at just what a “wellness” experience is? Get the feeling that stopping your money drain away from your hands is about all you need to DO for YOU? Then look no further skeptical shoppers!

That’s right skeptics! In a special offer available only to readers of this post – that’s this post only – I will reveal to YOU the shocking crime wave to have hit Chadstone Shopping Centre and steer you away from a certain scam and probably a violent death. Have you ever wanted total wellness woo revenge? Do you deserve some “justice time”? Imagine how it would feel as you report law breaking criminals to the hopelessly impotent TGA and DO something just for THE CONSUMERS OF AUSTRALIA. Well read on…

Last month as many of you know, the TGA banned the scam weight loss product SensaSlim after the ACCC uncovered misleading and deceptive conduct in advertising and promotion. The entire SensaSlim caper, brainchild of career criminal Peter Foster relied on non existent “research” at non existent institutes by non existent people. Even a non existent Nobel Prize was part of the con. Non existent successes such as the instant weight loss of the Black Caviar jockey made headlines and almost as quickly questions about honesty were raised. Complaints were first filed with the TGA back in mid March this year. You can check here for details on a long, sordid and sorry saga.

As we also know shoppers, this ghastly business climaxed with the arrest of conman and criminal Peter Foster for his role in this dark and devious scam. Technically he breached a court order to remain away from the weight loss industry as it had led to his imprisonment before, and it would be very sad indeed if that happened again. The only thing straining at credibility more than SensaSlim claims of losing weight while you sleep was the apathy of the TGA. True to form they did absolutely nothing for around eight months to de-register it as the evidence mounted. Or didn’t even appear as the case may be.

So from shonky claims, to consumer complaints, to dirty tactics, to the ACCC taking action, to more dirty tactics, to Peter Foster’s arrest which – hilariously – actually preceded the TGA ban by a full week, there’s been lots of attention on SensaSlim. So much attention shoppers, you would have to be very, very preoccupied as a supplier to not hear of this. To not know that:

It Is Now Illegal To Sell, Supply, Advertise, Export or Import SensaSlim

But is there more to this shady world of criminal enterprise and SensaSlim sleaze, shoppers? SensaSlim was masterminded by career criminal and international con man Peter Foster. The same SensaSlim that led lovable gangland figure and member of the drug lord producing Carlton Crew, Mick Gatto to invest his hard earned money? Yes shoppers! The same Mick Gatto who happened to shoot well known prolific underworld hit man Andrew “Benji” Veniamin in the face at point blank range completely by accident and managed to get off scott free even though forensic evidence was dodgy? Yes shoppers!

The same Andrew “Benji” Veniamin who was the trigger man for ruthless drug lord Carl Williams? Yes shoppers! The same Carl Williams who was battered to death inside Barwon 24 hour watch maximum security prison? Yes shoppers! The same Barwon prison whose Head Warden “went missing” on a “hunting trip” shortly after this murder? Yes shoppers!

But wait! There’s more!

As a special to readers of this post I can reveal this horrific gangland tale of shot hit men, murdered drug lords, missing wardens, unstoppable con men and their inexplicable link to one thing – SensaSlim – has come to Chadstone Shopping Centre, Melbourne. Today as the TGA tried to distance itself from any hint of blame the Medical Observer reported:

A TGA spokesperson dismissed as “nonsense” suggestions that the administration had “backed” the product by listing it on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) in 2010 and that its eventual move to effectively ban the product in Australia was “commensurate with the risk profile of the product”.

The accusations from resellers came after the TGA finally struck the product from the ARTG last month…. The delisting means that as of this month it could now be an offence to import, export, manufacture or supply SensaSlim.

But on Thursday last week at least five Australian websites were still advertising SensaSlim, with some telling MO they had not been told to stop selling the product, while others were refusing to remove the product from sale until the TGA had explained its decision.

That’s right shoppers! That bit actually had nothing to do with Chadstone! Read on…

Is it any wonder these men won’t back down. Not so for stalwart citizen Julie Grinberg of Chadstone Wellness. Clearly Julie had been very busy and just hadn’t heard of the ban or months of complaints peppering the “Wellness” industry and scattered across the media.

Another supplier, Julie Grinberg from Chadstone Wellness, which had the product advertised online, said she only heard the product was delisted when contacted by MO – after which she had the website changed.

“I was absolutely not aware of this,” she said. “Everything’s been changed to our site, just in case, just to be sure.”

Good on Julie. She’s had the website changed, “just to be sure”. So a quick visit four days later shoppers, reveals:

SensaSlim Melbourne Solution… Nobel Prize for Medicine

Oh my! Shoppers! An exact replica of the claims made by SensaSlim in direct contravention of the TGA ban.

The poster above describes the “sleep diet” and recounts the fraudulent trials that led the ACCC to take action over “deceptive and misleading conduct” and for making “unsubstantiated claims”. Not only is Julie Grinberg still selling SensaSlim she lied to Medical Observer!

Asked if he knew illegal products with connections to Melbourne’s bloody gangland war were being sold in the Shopping Centre, local resident Bill Smith said it wasn’t surprising. “The state government are always saying they’ll do something about the rising crime levels but they never really do”, he observed. “These people will do anything for money. No-one’s safe anymore”.

Local mother Jane Jones said, “What if there’s a shoot out as I go to get my nails done and my kids are caught in the cross fire all because of this… this… Senseless Slim? They just don’t care about the law. They do what they want because no-one can really touch them”, she sobbed. When told the TGA would take complaints she screamed hysterically and ran for the nearest exit.

All across Chadstone families were taking in the news the bloody gangland war had come to their town. Jimbo Flabatzki, an overweight computer junkie who spends his days in the Apple Mac shop said he felt sorry for people who fell for such fad scams. “Anyone knows when they discover a proper way to lose weight there’ll be an App for it”, he said checking the App Store on a nearby iPad.

Local lurker Shifty Shane said, “There’s nuffin ya can do. These dudes have international bank accounts, money tied up in investments, layered in legitimate income sources which redistributes in declared earnings. Or… um, so I’ve heard. Whatever this SensaSlim stuff has in it, people are willin’ to do anything to keep the trade goin’ man”.

So there you have it shoppers. Undeniable proof that weight loss scams and Melbourne’s underground gangland war are inextricably linked. To save yourselves keep away from Melbourne Laser Skin and Wellness Clinic Chadstone, or as it’s known by it’s street name Chadstone Wellness.

Lodge a complaint with the TGA here if you feel the advertisement (which is banned and should not actually exist) is not or does not:

  • socially responsible;
  • promote quality use of the products; and
  • do not mislead or deceive consumers.

All the details and instructions are above. The name to remember is Julie Grinberg of Chadstone Wellness. Phone number 03 9530 9800. Remember to add her comments to Medical Observer and include a copy of the advertisement. Parts 1 and 2 are above. Part 3 is here:

The address is Dandenong Road.


Victoria, 3148.

Get that off to the TGA at these addresses ASAP shoppers! The sales price seems to be almost three times that of eBay stores. It’s not illegal to buy it so if you’re caught in the grip of this criminal enterprise save yourself a few dollars. As of today it’s over 11 days since the ban came into force. The ban that states:

It Is Now Illegal To Sell, Supply, Advertise, Export or Import SensaSlim

Fight back against these ruthless con artists and dangerous criminals. Dob in a (SensaSlim) dealer today.

Vaccination conspiracies in blind hyper-drive

A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.
John F Kennedy Meryl W Dorey

Well, New Yorker Meryl W. Dorey has seized it recently and displayed it on her antivaccination Facebook page out of context. So she may have this brief credit. It’s a standard of conspiracy theorists as a visit to Google will confirm. It has of course nothing to do with government secrecy over the public as Dorey seems to have assumed. As with a huge number of Kennedy’s speeches he is alluding to his full term foe – communism – as the reference to free examination of “an open market” suggests.

Kennedy has easily become the US President to be most quoted out of context. Speeches sliced up and overlaid to conspiracy clips, heading up cooky websites or as here, just thrown out amongst fetid posts and paranoid misinformation without another word. No explanation is needed for the (as we’re so often told) “more highly educated” vaccine deniers. Vaccines to them are proof of government cover ups and the malignancy of faceless agents across the world. They squeeze it into the Orwellian nightmare of fluoride drugging, chemtrail poisoning and hidden cancer cures. If Roxon’s incentive to immunise has shown us one thing, it’s that their grab bag of conspiracies was at the ready.

One speech conspiracy quacks love to shred is one of my favourite Kennedy deliveries. Address 153 The President and the press [Audio here]. It’s brilliant stuff, and rightly so. Kennedy’s task that night was to celebrate freedom of the press in a democracy to an audience not short on critical representatives of the press. To respect their role in holding government to account. To place their independence above the duration and mechanics of government. To support and accept media scrutiny. To speak of shared responsibilities. Yet most importantly to impart the knowledge of the huge responsibility this freedom brought to the press during the Cold War.

He pointed out enemy agents had boasted of accessing information usually obtained through bribes or espionage (such as satellite technology) and, “that details of this nation’s covert preparations to counter the enemy’s covert operations have been available to every newspaper reader, friend and foe alike”.

He needed a change in publisher outlook. He points to newspaper patriotism and loyalty. Their understanding of sacrifices that civilians are willing to bear. But he would be failing his duty to not bring to attention the inherent quandary of a free press watched by an enemy and the need of patriotic, self sacrificing newspaper publishers to weigh present dangers.

Kennedy notes Francis Bacon spoke of three inventions that changed the world. The compass, gunpowder and the printing press. His final paragraph is:

And so it is to the printing press–to the recorder of man’s deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news–that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help man will be what he was born to be: free and independent.

Now let’s visit the mind of the Meryl Doreys of this world. Who claim as she did once that we’re controlled by “a sinister cabal of interbreeding criminal families”. The Illuminati pop up when it suits her also. These secret societies are so powerful it is beyond comprehension. Human beings are controlled like cattle – sheeple. These faceless people control governments, information and wealth keeping us sickly, poor, ignorant, in need. They run the media. Decide what we watch on TV. They seek to cull the human population. Vaccines are a means to do everything from forcing us to comply to being sheeple to injecting microchips at birth that will scan and monitor humans. We are in effect Guinea Pigs.

Imagine you’ve been fed this and more. Shown so-called proof. Imagine you almost believe it. You watch a “documentary”. Scenes of wars and human misery slowly numb your critical faculties. A sprinkling of facts. Yes, BMW did profit from war. Dick Cheney did privately profit from supplying troops in Iraq. Newspaper identities have run campaigns to shape the outcome of elections. A mushroom cloud appears for no apparent reason. But you get the meaning. Evil. The world is evil.

Images of corporations, drug companies and the seats of government. Then the words below begin to play as a background soundtrack. Half way through an new scene appears. An open topped car we know well. A smiling man in his prime. A boulevard in Dallas. An exploding head. An assassination. The words are Kennedys from his address to the press and refer to communism. But you aren’t told this.

The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings.

And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning…  Our way of life is under attack. The survival of our friends is in danger.

For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence–on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice… its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed.

… I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed.

… that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help man will be what he was born to be: free and independent.

The meaning is unmistakable. Kennedy was onto The Illuminati and the faceless ones. The repugnant secret societies. This “monolithic and ruthless conspiracy”. With Kennedy relying on honesty and our help humans would realise their destiny and become “free and independent”. So, they killed him. You’ve never heard of this because as Kennedy said, the conspiracy “relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence… its preparations are concealed, not published. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised”.

Of course it’s an oldie but a goodie. A standard for New World Order conspiracies. It surfaces in one form or another time and again. In understanding the rank falsehoods and intractable devotion of anti-vaccine conspirators we can learn a lot from the above. The power of the free press can be gleaned from the fact Kennedy had to ask for acquiescence to considering a change in tactics as a matter of national security. To think people today argue that the media are agents in a malignant scheme of vaccination doing the bidding of governments and pharmaceutical companies is patent absurdity.

Yet we’ve had plenty of it this last week or so with the AVN getting airplay for their falsehoods and fears. Dorey has cried foul that the government and media are not leading with advice to conscientious objectors. She lied on air and online so hard about pertussis vaccination it’s hard to not imagine some infants being struck down as a direct result. Government coercion and government cover ups were her messages. Conspiracy! Her flying monkeys attacked and harassed any journalist who defended vaccination.

When the Fluvax debacle hit W.A. supporters of conventional medicine were horrified at the event then outraged at the contributing factors. Conversely a satisfied glow emerged from the antivaccination lobby. Yet the most vocal critics of drug company power and TGA apathy are medical professionals. Perhaps the most successful in Australia is also a regular at skeptic gatherings.

When Natasha Bita won a Walkley for her coverage of CSL’s poor manufacturing standards and shortfalls in the TGA Dorey posted on her Facebook page:

Natasha Bita wins the Walkley Award for her coverage of the Australian flu vaccine scandal! Times are changing!

Again the message is unmistakable. Journalists don’t normally report on vaccine or regulator problems. This is an aberration or signs of turning a corner. At the same time Dorey and fellow conspiracy theorist Judy Wilyman were accusing the media of being beholden to their drug company commissions and reporting biased messages on Roxon’s Immunisation Incentive. One Facebook member wonders how much “underground” work Bita did and “perhaps risking her safety at times”. She would have worked alone, “…where one person like this can feel insane and give up the fight for truth”.

Truth? Insanity? Glad he mentioned those points. At the time Virus in the system was written Meryl Dorey published an “Action Alert!” on Facebook, Yahoo! and Twitter. It contained the bald faced lie that supporters of vaccines were “mobilising” to attack Natasha Bita for simply reporting the facts. In Dorey’s twisted conspiracy world that would be routine. When journalists report facts supporting vaccination or about the effects of not vaccinating, Dorey attacks. Anger, vicious language, persecution and vitriol to put it mildly. The “monolithic and ruthless conspiracy” she believes in is all powerful. There can be no discussion.

But vaccine supporters did nothing. Dorey, claiming to be oppressed, suppressed and maligned, had no mud to throw. Using reverse psychology she posted these false warnings, urging her fellow devotees to bombard Natasha with praise. Apparently vaccine supporters and skeptics did NOT want the media covering this from a freedom of choice point of view. Freedom of choice? I mean… I don’t even…

There are few better examples of a conspiracy theorist caught red handed exploiting their own members than this. Sure it doesn’t have sliced up Kennedy quotes as a voice-over but the concept is the same. Serve it to the paranoid mind and it will stick.

Meryl Dorey’s Fake Yahoo! Twitter and Facebook Action Alert!

Click, read, be amazed

There can be no doubt Natasha Bita produced some great journalism. She exposed inexcusable apathy on the part of the TGA which is only made worse by Dr. Rohan Hammett’s defensive position at a Senate estimates hearing. She highlighted wasted money, government obstruction and ran a front page story on a youth who developed polio-like symptoms from oral polio vaccine. CSL’s failure to supervise Good Manufacturing Practice and their thumb twiddling until FDA representatives arrived to ultimately threaten revocation or suspension of their licence was galling. TGA attempts to cast this as almost routine were laughable. Complications such as polio like symptoms from OPV are rare yet well known and rightly deserve compensation. It made for great reading because most Aussies do not follow vaccination intricacies and would find this almost incomprehensible.

Although she now occupies a shrine for antivaccination devotees Natasha Bita confirmed nothing of their beliefs nor conspiracies. She did not find sanitation, not vaccination, reduced disease. She did not uncover any link to hidden deaths, diseases, disabilities or the big one – autism. Her entire story grew from the widely known fact one child suffered permanent injury and a nine times higher febrile convulsion rate followed administration of Fluvax to under five year olds. Anaphylaxis? Not a single case. Pertussis vaccination doesn’t work and this has been demonstrated around the world, as Dorey told ABC? No.

Mercury – not ethyl mercury is in vaccines? No. Aluminium and formadehyde poisoning children? No. Human cells floating around? No. Aborted fetal cells? No. A trail of untested vaccines? No. Secret monolithic societies? Hidden cancer cures? Proof of immune suppression? Proof vaccines do not work? Proof they all make people sick? Proof they are the cause of all allergies and the so-called “sickest generation in history”? No. In short, you think of a vaccine conspiracy and Natasha did not find it.

There were four failures and one deficiency at CSL specific to one influenza vaccine uncovered by the arch nemesis of vaccine deniers, the FDA. Hence problems with what is broadly known as Good Manufacturing Practice. Natasha Bita actually “uncovered” nothing here – the letter is publically available on the FDA website. This was crucial to her story and her publication of it’s import was swift and to the point. I probably couldn’t agree more with the sentiments she raised on this issue. But to hear the antivaccination crowd you’d think Bita broke into CSL Mission Impossible style. That she downloaded crucial top secret files before abseiling out a window clad in black leathers to her waiting Ferrari. She just escaped the black helicopters touting blazing machine guns with her uncanny driving skill, quietly slipping into work without a hair out of place.

Even reporting on Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation members Professor Terry Nolan and Peter Richmond of the National Health and Research Council having honoraria and advisory board ties to CSL, took a phone call to the Health Department. That they were involved in drug company sponsored trials and worked as investigators on CSL’s child H1N1 trials may be because they are, to quote Bita, “eminent researchers”. All conflicts of interest are declared and taken into consideration.

Yet to the devotees this is Big Pharma proof. Who would they suggest? Viera Scheibner? Judy Wilyman? Peter Dingle? Fran Sheffield? Simon Floreani, Isaac Golden or Nimrod Weiner? Let’s face it. Like any life long discipline the top jobs attract the top people. There is going to be overlap and to suggest this always leads to malignant outcomes and the control of “sheeple” says more about the true believers than intricacies of research institutions and business boardrooms. As fate would have it, others are well aware of this. Regulation is the key. Which is why regulators, their income source and their powers are absolutely crucial in the current environment.

Which brings me to another Facebook member who links to Natasha Bita’s article AMA urges watch on vaccines, writing, “and she’s continuing to stand up to them”. Stand up to who? This is a statement from the president of the Australian Medical Association, Dr. Steve Hambleton. Isn’t he pretty much “them” in a nutshell? He’s easily one of “them” and is echoing the concerns of medical supporters in that public trust has been damaged by the Fluvax issue. He is acutely aware of the spread of misinformation into vacuums that could be better filled by facts or dynamics that are conspiracy resistant. Dorey’s paranoid member fits the quintessential conspiracy profile of spotting one or two words and reacting like a programmed machine.

The article includes what is in effect the Last Post for yet another vaccine myth. That GP’s are in on the conspiracy:

DOCTORS demanded more monitoring of vaccine side-effects yesterday after the federal government announced penalties for families who fail to immunise their children.

Australian Medical Association president Steve Hambleton said the government must introduce “active surveillance” to monitor side effects instead of relying on doctors and patients to report problems through “passive surveillance”.

For a vaccine, you are taking healthy people and trying to keep them healthy so surveillance of the side effects is doubly important,” Dr Hambleton said.

“We need to maintain confidence in the program. We can’t just say to people, ‘Don’t worry, it’s safe'” [….]

Dr Hambleton said doctors strongly supported immunisation to protect children against life-threatening illness.

But he called for taxpayer funding of Australia’s medicines regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, which is entirely funded by user-pays charges on the pharmaceutical industry.

He said the TGA needed to work “better and quicker” to ensure prescribing advice to doctors always included the most up-to-date data on clinical trials and side effects.

“We have to make sure regulators do their job,” Dr Hambleton said. “We do rely on the TGA for good quality, independent advice.

“Everything the TGA does is in the public interest so it should be publicly funded to do the extra work and notify the public of any changes that do come up. If it can’t do what it needs to do, we need to ask why.” […]

Vaccination protects against “life-threatening illness” and we need to maintain public confidence. It’s a smart move. Roxon’s method will only do so much to arrest falling vaccination rates. It will also do plenty to give conspiracy theorists “sheeple” leverage. Giving the anti-vaccine mob less and less to seize upon and fill with conspiracy twaddle is essential.

For Dorey and her ilk there may never be any hope. People must escape these belief systems much as one escapes a cult. They can’t be forced to change and in the main need help. Consider the person who introduced the above story. “[Natasha Bita’s] continuing to stand up to them”. Yet the story is not novel journalism but a mere AMA report. It supports immunisation as effective, promotes the TGA as acting in the public interest and shows doctors wanting better and faster information so they can continue to immunise without concerns.

Yet all these idiots (and I mean that nicely) on Facebook, including Dorey do not respond or correct or even comment. It’s just a dumping ground for quackery related to Natasha Bita’s Walkley, and that means victory over vaccines. Standing up to the monolithic and ruthless conspiracy. If Dorey did her homework she’d know the piece also contains an aim of her hated foes “the skeptics”. That being independent funding of the TGA. And I’m happy to admit that will help expose the fraud and inefficacy attached to the alternatives to medicine that the antivaccination lobby so often profit from.

The quote from Kennedy used by Dorey, above, is actually prefaced by, “We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values”. Strangely enough, most untruths and distorted claims used by vaccine deniers exist because they have accessed such facts, ideas, philosophies and values. The abuse of package inserts is perhaps the golden example of what conspiracy theorists do with facts about vaccines. They craft fiction and spread it far and wide.

The truth is vaccine deniers cannot be entrusted with facts. Now, in possession of Natasha Bita’s facts and information followed by Roxon’s incentive, they have hit hyper-drive. Saba Button has been exploited by those who would see a nation of sick children. They don’t see good journalism dealing with the dynamics of a public health debacle. They see “us and them”. Whatever problems ultimately lay at the feet of the Fluvax scenario, none will question the efficacy of vaccination as a public health measure.

None will challenge the horror of what vaccine preventable diseases can do. None will justify the rise of vaccine preventable disease and the deaths of babies from flu and pertussis. Nothing will ever emerge to support the claims of the antivaccination lobby and their alternatives to vaccines. Nothing they do will ever make Dorey’s lies on ABC or the misrepresentation of Natasha Bita’s work factual. Yet to win support, they don’t have to. All they need for their conspiracy to bloom is a seed of doubt.

Which reminds me again of Kennedy, speaking to the press in 1961:

But I do ask every publisher, every editor, and every newsman in the nation to reexamine his own standards, and to recognize the nature of our country’s peril. […]

But I am asking the members of the newspaper profession and the industry in this country to reexamine their own responsibilities, to consider the degree and the nature of the present danger, and to heed the duty of self-restraint which that danger imposes upon us all.

Given recent advantage taken of Bita’s work and ABC air time those words resonate rather strongly here today.