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Thursday, September 16, 2004

Vaccine Contamination---Polio, Hepatitis and HIV

Contraversial? Yes. Shocking? Yes. True? You be the judge. (Oh, wait. Big Brother assures us he will think for us. Well then, go back to sleep and wait for the wolves to come dear sheep. The rest of you trouble makers get the word out like Paul Revere. The dark forces are coming! The dark forces are coming!)

Stealth-Adapted Viruses and the Origins of AIDS

According to Dr. W. John Martin, M.D., Ph.D., Founder of the Center for Complex Infectious Diseases, Rosemead California, cytomegaloviruses contaminating experimental poliovirus vaccines in Central Africa may have provided the genetic push allowing a relatively harmless simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) of chimpanzees to evolve into the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS.

Potential contamination of polio vaccines has been a smoking gun since a 1972 study showed cytomegalovirus in kidney cultures from African green monkeys. Recent testing by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) showed that monkey cytomegalovirus DNA was still detectable in some of the vaccine lots produced after the 1972 discovery. Contamination certainly would be expected in some early experimental lots of polio vaccines extensively studied in Congo and other parts of Africa .

Cytomegaloviruses promote the growth of retroviruses, such as SIV and HIV, by providing a receptor molecule allowing for the entry of the virus into cells. The cytomegaloviruses of monkeys used to make polio vaccines have more SIV and HIV receptor molecules than do the cytomegaloviruses of either chimpanzees or humans. Martin showed this in an African green monkey cytomegalovirus, and others have shown it with rhesus monkey virus.
Pre and post immunization sera were collected from 340 Congolese children immunized with an experimental polio vaccine in 1958. Testing of these stored sera for vaccine induced anti-cytomegalovirus antibodies would address the issue of cytomegalovirus being present in the vaccine.

Martin has also been told of the use of kidneys taken directly from chimpanzees to grow polio vaccine virus. This information did not come to light during the discussions relating to Ed Hooper's book “The River,” that drew the public's attention to the use of Africa as a testing ground for polio vaccine. Africans, and indeed all of mankind, have a reasonable right to know the details of these studies.

As further reported to Martin, there apparently was an illness among the vaccine workers that caused wasting. It was referred to as the African equivalent of “thin man.” Many of the captive chimpanzees also became sick. In spite of these findings, chimpanzee kidneys were still being shipped to the United States for hepatitis vaccine and other studies.

Martin's own work has pointed to a process whereby viruses evade immune recognition by simply deleting genes that code the relatively few viral components targeted by the cellular immune defense. The process has been termed “stealth-adaptation.” Stealth-adapted African green monkey simian cytomegaloviruses have been detected in patients with illnesses involving the brain. Rather than seizing the opportunity to learn more about these viruses, Public Health officials seemingly continue to maintain the “don't want to know” attitude. A technologist working at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) even told Martin of a simian cytomegalovirus being grown from a person who received an experimental rubella virus vaccine. This vaccine was also produced in African green monkey kidney cells. As Martin recently concluded, “I feel the public should expect more from those entrusted with the Nation's health, including a will ingness to more openly address the question of vaccine safety. Possibly by placing the issue in terms of World Heath and, in particular, the role of polio vaccines in the origins of AIDS in Africa , other organizations might respond to the challenge posed by stealth-adapted viruses.”

The members of the WTO should ask their respective governments to look into the vaccine safety issue through their own institutions and pharmaceutical houses. I doubt that it is the intent of the pharmaceutical industries of the World to slowly kill all of their customers. The issue is as important as any other we face today.

Dr. Stephen B. Palmer
(Posted on the World Trade Organization Discussion Group 12/12/02 -- )

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