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Conflict of Interest Stories
July 25, 2008
CBS News Targets Dr. Paul Offit, AAP and Every Child By Two

Here are some "sound bites" from the CBS News report on where vaccine manufacturing money goes. Hint? It's to the triumvirite that has stood in the way of parents seeking answers about vaccines and autism for well over a decade: Dr. Paul Offit (yes, Amanda Peet's Svengali) The American Academy of Peditricians and Every Child by Two.

"They're some of the most trusted voices in the defense of vaccine safety: the American Academy of Pediatrics, Every Child By Two, and pediatrician Dr. Paul Offit.

But CBS News has found these three have something more in common - strong financial ties to the industry whose products they promote and defend.

The vaccine industry gives millions to the Academy of Pediatrics...

A $342,000 payment from Wyeth, maker of the pneumococcal vaccine - which makes $2 billion a year in sales.

A $433,000 contribution from Merck, the same year the academy endorsed Merck's HPV vaccine (Gardasil) - which made $1.5 billion a year in sales.

Another top donor: Sanofi Aventis, maker of 17 vaccines and a new five-in-one combo shot just added to the childhood vaccine schedule last month.

Every Child By Two, a group that promotes early immunization for all children, admits the group takes money from the vaccine industry, too - but wouldn't tell us how much.

A spokesman told CBS News: "There are simply no conflicts to be unearthed." But guess who's listed as the group's treasurers? Officials from Wyeth and a paid advisor to big pharmaceutical clients.

Then there's Paul Offit, perhaps the most widely-quoted defender of vaccine safety.

He's gone so far as to say babies can tolerate "10,000 vaccines at once."

Offit holds in a $1.5 million dollar research chair at Children's Hospital, funded by Merck. He holds the patent on an anti-diarrhea vaccine (RotaTeq) he developed with Merck, Rotateq, which has prevented thousands of hospitalizations.

And future royalties for the vaccine were just sold for $182 million cash. Dr. Offit's share of vaccine profits? Unknown.

Today's immunization schedule now calls for kids to get 55 doses of vaccines by age 6."

Click HERE to read the full story. Thank you, Sharyl Attkisson and Katie Couric.

In a shocking article from a mainstream media source, CBS News, it is reported that some of the biggest vaccine promoters and defenders have very strong financial ties to the vaccine industry, to put it mildly. Just who is involved? According to CBS News Investigative Correspondent, Sharyl Attkisson, three of the "players" include the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Every Child By Two (a group whose main agenda is to promote vaccination), and a pediatrician named Dr. Paul Offit.

Big Pharma Routinely Gives Money to AAP

The AAP, recently in the news for recommending statin drugs for certain groups of children as young as eight and cholesterol screening for infants, accepted a $342,000 payment from Wyeth, the maker of the pneumococcal vaccine, which is worth about 2 billion dollars a year in sales. The AAP also took $433,000 from Merck the year they endorsed the controversial HPV vaccine (which is expected to bring in billions of dollars in profits) and is currently being pushed on little girls as young as nine. Sanofi Aventis, a pharmaceutical company that makes 17 vaccines and the new 5-in-1 combo shot that was recently added to the childhood vaccination schedule, is also one of the AAP's top donors, purports CBS News

December 19, 2003 - The Milky Way of Doing Business - -
"At issue is a letter dated November 3rd that Dr. Johnston sent to Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Tommy G. Thompson, officially expressing the AAP’s concern over the “negative approach” of the federal agency’s soon-to-be-released, pro-breastfeeding advertising campaign. What Dr. Johnston didn’t mention in his letter, however, was that he had developed this sudden and seemingly urgent interest in this issue not via a last minute clinical review of the scientific literature, or even after consulting with the AAP’s own recognized lactation science experts...In fact, his concern came immediately after aggressive, personal lobbying by representatives of one of the AAP’s biggest financial contributors, the $3 billion U.S. infant formula industry. Within days of a New Orleans meeting with worried formula industry reps, Johnston hurled the considerable credibility and persuasive impact of the esteemed American Academy of Pediatrics into an explicit effort to stifle the most ambitious initiative ever undertaken to promote breastfeeding in the United States."

Comment: The American Academy of Pediatrics is apparently making a habit of confusing the interests of the children it is charged with protecting and those of industry. For evidence of its considerable conflict of interest with vaccine manufacturers, go to Scandals: "There are no secrets that time does not reveal" - What time and the legal system are beginning to reveal about what vaccine manufacturers and the CDC know.

Below is link to article regarding the ACIP (American Committee on Immunization Practice)
►May 2000 - CDC Refuses to Deny Conflict of Interest on Vaccine Policy Committee - AAPS Newsletter - "Government witnesses were not so forthcoming in admitting bias or conflict of interest. Dr. Paul A. Offit, a pediatrician who receives money from vaccine manufacturers to give pro- mandatory vaccine presentations across the country, is a member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the CDC-the supposedly "independent" government group which makes recommendations on national vaccine policy. His official statement only acknowledged his "collaboration on the development of a rotavirus vaccine." When pushed by a question submitted to Rep. Burton by Ms. Serkes about his financial ties to Merck & Co., Dr. Offit would only admit an "apparent conflict- of-interest." [Dr. Offit pushed mandatory vaccines at a symposium underwritten by Merck at the August meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council in Nashville, attended by Dr. Orient and Ms. Serkes; Dr. Orient was refused a place on the panel.] "
Read more here: (scroll down)

Paul Offit’s 10,000 Vaccines and the Milgram Experiment
"Turning to my comments on Newsnight - I suggest you read Paul Offit's paper - as I have done. On page 126, he states: "Current data suggest that the theoretical capacity determined by diversity of antibody variable gene regions would allow for as many as 109 (1,000,000,000) to 1011(100,000,000,000) different antibody specificities". And "... then each infant would have the theoretical capacity to respond to about 10,000 vaccines at any one time" - not antigens. I was speaking very specifically about the infant immune system's ability to respond, in the context of the ridiculous suggestion that the new vaccine combination, containing far fewer antigens than the one it will replace, would overload the immune system. My words were "The immune system of a baby has got huge spare capacity to deal with challenge. If we didn't, the human race wouldn't survive. But let's look specifically at vaccine. This has been studied carefully. A baby's immune system could actually tolerate perfectly well 1,000 vaccines". At no point did I suggest that 1,000 vaccines would not increase the probability of adverse reactions - a quite different matter." (Email August 26, 2004 10.03 am)

We are, of course, not talking about theoretical vaccines or theoretical infants, nor is there any experimental base that he can cite. We, unfortunately, have the experimental base which is our own children and we are not being listened to - like the imaginary victim in Stanley Milgram’s experiment except that we are not imaginary and neither are our children. Nor, as the present Rotateq vaccine scandal demonstrates do we have remotest idea what is really in the vaccines.