Many thanks to Mitchel and Jonathan for producing parodies of what a
discussion by progressives of the cervical cancer controversy might look
like. I look forward to hearing from others on this list whose views might
be somewhat less predictable.


On 2/17/07, Mitchel Cohen <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Michael Balter wrote:
> >I would be interested in hearing list members'
> >views on the cervical cancer vaccine
> >controversy. Is this a pharmaceutical industry
> >plot to make piles of profits, a vital
> >protection for young women, or both? How do
> >progressive science-oriented folks deal with controversies like this?
> >
> >Just asking.
> The NY Daily News (Friday, Feb. 9, 2007) printed
> an article stating that NY State legislator Amy
> Paulin (D-Scarsdale) is introducing legislation
> "mandating girls be inoculated with the
> three-shot series agains human papilloma virus, a
> sexually transmitted disease that causes 70 percent of cervical cancers.
> "Children whose parents have religious objections
> to the vaccine, called Gardasil, would be exempt."
> Paulin goes on to say that her daughter has
> already taken the first of the three shots, and
> Merck (the vaccine's manufacturer) has inundated
> TV with exciting commercials for the vaccine
> designed to appeal to teenage girls and young
> women, to be part of the "one less" MOVEMENT (that it has invented).
> In addition, "Gov. Spitzer has allotted $5
> million in his budget to buy the $360 series for
> low-income women and those without insurance. ...
> Texas Gov. Rick Perry issued an executive order
> last Friday that girls there get the shots, and
> at least 17 other states are debating similar
> requirements. ... " [This was just reversed, due
> to outrage by the populace in Texas.]
> According to the article, "some 10,000 women are
> diagnosed with cervical cancer each year [in the
> US] and 4,000 die of it." (written by Jordan Lite,
> jlite(at)
> No mention anywhere of the relationship between
> cervical cancer and environmental toxins and pesticides.
> So I'm posting, below, the articles from Kelly
> Hoffman's interesting
> website.  that she
> referenced in a letter to the SprayNo listserve.
> These are very informative, although there are
> some claims made there that I have problems with
> (such as calling the 20,541 girls and women in
> the study a "very small sample", for instance --
> it's not a small sample at all.)
> I am also concerned that the main article on the
> subject is unsigned. It is taken from
> where it is also
> unsigned. This site seems to have some links to
> Alex Jones' Prison Planet. I recognize why in
> this day and age people are unwilling to expose
> themselves to retributions from the
> pharmaceutical industry just for telling the
> truth and so do not sign their articles. Still,
> this is a problem as to the expertise of the
> writers of the critique of the study.
> That said, one startling claim in the articles
> Kelly Hoffman has posted to her site is that the
> study itself is tainted because 90 percent of the
> 10,000 people in the control group were not given
> true placebos, but actually "given injections
> containing an aluminum salt adjuvant (vaccine
> enhancer) that is also a component of GARDASIL.
> ... Alum adjuvants are suspected to be
> responsible for Gulf War disease and other
> possible vaccination-related complications."
> So basically the claim here is that the number of
> women in the control group developing genital
> This is a very serious claim -- if this turns out
> to be true, it is astounding, as is the assertion
> that NONE (ZERO) of the women in the control
> group actually developed cervical cancer. In that
> case, the comparison is totally flawed and there
> would zeno basis for this vaccine whatsoever! The
> author writes that "this vaccine's supposed
> efficacy is based on the fact that the vaccinated
> group ended up with far fewer cases (5 vs. about
> 200) of genital warts and "precancerous lesions"
> (dysplasias) than the alum injected "control" subjects."
> Shocking indeed, if true. As this is a breaking
> and fast-stampeded story, we need to gather all information .....
> <
> >Gardasil
> Vaccine...
> Cure or Threatening Hoax?
> 1) GARDASIL is a vaccine for 4 strains of the
> human papillomavirus (HPV), two strains that are
> strongly associated (and probably cause) genital
> warts and two strains that are typically
> associated (and may cause) cervical cancer. About
> 90% of people with genital warts show exposure to
> one of the two HPV strains strongly suspected to
> cause genital warts. About 70% of women with
> cervical cancer show exposure to one of the other
> two HPV strains that the vaccine is designed to confer resistance to.
> 2) HPV is a sexually communicable (not an
> infectious) virus. When you consider all strains
> of HPV, over 70% of sexually active males and
> females have been exposed. A condom helps a lot
> (70% less likely to get it), but has not been
> shown to stop transmission in all cases (only one
> study of 82 college girls who self-reported about
> condom use has been done). For the vast majority
> of women, exposure to HPV strains (even the four
> "bad ones" protected for in GARDASIL) results in
> no known health complications of any kind.
> 3) Cervical cancer is not a deadly nor prevalent
> cancer in the US or any other first world nation.
> Cervical cancer rates have declined sharply over
> the last 30 years and are still declining.
> Cervical cancer accounts for less than 1% of of
> all female cancer cases and deaths in the US.
> Cervical cancer is typically very treatable and
> the prognosis for a healthy outcome is good. The
> typical exceptions to this case are old women,
> women who are already unhealthy and women who
> don't get pap smears until after the cancer has existed for many years.
> 4) Merck's clinical studies for GARDASIL were
> problematic in several ways. Only 20,541 women
> were used (half got the "placebo") and their
> health was followed up for only four years at
> maximum and typically 1-3 years only. More
> critically, only 1,121 of these subjects were
> less than 16. The younger subjects were only
> followed up for a maximum of 18 months.
> Furthermore, less than 10% of these subjects
> received true placebo injections. The others were
> given injections containing an aluminum salt
> adjuvant (vaccine enhancer) that is also a
> component of GARDASIL. This is scientifically
> preposterous, especially when you consider that
> similar alum adjuvants are suspected to be
> responsible for Gulf War disease and other
> possible vaccination related complications.
> 5) Both the "placebo" groups and the vaccination
> groups reported a myriad of short term and medium
> term health problems over the course of their
> evaluations. The majority of both groups reported
> minor health complications near the injection
> site or near the time of the injection. Among the
> vaccination group, reports of such complications
> were slightly higher. The small sample that was
> given a real placebo reported far fewer
> complications  as in less than half.
> Furthermore, most if not all longer term
> complications were written off as not being
> potentially vaccine caused for all subjects.
> 6) Because the pool of subjects were so small and
> the rates of cervical cancer are so low, NOT A
> LESS DIED OF IT. Instead, this vaccine's supposed
> efficacy is based on the fact that the vaccinated
> group ended up with far fewer cases (5 vs. about
> 200) of genital warts and "precancerous lesions"
> (dysplasias) than the alum injected "control" subjects.
> 7) Because the tests included just four years of
> follow up at most, the long term effects and
> efficacy of this vaccine are completely unknown
> for anyone. All but the shortest term effects are
> completely unknown for little girls. Considering
> the tiny size of youngster study, the data about
> the shortest terms side effects for girls are also dubious.
> 8) GARDASIL is the most expensive vaccine ever
> marketed. It requires three vaccinations at $120
> a pop for a total price tag of $360. It is
> expected to be Merck's biggest cash cow of this and the next decade.
> These are simply the facts of the situation as
> presented by Merck and the FDA. This vaccine was
> just approved in June, 2006. It was never tested
> on pre-teens except in a tiny trial run with at
> most 18 months of follow up. Even if we subscribe
> to the theory that HPV causes cervical cancer,
> there is ZERO hard data showing that this vaccine
> reduces cervical cancer rates or cervical cancer
> mortality rates, which are both already very low
> in the US and getting lower every year. Now Texas
> has already made this vaccine mandatory for
> middle school with all sorts of useful idiots and
> Big Pharma operatives clamoring for more states
> to make this vaccine COMPULSORY immediately.
> (This information was sourced from
> <
> >Homepathic
> Remedies for HPV
> and Other Warts
> The following was taken from ABC Homeopathy
> Homoeopathy has potential to stimulate body's
> natural healing capacity and to restore the disturbed immune system.
> There are around 3000 homoeopathy medicines
> derived from various natural resources and
> effective against plethora of diseases. Among all
> Thuja is very frequently used homoeopathy
> medicines for HPV or Warts of any kind.
> Principal sycotic remedies in Homoeopathy are:
> Please do not use all remedies, just select one
> according to your symptoms and nature.
> The Following are the BIOTHERAPIC NOSODES;
> <
> >Reported
> Adverse Events from the Gardasil Vaccine
> Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine Safety
> Analysis of Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System Reports:
> Adverse Reactions, Concerns and Implications
> (Report from National Vaccine Information Center)
> On June 8th 2006, the Food and Drug
> Administration (FDA) announced the approval of
> GARDASIL, and on June 29th the Advisory Committee
> on Immunizations Practices (ACIP) voted to
> recommend adding GARDASIL human papilloma virus
> vaccine to the Centers for Disease Control's
> national childhood recommended immunization
> schedule. On July 14th the first report of a
> serious reaction to the vaccine was filed with
> the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
> A 16-year-old Illinois girl was vaccinated July
> 7th and 13 days later developed symptoms
> eventually diagnosed as Guillian-Barre Syndrome.
> A 14-year-old girl in the District of Columbia
> was vaccinated on July 11th and complained of
> severe pain immediately following the injection,
> fell off the examining table and experienced a 10
> to 15 second fainting spell ending up in the
> emergency room with a headache and speech
> problems. The report of this reaction, the first
> in the nation, was filed on July 14th, 15 days after the ACIP vote.
> Six months later, 82 reports of GARDASIL
> reactions have been submitted to VAERS on behalf
> of at least 84 young girls and 2 boys.[1]
> Reaction reports have come in from 21 states and
> the District of Columbia.[2] Reactions were
> reported for children and young adults ranging in
> age from 11 to 27. Of the reports indicating what
> day the vaccine was given and the reaction
> occurred, 63 percent stated that the reaction
> occurred the same day the vaccine was given. All
> but three of the reports were for reactions that
> occurred within one week of vaccination.
> This document is divided into three sections. The
> first section describes reaction reports for a
> number of reported adverse events: neurological
> symptoms including syncopal episodes and
> seizures, arthralgia and joint pain,
> Guillian-Barre Syndrome, and other immunological
> reactions. The second section addresses concerns
> related to vaccinating individuals already
> infected with HPV. The last section discusses
> issues that need to be addressed by government
> regulators and the manufacturer and
> considerations for clinicians and consumers.
> Reported Adverse Events
> Presumably, the reactions described below
> occurred after the first dose of GARDASIL.
> GARDASIL is given in a three-dose series. None of
> the reports stated that the children and adults
> experiencing problems had previously been vaccinated with GARDASIL.
> Syncopal Episodes and Seizures. One-quarter of
> all reports filed after GARDASIL vaccination were
> for neurologic adverse events including loss of
> consciousness, syncope, syncopal events and
> seizures. An additional five reports included
> symptoms of dizziness and feeling faint.
> Syncope is defined as a temporary suspension of
> consciousness due to generalized cerebral
> ischemia (inadequate blood flow and lack of
> oxygen). The reports of syncopal episodes and
> their descriptions are remarkable. A physician
> from Washington State reported that in one
> morning, three patients experienced syncopal
> episodes. On August 8th another physician's
> office reported that two patients experienced
> syncopal episodes on the same day.
> Although these reports did not detail what
> happened to the individuals experiencing these
> syncopal episodes, other reports did. The
> 14-year-old DC girl mentioned earlier experienced
> a syncopal episode combined with amblyopia (poor
> vision in one eye), abnormal speech, vomiting, and headache.
> Also experiencing vision problems, a 17-year-old
> New York girl reported feeling dizzy and her
> vision went "black for a few seconds" and she
> turned pale and lips turned purple and she also
> had fever and chills. Similar to the DC girl, on
> July 18th immediately after being vaccinated, a
> 22-year-old Kentucky woman experienced slurred
> speech accompanied by pallor and shock.
> On August 29th, two hours after being vaccinated,
> a 15-year-old New York girl who had a history of
> asthma and was on four asthma medications
> experienced difficulty swallowing prompting a
> visit to the emergency room. On August 17th, 15
> minutes after being vaccinated, a 14-year-old
> Pennsylvania girl passed out in the car on the way home.
> Most of the reports do not describe what happened
> as a result of the syncopal episode but a few do.
> One 11-year-old Florida girl fell from the
> examining table and two Washington girls fell - a
> 16-year-old girl fell and hit her head on a
> carpeted concrete surface and a 14-year-old girl fell down and broke her
> nose.
> Whether the 22 girls who experienced syncopal
> episodes actually experienced atonic seizures
> cannot be determined from these reports. Four
> girls, however, displayed observable seizure
> activity. The 11-year-old Florida girl who fell
> from the table also displayed "tonic posturing."
> Tonic posturing is a type of seizure where
> sustained contraction of muscles in the legs and
> arms occurs and consciousness is impaired.
> The 16-year-old Washington girl who fell and hit
> her head on the floor lost consciousness for one
> minute and displayed tonic posturing of her right
> hand. Additionally, a 15-year-old girl from
> Virginia was described as having "a mild
> seizure." In California, a 13-year-old girl was
> walking down the hall after her vaccination, fell
> and had a 15-second tonic/clonic seizure.
> Tonic/clonic seizures are also known as "grand mal" seizures.
> Additionally, there were reports of dyskinesia
> (difficulty or distortion in performing voluntary
> movements) and hypokinesia (slow or diminished
> movement of the body musculature) both of which have neurological
> implications.
> Arthralgia, Joint Pain and Fever. Arthralgia is
> defined as pain in the joints. Concerns about
> arthritis were raised during the GARDASIL
> clinical trials. Reports of arthralgia in one or
> more joints accompanied by fever were noted in
> five instances from four young girls and women in
> Wisconsin, Texas and New York, and one 18-year-old New York male.
> Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Reports state that two
> recently vaccinated 16-year-old girls - one from
> Illinois and the other from Mississippi - were
> diagnosed with Guillian-Barre Syndrome (GBS)
> following vaccination with GARDASIL. In both
> cases, the onset of symptoms occurred 13 days
> after vaccination. According to the National
> Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke:
> GBS is a serious disorder in which the body's
> immune system attacks part of the peripheral
> nervous system. The first symptoms of this
> disorder include varying degrees of weakness or
> tingling sensations in the legs. In many
> instances, the weakness and abnormal sensations
> spread to the arms and upper body. These symptoms
> can increase in intensity until certain muscles
> cannot be used at all and, when severe, the
> patient is almost totally paralyzed. 
> Vaccinations can trigger onset of GBS.[3]
> The Illinois girl described earlier was
> vaccinated on July 7th and symptoms were evident
> by July 20th. The girl also experienced gait
> abnormalities (trouble walking properly),
> asthenia (weakness without loss of strength),
> paresthesia (burning, prickling, tingling or
> numbness sensation usually felt in the hands,
> arms, feet and legs), and hyperkinesia (abnormal
> increase in muscle movement). The Mississippi
> girl was vaccinated on July 31st and by August
> 13th she had increasing numbness and tingling in
> her feet and hands and was subsequently evaluated
> by a neurologist and diagnosed with GBS. The
> current health status of these girls is not known.
> In both of these cases, the girls were also
> vaccinated with Aventis Pasteur's Menactra, a
> vaccine for meningococcal infections. Menactra
> has previously been associated with
> Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and the FDA and others have issued alerts.
> Other Adverse Reactions.
> Additionally, a number of other reactions to
> GARDASIL are noted in VAERS reports and they
> include: urticaria (hives); pruritus (itching);
> macular and papular rashes; blisters and vesicles
> near the injection site; swollen arms;
> lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes); red, hot
> swollen knots at injection site; burning,
> stabbing, severe and radiating pain at the
> injection site and in the affected limb during
> and after injection; nausea and vomiting;
> infections and skin ulcers, and other allergic reactions.
> To read the rest of this report go to
> <
> >Big
> Business Targets Young Girls and Women with Gardasil Vaccine for Big
> Profits
> The governor of Texas just overroad the
> legislative process and declared an executive
> order mandating Merck's new vaccine Gardasil for
> all public school age girls 11 years and older.
> Merck is claiming Gardasil will protect young
> girls and women from four strains of human
> papillomaviruses, which in some cases is believed to lead to cervical
> cancer.
> This from the USA Today, "Bypassing the
> Legislature, Republican Gov. Rick Perry signed an
> order Friday making Texas the first state to
> require that schoolgirls get vaccinated against
> the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer.
> By issuing an executive order, Perry apparently
> sidesteps opposition in the Legislature from
> conservatives and parents' rights groups who fear
> such a requirement would condone premarital sex
> and interfere with the way parents raise their children."
> As a woman and a mom, I am outraged that big
> business is infecting our state leaders and
> making them believe it is okay to take away our
> parental and individual rights for our health freedom.
> It should never be governments right to "mandate"
> anything that goes into our bodies. This is an
> ULTIMATE infringement on human rights. Of course,
> as a side note they will quietly mention that
> exemptions are allowed to parents and their
> children via religious and medical exemptions.
> However, it has been my experience that most
> citizens and even healthcare professionals are not aware of these
> exemptions.
> In many states, when parents take immunization
> exemptions they often face harrassment by medical
> and school professionals. Many even though it
> should be a part of their jobs don't even know
> the laws regarding these exemptions.
> If you are not aware of the dangers that surround
> vaccinations, I highly recommend that you look
> into it for the sake of yourself and your
> children. At least, make an informed decision and
> not one that is from big pharmaceutical and
> governmental propaganda. One good website to
> visit to learn more about the dangers of vaccines
> is <>
> Vaccines are big money makers for pharmaceutical
> companies and those invested. What other drug can
> you get such mass populations to line up for?
> Don't fool yourself if you think that they only
> have your best interests in mind.
> Regardless of whether you are for or against
> vaccines, you should be up in arms about the
> blantant abuse of leadership power and the very
> real attack on human rights. If we let these
> things go, little by little, they'll be in total
> control of what you can and cannot do for your
> own personal health and the health of your
> children. Do you want someone else making life and death decisions for
> you?
> Texas was the first state, but BE WARNED...the
> other states are getting ready to line up to this
> as well, unless there is outcry.
> The following information was exerpted from the
> website The Medical Accountability Network.
> You can find the rest of this article at
> <>
> Is the HPV vaccine safe?
> Can the HPV vaccine actually make infection
> worse? The study showed an increase in pre-cancer
> related to the vaccine types in the people who
> already had these infections before they got the
> vaccine. It is possible that when infected girls
> whose immune systems have not cleared the virus
> from their bodies are vaccinated, the vaccine may
> lead to an increased number of cases of a
> pre-cancer. This is very concerning, because
> there is no routine test you can get in your
> doctor's office that will tell if you are already
> infected by a vaccine type HPV before you get the vaccine.
> How does the HPV vaccine affect fertility? Birth
> defects? Risk of cancers? Breast milk?Five
> subjects who got the Merck vaccine around the
> time of conception had babies with birth defects,
> whereas no birth defects occurred in this time
> period in the subjects who got dummy shots. The
> manufacturer also specifies that the vaccine has
> not been tested to see whether it could cause
> cancer. It is not known if the vaccine virus-like
> proteins or the antibodies pass into the breast
> milk. Merck says that it should not be given to pregnant women.
> The longest portion of the study only lasted just
> under four years. Thus there is no long term data
> on how it affects the ability to become pregnant
> (fertility). This is especially concerning
> because the FDA has approved the vaccine for as
> young as 9 year old girls. The effect of
> artificially influencing the immune system during
> a time of tremendous hormone shifts of puberty is
> unknown. The package insert specifies that the
> vaccine has not been tested for altering genes in
> the patient or her future children (genotoxicity).
> Comparison to other vaccines Hepatitis B vaccine
> was rushed to the market and broadly administered
> to young people in the absence of adequate human
> safety testing. It is now one of the most common
> vaccines reported to the
> <>Vaccine Adverse Effect
> Reporting System, particularly for
> gastrointestinal problems, arthritis and multiple
> sclerosis. The new HPV vaccine uses aluminum and
> polysorbate, two substances known to cause cancer
> in laboratory animals and to alter immune responses.
> What are the consequences of declining the
> vaccine? The ultimate prevention of HPV is
> abstinence. Condom use is at least 70% effective
> in preventing all types of genital HPV infection.
> HPV infection is often eliminated by the body's
> natural immune mechanisms. Abnormal Pap tests
> often return to normal on their own. Cervical
> cancer is on the decline as are cervical cancer
> deaths, but it still occurs in about 10,000 women
> a year with 3,700 dying. Pap tests are required
> whether or not you take the vaccine.


Michael Balter
Contributing Correspondent, Science
[log in to unmask]