Harvard and CNN Report on Lower than Expected H1N1 Vaccine Uptake
Is One Man to Blame for the WorldWide H1N1 Panic?

$300K to Banyan Communications from Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines?

Bnyn_layered_logo_rgb By Katie Wright

Does anyone know who “Banyan Communications” is?

I just sat through an incredibly disturbing and bizarre Health and Human Resources Service Administration meeting. The Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines (ACCV) has suddenly found $300,000 to fund a marketing and research campaign on public perceptions of vaccine safety.

#1 Who allotted this enormous amount of money for this expensive mystery project?

#2 What is Banyan Communications and how were they allowed to choose this marketing company without any input from the public members?

#3 The marketing plan was presented by 3 earnest but woefully uniformed women whose past experience includes working with Boys’ Town and  organ donation.  One woman explained how organ donation work was also a delicate and controversial subject. I know! As I was listening to this I was thinking, “Sister, please!” If 10 is the most controversial, organ donation is a 1 and autism and vaccines is a 9.

#4 Why was this marketing team chosen? They have absolutely no knowledge of the pertinent issues surrounding vaccine safety issues and autism.

#5 When asked to give an example of where they would collect data and opinions, the lead marketing woman cited “Wired” magazine. Remember people, she is spending $300,000 of your tax money.

Then she spoke about speaking to the “best experts” and researching “evidence based medicine.”  I suppose those “experts” include a former entertainment reporter who now works for “Wired”?

 #5 Do any members of the ACCV have a past or present professional relationship with this company? Speak up now!

Where is the public input? Where is the accountability to the stakeholders? How is a $300,000 contract issued without the knowledge of ACCV members?

Why are we investing even more dollars in order to hold meetings to hold meetings and to read “Wired” magazine?

Just asking- if anyone has any information I would love to hear from them. Thanks!

Katie Wright has two young boys. Her oldest son, Christian, is severely affected by autism. He developed normally; smiling, talking, walking; only to lose every skill and every word by the age of 2 and a half. Upon the advice of medical professionals Katie and her husband were advised to pursue only high quality behavioral therapy, speech and OT for Christian. It had no meaningful impact on Christian until his parents sought help from DAN! doctors who treated the underlying causes of Christian's descent into autism. Christian has improved but still has far to go. He has Inflammatory Bowel Disease, the measles virus in his gut and an immune system akin to a late stage AIDS patient. Christian does not have a psychiatric disorder. Before autism, Katie Wright was the Clinical Director of Sexual Assault Crisis Center in Stamford Connecticut. Katie is proud to serve on the Boards of NAA and SafeMinds.

Comments

David Zielinski

I have actually worked with Banyan Communications and can tell you that Katie's characterization of this firm is unfair, and the ensuing comments and assumptions about Banyan are un-informed. I am not an expert on Autism so I won’t comment about any of the important issues raised in this thread about that subject. But I can tell you that Banyan is a national-Emmy award winning company that has successfully delivered excellent learning programs and communication tools on important public health topics around violence prevention, including Teen Violence Prevention, Principles of Violence Prevention and Lynk, which is a resource tool for Violence Prevention professionals. They have also created multimedia-centric educational work on other topics for HRSA, CDC-NCIPC, and other governmental and non-profit organizations.
For starters, if you want to learn more about this ‘mystery’ company visiting their web site is a good place to start: www.banyancommunications.com. I also take issue with the underlying insinuation that somehow organ donation issues or that Boys Town work does not compare to Autism/Vaccination issues. I understand Katie’s passion for the subject, but in fact organ donation is a very controversial topic, particularly in some minority communities where donation rates are extremely low and donation demands are extremely high. And I would recommend that everyone take a few minutes to see what important and holistic work Boys Town is doing dealing with at-risk youths and their families.
I can also tell you that for all of their work, Banyan does not simply rely on magazine publications for research, but work with the most recognized and influential subject matter experts they can and carefully validate all of their findings and messaging before developing any communications.
Let me clearly say that I am not part of this company, I do not currently work with them or for them, nor do I have any kind of vested interest in Banyan. I am simply someone who has worked with this very excellent and talented team and want to offer a little more balance to the rather negative characterization about Banyan in this thread.

Randy

"If we found ourselves in that situation, we'd remove ourselves from that situation," [Holzworth] said. "There is too much at stake to allow something like that to happen."

that approach also worked wonders for the leaders of the Catholic Church.

Casey

I am all about PR and advertising. When Generation Rescue put the full page ad in USA Today, it got TONS of people's attention many new mothers started reading after seeing that (and not hearing me rant) and decided to skip or adjust their kiddos vaccines.

I'm game! We are powerful!!

Maureen H. McDonnell, RN

I agree that it is expensive to seek out biomedical treatments, and that any available funding families have should go toward obtaining those effective interventions. However,in addition to the propaganda machine that was most likely behind the detrimental articles in the Chicago Tribune and the LA Times (designed to sway the public against effective treatments for autism), one by one the state medical boards are trying to take down DAN! type physicians. Their reasoning: these docs are not adhering to the "standards of practice/care" set forth by the AMA and the AAP. We all know that this is a joke and completely unfair because ironically, biomedically oriented practitioners are trying to repair the damage caused by those who practice traditional medicine and are following the standards of practice/care. I agree that a grassroot attempt to contact the media with stories about autism are helpful, but when you measure the power of those against the gigantic well funded propaganda machine that is emerging, (the same machine that was at work when Merck decided to no longer make available the separate components of the MMR), well, you can see why a professional well funded PR campaign that supports what we all know to be true would be helpful. I'm not talking about large sums of money from any one person (and I certainly don't have any ties to a PR company....) I'm talking about small $5.00 and $10.00 donations, fundraisers etc. There is a passion and power in this community that needs to be harnessed so that a cohesive message of how to get these kids better (and prevent autism in the first place) can get out to the people that need to hear it the most.

Natasa

"Curtis Allen, a spokesman for CDC, downplayed any potential conflict, saying that all Constella does for its $21 million is receive complaints about vaccines and then forward them to the federal agencies."

Boy did this give me a good laugh. Quote of the year indeed

julie

Awesome you guys! This is dirty, dirty DIRTY. Worse than even I imagined, worse than 9-11!

Sidney Wolfe blew the whisle on silicone breast implants and autoimmune disorders. Could he help?

Kevin Barry

Holzworth's company Constella:

1) "Three months after Constella won the carcinogen contract (in 2006), it placed the human papilloma virus on the list of substances to be considered for inclusion on the report."

2) "Constella also won a separate $21 million contract to monitor and report the side effects of vaccinations in the United States, including those made by several of its private-sector clients. The company was awarded a similar contract in 2000." (Constella's current contract runs through 2011.)

***************

Research triggers conflict concerns

Booming private industry serves drug companies and government clients

By Susanne Rust and Cary Spivak of the Journal Sentinel

Posted: April 29, 2007

The medical research company hired by the federal government four years ago to update its list of carcinogens moved quickly to add a virus to the list while two of its clients were developing vaccines to combat that same virus.

Today those clients - Merck & Co. and GlaxoSmithKline - along with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are involved in a controversial push to have every adolescent girl in the nation receive the vaccine against the sexually transmitted human papilloma virus.

Industry analysts predict the vaccines will bring billions of dollars to the two drug manufacturers by 2010.

The federal carcinogen list was prepared by the Constella Group - a North Carolina firm with ties to former U.S. Health and Human Services secretary and Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson.

Constella has received more than $246 million from an array of federal agencies in the past seven years while also working for drug companies the government oversees, the Journal Sentinel found.

While Constella says it has internal controls to prevent conflicts of interest between its government duties and its work for drug and health companies, the government doesn't require corporate contractors to disclose their private-sector clients.

Constella would not discuss what work it has done for the drug companies, saying the information was confidential.

The company's government clients include the National Institutes of Health, which paid Constella $6.6 million to update and oversee the carcinogen list, the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration, an analysis of federal contract data shows.

Constella also won a separate $21 million contract to monitor and report the side effects of vaccinations in the United States, including those made by several of its private-sector clients. The company was awarded a similar contract in 2000.

Major vaccine-makers that Constella has listed as clients on archived editions of the company's Web site include Novartis, Eli Lilly and AstraZeneca. Constella no longer posts private clients on its Web site.

Fast-growing Constella, with expected revenue of $205 million this year, is emerging as an important player in a burgeoning yet largely unregulated industry of contract research organizations.

The $12 billion industry is growing rapidly as the government and drug-makers outsource more and more work. The research companies do everything from providing technical computer support to recommending what chemicals and medications should be scrutinized, controlled or even banned by the federal government. At the same time, the companies frequently are working for various manufacturers subject to regulation.

Sidney Wolfe, of the national consumer watchdog Public Citizen, said tougher conflict-of-interest rules are needed for these federal contractors in the health arena.

"Otherwise the decision-making is tainted. And even worse than being tainted, it could be the wrong decision - which could have an adverse health impact," said Wolfe, a physician who heads the watchdog's Health Research Group. "There are plenty of contractors out there that don't have financial conflicts of interest."

Don Holzworth, Constella's founder and chief executive officer, defended his company, saying it has its own ethics board, among other measures, to protect against conflicts.

"If we found ourselves in that situation, we'd remove ourselves from that situation," he said. "There is too much at stake to allow something like that to happen."

Three months after Constella won the carcinogen contract, it placed the human papilloma virus on the list of substances to be considered for inclusion on the report.

"It's the only list of known or reasonably anticipated carcinogens in the United States that's official," said James Huff, associate director for chemical carcinogenesis at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. "It has a significant impact in this country, in particular, and around the world."

While Constella was working on the carcinogen report, Merck and Glaxo were gearing up to bring their HPV vaccines to market. The Merck vaccine received federal approval last year, and the Glaxo product is being studied by regulators.

Most researchers agree that the human papilloma virus can cause cancer. However, critics warn that even in this case, Constella's actions would be open to question.

"You could make the right decision and still have it be tainted, and people will trust it less because it is financially tainted," Wolfe said.

In a letter to the Journal Sentinel last week, Holzworth denied even a hint of a conflict.

"The work that we did on behalf of Merck and GlaxoSmithKline, and any other pharmaceutical or biotechnology clients, does not conflict with any work that we have previously done, or are currently doing, on behalf of our government contracts," he said.

Officials from Glaxo did not respond to repeated requests for comment, and a Merck spokesman declined comment.

Raising concerns

Concerns about Constella's role in the carcinogen list comes on the heels of a conflict involving Sciences International Inc.

The Virginia company was charged with evaluating the dangers of bisphenol-A, a common ingredient in clear plastics, at the same time that it represented companies that make the additive, including Dow Chemical and 3M.

Under pressure from U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences this month terminated its $5 million contract with Sciences International.

Officials for the program said in a statement it is "developing a strong conflict-of-interest clause" to be included in all similar contracts. A spokesman for the National Institutes of Health, which oversees the environmental health program and more than two dozen medical and health agencies, declined to answer questions.

This year, the environmental health institute had 57 research contracts totaling nearly $1.2 billion. Of that, only five - or $38 million - went to universities, with the rest going to private businesses.

Herman Gibb, Sciences International president, said his company was never asked to disclose client lists or potential conflicts before securing contracts with the institute.

"They didn't ask us explicitly for a conflict-of-interest form," Gibb said. "They're holding us to a standard we didn't have to adhere to."

Thompson, chairman of Constella's advisory board, said he was not concerned about any appearance of conflict involving Constella.

"I am sure that, knowing Don Holzworth, they have put in all kinds of firewalls to prevent conflicts," said Thompson, who admitted he was unfamiliar with Constella's role in preparing the carcinogen list.

"I'm chairman of the advisory board - this has never come up."

Robert Mittelstaedt Jr., dean of the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University who sits on the board of a medical contractor firm, was more skeptical about potential improprieties in the industry.

"You need to be suspicious of things where there is an inherent conflict," he said.

Industry's growth

Few outside of the business realize how much the burgeoning contract research organization industry does. Research organizations have all but taken over the business of testing new drugs, once the domain of universities and in-house research staff.

Much of that testing work is being done in developing nations, where patients - many of whom do not have doctors - volunteer to be guinea pigs in clinical trials.

They also have taken over the business of preparing and analyzing technical reports for many governmental agencies on public health policy here and abroad - including several agencies under the federal health institute umbrella. The U.S. Agency for International Development has a $325 million contract with Constella to advise developing nations on health policy.

The industry has grown so rapidly that even Thompson said the brakes need to be applied, although he has seen no conflicts involving health industry firms that work for the government and private business.

"But there is a potential," acknowledged the Republican presidential candidate.Thompson explained that cash-strapped federal agencies, such as the FDA, are being forced to contract out more work each year, to the chagrin of academics and critics of the drug industry.

Philip Mirowski, a University of Notre Dame professor of economics and policy studies and an expert on research organizations, said, "The question is, 'What's the purpose of the research?' Is it to get your drug over the FDA hurdle - which, by the way, is low? Or is it to find out lots more about all kinds of things that you couldn't anticipate?

"Academics tend toward the latter, right? Wanting to find out all kinds of other things. . . . CROs are cheap because they promise only the former."

Carcinogen report

In May 2003, Constella won the $6.6 million contract from the federal government to prepare the carcinogen reports, which are supposed to be released every two years. The company's duties include reviewing nominations for the list, choosing the scientific literature to prepare technical reports, and drafting the final report - all of which had in past years been conducted by government scientists.

"I was on this project back in the day," said Huff, the associate director at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, "at a time when it was decided by us in the institute which chemicals should be considered" to be included on the report.

Huff, who has worked 27 years for the agency, no longer has a role in preparing the report and has been openly critical of the way it is now put together and about the increasing influence of industry in federal health regulation.

He is also concerned about the lack of transparency.

Contract research organizations, for instance, are not required to disclose information about private clients. Federal officials, meanwhile, declined to respond to questions from the Journal Sentinel about potential conflicts.

And Constella initially denied having a relationship with Merck, before acknowledging four days later that the drug company had been a client.

In the meantime, Constella's annual government receipts have nearly doubled to $44.7 million in 2005, records show. The company's contract with the CDC and FDA to oversee side effects of all vaccines goes through 2011.

Curtis Allen, a spokesman for CDC, downplayed any potential conflict, saying that all Constella does for its $21 million is receive complaints about vaccines and then forward them to the federal agencies.

Besides, Allen said, most large companies generally keep their business lines separate, thus avoiding a conflict.

"The left hand doesn't always know what the right hand is doing," Allen said.


Teresa Conrick

Just saw this and I am not familiar with it..not related to this....or is it?


Protection of Human Health by Immunology and Vaccines
Announcement
Number Title Issuing
Org Release
Date Receipt Date(s)
RFA-AI-09-040 Recovery Act Limited Competition: Protection of Human Health by Immunology and Vaccines (U01, U19) NIAID 06/02/2009 10/15/2009

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-AI-09-040.html

and then these about autism:

Heterogeneity in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Announcement
Number Title Issuing
Org Release
Date Receipt Date(s)
RFA-MH-09-170 Recovery Act Limited Competition: Research to Address the Heterogeneity in Autism Spectrum Disorders (R01) NIMH 03/23/2009 05/12/2009
RFA-MH-09-171 Recovery Act Limited Competition: Research to Address the Heterogeneity in Autism Spectrum Disorders (Collaborative R01) NIMH 03/23/2009 05/12/2009
RFA-MH-09-172 Recovery Act Limited Competition: Research to Address the Heterogeneity in Autism Spectrum Disorders (R21) NIMH 03/23/2009 05/12/2009
RFA-MH-09-173 Recovery Act Limited Competition: Research to Address the Heterogeneity in Autism Spectrum Disorders (R34 and Collaborative R34) NIMH 03/23/2009 05/12/2009

http://grants.nih.gov/recovery/

Teresa Conrick

Please count me in if you need some behind the scenes team effort research.....I can always squeeze in time for helping save the world!

Agree with you, Angie that billions for 10% does not add up.

Angie

I am only half way thru this info (GREAT JOB everyone! Gosh, look at what we can do FOR FREE around here!)...

My big question here is that 'they' all say that Vax rates are in the low-high 90 percentiles right?? So then why should they be SO SCARED to spend BILLIONS on under 10% of us? Especially when 'they' even state that not everyone should have every vaccine, that there are some small exceptions (small according to them of course)...

We all KNOW/KNEW this was big, but what DONT we know? These numbers scare me to death, because I surely thought we had really been "on to" them...but with the BILLIONS of money spent here for "public information /communication services" it scares me to DEATH to even THINK of what really COULD be the problem...

I dont think we know the half of it...but yet, its obvious that we have the ability TO find it out and shout it from the roof-tops (anyone here/see black helicopters overhead yet? *wink*)....

I agree with some of the other posters, can we have a research 'team' of volunteers who can put all of this together so that we can spread it around to all of our smaller local media, in hopes that it gets covered...??

There should be at the VERY LEAST an explanation for the date of 5-14, what the heck?

ARgh.

Thanks everyone, keep it up!
Angie
Mom to Ethan, Alex, and Megan

bensmyson

Garbo I will work on getting copies of some of these contracts. In the process of doing that I may be able to find out the accuracy of these numbers. For instance Wyeth received 23 billion two times for a total of 46 billion. Wyeth is a public company and that money should show up in some stockholder report. (of course this was not "Public Information and Communication Services" money)

I am also going to dig into Holzworth to see what turns up.

Someone else needs to get a copy of the Banyan contract for services and work that road some. What exactly are they providing for the $300,000? Was this let out to bid?

We need someone with Washington contacts.

We might want to start this all in emails rather than in public.

bensmyson@gmail.com

Garbo

We need an organized effort to sift through this info and dig deeper. A number of these companies appear to be tech related, so some of the contracts may be for IT/Website, genuine info dispersal stuff. But a lot of it is shady and the numbers are mind-boggling. And the common contract end date has me curious. 5/14/06? When were the contracts made, and what else was going on in the time leading up to that end date? When was the Gardasil rollout?

Almost all of these companies are located in the beltway. Some are on K-St. We need to find out how many of them are connected to pharma lobbying.

By my count, the NIH contracting document shows 126 contracts for "Public Information and Communication Services" at $250,000,000 apiece, of which 68 have the same project end date of 5/14/06. That's THIRTY ONE AND A HALF BILLION DOLLARS. Even if a good chunk of that is going to legitimate contracts, there's a lot of room for graft and slush funds there. What did these companies do for/with that money?

bensmyson

Maureen if we had hundreds of millions of dollars as they do we should put it into recovering our kids and finding the cause.

Merck's vaccine sales have dropped, the fact that they feel they HAVE TO spend money in propaganda shows we are winning.

Let's create some headlines, bring out some recovery stories, do a vaccinated vs unvaccinated study.

Some of us, the ones that can talk with authority, should be making contacts with our local small town newspapers, update them, educate them, bring them a story. I wrote a reporter yesterday about the 7 year old that froze to death in Nova Scotia. I told her how some kids with autism are natural wanderers. How difficult it is to keep your eye on them every second of the day. Got her in contact with some people I know through my work with a missing persons organization about how to do a proper search, gave her some names to call in law enforcement. It's a story about autism, puts a face on it. But making sure she knows about the lack of proof that it is genetic, and how many people feel it is caused or linked by vaccines, (actually I say environmental toxins, such as vaccines). Leading her to the truth, providing her with a few links.

These stories sometimes get picked up by the AP, they certainly are on Google. And all it takes is a few hours a week, or even a month to make people think.

Maureen H. McDonnell, RN

A shift in public perception/opinion created by a sharp PR/marketing firm is EXACTLY what we need! But we need it from our side! If we all chipped in a few dollars and hired one of these firms to help the public understand the truth about vaccines as well as other factors that are causing so many of our children to be sick, we might have a fighting chance. It doesn't seem to matter how much research is published substantiating certain aspects of the biomedical approach to treating autism for instance, if an uninformed person is reading the disparaging articles in the Chicago Tribune and or LA Times about how risky diet and supplements are, they are left with the idea that vaccines, environmental toxicity, poor diet etc have absolutely nothing to do with autism and that all these safe and effective interventions are actually putting kids in jeopardy! The progpaganda from the other side is getting really strong and this latest contract from the ACCV is proof their efforts to influence the public are only going to get stronger....we need to get the truth out there via a powerful PR campaign.....Why are we letting them get away with this?

Edward Bernay's legacy

So, basically, it's a propaganda outfit
funded by the public for the same public to be brainwashed.


Craig Willoughby

bensmyson and Garbo,

Excellent sleuthing, you two. This is good stuff! And, almost all of this money is just for marketing?

Wow...I guess that marketing is more important than looking at the neurological health outcomes of an unvaccinated populace. Good to see they have their priorities straight (/sarcasm)

bensmyson

Garbo, youve seen some of the billion dollar contracts right? Look on page 118, McKesson Bioservices. Two contracts for 23 billion. Look at page 142, Ohio State University, one contract 9 billion. And RHO Federal Systems contract valued at 14 billion on page 161. The billions on page 164. Nine Billion to University of Pittsburg on page 230. 23 billion TWICE to Wyeth on page 261.

Do you think this is real money? Has there been data entry mistakes?

And Holzworth shows up again on page 134 New England Research for another quarter billion.

We need to see about getting this in Excel so we can search the data easier.

bensmyson

""We have to create different kinds of tension that actually leads to positive messages," she said. Possible angles include personalities, numbers, and new data."

From the Communications and Advocacy discussions at the 2004 Mexico conference on Rotavirus. Looking at how to steer press attention away from "the rare vaccine-related adverse events" to the "life-saving benefits fo vaccines"

http://i45.tinypic.com/2ex3hwp.jpg

How many billions has NIH given to "create different kinds of tension" in order to market vaccines to the unsuspecting public? How many hundreds of millions has private industry kicked in? And what's Generation Rescues budget? Age of Autism's?

There must be a lot of people not buying into the vaccine stuff for them to have to spend that kind of money. People may be smarter than we give them credit for.

Natasa

I think I'm suffering adverse reaction to these revelations … feeling sort of dizzy and nauseous and short of breath, and lost for words.

Keep up the good work everyone, and as Twyla said do make copies of those pages, they could easily go awol.

JenB

I'm just guessing, but I suppose ACCV's funding is based on the rate of vaccine uptake?

http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode42/usc_sec_42_00000300--aa019-.html

"The Commission shall—
(1) advise the Secretary on the implementation of the Program,
(2) on its own initiative or as the result of the filing of a petition, recommend changes in the Vaccine Injury Table,
(3) advise the Secretary in implementing the Secretary’s responsibilities under section 300aa–27 of this title regarding the need for childhood vaccination products that result in fewer or no significant adverse reactions,
(4) survey Federal, State, and local programs and activities relating to the gathering of information on injuries associated with the administration of childhood vaccines, including the adverse reaction reporting requirements of section 300aa–25 (b) of this title, and advise the Secretary on means to obtain, compile, publish, and use credible data related to the frequency and severity of adverse reactions associated with childhood vaccines, and
(5) recommend to the Director of the National Vaccine Program research related to vaccine injuries which should be conducted to carry out this part."

I don't really know what members of this commission perceive as their responsibility, but ten years, or so, ago I would have thought that the above meant that the major portion of the ACCV's function was to make the U. S. childhood vaccine program as safe as possible. Now I can't help reading each function in the context of "public perceptions of vaccine safety" with a potentially, completely different meaning. To me, the use of public funds for a marketing and research campaign like the above is a grotesque misallocation of funds that we (the collective U.S. "government") owe to the recovery or at the very least, attempted recovery, of the children we've harmed, and to the protection of children still in harm's way today, but it only reaffirms my unwanted, cynical view of what they are trying to accomplish.

If we suggested to members of congress working toward health care "reform" and "universal healthcare access" that they need to make sure funding for groups like this one is based on something like the percentage of children who actually reach adulthood, without disability or chronic health problem, that they would look at us like we were speaking a foreign language? Would they even consider it?

Jim Thompson

This should be investigated, at a minimum, for waste and fraud by the USDOJ.

The amount of $ 4.25 billion is obscene and absurd! It OVERSHADOWS most all of the outrageous appropriations given in the Citizens Against Government Waste 2009 Pigbook at http://www.cagw.org/reports/pig-book/2009/ .

One can only infer that this Orwellian titled outsourcing, “Public Information and Communication Services,” by the NIH “Ministry of Truth” (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministry_of_Truth ) is the source of a good deal of the vaccine safety misinformation and garbage fed to the public.

Jim Thompson

For anyone interested in contacting the US Department of Justice, here is the web site for the National Procurement Fraud Task Force http://www.justice.gov/criminal/npftf/

Garbo

Next up is IQ Solutions of Rockville, MD, Tom Brackett contact, he's the CFO. They have 7 of the $250,000,000 PICS contracts during 2004-2006, for a total of $1.75 BILLION. They also received a contract 09/06/05 date for $2,780,295,000 for "Research Dissemination." That's $2.7 BILLION. [Aren't you people lucky? I'm disseminating MY research to YOU for FREE!]

In addition to NIH, their clients include HRSA, New Mexico Dept. of Health, U.S. HHS Assistant Secretary for Health, Pharmacia & Upjohn Inc., The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Association of SIDS and Infant Mortality Programs, National Mental Health Association, Prescribing Psychologists Register, etc. The website only lists the "Government Sector" and the "NonProfit sector" clients.

They just hired some new guys. Here's one of them:
Stephen Murphy is an expert on the convergence of media in the marketing communications arena. For more than 25 years he has managed large-scale communications programs for non-profits, government agencies, and private industry. Having directed national campaigns for CDC, NIH, and DHHS agencies that included paid advertising, non-traditional grassroots, and web and social media outreach, Stephen has a broad spectrum of marketing research and implementation knowledge with a focus on customer-driven applications and approaches. Stephen Murphy founded The Media Network, a successful marketing agency, established one of the first Internet radio news applications, and developed database and Web tools to locate new customer opportunities. As senior vice president of digital strategy and innovation, his role is to expand iQSolutions’ use of social media and emerging technologies to enhance marketing communications and outcomes.

One must wonder, is this the source of troll salaries?

Garbo

The other biggest single recipient of these $250,000,000 PICS contracts is Macro International Inc, contact Frank J. Quirk. They received 20 of these contracts for various dates from 2004-2007, including the 5/14/06 date in common with so many others.

It's a business, research and consulting company; he's been CEO since 1980. They were acquired by Opinion Research Corp. in 1999, and in 2006 that was acquired by infoUSA, now called infoGroup, and Macro became a wholly owned subsidiary of infoUSA. In 2007 they merged with Social & Health Services LLC. In June of this year they were purchased by ICF International for $155 million. ICF's selected client list includes HHS, CDC, NIH, FDA, SAMHSA, Schering-Plough, and Pfizer. Quirk also remains aas EVP and Director of Opinion Research Corporation (ORC). ORC is a partner of CNN on the CNN/Opinion Research Poll.

According to Wikipedia, infoUSA/infoGroup hired Bill Clinton as a consultant after he left office; as of 2007 he'd been paid $3.3 million and 100,000 stock options. In June 2007, Gupta praised Clinton's work for the company. "He helps us meet some of the right people," he told the Omaha World-Herald. "In many speeches, he has mentioned InfoUSA by name." Gupta said that his payments to Clinton weren't wasted. "We get back many times over what is spent on Bill. I would say over the last seven years, easily over $40 million."

From ORC's website: "ORC serves a diverse range of public and private sector organizations in the healthcare space, including hospitals, health clinics and centers, and regulatory agencies. We also deliver independent, fact-based research for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, device and disposable product manufacturers, hospitals, distributors, health insurance companies and regulatory agencies. Additionally, we provide insight into the constituencies served by our clients, including physicians and other healthcare professionals, non-clinical decision-makers (e.g., hospital administrators, finance and purchasing officials), patients and caregivers, intermediaries (e.g., managed care medical directors, pharmacy directors, group purchasing organizations, distributors, etc.), key opinion leaders and government officials."

20 x $250,000,000=$5 BILLION. Frank J. Quirk is the contact for all these contracts.

Twyla

This is indeed quite amazing sleuthing, and I hope someone will write this info up as an article, and I also hope that some of you are saving copies of the pages you found in case they disappear tomorrow, as sometimes happens...

bensmyson

UPDATED

Total over $4.25 billion

http://i49.tinypic.com/rjjg3d.jpg

My bad, forgot the $750,000,000 for Garrett Yu Hussein LLC, thanks Garbo!

BTW look at this

http://www.garretthealth.com/Garrett_Health/Curriculum_Vitae.html

bensmyson

Ciro de Quadros serves on Holzworth's (its a private company) Board of Advisors.

Who is Ciro?

June 5, 2009 10:00 am CET; 4:00 am EST

“Regardless of where they live, virtually all children become infected with rotavirus by the age of three. Yet, 90 percent of child deaths due to rotavirus occur in the world's poorest countries where access to medical care is often limited," said Dr. Ciro de Quadros, Executive Vice President of the Sabin Vaccine Institute. “The WHO recommendation for global use of rotavirus vaccines underscores the need to protect children in low-resource settings and, when vaccines are introduced as part of a country’s national immunization program, they will prevent millions of needless deaths.”

For more information, please visit http://www.path.org/news/pr090605-who-rotavirus.php.

See bottom of page 4

http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:ZC7nN7ku6PMJ:sabin.org/files/SabinReportSpring06.pdf+%22Ciro+de+Quadros%22+offitt&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESisntI200Vmitb_7wKR1NXiCBBofFxTNhH1kqIbgHFw2cJZd1Iu8BlQQOTaS2zrxGG4I3ZdDZDJ-bAEOIU0jMG3zCBc8P4l5NdY-3xc7Odko5UzTC_Ls5ntgrXto0j0ROnwx_jG&sig=AHIEtbQp8s8Ej6gKB5sL_L4L14VlOzVZRQ


Then there is this:

From a 2004 conference about the Rotavirus and Rotavirus vaccines, a little something from our friend Dr. Paul Offitt.

http://i47.tinypic.com/30wq9mw.jpg

Garbo

Yes, Holzworth also is contact for United Information Systems Inc. of Bethesda, MD and Durham, NC, recipient of $250,000,000 for Public Information and Communication Services (heretofore to be known as PICS) date of 5/14/06. Also Analytical Sciences Inc. of Bethesda MD, 4x $250,000,000 contracts for PICS 5/14/06, 4/30/06, 9/1/04, 5/14/06.

Janet Sheehan

So what is Banyan's plan- maybe they'll go straight for the jugular and use childrens television, like maybe kill off all the characters on Sesame Street...you know, like Oscar the grouch will get tetanus from his rusty trash can, Big Bird will die from complications of the measles, Ernie and Bert will come down with Hepatitis B, Elmo will get meningitis...you get the picture! Social media networking aimed at the kids?

bensmyson

Going down the rabbit hole a little deeper

http://web.archive.org/web/20060719071749/www.constellagroup.com/health_sciences/making_an_impact/pandemic.shtml

"U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Leavitt wanted to ensure the event was properly branded and well-coordinated and that all the supporting materials were polished and professional. The HHS turned to Constella for assistance through a contract the company holds with the National Vaccine Program Office, through which Constella provides logistical, writing and editing, and web support."

Henderson

You guys are amazing.

bensmyson

OK it's growing, found another billion and a half dollars he got.

http://i46.tinypic.com/smszle.jpg

enoughisenough

Katie, this is citizen journalism at it's best. If you need us to help research any specific points please let us know. We can form research teams and submit to you what we find. The media has given up true investigative reporting in favor of being a publicity arm for the government, which was evidence by their unquestioning support of "The March to War" and their lack of questioning of assignation of H1N1 back in Jan. despite only 300 worldwide deaths at the time. If journalists are unwilling to be journalists someone has to do the work.

bensmyson

Garbo, holy crap check it out.

It's over two billion in two years!

http://i48.tinypic.com/1zyy3df.jpg

We need a FOIA request to get a copy of the contracts and find out exactly what was done for this money.

I feel like Im looking at UFO's, this can't be real.

Gatogorra

What great sleuthing-- first from Katie and then Garbo and everyone else. Amazing-- you guys have plumbed the heart of darkness in one sweep. I took a look myself...

Hmmm-- Banyan. What an interesting name for a company-- the "strangler fig" is a parasitic tree which starts out innocuously growing on a host tree, eventually destroying it. It becomes enormous, sometimes with a canopy 3/4 of an acre wide.

From their website:

"Successful communication means knowing your audience. Not only WHO they are, but WHAT they respond to and HOW to get their attention...Your organization can find its way through the tangle of strategic planning and media challenges to the one company whose mission is to help you put down roots, attain **unlimited growth***, and reach for new horizons.

Banyan Communications is a National Emmy Award-Winning media agency. We work exclusively with nonprofit organizations and government agencies.

Like the Banyan Tree, we grow our client's image and presence focusing on longevity, reach, and strength to maximize the impact of your public outreach activities…

…to create tangible, positive results".

They apparentlly make fake documentaries as product placement for nonprofits (you know, like drug industry front groups) or for government agendas:

"To fill the yawning maw of mass media, plots have become formulaic. Writers and producers find elements that elicit a desirable response and recycle them over and over. The result is tedious, often predictable television programming.

This is why documentary programming has exploded in popularity.

With no preconceived narrative, documentaries provide the suspense that conventional programs have a difficult time matching. This explosion in demand for documentaries is a golden opportunity for nonprofits and government agencies to create educational, informative, compelling, and dramatic programming that viewers actively watch — and **to bring national public attention to your organization's name, mission, and services***."

What they don't want us to know

David Kirby? Are you out there and reading this? Surely this can be intelligence for your next book! This just gets more interesting by the hour. Scandalicious.

julie

God how sinister it all is.

Jack's Dad re the CNN thing, I agree with you about the agenda. I'm a big believer in both biomed/diet AND ABA (the right kind). The body tries to heal itself from vaccine damage and in some fortunate children this seems to occur without diet or medical intervention. Maybe these are the kids whose immune systems are still robust and who did not sustain irreversible brain damage. Too bad we'll never know, since nobody but us is interested in studying recovered autistics!

True, ABA does have some science behind it. Too bad that's not good enough for my insurance company that won't pay for it, and the school system that doesn't provide it!

who else is in on it?

"$250,000,000. Yes, that's $250 MILLION dollars."

Offensive and criminal-

Garbo

Further analysis of that NIH contracting document...
Holzworth's Constella group was also the recipient of SEVEN $250,000,000 contracts for "Public Information and Communication Services" (9/1/04, 5/14/06, 8/9/04, 7/1/04, 8/9/04, 5/15/06, 9/25/04).

He is also listed as the contact for a company called Garrett Yu Hussein LLC, of Washington, DC, which received 3 $250,000,000 contracts for "Public Information and Communication Services" (5/14/06, 9/30/04, 6/30/04). All these dates are the estimated end dates for the contracts.

The interesting thing is, there are a TON of other firms who received the same amount, or multiple contracts with the same amount, for the same designation of services, with the same contract end dates. I'm going through them now and I'm about halfway through. It's very, very interesting. Let's just say, that if the NIH claims there's no money to fund a little vaxed/unvaxed study, they're a bunch of lying liars. They're just spending billions of dollars on "Public Informatino and Communication Support" instead of research.

The other little tidbit of interest with Mr. Holzworth's name associated is the New England Research Institute of Watertown, MA. It received contracts in smaller amounts for what looks like real medical research, including research into Hepatitis C, "Immune Function in Children", and "Contribution of Amalgam Restoration to Total Body Burden" (dates of 5/31/06, 3/31/05, and various other later dates for the Hep C research). The contact for those contracts was a Dr. Sonja M. McKinlay. Then there's a contract for the New England Research Institute for $250,000,000 end date 5/14/06, and the contact is Donald A. Holzworth.

Curiouser and curioser, no?

Alexander Cornswalled

This is all the more reason for us to fight the good fight and keep the grass roots movement against these liquid abominations going.

bensmyson

Holzworth is an interesting guy. http://assets.bizjournals.com/story_image/204800-0-0-4.jpg

He sold Constella for 185 million in 2007, then turned around and bought part of it back for 35 million. Constella had 1,500 employees and annual sales of around $200 million. The Constella Futures unit (which he just bought back) helps design public health programs in developing countries.

The company he sold Constella to is SRA International is into everything from military and security investigations and data collecting to public health and running clinical trials for pharmaceutical companies.

So he has ties with Banyan? Interesting, what's a billionaire schlepping for some podunk 6 employee company with a million or two in revenues? Is it his niece's company?

kathleen

Garbo, you are wonderful! I am completely speechless, but not at all surprised (rolling eyes smiley here)

Jack's Dad

I just saw a feature story on cnn.com about a boy named Jack who is recovered. Per my comment post, it's great to see a recovery story in the mainstream press. But even this story has an agenda. Note emphasis near the top of the story about how the mom only considered treatment "that had the science behind it," and of course young Jack spoke his first word while eating...ice cream! (so much for casein behind harmful).

Henderson

Elucidatus -

The Telecommunications company was Banyan Systems, Inc. (now defunct) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banyan_%28company%29
which created Banyan VINES (for Virtual Integrated NEtwork Service).http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banyan_VINES

DIFFERENT company altogether (I just spend the morning investigating this - as I know someone who was big at Banyan Systems, Inc. way back when).

Garbo

Woo Hoo!! Jackpot!

According to the HHS's "Listing of Active Contracts" for the NIH, which you can find HERE:
http://www.hhs.gov/osdbu/read/nih.pdf

Banyan Communications Inc. has two open contracts (it's on page 13 of the PDF).

The first had an estimated completion date of 9/30/04 to "Redistribute Public Service Announcement", and was for $39,000. The contact was Sally Deval.

The second had an estimated completion date of 5/14/06 for "Public Information Communications Services". It was for $250,000,000. Yes, that's $250 MILLION dollars. That's a lot of simoleyans, as Bugs Bunny would say. And who was the contact person for THIS contract? Not our pal Sally Deval.

It's a guy by the name of Donald A. Holzworth. And who might he be, you might wonder? Well, according to Pharmafiles HERE: http://www.pharmafiles.net/?action=view_person&person_id=979)

He is the chairman of Futures Group International and a very, very, very big friend of the Pharmaceutical Industry all over the globe! (I know, you are shocked, absolutely shocked! Go have a look right now. Seriously. I'll wait.)

He is also on the board of the Accordia Global Health Foundation, which is funded by the usual Pharma companies. Who else is on the board of Accordia? Miss Julie Louise Gerberding! Small world, isn't it?!

He is also the Chairman of the Board of Expression Analysis, a genetics company that contracts with Pharma. He is also

Donald Holzworth
Chairman, Futures Group International
Don is the former Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Constella Group, a $200 million global enterprise providing health consulting services in 61 countries around the world. In August 2007, he completed the sale of Constella to SRA International, Inc.; Don is also the Founder and Chairman of Expression Analysis, Inc., and Chairman of Casey Petraceuticals, LLC, a pet nutrition products company. Don also serves on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, he is on the Board of the Accordia Global Health Foundation and the Campbell Alliance Group, and additionally he is an Executive in Residence at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Gee, I wonder if any of those OTHER companies ALSO have contracts with NIH. I will look some more when I have time.

My, my, my he is a busy and very RICH guy! I wonder what all that money, $250,000,000 bought?

Jimsomnia

"Money doesn't talk, it swears."
-Bob Dylan

Casey

According to Manta.com:

Banyan Communications is a private company categorized under Business Management Consultants and located in St Charles, MO. Our records show it was established in 1995* and incorporated in Missouri*. Current estimates show this company has an annual revenue of $5 to 10 million and employs a staff of approximately 10 to 19.

Annual Sales (Estimated)
$5 to 10 million
D&B: $2,500,000*

Owner is: Sally Deval
Employees are:
Becky Grisham
National Account ...
Carla Wagner
Distribution Assi...
Anne Haug
Production Manager
Tina Nelson
Becky Grisham
Cathy Kelly

They have recently expanded offices in:
1615 L Street NorthW. Suite 520
Washington, DC 20036

In Nov. 2007 Sally Deval worked on a anti-smoking campaign.

This obviously isn't the first time they've been around pharmacuetical companies.

Let's find out who their friends are....

Elucidatus

Excellent work Katie!

I had no idea what Banyan Communications did. I thought they were a Telecom Group or Company, that were in no way involved in Marketing and Public Relations.

Government Agencies?
Government Contracts?
Fixed budgets and quick deadlines?

I am gonna keep my eye on this company and see what trick they pull out of a hat next.

John Stone

Fortuitous typo.

I love the idea that these ladies were both "woefully uninformed" and "woefully uniformed". Anyhow, bring them on...

Lisa in Texas

Banyan was hired to create a marketing strategy as part of an action item from a 2008 NVAC meeting to restore public trust in the vaccine program. I remember this meeting well.

bensmyson

Banyan Communications
Contact Information
Location
3569 New Town Lake Drive
St. Charles, Missouri 63301
Phone
Main: (636) 328-0231
Fax: (636) 946-9196

They have a Facebook page touting "social networking" that has 18 fans and looks to be abandoned after two posts to the wall.

They have worked for the CDC and produced a could of PSA's about teen dating. “Causing Pain: Real Stories of Teen Dating Abuse..." https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=1b63dd0aa1ee9b42dbfca4cf92184c4f&tab=core&_cview=1&cck=1&au=&ck=

They paid lobbying firm Blank Rome LLP, $120,000 in 2008 to represent them to Congress.

Banyan producted a film called, Prometheus Bound: The Epidemic of Hepatitis C (2007)

Self promotion and character profiles can be found on their blog (last post in September) http://blog.banyancommunications.com/about/

Interesting look at how Banyan position themselves as experts in "Social Media" http://www.slideshare.net/BanyanCom/social-media-101-by-banyan-communications

http://www.slideshare.net/BanyanCom/social-media-in-the-social-ecology

I'll keep digging.

nhokkanen

Image, image, image for sale, manipulated by mercenary speed-reading generalists.

Once again we see proof that these vaccine bureaucracies are less concerned with factual accuracy and the tangible physical results of their policies than with improving the public's perception of them.

To borrow a colloquial analogy, you can can coat a turd with chocolate, but that doesn't make it a candy bar.

Tanners Dad

I sat through it as well Katie. Those are all questions I was asking my self. Often I am asked where is the conspiracy going on, where are the secret meetings, where do they plot against society.... These meetings could not be more biased. Maybe we should hire a communication analyst to evaluate the tone, demeanor, and Holier than thou attitudes being thrown around in broad daylight... Oh for a second that I was a broke parent dealing with #Autism... Not the Pharma funded medical / Gov Inbred establishment.

One of the ladies had the balls to state ...Yes we are familiar with you all so its not like we have to spend time learning to dance together ( Close to that not an exact quote ). I would like to know as well WHO exactly has Banyan been dancing with... & How much have they already been paid to dance?

Sarah

yeah, too bad there isn't any money for that vax vs never-vaxed study, or even money to compare medical records of such.

Jim Thompson

It appears that there may be a full time writer for applications for awards (33 nominations or awards listed on the web site) and possibly an interior designer to lay out the trophy room to hold all the awards and nominations. About the Wired magazine reference in the meeting--well who really has the time to bother with all those pesky technical journals and actual data analysis? Bizarre, disturbing, and apparently incompetent.

Who am I blogging as today?

I wonder if their team includes a cadre of bloggers who use similar verbiage and style under multiple names?

Signed, "Sugar Mama" Wait it's Tuesday. Signed, "Mama Mia" Wait, it's before noon. Signed "Esther Gen." Wait, it's cloudy out. Signed, "Rainy Complainy."

God, it's so hard to keep up with one's paid personae! (That's Latin, feminine plural, accusative case to go with a preposition.)

Teresa Conrick

I just did a quick looksie about Banyan as I had no idea what they were....

but weird too that they would be reporting on the VICP (Vaccine Injury Compensation Project)

http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/accvdecember09agenda.htm

9:30 AM Report on the VICP Outreach Contract Banyan Communications


and are these dates correct---?

Thursday, December 3, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009

and some tidbits from the Banyan website:

Successful communication means knowing your audience. Not only WHO they are, but WHAT they respond to and HOW to get their attention. There are decisions to make, from marketing strategies to graphic identity, and concrete restrictions within which to work. Fixed budgets and quick deadlines.

Your organization can find its way through the tangle of strategic planning and media challenges to the one company whose mission is to help you put down roots, attain unlimited growth, and reach for new horizons.

Banyan Communications is a National Emmy Award-Winning media agency. We work exclusively with nonprofit organizations and government agencies.

As a government agency, you require high quality media products and services at a competitive, cost–effective price from a company that can meet every deadline, every time.

Banyan Communications is a recipient of the 2001, Federal Information and Communication Services Multiple Award Task Order from the National Institutes of Health for the period May 1, 2001 to April 30, 2006 making us an Approved Vendor for the NIH.

Our company is a women–owned, small business skilled at responding to government solicitations through the procurement process and adept at providing superior products to government agencies.

Fluent with FAR, and adept at providing our clients with comprehensive reporting, Banyan is experienced in the language, rules, and procedures associated with government contracts.

The products Banyan provides to government agencies include:

* Marketing and Public Relations
* Direct Mail
* Telemarketing
* Web Site Development and Management
* PSAs (Television, Radio, Print, Billboard, and Web)
* Videos (VNRs, B-Roll, Educational, Promotional, Training, and Image)
* Documentaries (Broadcast and Non Broadcast, Long and Short Formats)

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