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NYT Reports CDC Failed to Properly Screen Vaccine Advisors for Conflicts of Interest

Conflict_of_interest_pic Read the full article by Gardiner Harris in the New York Times, (HERE.)   

WASHINGTON — A new report finds that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did a poor job of screening medical experts for financial conflicts when it hired them to advise the agency on vaccine safety, officials said Thursday.

Most of the experts who served on advisory panels in 2007 to evaluate vaccines for flu and cervical cancer had potential conflicts that were never resolved, the report said. Some were legally barred from considering the issues but did so anyway.

In the report, expected to be released Friday, Daniel R. Levinson, the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services, found that the centers failed nearly every time to ensure that the experts adequately filled out forms confirming they were not being paid by companies with an interest in their decisions...



i hope the report names names and takes no prisoners. calling paul offit, dance and spin baby


Well, finally it seems that someone 'out there' is catching up to what we have all been reading here at AoA..I mean, seriously, these people 'investigating this' and 'just finding about about all of this now'...heck, all they have to do is read the fantastic and WELL researched and great articles here at AoA, and here at AoA, we are LIGHT YEARS ahead of this NYT piece...but yet, its in the NYT, so it MUST be 'news/the truth' right? It couldnt possibly be THE TRUTH or any sort of 'evidence' if its posted on some anti-vaccine, dangerous and physcotic blog like AoA, right?! (notice my smirk from here? LOL)...

Even IF all of the truth starts seeping out, it will NEVER be connected to us parents, or our kids brave struggles...we will never be able to shout "I told you so" or get any credit to this at all..ya know what? If others are saved from our kids hells, and our families get the things needed to not just survive, but to LIVE a healthy life, than so be it, I can keep my 'told you so's' and just give them to my ignorant, no helpful, unsupportive family..LOL!

Mom to Ethan, Alex, and Megan

Jake Crosby

Gardiner Harris does not care about autistic people. He thinks it's okay to subject children with autism to Risperdal, but not children with ADD. It's the worst kind of double-standard.

mary podlesak

The New York Times did not have the courage to allow comments on it's article, so I'll speak my piece here.

My husband is a research scientist working for the US Army. I asked him just last week what would happen to him if ever he were to take so much as a fountain pen from a vendor. He said, "the Army would throw the book at me, I'd be in jail for a long time." ANY gift is considered a conflict of interest and a bribe, to the US military. The loopholes, the gratutious self-serving arrogant corruption of the medical profession and their acolytes in the legal and political fields make integrity, witnessed to by many in the engineering profession, impossible in any agencies associated with medicine, including, most especially the agency - the CDC - charged with the gathering of statistics, my own field of study. Thank you Benedetta for your comment. I have taken the position in the past that it is necessary to dissolve the CDC, NIH and FDA due to the rampant corruption in these agencies. An alternative to US govenment, or ANY governments' oversight of medicine and the collection of medical statistics must be explored. The lesson of official governmental corruption learned by the first medical statistician, Ignacc Semelweis, should not be forgotten. Figures lie, liars figure.


Federal agencies should all be shut down, except for the FBI and CIA. I am tired of paying all these opportunists a big fat paycheck along with them sitting around and planning every crooked deal to be thought of in order to wring more money out of us.


Wow, it really looks like the CDC took it on the chin. But what about the inspector general? His recommendations on the report sound only like a reiteration of the guidelines already in place that have already been violated. There is no mention that I have seen here of them taking further steps or different steps to prevent this from happening further, or steps to retrace decisions that have been ill made due to these potential conflicts. On top of that, there are waivers specifically in place these people can get to participate in these committee meetings and decisions, if the powers that be think the potential for public benefit outweighs the potential monetary gain of the potential transgressor. And I haven't even read far enough into it to figure out their definition of "resolve" is, when they maintain that reported conflicts of interest must be "resolved" before SGE's are supposed to be allowed to participate in committee meetings. It looks like they are also supposed to complete "ethics" training, but who runs the class and what are they teaching? It's all set up to look good, until you start digging and find out there is just one loopholes after another and, from how it looks in just a 10 minute perusal, no consequences. Looks like this reporter does it the safe way to me . . .


this is a step in the correct direction, but too long in coming. maybe the H1N1 debacle from changing the definition of 'pandemic' to the Roche fraud regarding Tamiflu has started Mr.Harris thinking after all.

Bob Moffitt

It shouldn't surprise ANYONE, least of all Gardiner Harris and the NYT... that a "new report finds that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did a poor job of screening medical experts for financial conflicts when it hired them to advise the agency on vaccine safety, officials said Thursday."

After all, the Director of the CDC ... as well as the Sec of Health and Human Services ... long ago "self-described" their agenices as being in "partnership" with vaccine manufacturers.

Thereby making the "partnership" that presently exists between those responsible for recommending and approving vaccines...and...those responsible for manufacturing vaccines ... not unlike that of a "shot-gun marriage" where BOTH parties desperately NEED each other to protect their vital interests.

Public health agencies NEED vaccines as much as vaccine manufacturers NEED public health agencies to provide "product liability protections" for their product. can there be a "conflict of interest" between PARTNERS?

I suspect the tobacco industry would still be pumping out study after study proving there is no link between "cigarettes and cancer"...had they enjoyed the same partnership with public health officials as does the vaccine industry.


Where is the "comments" section for this article? Let's hear from all the stalkers on how wonderful and perfectly safe vaccines are!


Did pigs just fly? Amazing.


What? Gardiner Harris? Did one of his kids get injured by a vaccine?

Tired of Spunk

@JB@Gardiner Harris: "if you had your way, there would be far more of these haunted souls. I hope to prevent that from happening."

Gardiner Harris has done a disgraceful job as a journalist. So blinded by his faith in our broken medical and public health establishments, he missed all the news that could have been.

He could have and still could lessen the number of haunted souls due to the Gardisil disaster. How many perfectly healthy teenage girls lives need to be destroyed before he wakes up and gives it the ink it deserves?

He could have had a hand in breaking news about the H1N1 debacle of calling it a pandemic when the numbers weren't there at all to support it. CBS had the talent and investigative instincts and did what good reporters do: "just report the facts."

Instead he chose the "mum" route...NYT has been nothing but crickets when it comes to legitimate vaccine safety issues.

I'd like to think this article shows he's wising up but I doubt that is the case. He's been omniscient when it comes to vaccines for too long to suddenly say he was wrong.


Not a good week for CDC.

Teresa Conrick-- Gardiner Steps Up To The Plate

SparkNotes version-

"had potential conflicts that were never resolved,"

"Some were legally barred from considering the issues but did so anyway"

"the centers failed nearly every time to ensure that the experts adequately filled out forms confirming they were not being paid by companies with an interest in their decisions."

"64 percent of the advisers had potential conflicts of interest that were never identified or were left unresolved by the centers."

"Thirteen percent failed to have an appropriate conflicts form on file at the agency at all, which should have barred their participation in the meetings entirely,"

"3 percent voted on matters that ethics officers had already barred them from considering."

"worries have grown that experts may be recommending medical products — even ones they know to be unsafe — in part because manufacturers are paying them."

"government audits routinely find large gaps between these disclosures and the experts’ actual income from consulting"

"little attention has been paid to the potential conflicts of advisers to the C.D.C., even though that agency’s committees have significant influence over what vaccines are sold in the United States,"

"Most of the advisers identified by Mr. Levinson had either a job or a grant from a company or other entity whose interests were affected by the committees’ discussions, and a considerable number also owned stock in such companies,"

This is a BIG list of conflicted, unethical and immoral behavior -- "some actually recommended medical products — even ones known to be unsafe because manufacturers were paying them"! What does that mean for babies and vaccine products or fetuses still in mom and mercury flu shots?

So what happens now? Will Gardiner press for more information -- maybe name some of these "experts", "advisers", "conflicts of interest" people? What are the consequences for these behaviors as "legally barred from considering the issues but did so anyway" a legal/criminal issue...what happens now? Will there be a Congressional investigation?

David M.

This story is the smoking gun.

The CDC has lost the moral high ground when it comes to vaccines and it is now there for everyone to see.

The New York Times story on the report from the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services confirms what everyone has suspected all along.

The CDC is not independent, lacks integrity, is riddled with conflicts of interest and likely broke the law when it came to analyzing and deciding what vaccines to recommend to the citizens of our nation.

It is time to break the CDC up into a million pieces and start from scratch.

JB Handley

“but scaring parents away from life-saving medicines is no way to improve this terrible situation. i have met parents who lost their children to vaccine-preventable diseases, and they are haunted. if you had your way, there would be far more of these haunted souls. i hope to prevent that from happening.”

- Gardiner Harris, NY Times reporter, in an email to me, March 9, 2008


aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahah... Hello! Someone finally asked????!!!! So sad the the obvious has to be "uncovered" but good for the NYT

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