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Dachel Media Update: 10/15

Is Livestock Production Industry Keeping Mercury In Vaccinations?

HgBy Eric Uram

The latest twist in the vaccine issue now comes from efforts to "feed the planet." Not to get too far into the weeds on the connections, but currently, the pressure to maintain the approvals for using thimerosal is now also coming from pharmaceutical companies and their clients in the livestock production industry. 

In my ongoing efforts to end thimerosal use at the international level in a treaty being negotiated on mercury, I find pressure coming into the negotiations to keep thimerosal approved for use in human vaccines originating from pressure to maintain its use in animal vaccines.  The upshot in this comes from the requirement that in order to legally use thimerosal in animal vaccines, it has to be considered safe for humans as well. [1]  If taken out of human vaccines, this action would support the arguments against safety in humans.

So, in the penultimate session, the International Federation for Animal Health[2], USDA and FDA along with other livestock production industry proponents marched in saying they need thimerosal vaccines to keep both food safe and costs down.[3]  That ending the billions of doses of thimerosal-preserved vaccines administered to animals in the USA (and even more globally) every year would cause the producers an excessive cost for doing the business of providing cheap, abundant food for everyone. 

In another twist, it appears pressure is mounting to reduce the number of approved preservatives in vaccines.  In a recent EMEA session, the European Medical Association recommended removal of 2 phenoxy-ethanol from approvals for use.  This leaves industry with few choices for vaccine preservative, and only one widely approved one - thimerosal.  So the connection comes full circle here to the pharmaceutical and chemical industries and their efforts to continue to sell poison in the name of health and prosperity.

I guess it’s time we wake up to the reality that every one of these separate battles taking place is really the same war.  One for finding solutions that don’t hurt ourselves or our kids, or require our handing over hard-earned money to pay for solutions offered in the name of “improving everyone’s lives.”

Eric Uram currently serves as the Executive Director for SafeMinds.  A father, husband and weekend warrior, for almost 30 years I’ve worked from another perspective – by seeking to protect ourselves, our families and our future from excessive toxic pollution.  I now focus on the issues related to human environmental exposures to persistent pollutants that can trigger ASD as the ED for SafeMinds.


Jeannette Bishop

Perhaps a related topic, link under "In the News:"

I've also noticed that when I try to bring up thimerosal's effects on the immune system, a lot of the probable trolls jump right in and say, essentially "Thimerosal is not an adjuvant! It is a PRESERVATIVE." As one of many thimerosal sensitive people, I wonder why it seems so crucial to industry to deny the effects of this compound on the immune system? Would such a classification require more stringent safety testing that thimerosal could not pass? Does the industry find it a struggle to make vaccines that measure as effective without it?

Jenny Allan

Ban on all mercury-based products would risk global immunization efforts, says AAP, WHO

Yes indeed. Double standards abound when it comes to mercury in vaccines. In the 'developed world', mercury was banned in many child vaccines years ago, (although it is still present in Flu and some other vaccines routinely administered to pregnant mothers). However, the American Academy of Paediatrics and the World Health Organisation apparently still approve of mercury in vaccines administered to 'third world' children.

I was pleased that several African states protested about this at the meeting of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), but suspect their deputation will ultimately be ignored.

Vets have always been much 'fussier' about vaccines delivered to animals, than our doctors and paediatricians, have been about vaccines delivered to humans and human children at that. Sometimes I am ashamed to be part of the human race.

barbara j

Who's measuring the thimerosal in milk and meat? The same people that happen to discover arsenic from poultry manure run off in rice?

Stop Big Farma

The subjects of two of David Kirby's books seem to have converged - Evidence of Harm and Animal Factory. Just as all of the corporations are merging into conglomorates, it seems all of the toxic glop from all of the conglomorates is merging too.

Just what we needed - another massive industry to fight.

Now what?

Jeannette Bishop

I wonder if the pharmaceutical industry has marketing data that suggests using TCVs in animal populations ultimately increases the market for other pharmaceuticals, such as antibiotics?

Or is there just a push to keep exposing the masses to Hg in every subtle way possible? People would not want to eat a limb that had been injected with lead. If people come to understand that Hg is just as harmful ...

Is anyone aware of the concerns driving this?

"In a recent EMEA session, the European Medical Association recommended removal of 2 phenoxy-ethanol from approvals for use."

I would be surprised if it is "less safe" and/or "less effective" than thimerosal, though it may not be living up to current regulatory standards.

Bob Moffitt

I seem to recall former President George W. Bush .. (Dubbya to his closest friends).. campaign pledge to remove thimerosal (mercury) from vaccines once he was elected to office.

True to form .. AFTER being elected .. when the time actually came for him to honor the pledge he had made to the people who voted for him .. he claimed the removal of thimerosal from vaccines would cause an "undue financial burden upon the vaccine manufacturers".

Unfortunately, this is a bi-partisan problem .. because in the years since Dubbya's broken pledge .. Eric's column informs us that BOTH parties continue support for mercury in vaccines .. not because it is SAFE .. but .. because it is COST EFFECTIVE.


"Just boycott the damned vaccines people"

Refusal is the best attack


The same argument is given for why we have to use herbicides, pesticides, and why GMO's are needed. Yet all of these are dangerous to human health (to say nothing of the dangers to nature!) Read the book, "Folks, This ain't normal" by Joel Salatian to get a different perspective on whether or not this "greater good" argument has ANY merit in regards to farming--even beyond PowerFromKnowledge's comment about food waste--from a farmer who doesn't use any of the above and gets far higher food yields from his lands than "conventional" pesticide/herbicide spraying neighboring farms. He has some eye-opening insights about modern agriculture (and modern life). Well worth the read--and maybe some use to you, Eric, in fighting against the idea that thimerosal is necessary to feed the world. Good grief!

Who is testing ALL our foods for mercury, anyway? The only testing I have seen is of fish. I'd especially like to see the numbers for rice and the info in this article makes me wonder more about our meats also. Thanks for your work, Eric.


It's complete mythology that we need such "toxins" to "feed the world." According to research by several organizations around the world, 40% of the food already produced is wasted instead of used. 40%!! It happens on the farms at harvest. Some is left deliberately in the fields cause it doesn't look good or maybe the cost of diesel is to much to warrant harvesting, workers are penalized for not choosing perfection. It sits and rots for want of picking or donating. Arriving after transit at grocery stores' central receiving centers shipments are rejected for lack of perfection and the truckers have to dump it if they can't quickly find anyone to take it even for donation, at grocery stores they look for perfection again and toss out those that look blemished -although they are allowed to donate, too. At restaurants portions are too large to eat and leftovers are tossed in the kitchen, instead of the chefs preparing better sized meals. Leftovers are taken home and never eaten. At cafeteria style eateries the waste is rampant - including at colleges and high schools. At some elementary schools, kids' plates are loaded and they don't have a choice about what to put on it and anything they don't like is in the trash 15 minutes later. Think about the money and subsidies to produce a 4 oz box of milk or a container of mushy peaches sitting in fructose only to have it thrown out. At home we load our refrigerators with more food than we could ever eat and throw out food continually that's reached its expiration date or because we refuse to believe our own noses about whether something has gone bad or not, despite the hours of effort and labor that it takes for that food to reach us.

There is no real food shortage. Anyone in the food kitchen business can tell you that hunger is a matter of transportation and logistics. If someone's telling us any different it is a lie meant to further their own interests or ignorance foaming at the mouth again.

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