Dorit Rubinstein Reiss and the Benefits of Agency Capture: The Latest Vaccine Industry Advocate
By John Stone
I always supposed that the concept of agency capture, in which government agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control or the Food and Drug Administration are taken over by the culture industries from which they were meant to be independent, was a bad thing. I understood that the usual posture of such bodies was simply to pretend that it was not happening and that there were regulations in place that were actively protecting the public interest (despite appearances). That was until I encountered the website of Dorit Rubenstein Reiss and her unpublished paper (most of her papers appear to be unpublished) ‘The Benefits of Capture’. According to Reiss :
“Observers of the administrative state warn against “capture” of administrative agencies and lament its disastrous effects. This article suggests that the term “capture”, applied to a close relationship between industry and regulator, is not useful—by stigmatizing that relationship, judging it as problematic from the start, it hides its potential benefits. The literature on “capture” highlights its negative results—lax enforcement of regulation; weak regulations; illicit benefits going to industry. This picture, however, is incomplete and in substantial tension with another current strand of literature which encourages collaboration between industry and regulator. The collaboration literature draws on the fact that industry input into the regulatory process has important benefits for the regulatory state. Industry usually has information no one else has, and has more incentive to give that information to a friendly regulator. Furthermore, working with industry can substantially improve the impact of regulation; voluntary compliance is cheaper and can be more effective than enforced compliance, and industry can help regulators minimize negative unintended consequences. This paper suggests that instead of engaging in name-calling, we should focus on identifying when a close industry-regulator relationship will work in the public interest, and when it is likely to undermine it. That is an empirical question.”
Dorit Reiss, associate law professor Hastings campus University of California, first came to my notice the other week commenting on Rabbi Handler’s article about vaccination in the Jewish Press. I was fascinated to see how all my comments (and those of other contributors to Age of Autism) seemed to be swiftly removed after I challenged her on certain points. Then I discovered that she had responded in Harvard Law Review to Mary Holland, advocating that parents of unvaccinated children should be made liable for infection. Barely a month ago probably no one in the field of vaccine safety advocacy had ever heard of Dorit Reiss now she seems to be everywhere, and passionate proponent of the vaccine industrial machine in all its guises and rampant institutional ambition.
The bottom line to all this, of course, is where is she coming from, to which there is an answer. Reiss is on the Parent Advisory Board of ‘Voices for Vaccines’ , the Scientific Advisory Board of which includes Alan R Hinman, Paul A Offit, Stanley A Plotkin and Deborah L Wexler . The website states that Voices for Vaccines was re-launched in 2013 and is “an administrative project” of the Task Force for Global Health. The Wiki entry for Task Force reads :
“The Task Force for Global Health, is a non profit organization affiliated with Emory University. The organization was co-founded by global health pioneer and former CDC Director, Dr. William Foege and two of his former CDC colleagues, Carol Walters and Bill Watson. It was founded in 1984 as the Task Force for Child Survival. The Task Force was initially tapped to serve as a Secretariat for a consortium of global health organizations: UNICEF, WHO, The Rockefeller Foundation, The United Nations Development Programme, and the World Bank. These organizations sought Task Force support for a collaborative effort to improve child wellness and survival strategies. With the Task Force as Secretariat for the network, they resolved to work together to develop and implement a plan for global immunization efforts and measures to promote and maintain healthy children and families.
“Over its 28 year history, The Task Force has expanded the role of neutral convener and collaborator to address a broader range of global health challenges. In doing so, the organization changed its name to The Task Force for Global Health in 2009. Today, The Task Force has programs in three critical sectors of global health: Health System Strengthening, Immunization and Vaccines (the Task Force Center for Vaccine Equity), and neglected tropical diseases. In each sector, The Task Force works with partners and communities around the world to provide resources to improve global health for those in need. The organization works in 91 countries, collaborating with organizations such as WHO, as well as partnerships with industry to provide much needed medicines and communities to educate about disease prevention.
“The Task Force for Global Health is a nonprofit, public health organization, recognized as a 501(c)(3) corporation. The organization is based in Decatur, Georgia, near our partners at CDC, The Carter Center, CARE, and Emory University Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health.”
Finally, the immunizations and vaccines section of Task Force for Global Health entitled Task Force for Vaccine Equity was according to its 2012 accounts funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Merck Company Foundation and Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Inc. The Task Force website indeed lists Voices for Vaccines as a sub-division Vaccine Equity and names Alan R Hinman as director of both (sentence added after publication). It is, shall we say, very difficult to tell in all of this for whose benefit an organization is actually working and Dorit Reiss has not made it any clearer. She ignores both the warnings of Dwight D Eisenhower in 1961 about the military industrial complex and eminent economist J K Galbraith on Free Market Fraud in 1999 :
“A more comprehensive fraud dominates scholarly economic and political thought. That is the presumption of a market economy separate from the state. Most economists concede a stabilizing role to the state, even those who urgently seek an escape from reality by assigning a masterful and benign role to Alan Greenspan and the central bank. And all but the most doctrinaire accept the need for regulation and legal restraint by the state. But few economists take note of the cooptation by private enterprise of what are commonly deemed to be functions of the state. This is hidden by the everyday reference to the public and private sectors, one of our clearest examples of innocent fraud.”
By now the vaccine manufacturers enjoy a largely captive market and freedom from liability, plus exceedingly lax and non-independent scrutiny - we have no reason to be complacent - but Dorit Reiss is greedy for more. The industry for which she has become advocate behaves obscenely in the name of the public good.
My deleted comments from the Jewish Press:
Posted 10 July:
Just to mention that after the Hannah Poling case Julie Gerberding was forced to admit that vaccines could trigger autism, although this has been conveniently forgotten:
“….. if you’re predisposed with the mitochondrial disorder, it [vaccination] can certainly set off some damage. Some of the symptoms can be symptoms that have characteristics of autism.”.
Likewise Vaccine Injury Compensation Program officials told Sharyl Attkisson:
"The government has never compensated, nor has it ever been ordered to compensate, any case based on a determination that autism was actually caused by vaccines. We have compensated cases in which children exhibited an encephalopathy, or general brain disease. Encephalopathy may be accompanied by a medical progression of an array of symptoms including autistic behavior, autism, or seizures."
Vaccines cause autism.
John Stone, UK Editor, www.ageofautism.com.
Posted 12 July:
Dorit Reiss is wrong. To get recognition for vaccine damage is like climbing the North Face of the Eiger and even a passive reporting (system) like VAERS is likely only to reveal a small fraction of the cases. Only independent active monitoring could produce c(r)edible results.
As to Wakefield the claims of fraud were dealt a decisive blow last year in the English High Court when Mr Justice Mitting overturned all the General Medical Council findings against the seniior author of the 1998 Lancet paper Prof John Walker-Smith - no misreporting of data, no inappropriate or unauthorised investigation, the paper was not funded by the UK Legal Aid Board, and was not based on any such research protocol. Walker-Smith was funded to appeal but in a bureaucratic stitch-up Wakefield - who wasn't - is still held to be technically guilty of charges that have alread(y) been disproved.
John Stone UK Editor, www.ageofautism.com
Posted 12 July:
The position in legal terms is hit and run - not scientific objectivity. The onus is entirely on the families to prove it, which you might just do in the US but is bureaucratically next to impossible in the UK for example. I think Dorit Reiss is indulging in doublespeak when she argues that the vaccines did not cause Hannah Poling's autism. Whether somethings is "triggered" or "caused" is just semantic games. Nor is at all clear that Hannah's disorder was "rare". Moreover, the HRSA conceded the case thus sealing their reasons from public view.
John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism
Who is being illogical? How is the public interest represented if the manufacturers own the government agencies? People have been recognising that this is a problem for more than a century - then Dorit appears on the scene and argues it is good thing. Well, it is for the manufacturers.
I remember the era in which airliners were routinely falling out of the skies. Obviously, in that instance the focus fell back on the manufacturers and the technology had to be improved. That is not what happens here. Here the manufacturers (but even more the public bodies which defend policy, since they are trying to make everyone have more and more products) just insist that everything is coincidence, and run hate campaigns against the victims and their families - something which evidently you are pleased to take part in.
Posted by: John Stone | December 15, 2017 at 04:13 AM
I am sorry Kim, some times you wonder if it is worth the aggravation.
In 1978 I sat in a class and listen to my professor tell us how mistaken and ignorant those parents were. I agreed with him. I thought why can't they see.
And then I got to witness what those parents were talking about for myself. Sigh.
Oh, and by the way; my microbiology professor; he was also moonlighting for Merck.
Since it is the Christmas season a quote from the Bible seems appropriate. -
So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, "Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but 'in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.'"
In my case the scroll is that so called corrupted science, my education; and it was so very sweet when I first ate it.
Same to you Chris.
Posted by: Benedetta | December 15, 2017 at 01:15 AM
Well thanks for stopping by, Chris. And Merry Christmas.
Kim and the AofA team. (Also parents of autistic children, FYI.)
Posted by: Kim Rossi for Chris | December 14, 2017 at 08:53 PM
As a parent of a child with autism, your anti-science, illogical arguments are a slap in the face to every child who needs help and has organizations like this hijacked by you anti-science nut jobs.
Please go back to the birther controversy or 9/11 truthing or whatever you did before this and stop stealing funding from kids with autism who need help.
Posted by: Chris | December 14, 2017 at 08:12 PM
An exchange between myself and Dorit Reiss can now be found on examiner.com (if it survives).
Posted by: John Stone | August 07, 2013 at 04:16 PM
But yes; what is given to her - pays for her time to lobby.
Posted by: Benedetta | August 02, 2013 at 10:07 PM
That is part of it - but I also would guess that Voices for Vaccines is a way for the pharma "individuals" to give money to CDC -- the task force -- that is then suppose to turn around and give it to Voices for Vaccines -- Karin said it was not much - given to her anyway.
Posted by: Benedetta | August 02, 2013 at 10:05 PM
Oh, so that's why she's writing pro-vax letters to judges in Minnesota! We might call her a lobbyist, then, I suppose. Apparently a fair number of those "altruistic" parents in Voices for Vaccines are in the health care professions (So says their website). Thank you, John, Benedetta, Mercky Business.
Posted by: Christina Waldman | August 02, 2013 at 03:13 PM
Those poor little pharmaceutical companies that can't afford to pay for their own advocacy!
Posted by: Mercky Business | August 02, 2013 at 03:20 AM
I know what you mean Chistina
Why in the heck would a woman join, volunteer her time to an organization that is as well funded, backed by everything coming and going-- I guess it is better than serving soup down at the homeless shelter, even though it is a time waster.
I guess it is a hobby, and she likes the people, maybe it is kind of like a social club.
Posted by: Benedetta | August 01, 2013 at 10:57 AM
This is where Karen Ernst comes in:
"Voices for Vaccines was re-launched in early 2013 after two young parents, Karen Ernst and Ashley Shelby, volunteered to lead the organization in rallying parents of immunized children to combat vaccine misinformation and increase immunization rates In 2010, Shelby and Ernst founded the blog Moms Who Vax, which offers resources on vaccine information, commentary, and first-person stories from parents who immunize. They are currently working to develop a new organization, the Minnesota Childhood Immunization Coalition."
Posted by: John Stone | August 01, 2013 at 06:22 AM
Look what the "Voices for Vaccines" website says about MMR (on the "Vaccines, MMR" link. "MMR vaccine can cause a mild rash or fever. Rarely, children who develop a fever may have a febrile seizure, which does not lead to later seizure disorders. Although a now discredited British physician accused the MMR vaccine of causing autism, his study has been deemed fraudulent and extensive studies have fully absolved the vaccine. MMR vaccine does not cause autism." http://www.voicesforvaccines.org/vaccines/#MMR
So much for truth and science! No link to www.callousdisregard.com ! (Another fun page on Facebook is "Things Anti-vaxers Say.") People have to understand that the CDC has completely sold out our interests. It should no longer be receiving public money. Let the vaccine industry pay for its own advertising.
Posted by: Christina Waldman | July 31, 2013 at 07:49 PM
So who, exactly, is Karen Ernst? I went to the Voices for Vaccines website and did not see her name. Does she hold a position with Voices for Vaccines, to be their spokesperson? Is Voices for Vaccines partnered with the CDC (Karen?)? Would Karen Ernst please identify herself further. Can she tell us how "Voices for Vaccines" got all these parents lined up to volunteer their time to promote vaccines? Of course, the CDC has been spending big bucks funding the promotion of vaccines in social media. Here's just one example:
Posted by: Christina Waldman | July 31, 2013 at 07:27 PM
"Alan R. Hinman is the director of programs at the Center for Vaccine Equity at The Task Force for Global Health."
AND one of those Task force parts is - "The Vaccines for Children program — a federal entitlement program "
"Voices for Vaccines have on their board Alan R. Hinman, Director for Programs, Center for Vaccine Equity at the Task Force for Global Health"
"Task Force for Global Health state that they are partners with the CDC."
Judge it Brother!
" The Task Force for Global Health revenue includes private donations from corporations"
What kind of corporations?
Oh, come on -- what kind of corporations --?
Now don't that give a good opportunity for money under the table.
But it is okay, it is even a good thing because Reiss wrote a paper explaining all this.
Posted by: Benedetta | July 29, 2013 at 08:26 AM
It is certainly worth bearing in mind.
Posted by: John Stone | July 29, 2013 at 07:29 AM
The Task Force for Global Health revenue includes private donations from corporations, according to this: “The sources of The Task Force revenues include contracts, grants, and private donations from individuals, foundations, corporations, and government agencies.” See http://www.taskforce.org/publications/fy2012-annual-report-task-force-global-health
The Task Force for Global Health has a net worth value of 35 million dollars and most of this is in cash or cash equivalents, according the 2012 financial statement linked here: http://www.taskforce.org/financial-documents .
The Voices for Vaccines is a “project” of the Task Force for Global Health, according to this: “The Task Force [For Global Health] project, Voices For Vaccines, addresses questions about vaccines.”
Posted by: Jim Thompson | July 29, 2013 at 07:02 AM
Karen needs to ascribe things to me which I have not said because she cannot deal with the things that I have said. What I attacked was not the person but the ideology and the methods. There is no definitive body of science which the vaccine program rests on (scientific truth is messy when it comes to the human body - one paper says one thing, one another): in fact it rests on institutional abuse and bureaucratic sleight of hand.
It can happen that people get addicted to very bad ideas and practices, and then will do anything to defend them (and I am sure it is something more than just money). What we learn from this is that our perfectly reasonable concerns can be driven to the margins of public debate: and inevitably when I draw attention to the palpable badness of Dorit Reiss's ideas - the ideology behind the public strategy of excluding opinion and even basic information through powerful institutions - all we get is a smokescreen (but unfortunately such things have happened before in human history).
Posted by: John Stone | July 29, 2013 at 05:52 AM
"...this blog post and now the comments accompanying it seem like little more than character assassination via insinuation."
That's rich. Fanatics, sometimes in gangs, literally stalk concerned citizens and parents and grandparents of sick children that are telling their stories and sharing information, not with respectful, constructive, sympathetic comments as one would expect in a civilized society. The fanatic's modus operandi is to launch brutal personal attacks, discredit the speaker and confuse the issue by twisting the facts (if they even bother to respond to the argument - most times the person is just bullied and ridiculed relentlessly). Above all, the goal is to shut down the conversation as soon as possible, wherever found. Any health care professional who questions (and the list is growing by the minute) is called a quack (sound familiar?).
And you have the nerve to claim that the intelligent and civilized factual article and comments here constitute the character assassination of Dorit Reiss? After the disgusting viscous attack launched against Jenny McCarthy in the past 2 weeks? Are you for real? Please, find a mirror and look in it.
Posted by: Linda | July 28, 2013 at 07:44 PM
Advisor board --
Probably like a high school teacher -is paid to teach classes, but is expected to give her time free and go to the ball games and help sell popcorn and drinks - so the school can raise money.
That kind of not ever been compensated for work done?
Posted by: Benedetta | July 28, 2013 at 06:07 PM
I am grateful for the elucidation, but this blogpost has been very engaged with Prof Reiss's arguments, as indeed I previously was when I challenged her in the Jewish Press and my comments were taken down. And you stated in your original response that I had not addressed her ideas when actually that is exactly what I did do, and it was you who moved the debate onto the subject of money, a strategy used again by EW Modemac. Of course, her social and professional connections with insitutions which exemplify her beliefs is relevant whether or not she is paid.
Frankly, it would be naieve to regard the pharmaceutical companies as philanthropic institutions who should be allowed to call the shots (so to speak) but this is apparently exactly what Prof Reiss believes, and when she acts as an advocate for the status quo, the captive market, the absence of liability, the absence of active monitoring, the ever growing schedule, the sneering public hostility to anyone who doubts the government-pharmaceutical machine, then it is absolutely right to point it out and examine it. The probability - in the history of human institutions - is that if you remove all the checks and balances you will get uncharted damage.
Let it be said I am in favour of old-fashioned courtesy - something our community has been continually denied, and I was denied (for example) when my comments were removed in the Jewish Press. And I am also in favour of old fashioned government responsibilty which has been utterly dismantled, and now justified with superficial arguments by Dorit Reiss.
Posted by: John Stone | July 28, 2013 at 05:57 PM
I apologize for not elaborating on Ms. Reiss' relationship with Voices for Vaccines. To be honest, I thought it went without explanation that positions on advisory boards are uncompensated. No one on either of our boards receives any compensation from VFV. For more on advisory boards: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advisory_board
Ms. Reiss is not and has not ever been compensated for any work she has done with Voices for Vaccines. On a personal note, Ms Reiss is incredibly generous with her time and knowledge. You may disagree with her arguments, but again--this blog post and now the comments accompanying it seem like little more than character assassination via insinuation.
Posted by: Karen Ernst | July 28, 2013 at 03:40 PM
Benedetta, looking at the presentations for the 2011 CDC National Immunization Conference poster and exhibit site (this was the 45th National Immunization Conference), it appears that the watchdog has always been too close and cozy with the industrial machinery. See https://cdc.confex.com/cdc/nic2011/webprogram/meeting.html
The revolving door between the CDC and vaccine companies has to make it almost impossible for any CDC whistleblower to speak out. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julie_Gerberding . Poul Thorsen is still at large and both the press and the CDC are silent. See https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/fugitives/profiles.asp .
It is difficult to tell the difference between the regulator and the regulated. Congress must stop the CDC from “working with the industry” and start working for the citizens that pay CDC’s budget (9.2 billion dollars for fiscal year 2008). See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centers_for_Disease_Control_and_Prevention .
Posted by: Jim Thompson | July 28, 2013 at 12:23 PM
"Quote the CDC, the Mayo Clinic, the Lancet, the New England Journal of Medicine as a reference for why vaccines are safe and effective, and guess what? It's all Paid For By Big Pharma."
Well, guess what? It is.
Posted by: Linda | July 28, 2013 at 10:49 AM
What you quoted is just plain crazy talk, of a bunch of people that used fear to cover up common sense.
My husband worked for years in polymer research chemist, and as far as I am concern hangs the moon.
He was astonished to find out that the reason for not being able to sue was to make sure the vaccine manufacturers could continue to make the same product that hurt his son.
As a researcher his response to protecting vaccines is that - they insure that they will not be safe, will never be safe, and they have stifled all research toward anything but profit.
Posted by: Benedetta | July 28, 2013 at 10:16 AM
Excellent post. Thank you.
Posted by: Benedetta | July 28, 2013 at 09:58 AM
E.W "COURAGEOUS ANTI-VACCINE CRUSADERS."
Thankyou for the compliment .....its exactly how I see it .
We are the ones trying to save the children ...from noxious poisonous vaccines .
Posted by: White Rose | July 28, 2013 at 09:52 AM
This is when we have to bang our own heads againest the wall as we try to explain to people like E.W. Modemac about facts.
Instead it turns out like me trying to explain algerbra to my kid - only my kid is way ahead of the
E.W. Modemacs' of the world
Because he gets facts, and truths of situations when explained to him unlike --- sigh!
Posted by: Benedetta | July 28, 2013 at 09:52 AM
I am afraid you are trolling. It was Karen Ernst (below) who raised the issue of whether Prof Reiss was being paid, but oddly as an executive of Voices for Vaccines she would have been in a position to deny it if it was not so - she might have written "I would like to clarify that Prof Reiss is entirely uncompensated for her advocacy" but she didn't - instead she opened the issue which I had not addressed.
Secondly, of course, you are trying to distract from the issue of legitimising agency capture which seems to be Prof Reiss's project, and it is a very troubling one - although something of a technicality given the realities of the situation.
Thirdly, it is an absurd claim that Age of Autism - or many other people in our movement - have not perpetually addressed the inadequacy science in CDC studies as well as the conflicts (not that that is not a proper concern). Actually, by and large we have paid more attention to the unconvincing quality of the studies than the funding, though when the coordinator of CDC Aarhus studies was indicted for financial fraud it did not escape our notice. Saying something has been said about Prof Reiss somewhere on Facebook or Amazon is beside the point.
Finally, I continue to regard it as unimpressive that when I challenged Prof Reiss in the Jewish Press about matters of substance on which she had commented my comments were simply removed.
Perhaps - even now - she would do better to come out and defend herself rather than leave it in the hands of bunglers.
Posted by: John Stone | July 28, 2013 at 08:48 AM
Because at this site, logical, scientifically based arguments are immediately dismissed as having been Paid For By Big Pharma, exactly as with the accusations against Dorit. She's criticized anti-vaccine books on Amazon and been accused of being a Big Pharma Shill. She's posted on Facebook and been accused of being a Big Pharma Shill. In this comment thread right here, the author tries to have it both ways by saying "I have not said that Dorit Reiss is paid by the industry, although she may be." Quote the CDC, the Mayo Clinic, the Lancet, the New England Journal of Medicine as a reference for why vaccines are safe and effective, and guess what? It's all Paid For By Big Pharma.
Posted by: E.W. Modemac | July 28, 2013 at 07:42 AM
John, you quoted from the wiki web site for the Task Force: “The organization is based in Decatur, Georgia, near our partners at CDC, The Carter Center, CARE, and Emory University Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health.”
Here is an example of what one of the vaccine companies said at the 2011 CDC National Immunization Conference poster and exhibit site, and where the “CDC partner” was the registrar:
“To ensure the safe, secure, and reliable provision of vaccines, the economic interests of the vaccine industry must be considered by public health policy makers.” See “Vaccine Costs and Manufacturer Profits: What Is the Right Balance?” https://cdc.confex.com/cdc/nic2011/webprogram/Paper25169.html
This “tribute” approach was addressed by Sjostrom and Nilsson in 1972: “It seems that the pharmaceutical industry does not wish to recognize the fact that the main impetus for the running of the pharmaceutical industry, like any other type of industry … is profit.” See “Thalidomide and the Power of the Drug Companies,” (1972), p. 176.
Posted by: Jim Thompson | July 28, 2013 at 07:37 AM
Why don't you present a logical, scientifically based argument instead of spewing nonsense?
Posted by: Linda | July 28, 2013 at 07:01 AM
Well, it looks that this Dorit is a crypto pharma lobbyist and she is just doing her thing - spreading the terrorist vaccine propaganda and attacking the parents,who want to protect their children from vaccine injury and death.
Posted by: instinct | July 28, 2013 at 06:25 AM
No, actually you can't read. I have not said that Dorit Reiss is paid by the industry, although she may be. I pointed out that she argues in favour of dissolving the boundaries between government agencies and industry leaving nothing to protect the public interest. I have also pointed that she is an officer of a non-profit in a division which gets funding from Merck, Novartis and the Gates Foundation and which seems to be set up with the objective of circumventing the barriers between private enterprise and public agency which Reiss regards as a bad thing.
Personally, I think Reiss's position on agency capture is an absurdity: it is self-evidently a pernicious activity to which world is generally persuaded to turn a blind eye - although widespread. But I also note that the article exists on her website, and has not apparently so far recomended itself to reputable legal journals possibly because although many lawyers might be sympathetic to loosening ever further the responsibility of govenment to protect citizens against over-powerful commercial interests it is patently defective in argument.
Posted by: John Stone | July 28, 2013 at 05:50 AM
Yes, an excellent portrayal of how anti-vaxxers think. Dorit has a genuine education and knows how to present a logical, scientifically based argument rather than outlandish conspiracy theories and scare stories: therefore she MUST BE PAID BY THE EVIL VACCINE INDUSTRY TO ATTACK COURAGEOUS ANTI-VACCINE CRUSADERS.
Posted by: E.W. Modemac | July 28, 2013 at 05:07 AM
Jim, You got that right.
You could get the feel of it just reading the Simpson Wood and the Puerto Rico Aluminium conferences.
The CDC and FDA and NIH people would all be asking questions from the guest speakers and then in the mist of it all the "wise one" from Merck -- a sure enough manufacture (maker) of vaccines would speak, and they all held on to ever word the wise man on the high mountian spoke. It was like all questions were answered, and the moderator would take his word as a cue to move along.
Posted by: Benedetta | July 27, 2013 at 01:22 PM
I'm not a fan of Galbraith, but that quote is right on, and is even more prescient today. The new administration's "hope and change" are consolidating more wealth and power into the suck-up industries, like finance, pharma, and more. Just wait until Obamacare gets the full stranglehold, and there will no longer be freedom to refuse shots. We'll have to wait a century for the next Nuremberg trials.
Posted by: Jerry | July 27, 2013 at 12:03 PM
Has anyone independently analyzed the true thimerosol (and other ingredient) content of various lots of vaccines being marketed as containing trace amounts?
The FDA analyzes other products for contaminants but won't touch vaccines (not that I would trust their reporting if they did).
Posted by: Linda | July 27, 2013 at 10:11 AM
"Industry usually has information no one else has, and has more incentive to give that information to a friendly regulator."
That's sort of the problem in a nutshell, isn't it, Dorit?
Posted by: Carol | July 27, 2013 at 09:51 AM
Interesting links. Yes, if you want a model of how you breach the separation of public and private (as advocated by Dorit Reiss) then Task Force could be it (the government-pharmaceutical complex in all is glory) set up to accomplish the things that CDC couldn't do on its on its own, and shouldn't have been its business.
Posted by: John Stone | July 27, 2013 at 06:46 AM
John, in regards to the “captive agency phenomena” look at the Task Force for Global Health press release “Task Force is Registrar for CDC's National Immunization Conference (NIC) ,” See http://www.taskforce.org/press-room/press-releases/national-immunization-conference-registration-now-open , (from page 3 of press releases).
Then go to the 2011 CDC National Immunization Conference poster and exhibit site “Achieving Monumental Vaccine Coverage.” Notice how the images of icons of the Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Memorial, and the Pentagon are used to promote industry products (flu vaccines). See https://cdc.confex.com/cdc/nic2011/webprogram/meeting.html and https://cdc.confex.com/cdc/nic2011/webprogram/Paper25483.html .
Also look at https://cdc.confex.com/cdc/nic2011/webprogram/Session11587.html and the poster “Vaccine Stakeholder Involvement In the National Vaccine Plan: How Involvement and Deliberation of Stakeholders Can Help Inform and Influence Vaccine Policy.”
A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services employee describes stakeholders: “Stakeholders included: state and local public health officials, vaccine manufacturers, academia, advocacy organizations, philanthropic groups, health care providers, and the public.”
The CDC management staff has no qualms in allowing industry representatives to perform work that should be done by federal employees with no conflict of interest. After all, Julie Gerberding went from the director of the CDC to “president of Merck's Vaccine division.” See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julie_Gerberding .
Posted by: Jim Thompson | July 27, 2013 at 06:01 AM
Thank you for looking into Reiss and these disturbing arguments.
The capture is already global and multi-corporate I think, and now they likely want to put persuasive talking points out to lull people into accepting the status quo as something possibly good for them, easier than fighting it, they hope...at least that's what I fear.
But just in the area of non-vaccine regulation we have quite a list here demonstrating of the "benefits" of agency capture:
All three U.S. governmental "branches" have fully supported the unconstitutional NVICP, and now immune injuries are the new childhood diseases in the U.S. ...
Without liability, the NVAC had no qualms about shoe-horning in any additional vaccines onto the rather captive market of well-baby visits, and when giving Hg to babies started to sound a little bad, well, now there are the pre-natal visits...and the drug stores...
It never occurred to anyone (except perhaps Hilleman--inside industry) to add up the total Hg load, Al load, and never mind testing the vaccines in combinations given nor the over-all schedule. Don't want to rock any boats...
Practically worthless mumps vaccines was recommended with an "Oh to *blank* with it!" attitude? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYcxIrs4oyk
And with that, then of course significant titer count changes in the MMR shouldn't need re-licensing later...
And since we have mumps vaccine given to infants way too early to "protect" them, we certainly shouldn't hesitate on hepatitis B, chicken pox, ... just have to come up with some justification, will only need one dose, moms will miss less work, or maybe just "because we can..."
And apparently years of diminishing mumps efficacy (even just matching vaccine strain) don't need to be revealed and acted upon. With that story, I'm wondering if the FDA official contacted by one of the Merck whistleblowers wasn't ecstatic at a chance to slowly do Merck a favor...
Under Julie Gerberding, we get fast-tracked Gardasil (got to save those quarterly returns from the effects Vioxx--there's another one) and no answers on thimerosal. She gets a big industry position as soon as legally possible...
Autism is 30-50 times more common (in children) than paralytic polio in the 1950s, and all we get are studies that can't answer questions they are purported to answer...and millions spent finding the genes, not the corporate products, to blame...
The "fourth pillar" captured corporate media ... can't advertise for vaccines enough ... or shout down some concerns enough... or warn us of the dangers of vitamins enough...
I'm sure there are a few more...
Oh, and particularly not be forgotten, 1 in 2 U.S. children have a disability or chronic health condition!!!
Posted by: Jeannette Bishop | July 27, 2013 at 02:34 AM
Sorry that is kind of long link.
But the article is called:
Closing the Gaps in Immunizations Coverage Rates
Here is a quote of three paragraphs in that long article that starts out with CDC worrying about the whites are covered really good, but other ethnic groups are not.
So they got the
"Despite a report from the Department of Health and Human Services that stated “the majority of Healthy People 2010 objectives for early childhood vaccination coverage were met by the end of 2010,” opportunities remain to reach those people who continue to fall through the immunization cracks, according to the CDC panel.
The Vaccines for Children program — a federal entitlement program that provides vaccine at no cost for eligible children — has been effective in reducing potential gaps in coverage levels resulting from poverty status and should be discussed in clinicians’ offices as an effective tool for assisting families who want their children to receive the recommended Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices vaccines.
“School immunization requirements have increased pressure on parents and the VFC program has helped assure that financing is not a barrier to immunizations,” said Alan R. Hinman, MD, MPH, who is director for programs at the Center for Vaccine Equity at The Task Force for Global Health. “When you combine those factors with an enthusiastic core of providers, that’s how you ensure success.”
Now me as an individual --I am sure my money would be accepted by the federal government -- but why should I -- since I am already giving.
Oh, I could give more.
Posted by: Benedetta | July 26, 2013 at 06:46 PM
Well noted that she teaches kids she forgets as adults we compare stories when told a suspected lie...grow up lassie..
Posted by: ANGUS FILES | July 26, 2013 at 06:22 PM
Also in the Minnesota Department of Health evidence bin is this borrowed quote leveraged by immunization head Kris Ehresmann:
..."As Dorit Reiss wrote, 'The fact that a parent believes a child’s problems stem from a vaccine is relevant, but often not sufficient, especially when the research goes the other way.'”
(2nd to last paragraph)
To what "research" does Reiss refer? Made-up statistics? No one is physically examining vaccine injury victims.
By the way, Kris Ehresmann's son has "autism." It would be interesting to confirm rumors that he had a vaccine adverse reaction.
And is the autism rate in public health workers is higher than the rest of the population?
Posted by: Public Health Hypocrites | July 26, 2013 at 02:46 PM
With further regard to Karen Ernst's comments this morning this is the web-page for Voices for Vaccines on the Task Force for Global Health. According to this page Voices for Vaccines is a sub-division of 'Immunizations and Vaccines: Center for Vaccine Equity' and Alan R Hinman is the director of both:
So, sorry Karen, nice try!
Posted by: John Stone | July 26, 2013 at 01:03 PM
I wouldn't take much credence in anything Dorit or Karen say. They belong to a horribly antagonistic and vile group known as the Anti-Vax Wall of Shame.
Their only purpose is to ridicule and troll sites of parents of vaccine injured children. They use such high-minded scientific terms like "Dear Anti-vax F$#&nugget" and "so and so is a c%#&." Real paragons of science and open discussion there.
Karen and Dorit have no interest in discussing things rationally. They are simply bullies and hypocrites, who will now run back to their AVWOS and whine about how mean everyone is being to them.
Posted by: Not So Reasonable Discussion | July 26, 2013 at 12:58 PM
From the Voices for Vaccines page:
“Vaccine exemptions give parents who have been frightened by anti-vaccine misinformation a way to opt out of vaccines. Howver (sic), they also make it easier for parents who are overburdened or plain old lazy to skip the work of getting their children vaccinated. Thus, we must make it more difficult to get exemptions.”
Karen wants to take away your right to vaccine exemptions so she can make decisions such as taking a newborn into a preschool for a full day and not worry about exposing the newborn to germs and viruses.....well at least not those covered by available vaccines. (BTW, Karen should really look into vaccine failure particularly with the varicella vaccine.)
Testimony for Minnesota Immunization Rule Change Public Hearing
Submitted by Karen Ernst
27 June 2013
Posted by: Can you say Astroturfing? | July 26, 2013 at 12:55 PM
I first encountered Dorit Rubenstein several months ago, on my Amazon review of Melanie's Marvelous Measles. Last week she was called in to the Atlantic Jenny McCarthy hit article to try to counter my comments, since Stacy Herlihy wasn't doing a very good job. When Dorit went on about how dangerous measles was, I posted a link to the Royal Health statistics on measles fatalities being only between one and two per ten thousand sick with measles, she admitted it was true that measles deaths in the UK were much lower than in the US, but since, as she contends, the MMR is perfectly safe, any deaths or damage resulting from the disease are unacceptable. She said that she had read Callous Disregard, and thought the parents involved really believed that their children's autism and bowel disease starting within days or weeks of the MMR were sincere, but mistaken. An honest person would not deny categorically reams of evidence of the dangers of the MMR, and all I can say is that she is more literate, civil, and better-educated than most of those employed for this purpose.
From : http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/07/destabilizing-the-jenny-mccarthy-public-health-industrial-complex/277695/#comments
"And as I already said - my comments seem to be disappearing - the British figures are lower, though as I mentioned, the U.S. ones are in the one per thousand. I do not know why - not enough information. But those are still preventable deaths, and do not include one in a thousand encephalitis (compared to less than one per million with the vaccine), pneumonia, deafness. You brought not credible evidence that the vaccine is in any way dangerous - and yet you want to just let these people die or be disabled."
Posted by: cia parker | July 26, 2013 at 11:15 AM
Mussolini also thought government should work with industry. Our culture has lost any cognizance of the influence of conflict of interest.
Posted by: Shawn Siegel | July 26, 2013 at 11:14 AM
Reiss is hard to take seriously, especially when she makes statements like "Industry usually has information no one else has, and has more incentive to give that information to a friendly regulator." She reveals a lack of real world experience. My decades of real world experience has taught me the exact opposite. Ever hear of a bank president excitedly sharing information with the bank examiner during an audit? Even better, ever hear of a pharma company sharing their negative results with the FDA/CDC? Me neither.
Assuming taxpayer dollars pay her salary, it appears a wasteful use of those precious dollars. She'd feel better about herself, possibly even less angry, if she didn't allow herself to be used by Offit and his posse.
Posted by: Dorit, do something positive | July 26, 2013 at 10:16 AM
Karen Ernst - you are welcome around at my house anytime you like to see the mess vaccines left of my childs life ?
And before you dispute that it was vaccines , please confer with Julie Gerberding !
Posted by: White Rose | July 26, 2013 at 10:03 AM
Opppps, on my list; I forgot mandatory for attending schools.
Oh silly me
Posted by: Benedetta | July 26, 2013 at 09:53 AM
I am such a hick.
I live out in the boonies and my family scrap a living out of the things like factory work, farm, education -- nursing -- that sort of thing.
Volunteering - we raise fresh food for the food bank, give at the church, give if a local family is wipped out by a fire or the medical industry is hounding at their door for payment of medical treatment.
As far as vaccines goes though -- I would never have thought in my wildest dreams that it would be nessacary to form a grass roots base for such -- for those are taken care of by the government -- and industry. .
Every doctor's visit the question of vaccines is raised, it is in Wal Mart, Sams club, drug stores..
Your web page is really nice by the way!
Posted by: Benedetta | July 26, 2013 at 09:12 AM
Excellent fighting here John . You have my full respect for the way the jewish press has had to censor those unpleasant facts they would like to hide away . In particular .....bringing up my favourite Julie Gerberding was forced to admit that vaccines could trigger autism, although this has been conveniently forgotten: “….. if you’re predisposed with the mitochondrial disorder, it [vaccination] can certainly set off some damage. Some of the symptoms can be symptoms that have characteristics of autism.”.
Posted by: White Rose | July 26, 2013 at 08:59 AM
Of course, you used the word "shill" not me. I think it is apparent that I did address Prof Reiss's ideas (notably with reference to President Eisenhower and Prof JK Galbraith). Actually, the perfectly proper fear of over-powerful interests dominating individual citizens greatly exercised the founding fathers of the United States: unfortunately their best endeavours to split up the functions of state to avoid such things happening have alway been in danger of being circumvented.
The fact is that in order to operate, if I take you at your word, you had to approach Task Force for Global Health who state that they are partners with the CDC and claim you as "an administrative project". Also I note that you have on you board Alan R. Hinman, Director for Programs, Center for Vaccine Equity at the Task Force for Global Health, although I concede it is possible that you do not receive any of their money. I, of course, have not stated that Prof Reiss has received any compensation for her activities (though you have not so far denied it). I note also the presence of Prof Paul Offit on your scientific advisory board, whose connections with the industry are well documented.
Perhaps, if your organisation wanted to claim an independent profile, it should have taken a different course.
Personally, I think it is a shame that Dorit Reiss did not choose to address my concerns in the Jewish Press, and they were removed (which certainly saved her some potential embarrassment). She is very welcome to comment here. As to her website article on agency capture, although she did examine arguments against it I could not see what convincing arguments were deployed to over-ride them. You could argue that there are benefits to robbery (the police could come to friendly agreements with burglars) but I am not taken with them. I also furnished examples of the way the industry was becoming over-powerful and under-monitored. Prof Reiss is welcome to address those arguments here and so are you.
Posted by: John Stone | July 26, 2013 at 08:51 AM
John, in regards to the statement: “Industry usually has information no one else has, and has more incentive to give that information to a friendly regulator. Furthermore, working with industry can substantially improve the impact of regulation; voluntary compliance is cheaper and can be more effective than enforced compliance, and industry can help regulators minimize negative unintended consequences.”
This is nonsense. This timeless form of corruption is likely a problem with most of our federal agencies. It is described by Bobby Kennedy Jr. as “captive agency phenomena…the dynamic by which the regulatory agencies become captured by the industries they’re supposed to regulate.” See http://www.ageofautism.com/2008/06/post-1.html .
So imagine an infamous industry scientist that had “more incentive to give that information to a friendly regulator” and then played “Catch Me if You Can” with the FBI and the US Department of Justice.
Or just look up “Poul Thorsen” at https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/fugitives/profiles.asp
Posted by: Jim Thompson | July 26, 2013 at 08:36 AM
Thank you for digging up the dirt on Reiss and Voices For Vaccines and for your factual, insightful comments. Clearly she has friends in low places.
Posted by: Linda | July 26, 2013 at 08:12 AM
Voices for Vaccines has as its fiscal agent The Task Force for Global Health. They take in our donations and cut checks for us. Many non-profits who are too small to handle their own 501(c)3 status use fiscal agents in this way; it's quite common. We have absolutely no access to their money, nor do we benefit from their money. Voices for Vaccines is not tied to any pharmaceutical corporation or to any government organization. Thus far, all of our donations have been small and have come from individuals. Thus, the dots you have connected paint an incorrect picture. When all you have left is the Pharma Shill gambit, it's plain that you really have no argument. This article would have been far more interesting had you actually addressed the ideas in Ms. Reiss' article. Instead, you chose to sling mud, and you did so without even bothering to fact check.
Posted by: Karen Ernst | July 26, 2013 at 07:55 AM