'Fear of the Invisible'


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Home MMR dangerously contaminated?
MMR Contaminated PDF Print E-mail
Written by Janine Roberts   
Monday, 18 August 2008 01:37

extract from Chapter 7 of Fear of the Invisible.


MMR Vaccine Contaminated


A year after I met with the top government regulatory scientists at the NIH Emergency Workshop on SV40 in 1997, they met again in Washington for another workshop on vaccine safety. At this there were representatives of all the major US government health organisations and of the vaccine manufacturers. A third similar meeting would be held a year later in 1999.

The main issue at the November 1998 meeting was whether or not it would be safe for manufacturers to produce the viruses needed for vaccines from cancer cells. Pharmaceutical companies were at that time seeking government approval for this, on the basis that cancerous cells, as ‘immortal' and permanent, would be cheaper to use than cells they had to regularly replace by, for example, buying more monkeys.

These workshops looked at the issue broadly, by comparing the safety of the different ways available for making our vaccines. As everyone present was a scientist, the discussions were much more open and frank than they are when journalists are present.

They started with the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine (MMR). One of the first speakers on this was  from the federal Food and Drugs Agency (FDA) and what she had to report was very disturbing.

‘Today I would like to present an update on the reverse transcriptase  [RT] activity that is present in chicken cell derived vaccines.'  My attention was immediately grabbed. I knew that the mumps and measles viruses used for the MMR vaccine are grown in fertilised chicken eggs, as are also the viruses for the Flu and Yellow Fever vaccines. (The rubella virus for MMR is produced differently - in artificially grown cells taken originally from an aborted human foetus.)

Dr, Khan was reporting the result of a just concluded two-year investigation into the safety of MMR led by the World Health Organisation. She explained that this was initiated in 1996 after the discovery in MMR of RT; an enzyme whose presence they believed could well indicate that retroviruses had contaminated the vaccine. This had greatly alarmed them as some retroviruses are thought to cause cancers - and AIDS.

WHO had then quietly, without telling the public, without withdrawing the vaccine, organised MMR safety studies at various laboratories to see ‘whether this RT activity was associated with a retroviral particle, and even more importantly, whether this retrovirus particle could infect and replicate in human cells.'

What they then discovered confirmed their worse fears.  Dr Khan continued: ‘The RT activity is found to be associated with retroviral particles of two distinct avian endogenous retroviral families designated as EAV and ALV.'  Now ALV stands for Avian Leukosis Virus. It is associated with a leukaemia cancer found in wild birds, so definitely was not wanted in the vaccines.  EAV was however less dangerous, at least for birds as it is natural for them to have it.

Khan added that they had also found another possible danger; ‘There was a theoretical possibility that the virus [ALV] could  ... infect the [human] cell' thus integrating its genetic code ‘into the human DNA' to cause cancer.  The only reassurance she could give was that her team had watched vaccine cultures for a full ‘48 hours', and, in that time period, no merger of viral and human DNA had been observed. I thought this much too short a period to guarantee safety. Cancers develop over years.

Dr Khan then warned; ‘there is a possibility that there could also be potential pseudotypes (merging between) ... the measles vaccine virus and the retroviral sequences' - meaning there was a risk that bird viruses might combine with the measles virus in the vaccine to create dangerous new mutant viruses, They had not seen it, but it could happen.

She acknowledged much longer term safety studies were needed than 48 hours, but said that long-term studies of measles vaccine cultures were very difficult: ‘because the measles vaccine virus itself lyses [kills] the culture in about three to four days.' This had prevented them from studying the longer-term consequences of this contamination of the MMR vaccine.

So far, she added, they had only managed to analyse a small part of the retrovirus contamination in the vaccines. ‘Our ongoing studies are directed towards doing similar analysis' of other retroviral genetic codes found in the vaccine preparations.' It was suspected that other retroviruses might also be present. She also noted that ‘about 20 years ago similar RT activity was reported' in the vaccine. Apparently nothing had been done about it at that time and the public were never told.

She concluded by explaining what the World Health Organisation (WHO) had decided to do about this chicken leucosis virus (ALV) contamination.  It would take the risk of quietly allowing MMR to continue to be contaminated. It would permit vaccine manufacturers to continue to use retrovirus contaminated eggs, because ‘you cannot get ALV free flocks in places where you are making yellow fever vaccine.'

Dr Andrew Lewis, head of the DNA Virus Laboratory in the Division of Viral Products, then warned. ‘All the egg-based vaccines are contaminated,' including ‘influenza, yellow fever and smallpox vaccines, as well as the vaccine for horses against encephalomyelitis virus' for ‘these fertilised chicken eggs are susceptible to a wide variety of viruses.'

This was an eye opener for me.  Before I started on this investigation, if I thought about it, I would have presumed our vaccines were made of selected viruses in sterile fluid to which a small amount of preservative chemicals has been added.  I think this is what most parents presume.

It was thus a shock to discover from this top-level scientific workshop that the viruses in our current vaccines are not in a sterile fluid as I had presumed, but in a soup of unknown bits and pieces, a veritable witches' brew of DNA fragments, added chemicals, proteins and, even possibly prions and oncogenes, all of which would easily pass through the filters used to be injected into our children.

Our vaccines, I thus learnt, are not filtered clean but are suspensions from the manufacturers' ‘incubation tanks' in which the viruses are produced from ‘substrates' of mashed bird embryo, minced monkey kidneys or cloned human cells.  These suspensions are filtered before use but only to remove particles larger than viruses.  The point of the vaccine is that it contains viruses, thus these must not be filtered out.  This means there remains in the vaccine everything of the same size or smaller, including what the manufacturers call ‘degradation products' - parts of decayed viruses or cells.

I also learnt that the only official checks made for contaminants in vaccines are for a few known pathogens, thus ignoring a vast host of unknown, unstudied, small particles and chemicals. These eminent doctors reported at these vaccine safety meetings that it is simply impossible to remove these from our common vaccines  - and this would of course also apply to vaccines for pets, farm animals and birds.

I went to the published reports of the MMR manufacturers and found these confirmed what the scientists at this workshop had reported.  A manufacturer stated in 2000 that it made the MMR vaccine with ‘harvested virus fluids.' It stated frankly that their ‘Measles vaccine bulk is an unpurified product whose potency was measured through a biological assay for the active substance rather than through evaluation of integrity of physical form. Degradation products are neither identified nor quantified.' In other words, it left the latter in the measles vaccine along with all contaminants that lay there quietly, or worked slowly. The pharmaceutical company admitted checking the measles vaccine only for obviously active contaminates. It did not measure how much the vaccine was polluted with genetic code fragments, other viruses, or with parts of bacterial, animal, bird or human cells.




The latest information I could find on the retroviral contamination of the MMR vaccine was in a 2001 scientific paper from the CDC. This reported that 100 MMR recipients were tested to see if they were contaminated by either of the two types of retroviruses identified by Dr Khan and others. The conclusion was dramatic.  ‘The finding of RT activity in all measles vaccine lots from different manufacturers tested suggests that this occurrence is not sporadic and that vaccine recipients may be universally exposed to these [chicken] retroviral particles.'

They then concluded: ‘Despite these reassuring data, the presence of avian retroviral particles in chick embryo fibroblast-derived vaccines [like MMR] raises questions about the suitability of primary chicken cell substrates for vaccine production.'  They recommended considering stopping production in fertilized eggs, and growing the vaccine viruses instead on ‘RT-negative cells from different species, such as on immortalized [cancerous] or diploid [laboratory grown] mammalian cells.I was amazed to learn this, for, to the best of my knowledge, nothing has been done since this report was made to render MMR safer. The measles vaccine is still produced from contaminated chicken embryos.






Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 August 2008 17:12