for action to prevent naturopathic doctors from educating their patients about vaccine concerns, including removing their ability to self-regulate.
Written by Dr. Anke Zimmermann, ND, FCAH
This article was based on a study titled "Injecting Doubt: Responding to the Naturopathic Anti-Vaccination Rhetoric", written by Caulfield and two co-authors and published in the Journal of Law and the Biosciences.
The team examined the websites of 300 naturopathic clinics in BC and Alberta and found that 53 of them expressed 'anti-vaccination' content, "in other words, a significant number of naturopaths – that is, members of a provincially regulated health profession – are explicitly and publicly spreading nonsense about vaccination" and that this 'must stop', and are calling for deregulation of naturopathic medicine or at least third-party (read: Big Pharma) oversight.
Their definition of anti-vaccination content included "warnings about how vaccines contain mercury (and aluminum) and/or reference the frequently debunked myth that vaccines are linked to autism."
So we are anti-vaxxers because we have legitimate reasons to be concerned about the safety of these substances? Or maybe tell parents that a Hep-B shot at 2, 4 and 6 months it not really necessary as Hep-B is a sexually or IV drug user contracted disease? Or that the Gardasil vaccine was never properly safety tested since the control group didn't receive a placebo but a shot full of aluminum instead?
And we should be gagged, or worse, be deregulated as a profession because we are providing some of this information?
As if the public can't find it anywhere else on the web, well guess where I found all of my data: On the internet! Doing research, reading papers, watching videos, finding books, learning about conferences and attending them. For about 9000 hours so far, including at least 20 just for this article.
Timothy Caulfield, I have news for you: People are not that stupid.
And as if we as NDs are tying people to the chair, calling in a nurse or two for back-up and then lecturing them on the need to avoid all vaccines at all cost or else their child will die - oops, sorry, that is the method the conventional system is using to coerce parents to vaccinate, minus the ties, at least for now.
They must have really enjoyed my website! If only they actually read the links to all the scientific studies on here... but truth was obviously not what the agenda was in this case.
Users and supporters of naturopathic medicine should take heed of all this for the following reasons:
Caulfield is a person of influence. He is a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy and a law professor. Yes, really.
Caulfield is very open in his dislike of naturopathic doctors, going so far as calling us 'witch doctors', in an article from 2013 published in the National Post: "Don't Legitimize the Witch Doctors, " in which he expressed his disdain about the regulation of naturopathic doctors in Alberta.
He also sits on the research committee of a government-funded organization which has close ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
Misleading Statements About Naturopathic Medicine
Caulfield et al make several concerning mis-statements about naturopathic and homeopathic medicine as well as vaccine safety:
1) In his paper and editorial he claims some NDs question the safety of mercury-containing preservatives in vaccines which is a 'myth'. Really? It's a myth that mercury is toxic? Mercury is one of the most toxic substances known to man and there are numerous studies linking mercury in vaccines to neurological adverse events. Please refer to World Mercury Project, Mercury Facts for more information.
2) He also states that some NDs provide warnings regarding aluminum in vaccines in the research study. Again, aluminum is also a highly toxic substance and again there are hundreds of research papers attesting to it's toxicity and it's detrimental effects on the nervous and immune system. Please refer to the Children's Medical Safety Research Institute for a summary of studies.
2) He claims that there is no scientific evidence for homeopathy (there are about 5000 research studies and other evidence available).
3) He repeatedly mentions that some naturopathic doctors are recommending 'homeopathic vaccines'. He is mistaken in two ways, firstly, the method he is referring to is called homeoprophylaxis and not homeopathic vaccination or vaccines. He didn't even do his homework or else is intentionally misrepresenting the facts.
Secondly, had he even taken a cursory look at the Standards of Practice guidelines publicly available on the website of the College of Naturopathic Physicians, or if he had called the College in regards to this, he would have learned that NDs are not allowed to refer to homeoprophylaxis as homeopathic vaccines.
4) He claims that 'homeopathic vaccines' are also called 'nosodes'. Again, he has no idea what he is talking about. Nosodes are remedies prepared from disease organisms or disease products. There are hundreds of them, but only a handful are used in homeoprophylaxis. They are not the same thing.
5) He claims that there is no evidence whatsoever that homeopathic prophylaxis works. At least 20 million people disagree, at least in India where the government recently successfully immunized 20 million children against Japanese Encephalitis, and that is just one of many studies, if the biggest one to date.
So he is wrong again, for an overview of some of the evidence-base for HP please click here.
I partly agree with him on his critique of 'homeopathic flu shots' though - there is no need for an injection with any homeoprophylaxis. I never bought into that.
Dr. Wakefield Lies - Again!
6) Caufield is parroting the often-repeated by still false idea that Dr. Andrew Wakefield somehow is notorious and discredited and started the anti-vaccination movement.
The truth is that Dr. Wakefield was a highly respected gastroenterologist who was approached by parents of children with autism because their children had severe gastrointestinal symptoms, which they claimed were related to the MMR vaccines their children had received.
While Andrew Wakefield, MD was the “senior scientific investigator” on the study, he was one of three principal authors of the study paper, and there were 10 co-authors. In other words, this was the product of many highly-trained and reputable individuals.
So how did Andrew Wakefield become the scapegoat? Because he publicly stated that in his personal opinion maybe instead of a combined vaccine it might be safer to give the measles, mumps and rubella vaccines separately. That's it, nothing about the MMR causing autism. The study never claimed this either.
However, Dr. Wakefield immediately became the target of the giant pharmaceutical company SmithKline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithKline) which made and sold the MMR vaccine in the United Kingdom and media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his family just happened to have a financial interest in that company and one of his sons, James, actually sat on its board of directors.
The Murdoch family in turn owned The Sunday Times of London. The editor of the newspaper, Paul Nuki, was the son of Professor George Nuki, who co-incidentally was a member of the vaccine licensing authority committee in the UK when the MMR vaccine was introduced to the UK in the late 1980s.
He in turn hired a reporter named Brian Deer to write a series of defamatory articles about Dr. Wakefield.
Now it only took me a few hours of research on the internet to unearth all of this information. And I did not get paid for it. Why can I do this or anyone for that matter, but not a professor who is a Canada Health Research Chair?
Please see video below to hear the story from Dr. Wakefield himself.
7) Caulfield claims that there is no link between vaccines and autism. Of course we can't say that vaccines directly cause autism but there is plenty of research evidence pointing to vaccine ingredients and adverse neurological events, see previous discussion.
Who Funded the Research?
Just as with the Andy Wakefield issue, it's useful to try and get some background information. For example it is always interesting to discover funding sources for research.
So I did a little research and discovered that his study was partially funded by the Trudeau foundation, an organization whose governing values are noble:
"The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation encourages research, reflection and action in four areas important to Canadians: human rights and dignity, responsible citizenship, Canada's role in the world, and people and their natural environment".
I think Pierre would be rolling over in his grave if he read this study or the article. Everyone should write to them and complain! I will! See address at end of article.
More interestingly, the study was also funded by AllerGen, an organization funded by Canadian tax payers. Now in the top right corner on the home page under the news section is an inflammatory video attacking naturopathic doctors, created by Caulfield and his cronies under the auspices of the University of Alberta.
My question is: If this is the first thing we see on an organization supposedly funded by the Canadian government, what exactly is going on and how can this be allowed?
On the board of directors of AllerGen sits at least one representative of Big Pharma, Mr. Jean-Francois Leprince, the former head of Aventis, a major vaccine manufacturer. "He has over 30 years of experience with large pharmaceutical companies; he has overseen the largest R&D spending of any of the multinational pharmaceutical companies operating in Canada."
He is now the head CTI Life Sciences, an investment corporation for pharmaceutical industries.
Formerly there were at least three representatives from pharmaceutical companies on the Board.
Also, Caulfield sits on the research committee for that organization, which determines who gets funding for what studies, another problem. Interesting, isn't it?
Big Pharma Buying Influence, Including Professors
I can't help but wonder whose payroll Caulfield is on. Our's as a nation in regards to tax funds, that's for sure, but what about AllerGen? And who runs AllerGen, really and who pays off whom?
Recent research has shown that the pharmaceutical industry is quietly buying professors from top universities to write scholarly articles, blogs and hold conferences in order to lend their prestige to the industry without disclosing their corporate ties.
Caulfield is also married to a medical doctor, so maybe there is bias or pressure coming from that department as well. In addition, he may just be looking for publicity, as he has published two books attacking natural medicine.
He keeps referring to 'evidence-based medicine', well, research is showing that this evidence base may be seriously flawed and that up to half of the scientific literature published in the last ten years may be false.
Over the past few years more professionals have come forward to share a truth that, for many people, proves difficult to digest.
One such authority is Dr. Richard Horton, the current editor-in-chief of the Lancet – considered to be one of the most well respected peer-reviewed medical journals in the world. Dr. Horton recently published a statement declaring that a lot of published research is in fact unreliable at best, if not completely false.
“The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.” (source).
For another very interesting article on this see Dr. Marcia Angell's article 'Drug Companies and Doctors, a Story of Corruption'. Dr. Angell is the former Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine and observed first-hand the deterioration of 'science' in the published literature during her time at the NEJM. In other words, Timothy Caulfield's reference to 'evidence-based medicine' as the gold standard may also be flawed.
Ultimately, whatever his motivations are, he is woefully and willfully misinformed, highly biased and a potential danger to naturopathic medicine due to his position. And we as tax payers have a right to unbiased information and health policy for the population of Canada!!
We all have a voice, if we don't use it to defend our rights or to speak out about injustice and lies we will become victims of powerful interests, in this case Big Pharma, corporations who don't care about you or your children, they are simply businesses which need to produce for their investors.
I am also sorely disappointed in the Globe and Mail, obviously this publication has also been bought by corporate interests by now. I used to read it, especially the health coverage section, but gave on it years ago.
We need to have an honest discussion about vaccine safety, not a gag order for those who are trying to protect and educate those under our care. With 200+ more vaccines in the pipeline and increasing pressures to make vaccines mandatory this is a topic we should all be concerned about.
I encourage all of you to contact Timothy Caulfield, the University of Alberta, the Trudeau foundation, the Globe and Mail and your local government representatives, point out Caulfield's ignorance of the facts as well as his obvious bias. Also please share your positive experiences with naturopathic and homeopathic medicine.
Then send Timothy Caulfied research data on vaccine safety done by independent organizations, as well as research involving naturopathy and homeopathy and document this. That way at least he won't be able to deny the existence of this evidence any more. I sent him a whole slew of research papers.
Personally, I will always stand up for justice, freedom and truth, for my patients as well as for all of society, and I encourage you to do the same.
Anke Zimmermann, ND, FCAH, July 14, 2017
Here is some contact information for you:
University of Alberta, Faculty of Law
Law Centre (111 - 89 Ave)
University of Alberta
Canada T6G 2H5
The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation
600 - 1980 Sherbrooke Street West
Montréal, Quebec Canada H3H 1E8
Phone: +1 514-938-0001
Fax: +1 514-938-0046
The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail Centre
351 King Street East
To make a general comment or suggestion about the contents of the newspaper, send an e-mail message to Newsroom@globeandmail.com
I would contact the publisher Publisher and CEOPhillip Crawley, Publisher and CEO
Sylvia Stead, Public Editor
Also consider contacting Justin Trudeau. The Prime Minister greatly values the thoughts and suggestions of Canadians. You may write or fax his office at:
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
Dr. Anke Zimmermann, ND, FCAH, Naturopathic Physician
West Sooke, BC, Canada
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10-6 and alternating Saturdays from 10-4