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Breakfast Foods Contain More Glyphosate Than Vitamin D or B12

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Concerns over the health effects of glyphosate — the active ingredient in Roundup and other weed killer formulations — continue to rise as evidence of harm and widespread exposure keeps accumulating.

In recent years, researchers have discovered it may affect your body’s ability to produce fully functioning proteins, inhibit the shikimate pathway (found in gut bacteria) and interfere with the function of cytochrome P450 enzymes (required for activation of vitamin D and the creation of nitric oxide and cholesterol sulfate).

Glyphosate also chelates important minerals; disrupts sulfate synthesis and transport; interferes with the synthesis of aromatic amino acids and methionine, resulting in folate and neurotransmitter shortages; disrupts your microbiome by acting as an antibiotic; impairs methylation pathways; and inhibits pituitary release of thyroid stimulating hormone, which can lead to hypothyroidism.1,2

Roundup has also been linked to certain cancers.3 In March 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as a “probable carcinogen” (Class 2A),4 based on “limited evidence” showing the weed killer can cause Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and lung cancer in humans.

Since then, thousands of individuals have filed suit against Monsanto, blaming Roundup for their Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.5 The first case to go to jury trial resulted in a stunning guilty verdict, and Monsanto was ordered to pay the plaintiff, Dewayne Johnson, $289 million in damages.6

According to the ruling, Monsanto “acted with malice or oppression” and was responsible for “negligent failure” by not warning consumers about the carcinogenicity of its product. A judge recently upheld the guilty verdict, but reduced the damages to $78 million.7,8,9 Bayer, which now owns Monsanto, is also facing several class action lawsuits over crop damage caused by dicamba.10

Another Round of Food Testing Raises Concerns About Glyphosate in Food Supply

A second round of food testing11,12 by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) now reveals glyphosate is a staple contaminant in Cheerios breakfast cereals and Quaker Oats products. All 28 samples contained glyphosate; 26 at levels suspected to be harmful to children’s health.

In the first round of testing,13 published in August 2018, 43 out of 45 food products made with conventionally grown oats tested positive for glyphosate, 31 of which had glyphosate levels higher than EWG scientists believe would be safe for children. This included Quaker Dinosaur Eggs instant oatmeal, Cheerios cereal, Nature Valley granola bars, Quaker steel cut oats and Back to Nature Classic Granola.

Five of 16 organic oat foods also contained glyphosate, although at levels below EWG’s health benchmark of 160 parts per billion (ppb). (For comparison, the legal limit set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for glyphosate in oats is 30,000 ppb.)

However, while the EWG’s proposed safety level is nearly 188 times more stringent than that of the EPA, Alex Lu, an associate professor of environmental exposure biology at Harvard, who has researched pesticides in children’s diets, believes EWG’s threshold is conservative and may still be too high. “This is especially true for parents buying breakfast cereals for their infants and children,” he told Business Insider.14

In this latest round of testing, EWG focused exclusively on Cheerios and Quaker Oats products. Of the 28 products sampled this time around, Quaker Oatmeal Squares (brown sugar and honey nut flavors) fared the worst, containing nearly 18 times more glyphosate than the EWG’s safety threshold (2,746 ppb and 2,837 ppb respectively).

In third and fourth place came Cheerios Oat Crunch (cinnamon flavor) and Quaker Overnight Oats, with 1,171 ppb and 1,029 ppb of glyphosate respectively. You can find a complete list of test results on EWG’s website.15 As noted by EWG:

“This round of tests confirms and amplifies EWG’s findings from the first round, with levels of glyphosate consistently above our children’s health benchmark in every sample but two.”

There’s No Safe Limit for Pesticides for Children

As you’d expect, General Mills (which makes Cheerios) and Quaker (owned by PepsiCo.) insist their products are safe since they comply with EPA standards, and that the glyphosate levels are too minute to pose any health risks anyway.

In a statement to CNN, a General Mills spokesperson said, “The extremely low levels of pesticide residue cited in recent news reports is a tiny fraction of the amount the government allows.”16 However, there are a number of problems with this stance.

First of all, just because it’s within legal limits doesn’t mean it’s safe. There’s evidence suggesting the EPA has colluded with Monsanto to downplay glyphosate’s harmful effects, and since glyphosate has for decades been wrongly believed to be harmless, there’s reason to suspect EPA limits — which were set in 2008, well before most of the incriminating evidence against glyphosate came out — may be too high. As noted by EWG:17

“EWG does not believe chemicals linked to cancer belong in children’s food. Our recommended maximum daily intake of glyphosate in food is 0.01 milligrams. For a 60-gram portion of food, this daily intake limit translates to a safety standard of 160 ppb of glyphosate. This health benchmark is based on the risks of lifetime exposure, because small, repeated exposures can add up if someone eats food containing glyphosate every day.”

Indeed, few people, and children in particular, eat only a single serving of a single food containing glyphosate on any given day, and when just about every food on the market is contaminated with glyphosate, how can anyone claim children are consuming safe or negligible levels?

Urine output of glyphosate shot up by more than 1,200 percent between 1993 and 2016,18 so clearly glyphosate exposure is a growing problem. Even if there were limited danger from glyphosate, no organization or agency is looking at the synergistic effects of combining it with other chemicals in our food supply, including other pesticides.

It’s also important to realize there’s no known safe limit for any pesticide for children. There is no published scientific evidence to demonstrate any level of safety for children. There are, however, studies indicating that there really is no level at which pesticides are safe for children since:

  • Chemicals in parts per trillion amounts can have an effect on fetal development, and may affect a child all through puberty and beyond
  • Children’s detoxification pathways are not yet fully developed. They do not have the detoxification enzymes in their livers that adults have, so their ability to eliminate even tiny amounts of pesticides and other harmful chemicals is limited

More Glyphosate Than Vitamin D or B12 in Some Breakfast Products

What’s more, EWG makes a really compelling comparison in this last report:19

“[W]hen EWG scientists compared the amounts of added vitamins and nutrients to the amount of glyphosate contamination in Honey Nut Cheerios, we discovered that if pesticide contamination were required on ingredient labels, glyphosate would be listed above vitamins D and B12.”

This is an explosive conclusion. These kinds of breakfast cereals are marketed as “good nutrition,” in part due to being fortified with important nutrients, yet they contain higher amounts of toxic glyphosate than added vitamins! That’s nothing short of crazy.

Oats Would Have Virtually No Glyphosate Residues if Farmers Quit Using the Chemical as a Preharvest Drying Agent

One key point to realize here is that there’s no good reason for this massive glyphosate contamination. While genetically engineered Roundup-ready crops will as a rule contain glyphosate, this chemical is unnecessarily sprayed on wheat, barley and oats as a preharvest desiccant to dry the grain faster.

As noted by EWG, “In fact, the highest levels of glyphosate are found on foods treated this way, and unlike GMO corn and soybeans, these foods often make up a large part of the American diet.” Farmers do not need to use glyphosate in this way, and these kinds of test results clearly indicate that we as consumers must insist on a change.

EWG, along with nearly a dozen food companies, recently filed a petition20 with the EPA, urging the agency to prohibit the use of glyphosate as a preharvest drying agent. By eliminating glyphosate from this practice, much of this contamination simply would not occur. As noted by EWG:21

“Using glyphosate for harvesting oats is not necessary and not worth risking children’s health … Protecting children’s health from pesticides is essential, and cancer-causing chemicals do not belong in children’s meals, whether served at home, in a child care center or at school …

You can take steps to minimize hefty doses of glyphosate in foods by choosing organic. Although small amounts of glyphosate have been detected in some organic foods, every organic sample tested in our first study was well below EWG’s health benchmark.

Tell companies to step up and get glyphosate out of kids breakfast food by signing our petition … “


sign petition

>>>>> Click Here <<<<<

EWG president, Ken Cook adds, “Our message to General Mills, Quaker and other food companies is that you can take the simple step of telling your oat farmers to stop using glyphosate. You can hide behind an outdated federal standard, or you can listen to your customers and take responsibility for cleaning up your supply chain. It’s your choice.”

Novel Testing Project Reports Finding Glyphosate in Human Hair

Other glyphosate testing done by The Detox Project22 in collaboration with Kudzu Science reports finding glyphosate in human hair samples.23

Seven of the 10 hair samples contained over 66 ppb — far higher than the 3 ppb previously found in urine samples — and six of them also contained AMPA, the main metabolite of glyphosate, at 330 ppb or higher. While urine testing reveals what you’ve been exposed to in the past two to three weeks, hair testing shows your accumulated exposure over the past three to four months. Sustainable Pulse reports:24

“The Kudzu Science mass spectrometry gold standard method used for testing glyphosate, AMPA and glufosinate is fully validated, which gives these results even more significance.

The Detox Project director, Henry Rowlands, stated … ‘Even at this early stage of testing we believe it is vital to warn the public and regulators that glyphosate is being found in human hair. The levels found are surprising to everyone involved, as we have been working on urine testing with university and commercial laboratories over the past four years and we have never seen such results.’

One of the main questions now for the public, scientists, regulators and the pesticide industry, is how are such levels of the world’s most used herbicide first entering the blood stream and then ending up in our hair?”

Food Testing Strongly Suggests Glyphosate Contamination Is a Massive Problem

Aside from the tests already mentioned, a number of others have made it crystal clear that our food supply is suffering from severe glyphosate contamination. For example:










U.S. Department of Agriculture testing done in 2011 revealed glyphosate in all soybean samples tested.25

Limited testing for glyphosate done by the FDA in 2016 found glyphosate in virtually all foods tested, including wheat crackers, granola cereal, corn meal, oatmeal products and honey.26 The only food found to be free of glyphosate was broccoli. The glyphosate in corn was found to exceed tolerance levels. It was detected at 6.5 parts per million (ppm) and the legal limit is (5.0 ppm).

In 2016, tests27 conducted by the nonprofit organizations Food Democracy Now! and The Detox Project found glyphosate residues in a variety of foods including Doritos, Oreos and Stacy’s Pita Chips.

Glyphosate has even been detected in PediaSure Enteral Formula nutritional drink, which is given to infants and children via feeding tubes. Thirty percent of the samples tested contained levels of glyphosate over 75 ppb — far higher levels than have been found to destroy gut bacteria in chickens (0.1 ppb).28

The Health Research Institute Labs (HRI Labs), an independent laboratory that tests both micronutrients and toxins found in food, is compiling data on the pervasiveness of glyphosate in the food supply. HRI has found glyphosate in Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (10 of the 11 ice cream samples contained substantial levels), orange juice, grains, legumes and beans, just to name a few. As in EWG’s tests, Quaker Oats was found to contain very high levels of glyphosate.

Glyphosate has also been found in many wines, including organic ones.

When Moms Across America29 used HRI Labs to test lunch food products, they found glyphosate in samples of almond milk, veggie burgers,30 hummus31 and more.

Moms Across America also tested orange juice in 201732 and 2018. This year, the glyphosate level in orange juice ranged from 2.99 ppb to 17.16 ppb depending on the brand, with Tropicana having the highest glyphosate levels of brands tested.33

HRI Labs has also analyzed more than 1,200 urine samples from U.S. residents. This testing is being done as part of a research project that will provide valuable information about the presence of glyphosate in the diet and how lifestyle and location affects people’s exposure to agrochemicals. Among their findings:

  • 76 percent of people tested have some level of glyphosate in their system
  • Men typically have higher levels than women
  • People who eat oats on a regular basis have twice as much glyphosate in their system as people who don’t (likely because oats are desiccated with glyphosate before harvest)
  • People who eat organic food on a regular basis have an 80 percent lower level of glyphosate than those who rarely eat organic. This indicates organic products are a safer choice
  • People who eat five or more servings of vegetables per day have glyphosate levels that are 50 percent lower than those who eat fewer vegetables

Organic Food Cuts Cancer Risk

Monsanto and the pesticide industry in general would like you to believe their products are harmless; if not entirely, then surely in the “trace” amounts found in food. The evidence, however, paints a different picture.

Several studies have shown organic foods contain far lower amounts of pesticide residues than conventional foods, and recent research34 found people who eat mostly organic indeed have a significantly lower risk of cancer than those who eat mostly conventional fare.

The study,35 led by French government scientists, tracked the food intake of nearly 69,000 people for four years. Those who consumed the most organic food were 25 percent less likely to develop cancer, including Non-Hodgkin lymphoma — which has been linked to glyphosate specifically — other lymphomas and postmenopausal breast cancer. According to the authors:36

“[N]atural pesticides allowed in organic farming in the European Union exhibit much lower toxic effects than the synthetic pesticides used in conventional farming … Although our findings need to be confirmed, promoting organic food consumption in the general population could be a promising preventive strategy against cancer.”

How You Can Test Your Glyphosate Level

While both the USDA’s Pesticide Data Program and the FDA measure pesticide residues in foods, neither of them include glyphosate in their testing as of yet, ostensibly because it’s too expensive and partly because glyphosate has been assumed safe (based on Monsanto’s own evidence). 

The good news is you no longer need to rely on the government when it comes to glyphosate testing. HRI Labs has developed home test kits for both water and urine, so you can test your own level at any time, thereby assessing your own individual exposure.

The current threshold for HRI Labs is 0.5 ppb. If you’re below that threshold, your exposure is low and you’re unlikely to experience adverse effects. If your levels are high, you would be wise to address your diet and consider buying more organic foods.

You may also want to consider some form of detoxification protocol, and take steps to repair the damage to your gut caused by glyphosate and other agrochemicals. Chances are, if your glyphosate levels are high, you probably have a number of other pesticides in your system as well.

Fermented foods, particularly kimchi, are potent chelators of these kinds of chemicals. Taking activated charcoal after a questionable meal can help bind and excrete chemicals as well. Remember to stay well-hydrated to facilitate the removal of toxins through your liver, kidneys and skin. Using a sauna on a regular basis is also recommended to help eliminate both pesticides and heavy metals you may have accumulated.

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Sweet! Here are 7 reasons to eat sweet potatoes

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(Natural News) Sweet potatoes may not be as popular as regular potatoes, which is too bad — since they’re packed with vitamins and minerals. One cup of sweet potatoes can provide more than 100 percent of the daily value of vitamin A. It’s also rich in vitamin C, dietary fiber, and manganese. Both purple and orange varieties contain antioxidants that can protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.

Eating sweet potatoes is beneficial for your health

Sweet potatoes are brimming with micronutrients and antioxidants —  making them useful to your health. Below is a list of reasons why you should incorporate sweet potatoes into your diet.

They improve brain function

The purple variety of sweet potato contains anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have revealed that anthocyanins are effective at improving cognitive function. Moreover, the results suggest that purple yams can help protect against memory loss. Antioxidants from the purple variety safeguard the brain against damage from free radicals and inflammation.

They aid digestion

Sweet potatoes are rich in dietary fiber. This macronutrient prevents constipation, diarrhea, and bloating by adding bulk and drawing water to the stool. In addition, fiber keeps a healthy balance in the gut by promoting the growth of good bacteria.

They slow down aging

The beta-carotene in orange sweet potatoes can help reduce damage caused by prolonged sun exposure. This is especially true for people diagnosed with erythropoietic protoporphyria and other photosensitive diseases. Sweet potatoes also contain antioxidants that protect against free radical damage. Free radicals are not only linked to diseases but also premature aging.

They boost the immune system

Orange and purple sweet potatoes are loaded with a good number of antioxidants that help protect the body from harmful molecules that cause inflammation and damage DNA. This, in turn, protects the body from chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.

They can prevent cancer

Eating sweet potatoes can help protect against various types of cancers. The compounds in sweet potatoes restrict the development of cancer cells. Test tube studies have shown that anthocyanins can prevent cancers in the bladder, breast, colon, and stomach.

They lower blood sugar

Despite its relatively high glycemic index, studies have shown that the regular intake of sweet potatoes can help lower blood sugar, thanks to the presence of dietary fiber. While fiber falls under carbohydrates, it is digested differently, compared to starchy and sugary forms of carbohydrates. Interestingly, insulin doesn’t process fiber (unlike other types which get turned into glucose), and it only passes through the digestive tract.

They promote healthy vision

Orange sweet potatoes are rich in a compound called beta-carotene, an antioxidant which transforms into vitamin A in the body. Adequate intake of vitamin A promotes eye health. Conversely, deficiencies in vitamin A have been linked to a particular type of blindness called xerophthalmia.

Sweet potatoes are easy to incorporate into your everyday meals. They are best prepared boiled but can also be baked, roasted, or steamed — they can even replace other carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes, and toast. (Related: Understanding the phytochemical and nutrient content of sweet potato flours from Vietnam.)

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Frostbite: What it is and how to identify, treat it

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Manitoba’s temperature has plummeted to its coldest level this season, triggering warnings about the extreme risk of frostbite.

Oh, we know it’s cold. We can feel Jack Frost nipping at our noses. But what about when he gnaws a little harder — what exactly does “frostbite” mean?

People tend to underestimate the potential for severe injuries in the cold, says the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. We laugh off the sting of the deep freeze, rub our hands back from the brink of numbness and wear our survival proudly like a badge.

That’s because, in most cases, frostbite can be treated fairly easily, with no long-term effects.

But it can also lead to serious injury, including permanent numbness or tingling, joint stiffness, or muscle weakness. In extreme cases, it can lead to amputation.

Bitter cold can cause frostbite in just minutes. Here’s how to recognize the warning signs and treat them. 0:59

Here’s a guide to identifying the first signs, how to treat them, and when to seek medical help.

What is frostbite and frostnip?

Frostbite is defined as bodily injury caused by freezing that results in loss of feeling and colour in affected areas. It most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes — those areas most often exposed to the air.

Cooling of the body causes a narrowing of the blood vessels, slowing blood flow. In temperatures below –4 C, ice crystals can form in the skin and the tissue just below it.

Frostnip most commonly affects the hands and feet. It initially causes cold, burning pain, with the area affected becoming blanched. It is easy to treat and with rewarming, the area becomes reddened.

Frostbite is the acute version of frostnip, when the soft tissue actually freezes. The risk is particularly dangerous on days with a high wind chill factor. If not quickly and properly treated, it can lead to the loss of tissues or even limbs. 

Signs of frostbite

Health officials call them the four P’s:

  • Pink: Skin appears reddish in colour, and this is usually the first sign.
  • Pain: The cold becomes painful on skin.
  • Patches: White, waxy-feeling patches show when skin is dying.
  • Prickles: Affected areas feel numb or have reduced sensation.

Symptoms can also include:

  • Reduced body temperature.
  • Swelling.
  • Blisters.
  • Areas that are initially cold, hard to the touch.

Take quick action

If you do get frostbite, it is important to take quick action.

  • Most cases of frostbite can be treated by heating the exposed area in warm (not hot) water.
  • Immersion in warm water should continue for 20-30 minutes until the exposed area starts to turn pink, indicating the return of blood circulation.
  • Use a warm, wet washcloth on frostbitten nose or earlobes.
  • If you don’t have access to warm water, underarms are a good place to warm frostbitten fingers. For feet, put them against a warm person’s skin.
  • Drink hot fluids such as hot chocolate, coffee or tea when warming.
  • Rest affected limbs and avoid irritation to the skin.
  • E​levate the affected limb once it is rewarmed.

Rewarming can take up to an hour and can be painful, especially near the end of the process as circulation returns. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen may help with the discomfort.

Do not …

There are a number of things you should avoid:

  • Do not warm the area with dry heat, such as a heating pad, heat lamp or electric heater, because frostbitten skin is easily burned.
  • Do not rub or massage affected areas. This can cause more damage.
  • Do not drink alcohol.
  • Do not walk on your feet or toes if they are frozen.
  • Do not break blisters.

Seek immediate medical attention

While you can treat frostbite yourself if the symptoms are minor — the skin is red, there is tingling — you should seek immediate medical attention at an emergency department if:

  • The exposed skin is blackened.
  • You see white-coloured or grey-coloured patches.
  • There is severe pain or the area is completely numb.
  • The skin feels unusually firm and is not sensitive to touch after one hour of rewarming.
  • There are large areas of blistering.
  • There is a bluish discolouration that does not resolve with rewarming.

Be prepared

The best way to avoid frostbite is to be prepared for the weather in the first place.

Wear several loose layers of clothing rather than a single, thick layer to provide good insulation and keep moisture away from your skin.

The outer garment should breathe but be waterproof and windproof, with an inner thermal layer. Retain body heat with a hat and scarf. Mittens are warmer than gloves because they keep the fingers together.

Be sure your clothing protects your head, ears, nose, hands and feet, especially for children.

Wind chill and frostbite rates

Wind chill: 0 to –9.
Frostbite risk: Low.

Wind chill: –28 to –39.
Frostbite risk: Moderate.

Exposed skin can freeze in 10-30 minutes

Wind chill: –40 to –47.
Frostbite risk: High.

Exposed skin can freeze in five to 10 minutes.

Wind chill: –48 to –54.
Frostbite risk: Very High.

Exposed skin can freeze in two to five minutes.

Wind chill: –55 and lower.
Frostbite risk: Extremely High.

Exposed skin can freeze in less than two minutes.
 

NOTE: In sustained winds over 50 km/h, frostbite can occur faster than indicated.

Source: Environment Canada

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Awkward Flu Jabs Attempted at Golden Globes

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In what can only be described as a new level of propaganda, hosts Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh featured a flu shot stunt during the 76th Golden Globe Awards ceremony. They told the audience to roll up their sleeves, as they would all be getting flu shots, while people in white coats stormed down the aisles, syringes in hand.

Most of the audience looked thoroughly uneasy at the prospect of having a stranger stick them with a needle in the middle of an awards show. But perhaps the worst part of the scene was when Samberg added that anti-vaxxers could put a napkin over their head if they wanted to be skipped, basically suggesting that anyone opposed to a flu shot deserved to be branded with a proverbial scarlet letter.

The flu shots, for the record, were reportedly fake,1 nothing more than a bizarre gag that left many people stunned by the Globe’s poor taste in turning a serious medical choice into a publicity gimmick.

Flu Shot Stunt Reeks of Desperation

Whoever came up with the idea to turn the Golden Globes into a platform for a public health message probably thought it was ingenious, but the stunt only serves as a seemingly desperate attempt to make flu shots relevant and in vogue. During the 2017 to 2018 flu season, only 37 percent of U.S. adults received a flu shot, a 6 percent drop from the prior season.2

“To improve flu vaccination coverage for the 2018-19 flu season, health care providers are encouraged to strongly recommend and offer flu vaccination to all of their patients,” the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wrote. “People not visiting a provider during the flu season have many convenient places they can go for a flu vaccination.”3

Yet, perhaps the decline in people choosing to get vaccinated has nothing to do with convenience and everything to do with their dismal rates of efficacy. In the decade between 2005 and 2015, the influenza vaccine was less than 50 percent effective more than half of the time.4

The 2017/2018 flu vaccine was a perfect example of this trend. The overall adjusted vaccine effectiveness against influenza A and B virus infection was just 36 percent.5

Health officials blamed the flu season’s severity on the dip in vaccination rates, but as Dr. Paul Auwaerter, clinical director of the division of infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told USA Today, “[I]t is also true that the vaccine was not as well matched against the strains that circulated.”6

But bringing flu shots to the Golden Globes, and calling out “anti-vaxxers,” is nothing more than “medical care, by shame,” noted Dr. Don Harte, a chiropractic activist in California. “But it was entertaining, in a very weird way, including the shock and disgust of some of the intended victims, notably [Willem Dafoe],” he said, adding:7

“This Hollywood publicity stunt for the flu vaccine is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen from celebrities. But it does go with the flu shot itself, which is, perhaps, the stupidest of all the vaccines available.”

Did 80,000 People Really Die From the Flu Last Year?

The CDC reported that 79,400 people died from influenza during the 2017/2018 season, which they said “serves as a reminder of how severe seasonal influenza can be.”8 It’s important to remember, however, that the 80,000 deaths figure being widely reported in the media is not actually all “flu deaths.”

According to the CDC, “We look at death certificates that have pneumonia or influenza causes (P&I), other respiratory and circulatory causes (R&C), or other nonrespiratory, noncirculatory causes of death, because deaths related to flu may not have influenza listed as a cause of death.”9

As for why the CDC doesn’t base flu mortality estimates only on death certificates that list influenza, they noted, “Seasonal influenza may lead to death from other causes, such as pneumonia, congestive heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease … Additionally, some deaths — particularly among the elderly — are associated with secondary complications of seasonal influenza (including bacterial pneumonias).”10

In other words, “flu deaths” are not just deaths directly caused by the influenza virus, but also secondary infections such as pneumonia and other respiratory diseases, as well as sepsis.11

According to the CDC, most of the deaths occurred among those aged 65 years and over, a population that may already have preexisting conditions that makes them more susceptible to infectious diseases. As Harte said of annual flu deaths, “[M]ost if not all, I would assume, are of people who are already in very bad shape.12

CDC Claims Flu Vaccine Reduces Flu Deaths in the Elderly — But Does It?

Since people aged 65 and over are those most at risk from flu complications and death, the CDC has been vocal in their claims that the flu shot significantly reduces flu-related deaths among this population. The research, however, says otherwise.

Research published in 2005 found no correlation between increased vaccination rates among the elderly and reduced mortality. According to the authors, “Because fewer than 10 percent of all winter deaths were attributable to influenza in any season, we conclude that observational studies substantially overestimate vaccination benefit.”13

A 2006 study also showed that even though seniors vaccinated against influenza had a 44 percent reduced risk of dying during flu season than unvaccinated seniors, those who were vaccinated were also 61 percent less like to die before the flu season ever started.14

This finding has since been attributed to a “healthy user effect,” which suggests that older people who get vaccinated against influenza are already healthier and, therefore, less likely to die anyway, whereas those who do not get the shot have suffered a decline in health in recent months.

Journalist Jeremy Hammond summed up the CDC’s continued spreading of misinformation regarding the flu vaccine’s effectiveness in the elderly, as they continue to claim it’s the best way to prevent the flu:15

[T]here is no good scientific evidence to support the CDC’s claim that the influenza vaccine reduces hospitalizations or deaths among the elderly.

The types of studies the CDC has relied on to support this claim have been thoroughly discredited due to their systemic ‘healthy user’ selection bias, and the mortality rate has observably increased along with the increase in vaccine uptake — which the CDC has encouraged with its unevidenced claims about the vaccine’s benefits, downplaying of its risks, and a marketing strategy of trying to frighten people into getting the flu shot for themselves and their family.”

Death of Vaccinated Child Blamed on Not Getting Second Dose

In January 2019, the state of Colorado reported the first child flu death of the 2018/2019 flu season — a child who had received influenza vaccination. But instead of highlighting the vaccine’s failure and clear limitations, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment blamed the death on the child being only “partially vaccinated.”

“It’s an unfortunate but important reminder of the importance of two doses of influenza vaccine for young children who are receiving influenza vaccine for the first time,” Dr. Rachel Herlihy, who is the state communicable disease epidemiologist, said in a news release.16 For those who aren’t aware, the CDC notes that one dose of flu shot may not be enough to protect against the flu. Instead, they state:17

“Children 6 months through 8 years getting vaccinated for the first time, and those who have only previously gotten one dose of vaccine, should get two doses of vaccine this season …

The first dose ‘primes’ the immune system; the second dose provides immune protection. Children who only get one dose but need two doses can have reduced or no protection from a single dose of flu vaccine.”

Not only may the flu vaccine fail to provide protection against the flu, but many people are not aware that other types of viruses are responsible for about 80 percent of all respiratory infections during any given flu season.18 The flu vaccine does not protect against or prevent any of these other types of respiratory infections causing influenza-like illness (ILI) symptoms.

The chance of contracting actual type A or B influenza, caused by one of the three or four influenza virus strains included in the vaccine, is much lower compared to getting sick with another type of viral or bacterial infection during the flu season.

Does Flu Vaccine Increase the Risk of Influenza Infection, Contribute to Vaccine Shedding?

There are serious adverse effects that can come along with annual flu vaccination, including potentially lifelong side effects such as Guillain Barré syndrome and chronic shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA). They may also increase your risk of contracting more serious flu infections, as research suggests those who have been vaccinated annually may be less protected than those with no prior flu vaccination history.19

Research presented at the 105th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society in San Diego also revealed that children who get seasonal flu shots are more at risk of hospitalization than children who do not. Children who had received the flu vaccine had three times the risk of hospitalization as children who had not. Among children with asthma, the risk was even higher.20

There’s also the potential for vaccine shedding, which has taken on renewed importance with the reintroduction of the live virus vaccine FluMist during the 2018/2019 season. While the CDC states that the live flu virus in FluMist is too weak to actually give recipients the flu, research has raised some serious doubts that this is the case.

One recent study revealed not only that influenza virus may be spread via simple breathing (i.e., no sneezing or coughing required) but also that repeated vaccination increases the amount of virus released into the air.21

MedImmune, the company that developed FluMist, is aware that the vaccine sheds vaccine-strain virus. In its prescribing information, they describe a study on the transmission of vaccine-strain viruses from vaccinated children to nonvaccinated children in a day care setting.

In 80 percent of the FluMist recipients, at least one vaccine-strain virus was isolated anywhere from one to 21 days following vaccination. They further noted, “One placebo subject had mild symptomatic Type B virus infection confirmed as a transmitted vaccine virus by a FluMist recipient in the same playgroup.”22

Are There Other Ways to Stay Healthy During Flu Season?

Contrary to the CDC’s and Golden Globe’s claims that flu vaccinations are a great way to prevent flu, other methods exist to help you stay healthy during the flu season and all year, and they’re far safer than annual flu vaccination. Vitamin D testing and optimization have been shown to cut your risk of respiratory infections, including colds and flu, in half if you are vitamin D deficient, for instance.23,24

In my view, optimizing your vitamin D levels is one of the absolute best respiratory illness prevention and optimal health strategies available. Influenza has also been treated with high-dose vitamin C,25 and taking zinc lozenges at the first sign of respiratory illness can also be helpful.

Following other basic tenets of health, like eating right, getting sound sleep, exercising and addressing stress are also important, as is regularly washing your hands.

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