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Is there a way to keep E. coli out of romaine lettuce?

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Somewhere in Canada, 24 people have gone through a frightening experience caused by the simple act of eating romaine lettuce

It happened sometime in late October or early November, when they unknowingly ingested a dangerous pathogen — E. coli O157:H7 — hiding in the lettuce leaves.

Days later they began to feel symptoms, possibly a headache or a mild fever. They could have developed nausea, abdominal cramps and bloody diarrhea. They would have been so distressed that they went to their doctor or an emergency room.

Eight were sick enough to be hospitalized even though there’s not much doctors could do, except monitor them and keep them hydrated. Antibiotics are never used when doctors detect E. coli O157 because that can make the symptoms worse.

If the E.coli infection is serious enough, it can cause kidney failure. And that happened to one person, who may have needed dialysis, possibly for life.

‘Lightning strikes twice’

At almost the same time last year, 48 Canadians in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada had similarly distressing experiences after eating romaine lettuce and becoming infected with the identical strain of E. coli.

Seventeen people ended up in hospital and one Canadian died.

Last February, Health Canada quietly closed the file without knowing where the lettuce came from or how it became infected.

There’s no way that, as far as I’m concerned, somebody should get sick for doing something that is not dangerous.– Lawrence Goodridge, McGill University 

The offending bacteria lurked all winter somewhere in the coastal fields of central California only to strike again in October making at least 63 people sick in Canada and the U.S. and prompting a North America-wide alert to avoid romaine lettuce.

For every person who is diagnosed with E. coli O157 Health Canada estimates another 20 were probably infected but never diagnosed.

This time investigators have an important clue — a DNA fingerprint match linking the two outbreaks.

“To actually get the same strain, associated with the same produce, at the same time of year, when you say lightning strikes twice, that’s exactly what it is,” said Keith Warriner, a food science professor at the University of Guelph.

“It’s pretty good evidence it’s the same source. The question is what is that source?” said Lawrence Goodridge, a food safety scientist at McGill University.

Lawrence Goodridge, a food safety scientist at McGill University, studies biological methods of controlling food-borne pathogens. He said the outbreak is both “nothing to panic about” and “something we have to urgently work on.” (Photo: Alex Tran)

A leading hypothesis is that animals, probably cattle, were the original source of the E. coli.

And the mode of infection has a high probability of being irrigation water contaminated by cattle feces.

‘We’re getting so many outbreaks now’

It’s estimated about 250 Canadians are infected with a dangerous Shiga toxin producing E. coli every year, after eating food that should be safe and healthy. Around eight people die.

“There’s no way that, as far as I’m concerned, somebody should get sick for doing something that is not dangerous,” said Goodridge. “It’s both nothing to panic about but at the same time it’s something we have to urgently work on.”

Scientists first discovered this dangerous strain of E. coli in 1982 and since then it has caused a series of high-profile outbreaks in beef, lettuce, spinach and other fresh produce across North America.

Cattle are one of main sources of E. coli O157. A made-in-Canada animal vaccine was developed to reduce E. coli in cattle and lower the risk of human infections. (Shutterstock / Sergey Bogdanov)

“It gets serious when we’re getting so many outbreaks now,” said Warriner.

But after three decades, there is still no consensus about what should be done to prevent human exposure.

Relying on testing food for E. coli is impractical, experts say.  

“For practical purposes right now it’s difficult to test all foods rigorously because even small amounts of contamination can cause serious illness,” said Herb Schellhorn, a biology professor who researches E. coli at McMaster University.

“It’s needles in haystacks,” said Warriner.

Improving the ability to trace food back to the growing area through better labelling is only useful after someone has already become ill.

“We can identify which lettuce made you sick. But it’s not going to stop you getting sick.” – Keith Warriner, University of Guelph 

“I’m a little concerned with the focus on traceability in that it’s kind of like putting a Band-Aid on the situation because if you solve the problem you won’t need to trace the food back,” said Goodridge.

“We can identify which lettuce made you sick. But it’s not going to stop you getting sick,” said Warriner.

Scientists are studying ways to kill E. coli in irrigation water and in harvested crops through sterilization, irradiation or bio-pesticides.

Made-in-Canada vaccine not being used

But what about tackling E. coli at its primary source, in the intestines of livestock?

That’s what University of British Columbia scientist Brett Finlay was trying to do when he developed a made-in-Canada vaccine for cattle that would reduce the amount of E. coli they shed into the environment.

Years ago Finlay discovered how the bacteria bind to intestinal cells. 

Brett Finlay, a microbiologist at the University of British Columbia, developed a cattle vaccine to reduce E. coli infections in humans.

Based on that discovery, he worked with a colleague at the University of Saskatchewan to design the vaccine.

With support from Canada’s research foundations and about $25 million in public funding from the federal and provincial governments, a small Canadian company called Bioniche turned Finlay’s discovery into a world first.

The vaccine was tested in series of studies showing it was safe, and that it did not harm the animals.

A team of  independent Scottish researchers developed a computer model and calculated that vaccinating cattle could reduce human infections by up to 85 per cent.

It almost killed me. It was very sad. The whole thing was very sad.– Graeme McRae, former president of Bioniche

The vaccine was approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in 2008. But Canadian cattle producers were not persuaded. And the vaccine went out of production.

“The whole thing became very political,” said Graeme McRae, former president of Bioniche. The company is no longer in business. “It almost killed me. It was very sad. The whole thing was very sad.”

One problem: cattle producers were reluctant to pay for the vaccine because it didn’t improve the health of their animals and added no value to their operations.

And the federal government didn’t offer to pick up the estimated $50 million annual cost even though the vaccine might reduce the risk of human E. coli infection.

“It’s a bit ironic. Because of the creativity of the idea to vaccine the cows for a human disease, it sort of landed in a never-never land for who is going to take onus for it and [be] responsible for it,” said Finlay.

Cattle producers still have doubts

Today the vaccine manufacturing plant in Bellville, Ont., sits idle. And the original patents have been returned to UBC where they’re sitting in a filing cabinet somewhere, available to anyone who might want to revive the idea.

“It’s very disappointing to do the work and find something that should make a difference, and probably would make a difference,” said Rodney Moxley, professor of veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences at the University of Nebraska. He published nine peer-reviewed papers showing the vaccine worked after testing it in more than 20,000 animals.

“If they could just simply solve the questions about who’s going to pay for it that might put it back on the table in terms of putting it out there.”

But cattle producers still have their doubts

“There were considerable uncertainties as to the effectiveness of that vaccine,” said Reynold Bergen, the scientific director of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association’s Beef Cattle Research Council, adding that the industry is studying other ways to reduce E. coli in cattle.

“E. coli shedding is a real concern for the industry,” he said.

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Bill Gates: Third Shot May Be Needed to Combat Coronavirus Variants

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With more than 40 million Americans having received at least the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, a third dose may be needed to prevent the spread of new variants of the disease, Bill Gates told CBS News Tuesday.

Gates’ comments come amid growing concern that the current vaccines are not effective against the more contagious Brazilian and South African variants.

Pfizer and Moderna have stated that their vaccines are 95% and 99% effective, respectively, against the initial strain of COVID. However, some scientists have questioned those statements. Additionally, the World Health Organization and vaccine companies have conceded that the vaccines do not prevent people from being infected with COVID or from transmitting it, but are only effective at reducing symptoms.

Gates told CBS Evening News:

“The discussion now is do we just need to get a super high coverage of the current vaccine, or do we need a third dose that’s just the same, or do we need a modified vaccine?”

U.S. vaccine companies are looking at making modifications, which Gates refers to as “tuning.”

People who have had two shots may need to get a third shot and people who have not yet been vaccinated would need the modified vaccine, explained Gates. When asked whether the coronavirus vaccine would be similar to the flu vaccine, which requires yearly boosters, Gates couldn’t rule that out. Until the virus is eradicated from all humans, Gates said, additional shots may be needed in the future.

AstraZeneca in particular has a challenge with the variant,” Gates explained. “And the other two, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax, are slightly less effective, but still effective enough that we absolutely should get them out as fast as we can while we study this idea of tuning the vaccine.”

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the studies being conducted in Brazil and South Africa, CBS News said. The foundation has also invested in the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and the Novavax vaccines, which are being tested against new variants. Once the AstraZeneca vaccine is approved, the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative or GAVI, founded by Gates, will distribute it globally.

“Gates continues to move the goalposts,” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., chairman and chief legal counsel of Children’s Health Defense. “Meanwhile the strategies he and others have promoted are obliterating the global economy, demolishing the middle class, making the rich richer and censoring vaccine safety advocates, like me.”

Kennedy said that the exclusive focus on vaccines has prevented the kind of progress required to actually address and recover from the pandemic:

“From the pandemic’s outset, clear-headed people familiar with the challenges inherent in the vaccine model have understood that the path out of crisis would require multiple steps. Those steps would need to include the development and/or identification of therapeutic drugs, the sharing of information among doctors to hone improved treatment models that reduce infection mortality rates below those for flu, and the kind of broad-spectrum long-term herd immunity that protects against mutant strains and that only derives from natural infection.”

Instead, Gates and vaccine makers are proposing a lifetime of boosters, supporting insufficient testing to determine safety and failing to address the inadequate monitoring of vaccine injuries, Kennedy said.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense.

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Young nurse suffers from hemorrhage and brain swelling after second dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

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(Natural News) A 28-year-old healthcare worker from the Swedish American Hospital, in Beloit, Wisconsin was recently admitted to the ICU just five days after receiving a second dose of Pfizer’s experimental mRNA vaccine. The previously healthy young woman was pronounced brain dead after cerebral angiography confirmed a severe hemorrhage stroke in her brain stem.

Her family members confirmed that she was “breaking out in rashes” after the vaccine. She also suffered from sudden migraine headaches, and got “sick” after taking the second dose of the vaccine. At the very end, she lost the ability to speak and went unconscious. The migraines, nausea, and loss of speech were all symptoms of a brain bleed and brain swelling, something her family did not understand at the time, and something nobody would expect after vaccination.

While on life support, neurologists used angiography to image the damage inside the brain. They found a subarachnoid hemorrhage, whereas a bulging blood vessel burst in the brain, bleeding out in the space between the brain and the tissue covering the brain. The ensuing swelling cut off oxygen to the brain and caused brain death. On February 10, 2021, Sarah reportedly had “no brain activity.” Some of the woman’s organs are now being procured, so they can be donated to other people around the world.

Doctors warn FDA about COVID vaccines causing autoimmune attacks in the heart and brain

Experimental COVID-19 vaccines may cause inflammation along the cardiovascular system, leading to heart attack and/or stroke. This serious issue was brought forth to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by Dr. J. Patrick Whelan, M.D., Ph.D. and further confirmed by cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. The two doctors warned that a recently-infected patient who is subject to COVID-19 vaccination is likely to suffer from autoimmune attacks along the ACE-2 receptors present in the heart, and in the microvasculature of the brain, liver and kidney. If viral antigens are present in the tissues of recipients at the time of vaccination, the vaccine-augmented immune response will turn the immune system against those tissues, causing inflammation that can lead to blood clot formation.

This severe adverse event is likely cause of death for the elderly who are vaccinated despite recently being infected. There is no adequate screening process to ensure that this autoimmune attack doesn’t occur. The elderly are not the only people vulnerable to vaccine injury and death. Pfizer’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine could be the main cause behind the sudden death of Sarah Sickles, a 28-year-old nurse from Wisconsin. The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System has captured five permanent disabilities in Wisconsin, 58 ER visits, and eleven deaths in just one month. This is the first case in Wisconsin of someone under 44 years of age suffering from severe COVID-19 vaccine side effects and death. There are now more than 1,170 deaths recorded in the U.S. related to the experimental mRNA vaccines, a reality that the FDA and CDC continue to ignore.

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Powering hypersonic weapons: US armed forces eyeing dangerous 5G tech

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(Natural News) Much of the conversation surrounding the benefits of 5G is geared toward the consumer side of the technology. People will be able to download videos at lightning speed and will be more connected than ever, proponents claim, although there are serious questions regarding its safety. However, some of the most important 5G applications are not civil at all – the technology will be used extensively in the military domain.

Some of its military uses are outlined in the Defense Applications of 5G Network Technology report, which was published by the Defense Science Board. This federal committee gives scientific advice to the Pentagon. Their report states: “The emergence of 5G technology, now commercially available, offers the Department of Defense the opportunity to take advantage, at minimal cost, of the benefits of this system for its own operational requirements.”

The 5G commercial network that is being built by private companies right now can be used by the American military for a much lower cost than if the network had been set up exclusively for military purposes.

Military experts expect the 5G system to play a pivotal role in using hypersonic weapons. For example, it can be used for new missiles that bear nuclear warheads and travel at speeds superior to Mach 5. These hypersonic weapons, which travel at five times the speed of sound and move a mile per second, will be flying at high altitudes on unpredictable flight paths, making them as hard to guide as they will be to intercept.

Huge quantities of data need to be gathered and transmitted in a very short period in order to maneuver these warheads on variable trajectories and allow them to change direction in milliseconds to avoid interceptor missiles.

5G for defense

This type of technology is also needed to activate defenses should we be attacked by a weapon of this type; 5G automatic systems could theoretically handle decisions that humans won’t have enough time to make on their own. Military bases and even cities will have less than a minute to react to incoming hypersonic missiles, and 5G will make it easier to process real time data on trajectories for decision-making.

There are also important uses of this technology in combat. 5G’s ability to simultaneously link millions of transceivers will undoubtedly facilitate communication among military personnel and allow them to transmit photos, maps and other vital information about operations in progress at dizzying speeds to improve situational awareness.

The military can also take advantage of the high-frequency and short-wavelength millimeter wave spectrum used by 5G. Its short range means that it is well suited for smart military bases and command posts because the signal will not propagate too far, making it less likely that enemies will be able to detect it.

When it comes to special forces and secret services, the benefits of 5G are numerous. Its speed and connectivity will allow espionage systems to reach unprecedented levels of efficiency. It will also make drones more dangerous by allowing them to identify and target people using facial recognition and other methods.

Like all technology, 5G will also make us highly vulnerable. The network itself could become an attractive target for cyber-attacks and other acts of war being carried out with cutting-edge weaponry. In fact, the 5G network is already viewed as critical infrastructure and is being carefully protected before it is even fully built.

While the focus on 5G’s dangers to human health and the environment is absolutely warranted, it is also important not to lose sight of the military implications of 5G. After all, it is not just the United States that is developing this technology for military purposes; our enemies, like China and other countries, are also making great strides in this realm.

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