The Zika Hoax – the Washington Post backtracks

So mosquitos brandishing the Zika virus were going to bite us all. And women who were pregnant would have babies with small heads and small brains.

Yet again, this fear mongering from the global ‘Health’ community (as always directed by Big Pharma) has been turned out to be tosh – elaborate propaganda to make a few more dollars in profit, while Big Brother Health Authorities try to gain yet more control over your everyday lives. As usual, America is the epicenter of the propaganda.

Big Pharma controls the mainstream media, but every now and then up pop a couple of journalists who ask questions.

In October 2016, the Washington Post, which had been one of the leading protagonists in the propaganda hoax, published a story (1) by Dom Phillips and Nick Miroff which mentioned a few inconvenient truths.

According to their information 650,000 people in Latin America and the Caribbean had been infected by Zika, including ‘tens of thousands’ of pregnant women. But, according to WHO figures, more than 75 per cent of the babies born with small heads and neurological damage were confined to a very small region in Brazil where the original scam (sorry, scare) originated.

Scientists in Brazil are saying that other factors were prevalent, with some especially talking about environmental factors and an accidental dumping of a lavacide chemical into the rivers of that particular Brazilian region.

Despite the second highest levels of zika virus infection, Columbia has had few cases of encephaly, and has declared the problem over.

However, there are always going to be a few scientists trumpeting the fear-mongering propaganda. The latest propaganda (for which there is little scientific evidence at all) is that the encephaly problems will emerge later in life.

Meanwhile, some experts question whether Deet, the insect repellant chemical, is involved. One study (2) concluded that there had been 14 cases of infants where Deet was possibly linked to encephaly, and 71 reportings to Poison Control Centres in America. But the research is tenuous.




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2015 Flu Vaccine “USELESS”

According to various National newspapers in the UK in the last 24 hours, the current flu vaccine doesn’t work in about 97% of cases.

And with reports that the number of deaths this winter will be the highest for 15 years, this winter’s flu jab is declared “useless” in several newspapers.

Variously, the Daily Telegraph describes how the dominant strain of the virus currently in circulation is a “different mutation” from the type expected; the Daily Mail says the NHS spends £100m a year on its flu vaccination programme, targeting “at risk” groups and quotes Katherine Murphy, from the Patients’ Association, saying: “It beggars belief that health officials weren’t aware just how badly the vaccine was working a long time ago”.

And the Independent says that to make sufficient quantities of the vaccine the WHO plays ‘guess the strain that’s coming’ 6 months in advance. And mutation can easily take place over that period.

Apparently, even in a good year, the vaccine only works in about half of those vaccinated. In 2015 health officials have been describing serious outbreaks of flu in care homes and a surge in UK hospital admissions.

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Johns Hopkins: cancer is primarily ‘bad luck’

Two scientists at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, Dr. Bert Vogelstein, the Clayton Professor of Oncology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and ‘bio-mathematician’ and assistant Professor, Cristian Tomasetti, Ph.D. published a study on January 2nd in the journal Science, which concluded that two-thirds of adult cancer incidence across tissues can be explained primarily by ‘bad luck’.

The scientists created a mathematical model by searching the scientific literature for information on the cumulative number of divisions of stem cells among 31 tissue types during an average individual’s lifetime. They then charted the number of stem cell divisions in these tissues and plotted them against the incidence of cancer. For example, in colon tissue there are 4 times more cell divisions than occur in the small intestine, and cancer is more prevalent in the former. QED.

“It was well-known that cancer arises when tissue specific stem cells make random mistakes, or mutations during cell replication”, said Vogelstein.

Let’s get real

1. Firstly, neither prostate nor breast cancer were covered in the research since the researchers could not obtain reliable data on stem cell divisions. So that would rule out almost one third of all cancers in the UK. And we are always being told by the UK ‘Brand leader’ Cancer Research, that these are largely hormonally driven, with factors such as oestrogen, lack of exercise and obesity playing a big part. If the new research is correct, and it were to apply to breast and prostate cancers as well, how has CRUK made such a big error? Just bad luck, perhaps?

2. Secondly, I will hazard a guess that the number of stem cell divisions in a tissue occurs in line with the number of overall cell divisions. And what the scientists actually showed was that there was a link between more cell divisions in a tissue and an increased risk of cancer. Hardly, new thinking really.

3. But if it is all about stem cells do the conclusions mean that someone in New York has many more stem cell divisions in their lungs than someone in China, or Kenya, where cancer incidence is considerably lower? The UK population must have 4 times the stem cell division of Thais; with almost exactly the same population we get four times the number of cancers they do. Why would that be?? Would the increased rate of stem cell division in New York or London not constitute a cause? Or are Thais just four times luckier than Londoners?

4. Next, having shown a link between cell division volumes and cancer volumes, our plucky duo made a mental jump: “It was well-known that cancer arises when tissue specific stem cells make random mistakes, or mutations during cell replication”, Well known to whom? In 2012 scientists were still arguing whether there was such a thing as a cancer stem cell.

And the idea that cancer is caused by mutations to the core DNA is quaintly old fashioned. Indeed the modern theory of cancer (being confirmed by scientists week in, week out) is that not much happens to the core DNA (and when it does the immune system easily spots it as rogue). Instead, chemicals like homocysteine build up in the blood stream and cause more methylation around the DNA coil. This holds histones in place, which in turn hold the integrity and shape of the DNA in the nucleus.

When the histones cover a gene responsible for, say, controlled cellular division, it cannot send out its messages, it is silenced, and the cell starts dividing randomly. It is important to note that this methylation and acetylation is believed to be reversible by literally thousands of scientists currently working for drugs companies and University Medical Schools. The science is called Epigenetics (Epi=around, the gene). Drugs companies believe they can affect the methylation and acetylation directly; or indirectly via the enzymes that cause it.

Other scientists believe that there are a host of natural compounds (from sulphoraphanes to carotenoids) that can do this, as can exercise hormones. Indeed, Epigeneticists argue that there are clearly 4 causes of DNA blockages – environmental toxins, stress, poor diet and hormones such as oestrogen.

So, are these epigenetic scientists all wrong?

Where hypotheses and statistics meet

A statistician is someone who will tell you that it’s better to have a watch that is broken (it is right twice a day), than one that loses 7 minutes a day (it is right once every thirteen days).

I have decided to look at road accidents in Britain (London and Manchester were excluded because there were no reliable statistics). Now, it is widely accepted that council road administrators allow too many non-UK-qualified lorry drivers to drive on the roads. And sure enough, we have found that the number of road deaths is proportional to the increases in foreign lorries on our roads. It doesn’t fit exactly (but to about an 80% level) and it differs by the 31 regions we looked at. So if you die in a road accident it has little to do with your skills as a driver, or how fast you were going, or the weather conditions. The number of foreign lorry drivers being allowed on our roads by a lack of legislation is behind it. Just bad luck really.

What is odd though is that this conclusion doesn’t hold true in Africa or China. So I’ll leave that out of my model.


So, thanks to Johns Hopkins, science has a new bed fellow: Bad luck. It’s the devil’s work. No need to feel guilty about your gluttony and sloth – just ‘eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow ye may die’.

No need for CRUK or the Government to feel guilty about failing to do anything serious in the way of Cancer Prevention Programmes in the community. You can’t legislate for bad luck. It would be pointless spending billions of pounds telling people to eat healthily, exercise and give up smoking if cancer occurs ‘for no particular reason other than randomness’ (according to Tomasetti).

If 65% of cancers are just bad luck, and we add on the 20% known to be caused by parasites and viruses (according to the WHO), then we certainly aren’t left with much that is to do with our sloth and gluttony. ‘50% of cancers are your own fault’ said CRUK 5 years ago. ‘30-50% of cancers are due to your poor diets’ said the WHO. ‘At least half of all cancers are preventable’. Oh no they’re not says a mathematical model (that left two of the biggest out).

Food companies that sell junk, have no case to answer. Lucky for them. What of the legal cases in the USA where people sue cigarette companies or mobile phone companies for not warning them that their products cause cancer? Presumably your bad luck is now lucky for these companies.

At CANCERactive we were helping a patient with oesophageal cancer. She had had bad acid reflux for ten years and been on a drug the whole time. A trip to the manufacturer’s website said that ‘on no account should the drug be prescribed for more than six months’. The woman asked her doctor what he thought caused her cancer. ‘Just bad luck’ was his reply. Johns Hopkins have vindicated him. His mis-prescription of the drug was irrelevant.

But there’s a get out clause in the model: “We found that the types of cancer that had a higher risk than predicted by the number of cell divisions, were precisely the one’s you’d expect” (lung cancer – linked to smoking; skin cancer – linked to sun exposure). So, other factors do cause deviation from their model. Lucky, I spotted that.

Junk science

The new science of ‘Bad luck’ is a dangerous concept. It removes the need for people to exert any self-control. The implication is that you can make little difference to prevent your cancer (and thus can make little difference to prevent it returning – so it is pointless doing anything to help treat your condition). Self-empowerment for patients goes out of the window. You might as well stay fat, not exercise, carry on smoking and just place your total faith in your good doctor’s hands. And luck.

Except, isn’t it lucky for us that The American Cancer Society have produced a 2012 report saying that since 2006 there has been an ‘explosion’ in research, and ‘overwhelming’ evidence that good diet, weight control and exercise can increase survival and even prevent a cancer returning.

Except, isn’t it lucky for us that the Karolinska Institute has produced straight line graphs on the links between cows’ dairy consumption and prostate, breast and ovarian cancers; or that Bristol University produced a meta-study on 52 research reports concluding that people who exercised regularly developed less cancers, and that those with cancer who exercised regularly, survived longer.

Watch out for the follow up study: ‘It is just bad luck that the chemotherapy didn’t work for you’. (Well it wouldn’t anyway because there is no drug available today that tackles cancer stem cells.)

What bad luck.

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Corruption endemic in medicine chain, according to WHO

‘Corruption in the pharmaceutical sector occurs throughout all stages of the medicine chain, from research and development to dispensing and promotion’.

‘A lack of transparency and accountability within the medicines chain can also contribute to unethical practices and corruption’.

Unethical practices such as bribery, falsification of evidence, and mismanagement of conflicts of interest are ‘common throughout the medicine chain.’

These statements are all contained in a fact sheet from the World Health Organisation. The medicine chain refers to each step involved in getting drugs into the hands of patients, including drug creation, regulation, management and consumption. The report suggests a number of other concerns, for example: Clinical trials may be conducted without proper regulatory approval, royalties may be collected through manipulation or disregard of the patent system, corruption can also occur during the drug inspection process, products may be registered with incorrect or insufficient information and drugs may be produced through substandard or counterfeit methods. (; 2010)

For another piece on falsified research in cancer Click Here.

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