There’s no shortage of stories detailing conflicts of interest—so many in fact that you may be getting sick and tired of hearing of them. However, this is a truly important issue that must be tackled, and one of the ways of doing that is by exposing it to the harsh light of day. As long as people remain unaware, or turn a blind eye, it will continue unabated.
The price we pay for not paying attention is the loss of health, as the information disseminated by grossly compromised health agencies is skewed in favor of various industries, with Big Pharma leading the pack as one of the most powerful political and governmental influences.
Here, I will review two important revolving-door cases, and while neither is recent news, many of you may still be unaware of them.
Former CDC Director Now President of Merck’s Vaccine Unit
In the summer of 2011, Merck president Julie Gerberding said in a news interview1 that she’s “very bullish on vaccines,” as she recounted the various ways she helps Merck sell its products. What she didn’t divulge was her motivation for leaving her job as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—an agency charged with overseeing vaccines and drug companies—and join Merck in the first place, back in January 2010.
If you don’t see the enormity of the influence her former high-level ties to the CDC can have, just consider the fact that Merck makes 14 of the 17 pediatric vaccines recommended by the CDC, and 9 of the 10 recommended for adults, and while vaccine safety advocates are trying to rein in the number of vaccines given to babies, safety concerns keep falling on deaf ears. The vaccine industry is booming, and it’s become quite clear that profit potential is the driving factor behind it.
One of the reasons for this is because vaccine patents do not expire like drugs do, so each vaccine adopted for widespread use has the potential to make enormous, continuous profits for decades to come. Vaccine makers also enjoy a high degree of immunity against lawsuits—and in the case of pandemic vaccines, absolute immunity—so the financial liability when something goes wrong is very low, compared to drugs.