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Posted by on Apr 30, 2020 in Environment and Health, Other E&H blogs, Uncategorized | 0 comments

MANDATORY MASS VACCINATION NOT ACCEPTABLE AS REQUIREMENT FOR POST-CORONAVIRUS NORMALCY IN NIGERIA

(JOINT PRESS STATEMENT BY THE LIVINGSCIENCE FOUNDATION ILE-IFE, AND THE CHRISTIAN INITIATIVE FOR NATION BUILDING, OSOGBO ON MONDAY APRIL 27TH, 2020)

  1. Preamble

1.1. Fellow Citizens, Gentlemen of the Press, Greetings from the LivingScience Foundation, Ile-Ife, a faith-based NGO seeking to enhance public health in Nigeria via optimal management of our God-given environment for sustainable development; and from the Christian Initiative for Nation Building, Osogbo, a civil liberty NGO inspired by the biblical injunctions that Christians serve as Salt and Light in their environment.  We welcome you to this briefing on a matter of urgent importance both to public health and civil liberties of Nigerians with respect to the ongoing-COVID-19 debacle.

1.2. The first case of COVID-19 was recorded in Nigeria two months ago on February 27th.  As at 25th April, there have been 1,182 laboratory-confirmed cases out of which 35 have died. 222 people have been discharged and certified virus-free, while the remaining 925 are still being observed/treated.  In the meantime there have been unprecedented impacts on our economy, and even more importantly on our social well-being, both at individual and community levels. We have stoically borne all these pains, not necessarily because COVID-19 is way more hazardous than other diseases peculiar to us in Nigeria, such as Lassa fever and malaria, but largely because the COVID-19 battle is seen as a global effort, and we wish to play the responsible global partner. However, it seems our literally surrendering our entire lives, livelihoods, and liberties to the COVID-19 response is only emboldening the global community to demand more of us, as if checking out our elastic limit!

1.3. Compulsory mass vaccination is now being seriously touted as the only way to close the COVID-19 season. As we shall be explaining shortly, we consider this not only unwarranted, but extremely dangerous both to public health and civil liberties; and even beyond. Based on previous precedents and current signals, it is evident that proponents of this idea would want to commence implementation in Nigeria and use their expected in route here to push the unpopular policy through in other nations where more serious resistance is envisaged. Through this medium, we seek to alert the nation to the implications of this totally disproportionate, unreasonable, and dangerous response, and call on all and sundry to rise and forestall its enactment.

  • A Question of Proportional Logical Response

2.1. In considering COVID-19 statistics and our responses to them, the figure to note is the relative number of recoveries and not the total number of cases as is currently being hyped!  It is obvious that the more tests are carried out, the larger the number of cases that would be confirmed.  The number of confirmed cases has value only when taken together with number of tests carried out.  This fraction would then give an idea about the prevalence of COVID-19 in the general untested population.  However, this parameter is now being skewed with the new policy starting off in Lagos state to first ferret out sub-population with COVID-19 symptoms, and then have the tests purposively administered on them.  We have no qualms with this procedure, however; since as already noted, the figure that really matters is the relative number of recoveries out of the confirmed cases.  As a matter of fact, it is generally understood that sooner or later, virtually everybody in a country would eventually contract the novel virus.  At some point, when about 70%  of the general population had been infected and recovered, “herd immunity” would be developed, and COVID-19 would lose its novelty status becoming just like its cousin, the seasonal flu in that environment.

2.2. In principle therefore, all the various measures being adopted by various countries are meant to “flatten the curve” of incidence of the disease; that is, slow the rate of spread, rather than prevent it entirely.  This is based on the understanding that the more people contract the virus at any particular point in time, the more the number of people who would likely require expensive medical resources, such as ventilators.  Calamity, such as was seen in Italy, could therefore result if the number of patients requiring these facilities overwhelms the available facilities. A surprising major feature of the COVID-19 pandemic is the relatively mild clinical presentations in Nigeria such that there are even fewer people needing the few high-tech facilities available. The report from Lagos, the major epicenter of the disease in Nigeria, speaks volumes.  Commenting on the 100% survival rate witnessed at Lagos state isolation centres a month after the index case, Commissioner of Health, Prof Akin Abayomi observed that the presentation in Nigeria has ranged from very mild to moderate, such that none of the patients required ventilators or any ICU treatment! The same story is repeated here in Osun state where all but two of the 19 confirmed cases (as at April 15) have been discharged hale and hearty from government isolation centres without any recourse to non-available medical facilities. In fact, the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu was at a point quoted as noting that 90% of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria are recovering without any intervention at all.

2.3. It is against this background that we consider totally unacceptable, the insistence by some well-placed authorities, based on projections from discredited models and data from other climes, that mandatory vaccine remains a necessary next measure before a closure could be brought to the COVID-19 saga in any nation, including Nigeria. With the ongoing enormous blows to our uniquely oil-dependent fragile economy, the tearing apart of long-cherished traditions, ties, and values, coupled with the virtual neglect of other much more serious health hazards in Nigeria (such as cancer and road traffic accidents), it is clear that continuing to gullibly follow the globalist bidding is a suicidal trend that needs to be immediately arrested.

  • Understanding Mandatory Chip-delivered Mass Vaccination

3.1. So what exactly are the problems with vaccines? There are a number of established serious issues why many people urge extreme caution in the use of vaccines. Topmost is the issue of safety which is best appreciated by the firm insistence of vaccine producers that they cannot accept liabilities for any of the well-recognized health problems that might result from use of their products.  Some of these well-known safety issues are specific to coronaviruses, but sad enough, they are not being addressed in the ongoing race to come up with a COVID-19 vaccine. There is also the unpalatable reality that vaccines are still far from being as effective as many naively suppose them to be.  Even vaccines that went through the established due protocols, such as the flu vaccine, sometimes could only boast of about 10% effectiveness.  Many of the current efforts for a COVID-19 vaccine are seeking to fast-track the development, and skipping the traditional extensive safety testing on animals, they are moving straight to testing in humans.  There has been tremendous backlash to the propositions and alleged efforts to use Africans for this crucial trial/testing efforts. In concluding this section on efficacy, safety, and necessity of vaccines, we might also mention the rather embarrassing fact that several high-profile studies have documented that health indices could be much better in unvaccinated populations than vaccinated ones!  In short, while the value of vaccines in individuals or sub-groups clearly at risk might be incontrovertible, the same cannot be said of its blind mass deployment in society.

3.2. However our objection to the proposed COVID-19 vaccine is based neither on any of the sobering points above, nor on the obvious conflict of financial interests, involving the major proponents who are trying so hard to pass as pure philanthropists.  Indeed, our objection is basically not with the vaccine itself, but with its MANDATORY MASS DEPLOYMENT.  As mentioned above, since vaccines are not drugs to be administered to people who are evidently sick and clearly need some relief, compelling those who may not require a vaccine to receive one (especially in light of the associated health risks) is most unconscionable.  

3.3. Even more troubling is the proposed mode for administering the vaccine, which would involve chip-implants.   This is a direct consequence of the requirement that it should be mandatory. As clearly explained by these proponents themselves, given the now prevalent practice of people procuring fake certificates of vaccination (think of the fake immunization “yellow cards” common with travelers on foreign trips); fake-proof digital certificates must henceforth accompany new vaccines (irrespective of who developed them).  The technology for achieving this was announced last September, just as COVID-19 was staging its appearance on the world scene.  Tagged ID2020, the initiative was described as a “program to leverage immunization as an opportunity to establish digital identity.” This technology, to be in form of quantum dot-based nanoparticles, is the dream product in cybernetics, a scientific field which seeks to meld man and machine together into a novel creature – a cybernetic organism, or simply cyborg.  There are considerable adverse health and social implications (including mass mind control), associated with this product and it has rightly provoked an outrage all across the nations of the world. 

3.4. The coercing rush towards mandatory mass vaccine is all the more unjustifiable, given the considerable progress that is being made to develop effective therapeutic drugs for COVID-19.  Recently in the news is the novel technique  developed by an Israeli company, Pluristem Therapeutics, which has demonstrated a 100% efficacy in treatment of patients with advanced cases of COVID-19. Using placenta stem cells injected intra-muscularly, Pluristem has been able to regenerate tissues already damaged by COVID-19 in seven Israeli patients taken from ICU.   The story is even better when COVID-19 is treated at the early stages of infection.  Chief among the emerging effective and affordable products is the much-maligned combination of zinc sulphate with hydroxycholoroquine, (and possibly the antibiotic azithromycin, where indicated).   The basis for the treatment regimen which produced 100% efficacy in 350 patients at a New York facility was described by the proponent, the French doctor, Didier Raoutt in a YouTube video.  An article by Yomi Lawal also cutely elucidated the mode of action of the combo which involves the synergistic facilitation of the influx of zinc (the main therapeutic agent) across the cell membrane by hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin.  Incidentally, this description accords beautifully with one of the possible roles ascribed to microwave radiation (including 5G) in the COVID-19 debacle. With their well-established disruptions in the so-called Voltage-Gated Calcium Channels (VGCC) and the resulting over 7 million-fold increase in the voltage responsible for facilitating the influx of calcium intracellularly, it should not be surprising that this radiation (though non-ionizing) should produce deleterious effects which can be mitigated by zinc, a known antagonist to calcium. 

3.5. The cantankerous campaign against the use of hydroxychloroquine + zinc sulphate drug regimen is quite despicable, and revealing.  While globalists and their agents passionately argue that evidently sick people should not receive an established possibly life-saving drug simply because the formal procedure for testing the efficacy of the drug for COVID-19 in particular has not been completed, the same people with a straight face demand that people who are not sick must compulsorily receive a medical product with well-demonstrated adverse health consequences, and whose efficacy might be actually less than 10%!  In the meantime, whilst the uncertainties persist, the entire society is to be subjected to unprecedented, probably irreversible, damaging measures.  It is doubtful the full socio-economic costs of the lockdowns in Nigeria will ever be accurately tallied up.  For instance there was the sad report of at least 18 people reportedly killed by security forces enforcing lockdowns across the nation as at April 16 when the total number of COVID-19 deaths was still 12.  Not to consider the thousands adversely impacted by stress, hunger, loss of livelihood, robbery, and so forth, all indirectly associated with the various mandated measures. It is therefore totally unacceptable that we should be threatened with indefinite continuance of these draconian measures unless we accept to receive chip-delivered vaccines, despite the availability of effective and affordable drugs. According to Dr. Zeke Emanuel, a major coronavirus advisor to the WHO, conferences, concerts, sporting events, religious services and restaurant meals should be banned for another 18 months  “until we have a vaccine that protects everyone.” Summarizing such sentiments from globalists, the Guardian (UK) bluntly parroted: “Lockdowns can’t end until Covid-19 vaccine [is] found.”

  • Conclusions

4.1. In conclusion, we wish to register our sympathy with governments at various levels who, faced with an unprecedented crisis situation as COVID-19, are bombarded by conflicting suggestions from “experts,” many of whom are clearly under international pressures to push policies not necessarily serving the best interests of Nigeria.  It is sad observing that several of the adverts pushing these measures in our society are even openly acknowledged as being sponsored by well-known and heavily-funded globalist initiatives, such as the George Soros’s Open Society Foundations.  In any case, in our opinion, the various measures enforced have had both benefits (even some unintended) and downsides (including those unforeseen); and we should simply thank and give glory to the good LORD who has helped us navigate the minefields safely thus far.

4.2. We urge fellow-citizens to continue to cooperate with government even in these “try and error” measures; not only by compliance with duly-issued regulations, but also in providing relevant information and counsel to help guide the formulation of more appropriate regulations subsequently.  This Press Release is our own contribution along this line.

4.3. We reiterate, for the avoidance of doubts, that we welcome the development of vaccines for COVID-19 and other contagious diseases.  However taking the vaccines should be entirely voluntary, by individuals who perceive they stand sufficient health risks (probably based on occupation, lifestyle, age, or other vulnerabilities) to justify the receipt.  In that case there would be no need at all for any accompanying implant-based digital certificates. Neither would there be any need to unduly rush the development of such vaccines, side-stepping required safety protocols.

4.4. Rather than the current fixation on mandatory mass vaccination, the COVID-19 threat is better addressed via other options including drug development, public enlightenment, more concerted funding of local research on the environment-public health nexus, and general comprehensive overhauling of our health institutions. Charity should indeed begin at home: while it is nice cooperating in global fights against a pandemic, we must not lose sight of our peculiar battles at home.  A related sad example is the continued use of thimerosal (49.6% mercury)- containing vaccines (TCVs) in Nigeria which product has been proscribed in western nations for over 20 years.  After much politicking and feet dragging, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) upped its global battle against mercury poisoning in 2013, and decided to proscribe mercury in drugs and other medical and household products. But shamelessly, the UN body uniquely excluded vaccines from the proscription list!  The UNEP anchored this incredible exemption on the logic that since mercury in vaccines does not travel across national borders (indeed they reside in the brains of our babies!); its regulation in vaccines (and in vaccines alone) should be left to national authorities to handle rather than the global body. Of course, it has subsequently been a piece of cake hand-twisting individual African governments on the matter; and as we speak, Nigeria continues to be the major dumping ground for thimerosal-containing vaccines unaccepted elsewhere, thereby sustaining the operations of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, GAVI.  The health havocs associated with this situation alone far exceeds anything COVID-19 can inflict on us in Nigeria!

4.5. Our government and other local authorities are obviously under serious pressure from these globalists and foreign interests.  Just as the good people of Nigeria by our alertness and unflinching affirmation helped our government to ward off the pressures from the same global cabals on issues such as gay marriage and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food, we must resist efforts to use dubious COVID-19 vaccines as the Trojan horse to usher in mandatory chip-implantations which would leave us nothing but zombies under the influence of these evil geniuses.

4.6. It was Albert Einsten who said:  “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”

4.7. Thank you. Kindly spread this word as far as you are able.

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Posted by on Feb 13, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

CDC Director Resigns Following Public Exposure of Tobacco Investments

 

February 13, 2018 • (From Dr Mercola)

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Story at-a-glance

Mere months into her new job as director of the CDC, Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald purchased stocks in a Japanese tobacco company, even though smoking is a leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.
One day after Politico exposed Fitzgerald’s new investment in tobacco stocks, she resigned from her post as CDC director
Financial conflicts of interest prevented now-former CDC director Fitzgerald from providing Congressional testimony on at least three separate occasions. Two of those hearings involved cancer detection and the opioid epidemic
Newsweek recently published a hit piece against organic food by Henry Miller, ignoring the fact that Miller was fired from Forbes Magazine last year for publishing an article in his name that was written by Monsanto
USA Today recently published information furnished by the American Council on Science and Health — a front group for several of the most harmful industries on the planet, including fracking, tobacco and agrichemicals — without disclosing any of these ties to readers

By Dr. Mercola

In 2016, evidence emerged showing Barbara Bowman, Ph.D., then-director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, assisted a Coca-Cola representative in efforts to influence World Health Organization officials to relax recommendations on sugar limits.1 Just two days after her betrayal of the public trust was exposed, Bowman vacated her post.2

Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald took her place, but it didn’t take long before we learned the newly instated CDC director also had a long history of collaborating with Coca-Cola. 3,4 During her six-year stint as commissioner of Georgia’s department of public health, Fitzgerald received $1 million5 in funding from the company to combat childhood obesity.

At the time of her appointment to CDC director, Jim O’Hara, director of health promotion policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest stated,6 “We hope Dr. Fitzgerald, as head of CDC, avoids partnering with Coke on obesity for the same reason she would avoid partnering with the tobacco industry on lung cancer prevention.”

In a twist of irony, Politico7 recently exposed Fitzgerald’s tobacco investments, which led to her handing in her resignation a day later. Spokesman Matt Lloyd issued a public statement saying, “Fitzgerald owns certain complex financial interests that have imposed a broad recusal limiting her ability to complete all of her duties as the CDC director.”

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, commented on the situation, saying, “It is unacceptable that the person responsible for leading our nation’s public health efforts has, for months, been unable to fully engage in the critical work she was appointed to do.”
Flagrant Conflicts of Interest at the CDC

Are there truly no qualified individuals who do not have deep ties to industry available to fill the highest posts within the CDC? Is seems rather remarkable that two CDC directors in a row have been caught maintaining such obvious conflicts of interest.

The discovery of Fitzgerald’s investments in a Japanese tobacco company was made possible by the 2012 law introduced by Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-New York, which prohibits insider trading by government employees. The law requires full disclosure of financial trades made by government employees, including Congressional members, and this is how Politico discovered Fitzgerald’s purchase of tobacco stocks.

In a statement, Slaughter said, “This episode is exactly why I wrote this law … The American people deserve to know whether federal officials are upholding the public trust and adhering to the highest ethical standards, or using their powerful positions to enrich themselves.” In this case, Fitzgerald reportedly owned stocks in no less than five different tobacco companies, plus drug companies, when she was appointed CDC director. As part of her ethics agreement, she sold those stocks when accepting her new position.

But then, mere months into the job, she went and bought stocks in Japan Tobacco International (JTI), one of the largest tobacco companies in the world. She also bought stocks in a dozen other health-related companies, including Merck, Bayer, Humana and U.S. Foods Holding Corp.

She’s also been criticized for being slow to sell off other, earlier investments that were preventing her from fulfilling her professional duties. As reported by Politico, she was unable to provide Congressional testimony on at least three separate occasions due to financial conflicts of interest.8 Two of those hearings involved cancer detection and the opioid epidemic.

It’s really hard to imagine someone can reach this level of power and be so clueless about ethics. Smoking is a leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., so clearly, investing in a tobacco company is going to be at odds with your professional duty as the leader of the CDC. Just last November Fitzpatrick issued a CDC statement reinforcing the agency’s determination to “continue to use proven strategies to help smokers quit and to prevent children from using any tobacco products.”9
Vaping Technology — Hardly a Viable Smoking Cessation Tool

Interestingly, JTI’s emerging product line is primarily focused on vaping products,10,11 which are increasingly being marketed as tools to quit smoking regular cigarettes. One wonders whether this might have influenced Fitzpatrick’s decision to invest in this company. Such ponderings are entirely speculative of course, but the fact remains that while marketed as a smoking cessation tool, emerging evidence suggests vaping and electronic cigarettes are just as harmful, if not more harmful, than regular cigarettes.

Just last year, the CDC warned that e-cigarette use among children is a growing health concern. At present, e-cigarettes are the most commonly used form of tobacco by American youth and young adults. A significant draw for youngsters is the fact that vaping pens and e-cigarettes can be used to smoke all sorts of flavored concoctions, from bubble gum and watermelon to chocolate.

So, for Fitzgerald to state a public oath to fight use of tobacco products among children, and then purchase stocks in a company whose chief new product line is focused on kid-friendly vaping technology seems insincere at best.

At worst, her connection with JTI might eventually have led to her downplaying harms of vaping, or worse, endorsing its use as a smoking cessation tool based on flawed or biased science by the industry. Again, this is all speculation, and since Fitzpatrick has stepped down, the point is moot anyway. I’m speculating merely to draw attention to the very real dangers these kinds of conflicts of interest can create.
Tobacco Industry Invented Fake News

As noted in a recent STAT news article, product defense reporting is an old “fake news” tactic perfected by the tobacco industry decades ago, and while the tobacco industry no longer tries to defend cigarette smoking, you can see the same whitewash tactics being used to promote vaping as a safe alternative. Writer and former investigator for the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, Paul D. Thacker, describes how the tobacco industry invented and mastered the use of fake news to postpone the industry’s ultimate demise:12

“I fell into this world back in 2005, while working as an editor for the news section of Environmental Science & Technology … After … digging through the tobacco archive, I wrote a story about Steven J. Milloy, a columnist for FoxNews.com who ran a website called JunkScience.com and headed a shady organization called The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC).

In a 1993 letter, the public relations firm APCO explained how it launched TASSC ‘to expand and assist Philip Morris in its efforts with issues in targeted states in 1994’ …

My reporting led me to a fleet of industry-friendly scientists and writers who had the habit of pooh-poohing the potential dangers of products, dismissing studies finding possible harm, and attacking the FDA … Financial ties between tobacco and pharmaceutical companies weakened smoking cessation efforts, and the tobacco companies often sought to obscure their role in media campaigns by partnering with other industries to attack government regulation and independent research …

In a tobacco company’s budget, a line item for Steven J. Milloy showed that he was on the tobacco payroll while also writing columns that disparaged the science of secondhand smoke … As a way to defend industry from government regulation, corporate advocates routinely referred to studies published in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology … On the journal’s website, I was somehow admitted to the society’s member’s only section.

While scanning the minutes of its meetings, I noted that they were held in the offices of a law firm that defended companies from scrutiny by the FDA. Many members of the journal’s board had strong ties to the tobacco, pharmaceutical, and agrochemical industry. Indeed, a recent study of the journal called into question the many dubious papers it has published on tobacco.”

Newsweek Publishes Industry Propaganda Without Disclosing Conflicts of Interest

Disturbingly, popular news sources such as Newsweek and USA Today still choose to peddle this kind of industry propaganda. In a recent post, U.S. Right to Know (USRTK) asks, “Why are Newsweek and USA Today so willing to let special interests mislead their readers?”13

Last year, Henry Miller was fired by Forbes magazine when it was revealed an article published in his name had been written almost entirely by Monsanto. Fast-forward just a few months, and on January 19, 2018, Newsweek ran an article by Miller with the headline “The Campaign for Organic Food Is a Deceitful, Expensive Scam.”14,15

In this obvious hit piece aimed at invalidating the organic industry to protect chemical technology giants like Monsanto, Miller attacks New York Times reporter Danny Hakim’s writings, saying Hakim failed to do his homework before writing about genetic engineering. However, what people don’t realize — because Miller doesn’t reveal it, and Newsweek editors didn’t add it — is that Miller has a very personal gripe against Hakim.

Hakim was the reporter who revealed Monsanto wrote Miller’s Forbes article. Miller mentions none of that, nor does he disclose his collaborations with Monsanto. The fact that Newsweek let this lack of disclosure slide is disconcerting. The fact that they published anything by Miller at all is astounding, considering his reputation as an independent expert on GMOs has been soundly demolished. It’s now a well-known fact that Miller speaks for the chemical technology industry. As noted by USRTK:16

“Monsanto’s fingerprints were all over Miller’s Newsweek article … Miller used pesticide industry sources to make false claims about organic farming and attacked people who were named on a target list that had been developed by Monsanto and Jay Byrne, Monsanto’s former director of corporate communications, who was quoted in Miller’s piece with no mention of the Monsanto affiliation. None of this appears to bother Newsweek Opinion Editor Nicholas Wapshott, according to an on-the-record email exchange.”

That email exchange is too extensive for me to copy here, but I recommend you read it. It’s rather remarkable. In a nutshell, Wapshott chooses to print Miller’s propaganda because he’s met the man and “he seems genuine.”
USA Today Provides Platform for Industry Front Group

In a similar vein, USA Today recently published information furnished by the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) — a well-known front group (among those in the know) for several of the most harmful industries on the planet, including fracking, tobacco and agrichemicals — without disclosing any of these ties to readers. As noted by USRTK:17

“In February 2017, two dozen health, environmental, labor and public interest groups wrote to the editors of USA Today asking the paper to stop publishing science columns by the ACSH, or at least provide full disclosures about who funds the group …

ACSH spins science on fracking, e-cigarettes, toxic cosmetics and agrichemical … products, and solicits funding from those industries in exchange. Recent reporting establishes that ACSH works with Monsanto on messaging campaigns.”

USA Today editorial page editor Bill Sternberg responded saying that Alex Berezow, who wrote the piece in question, is considered “a credible voice on scientific issues,” citing the fact that Berezow has been on the paper’s board of contributors since 2011, holds a Ph.D. in microbiology, founded RealClearScience and is a contributor to many mainstream news outlets. The problem is, Berezow is also a senior fellow at ACSH, yet readers are not informed of this or the conflicts of interest inherent in this connection.

It’s truly unfortunate, but as noted by investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson, author of “Stonewalled,” investigative journalism has taken a backseat to corporate propaganda and news skewed to favor a particular corporate viewpoint. Another book that takes you on a deep dive into the murky waters of corporate-based influence is “Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science,” written by lifelong journalist and former Reuters reporter Carey Gillam.

As noted by both Attkisson and Gillam, the main problem we face today is the fact that corporate interests have been allowed to trump public safety. Publishing articles by industry mouthpieces like Miller and ACSH without disclosing readily apparent conflicts of interest keeps this dangerous status quo in place.
Revolving Door Between Big Pharma and Federal Agencies Keep Spinning

In related news, Kaiser Health notes that hundreds of individuals have “glided through the ‘revolving door’ that connects the drug industry to Capitol Hill and the Department of Health and Human Services [DHHS].”18 One of the latest is Alex Azar, former president of Eli Lilly and Company, who stepped into the position of HHS Secretary on January 24. As noted by NPR:19

“In that role, he’ll oversee the Food and Drug Administration [FDA], which regulates prescription drugs including those produced by his former employer. He’ll also oversee Medicare and Medicaid, which together spend hundreds of billions of dollars each year on prescription medications.”

According to Kaiser Health News’ investigation, nearly 340 former congressional staffers are now employed either by drug companies or their lobbying firms, and more than a dozen former drug company employees are now sitting on Capitol Hill and in various health care policy committees. Some of the most recent examples, aside from Azar, include:

Scott Gottlieb, former venture capitalist “with deep ties to the pharmaceutical industry,” now FDA Commissioner
Keagan Lenihan, former lobbyist for the drug distributor McKesson, now senior counselor to Azar
John O’Brien, former PhRMA lobbyist, now deputy assistant secretary of health policy for HHS Planning and Evaluation
Mary-Sumpter Lapinski, former lobbyist for Bristol-Myers Squibb, now counselor for the HHS secretary’s office

As noted by Jock Friedly, founder and president of LegiStorm20 (a congressional directory app that provides real-time data and alerts on congressional hearings, town hall gatherings and more): “Who do they really work for? Are they working for the person who is paying their bills at that moment or are they essentially working on behalf of the interests who have funded them in the past and may fund them in the future?”

While there may be rare exceptions, more often than not, professional relationships are not easily severed, and favors large and small tend to be expected from, and granted by, old colleagues. Add in the hope or promise of a financial reward, and it’s easy to see how public interests end up being sacrificed. There are no easy answers to these problems, but exposing the truth is a crucial step in the corrective process.

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Posted by on Jan 17, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Ingestion of Folic Acid may be beneficial in pregnant women against Autism

The article below, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, examined possible beneficial action of folic acid intake during pregnancy in protecting the baby against Autism disorder spectrum associated with pesticide exposure.  It seems a reasonable precautionary action to recommend routine adequate folic acid intake in pregnant women in Nigeria, going by the widespread indiscriminate use of pesticides here.

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Combined Prenatal Pesticide Exposure and Folic Acid Intake in Relation to Autism

Authors: Rebecca J. Schmidt, Vladimir Kogan, Janie F. Shelton, Lora Delwiche, Robin L. Hansen, Sally Ozonoff, Claudia C. Ma, Erin C. McCanlies, Deborah H. Bennett, Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Daniel J. Tancredi, and Heather E. Volk

 

ABSTRACT


Background:

In the U.S about 4.4 billion pesticide applications are applied each year in and around homes, resulting in about 80 percent of people’s exposure occurring indoors [1]. Children and women of childbearing age who are planning to become pregnant are particularly vulnerable to harm from exposure. Previous studies have linked pesticides, particularly agricultural pesticides, with development of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 68 children in the U.S. have an ASD. For boys specifically, the estimate is 1 in 42 with an ASD[2].

Previous studies have shown that folic acid (FA) supplementation protects against neural tube defects like spina bifida, and some studies have shown a reduced risk for ASD in children whose mothers took supplements containing FA[3]. The CDC and the U.S. Preventive Service Taskforce already recommends that all women of childbearing age consume at least 400 mcg of FA daily[4]. However, few studies have examined how FA intake among women experiencing environmental exposures, particularly to pesticides, may be especially beneficial for reducing ASD risk in their offspring.

Objective:

To examine whether maternal intake of FA influences the association between pesticide exposure and ASD in children.

Methods:

Children born in California between 2000-2007, who were enrolled in the Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment (CHARGE) study and were either clinically confirmed to have ASD (394) or not (282), participated in this study at 2-5 years old. Information on maternal household pesticide exposure (self-applied sprays, flea products, etc.) and FA intake 3 months before conception and during the entire pregnancy were obtained through interviews. FA intake was measured as high (> 800 mcg), median (800 mcg) and low (<800 mcg). Daily exposure profiles to commercial agriculture pesticides like organophosphates and organochlorines, for the same time period, were generated using California’s extensive database and reports on pesticide use, known as PUR data. Information on work-related exposure to pesticides were also obtained but few mothers experienced work exposures during the analysis time period (3 months pre-conception and entire pregnancy).

Results:

Compared to the mothers of non-ASD children, mothers of children with ASD were less likely to report taking >800 mcg of FA during their first month of pregnancy and more likely to be exposed to household pesticides both indoors and outdoors.
The odds of offspring developing ASD were greater among mothers who had both low FA intake and indoor pesticide or any agricultural exposure compared with mothers who had either low FA intake or pesticide exposure.

Conclusion:

Overall, this study shows that the likelihood of ASD associated with pesticides in children was reduced among mothers who had high FA intake (>800 mcg) near the time of conception. Therefore, increasing FA intake among mothers exposed to pesticides may provide protection from adverse neurodevelopment outcomes like ASD.

POLICY IMPLICATIONS


All pesticides sold or distributed in the U.S. are required to be registered and regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). According to an analysis done by the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides and the National Center for Healthy Homes, of the 28 most widely used agricultural pesticides, 18 are associated with reproductive issues[1]. There is increasing evidence that certain pesticides play a crucial role in negatively affecting neurodevelopment and some may even contribute to the development of ASD. A 2014 CHARGE Study found that mothers exposed to organophosphates, including chlorpyrifos, during pregnancy experienced a 60% increased risk for ASD.

Indeed, chlorpyrifos in particular has been studied extensively, and sufficient evidence indicates that there are no safe uses for the pesticide. This was confirmed in EPA’s November 2016 revised human health risk assessment of chlorpyrifos. By the time this risk assessment was released, EPA had already begun working towards a ban on the production and use of the pesticide, establishing a final decision deadline of March 30, 2017. Unfortunately the agency reversed their course, deciding against a ban, on March 29, claiming scientific uncertainty.

EPA’s work on the revised human health risk assessment is commendable. The extensive scientific evidence of harm the agency has compiled on chlorpyrifos is sufficient to issue a ban. The agency needs to heed their own scientific findings and protect young children and future generations from neurodevelopmental harm.

More research is needed to further investigate the association of prenatal nutrient intake and associations with pesticide exposure and risk for ASD. In addition to informing issues related to pesticide policies and regulations, further research may inform decisions on whether or not federal public health recommendation on FA intake should be adjusted for women of child bearing age. While FA intake was not found to entirely eliminate the risk for ASD in this study, it did reduce the risk, suggesting that increasing FA intake in women, especially those exposed to pesticides, may reduce ASD incidence among their offspring.

REFERENCES 

[1] Pesticides. Retrieved December 18, 2017, from http://www.nchh.org/What-We-Do/Health-Hazards–Prevention–and-Solutions/Pesticides.aspx

[2] Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Updated 2016, July 11. Retrieved December 18, 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html

[3] Brief report: are autistic-behaviors in children related to prenatal vitamin use and maternal whole blood folate concentrations? US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, October 2014. Retrieved December 18, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24710813

[4] Folic Acid. Updated 2016, December 28. Retrieved December 18, 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/folicacid/recommendations.html

 

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Posted by on Sep 29, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

National Toxicology Program Finds Cell Phone Radiation Induces DNA Damage

National Toxicology Program Finds Statistically Significant Increased DNA Damage in Rats and Mice
After Exposure to Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation

Scientists from the National Toxicology Program presented their data on the genotoxicity of cell phone radiation in rats and mice at the annual meeting of the Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society held in Raleigh, North Carolina from September 9-13, 2017.

DNA damage was significantly increased in:

In the frontal cortex of male mice from CDMA and GSM cell phone radiation,
In peripheral leukocytes of female mice from CDMA only, and
In the hippocampus of male rats from CDMA only.

There were no significant increases in micronucleated red blood cells in rats or mice.

The authors concluded that, “exposure to RFR [radio frequency radiation] has the potential to induce measurable DNA damage under certain exposure conditions.”

This information was first shared on Dr. Moskowitz blog SaferEMR. EHT has asked for the presentation materials to share with the public.

The study also found carcinogenic effects after long term exposure to cell phone radiation. In 2016 National Toxicology Program scientist released these findings:

Increased incidences of glioma (a rare, aggressive and highly malignant brain cancer) as well as schwannoma (a rare tumor of the nerve sheath) of the heart were found in both sexes of rats, but reached statistical significance only in males.
Increased incidences of rare, proliferative changes in glial cells of the brain and in Schwann cells (nerve sheath) in the heart of both sexes of rats, while not a single unexposed control animal developed these precancerous changes.
Results from this study clearly show that biological impacts occur at non-thermal exposures like those that take place from cell phones today.

Read more about the National Toxicology Program Study here

Source:


National Toxicology Program Finds Cell Phone Radiation Induces DNA Damage

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Posted by on Aug 22, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

An interview with Robert Kennedy Jr. on vaccines, August 14, 2017

August 21, 2017

STAT News: An interview with Robert Kennedy Jr. on vaccines, August 14, 2017

STAT News: An interview with Robert Kennedy Jr. on vaccines, August 14, 2017

This Q & A interview was conducted by STAT News reporter, Helen Branswell (H), with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (B)  on August 14, 2017.

H: So when I had first approached you for this interview, the question I wanted to ask you related to the Vaccine Safety Commission. You had announced in January that you were going to head it, after you met with then President Elect Trump. It’s been a number of months now and there hasn’t been any public discussion. He made some comments in February about being interested in looking into autism but there hasn’t been anything else since. so we’ve been wondering, where does this stand? So I guess my first question to you is: Are you going to be heading a Vaccine Safety Commission set up by the White House or by President Trump?

B: I’ve had no discussions with the White House specifically about the Vaccine Safety Commission probably since February.

H: Okay

B: I’ve spoken with the White House about other issues relating to vaccine safety and I’ve had a number of follow up meetings.

H: Can I ask you who you met with?

B: Well I’ve met with high level officials in the White House and they’ve arranged meetings for me with HHS and White House officials and various agency officials including [NIH Director] Francis Collins and [NIH Principle Deputy Director] Lawrence Tabek, Tony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Infectious Disease, Linda Birnbaum, Director of the National Institute of Developmental Health Sciences, and Dr. Diana Bianchi, the head of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Health and Human Development.

H: Right

B: And then over at FDA, I met with Peter Marks, Director of the Center for Biological Evaluation and Research (CBER) and Dr. Scott Winiecki, from the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), Dr. Wiley Chambers, also from CBER, and some other officials there.

H: Ok

B: I can’t remember, at this moment, all of the people that we met with but I’m happy to send you a list of names.

H: And this is since the change of the administration?

B: Yeah, the White House officials and HHS officials accompanied me and arranged the meeting. I did it at their request.

H: At their request? Theirs?

B: Yeah

H: But who is they?

B: The White House

H: Okay. All right. So you said you’ve had no discussion since February about the Vaccine Safety Commission. Do you think that…

B: Again, not specifically about the Commission.

H: Okay. Do you think that idea is dead? Do you think it’s in abeyance?

B: I don’t know. You’d have to ask the White House. It may be that it’s evolved. I’ve been told that the President is still interested in this issue and that he wants me to have further meetings with the regulatory agencies and with the White House. Like I said, I have not talked to anybody in the White House about the Commission.

H: Okay. Do you think that there is the possibility that the Commission is going ahead but not with you on it?

B: Again, you’d have to ask the White House.

H: Okay. So you know, in February, I was doing some research in preparation for this, and I saw a story that Politico ran in February in which you had mentioned that after you made the announcement. You later spoke with the President and the two of you, I think, agreed that, and the expression used was that you’d ‘gotten out over your skis’ on this issue. Do you think you were not meant to announce it or was it perhaps that discussions internally hadn’t been finalized? What does that mean?

B: Are you saying that I spoke with President Trump, and that he—

H: It was a Politico story from February, I can send a link, that was a follow up to where this issue was going and it quotes you saying that you had talked to the President after having disclosed that this Commission was going to be set up and that there was some discussion between you, and that you, and it wasn’t clear if it was you or the two of you or the issues, had gotten out over its skis. Is that not a term that you used in relation to this issue in question?

B: Well it’s not something that the President ever said to me.

H: Okay. Had he been okay with—

B: Do you want to talk about vaccine safety or vaccine science at all?

H: I haven’t finished asking questions about this. Are you disappointed that, so far, there hasn’t been a commission set up to do what you said you were going to be doing in January?

B: The Commission was not my idea. I was asked to chair a Commission and I agreed that if a Commission were created, that I would do that, I would take on that task. But, you know, that’s up to the White House and how they want to handle this issue.

H: Right. Okay.

B: It wasn’t my idea. I am happy with any steps that are taken to make vaccines safer and to improve the scientific integrity of the process. And to reform the process so that vaccines are subject to the same kind of safety scrutiny and safety testing that other drugs are subjected to. We need, prior to licensing vaccines, to do gold standard safety testing like every other drug requires, before approval.

H: Right

B: We need to do double blind placebo testing. We shouldn’t be able to limit safety testing on vaccines to three or four days, or a couple of months, when every other drug requires five or six years of safety testing. Because the consequences, particularly when injecting mercury or aluminum into babies, the consequences may be latent. In other words, the condition may not manifest or be diagnosed until age three or four. The current protocols, allow safety testing periods that are sometimes as short as 48 hours. Those are not going to disclose the kind of dangers that the public and the regulators ought to know about.

H: Okay

B: Many of the vaccines that are currently approved had five or six days of safety testing. That means that if the child has a seizure on the sixth or seventh day, it’s never seen. If the child dies [after the sixth day], it’s never seen. If the child gets food allergies or ADD or ADHD, which don’t manifest for four or five years, or autism, which usually isn’t diagnosed until age four, the regulators will never see that prior to licensing the vaccine.

H: Well, If something happens four or five years outside of an event, how do you know what event to attribute it to?

B: Well the answer to that question, of course, is double blind placebo testing. You have a control group and you have a study group. [The study group receives the drug and the control group receives an identical looking pill that is inert. Researchers then compare long term health outcomes and look for disease clusters].

H: Yes. Sir, that’s done all the time. That’s done. That is done all the time.

B: It’s not done for vaccines. It is, of course, required for other drugs but not vaccines.

H: What, double blind placebo testing? Sure it is. Sure it is.

B: It’s not required for vaccines.

H: Vaccines are tested that way all the time.

B: You’re wrong about that. It is not required for most vaccines. I know this is surprising to you and it’s shocking to most people, because people and  journalists such as yourself assume that vaccines are encountering the same kind of rigorous safety testing as other drugs, including multi-year, double blind placebo tests as other drugs. But the fact is, vaccines don’t. And the reason for that is because they’re classified as “biologics”.

H: Right, but I’ve read a lot of vaccine studies. They are double blind placebo tested.

B: You’re wrong about that. They’re not required to do double blind placebo tests. Now, I don’t know of any [children’s] vaccine that actually has done true [inert placebo] double blind placebo testing. In any case, none of them have more than a few months of double blind placebo testing. This will not allow you to spot illnesses like autism that aren’t diagnosed for four or five years.

H: Okay…

B: Second of all, in most vaccines, for example the Gardasil vaccine, they don’t use true placebos. In other words they don’t use inert placebos. For example [in the case of] Merck’s or Glaxo Smith Kline’s [HPV] Gardasil vaccines, they tested them for six months against an aluminum adjuvant that is highly neurotoxic. So if we don’t use a true placebo how can you determine whether the vaccine is safe?

H: Okay. Could we move actually back to the question I wanted to ask? I had some questions that I want to ask. It’s a Q and A. I ask the questions. That’s the way it works. You answer the questions or don’t answer if you like. I was wondering, in the time since you spoke with the president in January and were asked to chair the Vaccine Safety Commission, the senior HHS positions have been filled. They appointed Brenda Fitzgerald at CDC and Francis Collins was reappointed as Director at NIH, Scott Gottlieb to FDA and Jerome Adams as Surgeon General. All of them are on the record as supporting vaccines, and very supportive of vaccines. I was wondering if that is disappointing to you if you would have hoped for different people or people with a different mindset in those positions?

B: Well I would prefer regulators who are willing to look at the science and who are conversant with the safety science, who are familiar with the vast library of scholarly literature published and available on Pub Med which indicates that many vaccine ingredients, particularly aluminum and mercury, can pose a threat to children.

H: Right. So…

B: And as I said I’ve been having meetings with the regulators and urging them to read the literature.

H: And I did want to ask you as well, if you had any qualms about doing this work with President Trump. People who are concerned about the environment find this administration very unsettling. Given that, I was wondering if you had any qualms about working with him, because you’re so renowned as an environmentalist.

B: I don’t like President Trump’s environmental policies and I would not endorse them. I would say that the Trump administration is essentially destroying 30 years of my work on environmental issues and the work of many other people. I’ve written extensively on that and I think people understand that my position is clear, and that my work vaccine safety public health and child safety is not an endorsement of his President Trump’s environmental policy.

H: Have you made your position known to him? Have you had the chance to express those views to him?

B: Well in my initial meeting with him we had that discussion and he’s known my position for many years. Prior to his presidency I litigated against President Trump on environmental issues. I testified two weeks ago before an EPA hearing in opposition to the administration’s gutting of the Clean Water Act. I don’t think there’s any question with him or with any member of the administration that I’m opposed to Scott Pruitt and I’m opposed to walking away from Paris and I’m opposed to the subversion of the Clean Water Act, so I don’t think President Trump or anyone in the administration or anywhere in the country has any doubts about where I stand on those issues.

H: Right

B: If President Trump asked me to serve on a commission on fracking or on pipelines or global warming, I would do it. If I can make improvements in child health, if I can protect American children and prevent injuries and make vaccines safer, as safe as possible, and prevent injuries to these subsets, these population subsets who are vulnerable to injuries, particularly from mercury and from aluminum, I will do whatever I can and talk to anybody that I need to, including you—

H: (laughs) Okay

B: —to improve child health, the health of American children.

H: Can I get back, and I think this will probably be my last question, you’ve mentioned mercury a lot of times. Thimerosal is not in most vaccines given to children at this point and in fact has not been in childhood vaccines at this point since 2001, I believe. You know, studies have also shown that since it has been taken out autism rates have increased which would suggest that there isn’t correlation. And that’s what most scientists would say. But why do keep talking about mercury when children aren’t getting exposed to it in a childhood vaccine?

B: That is an industry talking point. That just simply isn’t true.

H: (laughs)

B: Mercury was taken out of three pediatric vaccines, DTaP, HiB and hepatitis B in 2003 but the same year, the CDC recommended flu shots for pregnant women and for children at six months of age and during every year of life. In the past 13 years, since 2004, most flu shots were loaded with mega doses of mercury and by the way—

H: —it’s only in multi dose vials and it’s not in single vaccine that’s packaged in a syringe already, and it was never in the live, attenuated vaccines.

B: Well here’s the numbers, and the numbers change every year and Thimerosal levels have trended downward in the past five years but 2007 was typical [of the years prior to 2012]. In 2007 there were 128 million flu vaccine doses manufactured in this country, and only 11 million were Thimerosal free. Over 90% of vaccinated Americans received huge, huge doses of mercury—not “trace amounts” as the industry likes to claim. “Trace amounts” means less than one microgram. The flu vaccines contained 25 micrograms which is 25 times “trace amounts” and over 31 times EPAs safe exposure levels for an average six month old male baby and potentially hundreds of times the levels that would be safe for a growing fetus.

B: So today, in the last three or four years, that [128 million] number [of Thimerosal loaded flu shots] has been reduced to 48 million. So today there are around 48 million Thimerosal containing doses, so about a third, were loaded with mercury.

H: And when you say this year, are you talking about 2016 or 2017?

B: Yeah, the 2016-2017 flu season. So that’s 48 million people, including pregnant women and little babies who are getting mega doses of mercury. That’s a national health crisis right there. Mercury is 100 times more neurotoxic than lead. Why would you inject that into a little baby or pregnant women? It’s insane. And mercury has never been safety tested.

H: Mmm Hmm

B: So anybody who tells you that mercury is safe, the question I would ask for them is “Can you show me a study?”. If fact, William Egan, [Acting Director of the Office of Vaccines Research and Review in CBER in the FDA], testified before Congress and was asked by Committee Chairman Dan Burton “Has there every been a safety test on Thimerosal?” and he acknowledged that there has not.

H: There’s been an IOM report that concluded that there was no risk from the amount of Thimerosal in vaccines.

B: No. No. No. IOM’s 2004 report did not exonerate mercury. The only thing IOM did was look at a series of epidemiological studies that had been recently created by CDC and these papers only dealt with one issue, which was autism. So all of the other injuries, that are known to be associated with Thimerosal including ADD, ADHD, SIDS, speech delay, language delay, [OCD, anorexia, mental retardation, depression] narcolepsy, tics, allergies, sleep disorders, Tourette’s Syndrome and many others. None of those have ever been studied.

H: Uh

B: And IOM never claimed that Thimerosal was safe. In fact I talked to Kathleen Stratton from IOM and Marie McCormick [at Harvard School of Public Health at the time] and said “Why aren’t you looking at these other injuries?” and they said “The CDC told us not to”.

H: Okay

B: CDC only wanted IOM to study autism. And the reason for that is, of course, because they had created these three phony Danish epidemiological studies and one widely discredited study of American autism data. IOM based its report principally on those defective studies. IOM never, ever exonerated Thimerosal from those other injuries. That is, again, industry propaganda which you are parroting and you should not be doing that. You should be looking at the science for yourself.

H: Right

B: I’m happy to sit down with you and walk through the science. I’m happy to debate anybody on the science and I can tell you, if they debate me, they will lose and it’s not because I’m a good debater. The science on this side is overwhelming.

H: Right. Ok. Ok. Thank you. I am good. I need to speak to my editors. I will send you a copy of the audio from the conversation and I will keep Freddie abreast on where things stand in terms of timing of when my story might run and I thank you for your time.

B: Thank you

H: Okay good bye

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Posted by on Aug 22, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Minamata Convention on Mercury came into force this week (Aug. 16)

Minamata Convention on Mercury
came into force this week

The United Nations Environment Program’s Minamata Convention on Mercury came into force on August 16th. The aim of the Convention is “to protect the human health and the environment” from mercury releases. The treaty holds critical obligations for Parties to ban new primary mercury mines while phasing out existing ones and also includes a ban on many common products and processes using mercury, measures to control releases, and a requirement for national plans to reduce mercury in artisanal and small-scale gold mining. In addition, it seeks to reduce trade, promote sound storage of mercury and its disposal, address contaminated sites and reduce exposure from this dangerous neurotoxin. One thousand delegates and around 50 ministers will assemble in Geneva, Switzerland, September 24th-29th, for the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to celebrate the new Convention and to lay the groundwork for its success.

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