June 2, 2023 3-5PM ET
Friday on The Robert Scott Bell Show:
Exclusive: Federal Government Funds $4.7 Million Grant — Led by Merck Consultant — to Increase HPV Vaccine Uptake by Improving How Providers ‘Announce’ the Vaccine The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is funding a scientist who also is a paid consultant for Merck to conduct research on how to increase teen uptake of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, documents obtained by Children’s Health Defense (CHD) via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request revealed. Merck manufactures Gardasil, the only HPV vaccine available in the U.S. Documents show that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the HHS in 2021 awarded a $4.7 million, five-year grant to the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. The grant’s principal investigator, Noel Brewer, Ph.D., a psychologist and professor in the Department of Health Behavior at the UNC Gillings School of Public Health, consults for Merck and is also the recipient of commercial research grants from Merck, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). The HHS grant builds on Brewer’s previous industry and HHS-funded research investigating different “research-tested interventions” intended to reshape the behavior of physicians and patients by “improving” the ways providers “announce” the vaccine to potential recipients, in order to get more teens to take the HPV vaccine. The grant is focused on further developing “Announcement Approach Training,” which involves having providers skip the step of discussing with families in “open-ended conversation” whether or not they want their child vaccinated for HPV and instead “presume” the family wants the vaccine and announce the child will receive it as if it were a routine part of the office visit. Brewer and others’ previous research has shown this method reduces the time a provider needs to spend talking with their patients and increases vaccine uptake. Other projects funded by the grant consist of conducting randomized controlled trials to see how best to get clinics and clinicians to implement this approach to increase HPV vaccine uptake, according to the FOIA documents obtained by CHD.
A NJ hospital mandated flu shots. Workers charged discrimination. The hospital will pay New Jersey’s Inspira Medical Centers, Inc., has agreed to pay $100,000 after six employees charged that a mandatory flu vaccination policy discriminated against their religious beliefs, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Wednesday. No lawsuit was filed by the federal agency. However, five employees covered by a conciliation agreement would receive compensatory damages, the EEOC announced. The sixth employee was not included in this agreement, according to an EEOC spokesperson. Companies must provide “reasonable” accommodations for religious beliefs, wrote the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, citing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As part of the agreement, the company was required to change its policies to “explicitly provide employees an exemption to the policy because of an employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs.” Inspira must also inform all employees of this change, and grant reasonable religious accommodations to its vaccination policies unless this would impose an “undue burden” on the company. Here’s what we know about the case, and other cases involving mandatory vaccines.
Making us thinner will see fatter profits for pharma as Bloomberg’s crystal ball predicts obesity drug sales hitting $44B by 2030 Novo Nordisk has lit the tinder of a new megablockbuster market with Saxenda and Wegovy as new, branded anti-obesity drugs are set to haul in $44 billion by this decade’s end. That’s according to the latest projections in a new report by Bloomberg Intelligence, which found sales of branded anti-obesity drugs could hit $44 billion, when risk adjusted, in 2030. That would be a major ballooning of a market that was worth just $2.5 billion last year. According to Bloomberg Intelligence, nearly 70% of that figure will stem from the U.S. The analysts said they expect a slower ramp-up in Europe and a 20% price discount to the U.S., given the use of health technology assessors on the continent. The market is set to be dominated by Novo’s Saxenda and, more notably, its newer semaglutide-based drug Wegovy, both GLP-1s, as well as Eli Lilly’s tirzepatide. Lilly’s drug, which works as a dual GLP-1/GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide), is currently marketed as Mounjaro in diabetes but will likely soon see a filing for obesity, with a potential launch by late this year or early 2024. “We expect Novo Nordisk’s franchise and Eli Lilly’s tirzepatide to dominate with shares of 54% and 46% respectively, while contributions from less-effective anti-obesity drugs are negligible,” said Michael Shah, senior industry analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, in the report. But more drugs are on the horizon that could bump these estimates up. “Pipeline developments such as oral GLP-1s by Lilly and Pfizer, and Amgen and Lilly’s dual- and triple-combination drugs represent upside to our view,” Shah said in the report.
Even at ‘Safe’ Levels, Glyphosate Disrupts Immune Function, New Study Suggests A new University of Iowa study provides the first experimental evidence that exposure to glyphosate, even at officially designated “safe” levels, disrupts the gut microbiome in mammals. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s (owned by Bayer) widely used line of broad-spectrum herbicides. Consisting of trillions of benign, ever-resident microorganisms (bacteria, yeast, fungi, and even viruses), the gut microbiome helps animals digest food, fight infections, produce vitamin K and other important biomolecules, and metabolize medicines. Intestinal microbes, especially certain bacterial species, may also benefit the immune system and heart health while reducing cancer risk and positively affecting healthy aging and longevity. The term “microbiome” refers to these organisms and also to their collective genomes. Investigators at the University of Iowa found that at levels approximating the U.S. Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) — 1.75 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day — glyphosate altered the gut microbiome composition and induced “a pro-inflammatory environment.” They determined this by measuring the loss of beneficial Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium bacterial species, and the simultaneous blocking of microbial gene pathways that produce anti-inflammatory short-chain fatty acids. Changes in gut microbe populations were also accompanied by higher levels of pro-inflammatory markers such as Lipocalin-2 and CD4/IL17A-positive immune system cells, and an increase in fecal pH.
Misinformation Is a Word We Use to Shut You Up The policing of “information” is the stuff of Naziism, Stalinism, Maoism, and similar anti-liberal regimes. To repress criticism of their dicta and diktats, anti-liberals label criticism “misinformation” or “disinformation.” Those labels are instruments to crush dissent. This paper offers an understanding of knowledge as involving three chief facets: information, interpretation, and judgment. Usually, what people argue fervently over is not information, but interpretation and judgment. What is being labeled and attacked as “misinformation” is not a matter of true or false information, but of true or false knowledge—meaning that disagreement more commonly arises over interpretations and judgments as to which interpretations to take stock in or believe. We make judgments, “good” and “bad,” “wise” and “foolish,” about interpretations, “true” and “false.” On that understanding, the paper explains that the projects and policies now afoot styled “anti-misinformation” and “anti-disinformation” are dishonest, as it should be obvious to all that those projects and policies would, if advanced honestly, be called something like “anti-falsehood” campaigns. But to prosecute an “anti-falsehood” campaign would make obvious the true nature of what is afoot—an Orwellian boot to stomp on Wrongthink. To support governmental policing of “information” is to confess one’s anti-liberalism and illiberality. The essay offers a spiral diagram to show the three chief facets of knowledge (information, interpretation, and judgment) plus a fourth facet, fact, which also deserves distinct conceptualization, even though the spiral reminds us: Facts are theory-laden.
Health Shocker: Jamie Foxx Left ‘Paralyzed and Blind’ From ‘Blood Clot in His Brain’ After Receiving COVID-19 Vaccine, Source Claims Horrific health details have been revealed regarding Jamie Foxx’s mysterious medical state. The Django Unchained star is said to be “partially paralyzed and blind,” in addition to a series of other complications after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, Hollywood journalist A.J. Benza claimed after speaking to a source close to Foxx. “Jamie had a blood clot in his brain after he got the shot. He did not want the shot, but the movie he was on, he was pressured to get it,” confessed the podcaster — who formally worked as a columnist for the New York Daily News and as a host of the E! series Mysteries and Scandals — during an appearance on Dr. Drew Pinsky’s online show “Ask Dr. Drew.” The blood clot in the brain caused him at that point to be partially paralyzed and blind,” Benza alleged, as he insisted his insider was “someone in the room” with first-hand knowledge of Foxx’s hospitalization. “I am thinking, ‘Is that why he blew up on the set a week before this medical emergency happened?'” the veteran journalist asked Pinsky. “Is that why he fired three or four people because he had had it with these mandates?” Foxx was admitted to the hospital after suffering a “medical complication” on Thursday, April 11, although specific details on his current health status have been difficult to discover.
FDA Standing in the Way of Natural Pain Management Why the many health benefits of CBD could be the reason it gets put out of reach for many consumers. Action Alert! The FDA recently held a Stakeholder Call with the hemp industry to provide further information on the agency’s plans to regulate CBD. Recall that the agency has rejected CBD as a supplement and is working with Congress to develop a “new pathway” for CBD. Details on this new pathway are scarce, but the idea seems to be to regulate CBD more than supplements but less than drugs. This will likely drive up the price of CBD and make it less available to consumers. We need to support bills that take this issue out of the FDA’s hands to create a legal pathway to market CBD supplements. On the Stakeholder Call and in previous communications, the FDA holds up safety as the key issue preventing CBD from being a food or supplement. When the agency denied three Citizens Petitions arguing for CBD to be allowed as a supplement, they explained “it is not apparent how CBD products could meet the applicable safety standard for dietary supplements.” In a Wall Street Journal interview earlier this year, an FDA official said the agency is looking at whether CBD can be safely eaten every day for a long period or during pregnancy. In November 2020, the FDA posted information to its website warning consumers of the harms that CBD can cause, including liver damage and male reproductive toxicity.
Chemical found in Splenda reportedly damages DNA: ‘It’s something you should not be eating’ Could artificial sweeteners damage your DNA? Concerning new research by a team at North Carolina State University connects Splenda, a popular zero calorie sweetener and sugar substitute, with the formation of a “genotoxic” chemical in the body — meaning it breaks up DNA. Researchers report the chemical forms when the body digests sucralose (Splenda). It is also found in trace amounts of Splenda to start. Study authors believe these findings raise some serious questions regarding how the sweetener may contribute to health problems. Previous work by the same research team established that several fat-soluble compounds form in the gut after ingesting sucralose. One of those compounds is sucralose-6-acetate. “Our new work establishes that sucralose-6-acetate is genotoxic,” says Susan Schiffman, corresponding author of the study and an adjunct professor in the joint department of biomedical engineering at NC State and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “We also found that trace amounts of sucralose-6-acetate can be found in off-the-shelf sucralose, even before it is consumed and metabolized.” “To put this in context, the European Food Safety Authority has a threshold of toxicological concern for all genotoxic substances of 0.15 micrograms per person per day,” Schiffman continues in a university release. “Our work suggests that the trace amounts of sucralose-6-acetate in a single, daily sucralose-sweetened drink exceed that threshold. And that’s not even accounting for the amount of sucralose-6-acetate produced as metabolites after people consume sucralose.”