The 1950’s race to be the first with a polio vaccine was led by Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin. Both designed polio vaccines intended to make people immune by exposing them to millions of polio virus. Both would be administered in multiple doses to several hundred million children.
Making so much vaccine required a vast amount of polio virus. There was a fierce debate over what kind of cell to grow this virus in. Some advocated breeding it in fertilized chicken eggs, others in human placental cells grown in laboratory vessels, and others in dishes containing the cells of wild-caught monkeys.
Salk and Sabin decided to use monkeys, since they could provide large organs on which the virus would grow readily, and would be a few pence cheaper than the alternatives. Salk and Sabin must have known that monkey viruses were a serious danger. Sabin had lost a colleague to a monkey virus (Simian Virus B) during vaccinerelated research in 1932. And Dr Herald R Cox, the Principal Bacteriologist of the United States Public Health Service, had forbidden his scientists from using monkeys to make a polio vaccine because of the danger monkey virus represented.
Nevertheless, Salk and Sabin pressed on with monkeys.
They both selected the rhesus monkey found in the temples of northern India. They used their kidneys, since these are large and easy to remove and their testicles, since these are even easier to extract. They calculated they could grow enough viruses on a single kidney to make around 6,000 doses of the vaccine – enough for 2,000 children at 3 doses each.
In 1955 this meant they required the kidneys of some 47,710 monkeys for the US – and some 8,000 for the UK vaccine. The monkeys were flown via London to the US. On average, half of the monkeys died on route or were rejected as too infected or ill to use on arrival. But some two million wild-caught monkeys arrived in good enough shape to be killed in the West for polio vaccine production and testing over the next decades.
In 1955, the UK adopted the Salk vaccine against the recommendation of its local manufacturer, Wellcome, which wanted instead to use a vaccine it thought safer as it was not grown in monkeys but in fertilized chicken eggs. Sweden and Canada would also refuse to use monkey cells – instead they grew their vaccines’ polio virus on human cells multiplied in laboratories.
Shocking disovery In 1954, the scientist in charge of the US government’s safety testing laboratory, Bernice Eddy, made a shocking discovery. Her monkeys, after being dosed with the monkey kidney preparation, had collapsed and died. This should have been the end for the Salk vaccine – but astonishingly it wasn’t. Instead, Eddy was silenced by her employer, the federal National Institutes of Health.
Eddy continued to worry. In 1959 she took matters into her own hands. She went back unauthorised to put the Salk polio vaccine through more tests. She was horrified to find that, when she injected its growth medium into 23 hamsters, 20 of them grew large cancer tumours. She investigated further and found the Salk preparation had infected the hamsters with a monkey virus. This would be named Simian Virus 40 (SV40) as it was the 40th monkey virus discovered.
Again her boss reacted with fury, and ordered her to remain silent. This time she didn’t. In 1960, at a meeting of the New York Cancer Society, she told them what happened when she had tested the Salk vaccine. She was immediately demoted by the National Institutes of Health. They took her laboratory from her and delayed publication of her research.
Meanwhile the Salk vaccine was proving ineffective. Children vaccinated with it were still coming down in hundreds with polio. The Journal of the American Medical Association would carry an article admitting, ‘It is now generally recognised that much of the Salk vaccine used in the US has been worthless.’ By 1959, preparations had begun to replace it with its main rival, the Sabin oral vaccine.
Behind the scenes, news of Eddy’s unauthorised research had reached Merck, Sharpe and Dohme, who were then manufacturing both the Salk and Sabin vaccine. They put two scientists, Ben Sweet and Maurice Hilleman, on to checking to see if her research on the Salk vaccine also applied to the Sabin. They found it did.
In a 1960 paper they reported the ‘Sabin live polio virus vaccine was contaminated’ and ‘SV40 has oncogenic [cancer-causing] properties in hamsters.’ They added that this ‘raises the important question of the existence of other such viruses.’
Asked many years later why they had not warned the public, Hilleman replied; ‘Because you could start a panic. They had already had production problems with [vaccinated] people getting polio. If you added to that the fact that they found live [monkey] virus in the vaccine, there would have been hysteria.’
But their reports led the giant Merc k Corporation to decide that both the Salk and the Sabin vaccines were much too dangerous for it to continue to make them. And despite being begged by the US Surgeon General to continue, they declined, writing in December 1960 , ‘having again reviewed our decision in the light of your letter… Our scientific staff have emphasized to us that there are a number of serious scientific and technical problems that must be solved before we could engage in large-scale production of live poliovirus vaccine.
Most important among these is the problem of extraneous contaminating simian viruses that may be extremely difficult to eliminate and which may be difficult if not impossible to detect at the present stage of the technology.’
Not made public – again
But again none of this disquiet was made public. This letter and decision would only be disclosed some thirty years later through a legal action brought by the parents of an allegedly vaccine-damaged child. The implication of what Merck said to the Surgeon General was that both the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines had been released and given to children by the million despite their manufacturers being unable to remove from them their monkey virus contamination.
Whilst Merck honourably withdrew from doing this, other companies would irresponsibly continue. The UK and US Health Departments, and the World Health Organisation, likewise irresponsibly continued to endorse the safety of these vaccines, which were known to be contaminated.
Privately, among the scientists involved, a joke circulated. The Sabin vaccine had just been tested on some 80 million Soviet citizens. The joke was that they had made sure the Russians would not be able to compete at the coming Olympics – as they would be riddled with cancers!
The Merck letter did not lead to the health authorities withdrawing the polio vaccines. They continued to distribute them until, in 1961, a doctor in Scotland, who presumably had read Sweet and Hilleman’s report, decided to test the children to whom he had just administered the Salk vaccine.
He was shocked to find that half the children were contaminated with SV40.
He immediately reported this to the Lancet medical journal. This exposure led to instant but secret action. The authorities in the US and UK stopped distributing the Salk vaccine and replaced it with the Sabin vaccine. But none of the contaminated vaccine distributed was to be withdrawn. The authorities didn’t want to alarm the public. It would take two years before all the contaminated stocks of Salk vaccine were exhausted.
In self-defence the US health authorities have since repeatedly claimed that the measures they took in March 1961 ensured that the polio vaccine was totally clear of SV40 from then on. But this would be exposed as a lie when the private correspondence between government and vaccine manufacturers became public in the course of litigation by parents.
In 1961, the government’s man in charge of vaccine safety, a Dr Murray, secretly authorised Lederle Inc (the major Sabin polio vaccine maufacturer in the US) to use SV40 contaminated vaccine. On top of this, the same internal memo revealed that the company was not only using the SV40-free African Green Monkeys to make the vaccine but was ‘ harvesting kidneys’ from a monkey species from the Philippines, the carcopithecus, that did carry SV40.
And another memo forced out into the open revealed that Lederle had totally ignored the FDA regulation that bound manufacturers to ensure ‘each seed virus used in the manufacture shall be demonstrated to be free of extraneous microbial agents’. Lederle had not even bothered to check to see if they were. This was supported in a US government memo, which recorded; ‘It should be made clear that Lederle did not test the original Sabin seeds for extraneous agents or neurovirulence’.
In 1976, with the withdrawal of Pfizer, Lederle became the only manufacturer of the Sabin vaccine in the US, and that same year, researchers at the US Bureau of Biologics found its polio vaccine contained between 1,000 and 100,000 simian viruses per millilitre of vaccine.
In 1978, John Martin, Director of the Viral Oncology Laboratory at the US government ’s Bureau of Biologics inspected the samples of polio vaccine held at his lab.
He reported: “There was a lot of extraneous DNA in the vaccine.” But he was told to do nothing about it, since a protest might cause Lederle to stop production and “vaccine manufacturing was an essential component of industry, this country’s protection against potential biological warfare.”
John Martin would later discover in damaged human brain cells another monkey virus, SCMV. He found this was from the African Green Monkey, the same species that is currently used to make the polio vaccine. Thus monkey viruses and DNA fragments continued to be administered to hundreds of million of children under the guise of the polio vaccine.
Consequences The consequences are now coming out in scores of scientific papers. The first human cancers containing SV40 were discovered around 1970.
One of these was that of Mark Moreno. He had a large brain tumour removed in 1970, and has since had several operations. His tumour was riddled with SV40. (He is currently sueing for compensation.) Many similar cases have since been found.
Yet in 1988 the UK Health Minister would assure Parliament that, although the polio vaccine was once contaminated with SV40, American research had showed SV40 to be harmless.
Is the Current Vaccine Safe?
Michael Steward, Professor of Immunology at the London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, headed a team working on new vaccines, so I asked him about children who fell severely ill shortly after taking vaccines based on living viruses.
One of my questions was: ‘Could their parents possibly be right in suspecting the vaccine?’ His reply was: ‘What else would you expect?’
I expressed surprise. He continued, ‘We all know the current living viral vaccines are dangerous – that is why I am heading a team to try to develop safer vaccines.’
Quite simply we still do not have the technology available to completely purify these vaccines; at least at a price the manufacturers are willing to pay. WHO instead has set a ‘recommended’ level for maximum vaccine contamination. It recommended in the mid 1990s that ‘the amount of cellular DNA [contaminating] biological products should be limited to 100 picagrams [100,000 billionths of a gram] per dose’. This limit, however, seemingly proved ‘unrealistically low’. So the recommended maximum was increased ten thousand fold to 10 nanograms (ten billionths of a gram).
However, a supervising scientist admitted in 1999 that “for live viral vaccines, … it may not be possible to limit the total amount of DNA to ten nanograms.”
In case this level of contamination seems inconsequential, I believe ten nanograms is greater than the approximate weight of 250 million polioviruses or 200 million SV40. The seriousness of this level of contamination is still undetermined, but it has been noted that the presence of a single SV40 virus, or a piece of free DNA, in a cell, may suffice for that cell to be damaged, and possibly made cancerous.
And we still do not know what effect this vaccine cocktail of monkey viruses, DNA debris, nanobacteria and toxins, and the possible resultant recombinations and mutations of viruses, has had on the some four billion children to which the contaminated polio vaccine has been given in repeated doses through their most vulnerable years.
The evidence seems to lead to the inescapable conclusion that the polio vaccine has been an unmitigated disaster.
It was made to stop epidemics of infantile paralysis but they are still happening, and mistakenly tried to do so by targeting a virus that, given the evidence, is most likely never to have been the principal cause of this disease. Instead it has spread monkey viruses and other contaminants around the world, perhaps causing far more serious illness than the poliovirus ever did.
At the root of this disaster as always, lies money
The drug companies made the choice for the UK and much of the rest of the world. They chose to continue to use monkey kidneys instead of safer cells since it was for them a few pennies cheaper a dose, despite knowing that these kidneys carried monkey viruses into the vaccine, despite knowing from early on that at least one of these was linked to cancers.
They have thus knowingly and dangerously contaminated our children – and, tragically, are still doing so. ?
1 To follow up the footnotes in this report please visit The Ecologist website: www.theecologist.org
2 The author’s website at www.vaccines.plus.com contains many of the documents to which she refers in this special report. These resources can also be obtained on a CD via this website.
3 Other valuable resources:
• Jim West’s Images of Poliomyelitis Website – a new definition of polio www.geocities.com/harpub/newdef.htm
• A very useful collection of research on vaccines www.whale.to
• Testimony to Congress on SV40 in 2003 www.909shot.com/Loe_Fisher/blfsv40testimony
• Research on polio vaccine, SIV and HIV venus.soci.niu.edu/~sociclass/bmartin/dissent/documents/AIDS
• A parents’ website – note the great 2003 letter to the US congress www.ouralexander.org/
• The No Spray Coalition – trying to stop organophosphate spraying against West Nile Virus – www.nospray.org
• Virusmyth.com – a website that very extensively documents research by top academics on how chemical pollutants could also have led to AIDS.