Friday, October 30, 2009
The propaganda push for flu vaccines has reached a level of absurdity that’s just begging to be made fun of. Today, a flu vaccine story appearing in Reuters claimed that injecting pregnant women with flu shots would increase the birth weight of their babies by half a pound. That same story claimed flu shots are so healthy for pregnant women that they also prevent premature births.
It even quotes a team of experts who claim that injecting an expectant mother with a flu shot would reduce the hospitalization of her infants, explaining: “Flu vaccine given to women during pregnancy is 85 percent effective in preventing hospitalization in their infants under 6 months of age.¯
This conclusion was derived from a study of pregnant women in Bangladesh, by the way, and it didn’t even use randomized, placebo-controlled study protocols, meaning the conclusions of the study are highly unreliable (more vaccine quackery).
Speaking of bizarre claims, another Reuters report appearing this week claims that statin drugs prevent flu deaths!
This story reports, “Patients taking statin drugs were almost 50 percent less likely to die from flu, researchers reported on Thursday in a study providing more evidence the cholesterol-lowering drugs help the body cope with infection.¯
How was this “science¯ conducted? There wasn’t even a clinical trial at all. Researchers simply checked the medical records of people who died from seasonal flu infections and found that 3.2% of the patients who weren’t taking statin drugs died from flu complications while only 2.1% of the patients who were taking statin drugs died. Since 2.1% is roughly 50% less than 3.2%, they leaped to the conclusion that “statin drugs prevent flu deaths by 50 percent!¯
Flu shots prevent wrinkles!
When it comes to pushing drugs and vaccines, Big Pharma never misses an opportunity to misrepresent science in order to fabricate statistical support for some silly claim. Using the same statistical quackery as the drug companies, I could easily design a meta-analysis study that would find flu shots prevent skin wrinkles. And then, with a little help from Big Pharma it would be a simple matter to get some medical journal to publish the article. The mainstream media, for its part, would then declare, “Flu shots prevent skin wrinkles!¯
But why stop there? Flu shots might also eliminate bad breath, too. Proving so would be an easy matter, too: Just take 100 people with various levels of bad breath, give flu shots to those with the freshest breath, then resample their breath levels following the flu shots. Voila! Those who got the flu shots have the freshest breath!
(Although this sounds incredibly stupid, it’s exactly how some clinical trials are designed from the start: Certain groups are included in the study, or eliminated from the study, solely based on how well they will support the desired outcome¦)
Send this “research¯ to Reuters, and you might even get a write-up: “Flu shots prevent bad breath, say scientists.¯
In fact, using the right study design, flu shots can be “proven¯ to prevent almost anything, including varicose veins, shyness and gray hair. It all comes down to how the study is designed from the start. With proper statistical revisions, virtually any substance can be proven to prevent ” or promote ” almost any health condition.
Clinical trials are a joke
That’s because in modern medicine today, clinical trials are a joke. When a researcher sets out to create a study or clinical trial with a pre-ordained conclusion rather than an open mind, he can accomplish that in a variety of ways: By excluding study participants that don’t fit his conclusion, by eliminating data sets from meta-analysis studies, by controlling the timeline of the study to end it before side effects start to appear, and so on.
That’s why “proving¯ that a flu shot can improve erections, or function as a pharmaceutical face lift, or eliminate snoring is also a simple matter. Anything can be made to look statistically significant by a clever enough researcher.
Interestingly, a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine sought to review whether published papers describing pharmaceutical clinical trials even bothered to mention the negative side effects observed during the trials. They found:
¢ 11% of the published studies mentioned no negative side effects whatsoever.
¢ 56% of the published studies distorted the reporting of negative side effects to minimize their impact.
¢ 47% of the studies gave zero data on the withdrawal of subjects from the study (this is how study participants get “kicked out¯ of the clinical trials when they threaten the desired outcome of the study).
What this analysis reveals is that clinical trials are often just mathematical window dressing for medical quackery. The way such trials are conducted today is merely a kind of numerical theater that’s staged to invoke the illusion of science where none exists.
And keep in mind: The entire pharmaceutical industry is based on this! Clinical trials are the so-called “scientific evidence¯ the FDA looks at to approve drugs. Remember: The FDA conducts no clinical trials itself. It merely accepts the clinical trials conducted (and paid for) by the drug companies, and then it accepts that research to be honest and trustworthy!
This is how Vioxx got approved by the FDA. It’s how Rezulin got approved. It’s the reason Alli was approved as an over-the-counter weight loss drug even though it may be linked to liver damage. Big Pharma has used quack clinical trials to win FDA approval for some really dangerous drugs, and the practice continues today.
That’s why it’s so hilarious when pharma pushers question natural remedies, claiming “Natural remedies have no clinical trials to back them up!¯
Why bother? Clinical trials, it turns out, prove absolutely nothing. They are simply the vehicle of quackery through which chemical pushers grasp for an illusionary foothold in the realm of fuzzy statistics. Having a clinical trial that “proves¯ a drug works doesn’t mean the drug works at all; it merely means your company has a big enough budget to hire a sufficiently creative research team that can wrangle together the conclusions you wish to support.
To call any of this “science¯ is entirely laughable.
And oh, by the way, did you know that taking a flu shot improves your eyesight and gives you a tight bum, too? It’s been proven in a clinical trial¦
Sources for this story include:
LA Times :