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reader comments: Russell Blaylock, M.D.

May 19, 2015.
From your article: "This exemplary physician
[sarcasm intended by calling Blaylock 'exemplary'] has also released a document about what people should do if they are vaccinated by force, a ridiculous notion."

Not ridiculous anymore: California Senate Bill 277. [Eliminates the current provision in the law that lets parents, for religious or personal reasons, opt out of having their children vaccinated before attending public school.]

reply: SB 277 does not force anyone to do anything. It is coercive, I agree, but so are all laws that require citizens to do or not do certain things. We are not forced to obey the speed laws or to pay licensing fees to hunt or drive, but we are coerced. We either obey and pay or we are fined. If we refuse to pay the fine, we may be jailed. SB 277 will allow exemptions for health reasons. Some children are too sickly to be given vaccinations. SB 277 will not allow exemptions for those who claim their child might be especially sensitive and might be harmed by a vaccine. No child will be dragged to a clinic and vaccinated, but no child will be allowed to enroll in a public school if he or she is not vaccinated. [update: 5/24/2015: The bill now reads: "This bill would eliminate the exemption from existing specified immunization requirements based upon personal beliefs, but would allow exemption from future immunization requirements deemed appropriate by the State Department of Public Health for either medical reasons or personal beliefs. The bill would exempt pupils in a home-based private school and students enrolled in an independent study program pursuant to specified law from the prohibition described above." There were other compromises: "But perhaps the most significant compromise was the authors' pledge to "grandfather in" many public and private school students whose parents have claimed personal belief exemptions. That would mean that more than 13,000 children who have had no vaccinations by first grade won't have to get their shots until they enter seventh grade. And nearly 10,000 seventh-graders who today aren't fully vaccinated may be able to avoid future shots because the state does not always require them after that grade."*]

The opponents of SB277 have hung their hat on the arguments that the bill would force children to be vaccinated and that their freedom to choose would be violated. As noted already, the law would not force anyone to do anything, but it would provide a penalty for those who do not comply with the law, as is the case with every other law on the books. The freedom of choice argument is equally hollow and bogus. Nobody has an absolute right to choose what to do or not do with regard to their children. Your child is not your property. You cannot abuse or harm your child, claiming it is your right as a parent and the state has no business in taking away your right to choose how to deal with your child in all matters. The state has a duty to protect children from abusive parents. Many states have made the mistake of allowing religious exemptions for parents who refuse proper medical care for their children, a policy that has led to the unnecessary deaths of many children. Your right to choose whether to vaccinate your child ends when exercising it threatens the general welfare. You do not have the right to jeopardize the community by spreading an easily preventable communicable disease. The state has the duty, as well as the right, to quarantine you and your children should you be a threat to the health of the community. You do not have the right to choose to harm us or to act recklessly in ways that threaten the safety of the community.

Forget about the argument over vaccine efficacy. Do you believe people should be forced to inject any substance into their body against their will?

reply: Yes, I do, under extreme and rare circumstances. For example, if injecting you will prevent you from harming others in the community. I think it would be justified to force soldiers to be inoculated against certain diseases in particular circumstances where not inoculating them would jeopardize the entire unit in its efforts to protect society or accomplish a legitimate military mission. I do not support the death penalty, but if I did I would not object to forcing prisoners to be injected with drugs intended to kill them as a punishment. This issue is a red herring, however. No child is going to be forced to be injected with anything should SB 277 become law, as I hope it does.

Should government have a say over the private health matters of an individual and how they treat their body?

reply: In some cases, yes. In some cases, no. In the cases where private health decisions threaten to undermine the legitimate public health protections the state is obligated to enforce, then, yes, the government not only has a say but has a duty to act.

If you agree vaccines should be mandatory then why wouldn't we use the same arguments to stop the murder of unborn children in the womb? If vaccines are truly about children, what is abortion about?

reply: Wow. We're going all over the board with this one. You know I'm not going to let pass the suggestion that abortion is always the murder of unborn children. Murder is always unjustified. Killing an embryo or fetus is not always unjustified. This topic is also a red herring. Vaccines and abortion may both have something to do with children, but the similarity ends there. Vaccines are about everybody. Required vaccines are about people who are going to be interacting with many other people on a regular basis: children going to school, soldiers going to war, medical professionals working in clinics and hospitals, etc.

Should government be allowed to prosecute people for having a dissenting opinion?

- Chris R.

reply: I asked Chris R. for clarification of his final question and he replied by sending me to a link to an opinion page in USA Today online where somebody (I can't tell whether this person is a regular writer for USA today or a reader on a rant) writes: "Parents who do not vaccinate their children should go to jail." Chis likened this opinion to a willingness "to prosecute people for their opinions about vaccines by declaring dissenting views to be misinformation and against the public health."

I think Chris conflates two distinct issues here. Anyway, I think any government that prosecutes people for expressing opinions contrary to what government officials say is a government I hope I never have to live under. I don't support jailing parents who don't vaccinate their children. I do support not allowing healthy unvaccinated children to take classes with other children in a public school. I also think the actions of the California Chiropractic Association in opposition to SB 277 have been deplorable. The CCA endorsed a YouTube video and twitter chat that basically encouraged opponents of the bill to stalk and harass lobbyists and authors of the bill. (See When lobbying becomes vigilantism by Shawn Hubler.) Deplorable and irresponsible speech by uninformed or misinformed citizens is a price we have to pay for living in a liberal democracy where free speech trumps personal sensitivity to insults and slurs, but your freedom to gesticulate ends where my nose begins.


04 Feb 2015
I read with interest your review of Dr. Blaylock. Primarily because I am interested in this whole vaccination situation. After doing my own research on the problems of vaccinations, I feel you may have your own opinion about the efficacy of the medications that are being foisted upon our population, especially the children. Dr. Blaylock has actually seen the results of these situations in a health environment. You haven't. You have taken what the government has said as the "gospel" for health care.

reply: Nonsense. My beliefs and arguments are not based on appeals to government authorities. And no matter what Blaylock's experience has been, he is subject to the same cognitive biases and logical errors as the rest of us mere mortals. He's no more infallible than you are. His opinions on the safety and efficacy of vaccines are subject to error, just like yours and mine.

I decided I would look into things that are in the many of the vaccinations. For example: Aluminum gels or salts of aluminum to help improve vaccine response, Antibiotics to prevent bacterial growth during production and storage, Egg Protein found in flu and yellow fever vaccines which may trigger allergic reactions, Formaldehyde, Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) and 2-phenoxy-ethanol which are stabilizers, Thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative to prevent contamination.

reply: Good for you. It is always important to do your homework or research.

So then I thought I will just look up the history of aluminum additives. And mercy! Why would anyone do such a thing to we human beings. In hearings with the Federal Trade Commission, toxicologists then, were stating in Federal hearings that aluminum salts which are exactly what is being used in vaccines were a poison no matter how they’re injected whether it’s in use intravenously or orally, or subcutaneously.

But the things that we know about the basics of aluminum going back probably nearly two centuries now, is it’s a poison. In the 1800’s in Europe, aluminum was used in some products, cooking ware, and baking products and so forth and it was banned across Europe because it was known to be a poison.

If you were to pick up a Manufacturing Safety Data Sheet or MSDS where manufacturers that work with a product that contains aluminum have to provide information to their workers around this in case there is a toxicity in the workplace or exposure in the workplace, it would make you sit up and take note. And this is based on a lot of science so you can kind of summarize a lot science very quickly and read the MSDS without really having to get into the peer-reviewed literature and get a good idea of the toxicity or the profile is.

A typical MSDS on aluminum has the following info. It causes bone disease known as osteomalacia which is basically a decalcification, a poor development of bone. It can cause muscle weakness or fatigue, it causes anemia, hallucinations, visual and auditory hallucinations, speech and language impairment. It includes dysarthria, stuttering, stammering, aphasia, and mutism. It causes seizures, motor disturbances, tremors, make a lot of jerks, convulsions, motor aphasia. It causes dementia, depression, clouded sensorium. In severe cases, coma and death. Its pretty serious stuff and this describes comorbidities that is being seen in all of our populations from kids to adults. So this is a pretty kind of a shocking longer list of potential toxicity.

reply: I detect a problem with your research. You demonstrate by your comments that you have ignored the first principle of toxicology: the dose makes the poison. You also demonstrate that you have ignored the different effects of different compounds of a substance. Chlorine, for example, is a poison, but sodium chloride in reasonable doses isn't going to harm you. Since personal experience seems to count highly with you, I'll mention that I ingest poison on a regular basis to combat cancer. I'm quite pleased with the results so far, though I realize that I will not be able to continue ingesting cytotoxins indefinitely.

And you still think that it is correct that vaccinations are safe?

reply: Yes, I do. In my entry on the flu vaccine, I explain why your concern about aluminum salts in vaccines is fearmongering and not a good reason for avoiding vaccines:

There are many anti-vaccination websites that try to scare people into not getting vaccinated. Some of these sites are based on ignorance or intentional deceit. For example, they will point out correctly that the flu vaccine contains formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. Formaldehyde is used in manufacturing vaccines to kill viruses and bacteria that can cause diseases. The formaldehyde is diluted during the vaccine manufacturing process and only small residual quantities of formaldehyde remain in vaccines. What the vaccine deniers don't tell you is that unusually high or prolonged exposure to formaldehyde may cause cancer. They don't tell you that small amounts of formaldehyde are found in many foods, like apples and pears, which I'm sure many anti-vaxxers feed to their infants in pureed form. They don't tell you that the latest research has shown that the highest risk is from the air when formaldehyde is inhaled from breathing. Nor do they tell you that cancers occur more frequently in people who routinely use formaldehyde in their jobs. There is no evidence linking cancer to infrequent exposure to tiny amounts of formaldehyde via injection as occurs with vaccines. Furthermore:

The body continuously processes formaldehyde, both from what it makes on its own and from what it has been exposed to in the environment. The amount of formaldehyde in a person’s body depends on their weight; babies have lower amounts than adults. Studies have shown that for a newborn of average weight of 6 -8 pounds, the amount of formaldehyde in their body is 50-70 times higher than the upper amount that they could receive from a single dose of a vaccine or from vaccines administered over time.*

The human body manufactures formaldehyde without causing cancer. Formaldehyde is produced naturally in the human body to produce energy and build the basic materials needed for important life processes. "This includes making amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins that the body needs."

Formaldehyde is a normal, essential human metabolite with a biological half-life of about 1.5 minutes. It is endogenously produced and is involved with methylation reactions for and biosynthesis of some proteins and nucleic acids. It is also rapidly metabolised to formate and excreted in urine or to carbon dioxide and exhaled.*

Another scare tactic by anti-vaccinationists is to warn people that flu vaccines contain aluminum salts (which some anti-vaxxers call "detergent") as an adjuvant, a substance that helps stimulate the body’s response to the antigens. What the anti-vaxxers don't tell you is that "aluminum adjuvant containing vaccines have a demonstrated safety profile of over six decades of use and have only uncommonly been associated with severe local reactions."* (See Polyionic vaccine adjuvants: another look at aluminum salts and polyelectrolytes. Clinical and Experimental Vaccine Research. 2015 Jan;4(1):23-45.)

Another scare tactic used by anti-vaccinationists is to warn people that flu vaccines contain antibiotics. What they don't tell you is that the antibiotics are used during manufacturing to prevent bacterial contamination. Nor do they tell you that the "antibiotics most likely to cause severe allergic reactions (e.g., penicillins, cephalosporins and sulfa drugs) are not used in vaccine production, and therefore are not contained in vaccines."*

Another scare tactic is to warn people that flu vaccines contain sugar and gelatin. What they don't tell you is that these are used "to keep the vaccine potent during transportation and storage." Nor do they tell you that these are not unique to vaccines and are encountered in everyday life in the diet and are components that are in the body naturally.

About the same time as the Andrew Wakefield fiasco, anti-vaxxers began using as their trump card the fear of neurological disorders from mercury in vaccines. Thimerosal, which is metabolized in humans to ethylmercury, has been used since the 1930s as a preservative to prevent contamination by microbes in vaccines. Today,

the only childhood vaccines used routinely in the United States that contain thimerosal are flu vaccines in multi-dose vials. These vials have very tiny amounts of thimerosal as a preservative. This is necessary because each time an individual dose is drawn from a multi-dose vial with a new needle and syringe, there is the potential to contaminate the vial with harmful microbes (toxins).

There is no evidence that the small amounts of thimerosal in flu vaccines causes any harm, except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site. Although no evidence suggests that there are safety concerns with thimerosal, vaccine manufacturers have stopped using it as a precautionary measure. Flu vaccines that do not contain thimerosal are available (in single dose vials). 

And this is only one ingredient.

reply: Yes, and I fear you will also reason incorrectly about all the other ingredients you listed above.

Mr. Carroll, I feel that you owe Dr. Blaylock an apology for being so dogmatic on what you think about him. You are entitled to your opinion, but you also need to get your own facts straight.

Fran Fender

reply: You'll be waiting a long time for me to apologize to a pseudoscientific quack who is wrong about almost everything he says regarding vaccines, nutrition, and conspiracy theories.


note: Elize's comments are printed without editing or correction
30 Jan 2014
You poor soul

All I can say is that I pity you. None of the so-called scientific proof was ever made by independent scientists – all were either working for big pharma or for institutions that were sponsored by them. Maybe they are fooling you and me – as professed by their critics. How many of those that profess that drugs and immunization is safe, is directly or indirectly on the payroll of the big pharmaceutical companies? I know most of those in the FDA are. There are simply too many independent scientists that speak against the very things that Blaylock is speaking about – are they all wrong? Conspiracy? By whom – the critics … or ‘proven science’?

Because they majority ‘think’ or say they are right, does not mean they are! Case in point: Dr Ignaz Semmelweiss, http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/ignaz_semmelweis.htm and Drs Barry Marshall and Robin Warren, http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/mar1bio-1 In both cases they indicated that the thinking of the ‘establishment’ were wrong and were ostracised [sic] for it – but proven RIGHT later. (Marshall & Warren received the Nobel Price). Read up if you don’t know about them, and stop your tunnel vision on issues. There usually are more than one side to an issue.

Just want you to think for yourself … if you can!


reply: Rejecting consensus science in favor of a few mavericks isn't exactly thinking for yourself. I can't blame your hero Blaylock or the other anti-vaccine supplement pushers for the many flu deaths this year, however. Most people don't buy into the anti-vaccinationist fearmongering. If they don't get a flu shot, it's more likely because they're lazy or feel invulnerable than that they're afraid Big Pharma is trying to poison or kill them.

I'm sure you have a good explanation for what happened to 46-year-old advertising executive Nancy Pinella. The newspaper reports that she died from causes initiated by infection with the H1N1 virus, but you probably know that either she didn't die (it's all a hoax by the newspaper to sell papers) or that she died but the hospital made up the H1N1 stuff because Big Pharma owns the hospital and perpetrated the hoax that H1N1 is real. The hospital fed the news media a lie to scare people into getting flu shots so they could make more money and get rid of the stockpile they have in the basement of useless vaccines. That may be called thinking for yourself in your neighborhood, but around here we take the news seriously.

These were Nancy Pinnella’s last days: On Jan. 21, she felt sick, leaving work early. On Jan. 22, she went to a doctor, hardly able to speak or breathe. By 6 p.m. that day, she was in intensive care at Sutter General Hospital in Sacramento. Her kidneys were failing, her lung capacity severely reduced. Doctors sedated her, induced paralysis and put her on a ventilator and dialysis. Then, as quick as that night, doctors told her family she was in very, very bad shape.

The H1N1 influenza was winning the battle.

On Friday, a bright spot: her kidneys and vital signs got better. Then, between midnight and 6 a.m. Saturday, Pinnella suffered three severe strokes in three different parts of her brain. On Sunday, the family said goodbye and took the 46-year-old advertising executive at KXTV News10 off life support. (Sac Bee)

Her brother said that Nancy was active and had no signs of being unhealthy. She didn't get a flu shot (and neither did her siblings until after her death) because she didn't think she needed one. They thought only people over 65 and infants need the flu shot. They're wrong. Nancy Pinella was the 18th death from flu in the Sacramento area this flu season. Nobody has died from the flu shot.

The fact that the medical community has been wrong about some things in the past isn't a very good reason for rejecting vaccinations. You may have noticed that once the medical community realized that Semmelweis and Marshall/Warren were right, medical practices changed accordingly. What do you do when you find out you were wrong about something?


16 Oct 2012
I was interested in reading your review of Dr Blaylock. Whilst also a skeptic and hence keen to understand how rigorous Blaylock's "prescriptions" are, I read the section on Aspartame sugar substitute. I went to the source link within your article and found that the Burdock Group's 2007 study was funded by Ajinomoto and Monsanto (inventor/producer and seller respectively) but not disclosed. Ironically, this is the very kind of relationship that Blaylock rails against. So although your article does point out Blaylock's shortcomings, he may have useful information buried in his assertions. Pray tell is there someone who can sift this out?


reply: I'm sure Blaylock says many sensible things along with the nonsense he spouts. The issue of transparency that you bring up is an important one. I would be more concerned, however, if Ajinomoto or Montsanto not only funded the study of their product, but had their own labs do the research. While it is true that funding a study through an independent lab like the Burdock Group might seem seedy, who else is going to supply the money to do the studies? The Burdock Group has a strong interest in doing unbiased research. If they were to function as little more than a gun-for-hire, their reputation would preceed them and few would pay attention to their work.

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