Does Big Pharma Own America?

36
Sen. Dr. Dick Pan

Sen. Dr. Dick Pan

The political climate in America is heating up — not just because we’re entering a presidential election cycle — but because there’s a perfect storm brewing that is providing corporate access to our political system like never before.

For Californians, it has shown up in the form of Sen. Richard Pan.

Pan, D-Sacramento, is a pediatrician. He has been the driving force behind all major vaccine legislation in California for the past five years.  As a state assemblyman, he launched and helped pass AB 2109, legislation signed into law that directly caused a 6% increase in vaccinations statewide from 2010 to 2014 (89% to 94.7%).

Now, a state senator, Pan is pushing SB 277. And all along the way he promised his constituents he would preserve parental choice.  He lied.

Pan’s SB 277 — a bill written specifically to deny parent’s rights to access public schools if they opt out of vaccinations — closes the loophole Big Pharma has tried to close for years. By using policy, pharmaceutical companies are attempting to seed their profits nationwide, forcing those who delay or opt out for religious or personal beliefs to be denied a public school education.

It’s already happened in Mississippi and West Virginia. And it’s happening to the tune of 110 bills in 35 states that have been rolled out on cue during the past 90 days following a trumped-up measles apocalypse-that-was-not at Disneyland in December 2014 (134 cases, nobody died, .000003% of California’s population).

If Pan passes SB 277, Californians would all be required, according to the CDC schedule, to take 35 injections by the age of 6 in order to attend public school. And, despite the most basic notion of conflict of interest, Sen. Pan’s taken money all along the way from the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, Merck, as far back as the beginning of his political career in 2010.

And he has company.

Sen. Holly Mitchell, co-author of SB 277, accepted contributions — according to  Merck’s website — as recently as last July when she was elected in a special election.  In doing so, she may be guilty of violating the 1974 California Political Campaign reform act, which reads:

“… no gift or gifts aggregating two hundred fifty dollars ($250) or more in value provided to, received by, or promised to the public official within 12 months prior to the time when the decision is made.”

Mitchell voted on SB 277 last week, which would make her in violation since SB 277 would bring financial gain to Merck who gave her money within 12 months of the vote.

Sen. Holly Mitchell

Sen. Holly Mitchell

Mitchell has been receiving direct funding from Merck as far back as 2010, as have other members of the State Senate Health Committee (see chart below) including  Sen. Andy Vidak. Vidak also received direct funds from Merck as recently as 2014.  Vidak was set to vote on the bill Wednesday as a member of the Education Committee, but because it was tabled he will vote privately next week. Voting on this bill could also put him inside the restricted 12-month period (click here to see the campaign donations).

Sen. Andy Vidak

Education Committee Chairman Carol Liu expressed a desire for religious exemption to be an option in California, after witnessing droves of parents of vaccine injured children show up at Wednesday’s hearing (click on the above link and start at 48:30 to hear). There were also educators, health professionals and constituents that came forward to let their voices be heard in opposition to the proposed legislation.  Liu gave Pan one week to re-tool and return for a private vote next week.

But the larger question remains: How did we get here in the first place?

In 1986 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe.” The ruling allowed Big Pharma to be exempt from any responsibility of injury, and instead the Government set up a separate ‘court’ that pays Big Pharma’s bill for those who are either have a vaccine injured child or have a child who died as a result of vaccines.  To date, the government-sponsored Vaccine Injury Fund has paid out $3 billion in settlement costs to families.  Result? No Courts. You can’t sue a vaccine manufacturer if you are injured.

MERCK 2010 Campaign ContributionsThe next puzzle piece fell into place in the late ’90s. when the FCC deregulated its advertising policy allowing for pharmaceutical companies to market drugs direct-to-consumers (DTC marketing). That’s when the ‘ask your doctor’ commercials started showing up on television, which allows companies like Merck to market their drugs directly to children. Merck did exactly that with their controversial Gardasil vaccine, launching a fear campaign on VH1 that targeted teenage girls directly to get  them to go to their parents and ask to get the shots. It worked.

It is also what has enabled Big Pharma to own the media, who in the age of the internet, are fighting for every advertising dollar they can get to stay alive. According to Robert Kennedy, Jr., Big Pharma is responsible for up to 70% of the advertising revenue on network television in non-election years and, as a result, major networks refuse to air the story. Result? No media.

So our courts are bought, our media is bought. What’s left?

Routine campaign practices: In 2014, Merck Pharmaceuticals spent $1 million plus on political donations made directly to candidates running for office across the United States. Those contributions follow a pattern of typically small, $1,000, $2,500, etc., mainly because they are direct and on the record.

But if you dig a little deeper, it turns out the indirect contributions are where things start to get more interesting. The real money is shuffled from hand-to-hand via third-party groups called political action committees (PACs).

For example, Merck gives $15k to the PAC Biotech Industrial Organization; the Biotech Industrial Organization turns around and gives $10k to the Democratic Governor’s Association.  The Democratic Party is the largest contributor to Sen. Pan’s campaigns (followthemoney.org). PACs like, PhRMA (Amgen, Merck, Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Novartis, Abbvie Inc.) regularly fund politician’s campaigns (see $54,000 & $6,000 contributions by PhRMA to California politicians in the chart above), but they do it in ways you and I might never suspect. Result? No politicians.

PhRMA hired 757 lobbyists in 15 years.

Merck gives ten times that and more in national grants at medical schools and universities, thereby sprinkling the money like a bread-crumb trail to up-and-coming doctors and researchers making sure they are bought before they even get out of medical school.

It gets worse.

Merck is the exclusive maker and manufacturer of 10 vaccines currently on the CDC schedule, the most controversial being Gardasil and the MMR.  (Gardasil is facing formal criminal complaints from Spain filed in August of last year. The story has yet to make headlines amongst major media outlets in the United States at the time of this post.)

Merck’s MMR vaccine is the subject of a Department of Justice investigation, as Merck is being accused of falsifying data with the MMR in order to meet the 95% efficacy rate which is the benchmark required by the FDA to maintain its monopoly on patent. It also could indicate vaccine failure and be the reason for recent outbreaks among vaccinated individuals (the story only appears in mainstream media on Huff Post Canada).  Moreover, former virologist-turned-whistleblower Dr. Bill Thompson recently confessed that he and his co-workers intentionally omitted statistically significant data in a 2004 study published in the journal Pediatrics that demonstrated that “African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were 336% more likely to suffer an autistic response” (DeStefano F, Bhasin TK, Thompson WW, et al. “Age at first measles-mumps-rubella vaccination in children with autism and school-matched control subjects: a population-based study in metropolitan Atlanta.” Pediatrics 2004 Feb; 113(2): 259-66).

Cut to the heavily trumped-up Disneyland measles outbreak which appeared at the happiest place on earth just a few months after the #CDCWhistleblower story came forward. According to the California Department of Public Health the all clear will sound April 17.

So, is Sen. Pan acting in the best interest of Californians by pushing policy to mandate the injections of Merck’s products into our bodies at a time when the safety and efficacy of the company’s products is in serious question? Or is Pan putting the agenda of his campaign financiers first? Are our politicians gone? Is your politician on Merck’s payroll? More important, do you care if  ‘biostitutes’ are making decisions that affect your children?

No courts. No media. No politicians. So all that’s left is the parents.  It’s up to us. If you are concerned and want to say enough is enough, contact your state representatives and let your voice be heard. And feel free to leave your comments below and follow The Mom Street Journal for more updates.

#TheWorldiswakingup.

36 Comments

  1. Great article. I watched the health committee for SB 277 and Mitchell was a complet jerk!! There are many other words I’d like to use but I will be polite. It was just announced that Monning has been appointed to the Ed committee after already voting for Sb 277 in the Health Committee. They seemed fine having a vaceny last wed until over 700 people showed up to denounce the bill now all of the sudden Monning gets appointed. What are we parents supposed to do? This bill has taken over my life… Between phone calls, writing senators, faxes, time of work for rallies. I’m tired but I will press on. Btw- any idea what should happen when the senators vote on bills between the 12 month window?

  2. Adrienne Moore on

    Absolutely rock solid article. Thank you for the most succinct, articulate and comprehensive article written on this that I have read to date. Spot on.

  3. Great article! Am beginning to think our only hope is to pass a parental rights/medical choice ballot proposition.

    • that’s what colorado did, eileen. it’s always an option. we just have to remember this is the beginning: this bill is a gift because it woke us up that we have a responsibility to monitor very closely what’s going on with our local and federal government. i’m awake and i plan to stay that way! thanks for stopping by. stay tuned…

    • We find a campaign attorney. Call Paul S. Ryan. I’ve already asked him to look into it. But the more of us that contact him and ask him to do so the faster he will do it. Here’s the website:
      http://www.campaignlegalcenter.org/team/paul-s-ryan

      Paul’s the perfect white knight… his legal operation is inside a non-profit campaign corruption firm in D.C. and he’s from L.A. I spoke to him a few days ago, he asked me to email him info which I did before I published the story (I also fact checked my understanding of the law with him because I wanted to be responsible about confirming what I saw before I printed it).

      Call him and encourage others to call him and ask him to review it. The squeeky wheel gets the oil.

      And yes, I am not a member of the African American community by blood, but as I was discovering the info I wondered what it must feel like as an African American, that she didn’t even take it into consideration. There is video footage of one of our papa bear activists asking her about the bill a week before she voted on it and it was remarkable how uninformed she was. I felt she betrayed my African American brothers and sisters immensely.

      We musn’t give up, our efforts are making a huge difference in this policy.

      Thanks for your comment.

  4. Hi, I generally agree with your points although William Thompson (CDC employee) is the whistleblower for the MMR. (He alleges the CDC covered up a huge increase in autism for black boys if the MMR was given before age 3.) There are 2 ex-Merck scientists who are the whistleblowers for the mumps portion. (They allege Merck faked efficacy data.)

      • Hi, I noticed that too. Looks like you have them switched. Thompson is the whistleblower for the MMR safety and link to African-American boys against the CDC covering up data. The MMR vaccine is also under investigation by the Dept. of Justice as two whistleblower employees came forward to accuse Merck of falsifying mumps efficacy data. Although this and many other lawsuits point to a lack of ethics it was likely to keep their monopoly. I think this is another point that can be made to your argument above. Why are there so few choices when it comes to vaccines?

  5. Kathryn Cleveland on

    What an excellent article! Corruption of politicians has always been a problem but this is so in-your-face it amazes me.

  6. Pingback: What went on at the hearing for SB277 in California–forced vaccination | Dolphin

  7. Seeing Holly Mitchell’s face makes cringe – a real visceral reaction after seeing her at the Health Committee Hearing in April 2015. I’ve never met a more arrogant and condescending politician in person and Holly Mitchell. In addition she was not very conversant with the bill. Just that one part that where she idiotically tried to force Dr. Sears into saying something, and that was outright mean, and rude. Can’t stand her.

  8. Thank you for this enlightening article, it is very interesting to see the money trail from a legitimate source. I was at both the Senate Health and Education Committee meetings, along with the Health Committee Hearing of SB792 (mandatory vaccinations of childcare workers), I was astounded at the level of disregard offered for the public. There were hundreds of parents with their vaccine injured children lined up for hours to oppose SB722, we were received with obvious aggravation and downright aggression from Mitchell (evidenced particularly well via the video I will attach of the Health Committee meeting). I was abhorred by the general dismissal of evidence presented by scientists, activists and organizations who are warning about vaccinations that are not necessarily against vaccinations as such, but against serious vaccine safety issues, flawed ethics, incestuous relationships between the pharma industry and regulators, science by proclamation, and the systematic oppression of scientists and medical doctors who are pointing out these flaws. Even more detestable was the obvious “middle finger” given to the droves of parents who presented with their empirical and anecdotal evidence (their damaged children). There are obvious shenanigans at play here. The Education committee would have rejected this bill had it been allowed for vote on Weds, but the chair offered Senator Pan a week for amending, next week it will be voted on in a vote-only session. To further highlight the unscrupulous behavior and evidence that the deck is being stacked is the fact that between the end of that hearing and 8 am thursday morning committee members had changed. We awoke in California thursday morning to the stepping down of Senator Huff, who was voting against the bill. In his place is a senator who’s position we are unaware of. Also a vacant seat was filled over that night and Senator Monning, who voted in favor of the Bill in the Health Committee (who ironically is also on your list as receiving monies from Merck) was the appointee. These senators who were not privy to all the testimony provided at the Education committee hearing will now be allowed to vote this wednesday in a vote only session. The conspiracy is so obvious and such a slap in the face to voters.
    I do offer one edit for your consideration: Mitchell is not the coauthor of this bill, Allen is.

  9. jaleksicjena74 on

    Thank you for this enlightening article, it is very interesting to see the money trail from a legitimate source. I was at both the Senate Health and Education Committee meetings, along with the Health Committee Hearing of SB792 (mandatory vaccinations of childcare workers), I was astounded at the level of disregard offered for the public. There were hundreds of parents with their vaccine injured children lined up for hours to oppose SB722, we were received with obvious aggravation and downright aggression from Mitchell (evidenced particularly well via the video I will attach of the Health Committee meeting). I was abhorred by the general dismissal of evidence presented by scientists, activists and organizations who are warning about vaccinations that are not necessarily against vaccinations as such, but against serious vaccine safety issues, flawed ethics, incestuous relationships between the pharma industry and regulators, science by proclamation, and the systematic oppression of scientists and medical doctors who are pointing out these flaws. Even more detestable was the obvious “middle finger” given to the droves of parents who presented with their empirical and anecdotal evidence (their damaged children). There are obvious shenanigans at play here. The Education committee would have rejected this bill had it been allowed for vote on Weds, but the chair offered Senator Pan a week for amending, next week it will be voted on in a vote-only session. To further highlight the unscrupulous behavior and evidence that the deck is being stacked is the fact that between the end of that hearing and 8 am thursday morning committee members had changed. We awoke in California thursday morning to the stepping down of Senator Huff, who was voting against the bill. In his place is a senator who’s position we are unaware of. Also a vacant seat was filled over that night and Senator Monning, who voted in favor of the Bill in the Health Committee (who ironically is also on your list as receiving monies from Merck) was the appointee. These senators who were not privy to all the testimony provided at the Education committee hearing will now be allowed to vote this wednesday in a vote only session. The conspiracy is so obvious and such a slap in the face to voters.
    I do offer one edit for your consideration: Mitchell is not the coauthor of this bill, Allen is.
    http://calchannel.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=7&clip_id=2716

    • jaleksicjena74 on

      I stand corrected on my suggestion for editing. I have just fact checked myself, Mitchell is fact a coauthor. I am even more horrified now.

  10. Great piece. Sen Holly Mitchell sounds like a piece of work, not caring that autism was known to be 3.4 times more likely for African American boys if they received thei MMR before 36 months of age. They all are. Keep their feet to the fire! #SB277followthemoneytrail

  11. susannah Hosbein on

    Thank you! Just emailed Paul Ryan! May peoples eyes continue to open and we never let down our guard, or expect faustism!

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  14. Rosemary Hargraves on

    Well, given that public school is often not much more than free child care with a side of bullying & a side of image consciousness, instead of unsafe vaccines, home school or set up educational co-operatives where each parent teaches for half a day per week/fortnight/month, according to the numbers.

  15. rejuvenatetraining on

    I appreciate you digging to get to the source of how our politicians have been representing pharmaceutical companies instead of their people.

    SB 277 would keep kids out of not just public school, but also private school and homeschool programs with a classroom component. Please correct this in the article.

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