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Dr. Jonathan D. Moreno's Conflicts of Interest

 
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Gary M - Author
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 2:59 pm    Post subject: Dr. Jonathan D. Moreno's Conflicts of Interest Reply with quote

To All: In my initial email exchanges with the Washington Post reviewer of Vaccine A, Dr. Jonathan D. Moreno, I assured him that I thought he acted in "good faith." Upon a more careful reading of his review, I have to rescind that judgement. His review is riddled with blatant factual errors. In virtually every paragraph he writes about the book's contents, he makes multiple factual errors.

I also stand by my original assertion that his "close affiliations" with IOM and NIH consistute a conflict of interest when writing about this subject. According to Moreno's Internet bio, he is a member of the "Board on Health Sciences Policy of the Institute of Medicine (National Academy of Sciences)." In the past, he has also been a "Special Expert in the Department of Clinical Bioethics at the Warren Magnuson Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda , Maryland." Since 1999, IOM has been promoting the adoption of the new anthrax vaccine that has, in its various incarnations, contained squalene. NIH helped produce the first batches of the new vaccine between 1994-96; then formed a special working group with DOD and FDA in 1998 to "fast track" its licensure. Based on these connections, in addition to his blatant misrepresentations of the contents of Vaccine A, I do not believe Moreno is a disinterested party in this issue.

In refuting the allegations that squalene-tainted anthrax vaccine has gotten military personnel sick, DOD has repeatedly cited reports from the IOM and the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board (AFEB), as well as comments made by FDA officials, as "indepedent" evaluations. IOM and AFEB have been open proponents of new vaccine. NIH has actually helped make the vaccine - physically make it - while forming the "NIH Working Group" with FDA and DOD to ensure the second generation anthrax vaccine gets through the FDA licensing gauntlet faster than other products. None of these agencies, therefore, are "indepedent."

Moreno has sterling professional credentials, but no one is infallible. In this particular review, his errors are beyond careless; they are so conspicuously bad that they raise what I consider to be entirely justified questions about his impartiality. This morning I wrote an email to Dr. Moreno about why I've had a change of heart. For those of you who care to know more about my specific objections to his review, I will cut and paste my latest email to him into a "reply" on this message string.
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Gary M - Author
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 3:16 pm    Post subject: Latest Email to Dr. Moreno, RE: WashPost Review Reply with quote

Dr. Moreno:

I have thought twice about my earlier responses to your review, and now believe I was too generous.

You were grossly inaccurate. Consider the following the paragraph from your review. That paragraph alone has three factual errors in it:

"He [Matsumoto] claims that the pre-1990 vaccine was so purified that the Pentagon under Defense Secretary Dick Cheney feared it would be ineffective against Saddam Hussein's biological weapons. So Cheney ordered the Pentagon's health affairs division to identify a second vaccine source. At some point, Matsumoto alleges, someone seems to have decided to add an oil called squalene to the vaccine to stimulate the immune system and make the vaccine more effective. Squalene is found in the bodies of many animals, including humans, but was obtained for this purpose from sharks."

(1) Cheney ordered a second source of anthrax vaccine for the Gulf War because the licensed one was too pure. WRONG. I quote declassified Army documents in my book, which state the licensed vaccine would be ineffective against high-dose exposures near the point of dissemination (the Army also had identified nine strains of anthrax that killed guinea pigs immunized with the licensed human vaccine). These are not claims; they are facts. (2) Cheney ordered the Pentagon's Health Affairs Division to find a second source of vaccine. WRONG. Cheney's office ordered the United States Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC) to find a second source; this fact is documented in reports with his name on it and in the Desert Shield/Desert Storm medical logs kept by the Joint Chiefs (I cite both). Fact: Cheney ordered USAMRDC to find a second source of anthrax vaccine because there was a vaccine shortage. Even with "surge" production underway, the manufacturer, BioPort's precursor the Michigan Department of Public Health, could not make enough for 697,000 troops; (3) Squalene was obtained from sharks. WRONG. I did not write that. I wrote that in 1989, USAMRIID announced that it had a new vaccine at the International Workshop on Anthrax in England that purportedly worked with one shot; this new vaccine contained squalene. I did not say it came from sharks. I reported that it had been incorporated into an experimental squalene emulsion called Triple Mix (developed by an ex-Fort Detrick scientist). USAMRIID had added Triple Mix to its earliest prototypes of the new vaccine.

There are just about as many factual errors in every paragraph you write about the book.

How about this one?

"Yet Matsumoto admits that if Pentagon officials wanted to test a new anthrax vaccine, they could not officially do so on troops because that would violate ethics rules. If the system were as full of holes as he claims it to be, the rules wouldn't be an obstacle. Ironically, he cites Occam's razor -- the principle that all things being equal, the simplest explanation is probably correct -- when depreciating other theories of Gulf War syndrome but does not apply it to his own conspiracy theory."

Yet again, this is incorrect. If the Pentagon wanted to test a new anthrax vaccine, it could under the existing 1974 DHHS Memorandum of Understanding with DOD, which enables the Pentagon to run classified clinical trials without informed consent for "national security" reasons. This MOU, and President Clinton's 1999 Executive Order allowing the adminstration of INDs to troops, also without informed consent, do not spell out the criteria for taking such a decision. So it is altogether too easy to run such experiments on U.S. troops in the name of national security.

If your carelessness wasn't enough, you also failed to disclose your clear conflicts-of-interest. Whether or not you received financial remuneration from NIH or IOM, you are, in fact, closely affiliated with them. "Closely affiliated" is accurate. You do not work for them, but having been given formal titles from both organizations it is entirely fair to say that you have a "close affiliation." As both organizations have promoted the Army's second generation anthrax vaccine for years, and have funded previous studies on troops to evaluate a oil adjuvants in experimental vaccines, both organizations are implicated. NIH had even formed a working group in 1998 to "fast track" the licensing of the new vaccine - one year previous to vaccine lots turning up positive for squalene. Indeed, the first batches for clinical trials were made in an NCI/NIH lab at Fort Detrick.

Such are the facts that you conveniently omit from your review. Because of your clear conflicts-of-interest, I believe you should have recused yourself from writing it. At a minimum, you should have disclosed your ties to organizations promoting, and, in the case of the NIH, actually helping produce and license the very vaccine that I've criticized as dangerous.

You spent the bulk of your review trivializing or ignoring the evidence and its documentation - 57 separate pages of it - and then you say that federal officials will be forced to take this more seriously? Based on your review, I find that hard to believe. Everything you wrote prior to your conclusion amounted to reasons not to take it seriously.

I was edited by the Science Editor at Basic Books, a publisher of serious non-fiction trade books that occasionally win Pulitzer Prizes and National Book Awards. My literary agent is the former editorial director at this house and also its former Science Editor. I had lawyers and other investigative reporters review the manuscript, not to mention legions of scientists, prior to publication. But forget about all of us. What about the sick?

Let's make a wager. Let's assume, for argument's sake, that there's a remote possibility that those of us who worked on this 384-page book may be correct: not are correct, but might be correct. That means it is possible that a lot of people may be sick due to injection with a substance proven to cause in animals the identical diseases from which many of the people injected with squalene "contaminated" anthrax vaccine are suffering. There's another fact you neglect to mention; the FDA found squalene in five batches of vaccine; a DOD subcontractor found it in a sixth. People injected with these lots have developed antibodies to squalene and autoimmune diseases.

So my objections to your errors, and the number of factual errors you made in just one relatively brief review is astonishing, isn't about my ego, or my books sales; they're about them. You owed it to them, the sick, to get your facts straight.

You didn't.


Sincerely,
Gary Matsumoto
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. Matsumoto,

I picked up a copy of Vaccine A a couple of days ago, as part of my own extensive research into the anthrax vaccine issue. While I have not yet read much of the book, I think I can offer you a bit of insight as to why Dr. Moreno may not be as enthusiastic about your book as you would have liked.

Your discussion over the issue of mycoplasma was very weak, and Dr. Moreno knows a great deal about the subject. This may be why he wrote:

Quote:
Ironically, he cites Occam's razor -- the principle that all things being equal, the simplest explanation is probably correct -- when depreciating other theories of Gulf War syndrome but does not apply it to his own conspiracy theory."


This is my personal opinion and I am not affiliated with Dr. Moreno in any way. I am speaking here based on knowledge gained through my own investigation. I will continue to keep an open mind as I read your book in its entirety.
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Gary M - Author
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply to "clarity", RE: Dr. Moreno Reply with quote

Dear clarity: I have no problem with anyone disliking or criticizing my book. Constructive criticism is always welcome. Would I have preferred that Moreno wrote that I was a shoe-in for the 2004 Non-fiction Pulitizer Prize? Of course, I would have. But he didn't, and I'm not.

My problem concerns any criticism based on ignorance or error that misleads readers. Dr. Moreno's factual errors misled readers. So for the sake of "clarity" I will make a few criticisms here about your posting, in addition clarifying further my objections to Moreno's review.

Dr. Moreno may be, by your reckoning, an alleged mycoplasma expert, but there is nothing in his published biography indicating such an expertise. He also made no criticism of VACCINE A in relation to mycoplasma.

Moreno is a bioethicist with no specific training in infectious disease, molecular biology or immunology. According to his University of Virginia biography (he's on the faculty at that august university), his degrees are in philosophy and psychology. On what then do you base your unsubstantiated assertion that Moreno "knows a great deal about this subject"?

In case you missed it, some of my objections to Moreno's error-riddled review were published in a letter to Washington Post Book World:

Quote:
I can take criticism, but not for mistakes that I do not make. Dr. Jonathan D. Moreno's factual errors in his review of my book Vaccine A (Book World, Nov. 7) are too numerous to catalogue here; allow me address only his most egregious. Moreno states the following: "he [Matsumoto] claims that research-ethics committees can easily waive the requirement to get a subject's informed consent for important science, but he fails to note that this refers only to situations in which states have requested it to improve delivery of services to people in programs like Medicaid." This is incorrect.

Existing FDA and DoD regulations permit the Department of Health and Human Services to waive the informed consent requirement for the administration of "investigational new drugs" (INDs) to troops in accordance with Title 21 CFR 50.23 (d) (1) and 10 U.S.C. 1107(f), and, for national security reasons, to classify clinical trials involving troops as test subjects under Section III, subheading C. of the 1987 Memorandum of Understanding between the FDA and Department of Defense, Concerning Investigational Use of Drugs, Antibiotics, Biologics and Medical Devices by the Department of Defense. Giving troops INDs without informed consent is also permitted "in the interests of national security" by Presidential Executive Order 13139, signed on 30 September 1999, which further erodes the minimal regulatory safeguards against unethical experimentation on troops.

These documents, which are clearly identified in Vaccine A, have nothing to do with "states" or "Medicaid." They explicitly refer to activities by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense, not by states. The word "Medicaid" does not appear in any of these documents. Executive Order 13139 was issued by the White House and signed by President William Clinton. So Moreno alleges that I took out of context regulations to which I make no reference in my book. Given that I also discuss in my book declassified documents that disclose the military's view that troop deployments are ideal opportunities to conduct clinical trials with experimental drugs and vaccines, Moreno's review went beyond sloppy; it was a public disservice. Either by error, or by deliberate invention, he misled the public on an issue vital to the well being of some 260,000 troops currently deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq.

Moreno so blatantly misrepresents the contents of my book that I felt compelled to check his background.

Moreno has close affiliations with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) -- two organizations that have, for years, advocated the adoption of the second-generation anthrax vaccine that I criticize as dangerous in my book. NIH made the first batches of this new vaccine; in 1998, it formed a working group with FDA and DOD to "fast track" its licensure. Because of Moreno's ties to the very organizations implicated in wrongdoing, I believe he should have recused himself from this. At a minimum, he should have disclosed his ties to these organizations.


Paralleling the development of the second generation anthrax vaccine between 1987 and 2004, there has been a steady erosion in the regulatory barriers protecting U.S. military personnel from medical experimentation without informed consent. Arguably, it is now easier to experiment on troops than it has been at any other time in the last 30 years. As a bioethicist, Dr. Moreno should have known all this.

Here's what he should also know if he's going to criticize reporting on issues related to immunology. Dr. Moreno's assertion that it is a "problem" that there is allegedly more squalene circulating in the bloodstream than there is in the contents of a 0.5 mL hypodermic needle is incorrect.

Such an assertion betrays an ignorance of elementary immunology. For example, by most estimates, there are an estimated 80-100 trillion cells in the human body. Yet that does not prevent the immune system from mounting a pathogenic response to the structures of our own cells. A key test for lupus and other autoimmune diseases is anti-nuclear antibodies. Other tests include anti-double stranded DNA or anti-striated muscle. So while this specific criticism of Dr. Moreno's may be consistent with the Defense Department's public pronouncements, it is inconsistent with elementary cell biology, molecular chemistry and immunology.

What's more, immune responses occur at the molecular level. A B cell makes an antibody to a region found on the surface of molecules called "epitopes" or "antigenic determinants." Each cell is comprised of countless molecules. So if there are, say, on the conservative side, 80 trillion cells in the human body, there are exponentially more molecules in each of those 80 trillion cells to which a B cell can make an antibody.

Even by the most conservative estimate, there are >1.67 trillion molecules of squalene in a 10 ppb concentration of anthrax vaccine (this was, in fact, the concentration the FDA found in anthrax vaccine lot FAV 030). That's at least 1.67 trillion opportunities to make an antibody to squalene, which will then undergo clonal proliferation to make exponentially more antibodies to squalene.

So my problems with Dr. Moreno's review concern his apparent unfamiliarity with the existing regulations permitting - under certain circumstances - medical experiments on troops without informed consent. This unfamiliarity I find, puzzling because, as a bioethicist, knowing the laws governing such activities is part of his job.

I also have a problem with his apparent unfamiliarity with basic immunology. Knowledge of this particular field would not be part of his job description, however, as Moreno deigned to criticize the clinical immunology in VACCINE A, then I would say that, at a minimum, it was incumbent upon Moreno to learn the rudiments of this discipline before using the bully pulpit of the Washington Post to discredit evidence of possible government malfeasance on a grand scale.

In short, what is at stake here is too important to excuse error that misleads large numbers of people.

If Dr. Moreno is an expert in mycoplasma, as you contend, he has, as far as I am aware, done a good job of concealing this. He's made no claims of such expertise. He made, if you actually read his review, no criticism of my book regarding its discussion of mycoplasma.

Therefore, it appears that, at present, your assertion is supposition without foundation. I could almost sum up more than a decade's worth of research into the etiology of the Gulf War Syndrome with those three words: "supposition without foundation."

As long as Gulf War illness remains an undefined syndrome, just about anything on God's good earth could be said to cause it. Indeed, DOD says it has funded research into microwaves as a possible cause of this mysterious malady.

VACCINE A, on the other hand, is an enquiry into the possible causes of two very specific types of pathology - allergy (hypersensitivity) and autoimmune disease. Injected squalene has been demonstrated to cause both responses in animals. Military personnel injected with anthrax vaccine containing squalene have developed identical responses. There is no corresponding link between mycoplasma infection and allergy or autoimmunity.

According to the Merck Manual, Mycoplasmal pneumoniae is the single most common cause of pulmonary infection on military bases and among chidlren and young adults between the ages of 5 and 35. These infections are transient, and frequently resolve within a matter of weeks even without treatment. It is a ubquitous infection, and has never before been identified as a mysterious, undiagnosable syndrome. Mycoplasma, according to published scientific literature, do not cause chronic disease. Finally, the symptoms of mycoplasma infection do not conform to the 1998 Air Force case definition of the syndrome.

Sincerely,
Gary Matsumoto
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will gladly explain my reply in private. If you will, please pm me with a proper email address.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 11:21 pm    Post subject: To Clarity Reply with quote

Since you call yourself "clarity", can you please clarify why "fingerprints" from the person performing the assay would contaminate only certain lots of vaccine and at remarkably regular concentrations - and why these arbitrary fingerprint contaminations somehow ALWAYS happen at these remarkably regular concentrations always on the same lots?
The official explanation from DoD that arbitrary "fingerprints" caused the squlaene contamination simply makes no sense. Clearly the squalene was not introduced by the person performing the analysis - it was there to begin with.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't disagree with Matsumoto in regard to whether squalene was present in the vaccines, if that is what you're asking. I've known about the issue for quite some time. Squalene is an adjuvant, intentionally used to "boost" effectiveness of the vaccine, and Vaccine A does a good job of establishing that it was present in lots of the Anthrax vaccine. I don't deny that squalene may even be a causative factor in some cases of GWI. I believe that there are many.

According to epidemiologist Robert S. Desowitz, Freund's Complete Adjuvant was used in a Nazi malaria vaccine trial, using prisoners at Dachau. As many as 2,000 people were used in these experiments led by Dr. Klaus Carl Schilling, even though it was previously established that Freund's Complete Adjuvant was too dangerous to use in humans.

So is it possible, even probable, that these experiments using an experimental adjuvant may have been repeated? Absolutely. Were they dangerous? Of course. Is it the only explanation as to why our veterans came home with unexplained illnesses? I'm not personally satisfied that the adjuvant factor accounts for the fact that a large percentage of the GWI victims families were also getting ill. This points to a biologic element.

I merely believe that he has missed, or dismissed, a factor involved in the development of Gulf War Illnesses, that of mycoplasma exposures. To give one less heady example of why I think this is so, please refer to US Patent 5,242,820. You may notice upon retrieving the patent that it is held by Dr. Shyh Ching Lo of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. The following quote from this patent is of interest, in my view:

Quote:
The M. fermentans incognitus pathogen is useful for the detection of antibodies in the sera of patients or animals infected with M. fermentans incognitus. Some of these patients who are infected with M. fermentans incognitus will be patients who have been diagnosed as having AIDS or ARC,Cchronic Fatigue Syndrome, Wegener's Disease, Sarcoidosis, respiratory distress syndrome, Kibuchi's disease, antoimmune diseases such as Collagen Vascular Disease and Lupus and chronic debilitating diseases such as Alzheimer's Disease.
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Gary M - Author
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply to "clarity," RE: SHYH-CHING LO, et al. Reply with quote

Dear clarity: I have a number of objections to your second posting, starting with assertion — based on two sentences, quoted out of context, from Shyh-Ching Lo's patent — that Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) might be related to infection with Mycoplasma fermentans incognitus.


SHYH-CHING LO, Patent No. 5,242,820, September 7, 1993
Shyh-Ching Lo did not propose in his 1993 patent for "Pathogenic mycoplasma" an association between Mycoplasma fermentans incognitus and GWS, nor does Lo propose Mycoplasma fermentans incognitus as a causative agent for GWS in his patent or any other publication.

Lo proposed that M. fermentans incognitus was, in fact, a possible caustive agent for AIDS. In his patent, Lo argued that there is no proof that HTLV-III (Human T-Lymphocyte Virus III), a type C retrovirus, which is now called HIV, causes AIDS, but that there was a possibility that his mycoplasma did.

This is what he said:

Quote:
"However, the establishment of an animal model of AIDS by HTLV-III-LAV injection has not been successful. Gajdusek, D.C., et al., Lancet I, 1415 (1984). The chimpanzee is the only primate other than man found to be susceptible to infection by HTLV-III/LAV. However, overt AIDS manifested by the development of opportunistic infections and/or unusual malignancies has not yet been seen, despite evidence for persistent infection and/or viremia in experiments on this species. Gajdusek, D.C., et al. Lancet I, 55 (1985). Thus, the human retroviruses have not fulfilled Koch's postulates, i.e., producing transmissible AIDS-like diseases in experimental animals. HTLV-III/LAV is not associated with the unusual malignancies such as B-cell lymphoma and Kaposi's sarcoma, commonly found in patients with AIDS. Shaw, G. M., et al., Science 226: 1165-1171, 1984; Delli Bovi, P. et al., Cancer Research, 46: 6333-6338, 1986; Groopman, J. E., et al., Blood 67: 612-615, 1986. Furthermore, HIV infected patients often show a wide variation in times of disease incubation and speed of disease progression. It is not known whether any specific infectious agent other than HIV can be responsible for the complex pathogenesis often seen in this disease. One such candidate, initially identified as a virus or virus-like infectious agent in parent application Ser. No. 265,920 has now been discovered to be the mycoplasma M. fermentans (incognitus strain)." [Highlighting and Italics mine]


Lo suggests, based on association alone, that:

Quote:
"In addition to AIDS, M. fermentans incognitus has been implicated in a number of other Disease states including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Wegener's Disease, Sarcoidosis, respiratory distress syndrome, Kikuchi's disease, autoimmune diseases such as Collagen Vascular Disease and Lupus, and chronic debilitating diseases such as Alzheimer's Disease. M. fermentans incognitus may be either a causative agent of these diseases or a key co-factor in these diseases."



A PROPOSED EXPLANATION FOR MYCOPLASMA IN GULF VETERANS
As Lo states, Mycoplasma are opportunistic organisms. That means people with AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) would be more susceptible to mycoplasma infection. So would autoimmune disease patients, whose treatment involves immunosuppression through steroid therapy. It stands to reason that immunosuppressed people - people whose immune system's are impaired due to age or illness or deliberate pharmacologically-induced immunosuppression - would be more susceptible to opportunistic infection by organisms like mycoplasma. If such immunosuppressed people do have mycloplasma infections, it does not prove mycoplasma caused their illneses, because association is not causation.


ALLEGED INFECTIVITY OF GWS
I dispute your assertion that:

Quote:
"a large percentage of the GWI victims families were also getting ill. This points to a biologic element." [Italics mine]


There is zero published scientific or epidemiological data supporting this assertion. Though some autoimmune diseases can occur as a result of infection (e.g., streptoccocal infection and rheumatic fever), there is no evidence that autoimmunity is either caused or transmitted by infection with mycoplasma.

If an infectious agent were truly the cause of GWS, then it follows that clusters of GWS should have been observed at military bases to which Gulf War veterans returned. No such clusters were reported.

Based on what I have read in published scientific literature, in a very few families, there is some evidence of transmission of illness. But what illness? That is the problem when the disease in question is undefined.

In VACCINE A, I identify the illnesses squalene injection is purported to cause. They are either allergic (hypersensitivity) or autoimmune. They are non-communicable. Does GWS equal autoimmunity? There is no consensus on that. There is not even the beginning of a consensus. But I can report this: I have interviewed many sick veterans who were diagnosed with psychiatric disorders or an allegedly undiagnosable Gulf War Syndrome by military doctors, but subsequently diagnosed with autoimmune diseases by civilian doctors.


DR. JONATHAN MORENO AND "VACCINE A"[/i]
Based on my limited exchanges with Dr. Moreno, I would say he is probably a gentlemen, and in his specific field, a respected scholar. But, as I have pointed out before, he has no avowed expertise in infectious disease, molecular biology or immunology. My criticism of his book review concerns the errors he made in these areas that misled the public.

Given his position as chairman of a Bioethics Department at a major university, the errors he made concerning the regulations permitting experimentation on troops, ostensibly for their own good as well as for the collective good of United States armed forces, is inexcusable.

This is why I raised the issue of his potential conflicts-of-interest in reviewing VACCINE A, given his professional ties to the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board (AFEB) and the Institutes of Medicine (IOM) — two organizations that have not only supported experimentation on troops in the decades past, but have also been open proponents of the second generation anthrax vaccine — a vaccine that I maintain has gotten troops sick.


NAZI DOCTORS AND FREUND'S COMPLETE ADJUVANT
I do not know Desowitz's book, or anything about the Dr. Klaus Schilling's alleged use of Freund's Complete Adjuvant on prisoners at Dachau concentration camp.

I do know this: if this did, indeed, happen, it does not make it any more plausible that U.S. and British military doctors administered a squalene emulsion adjuvant to troops without informed consent.

There is (1) clinical evidence of that this took place (the anti-squalene antibodies in animals and humans injected with squalene); there is (2) analytical chemistry evidence (the GC/mass spec data from FDA and SRI tests on anthrax vaccine); and there is (3) circumstantial evidence (the U.S. and British Army's scientific papers on the second generation anthrax vaccine published, coincidentally, during the same the time period when U.S. and British troops first started reporting autoimmune sequelae from anthrax immunization; and declassified U.S. Army documents showing undeniable plans to run experiments on Gulf War troops in theater).

But in writing this book, I have taken great pains to explain why — contrary to the inclination of some of my closest associates in the U.S. military, and, indeed, contrary to arguments made at Nuremberg by the Nazis themselves that they did nothing worse in their malaria vaccine experiments than U.S. scientists did in their own anti-malarial drug experiments on U.S. prison inmates at the time — U.S. military doctors are not like the Nazis.

So I strongy dispute your assertion that U.S. and British military doctors were "repeating" Nazi experiments at Dachau.


EMINENTLY UNCLEAR
You claim to be someone who has investigated anthrax vaccine, yet you present no evidence to lend this claim any credibility. You insinuate that Dr. Moreno criticized the validity of my assertions due to my book's allegedly "weak" discussion of mycoplasma as a possible causative agent for GWS, yet Moreno, himself, made no mention of mycoplasma in his review. As far as I am aware, he also claims no specific expertise in mycoplasma.

So you claim to offer insight into the working of Dr. Moreno's mind, without any evidence that you have actually discussed VACCINE A with him. How, then, do you propose to speak for him in this matter?

If it is, indeed, true that Dr. Moreno was lukewarm about my book because of his alleged belief that mycoplasmas could have caused GWS, then it would constitute yet another example of his lack of familiarity with even rudimentary principles of infectious disease and pathology. It bears repeating: "association is not causation." Such a belief in mycoplasmal infection as a causal factor for GWS would also be an indication that he did not bother to read Shyh-Ching Lo's patent or any of Lo's published papers.


NO EVIDENCE THAT ANTI-SQUALENE ANTIBODIES ARE A CAUSATIVE AGENT EITHER
The scientists at Tulane alleged that anti-squalene antibodies are a "marker" for GWS. In other words, they are present in patients suffering from the symptoms associated with the 1998 U.S. Air Force case definition of GWS, or in patients suffering from post-immunization autoimmune disease, which Tulane believes are related. Anti-squalene antibodies are associated with lupus, arthritis and MS patients who've been tested by Tulane Medical School, but the antibodies alone do not prove causation.


INJECTING SQUALENE CAUSES AUTOIMMUNITY
There is evidence that injecting squalene causes autoimmunity in 4 species of animals. Upon injection with squalene, mice, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits have developed the animal models for arthritis, MS and now lupus. This phenomenon has been demonstratedi n laboratories in the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia.

There is also evidence for causation in humans Dear clarity: I have a number of objections to your second posting, starting with assertion — based on two sentences, quoted out of context, from Shy Ching Lo's patent — that Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) might be related to infection with Mycoplasma fermentans incognitus.


SHYH-CHING LO, Patent No. 5,242,820, September 7, 1993
Shyh-Ching Lo did not propose in his 1993 patent for "Pathogenic mycoplasma" an association between Mycoplasma fermentans incognitus and GWS, nor does Lo propose Mycoplasma fermentans incognitus as a causative agent for GWS in his patent or any other publication.

Lo proposed that M. fermentans incognitus was, in fact, a possible caustive agent for AIDS. In his patent, Lo argued that there is no proof that HTLV-III (Human T-Lymphocyte Virus III), a type C retrovirus, which is now called HIV, causes AIDS, but that there was a possibility that his mycoplasma did.

This is what he said:

Quote:
"However, the establishment of an animal model of AIDS by HTLV-III-LAV injection has not been successful. Gajdusek, D.C., et al., Lancet I, 1415 (1984). The chimpanzee is the only primate other than man found to be susceptible to infection by HTLV-III/LAV. However, overt AIDS manifested by the development of opportunistic infections and/or unusual malignancies has not yet been seen, despite evidence for persistent infection and/or viremia in experiments on this species. Gajdusek, D.C., et al. Lancet I, 55 (1985). Thus, the human retroviruses have not fulfilled Koch's postulates, i.e., producing transmissible AIDS-like diseases in experimental animals. HTLV-III/LAV is not associated with the unusual malignancies such as B-cell lymphoma and Kaposi's sarcoma, commonly found in patients with AIDS. Shaw, G. M., et al., Science 226: 1165-1171, 1984; Delli Bovi, P. et al., Cancer Research, 46: 6333-6338, 1986; Groopman, J. E., et al., Blood 67: 612-615, 1986. Furthermore, HIV infected patients often show a wide variation in times of disease incubation and speed of disease progression. It is not known whether any specific infectious agent other than HIV can be responsible for the complex pathogenesis often seen in this disease. One such candidate, initially identified as a virus or virus-like infectious agent in parent application Ser. No. 265,920 has now been discovered to be the mycoplasma M. fermentans (incognitus strain)." [Highlighting and Italics mine]


Lo suggests, based on association alone, that:

Quote:
"In addition to AIDS, M. fermentans incognitus has been implicated in a number of other Disease states including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Wegener's Disease, Sarcoidosis, respiratory distress syndrome, Kikuchi's disease, autoimmune diseases such as Collagen Vascular Disease and Lupus, and chronic debilitating diseases such as Alzheimer's Disease. M. fermentans incognitus may be either a causative agent of these diseases or a key co-factor in these diseases."



A PROPOSED EXPLANATION FOR MYCOPLASMA IN GULF VETERANS
As Lo states, Mycoplasma are opportunistic organisms. That means people with AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) would be more susceptible to mycoplasma infection. So would autoimmune disease patients, whose treatment involves immunosuppression through steroid therapy. It stands to reason that immunosuppressed people - people whose immune system's are impaired due to age or illness or deliberate pharmacologically-induced immunosuppression - would be more susceptible to opportunistic infection by organisms like mycoplasma. If such immunosuppressed people do have mycloplasma infections, it does not prove mycoplasma caused their illneses, because association is not causation.


ALLEGED INFECTIVITY OF GWS
I dispute your assertion that:

Quote:
"a large percentage of the GWI victims families were also getting ill. This points to a biologic element." [Italics mine]


There is zero published scientific or epidemiological data supporting this assertion. No patients who developed autoimmune disease following anthrax immunization in the AVIP program have reported transmission of illness to family members.

If an infectious agent were truly the cause of GWS, then it follows that clusters of GWS should have been observed at military bases to which Gulf War veterans returned. No such clusters were reported.

Based on what I have read in the media, in some families, very few in fact, there is evidence of transmission. But of what illness? That is the problem when the disease in question, GWS, is undefined.

In VACCINE A, the illness is defined. It is either allergic (hypersensitivity) or autoimmune. It is non-communicable. Does GWS equal autoimmunity? There is no consensus on that. There is not even the beginning of a consensus. But I can say this: I have interviewed many sick veterans who were diagnosed with psychiatric disorders by military doctors, but subsequently diagnosed with autoimmune diseases by civilian doctors.


MORENO AND MYCOPLASMAS
Based on my limited exchanges with Dr. Moreno, I would say he is probably a gentlemen, and in his specific field, a respected scholar. But, as I have pointed out before, he has no avowed expertise in infectious disease, molecular biology or immunology. My criticism of his book review concerns the errors he made in these areas that misled the public.

Given his position as chairman of a Bioethics Department at a major university, the errors he made concerning the regulations permitting experimentation on troops, ostensibly for their own good as well as for the collective good of United States armed forces, is inexcusable.

This is why I raised the issue of his potential conflicts-of-interest in reviewing VACCINE A, given his professional ties to the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board (AFEB) and the Institutes of Medicine (IOM) — two organizations that have not only supported experimentation on troops in the decades past, but have also been open proponents of the second generation anthrax vaccine — a vaccine that I maintain has gotten troops sick.


NAZI DOCTORS AND FREUND'S COMPLETE ADJUVANT
I do not know Desowitz's book, or anything about the Dr. Klaus Schilling's alleged use of Freund's Complete Adjuvant on prisoners at Dachau concentration camp.

I do know this: if this did, indeed, happen, it does not make it any more plausible that U.S. and British military doctors administered a squalene emulsion adjuvant to troops without informed consent.

There is (1) clinical evidence of that this took place (the anti-squalene antibodies in animals and humans injected with squalene); there is (2) analytical chemistry evidence (the GC/mass spec data from FDA and SRI tests on anthrax vaccine); and there is (3) circumstantial evidence (the U.S. and British Army's scientific papers on the second generation anthrax vaccine published, coincidentally, during the same the time period when U.S. and British troops first started reporting autoimmune sequelae from anthrax immunization; and declassified U.S. Army documents showing undeniable plans to run experiments on Gulf War troops in theater).

But in writing this book, I have taken great pains to explain why — contrary to the inclination of some of my closest associates in the U.S. military, and, indeed, contrary to arguments made at the Nuremberg Trials by the Nazis themselves {that they did nothing worse in their malaria vaccine experiments than we did in our own anti-malarial drug experiments on U.S. prison inmates at the time — U.S. military doctors are not like the Nazis.

So I strongy dispute your assertion that U.S. and British military doctors were "repeating" Nazi experiments at Dachau.


EMINENTLY UNCLEAR
You claim to be someone who has investigated anthrax vaccine, yet you present no evidence to lend this claim any credibility. You insinuate that Dr. Moreno criticized the validity of my assertions due to my book's allegedly "weak" discussion of mycoplasma as a possible causative agent for GWS, yet Moreno, himself, made no mention of mycoplasma in his review. As far as I am aware, he also claims no specific expertise in mycoplasma.

So you claim to offer insight into the working of Dr. Moreno's mind, without quoting him and without any indication that you have discussed VACCINE A with him. How, then, do you proposed to speak for him in this matter?

If it is, indeed, true that Dr. Moreno was lukewarm about my book because of his alleged belief that mycoplasmas could have caused GWS, then it would constitute yet another example of his lack of familiarity with even rudimentary principles of infectious disease and pathology. It bears repeating: "association is not causation." Such a belief in mycoplasmal infection as a causal factor for GWS would also be an indication that he did not bother to read Shyh-Ching Lo's patent or any of Lo's published papers.


NO EVIDENCE THAT ANTI-SQUALENE ANTIBODIES ARE A CAUSATIVE AGENT EITHER
The scientists at Tulane alleged that the antibodies are a "marker" for GWS. In other words, they are present in patients suffering from the symptoms associated with the 1998 U.S. Air Force case definition of GWS, or in patients suffering from post-immunization autoimmune disease. Anti-squalene antibodies are associated with lupus, arthritis and MS patients who've been tested by Tulane Medical School, but the antibodies alone do not prove causation.


INJECTING SQUALENE CAUSES AUTOIMMUNITY
There is evidence that injecting squalene causes autoimmunity in 4 species of animals, which, upon injection with squalene, developed the animal models for these arthritis, MS and now lupus. There is evidence for causation in humans — the dose-response data in Asa and Garry's second paper from four U.S. Air Force personnel who were negative for autoimmune disease, and negative for anti-squalene antibodies, prior to anthrax immunization, who then developed both following immunization with anthrax vaccine proven by FDA testing to contain squalene.


MYCOPLASMA AND ANTHRAX VACCINE
Mycoplasma infection is not associated with anthrax vaccination sequelae. According to the January 2002 BioPort package insert for BioThrax™ (the licensed anthrax vaccine), allergic and autoimmune diseases, and a fatality due to an autoimmune disease (polyarteritis nodosa) have been reported by recipients of BioThrax™. The patient who died of polyarteritis nodosa received multiple anthrax immunizations that contained nanodoses of squalene.

According to published research there are no mycoplasma in anthrax vaccine.

Quote:
Hart MK, Del Giudice RA, Korch GW Jr., "Absence of mycoplasma contamination in the anthrax vaccine", Emerging Infectious Diseases, 2002 Jan;8(1):94-6.


As far as I am aware, nothing has been published to date in any peer-reviewed scientific journal to the contrary.

So far, your comments and criticisms have been rife with supposition, inference and speculation. You offer all of your purported insights concerning VACCINE A having admitted what? You have admitted your first posting that you:

Quote:
"...have not yet read much of the book." [Highlighting and Italics mine]


I find your "criticize first, read later" approach illogical.

For the aforementioned reasons, clarity, I find your criticisms neither insightful, nor clear.

Sincerely,

Gary Matsumoto
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. Matsumoto,

I did not initiate this conversation as a form of attack, yet you seem to have percieved this to be the case. As I've said previously, I will gladly be more forthcoming about my research with you in a more private format, if you desire to understand, rather than attack, my comments. My self-imposed limitations as to what I want to share on a public forum does not lend well to a full debate here, yet I feel it is important to maintain this out of consideration for those who've shared their experiences with me.

Best wishes
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