On November 7th, 2013, members of the vaccine injury community held a briefing, sponsored by The Canary Party, for congressional staffers to present many of the problems in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in preparation for hearings in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
From Our friends at
the Organic Consumers Association:
Please take action NOW to
tell the FDA how you feel about allowing manufacturers to label genetically
modified-containing foods as "Natural"!
ASSOCIATION â€“ TOP NEWS OF THE WEEK
The food industry is going door-to-door on Capitol Hill, seeking lawmakers willing to sponsor a bill to preempt state mandatory GMO labeling laws by substituting a weak federal â€śsolution.â€ť
The â€śsolutionâ€ť Big Food has in mind, revealed on Jan. 7 by POLITICO, would limit the U.S. Food & Drug Administrationâ€™s (FDA) power to require mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It would also wipe out statesâ€™ rights to enact mandatory labeling laws, and would guarantee companies the right to use the word â€śnaturalâ€ť on products that contain GMOs.
Big Foodâ€™s plan also would likely try to appease consumers by including weak FDA guidance on voluntary labeling of GMOsâ€”guidance that would exempt common ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, canola oil and others. And require little or no independent verification for claiming a product is GMO-free.
Itâ€™s not as though we didnâ€™t see it coming.
Last week, after learning that the Grocery Manufacturers Association (Big Foodâ€™s lobbying group), had petitioned the FDA to allow food makers to use the word â€śnaturalâ€ť on GMO-contaminated foods, we predicted a treacherous road ahead for the anti-GMO movement in 2014.
In 2013, we warned about a letter to the FDA asking the agency to finalize its 2001 guidance on voluntary labeling of GMOsâ€”a move we suggested then, and still believe, would preempt state and federal mandatory labeling of GMOs.
In a recent op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, two former government officials floated the idea of a compromise that would include allowing specific amounts of GMOs, and/or exemptions for certain ingredients, such as high fructose corn syrup or canola oil, where processing has made it impossible to detect GMO ingredients. The authors also reiterated industryâ€™s argument that if consumers want GMO-free, they can buy organic. In response, one scientist told the OCA:
â€śThat is a smokescreen that allows the biotech industry to avoid taking responsibility for the harm caused by their patented, transgenic creations. Without mandatory GMO labeling, there is no way to understand public health impacts or conduct epidemiological research on diets containing GMOs.â€ť
After decades of quietly profiting by contaminating food products with cheap, unsafe GMO-contaminated ingredients, the food industry sees those profits at risk. Theyâ€™ve spent millions to defeat laws that are common in 60 other countries. Now, in an effort to undermine state laws, and subvert the democratic process, Big Food wants to cut a deal with Congress and the FDA. A deal that will provide no meaningful protection for consumers, and hand industry yet another free pass to poison and pollute.
Consumers have been clear. More than 90 percent of us want mandatory GMO labeling laws. No voluntary schemes. No watered-down regulations. No compromises. Please sign our petition to the FDA asking the agency to reject any federal law that is weaker than the state laws already passed in Maine and Connecticut, and proposed in Vermont and other states.
Tune in on Wednesday, December 4th to the Katie Couric Show. Katie explores the controversy surrounding the HPV vaccine.
Although we can never be sure how much of the truth will break through the mainstream media blockade on vaccine damage, we do know that Katie interviewed Canary Party board member Emily Tarsell as well as HPV vaccine victim Lauren Mathis, her mother Rosemary Mathis, Norma Erickson and Dr. Diane Harper. Emily's daughter Christina was killed by the Gardasil vaccine, and her vaccine-induced death was confirmed by medical experts. Her case is still pending.
Please watch, and comment afterward. We continue to push forward, and hope that media outlets will finally tell the whole story about vaccines - not just the sales pitch.
On Tuesday December 3rd 2013, visit Ben Swannâ€™s â€śTruth in Mediaâ€ť website to view an enlightening segment on the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
Canary Party Chairman Mark Blaxill is interviewed in-studio by Ben Swann about corruption and malfeasance in the NVICP â€“ a topic youâ€™ll never see covered by mainstream media. The interview was filmed before the Oversight and Government Reform Committee abruptly cancelled the Congressional NVICP hearing that was to take place on December 4th
Sarah Hershberger is the 10-year-old Ohio Amish girl with leukemia that made national news recently. She fled the U.S. in Sept. 2013 with her parents Andy and Anna Hershberger to avoid Akron Childrenâ€™s Hospital (ACH) demands and court-ordered guardianship to force Sarah to continue exactly 27 months of an experimental chemotherapy research project against her will and the will of her parents. They say she is cancer free now after natural treatments. After many weeks away, the Hershbergers want to come home and just be left alone without any fear of being arrested and Sarah taken away.
More chemotherapy was not just against Sarahâ€™s will since it was making her unable to walk and dreadfully sick, it was also against the will of the parents, and advice from health professionals outside the hospital. So the parents took her, along with their new baby, out of the country to a special clinic that uses natural biomedical treatments. The Hershbergers called me and told me the Spanish doctors say Sarah is now cancer free, as does Sarahâ€™s grandfather, Isaac Keim, who is an Amish church bishop. In a rare occurrence, Isaac gave an amazing recorded interview (posted below) to expose the other side of the story. Here are ABC News two-minute sound bytes:
Gone for a couple months now, the Hershbergers are homesick and heartsick. They cannot return to Ohio or their farm and their other five children without fear of being arrested and Sarah taken away. They run an organic vegetable farm and roadside stand (which all but failed this year), a 10-minute buggy ride from the center of Homerville in Medina County. Andy suffered a severe stress disorder leaving him unable to function well for four weeks. Family and friends are pitching in to care and feed the children and animals and picked vegetables before they rotted in the fields. Medina County Childrenâ€™s Services and Sheriff Department stop at the farm every three days to see if they can find Sarah. But, off the record, let they let family members know that they do not want to get involved but they are only doing their job as instructed....
Yesterday The Canary Party and her partners who have worked for a year on getting hearings on vaccine injury in Congress were informed that the hearings on the VICP that was set for December 4th has been postponed until next year. We had a call this morning with the staff of the House Committee on Oversight and Government to get more clarity on their decision, and were informed that while the community of vaccine injured families is eager to testify, they were finding "reluctance" from others to participate in the hearings.
Our response? Of course they don't want to participate in these hearings! Those both inside and outside of government who are involved in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and the monumental injustice that is being inflicted on untold thousands of vaccine injured children do not want to have to show up and explain what they have done under oath!
One thing is clear... Vaccine interests have been fighting this hearing in a way we have never seen before.
Boiling down the message we received from OGR... they still want to work with us on things, and they may reschedule the hearings for next year. Do they mean it, or is it just a stall tactic? We don't know.
We STRONGLY encourage you to take time today and call the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and let them know how disappointed you are with their decision to pull the plug on hearings for our injured children a mere two weeks before the event. Feel free to share with them your story.
Phone: (202) 225-5074
And call your Congressional representatives and tell them you want hearings on vaccine injury.
Our letter of response to the OGR Staff:
Chairman Darrell Issa Oversight and Government Reform Committee 2157 Rayburn Building Washington DC
Dear Chairman Issa,
Thank you for the opportunity to discuss recent developments with your staffers. On behalf of the many dedicated advocates who have been working so hard on the VICP hearing, we must express our great disappointment over your decision to defer hearings into the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP).
When you first raised the prospect of hearings with some of us last April, you raised the hopes of thousands of families who have experienced vaccine injury, many of whom have encountered mistreatment, abuse and outright fraud at the hands of the NVICP. As we discussed privately on numerous occasions, comprehensive hearings into the many faces of malfeasance within the VICP offer a unique opportunity to shine a light on how wildly the reality of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 has veered from the original intent of Congress. We believe the path forward you have chosen--delaying the hearing into 2014 in order to receive an update of the 1999 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the VICP as well as an update of the 2006 NVICP strategic plan from HHSâ€”is well-intentioned. But for the community of vaccine injured families, it represents a retreat into more of the same and only delays a true investigation of the failures of the NVICP. These involve the neglect, abuse and suffering of thousands of American families, including painful injury, lifelong disability, economic devastation and death. Congressâ€™1986 Act and its VICP are what enable these tragedies to continue every day. â€śStrategic plan updatesâ€ť prepared by HHS officials will only give the NVICP the opportunity to stonewall, while the kind of GAO report that would really hold the NVICP accountable would take more than a year not just a few months. As we said to your staffers, weâ€™re interested in providing input to the scope of a GAO project, but weâ€™re pessimistic at what it can accomplish in the time available.
On a more personal note, those of us who were close to the preparation for these hearings were dismayed at the abrupt change in direction reflected in this decision. It leaves us concerned that special interests have intervened at the eleventh hour with more money and institutional power than the community of affected families can muster. And while we were dismayed, we were not surprised, because we all know the power and reach of the interests that have long sought to suppress these concerns. We are also not surprised that you encountered reluctance among potential panelists to participate in the discussion of a â€śdivisiveâ€ť issue; that reluctance should be the reason to move resolutely forward not an excuse for delay. Your resolve to move forward earlier this year raised all of our hopes, and we allowed ourselves to believe that decent Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle would have the courage to speak the truth to power.
We remain hopeful.
We intend to continue working together so that our legitimate grievances may still be heard. If the hearing must be deferred, we would ask this time for a firm and public commitment before year end to a date certain in early 2014. We respectfully request that any GAO investigation be focused strongly on what you have called â€ścrash reportsâ€ť of vaccine injury as well as the abuses in the NVICP of the petitions of vaccine injured families. And in good conscience, we must demand that the scope of any hearing next year encompass the enormity of the waste, fraud and abuse in the VICP, however uncomfortable those topics might be for some. Anything less would be a betrayal more profound than our worst fears.
Sincerely, Jennifer Larson and Mark Blaxill The Canary Party
The Canary Party is a movement created to stand up for the victims of medical injury, environmental toxins and industrial foods by restoring balance to our free and civil society and empowering consumers to make health and nutrition decisions that promote wellness.
â€śIf the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.â€ť -Thomas Jefferson