From Fear of the Invisible.....
Could Vaccine Contamination have lead to AIDS?
In 1978, John Martin, the Professor of Pathology I mentioned meeting at the 1997 workshop, examined a bulk shipment of polio vaccine. He reported: ‘I worked at the time as Director of the Viral Oncology Laboratory at the Bureau of Biologics... There was a lot of extraneous DNA in the vaccine. I sent electron micrographs to three outside experts to ascertain if these were the dreaded Type C retroviruses or not. The answers came back no, but there was so much debris and DNA in the vaccine that it was impossible essentially to do a nice clean prep of the viral vaccines, of the viruses. That was my first indication that, in fact, the vaccines were rather crude.'
But when he reported this vaccine contamination, he was most surprised to be told by his employer that ‘vaccine manufacturing was an essential component of industry, this country's protection against potential biological warfare. A number of companies had given up making vaccines. It's an economically risky business. If one criticizes, in this case, Lederle, too much and they stop production, then all the production will go to Switzerland. The Swiss would then be bought out by the Russians, and then there will be biological warfare.'
He now believes what he saw might have been simian cytomegalovirus. What he did not then know was that the authorities already knew it was present. It was very hard to remove -as admitted in a memo sent by R J Vallencourt of Lederle on 31st January 1972: ‘Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a recent example of an adventitious agent which, although it exists in cell cultures, is not being tested for at this time. ... Since 100% of the monkeys are serologically positive for the for CMV ([antibody], no testing of monkeys prior to production can take place. We do not know which monkeys are suitable for production until kidneys are processed. Our data shows that 50% of today's ‘clean' monkeys would be disqualified for production needs [if the new regulations were put into effect.]'
In an internal 1983 report, Lederle reported a 13-year study of 2,239 ‘harvests' of poliovirus fluid for vaccines, taken from incubators within 72 hours of inoculation [‘seeding'] with poliovirus. It stated almost half of the harvests had to be scrapped because of contamination... and that Simian cytomegalovirus, SCMV, was the leading cause of rejection, amounting to 38% of rejections ...but there were also some for measles virus, foamy virus, and occasionally SV40 contamination.
Martin told me he suspected that Simian Cytomegalovirus (SCMV) causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in humans by damaging our brain cells. He showed me slides of cellular damage he thought done by the virus, with large ‘vacuolate' holes - reminiscent of the damage earlier attributed to SV40, giving it the earlier name of the ‘Vacuolating Virus.'
So, SCMV and SV40 were known for decades to be in our polio vaccine. Nothing was done about this and no parents informed. What other monkey viruses might also be present? It appears that little research on this has been done. Yet in 1960 Dr Robert Murray, director of the Federal Division of Biological Standards, admitted that ‘killed polio vaccine must have contained simian agents undetected at the time of preparation and undetected and undetectable after inactivation.'
A 1968 study by Dr. G. D. Hsiung noted: ‘47 strains of viruses [had been] isolated from a total of 9 chimpanzees.' Another study revealed ‘a great number of simian viruses have been recovered from a variety of monkeys, baboons and marmosets. These indigenous viruses have caused considerable frustration and economic loss to workers in terms of contaminated virus stocks and rejected cultures ... in many instances the information is rather limited regarding latent virus infections in primate tissues, with special reference to viruses isolated from the monkey kidney tissues of apparently healthy animals.'
SV40 rather scarily seemed to be combining with other viruses. This study reported finding cells ‘doubly infected with SV40 and measles virus' and ‘mixed infections with SV40 and foamy agents.' Similarly, another monkey virus, SV5, had combined in infections with foamy agents and with the measles virus. But oddly, it had also found SV5 and measles virus seemingly vanished when monkeys were kept in isolation for over 30 days. This suggested the cells simply stopped making them, - in other words, they were possibly curing themselves?
The study noted that Hull had found and named so far 18 monkey adenoviruses, most from Rhesus and Cynomolgus monkeys, and that the former were also infected with Herpes and Reoviruses. Another virus called SA3 had also been found in African Green Monkeys. The study further noted: ‘It has become evident that many factors may influence the recognition of indigenous viruses,' including environmental factors and the nature of the research. Some viruses seemed only to appear in captivity. Another study found that: ‘Salmonella carriers in newly imported Rhesus and Cynomolgus monkeys exceeded 20% in some shipments.'
In recent years the UK has made its polio vaccine on kidneys from African Green Monkeys captured from the wild in Barbados, despite many ‘pathological agents' being listed as found in these animals.
After such research findings, I found particularly interesting a report from Dr S. Kalter and others in 1991 about the 100,000 monkeys then imported annually into the USA. In their ‘Comparative Virology of Primates' they state it was difficult to work out from whence came viruses, because of the ‘practice of intermingling species after their capture.' They concluded: ‘Thus in many instances the true origin of many simian viruses is questionable or has been misdirected.'
They also stated: ‘Compromising the obscure background of many animals is the failure of investigators to take into account the amount of contact the animal under study has had with other animals, including man, prior to capture. It is well known that many of the monkeys and apes now in the laboratory have come from areas where they have lived in close proximity with man, often sharing the same food and water source as well as deposition of body wastes.
‘Review of the literature emphasizes that most investigators employing these animals in their research still lack understanding of the magnitude of this problem. Little recognition is given to the potential danger ... most laboratories make no provision to protect their personnel or to provide suitable quarters to minimalise the problem. Very little is done to obtain the animals properly in order to maintain healthy stock and prevent the spread of viruses...'
CHIMPANZEES AND HIV
As for chimpanzees, since linked to HIV, Dr Patrick Meenan, bacteriologist at St. Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, stated in Lancet, on April 18, 1953 that; ‘most of the recent work on poliomyelitis has been done on chimpanzees, which seem to react to infection much as man does.'
Similarly Elliot Dick in 1963, after searching for the best animal to use for vaccine cultures, reported in his paper Chimpanzee Kidney Tissue Cultures for Growth and Isolation of Viruses: ‘apart from the cost ... chimp kidney tissue cultures may well be the perfect substrate ... simply because it's the closest to us genetically.' He also noted that its kidneys seemed to have viruses in them but this still did not change his mind. They were found in all kidneys apparently.'
It seems the virologists of that time thought little of using chimpanzees for such experiments. These animals were not then regarded as romantically as they are now. They were even favoured because they were more like to humans, so hopefully suffered from the same diseases. They were a bit more costly than Rhesus, but nevertheless their brains, their kidneys, and presumably their testicles, were all extracted and used - just as happened with the African Greens and Rhesus monkeys.
There was also clearly every opportunity for viruses to evolve or change in the process of making the vaccines. In 1960 Dr. Sweet had reported: ‘we found that it [SV40] hybridised [combined] with certain DNA viruses -the adenovirus had SV40 genes attached to it. We couldn't clean up the adenovirus vaccine lots grown in monkey kidney cells.' It seemed that the monkey cells in the cultures were starting to mutate and to produce new types of virus.
These reports were beginning to convince me that HIV might have come from chimps and been spread via the polio vaccine. I had been told at the 1997 NIH workshop that HIV could possibly have been a contaminant in the polio vaccine. Now I discovered that this danger had been known for over thirty years!
I found evidence for this in a history of medicine commissioned by the NIH, The Health Century by Dr Edward Shorter, in which there are many interviews with key scientists. I found the transcript of his interview with Maurice Hilleman, the scientist with whom I had spoken on MMR, riveting. Hilleman said he had come to the terrifying conclusion that, when they changed to using African Green monkeys to avoid SV40, inadvertently they probably introduced HIV; for these monkeys carried SIV, a simian virus said to be a precursor of HIV. Hilleman concluded: ‘I brought African greens in. I didn't know we were importing AIDS virus at the time.'
His colleague Sweet added that, by the time they realised just how dangerous these contaminants were: ‘it was too late to switch gears and start using raccoon or chicken systems, because then you would be dealing with another whole set of viruses. Now with the theoretical links to HIV and cancer, it just blows my mind.'
They said this ‘raises the important question of the existence of other such viruses [in the vaccine].' Sweet latter added; ‘It was a frightening discovery because, back then, it was not possible to detect the virus with the testing procedures we had. ... We had no idea what this virus would do thirty years later' although we ‘knew SV40 had oncogenic [cancer-causing] properties in hamsters which was bad news.'
There was practically no attempt to assess the 39 types of monkey virus found prior to SV40 to see if any of these might also be dangerous - apart from SV20. It was researched in the late 1960s and reported to be an ‘oncogenic (cancer causing) adenovirus'. Since then this virus appears to have been little researched.
I was appalled by what I had learnt about polio vaccine research. I was shocked to realise that most of what had been revealed at the 1997 Workshop was not new to the regulatory authorities; that they had known for decades about this contamination and done nothing. I was forced to conclude that the officials responsible have knowingly contaminated our children.
In the USA, between 1955 and 1963, contaminated polio vaccine was given to 90% of all children and 60% of adults. It has since been given to hundreds of millions more. If one monkey virus could thus spread - could the AIDS epidemic have also thus spread? It seemed that I had stumbled on a terrifying can of worms
Bookchin and Shumacher The Virus and the Vaccine St Martins Press. 2004. Cited on page 328
Lederle memo...referred to in Footnotes of above, p328 all polio vaccines may contain SCMV.-
G. D. Hsiung Bacteriological Reviews, Sept., 1968, p. 185-205 Latent Virus Infections in Primate Tissues with Special Reference to Simian Viruses.
Latent viruses from tissues of chimpanzees affected with experimental Kuru. NY. Acad. Sci. Gajousek D.C., Rogers M. Bessaigh and Gibs.Jrn.
Significant Zoonotic Disease of Non-human primates, Division of Veterinary Medicine, Walter Reed Army Institute, Washington DC, November 1988. http://netvet.wustl.edu/species/primates/primzoon.txt
Jean Baulu, Graham Evans, and Carlisle Sutton Pathogenic Agents Found in Barbados Chlorocebus aethiops sabaeus and in Old World and New World Monkeys Commonly Used in Biomedical Research;, Barbados Primate Research Center and Wildlife Reserve
‘Chimpanzee Kidney Tissue Cultures for Growth and Isolation of Viruses, ‘ J Bacteriol. 1963,86, 573-576
Much of this transcript is quoted by Leonid Horowitz in his work ‘Emerging Viruses' Tetrahedron 1996, pages 483-486
CK Fong and GD Hsiung Productive and abortive growth of an oncogenic simian adenovirus SV30 in cultured cells. Cancer Research 1970 30: 855-862.