For Immediate Release
Washington, D.C., June 1, 2010 - The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) joins with holistic health pioneer Dr. Joseph Mercola in calling for Merck to voluntarily recall its live rotavirus vaccine - RotaTeq - which is contaminated with parts of a lethal virus that infects pigs - porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2) - and publicly pledge to clean-up the vaccine.
On May 7th, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) publicly pledged to re-formulate its rotavirus vaccine, Rotarix, by removing DNA from a non-lethal pig virus (PCV1). RotaTeq is contaminated with DNA from both PCV1 and PCV2. PCV2 is an aggressive virus that causes immune suppression, wasting disease and death in baby pigs.
“Responsible corporations voluntarily recall contaminated foods and drugs that could possibly compromise safety,” said NVIC Co-Founder & President Barbara Loe Fisher. “When RotaTeq is squirted into the mouths of babies, how many doctors or parents know those babies are swallowing DNA from a virus that can injure and kill baby pigs?”
“No company marketing a product found to be contaminated should be given a free pass,” said Dr. Joseph Mercola. “It is always dangerous to assume safety. Vaccines contaminated with viral DNA that could evolve and infect humans cannot and should not be assumed to be safe,” said Dr. Mercola.
The FDA recommended in March that doctors temporarily suspend use of GSK’s Rotarix vaccine after an independent lab using new technology detected PCV1 DNA in the rotavirus vaccine given to infants 2 to 6 months of age. At a special FDA advisory committee meeting on May 7, NVIC called on the FDA to legally require manufacturers to adhere to regulations for testing of vaccines before and after licensure for contamination and also require stricter labeling standards to fully inform consumers about any foreign DNA content that remains in vaccines.
On May 14, the FDA withdrew its suspension of Rotarix vaccine recommendation and pronounced both vaccines safe, even though both remain contaminated and safety data on PCV2 contamination of RotaTeq was not evaluated by the FDA advisory committee.
NVIC and Mercola.com defend informed consent to vaccination and support public access to vaccines that meet high standards for proof of safety and effectiveness. “Rotavirus vaccine is not required for daycare or school entry,” said Fisher. “The American Academy of Pediatrics and doctors should be informing parents they have a choice and that one rotavirus vaccine is contaminated with DNA from a lethal pig virus while the other is not.”
Dr. Mercola pointed to the recent voluntary recall of medicines for children that were contaminated with unidentified “particles,” as well as past voluntary recalls of contaminated food products. “Why should for-profit vaccine corporations which, unlike other industries, are shielded from liability by our government, be different from any other company selling a product in the U.S.? The American consumer has a right to demand that the products they use are pure and free from contamination,” he said.
About Us: The National Vaccine Information Center is a non-profit organization founded in 1982 to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and defend the informed consent ethic. Mercola.com is the most visited natural health website in the world.
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