Woodford Files: The Healthy Debate Around Vaccines

Wow, we’re only two months into 2015, and it’s been a sizzling year already. In the health community, the controversy around vaccinations is raging, with passionate voices speaking out on all sides of the debate. After we broke the story last month about research linking vaccines to autism, both Helke Ferrie and Vitality received a barrage of responses – some highly supportive of the article and others angrily opposed. One response worthy of note came from Edda West in B.C., founder of Vaccine Choice Canada and long time vaccine educator. She pointed out that the MMR vaccine does not contain the mercury-based preservative Thimerosal, as had been stated in the article, but instead contains genetically modified retroviruses. We were grateful to have this error brought to our attention, and have published a detailed correction notice on page 76.

Also weighing in on the subject was Dr. Frank Shallenberger, MD, who stated in a recent issue of his Second Opinion newsletter: “No matter what they tell you, the [MMR] vaccine is not safe. Over 78 studies have been published that show a distinct relationship between the [MMR] vaccine and autism. The incidence of autism in those darned Amish people who just refuse to vaccinate their children is an amazing zero.”

You can find links to several of those 78 studies at the end of Helke Ferrie’s vaccine feature The Illusion of Vaccine Safety – Update and Correction Notice.

To add more fuel to the fire, this month we carry an opinion piece by a mother from Montreal who puts forth an alternative view of measles, and asks us to consider that it could be a beneficial childhood disease which helps the immune system to mature and develop.

The fact that this woman, and so many others, are speaking out on all sides of the debate means it is getting a high degree of scrutiny. This will ultimately benefit consumers as we become better informed. After all, Vitality is not here to convince people to stop using conventional medicine. We are simply here to show that there are alternatives worthy of consideration, and it’s time for modern health care to evolve toward a more wholistic model that embraces a broader spectrum of possibilities. Indeed, we are all on the same side with the same desire to protect ourselves and our families from harm.

This month’s feature by David Carmichael, Vanessa’s Law Reinforces Need for Integrative Medicine, beautifully illustrates how conventional medicine can evolve. It tells the story of new reforms to federal drug safety legislation that were recently put in place after a young girl died from an adverse reaction to the heartburn drug, Prepulsid. And it points out that the medicine of the future will give the physician many more options for patient care that could actually improve outcomes: “With integrative medicine, physicians can use conventional treatments such as prescription drug therapy when necessary, but they and other practitioners can also use complementary therapies for treating health conditions, thereby healing people and restoring wellbeing.”

Also this month, we are celebrating the imminent arrival of spring with two features showcasing the power of green food. In Kale Cuisine, Linda Gabris shares recipes passed down by her grandmother that are chock full of nourishing and healing ingredients. These kale teas, soups, and cooked salads are sturdy enough to warm your innards during chilly late winter nights and early spring days. And our feature on Sprouts, written by the famous Steve Meyerowitz, introduces us to the power of baby plants which can be grown right in your own kitchen or plucked from the local grocers. As more studies are done on these precious little twinkles of energy, the power of sprouts to prevent and heal disease is gaining recognition. Their crunchy goodness is especially welcome in Canadian kitchens at this time of year when local greens are not yet in season.

Meantime, happy spring equinox! JW

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