How Independent Are Vaccine Defenders?

“They’re some of the most trusted voices in the defense of vaccine safety: the American Academy of Pediatrics, Every Child By Two, and pediatrician Dr. Paul Offit. But CBS News has found these three have something more in common – strong financial ties to the industry whose products they promote and defend. The vaccine industry gives millions to the Academy of Pediatrics for conferences, grants, medical education classes and even helped build their headquarters. The totals are kept secret, but public documents reveal bits and pieces. A $342,000 payment from Wyeth, maker of the pneumococcal vaccine – which makes $2 billion a year in sales. A $433,000 contribution from Merck, the same year the academy endorsed Merck’s HPV vaccine – which made $1.5 billion a year in sales. Every Child By Two, a group that promotes early immunization for all children, admits the group takes money from the vaccine industry, too – but wouldn’t tell us how much. Then there’s Paul Offit, perhaps the most widely-quoted defender of vaccine safety. He’s gone so far as to say babies can tolerate “10,000 vaccines at once.” In fact, he’s a vaccine industry insider. Offit holds in a $1.5 million dollar research chair at Children’s Hospital, funded by Merck. He holds the patent on an anti-diarrhea vaccine he developed with Merck. And future royalties for the vaccine were just sold for $182 million cash.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/07/25/cbsnews_investigates/main4296175.shtml

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