CDC Plagiarizes Indian Scientist’s Litchi Diagnosis

Yet more evidence of the extent of brazen IP theft from non-Western, especially developing Asian countries,  in elite Western institutions, this time involving Western and Indian-origin scientists at the Center for Disease Control in the US, deploying the resources of the Indian government to poach from Indian scientists:

The story began in 2013 when, faced with recurrent deaths of children due to a mysterious brain disease in litchi-harvesting belts of Muzaffarpur, the Bihar government and the health ministry of the central government turned to veteran virologist Dr T Jacob John. They could not have got a better expert: Dr John, since his MBBS way back in 1958, followed by a PhD in 1976, has a long and distinguished career in public health. In a way, he was the brain behind the polio vaccination campaign.

What could be the cause of deaths? The prime suspect was some yet-to-be-identified virus. The next suspect was the fruit itself, that is, some substance in it – it could be a toxin in litchi or something in the pesticide used. Other suspects were bats which were eating litchis and hence probably passing on some disease to children who ate the bat-eaten litchis. The common factor to all deaths was that the children were dying in the litchi-belt during the litchi harvesting season of May and June, recalls Dr John.

He camped at Muzaffarpur, met villagers and began his work. He ruled out the virus angle and was zeroing in on a chemical within litchi. “A similar disease was caused by another fruit called ackee that belongs to the same plant family as litchi. This disease was metabolic and was called hypoglycaemic encephalopathy, or ‘Jamaican vomiting sickness’. So I was able to rule out virus in the very beginning,” he says.

His hunch was that it was worth looking for a toxin within the fruit. He suggested this in a report in May 2014 – in the leading journal of its kind in India, Current Science, published by the Current Science Association in collaboration with the Indian Academy of Sciences. He and his co-researcher, Mukul Das, wrote:
“In animal experiments, MCPA (the hypoglycin found in ackee) and MCPG (the hypoglycin in litchi) have been shown to induce encephalopathy and hypoglycaemia. Encephalopathy is explained by the mitochondrial inhibition of fatty acid-oxidation and accumulation of toxic metabolites. Our hypothesis is that the Muzaffarpur AES is caused by MCPG in lychee. However, we do not know if it is present only in the seed or also in the edible fruit flesh and if unripe lychee has more MCPG than ripe fruits.”
Their conclusion: “…tightly  restricted seasonality and geographic distribution as well as sparing of children below 2 years support the diagnosis of acute non-infectious encephalopathy as against viral encephalitis.”

In September 2014, doctors John, Das and Arun Shah published further findings on the toxin hypothesis in the same journal.
They, however, were in for a shock when they found the same findings reproduced in an American journal a few months later – without any credit, acknowledgement or reference to their research.

Akash Srivastava, who is with the National Centre for Disease Control of the health ministry, along with a team of researchers published this set of findings in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), a journal published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the US government. The March 2015 report arrived at the same conclusion, that the brain disease among children in Muzaffarpur was not caused by a virus but by some toxin within litchi seeds or fruit, and the condition was hence not a viral disease but a metabolic disorder called hypoglycaemic encephalopathy.

Dr John and his co-authors took up the matter in a letter published in Current Science in September 2015. It asked: “Publishing on hypoglycemic encephalopathy, borrowing information without giving credit: Is Current Science invisible?”

They noted, “Annual seasonal outbreaks of what was popularly called acute encephalitis syndrome in Muzaffarpur, Bihar were clinically diagnosed in 2013 by us as non-infectious, toxic, hypoglycemic encephalopathy… The toxin was pinpointed as methylenecyclopropylglycine (MCPG). Thus, our first publication in May 2014 in Current Science was a breakthrough after many groups of investigators had failed for many years to diagnose the disease or provide any plausible causative associations.

“In 2014, we confirmed with clinical evidences that the disease is indeed hypoglycemic encephalopathy and the patients could be saved with prompt correction of hypoglycemia. These results were published, again in Current Science, in August 2014.” But in January 2015, MMWR came out with a report by a large group of investigators, stating that the disease is acute hypoglycemic encephalopathy with putative association with litchi, as if they were the first to arrive at such a conclusion.”

“Our 2013 investigations which appeared in May 2014 in Current Science were a watershed. But the studies of Shrivastava et al published in January 2015 in MMWR have not cited our earlier contributions – one reason could be that Current Science is invisible in the usual biomedical literature surveys. However, when we conducted a simple literature search through a popular search engine, we found references to both our papers.”

When Governance Now contacted  MMWR, its executive editor Charlotte Kent replied promptly on December 2 saying that matter would be investigated. “We received your two emails from today about the MMWR report, “Outbreaks of Unexplained Neurologic Illness – Muzaffapur, India, 2013-14”. We are planning on investigating the concern you raised,” she said in an email. MMWR has not sent any further information on the matter since then. Srivastava, meanwhile, did not reply to the emailed queries.

Several questions are raised by this incident, especially since the parallel research published by CDC was also done with help of Indian government bodies.

Dr John also rues the fact that this episode pits Indian scientists against each other. He says that ultimately it proves that Indians can do their research and reach the truth without external help. However, he adds that distortion of truth does leave a bitter taste in the mouth and is just not done in science.

An ethical scientist would not claim credit for someone else’s work, says the veteran virologist.

 

Dear Tamil Nadu Police, Please Do Not Arrest Me But…

Dear Tamil Nadu police, please do not arrest me but please do take a look at this list of mainstream Indian media reports about illness and death suffered immediately after vaccinations in India.

Yes, whale.to is considered a conspiracy site and a lot worse, but that link is only a list.

Can a list of mainstream reports be considered conspiracy-mongering?

Please do also look at the report of the chief of pediatrics at St. Stephens Hospital in Delhi and consider whether his measured comments and research on combination vaccines and their dangers amount to “panic messages” on social media.

Dr. Puliyel has also exposed the dangers of indigenous rotavirus vaccines and contested the government’s figures on the number of Indian children suffering from rotavirus diarrhoea.

If we  can worry about merely irritating bulls in villages in South India, surely parents can worry about their precious young children being given worrisome combo vaccines without threats of arrest.

 

 

 

 

Tamil Nadu Government Threatens Arrest Of Anti-Vaxxers

Times of India:

The state health department has threatened to initiate legal action against those sending panic messages advising people to boycott the coming massive measles-rubella vaccine drive in which nearly 1.8 crore children between 9 months and 15 years will be vaccinated in schools and primary health centres from February 6.

[Lila: around 237,000 children]

The department has the powers to persuade parents to vaccinate their children, said director of public health Dr K Kolandaisamy.

In the past one week, there has been a flood of messages on social media urging parents not to send their children for vaccination in schools and some suggest that they should not send their children to school on days scheduled for vaccinations……

“We are well within our powers even to arrest people who are a hindrance to the success of this scheme. We are working with the cybercrime team to track such panic messages. The scheme is being launched to eliminate the virus from the environment,” he said.”

 

Infanrix Vaccines Linked To Infant Deaths

A Delhi pediatrics chief has credibly linked the combined Infanrix vaccines to so-called Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) deaths:

“Infanrix vaccination generally follows a schedule of injections at three, five, and eleven-months of age, according to a paper published in Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics, which stated that the vaccine was first licensed in 2000 and that the vaccine has demonstrated a decade of safety.

Dr. Jacob Puliyel, head of pediatrics at St. Stephens Hospital in Delhi, linked to the previously confidential documents on Infanrix and commented on the Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics’s article where it appears in the U.S. National Institute of Health’s library. The pediatrics head called attention to what he believes is a strong correlation between sudden death and Infanrix when he wrote that “if one analyzes the data looking at deaths in first 10 days after administration of vaccine and compares it to the deaths in the next 10 days, it is clear that 97% of deaths (65 deaths) in the infants below 1 year, occur in the first 10 days and 3% (2 deaths) occur in the next 10 days.”

“Had the deaths been coincidental SIDS deaths unrelated to vaccination, the numbers of deaths in the two 10 day periods should have been the same.”

Puliyel went on to write that Infanrix hexa may have been to blame for at least 69 babies’ deaths during the reporting period alone. He states that 69 of the deaths during the reporting window were investigated thoroughly and occurred within three weeks of vaccination with Infanrix and the ages of the babies varied.
Did the hexavalent Infanrix vaccine cause sudden death?
Rather than compounding the total deaths each day, as in the documents found online, the pediatrics doctor suggests we examine how many more deaths happened right after the vaccine was given compared to as the days went by. He said this demonstrates a link between the vaccination event and the sudden deaths.

The data is conclusive. It is very clear and there is no room for argument,” a child safety advocate from Child Health Safety wrote just hours after Puliyel made his analysis public.

“And the analysis is simple. Anyone can understand it. The very plain data the document contains proves the matter without any doubt whatsoever.”

Claims on social media based on the doctor’s published comment are snowballing.

Italian court rules what US won’t: 97% of SIDS deaths attributed to vaccine, review of deaths after Infanrix shot http://t.co/9SqUJhFaqL

— Judy Converse MPH RD (@NutrCareAutism) January 13, 2015

GSK Forced to disclose in a confidential report that ~72 babies died within 20 days of getting Infanrix hexa http://t.co/6iuDkX9p2J #CDCVax

— Richard Healy (@RichardJHealy) January 14, 2015

Infanrix Vaccine Results in 69 Deaths, according to confidential GSK documents revealed at trial. http://t.co/xruNiOXUYk #CDCwhistleblower

— David Taylor (@peakdavid) January 15, 2015

Adverse events caused by Infanrix hexa vaccine results in 69 deaths – http://t.co/Tg4YPzLPN2 #Flu #viruses #virus #disease

— FluViruses.com (@FluViruses) January 15, 2015

The doctor who analyzed the data did not state that there was no room for argument, though. He did not brazenly state that the hexavalent Infanrix vaccine causes sudden death in babies.

Puliyel stated that he published his commentary “to put it up for open review by the scientific community, on account of its urgency, as this is a matter that involves the lives of children and there is a continuing risk to children.” Puliyel notes that the “decelerating incremental-deaths” support the theory of a clear relationship between deaths labelled as sudden death and “the vaccination episode.” The vaccination episode includes many variables besides just Infanrix vaccination itself.

Puliyel noted a correlation between deaths and the combination vaccine Infanrix. Puliyel has been clear before, such as in his letter to the Guardian, that he believes combination vaccines are possibly dangerous and far too expensive.”

Coke, Reliance Enter Indian Dairy Drink Market

“Jallikattu” or bull-taming, is an agricultural tradition intended to conserve and improve native cattle species, now under an existential threat from imported breeds and big corporations.

From the New Indian Express:

Natives that are not grown for pride are sent for slaughter causing drastic decline in sex ratio. Jallikattu enthusiasts claim the sport help to sustain bulls for longer.

“The bulls that don’t win the game are not used for pure-breed next generation natives. Each of the strong, pure natives are used for inseminating 10-15 cows. Let’s say half the bulls win human beings. Each of these will give rise to 15 more pure natives,” says a professor of Dairy Technology at TANUVAS. Going by Rajasekaran’s number, more than a lakh-and-a-half pure natives are produced by every batch of Jallikattu bulls.

Native species do not produce as much milk as some imported species and without impregnation by the best studs, partly conserved through Jallikattu, their existence would be in doubt.

India’s largest milk producer, Amul, in Gujarat, uses Jersey cows, imported from Holland.

Meanwhile,  beverage giant, Coca-Cola, is teaming up with India’s Reliance to enter the dairy drinks market in India, this year.

With demand rising powerfully, milk will soon have to be imported along with exotic semen and other inputs needed to continue cross-breeding the native and the foreign species. More imports means higher prices making milk unaffordable to the poor; it means higher costs, making farming impossible to the marginal farmer; it means reliance on European and hybrid breeds that demand more water and are less hardy; it means foreign species’ milk that causes schizophrenia, autism and type-1 diabetes.

That’s the context needed to understand the anger at the PETA-inspired ban of Jallikattu, already heavily regulated under India’s animal protection laws.