Merck Bankrolled Anti-Parent Bill
By JOHN SEILER
Key California legislators passing an anti-parent bill grabbed campaign financing from the gigantic Merck conglomerate, a CalWatchDog.com investigation revealed. The legislation is AB 499 by Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, D-San Diego. In the bill’s language, it “authorizes a minor, who is 12 years of age or older, to consent to medical care related to the prevention of a sexually transmitted disease.”
Current law allows such care only with a parent’s permission. AB 499 passed both houses of the Legislature and awaits a decision by Gov. Jerry Brown.
AB 499 commonly is called the “Gardasil Bill” because the major drug to be administered to 12-year-old girls — without their parents’ consent — is Gardasil, manufactured by Merck. According to Merck’s Gardasil Web site:
GARDASIL is the only human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine that helps protect against 4 types of HPV. In girls and young women ages 9 to 26, GARDASIL helps protect against 2 types of HPV that cause about 75% of cervical cancer cases, and 2 more types that cause 90% of genital warts cases. In boys and young men ages 9 to 26, GARDASIL helps protect against 90% of genital warts cases.
GARDASIL also helps protect girls and young women ages 9 to 26 against 70% of vaginal cancer cases and up to 50% of vulvar cancer cases.
But the drug is not without risk. The Web site itself cautions:
The side effects include pain, swelling, itching, bruising, and redness at the injection site, headache, fever, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and fainting. Fainting can happen after getting GARDASIL. Sometimes people who faint can fall and hurt themselves. For this reason, your health care professional may ask you to sit or lie down for 15 minutes after you get GARDASIL. Some people who faint might shake or become stiff. This may require evaluation or treatment by your health care professional.
So, your lovely little girl comes home from school, faints, shakes and becomes stiff. And you have no idea why.
I cross-matched the votes for AB 499 in the Legislature with Merck Corporate PAC Contributions in 2010 and came up with this list:
Kevin De Leon, D-Los Angeles, $2,000
Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina, $2,500
Elaine Alquist, D-San Jose, $1,000
Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, $1,500
Juan Vargas, D-Chula Vista, $3,500
Alex Padilla, D-San Fernando Valley, $300
Curren Price, D-Los Angeles, $1,700
Roderick D. Wright, D-Inglewood, $1,500
Lois Wolk, D-Vacaville, $2,000
Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, $1,500
Ben Hueso, D-Chula Vista, $1,000
Bob Blumenfield, D-Van Nuys, $1,500
V. Manuel Perez, D-Indio, $1,500
Richard Pan, D-East Sacramento, $1,000
Bill Monning, D-Santa Cruz, $1,500
Felipe Fuentes, D-Arleta, $1,500
Holly J. Mitchell, D-Culver City, $2,500
Speaker John A. Perez, D-Los Angeles, $1,500
Ricardo Lara, D-South Gate, $1,000
Mary Hayashi, D-Hayward, $1,500
Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, $1,000
Nancy Skinner, D-Oakland, $2,500
Jose Solorio, D-Santa Ana, $1,500
Steven Bradford, D-Inglewood, $1,500
Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, $1,000
Total that Merck donated to legislators voting yea on AB 499: $39,500
True, some Merck money went to those who voted against the bill. But an overwhelming amount went to those who backed it. For Merck, which stands to make tens of millions of dollars off the bill, it was an investment that paid off big time.
The bill’s fiscal analysis is unclear. “The bill says parents are not financially viable, so taxpayers will have to pay for it,” Paulo Sibaja, director of legislation at the Capitol Resource Institute, told me. “We’re still trying to calculate the cost. But the cost will be 50 percent from the state, 50 percent from the federal government.”
He said there be other consequences, such as “who will be legally liable for medical liability, the state or the parents? The bill undermines the parents, who are totally out of the decision affecting their child.”
A similar program was imposed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry in 2007, then repealed by the Texas Legislature later that year. Perry, currently the Republican front runner for the 2012 presidential race, still defends his decision. Before his action, he received a $6,000 campaign donation from Merck.
And Merck, according to Wikipedia, hired “former Perry Chief of Staff Mike Toomey to handle its Texas lobbying work” and Perry’s “current chief of staff’s mother-in-law, Texas Republican state Rep. Dianne White Delisi [as] state director for Women in Government”.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry is so enthusiastic about Gardasil that a week ago, he ordered all girls in the state to be immunized before entering sixth grade, as of September 2008. (Parents can opt out for religious and other reasons.) Prompted in part by a vigorous lobbying campaign by Merck, which stands to earn billions of dollars if the vaccine is required, legislators in 23 other states and the District of Columbia have proposed mandating vaccination against HPV for girls as young as 11.
In California, the Gardasil injection — or other injection — is not mandatory. But neither is there a religious opt-out because parents just won’t know what’s happening to their precious child. Only government will.
A year ago, the Washington Examiner reported:
Documents from the Food & Drug Administration obtained by Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act indicate that Gardasil, a cervical cancer vaccine manufactured by Merck that FDA officials fast-tracked for approval in 2006, may not be not as safe as its industry and government backers assured the public it was.
FDA records show that 16 new deaths (including four suicides) and 3,589 “adverse reactions” tied to Gardasil were reported in the 16 months between May 2009 and September 2010. The adverse reactions included 213 cases of permanent disability. The FDA also received 25 reports of paralyzing Guillian Barre Syndrome in young girls and women who had received the vaccine.
Here’s a horror story in the Judicial Watch report:
One mother of a 13-year old girl who died 37 days after receiving the vaccination noted in a report: “I first declined getting her the vaccination but her doctor ensured me that it was safe…” After her daughter complained of a severe headache, no feeling in her foot and a tingling feeling in her leg, a doctor’s appointment was set for October 23, 2009. “My daughter never made it to Oct[ober] 23rd, which is also her birthday,” the mother noted. “She passed on Oct[ober] 17th, I found her cold unresponsive in her room at 7 am….”
Because there will be no parental notification in California, girls could start dropping dead and their grieving parents won’t even know why.