Gardasil is a vaccine supposed to protect against the cancer-causing strains of HPV (human papillomavirus), a sexually transmitted virus linked to cervical cancer. Currently it is subsidised in New Zealand for girls up to the age of 20, and recommended at age 12, in three doses over six months.

The promotion of this vaccine has played on the fears of responsible parents, insinuating that their failure to opt for this harmless jab unnecessarily puts their young daughters at risk of cancer. The risk of cervical cancer is emphasised, as is the ability of Gardasil to guarantee protection from it, while making the vaccine out to be safe as houses. What parent wouldn’t go for it? If you scratch the surface though, things don’t seem to be so clear cut.

Was this drug pushed onto the market too quickly? Did it receive sufficient testing and go through the required procedures for safety and efficacy that all vaccines are supposed to be subjected to? It was first licensed in the US in 2006 after a fast-tracked trial period (Why? What was the sudden urgency to have an HPV vaccine?), and was approved for funding by the New Zealand government in 2008.

Last November an investigative piece on the Mediaworks programme ‘3D’ sparked a complaint by Seqirus (the makers of Gardasil in NZ) to the Broadcasting Standards Authority, claiming the programme was misleading, alarmist and made Gardasil out to be unsafe. In June the BSA announced it would not uphold the complaint, saying the programme did not mislead viewers but investigated both sides and was informative.

Serious side effects

In New Zealand alone there have been numerous reports of adverse side effects and three deaths linked to the vaccine. Two girls’ families wish to remain unnamed, a third was Jasmine Renata, who died in her sleep in 2009 aged 18, after receiving the vaccine. Her mother says she experienced a range of serious symptoms after her first dose in 2008, and continued to suffer side effects until her sudden death six months after her final dose. While the local coroner determined that the vaccine was definitely not the cause of death, two overseas experts contradicted him, saying that it is possible the vaccine was the cause, and that the samples they tested showed abnormalities, but there was no way to be sure.
Chantal Nielsen in the UK, aged 13, reported fainting, memory lapses and is now wheelchair bound, unable to use her legs. A perfectly healthy 12-year-old Wisconsin girl died just hours after receiving the vaccine. There are tens of thousands of similar examples.

Norma Erickson, the president of Sanevax (a US organization devoted to reporting on safe and unsafe vaccines) suggests two ingredients could be responsible for the adverse effects: aluminium, a neurotoxin, and L-hystidine, which interferes with the brain’s defences against such toxins. Erickson can’t explain why Gardasil would cause such a wide range of health problems, but insists there needs to be a full investigation.

As well as sudden death, Gardasil has been linked to cases of multiple sclerosis, brain inflammation, paralysis, memory loss, stroke, seizures, blindness, pancreatitis, extreme fatigue, speech problems and premature menopause. By 2012, tens of thousands of reports of negative effects had been made to the US government, including 128 deaths. An article in the Washington Times in 2014 revealed that US courts had awarded almost US$6 million to victims of Gardasil in a single year. The vaccine was tested on fewer than 1200 girls under the age of 16 in the US before it was released onto the market. Reported problems associated with Gardasil are around five times as high as the average for vaccines, according to a representative of the CDC in the US.

Experts warn that Gardasil is not only unsafe but doesn’t work

Former employee of Merck, the US company that developed Gardasil, Dr Bernard Dalbergue claimed in a 2014 interview with French magazine Principes de Santé, that the drug was put onto the market too quickly, and calls it a “medical fairy tale”.
He said the vaccine does nothing to prevent cervical cancer and that the “very many adverse effects destroy lives and even kill,” but that its hasty approval for funding in the US and Europe were driven by the profit margins of the manufacturers. He said that Gardasil “will be the biggest medical scandal of all time”.

Dr Dalbergue isn’t anti vaccines. He agrees that without them we would still be subject to horrible diseases like smallpox and polio, which used to kill millions. He said that those vaccines were also not without serious side effects, but the risk was worth the benefits, and that this is the measure of a worthwhile vaccine. He also draws attention to a previous scandal involving Merck’s anti-inflammatory, Vioxx, which had serious side effects that they tried to cover up before re-releasing the drug with some minor changes under a different brand name.

Dr Diane Harper was one of 50 people who worked on developing the vaccine and carrying out the safety and effectiveness studies to get it approved. She has since expressed grave concerns. She says the length of time that the vaccine is effective is less than the time it can take for cancers to develop. According to Dr Harper, 90% of women with HPV will naturally eliminate the virus in two years. So as a vaccine for pubescent girls, the majority of whom are not sexually active, it’s more of a marketing exercise than a genuine precautionary measure. She says that regular pap smears are a much more effective way of reducing the risk of cervical cancer. What’s more, Dr. Genevieve Rail, who received a grant from the Canadian government to study HPV, concluded that there isn’t even any definitive proof that the virus causes cervical cancer.

So there are those that insist that Gardasil is safe and that the cases of death and debilitating health problems are a coincidence, labelling the medical professionals that mistrust it as ‘alarmist’ and ‘unscientific’. These same people are simply taking the word of a pharmaceutical company known for misleading the public. Now who’s being unscientific? At the very least, the negative reports need to be taken seriously with a proper investigation. Yet another concern is that women will put off getting regular pap smears because they think they are fully protected by the vaccine, resulting in more cases of cervical cancer going undetected until it’s too late.


  1. Roger Jordan Reply

    I am not at all sure of why you want to be seen to be part of an issue which does not affect you directly and which is as likely to offend your client base as it is to focus it. The above report can muster just three cases yet talks of tens of thousands; inflammatory at least. I have an interest in the natural therapies business with involvement at the national level yet I find your tirade to be less than helpful to the cause of natural therapies. If it is a matter of ego then join a gym and ponce about there or buy a mirror and…never mind the mirror

    • Ross Chapman Reply

      What offensive comments you make about the author. You’re a troll, get off of here right now then use the internet wisely where you find much more truth about these dangers, and more. The information is freely available.

    • Hi Roger, im a bit different to other people, i believe in free speech, and so i publish all comments, including yours. you should read the article again and realise there are 10’s of thousands of cases, not just 3… and no proof of benefit, unlike the older… probably extremely useful vaccines that have saved a heap of lives. I believe in natural or pharmaceutical products, provided they work and are safe. i have written articles in defense of Pharmac.

    • Go away you idiot. Why can’t Daniel I former US on something we should all be told about and former our own opinions.

  2. Thanks for sharing this health information with us, as I haven’t heard this anywhere else, and therefore I’m really grateful for your effort to inform me (and all your other customers)!

  3. Heresay and supposition. No evidence for your argument except some experts who state that it is possible that the vaccine may have contributed to a death. It may also be argued that it did not.

    • And that is exactly why articles such as this are so important.
      We are altered to the possible side affects and it is now up to each individual to conduct their own due diligence.
      Thanks for bringing the subject toy attention

  4. Michelle Rudgley Reply

    Thank you for this article. I am so pleased I chose not to allow my daughter to receive this vaccine. It has devastated so many young girls lives. Thankfully some countries have taken action and banned this vaccine because of the appalling rate of severe adverse reactions. It is so important to weigh up the risk/benefit ratio of these medical procedures, especially when there is so much you can do to protect against cervical cancer naturally through diet and lifestyle choices. Thanks again it is so important for parents to make informed choices for their children.

  5. Shirley Wells Reply

    It’s funny isn’t it!
    I am one who had HPV as a young person, warts and all. Resulting in CIN3 cervical issues and thankfully resolved with a cone biopsy. I was all for suggesting my two boys should go and get the vaccine when I heard that it was being made available to boys. This article has given me pause for thought.
    I do believe HPV is a sexually transmitted disease which could have dire consequences and prevention is surely better than cure, but now I will watch and wait until I am more informed. Thank you for another perspective.

  6. Susan Toogood Reply

    Thank you for publishing this article. I had seen this information before and as a result withdrew my youngest daughter (the only one at school when this “vaccine” became available) from the programme before the 3rd dose was administered. It’s great that we can get balanced information 🙂

  7. Gordon Taylor Reply

    Thank you so much for your published article There will be those who challenge but then we have to wonder what their actual motive is. We all need this sort of information to be published in the hopes that the groundswell of opinion challenges the money oriented greed that is the driving force of these international drug companies.I sincerely hope that all of your customer base take the time to read the article and hope that it can be made more publically available.

  8. Alan James Reply

    Hi All,
    I remember years ago I was told “Not to Drink Petrol”
    And Dam they were right, the article gathered mileage as one would expect.
    But the truth was out, don’t accelerate into the unknown without checking our rear visions of near misses and information brake failures.
    A SAFE journey to everyone..
    Thanks for the Info..

  9. Calling HPV vaccine the “biggest medical scandal of all time” is a big statement. A bigger scandal than Thalidomide? Daniel, I use your products based largely on trust. For example I believe the science that you provide around resveratrol and pay for it and take it despite that it is easy to find articles online that tell me that there is no good evidence that taking resveratrol as a dietary supplement has any beneficial health effects in humans. When you start to share alarmist information like the above it might play to some of your audience, but the lack balance really makes me question whether I should take the rest of your science seriously. The quoting of experts in the article is interesting and definitely provides pause for thought (especially around speed to market) but there are several statements threaded in amongst that commentary that are poor science at best. A quick example. The article quotes the anti-vaccination group sanevax to say that aluminium is a link to possible side effect deaths. But it neglects to mention that aluminium is used in almost all vaccines and has been for a long time. If you consider other vaccines safe Daniel you presumably don’t have a problem with those vaccines use of aluminium. I’m a big fan of your products and your company and have been an active promoter. I wanted to share the reasons that you sharing this article has started to undermine that fandom.

    • Michael, what we are about with the health articles is showing people what the mainstream media does not. Im going to tell you exactly why i think you are dead wrong about thalidomide, it was not intentional, and the learnings from it changed the way drugs are tested. It is often called a ‘disaster’ or a ‘tragedy’ not a scandal. if you wanted one that is a scandal then look at Vioxx, which left 60,000 dead. But the reason why the word scandal is used, is that the misleading nature of everything about this drug appears to be systematic and deliberate. And it is the subjective words of one of the people quoted in the article, not ours. A scandal is not defined by how many people died (in this case around 130) but the sequence of events that occurred before it, the level of government culpability, the orchestration, and how they all come together to mislead. and sure , people have opinions, but by writing this at least people who read this can do more research and make up their own mind.

  10. When I received this mailer I stopped using your products, for the reasons described above, and then your condescending reply. I stopped my regular order of Res V plus. I thought I’d report back nearly a year later on how I feel. The simple reality is it turns out that I just feel much better not taking Res V. I wonder whether it’s because I was never receiving any actual benefit or whether not supporting scare-mongering anti-vaxxers just feels good. Probably some combination.

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