I decided to write a general piece today in response to some of the comments we received from the last newsletter about vaccination.

Firstly, to call some of the comments we received about vaccines spirited is an understatement. Two readers accused me of providing no evidence for my ‘outrageous claims’ about the efficacy of the flu vaccine. My answer to this is that they are not my claims, I merely report the findings of the Cochrane Group. There was no point me reprinting several pages of trial findings, so I put three links to the plain English Cochrane page discussing each scenario for the flu vaccine.

Another lady basically accused me of making people who have already had the flu shot feel bad, she stated that there was considerable evidence that if people believe in the jab, they may get protection – even if it does not actually work. I guess I can’t really argue with that, but to not say something about it, when it’s paid for by our taxes is simply against my philosophy. If health care money is wasted on a strategy that has no benefit, then something that could potentially  work misses out on funding. It’s not like it’s a sugar pill obtained at virtually no cost, it costs up to $30 per vaccination, and 1.2 million New Zealanders get vaccinated every year. It’s a nice little earner for the manufacturers.

First things first – what is the Cochrane Group?

The Cochrane Group is a  collaboration of 28,000 volunteer researchers from 100 countries (including New Zealand) who review drug company research, raw data from their trials and then provide systematic reviews of all of the studies to promote evidence based healthcare. The key premise is that the researchers must have no financial motive or conflicts of interest.

The financially independent aspect to this is absolutely essential. Ben Goldacre writes in his book ‘Bad Pharma’ that in 2010, 3 researchers from Harvard and Toronto examined 500 trials examined 5 major classes of drugs. They looked at whether the results were positive or negative, as well as who funded the study. In all, 85% of the drug company funded trials were positive, while only 50% of the government funded trials were.

Another example involved looking at the statin trials. Statins are a class of drug prescribed to lower cholesterol. The numbers are huge, a 2011 article on TV3 indicated that 1.5 million prescriptions were issued in New Zealand the previous year – equivalent to 300,000 kiwis being on this class of drugs. In 2007 researchers compared 192 trials that pitted one statin against another, or vs a different kind of treatment. The researchers found that the studies that were funded by drug companies were 20 times more likely to favour the drug being tested.

Those of you who have been reading for a while will have an idea of how corrupt pharmaceutical companies are. When I make statements along the lines of ‘you can’t trust any research that comes from drug companies’ this is what I am getting at. These studies are the sole reason the drugs are approved and put on the market, there is no government body that tests all the findings in their own human trials – just to make sure drug companies are not telling porkies. Drug companies only let the world see results that are favourable to their drugs, negative results are simply buried. We are led to believe by our authorities and various mouth pieces for the medical profession that we should simply trust what our doctors say and take the drugs, because it’s all ‘evidence based medicine’.

My friends, it’s just not. And no one is going to tell you this, because the whole system is designed to move drugs. We are (unfortunately) at the bottom of the food chain. We are indoctrinated to trust our medical experts – and to believe that there is a miracle pill that can cure anything. It’s our default life raft in an ocean of bad choices. The predators at the top are the pharmaceutical companies who call all the shots.

That’s the metaphorical world we all live in. There are successes in modern medicine (such as antibiotics, for instance), but all too many diseases that can’t be effectively treated or drugs that simply don’t work or are unsafe. It is really important that you do your own research when you are prescribed a drug. Often the doctors don’t know whether they really work or are safe – because the drug companies fool everyone.

This is why the Cochrane Group is important, it is an independent group of non-financially motivated researchers who get hold of the data behind the research (the first hurdle, because drug companies withhold it, edit it to delete embarrassing findings etc) then they analyse it to find the real results – without the spin.

The Cochrane Group is a large group of people, it is not perfect. With any large group of people you will likely get agendas as well. But when they say that a particular strategy has no demonstrably value (ie vaccinating populations of healthy people against the flu) we should listen. Some readers made statements such as ‘I get the flu shot every year – works for me’, I get that. Unfortunately it’s a case study of one. In our minds it’s a very big one – because it’s based on our personal experiences. It does not take into consideration other factors which may be offering protection, such as vitamin D levels. I appreciate the comments.

I am not against modern medicine. There are some extremely exciting areas of research. It’s a case of getting rid of the parts that don’t work, and these seem mostly to involve pharmaceutical companies and their products. I realise that some of the things I write about may offend people, maybe because it affects their worldview or their sense of security. I apologise if this is the case, my goal is not to offend – it is to provide information that the mainstream media largely ignores.

The goal of the Beacon is to help people make better health decisions. If there is a subject of particular interest to you, then please get in touch.


  1. Michelle Narbey Reply

    Thank you Daniel for your very interesting articles and I totally agree with you regarding the big Pharma companies and the flu jab. I believe it is people like you that inevitably educate and help people who are struggling and tired of medication making them sicker rather than better in some instances. I love reading your articles and recipes.

  2. Lloyd Derbyshire Reply

    First swallow what the drug companies and their pimping doctors say, then swallow their pill and play dumb. Medicine isn’t a sacred cow it’s simply a very well oiled kill or cure machine that pumps money out of our pockets and into it’s own. Everyone along the line clips the ticket. They’re gaming us people.

    We all have freedom of choice and (dare I suggest) that if you plug into the giant global brain and Bing or Google your own research, you’re likely to be more motivated to find a correct diagnosis & a cure for yourself than your average “Health Care Professional”. These people are not Gods and you should double-check everything they say unless you’re unconscious and bleeding on the road or need a life saving op and you’ve exhausted all less invasive options. The less you see of these people the longer you’ll live, so make healthy aging choices and you’ll avoid or improve chronic conditions that over time will incapacitate or kill you before your time.

    Thanks for informing my proactive healthy aging choices Daniel. Shake it up!

  3. Lleon Downes Reply

    The last time I had a flu jab was in the early 1970’s. i got the flue that year! NEVER AGAIN AND EVEN THOUGH I HAVE HAD OCCASIONAL COLDS I HAVE NOT HAD THE fLU SINCE – PRAISE GOD

  4. I certainly believe what you are saying and it’s well past due for authorities to get involved and investigate/prosecute these drug-pushers

  5. Daniel, you are 100 percent right in my opinion and research into pharma companies.

    Part of the reason the medical profession don’t rock the boat about this, in some instances huge, gigantic con, is that ask around and find out who funds research and clinical trials here in NZ?

    Same goes for Government.

    I spent years reseaching Tamiflu background those associated with it.
    USA mayor politician had a huge part to play I believe based on my research both in the production/ownership of the product and marketing.

    I wouldn’t apologise to anyone for the statements you have made.

    If people don’t want to acknowledge independant research and their results then so be it. It is not as if you are making this stuff up, only repeating what has been researched and where we commoners can source and judge for ourselves the credibility of their claims.

    If people want to be gullible then they have every right to do so and I will respect them for that. But please don’t knock others who have an opposing view based on independant research and studies.

    • I totally agree with all that you say.I was put on a statin for lowering my cholesterol by my doctor,and was never told of the side effects.For the next two years I was at my doctors all the time with strange symptoms and it wasn’t until a friend of mind described her symptoms that I realised that I had the same problems.her doctor told her to come off the statin immediately.I did the same and have never been to the doctors since apart from going to see her and telling her how furious I was that she didn’t pick up on thew symptoms.My specialist was absolutely against this medication and I have since put many people off going onto these including my husband.I have never taken the flu jab as I never get the flu,but for some reason my husband decided to get it and guess what happened……..terrible flu,cough and cold.I was annoyed at him for taking it as he never gets the flu.he got the injection the following year as he said I didn’tr know what I was talking about and the same thing happened!as a result he has not had it since and has never had a cold,cough or flu.

  6. You certainly are right in comments about drug companies. Hence the TV Programme “Is modern medicine killing you” I know of plenty of people who were talked into the flu vaccine, to end up getting the flu for the 1st time as Lleon Downes says, and have vowed never to have it again. I refuse them each year and have been flu free.

  7. Lilian Viitakangas Reply

    Talking Back to Prozac by Peter Breggin provides a really good insight into the way drug companies report their findings and bury data. It has recently been re-released (updated). Recommended reading.

  8. Vested interest much?
    Much smaller budget than the big co’s
    Never the less, your livelihood depends on refuting the official line.
    Even though I use your product,am aware that,for hundreds of years,
    it has remained “caveat emptor”
    You know that you are dealing with a vulnerable audience.
    Having made my thoughts clear,(or not) I have choices.
    Will still go with your product.

  9. malcolm cooke Reply

    Hi Daniel

    You are very well informed and I take my hat off to you for your courage in taking steps to show the public just what drug companies are up to. Of course the problem is far more wide reaching in other aspects as well but we shall leave that for now so as to maintain a semblence of credibilty.

    Keep up the excellent work and well done.


    Malcolm Cooke

  10. Larry Prior Reply

    I wish i had read your article before my wife had her flu shot .I refuse to have one. the result was five minutes after the shot she went into convultions quite serious in fact. It took emergency treatment to get her calmed down and eventually able to go home. the point I am making is that the doctors said it wouldn’t be the flu jab which was five minutes earlier ,hard to believe. Serious thought should go into getting a jab when this could happen regards L P

  11. As a retired pharmacist I agree with most of your comments.There is no doubt that we as a nation are well over-medicated.I have several friends who have had problems with aching legs with statins. They were never informed that a problem could occur and this was brushed aside by the Doctors concerned.
    This is just one drug when life style changes would have achieved a better outcome with no side effects but then no profit for the drug companies.
    Statins are just one example of many of said unnecessary prescribing.

  12. Roger Kennerley Reply

    To add to the pile:-we make a Hormone Balance cream and people are asking for it because when they had the ‘flu jab their Menopausal symptoms returned! How come?

  13. heather amos Reply

    In my mid 70s and never had a flu jab……no cold or flu for 15yrs. Take 1 ester C tab and have hot then icy cold shower (count to 10 !)

  14. terry kilburn Reply

    my experience..dont take your doctors word,theyre paid to push drugs.
    i was given vioxx by dr.alison mc.farlance in gisborne in 2002,these pills put me
    in hospital three times within about a week of each
    other with major heartattacks.
    i tried to sue the doctor,whose practising overseas now,and the drug co who made them.
    under new zealand law i couldnt do a thing.
    ACC turned their backs on me with feeding me a load
    of bull.
    all medical reports came back 100% positive that vioxx had caused the heartattacks.
    im still heavily in debt from this,trying to pay the costs of this off on an invalid benefit.
    live on beta blockers for my heart.
    my wife left me because i was now ill.
    anyway..my message is..no matter how nice the doctor,
    no matter how long youve known them..dont take those pills
    until youve checked on the nett for tests done,side effects etc,or have a real good talk with your chemist..
    check and check again,before you put medication in your mouth…terry kilburn

    • Daniel Reply

      Ahh, Vioxx! The poster drug for why not to trust drug companies. At least 60,000 dead. If that was Africa we would call it genocide and Bono would be organising a free concert, but a drug company does this and its called ‘progress’. Merck got fined about 950 million and a 5 billion settlement, but never admitted liability. They got off incredibly lightly. A future article I think…

  15. I well remember my mother when a very healthy,strong woman;my siblings and I were all late teens or adult.Our father left us and returned to his home in England.Mother developed a painful arm,and our “family doctor” gave her pills; then pills to counteract the reaction to those pills; then more pills till she was a walking pharmacy. She lost weight and strength etc and finally died I believe because of the godamned pills.

  16. Margaret hamilton Reply

    I will never never have the Flue Jab ever again
    I had the Flue Jab on the 16th May & for the next 3 days I had the most serve headache…I rang the Medical Centre & was told that it was very unlikey the Flu Vaccine had caused it.
    On the 28th May I was rushed to hospital having thought I had suffered a stroke …I was kept in Hospital for 2 days & I have Bells Palsy.
    What I ave suffered is unbelievable & I am still suffering as I write this. On the 10th June I had a very terribel convulsion & lost consiouness & was again rushed to Hospital,this was horrific. I have always kept very good health & now I just want these headaches to be gone….I do not want to take the pills they are giving me

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