Position Paper

In 19th century coalmines, canaries were used for the first time to detect the presence of poisonous gas accumulation deep in underground tunnels. Because their metabolisms run faster than humans, these small animals provided a crucial signal in dangerous times: the canaries would die from toxic gas releases before humans. Normally quite vocal, the silence of these songbirds was the signal of danger. Back then, miners whose lives depended on the absence of poisons paid close attention to the absence of the canary’s song. Today, as the rising power and spread of the medical industrial complex are taking an increasing toll on human health, we need to recognize the silenced canaries all around us.

What is this toll?

Nothing less than a generation of sick, injured and dying children, children who are increasingly becoming young adults. American children are over vaccinated and over medicated, over fed, undernourished and have record levels of chronic illness and developmental delay. As well, there is a direct toll of injured adults, especially those who serve in the military, subjected to an increased burden of inadequately tested, compulsory and even experimental vaccine exposures administered over a backdrop of multiple toxic exposures from prescription and over the counter medications, foods made from genetically modified organisms and laden with pesticides and preservatives, and tens of thousands of industrial compounds that did not exist a century ago.

In simplest terms, the medical industrial complex has launched a massive and uncontrolled experiment on a generation of Americans. In an unprecedented intervention in human immune development, this complex has succeeded in promoting an explosion in medical industry revenues and profits; this explosion has been accompanied, however, by an epidemic of death, disability and chronic disease, much of which can be traced directly to these medical and chemical exposures.

What is the medical industrial complex?

It is no simple thing to describe, but our working definition is the partnership between the medical and pharmaceutical industry on one hand and the public health establishment on the other. This “public private partnership”–one which includes vaccine manufacturers like Merck and GlaxoSmithKline, associations of doctors like the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association and the British Medical Association, and government agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health—has steadfastly resisted the rising evidence of a crisis in human health, denying its existence, defending its prerogatives in the face of the crisis and pressing its own expansionist agenda in spite of widespread evidence that the medical model its members are advancing has failed consumers. The moral failing of this partnership agenda becomes all the more egregious as one reflects on the notion that the primary precept of medical ethics was once, “First, do no harm”.

The human toll of these experiments affects us all, but most visibly affects the vulnerable in our society, those who have the highest rate of exposure to this uncontrolled experimentation. These groups are modern day canaries and we must heed their silent suffering. They include:

In the investigation and management of these and other modern–day plagues, our leading medical institutions have done more than merely fail us, their conduct lies at the root of the problem. Their agents have censored important science, manipulated data, intimidated honest scientists, and deceived the public. Worst of all, they have cloaked themselves in the mantle of science and “evidence-based medicine” as they have circled the wagons to defend their policies, profits and programs. In the meantime, their conduct and behavior is perpetuating one of the most egregious and systematic episodes of scientific denial in human history.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned against this outcome half a century ago in his Farewell Address to the nation. In addition to citing the emergence of a military-industrial complex, he also cautioned that an unholy alliance of money, technology, and government power could corrupt public policy more broadly.


Scientific research could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Today, despite Eisenhower’s warning, that reality is upon us, and its consequences are devastating. Public bureaucracies, professional associations and private corporations – groups whose interests and leaders are all but interchangeable — have triggered a public health disaster that worsens by the day. Eisenhower’s early warning has emerged in full flower as the medical industrial complex.

Along the way, the press has also failed us. The rise of corporate media and the breathlessly predatory 24 hour news cycle has led most of the mainstream media to swallow the talking points of the medical industrial complex while it continues to accept the advertising expenditures of its corporate members. They hide behind the technical nature of the evidence and meekly accept the claims of the medical industry’s “experts.” Increasingly, media celebrities have joined the attack, leading the inquisition against courageous scientists while denying media access to the many compelling leaders of critical consumer groups.

Most important of all, our political institutions have been failing us, at least so far. No major political party or movement has taken up this complex of issues. The blame for this failure of political will is broadly distributed and largely explained by the triumph of ideology over evidence. In order for our movement to succeed, we must ask advocates to check their political biases at the door, find ways to connect with the most helpful impulses of larger-scale movements while recognizing the ideological obstacles to embracing our agenda for change.

The Progressive Movement

In principle, progressives oppose Big Business and the corrupting influence of corporate money. At the same time, progressives embrace the concept of activist government and reflexively support areas in which “good government” can be defended as legitimate. Under this guise, progressives have actively promoted the expansion of the medical roles of Big Government and the expansion of the vaccination program, all in the interest of “progress.” Progressives gloss over the corrosive effect on government regulators of the “public-private partnerships” that pervade this expanding mandate.

The Conservative Movement

By contrast, the conservative movement reflexively opposes the program and activities of Big Government but looks past the ambitions and technological agendas of Big Business. Despite widespread evidence of the failure of the pharmaceutical innovation model, conservatives have failed to recognize the necessity of regulatory vigilance in order to defend consumers from the rising risk of palliative medical intervention; they have simultaneously failed to recognize how the free market can break down when Big Business forges unholy alliances (“public-private partnerships”) with Big Government.

The Green Party

A political movement dedicated to defending human populations against the excesses of industrial activity ought to be a natural ally of the victims of medical excess. Unfortunately, the environmental movement has narrowed its focus to the release of chemicals from industrial processes into the environment and has largely ignored the health effects of injecting toxic substances into vulnerable humans. Along the way, the environmental movement has allied itself with the progressive movement in its celebration of the effectiveness of regulatory intervention. Sadly, most “greens” have developed a blind spot when it comes to the silent canaries victimized by the medical industrial complex

The Tea Party

Although the populist momentum captured by the Tea Party movement may prove receptive to the critique offered here, to date the movement’s motivating energy has stemmed more from concerns over the expanding economic footprint of Big Government than concerns over the health outcomes that have resulted from Big Government programs. Appropriately, the Tea Party has protested the rising intrusion of government in the issues that affect our lives and liberties; to date, however, the movement has been more concerned with reining in Big Government than the need for justice for the victims of expanded Big Government programs.

The unfettered march of the medical industrial complex is a threat to Western society as we know it: to the lives of children and those who serve and defend us in our armed forces, to our right to choose the medical procedures we receive and to our rights to participate in society if we dissent. This all must change.

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