All the material for this piece was received via email from Liam Scheff and is posted with his permission.
Letter to the Guardian in response to the "serious concerns" caused by The Guinea Pig Kids Documentary.
by Liam Scheff
Answering the Beeb & AIDS Truth Mafia On The Ginea Pig Kids
By Liam Scheff
[IN BLUE & BRACKETS]
The BBC in the Guardian
The British Broadcasting Corporation has investigated and affirmed complaints that "Guinea Pig Kids," an independent video aired on the BBC in 2004, made false and misleading claims about paediatric clinical trials of AIDS medicines that included foster children with HIV/AIDS living at New York City's Incarnation Children's Center (ICC). The drugs, which were already approved for adults and in some cases for HIV- children, were being tested to determine the safest and most effective dosages for children living with HIV/AIDS. Some ICC patients and were among those enrolled in the trials, with the written consent of their parents or guardians, as the only way to get life-saving medications. The acknowledgement of the video's bias-driven misrepresentation is the latest in a spate of recent editorial scandals at the BBC.
[bias-driven! God forbid there should be an editorial position in news - like drugging ORPHANS with 7 BLACK BOX labeled drugs at a time might be ETHICALLY QUESTIONABLE]
"Guinea Pig Kids," the BBC affirmed, wrongly implied that the HIV-related medications that were being studied were futile and dangerous, and it intentionally ignored their life-saving efficacy.
[Yes, NOT DANGEROUS AT ALL!!!!! THAT'S WHY THE FDA STICKS THE OL' BLACK BOX LABEL ON THEM!!! FOR FUN!!!]
Article on the effects of Nivirapine
The BBC acknowledged that the video was biased towards the views of "HIV denialists," who don't accept the scientific evidence that HIV exists and that it causes AIDS.
[UH OH! THEY DON'T ACCEPT THE """SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE""" BAD BAD PEOPLE! DO THEY ACCEPT THE "SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE" THAT AZT AND NEVIRAPINE SAY, ON THEIR LABELS, THAT THEY KILL PEOPLE?]
Fraser Steel, the Head of Editorial Complaints, concluded that these are serious breaches of the standards set out in the BBC's Editorial Guidelines concerning accuracy and impartiality, and he extended and apology for the deficiencies in the program and the associated website material. The affirmation of the complaint is very important because the credibility of the BBC had lent undeserved legitimacy to false accusations against ICC and to disinformation about HIV/AIDS, clinical trials and antiretroviral treatments that is spread by HIV denialists.
[UH OH! ""DISINFORMATION!!"" What is it, exactly? OH, IT'S INFORMATION FROM THE HIV TEST AND DRUG MANUFACTURERS, THAT MAKES AIDS LOOK LIKE SOME KIND OF HOLOCAUST MACHINE. Gosh, wouldn't want that getting around].
The BBC's retraction and apology followed months of intensive investigation in response to repeated complaints filed by AIDS scientists, doctors and activists,
[AIDSTRUTH.ORG , JEANNE BERGMAN, JOHN P. MOORE, LOOK 'EM UP, SEE THEIR LOVELY WORDS AND OPEN HEARTS]
Who denounced the video's attack on Incarnation Children's Center as a hoax designed to spread disinformation about HIV/AIDS.
[A HOAX? I thought we were just told that "ORPHANS" WERE BEING USED IN "CLINICAL TRIALS" TO TEST THE "SAFETY AND EFFECTIVENESS OF AIDS DRUGS? I think the NIH database says the same thing by the bucketful? Is the NIH and US government perpetrating a "hoax" on the Aids industry??? Better get them to take down their clinicaltrials.gov site, fast!!!!]
The film and the associated web pages alleged that healthy African-American and Latino children at ICC, a specialized care facility for children with HIV/AIDS in New York City, were harmed and even killed by bizarre and unjustified medical experiments involving lethal drugs, and that if their parents or guardians objected to the experiments they lost custody of their children. These allegations, the complaint argues and the BBC agreed, are untrue and
unjustified, and were motivated by HIV denialism.
[Uh, well, that's what the PEOPLE WE INTERVIEWED WHO HAD CHILDREN AT ICC TOLD US, PLUS CHILDCARE WORKERS AND NURSES WHO WORKED THERE, WHO'VE BEEN INTERVIEWED ON RADIO, THE AIDSCARE PAGE DETAILING THE DEATH OF A CHILD ON AIDS DRUGS (see my links at the top. PLUS THE FACT THAT ICC WAS USING THALIDOMIDE ON CHILDREN, PLUS THE DOCTOR FROM THE PLACE TELLING ME HOW THEY USE SURGICAL TUBES TO ENFORCE THE DRUGS. (And you can find that in the journal of Pediatrics too, or wherever Aids drugs are sold to children)]
Link to pdf & article on gastric tube insertion for AIDS drugs in children
The BBC has not yet publicly posted the retraction and apology, which were presented in a 12-page letter, dated 31 July 2007, from Fraser Steele to Jeanne Bergman, Ph.D., the lead complainant and an AIDS activist with AIDStruth.org and the Center for HIV Law and Policy in New York City. "The BBC has been very slow to respond to our urgent concerns," she said. "We have pressed our charges that the video is HIV-denialist propaganda with no basis in science or fact
[REALLY? LET'S COMPARE NOTES. WHERE DO YOU WANT TO DEBATE IT? WHAT'S THAT, YOU WON'T DEBATE? YOU WON'T DEBATE "DENIALISTS??" (says Jeanne Bergman, and John P. Moore, of the complaint. How convenient for them, huh?]
since the video was aired in 2004, and it took until this year for the BBC to investigate the piece. It has now been two-and-a-half months since we received Fraser Steel's letter apologizing for the video's misrepresentations and bias, but the BBC has still not issued a public retraction and apology, nor stated what actions it intends to take. I am horrified that the BBC would air a lurid independent video about HIV clinical research and treatment without a proper scientific review in the first place, and I am angry about the BBC's inexplicable delay in
retracting publicly the very dangerous lies to which it has lent its fading legitimacy." Dr. Bergman has been informed that the BBC's actions are subject to the outcome of on-going "discussions at the highest editorial level" given the "very serious issues raised by this matter," but, she said, "They need to act now. The BBC webpage promoting the video is still up,
promulgating HIV denialist lies. There is as yet no effort by the BBC to correct the systematic disinformation about HIV and its treatments that it aired, and that has damaged the public's understanding of HIV and impeded HIV-infected children's access to lifesaving care."
No children have died as a result of the clinical trials.
[SEVERAL CHILDREN DIED AT ICC WHILE I WAS WRITING ABOUT IT, FROM 04 TO 06 - ONE AFTER BEING DOSED WITH EVERYTHING, INCLUDING THALIDOMIDE. SO I WAS TOLD BY WOMEN WHO WORKED THERE, BY CHILDREN WHO WENT THERE, BY THE MOTHER OF CHILDREN WHO WENT THERE.
JUST SCRUB IT FROM HISTORY, THOUGH].
Enrolment in the trials was conditional on the likely benefits to the child and a low probability of harm.
[IT WAS? THERE ARE STUDIES WITH 3 AND 4 AND 7 DRUGS IN 6 MONTH AND 4 YEAR OLDS. YOU WOULDN'T GIVE A CHILD (OR AN ADULT) 7 OVER THE COUNTER DRUGS AT ONCE. THESE ARE 7 BLACK BOX LABLED DRUGS. OF COURSE THERE IS NO PROTECTION FROM HARM IN THESE STUDIES.. YOU JUST ASSUME THE KID'S GOING TO DIE OF AIDS ANYWAY, AND YOU WRITE IT OFF AS SUCH].
Written consent was obtained from parents and guardians, who were not paid or otherwise improperly influenced to enroll their children.
[REALLY? THAT'S THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT WE WERE TOLD BY PARENTS AND GUARDIANS! IMAGINE THAT!]
The National Institutes of Health, Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, the New York City child welfare agency (the Administration of Children's Services, or A.C.S.), and other institutions provided multiple layers of oversight. And while two non-parental guardians interviewed in the video did have foster children with AIDS removed from their custody on the grounds of medical neglect, those children were not involved in the clinical trials.
(These foster parents lost custody because they had refused to provide the children with the approved standard-of-care treatments for HIV/AIDS that they had been prescribed, and without which the children would have become ill and died.)
[YES, THAT'S RIGHT, YOU TOOK CHILDREN AWAY FROM PARENTS WHO DID NOT DRUG THEM, BUT BECAUSE THEY WERE ILL ON THE DRUGS, WHICH, AGAIN, ARE THOSE LOVELY FDA-BLACK-BOX LABEL SORTS. WHY NOT TRY SOME YOURSELF, AND SEE HOW THAT GOES?]
The BBC affirmed that there was no evidence that children were taken from their families because they resisted "experimentation." The filmmakers falsely tried to "create an association between [the clinical] trials and a loss of parental rights," the BBC found.
[I DON'T KNOW IF THE FILMMAKER TRIED TO CREATE A FALSE SENSE - WE WERE DEALING WITH PARENTS WHO WERE LOSING THEIR CHILDREN TO A PLACE THAT WAS CONDUCTING DRUG TRIALS WITH ORPHANS; THEY LOST THEM, JUST AS JEANNE BERGMAN DESCRIBES, FOR NOT DRUGGING THEM ENOUGH. SEEMS WE AGREE.]
The film was written by, produced by, and featured interviews with HIV denialists, but it never identified them as people whose beliefs contradict everything that scientists, doctors, and the communities most affected by AIDS have learned about HIV and its treatment over the last 25 years.
[NOT EVERYTHING - ACTUALLY, THE PEOPLE INTERVIEWED AGREE WITH MOST OF THE CRITICAL LITERATURE ON THE AIDS PARADIGM. THE DRUGS ARE EXTREMELY TOXIC, THE DIAGNOSIS IS EXTREMELY FRAGILE, SPECIOUS AND FLAWED, AND SUBJECT TO WIDE AND VARYING INTERPRETATION. THAT'S SCIENCE, THAT FLUX, THAT DISCERNMENT, THAT INVESTIGATION. WHAT'S GOING ON HERE IN THIS BBC APOLOGY IS RELIGION.]
[AND BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, IT'S ALL IN THE BLACK PEOPLE'S HEADS, DON'T BELIEVE THE 'BAD SCIENCE' OF THE 'DENIALISTS', DON'T READ ANYTHING BUT OUR WORDS, DON'T THINK, DON'T DO ANYTHING BUT SUPPORT THE CONDOMIZING OF AFRICANS AND THE DRUGGING OF BLACK CHILDREN IN AMERICA. WE'RE THE AUTHORITY, WE ALLOW NOTHING BUT OUR WORDS TO BREACH THE PUBLIC IMAGINATION. SO SAY WE... ETC, ETC].
denialists have distributed copies of the video widely since it was aired and posted an edited version on the Internet. Jeanne Bergman explained, "The HIV denialists who made this film invented these charges against ICC. They cynically exploited African-Americans' real and historically-based fears of abuse by medical research and child welfare agencies. Their false
allegations about sinister medical experiments on foster children were a Trojan Horse created spread lies and deadly disinformation about HIV in the communities most devastated by AIDS. These allegations about ICC have become an 'urban legend,' untrue but widely believed, mainly because people trusted the BBC. The fact is that ICC used the clinical trials framework to make life-saving medications, already approved for adults, available to children with HIV who would otherwise have died."
HIV denialism is a collection of contradictory and scientifically unsound beliefs-that HIV does not exist, that HIV it exists but is not the cause of AIDS, and that AIDS does not exist. Pediatrician Nicholas Bennett was critical of the BBC's decision to air a video that was based on beliefs that are without scientific merit. "If someone had simply researched the individuals involved in promoting the story, and those interviewed during the program, it would have been quickly apparent that their views were not only those of a fringe element but also demonstrably wrong," he said. "'Balance' in the media does not mean giving equal air time to poorly-researched and biased material with the goal of gaining viewers with a sensational story. The saddest thing is that this story was sensational only due to the errors and bias inherent in it. The fact that it was produced by the BBC gave it an air of respectability that was wholly undeserved. Clearly the BBC needs to review its fact-checking practices. "John Moore, an internationally renowned HIV researcher at Cornell-Weill Medical College, added, "An important lesson for the BBC is the need to have its highly professional science and health reporters review documentaries like this one before they are released for public viewing. No scientifically literate journalist would ever have endorsed this one's contents and slant."
The BBC's retraction of the video was also applauded in South Africa, where the Health Minister's AIDS denialist views have seriously hampered HIV prevention and access to HIV treatment. Nathan Gefffen of the Treatment Action Campaign there said that "The BBC ruling, albeit late, is welcome. The lies peddled by pseudo-scientists like [film-maker] Jamie Doran and David Rasnick [a denialist who was featured in the film] have caused confusion and death. They try to appeal to minorities and vulnerable groups by misusing human rights language to portray themselves as progressive. But behind most AIDS denialists lies either a desire to sell untested snake-oils to sick people or an incapacity to consider evidence rationally."
For further information, contact:
AIDStruth.org and the Center for HIV Law and Policy
Tel: +1 917 714 5501
[END OF BBC APOLOGY]
THANKS JEANNE! YOU'RE A HERO FOR FUTURE BATTLERS OF LIBERTY, PERSONAL CHOICE, MEDICAL ETHICS, SCIENTIFIC DISCOURSE!
Radio Interview with ICC childcare worker:
The Guinea Pig Kids was released at the near end of 2004, in November. I provided what is called, original research, which really consisted of pointing to the National Institute of Health's (that's the US government's) own database of clinical trials, and noting that the drugs they were using were Black Box labled, meaning they'd caused severe disability, or death, in patients taking them.
And that these were being used in combination of 2, 3, 4, up to 7 at a time, "at higher than usual doses", in children as young as 4 years old. That's orphans, as young as four, and then, other drugs and vaccines, in infants as young as six months old. [Here]
The orphans at ICC were crack babies - boarder babies, left, abandoned at the NYC hospitals by addict mothers.
You can see the list of US government/pharmaceutical company-approved clinical trials here (in the second part), and ICC's own words about who they are and how they got money for trials initially, Here.
The director, Milena Schwager, worked with input from the producer - the person they're crediting with the film, the money guy - Jamie Doran, who took meetings, long meetings with the BBC, who told him what they needed to 'sell' this kind of thing. But they managed to produce a pretty good piece.
I've put some notes on the actual piece, with anything I differed with in the telling, Here.
I only worked on the first half of the film, providing the links to the clinical trials, and then to many of the contacts to be interviewed - the mothers who were having children taken, and the children themselves. We interviewed more than were shown in the film, and I don't know how or why it was cut as it was, (they left out important stuff), except that it was only a half hour, and I suppose those are the devils of TV broadcasting.
I provided the research that pointed to the problems in the use of orphans in drug trials, and in these trials, specifically. Most of that work is summarized, or listed in the document "The ICC Investigation Continues." [Here]
I worked closely with the director Milena Schwager, for many months. We worked very, very hard on digging up a great deal of evidence; most of it was just horrifying, the drug effects, the details of studies, the catholic cemetery where they bury the children, multiple bodies to a casket.
* Here. Search "guardian angel plot"
Celia Farber came in and worked on the second half of the film, which got it into its production status, so she can tell you about that. She worked on getting some of the death certificates for the children, and lining up and taking other interviews.
She wrote about a great deal of that (and more) Here.
Doran, the producer, didn't want to entertain the idea that there was something deeply wrong with the Aids paradigm, as such; He really wasn't interested in that information, but he seemed to care about the orphans and children being used in these trials, and seemed to feel that it was a considerable breach of ethics.
The situation was as it is; ICC is an orphanage where children of the poor and drug-addicted are remanded. And these children were and are being force-fed drugs, as part of regular "Aids drug" regimens (and taken away from parents and guardians, when they have them, who don't want to enforce the drug regimens). The children were also used in a few dozen clinical trials.
The drugs were and are very poisonous drugs, to say the least. That's no secret. Their status in the literature was and is well-established - their FDA Black Box labels tell the superface of their story.
That is, Doran, the producer, who held constant meetings with the BBC during production, was not a 'denialist', (to use the Aids cabal's language for those who do not obey their ideological dictates). Nor was he in that intellectual place of questioning the medical paradigm to its roots. He did take a stand for these women and children who were being abused, and I appreciate that he did. That makes it an ethical movie, not a "denialist" movie.
Of course, there is no such thing as an "Aids Denialist." This is a term invented by people like Jeanne Bergman and John P. Moore to hide and shield the miserable failings of the Aids paradigm from public criticism.
(Criticize us and we'll liken you to a Holocaust Denialist! And we'll tell everybody else that's what you are!!)
So much for "science."
These children were and are drugged without consent or restraint, and they told us, in no uncertain terms, that they wanted to be free of the New York poverty policing system. To be free of the Administration for Children's Services, which polices children and parents who aren't drugging them according to the Aids doctor's orders.
That is, any Poor child's parents. Poor, only. They don't do this on Park Avenue.
In New York, the ACS acted/acts as the goon squad, the enforcers for the hospitals and the drug regimens. The hospitals themselves, or 'Aids departments' specifically, are the engines of the Aids machine the poor neighbourhoods of New York. They demand and force the taking of these drugs - AZT, Nevirapine, Kaletra, etc, despite all objections, morbid sickness, and all the rest.
So, a few notes on the 'scandal.'
I'm not in contact with Doran, but I hope he has the good sense to refer the BBC magistrates to the US clinical trials database, and ask them why drugs that cause deformity, are being used on orphans in an orphanage, for the purpose of studying the deformity that they're absolutely known and going to cause: [ Here]
Or that seven drugs, all FDA black-box labled, are being stuffed into children at one time, some "at higher than usual doses." [ Here]
Your comments can also be made direct to Liam on his site.