The Militant Libertarian

I'm pissed off and I'm a libertarian. What else you wanna know?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Last Word on Mike Adams vs. Dr. Oz

Alright, well, apparently since I'm open to criticism and willing to talk to people and (apparently) made the mistake of mentioning that I write for, I'm fair game for emails. That's what I get for putting the big "Email me, dammit" thing down there, I guess.

Oh well. The price of freedom is tolerance. If you don't know what that means, it's because you don't understand freedom or liberty.

Anyway, I got another thoughtful email from someone who bothered using an address that wasn't "@hotmail.spam" or "@onetimeemail" or something. Plus the usual crowd of hate mailers. They're mostly regulars, though. Hi, Joe and Nathaniel. Here's your fifteen minutes. :) Can't wait to see how you can construe this post to be some kind of conspiracy theory gone wild.

So, back to that thoughtful email that wasn't hate mail. The guy's name is Ken Chowder. Not sure if there's potatoes in that (bad-adung-ching), but I'm going to just reproduce his entire email without commentary or editing.

First, a fast recap:
The original post was titled Conflicts of interest? Dr. Mehmet Oz owns 150,000 option shares in vaccine technology company and was by Mike Adams, taken directly from The follow-up was by myself, referencing another post on (also by Mike Adams).

Now, the email response from Mr. Chowder, which references the second post and Adams' responding post on his site.

Hi Militant Libertarian --

You write that "Mike Adams has proven that *SIGA actually does make vaccines."* This is a statement you should retract.

Actually, Mike Adams is wrong again. And this time I find that it isn't really an innocent mistake. Read on.

Most importantly, the premise of his article is that Mehmet Oz is pumping flu vaccines and STANDS TO MAKE A PROFIT if those vaccines are used -- because of his holdings in Siga. This is absolutely untrue. Secondly, Siga does NOT make vaccines.

Let's begin with the facts.

As I mentioned the other day, Siga doesn't make vaccines. By that I don't mean that they have NEVER made vaccines; for a period they did, back 5 or 6 years ago. The fact is, they NEVER made a Flu vaccine. In other words, Oz pumping the Flu vaccine has NEVER had to do with Siga.

If you look on the "Products" on their website, you'll see the kinds of antivirals they are making or attempting to make. Yes, their compound st-246 is being tested to see if it can reduce the complications (i.e., possible occurrence of vaccinia, which is similar to smallpox itself) from SMALLPOX vaccines. In time, perhaps, people being given SMALLPOX vaccines will also be given st-246. That doesn't mean that Oz will profit from FLU vaccines.

Mike Adams makes a big deal -- as if he were doing some kind of powerful investigational reporting -- about two kinds of "links" between Siga and vaccines. Any real reporter would realize the true nature of these links, and realize he'd been led down the wrong path. But Mike crows that he's discovered some kind of genuine truth. He's way off.

None of these links comes from Siga's website itself.

The first kind of link is vestigial. Siga used to work on vaccines. They stopped doing that years ago. So it isn't surprising that very old links on the Net refer to that activity. By way of comparison, you could find many a link that says that Bill Clinton is the President of the United States; that does not prove that Bill Clinton is still President of the United States.

So it is that most of the "revealing" information that Mike Adams finds come from reports from five to eight years ago. It's not as if Siga has been working secretly on vaccines since then; they are working on antivirals instead.

The "tag" for Siga's website is similarly vestigial. It's just something they never got around to changing.
The other kind of link is simply inaccurate. It happens time after time that people confuse the word "vaccine" with "antiviral." Mike Adams himself did it, and then tried to pretend he hadn't by coming up with a bunch of links that made the same mistake. So it is that Mike quotes a site that calls st-246 a "smallpox vaccine." Now by now Mike himself should know that st-246 is not a vaccine; he's done enough research so he surely realizes that much. Yet he blandly quotes what he knows is a MISTAKE as if it is true. I don't have any sympathy for this. If someone says "3+3 is 8," and you reprint this, it doesn't make it true. And Mike Adams jolly well knows this.

I'm also a little perturbed by the way he writes about Siga's investor-relations company, KCSA. Every company has either an investor-relations department or hires an outside investor-relations company. Yet Mike writes about it as if this is something dark and mysterious: KCSA, he says, "represents SIGA as an 'investor relations counsel.'" There's no need for the quotation marks there. KCSA is, pure and simple, hired by Siga to do investor relations. It's not a conspiracy. It's work they do for hire.

If you go on Siga's website, you can see their products. Their lead product is st-246, which treats smallpox. They also make ANTIVIRALS to treat hemorrhagic diseases like Dengue fever, Junin, Lassa fever, and Ebola. Lastly, they are trying to produce the (rough) equivalent of penicillin to fight viruses: a wide-spectrum antiviral. As you know, penicillin destroys bacteria; Siga is working on a compound called st-669. St-669 has been shown to prevent viral replication in 8 families of virus, including the families that cause HIV, leukemia, polio, hepatitis C, Ebola, and the common cold, among others. No, they very simply don't make vaccines. You should print a retraction.

For some reason, Mike Adams seems to be very averse to admitting that he has made a mistake. No, he says, there is a conspiracy out to stop him. In this case there is no conspiracy. He's gotten his facts wrong, and the facts he's gotten wrong have destroyed the entire premise of his story. He should just man up and admit it, and stop dredging up either old links on the Net or ones that, like him, make mistakes.
Now that I've gone to the trouble to write you (I wrote you first, because you seem far more reasonable), I think I'll send a version of this on to Mike Adams.

Best --


Like I said, I'm not commenting on Ken's information there. You readers can make up your own minds based on what's been presented so far.

That's going to close the book on this for me, though. My mind is made up and I'm not going to keep discussing this ad infinitum. This sort of thing is interesting, good to know, etc., but it's not the kind of thing I write about for nor is it anything more than periphery to the types of political, social, technological, and health-related things I do write about.

It's true that most of my writing at has focused on vaccines, but it's mainly been linking vaccines with autism and all of those are based on breaking and/or peer-reviewed studies being done along those lines.

At any rate, the case is closed. You, the reader, are the judge and jury. So weigh the evidence presented and make up your own mind. Feel free to leave comments about what you decided after you dropped the gavel.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
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