How Technology Has Made Global Polio Eradication Impossible

How Technology Made Global Polio Eradication Impossible

Biotechnology itself has transformed polio into a far greater threat to human health than it ever was before we tried to eradicate it with vaccines. 

Ten years ago, a group of scientists working at the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbioloy at SUNY, Stony Brook, described for the first time the de novo chemical synthesis of polio virus, which they confirmed was fully infectious.

This discovery, when reported in newspapers around the globe in July of 2002, created a great deal of controversy, which Eckard Wimmer, one of the key scientists involved in the project, described thusly:

This unexpected news struck a raw nerve among lay people and scientists alike. The work was condemned as dangerous and irresponsible, scorned as a stunt and perceived as a challenge to divine power. It was also hailed as a milestone in biology. What really happened?[i]

What did really happen?

Beyond the fact, as obvious as it is disturbing, that polio can now be recreated by anyone (friend or enemy) with the technology capable of doing so, the goal of vaccinating polio into extinction through global and universal vaccination campaigns has now been proven impossible to accomplish.  

While not discussed openly until ten years later, in a seminal work published in the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, authored by Neetu Vashisht and Jacob Pliyel titled, "Polio programme: let us declare victory and move on," the global polio eradication campaign is revealed in all its inglorious and ignoble duplicity to be founded upon nothing more than pseudo-science:

The charade about polio eradication and the great savings it will bring has persisted to date. It is a paradox, that while the director general of WHO, Margret Chan, and Bill Gates are trying to muster support for polio eradication (22) it has been known to the scientific community, for over 10 years, that eradication of polio is impossible. This is because in 2002 scientists had synthesised a chemical called poliovirus in a test-tube with the empirical formula C332,652H492,388N98,245O131,196P7,501S2,340. It has been demonstrated that by positioning the atoms in sequence, a particle can emerge with all the properties required for its proliferation and survival in nature (23, 24). Wimmer writes that the test-tube synthesis of poliovirus has wiped out any possibility of eradicating poliovirus in the future. Poliovirus cannot be declared extinct because the sequence of its genome is known and modern biotechnology allows it to be resurrected at any time in vitro. Man can thus never let down his guard against poliovirus. Indeed the 18-year-old global eradication campaign for polioviruses will have to be continued in some format forever. The long promised "infinite" monetary benefits from ceasing to vaccinate against poliovirus will never be achieved (24). The attraction that 'eradication' has for policy makers will vanish once this truth is widely known.[ii]

Not unlike the purportedly "endless war on terrorism," the global polio eradication campaign will never end, requiring an infinite number of vaccines to be used in the future against an infectious agent which biotechnology itself has guaranteed will never fully disappear. 

Given this fact, can you believe that in Jan. of 2012, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative claimed 'mission accomplished' in India, with no reports of wild-type polio infection in the 2011, at the very same time that over 47,000 cases of polio-like "acute flaccid paralysis" were reported in 2011 in children by The National Polio Surveillance Programme (TNPSP) in heavily vaccinated populations (as often as one vaccine per month!)?  

TNPSP claimed that these cases of acute flaccid paralysis, conveniently renamed "non-polio acute flaccid paralysis" to avoid connecting them to the polio vaccines, were "mild cases," and "...of little consequence."  Neetu Vashisht and Jacob Pliyel report otherwise:

[I]n 2005, a fifth of the cases of non-polio AFP in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) were followed up after 60 days. 35.2% were found to have residual paralysis and 8.5% had died (making the total of residual paralysis or death - 43.7%) (28). Sathyamala examined data from the following year and showed that children who were identified with non-polio AFP were at more than twice the risk of dying than those with wild polio infection (27).

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