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  • In the summer of 2020, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) launched a social media campaign to put an end to Mercola.com. It now admits it pressured the FDA to issue me a warning letter to stop writing about nutritional products that can lower your risk of respiratory infections such as COVID-19
  • CSPI is a consumer advocacy group bankrolled by billionaires and their corporate ties to Monsanto, the Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Rockefeller Family Fund and Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • CSPI rails against published science demonstrating certain nutrients can boost your immune function and help lower your risk of severe infection, saying it discourages mask wearing, which has no published scientific evidence to back its universal use
  • CSPI has a history of promoting industry science and propaganda, having supported artificial sweeteners, trans fats, GMOs, fake meat and the low-fat myth. They’ve also actively undermined transparency in labeling efforts
  • We have fully addressed the warning letter, and put the FDA on notice that it cannot stop speech it does not like

May 5, 2021 (Mercola) – In the summer of 2020, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) — a consumer advocacy group partnered with Bill Gates’ agrichemical PR group, the Cornell Alliance for Science,1 and bankrolled by billionaires with ties to Monsanto, the Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Rockefeller Family Fund and Bloomberg Philanthropies2 — launched a social media campaign to put an end to Mercola.com.

July 21, 2020, CSPI issued a press release3 in which they accused me of falsely claiming “that at least 22 vitamins, supplements and other products available for sale on his web site can prevent, treat, or cure COVID-19 infection.” This despite the fact that their Appendix of Illegal Claims4 clearly show no COVID-19-related claims exist on any of the product links.

The group also testified in a Senate hearing on the topic of COVID-19 scams and urged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission to take regulatory action against me.

In an August 12, 2020, email, CSPI president Dr. Peter Lurie5 — a former FDA associate commissioner6 — made the spurious claim that I “profit from the COVID-19 pandemic” through “anti-vaccine fearmongering” and reporting of science-based nutrition shown to impact your disease risk.

Former FDA official pulls strings to target natural health

Seeing how Lurie is a former FDA official, it’s disheartening, but not surprising, that the FDA has now issued us a warning letter7 for “Unapproved and misbranded products related to COVID-19.” Lurie has publicly taken credit for the FDA’s action,8 thereby establishing the potential that CSPI is pulling strings under the new administration through relationships they did not have back in August when they first launched their assault on my free speech.

According to the FDA, vitamin C, vitamin D3 and quercetin products are “unapproved new drugs sold in violation of section 505(a) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.” The agency is also listing Mercola.com on its Fraudulent COVID-19 Products page.

Lurie seems to be hinting that he also wants federal authorities to remove my StopCOVIDCold site, where you can download a free scientific report detailing the benefits of maintaining appropriate vitamin D levels to protect against viral infections. He’s also urging “state attorneys general to investigate how they may further protect consumers from Mercola’s illegal marketing.”9

“Americans are justifiably concerned about becoming infected with the coronavirus and contracting COVID-19. Being misled to believe that supplements could prevent or treat COVID-19 could cause consumers to fail to take protective measures such as mask-wearing, putting themselves and others at risk, or fail to seek actual medical treatment if sick,” Lurie writes.10

It’s ironic that Lurie dismisses offhand peer-reviewed published science demonstrating certain nutrients can boost your immune function and help lower your risk of severe infection — be it from SARS-CoV-2, the seasonal flu or anything else — and touts mask wearing, which has no published scientific evidence to back its universal use, as one of the most important prevention strategies against COVID-19.

Sadly, this is where we are nowadays. “Trust the science,” they say, while simultaneously promoting scientifically unverified claims and trying to eradicate anyone who simply reports the findings that are actually published in the medical literature that may negatively impact the pharmaceutical industry.

CSPI and FDA cannot censor speech

The CSPI is trying to censor my efforts to educate people on how to avoid vitamin D deficiency which, without doubt, places them at far higher risk of complications and death from respiratory infections. Well, I am not going to allow people to die from COVID-19 and other respiratory infections due to vitamin D deficiency.

In October 2020, I co-wrote a paper together with William Grant, Ph.D.,11 and Dr. Carol Wagner,12 both of whom are on the GrassrootsHealth vitamin D expert panel, demonstrating the clear link between vitamin D deficiency and severe cases of COVID-19. This paper was published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Nutrients.13

With that, I have established my medical and scientific merit, and will continue to express my professional opinions, based on the available science, and defend my freedom of speech as the U.S. Constitution provides for.

The FDA’s warning letter highlights statements in articles on my website that are fully referenced and supported by published science. I am committed to providing truthful information, for free, to anyone that wants it, and I’m all for having a rigorous scientific debate when necessary. CSPI has taken credit for pressuring the FDA to issue this warning letter to suppress free speech. The FDA’s warning letter is simply another attempt by CSPI to smear me with false accusations.

If scientists and researchers are publishing these studies, how can it be a crime to report their findings? At the end of the day, the CSPI’s attacks on this website amounts to an effort to suppress science itself.

As CSPI well knows, thanks to the U.S. constitution and the first amendment, I have every right to speak publicly on matters regarding health, so this is nothing but another attempt to “cancel” me while concealing its own duplicity. For the record, we have fully addressed the warning letter; the FDA cannot simply stop free speech that CSPI does not like.

This is NOT the first time CSPI has endangered public health

CSPI continues to be a vitamin D denier even though overwhelming evidence points to its ability to reduce the risk of developing severe COVID-19. This isn’t surprising, coming from a Rockefeller-funded organization that pushed deadly trans fats on the American public until the facts became undeniable, at which point they simply rewrote the organization’s history on this subject to hide its past stance.

In 1986, CSPI described trans fat as “a great boon to Americans’ arteries.”14 Two years later, in 1988, they still praised trans fats,15 saying “there is little good evidence that trans fats cause any more harm than other fats” and that “much of the anxiety over trans fats stems from their reputation as 'unnatural.'” Meanwhile, in the real world, the CSPI’s highly successful trans fat campaign resulted in an epidemic of heart disease.

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PETITION UPDATE (5/5/2021) - BREAKING: Facebook permanently removes LifeSiteNews’ page

Facebook has just permanently banned LifeSiteNews’ Facebook page. This apparently is not a temporary measure: It is gone for good.

"Much like when LifeSite was removed from YouTube, this comes with little surprise,” noted LifeSiteNews Marketing Director Rebekah Roberts.

"Facebook has been silencing any voice that goes against their beliefs and agenda," continued Roberts. "Our LifeSiteNews Facebook page has been removed simply because we have shared reports of doctors, nurses, expert researchers, and even the former Pfizer VP speaking out against the COVID shots. We’ve also been tagged for the numerous articles we have shared making the connection between the COVID shots, and really all vaccines, and aborted baby cell lines."

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PETITION UPDATE (2/23/21) - 

LifeSite has signed on to a Media Research Center (MRC) letter to all 50 state Attorneys General, calling for an investigation into Big Tech.

Google, Facebook, and Twitter have monopolized the industry, and are using their influence to collect user data, suppress content, and silence those who voice ideas and beliefs counter to their own.

As we urged prior, action must be taken to combat these efforts, and that is why we’ve joined the MRC in this fight.

Please take a couple of minutes to READ this LifeSiteNews article about MRC's initiative: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/lifesite-joins-effort-asking-state-attorneys-general-to-investigate-big-tech-for-deceptive-trade-practices

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PETITION UPDATE (2/9/21) -

YouTube just completely removed the LifeSiteNews YouTube channel. This isn’t a ban, every single one of our videos is completely gone. Being completely removed from YouTube means we’ve lost access to 300,000+ followers.

This is the latest and appalling affront to free speech which is happening to many conservative and Christian organizations.

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PETITION UPDATE (1/26/20) -

Twitter has again locked LifeSiteNews out of two of our accounts on the platform for displaying a message noting that President Joe Biden’s newly named Assistant Secretary of Health “Rachel” Levine is a man.

Both accounts displayed a simple message which read: “Biden names transgender ‘woman’ as Assistant Secretary of Health. ‘Rachel’ Levine is a father of two who divorced his wife in 2013 after 30 years of marriage.” The tweets also included a link to LifeSite’s article Biden names transgender ‘woman’ as Assistant Secretary of Health, and contained part of the opening sentence of that article, “Joe Biden has announced his intention to appoint a gender-confused man” as Assistant Secretary of Health.

For stating biological or Biblical truths, Twitter and Big Tech are trying to shut down conservative voices.

Therefore, it is now more important than ever to consider dumping Twitter, Google (who own YouTube) and Facebook. To be clear: LifeSite is still using Twitter and Big Tech to encourage others to migrate away from these illiberal platforms.

This is not the first time that LifeSiteNews has been censored by Twitter. In December 2019, Twitter indefinitely suspended our account for a tweet that linked to an article on transgender activist Jonathan “Jessica” Yaniv.

At the time, Twitter gave LifeSite the option to delete the tweet and reactivate our account right away. LifeSite remained steadfast that the tweet did not violate any of the company’s “rules and policies,” and sought several appeals with Twitter, while looking into legal action against the company.

And, while LifeSite's account was eventually restored, we must now consider what course of action we will pursue in this case, over and above appealing the ban.

Meanwhile, since taking office on Wednesday last week, Joe Biden has already signed an executive order which will force women’s athletic programs, restrooms, and locker rooms to be open to men. He has also turned back the Trump administration’s policy protecting women’s sports programs in schools.

Last week, LifeSite was banned for two weeks from our YouTube channel, after the site determined that one of our videos about vaccines violated YouTube’s “community guidelines.” We are also in the middle of appealing this ban.

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Twitter just deplatformed President Trump premanently! And, other conservatives, including General Flynn and Sidney Powell, were also summarily deplatformed.

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When you use Twitter or Facebook to communicate, and, or, Google and Amazon to search for something online, these companies can stifle your ability to share your thoughts and opinions and manipulate your search results, threatening your privacy, your freedom of speech, and even our democracy.

Evidence suggests that Twitter and Facebook's 'community guidelines' are selectively enforced against conservatives and Christians, while Google rigs their search algorithms to direct traffic away from conservative and Christian websites, effectively choking traffic to those sites.

Simply put, Twitter, Facebook, Google (who owns YouTube) and Amazon appear to be actively suppressing access to pro-freedom, pro-family and pro-life news and opinion.

Don't contribute to this assault on democracy: Stop using Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon as your default social media platforms and search engine! [CLICK HERE to find a good alternative to Google.]

To repeat: a few liberal and completely unaccountable computer programmers in Silicon Valley are dictating what we do and do not see in our Twitter and Facebook feeds, and in our Google searches.

We, here, at LifeSite, also recently had our Twitter account suspended by the company over "misgendering" a man who claims to be a woman.

LifeSite has also experienced a fall-off in Google search-related traffic since the company updated its search algorithms at the beginning of May.

And, since the November election, Twitter and Big Tech appear to have dramatically INCREASED their censorship of conservatives and Christians as the President Trump disputed the results of the election and when evidence of election fraud began to mount.

Now, it seems likely that they are trying to cut-off conservative leaders (like President Trump) from conservatives on the ground, and effectively exclude us from the national conversation.

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The great irony is that, while Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon executives talk a lot about maintaining freedom of speech and diversity, in fact, these hypocrites are ATTACKING free speech point-blank!

This kind of manipulation poses a lethal threat to our democracy, but as we see so clearly now, Twitter and Big Tech have shown no hesitation in excluding conservatives and Christians from the public square.

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The CSPI’s role in the promotion of trans fats and its influence on the food industry was discussed in David Schleifer’s article, “The Perfect Solution: How Trans Fats Became the Healthy Replacement for Saturated Fats,”16 in which he noted that:

“Scholars routinely argue that corporations control US food production, with negative consequences for health … However, the transition from saturated to trans fats shows how activists can be part of spurring corporations to change.”

It wasn’t until the 1990s that CSPI started reversing its position on synthetic trans fats, but the damage had already been done, and it never admitted its error. In fact, rather than openly admitting it had misled the public with erroneous claims, CSPI simply deleted sections of its previous support of trans fat from the web.17 Notice how their historical timeline18 of trans fat starts at 1993 — the year CSPI realized the jig was up and they had to support the elimination of trans fat.

CSPI then started raising money for campaigns to stop the heart disease causing substance they first promoted. How diabolical is that? Create the problem and then take money from others for the solution. 

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This obfuscation was noted by Mary Enig, Ph.D., in a 2003 article, in which she wrote:19

“On October 20, 1993, CSPI had the chutzpah to call a press conference in Washington, DC and lambast the major fast-food chains for doing what CSPI coerced them into doing, namely, using partially hydrogenated vegetable oils in their deep fat-fryers.

On that date, CSPI, an eager proponent of partially hydrogenated oils for many years, even when their adverse health effects were apparent, reversed its position after an onslaught of adverse medical reports linking trans fatty acids in these processed oils to coronary heart disease and cancer …

Thanks to CSPI, healthy traditional fats have almost completely disappeared from the food supply, replaced by manufactured trans fats known to cause many diseases. By 1990, most fast food chains had switched to partially hydrogenated vegetable oil …

Who benefits? Soy, or course … [and] in CSPI’s January, 1991 newsletter, Jacobson notes that ‘our effort was ultimately joined … by the American Soybean Association.’”

Even more egregious is the CSPI’s continued recommendation to eat unsaturated fats like soy and canola oils20 and avoid butter and other healthy saturated fats, saying that “changing fats doesn’t lower the risk of dying.”21

This wholly disregards the compelling evidence showing that industrial vegetable oilsomega-6 linoleic acid in particular, pose significant health risks and contribute to chronic disease. And chronic disease, in turn, impacts mortality. 

CSPI primarily protects big business

This tendency to fall in line with industry science and propaganda has become a trend within CSPI. For example, it wasn’t until 2013 that CSPI finally downgraded the artificial sweetener Splenda from its former “safe” category to one of “caution.”22

In 2016, they downgraded it again, from “caution” to “avoid.”23 Despite that, CSPI continues to promote diet soda as a safer alternative to regular soda, saying it “does not promote diabetes, weight gain or heart disease in the way that full-calorie sodas do.”24

The group has also taken a strong pro-GMO stand and actively undermined the GMO labeling movement,25 which resulted in the U.S. being the only country in the world that does not have clear GMO labeling. In August 2001, the organization actually urged the FDA to take enforcement action against food companies using non-GMO labels, claiming such labels could “deceive consumers.”26

In a similar vein, the group opposes clear labeling of ultraprocessed fake meat. In a May 2018 letter to the FDA,27 CSPI urged the agency “to reject efforts by the United States Cattlemen’s Association to prohibit use of the terms ‘meat’ or ‘beef’ on plant-based and cultured proteins marketed as alternatives to traditional meat.” All in all, it appears the CSPI is completely against the idea of a well-informed public.

The CSPI has also been a promoter of the thoroughly debunked low-fat myth. In 1995, they launched a “1% or Less” campaign that urged everyone over the age of 2 to switch from whole and 2% milk to skim milk (also known as nonfat or fat-free milk) in order to reduce their saturated fat intake.28,29,30 

It was another successful campaign that resulted in the doubling of skim milk sales.31 However, just like their trans fat campaign, this was equally ill advised, seeing how research32,33 shows full-fat dairy actually lowers your risk of death from diabetes and cardiovascular causes such as stroke.

CSPI has repeatedly violated its mission statement

Considering the suspected, and in some cases well-verified, health hazards of trans fats, artificial sweeteners, soy, GMOs, low-fat diet and fake meat, CSPI’s intent to protect and advance public health is questionable to say the least.

It seems they’re more interested in protecting profitable industries, and the CSPI’s efforts to destroy companies selling vitamins and supplements with natural antiviral effects34 is simply more evidence of that.

The fact is, they’re seeking to bring an end to Mercola.com because we are such a serious threat to their agenda and they want to eliminate as many of the truth tellers as they can.

How to optimize your Vitamin D

While most people would probably benefit from a vitamin D3 supplement, it’s important to get your vitamin D level tested before you start supplementing. The reason for this is because you cannot rely on blanket dosing recommendations. The crucial factor here is your blood level, not the dose, as the dose you need is dependent on several individual factors, including your baseline blood level.

Data from GrassrootsHealth’s D*Action studies suggest the optimal level for health and disease prevention is between 60 ng/mL and 80 ng/mL, while the cutoff for sufficiency appears to be around 40 ng/mL. In Europe, the measurements you’re looking for are 150 to 200 nmol/L and 100 nmol/L respectively.

I’ve published a comprehensive vitamin D report in which I detail vitamin D’s mechanisms of action and how to ensure optimal levels. I recommend downloading and sharing that report with everyone you know. A quick summary of the key steps is as follows:

First, measure your vitamin D level — One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways of measuring your vitamin D level is to participate in the GrassrootsHealth’s personalized nutrition project, which includes a vitamin D testing kit.

Once you know what your blood level is, you can assess the dose needed to maintain or improve your level. If you cannot get enough vitamin D from the sun (you can use the DMinder app to see how much vitamin D your body can make depending on your location and other individual factors), then you’ll need an oral supplement.

Assess your individualized vitamin D dosage — To do that, you can either use the chart below, or use GrassrootsHealth’s Vitamin D*calculator. To convert ng/mL into the European measurement (nmol/L), simply multiply the ng/mL measurement by 2.5. To calculate how much vitamin D you may be getting from regular sun exposure in addition to your supplemental intake, use the DMinder app.

Retest in three to six months — Lastly, you’ll need to remeasure your vitamin D level in three to six months, to evaluate how your sun exposure and/or supplement dose is working for you.

Take your Vitamin D with magnesium and K2

As detailed in “Magnesium and K2 Optimize Your Vitamin D Supplementation,” it’s strongly recommended to take magnesium and K2 concomitant with oral vitamin D. Data from nearly 3,000 individuals reveal you need 244% more oral vitamin D if you’re not also taking magnesium and vitamin K2.

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What this means in practical terms is that if you take all three supplements in combination, you need far less oral vitamin D in order to achieve a healthy vitamin D level.

1 Common Dreams January 7, 2019

2 Influence Watch CSPI

3 CSPI July 21, 2020

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4 Illegal Claims Pertaining to Mercola Group Products (PDF)

5 CSPI July 19, 2017

6 CSPInet.org Peter Lurie Bio

7 FDA.gov Mercola.com warning letter February 18, 2021

8, 9, 10 SCPInet.org March 4, 2021

11 SUNARC.org William Grant Bio

12 MUSC Carol Wagner MD Bio

13 Nutrients 2020; 12(11): 3361

14 The Atlantic November 8, 2013

15 CSPI, The Truth About Trans Fats 1988

16 Academia.edu, The Perfect Solution: How Trans Fats Became the Healthy Replacement for Saturated Fats

17, 19 Weston A Price January 6, 2003

18 CSPI Timeline for Trans Fat

20 CSPInet.org Canola Oil

21 CSPInet.org Big Fat Myths

22 CSPInet.org June 12, 2013

23 CSPInet.org February 8, 2016

24 CSPInet.org Sugary Drinks

25 Center for Food Safety July 10, 2013

26 CSPInet.org August 14, 2001 (archived)

27 CSPInet.org May 17, 2018

28 The 1% or Less Social Marketing Campaign (PDF)

29 The 1% or Less Handbook (PDF)

30 CSPI The 1% or Less School Kit

31 The 1% or Less Social Marketing Campaign (PDF), Effectiveness Page 2

32 The Lancet September 11, 2018; 392(10161): 2288-2297

33 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition July 11, 2018; 108(3): 476-484

34 CSPInet.org June 4, 2020

This article was originally published by Mercola on March 15, 2021 and is reprinted here with permission. 

LifeSiteNews has produced an extensive COVID-19 vaccines resources page.  View it here.

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