Sandra Finley

Nov 172017

The Fifth Estate told Canadians to send in their questions about the Paradise Papers.   They will answer the questions on this week’s show.


I based my first question on

KPMG takes 15% of the money that they help clients to divert from Revenue Canada  

into offshore tax havens.


2017-11-12 Re PARADISE PAPERS, sent to CBC Fifth Estate (Offshore Tax Havens; Panama Papers)


It is important to tune in to the Fifth Estate TV show.   Every viewer is counted.   (I don’t know if there will be podcast.)

The message we send if we don’t tune in:  we do not care about the corruption.

It’s a small and easy thing:   more of us watching the footage and gnashing our teeth creates nervousness among the lords.

If we TUNE OUT because of disgust, or because it’s “too much”,  if we do nothing, we can’t expect anything to happen.

We are not victims.  . . .  we are the dragons, had forgotten it, but always knew . . “


NOTE:  Canadians for Tax Fairness  created an on-line letter that is easy for you to send to Finance Minister Bill Morneau, and to your MP.  The link to it is near the bottom of the above posting,  look for the word “RELATED” . . .

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re Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses in trade deals

I’ve been keeping an eye out for mainstream news coverage about the ISDS clauses in the trade deals (TPP11 and NAFTA) – – the clauses that create a higher level of law than our own national, provincial and municipal laws.  If laws passed by our Legislators are deemed to interfere with the potential profits of foreign corporations,  we citizens pay millions upon millions of dollars to the claimants, through tribunals that are not even public.

I paid particular attention recently, after reading Andrew Coyne’s political commentary on Trudeau in the Far East for TPP11 negotiations.  Coyne’s analysis made not one mention of ISDS.   And yet,  the number of people around the world who have been protesting and petitioning their Governments about ISDS is over a million.

It is incomprehensible and very troubling that Canadian mainstream media is silent on the matter of Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses in trade deals.


Who knows?  Maybe, in the case of Andrew Coyne, it’s related to his attendance at Bilderberg, Bilderberg 2015: 5 Canadians On Guest List, Including Andrew Coyne.   Click on ,  or,  I posted a back-up copy of the text on my blog, at


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MANY THANKS TO ELAINE, if you want to learn more about the TRADE DEALS:  ]


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WITH THANKS TO HART, petition to stop dumping of  2.3 million litres of a highly toxic pesticide into the Ocean.  Dec 1 deadline for signing:

In just two weeks BC will decide the fate of the waters of Clayoquot Sound, a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Industrial salmon farming giant Cermaq, has put in an application to use 2.3 million litres of a highly toxic pesticide off the coast of Vancouver Island to treat farmed salmon for sea lice.  

Farmed salmon are plagued by sea lice because of unhealthy and overcrowded conditions. Corporations like Cermaq are using ever more extreme methods to control the sea lice, threatening the marine environment and the livelihoods of communities who depend on it. 

Environment Minister George Heyman has the power to stop the application and protect Clayoquot Sound from Cermaq’s greedy practices. He needs to hear from us before December 1, when he is expected to decide on Cermaq’s permit.  


Over and out!


Nov 172017


by Jennifer MacMillan, The Huffington Post Canada

(There’s a good video at the top of the Huff Post article.  Please go to the URL if you wish – – the following is a copy of the text only.)


It’s likely the most exclusive gathering of powerful people in the world, and you’ve probably never heard of it.

The annual Bilderberg Meetings are underway this weekend in Austria, a gathering of 140 leading figures from Europe, the U.S. and Canada.

Behind closed doors, they’ll discuss topics ranging from the threat of chemical weapons to the U.S. elections to artificial intelligence.

But not much more will ever be known about the conference, due to its secretive rules: No minutes are taken, no reports written, and participants are forbidden from revealing who said what.

The group’s secrecy has made it a popular target of conspiracy theorists who believe the group is actually trying to orchestrate a sinister new world order. The group maintains that the privacy encourages freer discussion about big issues facing the world.

And there are just five Canadians on the guest list this year that will be privy to that discussion:

  • Ed Clark, former president and CEO of TD Bank
  • Andrew Coyne, National Post columnist
  • David McKay, president and CEO of RBC
  • Heather Munroe-Blum, chair of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and former principal of McGill University
  • Heather Reisman, CEO of Indigo


They’ll be attending along with PayPal billionaire Peter Thiel, Henry Kissinger and former CIA director David Petraeus. Other global elite invited include:

  • Princess Beatrix of the Netherland
  • Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google
  • Robert Zoellick, former president of the World Bank
  • Heinz Fischer, president of Austria
  • Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn
  • Ursula von der Leyen, the German minister of defence
  • Charles Michel, prime minister of Belgium
  • Ben van Beurden, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell
  • Mary Erdoes, CEO of JP Morgan Asset Management

Bilderberg’s official website has the full guest list.


Nov 162017

SENT:  Nov 12, 2017


Dear Fifth Estate,


RE:  your request for questions about the Paradise Papers, to be answered on this week’s show

The Paradise Papers are a continuation of the serious problem of

  • wealthy Canadians and
  • their accountants, lawyers and investment bankers

who use offshore tax havens to circumvent taxation.

The problem was identified as long ago as 1999, 18 years ago (reference CBC article below).   If it’s been going on for 20 years without any progress in stopping it, the means and schemes for tax evasion are sophisticated and well developed by now.


  1. According to CBC reporting March 8, 2016 (below), KPMG takes 15% of the money that they help clients to divert from the CRA (Tax Man) into offshore tax havens.  Why isn’t there a law that makes what KPMG (and others) are doing, illegal?
  2. What is the status of the court cases against the tax cheats (the offshorers)?
  3. Does Stephanie Henderson, responsible for the lenience for the wealthy, continue in her role of the CRA’s manager of offshore compliance?  (Ref: CBC/Radio-Canada obtained a copy of the confidential none-page offer, signed on May 1, 2015 by CRA’s manager of offshore compliance, Stephanie Henderson.)
  4. Is the Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, also in a conflict-of-interest over the Regulation of investment banks, money managers, tax accountants and tax lawyers –  – in short, over the Regulation of the banksters?  (He is definitely in a conflict-of-interest over the Regulation of pension funds.)

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(INSERT, A back-up copy of the article, without the video, is at 2016-03-08 Canada Revenue offered amnesty to wealthy KPMG clients in offshore tax ‘sham’, CBC.

KPMG took cut of taxes dodged

The KPMG scheme, which the accounting firm began marketing to wealthy Canadians as far back as 1999, had clients worth more than $5 million use shell companies set up by the accounting firm in the Isle of Man, famous for its corporate secrecy and very low taxes.

KPMG’s internal memos, now part of the court record, show that the scheme was promoted within the firm to all of its Canadian tax practitioners, and that the accounting firm would collect 15 per cent of the taxes dodged.

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I wrote the CBC to try and find out what happened to the two women whose story was told in the in the 2016 coverage,  in the video at the top of the URL,    Will let you know if anything is learned.


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Action item:   2017-11-16 Tax Fairness Canada (offshore tax havens). “Tell your MP amd Finance Minister . . . “

Excellent video:  2016-03-08 Canada Revenue offered amnesty to wealthy KPMG clients in offshore tax ‘sham’, CBC.

Links to more:  2016-04-04 The Panama Papers: world reacts to huge offshore tax files leak, The Guardian.

2015-09-09 KPMG Offshore sham deceived tax authorities, CRA alleges. Multi-millionaire clients paid virtually no tax in Isle of Man scheme, court documents show

Nov 162017


Le français suit

Dear Sandra,

Canada’s Top 60 public companies have over 1000 tax haven subsidiaries or related companies. Canadians for Tax Fairness just published a report documenting Bay Street’s Addiction to Tax Havens.

Many of those companies use these subsidiaries to shift profits offshore in order to pay less tax. A popular practice is selling a patent or trade mark to an offshore subsidiary and then charging itself licensing fees for the use of that same patent or logo.

How does our tax system let this boondoggle happen?

Here’s how: Canada’s Income Tax Act is riddled with loopholes that legally allow companies to get away with paying less than their fair share. And tax treaties Canada has signed with tax havens facilitates Canadian companies shifting profits and allows them to bring money back tax free. The Paradise Papers leaks and our recent report show how extensively Canada’s large corporations use tax havens.

Tell your MP and the Finance Minister to stop corporate tax dodging.

Tell them a good first step is to support Victoria MP, Murray Rankin’s Private Member’s Bill (Bill C-362) that would require that offshore subsidiaries be required to have economic substance to be considered a separate legal entity for tax purposes. This amendment to the corporate tax law would go a long way to helping the CRA and the courts to crack down on corporations that game the tax system.

And ask them to press the government to re-negotiate tax treaties with tax havens to stop corporate tax dodging.

Send a message to your MP now, asking him/her to support Bill C-362, An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act (economic substance). Let’s make sure corporations play by the same rules as the rest of us.


Dennis Howlett
Executive Director, Canadians for Tax Fairness

PS:  If you could send a donation to help us continue to raise issues like corporate tax avoidance, it would be greatly appreciated.

Please note: Canadians for Tax Fairness is not registered as a charitable organization because charities are not allowed to spend more than a small percentage of their time lobbying for policy changes. Since our primary focus involves trying to change government policies that cause inequality, we’re not eligible for charitable status and are therefore unable to provide a charitable receipt for income tax purposes. We hope you understand. Thank you.

Madame, Monsieur Finley:

Les 60 plus grandes entreprises canadiennes ont plus de 1000 paradis fiscal filiales ou sociétés liées.

Plusieurs de ces entreprises utilisent ces filiales de transférer les bénéfices afin de payer moins d’impôts. Une pratique populaire consiste à vendre un brevet à une filiale à l’étranger et à se facturer ensuite à elle-même des frais pour l’usage de ce même brevet.

Comment notre régime fiscal permet-il de tels stratagèmes?

Voici comment: La Loi de l’impôt sur le revenu du Canada est farcie d’échappatoires qui permettent aux entreprises de s’en tirer à bon compte en payant moins que leur juste part. Et Canada a signé les conventions fiscales avec les paradis fiscaux quelees facilitent le déplacement des bénéfices des entreprises canadiennes et leur permettent d’apporter l’argent a Canada hors-taxes.

Certains de nos politiciens semblent avoir perdu leur volonté politique de sévir contre les grandes sociétés. Et c’est vous, moi et nos voisins qui nous retrouvons coincés avec la facture parce qu’ils ne font rien.

Dites à votre député de prendre au sérieux l’évitement fiscal des entreprises.

Dites-lui qu’une bonne première étape est de soutenir le projet de loi émanant d’un depute, par Victoria MP, Murray Rankin (Bill C-362), modifiant la Loi de l’impôt sur le revenu (substance économique), qui exigerait que les filiales offshore soient tenus de posséder une substance économique pour être considéré comme une entité juridique distincte aux fins de l’impôt. Cet amendement à la Loi de l’impôt sur les sociétés irait un long chemin à aider l’ARC et les tribunaux à faire son travaille de freiner l’évitement fiscal des multinationales.
Dennis Howlett,
Directeur exécutif

P.S. Besoin d’un complément d’information sur cette mesure législative proposée? Voici le site de Parliament du Canada sur le project de loi C-362 qui en parle plus en détail.

Help us spread the word. Click here to forward this message to others.

Make a donation to support Canadians for Tax Fairness.

Nov 042017

EU on brink of historic decision on pervasive glyphosate weedkiller  (Monsanto, roundup),  The Guardian.

Oct 24, very good article.  Update, Oct 25, the EU temporarily dodged the bullet (again).

AVAAZ and other organizations have successfully campaigned, mobilizing millions of people to stop the poisoning.  We have been active on this file through the years.

There will be more actions.  Pitch in, if you can. An historic decision indeed.  Revolutionary!


    New Book: “Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science”  by Carey Gillam   (glyphosate, roundup, Monsanto)

    2017-03-14  Monsanto Weed Killer Roundup Faces New Doubts on Safety in Unsealed Documents,  New York Times


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Oil giants pay billions less tax in Canada than abroad,  The Guardian


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NZ joins the trend for countries to say no to ISDS  (Investor State Dispute Settlement, NAFTA and other trade deals.)


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Liberals table budget bill to join China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank,  Globe & Mail


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I was a statistic that helped establish “epidemic” status for polio in 1952-53.

But was it polio?   Among other considerations, I had a mercury dental filling a couple of months prior to the diagnosis.  And vaccinations prior to that.


I wrote the overview  Heavy metals in vaccinations, Mercury in dental amalgams years ago.  With no thought that it might also be my own story.  By 2010 I had started collecting information because I was very concerned about poisoning by mercury.


I am trying to piece together objective data related to my specific case;  it might be possible to figure out whether it was was polio, or something else.   And become better informed in the process.


Vaccinations began at age 1, in the early fifties when I got them.   I get side-lined by questions:

Why do the Americans administer the Hepatitis B vaccine to newborns?   How long does it take for a newborn’s liver to mature?   What are the consequences of a damaged liver?

I think everyone should look at that posting.  It’s pretty short.

Then, there’s    How Much Money Do American Pediatricians Really Make From Vaccines?

(Understand what’s happening in the U.S. and you’ll see the direction Canada will take, if we aren’t engaged and sharing information.)


Thank you Janet M who writes:

You must check this out!

New Web site,  “Got your flu shot?”

“Educate before you vaccinate” — videos of Drs talking about vaccines,, business cards we can buy & drop anywhere. Hand to friends. Leave on streetcar seats.  has it all!

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I clicked on “Videos”.  The bottom, right-hand one is:  Haley vs Offit Debate.

In it are the graphs of the incidence of various infectious diseases like polio, on a timeline.   I stopped the video, to be able to read the source of the research – – Dr. Suzanne Humphries.  I’ll look for an on-line copy of the graphs.   In the meantime,  here’s from Amazon about her book:

Not too long ago, lethal infections were feared in the Western world. Since that time, many countries have undergone a transformation from disease cesspools to much safer, healthier habitats. Starting in the mid-1800s, there was a steady drop in deaths from all infectious diseases, decreasing to relatively minor levels by the early 1900s. The history of that transformation involves famine, poverty, filth, lost cures, eugenicist doctrine, individual freedoms versus state might, protests and arrests over vaccine refusal, and much more. Today, we are told that medical interventions increased our lifespan and single-handedly prevented masses of deaths. But is this really true? Dissolving Illusions details facts and figures from long-overlooked medical journals, books, newspapers, and other sources. Using myth-shattering graphs, this book shows that vaccines, antibiotics, and other medical interventions are not responsible for the increase in lifespan and the decline in mortality from infectious diseases.

I’ll get the book, for my own project to figure out whether I was legitimate data for the establishment of an epidemic.   It’s possible that the combination of a dental filling that contained heavy metals, and vaccinations with God-knows-what in them, resulted in symptoms that were identified as polio but which weren’t.

Note also, from the video: you can say that an ingredient (thimerasol, for example) is not used in a vaccination as a “preservative”.  That does not mean that it is not used in the vaccine for some other purpose.

You’ll see the link:  I looked at the “product insert” for just one of the flu vaccines listed.   A Canadian manufacturer.   I had to laugh!   They state emphatically that there is NO thimerasol in their vaccine.  And its is stated more than once, that their flu shot is ONLY for people age 65 and up!   (people already on their way to the grave!  Ha ha!)   If you get that flu shot, and if you’re under age 65,  and if you have adverse effects,  you would have no claim.

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From Janet’s blog:     AIR FARCE skit about what flu vaccine contains

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There is a connection between the vaccination debate and

2010-04-08  The Dr. Who Drank Infectious Broth, Gave Himself an Ulcer, and Solved a Medical Mystery, Discover Magazine.

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The BC Deputy Minister of Environment replied to my submission about the Bowswer Sewage Treatment Plant.

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Enough for now!

Nov 032017

The story of Barry Marshall has a number of lessons for us.   The article from Discover Magazine, below,  tells his story well.

More? . . .  A search on his name, or “barry marshall youtube” turns up lots of interesting information.

Barry James Marshall  is an Australian physician, Nobel Prize Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, and Professor of Clinical Microbiology at the University of Western Australia.

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The medical elite thought they knew what caused ulcers and stomach cancer. But they were wrong—and did not want to hear the answer that was right.

By Pamela Weintraub

April 08, 2010

For years an obscure doctor hailing from Australia’s hardscrabble west coast watched in horror as ulcer patients fell so ill that many had their stomach removed or bled until they died. That physician, an internist named Barry Marshall, was tormented because he knew there was a simple treatment for ulcers, which at that time afflicted 10 percent of all adults. In 1981 Marshall began working with Robin Warren, the Royal Perth Hospital pathologist who, two years earlier, discovered the gut could be overrun by hardy, corkscrew-shaped bacteria called Helicobacter pylori. Biopsying ulcer patients and culturing the organisms in the lab, Marshall traced not just ulcers but also stomach cancer to this gut infection. The cure, he realized, was readily available: anti­biotics. But mainstream gastroenterologists were dismissive, holding on to the old idea that ulcers were caused by stress.

Unable to make his case in studies with lab mice (because H. pylori affects only primates) and prohibited from experimenting on people, Marshall grew desperate. Finally he ran an experiment on the only human patient he could ethically recruit: himself. He took some H. pylori from the gut of an ailing patient, stirred it into a broth, and drank it. As the days passed, he developed gastritis, the precursor to an ulcer: He started vomiting, his breath began to stink, and he felt sick and exhausted. Back in the lab, he biopsied his own gut, culturing H. pylori and proving unequivocally that bacteria were the underlying cause of ulcers.

Marshall recently sat down with DISCOVER senior editor Pam Weintraub in a Chicago hotel, wearing blue jeans and drinking bottled water without a trace of Helicobacter. The man The Star once called “the guinea-pig doctor” can now talk about his work with the humor and passion of an outsider who has been vindicated. For their work on H. pylori, Marshall and Warren shared a 2005 Nobel Prize. Today the standard of care for an ulcer is treatment with an antibiotic. And stomach cancer—once one of the most common forms of malignancy—is almost gone from the Western world.

Having rid much of the globe of two dread diseases, Marshall is now turning his old enemy into an ally. As a clinical professor of microbiology at the University of Western Australia, he is working on flu vaccines delivered by brews of weakened Helicobacter. And in an age when many doctors dismiss unexplained conditions as “all in the head,” Marshall’s story serves as both an inspiration and an antidote to hubris in the face of the unknown.

You grew up far from big-city life. What was it like?
I was born in Kalgoorlie, a gold mining town about 400 miles east of Perth. My father was a fitter and turner, fixing steam engines and trains. My mother was a nurse. All the miners owed a lot of money and drank a lot of beer, so Mom said, “We’ve got to get out of here before we go the way of everybody else.” In 1951 we headed for Rum Jungle, where a uranium boom was on, but halfway there we stopped in Kaniva, another boomtown, with a whaling station and high-paying jobs. Then my father started managing chicken factories in Perth. We never wanted for anything. It was like the TV show Happy Days.

What sparked your interest in science?
My mother had nursing books around. I had three brothers, and we always had electronics and gunpowder and explosions and welding. All I can say is that some things you get from your parents through osmosis. In high school I had Bs and Cs, not too many As, but I must have done well on that medical school test and I must have had some charisma in the interview, so I ended up in medicine. Being a general practitioner was all I aspired to. I was good with patients and very interested in why things happened. Eventually I developed a more mature approach: I realized that at least 50 percent of patients were undiagnosable.

You found yourself confronting unexplainable diseases?
In medical school it’s quite possible to get taught that you can diagnose everybody and treat everything. But then you get out in the real world and find that for most patients walking through your door, you have no idea what’s causing their symptoms. You could slice up that person into a trillion molecules and study every one and they’d all be completely normal. I was never satisfied with saying that by ruling out all these diseases, a person must have a fake disease, so I accepted the fact that lots of times I couldn’t reach a fundamental diagnosis, and I kept an open mind.

Is that how you came to rethink the cause of ulcers?
Before the 20th century, the ulcer was not a respectable disease. Doctors would say, “You’re under a lot of stress.” Nineteenth-century Europe and America had all these crazy health spas and quack treatments. By the 1880s doctors had developed surgery for ulcers, in which they cut off the bottom of the stomach and reconnected the intestine. We’re pretty certain now that by the start of the 20th century, 100 percent of mankind was infected with Helicobacter pylori, but you can go through your whole life and never have any symptoms.

What was the worst-case scenario for ulcer patients?
An ulcer with a hole in it, called a duodenal ulcer, is acutely painful due to stomach acid. When you eat a meal, the food washes the acid away temporarily. When the meal is digested, the acid comes back and covers the raw base of the ulcer, causing pain to start up again. These problems were so common that the Mayo Clinic was built on gastric surgery. After that surgery, half the people would feel better. But about 25 percent of these cured patients became so-called gastric cripples, lacking appetite and never regaining complete health.

With so much physical evidence of a real condition, why were ulcers routinely classified as psychosomatic?
Eventually doctors realized they could see the ulcers with X-ray machines, but, of course, those machines were in big cites like New York and London—so doctors in those cities started identifying ulcers in urban businessmen who probably smoked a lot of cigarettes and had a high-pressure lifestyle. Later, scientists induced ulcers in rats by putting them in straitjackets and dropping them in ice water. Then they found they could protect the rats from these stress-based ulcers by giving them antacids. They made the connection between ulcers, stress, and acid without any proper double-blind studies, but it fit in with what everybody thought.

How did you come to challenge this prevailing theory?
I was in the third year of my internal medicine training, in 1981, and I had to take on a project. Robin Warren, the hospital pathologist, said he had been seeing these bacteria on biopsies of ulcer and stomach cancer patients for two years, and they were all identical.

What was distinctive about these infections?
The microorganisms all had an S-shaped or helical form, and the infections coated the stomach. Warren had found them in about 20 patients who had been sent to him because doctors thought they might have cancer. Instead of cancer, he had found these bacteria. So he gave me the list and said, “Why don’t you look at their case records and see if they’ve got anything wrong with them.” It turned out that one of them, a woman in her forties, had been my patient. She had come in feeling nauseated, with chronic stomach pain. We put her through the usual tests, but nothing showed up. So of course she got sent to a psychiatrist, who put her on an antidepressant. When I saw her on the list, I thought, “This is pretty interesting.”

Then another patient turned up, an old Russian guy who had severe pains. Doctors gave him a diagnosis of angina, pain that occurs when blood to the heart can’t pass through a narrowed artery. It’s rare, but you can theoretically get that in your gut, too. There was no treatment for an 80-year-old man in those days, so we put him on tetracycline and sent him home. He goes off, and two weeks later he comes back. He’s got a spring in his step, he’s practically doing somersaults into the consulting room. He’s healed. Clearing out the infection had cured him. I had one more year to go, so I did the paperwork to set up a proper clinical trial with 100 patients to look for the bacteria causing the gut infection; that started in April of 1982.

But at first nothing was turning up, right?
Yes—not until patients 34 and 35, on Easter Tuesday, when I got this excited call from the microbiologist. So I go down there and he shows me two cultures, the grand slam, under the microscope. The lab techs had been throwing the cultures out after two days because with strep, on the first day we may see something, but by the second day it’s covered with contamination and you might as well throw it in the bin. That was the mentality of the lab: Anything that didn’t grow in two days didn’t exist. But Helicobacter is slow-growing, we discovered. After that we let the cultures grow longer and found we had 13 patients with duodenal ulcer, and all of them had the bacteria.

When did you realize H. pylori caused stomach cancer, too?
We observed that everybody who got stomach cancer developed it on a background of gastritis, an irritation or inflammation of the stomach lining. Whenever we found a person without Helicobacter, we couldn’t find gastritis, either. So as far as we knew, the only important cause of gastritis was Helicobacter. Therefore, it had to be the most important cause of stomach cancer as well.

How did you get the word out about your discovery?
I presented that work at the annual meeting of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in Perth. That was my first experience of people being totally skeptical. To gastroenterologists, the concept of a germ causing ulcers was like saying that the Earth is flat. After that I realized my paper was going to have difficulty being accepted. You think, “It’s science; it’s got to be accepted.” But it’s not an absolute given. The idea was too weird.

Then you and Robin Warren wrote letters to The Lancet.
Robin’s letter described the bacteria and the fact that they were quite common in people. My letter described the history of these bacteria over the past 100 years. We both knew that we were standing at the edge of a fantastic discovery. At the bottom of my letter I said the bacteria were candidates for the cause of ulcers and stomach cancer.

That letter must have provoked an uproar.
It didn’t. In fact, our letters were so weird that they almost didn’t get published. By then I was working at a hospital in Fremantle, biopsying every patient who came through the door. I was getting all these patients and couldn’t keep tabs on them, so I tapped all the drug companies to request research funding for a computer. They all wrote back saying how difficult times were and they didn’t have any research money. But they were making a billion dollars a year for the antacid drug Zantac and another billion for Tagamet. You could make a patient feel better by removing the acid. Treated, most patients didn’t die from their ulcer and didn’t need surgery, so it was worth $100 a month per patient, a hell of a lot of money in those days. In America in the 1980s, 2 to 4 percent of the population had Tagamet tablets in their pocket. There was no incentive to find a cure.

But one drug company did provide useful information, right?
I got an interesting letter from a company that made an ulcer product called Denel, which contained bismuth—much like Pepto-Bismol in the United States. The company had shown that it healed ulcers just as quickly as Tagamet, even though the acid remained. The weird thing was that if they treated 100 patients with this drug, 30 of them never got their ulcer back, whereas if you stopped Tagamet, 100 percent would get their ulcer back in the next 12 months. So the company said: “This must heal ulcers better than just removing the acid. It must do something to the underlying problem, whatever that is.” They sent me their brochure with “before” and “after” photographs. On the “before” photograph they had Helicobacter in the picture, and in the “after” picture there was none. So I put their drug on Helicobacter and it killed them like you wouldn’t believe. They helped me present at an international microbiology conference in Brussels.

The microbiologists in Brussels loved it, and by March of 1983 I was incredibly confident. During that year Robin and I wrote the full paper. But everything was rejected. Whenever we presented our stuff to gastroenterologists, we got the same campaign of negativism. I had this discovery that could undermine a $3 billion industry, not just the drugs but the entire field of endoscopy. Every gastroenterologist was doing 20 or 30 patients a week who might have ulcers, and 25 percent of them would. Because it was a recurring disease that you could never cure, the patients kept coming back. And here I was handing it on a platter to the infectious-disease guys.

Didn’t infectious-disease researchers support you, at least?
They said: “This is important. This is great. We are going to be the new ulcer doctors.” There were lots of people doing the microbiology part. But those papers were diluted by the hundreds of papers on ulcers and acid. It used to drive me crazy.

To move forward you needed solid experimental proof. What obstacles did you encounter?
We had been trying to infect animals to see if they would develop ulcers. It all failed; we could not infect pigs or mice or rats. Until we could do these experiments, we would be open to criticism. So I had a plan to do the experiments in humans. It was desperate: I saw people who were almost dying from bleeding ulcers, and I knew all they needed was some antibiotics, but they weren’t my patients. So a patient would sit there bleeding away, taking the acid blockers, and the next morning the bed would be empty. I would ask, “Where did he go?” He’s in the surgical ward; he’s had his stomach removed.

What led up to your most famous and most dangerous experiment, testing your theory on yourself?
I had a patient with gastritis. I got the bacteria and cultured them, then worked out which antibiotics could kill his infection in the lab—in this case, bismuth plus metronidazole. I treated the patient and did an endoscopy to make sure his infection was gone. After that I swizzled the organisms around in a cloudy broth and drank it the next morning. My stomach gurgled, and after five days I started waking up in the morning saying, “Oh, I don’t feel good,” and I’d run in the bathroom and vomit. Once I got it off my stomach, I would be good enough to go to work, although I was feeling tired and not sleeping so well. After 10 days I had an endoscopy that showed the bacteria were everywhere. There was all this inflammation, and gastritis had developed. That’s when I told my wife.

How did she react?
I should have recorded it, but the meaning was that I had to stop the experiment and take some antibiotics. She was paranoid that she would catch it and the kids would catch it and chaos—we’d all have ulcers and cancer. So I said, “Just give me till the weekend,” and she said, “Fair enough.”

Your personal experience convinced you that Helicobacter infection starts in childhood. Can you explain?
At first I thought it must have been a silent infection, but after I had it, I said, “No, it’s actually an infection that causes vomiting.” And when do you catch such infections? When you’re toddling around, eating dirty things and playing with your dirty little brothers and sisters. The reason you didn’t remember catching Helicobacter is that you caught it before you could talk.

You published a synthesis of this work in The Medical Journal of Australia in 1985. Then did people change their thinking?
No, it sat there as a hypothesis for another 10 years. Some patients heard about it, but gastroenterologists still would not treat them with antibiotics. Instead, they would focus on the possible complications of antibiotics. By 1985 I could cure just about everybody, and patients were coming to me in secret—for instance, airline pilots who didn’t want to let anyone know that they had an ulcer.

So how did you finally convince the medical community?
I didn’t understand it at the time, but Procter & Gamble [the maker of Pepto-Bismol] was the largest client of Hill & Knowlton, the public relations company. After I came to work in the States, publicity would come out. Stories had titles like “Guinea-Pig Doctor Experiments on Self and Cures Ulcer,” and Reader’s Digest and the National Enquirer covered it. Our credibility might have dropped a bit, but interest in our work built. Whenever someone said, “Oh, Dr. Marshall, it’s not proven,” I’d say: “Well, there’s a lot at stake here. People are dying from peptic ulcers. We need to accelerate the process.” And ultimately, the NIH and FDA did that. They fast-tracked a lot of this knowledge into the United States and said to the journals: “We can’t wait for you guys to conduct these wonderful, perfect studies. We’re going to move forward and get the news out.” That happened quite quickly in the end. Between 1993 and 1996, the whole country changed color.

You have since devised tests for H. pylori. How do they work?
The first diagnostic test, done after a biopsy, detected Helicobacter that broke down urea to form ammonia. More recently I developed a breath test for Helicobacter based on the same principle. That test was bought by Kimberly-Clark, and they sell it all over the world. That one little discovery set me up for the rest of my career.

Is it possible to create a vaccine against Helicobacter?
After 20 years and a lot of hard work by companies spending millions, we have still been unable to make a vaccine. The reason is that once it’s in you, Helicobacter has control of your immune system. Once I realized this, I said, well, if it’s too difficult to make a vaccine against H. pylori, what about loading a vaccine against something else onto the Helicobacter and using it as a delivery system? So that is my vaccine project, and it is my life at the moment. I’m making a vaccine against influenza. We’ll find a strain of Helicobacter that doesn’t cause any symptoms. Then we’ll take the influenza surface protein and clone that into Helicobacter and figure out how to put it in a little yogurt-type product. You just take one sip and three days later the whole surface of your stomach is covered with the modified Helicobacter. Over a few weeks, your immune system starts reacting against it and also sees the influenza proteins stuck on the surface, so it starts creating antibodies against influenza as well.

How would this be better than current flu vaccines?
Right now it takes a year to make 50 million doses of flu vaccine, so you only get vaccinated against last year’s flu. Whereas we are building swine flu vaccine as we speak. We know the sequence of the swine flu virus. You can make the DNA. You can put it in Helicobacter—with a home brew kit, I can make 100,000 doses in my bathtub. Using the same method, a Helicobacter vaccine against malaria would be dirt cheap. You could make 100 million doses in the middle of Africa without a refrigerator. You could distribute it at the airport through something like a Coke machine.

Based on this experience, should we be taking a fresh look at other diseases that do not have well-understood causes?
Helicobacter made us realize that we can’t confidently rule out infectious causes for most diseases that are still unexplained. By the 1980s, infectious disease was considered a has-been specialty, and experts were saying everyone with an infectious disease could be cured by antibiotics. But what about when your kids were 2 years old? Every week they’d come home with a different virus. You didn’t know what the infections were. The kids had a fever for two days, they didn’t sleep, they were irritable, and then it was over. Well, you think it is over. It might be gone, but it has put a scar on their immune system. And when they grow up, they’ve developed colitis or Crohn’s disease or maybe eczema. There are hundreds of diseases like this, and no one knows the cause. It might be a germ, just one you can’t find.

How can we track down these mystery pathogens?
What we would like to do, hopefully with funding from NIH, is launch big, long-term programs. You would enter your baby into a trial the day he is born. We would have his genome decoded. We’d survey your microbiome [all the microorganisms in the body and their DNA] and maybe your husband’s microbiome, and all that would go in a database. Then we would come along and take a feces culture from your baby each month. And if ever he got a fever, we would swab his cheek and save that. We would do 10,000 kids like this. Then, in 20 years’ time, we would find that 30 of them developed colitis, and we would go back. If we could get all of that material out of the deep freeze and run it through the sequencing machine, we would find the answer. In the last 20 years, people have been so focused on linking disease with environmental factors like chemicals and pollution. But the environmental factor could be an infectious agent that you had in your body at some time in your life. Just because somebody ruled out an infectious cause in the 1980s or ’90s doesn’t mean this was correct. Technology has moved forward a long way.

Even now, though, isn’t it hard for new ideas to be heard when medical journals are gatekeepers of the status quo?
It’s true, but they have their ears pricked up now because every time a paper comes to them, they say: “Hang on a minute, I had better make sure that this is not a Barry Marshall paper. I don’t want to have my name on that rejection letter he shows in his lectures.” Now they might say, “It’s so off-the-wall….Is it true?”

Nov 022017

I was a statistic in the 1952-53 polio epidemic, diagnosed in November 1952 (age 3 years, 7 months).

Less than 2 months prior to the diagnosis, I had my first dental filling (mercury amalgam).  Prior to that I had the series of childhood vaccinations administered by the Health Dept. (details below).  Was mercury being used as a preservative in vaccinations, in the early 1950’s?   What were the ingredients in the vaccinations at that time?

ASIDE:  At that time, the vaccinations started when you were one year old.   Today, there are jurisdictions where they begin at birth,  when some parts of the immune system are net yet fully developed.

I pulled together 3 short paragraphs in answer to:

How long does it take for a newborn’s liver to mature? 

What are the consequences of a damaged liver?

Why do the Americans administer the Hepatitis B vaccine to newborns?   (Hepatitus B is a sexually transmitted disease, also transmitted through needle exchange, or when body fluids from an infected person come into contact with another.  If mothers are drug users they would normally be tested for Hep B prior to the birth of their at-risk baby. (Hep B is like HIV.)

This article is additional food for thought:     How Much Money Do American Pediatricians Really Make From Vaccines?

BUT!  back to this posting.

Today, there is controversy over the polio epidemics.   Were they epidemics, were the diagnoses accurate, were the trend-lines for polio already on the way down, were other factors at play?

My Mother kept pretty good records, including hair from our first hair cuts.

I recently sent it for analysis because I  am curious whether the polio might have been poisoning by heavy metals,  maybe not polio?

I know that ancient hair samples are tested for levels of heavy metals  (e.g. the Inuit:

My childhood hair isn’t quite “ancient”, but I wondered if an analysis might be helpful.  It would at least be interesting.

Copy of the results of the hair analysis, Sept 29,  2017.    (Mercury isn’t the stand-out heavy metal in the 65-year-old hair sample.  Other heavy metals are.)

I have more work to do,  in sorting out what the analysis means, if anything.   (Note to self:  take a look at Measuring Our Mercury Exposure Through Hair Samples)


(Tedious details below are because there is more research to do (e.g. what ingredients were in the vaccines), in order to arrive at any clear understanding.)

1949, April 1: born

1950IMMUNIZATION RECORD, original card:


R.M. #351, Luseland, Saskatchewan


Dose 1.  March 31

Dose 2.  April 22

Dose 3.  May 25



PERTUSSIS VACCINE  (whooping cough)

Dose 1. March 31

Dose 2. April 22

Dose 3. May 25

1951,  re-designed card stapled on top of the 1950 card:

The column for DIPHTHERIA TOXOID is blank.   The dates for the 1950 Diphtheria shots, doses 1, 2, and 3, are written in on the revised card,  in the column

DIPH. TOX. & PERT. V. (Comb).   Added to the record:

Dose 4.   June 25, 1951   (Mother’s handwriting on backside of original card says Booster – June 25 – 1951)

In pencil on front of 1951 card, Mother’s handwriting:   Polio May, June 25   Oct?

Other Blank columns on the 1951 card:

  • D.  Txd, P.  V.  & TET.   TXD.
  • PERTUSSIS VACCINE  (record on the 1950 card)

1952 – Polio epidemic in the U.S.  Fear.

1952 –  (Mother’s record):  Sandy’s talking was very hard to understand until she was three & even then she talked so fast & inarticulate that many had a time understanding her til she repeated a couple of times & she thought the listeners very dumb at not understanding her.   (I record this because the majority of accounts of vaccine-damaged children report language delay or regression.  It may have nothing to do with my case.)

1952, Sept – Mother’s handwriting,  Had her first filling in Sept. ’52 by Dr. Sills at Unity (Dentist in another town).

1952 – November 6  –  Mother’s handwriting,  . . . we took her into Dr. Kinnear in Saskatoon because she complained of pains in her right leg & he diagnosed it as polio.  Had affected muscles in the right knee & she had a bit of a sidle in her walk.  Skating seemed to be the answer in helping it.   (At age 3+, I was taken to the skating rink in the wintertime, almost daily, as I understand.)

1953 – March 2 –  Sandy’s hair cut off . . .  (hair sample, age 4)

1953 – Polio epidemic in Winnipeg.  Fear.

1954 – tonsils removed

1955, Oct – Mother’s record:  First permanent tooth (lower front) came thru in Oct 55.  This was a deformed tooth both in shape & in enamel.  Removed in 1959.   (I record this because, see 19?? below,  the Macklin dentist said that another dental abnormality was related to the polio.   But was it?   Are there other causes?

1956, Dec – (Mother’s record)  Sandy had x-ray treatments thru Dr. Scharf to do away with adenoids that had grown back in & were causing earaches.

19?? –  Dentist in Macklin said that the missing permanent tooth in upper front right quadrant was because of the polio.  See 1955 above, also re dental.

Nov 022017


If you want to be sure your pediatrician has your child’s best interest, this is mandatory reading. Pediatricians around the country have begun refusing to accept families who opt out of some or all vaccines. Thanks to a tip sent to Wellness & Equality by a reader, now we know why.

When my friend’s child suffered a life-threatening reaction to a vaccine a week after her first birthday, my friend assumed her pediatrician would write her a medical exemption from future vaccines. Shortly after receiving a routine set of vaccines, the happy, vibrant one-year-old spiked a 106 degree fever, began having seizures, and was hospitalized. When the unexplained “illness” passed after a week in the hospital, the little girl had lost her ability to walk. My friend describes how her daughter, who had learned to walk several months earlier at 9 months, suddenly “stumbled around like a drunk person” for weeks following the vaccines. My friend met with a team of pediatricians, neurologists, and naturopathic doctors, and they agreed: Her daughter had suffered a brain injury caused by a reaction to one of the vaccines. Hoping the injury would be temporary and that she might recover and ease her brain inflammation if they could help her small body quickly eliminate the vaccine additives that caused the reaction, my friend’s daughter underwent an intensive detoxification program overseen by a nutritionalist. Slowly, her daughter relearned to walk.

My friend is a practicing attorney who graduated from a Top 10 college. The evidence was overwhelming that her daughter’s reaction had been caused by vaccines, she told me.

But a few months later, when she took her daughter back into the pediatrician for a visit, he wanted to vaccinate her daughter again. She was baffled. Why?

After a reader sent us a link to a PDF file of Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Physician Incentive Program available online, Wellness & Equality learned that insurance companies pay pediatricians massive bonuses based on the percentage of children who are fully vaccinated by age 2. 


So how much money do doctors really make from vaccines? The average American pediatrician has 1546 patients, though some pediatricians see many more. The vast majority of those patients are very young, perhaps because children transition to a family physician or stop visiting the doctor at all as they grow up. As they table above explains, Blue Cross Blue Shield pays pediatricians $400 per fully vaccinated child. If your pediatrician has just 100 fully-vaccinated patients turning 2 this year, that’s $40,000. Yes, Blue Cross Blue Shield pays your doctor a $40,000 bonus for fully vaccinating 100 patients under the age of 2. If your doctor manages to fully vaccinate 200 patients, that bonus jumps to $80,000. 

But here’s the catch: Under Blue Cross Blue Shield’s rules, pediatricians lose the whole bonus unless at least 63% of patients are fully vaccinated, and that includes the flu vaccine. So it’s not just $400 on your child’s head–it could be the whole bonus. To your doctor, your decision to vaccinate your child might be worth $40,000, or much more, depending on the size of his or her practice.

If your pediatrician recommends that your child under the age of 2 receive the flu vaccine–even though the flu vaccine has never been studied in very young children and evidence suggests that the flu vaccine actually weakens a person’s immune system over the long term –ask yourself:  Is my doctor more concerned with selling me vaccines to keep my child healthy or to send his child to private school?


The Physician Alliance Blue Cross Blue Shield Incentive Program [Please read our update below to find out how you can access the pamphlet.] 

Update 4/30/2017: After Wellness & Equality published this article, Blue Cross Blue Shield locked online access to their incentive program and then removed the page altogether. Clearly this incentive program was never intended to be public knowledge and created a bit of PR issue for them. Fortunately, another website managed to save the entire BCBS incentive program booklet and has published it in entirety online… You can read it here:  Blue Cross Blue Shield Physician Incentive Program

Getting A Flu Shot Every Year? More May Not Be Better

Distribution of Pediatric Practice: Size, Age, Sex