Massive Study Casts Doubt on Zika As Cause of Microcephaly

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AP Photo/Felipe Dana

The latest study of nearly 12,000 pregnant women infected with the Zika virus finds that none of them gave birth to a baby with microcephaly, a severe fetal brain defect.

Preliminary results published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) found that of nearly 12,000 pregnant women from Columbia who were infected with the Zika virus, none gave birth to babies with microcephaly. While four cases of the brain defect were reported with mothers who did not have Zika symptoms and were not participating in the study, that number of cases is what would statistically be expected.

Researchers Dan Evans, Fred Nijhout, Raphael Parens, Alfredo J. Morales, and Yaneer Bar-Yamat of the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI) observe that, despite warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and NEJM that the Zika virus is linked to microcephaly, results of the massive study have raised doubts as to the actual cause of the birth defect and even prompted NEJM to publish the preliminary results.

The study is focused on the fact that Brazil has experienced an outbreak of microcephaly after use of a new chemical to control the breeding of mosquitos.

The authors write:

Physicians in Argentina and Brazil have warned that the birth defects might instead be caused by pre-natal exposure to the larvicide pyriproxyfen, which has been used to control the breeding of mosquitos since late 2014, just prior to the spread of Zika. These efforts represented the first time pyriproxyfen was added to a nation’s supply of drinking water. In a new report researchers at the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI) and Duke University found they were right to be worried. Their findings indicate pyriproxyfen may interfere with human brain development as well, calling into question whether Zika is really the culprit behind Brazil’s outbreak of microcephaly, and raising fears that increasingly aggressive efforts to halt the spread of the mosquitos carrying the Zika virus might only make the outbreak worse. In the paper, they call for more research, and for the phasing out of pyriproxyfen in mosquito control efforts.

As the authors state, significant numbers of microcephaly cases have not been reported outside of Brazil, despite the spread of the Zika virus.

In April, CDC announced in a press release:

Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have concluded, after careful review of existing evidence, that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects. In the report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the CDC authors describe a rigorous weighing of evidence using established scientific criteria.

“This study marks a turning point in the Zika outbreak,” said Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., CDC director. “It is now clear that the virus causes microcephaly.”

Frieden added:

We are also launching further studies to determine whether children who have microcephaly born to mothers infected by the Zika virus is the tip of the iceberg of what we could see in damaging effects on the brain and other developmental problems. We’ve now confirmed what mounting evidence has suggested, affirming our early guidance to pregnant women and their partners to take steps to avoid Zika infection and to health care professionals who are talking to patients every day. We are working to do everything possible to protect the American public.

Breitbart News reached out to CDC for comment about the new study, but received no response in return.

The study comes as Democrats in Congress have refused to fund a measure that would help, in part, with the development of a vaccine for the Zika virus because the bill does not earmark funds specifically for the Planned Parenthood affiliate in Puerto Rico, an area that has experienced an outbreak of the virus. Other health centers in Puerto Rico, however, offer family planning services.

As Life Issues Institute observes:

Planned Parenthood and the rest of the abortion industry were quick to insert themselves into the medical crisis because they’re absolutely desperate to link abortion to any perceived common good and they thought the Zika virus was their ride to glory. As a result, they’ve been advocating abortion for at-risk pregnant women. Planned Parenthood even hired canvassers to go door-to-door in Miami.

As a result of the new study, NECSI is recommending different mosquito control methods in Brazil, such as Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin. However, in May, an Obama administration health official said that during the Zika outbreak in Brazil in the 1950s and 1960s, that country successfully eliminated the mosquito-borne illness through the use of DDT.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said:

Now, years ago in the fifties and the sixties, Brazil itself made a very aggressive attempt to eliminate the Aedes aegypti mosquito. They did it successfully but they did it in a way that would be almost non-feasible today—very heavy use of DDT, very aggressive use going into homes, essentially, spraying in homes, cleaning up areas, things that I think the general public would not be amenable to accepting.

So, it can be done. But historically it was done in a way that might not be acceptable now.

Fauci, however, warned, “The mosquito that is the predominant mosquito that spreads Zika is called Aedes aegypti,” which “is a very difficult mosquito to control and eliminate. It will require a very aggressive, concerted effort.”

Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, told Breitbart News, “DDT was the most effective public health weapon of all time.”

“The ban on DDT was basically the decision of one man, William Ruckelshaus [the first head of the EPA], going against a mountain of evidence on safety and enormous health benefits,” she explained. “It was said that, ‘If they can ban DDT, they can ban anything.’ And that’s how the EPA power grab started. Millions of African babies have died and are still dying of malaria because if it.”

“Substitute pesticides are far more toxic and expensive,” Orient added. “People are advised to use insect repellents such as DEET — which is absorbed through the skin, and safety in pregnancy is not established.”

Pioneer Energy president, Dr. Robert Zubrin, recently echoed the same view at National Review, observing that a massive propaganda campaign against DDT was helped significantly by Rachel Carson, who wrote in her 1962 book Silent Spring that the pesticide was endangering bird populations:

This was false. In fact, by eliminating their insect parasites and infection agents, DDT was helping bird numbers to grow significantly. No matter. Using Carson’s book and even more wild writing by Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich (who in a 1969 Ramparts article predicted that pesticides would cause all life in the Earth’s oceans to die by 1979), a massive propaganda campaign was launched to ban DDT.

“The most effective pesticide is DDT,” Zubrin asserted. “If the Zika catastrophe is to be prevented in time, we need to use it.”


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