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    Anti-vaccine chiropractor sticks her foot in her mouth

    Would you agree with these statements made in a newspaper column in your hometown? Well if you come from Peterborough, Ontario and read the Peterborough This Week column called Health Matters, you may have read this.
    • Measles is a mild disease
    • Perhaps it's not wise to vaccinate children
    • Vaccines cause SIDS
    • Hepatitis B vaccines cause diabetes
    • If I had kids they would not be immunized

    Did one of Peterborough's newest chiropractors know that it's against the College of Chiropractors of Ontario's old version of their Standards of Practice to advocate publicly against immunization? As you will see at the end of her piece, I have included her latest rant against the flu shot.

    To bring you up to date, the CCO, after being bombarded with scores of complaints about wacko anti-vax chiropractors in recent years decided to propose a new Standards of Practice. Click here for the a draft of S-015 in .pdf format. It was circulated and voted on in February 2004. Dr.

    Apparently the staff of Peterborough This Week trusted the knowledge of their regular Health Matters columnist, Colette Szalay to know those guidelines..

    Unfortunately for her, and for many other licensed chiropractors in this Province, they either don't know, or have ignored those CCO codes.

    How many hundreds of recent graduates from CMCC (Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College) know those guidelines? Szalay graduated in May 1997.

    What qualifications does she have to comment on immunzations or public health issues? Has she ever delivered a baby, or cared for newborns or infants who had critical medical conditions caused by infections like measles, rubella, polio, meningitis? It's certain that she didn't learn about pediatric infectious disease in that clinical setting.

    CMCC has no affiliation with the Hospital for Sick Children, and no student has ever served as an intern or resident or maybe even an observer on labour and delivery at any hospital.

    What's really quite curious is the fact that the leaders of CMCC swear that they do not teach their students any anti-vaccine rhetoric. Yet, their bookstore sells books full of anti-vaccine propoganda. Do these folks learn this from other chiropractors at weekend meetings at the Novatel Hotel near the airport, or what?

    CMCC is bidding for a birth at York University, and they hope to convince the Senate at York that their graduates are science based, that they are taught to evaluate the merits of research, statistics, and of course the fundamentals of chiropractic.

    Unfortunately, many of their leaders are hellbent on extolling the virtues of chiropractic philosophy at international meetings and on educational cruises, than they are at teaching science.

    If graduates of chiropractic colleges in Canada continue to swim in the polluted waters of anti-vaccine sharks, the public will never be able to safely swim in the murky waters of a publicly funded chiropractic dream-home at York.

    The sad story of anti-vaccine chiropractors like Szalay, is that they are able to avoid any disciplinary actions because of their public pronouncements, no matter how wrong, and no matter how often they repeat them.

    Readers or listeners to anti-vax chiropractors will only remember their points of view because they are good sales people. They're trained in the manly or womenly art of conversion. They create a cult of true believers, because they have convinced themselves that a poorly documented book written by a woman nearly 7 years ago is the BIBLE. Only this book has the answers, only this woman is a True Believer. It's a religious conviction based on pseudoscience that borders on criminal intent.

    It appears that Szalay has carved out a niche in the Peterborough community with her monthly Health Matters column for the last two years. According to my sources, she has never written an anti-vaccine column before. So, why did she decide to take it upon herself to continue to spread lies and rumour about vaccines and immunization programs?

    That's what the regulators and the community of Peterborough should be asking themselves.

    Szalay ends her piece by saying to the community that she wants to educate them. In fact, she needs to educate herself first, not at the expense of the community.

    As a provider of health information, she has served the wacko views of anti-vax writers, supported groups and associations that basically want to totally dismantle public health efforts that have saved millions of lives. As a licensed health care professional, she has failed to uphold the standards of health providers in this community. She may hnow that she has a whole bunch of anti-vaccine "friends" or sympathizers at a major chiropractic clinic in the area, who are all members of a cult-like anti-vaccine organization known as the CAC, Chiropractic Awareness Council. I am sure that they are silently cheering for her all the way.

    Here is her November 1, 2000 column. You be the judge:

  • Who is misleading who on flu shot's need, effectiveness? - February 11, 2004 - Szalay continues her Health Matters column of misinformation over three years later.

    More Ontario chiros take anti-vaccine position. I suggest that you click on the link below about Mark C. Mitchell who seems to me to be in need of a refresher course in immunization, immunology, and common sense:

  • The College of Chiropractors of Ontario proposes a code of ethics:
     Ethical Chiropractors shall:
          1. Claim only qualifications possessed, represent accurately the
    nature of chiropractic  treatment, and convey correct information when
    interpreting scientific knowledge. 
     (I am sorry to say that these ethical guidelines may have been
    challenged by Szalay.)
    CCO policy on immunization that states:
          1. Members who disseminate information about immunization to
    patients or to members of the public have an obligation to inform
    themselves about immunization, including scientific research.
          2. In disseminating information about immunization to patients or
    to members of the public,  members shall: 
               a. advise that immunization is not within the scope of
    practice of chiropractic nor do  chiropractors have the legislative
    authority to immunize patients;
               b. outline, within the member1s knowledge and expertise, the
    effects, benefits, risks and side-effects of immunization, versus no
    immunization for: individual patients and the public at large; and
               c. advise that the Immunization of School Pupils Act provides
    for circumstances in which school pupils may be exempted from

    Educate yourself before agreeing to vaccination

    Health Matters: Peterborough This Week

    Dr. Colette Szalay, D.C.

    Nov 1, 2000

    With the advent of the flu season and the recently publicly-funded flu immunization program in Ontario, I was prompted to do some research into vaccinations in general.

    I found two types of information: one very accessible because it is trying to sell a product and is supported by the government; the second harder to track down, compiled by a growing group of concerned health care workers, parents and researchers, including medical doctors. This latter information is not as accessible to the public mainly because it is found in professional journals written in medical lingo.

    The recent mail-out by the Ontario government states "vaccines are one of the public health success stories of the 20th century". However, epidemiological studies show the majority of infectious diseases, such as measles, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough), had declined up to 90 per cent before any vaccine was used in mass proportions. These diseases were decreasing naturally as a result of an increase in nutritional status, population and population control measures.

    One exception is polio, with much of its worldwide eradication due to vaccine. Interestingly, however, a 1996 study showed, in the last 17 years, the only cause of polio in the United States was the results of the oral version of the polio vaccine.

    I'm certainly not advocating anti-immunization for everyone. In fact, I fully agree vaccination programs do save lives, particularly in developing countries where nutrition and hygiene are poor and children die from infectious diseases.

    Since having done this research, though, I am now personally opposed to it for myself and for my future children. I also believe in freedom of choice through education, and an individual's right to make a personal choice when informed of the pros and cons of vaccination.

    There are so many vaccinations given to babies, school-aged children and even adults that most people do not even question whether they are necessary or could potentially cause problems. Did you ever stop and think whether there can be any harm in injecting highly noxious substances made up of bacteria] or viral components into a 2-month-old infant whose brain, nervous system and immune system are not yet fully developed?

    When Japan moved the vaccination age to two years, SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) disappeared. Sweden, since banning the pertussis vaccine (the "P" in your child's DPT vaccine) in 1979, has since had the second lowest infant mortality rate in the world.

    Japan, the United States and the province of Quebec have instituted programs to compensate vaccine-damaged children. Although these programs are largely inaccessible and inadequate, their presence nevertheless indicates vaccine damage does occur.

    I wonder if pharmaceutical giants with a vested interest in selling a product, and the government, are being socially responsible when not informing the public of the potential adverse effects of vaccines. This is particularly disconcerting when studies published in medical journals are increasingly pointing to connections with vaccine-induced damage including learning disabilities, brain damage and SIDS.

    Vaccinating North American children with the measles and chicken pox is perhaps not the wisest thing to do. Having these diseases in childhood is mild and provides life-long immunity, unlike vaccines. Research now shows allowing a child to be expose to these diseases and build up natural immunity is actually protective against future allergies and asthma.

    It also seems illogical to vaccinate, en masse, an entire population of totally healthy children with hepatitis B and the flu vaccine when these are only prevalent or potentially dangerous in high-risk groups. As an aside, there is now evidence pointing to a link between hepatitis B vaccines and the onset of insulin-dependent diabetes.

    Comprehensive, long-term studies of artificially vaccinating humans are difficult to find in the research. It is sometimes frightening the public relies so much on biotechnology and biomedicine propagated by the "experts".

    Just look at what has happened since the widespread use of antibiotics. Yes, antibiotics have saved lives but their overuse has led to all kinds of bacteria] mutations created by man and the repercussions have yet to be seen.

    There are several books parents may want to read prior to choosing to vaccinate a child. This reading list is available from our office. The web site www.909shot.com also informs on the not-openly- discussed side of vaccinations. A copy of summarized research articles is also available from our office.

    Many parents believe they have no choice in having their baby vaccinated and that vaccines are a prerequisite for attending school. Childhood vaccinations in Ontario are not mandatory. The Peterborough County-City Health Unit and school nurses have an exemption form that allows you the choice in not vaccinating your child for conscience or religious reasons. If no one is speaking up to dispel the myths behind vaccinations, the least I can do as a service to my patients, and the community at large, is educate.

    Szalay is not the leader of the pack

    Below you will find links to some of the weirdest and loudest anti-vaccine sites run by chiropractors and their supporters. You will find more than a vague similarity between Szaray's quotes and complete lines from some of this banter.

    • More Ontario chiros believe in bashing public health.

      Some, like infomercial star Katrina Kulhay, even charge $20.00 to see an anti-vaccine video from Australia, that cost her about $39, and she has the nerve to ask you to bring a pot-luck dinner to boot. Her three story mid-town chiropractic/chelation centre/green tea house dreams are yet another reason why the College of Chiropractors has given up on regulation. Unless a chiropractor strangles their assistant, or molests 16 patients, you can place your bets on how long will be before anti-vaccine chiropractors are charged with infractions of the chiropractic guidelines or code of ethics.

    • Evangelical PhD chiropractor accuses us of genocide

      Dr. Grady A. Deal, Ph.D., D.C. is a holistic, nutritional chiropractor with a Ph.D. in psychological counseling. Dr. Deal is founder-director of Hawaiian Wellness Holiday, a health vacation program on beautiful Kauai, and he is author of Dr. Deal's Delicious Detox Diet, Weight Loss, Wellness Lifestyle, Dr. Deal's Delicious Recipes and Dr. Deal's Holistic Chiropractic Examination Protocol books.

      "Taking vaccines made from blood of humans, aborted fetuses, diseased pigs and monkeys, mercury, aluminum and formaldehyde is a violation of God's law and more of a cause of disease than a cure. First Corinthians 3:16-17 and Deuteronomy 14:3 and 24:21 warns us not to defile the temple of God, our bodies, with anything unclean, which includes poisonous vaccines purposely designed to make us sick and dependent and to destroy the biological integrity and immunocompetence of the human race."

      "25,000...American babies succumb to cot deaths (crib death or sudden infant death) each year...Vaccination is the single biggest cause of cot death...When Japan moved the vaccination age to 2 years, the cot death entity disappeared in that country. "

    • Vaccinations lead to violent crimes and poor SAT scores - Yes it must be trufax!!! It is our contention that the varieties of social pathology listed above constitute this body of vaccine damage. "We have met the enemy and he is us!!"

    • By the way Colette Szalay needs help in her clinic: She placed an advertisement at the CNCC - Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine web site in March 2000. We don't know if she found someone to work with or not.: Her E-mail address is listed as: colette@kawartha.com
      Peterborough Family Chiropractic
      61 King St. Peterborough, ON. K9J 2R8
      Telephone: (705) 741-5700

    Szalay's other letters are full of holes

    Colette Szalay did not just write one column. She's been busy as an Australian platypus wagging her anti-vaccine tales in Trent University's student newspaper known as Arthur. On October 10, 2000 she revealed her true colours, and to those of us who believe in telling the truth, those colours were black and blue.

    Szalay told readers Viera Scheibner was the source for much of her knowledge base. This Australian woman makes the rounds of quack health expos, and she flies half-way across the world whenever we have a major epidemic, like the meningitis outbreak in Edmonton. In October she hoodwinked the Calgary Sun who interviewed her and allowed her rubbish to be placed in print while tens of thousands of kids were taking part in a massive meningitis immunization campaign.

    Szalay links to the notorious National Vaccine Information Center in the U.S. There are no links to the CDC, or to Health Canada.

    • Why do chiropractors choose to repeat the lies of others? Scheibner and her friends are not telling the truth, and those that sponsor her visits, and others like her, are often chiropractors.

    • Why do chiropractic regulators refuse to take action against those who violate their codes of ethics and policies?

    If a truck driver decided to put bad tires and loosened a few lug nuts on their rims, all hell would break loose and the MOT would pull their plates. But, I can't think of a single chiropractor who has had any restrictions on their practice because they lied to their patients, or espoused lies in their columns, or letters to the editor.

    Nothing but the facts about immunizations

    • The question of measles - Medical Officer of Health Garry Humphreys Speaks Out -

      Humphrey takes direct aim at Szalay's wayward ship and blows multiple holes in her sails. This is only the first letter that he intends to send the editor or Peterborough This Week.

    • Lon Morgan, D.C. debunks almost all of Viera Scheibner's claims - This is an excellent summary of what's wrong with crackpots who are promoted by the press. The press is as much to blame as those chiropractors who support this nonsense.

    • Anti-immunisation scare: The inconvenient facts
      Dr. Steve Basser - Skeptics Australia Dr Viera Scheibner describes herself as a retired principal research scientist. She has a PhD in micropaleontology and in 1993 published a book - Vaccination 100 Years of Orthodox Research shows that Vaccines Represent a Medical Assault on the Immune System.

      My primary concern is as follows: Are parents who base their decision not to immunise their child on reading Dr Scheibnerís book making a truly informed choice? Has Dr Scheibner presented her material in a scientifically balanced way? Is she telling the whole story?

    • Is the cure worth it? - Brad Everson - National Post In the 20th century, vaccines all but eliminated many childhood ailments. But a vocal minority questions whether the side effects are worse than the diseases. Few Canadians have seen the horrors of diphtheria, rubella or polio because of routine childhood immunization. Yet each year, roughly 34,000 children under the age of four do not get vaccinated. Some parents object to vaccination on religious or philosophical grounds. Others are swayed by claims that the cure is worse than the disease.

      For example, visitors to Canada caused outbreaks of measles recently in religious communities in Alberta and Quebec. In Manitoba, a rubella (German measles) outbreak occurred in 1997, with cases rising to 3,991 from 237 in 1996.

      Measles fading, but not completely gone -Victoria Stagg Elliott, AMNews staff. Dec. 11, 2000

      U.S. cases now are mostly imported from overseas, but public health experts stress that the highly contagious disease has not yet been eradicated.

    • Critics off-base - doctors - The Halifax Herald Polio is no longer crippling Canadian kids. Diphtheria is no longer killing them. Smallpox has been wiped off the face of the globe. Yet despite what many accept as solid proof that mass immunization programs can and do work, a small but vocal segment of the population view vaccinations as at best unnecessary and at worst a serious threat to the health of the children who receive them.

      "It's only a theory," Winnipeg chiropractor Gerry Bohemier says of the idea that immunizations work. "There is no information to indicate that these vaccinations are safe, that these vaccinations are necessary or that these vaccinations are the only thing that they could do to improve people's protection from some of these diseases."

    • What would happen if we stopped vaccinations? - CDC In the U.S., widespread use of measles vaccine has led to a greater than 99% reduction in measles compared with the pre-vaccine era. If we stopped immunization, measles would increase to pre-vaccine levels.

    • 'Louise had measles - needlessly' - Josie Bate is angry that parents won't trust the MMR vaccine. LOUISE BATE is gazing listlessly from her mother's arms, showing little interest in her toys or her three-year-old brother, William, playing on the floor. Aged nine months, she is just recovering from a dose of measles that has left her drained of energy.

      She lays the blame at the door of other parents who are refusing to let their children have the three-in-one measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination.

    • Measles Outbreak ---- Netherlands, April 1999 -- January 2000
      A Christian fundamentalist school and community was horribly affected by measles because they refused vaccination. Thousands were infected, and three died. This report summarizes the investigation of the measles outbreak in the Netherlands, which indicated that measles can be a severe disease among unvaccinated populations in the Netherlands. Measles vaccine is a highly effective method for preventing this disease, and lack of vaccination resulted in this outbreak. Similar to the outbreak of poliomyelitis among religious communities in 1992, measles spread from the Netherlands to Canada through visiting relatives. The resulting outbreak in Canada was limited to 17 cases within the religious community possibly because stringent control measures were taken.

    • The State of Ohio had no cases of measles in 1997 - that means that no one died, no one was deaf, retarded, or blinded because they caught measles in the wild state. This was in sharp contrast to a massive epidemic at Kent State University just a few years before.

    • Update - Vaccine side effects - CDC - A very complete discussion of almost all vaccines.

    Colette lied in her letter to the editor in October 31st issue of Arthur when she said:

    "But to vaccinate North American children with chicken pox and measles when these are normal childhood diseases is absurd. Having these diseases in childhood is mild, and provides life-long immunity, unlike vaccines. Research now shows that allowing a child to be exposed to these diseases and build up natural immunity is actually protective against future allergies and asthma."

    This recently graduated chiropractor has the bloody nerve to talk about measles being a mild disease. I lived in Ohio when there was a massive epidemic of measles at Kent State University. I don't know about what she means by "mild", but 1:1000 people who contract measles have grave complications. She also repeated her statements about SIDS in Japan which are totally false. She asks readers to contact her to collect more "misinformation" and recommends Viera Scheibner's scandalous book.

    She ends this letter by saying:

    If no one is speaking up to dispel the myths behind vaccinations, the least I can do as a service to my patients and the community at large is to educate."

    I challenge Szalay to define what the word "educate" means. If her definition of "educate" also includes brainwash, hoodwink, and lie to the public about the facts about immunizations, then she has done the community a great disservice. If she actually believes the rubbish put forth by anti-vaccine writers, without checking her facts, then she is not a very good journalist.

    I can't comment on her ability to express her thoughts to her own patients, nor do I have anything to say about her ability to practice her profession. I just want her to retract her misstatements in the press and for her statements to be reviewed by the Minister of Health, the local Medical Officer of Health and by the College of Chiropractors of Ontario.

    Peterborough resident's options

    If you see or hear any chiropractor telling anyone in public to avoid vaccinations, please feel free to call your local Medical Officer of Health office. Chiropractors will often invite their patients into their offices, or rent space in churches or libraries to promote their practice and their views. Some even rent space in shopping malls or community fairs to mesmerize the public about their skills in divining the innate intelligence that their treatments are based on. Somehow, most of us science-based folks just don't get it: Dr. Garry Humphreys
    Medical Officer of Health
    Peterborough County CityHealth Unit
    10 Hospital Dr.
    Peterborough, ON K9J 8M1
    Telephone: 705-743-1000
    Fax: 705-743-2897

    If you feel that a complaint is warranted because a chiropractor promotes anti-vaccine rhetoric you may file an official complaint against them by contacting:

    College of Chiropractors of Ontario
    130 Bloor St. West, Suite 902
    Toronto, ON M5S 1N5
    Tel: 416-922-6355
    Fax: 416-925-9610
    E-mail: cco.info@cco.on.ca
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