Vaccines in the Land of Oz

by Patricia Aiken

On Oct. 28, millions of viewers and anti-vaccine activists nationwide tuned into the Dr. Oz Show on the H1N1 flu. Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, an invited guest to the show, was encouraged that both sides of the controversy would receive a hearing on national television. She quickly learned that all but a brief sentence of her comments had been edited out of the show. After Tenpenny’s few words, the producers immediately cut to Oz rolling up his sleeve and receiving an H1N1 shot.
Another spin-off, Oz parlayed five seasons as the featured health expert at the Oprah Winfrey Show into the biggest daytime show launch Sept .14 since Dr. Phil in 2002. Gushed over by Esquire Magazine as “Best and Brightest,” on Time Magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential People and Healthy Living’s choice of…ta dah… “Healer of the Millennium,” Oz makes a daily house call sharing his expertise as a trusted surgeon and specialist in complementary medicine. This area of medicine seeks to stem the tide of patients flowing away from allopathy to alternative practices.
On Wed., Nov. 11, Mike Adams of Natural News wrote, “Dr. Mehmet Oz is a huge promoter of vaccines. He’s been on television reinforcing fear about H1N1 swine flu and telling everyone to get vaccinated. But what he didn’t tell his viewing audience is that he holds 150,000 option shares in a vaccine company that could earn him millions of dollars in profits as the stock price rises. It is in Dr. Oz’s own financial interest, in other words, to hype up vaccines and get more people taking them so that his own financial investments rise in value.”
Private investigator Joseph Culligan delivered the evidence including an SEC document detailing how Dr. Oz. bought options on stocks for SIGA Technologies in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009. It was reported that SIGA Technologies (stock symbol SIGA) is a vaccine technology company with many advanced developments whose success depends on the widespread adoption of vaccines. According to SEC documents, Dr. Mehmet Oz. currently holds 150,000 option shares on SIGA Technologies, purchased for as little as $1.35 back in 2005. At the time of this writing, the stock is trading at $7.10. If all the options were exercised today they would be worth $180,000 in profits.  (Documents are available for viewing at
As Adams points out, “These options won’t expire until the years 2015 - 2019, and the higher the stock price of SIGA gets before then, the more profit can be realized when these options are cashed out.
“If the stock price of SIGA Technologies could be pumped up even more -- say, from someone hyping up vaccines in front of a national audience -- these options could mathematically be worth millions of dollars. Just to clarify, by the way, SIGA Technologies doesn’t currently manufacture a vaccine for H1N1 swine flu. It focuses on future vaccine technologies that could be applied to many different vaccines down the road.”
Natural News also revealed that Dr. Oz isn’t only a SIGA stock option holder, he’s on the Board of Directors and has been since 2001. 
Adams can’t be the only one that sees a conflict of interest.  In addition, he revealed that SIGA Technologies recently received a $3 million grant in taxpayer dollars from the National Institute of Health to fund the study of chemical adjuvants to be used in future vaccines.  “So taxpayer money is now being used to fund a vaccine technology company whose stock price increases will financially benefit the very celebrity doctor who is hyping up vaccines to a national audience,” the article continued.  “To my knowledge, Dr. Oz. has never disclosed to his viewing audience the fact that he owns 150,000 option shares of SIGA Technologies. And yet, with an audience of millions, Dr. Oz has continued to beat the drum of the vaccine industry, urging people to get vaccinated while implying that vaccines protect people from swine flu (even though there is absolutely no scientific evidence to back up that claim).”
Additionally, Oz is the front man for the Big pHarma website A March 26, 2009 article in The New York Times  calls Real Age “a window for drug makers”  and explains that their website provides a test to market their drugs which has received considerable traffic from its affiliation with Dr. Mehmet Oz.
The New York Times article goes on to explain how the Real Age scheme operates:
“People come to the site, then provide an e-mail address to take [the Real Age test]. They are asked throughout the test if they would like a free Real Age membership. If people answer yes to any of the prompts, they become Real Age members, and their test results go into a marketing database.”
“Real Age allows drug companies to send e-mail messages based on those test results. It acts as a clearinghouse for drug companies, including Pfizer, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline, allowing them to use almost any combination of answers from the test to find people to market to, including whether someone is taking antidepressants, how sexually active they are and even if their marriage is happy.
“Real Age sends the selected recipients a series of e-mail messages about a condition they might have, usually sponsored by a drug company that sells a medication for that condition.”
The Real Age ads seen all over the internet do not openly disclose that taking the Real Age test gets you signed up to be solicited by Big pHarma for medication advertisements. Dr. Oz’s continued promotion of this service has exposed tens of millions of health consumers to this deceptive marketing front for Big pHarma.
How much has Dr. Oz earned from his affiliation with Real Age? He isn’t saying.
Good story so far, huh?  Hang on, it’s about to get a lot better. 
Shortly after publishing this article, Natural News was contacted by a public relations firm called KCSA Strategic Communications, which represents SIGA as an “investor relations counsel.”
The Vice-President of this P.R. company rather forcefully informed Adams that SIGA Technologies had no involvement with vaccines, and that their reporting of such a false statement was potentially “libelous.” They demanded Natural News retract parts of the original story to eliminate any idea that SIGA was involved in vaccines in any way.
“That’s funny,” Adams thought to himself, “because in researching the story, I remember very clearly reading the title of this company’s own home page, which reads, exactly:
“Smallpox Antiviral, Drug Development and Vaccine Development - SIGA Human BioArmor.
“I don’t know about you, but when I read the title of some company’s web page, and it says, ‘Vaccine Development’ in plain English, I sort of figure the company must be involved in -- guess what? -- vaccine development!
“Now, maybe I’m just seeing things because I haven’t yet been vaccinated against H1N1, so perhaps I’m suffering from double vision or something, but when I see “Smallpox Vaccine Development” in a company’s home page title tags, I sort of figure that company is somehow involved in -- wait for it -- smallpox vaccine development!
“But no. The P.R. consultant for this company said I was totally off base, and that they had nothing whatsoever to do with vaccine development. The exact quote we were given on the phone was, ‘SIGA Technologies has nothing to do with vaccines...’”
Adams then logged onto the Natural News Facebook page and asked the savvy natural health folks online for help.  He asked them to find any additional information on SIGA and vaccines. The following is a sample of what the crowdsourcers found in only a few minutes., Dunn & Bradstreet company: “SIGA Technologies is trying to put itself on the front lines of US biodefense efforts. The drug company has a number of development programs for vaccines, antivirals, and antibiotics for drug resistant infections; however, its main focus is on vaccines for bio-defense. The company’s smallpox vaccine ST-246, which is intended both to prevent and treat the disease, has received Fast Track and Orphan Drug designations from the FDA. SIGA is also developing vaccines for use against hemorrhagic fevers and other infectious diseases and biothreats.” (one of the leading financial ratings companies) describes SIGA Technologies as “...developing vaccines that may prevent strep throat and periodontal disease.” “SIGA Technologies, Inc. discovers and develops vaccines and antibiotics for the prevention and treatment of a wide variety of infectious diseases. “Shares of SIGA Technologies rose more than 7 percent... The company said it was named as the prime contractor by the U.S. Air Force to create systems to develop vaccines and therapeutics...”
And the list went on and on.  Adams found SIGA Technologies discusses vaccines in their 2003 SEC filing document. He counted the number of times the word “vaccine” appears in the document, and it comes to a grand total of 105.
At one point, so amazed by the insistent denials from SIGA’s public relations firm that they just had to come out and ask the obvious question: “Do you categorically deny that SIGA Technologies has involvement with vaccines?”
Their answer? They hung up.
The real story here, by the way, is how a big public vaccine company with Dr. Mehmet Oz on the Board of Directors tried to threaten and intimidate tiny independent Natural News into altering their story but got slapped into the corporate liars Hall of Fame by a crowd of volunteer Facebook fans.