MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD ABOUT PROPOSED LAW
THAT VIOLATES YOUR CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS
"As passed by the Senate committee, the bill would exempt BARDA from the
Freedom of Information Act, which requires federal agencies to disclose
records requested in writing. In the 40-year history of the law, no other
federal agency has ever received such a blanket exclusion. Among the groups
speaking out: the Federation of American Scientists, the Reporters Committee
for Freedom of the Press and the National Vaccine Information Center, a
patients' advocacy group."
- Dec. 12, 2005 Charlotte Observer
NVIC ( http://www.nvic.org
On Oct. 19 and Nov. 15, NVIC issued national press releases which
informed the public about the efforts of Senator Burr (R-NC) and others to
protect drug companies from all liability for vaccine injuries and deaths
which occur whenever the Secretary of Health declares an actual or
"potential" public health emergency (see
The legislation will also set up a secret agency within the federal
(BARDA) that will oversee the development of experimental drugs and vaccines
that will be used on Americans during emergencies.
We have managed to slow the bill down. Everyone who responded to NVIC's call
and the call of allied parent organizations to contact Congress has worked
(see article below).
WE ARE IN THE FINAL STRETCH. WE CAN'T STOP NOW.
THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO CALL, FAX OR EMAIL YOUR SENATOR AND
CONGRESSPERSON IN WASHINGTON, D.C. TO MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD. BY THIS TIME
NEXT WEEK YOU MAY HAVE LOST THE RIGHT TO EXERCISE YOUR SEVENTH AMENDMENT
RIGHT TO PLEAD YOUR CASE IN FRONT OF A JURY OF YOUR PEERS IF YOU OR A LOVED
ONE ARE HURT BY AN EXPERIMENTAL VACCINE YOU ARE FORCED TO USE IN A DECLARED
To find out who your Senator is, go to
find out who your Congressperson is, go to
call your Senator or Congressperson, phone 202-224-3121 and ask for him or
her by name.
YOUR RIGHT TO ACCESS THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM IF YOU ARE HARMED IS A CIVIL
RIGHT. This legislation cuts off your right to go to court if you are
hurt by vaccines used in a declared emergency - even if you can prove the
drug company engaged in criminal fraud and negligence in making the vaccine.
YOUR RIGHT TO INFORMED CONSENT TO USING VACCINES THAT CAN INJURE OR KILL
YOU IS A HUMAN RIGHT. This legislation cuts off your right to know what
is in the vaccines you may be forced to use in a declared emergency and how
many people they have already injured and killed.
IF EACH ONE OF US FAILS TO STAND UP FOR OUR CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS, WE
WILL ALL LOSE THEM.
Posted on Mon, Dec. 12, 2005
Burr's bill loses steam as critics gain traction
By TIM FUNK
Sen. Richard Burr's freshman-year project -- a bill to speed development of
new drugs and vaccines against pandemics and bioterrorist attacks -- was
supposed to be on the fast track. The Winston-Salem Republican introduced it
Oct. 17. It was approved a day later, on a voice vote, by the Senate Health
Committee. And Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., had hoped to give
it a full Senate vote in early November. But the upper chamber is close to
adjourning for the year and Burr's ambitious bill has yet to resurface.
What's going on? "He's been negotiating with Democrats ... for a long time,"
said Burr spokesman Doug Heye. "He'd like it to be a bipartisan bill." Some
have interpreted that to mean that Burr doesn't have enough votes and is
busy changing the bill in order to get them. While the N.C. senator
negotiates, criticism of the legislation -- mostly from interest groups and
bloggers -- appears to be getting louder. For weeks, the main objection was
that Burr's bill would shield drug companies from liability lawsuits. He has
said some protection is necessary to entice profit-minded companies that
have been reluctant to develop the new medicines. Now the legislation is
under fire from groups who say Burr would create a new federal outfit -- the
Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency, or BARDA -- and then
wrap it in secrecy. As passed by the Senate committee, the bill would exempt
BARDA from the Freedom of Information Act, which requires federal agencies
to disclose records requested in writing. In the 40-year history of the law,
no other federal agency has ever received such a blanket exclusion. Among
the groups speaking out: the Federation of American Scientists, the
Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the National Vaccine
Information Center, a patients' advocacy group. "It is an act of contempt
for the public and for open government and hopefully will not be adopted,"
Steven Aftergood, head of the scientists' Project on Government Secrecy,
told the Washington Post. Burr spokesman Heye told the Observer that the
bill's secrecy provisions will likely be fine-tuned. "We've been working
with some of those groups, to talk about the language (in the bill) and
address their concerns," he said. "Nobody at BARDA will be able to classify
information. In fact, they'll be putting out information every day." Still,
Heye said, the bill will retain some exemptions to FOIA: to protect
companies' proprietary information and to keep would-be terrorists from
finding out which threats the country isn't yet prepared to take on. So when
will Burr's re-written bill arrive on the Senate floor? This week? Next
year? Heye's answer is the same he's been giving since late October: "It
will be voted on soon."
Tim Funk: (202) 383-6057;
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