Research News

Many vaccines have tiny amounts of inorganic matter, investigation finds

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: (Published 03 February 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j596

Re: Many vaccines have tiny amounts of inorganic matter, investigation finds

Attacks were in part expected, but we expected also that they would remain confined to science and fair play, and they would be confined especially in the interest of health, no matter what other interests are touched.

We have worked with electron microscopes for over 40 years and, if only for a long experience, we know how to use them, so all the criticism on how we carry out our analysis is not only unfounded but also expressed without knowing and without checking our procedures.

We started to analyze vaccines about 15 years ago using an electron-microscopy technique Dr. Gatti devised between the late Nineties and 2005, when she conceived and directed two EC research projects (Nanopathology and DIPNA).

Of course, with our paper we did not mean to discredit nor did we have any interest in discrediting vaccines: we simply reported our data and consequences could not be our concern. So, the harangue in defense of the vaccination practice has nothing to do with our work.

It is a fact, also confirmed by EMA (“The presence of minuscule trace amounts of certain inorganic particles in vaccines is not unexpected”), that vaccines contain inorganic particles not listed in the ingredients. It is also a fact that those particles, foreign bodies in all respects, are not supposed to be there and, in fact, they are not declared among the components of vaccines. And it is a further fact that, as far as nanopathology is concerned, quantity has a meaning quite different from that of classical toxicology, more complex and, in a way, definitely less important. On the other hand, indications on quantitative data can be obtained from the last table (no. of particles/20 microliters). We published the main concepts of nanopathology more than once (e. g., A.M. Gatti & S. Montanari – Nanopathology: the Health Impact of Nanoparticles – Pan Stanford Publishing 2008; and A.M. Gatti & S. Montanari – Case Studies in Nanotoxicology and Particle Toxicology – Academic Press Elsevier 2015) and reading what we published could have prevented some clumsiness and misunderstanding.

Saying that our technique “favours aggregation” is surprising, to say the least. How particles composed of stainless steel (iron, chromium and nickel) and other alloys, tungsten, lead, titanium, bismuth, barium, etc. can form allowing water to evaporate is something unknown to science and technology and should be explained. In addition, why those elements, which have nothing to do with vaccines, are there remains to be justified.

As to the “lack of controls”, we confess we don’t understand its meaning. We carry out our analyzes according to all the golden rules of electron microscopy and there seemed to be no point in writing a technical manual of microscopy in the paper we published, taking the competence of our readers for granted.

“…the manufacturing process for all parenteral preparations is designed to ensure that any such traces are kept within safe limits” and “The ANSM concluded that the amounts of any particles found were exceedingly low” are sentences that require some clarifications: What are those limits? For what particle size? For what composition? Where can those limits be found (e.g., EU standards and directives)? How were they calculated?

When we published our paper, our only aim was to show that vaccines contain particulate pollutants that should not be there, and the refusal by the control authorities to do what science requires, i.e. to redo our analyzes, is disappointing. We would have rather believed to put the authorities in a position to have an additional evaluation criterion available, but evidently our effort and our intention were not appreciated. In any case, if the authorities prefer to consider foreign bodies in vaccines harmless (literature?), not worth being eliminated and even declared, it is something that does not concerns us.

Of course we are available to perform our analyses in the presence of scientists of the supervisory authorities.

Competing interests: No competing interests

06 March 2017
Antonietta Gatti
International Fellow of the Societies of Biomaterials and Engineering
Stefano Montanari