FDA Misquotes Merck’s Gardasil Claims

Laguna Natural Health eNews and Tips

February 19, 2011

The misinformation regarding Merck’s billion dollar baby, Gardasil, has spiraled out of control. The FDA has claimed the three part intramuscular vaccine “prevents” cancer, yet Merck does not. In a recent article, the FDA also approved Gardasil “for the prevention of anal cancer”, as claimed below:

“PRNewswire-USNewswire/ –The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved the vaccine Gardasil for the prevention of anal cancer and associated precancerous lesions due to human papillomavirus (HPV) types 6, 11, 16, and 18 in people ages 9 through 26 years.

Gardasil already is approved for the same age population for the prevention of cervical, vulvar, and vaginal cancer and the associated precancerous lesions caused by HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18 in females. It is also approved for the prevention of genital warts caused by types 6 and 11 in both males and females.

Treatment for anal cancer is challenging; the use of Gardasil as a method of prevention is important as it may result in fewer diagnoses and the subsequent surgery, radiation or chemotherapy that individuals need to endure,” said Karen Midthun, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.”

Note: The word “prevention” was erroneously used FOUR times in the opening paragraphs of this report.

More here:
So where did PRNewswire/USNewswire get this information? This claim is made on the FDA website:
Consumer facts:

Merck, the manufacturer of Gardasil, does not use the word “prevent” in it’s claims regarding what the vaccine does, rather it claims it “protects against”, and repeatedly so, as quoted directly from Merck’s Gardasil website:


GARDASIL is the only human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine that helps protect against 4 types of HPV. In girls and young women ages 9 to 26, GARDASIL helps protect against 2 types of HPV that cause about 75% of cervical cancer cases, and 2 more types that cause 90% of genital warts cases. In boys and young men ages 9 to 26, GARDASIL helps protect against 90% of genital warts cases.

GARDASIL also helps protect girls and young women ages 9 to 26 against 70% of vaginal cancer cases and up to 50% of vulvar cancer cases.

GARDASIL may not fully protect everyone, nor will it protect against diseases caused by other HPV types or against diseases not caused by HPV. GARDASIL does not prevent all types of cervical cancer, so it’s important for women to continue routine cervical cancer screenings. GARDASIL does not treat cancer or genital warts. GARDASIL is given as 3 injections over 6 months.”

Merck clearly claims that Gardasil “protects against”, and clearly states that is does NOT PREVENT all types of cervical cancer (as it only protects against 4 of the over 100 strains of HPV as mentioned above), and DOES NOT treat cancer or genital warts.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.