Cochrane’s HPV Vaccine Review Not What It’s Cracked Up To Be: Conflicts Of Interest Undermine It

By Catherine J. Frompovich

HPV vaccine safety: Cochrane launches urgent investigation into review after criticisms apparently materialized due to the dogged determination of independent vaccine information/data researchers who knew the factual science, not “consensus science” which now, unfortunately, is considered ‘real’ science, but kept demanding review and retraction.

Ever since the formerly prestigiously regarded Cochrane Library or Cochrane Collaborative published what has become a highly controversial review of the HPV vaccine in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), there have been constant demands for recalling that review due to apparent obvious conflicts of interest and other apparent ethical concerns.

That HPV article ‘saga’ is long-winded, plus rather long-lived, so I will direct readers to this article About the Cochrane HPV Controversy, which can explain it so I don’t have to belabor readers with a long-winded version.

Another resource for that evidence-based medicine controversy’s ‘history’ is The HPV Vaccine: A Critique of a Critique of a Meta-Analysis.

However, one intrepid independent vaccine data researcher, Elizabeth M. Hart of Adelaide, South Australia, kept insisting the BMJ retract or withdraw the article published, and periodically submitted reams of documentation as to why.

Apparently, the Cochrane Library started a second review:

According to BMJ Evidence Based Medicine, a Cochrane HPV vaccine review, published in May 2017, which had given the all-clear to vaccines designed to prevent cervical cancer, did not include all the relevant trials and ignored possible sources of bias. Critics said the review “failed to meet the needs of citizens or healthcare providers who rely on Cochrane reviews”.


David Tovey, editor-in-chief of the Cochrane Library, told BMJ Evidence Based Medicine there was “no reason to believe that the main conclusions of the review relating to benefit and serious adverse effects are unsafe”.

“However, we intend to initiate an urgent update of the review that will incorporate information provided in the BMJ Evidence Based Medicine study,” he added.

Tovey said work was “ongoing on a second review that will tackle matters of comparative benefit and harms from the different forms of HPV vaccine”.


Aug. 14, 2018

Regardless, intrepid Ms. Hart kept pitching her “retract the HPV article” with documentation time after time, and I was privy to her submissions.  Finally, Ms. Hart’s “rapid responses, “as BMJ designates them, were published by the BMJ September 17, 2018, parts of which I cite below.

The NIH Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) oversaw the patenting of the HPV vaccine technology and licensed the technology to Merck, the maker of Gardasil, which sought approval for Gardasil around the world, working with the PATH group, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in distributing the HPV vaccine in developing countries.[3] The HPV vaccine technology was also licensed to GlaxoSmithKline[4].

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been very influential in promoting HPV vaccination [5]. In regards to the Cochrane HPV vaccine review, Cochrane has a conflict of interest in that it is a beneficiary of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funding, i.e. to “support the development of Cochrane’s next generation evidence system, with a specific focus on maternal and child health”.[6] The World Mercury Project has provided critical analysis of Cochrane’s conflicts of interest via the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other organisations [7].

The following paragraphs from Ms. Hart’s “rapid response” are out of sequential order but used in this editorialized manner by this writer to help readers understand the sequence of events more easily.

The recently published Cochrane HPV vaccine review [1] is severely compromised and cannot be trusted due to the conflicts of interest of authors on the original protocol and the final review document.

Due to serious conflicts of interests, Cochrane should withdraw this review.

In February 2016, I [Ms. Hart] challenged David Tovey, Editor in Chief of Cochrane, directly about protocol author Lauri Markowitz’s conflicts of interest.

It appears that Cochrane does not have an effective system to evaluate conflicts of interest either of Cochrane itself or its author.

Dr. Tovey did not clarify on what basis Lauri Markowitz was engaged to conduct the Cochrane review of HPV vaccines.

The Cochrane HPV vaccine review is severely compromised. Based on Markowitz’ involvement, at least, it is demonstrably not independent and therefore cannot be trusted.

The Cochrane HPV vaccine review should be withdrawn.

Cochrane also needs to urgently consider its own position in regards to conflicts of interest, and the impact on Cochrane’s credibility, independence and trustworthiness.


Ms. Hart’s second “rapid response” also published by the BMJ September 17, 2018 elaborated further with this information:

As I argued in my previous comment, this Cochrane HPV vaccine review is severely compromised. It is demonstrably not independent and cannot be trusted.

It’s remarkable that Cochrane have got this so spectacularly wrong. They’ve really undermined their whole ethos, i.e. to provide unbiased information.

As a citizen interested in HPV vaccination, I do not trust this Cochrane review.

It’s unconscionable that an important review so open to suspicion of bias or conflicting interest might influence vaccination policy.

The Cochrane HPV vaccine review should be withdrawn.


I highlight the above accomplishment by Ms. Hart and others who fearlessly carried on dialogue with the prestigious medical journal, BMJ, in order to prove the validity of their claims.

However, Ms. Hart is not unusual in her research and data proofs, as there are many independent researchers, medical doctors, bloggers and journalists who find and report the real facts about vaccines only to be marginalized by online search engines, astroturfing trolls, vested interests and indoctrinated federal and state health departments and agencies.

That has to stop!  All the above critics should take a hard-learned lesson from the above incident.


Cochrane – A sinking ship?

Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.

Catherine’s latest book, published October 4, 2013, is Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines, available on

Her 2012 book A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, is available on and as a Kindle eBook.

Two of Catherine’s more recent books on are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008)

Catherine’s NEW book: Eat To Beat Disease, Foods Medicinal Qualities ©2016 Catherine J Frompovich is now available

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