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Black Oxygen Organics (a.k.a. BOO): Magic dirt quackery to treat COVID-19

“BOO” stands for Black Oxygen Organics, a “cure” for COVID-19 that got the attention of regulators last week. Basically, it’s dirt billed by its believers as “magic dirt” that sells for $110 a bag (plus shipping) through a multilevel marketing sales model. What can this latest COVID cure tell us about the relationship between alternative medicine and COVID-19 denial?

Last Thursday, NBC News published a story by Brandy Zadrozny titled “‘Magic dirt’: How the internet fueled, and defeated, the pandemic’s weirdest MLM“. The story was about something called “BOO”, which stands for Black Oxygen Organics, a company and product that over the last several months had become a hit among believers in alternative medicine as a miracle treatment for COVID-19. I debated about writing about BOO because the story seemed almost too unbelievable for even me, but then I considered the simple fact that antivaxxers had been using a form of bleach solution, known as Miracle Mineral Supplement (MMS, also sometimes called Miracle Mineral Solution) to treat autism and lots of other conditions for years and years (or, as I put it, bleaching away what ails you) and I had been writing about it. (Unsurprisingly, MMS is also now billed as a treatment for COVID-19, as I’ll touch on later.)

But what is BOO? In brief, it’s mud, dirt, peat bog, or whatever you want to call it, as Zadrozny explains:

The social media posts started in May: photos and videos of smiling people, mostly women, drinking Mason jars of black liquid, slathering black paste on their faces and feet, or dipping babies and dogs in tubs of the black water. They tagged the posts #BOO and linked to a website that sold a product called Black Oxygen Organics.

Black Oxygen Organics, or “BOO” for short, is difficult to classify. It was marketed as fulvic acid, a compound derived from decayed plants, that was dug up from an Ontario peat bog. The website of the Canadian company that sold it billed it as “the end product and smallest particle of the decomposition of ancient, organic matter.” 

Put more simply, the product is dirt — four-and-a-half ounces of it, sealed in a sleek black plastic baggie and sold for $110 plus shipping. Visitors to the Black Oxygen Organics website, recently taken offline, were greeted with a pair of white hands cradling cups of dirt like an offering. “A gift from the Ground,” it reads. “Drink it. Wear it. Bathe in it.” 

BOO, which “can be taken by anyone at any age, as well as animals,” according to the company, claims many benefits and uses, including improved brain function and heart health, and ridding the body of so-called toxins that include heavy metals, pesticides and parasites.

Unsurprisingly, Black Oxygen Organics has a magical mystical origin story for its products:

CEO and Formulator, Marc Saint-Onge, made an exhaustive search in Canada analyzing 63 peat bogs across Ontario and Quebec. Years of testing and evaluating led to the discovery of a living source with one of the highest levels of fulvic acid in the world.

Black Oxygen Organics owns the sole extraction rights to one of the richest living sources of fulvic minerals in the world, an uncontaminated, fulvic acid-rich peat bog in the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada.

Black Oxygen Organics developed and owns the proprietary harvesting methods and controls every aspect of manufacturing from start to finish. No outside influences and no middle formulator means we can provide a better product at a better price and be more generous with our rewards plan.

Today, Black Oxygen Organics sustainably harvests from one of the richest peat bogs on the planet, not far from Marc’s home in Ottawa.

I do love a good peaty single malt scotch, but this is ridiculous. As for Marc Saint-Onge, he describes himself as a “orthotherapist, naturopath, kinesitherapist, reiki master, holistic practitioner, herbalist and aromatherapist,” in other words, a practitioner of several forms of total quackery. Beyond the quackiness of Saint-Onge himself, there’s also a Quack Miranda Warning on the website—”BlackOxygen products are to be used as supplementary products and are neither designed nor should be marketed as having the ability to prevent, cure, treat or cure human disease, including COVID-19″—which should tell you all you need to know about the claims for BOO. However, I’ll cut to the chase (unusual for me, I know!) before going into the history. In September, Health Canada announced a recall of Black Oxygen Organics tablets and powders, citing potential health risks and promotion of the products in ways that had not been evaluated or authorized. On Friday last week, the FDA followed suit around the same time that the company announced that it was closing up shop as it was faced with a class action lawsuit by Georgia residents over, hilariously…well, I’ll just let NBC News story tell the tale:

Growing concern among BOO sellers about the product — precipitated by an anti-MLM activist who noticed on Google Earth that the bog that sourced BOO’s peat appeared to share a border with a landfill — pushed several to take matters into their own hands, sending bags of BOO to labs for testing.

The results of three of these tests, viewed by NBC News and confirmed as seemingly reliable by two soil scientists at U.S. universities, again showed elevated levels of lead and arsenic. 

Those results are the backbone of a federal lawsuit seeking class action status filed in November in Georgia’s Northern District court. The complaint, filed on behalf of four Georgia residents who purchased BOO, claims that the company negligently sold a product with “dangerously high levels of toxic heavy metals,” which led to physical and economic harm.

And:

Assuming the company-provided analysis was correct, two of the scientists confirmed that just two servings of BOO exceeded Health Canada’s daily limits for lead, and three servings — a dose recommended on the package — approached daily arsenic limits. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has no comparable daily guidelines.

Holy traditional Chinese medicine herbal remedies, Batman! It does puzzle me how those so committed to “natural” remedies can be so fond of treatments that have at times poisoned people because they contain unsafe levels of arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury. There’s something that’s actually rather poetic, though, about a “miracle dirt” that’s billed as a cure for everything that ails you, including COVID-19, actually coming from a peat bog (Moose Creek Bog in Ontario) that abuts a landfill. I view this observation as a metaphor for so much of alternative medicine.

But let’s go back to how BOO got to this point, first by examining the claims for BOO made by the company.

The “science” of BOO

So what is fulvic acid anyway, and what does it do? This is its chemical structure, for those of you with a chemistry background:

Fulvic Acid.

As those among you with organic chemistry backgrounds can see, it’s a polyphenolic acid. There are, of course, more than one kind of fulvic acid, as it can polymerize, but there’s no need to go into a lot of detail. I can’t help but mention this aspect of fulvic acid and similar compounds described in a recent study published by the Royal Society of Chemistry by a group of scientists in China:

Humic substances (HS) are redox-active organic compounds that constitute a major fraction of natural organic matter in soils. The electron transfer capacity (ETC) of soil HS is mainly dependent on the type and abundance of redox-active functional groups in their structure. It is unclear whether or not agricultural land-use types can affect the ETC of HS in soils. In the present study, we evaluate the responses of ETCs of soil humic acids (HA) and fulvic acids (FA) to different agricultural land-use types. Our results show that both HA and FA of paddy soil showed the highest ETCs, followed by tomato soil, celery cabbage soil, grapevine soil, and myrica rubra soil, respectively. Agricultural land-use types could affect the transformation and decomposition of HS in soils, and thus further change the intrinsic chemical structures associated with ETC

So fulvic acids are interesting compounds that can be important in agriculture, but what about humans? An article written before the pandemic points out that fulvic acids have been touted to treat:

  • Hay fever.
  • Eczema (atopic dermatitis).
  • Alzheimer disease.
  • Cancer.
  • Fatigue.
  • Lead toxicity.
  • Infection of the airways.

I also searched this site to see how many times I’ve mentioned fulvic acid over the years. I came up with only twice, once because it was part of zeolite quackery (apparently Zeolite contains fulvic acid) and another time as part of a “detox” regimen for COVID-19 vaccines.

Perusing Facebook, I found other claims:

And:

And of course fulvic acid can “detox” glyphosate:

There are also a number of private groups proclaiming fulvic acid to be a cure-all.

In any event, as the article from WebMD noted, there is no good evidence that fulvic acid does anything for any of the listed conditions. Not that that stopped BOO from selling its bog woo. Perusing the archived website of Black Oxygen Organics, specifically the Science section, I was struck by how much the rationale for BOO resembles homeopathy:

Fulvic acid is the end product and smallest particle of the decomposition of ancient, organic matter. Organic matter is just a fancy way of saying peat bog.

When extracted, purified and delivered in a liquid supplement form, it carries all the nutritional information, anti-oxidant capacity and genetic coding of everything in that decomposed matter. We know the fundamental building blocks of our bodies are the same as other organisms so it only makes sense to nourish your body with what it is made of, optimizing regeneration and repair.

See the homeopathy vibe? It’s as though the fulvic acid from the decomposing matter in the peat bog retains a memory of all the “nutritional information, anti-oxidant capacity and genetic coding” of everything that produced it. That’s not unlike the idea behind homeopathy that the water used to dilute the original compounds used for homeopathic remedies retains a “memory” of the remedy. Still, this is not homeopathy, and I’m not claiming that it is. I’m just pointing out how similar themes keep resonating through all of alternative medicine. One of these is the Law of Contagion, which suggests that once two things have come in contact they retain “memories” or “influences” from each other.

Other influences include “detoxification” in the form chelation of heavy metals, as a naturopath named Frank Stubenvoll, billed as also a “specialist and certified teacher in the field of mitochondria therapy and Kirlian diagnosis”. His paper making this claim is truly a masterpiece of pseudoscience, as Kirlian diagnosis was used. If you don’t remember or don’t know what that is, Kirlian diagnosis involves doing something called Kirlian photography, which is basically a photographic technique that supposedly shows a person’s “energy” or “aura.” As described on Quackwatch, during this procedure, the object (e.g., a person’s hand) is placed on a photographic emulsion within an apparatus that generates a high-voltage (15,000 to 100,000 volts), low-amperage (so that it’s not dangerous), high-frequency electric current. The resulting photo shows a fuzzy glow surrounding the outline of the object. As Stephen Barrett noted:

Proponents correlate these patterns with acupuncture meridians and claim that “auric” qualities reveal changes in health and emotional state. Kirlian photography has also been claimed useful for demonstrating changes before and after chiropractic spinal manipulation. However, scientific investigators have shown that Kirlian effects depend on physical factors that are well understood.

And:

Kirlian photography is alleged to detect all types of disease (even before physical signs appear) and emotional states. Many “energy healers,” “clairvoyants,” and other occult practitioners still rely on it today. “Supernaturally gifted” people are claimed to generate unusually dramatic photos. However, scientific investigation has found that the outcome depends on the type of film, the voltage, the skin resistance (which can be affected by perspiration and the amount of pressure of the finger on the film), how well the subject is electrically grounded, the humidity of the room, the exposure time, the photographic development time, and even the order of the photograph in a series [3,4].

Now there’s a rousing endorsement of fulvic acid and BOO as “chelation” therapy of the heavy metals that you’ll absorb from the BOO mud itself.

Then, of course, BOO claims that its peat bog-derived products have “antioxidant” properties, using with a heaping helping of bizarre chemistry to justify the claims:

Due to its nanite size, fulvic acid moves easily into cells, including crossing the blood brain barrier. It bonds to nutrients, carrying up to sixty times its molecular weight in nutrition into the cell.

The biochemist in me from my time as a chemistry major, graduate student, and medical student keep asking, how on earth does this work? What does this even mean?

This too:

Free radicals are toxic by-products that cause significant cellular damage. Each cell in your body can be hit by up to 10,000 free radicals per day and they need to be neutralized in order to not ravage living cells and tissue. To be neutralized each free radical needs a donor electron.

One molecule of fulvic acid can donate fourteen tera-trillion electrons. That’s twenty-one zeros! It has the unique ability to react with both negatively and positively charged unpaired electrons, rendering free radicals harmless. It then alters the mineral to new useable compounds or eliminates them as waste.

It is, of course, true that free radicals can do this, but what are free radicals? In brief, a free radical is an atom, molecule, or ion that has at least one unpaired valence electron. In the vast majority of cases of free radicals, these unpaired electrons make the radical highly chemically reactive, which is why they can oxidize surrounding molecules by “grabbing” elections from them. Often those molecules contain oxygen, which is why free radicals can produce something called “reactive oxygen species,” commonly abbreviated ROS. (I realize that’s simple, but hopefully not simplistic.) Here’s a diagram:

Free Radicals
By Dan Cojocari – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46529393

Basically, there is a balance between free radicals, which are used by the body in a number of processes, such as the immune system destroying bacteria and pathogens, and antioxidant systems. When that balance is disrupted in favor of oxidants like free radicals, that’s called oxidative stress, and ROS can lead to damage to surrounding proteins, lipids, DNA molecules, etc.

Once again, the biochemist in me wondered a couple of things. First, nobody in science uses a term like “tera-trillion”, which, I assume, came from combining the SI prefix “tera” (1012) with trillion (109) to come up with 1021; so why did BOO use it? The obvious answer, of course, is this: It sounds way more impressive than zetta, which is the correct SI prefix to use to denote 1021. Second, and more importantly, I wondered: How could a single molecule of fulvic acid could donate 14 x 1021 electrons? This was coming across to me as chemical babble, a term I like to use based on a famous term from Star Trek known as “technobabble”, which is a term that what writers and fans use to denote very impressive scientific-sounding verbiage used in the show that actually doesn’t mean anything. After all, a mole of anything is 6.023 X 1023, which means, apparently, that a single molecule of fulvic acid can donate 1/100 of a mole of electrons. Perhaps my chemistry is rusty, but the entire idea seems ludicrous. Even if you assume that a single molecule of fulvic acid could continually donate these electrons over time, then why can’t it do so indefinitely?

Pseudoscience aside, until last Friday, Black Oxygen Organics marketed several products, including BlackOxygen Tabs, claimed to contain 1.80 g of pure BlackOxygen Fulvic, and BlackOxygen Powder, claimed to be “pure fulvic” with a recommended dose of 2.5 g orally, 25 g in a bath, and 2.5 g (with baking soda) for a mask. The company even marketed BlackOxygen Coffee, because there’s nothing I like more than making a “cup of mud” into a literal description of my coffee.

But what about COVID19?

BOO and COVID-19

So we know that fulvic acid has been promoted by alternative medicine practitioners for a long time as the “natural cure” (for almost everything) coming from peat bogs that “they” don’t want you to know about. So how did we get to COVID-19? If there’s one overriding principle of alternative medicine quackery, it’s that remedies that “work” for some things will almost always be trotted out to treat any new disease that comes along, and, boy, did COVID-19 come along in a big way, which brings us back to Zadrozny:

By the end of the summer, online ads for BOO had made their way to millions of people within the internet subcultures that embrace fringe supplements, including the mixed martial arts community, anti-vaccine and Covid-denier groups, and finally more general alternative health and fake cure spaces. 

And people seemed to be buying; parts of TikTok and Instagram were flooded with #BOO posts. The businessman behind Black Oxygen Organics has been selling mud in various forms for 25 years now, but BOO sold in amounts that surprised even its own executives, according to videos of company meetings viewed by NBC News. 

The stars appeared aligned for it. A pandemic marked by unprecedented and politicized misinformation has spurred a revival in wonder cures. Well-connected Facebook groups of alternative health seekers and vaccine skeptics provided an audience and eager customer base for a new kind of medicine show. And the too-good-to-be-true testimonials posted to social media attracted a wave of direct sellers, many of them women dipping their toes into the often unprofitable world of multilevel marketing for the first time.

But what kind of science was being used to justify this claim? Here’s one example:

The claim is that humic acids, including fulvic acid, are antiviral. It’s based on cherry picked and misinterpreted science, including in vitro studies supposedly showing humic acids to be “be effective in vitro against a wide range of viruses, including influenza, HSV, HIV, and others”. None of the studies cited are more recent than 1992 (one is from the early 1970s), and none are human studies, although there is one study cited that looked at HSV-1 in rabbits in which humic acids were used the conjunctival sac of the eye along with or immediately after the infectious agent. That last one is obviously a highly artificial study, particularly if topical humic acid is used right after a virus is applied. The link cited goes to a “clinical education” website for “nutritional information” aimed at chiropractors, acupuncturists, etc.

Meanwhile, Black Oxygen Organics was posting testimonials of “miracle cures” attributed to its products on its Instagram page, two of which are archived at truthinadvertising.org here and here.

The NBC News report lists other testimonials used to sell the product:

“Who would have thought drinking dirt would make me feel so so good?” one person in a 27,000-member private Facebook group posted, her face nuzzling a jar of black liquid. 

Another user posted a photo of a baby sitting in a bathtub of water colored a deep caramel. In the caption, she shared that the baby had contracted hand, foot and mouth disease — a virus that mainly affects children and causes painful sores. “Tiny is enjoying his Boo bath!” she wrote. “We’re happy to say our bottom feels happier and we’re in a better mood!” 

Many such posts are dedicated to tactics for getting kids and loved ones to take BOO. 

“Boo brownies for the picky family,” one poster offered. 

Testimonials like these make up the majority of posts in dozens of Facebook groups, set up and overseen by BOO sellers, with hundreds of thousands of collective members, where BOO is heralded as a miracle drug. Teams of sellers in these private Facebook groups claim that, beyond cosmetic applications, BOO can cure everything from autism to cancer to Alzheimer’s disease. Conveniently in these times, BOO proponents say it also protects against and treats Covid-19, and can be used to “detox” the newly vaccinated, according to posts viewed by NBC News.

Unsurprisingly, BOO turned out to be a huge MLM scam:

More than 99 percent of MLM sellers lose money, according to the Consumer Awareness Institute, an industry watchdog group. But according to social media posts, BOO’s business was booming. In selfies and videos posted to Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, women lather BOO on their faces and soak their feet in sludge-filled pasta pots while, they claim, the money rolls in. 

Black Oxygen Organics’ compensation plan, like most MLMs, is convoluted. According to their company handbook, sellers, called “brand partners,” can earn income in two distinct ways: through retail commissions on bags of BOO they sell, and through recruiting other sellers, from which they earn additional commission and bonuses. The more recruits a seller brings in, the more quickly the seller rises in the ranks — there are 10 titles in the company, from brand partner to director to CEO, with compensation packages growing along the way.

Because, first and foremost, it’s also at least always about the grift; so of course there’s an MLM involved! Indeed, the people running Black Oxygen Organics even knew that they had created a monster and that their sellers had gone too far:

In September, Montaruli, BOO’s vice president, led a corporate call to address the Facebook groups and what he called “the compliance situation.” 

“Right now, it’s scary,” Montaruli said in a Zoom call posted publicly, referring to the outlandish claims made by some of BOO’s sellers. “In 21 years, I have never seen anything like this. Never.” 

“These outrageous claims, and I’m not even sure if outrageous is bad enough, are obviously attracting the haters, giving them more fuel for the fire, and potential government officials.” 

Montaruli called for “a reset,” telling BOO sellers to delete the pages and groups and start over again. 

One slide suggested alternatives for 14 popular BOO uses, including switching terms like ADHD to “trouble concentrating,” and “prevents heart attack” to “maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.”

And so in September, the Facebook groups evolved — many went private, most changed their names from BOO to “fulvic acid,” and the pinned testimonials from customers claiming miracle cures were wiped clean, tweaked or edited to add a disclaimer absolving the company from any liability.

Because grifters gonna grift. Always. Also note the way BOO hawkers (like most supplement hawkers) were urged to use the FDA’s limitations under the DSHEA of 1994 to hide behind so-called “structure-function” claims (e.g., “boosts the immune system” or “supports heart health”) to avoid the FDA coming after them for making specific disease claims. 

When there is no science, all quackery is possible, including for COVID-19

BOO and fulvic acid quackery for COVID-19 and, before that, pretty much every disease and condition, is yet another reminder that belief often fuses with grift when it comes to medicine that is unscientific, pseudoscientific, or rooted in superstition and prescientific beliefs in medicine tarted up with woo babble (another nod to Star Trek technobabble) to sound scientific. As I say time and time again, there might well be belief that a product does all these miraculous things, but there’s very frequently grift involved as well. Looking again at the example of MMS, which has been touted for cancer, autism, and all manner of diseases and conditions, I can’t help but note that it only took quacks a few weeks after the pandemic hit (if that) to start touting this form of bleach as a treatment for COVID-19. Indeed, Kerri Rivera, who had made such a splash in “autism biomed” circles by advocating giving bleach orally and by enema to autistic children to treat their “vaccine injury,” jumped on the COVID-19 quackery bandwagon. As I myself noted as early as March 2020, COVID-19 has been a golden opportunity for quacks, with blog friend Scott Gavura producing an incomplete list as early as May 2020 that included MMS, colloidal silver, traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, chiropractic, juicing, and several others.

We can now add magic dirt in the form of mud taken from a peat bog next to a landfill to that list. That it’s peat from a bog that distillers of single malt scotch whiskey would reject as not being good enough for their products makes no difference. It’s “natural”, and the pandemic affords all manner of grifting opportunities. That is enough.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

76 replies on “Black Oxygen Organics (a.k.a. BOO): Magic dirt quackery to treat COVID-19”

The manufacture of humic acids from peat is not as simple as digging them out of the bog. First you need to drain the bog to dig out any amount of peat, otherwise that water just fills in holes you have dug. The humic acids are then extracted with concentrated hydroxide solution. Humic acid is then precipitated with pH 1 to 2 acid. This process will also solublise and precipitate arsenic, lead and other heavy metals.

Humic acids are also manufactured from coal. To manufacture large amounts, lignite coals are a more effective feedstock. These feedstock can also contain, arsenic or cadmium, depending on the source.

What are the chances tha BOO are passing off coal as peat bog?

solublise and precipitate

This met with a giant “say what?” from me. Solubilization and precipitation are opposite processes, you generally don’t achieve them at the same time under the same conditions (maybe close to a pKa, but that’d be slow). Acid often solubilizes metals, but there are probably some other intermediate steps needed to get back to precipitation.

Yeah, I see. I needed to read a bit more carefully; you meant referring back to the previous sentences to expand the prep as “the same way.” I interpreted as “everything happening at pH 1-2” solely in the last sentence.

I believe Chris Preston meant solubilize the heavy metals by acidification and then precipitate them by changing the pH to alcaline.
Or maybe it’s the other way round.

As you may know, it’s the same procedure – acidify, then alkalinize – to purify cocaine from coca leaves.
Or, again, reversed, to purify the sugars and leave the alkaloids out, and obtain coca-cola.
A few steps were omitted here, too.

You are right, the procedure is not well described. In the name of science, I’m gonna experiment on a bit of soil. Or on coca leaves.
Maybe I’ll just chew the coca leaves. The previous week was quite rough in the lab.

I think the creator of BOO has enough credentials as a believer in the power of mud to counter that, personally. I think they’re using mud from somewhere. Possible but not likely.

I think they’re using mud from somewhere.

Probably LeBreton Flats.*

*Slightly sick Ottawa joke . The Gov’t moved a lot of contaminated soil out of there.

orthotherapist…kinesitherapist

WTF is an orthotherapist? Ditto for kinesitherapist. And my mind boggled when I saw “resident alchemist”. Are they really so divorced from reality as to think that having a resident alchemist is not the expertise they think it is?

“WTF is an orthotherapist?”

When your right angles are obtuse or suffering acutely. They also repair carpenter’s squares.

“Ditto for kinesitherapist.”

For when you’re moving but shouldn’t, or when you’re not moving but should.

For when you’re moving but shouldn’t, or when you’re not moving but should.

Don’t we have duct tape and WD-40 for these?

Apologies if I’ve skipped without checking but….

“Black Oxygen Organics sustainably harvests from one of the richest peat bogs on the planet, not far from Marc’s home in Ottawa.”

How the f#£k do you sustainably harvest a peat bog? It’s not like the peat forms again over Christmas, ready for next year.

It might be possible by extracting relatively little peat per year while either not draining the water at all or only briefly. Or by cheating and selling (relatively fresh) dried sphagnum moss as peat.

Humic acids are formed through the breakdown of organic matter under anaerobic conditions. You can’t extract them from sphagnum moss.

The founder describes accessing the peat by soil drilling, but the amounts they are selling suggest a more industrial scale to the collection. Even if drilling, they couldn’t do that in the bog itself, as you wouldn’t be able to get the equipment in. More likely, they would be on the edges drilling into older peat deposits.

This might be how they started, but the industrial scale of the operation needed and the differences in heavy metal analysis among the tested samples do suggest some corners are being cut.

Government crackdowns notwithstanding, plenty of fulvic acid powders and supplement pills are still flooding the market, as a search of Amazon demonstrates. And they’re still being touted for the prevention/treatment of Covid-19. For example, an “integrative medicine” doc puts bog extracts on his long list of supposedly effective supplements.*

“7. Humic Acid and Fulvic Acid:
Can help prevent viral entry into cells and therefore decrease its ability to replicate. These are the main ingredients in Humacel.”

https://www.acam.org/news/500533/Safe-and-Natural-Approaches-to-Prevent–Treat-COVID-19–Other-Viral-Infections.htm

The list appears under the heading of the American College for the Advancement of Medicine, an integrative med outfit, but appears to reflect the practice of a single doc, Allen Green, who coincidentally happens to sell Humacel (and a slew of other products) out of his office – but only as a benefit to patients, doncha know.

My major concern regarding fulvic acid product sales is that they will acceleration depletion of peat bogs, adding to the extinction of species and other negative ecologic consequences caused by the credulous embrace of unproven and ineffective herbal and animal products by alties.

*There’s a total of _fifteen_ supplements recommended for preventing/treating Covid-19. If any one of them is truly effective, why would you need the others?

My brain is crossing bog bodies with mummia, which was a term used for a lot of things, but did at various points, involve the use of preserved human flesh as a medicine. Because, really, is that any crazier than the other things alt-med comes up with?

There’s an incident described by Carl Jung ( in his auto bio) in which he relates his interest in the peat-bog corpses unearthed ( near Bremen IIRC) which horrified Freud who was his travelling companion at the time: he assumed that it provoked the older man’s fear of death which was exacerbated by his long term illness and age.
Jung was fascinated by them.

It is a safe bet that the fulvic acid supplements on Amazon are not actual fulvic acid or peat or whatever it is they claim to be. Almost none of the supplements sold on Amazon are real.

Aren’t there other forms of woo based on earth or dirt? One of the most obvious being diatomaceous earth which can be purchased as food grade. Of course, the woo-entranced believe in the magical powers of rich earth providing miraculous healing in the form of organic produce and probably wouldn’t mind at all if their goodness were enhanced by inadequate washing. Also various muds and clays used for de-toxification, eaten or slathered on.
Alties love of all-things-natural often leads to their confusion about the hazards of the natural world: poisonous plants, contaminated water and dangerous animals all of which can harm the unwary. An unsophisticated view of reality leads them to anthropomorphise nature in the direction of human benevolence and nonviolence when the opposite is indeed true.

It has the unique ability to react with both negatively and positively charged unpaired electrons, rendering free radicals harmless.

I used to be quite good in chemistry, but can anyone explain to me what this is with positively charged electrons?

Completely irrelevant, but positrons can be found in bananas, briefly. It’s part of the process of the decay of the potassium.

Well, I underwent a PET scan that used positively charged electrons (Positrons). They are antimatter and disappear in a puff of gamma rays when the meet an electron. Not sure how healthy it is.

The reaction that an electron has with a positron results in two 511KeV gamma-ray photons. This is why sharing a bed with someone raises your chance of developing cancer.

A trillion is 10 to the 12th. Maybe someone was referring to a mole of fulvic acid instead of a molecule and it got scrambled?

As those among you with organic chemistry backgrounds can see, it’s a polyphenolic acid.

Probably fairer to call it a polycyclic acid. Two of those rings are pyrans and with the carbonyl oxygen on the middle cycle, the conjugation is almost totally broken, nothing like anthracene. If you look at the structure, the terminal pyran-like ring has a very buckled geometry (rather than planar like a benzene or phenol) that is fixed along one side in such a way that it doesn’t make it as far as a structure like the chair or boat that you can get from hexane. It’s pretty obviously a carboxylic acid, so pKa something like 5. The hydroxyls will be higher and maybe the rings can open. Interesting little structure.

Free radicals are toxic by-products that cause significant cellular damage. Each cell in your body can be hit by up to 10,000 free radicals per day and they need to be neutralized in order to not ravage living cells and tissue. To be neutralized each free radical needs a donor electron.

One molecule of fulvic acid can donate fourteen tera-trillion electrons. That’s twenty-one zeros! It has the unique ability to react with both negatively and positively charged unpaired electrons, rendering free radicals harmless. It then alters the mineral to new useable compounds or eliminates them as waste.

I love me a good dose of technobabble; this bit is particularly egregious. I think what makes for good technobabble is that the writer at least understands some of the basics of what the words are supposed to mean. The writer here has no clue at all!

You don’t take care of radicals by neutralizing them, you quench them. For most situations, electrons exist in a molecule in pairs to cancel out their 1/2 spins (conditional guideline, believe it or not, not quite a rule…see diatomic oxygen). A radical is a situation (as opposed to an object) where you have an unpaired electron. Free radical usually means chemical structure that has a radical which is free to diffuse and then pass from one molecule to the next via radical reaction. The molecule could be electrically neutral. The pH of the solution could be effectively neutral. For a radical, as in radical polymerization, the radical can be handed back and forth between neighbors during reactions and doesn’t disappear until you find some way to fill the spin hole. This means pinning the radical down and quenching it, usually by putting it into a reaction which takes two odd numbered electron reactant species and renders an even number in the product somehow. Achieving this last state is usually so favorable to the energy that you can’t back away from it; you usually need to recreate a radical by starting from a starting state. Radicals move by rendering an odd number of electrons in the structure where they’re located, which means that there is no “this” electron causing the radical; it’s like musical chairs where one guy didn’t get a chair to sit down.

This next part about “donating tera-trillon electrons” is crazy town. One molecule of Fulvic acid has 152 electrons (yes, I went and checked). Can’t donate what you don’t have! Moreover, electrons have strictly -1 e charge, always. Can’t have a positively charged electron by definition –that’s a positron. Also, radicals don’t give a flying fig about charge. And, if Fulvic acid reacts with some radical, it’s gone afterward and not Fulvic acid anymore. Moreover, by itself, Fulvic acid won’t quench a radical; it’s got 152 electrons! The sum of an odd and even number is always odd, which is why radical polymerization works at all. Finally, why the hell have they brought up minerals here? Just, what?

That someone wrote that passage and that a nontrivial number of people simply accepted it says horrifying things about quality of education. The corrections are not exactly difficult. Yeah, I know, most people around here don’t need me opening my mouth, but hey, hard not to read that passage and want to cry.

Thanks for the detailed analysis.
But what is ETC (Electron Transfer Capacity)? Google has a bunch of references but no definition. What units is it in? Specifically, what is the ETC of fulvic acid, if that is a meaningful question? One electron per molecule?

ETC in the sense of the Chinese soil article Orac references above, is using a unit mm e- / (g*C). I would read that as mmoles of electrons transferred per Gram of soil at temperature T. It’s based effectively on redox active groups, according to that article, so groups that can donate or accept electrons. This will be in terms of individual electrons on a single molecule and is related to the amount of energy it takes to push an extra electron into a molecule or pull one out, so related to ionization potential and electron affinity, which have units of energy and can be gauged by looking at band gaps for excitation.

Also found this on web:

Fulvic acid is incredibly simple: C14H12O8

That’s 14 carbon atoms, 12 hydrogen atoms, and 8 oxygen atoms. That’s 34 atoms. If you know anything about atoms, please know that the number of electrons in an atom is equal to the number of protons it has. I did the math, and the number of electrons amongst all 34 of the atoms that makes up fulvic acid is 160.

If you know anything about atoms, please know that the number of electrons in an atom is equal to the number of protons it has

Only if the molecule is uncharged;-)

The carboxylate on top of that benzene ring can lose its proton and happily hold a negative charge. The conjugated ring will have an electron affinity and can probably gain one or two electrons for a -2 charge.

Also, don’t beg the question about what I may know about atoms, especially since you’re touting a “simple formula” for fulvic acid that is probably identical to 10,000 other organic molecules.

the number of electrons amongst all 34 of the atoms that makes up fulvic acid is 160

While it’s important to get the formula correct, that doesn’t change much the issue at hand.
Not all of these electrons are available for radical neutralization/chemical reaction. Far from it.

Reminds me of the “pet rocks” scam when I was a kid, although that was obviously a joke. Profitable.

I have to say that I’m amused that the way this initially came to light was by way of the anti-MLM folks. I’m pretty sure I watched that video (yes, yes, YouTube videos are not evidence. But there’s nothing wrong with decently researched and cited MLM take-downs as entertainment) back a couple of months ago. I could tell the “science” was total woo; the video maker was like “I’m not finding any research on this, and also, it’s an MLM, so it’s automatically suspect”.

The whole “landfill” thing really stuck in my memory.

What color wine is best with a pound of black dirt for my customers? Maybe they get the peat at a different price but you know, if they like eating clay, why shouldn’t I serve them the best reciped clay they can have. I think there are various types of dirt that some would be happy to eat. Just here to serve them.

$110 for a bag of “magic dirt?” But they’ll tell us about how only “Big Pharma only cares about easy profits.”

That’s how you know it’s a scam. If it did actually work, one of the pharmacy would have bought up the rights and be charging $1,100 a bag. ;- )

Do they sell their own machine? Because those “k-cups” don’t work in Keurig’s or Amalgamated Dirt’s.

Absolute quackery, Orac! Again, it just goes to show that when people are committed to their BS, no evidence can shake them.

Consider that the regions using BOO have the highest Covid cases, and this has been consistently so over the course of the pandemic. Even with the emergence of Omicron, we are finding that Omicron is finding the BOO users more.

Wait! Are we talking about BOO or the vaccines?! My bad; carry on!

To save time, I’ll answer for Greg:

“Citations? We ain’t got no citations. We don’t need no citations. I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ citations!”

Of course it is not true highest number of COVID cases are in the regions that are most vaccinated, Compre Singapore and India,

Dr. Doug Corrigan

1/ A computer virus with unknown origin has started infecting computers around the world, and spreading itself from computer to computer.

2/ This particular computer virus has the ability to completely shut down a very small percentage of computers; cause other computers to malfunction temporarily; and to keep most computers intact to continue spreading itself.

3/ A person with a substantial criminal history linked to computer viruses convinces the governments of the world that he has a solution. It will cost $20 per computer, and the governments agree to pay this criminal to provide a patch for every computer on the planet.

4/ There is very little testing to show that this new software update will actually work, or to prove that it will be safe to operate this software for a long period of time. But everyone is desperate, so the governments decide not to wait and they pull the trigger.

5/ When the patch is ready, people around the world start downloading it to their computers. It’s a relatively small section of code, but this patch supposedly works with any operating system or computer.

6/ As more computers are installed with the new patch, it becomes obvious that the computer virus can still infect these patched computers and these computers can still transmit the computer virus to patched and non-patched computer systems.

7/ With this obvious defect, the governments tell people not to worry because the patch lowers the probability that their computer will malfunction if it does become infected. Most people accept this as a reasonable explanation and more people download the new software patch.

8/ It also becomes apparent that a great deal of computers either malfunction or are completely inactivated within a short period of time after receiving the new patch, even though there are no measurable signs that the computer has been infected with the computer virus.

9/ Because the governments have chosen not to take these patch-induced adverse computer events seriously, the general populace starts warning others about the risks of downloading the software patch. The governments begin a campaign to silence these people.

10/ Even with a large % of the computers possessing the software patch, the virus continues spreading rapidly, and computers continue to malfunction or inactivate. It’s argued that this outcome is much better than the outcome if the software patch had not been deployed.

11/ The criminal who designed the software patch is now wealthier than ever, and they continue pushing the governments of the world to peddle the software patch.

12/ Other computer scientists from around the world have found several other relatively
easy and obvious technology solutions to fix the problem, and have generated sufficient data to demonstrate that their solution is safer and more effective.

13/ These technologists are systematically silenced and censored by mainstream media, social media, and the government. Many lose their reputations or jobs, but they continue to speak out because they know it is more important for the world to have access to an effective solution

14/ It’s found that the initial installation of the software patch wanes in effectiveness over several months. Rather than launch a new more effective approach, the governments institute a periodic re-installation program with the original faulty, risky software patch.

15/ New versions of the computer virus begin to spawn off at an accelerated rate. It’s found that the computer virus has a code built into it that imparts it with the ability to circumvent any efforts to stop its spread.

16/ The observed changes in the code of the computer virus are not random, as they are directed specifically at circumventing the code introduced by the patch.

17/ The software patch becomes less and less effective against these new computer virus versions that have circumvented the patch’s defenses. Eventually, a computer virus emerges that is completely resistant to the patch.

18/ This new patch-resistant computer virus begins spreading around the world at a rapid pace as it blows through the patch. The people who chose not to download the patch to their computer are blamed.

19/ Meanwhile, the governments are coercing people to upload the same ineffective, unsafe software patch, and to do so every several months. They are threatening people with loss of their job, or the ability to move freely in society.

20/ When other more reasonable people warn that uploading the patch is risky and increasingly ineffective, the governments double down on their efforts to coerce people into downloading the patch every few months.

21/ Meanwhile, the criminal software guru continues to increase in wealth at an obscene rate as computers around the world continue to malfunction or inactivate in response to the patch.

threadreaderapp.com/thread/1470120180873408514.html

1) Your analogy falls apart in the very first sentence, as all computer viruses are written by humans. In this way computer viruses are completely unlike biological viruses, as computer viruses are written by people with specific intent. Biological viruses just happen.

2) Your “patch” analogy also fails. In fact this one is an even more egregious failure and totally nullifies the rest of the post. There is not one “patch” (vaccine). There is not one “person with a substantial criminal history” making the “patches” (vaccines).

There are dozens of COVID vaccines, using different technologies, made by different teams of people, from all over the world. Are you seriously suggesting that the Russians, the Chinese, the British, the French, the Germans and the Americans are all in some grand conspiracy together? Because that’s not crazy, it’s just dumb.

I get that for some people it might be comforting to think that all of this is a grand conspiracy to hurt them, but the truth is that biology is giant game of dice and does not and can not care about you, or me, or anyone.

Applause! JT

re ” person with a substantial criminal history”

I suppose that that is Dr Fauci.
I’ve wanted to comment about this for a while.

Amongst the alties/ BS artists I survey there are tall tales about his evil exploits going back many decades.- especially concerning hiv/aids and the development of ARVs/ HAART: usually it is that Fauci killed thousands with AZT, neglecting “natural remedies” that were available and highly effective . Sure, he did.
I worked as a counsellor with patients after 1990 who welcomed those first products because there was nothing else. THERE WAS NOTHING ELSE. People started to live longer. Alties can tell these stories to youngsters who weren’t around ( that is, the few youngsters who can’t LOOK UP STUFF). In the 1980s, aids was virtually a death sentence.

RFKjr has written a book about Fauci which I won’t read because it will earn money for his CHD org, a claptrap factory and broadcast service, but I listened to his condensed audio version. Gary Null is another prevaricator who assembles an imbroglio of myths about Fauci. I also heard a barrage of lies by a Mr Hilton of FOX. Anti-vaxxers repeat and elaborate lies.There has been insinuation that because his grandparents emigrated from ITALY… you know…So much other crap about him.

I was hoping that Orac or someone else we know takes up the smear campaign.

Nice rebuttal, too bad its wrong

“A computer virus with unknown origin”
The good Doctor did not claim the computer virus was not written by humans….

What about computer viruses that are self modifying (metamorphic code) and able to change with each infection. The US currently has done extensive research on computers that can write computer viruses and by pass humans altogether. (I would suspect that is the reason that Iran has had many difficulties with their computers or systems).

And given your statement that biological viruses just happen, please explain the work being conducted at the Wuhan lab. Or the US governments spending 100’s of millions of dollars on biological weapon for over 30 years and the continued work at Fort Detrick to modify biological virus et al. and the continued fund of such research by the DOD and others to by pass, through contracts and grants, Nixon’s ban on such research by the US government.

“There is not one “patch” (vaccine). There is not one “person with a substantial criminal history” making the “patches” (vaccines).”

To Denice and JT

The good doctor NEVER referred to Dr Fauci

There is ONE company with a substantial criminal history making vaccines (Pfizer paid the largest CRIMINAL fine in US history of any company/person) and of course you lawyers types should remember the 14th amendment, and court decision that corporations are treated as persons “corporate personhood”. As to other countries you listed they are using 2-3 vaccines (who knows what Chinese or Russians are using). Remember the Germans paid for Pfizers research.So your description of dozens of makers of vaccines is misinformation and you should be banned.

But you being pro vaxxers probably didn’t know those things or remember that.

@ Charles “So your description of dozens of makers of vaccines is misinformation and you should be banned.”

Excuse me? Your statement is trivially false, and you want to claim I’m the one spreading misinformation?

COVID-19 vaccines currently in use world wide:
Moderna
Pfizer
Johnson and Johnson
AstraZeneca
Sputnik V (Russia)
Sinovac
Sinopharm/Beijing
CanSino

That’s 8 different vaccines. (I never said “dozens”.)

As for bioweapon research, it’s beyond obvious that none of that research was about making a new disease de novo. Even the Soviets were only about modifying existing pathogens. So again your computer virus analogy is inaccurate, as many computer viruses are de novo.
And nothing about the Soviet bioweapon program or For Detrick is relevant, as excellent evidence was published in September that the closest wild relative to COVID-19 are viruses found in bats in Laos.

Nature: always ready to f#ck you up (regardless of what “you” are).

But let’s get to the meat of the failure of this analogy. If a computer is infected with a virus, you can just turn it off. If this hypothetical virus breaks the computer you can throw it away. It is an inanimate object.

But we’re not talking about computers here. We are talking about people, and their lives. Every human life has innate value. But your analogy is saying that we can just throw away and not care about the “broken” computers, because you don’t want to take the extraordinarily small action of getting vaccinated and wearing a mask.

You don’t like Pfizer? Great. Get a different vaccine.

But please do ask yourself, what is so important about this conspiracy theory that you value it higher than your life and the lives of the people around you?

You don’t even read what you wrote….

JustaTech
says:
December 14, 2021 at 6:08 pm
1) Your analogy falls apart in the very first sentence, as all computer viruses are written by humans. In this way computer viruses are completely unlike biological viruses, as computer viruses are written by people with specific intent. Biological viruses just happen.
2) Your “patch” analogy also fails. In fact this one is an even more egregious failure and totally nullifies the rest of the post. There is not one “patch” (vaccine). There is not one “person with a substantial criminal history” making the “patches” (vaccines).
There are dozens of COVID vaccines,”

But in your next post you claim your never posted that…
“That’s 8 different vaccines. (I never said “dozens”.)

Someone call the Oxford Dictionary people, the word “dozens” in now has a new meaning…. “8”.

JustaTech you can’t count or read what you posted and of course your contradicting claims

“it’s beyond obvious that none of that research was about making a new disease de novo”
“closest wild relative to COVID-19 are viruses found in bats in Laos”
Why go to the trouble of making a new virus when you can alter an existing/natural virus.Do you really think that people who create computer viruses start with a blank screen ? why would the Soviets or the US or Wuhan labs engage in gain of function research if it wasn’t meant to alter an existing virus.The use of the Wuhan lab was a method to do the research without violation of a presidential order.

and yes you can just turn your computer off and never have access to the data within forever, so yes its pretty much like a human. And it appears that the vast majority of the newly infected are the fully vaccinated people.
“If you are fully vaccinated and become infected with the Delta variant, you can spread the virus to others”

cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html

So your idea that some how if I get the vaccine it will make you safe is not supported by the science.

@Charles Anthrax was actually a bioweapon. It forms spores, which can be stockpiled, Viruses are very different.
RNA viruses mutate, and so are quite bad weapons. They would turn against you,

Aarno

It is disturbing to visit this site and expect any kind of intelligent discussion about science or history and the unintended consequence of good intentions. Your reference to anthrax has been the go-to bio weapon but due to modern medicines, the military long ago switched to viruses. For over 20 years researchers have been able to produce man made small pox. You really think that some country couldn’t replicate that research using other viruses and delivery methods.

Viruses have long been used as biological weapon, historical examples of this are too many to mention. But for a reference here is some real science of the subject.

“Viruses as Biological Weapons”

link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-07758-1_22

A defector from the Soviet Union wrote a book on Russia’s biological war program and the use of smallpox and other viruses as offensive agents. The book is called “Biohazard”. His reasoning to use these ‘virus’ weapons is, you can vaccinate your own people against the variant you are engineering. Then when you release your engineered virus your own people are resistant to the virus but you enemy is not. To paraphrase the book, your enemies resources not only in man/woman power but money and medical materials will weaken them to the point they would be unable to resist.

“The natural organisms are rather slow-acting and unreliable, but, with the help of genetic engineering, the development of much more effective organisms might become possible—probably effective enough to be used as biological weapons.”

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1326447/#b5

@ Charles,
My apology, I did say “dozens”. I meant that there are/were dozens of COVID vaccines in development. There are 8 currently in use worldwide that I could find data on.

8 is still more than the one your analogy posits.

“why would the Soviets or the US or Wuhan labs engage in gain of function research if it wasn’t meant to alter an existing virus.”

Why do gain of function research other than to make bioweapons? How about to learn how to address new, emerging viruses – either to make vaccines or treatments (or both). There’s also bioweapon defense.

The 1918 influenza was a wild virus, but we would still like to know how it did what it did so we can defend humanity against it should something similar arise in the future.

“And it appears that the vast majority of the newly infected are the fully vaccinated people.” Because most people are vaccinated, of course most of the people getting infected would also be vaccinated. That’s how really big numbers work. But what about the people who are getting sick enough to be hospitalized or die? The vast majority of those people are unvaccinated. So minus one for using the Nirvana fallacy (if it’s not perfect it’s crap).

“Biohazard” was an excellent book.

And again, the whole “computer virus” thing in your analogy falls apart when anyone realizes that there are many COVID vaccines, from several manufacturers, which means that either this is a vast conspiracy involving thousands and thousands of people (unlikely, given how bad people are about keeping secrets), or there is no conspiracy and the vaccines are doing the best we could possibly ask of them and the alternative is mass death.

JT
thank you for acknowledging your mistake, very rare for this site, mistakes happen (SH), it a human thing, again thank you. On to more important discussion

In order to make a bioweapon defense, you have to make the bioweapon. As I stated the US/Soviets/China have all spent billions of dollars on bio defense and failed specularly to either anticipate this virus or the vaccine to prevent Covid (even with the fore knowledge that Covid-19 could be spread from infected bats, as early as 2016).
The lab leak theory that was originally poo-pooed, but now even the editor of the Lancet, now says the letter that the scientist published was allowed because of political pressure and his worry over US and Chinese relationship, not a scientific decision as there was no evidence “one way of the other” to scientifically support the letter. He admitting this to the UK Parliament today. Much as I hate to use Twitter, as the 2 minute clip has been censored by U-Tube as medical misinformation (how is that even possible).
twitter.com/ataraxisfinch/status/1471204034400899074
Cornell University just shut down because over 900 people (students and staff) have Covid, 97% of Cornell employees are vaccinated and 100% of the students are vaccinated. This wave of Covid is of the vaccinated.
npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/12/14/1064197606/cornell-university-omicron-campus-shut-down-covid
Has there ever been a vaccine that has needed a booster in less than 6 month to a year after introduction and a 4th booster being recommended, And even with the vaccine we still have thousands of infections and thousands of deaths everyday (2,167 yesterday and climbing on Wednesday we had 1,600), just in the US, I think that is the definition of mass death.
I am not anti-vaxx, I am anti mob mentality, knee jerk reaction is NEVER a way to solve a problem, as I stated the “unintended consequence of good intentions” is killing 100,000’s of people because of untreated drug abuse, cancers, heart diseases et al.
I will not take anymore of your time.

@Charles Have you considered that an effective bioweapon must be spreaded ? Do you envision sneezing corps to infect the enemy with COVID ?
Smallpox has similar problems. I know claims that infected towels have been used as a bioweapon, but this is not very effective.

Seriously, drug dealers, maybe a few technicalities may be off with Charles’ analogy, but, on the whole, it accurately captures the mad state of affairs with Covid vaccination. Going over the main points that we can all agree on…

First, the experiment is a bust. The vaccines are not reducing cases. Seriously, France has close to a 90% fully vaxxed rate, and it’s reasonable to assume a good portion of the remaining 10% has natural immunity; yesterday, France saw over 65,000 cases!

The vaccines are preventing sickness and deaths? Really?! Has anyone here ever provided a reasonable counter as to why low vaxxed India, Africa, and, now some Eastern European countries are seeing so few deaths?

Second, smart people are pointing out the experiment is a bust, yet they are being ignored. To this date, no one has seriously sat down with Bossche and refute all his cautions. All there is is social media handwaving that Bossche is proposing that we do nothing and let everyone die.

Third, people are getting coerced and threatened into participating in the dangerous failed experiment. For instance, you scoff that this is not Nazi Germany and people are not being starved? Seriously, if people are being fired from their jobs for refusing the jab and they are unable to provide for themselves and their families, what will be the logical outcome?

And, fourth, there are certain players making insane profits from the failed experiment. I doubt anyone here in good faith will even attempt to refute this.

Charles, thanks for your analogy that provides a very accurate spotlight on the failed experiment. It really is a very sad state of affairs.

“Has anyone here ever provided a reasonable counter as to why low vaxxed India, Africa…”

Yes. If you think that either of these countries (continents) are able to accurately report covid deaths, or even excess deaths, then you really are blind (when it suits you).

Stick with the European countries. That way you’ll look less like you don’t care about accuracy.

Julian Frost
Actual, according to John Hopkins which is showing a rising number of cases since the vaccine was made available in December of 2020, and we are experiencing a high case rate, 839,213 for the last week, the record high was 1,734,775 (Jan 3) and have more deaths 8,827 for the last week, record high of 23,415 (Jan 10) which are trending up. But yes the vaccine is working…..

coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/cumulative-cases

“Has anyone here ever provided a reasonable counter as to why low vaxxed India, Africa…”

Yes. If you think that either of these countries (continents) are able to accurately report covid deaths, or even excess deaths, then you really are blind (when it suits you).

Numb, back in the Spring, India went through a brutal Delta wave, and it appears they were accurately reporting the dead bodies as they piled up because you guys weren’t complaining. Numb, any ideas why all of a sudden they are so terrible at counting the dead bodies?

The only reason we point out the inability of India or Africa to accurately report Covid deaths is because you’re making a big deal of it. Up until then it was taken as read that the figures were unlikely to be accurate.

Has there ever been a vaccine that has needed a booster in less than 6 month to a year after introduction and a 4th booster being recommended

Yes, indeed. There are generally several on a normal childhood vaccine schedule.

There’s a considerable mystique about fulvic and humic acids which has also translated into pricey supplements for aquarists and gardeners. One company’s marketing pitch sounds especially appealing:

“For our liquid fulvic we use a complex enzymatic process, or slow fermentation, using a culture developed by Dr. Faust in Hawaii. The technology is based on an updated method of a centuries old Chinese process developed in the Ming Dynasty and mimics the earth’s natural processes (who does it better?). This results in a true fulvic (not fulvate or salt of fulvic) which has not been compromised by acids, chemicals and preservatives.”

Ming Dynasty, baby! And if it doesn’t work, it’s probably because you used the wrong dose or first tried an inferior product.

Humic acids for gardening? You would be better off just adding compost.

The average soil contains somewhere between 10 and 20 T/ha of humic acids, so you have to add a lot to make a difference. Like 10 to 100 times the rates that garden products suggest.

@ Greg

You write: “First, the experiment is a bust. The vaccines are not reducing cases. Seriously, France has close to a 90% fully vaxxed rate, and it’s reasonable to assume a good portion of the remaining 10% has natural immunity; yesterday, France saw over 65,000 cases!
The vaccines are preventing sickness and deaths? Really?! Has anyone here ever provided a reasonable counter as to why low vaxxed India, Africa, and, now some Eastern European countries are seeing so few deaths?

First, being a “case” and suffering severe illness, hospitalization, long covid, and death are NOT the same. If a vaccine prevents or significantly reduced the aforementioned, then it works. The current definition of “case” is anyone testing positive for Covid-19. Probably from a nasopharyngeal swab. Well, we have potentially pathogenic microbes in and on our bodies at all time. An extreme example is tuberculosis which in most cases is encased in our bodies and only breaks out if our immune systems weaken. Clostridium difficile is in the intestines of 20-30% of population; but is kept in check by our immune system and other bacteria. If it breaks out, can cause severe diarrhea, even bloody diarrhea. If, for instance, a nasopharyngeal swab detects Covid-19 in our sinuses, may take immune system a few days to get rid of. And if leaves sinuses and gets into system, again, our immune system can keep it in check. I guess you really don’t understand even the basics of immunology.

And you really are DISHONEST because I know you were following a previous discussion where I posted comments that debunked belief that India and Africa have low Covid deaths. Read it again!

UNDERCOUNTED COVID DEATHS IN INDIA AND AFRICA

ABSTRACT: “India lacks an authoritative estimate of the death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic. We report excess mortality estimates from three different data sources from the pandemic’s start through June 2021. First, extrapolation of state-level civil registration from seven states suggests 3.4 million excess deaths. Second, applying international estimates of age-specific infection fatality rates (IFR) to Indian seroprevalence data implies a higher toll of around 4 million. Third, our analysis of the Consumer Pyramid Household Survey, a longitudinal panel of over 800,000 individuals across all states, yields an estimate of 4.9 million excess deaths. Each of these estimates has shortcomings and they also diverge in the pattern of deaths between the two waves of the pandemic. Estimating COVID-deaths with statistical confidence may prove elusive. But all estimates suggest that the death toll from the pandemic is likely to be an order of magnitude greater than the official count of 400,000.”
Abhishek Anand, Justin Sandefur, and Arvind Subramanian (2021 Jul). Three New Estimates of India’s All-Cause Excess Mortality during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Working Paper 589. Center for Global Development. Available at: https://cgdev.org/publication/three-new-estimates-indias-all-cause-excess-mortality-during-covid-19-pandemic

UNDERCOUNTED DEATHS FROM COVID IN INDIA.
[Note. the following are from Wikipedia articles; but each article includes references, several that I was able to obtain; but I don’t feel like giving references to each one as anyone can go to the Wikipedia articles and click on themselves]

“In April and May 2021, a number of India newspapers reported on the discrepancies between the number of cremations at various locations and the official counts for COVID-19 deaths at the same locations, leading to conclusions of undercounting.[21][34][35] The Telegraph accessed an order in a rota circulated in a hospital in West Bengal related to COVID-19 deaths which said “In case of Covid positive – No mention of Covid in death certificate.”[36] Such cover-ups also contribute to undercounts in the national figures.[36] Not mentioning COVID-19 as the cause of death on the death certificate has caused a number of orphans whose parents died of COVID-19 to become ineligible for orphan specific government schemes.[37]” [Note. for instance, not mentioned COVID as cause of death, government saves money]
[Wikipedia. Undercounting of Covid Deaths]
“Undercounting of total cases and death figures was reported during the first wave in 2020. The discrepancies were detected by comparing official death counts released by the governments to the number of deaths reported in obituaries, at crematoria and burial grounds, etc. Some states were reported to have not added suspected cases to the final count contrary to WHO guidelines.[434][435][436] Similar undercounting was reported during the second wave in 2021.[437] There have been large gaps noted between official death figures and the sudden increase in the number of bodies being cremated and buried. Several crematoria that had been in disuse earlier were brought back into operation to keep up with the demand.[438][439]
A series of articles in The Hindu newspaper estimated that compared to previous years, the number of additional deaths during the pandemic (known as the ‘excess mortality’) was about four times the official COVID death toll in Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai, and could be up to ten times higher in the state of Gujarat. However, it is not clear what proportion of these are due to covid and what are due to other factors such as overcrowding of medical facilities, lock-down, etc.[440] A report by the Center for Global Development stated that the second wave of COVID-19 in India was the “worst tragedy since the partition”. The report, based on serosurveys, household data and official data, pointed towards a significant underreporting of deaths, with estimates ranging from about 1 million to 6 million deaths overall, with central estimates varying between 3.4 and 4.9 million deaths.[441][442]
On the evening of 11 April, two reporters from the Gujarati language newspaper Sandesh and a photojournalist staked out the mortuary of the 1,200-bed state-run COVID-19 hospital in Ahmedabad. Over 17 hours, they counted 69 body bags coming out of a single exit before they were loaded into waiting ambulances. Next day, Gujarat officially counted 55 deaths, including 20 from Ahmedabad. Again on the night of 16 April, these journalists visited 21 cremation grounds around Ahmedabad and counted more than 200 bodies, with photographic and video evidence. The next day Ahmedabad counted only 25 deaths. Similar disparities in numbers were seen on other days.[443][444] The Gujarat government denied the undercounting and stated that they were following federal protocols.[445]
A study conducted by the University of California, Berkeley, and units of Harvard University, estimated in August 2021 that more than 16,000 excess deaths had occurred in 54 municipalities in Gujarat between March 2020 and April 2021. The study used data from civil death registers in a subset of Gujarat’s 162 municipalities. The authors stated that the “vast majority” of these deaths could likely be attributed directly to Covid-19. The government’s estimate of the death toll from Covid-19 for the entire state was approximately 10,000 for the same period.[446][447]”
[Note. this article gives in-depth coverage of all aspect of pandemic in India, e.g., economic, etc.]
[Wikipedia. COVID-19 pandemic in India]
“Undercounting of cases and deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic in India is not unique to the country.[31][24] Journalists,[32] mathematicians,[11] epidemiologists,[33] statisticians, and scientists have attempted,[34] according to their expertise, to arrive at a truer number of the actual cases and deaths. The aim of this is to ultimately improve national and international responses to the pandemic.[35][36][37] Journalists have spent time at burial-grounds and crematoriums and counted in-person the number of burials and cremations. These manual counts have been compared to government figures and have been found significantly different.[32][1] India’s national serological surveys also point to large numbers (ratios of one is to thirty) of cases remaining undetected.[9][11] The scale of under-reporting from one place to another can be very large.[36] The undercounting may or may not be intentional. Rather
undercounting may occur due to unreported COVID-19 cases, inefficiencies in the data collection system, inability to adapt to pandemic like situation and people not reporting deaths.”
[Wikipedia. Statistics of the COVID-19 pandemic in India]

UNDER REPORTING COVID DEATHS IN AFRICA
South Africa:
“South Africa’s official Covid-19 death toll stands at more than 75,000, but the real number could be around three times higher. This is because excess deaths, defined as the difference in the total number of deaths in a crisis compared to those expected under normal conditions, exceed 220,000. This represents 374 excess deaths for every 100,000 people in South Africa.
The discrepancy in confirmed Covid-19 deaths and excess natural deaths is attributed to underreporting of the underlying cause of death, especially in cases of home-based fatalities, according to a study conducted by the SAMRC and the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Centre for Actuarial Research.”
[Business Insider SA (2021 Aug 11). SA estimates 220,000 excess deaths during the pandemic – ranked among the world’s worst]
Africa:
“By mid-October, the real number of infections on the continent from SARSCoV-2 (the virus that causes Covid-19) was estimated to be 59-million, compared with the approximately 8.5-million cases officially reported. Officially reported statistics show that by mid-October 2021, approximately 75-million tests had been performed across Africa – roughly one for every 20 people on the continent.
Reliably reporting case numbers and resulting deaths also requires a well functioning civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) system, with all deaths being recorded timeously. But according to the UN Statistics Division, the CRVS systems in most developing countries do not work as they should.
In continental sub-Saharan Africa, only a quarter of the countries are considered to collect data on at least half the deaths that occur in that country. In many cases the cause of death is not recorded or information may not be available in near-to-real time.
What’s more is that this number mostly comes from people who died in hospitals or clinics; people dying from Covid outside health facilities are likely missed.”
[Johnson T et al. (2021 Oct 22). ANALYSIS | The pandemic didn’t miss Africa — and the numbers back this up. http://www.news24.com
“Stéphane Helleringer, a demographer who has worked on mortality in several African countries, said that on the African continent, ‘There are very, very few countries that even attempt an estimation of mortality based on death records.’
In 2017, only 10 percent of deaths were registered in Nigeria, by far Africa’s biggest country by population — down from 13.5 percent a decade before. In other African countries, like Niger, the percentage is even lower.
Families often don’t know they are expected to report deaths, or even if they do, there is little incentive to do so. Many families bury loved ones in their yard at home, where they don’t need burial permits, let alone death certificates.”
[MacLean R (2021 Feb 26). A Continent Where the Dead Are Not Counted. The New York Times]
“In this commentary, we explore some of the factors purported to be responsible for the low COVID-19 infection and case fatality rates in Africa: low testing rate, poor documentation of cause of death, younger age population, good vitamin D status as a result of exposure to sunlight, cross-immunity from other viruses including coronaviruses, and lessons learnt from other infectious diseases such as HIV and Ebola” [Note, though deaths underreported, still may be lower in some African nations than elsewhere because of factors such as age, good vitamin D, and lessons learned]
[Okonji EF et al. (2021 Jul). Understanding varying COVID-19 mortality rates reported in Africa compared to Europe, Americas and Asia. Tropical Medicine and International Health; 26(7): 716-719.]

As for your analogy with Nazi Germany. Bull Shit! Jews who served in German army during WWI, some even won Iron Cross (equivalent of Congressional Medal of Honor), others loved by neighbors for being doctors who care for the poor, etc. Nothing they could do many any difference. In many cases, those refusing vaccinations can still continue, albeit with regular testing and masks. And, despite your absolute stupidity about immunology and the success of the vaccine and its safety record (VAERS reports are suspected, not proven, and CDC investigates), refuse something that is proven to protect them and others, well, at some point society has a right to protect itself. No one is killing them, their children, etc. You are one sick SOB.

Shimabukuro TT et al. (2015 Aug 26). Safety monitoring in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Vaccine; 33(36): 4398-4405.
Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4632204/

An excellent, actual text only 160 pages, intro to immunology:
Lauren Sompayrac (2019). How the Immune System Works (6th Edition). Wiley-Blackwell. $36.99 at amazon.com

Just a query for Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH; he writes..

As for your analogy with Nazi Germany. Bull Shit! Jews who served in German army during WWI, some even won Iron Cross (equivalent of Congressional Medal of Honor), others loved by neighbors for being doctors who care for the poor, etc. Nothing they could do many any difference. In many cases, those refusing vaccinations can still continue, albeit with regular testing and masks. And, despite your absolute stupidity about immunology and the success of the vaccine and its safety record (VAERS reports are suspected, not proven, and CDC investigates), refuse something that is proven to protect them and others, well, at some point society has a right to protect itself. No one is killing them, their children, etc. You are one sick SOB.

Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH, in many parts of the world, people can now be fired for exercising their inalienable right to refuse Pfizer’s ‘miraculous juice’. Here in Ontario, Canada, people are not even eligible for UI if they are fired for refusing. Now, Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH, if people are out of work, can’t get UI, and also happen to luck out on charities and food banks, can you not see the possibility that they and their families might just starve — and even if it’s an extremely remote chance?

The vaccine pushers are aghast at the suggestion that mandates are akin to Nazi totalarism. Surely the atrocities and brutalities are absent and where the two cannot be compared! What the vaccine pushers fail to see — or don’t want to see! — is the atrocities were just the finishing line. The motivation to piss on people’s inalienable rights was the start. I think the two are very comparable, Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH.

Greg, you are speaking rot.
There are numerous jobs where vaccines are not required. And in a pinch, there are websites where you can register for piecework and work from home, which doesn’t require getting vaccinated.
As for your absurd comparing of people losing their jobs to how the Nazis treated those they viewed as untermenschen
Firstly, someone facing consequences refusing to get vaccinated (a personal choice) is vastly different than someone facing persecution (even death) for their sexuality or ethnicity (a factor beyond their control).
Secondly, as an autistic, I would have been targeted by the Nazis. Read up on Aktion T4 and Hans Asperger for more.
Thirdly, go fuck yourself.

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