Cow Fetuses Contaminated Vaccines, FDA Did Nothing

Media and public relation campaigns literally portray the U.S. FDA as superheroes. For example, the FDA came to the rescue about E. coli tainted spinach, Chinese-made baby formula containing melamine, and even removing salmonella-laced peanut butter from grocery store shelves. Those aforementioned events ought to be the measuring stick for parents to conceptualize one specific issue: vaccine contamination.

Parents need to ask: Are contaminated vaccines being injected into our babies? Many parents may be surprised to learn the answer is likely ‘yes’.

To illustrate that point, Gina Bari Kolata wrote an article in February, 1975, entitled, Phage in Live Virus Vaccines: Are They Harmful to People? The article starts off by saying,

Almost 2 years ago, scientists at the Bureau of Biologics of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported that all live virus vaccines are grossly contaminated with phage (viruses that infect bacteria).” [emphasis mine]

She continues,

This finding presented a problem since federal regulations forbade extraneous material in vaccines, and no one knew whether phage are harmful to human beings or whether they could be removed from vaccines. The temporary solution was to amend the regulations so as to permit phage in vaccines.” [emphasis mine]

How is amending regulations a solution to a serious contamination problem?

Their ‘solution’ reminds me of a concept one of my college professors often articulated as “the illusion of efficiency.” The FDA is seen as publicly saving the day against certain biological contaminations, but categorically ignoring disease-causing agents currently being injected directly into babies. In other words, the public’s perception is, if there were safety concerns with vaccines, the FDA would have done something about it.

FDA’s tolerance of vaccine contaminants manifested years later, for example, in a court case decided in 1987, stating:

Each seed virus used in manufacture shall be demonstrated to be free of extraneous microbial agents except for unavoidable bacteriophage.” [emphasis mine]  

Is this a case where the exception is the rule? Where did these bacteriophage come from?

According to the article, the phages, which are viruses that infect bacteria, contaminate the fetal bovine serum collected at the slaughterhouse that subsequently is used as vaccine growth medium. The filthy process of bovine ‘fetus management’ was encapsulated in this manner, “The room is dirty and, according to one spokesman, ‘one minute you have nothing to do and the next minute you are literally knee deep in fetuses.’”

Kolata noted one unintended consequence from the contamination was the phage’s ability to trigger a different disease. She explained that a person given the polio vaccine contaminated with diphtheria phage actually could contract diphtheria.

Can you imagine explaining that one to your pediatrician? If you would say, “Doc, my child received the polio vaccine last week and now she has diphtheria,” he would think you were insane! More significantly, the pediatrician would discount the two events as being separate. But the pediatrician and parent are not alone on this one.

For all of the ‘evidence-based science’ sleight of hand parents are sold, according to Kolata “few countries have kept medical records that could be examined to determine whether the introduction of vaccines is correlated with an increased incidence of either infectious diseases or degenerative (or other) disorders.” And, “Even in cases in which a vaccine is shown to be associated with such deleterious effects, no records exist of specific phage contaminants of specific lots of vaccine…”

I believe Kolata’s paper to be an accurate assessment that brings into question the safety of vaccines. In my opinion, vaccines can’t be trusted – then or now; caveat emptor, “buyer beware.”

Finally, the inaction of the FDA should be glaringly obvious that they are playing favorites with vaccines and ignoring the problem. Kolata surmised that “Once the phage contamination became known, public demand would have forced them to eliminate phage from vaccines.” – and she’s right. Who else wants the FDA to give a damn about contaminated vaccines?



Are parents aware that bovine matter is in the following vaccines? DTaP, DTaP/Hib, DTaP-HepB-IP, DtaP-IPV/Hib, DT, Hep A, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies, Rotavirus, Td, Tdap, and Typhoid.

Check the CDC’s Vaccine Excipient & Media Summary, Part 2 Excipients Included in U.S. Vaccines, by Vaccine for the above-mentioned vaccines, and you will find Bovine Serum Albumin, Bovine Extract, Bovine Protein, Bovine Albumin or Serum listed in the above-mentioned vaccines that undoubtedly come from the same slaughterhouse source.

Also, phages are a virus that depending upon which type can be good and bad.  What’s going on with phages in bovine fetuses hasn’t been determined: good, bad, indifferent, etc.  FDA, where are the studies???? 


Kolata, G. Phage in Live Virus Vaccines: Are They Harmful to People? Science, New Series, Vol. 187, No. 4176 (Feb. 14, 1975), pp. 522-523. PMID: 17769154.

Clark, A. (2006, September 19). How Was Spinach Contaminated? Retrieved from (Accessed May 6th, 2011).

Weise, E. (2008, September 15). FDA: Melamine found in baby formula made in China. Retrieved from (Accessed May 6th, 2011).

MacVean, M. (2009, January 22). Salmonella peanut product recall. Retrieved from (Accessed May 6th, 2011).

Wade BAKER and Rita Baker, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. UNITED STATES of America, Defendant-Appellee. No. 86-5578. Submitted Dec. 4, 1986. (Accessed May 6th, 2011).

United States Department of Agriculture. Terrestrial Animal Health Standards Commission Report February 2011, Slaughter of Animals – Chapter 7.5, pp. 10. (Accessed May 6th, 2011).

Centers for Disease Control. Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (Pink Book). 12th Ed. April 2011. (Accessed May 6th, 2011).

Other References to Contamination for further research

Egyed L. Bovine herpesvirus type 4: a special herpesvirus (review article). Acta Vet Hung 2000;48(4):501-13. PMID 11402667.

Egyed L. Replication of bovine herpesvirus type 4 in human cells in vitro. J Clin Microbiol 1998 Jul;36(7):2109-11. PMID 9650976.

Erickson GA, Bolin SR, Landgraf JG. Viral contamination of fetal bovine serum used for tissue culture: risks and concerns. Dev Biol Stand 1991;75:173-5. PMID 1665460.

Fong CK, Gross PA, Hsiung GD, Swack NS. Use of electron microscopy for detection of viral and other microbial contaminants in bovine sera. J Clin Microbiol 1975 Feb;1(2):219-24. PMID 51855.

Kniazeff AJ, Wopschall LJ, Hopps HE, Morris CS. Detection of bovine viruses in fetal bovine serum used in cell culture. In Vitro 1975 Nov-Dec;11(6):400-3. PMID 172434.

Michalski FJ, Dietz A, Hsiung GD. Growth characteristics of bovine herpesvirus 1 (infectious bovine rhinotracheitis) in human diploid cell strain WI-38. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 1976 Feb;151(2):407-10. PMID 175382.

Schuurman R, van Steenis B, Sol C. Bovine polyomavirus, a frequent contaminant of calf serum. Biologicals 1991 Oct;19(4):265-70. PMID 1665699.

Photo Credit: Karl Frankowski

About the author

Jeffry John Aufderheide

Jeffry John Aufderheide is the father of a child injured as a result of vaccination. As editor of, he promotes well-educated health professionals, informed consent, and full disclosure and accountability of adverse reactions to vaccines.