By Dr. Mercola
During a Republican debate in Tampa, Florida, presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) alleged that campaign contributions from drug company Merck—the maker of Gardasil—played "a pivotal role in Rick Perry's 2007 executive order that mandated teenage girls in Texas be inoculated against HPV," CNN reports.
The order did not go into effect, however, as it was later overturned by the legislature.
Still, it's hard to overlook the potential for undue influence and conflict of interest.
Perry responded that the company gave only $5,000 to his campaign.
However, Merck has contributed:
- $28,500 to Perry's gubernatorial campaigns since January 2001, and
- $377,500 to the Republican Governors Association (one of the largest backers of Perry's campaigns)
Furthermore, CNN reported that: