Articles

9 Reasons to Completely Ignore Joseph Mercola

Some of our more astute readers may have noticed that we are paying influenza slightly more attention than other topics of late.  That’s because this situation is new, rapidly changing, and covers more areas of science and medicine than one can easily count.  It’s also a subject about which the general public and media are keenly interested.  This is an outstanding learning and teaching opportunity for us as a professional community.  Unfortunately, it is also fertile ground for confusion, fear, and misinformation, and a playground for those who would exploit such things.

Mercola.com is a horrible chimera of tabloid journalism, late-night infomercials, and amateur pre-scientific medicine, and is the primary web presence of Joseph Mercola.  Unfortunately, it is also one of the more popular alternative medicine sites on the web and as such is uncommonly efficient at spreading misinformation.  I am not a fan, and have addressed his dross in the past.

Joseph Mercola has recently posted an excerpt from an individual he evidently holds in high regard, Bill Sardi.  Bill published “18 reasons why you should not vaccinate your children against the flu this season.”  Mercola chose his nine favorites (one would assume the nine best reasons), and re-posted it on Mercola.com.  There are so many mistakes, so much misinformation in so little space, it’s almost a work of art.  You know, like that crappy art that you might expect to find on the wall at an hourly motel.  Without further delay, let’s examine Mercola and Sardi’s nine best reasons for you not to vaccinate your children against influenza this season:

1.        The swine flu is simply another flu. It is not unusually deadly.

“Not unusually deadly.”  Oh good, then we can expect only ~36,000 people to die from it this year!  Why does that number not reassure me?

One could do an entire post on just this single misleading claim.  Oh wait, we have.   Suffice to say every influenza strain has unique characteristics, some subtle (like the differences between seasonal strains from 2005-2007), some glaringly different (like the pandemic strains of 1918, 1957, and 1968, or the H5N1 “bird flu”).  Saying something is “simply another flu” is nearly meaningless.

I’ll be charitable and assume he meant 2009 H1N1 is behaving like the average seasonal influenza.  Let’s see, it circulated during the Summer, when flu doesn’t circulate, is uncommon in the elderly, is disproportionately infecting and hospitalizing younger people, it has a much higher incidence of ARDS requiring mechanical ventilation and heart-lung bypass (ECMO) than its seasonal counterpart (Australia reported 68 cases requiring ECMO vs. 4 the prior year), and it has a population which under the age of 60 is nearly 100% susceptible.  Yep, sounds like any old flu to me.

Score: 0/1

2.        This is the first time both seasonal and pandemic flu vaccines will be administered. Both seasonal flu and swine flu vaccines will require two inoculations. This is because single inoculations have failed to produce sufficient antibodies. This is an admission that prior flu vaccines were virtually useless. Can you trust them this time?

Yes, this is the first time they will be co-administered because pandemic 2009 H1N1 didn’t exist before now.  Neither seasonal nor 2009 H1N1 vaccines will require two doses; both have been found to generate a sufficient immune response without a second dose.  The exception to this is in children 6 months to 9 years of age, who require a second dose of the 2009 H1N1 vaccine separated by 4 weeks, and two doses if it is their first time being vaccinated against seasonal influenza.

Even when vaccines do require a second dose, this is not an admission that the vaccine is useless.  Basic (and I’m talking 101-level basic) immunology explains why some molecules and microbes are more immunogenic than others, and require repeated exposures to generate an adequate immune response.

Furthermore, administering multiple vaccines against multiple strains of influenza simultaneously isn’t exactly pushing the boundaries of science.  In fact, it’s status quo: the seasonal influenza vaccine is a trivalent vaccine, meaning that it has three different influenza strains in it.  This has been true every season since the last major shift in circulating seasonal influenza viruses.

Score: 0/2

3.        Adjuvants are added to vaccines to boost production of antibodies but may trigger autoimmune reactions. Some adjuvants are mercury (thimerosal), aluminum and squalene. Why would you sign a consent form for your children to be injected with mercury, which is even more brain-toxic than lead?

Adjuvants are indeed added to some vaccines, and that’s a good thing.  But it isn’t needed in this one, so it’s not there.  I think someone both wise and handsome covered this somewhere on this blog before…  Aluminum and squalene-containing compounds are the adjuvants most commonly used, and both are safe.  However, thimerosal isn’t an adjuvant, it’s a preservative to prevent bacterial contamination of the vaccine and keep it safe.  There is a subtle difference between a preservative and an adjuvant.  For those with sarcasm impairment, by “subtle difference” I in fact mean “blatantly obvious and inexcusable difference.”

And while we are on the topic of influenza vaccine and thimerosal, the single-dose syringes have no thimerosal.  Only the multi-dose vials contain any thimerosal, with each dose containing 25 micrograms of ethylmercury.  This 3.5 times less than what you would get from eating a single can of tuna (~87 mcg), is a form of mercury far more rapidly cleared than most environmental mercury exposures (methylmercury), and has been exonerated from suspicion as a cause of autism.

Score: 0/3

4.        This is the first year mock vaccines have been used to gain FDA approval. The vaccines that have been tested are not the same vaccines your children will be given. (Emphasis Mercola’s)

Wait, what?  “Mock” as in “fake?” You are going to claim something like that and give no source?  None?  Awesome.  Were that to be true, it would be beyond a scandal, it would be criminal, and I’d be right there beside you calling for prosecution.  Were it true.  Which it’s not.  The 2009 H1N1 vaccines were approved as a “strain change” to the seasonal influenza vaccine.   We change the strains almost every year, and the 2009 H1N1 vaccine that your child will be given has been subjected to the same testing as the yearly influenza vaccine prior to release.  Oh, and I’ll provide sources.

Score: 0/4

5.        Over-vaccination is a common practice now in America. American children are subjected to 29 vaccines by the age of two. Meanwhile, veterinarians have backed off of repeat vaccination in dogs because of observed side effects.

Over-vaccination!  Don’t you just hate it when you just aren’t susceptible to quite enough diseases? Children are not subjected to 29 vaccines by the age of two, not even by adulthood.  There are 17 discrete vaccines (including 2009 H1N1) against specific viruses and bacteria on the routine schedule.  Some are combined together in a single injection (like Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis) to reduce the number of injections.

Where did this number of 29 vaccines come from?  If he meant 29 exposures to individually targeted viruses or bacteria or counting individual antigens he significantly undercounts.  He might come close to the highest number of individual injections a child could get if one avoids most combination vaccines, though given number of different combination vaccines available, the actual number varies.  No matter how you slice it, his number is wrong and misleading.

What about the veterinarian story?  He’s referring to “vaccinosis,” which is more or less “vaccines cause autism” for animals.  That veterinary vaccination schedules have changed is primarily due to a lack of good data in animals and the fact that vets care for widely varying species.  As vets learn more about the immunologic response in a particular species, they follow the evidence and alter their schedules.  This has no bearing on vaccination of humans.

Even if it were an accurate or relevant piece of information, the vets would not be alone in stopping the use of a vaccine due to observed side effects.  Emphasis here on the word “observed,” and not “imagined.”  For example, due to our standard post-licensure surveillance, within a year of its release the original rotavirus vaccine was found to cause intussusception in 1/10,000 children, and was rapidly pulled from the market.

Score: 0/5

6.        Modern medicine has no explanation for autism, despite its continued rise in prevalence. Yet autism is not reported among Amish children who go unvaccinated.

Ignorance of medicine, autism, vaccines, and the Amish, topped off by a non sequitur.  Wow.

Though the causes of autism are incompletely understood, modern medicine is making continual progress.   Studies of twins with autism, along with an increasing number of implicated genes show that autism has a very strong though complicated genetic basis.  Given autism’s heterogeneity, it is unlikely that a single cause will be found that explains all cases of autism, and it is possible that other factors beyond genetics may play some role.  Regardless of what etiologies are eventually found, some potential causes have been ruled out, including vaccines.

The apparent rise in autism prevalence is largely explained by a broadening in diagnostic criteria and increased recognition and diagnosis.  This explanation is further supported by studies like the one just published in the UK demonstrating equal numbers of autistic people in all age groups.

As far as the Amish are concerned, they do vaccinate, and they do have children with autism.

Score: 0/6

7.        Researchers are warning that over-use of the flu vaccine and anti-flu drugs like Tamiflu and Relenza can apply genetic pressure on flu viruses and then they are more likely to mutate into a more deadly strain.

So close!  Antiviral drugs do place selective pressure on replicating viruses, and resistant strains can be produced.  However, drug resistance is not equivalent to virulence, and so his implication that use of antiviral medication will induce more deadly strains is unwarranted.

It is also irrelevant to his topic of “Why you shouldn’t vaccinate your children against influenza.”  If anything, his fallacious argument would support vaccination, because fewer children infected will mean fewer children taking antivirals.

It seems to be asking a lot to expect internal consistency.

Score: 0/7

8.        Most seasonal influenza A (H1N1) virus strains tested from the United States and other countries are now resistant to Tamiflu (oseltamivir). Tamiflu has become a nearly worthless drug against seasonal flu.

Again, half-truths.  Here’s the actual data:  Seasonal influenza A (H1N1) is 99.6% resistant to Oseltamivir.  However, seasonal influenza is typically comprised of three circulating strains, and the other two, A (H3N2) and influenza B, are 100% susceptible to Oseltamivir, as is 2009 H1N1.  That’s hardly “nearly worthless.”  Furthermore, seasonal influenza A (H1N1) is highly susceptible to the Adamantanes (though H3N2 and type B are resistant), and we have no resistance of any influenza to Zanamivir.  This is well known to physicians.  We are able to type the influenza a patient is infected with and tailor their therapy when necessary, and continually monitor the susceptibility of circulating strains as you can see on the CDC site.

And again, what does this have to do with vaccination?

Score: 0/8

9.        Public health officials are irresponsible in their omission of any ways to strengthen immunity against the flu. No options outside of problematic vaccines and anti-flu drugs are offered, despite the fact there is strong evidence that vitamins C and D activate the immune system and the trace mineral selenium prevents the worst form of the disease.

“Strong.”  I do not think that word means what you think it means.  While it is true that deficiency in Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and selenium can make you more susceptible to infection, (unlikely in a developed country, but possible), there appears to be no benefit in further supplementation in the general population. Furthermore, we have reason to suspect that blanket recommendations of the use of antioxidants like Vitamins C and D and selenium may cause an increase in mortality.

Public health officials do make recommendations other than vaccines and anti-virals to avoid contracting influenza.  You can find them right here.  The problem (from Mercola’s point of view) is that they only endorse effective interventions based on proper evidence.  When there is limited plausibility for an intervention to work, little evidence in favor of it, and significant evidence suggesting futility or even harm from its use as is the case with these supplements, the appropriate action is to not recommend its use.  Which as Mercola points out, is exactly what public health officials do.  Responsibly.

Score: 0/9

Ooooh, swing and a fumble, 9 strikes, you’re out!  Swing and a line fault?  Whatever, I’m rubbish with sports, kind of like Mercola and Sardi are rubbish at medicine.  Out of their “9 best reasons not to vaccinate your child,” none of them are valid, and two of them don’t even concern vaccination.  Every single point here is utterly wrong, wantonly ignorant, and one would almost think intentionally misleading.

If I sound upset, it is for good reason.  For while Mercola and Sardi, drowning in their arrogance of ignorance, spread their misinformation with the expressed intent of undermining the public trust in vaccination and modern medicine, my colleagues and I will be forced to deal with the aftermath. This season has already been an unpleasant one in my pediatric ICU.  During what is traditionally the slowest part of the year, we are running at near our capacity of 26 beds.  The fraction of our patients who are in the ICU with 2009 H1N1 has steadily increased since the school year began, from roughly 5-10% of our census being flu positive over the summer (which is odd in itself), to now between 30-50%.  The need for prolonged mechanical ventilation is common in these patients, we have needed to place three children on a heart-lung bypass machine (ECMO), and tragically we have had deaths.

My ICU experience is typical rather than exceptional.  If you have any interest in following this influenza season, the single best source of up-to-date information is the CDC’s FluView Weekly Update.  There you will see that the percentage of visits to the ED for influenza-like illness is markedly elevated above the expected baseline, that the number of lab-confirmed influenza hospitalizations has tripled in the last 5 weeks, that at the present, the very beginning of the traditional influenza season, the age groups between 2 and 64 years of age have met or exceeded their average total number of influenza cases usually seen at the end of the season (~May).  Most depressingly, you can see the number of influenza-related pediatric deaths is growing, and growing rapidly.  Furthermore, this month’s JAMA has released studies from Canada, Australia/New Zealand, and Mexico describing their experience with critically ill patients with 2009 H1N1 that are similar to my own.

Most people who contract influenza are miserable for about a week, but recover, usually without the need for medical care.  The ICU experiences I relay here thankfully do not represent the population at large, but are meant to serve as a reminder that while you may not suffer from influenza this season, your neighbor may not be so lucky.  Influenza is a real threat, it deserves our respect, and our fellow citizens deserve to be properly informed and empowered to protect themselves and their loved ones. Influenza is not benign, and neither is the medical advice being distributed by Joseph Mercola.  The stakes are measured in human suffering and human lives, and Mercola bears responsibility for undermining the public health.

Posted in: Public Health, Science and Medicine, Vaccines

Leave a Comment (238) ↓

238 thoughts on “9 Reasons to Completely Ignore Joseph Mercola

  1. Mojo says:

    “Not unusually deadly.”

    i.e. not more than one death per person.

  2. KGelling says:

    At the risk of being called pedantic,
    - vitamin D is pre-hormone not an anti-oxidant
    - there is *more*risk of vitamin D deficiency in a developed world, because a ‘developed world’ lifestyle means less sun exposure.
    - ‘… strong evidence that [vitamin D activates] the immune system..” – from Mark Crislip’s blog entry (www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=1455): “Vitamin D has many immunomodulatory effects and is an important vitamin for immune function”

  3. Mark P says:

    It’s hard to get people to take Influenza seriously.

    When you tell them that “Spanish Flu” killed more people than the world war that preceded it, they think you are making it up.

    Yet it is not even close: my country (New Zealand) had a very high death rate in WWI, yet the Spanish Flu hit much harder.

    Why do Mercola and Company never give the deadly history of this disease? They surely know about it.

  4. Dacks says:

    Great article, again! I’ll be making a note of it to pass along to some of my vaccine-fearing friends, those who aren’t too delicate to handle a little righteous anger. For the delicate types, I refer them to the CDC site or WebMD.

  5. David Gorski says:

    6. Modern medicine has no explanation for autism, despite its continued rise in prevalence. Yet autism is not reported among Amish children who go unvaccinated.

    Geez. The old Amish antivaccine lie. That lie is so….2005, which is when the clueless UPI reporter (now ex-UPI reporter blogging for the anti-vaccine propaganda blog Age of Autism) Dan Olmsted first came up with that myth. He went to Amish country and somehow missed the fact that most Amish do vaccinate and that there is autism there, a cluelessness that Prometheus rightly ridiculed in a blog post entitled How to seek and not find.

    Mercola is one step above Whale.to, but he’s sure enough working on closing that gap and becoming Whale.to.

  6. Joseph Albietz says:

    As has been pointed out, I mistakenly associated Joseph Mercola with Natural News. Joseph Mercola is of course primarily associated with Mercola.com, not Natural News. I have corrected the text above to reflect this fact, and apologize for the mistake.

  7. Squillo says:

    Another outstanding post, Joe.

    The NYT today did a brief piece on how anti-vax groups are taking advantage of swine flu vaccine fears to promote their agendas.

  8. moderation says:

    KGelling:

    Lets see if we can agree on this:

    While it is true that recently the AAP bagan recommending Vit D supplementation in the US, the actual overall risk of Vitamin D deficiency in much higher in the third world due to malnutrition than the risk of deficiency in the “developed” world due to lack of sun exposure.

    Also, while Vit D does modulate the immune system at normal level of intake, I believe the authors point was that there have been no studies showing that additional intake of Vit D, beyond that which corrects deficiency, will give you a resulting proportionally stonger immune system.

  9. Th1Th2 says:

    KGelling,

    “vitamin D is pre-hormone not an anti-oxidant”

    Wiseman H. Vitamin D is a membrane antioxidant. Ability to inhibit iron-dependent lipid peroxidation in liposomes compared to cholesterol, ergosterol and tamoxifen and relevance to anticancer action. FEBS Lett. 1993;326:285-8.

  10. Periwinkleblue says:

    Re: #4 – Did you miss the article on the WHO website admitting to the mock vaccines? Here you go:

    http://www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/notes/h1n1_safety_vaccines_20090805/en/index.html

    Some excerpts:

    Ways were sought to shorten the time between the emergence of a pandemic virus and the availability of safe and effective vaccines. Different regulatory pathways were assessed, and precautions needed to ensure quality, safety, and effectiveness were set out in detail.

    and

    Also in Europe, some manufacturers have conducted advance studies using a so-called “mock-up” vaccine. Mock-up vaccines contain an active ingredient for an influenza virus that has not circulated recently in human populations and thus mimics the novelty of a pandemic virus. Such advance studies can greatly expedite regulatory approval.

    Yep – there you go. I simply typed in “WHO admits mock vaccine” in Google and found it.

    Anyone here want to sign up to be the next test vaccination receivers on the next “mock” vaccine in Europe?

  11. Harriet Hall says:

    Th1Th2,

    Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble prohormones with antioxidant properties and many other effects. It is more correct to refer to it as a pro-hormone than to call it by one of the many things it does. Scientists understand that the title of your citation means “Vitamin D [is a pro-hormone that acts as] a membrane antioxidant.” When you don’t have the background knowledge to understand the concepts involved, you can be badly misled by taking snippets like this out of context.

  12. KGelling says:

    moderation,

    “risk of Vitamin D deficiency in much higher in the third world due to malnutrition”. I presume you mean poor diet. It seems highly unlikely. Can you cite some evidence?

    The average intake of vitamin D from diet (in the UK) is in the range of 3-4ug (120-160 IU). A portion of oily non-farmed fish contributes 600 IU. Moderate (30 minutes) body exposure to sunshine generates about 10,000 IU.

  13. Not Easily Fooled says:

    Vaccines are dangerous to a certain population of children. Anyone who continues to ignore this puts every child at risk. I have never had the flu. And I have never had the flu shot, nor will I get one this year or any year. Vaccination is no excuse or exemption from good health.
    If Mercola is so far off, why do we now put DHA in infant formula? Have commercials for probiotics all over the TV?
    Vaccines can and do kill. Talk to a parent with a child who died or became permanently injured within hours of vaccination (coincidence, I know). There are thousands upon thousands of them. And they are being ignored because of “science”. Thousands of sick children do not represent coincidence.
    Thousands of children with seizures and GBS are not coincidence either.
    Injecting an immature immune system with a live virus can not only be unsafe but deadly. No matter how many times you do it.
    Those who turn their backs to reality often scare me.
    Wonder what pharmaceutical company signs that authors paycheck?

  14. seaward says:

    You can argue about Vit D being an anti-oxidant or not but the article linked to does NOT say that Vit D supplementation increases mortality.

    This blog post got it wrong – the author mis-quoted or mis-understood his own link…

    The recent research about Vit D is important and while it isn’t a substitute for vaccination, it may be one of the most important advances in our understanding of health in a generation.

  15. marilynmann says:

    Dr. Albietz,

    “we have reason to suspect that blanket recommendations of the use of antioxidants like Vitamins C and D and selenium may cause an increase in mortality.”

    As pointed out by other commenters, vitamin D is not an antioxidant. Moreover, the meta-analysis you link to has nothing to do with vitamin D. From the abstract: “All randomized trials involving adults comparing beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin E, and selenium either singly or combined vs placebo or vs no intervention were included in our analysis.” The researchers concluded: “Treatment with beta carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E may increase mortality. The potential roles of vitamin C and selenium on mortality need further study.” No mention of vitamin D.

    Bjelakovic, et al., Mortality in Randomized Trials of Antioxidant Supplements for Primary and Secondary Prevention, JAMA. 2007;297:842-857.

    Moreover, a 2007 meta-analysis did not find evidence that vitamin D supplementation increases mortality. In fact, there was evidence of a small decrease in mortality.

    Philippe Autier, MD; Sara Gandini, PhD, Vitamin D Supplementation and Total Mortality: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials, Arch Intern Med. 2007;167(16):1730-1737.

    From the conclusion to the abstract: “Intake of ordinary doses of vitamin D supplements seems to be associated with decreases in total mortality rates. The relationship between baseline vitamin D status, dose of vitamin D supplements, and total mortality rates remains to be investigated. Population-based, placebo-controlled randomized trials with total mortality as the main end point should be organized for confirming these findings.”

    As it happens, NIH is funding a large RCT of vitamin D and fish oil supplementation. From the press release: “This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial will enroll 20,000 participants throughout the entire U.S. to determine whether moderate-to-high doses of [vitamin D and fish oil] can prevent colorectal, breast, prostate, and other cancers, as well as heart disease and stroke. Those eligible for the five-year trial, including women older than 65 and men older than 60 without a prior history of cancer, heart disease, or stroke, will be randomly assigned to take either one or both of the supplements or placebo.” It doesn’t sound from reading the press release like total mortality is the primary endpoint, but I assume that the investigators will be keeping track of total mortality in each group.

    I am not advocating that anyone take mega-doses of vitamin D (unless prescribed by their doctor following a determination that they are vitamin D insufficient or deficient). But to say that we have reason to suspect that vitamin D supplementation increases total mortality does not seem to be supported by the available evidence that I am aware of. If you have evidence supporting that statement, I would be interested in hearing about it.

    Thanks,
    Marilyn Mann

  16. Harriet Hall says:

    “we have reason to suspect that blanket recommendations of the use of antioxidants like Vitamins C and D and selenium may cause an increase in mortality.” That is true for antioxidant supplements in general, but admittedly vitamin D has many other effects besides the antioxidant effects.

    Whatever the effect of vitamin D, we have reason to suspect that following Mercola’s blanket recommendations to take supplements and reject flu shots may cause an increase in mortality.

  17. marilynmann says:

    Dr. Hall,

    I agree. I hope it was clear that my comment was not intended to support Mercola’s recommendations.

    Marilyn

  18. Chris says:

    Dr. Albietz wrote:

    The need for prolonged mechanical ventilation is common in these patients, we have needed to place three children on a heart-lung bypass machine (ECMO), and tragically we have had deaths.

    This morning I read in our local paper that eleven more children died last week from swine flu, making the total 86 children since last spring. Those numbers are sobering and very tragic.

    The AP article.

  19. Chris says:

    Well, my post is being held in moderation possibly because I had the link to the AP news article.

    Anyway, I found it very sobering and tragic to read in this morning’s newspaper that eleven children have died from swine flu in the past week.

  20. RHTrenkamp says:

    The Maher / Frist interview (see http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/10/13/bill-maher-schooled-by-bill-frist/ ) rings the same bells as the “9 Reasons” article. It might be that the most effective way to get rid of this nonsense would be to cultivate through education the attention of a DA who would be willing to prosecute people who dispense medical advice without a license. Further, where we can show that their having done so has caused a death, tack on a charge of manslaughter.

    I do not have the citation at hand but believe that there was recently a case in Australian where a parent refused to have his child vaccinated and his child subsequently transmitted the disease to another child who was too young to be vaxinated and who subsequently died.

    My personal view is that when people who do not have the professional training to evaluate these issues and whose main business is entertainment (e.g., Maher) advocate to their largely untrained audience that they should avoid vaccination, they will indirectly cause deaths.

    I’d welcome an opposing view.

    Bob

  21. salzberg says:

    Dr. Albietz,
    Excellent post – I linked to it from my own post on the same subject. One thing you didn’t point out was that Mercola’s list of “9 reasons” is followed by a long list of his own recommendations, which include numerous links to his own articles. These articles in turn encourage you to subscribe to his newsletter, buy his supplements, and otherwise enrich Mercola himself.
    -Steven Salzberg

  22. marilynmann says:

    Bob

    I doubt a layperson’s opinion on a medical issue, where it is obvious to everyone that he is a layperson and not a physician, would constitute unauthorized practice of medicine. Now, if such a person was to set up an office and start seeing patients and calling himself “Dr. Maher,” that would be a different matter.

    Maher may be a moral idiot but not everything that is harmful and immoral is criminally actionable. For one thing, there would be huge First Amendment problems with such a prosecution.

    Marilyn

  23. mckenzievmd says:

    Speaking as a veterinarian, I agree that Mr. Mercola misrepresents the changes in veterinary vaccine practices. The discovery of a rare cancer associated withcertain vaccines in cats provided a big scare wich instigated re-evaluation of historical protocols. The data is mixed, but in general annual boosters for the primary viral diseases against which we vaccinate dogs and cats look to be unecessary, so the vaccination intervals have been extended to 3-5 years. Adverse events are likely under-reported, but estimated rates are extremely low, the overwhelming majority are self-limiting or esil treatable Type I hypersensitivity reactions, and much of the fear-mongering about cancer and autoimmune disease is unjustified.

    For those interested, I have posted a lengthy survey of the current state of veterinary vaccine thinking (for dogs and cats) here:

    http://www.skeptvet.com/index.php?p=1_19_Veterinary-Vaccines

    The SkeptVet
    http://www.sketovet.com
    http://skeptvet.com/Blog

  24. hokieian says:

    Periwinkleblue –

    In the field of virology, “mock” and “mock-up” have very different and contrasting definitions. Please don’t confuse the two.

    “Mock” is basically a negative control in which no virus is used to infect cells. From the link you posted, the “advance studies” (ie, NOT H1N1 clinical trials) used a novel influenza virus as a model system for a pandemic strain to test new vaccines before an actual threat emerged. Hence a “mock-up” of a pandemic virus.

    That doesn’t mean that legitimate clinical studies weren’t performed on this novel H1N1 strain. That link was merely describing procedures that were already in place to produce a new vaccine as quickly and safely as possible.

  25. CrunchyB says:

    Wow I wasn’t expecting a lobby group for pharmaceutical interests when I signed up for this site. What happened to looking at all sides? This site is so biased it’s not funny. Any opposing view is dismissed as ignorant. Not all vaccines are safe. I had 2 cats and a dog injured by vaccines.I feel it’s responsible to examine everything you put into your body. To blindly accept either side of this debate is stupid and naive.

  26. KT says:

    That’s what all the links to the sources of information are for. So that we don’t have to blindly accept what the author is saying, but can go look at what it is based on.

    You are using your personal anecdote about your pets to decide that vaccines are unsafe. But I have vaccinated my dog as scheduled and he is perfectly healthy. Can I now decide that they are fine?

    I’m sorry to hear about your pets, but I would suggest you read the veteranarian’s linked post about animal vaccines above to get a better understanding on the issue. One of the wonderful things about medical science is that they are continually improving things to be safer and more effective.

  27. backer says:

    KT,

    Let take your advice and follow the links and read carefully. If you do this you will find “9 reasons this article is full of misleading crap”

    point 1.
    The swine flu is simply another flu. It is not unusually deadly.

    read this carefully…the swine flu is not UNUSUALLY deadly. sorry i got to give this point to mercola. so far it seems less virulent than seasonal flu.

    point 2. This is the first time both seasonal and pandemic flu vaccines will be administered. Both seasonal flu and swine flu vaccines will require two inoculations. This is because single inoculations have failed to produce sufficient antibodies. This is an admission that prior flu vaccines were virtually useless. Can you trust them this time?

    I am not sure when mercola said this but if you remember the vaccine companies themselves were saying that it would take 2 shots to fully achieve immunity…they later said one dose, so again, this may be a simple case of “pick-and-choose to fit your case” Again on this point the authors case is questionable at best.

    3. Adjuvants are added to vaccines to boost production of antibodies but may trigger autoimmune reactions. Some adjuvants are mercury (thimerosal), aluminum and squalene. Why would you sign a consent form for your children to be injected with mercury, which is even more brain-toxic than lead?

    this disturbs me…
    “and has been exonerated from suspicion as a cause of autism.”

    When Dr. Paul Offit was asked about studies of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children this was his response…”No studies have compared the incidence of autism in vaccinated, unvaccinated, or alternatively vaccinated children (i.e., schedules that spread out vaccines, avoid combination vaccines, or include only select vaccines).”

    Is this some sort of new science where we compare things to nothing? maybe it is called biascience? This is all speculation until these studies are performed…which will be never.

    4. This is the first year mock vaccines have been used to gain FDA approval. The vaccines that have been tested are not the same vaccines your children will be given. (Emphasis Mercola’s)

    i’ll claim the 5th on this one, not sure it really matters anyway so maybe i should say 8 reasons this is crap not 9

    5. Over-vaccination is a common practice now in America. American children are subjected to 29 vaccines by the age of two. Meanwhile, veterinarians have backed off of repeat vaccination in dogs because of observed side effects

    if you follow the link it pulls up the vaccination schedule. by my count there is a total of 29 separate shots given on this schedule (not counting flu more than once and not including “Certain
    high-risk groups” category) i will concede that this chart goes up to age 6 and only 25 dose are administered to age 2 but i bet if you include chickenpox it goes back up. either way i am not sure you can call it “wrong and misleading” after all mercola simply say 29 vaccinations, not 29 different vaccinations. there is a difference especially when you pull the misleading card.

    6. Modern medicine has no explanation for autism, despite its continued rise in prevalence. Yet autism is not reported among Amish children who go unvaccinated.

    see response to point #3

    7. Researchers are warning that over-use of the flu vaccine and anti-flu drugs like Tamiflu and Relenza can apply genetic pressure on flu viruses and then they are more likely to mutate into a more deadly strain.

    the author states…
    “So close! Antiviral drugs do place selective pressure on replicating viruses, and resistant strains can be produced. However, drug resistance is not equivalent to virulence, and so his implication that use of antiviral medication will induce more deadly strains is unwarranted.”

    uuuuuummm? ok? since when do things mutate to becoming MORE susceptible to being defeated by drugs? call me stupid, but when things mutate into drug resistance this leads to less treatment options which in turn leads to more sickness which in turn…i think you can see where i am going with this. Again the author seems to be just as misleading, and i am not sure why he even fought this point. it is just common sense.

    8. Most seasonal influenza A (H1N1) virus strains tested from the United States and other countries are now resistant to Tamiflu (oseltamivir). Tamiflu has become a nearly worthless drug against seasonal flu.

    again the author needs to read carefully before he speaks. notice mercola simply states Most seasonal influenza A (H1N1)
    he never mentions any other strains. the author goes on to say “Here’s the actual data: Seasonal influenza A (H1N1) is 99.6% resistant to Oseltamivir.” It looks to me like he proved mercolas point pretty clearly.

    9. Public health officials are irresponsible in their omission of any ways to strengthen immunity against the flu. No options outside of problematic vaccines and anti-flu drugs are offered, despite the fact there is strong evidence that vitamins C and D activate the immune system and the trace mineral selenium prevents the worst form of the disease.

    this is where the author just really starts to piss me off. he sites this study…
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19296870?ordinalpos=6&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

    The problem with is study is that they are comparing 2 vitamin D deficient groups to each other. this study is akin to saying lets see who dies more frequently cancer patients or cancer patients. I hope you see the logic or, illogic here. first we need to know what “normal” 25(OH)D levels are. This must be the starting point or the studies make no sense.

    according to this study…
    http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/full/135/2/317

    “normal” is…”In sun-rich environments where clothing or cultural practices do not prevent sun exposure, circulating 25(OH)D ranges from 135 to 225 nmol/L (54–90 µg/L)”

    so based on these numbers lets be conservative with right around 160 nmol/L. In the study the author cited the HIGHEST levels were 88.5 nmol/l this is half of normal. How can you expect to see real results when your starting point is so far off. a REAL study would compare 88.5 nmol/l vs 160 nmol/l and URI’s

    here is commentary on one study…
    http://www.virologyj.com/content/6/1/121

    but until more rigorous studies with real 25(OH)D levels are performed the author really should just keep his trap shut. The science simply isnt there.

  28. Harriet Hall says:

    Backer,
    You are repeating myths that have already been debunked. The Amish do have autism. The flu vaccine does not contain any adjuvants and thimerosal is not an adjuvant, but a preservative. Etc., etc. A detailed response to your points is not indicated, since it has all been covered before on this blog.

  29. backer says:

    excuse me harriet,

    But i never commented on ANY of the things you mention. Please feel free to show me were i mentioned the amish or adjuvants. A detailed response in not needed in my case either because you arent a careful reader just like the author. And again please feel free to show me the debunking of my so called “myths”

  30. Harriet Hall says:

    backer, I cut and pasted these from your earlier post:

    “Adjuvants are added to vaccines to boost production of antibodies but may trigger autoimmune reactions. Some adjuvants are mercury (thimerosal), aluminum and squalene. Why would you sign a consent form for your children to be injected with mercury, which is even more brain-toxic than lead?
    this disturbs me”

    “Yet autism is not reported among Amish children who go unvaccinated.”

    You also said the swine flu is “less virulent than seasonal flu.” Please look at the CDC weekly report and graphs at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/

    •All subtyped influenza A viruses being reported to CDC were 2009 influenza A (H1N1) viruses.
    •The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) was above the epidemic threshold.
    •Eleven influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported. Nine of these deaths were associated with 2009 influenza A (H1N1) virus infection and two were associated with an influenza A virus for which subtype is undetermined.

    The graph comparing pediatric influenza deaths by week of death for the last 4 seasons is particularly impressive.

  31. backer says:

    again harriet, you failed to read carefully….I didnt say this, Dr mercola did in the original article.

    You said…

    “You also said the swine flu is “less virulent than seasonal flu.” Please look at the CDC weekly report and graphs at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/

    •All subtyped influenza A viruses being reported to CDC were 2009 influenza A (H1N1) viruses.
    •The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) was above the epidemic threshold.
    •Eleven influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported. Nine of these deaths were associated with 2009 influenza A (H1N1) virus infection and two were associated with an influenza A virus for which subtype is undetermined.

    The graph comparing pediatric influenza deaths by week of death for the last 4 seasons is particularly impressive.”

    this is just silly…and POOR science

    Did you for get about the rest of the world? you are looking at data from one tiny slice of the world. poor, poor, poor, science. To get real numbers you need WAY more data than this. Again you prove my point, Doctors see what they want to see, and are way to proud to admit someone else might be right

    But lets look at the numbers regardless of what data you show me simple math can figure this out really quick. I will start by using CDC’s own numbers 36,000 die from seasonal flu every year so lets say the flu season is 6 months long. that means 200 people would need to die PER DAY to match the seasonal flu. I challenge you to show me a chart that reflects these numbers.

    2,623

    186

  32. Harriet Hall says:

    backer, you repeated what Mercola said with no indication that you didn’t believe his lies.

    While getting data from the entire world would be more meaningful than US data alone, looking at US data does not consitute poor science.

    The chart I cited from the CDC shows that the number of cases of flu is already higher than what is usually seen at the peak of the flu season, and they are predominately H1N1 cases. Your ad hoc math can’t compete with the facts. http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/update.htm

  33. backer says:

    Harriet,
    i don’t mean to beat a dead horse here but i can honestly say i don’t trust Medical Doctors or practitioners like Mercola. Why you may ask? because you both stand on soapboxes with little or no relevant information to drawn from. to prove my virulence point (even though my ad hoc math does STRONGLY prove that it isnt more virulent). here you go lets look at Australia. they had…

    186 people die of the swine flu of 2009
    2,623 people die of the seasonal flu in 2007

    there, are you happy? less virulent in black and white.

    like i said BAD science. you looked at one single data subset and drew a conclusions based on one data point? almost any conclusion can be drawn from science done this way. you should know better than this.

    Here are some question you SHOULD be asking instead of standing on a soapbox about vaccines.

    what, if any, correlation is there between vaccines and death?
    Is our country (particularly the young) being hit particularly hard because vaccines could lead to immune suppression?
    Why arent potential alternative therapies being used to treat patients (sambucol, garlic, vitamin D). All of these have great potential for therapies but we don’t know that much about them.
    why not try them? this is a great time to learn especially when you are limited to tamiflu as your only option. It can’t hurt anything to try these so why the hush about it?

  34. Th1Th2 says:

    The medical community is a lot more virulent that the flu virus itself. With that, I will be more fearful of the doctors than a poor immunogen in H1N1.

  35. Harriet Hall says:

    Backer said “186 people die of the swine flu of 2009
    2,623 people die of the seasonal flu in 2007″

    186 people have died in Australia so far in 2009. We are not yet into the peak flu season. See http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season.htm
    Flu statistics are more properly collected by the flu season (2007-8, 2009-10) rather than by calendar year.

    What is the source of your statistics? I am guessing the 2623 deaths were either for the entire year or for the entire flu season, not just for the deaths by October of 2007. So it is not a valid comparison.

    Vaccines could lead to immune suppression? No, there is no reason to think that that could happen. Just the opposite: vaccination stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies.

    Alternatives have “great potential”? Really? A PubMed search for Sambucol yielded one small preliminary clinical study, 14 years ago, never replicated. No studies on garlic for influenza. No studies on vitamin D for influenza. Certainly no plausible arguments for using alternatives in place of immunization.

  36. CrunchyB says:

    To address the CDC and their reporting of flu cases.

    Swine Flu Cases Overestimated?

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/10/21/cbsnews_investigates/main5404829.shtml?tag=contentMain;contentBody

  37. Harriet Hall says:

    CruchyB,

    That news report is incompatible with the information at
    http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/update.htm which says that 9 out of the 11 most recently reported pediatric deaths were identified as H1N1 and the great majority of all cases have been identified as H1N1.

  38. Chris says:

    CrunchyB, that was addressed at CBS News on swine flu testing: Fail!

    Also, do a search on the name of that CBS “journalist” at the Respectful Insolence blog (link listed under “Medical Blogs” on the right hand side of this page).

  39. weing says:

    “I will be more fearful of the doctors than a poor immunogen in H1N1″

    Especially if they haven’t been immunized. I’m glad to see you are finally learning something.

  40. backer says:

    harriet,

    “doctors” never cease to amaze me. this really is becoming laughable. I don’t want to come down too hard on you because i am want to give you the benefit of the doubt and HOPE that you are simply careless in fact finding.

    you said…

    What is the source of your statistics? I am guessing the 2623 deaths were either for the entire year or for the entire flu season, not just for the deaths by October of 2007. So it is not a valid comparison.

    the reason i cited australia is because their flu season is OVER, i repeat OVER they are in the southern hemisphere not the northern. Seriously i am speachless.

    Oh and the source…straight from australias dept. of health and aging

    here you go…
    http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/cda-surveil-ozflu-flucurr.htm/$FILE/ozflu-no18-2009.pdf

    figure 3. is particularly interesting

    you said…

    Vaccines could lead to immune suppression? No, there is no reason to think that that could happen. Just the opposite: vaccination stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies.

    until studies are performed you are speculating. i thought this site was about science not opinions. please site studies to back up your speculation. just the facts harriet, just the facts

    you said…

    Alternatives have “great potential”? Really? A PubMed search for Sambucol yielded one small preliminary clinical study, 14 years ago, never replicated. No studies on garlic for influenza. No studies on vitamin D for influenza. Certainly no plausible arguments for using alternatives in place of immunization.

    i mentioned these thing for the treatment of flu, not in place of immunization.

    again you failed to be careful in your research…and you wonder why i don’t trust doctors.

    but here you go…

    * 1995 (Zakay-Rones)- A double blind placebo controlled study was conducted during an outbreak of influenza B Panama. 93.3% of the cases treated with black elderberry compound saw a significant improvement of the symptoms. A complete cure was achieved within 2 to 3 days in nearly 90% of those treated with the black elderberry extract within two-three days, three days less than the placebo group.

    REPLICATED

    * 2004 –( Zakay-Rones) In a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study, black elderberry extract was shown to significantly reduce the duration of the flu by around four days. Significantly less people who were taking the extract took pain relievers compared to the placebo group.

    Vitamin D,

    http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/science/research/vitamin-d-and-influenza.shtml

    oh and by the way Dr Canell form the Vitamin D council is a proponent of vaccines

    garlic

    http://www.fluwiki.info/pmwiki.php?n=Consequences.Garlic

  41. edaps says:

    harriet, formerly backer

    apparently i am being blocked. this is suspicious to me, is someone afraid of an opposing view?

    “doctors” never cease to amaze me. this really is becoming laughable. I don’t want to come down too hard on you because i am want to give you the benefit of the doubt and HOPE that you are simply careless in fact finding.

    you said…

    What is the source of your statistics? I am guessing the 2623 deaths were either for the entire year or for the entire flu season, not just for the deaths by October of 2007. So it is not a valid comparison.

    the reason i cited australia is because their flu season is OVER, i repeat OVER they are in the southern hemisphere not the northern. Seriously i am speachless.

    Oh and the source…straight from australias dept. of health and aging

    here you go…
    http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/cda-surveil-ozflu-flucurr.htm/$FILE/ozflu-no18-2009.pdf

    figure 3. is particularly interesting

    you said…

    Vaccines could lead to immune suppression? No, there is no reason to think that that could happen. Just the opposite: vaccination stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies.

    until studies are performed you are speculating. i thought this site was about science not opinions. please site studies to back up your speculation. just the facts harriet, just the facts

    you said…

    Alternatives have “great potential”? Really? A PubMed search for Sambucol yielded one small preliminary clinical study, 14 years ago, never replicated. No studies on garlic for influenza. No studies on vitamin D for influenza. Certainly no plausible arguments for using alternatives in place of immunization.

    i mentioned these thing for the treatment of flu, not in place of immunization.

    again you failed to be careful in your research…and you wonder why i don’t trust doctors.

    but here you go…

    * 1995 (Zakay-Rones)- A double blind placebo controlled study was conducted during an outbreak of influenza B Panama. 93.3% of the cases treated with black elderberry compound saw a significant improvement of the symptoms. A complete cure was achieved within 2 to 3 days in nearly 90% of those treated with the black elderberry extract within two-three days, three days less than the placebo group.

    REPLICATED

    * 2004 –( Zakay-Rones) In a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study, black elderberry extract was shown to significantly reduce the duration of the flu by around four days. Significantly less people who were taking the extract took pain relievers compared to the placebo group.

    Vitamin D,

    http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/science/research/vitamin-d-and-influenza.shtml

    oh and by the way Dr Canell form the Vitamin D council is a proponent of vaccines

  42. backer says:

    Harriet-
    after digging a little deeper into your background it is becoming increasingly clear why you hold to the view that you do. i can see now that since you are an evolutionary biologist that you readily ignore facts on a daily basis. So why would it be any different when i present you facts.

    People listen up!
    If you take the advice of the Harriets of the world know a few things. they believe that…

    1. Aliens created humans (just ask Richard Dawkins)
    2. Nothing created the universe
    3. They are Racists (Just ask Darwin, and Huxley)

  43. Joe says:

    @backer on 26 Oct 2009 at 10:22 pm and edaps on 26 Oct 2009 at 10:28 pm (Double post) “REPLICATED * 2004 –( Zakay-Rones)”

    The 2004 paper seems to be free http://www.jimronline.net/content/full/2004/47/0445.pdf

    It is a small, pilot study (60 subjects). One must wonder why 9 years after a pilot study (1995, which you cited), they are merely doing another pilot study. It is not like the condition (flu) is rare, or elderberry is a precious commodity. The 2004 claims are remarkable, and now, five years later, there are no better studies published.

    Moreover, they claim that in vitro studies suggest that elderberry should be effective. In that case, it should be trivial to isolate the active ingredient(s) with modern methods. Herbalists like to say that it could entail more than one compound; but we know how to deal with that.

    It is interesting, and reasonable, to think there may be an antiviral drug in elderberry; but the recent (14 year) history of the research does not lend credence to that notion.

  44. Joe says:

    @backer on 27 Oct 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Dr. Hall can defend herself better than the average person can. But not to defend her, I must say that “backer” seems to need mental help, in all sincerity.

  45. Harriet Hall says:

    backer,

    Your research skills are impressive!
    You have dug far deeper into my background than I myself have been able to do. I had no idea I was an evolutionary biologist! Do I have a PhD? I also had no idea I believed your list of three items. How have I managed to keep those beliefs and that knowledge from myself? And which aliens do I believe created humans? Which aliens does Richard Dawkins believe created humans? Which races am I prejudiced against? And what are you smoking?

    By this ridiculous ad hominem attack, you have forfeited your right to participate in a reasoned and civilized discussion. I will have nothing more to do with you.

  46. backer says:

    Joe-

    I agree that this study is small, there have also been in vitro studies done on elderberry as well. My suspicion is that…

    1. there isnt the money available to a small university in Norway to conduct larger more proper studies
    2. Just by judging the push back “natural” remedies get on this site I can’t imagine why someone would invest a ton of money in a study they may never be published by a reputable journal?

    In my field of science (physics) papers are readily rejected for their implications. You can’t even get third rate journals to publish paper that could be controversial. This happens almost daily.

    It should be trivial to isolate the active ingredient?

    Why would anyone do this? it can’t be patented. If it works why not just do what they are doing, mash it up and sell it. I am sure it is much more cost effective this way.

    All i am saying is that it is an option doctors arent using that does have studies, albeit small, however NO ONE is using it. there are no side effects so why not add it to the arsenal?

  47. Joe says:

    backer on 27 Oct 2009 at 3:33 pm

    On this site, it is recognized that herbs may furnish useful drugs.

    Isolated, active ingredients can be patented.

    You are continuing to be recognized as ignorant or delusional, not worthy of consideration.

  48. Pekka S says:

    Mercola is claiming that the figure of 1000 deaths might be grossly over-estimated.

    http://products.mercola.com/swine-flu-article/20091027.htm

    Any thought?

  49. backer says:

    harriet-

    I can understand why would want to have nothing to do with me. you seem to be close minded and arrogant in your views. When someone challenges that, it smarts a little. I simply want people like you to be open to the possibility of EVERYTHING. If something has a glimmer of hope chase it, study it, and learn. Your philosophy seems to be status quo fed by ignorance, coupled with denial of anything natural.

    but let me answer your questions…

    aliens,
    Evolutionist are down to 2 choices aliens or God and we both know that you arent choosing the later. At the last ISSOL conference it was agreed that life could not have originated on earth, so the alternative presented….wait for it….directed paspermia, or aliens form another planet. HA!

    here is what dawkins says when asks how life appears on earth
    DAWKINS: Well, it could come about in the following way. It could be that at some earlier time, somewhere in the universe, a civilization evolved, probably by some kind of Darwinian means, probably to a very high level of technology, and designed a form of life that they seeded onto perhaps this planet. Now, um, now that is a possibility, and an intriguing possibility. And I suppose it’s possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the details of biochemistry, molecular biology, you might find a signature of some sort of designer.

    wait did he say designer? doesnt that sound like God? Thats weird.

    You are an inherent racist if you follow the evolutionary paradigm

    In evolutionary theory, the survival advantage factor is the chief explanation for the existence of most differences. Because these differences result from the survival advantage that they confer upon an organism, an evolutionist must assume differences between or within a group likely exist because they provide some inherent survival advantage for the animal. Since the key survival advantage of humankind over “lower animals” is intelligence, consequently differences in this trait likely also exist between the races. This is exactly what has been assumed by many eugenicists, evolutionists, sociologists, and psychologists, both before and since the time of Darwin. This conclusion has justified a wide variety of governmental and scientific policies, not the least infamous were racial genocide programs.

    so i guess since this whole flu thing is adversely affecting blacks and latinos it is evolutions way of getting rid of the dumb ones…right?

    I am sad you want nothing to do with me. you might actually learn something. but hey if you ever want a formal debate i would love that just let me know. Maybe you and your buddy Shermer could tag team against me.

  50. First, let me apologize for feeding the troll. But I feel compelled to correct some factual misstatements by Backer.

    There absolutely is no scientific consensus that life could not have arisen on earth. In fact, the consensus of opinion is that it did arise on earth. Panspermia or some sort of seeding is a minority opinion alternative.

    But this question is also irrelevant to evolution, which deals with later changes in life, not life origins.

    Backer is quoting Dawkins out of context, just like Expelled did (which is most likely his source). Dawkins was asked if there were evidence for top-down design (not the kind of design that results from evolution) what would he think (i.e. would he reject it out of principle?) Dawkins response was essentially saying that IF the scientific evidence actually supported that kind of design (which is doesn’t) then scientists would generate hypotheses to explain the origin – such as his alien hypothesis.

    Dawkins does not believe life on earth came from aliens – he was lured into a conjecture which was then presented out of context.

    Evolution also does not demand racism. Not all evolutionary selection results from inherent superiority – that is an older discredited view of evolution. Rather, selective pressures simply apply to the local niche, not some abstract sense of superiority. There is also a huge element of luck and chance in evolution. Biologists are still debating about the relative importance of luck vs random genetic chances vs survival advantage in evolution.

    And – this is also irrelevant. Describing how the world works does not necessarily imply any particular moral stance.

    Backer’s comment is nothing more than a string of ad hominem attacks followed by profound scientific ignorance and misprepresentation and a couple straw men thrown in for good measure. I don’t blame people for being scientifically illiterate, and I am always happy and eager to teach others what I know of science – but I do object to the “arrogance of ignorance” being displayed by Backer.

    At least it helps put his other comments into a broader context – as other suggested, the category of uninformed opinions that can be comfortably ignored.

  51. I found the discussion interesting.

    There is thankfully , a category for a large demographic that tends to be unrecognized in this polarizing climate.

    Here is a one description below.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theistic_evolution

    Evolution can exist alongside God beliefs.
    And as stated above it is not racist.

  52. backer says:

    joe-

    the people on this site never cease to amaze me. You can call me me whatever you want but at least i do not spread falsehoods.

    you said…
    Isolated, active ingredients can be patented.

    this is complete B.S.

    Title 35 of the U.S. Code describes patentable subject matter as “whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.”

    Guess what, the Isolated active ingredients are KNOWN. You would have to discover something UNKNOWN in order to patent it. I guess you could patent and extraction process for isolating that active ingredient but that isnt that same now is it. or you could synthetically engineer a better active ingredient and patent that, but sorry known active ingredient can’t be patented.

    i am pretty sure they know the active ingredient of sambucol or big pharma would be making jillions by now peddling it to you
    as the next cure

  53. weing says:

    backer,
    What unbelievable nonsense. Stick to Physics. Stay the hell away from evolutionary theory or medicine. It’s definitely not your field.

  54. backer says:

    Steven-

    you said…
    “There absolutely is no scientific consensus that life could not have arisen on earth. In fact, the consensus of opinion is that it did arise on earth. Panspermia or some sort of seeding is a minority opinion alternative.”

    maybe you are not familiar with ISSOL?

    http://www.issol.org

    only the brightest origin of life minds in the world.

    way back in 99 Francois Raulin deduced…

    that the most likely atmosphere for primitive earth (CO 2 + N 2 + H2O) will not support spontaneous synthesis of organic molecules. Given that the chemistry of Earth’s early atmosphere thwarts rather than supports production of life-essential molecules, researchers have begun to look elsewhere for the right kind of gas (rich in hydrogen and absent in oxygen).

    Some hold out hope that such gas was exhaled from volcanoes, with volcanic lightning as the source of energy to synthesize the essential molecules. However, John Delano of NSCORT-NY and University of Albany (SUNY), reported that “volatiles” (gases) released from volcanoes as ancient as 4 billion years were identical to those exhaled today. So alas another dead end

    Since Earth conditions consistently defy a naturalistic origin of life, researchers turned their hopes toward Mars. Early in Mars’ history, the planet was warm and wet. However, as Michael Carr of the U.S. Geological Survey reported, geological evidence and modeling studies indicate that warm early Mars rapidly transformed into cold arid Mars about 3.8 billion years ago. This change occurred right after the period of heavy bombardment, during which impacts would have effectively “sterilized” Mars, eliminating it as a candidate for the origin of life.

    Some researchers look to interstellar dust in the proto-solar system as the source of life-essential molecules. Their hope is fanned by discovery of some building blocks of molecules in nearby early-stage solar systems. However, no nucleotides or sugars have been found. Nor has the problem of left-handed amino acids been solved.

    Sorry pal, if it was presented at an ISSOL conference then it isnt minority opinion.

    I am not even gonna get into evolution with you this isnt the forum for it and you are just like ever other evolutionist. blinded by naturalism. However to make my position known i am not talking about micro evolution just macro.

  55. one paper at a conference does not make a majority opinion.

    There is active research looking into possible scenarios for life to originate on earth. There is certainly nothing approaching proof or a consensus that life could not have arisen on earth. (You are making an argument from ignorance here.)

    Even if it did not – panspermia is not aliens, as you suggested in your false dichotomy. Life arising on Mars and then seeding earth is not aliens.

    You also failed to address your quoting out of context Dr. Dawkins.

    And you coyly demurred from addressing your blatant misrepresentations of evolution.

  56. terryp says:

    whoa, whoa, whoa, weing. don’t send this nut my way. D:

  57. Bfair says:

    I strongly believe there is nothing to loose but EVERYTHING to gain with having more than ONE voice speaking to the public. Thereis such an increase in allergies, ADD, ADHD, autism, countless cancers etc, there is a growing population that are beginning to see there is some merit in looking at the toxins in our world and how they effect our health (and this is over decades not weeks), and I for one believe before we line up like lemmings to have vaccinations administered that we should question the necessity and what exactly we are agreeing to as it is injected into our children’s bodies. I for one regardless of what Joseph Albietz has said or Joseph Mercola, believe that a more naturopathic approach with building our immune system to combat any foreign virus makes a lot of sense, and that it would behove the Naturopathic community and the Scientific community to start working together to heal humans, less we forget we are organic matter to begin with. Let’s stop focussing on discrediting each other and start finding a way to approach illness and virus together.

  58. Chris says:

    Bfair:

    I for one regardless of what Joseph Albietz has said or Joseph Mercola, believe that a more naturopathic approach with building our immune system to combat any foreign virus makes a lot of sense,

    Your “beliefs” have no effect on the facts. If you (or Mercola) can provide real evidence that the vaccines are worse than the disease… then present it.

    If you actually read what Dr. Albietz wrote, you might learn that Mercola was not using facts, but falsehoods. That is not real evidence (especially the big fat lie about squalene, which are not even used in the USA).

  59. fatherseekingknowledge says:

    Science picks up on nature’s hint…

    Scientists Discover Influenza’s Achilles Heel: Antioxidants

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091029125538.htm

    I am scared sh**less of vaccinating my kids and can’t find anything convincing to do otherwise. If you do a risk analysis, you’re left choosing between shooting yourself in the foot and blowing your brains out… That’s how I feel in this whole debate. And all we have to go by is gut feeling.

    Hope you like the article guys, thanks for the debate.

  60. Chris says:

    fatherseekingknowledge:

    If you do a risk analysis, you’re left choosing between shooting yourself in the foot and blowing your brains out

    Please show us the calculations for the risk analysis, and where you got the data. Right now well over a hundred children have died from the H1N1 influenza, and several tens of thousands of people have been hospitalized due to the virus.

    What are the equivalent numbers of bad reactions to the H1N1 vaccine during the past couple of weeks it has been used? What are the real risks of the vaccine versus that of the data?

  61. ajones says:

    Wake up people! Please show me a VALID independent study (not one done by the pharmaceutical companies) that proves vaccines are safe. Also most of the diseases that people vaccinate their children for are not deadly! It is RARE that you will die for measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, etc. or dare I say the flu. People die from underlying conditions. Also please explain to me why a baby just fresh from the womb needs a HEP B shot? Did I miss something or are minute old babies now having unprotected sex or sharing needles? Please help me I’m looking for sound UNBIASED evidence.

    By the way, where did backer go? He’s seems to be the only person with good research.

  62. Countryclassic49 says:

    Well, Bfair…you are sensible. someone mentions in an article on this site about “vaccine fear-mongering”….what about H1N1 fear-mongering?
    Now, my dad always said “Follow the money…” and cui bono when it comes to which fear-mongering?
    It seems to me that H1N1 fear mongering lines the pockets of the 4 big pharmaceutical companies. That is telling and should send up red flags all over the place.
    This flu may be different…but keep in mind that viruses will get more virulent and humans seem to be getting weaker the farther from nature that they get.
    So eat some dirt folks….just make sure it’s good clean dirt!
    Cheers!

  63. weing says:

    ajones,

    Pharmaceutical studies are automatically invalidated? What is considered a valid study? Safe? Compared to what? Is water safe? If it’s clean, you won’t drown in it?

  64. Harriet Hall says:

    ajones asked why newborns need Hep B shots. That is a valid question and it has a science-based answer.

    According to the Immunization Action Coalition website at http://www.immunize.org/askexperts/experts_hepb.asp#pregnancy:
    Newborns get HBV from their mothers. Even when mothers are tested and are negative, there are errors in testing, and testing early in pregnancy can miss mothers who become HBV positive later in pregnancy. In a study of Southeast Asian refugee parents, 60% of chronic HBV infections were among children born to mothers who tested negative.

    HBV transmission in early childhood also occurs. By one estimate, 16,000 children under the age of 10 were infected each year before vaccination. 18% of all persons with chronic HBV infection acquired their infections during early childhood.

    Since implementation of routine immunization, 6800 perinatal HBV infections have been prevented in the US annually.

  65. Harriet Hall says:

    ajones,

    Deaths from those “benign” diseases are not as rare as you might think. During the resurgence of measles after Wakefield scared people away from MMR shots, 100 children were admitted to just one Dublin hospital for complications of measles and 3 of them died. If you think these diseases are harmless, you can look up the statistics for yourself. How many dead children does it take before you will consider a disease deadly? I think even one vaccine-preventable death is too many. And death is not the only consideration: there are other complications, suffering, and economic costs to consider.

    I don’t understand why you don’t want to include the deaths of people with underlying diseases. It seems to me that anyone who died after the infection who would not have died without the infection should be counted as a victim of infection.

  66. Harriet Hall says:

    Countryclassic49,

    Cui bono is a good question to ask, but when used as an argument it becomes a logical fallacy. Just because someone benefits doesn’t mean they are part of an evil conspiracy. Farmers benefit from selling food.

  67. backer says:

    ajones,

    Harriet speaks half truths. yes, you can get it from your mother but ONLY if she is positive with Hep B. Otherwise it is completely unnecessary. There are simple tests to determine this. Harriet will lead you to believe that it is difficult to determine this because of “testing errors”. I would love to see her statistics on the number of “testing errors” there actually are. But notice she doesnt even touch “testing errors” when talking about vaccines. She contradicts herself when it suits her.

    In 1996, only 54 cases of the Hep B were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the 0 to 1 age group. There were 3.9 million births that year, so the observed incidence of hepatitis B in the 0 to 1 age group was just 0.001 percent. And remember this is ONLY if the mother has it to begin with.

    In the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) there were 1,080 total reports of adverse reactions from hepatitis B vaccine in 1996 in the 0 to 1 age group, with 47 deaths reported.

    Again, Harriet says even one vaccine preventable death is too many, however she ignores the fact that 47 kids died BECAUSE of the vaccine. Even out of the 54 cases reported many of them could be acute cases or asymptomatic in the long run.

    If you look at the logarithmic graphs associated with most of these diseases you will see that most all of them had dropped by 90% even before the vaccine was available. The estimate suggests that even without a vaccine that measles would account for about 1 death per year by 2010 in the US. I am not saying all vaccines are bad however i do think we are abusing their use.

  68. Harriet Hall says:

    backer,

    If only 54 cases of Hep B were reported in the 0-1 year age group 1996 and 16,000 were reported every year prior to widespread use of the vaccine, that doesn’t show that the disease is rare – it shows that the vaccine works.

    Deaths reported to the VAERS system are not the same as deaths caused by vaccines. It is not true that 47 kids died because of the vaccine. Please educate yourself about what the VAERS system is.

    Better hygiene can reduce the risk of disease but can’t eradicate it. It is not reasonable to extrapolate to a rate of 1 death per year by 2010. Instead of looking at those misleading graphs, look at the ones that show the rates right before and after vaccination was introduced: they are really impressive! Anyway, all those arguments about diseases disappearing without vaccines are easily demolished by the many instances where vaccination rates dropped, the disease recurred, vaccination rates increased again and the diseases disappeared again.

  69. backer says:

    Harriet,

    Again i am not against vaccines. I am however against the use of unnecessary vaccines. To me the benefits do not outweigh the risk to vaccinate an entire population of children when the death rates prior to the measles vaccine were ranging in the 30-50 category. this is total not pediatric only. even on the WHO website it states…

    “More than 95% of measles deaths occur in low-income countries with weak health infrastructure.”

    this tells me it is a manageable disease in the US without a vaccine. Take rocky mountain spotted fever there is a median annual death rate of 37. Should we develop a vaccine for this? this is about the same amount as the measles kills. Point being there are thousands of diseases that can kill us, in comparison measles is very mild.

    The graphs i am speaking of do show rates just before the vaccine was introduced. The data is sadly lacking. Also what about cholera and typhoid, they disappeared (just like the measles WOULD have) naturally without the use of any vaccine. So explain that.

  70. weing says:

    I wasn’t aware that cholera and typhoid had been vanquished. News to me. The reason the death rates are low is because of the vaccines. As long as it’s your kids that die, it’s fine with me. I can then just say “I told you so.” But that’s not how it happens. Easy to play Russian roulette with someone else’s kids.

  71. weing says:

    Also, are you saying the reason measles hasn’t disappeared is because we have the vaccine? So the reason the rates rose in England after the Wakefield induced scare was due to what?

  72. Composer99 says:

    backer,

    Someone has kindly posted case and mortality data for measles in the 1960s, immediately before and during the early period of vaccination (with killed virus vaccine, not the attenuated live virus vaccine used as part of the MMR trivalent vaccine) on another post in this blog: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=2733

    The information is gleaned from the CDC.

    In the first half of the decade the annual measles death toll in the United States was ~400.

    So I am not certain where you are getting your numbers of 35-50 annual deaths pre-vaccine from.

    This blogger – http://www.iayork.com/MysteryRays/2009/09/02/measles-deaths-pre-vaccine/ – has a graphical chart of measles cases and deaths which rather drastically show a positive correlation between the onset of measles vaccinations and a drop in cases and mortality.

  73. Chris says:

    Both cholera and typhoid were reduced by modern sanitation, basically make sure the bacteria that cause the illness are not in your drinking water and food.

    There are vaccines for both (I got a typhoid vaccine as a small child when living in Central America in the 1950s), but in the USA, Japan, Europe and elsewhere with decent sewer and water systems they are not a concern.

    Now, about measles… Even more dramatic than the return of measles to the UK and Ireland, is what happened in Japan. They made their version of the MMR voluntary instead of voluntary, and measles came back with a vengeance (it had something to do with the Urabe strain of mumps used in their MMR). A couple of years ago several college campuses were closed due to measles outbreaks, and several dozen people died from measles. Actually several measles outbreaks in the USA had originated in Japan:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18346240

    Trend of exported measles cases from Japan to the United States has corresponded with the measles activity trend in Japan. Most of the cases were unvaccinated. This international health problem should be solved by strong leadership of Japanese public health professionals.

    Now Japan has made a Measles/Rubella vaccine mandatory (though they are having a resurgence of mumps).

  74. Harriet Hall says:

    backer,

    Your risk/benefit assumptions are flawed. If enough people accept vaccination, we can permanently eradicate measles, and then we will never have to give any more measles vaccine to anyone, and no child will ever have measles again.

    Weigh the most pessimistic estimate of the one-time risk of vaccination against all the children who would have died of measles throughout all the rest of human history. Not to mention the 1 in 1000 incidence of encephalitis and all the other morbidities. No contest.

  75. micheleinmichigan says:

    Backer –
    This is from WHO. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs286/en/

    “Measles is a leading cause of death among young children even though a safe and cost-effective vaccine is available to prevent the disease.

    In 2007, there were 197 000 measles deaths globally – nearly 540 deaths every day or 22 deaths every hour.

    More than 95% of measles deaths occur in low-income countries with weak health infrastructure.

    Measles vaccination efforts have reaped major public health gains, resulting in a 74% drop in measles deaths between 2000 and 2007 worldwide – a drop of about 90% in the eastern Mediterranean and Africa regions.”

    I guess my take away is different than yours. When I read this I can’t help but think that we folk from the U.S. were lucky to be born in (or come to) a country that has such wide access to vaccines and “health infastructure. Not only do we have the responsibility to support the public heath efforts of our country, but we also have the ethical (spiritual, moral…) responsibility to support the work being done to decrease preventable childhood diseases across the globe.

  76. ajones says:

    weignon said “Pharmaceutical studies are automatically invalidated? What is considered a valid study? Safe? Compared to what? Is water safe? If it’s clean, you won’t drown in it?”

    I didn’t say they studies are invalid. I asked for a valid INDEPENDENT study, meaning NOT THE PHARMACEUTICALS. I am a CPA and we are employed by companies to review financials and so on to give comfort to investors and joe public. There are also oversight boards for CPA firms to ensure independence. I ask, where is this in the medical world? Naturally, you can’t fault me for asking questions and wanting the truth. As an auditor I am a natural skeptic and if something doesn’t make sense to my mommy instincts then I’m not just going to take the word of the people profit the most. I don’t even get your water comment. It’s not even a good comparison.

    Vaccines are a choice. I am not anti vaccine. They are good in places where there is poor hygiene, sewage issues and close living spaces. It is my choice not to vaccinate my child. It is MY opinion that they are filled with toxins and have the potential to cause more harm than good. There is nothing wrong with living a healthy lifestyle and not wanting to be scared into taking a shot. Until someone can explain to me why there is such a HUGE increase in autism, ADHD, Asthma, obesity and infertility, I won’t trust vaccines. I AM NOT saying that vaccines alone cause these issues, I believe it is a combination of a lot of things. I believe it’s primarily due to lazy, naive parents who don’t question what they feed, shoot up, put on their skin or let their kids sleep on. If you are convinced by the media and WHO then give your kids the shots.

    I will say this, most of my friends vaccinate their kids. Out of the few of us who choose not, our kids are the only ones who are NEVER sick (besides a minor cold), don’t have asthma, ADHA or autism. To me that is the only study I need.

  77. Harriet Hall says:

    ajones said,

    “if something doesn’t make sense to my mommy instincts then I’m not just going to take the word of the people profit the most.”

    “It is MY opinion that they are filled with toxins”

    “Until someone can explain to me why there is such a HUGE increase in autism, ADHD, Asthma, obesity and infertility, I won’t trust vaccines.”

    Is this Jenny McCarthy trolling on our website?

  78. ajones says:

    Harriett you are funny! I am far from Jenny McCarthy. I just said my child doesn’t have autism and I didn’t vaccinate him. I respect your opinion to vaccinate, respect my position. I haven’t ever been to Jenny McCarthy’s website. If she feels the same way I do, then good for her for being a good parent!

    And I should take back the statement that it’s MY opinion that they are filled with toxins. That is not my opinion, that is fact! I misspoke earlier.

  79. Chris says:

    ajones:

    I didn’t say they studies are invalid. I asked for a valid INDEPENDENT study, meaning NOT THE PHARMACEUTICALS.

    Are studies by public health departments from several countries independent enough?

    ajones:

    Vaccines are a choice. I am not anti vaccine. They are good in places where there is poor hygiene, sewage issues and close living spaces.

    Then why did measles return to the UK, Japan, Switzerland, Germany and many spots in the the USA (like San Diego, Grant County, WA, Indiana… and these are not over crowded places with sewer issues!)? About Indiana:
    Implications of a 2005 Measles Outbreak in Indiana for Sustained Elimination of Measles in the United States
    Authors: Parker AA, Staggs W, Dayan GH, et al
    Source: N Engl J Med, August 3, 2006, Vol. 355(5):447-455

    ajones:

    It is my choice not to vaccinate my child. It is MY opinion that they are filled with toxins and have the potential to cause more harm than good.

    What are those toxins? Are they worse than tetanospasmin?

    Do please share the data that shows that the MMR causes more harm than measles, mumps and rubella. Keep in mind that it has never contained thimerosal nor aluminum, and if you are under the age of 40 you may have been vaccinated with it yourself. Do produce real primary source material (no websites), much like I have provided (got them from PubMed).

    ajones:

    Until someone can explain to me why there is such a HUGE increase in autism, ADHD, Asthma, obesity and infertility, I won’t trust vaccines.

    Can you also document the huge increase? Can you differentiate those that are actual increases instead of increases of diagnosis? How does obesity relate to vaccines? Has there really been a huge increase in infertility?

    And really, why do you trust the diseases more? What do you think of the relationship between infertility and a young man getting mumps? So tetanus is all fun and games with the funny nickname of lockjaw? Measles is just a spotty fever (with this minor problem of one out of thousand cases causing encephalitis… do you really trust all is well when the brain swells)? Pertussis is just a nasty whooping cough (just happens to cause oxygen to not get into baby lungs). Do tell how you trust the diseases more (many of which you and your children are protected from due to herd immunity, basically you are being a leach on everyone else’s vaccine derived immunity).

    Now please tell me which of these studies are not trustworthy:

    Lack of Association between Measles Virus Vaccine and Autism with Enteropathy: A Case-Control Study.
    Hornig M et al.
    PLoS ONE 2008; 3(9): e3140 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003140
    *Subjects: 25 children with autism and GI disturbances and 13 children with GI disturbances alone (controls)

    Measles Vaccination and Antibody Response in Autism Spectrum Disorders.
    Baird G et al.
    Arch Dis Child 2008; 93(10):832-7.
    Subjects: 98 vaccinated children aged 10-12 years in the UK with autism spectrum disorder (ASD); two control groups of similar age: 52 children with special educational needs but no ASD and 90 children in the typically developing group

    MMR-Vaccine and Regression in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Negative Results Presented from Japan.
    Uchiyama T et al.
    J Autism Dev Disord 2007; 37(2):210-7
    *Subjects: 904 children with autism spectrum disorder
    (Note: MMR was used in Japan only between 1989 and 1993.)

    MMR-Vaccine and Regression in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Negative Results Presented from Japan
    Authors: Uchiyama T, Kurosawa M, Inaba Y
    Source: J Autism Dev Disord, February 2007; 37(2):210-217

    No Evidence of Persisting Measles Virus in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells from Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
    D’Souza Y et al.
    Pediatrics 2006; 118(4):1664-75
    *Subjects: 54 children with autism spectrum disorder and 34 developmentally normal children

    Immunizations and Autism: A Review of the Literature.
    Doja A, Roberts W.
    Can J Neurol Sci. 2006; 33(4):341-6
    *Literature review

    Pervasive Developmental Disorders in Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Prevalence and Links with Immunizations.
    Fombonne E et al.
    Pediatrics. 2006;118(1):e139-50
    *Subjects: 27,749 children born from 1987 to 1998 attending 55 schools

    Relationship between MMR Vaccine and Autism.
    Klein KC, Diehl EB.
    Ann Pharmacother. 2004; 38(7-8):1297-300
    *Literature review of 10 studies

    Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism. Institute of Medicine.
    The National Academies Press: 2004
    (w w w . nap.edu/books/030909237X/html) *Literature review

    MMR Vaccination and Pervasive Developmental Disorders: A Case-Control Study.
    Smeeth L et al.
    Lancet 2004; 364(9438):963-9
    *Subjects: 1294 cases and 4469 controls

    Age at First Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccination in Children with Autism and School-Matched Control Subjects: A Population-Based Study in Metropolitan Atlanta.
    DeStefano F et al. Pediatrics 2004; 113(2): 259-66
    *Subjects: 624 children with autism and 1,824 controls

    Prevalence of Autism and Parentally Reported Triggers in a North East London Population.
    Lingam R et al.
    Arch Dis Child 2003; 88(8):666-70
    *Subjects: 567 children with autistic spectrum disorder

    Neurologic Disorders after Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccination.
    Makela A et al.
    Pediatrics 2002; 110:957-63
    *Subjects: 535,544 children vaccinated between November 1982 and June 1986 in Finland

    A Population-Based Study of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccination and Autism.
    Madsen KM et al.
    N Engl J Med 2002; 347(19):1477-82
    *Subjects: All 537,303 children born 1/91–12/98 in Denmark

    No Evidence for a New Variant of Measles-Mumps-Rubella-Induced Autism.
    Fombonne E et al.
    Pediatrics 2001;108(4):E58
    *Subjects: 262 autistic children (pre- and post-MMR samples)

    Measles-Mumps-Rubella and Other Measles-Containing Vaccines Do Not Increase the Risk for Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Case-Control Study from the Vaccine Safety Datalink Project.
    Davis RL et al.
    Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2001;155(3):354-9
    *Subjects: 155 persons with IBD with up to 5 controls each

    Time Trends in Autism and in MMR Immunization Coverage in California.
    Dales L et al.
    JAMA 2001; 285(9):1183-5
    *Subjects: Children born in 1980-94 who were enrolled in California kindergartens (survey samples of 600–1,900 children each year)

    Mumps, Measles, and Rubella Vaccine and the Incidence of Autism Recorded by General Practitioners: A Time Trend Analysis.
    Kaye JA et al.
    BMJ 2001; 322:460-63
    *Subjects: 305 children with autism

    Further Evidence of the Absence of Measles Virus Genome Sequence in Full Thickness Intestinal Specimens from Patients with Crohn’s Disease.
    Afzal MA, et al.
    J Med Virol 2000; 62(3):377-82
    *Subjects: Specimens from patients with Crohn’s disease

    Mercury, Vaccines, And Autism: One Controversy, Three Histories
    Baker JP
    American Journal of Public Health, February 2008;98(2): 244-253

    Continuing Increases in Autism Reported to California’s Developmental Services System: Mercury in Retrograde
    Schechter R, Grether JK
    Arch Gen Psychiatry, January 2008; 65(1):19-24

    An economic analysis of the current universal 2-dose measles-mumps-rubella vaccination program in the United States.
    Zhou F, Reef S, Massoudi M, Papania MJ, Yusuf HR, Bardenheier B, Zimmerman L, McCauley MM.
    J Infect Dis. 2004 May 1;189 Suppl 1:S131-45.

    Impact of specific medical interventions on reducing the prevalence of mental retardation.
    Brosco JP, Mattingly M, Sanders LM.
    Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006;160:302-309.

  80. Chris says:

    I typed this yesterday, so I don’t feel like doing it again… and don’t want to cut and paste:
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=2733#comment-35572

    Now, kindly explain to me why it would be okay to go back to over 400 deaths from measles in the USA. That could happen if we stopped using the MMR. Not to mention the cases of blindness, deafness, and other severe disabilities that happen in about one in a thousand cases of measles. See the paper I posted above called “Impact of specific medical interventions on reducing the prevalence of mental retardation” (the full paper is availabe online, just go find in the PubMed index).

    Also, explain to me very carefully why it is okay for children with underlying health conditions to become even further disabled or die. I would really like to know why children like my son with his genetic heart condition and who had severe seizures while ill with a now vaccine preventable disease do not deserve life.

  81. Harriet Hall says:

    ajones said

    “I respect your opinion to vaccinate, respect my position.”

    I find it hard to respect the opinions of someone who puts “mommy instincts” above science. You’re entitled to your own opinions; you’re not entitled to your own facts.

  82. ajones says:

    Chris,

    I accept your challenge and will post all of my medical source material. I want to be fully thorough here since Harriett thinks my position is based only on my “instincts”. I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t follow my own advice and do research. Also, I NEVER said vaccines should be eliminated so why are you insinuating that I don’t think your poor child with an underlying issue should not be vaccinated?

    Stay tuned for my research posting…..

  83. Chris says:

    Also any who says…

    It is RARE that you will die for measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, etc. or dare I say the flu. People die from underlying conditions.

    … does not respect the position of a parent who has a child with underlying conditions.

    In order for me to respect her opinion, she needs to explain to me very carefully why these two boys deserved what happened to them:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1055533.ece

    Also, she needs to look at the title of this blog. It is Science Based Medicine, not Opinion Based Medicine.

    (Side note about Jenny McCarthy, her son got the MMR vaccine when he was between 15 and 18 months. His seizure was when he was about 2 and half years old, well over a year after the vaccine. I believe there is something fishy about her story).

  84. weing says:

    “Vaccines are a choice. I am not anti vaccine. ”
    Stercus bovis. Be honest for crying out loud. You sound like Nixon. What formed your opinion about vaccines being full of toxins? Where does this mommy instinct come from? Vaccines didn’t exist until about 200 years or so. Far too little time for an instinct to evolve.

  85. ajones says:

    I am going to give you the SCIENCE! RELAX!

  86. weing says:

    You don’t understand my water reference? Prove to me that water is safe. If someone drowns in it then water is definitely not safe. Based on your logic it should be avoided and you should keep it away from your kids and not allow them a sip of it.

  87. Chris says:

    Just we cross posted… make sure your research is real. Do not, and mean, really do not post websites from biased sources like Mercola, SafeMinds, NVIC, Generation Rescue, Blaylock, Rense and the like. Also be forewarned that you will automatically lose if you post anything from whale.to (look up Scopie’s Law). Do not post news articles with various sob stories (because, as you can see… I can do that too, but I also referenced a real research paper). Do not post VAERS data, unless that VAERS data has been used as a basis for real research like:
    http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/153/12/1279

    The only acceptible research is real peer reviewed papers published in real journals (the journal of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons does not count). Also no papers from lawyer paid research, so nothing from the Geiers or Wakefield is acceptible (that includes the most recent and very silly monkey study, I suggest you listen to the podcast mentioned in the post “H1N1 Pandemic Update”). If you don’t like research funded by pharmaceutical companies, I reserve the right to reject research funded by personal injury lawyers (really, you should read Paul Offit’s book Autism’s False Prophets, which details the law office that paid Wakefield).

    And a reminder that this blog is Science Based Medicine, so make sure you research real science (the website where the above paper is posted is a good start). Look at the left side of this blog, there are at least two pediatricians, a retired family doctor and former flight surgeon and an infectious disease doctor. Make sure you satisfy their level of evidence (I would suggest you read more of the posts here).

    I also would suggest you read some books on the history of disease and vaccines, from the Plagues and Peoples by William McNeill, Flu! by Gina Kolata, The Great Influenza by John Barry, Polio, an American Story by David M. Oshinsky, Vaccine by Arthur Allen and Vaccinated by Paul Offit (the latter being a biography, but does give lots of history on vaccine development). They should all be available from your local library.

  88. micheleinmichigan says:

    Chris (response to ajones): “Has there really been a huge increase in infertility?”

    Women are having their first child later in life on average. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db21.pdf

    availability of reliable fertility treatment has increased.

    No huge surprise that there is an increase in couples receiving (and talking about) fertility treatment.

    I would say this is one of those arguing with a dining room table moments.

    ajones said
    “I respect your opinion to vaccinate, respect my position.”

    I’m not sure why you would come to a site called science based medicine, post a bunch of made up connections (infertility connected to vaccine?) and then demand respect.

    Well, No. You have rights that the U.S. constitution GIVES you. You have to EARN someone’s respect.

  89. Chris says:

    ajones, I have comment in moderation. It had one link. It comes across fairly angry. I am angry because I have had to deal with all sorts of people like you because I have a disabled child (and was even further disabled due to an illness). I really hate it too when people like you say that only kids with underlying conditions have bad outcomes.

    It will come through, eventually. But it has a list of books for you to read, because you sound to me like you have been getting your information from limited sources and you seem to not know about the history of disease and vaccines.

    Because I really hate it when people spout lots of stuff and it is patently untrue. You need to educate yourself with real information, like the following books (you probably pick up a basic biology book):

    Plagues and Peoples by William McNeill
    Flu! by Gina Kolata
    The Great Influenza by John Barry
    Polio, An American Story by David M. Oshinsky
    Vaccine by Arthur Allen
    Vaccinated by Paul Offit

  90. Chris says:

    ajones:

    Also, I NEVER said vaccines should be eliminated so why are you insinuating that I don’t think your poor child with an underlying issue should not be vaccinated?

    Reading comprehension fail.

    This is what you said: It is RARE that you will die for measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, etc. or dare I say the flu. People die from underlying conditions.

    That implies that people with underlying conditions do not deserve to live. Some of these people cannot be vaccinated, they need to be protected by herd immunity.

    You running around taking advantage of herd immunity, and reducing the level of herd immunity and spouting such stuff do not deserve respect.

    By the way, in the major wave of measles in the USA, about 1 in 500 died. That made it more common than the 1950s (and it was one in a thousand), but is that considered rare?

  91. ajones says:

    Chris,

    First of all, let me apologize for offending you. I’m not going to fight with you.

    I am far from uneducated and will site my resources. I have a lot and it is taking me time to get them all down.

    Regarding inferitility:
    micheleinmichigan and chris – Polysorbate 80 (also know as Tween 80) is in (certain brands) the DTaP, rotovirus, hep A, flu and HPV vaccines. Yes, I know it is also in lotions, make up and ice cream. This is why I blamed both vaccines and other factors. Here is a medical study for you:

    Gajdova M, Jakubovsky J, Valky J.Delayed effects of neonatal exposure to Tween 80 on female reproductive organs in rats. Food Chem Toxicol. 1993 Mar;31(3):183-90. PMID: 8473002.

    This is taken directly from http://www.gardasil.com/what-is-gardasil/gardasil-side-effects/

    Who should not get GARDASIL?
    You should not get GARDASIL if you have, or have had:

    * an allergic reaction after getting a dose of GARDASIL.
    * a severe allergic reaction to yeast, amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate, polysorbate 80.

    There is more to come.

  92. A fundamental premise held by believers in “alternative” health is that we are swimming in a world of “toxins” and those “toxins” are causing disease. Like most premises in “alternative” health it has no basis in scientific fact; it speaks to primitive fears and impulses.

    The preoccupation with “toxins” is a direct lineal descendant of the obsession with evil humours and miasmas as causes of disease. Because people could not see bacteria and viruses they imagined that diseases were caused by excess evil humours, substances that were named, but never seen or identified in any way accessible to the senses.

    The evil humours, miasmas, etc. were invisible, but all around us. They constantly threatened people, and those people had no way of fending off the threat. Indeed, they were often completely unaware of the threat that was actively harming them.

    Evil humours, miasmas, demons, etc. were put to rest by the germ theory of disease. But fear and superstition never die and the “alternative” health community has used that fear and superstition to resurrected primitive beliefs. It is axiomatic in the “alternative” health community that disease is caused by evil humours and miasmas. They just don’t call it that anymore; they call it “toxins.”

    Toxins serve the same explanatory purpose as evil humours and miasmas. They are invisible, but all around us. They constantly threaten people, often people who unaware of their very existence. They are no longer viewed as evil in themselves, but it is an article of faith that they have be released into our environment by “evil” corporations or secretly added to vaccines by Big Pharma.

    There’s just one problem. “Toxins” are a figment of the imagination, in the exact same way that evil humours and miasmas were figments of the imagination.

    Advocates of “alternative” health have an obsession with “toxins” in foods, in vaccines, even “toxins” arising in the body itself. The height of idiocy is the belief in “detoxifying” diets and colon cleansing. The human body does not produce “toxins.” That’s just a superstition of the “alternative” health community. The waste products produced by the human body are easily metabolized by organs such as the liver, and excreted by organs particularly designed for that purpose such as the kidneys.

    Unfortunately, evil humours and miasmas have not died, they’ve been reincarnated as “toxins.”

  93. Chris says:

    Humans are not rats, one study does not make real evidence. Gardisil is only being offered to females ages 12 and older. You are cherry picking and changing the subject.

    There is a reason I asked specifically about the MMR. It helps to deal with one vaccine that does not have thimerosal, nor aluminum, so you don’t get sidetracked.

    micheleinmichigan:

    I would say this is one of those arguing with a dining room table moments.

    I am not so certain. What I detect is someone who has spent too much time on the mommy boards. She is bringing in the old tired points that are classic bits of cherry picking, straw man arguments and changing the subject. She is probably going to back to the mommy board to get studies, which is why she dragged up one on rats for the Polysorbate 80… which brings up over 2000 hits on PubMed.

    She obviously has no idea of any of the real science. She claims that the studies are all from the pharmaceutical companies, yet she has not been made aware of all the large epidemiological studies done in several countries by their public health entities (CDC, NIH in USA, NHS in the UK, etc). She has no clue what the real effects of the disease, a classic of argument of some folks (Meryl Dorey has claimed on Australian TV that pertussis is just a bad cold and no one died of it thirty years ago!).

    More than likely she has never seen any of the diseases, being young enough to have received the MMR, OPV and DTP vaccines herself. Also, having healthy children she more than likely has never been in the pediatric ward of a hospital, much less the emergency department. Which is why she did not realize that her statement that the only people who die from measles, etc have underlying conditions (which is patently untrue) would actually be read by someone whose kid has an underlying condition. Obviously she does not have a clue.

    I am willing to bet she thinks that tetanus can be avoided by just cleaning out the wound (actually read that on another blog).

    Though I am hopeful that she will read real information from unbiased sources and start to learn how the real world of microbes works (ajones, the books on the 1918 flu pandemic by Kolata and Barry should help give you a real perspective).

  94. ajones says:

    Chris,

    I haven’t been on any “mommy boards”. I did not change the subject, I was asked how vaccines relate to infertility.

    Here is what I have for Aluminum:

    According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Aluminum is now being implicated as interfering with a variety of cellular and metabolic processes in the nervous system and in other tissues.” – Aluminum toxicity in infants and children (RE9607).” Pediatrics (March 1996; 97 (3):413-416

    1) Effects of aluminum on the neurotoxicity of primary cultured neurons and on the aggregation of the beta-amyloid protein, Kawahara M. et al., Brain Research Bulletin 2001; 55:211-217
    Summary – researchers exposed rat nerve cells to varying amounts of aluminum and found not only nerve degeneration but also accumulation of amyloid proteins, as is seen in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

    2) Aluminum-adjuvanted vaccines transiently increase aluminum levels in murine brain tissue, Redhead K., Quinlan G.J., Das R. G., Gutteridge J.M., Pharmacology and Toxicology 1992; 70:278-280
    Summary – this group injected aluminum-containing vaccines into mice and found that levels of the metal rose in the brain and peaked around the third day after injection.

    3) Neuropathology of aluminum toxicity in rats (glutamate and GABA impairment), El-Rhaman S.S., Pharmacological Research 2003; 47 (3): 189-194
    Summary – This group fed aluminum to rats for thirty-five days and found high levels of the metal in the brain tissue, as well as brain tissue degeneration in a pattern similar to Alzheimer’s disease

    4) Aluminum neurotoxicity in preterm infants receiving intravenous feeding solutions, Bishop N.J., Morely R., Day J.P., Lucas A., New England Journal of Medicine 1997; 336(22): 1557-1561
    Summary – this group found that premature infants given standard IV feeding solutions containing aluminum had impaired neurologic and mental development compared to infants fed nonaluminum solutions.

    Before you jump all over me and point out that this study is for premature infants it has to do with impaired kidney function. So my question is, when do they test full term babies’ kidney function?

    If a parent follows the CDC guidelines for vaccinations, a two month old infant would receive 1,225mcg of aluminum.

    Sit tight for the MMR since that’s what you want to know about!

    Why do you say that I can’t get side tracked about aluminum or mercury? I thought this was a discussion on all vaccines?

Comments are closed.