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Did a high ranking whistleblower really reveal that the CDC covered up proof that vaccines cause autism in African-American boys?

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EDITOR’S UPDATE 8/28/2014: On August 27, 2014, CDC “whistleblower” William Thompson finally issued a statement through his attorney.

Here we go again.

Regular readers who pay attention to the antivaccine movement almost can’t help but have noticed that last week there was a lot of activity on antivaccine websites, blogs, and Facebook pages, as well as Twitter and Instagram feeds. For all I know, it’s all out there on Pinterest (which I’ve never really understood), Tumblr, and all those other social media sites that I don’t check much, if at all. In particular, it’s been exploding under the Twitter hashtags #CDCwhistleblower, #CDCfraud, and #CDCPantsOnFire. It’s almost impossible to have missed it if you’re plugged in and pay attention to crank websites, as many skeptics do, but here are a selection of the main stories going around over the last few days:

There are quite a few more, but these are a selection of stories appearing on the usual websites. It’s also not a new story, although it might seem as though it bubbled up suddenly out of nowhere just last week, and it comes from two of the usual suspects in antivaccine stories: Andrew Wakefield, whose pseudoscience in the service of antivaccine views we at SBM have written about many times, and Brian Hooker, someone whom you might or might not have heard of. Think of Hooker as a rising star, such as that would mean, in the antivaccine movement.

Who is Brian Hooker?

Before I discuss why there’s far less than meets the eye in this latest conspiracy theory, it’s useful to go into a bit of background, specifically who Brian Hooker is and how he came to be at the center of this latest attempt at relevance by the antivaccine movement. First, Hooker is a biochemical engineer who has now taken a faculty position as an associate professor of biology at Simpson University. He has managed a systems biology research program at Batelle/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and continues to operate his own consulting agency. He also has an autistic child, whom he describes as “vaccine injured” and is on the board of directors of Focus Autism, an organization that describes itself as “born out of the desire to put an end to the needless harm of children by vaccination and other environmental factors” and runs the antivaccine campaign A Shot of Truth. He has been known for making numerous Freedom of Information Act requests for data and information from the CDC and for having (possibly) persuaded Darrell Issa to hold hearings on the link between vaccines and autism, although it’s not clear that a large campaign contribution from a prominent member of the antivaccine group Canary Party didn’t have more influence.

In actuality, I have written about Hooker before on this blog, way back in March, when I first took note of his conspiracy theory that the CDC has been “covering up” data demonstrating that vaccines cause autism. Think of this latest kerfuffle as just another chapter in the same novel. Last time, Hooker was claiming that the CDC had, through a famous study that failed to find a link between the mercury-containing vaccine preservative thimerosal and autism, whitewashed smoking gun evidence of just such a link. That famous study was Verstraeten et al, published in Pediatrics in 2003. Basically, as I described several months ago, Hooker was resurrecting one of the hoariest of hoary antivaccine conspiracy theories, that of the Simpsonwood Conference, slapping a fresh coat of paint on it, and declaring it a shiny happy new bit of smoking gun evidence that the CDC had covered up the “truth,” something he appeared to latch on to as far back as April 2013 in an appearance on—who else?—Gary Null’s show. At the time, he was criticizing another study published in the Journal of Pediatrics that pretty effectively demolished the antivaccine trope of “too many too soon.” Let’s just say that Hooker’s criticisms were less than convincing. Actually, let’s just say that convincing and Hooker’s criticisms weren’t even on the same continent, maybe not even on the same planet.

What SBM readers who aren’t as heavily into following the antivaccine movement as I am might also not realize is that Brian Hooker has been at the center of a storm currently going on in the “vaccines cause autism” community in that our old buddy Jake Crosby (remember Jake Crosby?) has gotten into a major contretemps with his former allies because of his belief that somehow the crew at a major antivaccine blog and organization (Age of Autism and SafeMinds, respectively) somehow shut Hooker out of a Congressional hearing on vaccines and autism held by Darrell Issa (remember Darrell Issa?) in November 2012 during the lame duck session of Congress. This has led to Crosby turning on his former friends and allies in a five-popcorn-bag drama that led Crosby to cozy up with Patrick “Tim” Bolen, as described in this multi-part epic (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7).

Of course, just because Brian Hooker has demonstrated many of the characteristics of an antivaccine crank doesn’t mean that he might not have a legitimate criticism this time. Does he? Let’s find out.

Apparently, the CDC has covered up Tuskegee and the Holocaust

The latest “scandal” began in earnest with the publication of a paper published in yet another journal I’ve never heard of, Translational Neurodegeneration (more on that shortly), and accelerated with the release of a YouTube video that claims to name a former high-ranking CDC official as a “whistleblower” for the finding that the CDC has been “covering up” (of course!) the “truth” that the MMR vaccine causes autism. This was announced a week ago on Age of Autism and the usual other antivaccine channels, such as NaturalNews.com. These stories all pointed to a video made by Andrew Wakefield’s Autism Media Channel (which I’ve discussed before) in which Brian Hooker is featured interviewing a CDC “whistleblower,” whom he doesn’t identify other than to say that he’s a “senior official” at the CDC. This senior official is heard, voice masked electronically, saying that he’s “ashamed” at what he did, among other things.

Then, on Thursday night, a new video appeared, CDC Whistleblower Revealed. In this video, Brian Hooker proudly proclaims that the “whistleblower” is William Thompson, PhD, a senior researcher at the CDC, and co-author on quite a few vaccine safety papers, including a particularly important one in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007.

Here’s the video, which is now also on YouTube:

 

A partial transcript can be found at—where else?—Age of Autism.

The first thing one notices about the video is how intentionally inflammatory it is. The “malfeasance” (if such it is) being discovered is compared unfavorably—yes, unfavorably—to the infamous Tuskegee syphilis experiment. There are even lurid pictures of patients suffering from advanced syphilis and a mention of Peter Buxton, the Public Health Service investigator who blew the whistle on the experiment, because, apparently, to Wakefield and Hooker autism is just like end stage syphilis and Dr. Thompson is therefore the equivalent of Peter Buxton. The “malfeasance” being claimed is that the CDC supposedly covered up the link between MMR and autism in African American boys, hence the puffed up rhetoric about the Tuskegee syphilis experiment. Before I go into that more, there is one thing that bears mentioning here. The video even concludes with some serious Godwin references to the crimes of Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot, because, I guess, when it’s not like syphilis, autism is just like the mass murder of millions, at least in the minds of Wakefield supporters.

So what on earth is going on here?

Brian Hooker’s “reanalysis” of a 10-year-old-study

The central claim in the video is that earlier MMR vaccination is associated with an increased risk of autism in African-American boys and that the CDC has spent the last 13 years covering this linkage up. These charges are based the result of a “reanalysis” by Brian Hooker in Translational Neurodegeneration entitled “Measles-mumps-rubella vaccination timing and autism among young african american boys: a reanalysis of CDC data.” The data which has been “reanalyzed” is from a study by DeStefano et al. in 2004 published in Pediatrics entitled Age at first measles-mumps-rubella vaccination in children with autism and school-matched control subjects: a population-based study in metropolitan Atlanta. That study was a case-control study in which age at first MMR vaccination was compared between autistic “cases” and neurotypical controls. Vaccination data were abstracted from immunization forms required for school entry, and records of children who were born in Georgia were linked to Georgia birth certificates for information on maternal and birth factors. Basically, no significant associations were found between the age cutoffs examined and the risk of autism. I note that, even in this “reanalysis” by Brian Hooker, there still isn’t any such correlation for children who are not African American boys.

The first thing that struck me is the sheer irony of this latest tack on the part of Wakefield and Hooker. To illustrate, let’s just, for a thought experiment, assume Hooker’s study comes to a valid conclusion (which is, given that it’s Hooker, highly unlikely, but stay with me for a moment). If that were the case, these results are no reassurance whatsoever to the vast majority of antivaccinationists supporting Wakefield. This study says nothing whatsoever about, for instance, Jenny McCarthy and her son’s autism, other than that there is no link between MMR and autism for children like him. Remember, the most vocal antivaccinationists jumping all over this are not African-American but instead tend to be UMC or even highly affluent Caucasians. There’s absolutely nothing in even Hooker’s ham-fisted “reanalysis” of this data to tell them that the MMR vaccine caused their children’s autism.

All there is left is a chance to hype up the conspiracy-mongering machine against the hated CDC, because even Hooker’s reanalysis doesn’t support an increased risk of autism with earlier MMR vaccination in white babies. Zero. Nada. Zip. This leads to a bunch of “Tuskegee” handwaving to hide that finding, that even taking his best shot at it the most Hooker could come up with after he tortured the data was a correlation between age of MMR vaccination and autism in African Americans babies—and not just African-American babies, but African-American male babies. Even taken at face value, Hooker et al is a disaster for the vast majority of antivaccine activists. This can’t be repeated often enough. But does the study support an increased risk for African American males, as claimed?

There are a couple of things you have to remember whenever looking at a study that is billed as a “reanalysis” of an existing data set that’s already been published. The first is that no one—I mean no one—”reanalyzes” such a dataset unless he has an ax to grind and disagrees with the results of the original analysis so strongly that he is willing to go through the trouble of getting institutional review board (IRB) approval, as Hooker did from Simpson University, going to the CDC to get this dataset, and then analyzing it. Think, for instance, the infamous “reanalysis” by homeopaths of the meta-analysis of Shang et al. that concluded that the effects of homeopathy are placebo effects. The reanalysis did not refute the original meta-analysis. The second thing you have to remember is that it’s pretty uncommon for such a “reanalysis” to refute the original analysis. Certainly, antivaccine “researchers” like Hooker try to do this all the time. Occasionally they get their results published in a bottom-feeding peer-reviewed journal (Translational Neurodegeneration doesn’t even appear to have an impact factor yet), as Hooker has. It means little.

So what about the paper itself? First, one has to go back to Destefano et al. 2004. Basically, this was a case-control study in which 624 case children were identified from multiple sources and matched to 1,824 control children on age, gender, and school. Porta’s Dictionary of Epidemiology defines the case-control study as: “an observational epidemiological study of persons with the disease (or another outcome variable) of interest and a suitable control group of persons without the disease (comparison group, reference group). The potential relationship of a suspected risk factor or an attribute to the disease is examined by comparing the diseased and nondiseased subjects with regard to how frequently the factor or attribute is present (or, if quantitative, the levels of the attribute) in each of the groups (diseased and nondiseased).” They then see if that risk factor is higher in the case population than it is in the control population. This is in comparison to cohort studies, in which researchers look at groups of people who vary in exposure to a given putative risk factor (for instance, vaccines), each controlled for every other potential risk factor that the authors can control for, and then determine if the condition for which that putative risk factor is suspected to be a risk factor for. A cohort study can be retrospective (looking at existing data) or prospective (the cohorts determined in advance and then followed over time), while case control studies are retrospective.

It’s also not uncommon for epidemiologists to choose more controls than cases in case-control studies. In any case, what Destefano et al. did was to perform a case control study of children in metropolitan Atlanta looking at age at first MMR vaccination (0-11 months; 12-17 months; 18-23 months; 24-29 months; 30-35 months; and 36+ months). They found no statistically significant correlations. They also looked at a subgroup of the groups, children for whom a Georgia birth certificate could be located, in order to test correlations for other traits:

We matched 355 (56%) case and 1020 (56%) control children to Georgia state birth certificate records, which allowed us to obtain additional information, such as each child’s birth weight and gestational age and the mother’s parity, age, race, and education.

There was no significant correlation noted in various groups based on race, maternal age, maternal education, and birth weight. It’s all pretty straightforward, at least a straightforward as an epidemiological study can be. The only hint of a whiff of anything in it helpful to antivaccinationists was this:

Vaccination before 36 months was more common among case children than control children, especially among children 3 to 5 years of age, likely reflecting immunization requirements for enrollment in early intervention programs.

In other words, it’s a result that is likely not due to an actual effect.

Fast forward to Brian Hooker’s study. The first thing I noticed reading it was that it contains a lot of the usual red flags of antivaccine papers. Hooker cites several Mark Geier papers as “evidence” of a correlation between vaccines and autism, to try to make it seem as though there is an actual scientific controversy. He even cites a Wakefield paper. Then there is the methods section. It’s really not very clear exactly what Hooker did with this dataset, other than muck around with it using SAS® software. He keeps referring to “cohorts,” which made me wonder right away whether he was not doing the same sort of analysis as Destefano. Instead of doing a case control study, it looks as though he did a cohort study:

The Pearson’s chi -squared test contained in the SAS® software was utilized for current statistical analyses, and a two-sided p-value <  0.05 was considered statistically significant. This is in contrast to the original Destefano et al. [14] (CDC) study, where a case–control study design was used, where 3 control children were matched to each case child, and analyzed using conditional logistic regression dichotomized for the three age cut-offs at 18, 24 and 36 months…In the present study, frequencies of cases were determined for first MMR ages of less than versus greater than 18 months, 24 months and 36 months in each separate analysis.

Yep, Hooker did a cohort study. He analyzed data collected for a case-control study as a cohort study. Basically, he looked at the risk of an autism diagnosis in the groups first exposed to MMR at different age ranges. Remember, case control = comparing risk factor frequency in people with a condition compared to controls; cohort = examining risk of condition in people with different exposures.

There’s an old saying in epidemiology (and in science in general) that says that if you torture data enough, eventually they will confess. With this in mind, it’s hard not to think of Brian Hooker as the Spanish Inquisition, only without the comfy chair. I find it very telling that Hooker couldn’t find (or didn’t bother to look for) a coauthor who is an actual epidemiologist or statistician. What training in epidemiology or statistics does Brian Hooker have that qualifies him to do a retrospective cohort study like this? None that I can see. My first rule of thumb doing anything that is more complicated than the rudimentary statistics that I use to analyze laboratory experiments (such as even a “simple” clinical trial) is to find a statistician. While it’s true that Hooker used to lead a high-throughput biology team, which likely required some statistical expertise, that’s a different sort of statistics and experimental design than epidemiology. Basically, if you’re going to do epidemiology, you should find an epidemiologist to collaborate with, and if you’re going to do something that requires some heavy statistical lifting you really need to get a statistician on board as well before you start the study.

So is Hooker’s result valid? Was there really a 3.4-fold increased risk for autism in African-American males who received MMR vaccination before the age of 36 months in this dataset? Who knows? Probably not, though. Hooker analyzed a dataset designed from its inception and collection to be analyzed by a case-control method using a cohort design. Then he did multiple subset analyses, which, of course, are prone to false positives. As we also say, if you slice and dice the evidence more and more finely, eventually you will find apparent correlations that might or might not be real. In this case, I doubt Hooker’s correlation is real. More importantly, even if his statistics were correctly done, his changing the design is highly suspect, particularly when coupled with claims being promulgated by our good buddy Jake Crosby, among others, that the CDC intentionally manipulated the study sample size in order to hide this correlation.

This is an accusation neither Hooker’s study nor anything any antivaccinationist has published thus far provides any tangible evidence for. Requiring the birth certificate was not an “arbitrary” criterion either. It allowed investigators to account for known confounders related to autism risk, such as birth weight, at least in this subset of the case and control groups. I also can’t help but think there is likely to be a confounder that is unaccounted for in this study, particularly given how there increase in risk is found in only one group. In fact, as Reuben at The Poxes Blog explains, there almost certainly was just such a confounder:

Next come the statistics. Hooker uses Pearson’s chi squared test to see if there is a significant association between MMR and autism in children at different ages. DeStefano et al used conditional logistic regression. For the non-biostatisticians out there, the technique that DeStefano et al used accounts for confounders and effect modifiers, different traits in their population that could skew the results. Hooker’s technique doesn’t really do that, unless you stratify results and use very, very large datasets. Hooker’s approach is more “conservative,” meaning that it will detect small effects and amplify them, and those effects can come from anything.

In other words, Hooker used a method prone to false positives. Then:

The nail in the coffin for the Hooker paper is that autism is usually diagnosed by the time a child is three years old. There was no increased risk at 18 months, higher but not by a whole lot at 24, and then the three-fold increase at 36 months. Gee, was it the MMR vaccine, mister? No, the effect is being modified by age. It’s as if I asked you if your shoe size was bigger at 36 months because you drank milk vs because you were 36 months. It’s age. It’s the way that autism is diagnosed. You’re going to have more children diagnosed as autistic at 36 months than you will at 18 months or at 24 months. Using the chi square test doesn’t tease this out, Dr. Hooker! That’s more than likely why DeStefano et al used conditional logistic regression, to take age into account in the analysis.

So why did we not see this in the other ethnic groups or in girls? The answer here is simple, again. Hooker had a limited dataset to work with when he boiled it down to African-American baby boys. In this table, for example, he tells us that he had to modify the analysis to 31 months instead of 36 because he had less than 5 children in that group. It’s the same goddamned mistake that Andrew Jeremy Wakefield wanted to pass off as legitimate science. You cannot, and must not use small numbers to make big assertions…

Quite right. I should have seen that right off the bat. Thanks, Reuben, for pointing it out.

Finally, there’s no biologically plausible reason why one might expect to observe an effect in African-Americans but no other race and, more specifically than that, in African-American males. In the discussion, Hooker does a bunch of handwaving about lower vitamin D levels and the like in African American boys, but there really isn’t a biologically plausible mechanism to account for his observation, suggesting that it’s probably spurious. Finally, even if Destefano et al. is thrown out, it’s just one study. There are multiple other studies, many much larger than this one, that failed to find a correlation between MMR and autism. Even if Hooker succeeded in “knocking out” Destefano et al., it doesn’t invalidate all that other evidence.

So what is really going on here?

Hooker’s incompetent “reanalysis” aside, there still remains the matter of Dr. Thompson apparently having had dealings with Brian Hooker, dealings that Andrew Wakefield became aware of and exploited to this effect. What really happened, though? I don’t consider Andrew Wakefield to be someone whose word is ever to be trusted, and nothing in this video leads me to question that assessment. The first thing I noticed listening to Thompson in Wakefield’s video is just how little he is quoted. Instead he’s paraphrased by Hooker, who portrays himself as Thompson’s “confessor” to whom Thompson is “confessing.” The parts with Thompson’s voice appear highly edited, brief sound bites. They sound, at least the way they are presented, highly damning on first listen. It also seems very odd on first listen. Heck, it sounds very odd on second listen. So what really happened? Again, who knows? You’ll excuse me if I reserve judgment until more information comes in from sources other than Andrew Wakefield and Brian Hooker because I suspect that what we’re seeing is a highly one-sided presentation of cherry picked information. It is, after all, Wakefield and Hooker we’re talking about.

Since Thursday night and Friday, with the identification of the “whistleblower” as Dr. Thompson, there have been several developments. For instance, our old “buddy” Jake Crosby is now claiming that Andrew Wakefield betrayed William Thompson by identifying him in the video without Thompson’s permission:

Andrew Wakefield has betrayed the CDC whistleblower by releasing his name without his consent. On the Autism Media Channel website, a video hosted by Wakefield is up announcing the whistleblower’s name and playing recordings of his voice. In the video is scientist and parent Dr. Brian Hooker, who had been in discussions with the whistleblower and made the catastrophic mistake of sharing his identity with Wakefield. Complicit in the betrayal is Age of Autism, which is promoting Wakefield’s video while repeating the whistleblower’s name.

In commentary to a small group of people later relayed to Autism Investigated, attorney Robert Krakow commented:

“I am very familiar with the information [whistleblower] offered. Disclosure of [whistleblower]’s existence and identity at this point in time is a colossal blunder and an inexplicable error in judgment that damages irreparably the opportunity to use [whistleblower]’s very valuable information and testimony effectively. I know that Brian Hooker did not make the disclosure.”

It remains truly ironic that Andrew Wakefield – a man betrayed by the Lancet editor a decade ago – would turn around and betray the trust of someone who has come forward with valuable information about the fraud committed in a federal agency. Also ironic is that Wakefield similarly betrayed the trust of Dr. Brian Hooker, whose congressional activities have been repeatedly undermined by groups associated with Age of Autism.

Given Jake’s past reliability, I take this with a huge grain of salt. It does have a modicum of plausibility in that, given Wakefield’s history I could totally see him betraying a “whistleblower” like that. However, I don’t for a moment believe that, if it’s true that Wakefield “outed” Thompson without his permission, Hooker didn’t know about it and at least acquiesce, if not actually approve. After all, Hooker spent a lot of time in front of the camera bragging about how he had become William Thompson’s “confessor” and relating what Thompson had said to him, and he didn’t think Wakefield would use that footage? He’s either complicit or an irredeemably stupid and gullible. (Take your pick.) Of course, Crosby now views Brian Hooker as his friend and mentor; my guess is that he wants to protect Hooker from this allegation, and that’s why he made the claim that Hooker knew nothing.

In another “get out the popcorn” moment, Andrew Wakefield himself has appeared in the comments after Crosby’s blog post:

Jake, in light of your serious allegation that I “betrayed” the whistleblower by disclosing his name without permission, I asked you how you knew this. You replied “my sources”. There are no sources other than the whistleblower himself that would know whether or not this was the case since this matter was discussed between the two of us, in several of our conversations. I did, as a matter of fact, have his full knowledge and his permission to do what “I felt best” with the uncensored video.

Although it is a moot point, I remain perplexed as to quite why a man who participated in a prolonged scientific fraud – one that likely resulted in harm to many children – should merit anonymity on his terms. The misinformation you have put out has spread through an already divided community. Your reporting on this matter does you no credit.

So that’s Wakefield’s story, is it? That Thompson gave him permission to “do what he felt best,” but that Thompson doesn’t deserve anonymity on his terms. Why is it that I don’t believe Wakefield’s first claim in light of his attitude expressed in the second part of his comment?

Meanwhile, the antivaccine propaganda machine has gone into overdrive, with a new Autism Action Network Action Alert asking antivaccine activists to click on a link to send Dr. Thompson an e-mail:

No major media outlet has covered this story, and they won’t until you come forward and clearly state what you know to be true. Please come forward as soon as possible and present your vitally important revelations to the public through a major news outlet.

You have crossed a line that you cannot re-cross. But crossing that line will allow you to do far more good and save countless lives. I can’t imagine how difficult this is for you. But you are doing the right thing. I understand you have hired a lawyer who specializes in these types of revelations. I would strongly encourage you to obtain the counsel of experienced public relations people to help you tell your story in the most effective way possible.

Thank you for what you have done so far, and please, I beg you, share your story with major media.

Actually, I would rather agree with the wish that Dr. Thompson share his side of the story with the media, because I rather suspect that what Wakefield and Hooker are claiming to have happened is not what actually happened. Meanwhile, others have started an utterly risible Change.org petition to Lewis R. First, editor of Pediatrics, to retract Destefano et al. Let’s see how far that gets. (HINT: Not very.)

Conclusion

Right now, from my point of view, I can imagine three main possibilities for what happened. The first possibility from what I know is that Thompson had some sort of disagreement with his co-investigators, made the incredibly stupid—yes, stupid—decision to unburden himself to Brian Hooker, who, he must have known or should have known, is an antivaccine crank associated with Andrew Wakefield, and is now paying the price for that decision, much like Flounder in Animal House when he trusted his fraternity brothers with his car. The second possibility is that Thompson wanted to correct something Hooker was doing with the data and let himself be drawn into saying things that could easily be taken out of context. The third, and (I hope) much less likely, possibility is that Thompson’s gone off the deep end and gone antivaccine.

If Dr. Thompson did say what he is represented as having said on the Wakefield video (I don’t trust Wakefield for a moment to have edited the tape of Thompson’s conversations with Hooker honestly), then Thompson has done enormous damage. This is the sort of thing that antivaccine activists like Hooker have been waiting for for years: A “whistleblower” CDC official of senior rank who gives them a seemingly plausible story of malfeasance and cover-up to trumpet to the world. This is not going away. It will become part of antivaccine lore, to be repeated over and over basically forever as evidence that the “CDC knew.” If he didn’t, he really needs to find a way to get out in front of this and give his side of the story now. The longer this festers, the less effective his response will be. Let’s just put it this way. As of yesterday, the latest celebrity Jenny McCarthy wannabe, Rob Schneider, is getting in on the action, claiming he has “copies of the original CDC report that was later suppressed and fraudulently changed.”

In the meantime, remember this. Even if Hooker is “right,” he has just undermined the MMR-autism hypothesis and proven Wakefield wrong, with the possible (and unlikely) exception of a single group, African American males, which makes memes like this that have been proliferating around Facebook and other social media even more ridiculous:

memestupid

According to Hooker’s own results, parents of Caucasian babies don’t have anything to worry about from the MMR vaccine with respect to autism.

Meanwhile, last night Mike Adams released what is purported to be a letter from Dr. Thompson to Dr. Julie Gerberding, head of the CDC at the time, dated February 2nd, 2004. The funny thing about this letter is that it doesn’t actually reveal evidence of a CDC cover-up in the least. It mentions nothing of Destefano et al. Instead, it expresses concern about Thompson’s having to appear before what he predicts will be a hostile group in front of Representative David Weldon, concern that the CDC is losing the PR war, and a suggestion that Dr. Gerberding respond to Weldon’s letter. None of this supports a cover-up.

Given the dubiousness of his analysis and background, Hooker hasn’t actually convincingly demonstrated a link between MMR and autism for African American males, particularly given the copious other studies that have failed to find a correlation between MMR and autism. What he has done is to have found grist for a conspiracy theory to demonize the CDC, play the race card in a truly despicable fashion, and cast fear, uncertainty, and doubt about the CDC vaccination program, knowing that most of the white antivaccine activists hate the CDC so much that they won’t notice that even Hooker’s reanalysis doesn’t support their belief that vaccines caused their children’s autism. Meanwhile, there is no evidence, at least none submitted by the antivaccine propagandists flogging this conspiracy theory, that there really was a CDC conspiracy to hide anything.

ADDENDUM:

Additional updates:

  1. Andrew Wakefield Tortures History. By Ren
  2. The central conspiracy theory of the antivaccine movement by Orac.
  3. Hey, where is everybody? The “CDC whistleblower” manufactroversy continues apace by Orac.
  4. The CDC “whistleblower” manufactroversy: Twitter parties and another “bombshell” e-mail by Orac.
  5. Andrew Jeremy Wakefield plays video director while African-American Babies die, or something by Reuben.
  6. Autism, Atlanta, MMR: serious questions and also how Brian Hooker and Andrew Wakefield are causing damage to the autism communities by Matt Carey.
  7. Fraud at the CDC uncovered? Probably false. (Snopes.com)
  8. The CDC, the MMR Vaccine, and Allegations of Whistleblowing and Malfeasance: The Backstory. By Liz Ditz
  9. Directed Acyclic Graphs and the MMR vaccine doesn’t cause autism. By Ren
  10. Antivaccine activists throw Twitter tantrum. (Harpocrates Speaks)

Posted in: Science and the Media, Vaccines

Leave a Comment (1,207) ↓

1,207 thoughts on “Did a high ranking whistleblower really reveal that the CDC covered up proof that vaccines cause autism in African-American boys?

  1. Young CC Prof says:

    As the reasonable, slightly anxious people leave the antivax movement behind, the bizarre conspiracists grow thicker and thicker. They’re distilled down so far, I think I could scour my bathtub with the poisonous nonsense.

    1. Not a Sheeple says:

      Where do I fit in? I have a BA, MA, QMHP, Teaching certification, etc. I research. I learn. Can you scour your tub with my beliefs too? Seems like it just easier to put us all down. I certainly know its easier to believe lies that face a hard truth.

      1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

        I’m sorry, you used the word “sheeple” without irony. That means you lose.

        Seems like it just easier to put us all down. I certainly know its easier to believe lies that face a hard truth.

        I agree, which is why so many antivaccinationists refuse to admit that the vaccine/autism hypothesis is a failed one and instead retreat to conspiracies and speculation.

        Vaccines don’t cause autism. Autism is a predominantly genetic condition that is diagnosed symptomatically and there are some environmental factors that can cause similar global impairments to some of the most complicated functions the brain performs (socialability, abstract reasoning and language). Refusing to vaccinate doesn’t protect children from autism, it just exposes them, and the community to the risks of vaccine-preventable diseases.

        1. Not a Sheeple says:

          Oh my goodness, I wish I picked another name…people keep responding to that instead of my post! I disagree with you 100% I do believe vaccines are one cause of many (and often its many things not just one) in SOME children with a genetic risk. Its a combo thing, its not black and white and autism is 100% only caused by vaccines. I base this not on any conspiracies or speculation, but data and research. Even if you didn’t do a ton of research, how can anyone think it is safe to put all those chemicals into little bodies all at once? Anyhow, I am on the wrong page for this and got sucked down the rabbit hole. Time to go. I have to pick up my son with autism from his special education per-school class.

          1. AdamG says:

            <blockquote.I base this not on any conspiracies or speculation, but data and research.

            Show us some then. I’m actually a scientist (human geneticist), and a large part of my job is reading and interpreting scientific literature. Were you trained and hired to do this? I have read as much literature on this issue as exists in the medical literature, and there’s not a single piece of good evidence in support of the idea that vaccines are ‘one cause of many.’ I agree that there are many factors which contribute to autism risk. However, you’ve taken that conclusion and jumped further: “there are many factors that contribute to autism risk, therefore vaccines must be one of them.” That’s not how science works. Especially when not a single epidemiological study demonstrates a link between autism and vaccination.

            1. Vince Glortho says:

              Go research Operation Paperclip and see what is fact and fiction. It may startle you to know that the idea to control populations was introduced early on by a theologist named Bertram Russell back in the 1920′s. He spoke of using vaccines in a less than benevolent manner. The Tuskegee experiments of the 1960′s is another FACTUAL example of how vaccine experimentation was performed against an unknowing public– or maybe you like the idea that people were purposely injected with syphilis?

              1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

                Bertrand Russel was not a theologist, Operation Paperclip was used to smuggle German scientists out of Nazi Germany (you may be thinking of Project MKULTRA), the Tuskegee syphilis experiments involved withholding antibiotic treatment, not vaccinations, oh – and all of these resulted in significant press awareness and outrage based on verified facts and evidence.

                In comparison, there has been no good proof associating vaccines with autism, this study doesn’t provide that proof, the actual researcher themselves felt guilty about an interpretation of data (not a concealment), and generally your factual errors, even if corrected, would still be spurious.

                Vaccines don’t cause autism.

              2. Windriven says:

                Sadly William, old Bertie was something of a racist and a more or less cautious proponent of eugenics. One must look at his racism in the context of his times I suppose, but it is embarrassing nonetheless.

              3. AdamG says:

                So, Glortho, one guy was in favor of eugenics 100 years ago. Now care to explain what the hell that has to do with the myth that vaccines cause autism?

              4. Vince Glortho says:

                I understand that we all try to select ideas that support our point of view. I’m just pointing out that the use of vaccines (and hydrofluorosilicic acid) as bio weapons have been constructed from a long line of eugenecists. Now there is a new study that actually says that mercury actually improves cognitive function and is therefore no longer harmful but helpful. And pregnant women should now be getting innoculated for flu and pertussis? Operation paperclip brought about 30000 Nazi scientists over in a plan to develop rocket telemetry and mass extension technology. And here’s a quote from ‘ol Bertrand that may be of interest…

                “Diet, injections, and injunctions will combine, from a very early age, to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable, and any serious criticism of the powers that be will become psychologically impossible.

                “Gradually, by selective breeding, the congenital differences between rulers and ruled will increase until they become almost different species. A revolt of the plebs would become as unthinkable as an organized insurrection of sheep against the practice of eating mutton.”

                - Bertrand Russell, The Impact of Science on Society, 1953

              5. Chris says:

                “Now there is a new study that actually says that mercury actually improves cognitive function and is therefore no longer harmful but helpful.”

                Citation needed.

                And what does all of that have to do with the MMR vaccine? It has never contained thimerosal.

                Vaccines are a lousy method for eugenics, as it tends to make it so that children can become adults instead of becoming disabled or dead from diseases. Why would you want a kid to get measles with a one in thousand chance of encephalitis?

              6. Vince Glortho says:

                I am not disputing the validity of the useful scientific advancement of vaccinations. I’m merely trying to point out that there are continually changing data on what is beneficial. It may not be that MMR directly causes autism, but is contributory when considered with other environmental factors as pesticides, glyphosate (Roundup), and the aerosolized aluminum and barium being released in the upper troposphere, How can we consider the FDA, EPA, CDC, or any other governmental agency benevolent in nature with a history of human experimentation (ie Tuskegee and the SV 40 infusion to the Polio vaccine in the 1950′s)?? Seems like it is heard mentality to blindly follow agencies that have been less than forthcoming on so many occasions…

              7. MadisonMD says:

                It may not be that MMR directly causes autism, but is contributory when considered with other environmental factors as pesticides, glyphosate (Roundup), and the aerosolized aluminum and barium being released in the upper troposphere,

                Wow. How did you make that crazy hypothesis up and why did you leave out the internet, organic food, and the Prius?

                …but I do like the atmosphere part. Fact: there has never been a case of autism reported on Venus, which provides strong observational evidence of earth’s atmosphere being involved. Or gravity.

              8. Chris says:

                ” I’m merely trying to point out that there are continually changing data on what is beneficial. It may not be that MMR directly causes autism, but is contributory when considered with other environmental factors as pesticides, glyphosate (Roundup), and the aerosolized aluminum and barium being released in the upper troposphere, ”

                Or an actual virus like rubella. Congenital rubella is
                a known cause of autism.

              9. Windriven says:

                “It may not be that MMR directly causes autism, but is contributory when considered with other environmental factors as pesticides, glyphosate (Roundup), and the aerosolized aluminum and barium being released in the upper troposphere…”

                Why MMR at all? Why with glyphosate or barium? What you are actually saying is that you have no effing idea what contributes to autism but if you throw enough sh!t at the wall, something might stick.

                So what would you have us do? Shall we stop vaccinating? Forbid farmers from using Roundup? Is there a point to the speculation and hand wringing? Or are you really saying, “something’s wrong and I don’t like it.” That isn’t a solution. It isn’t even a helpful question.

              10. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

                It may not be that MMR directly causes autism, but is contributory when considered with other environmental factors as pesticides, glyphosate (Roundup), and the aerosolized aluminum and barium being released in the upper troposphere,

                Considering that there is no evidence that MMR is in any way related to causing autism, or that it may even be slightly protective, or that there is actually considerable evidence against an MMR-autism link, why propose your link-to-a-link? Particularly when none of the linked-to-links are implicated either? All you’re doing here is saying “I would rather believe vague chemicals I don’t understand cause autism, rather than looking at the actual etiology”. Maybe it’s simply not the vaccines. Why would you even think it was, considering the source of that idea, even ignoring the conflict of interest and fraud accusations, was an uncontrolled study of 12 children?

                How can we consider the FDA, EPA, CDC, or any other governmental agency benevolent in nature with a history of human experimentation (ie Tuskegee and the SV 40 infusion to the Polio vaccine in the 1950′s)??

                Well the EPA didn’t even exist for either of those examples, SV40 was never “infused” into the polio vaccine, and how about “because there was outrage when these incidents were discovered”? It’s not like government came up with either idea to deliberately harm people and spread a disease. The Tuskegee experiment was passive neglect, not active poisoning, and for research, not for public health reasons.

                Not to mention, single examples do not mean you are correct in all conclusions. The fact that Tuskegee occurred doesn’t mean that vaccines are deliberately used to cause autism in children or that a conspiracy is being covered up. Having to claim a conspiracy is basically saying “I have no real evidence”.

            2. AdamG says:

              Really Glortho, chemtrails? You’ve been spending too much time with Gozer.

              1. Vince Glortho says:

                I know…I know. I’m surprised no one has used the CIA’s favorite discrediting tin foil hat terminology. It’s a great tactic to discredit any thought process outside of the New York Times or Wall Street Journal. If we follow the CDC’s recommended schedule, a child can expect to be administered over 20 doses of injections in his/her first year. At the very least, we can agree that the aggregate volume is inherently a potential risk for such a small body to endure.

                I’m not saying not to vaccinate! But how long can suppression of evidence be ignored? The guy in this article stands to benefit how exactly for coming forward? He can now expect further ridicule and government inquiries into his personal life. It’s so safe to sit back and deny everything that is happening around us. All chemicals are safe…our loving government says so!!

              2. Chris says:

                How about offering some actual evidence instead of conspiracy theories. If you think the number of vaccinations are too high, then provide that evidence. If you have a better way to prevent measles, mumps and rubella, then present that data.

              3. Vince Glortho says:

                Chris the evidence is supplied with the mountain of whistleblowers coming forward and the suppression of evidence that has companies like Merck, GSK, and Brystol Myers crapping their Yves St Laurent suits. Because altering test results to pass FDA approval is ILLEGAL– and jail sucks. Be patient my friend, the conspiracies you are so quick to dismiss will have their day in court. The MMR vaccine will be broken up in to individual shots instead of a triple. Did you hear that water is wet, and fish swim in it? That conspiracy is next to be proven

                Hoping all the trolls on here aren’t really smoking their own dope…

              4. Chris says:

                What evidence? I see no data from you that the MMR vaccine is more dangerous than measles, mumps and rubella. Where does it show that the MMR causes at least one child out of a thousand to have encephalitis or kills at least on in five thousand?

                Come on, be specific. Explain clearly by naming the “whistleblowers” and exactly what evidence is being suppressed. Provide verifiable documentation so that we know you are not making it all up out of thin air.

                Until you do that, you are just spouting off nonsensical conspiracy theories.

              5. Vince Glortho says:

                Here ya go Chris…can you click on the link? Or is it a conspiracy that I put it here for you to view yourself??

                http://www.thelibertybeacon.com/2013/06/21/new-published-study-verifies-andrew-wakefields-research-on-autism-again-mmr-vaccine-causes-autism/

                People reading this article need to know that there is a huge incentive for Merck to cover up the fraud in their studies. Everyone will see the current court case with Merck and finally see the truth

              6. Vince Glortho says:

                Please see the following link and videos therein…it shows a completely different side from what CNN or other mainstream media outlets will report. Be informed

                http://www.globalresearch.ca/dr-andrew-wakefield-speaks-out-about-cdc-scientists-admission-of-vaccine-research-fraud/5398198

              7. Chris says:

                Did you miss this bit: “Provide verifiable documentation so that we know you are not making it all up out of thin air.”

                That website and the video are not verifiable. Also nothing that Wakefield says is verifiable. No studies have independently replicated Wakefield.

                Again, please provide verifiable evidence that the MMR vaccine causes more harm than measles.

              8. Chris says:

                To repeat: Wakefield is a fraud. His small case series was not independently replicated:
                http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2013/12/a-list-of-28-studies-from-around-the-world-that-support-dr-wakefields-research.html

                There is no evidence that vaccines cause autism:
                http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2013/08/-those-lists-of-papers-that-claim-vaccines-cause-autism-part-1.html

                You might want to learn how to distinguish between fantasy and reality.

              9. Nell on Wheels says:

                Glortho,

                The paper mentioned in the article Identification of Unique Gene Expression Profile in Children with Regressive Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Ileocolitiscontains no mention of vaccines, vaccination, MMR, or thimerosal.

                Monetary compensation does not mean that the Vaccine Court “admits” that vaccines cause autism. In the Ryan Mojabi case, compensation was awarded on the basis that he had suffered vaccine-induced encephalopathy, which is considered a “Table” injury, or one that is “presumed to be caused by vaccines.”

                In the Emily Moller case, there was a negotiated settlement, with no admissions or findings.

                [A] settlement is not an admission by the United States or the Secretary of Health and Human Services that the vaccine caused the petitioner’s alleged injuries, and, in settled cases, the Court does not determine that the vaccine caused the injury. A settlement therefore cannot be characterized as a decision by HHS or by the Court that the vaccine caused an injury. A settlement therefore cannot be characterized as a decision by HHS or by the Court that the vaccine caused an injury. Claims may be resolved by settlement for many reasons, including consideration of prior court decisions; a recognition by both parties that there is a risk of loss in proceeding to a decision by the Court making the certainty of settlement more desirable; a desire by both parties to minimize the time and expense associated with litigating a case to conclusion; and a desire by both parties to resolve a case quickly and efficiently.
                http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/statisticsreports.html

              10. Windriven says:

                “Who exactly is this “we” you speak of Chris? I do not need to provide data to someone who has clearly made up their mind.”

                Then what the eff are you doing here, if not to change minds? You damned well do need to provide data because it looks like you’re jabbering out of the wrong end.

                And then you wrap with your infantile ‘show me’ about sanitation, as if public health is binary. That last little bit contained both a false dichotomy and the nirvana fallacy.

                So pardon the hell out of me but absent supporting data you’re just another gasbag wandering by to unburden yourself of your ill-thought-through fantasies.

              11. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

                If we follow the CDC’s recommended schedule, a child can expect to be administered over 20 doses of injections in his/her first year. At the very least, we can agree that the aggregate volume is inherently a potential risk for such a small body to endure.

                Yes, and this results in about a dozen dangerous, even deadly diseases being prevented, safely and effectively. And these shots, spaced over a year, represent a tiny total volume of liquid, which is mostly water, and a number of dissolved compound of which we have a solid understanding of their movement and metabolism through the body. Most of which are either part of the diet (aluminum!) or metabolism (formaldehyde!) anyway.

                Chris the evidence is supplied with the mountain of whistleblowers coming forward

                I don’t see a “mountain”, I see “one”.

                Because altering test results to pass FDA approval is ILLEGAL

                Except no test results were chnaged; one subgroup analysis was not highlighted, which makes perfect sense given the small number of subjects in each cell, the large number of cells, the lack of a dose-response, and other indications of spurious findings. If test results were actually altered, then Hooker’s reanalysis wouldn’t have found the result.

            3. Lorri says:

              I am curious, if you truly did unbiased research to back up your claims, how do you explain away the testimony of literally thousands of parents who’s children were damaged or died, as a direct result of vaccinations? Have you listened to any of these videos? Should we just ignore these people?
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOtk6vxVg0k&index=2&list=PLJpPObXpZncOfT0bG2ghgkVb2Nxjd_bNe
              They all follow similar circumstances of having healthy offspring who achieve normal milestones of walking, talking, interacting etc, and all these abilities are lost, sometimes within hours or days of receiving vaccinations. The stories are all the same – everything onsets within hours or days of receiving a round of vaccinations, and the babies/children who were healthy up to that point, are never the same. Some even die within days. I am curious, how do you (in good conscience) explain this away? I am sure people like you simply say it’s a coincidence. You would have a different opinion if your child began displaying symptoms of severe autism, or passed away, directly after you took him/her to get a round of shots. Especially when they were healthy and could walk and talk before the shots, but not after. Please enlighten me, should all these vaccine related injury testimonies be ignored? Many of them result in a diagnosis of autism.

              1. Chris says:

                Videos are not scientific evidence. Please post the PubMed Identification Number of the survey where the “testimony of literally thousands of parents who’s children were damaged or died, as a direct result of vaccinations” were collected and verified.

                “You would have a different opinion if your child began displaying symptoms of severe autism, or passed away, directly after you took him/her to get a round of shots”

                My oldest suffered seizures from a disease before the vaccine was available. That was one of the times he was taken by ambulance to the hospital. He is still disabled. I know autistic adults near his age who are much more functional than he is.

                If you have evidence that the MMR causes more seizures than measles or mumps, then please provide the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers with that data.

              2. Nell on Wheels says:

                While we can certainly sympathize with the parents of these children, there is simply no scientific evidence at this time that vaccines cause autism. That’s not to say that vaccines never cause a reaction or injury.

                There appears to be a mistaken belief that the The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was set up specifically to adjudicate vaccination/autism claims, but the NVICP’s Vaccine Injury Table lists “vaccines, the injuries, disabilities, illnesses, conditions, and deaths resulting from the administration of such vaccines, and the time period in which the first symptom or manifestation of onset or of the significant aggravation of such injuries, disabilities, illnesses, conditions, and deaths is to occur after vaccine administration for purposes of receiving compensation under the Program.”

                When you speak of testimony, did these people file a petition with the NVICP? Since 1988, 15,100 petitions have been filed, 13,274 adjudicated, 3,540 compensated, and 9,734 dismissed. http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/statisticsreports.html

              3. Lorri says:

                I am sorry that your child is disabled. Just as you believe your child’s disability wasn’t a coincidence, but was caused by a disease, many people believe their children’s disabilities or deaths were caused by various vaccines, not just MMR. If you watched the videos or took time to research the other side of the story, you would know many of them are in the arduous legal process of filing petitions and lawsuits. As you know, that takes time. Lots of time, years in fact. You claim your child was injured due to an illness. That is your testimony, and I take that into account as evidence. I’m sure your child’s doctor can back up your testimony. My sister went into a coma hours after her MMR shot. After being rushed to the hospital, her pediatrician told my parents that she should not have any more shots. My sister was injured as a result of the MMR vaccine. That is my parent’s testimony. Their doctor can back it up, and so can my sister’s medical records. Their testimony has not been “collected and verified” or put into a survey with a “PubMed Identification Number”, yet the incident did happen, as a direct result of the MMR vaccine. Don’t discount the incident just because their testimony wasn’t “collected and verified” in a survey with a “PubMed Identification Number.” Any judge will tell you that testimony IS evidence.

              4. Harriet Hall says:

                How about the child who was taken to the pediatrician for immunizations and had a seizure on the examining table before any shots were given? If the doctor had given the shots a few minutes sooner, wouldn’t that have been blamed on the vaccines? The way science approaches these concerns is not to gather testimony, but to do a controlled study to find out if the problem occurs more often in conjunction with vaccines than at other times. This has been done.

              5. Vince Glortho says:

                Lorri it is useless as you can see, to present evidence that there is an adverse reaction to some vaccines. They will inundate responses such as “please provide verifiable evidence”. And when that is substantiated, it is dismissed as conspiracy or a small sample study. These respondents like Chris and others like him are usually from the CDC or other government agency, or even paid from the large pharmaceuticals themselves. These “trolls” find websites and attempt to discredit obvious reasoning like yours and demand evidence in the same way a bully demands lunch money. If Merck will allegedly alter efficacy results, what else will they do??

                http://blogs.wsj.com/pharmalot/2014/09/10/did-merck-unfairly-monopolize-the-market-for-a-mumps-vaccine/

                Most people in the U.S. do not even realize that U.S. law prevents anyone damaged by vaccines from suing the manufacturer. In 1986, Congress passed a law preventing legal liability to vaccine damages, because the drug companies manufacturing vaccines blackmailed them, by threatening to stop manufacturing vaccines without legal protection. There were so many lawsuits resulting from vaccine injuries and deaths prior to this time, that it was no longer profitable for them to continue marketing vaccines without legal protection. So instead of Congress requiring that drug companies manufacture safer vaccines, they complied with the drug companies’ requests and passed legislation protecting the drug companies. In 2011 this law was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

              6. weing says:

                “Should we just ignore these people?”
                If they are trying to practice medicine? Absolutely ignore them. If they are asking to help them find out why this happened? Fund studies to do so. Take up a collection.

              7. Sawyer says:

                So instead of Congress requiring that drug companies manufacture safer vaccines…

                Using what, their magic wizard amulet of disease prevention? Seriously, tell us EXACTLY what should have been done to cut side effect rates from, say 1 in a million range to 1 in 10 million? What makes you think that anyone in the world has the slightest clue how to accomplish this, let alone accomplish it in a cost-effective manner?

                And history has proven you wrong already regarding this scenario. We used to use a whole cell pertussis vaccine. It had side effects. We made a safer vaccine. It has less side effects. (It’s also less effective, and a lot of the people that work with pertussis would happily go back to the old vaccine.) But I suppose that’s just more evidence of your grand conspiracy – less effective vaccine, more doses, more treatment.

              8. Sawyer says:

                These respondents like Chris and others like him are usually from the CDC or other government agency, or even paid from the large pharmaceuticals themselves

                And there it is. Usually people reserve the Big Pharma Shill Gambit for the authors, but you’ve decided to lump in commenters too. Good luck having a conversation with people here after just making up blatant lies about them.

                I can’t speak for Chris, but I’ll happily donate every penny I’ve earned shilling for Merck on this site to Age of Autism, Generation Rescue, or any other vaccine-critical organization. Heck I’ll give them 5 times what I earned here! :)

              9. Chris says:

                “These respondents like Chris and others like him are usually from the CDC”

                Really? And what is your evidence?

                Let me give you a hint: my local time is about 9:46 pm. Does that place me in Atlanta, GA?

                I have a kid with several medical issues who has suffered greatly from a disease before its vaccine was available. One of the autistic adults who is doing better than him has also been diagnosed with bipolar disorder (actually, just lie his mother). Does you myopic vision not see the damage that is done by the actual diseases and genetic bad luck?

                Do you have anything other than conspiracy theories? Again, where is the real verifiable evidence that the MMR causes more harm than measles?

              10. Chris says:

                “Don’t discount the incident just because their testimony wasn’t “collected and verified” in a survey with a “PubMed Identification Number.” Any judge will tell you that testimony IS evidence.”

                So how did the NVICP claim go? Do you mind linking to the Vaccine Court result at http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/vaccine-programoffice-special-masters ?

                Because if you had all that evidence, then your family should have been compensated. But since the compensated claims are less than one out of over a million vaccine doses, that kind of shows us that the vaccines are not that dangerous. Especially compared the injuries from the vaccines.

                Now if you have evidence that any vaccine on the American pediatric schedule causes more harm than the disease, then post the PubMed index studies by reputable qualified researchers with that data.

              11. Vince Glortho says:

                I’ve spoken and posted my differing opinions on this website. Hopefully people reading will have another avenue of information besides the self proclaimed “Science Based Medicine” site. The truth is out there if we choose to find it…

              12. weing says:

                “I’ve spoken and posted my differing opinions on this website.”
                Thank you for highlighting your ignorance of science and your resultant opinions.

              13. Chris says:

                “The truth is out there if we choose to find it…”

                Except all you offered were unsupported conspiracy theories and common anti-vaccine tropes that are easily refuted (“Wakefield has been replicated”).

                If you wish to be taken seriously you should not pull out the nonsense we have seen over and over again. You should try to provide the data we asked for.

              14. Vince Glortho says:

                “If you wish to be taken seriously you should not pull out the nonsense we have seen over and over again. You should try to provide the data we asked for.”

                Who exactly is this “we” you speak of Chris? I do not need to provide data to someone who has clearly made up their mind. The subjective nature by which you make conclusions is evident with others like you. People who think that the flu vaccine is good science as well…when docs get together and guess which strains of avian influenza may be appropriate to administer. There is a science out there for vaccines, but it most certainly is not an exact science. Show me evidence that improved septic systems did not substantially reduce disease more than inoculations. Show me

              15. MadisonMD says:

                I agree with Chris, so she and I together are we.

                Show me evidence that improved septic systems did not substantially reduce disease more than inoculations. Show me

                Like usual, you refuse to provide evidence for your claims and then demand evidence proving your claims wrong. Classic request for negative proof from someone who makes claims without evidence.

                But, OK. I’ll show you anyway. Vaccines eliminated smallpox world-wide when septic systems were not available to vast populations worldwide. Even now people can live in the bush with no septic tank without any risk of smallpox whatsoever.

              16. Sawyer says:

                Show me evidence that improved septic systems did not substantially reduce disease more than inoculations.

                Nice to see you had the good ol’ strawman catapult loaded and ready to launch.

                Who here is denying that water and waste management systems are crucial innovations that allowed us to reduce the spread of diseases? Name someone. Chris? Windriven? Dr. Gorski? I’ll make it easier. Name ANYONE that does vaccine research that denies the value of proper waste disposal. You literally have tens of thousands of people to choose from, it shouldn’t be difficult.

                While you’re searching, would you like us to explain to you why flush toilets can conquer diseases like cholera and trichinella, but don’t fair so well against influenza and measles? There is plenty of data to back this up, but quite frankly anyone that passed a high school biology class should know why we need vaccines for these diseases.

              17. Chris says:

                “Show me evidence that improved septic systems did not substantially reduce disease more than inoculations.”

                Yawn, yet another old tired anti-vaccine trope.

                It kind of indicates that your grasp of history and biology is a bit tenuous. Obviously sewers and safe water helps with water borne diseases. Though I have lived in a modern city in another country where you still do not drink water from the tap unless you want dysentery (and a classmate was out of school for several weeks for that). Yet they don’t get measles outbreaks because of a strong vaccine program. Unfortunately dengue fever is returning.

                Now if sanitation was such a big part of measles control, you should explain what happened to Japan’s sanitation infrastructure to result it what is described in Measles vaccine coverage and factors related to uncompleted vaccination among 18-month-old and 36-month-old children in Kyoto, Japan:

                According to an infectious disease surveillance (2000), total measles cases were estimated to be from 180,000 to 210,000, and total deaths were estimated to be 88 [11,12].

                So any idea when you are going to come up with some actual verifiable evidence that the MMR vaccine is more dangerous than measles?

              18. KayMarie says:

                Show me evidence that improved septic systems did not substantially reduce disease more than inoculations. Show me

                Show me evidence that all the communities in the USA all at the same time at various different years all changed their sewage systems all at the same time.

                There are plenty of graphs of incidence of illness that show that very suddenly in the year or so after mass inoculation was started the incidence plummeted. Disease after disease, year after year. Usually public works things like sewage systems change slowly and only get replaced when they break down, not every few years when there is breakthrough and a new type of plumbing piece is approved.

                I really don’t remember them completely redoing the sewage system in the neighborhood or city every couple of years as I grew up around when a lot of the vaccines were released, but they did have a lot of in school vaccination programs as we couldn’t have gotten them before entering kindergarten. I never got the mass vaccinations as my doc always got me before the public health initiative got to my school.

            4. Truthseeker says:

              As William Thompson’s statement through his attorney has revealed, maybe you can’t find any evidence of such because all evidence has been scrubbed clean. That is the point is it not?

          2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

            Oh my goodness, I wish I picked another name…people keep responding to that instead of my post!

            The name is the least of your problems (but the easiest to mock); a much larger problem is your failure to cite, or apparently even be aware of, the research against a vaccine-autism link.

            I disagree with you 100% I do believe vaccines are one cause of many (and often its many things not just one) in SOME children with a genetic risk.

            Sure, that’s great – but why? Because you were spoon-fed something about genetic predispositions and didn’t look into it further? Even if it were a gene-environment interaction, there have been hundreds of thousands of studies comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated children; such studies would have been able to register even tiny increases in risks such as you would have seen in only a small sub-sample of genetically-susceptible people. There is no evidence of even a sub-sample of children with genetic risks, your comment is more of an effort to explain away a negative result than it is a better argument. If there are such “genetically susceptible groups”, what genes? What is the penetrance? Why haven’t we seen them appearing when studied?

            I base this not on any conspiracies or speculation, but data and research.

            Can you cite any of this research? Is it by the Geiers? Has it been replicated and extended beyond a tiny and incestuous circle of poor scientists operating outside of their training?

            Even if you didn’t do a ton of research, how can anyone think it is safe to put all those chemicals into little bodies all at once?

            Because there is actually a lot of research on most of the vaccine ingredients, and little cause for concern. What exactly are you worried about? The mercury? None in any vaccines anymore, bar some influenza shots. The aluminum? It’s ubiquitous in the environment, you eat and drink considerable amounts every day. The antigens? If you get sick, you get exposed to millions or billions more than those found in the vaccine. Formaldehyde? Your body produces formaldehyde as a part of normal biology.

            Anyhow, I am on the wrong page for this and got sucked down the rabbit hole. Time to go.

            Feel free to return if you have questions rather than conclusions.

            I have to pick up my son with autism from his special education per-school class.

            I’m hoping the class uses a behavioral model, as it’s the only intervention proven to work and improve quality of life. I hope you aren’t cruelly trying to “cure” your son – autism can’t be cured. It can be grown out of, or it can be permanent, but rather than lamenting the loss of a child you never had, you might celebrate the one you do have.

            Also, it wasn’t the vaccines.

            1. Earthman says:

              “there have been hundreds of thousands of studies ”

              Errr… hundreds, perhaps thousands, of studies…

              I know science is busy these days, but 100,000+ studies?

              1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

                Oops, sorry, hundreds of studies on thousands of children.

                Thanks for flagging the error.

            2. Paul Duke says:

              Is it possible that most of these studies you site are tainted as the study in question here is? Who really controls these studies and who is allowed to speak or publish what the studies are truly finding? This is the problem that the public wants addressed. How can we trust our government when the boards of these corporations and the government positions are being filled by the same groups of people, none of which are concerned about the full disclosure of evidence to the general public.

              1. Jopari says:

                Wait a sec, where do you live? The system you describe is a despotic one.

                Next, if they can control what studies are published, you would not see “whistleblowers”. If they couldn’t cover up those guys, neither would they be able to shut up the others, who would’ve provided more substancial evidence that proved something.

                The study in question hasn’t been tainted, rather the information has been miscontrued.

                “This is the problem the public wants addressed.” So in a country where most things are tolerated and even endorsed (not limited to medicine.) the public wants to be more open. Simply because it’s more accepting doesn’t mean it should accept rank amateurs nor unreliable evidence.

                Now to the conspiracy theory.
                What exactly do you mean by the same kind of people exactly? Explain how the same kind of people keep getting put on board, because I don’t quite get it.

              2. simba says:

                Again- this is not just your government, it is not all about America. Across the developed, and developing, world there are scientists, doctors, researchers who are investigating vaccines and vaccine safety. The consensus, across countries, across continents, is that vaccines efficacious and vaccine schedules are arranged so that any risks are worth the benefits. Hence why you don’t get diphtheria vaccine, most people here don’t get polio, but people in other countries do.

                Not just the U.S. Not just governments. Not just corporations. The necessary conspiracy would have to be bigger and more implausible than the illuminati or mind-controlling clones.

              3. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

                Paul, is it possible the science is not tainted, that the many dozens and hundreds of studies are actually accurate, a possibility the vax-aut crowd never seems to entertain? And think about it, your theory would suggest a near perfect conspiracy able to suppress all dissenting data – but not quite because one tiny pool of researchers dedicated to a single idea manage to get their ideas out, but only in poorly conducted studies or, in this case, data dredging that even if true and not merely an artifact of multiple comparisons fails to explain or support their main argument.

                Or maybe vaccines don’t cause autism.

                And let’s not forget that this is only a single study that only had significant findings by NOT controlling for multiple comparisons, based solely on a single sub-sub-sub-cell whose ultimate numbers were pushed into significance due to a surplus of a rather small number of excess cases. Maybe we wait for the replication.

            3. lisa says:

              Could you please post information/studies etc… of how autism can be out grown.

            4. Eric says:

              So can you explain why I’ve spoken to hundreds of parents who say “I had a fully functional, talkative, happy child until they got the MMR and then it was like the lights just went out!” You think this is pure coincidence? just curious?

              1. Chris says:

                First we would have to determine if you are telling the truth. Where can we find your paper with your well documented survey? Just post its PMID.

              2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

                So can you explain why I’ve spoken to hundreds of parents who say “I had a fully functional, talkative, happy child until they got the MMR and then it was like the lights just went out!” You think this is pure coincidence? just curious?

                Not coincidence, no. The reality is that human memory is more generative than faithful. Put another way, memory is highly based on current beliefs and moods, not on what actually happened. It is part of the self-confirming engine that is the human brain. So if you believe that your child’s autism is caused by the MMR vaccine, you will forget all the times before your child’s first birthday where they didn’t make eye contact and compress in your mind the time it took for your child to lag behind their peers. Six months of gradually-widening gaps in language and socialization becomes on week of regression.

                See Mistakes Were Made by carol tavris, an The Invisible Gorilla for more information.

                Also, an autistic child is not dead, merely different. They can never be ‘cured’ because they do not have a disease. Priority should be placed on teaching effective communication rather than ‘recovery’.

            5. MD says:

              Okay, this should be easy with all those hundreds of studies on thousands of children: show me just one peer-reviewed, double-blind study proving that the MMR vaccine actually does what the pharmaceutical companies claim it will (prevent mumps, etc.). Don’t tell me that would be unethical to test it while supporting pumping millions of children with it.

              1. Chris says:

                “double-blind”

                Really? It was three separate vaccines that were known to be safe before they were combined in 1971. The only change was switching to a better rubella vaccine in 1978, which happened to be the year it was the preferred vaccine for the Measles Elimination Program.

                What you really need to do is show what terrible harms occurred with its use during the 1970s and 1980s. Where is the documentation dated before 1990 showing that autism rose as the MMR was used.

                The CDC Pink Book Appendix G has tables on incidence/deaths of measles, mumps and rubella. Only measles starts at 1950, so here is a comparison of the first few years half a century apart:

                Measles:
                Year_Cases_Deaths__Year___Cases____Deaths
                2000____86___ 1____1950__319124____468
                2001___116___ 1____1951__530118____683
                2002____44___ 0____1952__683077____618
                2003____56___ 1____1953__449146____462
                2004____37___ 0____1954__682720____518
                2005____66___ 1____1955__555156____345
                2006____55___ 0____1956__611936____530
                Total__460____4__________3831277___3624

                Why are so much less cases of measles in the 21st century?

                Now check it out yourself:
                http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/appendices/appdx-full-g.pdf

                Why is the incidence of mumps 104,953 in 1970 and only 338 in 2000? Then there is rubella, with 56,552 cases in 1970 and only 176 in 2000. What happened? Do you have an explanation?

              2. KayMarie says:

                Double-blind and why not add not so ethically dosing all the kids with measles then mumps then rubella to make sure all non-vaccinated kids and all the vaccinations that didn’t quite take got sick and a large percentage of the died, or were maimed for life?

                There are sometimes when a good old double-blind study might techincally be a good experimental design, but killing off a fair percentage of the study population won’t pass the IRB, for good reason.

                So if that is the only study that will prove anything to you, you aren’t ever going to get any data as that wouldn’t be an experiment that will ever be done.

              3. Chris says:

                Here is an early one for measles:
                Efficacy of measles vaccine

                Be sure to check out Table 1, and tell us how you find the third column delightful data.

          3. Thor says:

            Regardless of your many qualifications (though nothing in science), it would behoove you to brush up on your toxicology. One basic principle is that “the dose makes the poison”. You’re simply uninformed and are using the “all chemicals are bad” gambit.

            1. joe says:

              In ppb, the amount of thimerosal was over 1000 ppb in the hep-b
              vaccine alone. The Idiots then require, after 2 months after the first 1000 ppb. The children, according to the AAP and CDC are allowed. up to 9 vaccines, with as many as 7, that contain the mercury. Now, you are in the 10′s of thousands of ppb.

              Except this time, it’s all being given, all at once at one point in time.

              On the MSDS (thimerosal) is this warning. “if you are exposed to thimerosal, any future exposures may cause mercury poisoning”

              It does appear,that the Idiots (CDC AAP) have set the stage for the perfect storm. For the neurological damage, we are now seeing.

              FOIA emails, from the CDC about the mistake, of the FDA on their math concerning thimerosal. “this was not rocket science,it was ninth grade math”

              CDC “how could the FDA approve a preservative, without knowing how much mercury it contained”

              FDA FOIA email “were afraid the public,will perceive us asleep at the switch for decades, for allowing this dangerous compound to
              remain in the vaccines”

              FDA FOIA email “and it’s no longer going to wash,that there’s no evidence of a risk”

              Congressman Burton, said this at his hearing on autism and vaccines.
              He said, I generally do not quote the bible,but I will here. ” there’s none so blind, as those who will not see”
              This was on Wikipedia, this is today’s modern day translation.

              Understanding, cannot be forced on someone, who chooses to be ignorant.

              If you can’t see the evil here,it’s because you choose not to.

              1. Harriet Hall says:

                Please read what has been written about the reason for removing thimerosal from vaccines – it was not done because of any demonstrated harm, but as a precautionary measure to limit the total mercury exposure of children (including from fish and other sources.)
                Please explain why the autism rate rose after thimerosal was removed from vaccines.

              2. MadisonMD says:

                Yeah, but that’s only 0.5ml of 1 part per million. Anyway, you seem to have your facts wrong altogether. And if you mean to imply this has anything to do with autism, you will need to answer Harriet’s question.

                If you can’t see the evil here,it’s because you choose not to.

                Evil? Is the devil himself surreptitiously putting mercury into vaccines? I can’t make sense of what you are trying to say except to that your ideas are dissociated from evidence.

              3. MadisonMD says:

                Now, you are in the 10′s of thousands of ppb.

                Oh, shit. Now I see that you are adding concentrations. I am at a loss for words.

              4. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

                Joe, what kind of mercury is used in vaccines, ethylmercury or methylmercury?

                Do both bioaccumulate equally?

                How readily is one excreted compared to the other?

                If you research these questions, you’ll find that the type of mercury formerly used in vaccines is readily excreted, and does not accumulate in tissues, and thus is quite unlikely to cause any permanent damage.

                Have you “seen” these facts? Or did you choose to be ignorant of them?

              5. Earthman says:

                Why use ppb when 1000 ppb is 1ppm (part per million). Guess 1000 seems more then 1.

            2. joe says:

              Cannot reply to Harriet Hall, so you’ll do.

              ABC’s own Dr. Oz, found 30 ppb of Arsenic in apple juice,was something we had better not ignore. For we do not know the long or even the short term health effects.

              Explain, if Dr. Oz was right about 30 ppb of a lesser toxin (by 500 times) that’s ingested. Not injected, being a long or even a short term health concern. How is over a thousand ppb of injected mercury, that’s given within hours of the first breath of life. Considered logically safe? Before you answer, you need to know, that it is repeated within a few months. And on. Except this time, it’s 9 vaccines. With 7, that may contain the injected mercury. Still don’t answer yet, consider this. The MSDS of the preservative,states “if you are exposed to thimerosal, any future exposures to mercury may cause mercury poisoning” Still don’t answer, not yet. There is another warning, on the MSDS of the preservative “never mix thimerosal with Aluminum” Guess, what is in almost all of the children’s vaccines as a catalyst?

              Answer, sadly, it’s astonishingly. Aluminum. The reason, for that logical warning, to not mix the 2 salts. Is a chemical reaction, that takes place, if you do. It’s called a synergy effect, and the primary toxin, the Thimerosal. It increases, by up to 10 to 100 times it’s original toxicity.

              Now we know what they did, did they the FDA CDC know how bad it was? It’s time, for a little of their own FOIA = ( freedom of information act) emails by those at the FDA & the CDC.

              FDA “were afraid, the public will perceive us asleep at the switch for decades,for allowing this dangerous compound, to remain in the vaccines”

              FDA “and it’s no longer going to wash, that there’s no evidence of a risk”

              CDC, about the incompetent FDA actions “how could the FDA approve a preservative,without knowing how much mercury it contained? what else is lurking we know nothing about? ”

              CDC, about the amounts, and how it was not rocket science in calculating the accumulative doses adding up to neurological damage,and mercury poisoning. “this was not rocket science,it was ninth grade math”

              This one, was from either the CDC or someone at the NIH.

              “maybe we should treat this, like the Tylenol poisonings,acknowledge it happened,pull it from the Mkt. and show contrition” They didn’t, they chose instead to keep it in the vaccines,thus keeping children in harms way. They also, chose to lie straight faced without flinching, to the American people. And worse, they decided to use the combating autism act funds, as their personal slush fund. To do,one sided research, with only one goal in mind. To blame, the parents genes. Here is one such researcher, Poul Thorsen from Denmark. When contacting Poul about him doing their research, they had one request. That he was to understand, that they were only interested in what would exonerate the CDC and vaccines. That, was also in a FOIA email.

              Still don’t answer, not there yet! If it only takes, a few drops of mercury to contaminate a whole lake. And a child’s brain is 80% water, how could this not be the worse scientific mistake in world history?

              Merck’s own grand father of their children’s vaccine program,tried to get this insanity to stop! His name was Dr. Maurice Hilleman. He told, Dr. Gordon Douglass the President of Merck. ” on the next vaccine schedule, the children will be getting 87 times what the EPA considers safe. by six age months, and I am concerned, this was not daily doses as such,this is Bolus doses that’s being given all at once, at one point in time,when viewed in that
              manner, it doe’s appear rather large”

              Yes the dose, it dictates the strength of the toxicity. And someone with more credentials,than me or you. Just told you, that the dose is rather large, when considering it being given in bolus doses.

              In case, you have never heard of Dr. Verstreaten. I will school you, his work was “if a child receives 62.5 micro-grams by age 6 mos, that child has a 2.48 times risk, of getting ADD ADHD Speech Delay. Or AUTISM.

              Now, lets look at a real life AAP CDC sanctioned, vaccine program.

              The expectant mom to be, can get 2 flu vaccines, and RH negative Rhogam vaccine. That’s a total of, 75 micro-grams going across the placenta, and into the baby.

              Then you have a hep-b, that’s foolishly being given, within hours of the fist breath of life. That’s 12.5 micro-grams more, this time it’s injected, into the child. That’s 87.5 micro-grams.

              Then within 2 months and on, a child may be given 9 more vaccines, with as many as 7 that contain the mercury. This could be, up to 175 more. Keep in mind, that we to this point, have not even considered. The Aluminum, that’s being used as a catalyst, that’s now changing the toxicity of the primary toxin. Thimerosal

              Care to add up, that real life, AAP CDC vaccine schedule? I assure you, It’s a hell of a lot more than 2.48 times risk! And a great deal of the mercury, was delivered prenatal, and within hours of the first breath of life. What kind of Idiot, would try to defend this carnage? 2.48 times risk, was lowered (according to Congressman DR. Dave Weldon) to 1.59 by in his words to Dr. Gerberding.

              By selective use, of the data. AKA, Cooking the books,as the CDC whistle blower has said.

              Doing what the CDC said the FDA could not do. (ninthe grade math) That’s a grand tota,l of up to 262.5 micro-grams before 6 mos. of age.

              “when viewed in that manner,it does appear rather large”

              I believe, someone here posting, said that the dose makes the poison. According to the grandfather of Merck’s vaccine program. He agreed,and in his words, “it doe’s appear rather large”

              The poison is in the dose,and I just proved it.

              What did the President of Merck, do with that warning? He ignored it, and suggested, that 6 more vaccines with thimerosal as their preservative be added to the vaccine schedule. That’s why DR. Gerberding, was given her new position at Merck. Services rendered!

              Now you may answer, and here is where we find out if you are a shill.

              PS the researcher from Denmark, that gave them the proof Thimerosal (mercury in children’s vaccines) was safe. He has been indicted,by the Atlanta GA grand jury. On 13 counts of wire fraud and 9 counts of money laundering. You lose! by not doing your homework.

              1. Chris says:

                The MMR vaccine has never contained thimerosal. Just mentioning on this thread shows you don’t have a clue.

                Aside from that, the MMR vaccine has been used in the USA since 1971, more than twenty years before Wakefield published his now retracted study of just twelve kids (many referred by the lawyer who was paying him with UK tax funded legal aide fund).

                The MMR was 1978 American Measles Elimination Program’s preferred vaccine. In the USA, which is much larger than the UK. So by the time Wakefield published his paper the MMR had been used twice as long in a much larger country than the UK.

                So if there was some correlation between autism and the MMR vaccine, it would have showed up in the USA. Especially since it has many more African American males. Where is that data?

                Please post the link to the evidence dated before 1990 that autism increased in the USA corresponding MMR use, especially in African American males.

              2. Lawrence says:

                @Joe – you do realize that the HepB vaccine is now Thimerasol-free & has been so for over a decade, right?

              3. Stephen H says:

                Sorry, but as soon as you mentioned Dr Oz you lost me. Quoting someone who managed to look a total fool in defending his indefensible entertainment show in front of a House committee really doesn’t help your cause. Quoting a doctor who gets someone to adjust their heart patient’s “aura” before surgery merely links you with quackery.

                I have autism. My mother have autism, and my father may well have been autistic. Do I blame the immunisations I got as a child? No – that would be just idiotic. I know better than to think that correlation equals causation, as the vaccine skeptics manage to convince themselves.

                Help your child learn about autism. Don’t just teach them quackery that can get them and their offspring killed by diseases that would have been eliminated from humanity by now were it not for this anti-vaccine movement.

              4. Greg says:

                lost me too, as soon as you quoted that fraudulent huckster, Dr. Oz. Not that I expect you care, but here’s the FDA’s consumer information page on arsenic in apple juice – http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm271595.htm

          4. Lytrigian says:

            people keep responding to that instead of my post

            That’s because it identifies you as a loon before they even get to anything you write, at which point the side you will take on any particular issue is totally predictable regardless of the merits.

            You are not helping your son by believing in this garbage. If you have avoid vaccinating him, you have endangered him and those around him for vaccine-preventable infectious diseases. And I do hope you’re restricting treatment for his autism to genuine science-based methods.

            1. Cole Taylor says:

              What a fool you are. I have to scratch my head and question if you are really so ignorant or if you just choose to intentionally misuse the knowledge and tainted schooling you have received over the years to intentionally destroy humanity by sounding intelligent and well versed to the average citizen when in actuality you reek of a putrid stench which emanates from deep within your blackened soul and spreads upwards and outwards choking the breath out of our children and smothering our society with a blanket of evil , hate, and disgust for all things righteous in an attempt to discredit truth, morality, justice, honor, integrity, common sense, love, compassion, and the human race? You crave the attention of others so much that you argue absurdly simply for the challenge, not caring if you are right or wrong or the effect it has on our world and its future. You are so bent on damning anything alternative or other then the brainwashed programing you seek to place us all including your children under, that you spew disgusting nonsense, which if you honestly believe is reality then you are a poor misguided excuse for a role model, doctor, and human being. Truly you don’t believe that the alphabet boys or the gov. branches you are so warmly cozying up to have any bit of integrity or morality when the majority of the laws passed and positions filled are all so wrapped around the pharma industries nuts that they could be used as a cock ring by all the ex pharma execs which now hold FDA and other positions of authority. Its all back scratching and as far as the vaccines, it makes no sense why the unvaccinated are preyed on as being a threat to the vaccinated. If the vaccines are so effective as you so wrongly claim then why wouldn’t they protect these vaccinated children from the unvaccinated who may catch something? Its the unvaccinated which need to worry about the shedding of the live strains of the viruses from the vaccinated and catching an un natural mutation of something that they would normally build up a natural immunity to for life instead of this half as_ immunity which has to be reshot every so often. They have vaccines mandated which are not at all deadly as compared to the possible side effects risked from getting the shots. It is nothing more than a money machine and the greed of a monster called the ruling elite. If vaccines are so mandatory and necessary and have to be kept up on to be effective then what about the adults in this country who do not get shots and whose supposed protection has long ago worn off? Why haven’t we seen a devastation of the adults health? Natural immunity lasts for a lifetime and this vaccine immunity is not protecting the children as you can read the data which shows most outbreaks start in the vaccinated and spread to the unvaccinated and also unvaccinated children are much less often in the doctors office or hospital. I have had many doctors attest to that. My child is 4 with no shots and has not had to go to the doctor or hospital one time outside of annuals and is one of the healthiest children I have ever met while the majority of my friends and families kids live in the Dr’s office. The shots do the exact opposite of what they are supposed to do and that is they intentionally spread disease to cause fear and to prey on caring parents making them rush to protect their children from the very poison they are getting injected with. Watch Jesse Venturas episode on the doctor who left the country do to the vaccine scandal happening. Fluoride is healthy for us to right? Chemo is the best option against cancer to right? Get your delusional head from out of your arse and spend your time finding out the real truth unless your whole agenda is to stay in bed with all of these criminals and if so I hope they are lubing you up real well while shoving you full of what you truly are, A DICK! Yes the run on sentences are meant for you to remember how we hate to see your disgusting comments just continue to rear their ugly head day after day after day after day. To those buying this disgrace to humanities garbage, please stop listening to a fool because when you argue with one, those from a distance can’t tell who is who.

              1. Chris says:

                What? Dear Mr. Taylor, paragraphs are your friends.

                “My child is 4 with no shots and has not had to go to the doctor or hospital one time outside of annuals and is one of the healthiest children I have ever met while the majority of my friends and families kids live in the Dr’s office.”

                Please thank the responsible people in your community who vaccinate. They are protecting your son from disease by maintaining your community’s immunity.

                Though lately there have been outbreaks of measles, and if your son goes to kindergarten in a school with low vaccination rates he might be exposed. How good is your health insurance? About one in ten who catch measles end up in the hospital.

              2. simba says:

                So much incoherent hatred. I pity you and wish you well.

                There’s no need for me to address those points- both because this blog has done so before, and because it’s clear they stem from a blind unwillingness to look at the science for yourself. But I appreciate your passion and honesty, and hope only that you may think more clearly in the future.

              3. Dan says:

                Lifelong immunity from contracting childhood diseases is a myth.

          5. Thor says:

            I should add that the thimerosal, which used to be in vaccines, gets broken down to ethylmercury in the body, the minute quantities of which are not harmful (they don’t appear to accumulate).

            Methylmercury, on the other hand, is what we normally think of as mercury – it’s the kind found in fish and old-fashioned thermometers – and certainly can be toxic to humans. But, that form was never in vaccines. And now, only some flu-vaccines even contain thimerosal anymore.

            See how sometimes things that appear scary and dangerous, in reality aren’t necessarily so?

            1. joe says:

              Why do you lie! 1948 Dr. Frank Engley in an AMA funded research on thimerosal found that thimerosal was toxic down to a level that was almost unbelievable. Down to one one millionth of a gram. The lead author of that study said,that’s about as toxic as it gets,and we must remove it from everything it is in. All the way down, to topical use.

              The MSDS of thimerosal, it disagrees with you.

              “thimerosal is accumulative in the body, it targets the organs of the body, in-particular the brain and the lining around the brain”

              Dr. Burbachers baby primate study, supports the manufacturers
              on MSDS (characteristics of thimerosal) Burbachers findings….
              First, the vaccine preservative thimerosal, crosses the Blood Brain Barrier easier than does the fish (methyl-mercury) Second, it goes up into the brain, and then turns into ethyl-mercury. At the rate,
              of 2.5 times that again as does, the fish mercury. Dr. Burbacher said, that you actually get more uptake, in the infant brain. More with thimerosal, than with fish mercury.

              One search, of what is the most toxic and damaging to the human mitochondria. Led to, two things. (ethyl-mercury being # 1 most damaging) ( 2nd is MSG, it is being injected into children) Both are in the AAP, and CDC sanctioned, children’s vaccine schedule.

              The FDA, had a second chance to remove thimerosal from as Dr. Engley said everything! That was in 1982, the AMA funded team tried then to get the FDA to listen to reason. To no avail, they did not listen. So,just before DR. Engley died, he released a video that
              damns all their lies. It lays bare, their total incompetence.

              “if they had listened, and followed through on our 82 report,then all the vaccines would have been freed from thimerosal,and they tell me, all this autism would have never occurred” He paused,an then said,”but as it is, it all occurred”

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IEyqldoOV8

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtrGftY2p5Q

              The long version.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VR1sY5jd8jI

              1. Harriet Hall says:

                Even if thimerosal is toxic, there is no evidence that it hurt the children who got it in vaccines. There is evidence that it is not associated with autism. And it is no longer in the vaccines.

              2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

                Hi Joe,

                Why doesn’t anyone believe what Frank Engley had to say? Why was he so unconvincing to his colleagues?

                Also, if ethyl mercury enters the brain 2.5 times more easily than methyl mercury, does it also leave the brain 2.5 times more easily? Because we know it is excreted much, much more quickly than methyl mercury.

              3. brewandferment says:

                Mercury changing form in the brain?? Is there even a mechanism in the brain to change chemicals at all–I thought that was the liver’s job(and probably some other organs too)

                explain that or show the citation supporting that claim

              4. Hobbit says:

                Joe, These people are lost. They are the kind of folks that smell their own farts for satisfaction, like that south park episode. Cognitive dissonance at it’s best, and at it’s worst it is natural selection as they continue to poison their offspring, feeling secure in the lie they call their life, destroying their very lineage, because it’s trendy. Many of these folks wear a white jacket to work and a stethoscope around their neck. They think they are a collective of heroes’, when in reality many of them are just brainwashed, conditioned drones for big pharma, and they don’t even know it. Not God himself could probably shake them from their paradigm. They are right because they went to medical school, and you didn’t. They are right because they say so, so just shut up is their motto. Just get your damn vaccines! The really sad part of this situation is that they are really nothing but utter failures of nearly every front. Cancer, diabetes, ADHD, MS, autism, allergies, Crohns disease, schizophrenia, infant mortality, ect… are ALL up, at record levels. They are failing us, and making a killing at it. Some studies show that the third leading cause of death in the US are hospital errors. The US ranks 30th in child birth mortality; 30th, not 5th or even 7th, 30th, behind most of Europe, Israel, Japan, and clearly 20+ other countries. THAT is the real tragedy hear, that they are failing us, that their hubris drives them to ignore this fact, and that no matter how many times people like you and I try and show them this fact, they continue to march to the beat of the very drummer that put them into the situation they are in now; a failure by design, from the classes in med school to the journals they are fed. Sad really.

              5. Chris says:

                ” Not God himself could probably shake them from their paradigm. They are right because they went to medical school, and you didn’t. They are right because they say so, so just shut up is their motto.”

                Evidence would change our minds. Many of us did not go to medical school but have family members with medical issues, including mine from an actual disease.

                The problem is that we have provided evidence (Vaccine Safety: Examine the Evidence and The Clinical Significance of Measles: A Review). But you are too close minded to even read, much less attempt to comprehend the science. If you offered actual evidence instead of insults, you might be taken seriously.

              6. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

                Not God himself could probably shake them from their paradigm.

                If God had good enough data, I would believe him. But so far, all the data provided by science has been ether low-quality or negative. This “reanalysis” doesn’t really help the case further.

                The really sad part of this situation is that they are really nothing but utter failures of nearly every front. Cancer, diabetes, ADHD, MS, autism, allergies, Crohns disease, schizophrenia, infant mortality, ect… are ALL up, at record levels.

                Well, we do screen for them, so they would certainly seem more apparent. In addition, people live longer, so that accounts for cancer, mostly a disease of the elderly. Autoimmunity might be nudging upwards due to hygiene. And the nice thing is – research is making a lot of progress on most if not all these diseases, many of which are controllable, if not curable.

                The US ranks 30th in child birth mortality; 30th, not 5th or even 7th, 30th, behind most of Europe, Israel, Japan, and clearly 20+ other countries.

                Yes, and this is in part because these countries have different definitions of what constitutes “perinatal mortality”. The US classifies as stillbirths what other countries would not. The US does better on measures of post-natal mortality because of it (or something, I forget the details, but part of it is because of a difference in statistical definitions).

                THAT is the real tragedy hear, that they are failing us, that their hubris drives them to ignore this fact

                Hubris is claiming you know all this about medicine but your citations are absent and your claims appear to be cribbed from Joe Mercola.

              7. simba says:

                Love these guys and their ‘Murica, fuck yeah! attitude. Moat of Europe, Israel, and Japan give vaccines and use science-based medicine for their natal care. Doctors and scientists across the world agree on this, have independently arrived at similar conclusions.

          6. Marc says:

            “I do believe…”

            On what basis?

          7. Cato Younger says:

            We can’t help it if your belief system is wrong. Vaccines are the single greatest public health advancement in human history. They have eradicated some diseases that devastated whole countries at certain points in history. Ironically, vaccines have produced such complacency that troublemakers can come in and make up nonsense. Did you even read this article? Do you even understand the methodology of a correct experiment and the different statistics and their uses?

            Autism is one of many genetically-based physical challenges people can express. While the diagnosis of autism has increased greatly, autism is still a rare condition. One of the most likely, and simple, explanations for the “rise” of autism, is the mobility of people in our modern world and the fact that like finds like. Instead of being limited, literally, to the girl next door as your partner, you can meet thousands of potential mates in today’s world. So, people who may carry the autism marker are more likely to meet other people who do, and therefore more likely to reproduce. Their children have a higher chance of autism. Silicon Valley is a prime example of this.

            1. Earthman says:

              Sorry, but increased mobility of population is less likely to lead to genetic abnormality. Genetic problems arise the more close you are, not how far away, except in exception circumstances. Unless you can provide some evidence?

            2. Earthman says:

              “…people who may carry the autism marker are more likely to meet other people who do, and therefore more likely to reproduce.”

              Sorry, you leave me baffled. So people are getting genetic tests and those who test positive for Autism are deliberately targeting others with the same test results in order to have children with them? Please explain further. Are people with an autism genetic marker somehow seeking out those with the same marker?

              Extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence.

              1. mouse says:

                I think what Cato Younger was saying is that someone on the spectrum is more likely to find something in common with another person on the spectrum, hit it off, get married, etc.

                It’s an interesting hypothesis, but that’s it as far as I know.

              2. Bruce says:

                My experience would back up this hypothesis. The world being so much “smaller” in that those with certain conditions can now find others with that same condition so much more easily now due to online communities they are no longer living their lives out as the “village idiot” but are seeking and often finding others with similar conditions who they can communicate with and have something in common with.

                Even if they don’t go seeking those with conditions the advent of so many more special needs schools and other community events means that they end up interracting with others like them a lot more than they would have done in the past.

                There is an autistic community in the area I live in and they are a very tight knit (if a bit argumentitive bunch) who refer to non autistic people as NTs (Neuro Typicals) and wear the autistic badge with pride.

              3. mouse says:

                @Bruce – Maybe one could look at the deaf and hard of hearing community as a test of the hypothesis. The DHOH community has been around for quite awhile and there is a strong genetic component in hearing loss. IDK – I’m out of my depth. I’m not a scientist.

              4. Bruce says:

                Mouse,

                I am not either, but I don’t see Cato’s suggestion as being that extra-ordinary when you see how people interact. Like people do gravitate towards each other if for no other reason than them being in closer proximity due to types of schooling or interest groups. And paradoxically, the widening of our social circles due to social media and the internet might actually mean we speak to those more like us more often.

                In the case of those who are deaf, I would imagine they would have trouble communicating with those who are not deaf and don’t know sign language so would find most in common with those who they can communicate with ie other deaf people or those who know sign language (who might tend to be those with family who are deaf… though that is a very general and sweeping statement).

                I am no scientist either and have no citations, but it is interesting to think about, if the kids give me a moment tonight I might look further into it.

              5. mouse says:

                @Bruce – I guess I don’t see it as extraordinary either. But it appears to be speculative, particularly since we are dealing with, not a specific genetic disorder that has reliable genetic marker, but a condition that appears to be the result of various genetic components that may be passed down or may be de novo or may be the result of other medical conditions (seizure disorders, etc).

                I’m curious what information there is on the topic. Drop a comment, if you get a chance to look into it and find out anything interesting.

          8. Jasmine says:

            What about those of us who have lived or seen this not once, but multiple times personally?

            Where do we fit in?

            While I personally don’t believe that vaccines ALWAYS cause illness, my family is living proof that the ingredients in the vaccines can not only TRIGGER disease, but may play a vital role in causing disease for otherwise healthy people.

            Take a healthy 7 year old, no prior issues, no prior concerns, no history of illness or neuro-problems. Got her first flu shot – within 24 hours, went into grand mal seizures and was rushed to the hospital. Since that day, another 7 grand mal seizures, abnormal MRIs and EEGs and neurologist’s confirmation that there is “no other evidence of pre-existing condition – condition brought on by administration of flu shot.”

            Take a 30 year old healthy male (only health issue was asthma) – got his first flu shot in 1999. Two days later, numbness in hands and left side of face. After months of tests, diagnosed with MS. Neurologist confirms that flu shot “may have triggered immune response” that played a major role in the onset of MS.

            What about a healthy 4 year old girl – no illness save for a few colds a year. At well visit, got series of vaccines, including MMR. Came home, developed 105 degree fever and minor seizures. If this was your child, would you continue to vaccinate? She recovered fully, and is healthy today, but has not had a vaccination since the incident when she was 4.

            Why are pro-vaxxers so quick to judge the ones that decide against it? I was pro-vaccine until these three events happened to close family members of mine. All I can say is – don’t take the word of one article either for or against vaccines – do your own research – learn both sides – and trust your instincts. I was told recently by a doctor that if my son was vaccinated at birth, he may very well not be with us today.

            1. Chris says:

              Tell us the PMID when you publish your well documented series of case series.

              1. Chris says:

                Oops: case histories.

            2. Sawyer says:

              If you are concerned with allergic reactions to flu shots, you should be fighting tooth and nail against the anti-vaccine groups, not against science. These people make it impossible to have a fact-based risk/benefit analysis of any vaccines. They are absolutely not on your side regarding this issue, and you’ve been duped into supporting them.

              I’m extremely doubtful that all 3 of those incidences involve real physiological reactions to a flu shot. You’ve provided us no context whatsoever about these patients. And your last quote from a doctor claiming your child would be dead from vaccination is absolutely absurd. I’d love to know which hospital that advice is coming from so I can stay the hell away from their infectious disease department.

            3. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

              While I personally don’t believe that vaccines ALWAYS cause illness, my family is living proof that the ingredients in the vaccines can not only TRIGGER disease, but may play a vital role in causing disease for otherwise healthy people.

              How do you know you aren’t part of a family that has a genetic predisposition to autism? Or perhaps one of the roughly 1/7,744 (88*88) who would be expected to have multiple individuals with autism?

              Take a healthy 7 year old, no prior issues, no prior concerns, no history of illness or neuro-problems. Got her first flu shot – within 24 hours, went into grand mal seizures and was rushed to the hospital.

              I’m sorry your daughter has had multiple grand mal seizures, but I must point out that grand mal seizures aren’t autism.

              Take a 30 year old healthy male (only health issue was asthma) – got his first flu shot in 1999. Two days later, numbness in hands and left side of face. After months of tests, diagnosed with MS. Neurologist confirms that flu shot “may have triggered immune response” that played a major role in the onset of MS.

              MS also isn’t autism. Further, MS is the accumulation of many damaging “strippings” of the neurons of the brain – it takes time to accumulate, probably more than two days.

              What about a healthy 4 year old girl – no illness save for a few colds a year. At well visit, got series of vaccines, including MMR. Came home, developed 105 degree fever and minor seizures. If this was your child, would you continue to vaccinate? She recovered fully, and is healthy today, but has not had a vaccination since the incident when she was 4.

              Yes, I absolutely would, because seizures are less dangerous than polio. Also, your final sentence.

              Why are pro-vaxxers so quick to judge the ones that decide against it?

              I’m going to go with “because of an understanding of public health and the damage done by vaccine-preventable diseases you’ve never seen.

              All I can say is – don’t take the word of one article either for or against vaccines – do your own research – learn both sides – and trust your instincts.

              But it sounds like you didn’t do any research; you saw three members of your family experience three totally unrelated conditions, with totally distinct etiologies, and attributed them all to vaccines. I’m not seeing any pubmed citations or textbooks on infectious disease or the immune system. All I’m seeing is instincts.

              I was told recently by a doctor that if my son was vaccinated at birth, he may very well not be with us today.

              Is your doctor a chiropractor?

            4. Dan says:

              I judge because people are choosing not to vaccinate and as a result endangering everyone else, particularly those who genuinely cannot be given vaccines, based on superstition. So I’d vaccinate all children unless I had a real reason to believe the vaccine was the cause and the result was worse than the disease. Childhood diseases are nasty and dangerous.

        2. FAL Phil says:

          …which is why so many antivaccinationists refuse to admit that the vaccine/autism hypothesis is a failed one…
          How can this be true? I do not recall any a large-scale double-blind study on the MMR vaccine schedule which was performed with an unvaccinated control group. If you want to lean on “real science”, you have to perform real science.

          1. Harriet Hall says:

            Real science is not limited to the kind of study you ask for, and such a study would be unethical and would not be approved by any IRB.

            1. joe says:

              For some reason Harriet, there is not a reply on some of your post.

              You said;
              “Even if thimerosal is toxic, there is no evidence that it hurt the children who got it in vaccines. There is evidence that it is not associated with autism”

              The evidence, that you speak of, is from Poul Thorsens studies from Denmark.

              He’s been indicted on 22 ct’s of fraud. It was 13 ct’s of wire fraud, and 9 ct’s of money laundering. The Atlanta GA. grand jury, that indicted Poul. Said that he Pou,l worked with others known and unknown by this grand jury. On this fraud.

              Here’s a hint, that Poul was working with others in the CDC. He bought a house, with the autism research funds, next to the CDC.

              That’s not logical, buying a house next to someone that you have committed fraud with. Now that’s LOGICAL! Paying a man that’s been indicted, on 22 ct’s of stealing from you, since his indictment.

              Smacks of being a bribe,to keep him POUL out of the US. For if he were to be convicted,he would be doing 240 yr’s. They know that if he came to the US, he would cut a deal. And that, would end many lucrative careers, at the CDC.

              The CDC whistle blower, will address all the fraud, that the CDC has been involved in.

              1. Chris says:

                Some major errors:

                1. There has never been any thimerosal in the MMR vaccine, which is the vaccine the study being discussed is about.

                2. Thorsen did not do a study. He was only part of the group, the primary investigator was Madsen.

                3. Studies on MMR have not just been done in Denmark, but also in Finland, Japan, the UK and the USA. There is no correlation between the MMR vaccine and autism (and if there was it would have been seen in the 1970s and 1980s in the USA, a country both larger and using it much longer than the UK).

              2. Harriet Hall says:

                The charges against Thorsen were of financial fraud, not scientific fraud. The study in question had many authors and was never shown to have been compromised by any kind of malfeasance.

            2. joe says:

              There is 50,000 children, in an HMO that almost all, have never been vaccinated. The study has already been done, and they know that unless they were able to manipulate the data of a vacc. vs un-vacc. study. The out come,would destroy the CDC and the AAP.

              1. theeobskure says:

                dude…

                Joe…

                Seriously, give it a rest. It’s painfully obvious that you cannot support your opinions with actual, empirically verifiable and testable data; you keep resorting to bluster and the links that you provide to support your standpoint are cherry picked crap.

                Also, your appalling lack of grammar makes your comments egregiously difficult to parse properly.

        3. ScienceIsTruth says:

          Here it is, whistleblower William Thompson’s letter to Gerberding. Thompson wrote this as a CDC epidemiologist specializing in vaccine safety: http://www.naturalnews.com/images/CDC-Gerberding-Warning-Vaccines-Autism.jpg

          1. David Gorski says:

            If that letter is the best you can come up with, you might as well shut it down now. I see no evidence of “coverup” there, just a scientist asking his boss to have his back because he’s going to have to present in front of a hostile bunch of antivaxers.

            http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2014/08/26/the-cdc-whistleblower-manufactroversy-continues-apace/

      2. Matt Carey says:

        ” I have a BA, MA, QMHP, Teaching certification, etc. I research.”

        Really? Where can we find your peer reviewed articles? How many?

        Which is to say, there is research and there is research. As an active researcher with closing in on 30 years experience, I don’t usually consider “I read things on the web” as research.

        1. Hobbit says:

          If you have 30 years of research about vaccines and have not been able to find ANY peer reviewed articles regarding vaccines, the injuries they cause, and a link to autism, then you are one piss-poor researcher. People with your lack of skills are probably the reason for vaccines damaging so many little lives; if the people responsible for the efficacy and safety of vaccines possess your inept scientific skills, then that’s the problem.

          1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

            If you have 30 years of research about vaccines and have not been able to find ANY peer reviewed articles regarding vaccines, the injuries they cause, and a link to autism, then you are one piss-poor researcher. People with your lack of skills are probably the reason for vaccines damaging so many little lives; if the people responsible for the efficacy and safety of vaccines possess your inept scientific skills, then that’s the problem.

            It’s not so much that you can’t find research on vaccines and injuries or autism. It’s that the evidence you find is shoddy, done by people working outside of their field, is low-impact, is misrepresented, or (and this is most relevant) is contradicted by much better research showing no link between vaccines and autism.

            Vaccine injuries do occur – they are just less severe than the injuries caused by the diseases, and most commonly short-term, low-harm injuries like a sore arm.

            Autism is primarily a genetic condition, detectable from before the MMR or even most vaccines are given. There’s even evidence it is detectable before birth, or even before conception (older fathers have more autistic children).

            Perhaps the research failing is yours, then.

            1. Hobbit says:

              Genetic pandemics do not exist. Anyone that believes that has usually just finished some brainwashing seminar. Show me one genetic pandemic in human history.

              1. Chris says:

                Type 1 diabetes, it used to kill anyone who got this genetic disease. Now it does not, but it still exists. Why do you think that is?

                Then there is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, it effects about one out of five hundred all over the world (there are several known genetic sequences, plus more because my son has it but did not any of the known sequences).

                Cancers from BRCA1, BRCA2 and other sequences.

                Need I go on?

              2. Sawyer says:

                This has been covered dozens of time on this site. The number one driving force behind increased autism incidence is a gradual expansion of the defining characteristics of ASD that has occurred over the last 30 years or so. ANYONE mildly curious about autism should already know this before they even start looking for other causes.

                This is autism 101. If you’re trying to debate people without knowing this stuff, expect continued ridicule and condemnation.

      3. lilady says:

        Would you like to try again to impress us with your research?

        http://sfari.org/

        Your choice of a ‘nym is unfortunate. I’ve only read about “sheeple” as a pejorative label used by crank conspiracists and anti-vaccine/anti-science bloggers and their groupies.

      4. Marc says:

        I have an arts degree, and don’t work in science or academia, but my education has taught me that there must be plausible mechanisms behind theories and hypotheses, and that everything is made out of chemicals. If your graduate level arts degree was awarded without you knowing proper research methods, the institution that conferred it upon you owes you a refund.

      5. K says:

        Oh lawd, you have a Master of Arts (in what is almost certainly a non-scientific field), a teaching qualification, and a carer’s qualification! As a bio grad who actually specializes in devo neuro I’m shaking in my boots, I tell you!

        (/MAJOR, MAJOR SARCASM)

    2. Mindy says:

      I like how he said the Caucasian babies have nothing to worry about. My son is caucasian and has very severe autism. 1 in 88 children get autism and 1 in 70 are boys. It does not care about color. It is not caused by vaccines.

      1. Dan says:

        He meant that if the vaccine is the cause this research showed it was only a risk to black children.

    3. Gus says:

      When you can’t attack the truth you attack the messenger.

      1. David Gorski says:

        Irony meter destroyed.

    4. Shannon says:

      Prof Walker Smith and Dr Andrew Wakefield did NOT come to these findings on their own. Why would the father of gastroenterology put his entire career on the line? You guys are the true conspiracy theorists. Pot calling the kettle black.

      1. Andrey Pavlov says:

        Why would the father of gastroenterology put his entire career on the line?

        Oh I dunno. Perhaps the tens of millions of dollars he stood to gain from it? Seems like a good motivator.

        Oh, and he is NOT the father of gastroenterology. LOL.

  2. A says:

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/study-focus-autism-foundation-finds-133000584.html?utm_content=buffer0cd80&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    And it is now in the mainstream, not just on the “usual websites”. Now, what’s it doing there? Some narrow-minded science types will just cling for dear life to their unfortunate “facts”.

    1. David Gorski says:

      If you mean CNN iReport, that is not an official report from CNN. It’s like a moderated blog/curated report from pretty much anyone who wants to sign up for an iReport account.

      1. Lawrence says:

        And given that it was a simple press release to begin with….o

        1. David Gorski says:

          Oh, goody. The story has found its way into the Daily Fail.

          1. skeptictmac57 says:

            Snopes has picked it up as well,and so far deemed it as ‘Undetermined’ ,but did a nice job of laying out the basic facts.

            http://www.snopes.com/medical/disease/cdcwhistleblower.asp

            1. Shay Simmons says:

              Snopes actually has rated this as “probably false.”

              1. skeptictmac57 says:

                Yes,I saw that. They revised their rating after I first read the entry.

      2. joe says:

        David,what kind of person, sells out his on Nation and the world?

        You cannot believe in a God, for if that was the case, you would have to know. That you will sooner,or later, have to answer to a very angry God.

        1. Greg says:

          God has nothing to do with this and citing a belief in a deity just proves how un-scientific you really are. I presume you would prefer evolution not be taught in school and belief that we were formed by a sky-ferry using magic to make us from dust? I have a perfect quote for you: “Belief is the death of intelligence.”

        2. Windriven says:

          “You cannot believe in a God, for if that was the case, you would have to know. That you will sooner,or later, have to answer to a very angry God.”

          Are you talking about the sociopathic god of the Abrahamic tradition? The one with unresolved self-esteem problems and a volatile and unpredictable temper? Yeah. I’ll lose sleep some other time.

          1. Chris says:

            Apparently Joe’s deity of choice likes to see kids get sick and suffer, plus rejoices in the resulting disabilities and deaths. Obviously not a nice deity.

    2. EBMOD says:

      “Some narrow-minded science types will just cling for dear life to their unfortunate “facts”.”

      I love how those who demonstrate a diminished ability to reason are so often so arrogant in voicing their ignorance.

      Oh wait, no I don’t.

      The reasons for rejecting the study have been laid out exceedingly thoroughly and well by Dr Gorski. Try engaging those rather than taking random swipes at those who think different than yourself. You might learn something…

  3. kxmoore says:

    Wow. The video is despicable. How couldn’t it hurt the anti-vax cause among fair-minded people.?

    1. goodnightirene says:

      “…fair-minded people”

      a huge caveat–as is reasonable (with emphasis on the REASON) people.

  4. Christy says:

    How much did big Pharma pay you to write this, David? I see you have some pretty strong ties with them.

    1. Harriet Hall says:

      @Christy,

      Your comment is despicable. Big Pharma does not pay Dr.Gorski to write; it doesn’t pay any of the writers on this blog. Where did you see that he has “some pretty strong ties with them”? I have seen no evidence that could support that even in the most twisted imaginings of conspiracy theorists. If you think the only possible reason someone could write this is because someone was paying him, that says nothing about the writer but it says a lot about you. How much were you paid by Big Pharma’s enemies to write your comment?

      Instead of throwing out gratuitous accusations, how about telling us what you think is wrong in the article?

      1. Science Mom says:

        Instead of throwing out gratuitous accusations, how about telling us what you think is wrong in the article?

        Isn’t that the problem Dr. Hall? People like Christy can’t explain what is wrong with the article because she’s out of her depth.

      2. Hobbit says:

        Dr. Gorsky does have ties with vaccine manufacturers; you are either ignorant regarding this fact or ignorant, and in either case no one should listen to anything more you say.
        http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/06/david-gorskis-financial-pharma-ties-what-he-didnt-tell-you.html

          1. Stephen says:

            Did you just link your own story?

            1. Chris says:

              Look at the context by actually reading the content. It is a response to baseless accusations.

        1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          Hobbit, how much did Jake Crosby pay you to link to his blog?

          1. Hobbit says:

            Probably not as much as Gorsky pays you.

            1. AdamG says:

              You do realize this is kind of an own goal right?

            2. Lytrigian says:

              Goddammit, Gorski! My check is late again! Get me my money, or the world will find out about that thing! That you did with the other thing. To… one of those things.

              Yeah, that’s it!

            3. simba says:

              So you admit, Hobbit, you’re being paid for your opinion?

              That’s more than the rest of us are. Tell me again who the hired shill is?

              1. Hobbit says:

                I get paid in minutes. Every minute clueless fools like you waste your time responding to me is a minute you paid me. I want as many as I can because the more minutes I get from people like you is a minute someone else is spared from your ilk.

        2. Frederick says:

          Wait, did he just used age of autism as a reference to accused you? Lol wow. It’s like using Natural news propaganda to prove GMO are bad. Lol

      3. Clay Pigeon says:

        This is what’s wrong with the article:

        “So is Hooker’s result valid? Who knows?”

        Nothing to see here, move along. 245 comments? Absurd.

        Clearly the article was written for site exposure and nothing more. If anything it certainly highlights Orac’s penchant for verbosity as being second to none.

        1. Jopari says:

          No, it stated the facts behind why the study was inconclusive instead of telling you, it’s inconclusive, that’s worth a lot more weight.

          Anyone can have an opinion, but here it is supported by evidence.

          The reason for saying “Who knows?” is because even though the study was badly done, that doesn’t mean that the hypothesis is wrong, simply that the hypothesis isn’t proven.

    2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      How much did Geier, Hooker and Wakefield pay you to write this comment?

    3. EBMOD says:

      Between Stan, Dr Rodriguez and others who love to throw around the ‘pharma shill’ gambit, it is amazing to me how often is is used when it is such an empty argument. Its amazing to me that people will throw out reams of carefully studied science simply because they think there is some grand arching conspiracy…

    4. David Gorski says:

      @Christy:

      I love it when cranks use the pharma shill gambit against me:

      http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-pharma-shill-gambit/

      It tells me quite reliably that they can’t counter my arguments using anything resembling science, logic, reasoning, or evidence.

          1. Hobbit says:

            So you write your own article defending yourself, and print it on your own blog, isn’t that convenient. Nothing that you write can be trusted; you are damaged goods and anything you say is to be considered unrealiable. You have been lying for the vaccine industry for so long now that I think you actually believe the very lies you spread, but rest assured a tornado of people that can see you for what you are will be coming. People by the millions are awake to the vaccine scam, and they will not stop until they get justice. My advice to you is to eat out as much as possible before you go to jail for your crimes against humanity, but then again you will probably like the food there as it is all GMO, and I am sure a person like you has a soft spot in his Grinch-sized heart for Monsanto.

            1. AdamG says:

              You asked “How do you respond to this article Dr. Gorsky?” and then complain when he actually, you know, responds? How would you have preferred him to respond?

              1. Hobbit says:

                With the truth. The truth is that he is PAID by on of the biggest vaccine manufacturing companies on earth for research he is doing with one of their drugs, and writes blogs that idiots you like eat up defending vaccines. That’s what I would like him to say. Or maybe, “Hey, this whistleblower just risked his career to tell the world of the fraud the CDC is engaged in, maybe there is something to this”, but instead he twists the entire thing around like a lawyer with doublespeak. This man has no morals. He doesn’t care about anyone but himself and his bank account. On this earth, in your time, did you serve self or others Dr. Gorsky? Trust me, this will not be the only time you will be posed this question. How will you answer when your maker asks?

              2. Harriet Hall says:

                He will be able to proudly list the cancers he excised and the children whose health he protected by persuading their parents not to deny them vaccines on the basis of irrational, misinformed anti-vaccine propaganda.

                You, on the other hand, will have to explain how x number of children got vaccine preventable diseases because of your ill-informed views. And why you gratuitously attacked a good man who was serving others. Note: if Dr. Gorski really cared only about his bank account, he would have a different job.

              3. Greg says:

                “How will you answer when your maker asks?” I’m sure Dr. Gorsky’s parents are quite proud of him.

                You seem to have some pretty strong religious convictions – perhaps you should be mindful of the adage: “Judge not, lest ye be judged”

              4. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

                With the truth. The truth is that he is PAID by on of the biggest vaccine manufacturing companies on earth for research he is doing with one of their drugs, and writes blogs that idiots you like eat up defending vaccines.

                Did you note that his research funding was for cancer drugs, not vaccines?

                Merely because you can link spurious convictions through seven degrees of separation doesn’t mean you’ve established a fact. I know it’s a habit for vaccine deniers to claim that any possible evidence of conflict of interest represents actual conflict of interest, but such an insane approach would rapidly lead to systemic paralysis. Which is why we refer to the evidence which, once again, converges on the conclusion that vaccines save lives and do not cause autism.

                That’s what I would like him to say. Or maybe, “Hey, this whistleblower just risked his career to tell the world of the fraud the CDC is engaged in, maybe there is something to this”, but instead he twists the entire thing around like a lawyer with doublespeak.

                The whistleblower didn’t risk his career, he didn’t claim the CDC was engaged in fraud (he was uncomfortable that a single, probably spurious finding, in one sub-sub-sub group wasn’t reported as significant), and this was all quite clear, thanks very much.

                He doesn’t care about anyone but himself and his bank account.

                You do realize that as a university-based research-practitioner, Dr. Gorski is paid by his institution through his salary and his research funds are managed directly by the university to pay for research expenses, right? It’s not like the money he gets from GSK or the NIH can be used to buy a car, or hookers (unless he switched from cancer research to something related to social science research with prostitutes).

            2. Black Bellamy says:

              I don’t understand. You posted a link, saying oh yeah, how do you respond to this? The guy you were talking to then posted a link, saying this is how I respond.

              So your beef is that he wrote it himself? On his blog?

              You wanted a response, right? And he gave you one, right?

              Not good enough? It should have been written by Warren Buffet using papyrus?

              You’re an embarrassment to trolling.

              1. Lawrence says:

                Why, he’s a nasty hobbitz…..

              2. Chris says:

                Also one hobbitz who doessss not ssspell right.

              3. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

                As if Mendel even had a magnifying glass let alone the knowledge of DNA and an electron microscope.

                He didn’t, but his plants would have been exposed to Agrobacterium, a bacteria found in nature that is the only reason we are able to modify genes with anything approaching ease. Without access to this natural bacteria, our ability to modify genes would be severely curtailed. Nature was modifying plants through direct transfer of genes between unrelated species long before humans found out about it.

                You know what, you win, all of you, you win. I give up. There is no discussing anything with you.

                Yay!

                Go eat your fucking poison food and pretend it is safe.

                Humans have been eating genetically modified foods for thousands of years, and transgenic foods for decades. It’s not “poison food”, it’s just “food that is better at feeding people”. Read a book.

                Breath in the chemtrails and make fun of me for having the balls to acknowledge that there is a global program spraying barium and aluminum over all of us.

                You don’t have “balls”, you’re a scientifically-illiterate, uninformed pseudonymous random commentor on a blog with a relatively low readership. Exactly how does that take courage?

                Keep on getting your damn vaccines because it feels good.

                I get vaccinated so I don’t get, or give, preventible diseases to anyone. It’s not fun, it hurts and sometimes you get adverse reactions. But at least I know I won’t give pertussis to a kid whose immune system was wiped out by cancer.

                You keep on doing whatever it is you want to do, so long as it does not involve me.

                It’s not that what we do involves you, it’s that what you do involves us. By not vaccinating, you become a vector, a risk and a hazard to those among us who can’t get vaccinated, for whom the vaccine did not take, and for those who are too young to be vaccinated yet.

                But know this; the day you start acting like the “ends justifies the means” tyrants you are likely to grow into, and you try and force others to follow your idea of utopia because “you know best”,

                Tyrants? If you don’t get your kid vaccinated, they can’t attend public school, unless you fill out a form. If that’s truly tyranny, we live a blessed age for the tyrannized and a cursed one for tyrants. Geez, drama much?

                people like me will be there to stop you, to route you out, expose you, and defeat you.

                I’m sorry, but what exactly do you think you accomplish here? I like to argue, I do this for myself, but what great blow against evil do you think you strike by posting factually inaccurate, poorly-informed rants and insults on a single website? How is this supposed to defeat the CDC, FDA, Pfizer or whatever? If you really want to strike a blow, you have to up your game, because insulting comments doesn’t really achieve anything. Moron.

                You can not kill the truth, you can not kill an idea whose time has come. Now please, all of you pro vaccination folks, flu season is ON! So roll up your sleeves, for the love of humanity.

                Yes, I’m pleased I’ll get my annual chance to reduce influenza morbidity and mortality, thank you.

            3. Marc says:

              Remind us again exactly what is wrong with having more plentiful supplies of superior food that requires fewer pesticides to grow? Also, in case you weren’t aware, every single thing you eat is genetically modified. Cross pollination and bark grafts are genetic modification. You’re so far off the mark, you aren’t even wrong.

              1. Hobbit says:

                You mix the term genetically modified to include the splicing of plants and root grafting. You are a liar. When the same people that create GMO foods demand that there be no GMO foods in their cafeteria, what does that tell you? When these monsters at Monsanto alter plants so much that they can create pesticides that kills bugs, you eat that poison as well. It’s OK with you to eat poison? I do not eat any GMO’s; think what you like, but none of my food has been altered at the molecular level to produce poisons that kill bugs, give tumors to lab rats, and desolate entire regions with barren, low yield producing crops.

              2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

                When the same people that create GMO foods demand that there be no GMO foods in their cafeteria, what does that tell you?

                1) That you don’t provide sources.

                2) They might fall prey to the same irrationalities that infect all humans, including the naturalistic fallacy.

                When these monsters at Monsanto alter plants so much that they can create pesticides that kills bugs, you eat that poison as well.

                Do you mean Bt corn? It’s toxic to certain insects, not humans. Also, if you eat organic, you already eat the Bt, it’s an organic-approved pesticide.

                It’s OK with you to eat poison?

                No, but then again, genetically modified foods aren’t poisonous.

                I do not eat any GMO’s; think what you like, but none of my food has been altered at the molecular level to produce poisons that kill bugs, give tumors to lab rats, and desolate entire regions with barren, low yield producing crops.

                To be fair, no GMOs do that either.

                Also, do you know what a wild banana looks like? Do you eat bananas? Do you chip a lot of teeth? The wild versions of the plants we eat are basically inedible. What we actually eat these days are heavily modified through selective breeding. Gene insertion and deletion are merely more targeted versions of what humans have been doing for thousands of years.

              3. Greg says:

                “think what you like, but none of my food has been altered at the molecular level” Sorry to have tell you this, but you’re an idiot!

              4. Chris says:

                “but you’re an idiot!”

                Now, now. Perhaps he is uneducated. He made had been told in Bible school that all of the plants and animals we see now were created by a deity. He probably has no idea that humans have been fiddling with plant and animal genetics for tens of thousands of years. He must have slept through every science class from fourth grade on.

              5. Marc says:

                I’m not mixing the terms up.

                Splicing, grafting, and cross pollination are all forms of genetic modification. Gregor Mendel’s work on plants is part of the foundation of the field of genetics.

                Why are these methods different from genetic modification done in a laboratory?

                Do enlighten us.

              6. Hobbit says:

                As if Mendel even had a magnifying glass let alone the knowledge of DNA and an electron microscope. You know what, you win, all of you, you win. I give up. There is no discussing anything with you. Go eat your fucking poison food and pretend it is safe. Breath in the chemtrails and make fun of me for having the balls to acknowledge that there is a global program spraying barium and aluminum over all of us. Keep on getting your damn vaccines because it feels good. You keep on doing whatever it is you want to do, so long as it does not involve me. But know this; the day you start acting like the “ends justifies the means” tyrants you are likely to grow into, and you try and force others to follow your idea of utopia because “you know best”, people like me will be there to stop you, to route you out, expose you, and defeat you. You can not kill the truth, you can not kill an idea whose time has come. Now please, all of you pro vaccination folks, flu season is ON! So roll up your sleeves, for the love of humanity.

              7. Jopari says:

                Mendel does not need to have a magnifying glass nor a microscope. Unless physics and Biology radically and suddenly changed we can still observe the effects now.

                Moving on to the ranting……

                I am reminded of the video on the T4 bacteriophage page at ww.scienceblogs.com/insolence

              8. Marc says:

                And there we have it, folks!

              9. JD says:

                Breath in the chemtrails and make fun of me for having the balls to acknowledge that there is a global program spraying barium and aluminum over all of us.

                Ha. You really just brought up chemtrails? Really? I nearly fell off my chair laughing. I hope the planes are stocking valium today instead of prozac, because I could really use a dose of diazepam gas to end my uproarious fit of laughter.

              10. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

                As if Mendel even had a magnifying glass let alone the knowledge of DNA and an electron microscope.

                He didn’t, but his plants would have been exposed to Agrobacterium, a bacteria found in nature that is the only reason we are able to modify genes with anything approaching ease. Without access to this natural bacteria, our ability to modify genes would be severely curtailed. Nature was modifying plants through direct transfer of genes between unrelated species long before humans found out about it.

                You know what, you win, all of you, you win. I give up. There is no discussing anything with you.

                Yay!

                Go eat your fucking poison food and pretend it is safe.

                Humans have been eating genetically modified foods for thousands of years, and transgenic foods for decades. It’s not “poison food”, it’s just “food that is better at feeding people”. Read a book.

                Breath in the chemtrails and make fun of me for having the balls to acknowledge that there is a global program spraying barium and aluminum over all of us.

                You don’t have “balls”, you’re a scientifically-illiterate, uninformed pseudonymous random commentor on a blog with a relatively low readership. Exactly how does that take courage?

                Keep on getting your damn vaccines because it feels good.

                I get vaccinated so I don’t get, or give, preventible diseases to anyone. It’s not fun, it hurts and sometimes you get adverse reactions. But at least I know I won’t give pertussis to a kid whose immune system was wiped out by cancer.

                You keep on doing whatever it is you want to do, so long as it does not involve me.

                It’s not that what we do involves you, it’s that what you do involves us. By not vaccinating, you become a vector, a risk and a hazard to those among us who can’t get vaccinated, for whom the vaccine did not take, and for those who are too young to be vaccinated yet.

                But know this; the day you start acting like the “ends justifies the means” tyrants you are likely to grow into, and you try and force others to follow your idea of utopia because “you know best”,

                Tyrants? If you don’t get your kid vaccinated, they can’t attend public school, unless you fill out a form. If that’s truly tyranny, we live a blessed age for the tyrannized and a cursed one for tyrants. Geez, drama much?

                people like me will be there to stop you, to route you out, expose you, and defeat you.

                I’m sorry, but what exactly do you think you accomplish here? I like to argue, I do this for myself, but what great blow against evil do you think you strike by posting factually inaccurate, poorly-informed rants and insults on a single website? How is this supposed to defeat the CDC, FDA, Pfizer or whatever? If you really want to strike a blow, you have to up your game, because insulting comments doesn’t really achieve anything. Moron.

                You can not kill the truth, you can not kill an idea whose time has come. Now please, all of you pro vaccination folks, flu season is ON! So roll up your sleeves, for the love of humanity.

                Yes, I’m pleased I’ll get my annual chance to reduce influenza morbidity and mortality, thank you.

            4. Kathy says:

              Nice little example of the kind of mudslinging Gorski et al. get subjected to. Toxic! Oh well, at least (s)he didn’t claim you eat babies (or was it puppies)?

              1. Shay Simmons says:

                “Now please, all of you pro vaccination folks, flu season is ON! So roll up your sleeves, for the love of humanity”

                My appointment is Friday at 2pm. I’ll leave instructions for my next of kin to post if I turn into a zombie.

      1. Janet says:

        The only evidence anyone needs is watching their healthy baby start showing symptoms of autism right after his MMR and there are thousands and thousands of first hand eye witnesses who have seen this evidence.

        1. EBMOD says:

          Correlation is not causation. If you fail to grasp that, you are going to wrong far more than you realize.

        2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          The only evidence anyone needs is watching their healthy baby start showing symptoms of autism right after his MMR and there are thousands and thousands of first hand eye witnesses who have seen this evidence.

          What about the millions and millions who don’t see their babies developing symptoms right after the MMR?

          What about the millions and millions who see their babies get sick from measles, mumps and rubella? Or the millions and millions who don’t see their babies get sick because they die in the womb because their mothers caught rubella?

          Or the dozens and dozens of studies that looked at hundreds and thousands of children and found no association between vaccines and autism?

          1. skeptictmac57 says:

            Oh Lawrence,those are just ‘brain’ facts. ‘Gut’ facts are the real ones.

            What do we want?!
            Truthiness!
            When do we want it?!
            Always!

        3. Lawrence says:

          Except, when those cases are studied, it is discovered that those kids were already showing signs of autism long before vaccination….as was seen in the Omnibus cases. Parents just don’t want to believe their child isn’t perfect…..so they try to find something to blame.

          1. Chris Hickie says:

            And don’t forget Lawrence, the parents who haven’t vaccinated their children and their child is autistic anyhow. Because, quite simply, it isn’t the vaccines.

        4. Laurenak says:

          Or maybe these thousands of parents were too blind to see that their child always had autism from the start and don’t want to admit that they missed it/need something to blame because surely ‘their’ child was perfect before the vaccine.

          As a speech pathologist I have parents tell me that there is nothing wrong with their child but the preschool told them to come. Sure enough after a comprehensive assessment the child nearly always has a speech and/or language delay. Parents aren’t always right and part of being a good parent is knowing when to take the advice of those more qualified than you for the sake of your child.

          Also it really upsets me the way people carry on about Autism ruining their child, my clients with Autism are lovely, amazing children and I don’t think they should be labelled as ‘vaccine damaged’ victims that will never be ‘normal’.
          Rant over :)

      2. Jeremy Praay says:

        Not necessarily. It may simply be telling you that they don’t feel like spending hours trying to explain something to someone who isn’t willing to listen. It’s about as productive as trying to have a civil discussion with Sean Hannity.

      3. Not a Sheeple says:

        I found your article biased and you rude. Your arguments would be better received without the name calling. Anti-vaxer crank? Wow. How about pro safe vaccine, or pro-parental choice. That’s like calling a pro-choice person pro-baby murder. Time will tell, but I predict you will be on the wrong side of history.

        1. David Gorski says:

          Nope. “Antivaccine” is the correct word.

          http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/jenny-mccarthy-jim-carrey-and-green-our-vaccines-anti-vaccine-not-pro-safe-vaccine/

          http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/what-does-anti-vaccine-really-mean/

          Seriously, anyone who compares autism from vaccines (even if vaccines caused autism, which they do not) to the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, the Holocaust, Stalin’s crimes, and the killing fields of Pol Pot is antivaccine. There is no question of it.

          1. Shay says:

            “Seriously, anyone who compares autism from vaccines (even if vaccines caused autism, which they do not) to the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, the Holocaust, Stalin’s crimes, and the killing fields of Pol Pot is antivaccine. There is no question of it.”

            And hasn’t bothered to read any history.

            1. Kathy says:

              They are no more historians than they are scientists. Real history, like real science, takes effort to learn and understand. This isn’t real history, it’s just what they either vaguely remember from schooldays or have read in the Internet version of the Yellow Press.

        2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          I found your article biased and you rude.

          Did you understand the content?

          Your arguments would be better received without the name calling.

          Thank you for your observation. Now, do you have anything to say about the content, or did you ignore it completely in favour of an opinion you already held?

          Anti-vaxer crank?

          What about your implication that Dr. Gorski is a pharma shill, or that anybody who thinks vaccines are safe and effective (on balance) must be controlled by Pfizer? Is that any nicer? Is it better than name-calling because it smears rather than hurls?

          How about pro safe vaccine, or pro-parental choice.

          Because such terms are deceptive – people who claim to be “pro safe vaccine” upon questioning will usually a) not understand the process to determine safety of vaccines and their ingredients and b) will ultimately reveal that there is no amount of evidence that will convince them a vaccine is safe. Terms like “pro safe vaccine” and “pro parental choice” are essentially lies – they are actually antivaccine no matter what the evidence of safety and efficacy are. These terms are deliberately chosen as marketing devices to make the person appear reasonable. It’s kind of like asking someone if they’ve stopped beating their wife – the purpose isn’t to see a fact, the purpose is to obscure an intent.

          That’s like calling a pro-choice person pro-baby murder.

          Yes, very much so – that’s why we object to it. Except you’re the one making an unfounded accusation akin to “baby murder”.

          Time will tell, but I predict you will be on the wrong side of history.

          See, the hypothesis was posed over a decade ago. In that time, study after study has come back revealing no link between vaccines and autism. How much evidence is necessary to convince you your son’s autism was due to genetics and chance, not vaccines?

          I’m pretty sure the answer is “no evidence will ever be enough”. Which is why your complaints aren’t taken seriously. You’re not playing honestly.

          1. Kathy says:

            “Your arguments would be better received without the name calling.”

            (S)he now not only is excused from answering the points made, but can, with triumphant righteousness, take the moral high ground as well. What a way to change a position of real weakness into a position of pseudo-strength!

            You can see it used on any school playground, “David’s been RUDE to me! He says I don’t know what I’m talking about! Well, I’m not going to talk to him any more, so there!”

          2. Stephen says:

            You mention parental rights as a buzz word lie. Even if MMR does not casue autism there are still very serious side effects. The attached link is to the CDC. In moderate cases there is a risk of seizure and bleeding disorders. Who cares for the child that has the side effects? The parent.

            http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/side-effects.htm

            1. KayMarie says:

              And the risk when the child gets measles? Or is it OK if nature kills/maims them as long as you got sick at school or a measles party.

              You know the fewer kids who get vaccinated the more likely your kid will get it because herd immunity breaks down and outbreaks become common.

            2. Chris says:

              Now compare with actually getting measles:
              The Clinical Significance of Measles: A Review

        3. lilady says:

          What research have you done to make all those statements?

          Show us, by providing the links to those studies.

      4. Not a Sheeple says:

        So you don’t think Big Pharma is one of the main controlling powerful entities in the US, then?

        1. EBMOD says:

          What is your evidence of it, beyond baseless conjecture and weak circumstance?

        2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          So you don’t think Big Pharma is one of the main controlling powerful entities in the US, then?

          If that were true, you’d think they would put more effort into producing false studies about drugs that could treat autism, which would require regular dosing, rather than expensive and relatively unprofitable one-shot vaccines.

          Logic and economic fail.

        3. KayMarie says:

          Like Big Supplement which has a much better track record of getting the FDA to back off and let it sell pretty much whatever it wants with no external oversight must have next to no power or influence. Although they are better at making their power and influence seem all folksy and grass-rooty.

          Any big business has money, power and influence. But that any one of them controls way more than that amount of money could possibly buy…um, no.

        4. Ambulance Chaser says:

          I don’t know. Your parameters are too wide for me to make a determination. Can you narrow down your assertion so we can answer you?

          1. Kathy says:

            Yes, and once you’ve narrowed them, stick with them please. None of those shifting sands that slide you back downhill every time you take a step uphill. That’s if you are really interested in getting an answer, rather than winning (or seeming to win) an argument.

        5. Xepher says:

          Non sequitur.

          Do you have a real question or is obfuscation a speciality of yours?

          As an aside, I have friends who are autistic. The notion that they are in need of fixing is extremely insulting.

  5. qetzal says:

    In the Abstract, Methods, and Discussion, Hooker says he used Pearson’s chi squared test. But all four data tables are labeled Fisher’s exact analysis. I’m pretty sure those are not the same test (e.g. see this SAS page). That’s a pretty glaring error! It suggests that Hooker either didn’t realize that the tests are different, or consistently mislabeled his Tables and never noticed, or perhaps that he evaluated the data with both tests and was too careless to ensure that the final manuscript was consistent.

    Hooker also claims, in the Methods, that the Pearson’s chi squared [sic] results were confirmed by “a conditional logistic regression design similar to the Destefano et al. If so, why didn’t he bother to actually show that result? It’s not as if he was under a strict page limit.

    Next, I note that Hooker didn’t indicate the number of subjects being analyzed in each group for each of his tables. In fact, the original DeStefano publication says that 93.4% of cases were vaccinated by 36 months. That means that there were only 41 total children with autism that were in the >36 month group. If 20% of those were African American, that’s only 8 kids.

    Most important, of course, is that even if this association is real, is there any good reason to think it’s causal? Hooker certainly doesn’t provide one. In particular, why is the association strongest in children who received their first MMR after 36 months, weaker in the >24 group, and non-significant in the >18 group? That makes little sense if MMR is actually a causative factor. It would mean that MMR only causes autism in African American boys, and even then, only if the vaccine is NOT given by 18 months!

    I look forward to Hooker calling for a concerted campaign to ensure that all African American boys receive MMR before 18 months, to prevent them from developing “late-MMR-associated autism.”

    1. David Gorski says:

      I look forward to Hooker calling for a concerted campaign to ensure that all African American boys receive MMR before 18 months, to prevent them from developing “late-MMR-associated autism.”

      Indeed.

    2. El Generalissimo says:

      Hooker says he used Pearson’s chi squared test. But all four data tables are labeled Fisher’s exact analysis. I’m pretty sure those are not the same test

      To my understanding, having had to deploy these tests in published peer-reviewed work, Fisher’s Exact is a variant of the Chi-Square – both are contingency table analyses.

      Fisher’s Exact is preferred for limited n analyses, owing to the fact that Chi-Square is calculated as an approximation of theoretical distributions – meaning its goodness-of-fit falters with low n.

      Deploying one or the other for a given analysis is reasonable – but need to be clearly stated in Methods, and consistently deployed.

      All in all, contingency-based statistics relatively simplistic measures, prone to many of the statistical errors and biases better described upthread.

  6. James says:

    I find this disturbing.
    This only fuels the distrust a lot of African Americans have of the medical system (not without reason).

    1. Lawrence says:

      Perhaps the folks at AoA should have thought of that before trumpeting this particular set of bad science…..

      1. James says:

        The sad thing since they saw this as promoting their cause they took it and ran with it.
        Confirmation bias at work here.

  7. EBMOD says:

    What is frustrating for me is how egregiously bad this study is, even by anti-vaxx standards. As pointed out, numerous errors, misapplications of statistics, and inconsistent methods. Yet looking at my facebook feed, many of my CAM using friends are trumpeting this as another sign that modern medicine is out to abuse them for its own profit.

    Thing is I can see how a laymen would see all these fancy, sciency sounding phrases like ‘chi squared regression’ and such and not be able to see the logical fallacy since it is buried under alot of advanced mumbo jumbo.

    So basically I am just lamenting at how those who don’t know enough to know better, are easily led astray by such articles that put forth a veneer of academic and scientific know how when the truth is that this would be shoddy work for a high school student. I think this is at the heart of why so many are sympathetic to CAM. Well meaning laymen being led astray by auto-didactic morons with an ax to grind…

    1. Not a Sheeple says:

      I wish those of you that disagree that there is a link between vaccines and autism (partial link, one piece of a puzzle with with many causes and a genetic component as well) would not be so insulting. Not everyone is some uneducated moron listening to celebrities. MOST of the parents have done extensive research and are highly educated. Also, anti-vax is not even the correct label for many of us. Pro-parental choice or pro-SAFE vaccine would be better. I believe you will be on the wrong side of history and one day what “cranks” believed will be proven true and accepted by all as fact (people may even wonder how anyone could have ever thought otherwise, like we do now about many other trusted doctor’s advice of the past). Time will tell. In the meantime, it’d be nice to learn from one another rather than tear each other apart. I don’t hate you guys. I don’t even blame you. The truth is incredibly difficult to uncover and “they” spend an awful lot of time and money pumping thoughts into citizens to believe otherwise. When I get down about the whole thing and wonder how my precious son will be in a few years, I am comforted by Gandhi’s quote. “First they ignored us. Then they laughed at us. Then they fought us. Then we won!” Well my friends, they are fighting pretty hard, so perhaps that day is coming soon.

      1. AdamG says:

        For someone who ‘has done extensive research’ you sure seem to have missed the fact that Gandhi never actually said that.
        http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Mahatma_Gandhi#Disputed

        In the meantime, it’d be nice to learn from one another

        Indeed, we have a lot to learn about the patterns of denialist thinking by observing folks such as yourself. Maybe it’s time for you to learn some statistics.

      2. David Gorski says:

        No, antivaccine is the correct description:

        http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/what-does-anti-vaccine-really-mean/

        No one’s calling you an uneducated moron, either. However, what, precisely, is your qualification in science, epidemiology, biology, and statistics to be able to counter what I’ve written. Can you refute what I wrote? Can you make a cogent argument about where I got the epidemiological design and statistics wrong and Hooker got them right?

        Until you can get specific and do that, using evidence, science, and reason (not to mention statistics), why on earth do you expect me (or anyone else) to take your arguments about vaccine science seriously?

        1. lilady says:

          Apparently, he has a BA and a MA and is a teacher. He’s also claims to be a QMRP, which is an employee of a large state-run institution or a group home serving residents who are severely or profoundly developmentally disabled.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QMRP

          (Still not qualified by his educational background or work experience to discuss the science of immunology and epidemiology)

          I’m still waiting for links to the research he claims he has done, which links vaccines, the ingredients in vaccines, the spacing and timing of vaccines…and the onset of autism, ASDs/other developmental disabilities…and any other childhood disorder that anti-vaccine cranks come up with.

      3. EBMOD says:

        I appreciate that you don’t hate us, I don’t hate you either. Understand that my post was expressing my anger towards those who are leading the anti-vaxx movement. I think that deep down, many of them know better. As noted, notice that Mr Hooker did not employ any statisticians or epidemiologists in creating this study. I think that was on purpose, as any epidemiologist or statistician would have seen the flaws in the methods/analysis.

        You are being led astray by these people. What they present as evidence is anything but.

        I am a pediatric optometrist and my wife is a pediatric RN. We have both had patients who died of whooping cough who were not vaccinated. Seeing it firsthand sucks. Forgive us for being a bit curt when see kids die unecessarily and then have those who are opposing vaccination play the victim card when we call them anti-vaxx. Children are dying as a result of these egregious studies. Even IF vaccines did cause autism, you would agree that death is a far worse outcome, no?

        1. David Gorski says:

          Careful. To a lot of antivaccine activists, autism IS worse than death, hence the analogies to the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, the Holocaust, Pol Pot, and Stalin’s crimes. :-)

          1. EBMOD says:

            That is indeed a trend that has always perplexed me. You know they are far down the rabbit hole when they start espousing that.

            As a pediatric OD, I see lots of ASD children and their parents. I haven’t explicitly asked, but pretty sure that all of them prefer their children alive with ASD as compared to dead…

      4. “MOST of the parents have done extensive research and are highly educated.”

        The latest vaccine conspiracy theories are certainly not the first. There has been a small percentage of people who have been against vaccines ever since the first vaccine was developed. People were against the smallpox vaccine because they thought it would give you syphilis or because small pox wasn’t that bad.

        Linking vaccines to autism or saying that measles isn’t that bad are just the latest arguments of an ever present anti-vaccine movement that at best, is selectively highly educated.

      5. qetzal says:

        Not a Sheeple:

        In the meantime, it’d be nice to learn from one another rather than tear each other apart. I don’t hate you guys. I don’t even blame you. The truth is incredibly difficult to uncover and “they” spend an awful lot of time and money pumping thoughts into citizens to believe otherwise.

        Fair enough. Do you mind telling us what evidence convinced you that vaccines are one cause of autism?

      6. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

        I wish those of you that disagree that there is a link between vaccines and autism (partial link, one piece of a puzzle with with many causes and a genetic component as well) would not be so insulting.

        What about your implied and actual assault that our conclusions are due to bias and bribery rather than evidence? What about your evidence-free assertions that autism is, must be due to a gene-vaccine link (which, may I point out, is indistinguishable from saying “vaccines cause autism, thanks)?

        Not everyone is some uneducated moron listening to celebrities. MOST of the parents have done extensive research and are highly educated.

        Why do they come to different conclusions compared to those who are actual scientists conducting and reviewing studies day-in and day-out, professionally, attending conferences and teaching about vaccines or epidemiology every day of their professional lives? How is it that all of these parents come to the same conclusions as uninformed, vomit-eating celebrities (not a jab, a fact – Jenny McCarthy ate puke as part of a reality show) rather than actual scientists who publish in the peer-reviewed press?

        Also, anti-vax is not even the correct label for many of us. Pro-parental choice or pro-SAFE vaccine would be better.

        The problem is the two points (anti-vaccine and pro-”safe” vaccines) are indistinguishable; there is never any indication of assessment of safety. There is no acknowledgement of the failure to find a link between vaccines and autism. There is never any recognition that the vaccine ingredients are tested. There is no identification of the “risky” ingredient, or if there is – there is no recognition of the toxicological properites of the ingredients that argue strongly against the ingredient being dangerous. So “pro-safety” really looks like a marketing term used to hide the fact that you are really anti-vaccine but are just being dishonest about it. I mean how would you feel if we called you “pro-death by measles” or “pro-disease”? That’s the level of honesty that “pro-safe vaccine” brings to the discussion.

        I believe you will be on the wrong side of history and one day what “cranks” believed will be proven true and accepted by all as fact (people may even wonder how anyone could have ever thought otherwise, like we do now about many other trusted doctor’s advice of the past). Time will tell.

        Possibly, but unlikely, because right now there is a big body of evidence suggesting very strongly that vaccines don’t cause autism. Based on the current evidence, you’re much better off getting your child vaccinated than you are avoiding them.

        In the meantime, it’d be nice to learn from one another rather than tear each other apart. I don’t hate you guys. I don’t even blame you. The truth is incredibly difficult to uncover and “they” spend an awful lot of time and money pumping thoughts into citizens to believe otherwise. When I get down about the whole thing and wonder how my precious son will be in a few years, I am comforted by Gandhi’s quote. “First they ignored us. Then they laughed at us. Then they fought us. Then we won!” Well my friends, they are fighting pretty hard, so perhaps that day is coming soon.

        People laughed at Bozo the Clown, that didn’t make him a scientist. Want to be found right? Find good, replicable evidence to support your idea. A good starting point would be even being aware of the massive amount of evidence against it. I mean look at how much evidence there is against the vaccine-autism hypothesis; for it to be a conspiracy (which, by the way, is a rather mean accusation to make, that everyone who disagrees with you is doing it for the money) there would have to be thousands of people in on it – the CDC, the WHO, researchers, pharma employees, etc. And nobody has cracked? Really?

        1. simba says:

          Not only that, they would have to be researchers in countries across the world- the conspiracy theorists always like to talk about the FDA as if America is the only place vaccines are given. Vaccine research has been conducted in Japan, in Britain, in Sweden, lots of different places, so the conspiracy would have to involve researchers, different organisations/companies, and governments, across the world.

          Not to mention the enormous incentive there is for a pharmaceutical company to find their competitor’s vaccine unsafe- they could use it as a fabulous marketing opportunity to sell their own better vaccine,. As someone who declares themselves ‘pro-safe vaccine’ you can see how that would be a possibility if it is as you claim, right? You could completely destroy your competitors, get them out of the market, and get the kind of publicity for your own product that money cannot buy, and a reputation for safety to boot.

          So why has no-one done it?

          1. Frederick says:

            Isn’t what Wakefield basically did? Create dat out of whole clothes to claim thr current vaccine was not safe, so he could sale his own so he could make millions? Funny own the antivaccine mouvement (and a lot of others anti-science group) get the
            whole “in for the money” concept wrong.

      7. lilady says:

        ” The truth is incredibly difficult to uncover…..”

        As far as I can see, you have yet to provide any of the research you have done to arrive at ‘the truth’.

        So….where’s your research?

      8. Marc says:

        So, all you have is a tone argument?

      9. Hobbit says:

        Be careful with these people. Most of these people in this forum would relish the thought of having you, your husband and your children strapped to a chair and forcefully injected with all required shots, and they would think they had it done for the greater good. These people have lost a great tenant of philosophy; do the ends justify the means? Most of them believe as all of the despots of our past; that the ends justify the means. Remember that about them; they are dangerous to basic human free will.

        1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          I would mostly be happy with the extinction of the polio virus so nobody has to be vaccinated. That’d be sweet.

          As for the other vaccines, I would be happy with stricter exemption laws. Or better yet – no exemptions! If you want to attend public school, you have to be vaccinated, no exceptions. It’s merely an inconvenience, hardly strapping people down and pumping them full of mercury.

          1. Hobbit says:

            Interesting that you brought up polio. Ever hear of SV40? Look it up, because it is likely in your body right now if you got a polio vaccine. How about the over 40,000 kids who are now paralyzed FROM the polio vaccine in India? Tell them it was for the greater good. You would deny a child of education because their parents have a different point of view regarding childhood diseases that rarely kill, were all declining the world over BEFORE vaccines came into play due to cleaner water and sanitation programs, and do harm. You, sir, are a tyrant.

            1. Chris says:

              But not in anyone who first got vaccinated for polio in the last fifty years. It was found, and then removed in the early 1960s.

              “How about the over 40,000 kids who are now paralyzed FROM the polio vaccine in India?”

              Citation needed. Also, the polio vaccine used in the USA differs from India.

              1. Hobbit says:

                It was in the news the world over. You know what, find your own info, the study was done, it was in the news, and assholes like you refuse to see the truth. You pukes cherry pick everything you want anyway.

            2. Harriet Hall says:

              SV 40? No it is not likely. The vast majority of people who are immunized against polio did not receive vaccine with SV40 in it and the contaminated doses never caused any harm to those who received them. The oral polio vaccine is a live attenuated vaccine that can (rarely) cause polio, and that is why we stopped using it in the US after wild polio was eradicated. Nevertheless, it is still preferred in countries like India where polio is still prevalent, because it is more effective in that setting and the advantages outweigh the risks. I seriously question that figure of 40,000 paralyzed kids – where did you get that from?

              1. Hobbit says:

                Giving cancer to millions of people as reported by the CDC via SV40 and the polio vaccine harms no one? Really? What planet are you living on, because I think I would like to move there; a place where whatever I want to believe can become a reality. A reality tailored just for me and my beliefs. Must be nice to live in a land of lies.

              2. Chris says:

                In the USA the SV40 contaminant was discovered and removed before there was a measles vaccine fifty years ago!

                SV40 is old stale canard. Try a new tactic like staying on topic and actually using real evidence.

      10. K says:

        Oh boy. You do know liberal arts degrees, a teaching certificate, and a qualification to care for the developmentally disabled don’t teach you crap about science, right?

        Also, I would sooner trust somebody with a BS in chemistry than a PhD in literature to say anything reliable about medications of any kind. It doesn’t matter HOW educated you are. It matters what you got educated in.

        Next thing I know you’ll be pontificating about math or something.

        1. sadmar says:

          “You do know liberal arts degrees, a teaching certificate, and a qualification to care for the developmentally disabled don’t teach you crap about science? I would sooner trust somebody with a BS in chemistry than a PhD in literature to say anything reliable about medications of any kind.”

          This statement is uninformed, counter-productive, and unscientific to boot.

          UNINFORMED
          Some R1 institutions may slice the pie differently, but the natural sciences have ALWAYS been a core element of the Liberal Arts, and science requirements are part of the GE program at virtually every 4 year liberal arts college. You can also find plenty of science majors at such schools: Chemistry, Geology, Biology, Botany, (Physics, not so much…). More generally, the issue is not ‘who has reliable things to say medications’, but who has the critical thinking skills to separate rational argumentation from mere sophistry. I certainly don’t need a degree in epidemiology or medical research to discern (as did Becky @ #52 below) that AoA and NN are peddling nonsensical quasi-religious dogma. With very few exceptions, you don’t advance to a dissertation defense in the Humanities without passing rigorous chapter-by-chapter scrutiny of your arguments and sources by your advisor and second reader. If your argument has holes or you misuse your sources they send you back to rewrite the chapter. And even once everything looks dandy on paper, you have to be able to back up your shit and handle a few ‘curveballs’ in your orals before you get awarded the PhD. Oh yeah, before you even get to start writing, you have to pass a week long set of written comprehensive exams, and a similarly rigorous oral defense of your answers to those as well.

          COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE
          You’re throwing insulting, baseless stereotype darts at exactly the sort of people you need to win over to get vaccination rates back up and measles cases back down. If AoA were to engage a troll to act as an agent provocateur to stir up shit on SBM and make the ‘science’ case appear as unappealing as possible, your post is exactly what such an anti-vax shill would write.

          UNSCIENTIFIC
          At face value your claim would seem to be ‘an individual with an undergraduate degree in science is a more reliable source on the effects of medications than an individual with a PhD in the humanities.’ As you claim to speak for Science, I will assume you mean your claim to be non-trivial. Thus a corollary would be ‘an individual with an undergraduate degree in science will be a reliable source on the effects of medications to some significant degree.’ You present your claims res ipsa loquitor, with no argument, much less anything resembling scientific analysis. Surely you are aware the ranks of anti-vaxers contain no shortage of folks with some sort of science background, e.g. Brian Hooker. What the anti-vax crowd does lack are advocates with relevent degrees in or knowledge of epidemiology, apart from the fradulent Andrew Wakefield. So where’s your, you know, evidence that an undergrad degree in science actually prepares anyone to make statements on the effectiveness and/or dangers of medications?

          1. Windriven says:

            Well said! I would also add that most liberal arts programs include some number of hours of philosophy and, presuming a level of rigor in its teaching, should add to a foundation of logical thinking and analysis.

            The problem isn’t the course of study one chooses. The problem is that some people are ineducable. One can find morons with degrees in chemistry just as one can find moronic social workers. Only physicists are immune. ;-)

            1. Hobbit says:

              I wonder how a Jew who speaks of the holocaust can ignore a medical holocaust before his very eyes. I wonder how long it will take for the parents of those holocaust victims of autism and vaccines to figure out the guilty. I wonder what will happen to the guilty when those parents realize who is responsible. I remember trials after ww2 where soldiers used the defense of “just following orders”, and were quickly found guilty and hung. I wonder if people like you will follow the same fate when the millions of parents with vaccine injured kids come looking for justice. But what do I know? I am not as smart as a Jew according to your rants. I could not possibly be intelligent enough to figure out simple problems, according to you. Guess what chief, it isn’t up to me anymore who figure what out when. The cat is out of the bag. Vaccines cause autism, and if you are, or have EVER worked to disprove this fact in your work as a scientist, you will be routed out, exposed, tried and sentenced. I wonder what the sentence for being an accomplice in the medical injury of millions of children should be….hanging might still be on the table.

              1. Chris says:

                Godwin. You lose, again.

  8. bdcguard-19 says:

    I’m surprised you didn’t include this:

    Julie Louise Gerberding, M.D., M.P.H. director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) resigned from her post on January 20, 2009.[4] and is now the president of Merck’s Vaccine division. She is also Director of MSD Wellcome Trust Hilleman Laboratories Private Limited, a joint initiative between Merck and Wellcome Trust.

    1. Lawrence says:

      Amazing, how dare a corporation who requires specific skills around the medical science of vaccines hire someone who just so happens to have that particular set of skills?

      Are anti-vax folks just morons? Do you expect to find vaccine experts just lying around on the street?

      1. Not a Sheeple says:

        I agree with prior comment. Conflict of interest. Come on!

        1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          So you’re saying Gerberding started her career at the CDC in 1998, bided her time for 11 years, then BAM! Switched to Pfizer in a carefully-orchestrated plot to…what? What’s her motivation? She was promised a position at Pfizer and just had to wait out the 11 years to get it? I’ll also note that the history of vaccine opposition goes back to before her tenure – was her precedessor also a bribed plant? How far back does the conspiracy go?

          See, this connection is speculation, not evidence. Merely identifying a possible conneciton is not the same thing as proving it is real.

        2. lilady says:

          Not a Sheeple…You don’t get to change the subject to imaginary conflicts of interest.

          You made the statements that you have “done the research” to inform your decision about vaccines being the causative factor in autism. You have yet to provide any of the research or your sources for that research.

          Time now, for you to put up or shut up.

  9. LIz Ditz says:

    The CDC has issued a statement on the 2004 Destefano paper

    CDC Statement Regarding 2004 Pediatrics Article, “Age at First Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccination in Children With Autism and School-matched Control Subjects: A Population-Based Study in Metropolitan Atlanta”

    CDC shares with parents and others great concern about the number of children with autism spectrum disorder.

    CDC is committed to continuing to provide essential data on autism, search for factors that put children at risk for autism and look for possible causes. While doing so, we work to develop resources that help identify children with autism as early as possible so they can benefit from intervention services.

    CDC’s studyExternal Web Site Icon about age at first Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccination and autism, published in Pediatrics in 2004, included boys and girls from different ethnic groups, including black children. The manuscript presented the results on two sets of children:

    1. All children who were initially recruited for the study, and2.
    the subset of children who had a Georgia birth certificate.

    Access to the information on the birth certificates allowed researchers to assess more complete information on race as well as other important characteristics, including possible risk factors for autism such as the child’s birth weight, mother’s age, and education. This information was not available for the children without birth certificates; hence CDC study did not present data by race on black, white, or other race children from the whole study sample. It presented the results on black and white/other race children from the group with birth certificates.

    The study looked at different age groups: children vaccinated by 18 months, 24 months, and 36 months. The findings revealed that vaccination between 24 and 36 months was slightly more common among children with autism, and that association was strongest among children 3-5 years of age. The authors reported this finding was most likely a result of immunization requirements for preschool special education program attendance in children with autism.

    The data CDC collected for this study continue to be available for analysis by others. CDC welcomes analysis by others that can be submitted for peer-review and publication. For more information on how to access this public-use dataset please go to the this webpage.

    Additional studies and a more recent rigorous review by the Institute of Medicine have found that MMR vaccine does not increase the risk of autism.

    Vaccines protect the health of children in the United States so well that most parents today have never seen first-hand the devastating consequences of diseases now stopped by vaccines.

    However, our 2014 measles count is the highest number since measles was declared eliminated in 2000. We do not want to lose any opportunity to protect all of our children when we have the means to do so.

    1. joe says:

      The CDC, is the biggest liar in the free world! You can tell, when they are lying, it’s when their mouth is moving.

  10. LIz Ditz says:

    I would also like to point out that the Focus Autism press release accuses Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsop of being a traitor to her race, valuing her career over the well-being of African-American boy toddlers. Wakefield and Hooker repeat the calumny.

    1. joe says:

      She and they excepted an award, according to Dr. Thompson, for a fraudulent study.

      All of them, are traitors,and should be tried for an act worse than treason.

      1. Chris says:

        So says the guy who pontificates on ingredients that are not in the MMR on this comment thread.

  11. Hobbit says:

    Dr. Gorsky is in bed with big pharma and has been for years. READ THIS:
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/06/david-gorskis-financial-pharma-ties-what-he-didnt-tell-you.html
    Dr. Gorsky, you are a liar. You are a scumbag, and you will be routed out and tried for your participation with the fraud of vaccines and their strong role with autism. You know how many people hate you, and this new information will just put fuel on the fire for those unfortunate souls that have a vaccine injured child. Who do you think they will vet their anger toward? Let me tell you chief, it is YOU! Yes, you, and your pal Dr. Offit will be seeing some crisp legal papers soon. You might even go to jail. Rest assured though, I promise to send you letters the entire time you rot in a 5×9 cell you pathetic, nasty creature.

    1. Lawrence says:

      Nasty Hobbits……lol

      1. skeptictmac57 says:

        Red face,eyes bugged out,body trembling,flecks of spittle spewing from the Hobbit’s (troll’s?) mouth…I can see it so clearly in my mind.

    2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      Yes, you, and your pal Dr. Offit will be seeing some crisp legal papers soon. You might even go to jail. Rest assured though, I promise to send you letters the entire time you rot in a 5×9 cell you pathetic, nasty creature.

      Oh yeah, Dr. Gorski is the pathetic nasty creature. Not the random, pseudonymous internet commentor uttering legal and borderline-physical threats to distract from their complete lack of evidence.

    3. mouse says:

      my precious…

      1. Kathy says:

        “We hates it, we hates it, we hates it forever!”

    4. Matt Carey says:

      Hobbitses don’t have any facts to discuss?

    5. EBMOD says:

      When you vociferously foam at the mouth, it does not bolster your argument. Rather the opposite. It implies you implicitly know you don’t have the evidence to support your claim when you have to use intimidation and implied force to try and further your cause.

      You come across as nothing more than an ignorant psychopath, not some ‘crusader’ for vaccine truth…

    6. Windriven says:

      Hobbit, in the off chance that you find someone willing to breed with you (I shudder at the thought) I hope your semen trap has enough sense to vaccinate the spawn even if you don’t. As irksome, loathsome, and devoid of intellectual substance as you might be, I wouldn’t wish even on you the horror of watching your baby slowly and horribly gasp a suffocating death. While you may richly deserve it, the baby and the hapless spermcubator don’t.

      1. Hobbit says:

        None of my many children have been vaccinated (I hope that really gets under your skin. My kids could be near you or yours even as you read this. I sure hope they don’t infect you with the black death!) and they are healthy, autism free, allergy free, drug free miracles of God. As pathetic and dangerous to humanity I feel that people with your retardation are concerning vaccines, I do not wish your children to be brain damaged after you choose to shoot poison into their veins, turning them into invalids that will require care for the remainder of your days.

        1. Woo Fighter says:

          No vaccine is, or ever has been, “shot into anyone’s veins.”

          Calling people who don’t agree with you “retarded” is not only juvenile but it is deeply insensitive and offensive, especially on a blog where there are parents of developmentally-challenged children.

          1. Hobbit says:

            Obviously the vaccines are intramuscular; it was a euphemism. The word retard means to slow. I used this in reference to slow and poor decisions regarding vaccines, and if that offends you, well, it’s a hard world out there, and if being called retarded is the worst thing that ever happens to you, then consider yourself lucky, and possibly slow.

            1. Chris says:

              Around here, both the error and insult will not go unnoticed. Try to provide evidence, not excuses nor insults.

            2. lilady says:

              “Obviously the vaccines are intramuscular; it was a euphemism.”

              Except when vaccines are administered via the subcutaneous route…or the oral route…or via the intranasal route.

              “The word retard means to slow. I used this in reference to slow and poor decisions regarding vaccines, and if that offends you, well, it’s a hard world out there, and if being called retarded is the worst thing that ever happens to you, then consider yourself lucky, and possibly slow.”

              But you didn’t use the word “retard”…you called someone “retarded”, which is a pejorative label for individuals who have intellectual disabilities.

              Nasty, nasty, ignorant Hobbit.

          2. Calli Arcale says:

            Not to mention that if he’s so upset about vaccines possibly causing autism, it’s rather revealing that he uses mental retardation as his go-to insult. This reveals what a staggeringly low opinion he has of the autistic. If they can be reduced to an insult, then they have been dehumanized in his mind, whether he consciously admits it or not. This no doubt is why he believes his children could never possibly be afflicted; they’re his, therefore they’re God-given miracles, therefore he doesn’t need to fret about the things the heathens worry about, like vaccine-preventable diseases.

            He has no way of knowing whether his children have been protected by their innate awesomeness and God-given miraculous nature and his faith, or whether they’ve just been lucky enough to live in a country where there’s plenty of safe food, safe drinking water, sanitation, and widespread vaccination. But since the former view better suits his prejudices, that’s the one he hews to.

            For his sake and his children’s sake, I hope he doesn’t get a rude wake-up call from the other possibility.

        2. Chris says:

          My son had seizures from a disease before its vaccine was available. Seizures that may have contributed to the brain damage that caused his very severe speech disability and other developmental issues.

          Since this article is about a study on the MMR vaccine, I want you to provide the PubMed indexed studies by qualified reputable researchers that the MMR vaccine (which was been used in the USA since 1971) causes more seizures than measles. You can read about the effects of measles in The Clinical Significance of Measles: A Review.

          Please just post the actual evidence that the MMR vaccine is more dangerous than measles. Insults are not a valid substitute for data.

        3. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          they are healthy, autism free, allergy free, drug free miracles of God.

          Are you sure they aren’t the product of a lengthy evolutionary process where all the children who were too slow got eaten or too skinny starved to death?

          Also, I wonder if your perspective would change were you forced to watch your child slowly suffocate to death.

          Vaccine denial has consequences.

          1. Hobbit says:

            Do kids die from disease? Of course they do. Do kids die from vaccines? Of course they do. What are the risks vs benefits? It is impossible to say because, obviously, the CDC lies. If they lied on a paper about MMR 13 years ago putting millions at risk, then what else have they lied about? Their entire body of work is suspect now, and if you or anyone else trusts proven liars you do so at your own peril.

            1. KayMarie says:

              You do know other people did how many people die of disease research other than the CDC.

              Or are all of them liars, too? All the death stats, all the how many lived out their lives in iron lungs, how many blinded, no matter who collected the data, all false.

              Hopefully your kids thank all the vaccinated kids around them that keep them safe and protected.

            2. Harriet Hall says:

              It has not been established that they lied or that they put anyone at risk.

            3. Chris says:

              “It is impossible to say because, obviously, the CDC lies.”

              What about the other public health agencies like those in Finland, Sweden, Canada, UK, France or Japan? There are records taken all over this planet.

              So did the researcher who wrote Measles vaccine coverage and factors related to uncompleted vaccination among 18-month-old and 36-month-old children in Kyoto, Japan like by saying:

              In Japan, measles vaccine coverage has remained low, and either small or moderate outbreaks have occurred repeatedly in communities. According to an infectious disease surveillance (2000), total measles cases were estimated to be from 180,000 to 210,000, and total deaths were estimated to be 88 [11,12]. Measles cases are most frequently observed among non-immunized children, particularly between 12 to 24 months.

            4. lilady says:

              “Do kids die from disease? Of course they do. Do kids die from vaccines? Of course they do. What are the risks vs benefits? It is impossible to say because, obviously, the CDC lies.”

              How about ponying up a medical examiner’s report which attributed a child’s death due to a vaccine?

              (hint) PubMed is your friend. Child batterers/murderers who “claim” their child’s multiple skull fractures and multiple subdural hemorrhages was caused by a vaccine, don’t count. And, deaths from SIDS are not vaccine deaths.

        4. Windriven says:

          “I hope that really gets under your skin”

          The jabbering of morons never gets under my skin.

          My kids, all grown, all educated, all vaccinated, all autism free, all professional (well, Allie is a ski bum but also a pretty well paid model so …), all healthy, all but one having bred (and vaccinated their offspring), we all in unison urinate on you for producing a brood of vectors.

          Where do these vermin-carriers go to school? Or do you home school them to assure that they grow into adults as clueless and dull as you?

          And what happens when one of these pestilent cherubs infects someone and they sue the living bejesus out of you (not that I imagine you have much in the way of assets)? Maybe your god will send the court a check in your behalf.

        5. EBMOD says:

          You are invoking God while you foam at the mouth and call us names and act like a complete jackass? I suggest you read up on your Bible, starting with the Beatitudes. Now run along, don’t you have an abortion clinic to go blow up or something?

    7. Frederick says:

      Is it just me or hobbit repeat himself (herself) like 4 times now? Each of the comments posted by this person is the same, but reworked a different way. In my litterature class, and Philosophy, this would be a fail

      1. Hobbit says:

        Funny how all of you pro-vaccers make fun of my pen name of Hobbit, yet ignore the clearly middle-earth pen name of Orac, the author of this very blog.

        1. KayMarie says:

          Have you missed all the times people make fun of the decidely not at all middle earth origins of the nom de plum http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orac_%28Blake%27s_7%29

        2. Calli Arcale says:

          Orac = Middle Earth name? Wow. Okay, granted, Blake’s 7 is pretty obscure, and not all fantasy fans are also sci-fi fans, but I don’t remember any name even *vaguely* like Orac in any of Tolkien’s books. I think you can turn in your nerd card for thinking Orac was a Middle Earth name, because it goes against the linguistic ethos that Tolkien was working with.

          1. Missmolly says:

            He misread it as ‘Orc’. I guess what’s an ‘a’ between friends? What an rsehole :)

        3. Frederick says:

          I did not make fun of you name, Im a geek, I love LOTR. I chose my real name because I wanted to look more serious Here, and I wanted to be taken seriously, so anonymity is alway easier for people to turn into trolls. Otherwise My Nick Is Sylak, everywhere else on the internet if you want to know, It is the Name of one of my old Character In west en games Starwars RPG. So I don,t care for the geekenest of you name, and ORAC is not for some kind of chemical stuff ( pointed out by the other good people here) Mo, I have fun at the fact you postde the same assertion 4 time, the same link couples of time too. It was answered and properly debunked, each time. So you just demonstrated how you don,t care for truth but only for you ideology. You called us “brainwashed” but you keep repeating the same stuff like a robot, despite being proven that you are wrong, THAT’S is brainwashed.

      2. Hobbit says:

        Glad you are spending your time critiquing my posts instead of developing your teaching plan for your students. Since I like repeating myself, maybe you should teach your philosophy students about despots, ethics, and the end justifying the means.

        1. brewandferment says:

          how about you explain the morality of your unvaccinated kids spreading pertussis to someone else’s baby who then dies or is severely brain-damaged as a result? or passing rubella to a pregnant woman who doesn’t mount an immune response to her vaccines and her baby is born dead or terribly deformed?

          1. Windriven says:

            I believe their answer would be along the lines of, “tough sh!t.”

          2. Jopari says:

            It occurs to me that it may be possible they still don’t believe that vaccines actually act as prevention.

          3. Hobbit says:

            What a twisted way of seeing things you have. By that logic, we should lock up all sick people. How about we start jailing people that don’t wash their hands? You are blaming a persons free will to avoid taking a risky medical procedure for the spread of a microorganism. You don’t get to say what is risky and what is not. You don’t get to dictate forced medication to people. Your mentality is so tyrannical that you should get yourself a Hitler stash and a swastika tattoo on your forehead. What if you stepped on somebodies spit that had TB, walked into your kids daycare, and a kid dies? By your logic, it would be your fault. As if there is NO debate over the efficacy, effectiveness and safety of vaccines. Guess what chief; there is controversy because it is DOING HARM to people, and these people have little to no recourse for their vaccine injured child. There is so much controversy over this that I am certain, you are on the wrong side of history. Nasty tyrannical turd.

            1. KayMarie says:

              But you admit people can die from illnesses. But your solution is to do nothing at all to prevent them?

              I suppose you are totally against isolating the sick from the well. Let the little one-celled bastards play!

            2. KayMarie says:

              And yes, scientists evaluate and quantify the risks of giving a treatment or a preventative for an illness against the risks of getting and transmitting the illness.

              It isn’t like we say vaccines have no risks. We know anything that has zero risk also has zero chance of providing a benefit. You have to look at both sides of the equation including the risk of doing absolutely nothing.

            3. Chris says:

              “Your mentality is so tyrannical that you should get yourself a Hitler stash and a swastika tattoo on your forehead. ”

              Godwin. You lose.

              Remember to thank your responsible neighbors who vaccinate, because they maintain the community immunity that protects your children.

            4. Windriven says:

              “By that logic, we should lock up all sick people.”

              How does that follow? Not all sick people are contagious. And most sick people who are contagious have the character and intelligence to isolate themselves. Locking up is for the morons and the sociopaths who give not one sh!t about anyone but themselves. Them? Yeah, lock ‘em up.

              “You are blaming a persons free will to avoid taking a risky medical procedure for the spread of a microorganism. ”

              Your rights come with concomitant responsibilities. Civilized people understand that. Further, there is vanishingly little risk in vaccinations.

              “You don’t get to dictate forced medication to people.”

              Actually, in some cases we do. Walk around with untreated TB for a while.
              “You don’t get to say what is risky and what is not.”

              Sure I do. Anyone who can read the literature can easily determine what is and isn’t risky.

              “What if you stepped on somebodies spit that had TB, walked into your kids daycare, and a kid dies? By your logic, it would be your fault.”

              No dumbass, it would be the untreated tubercular’s fault. Are you really having trouble sorting through the chain of responsibility on that? Besides, who spits on the sidewalk?

              “Nasty tyrannical turd.”

              Nasty, ignorant, unhygienic, self-indulgent, self-absorbed, buttpipe.

              1. Hobbit says:

                I am the ignorant one huh? By your own admission you state that “We do get to force medication onto people”. You view yourself as some type of cult that is above the uneducated people that do not work for a hospital. You are not. You are nothing more that a hubris driven, self absorbed, brainwashed cult member. You are aware that, if indeed you work for a hospital, you are a failure right? 1 in 3 kids today in the US has asthma, allergies, ADHD, autism, diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, ect… 1 in 3. The US ranks 30th in infant mortality in the world. Diabetes, cancer, ALS, MS are all at astronomical numbers. There was a study recently that put hospital errors in the US as the 3rd leading cause of death. But you wouldn’t have heard anything about that because you were too busy playing golf, being brainwashed at a conference, or getting a blow job from your drug reps. You disgust me, and history will remember you for what you are; a failure that did harm because your hubris was too big to even listen to the truth. Tyrannical turd.

              2. Windriven says:

                Such a delicious rant, buttpipe! Problem is, while I am a scientist, I don’t work for or even in a hospital. I’m not a doctor, I’m not a pharmacologist, I’m not even a phlebotomist. And while I’ve enjoyed some phenomenal blowjobs, I can’t recall having gotten one from a pharmaceutical rep – we mostly travel in different circles.

                All that huffing and puffing and none of it applying to me. I can’t begin to tell you how satisfying it is to see you make such an ass of yourself.

                I’d love to discuss some of the issues you’ve raised about US healthcare metrics and performance. These are issues in which I have considerable interest and also a bit of knowledge. But serious discussions of serious issues demand serious interlocutors and Hobbitt, you’ve self-selected out of that pool.

                Do come back when you’ve acquired more than a nitwit’s understanding of science, logic, medicine, and the law.

                Meanwhile, enjoy you Labor Day weekend.

            5. brewandferment says:

              if you agree to wear a symbol of your unvaccinated status clearly visible to all persons so we can avoid your airspace, we will leave you alone—as far as we can get actually

              1. Windriven says:

                I propose a scarlet ‘D’ in honor of Mark Crislip’s classic: “A Budget of Dumbasses”

              2. Hobbit says:

                Like a star of David? Hitler turd.

              3. Windriven says:

                “Like a star of David? Hitler turd.”

                1. Again with the Godwin? Auto-loser!

                2. No, like Nathaniel Hawthorne in the Scarlet Letter, illiterate child.

                3. At the risk of sounding racist, you are not smart enough to be Jewish, to understand the Star of David, or to recognize the disservice you do by trivializing the horror of the holocaust.

        2. EBMOD says:

          How about trying to learn something rather than verbally abusing anyone who doesn’t think exactly like you do?

          Also, I suggest you think long and hard about the ramifications of your beliefs. They are killing kids who didn’t need to die. Due to your arrogance and narcissism you miss the fact that there is blood on your hands…

        3. Sawyer says:

          Glad you are spending your time critiquing my posts instead of developing your teaching plan for your students

          Well, Hobbit wins an award for this one. By far the most honest and revealing statement I’ve ever seen coming from an anti-vaxxer.

          Every minute wasted in this discussion is a minute that real scientists, doctors, journalists, etc. are not spending with people that actually care about reality. Dr. Gorski could be doing real research or teaching about new discoveries in the world of cancer, but instead he has to deal with this train wreck of a comments section.

          The collective number of hours/dollars blown on this faux-controversy of vaccines and autism is in the millions or even billions at this point, and in anti-vaxxer world, that is somehow a good thing. Thanks for admitting it Hobbit.

  12. Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH says:

    Outing confidential informants, betraying someone’s trust, is nothing new for Andrew Wakefield. As a consultant to the Dawburn Law firm, representing families suing vaccine manufacturers for their children’s autism (the suit was lost), Wakefield participated in a meeting with a whistleblower calling himself “George.” Later, in front of a meeting of Autism One, Wakefield stated he had discovered George’s true identity and if he did not come forward, Wakefield would reveal his identity, something he did publicly a while later and again in his book “Callous Disregard.”

    In my humble opinion, outing a confidential informant, betraying someone’s trust, says that the outer(s), Wakefield as well as various websites, are not trustworthy. In addition, though highly unlikely, if anyone should have information that would be useful for antivaccinationists, they would be foolhardy to approach them, given their track record of betraying informants.

    Dr. Gorski’s post does an excellent job of demolishing Hooker’s paper as well as showing just how illogical antivaccinationists are, ignoring contradictions, as long as it fits with their paranoid conspiracy theory.

    Though not as prolific as Dr. Gorski, last year I got an article I wrote published in an online open-source peer-reviewed medical journal that demolished claims made by Wakefield about vaccine safety in his book “Callous Disregard” :

    Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH. “Wrong About Vaccine Safety: A Review of Andrew Wakefield’s “Callous Disregard,” The Open Vaccine Journal, 2013, 6, 9-25. Available at:

    http://benthamopen.com/tovacj/articles/V006/TOVACJ20131126002.pdf

    1. LIz Ditz says:

      From Brian Deer:

      “This extraordinary video captures Andrew Wakefield publicly threatening to expose a senior British health official who, thinking that Wakefield was concerned with vaccine safety issues, had risked his career and even possible criminal prosecution to confide in the now-disgraced former doctor over what were claimed to be mistakes at the department of health in London.”

      Watch the video at http://briandeer.com/solved/whistleblower-betrayed.htm

      1. Not a Sheeple says:

        Most do not know the real true story of Dr. Wakefield. To many of us, he is a hero, not a disgrace.

        1. AdamG says:

          Most do not know the real true story of Dr. Wakefield. To many of us, he is a hero, not a disgrace.

          How exactly are you Not A Sheeple?

          1. Not a Sheeple says:

            To my definition, Sheeple believe what they told with no research of their own and are the majority/mainstream. Therefore, I am not a sheeple in any sense of the word.

            1. David Gorski says:

              But you apparently believe Wakefield. That makes you a sheeple in my book. :-)

            2. DevoutCatalyst says:

              You are an entire herd.

            3. AdamG says:

              Sheeple believe what they told with no research of their own

              Do you believe that Wakefield committed fraud? If you don’t, you are most certainly believing what you are told with no research of your own.

            4. EBMOD says:

              Ah yes, the ‘you didn’t do your research’ gambit. If you don’t understand how research is performed, how to evaluate it and how to spot erroneous conclusions, having done your research isn’t of much value.

              I am strongly pro-vaccination and I assure you I have done the research.

              That argument is nothing more than a weak way to handwave away any cognitive dissonance over how others have come to a different conclusion. I assure you we have looked at the evidence and done our research…

            5. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

              To my definition, Sheeple believe what they told with no research of their own and are the majority/mainstream. Therefore, I am not a sheeple in any sense of the word.

              You seem to be perfectly willing to ignore contradictory evidence and apparently believe anything told to you by anybody who is against vaccination. Certainly sounds like you’re being a nice, passive little sheep being nudged about by Jenny McCarthy, Andrew Wakefield and related types.

            6. lilady says:

              Where are your links to the sources for the research you have done “Not a Sheeple”?

              Are you ashamed of your sources and your research?

            7. Calli Arcale says:

              To my definition, Sheeple believe what they told with no research of their own and are the majority/mainstream.

              So a person who believes what they are told with no research of their own is *not* a sheeple as long as whatever they blindly believe happens to come from an iconoclast? A sort of reverse popularity contest?

              What a peculiar definition. Seems to me you’re a sheeple, just some sort of “heritage breed” sheeple, uncommon but every bit as blindly obedient to the shepherd who periodically fleeces you.

              1. JustMe says:

                You win the internet. But you also owe me a new keyboard.

        2. Matt Carey says:

          Most autism parents don’t subscribe to the “vaccines cause autism” idea. Just one point that often gets missed.

          A while back I attended a talk by an epidemiologist. The audience was made up of parents and professionals in autism. The epidemiologist asked at one point, “who here knows about Andrew Wakefield”. Out of maybe 25 people attending, I’d say 5 or fewer raised their hands.

          Wakefield may be a hero to some. OK, tell me what he’s done. Other than tell us all that vaccines cause autism. What has he accomplished again? Oh, that’s right. He slowed down work on autism and GI complaints. And he’s sued people. And he’s made a lot of money.

          If that is a hero to you, great. I have a different definition.

        3. Matt Carey says:

          “Most do not know the real true story of Dr. Wakefield. To many of us, he is a hero, not a disgrace.”

          Ironically, you are correct. But your statement isn’t clear.

          Most do not know the real true story of Dr. Wakefield. To many of us *who do not know*, he is a hero, not a disgrace.

          1. simba says:

            So tell us ‘the true story’ and provide evidence. Because I’ve read his retracted paper in the Lancet, heard his overblown conclusions drawn from it, read of the unethical birthday party blood tests. Heck, even the original paper, read charitably, does not support the conclusions he drew from it.

            Thus far the anti-vaccine commenters here seem to be long on emotion and innuendo, short on, y’know, citations and actual evidence.

            1. simba says:

              Sorry, the comment went in the wrong place, that was directed at Not a Sheeple

        4. skeptictmac57 says:

          There is an adage that goes “Never meet your heros”.
          I think this would easily apply to Andrew Wakefield.

  13. bdcguard-19 says:

    How dare someone give full disclosure. Truth is there is a revolving door between the Gov’t agencies, that are supposed to be protecting us citizens, and the corporations that profit from us. You can look at every single gov’t sector and find this revolving door. It’s BS, along with your explanation.

    1. Lawrence says:

      How dare a corporation recruit someone who works for the government & offer them a job!

      How dare the government recruit from the private sector!

      Seriously, they should just pick random people from the phone book for these highly-skilled jobs…..

      What morons.

    2. Matt Carey says:

      “Truth is there is a revolving door between the Gov’t agencies, that are supposed to be protecting us citizens, and the corporations that profit from us. ”

      OK. Who on the author list for the CDC paper in question has left for a corporation? HHS has a website where you can look up people working for them (and this includes the CDC). So, go through the list and tell me who is no longer working for CDC. Then, if you find anyone, tell me where they went.

      Here’s a hint–Julie Gerberding wasn’t an author. Here’s another hint, I have already gone through the list of authors. Here’s another hint: there’s a big difference between career CDC people and political appointees like the CDC director. The CDC director is expected to leave. That’s what happens to political appointees. Gerberding was appointed by Bush. And she left when, do you think? That’s right, when Obama came into office.

      This “revolving door” story doesn’t really work. It sounds good if you don’t think it through.

      1. Jessica says:

        What about Versetean (forgive spelling I am on my phone) himself who left the CDC to work for GlaxoSmithKline??

        1. Chris says:

          Has he returned to the CDC? It isn’t a revolving door unless it rotates the full 360 degrees.

        2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          What about Versetean (forgive spelling I am on my phone) himself who left the CDC to work for GlaxoSmithKline??

          What about it? If they’ve left the CDC, doesn’t that suggest that they no longer have decision-making authority over anything the CDC does? What’s your point? That these people entered into a clandestine agreement with GSK/Pfizer/whoever with an agreement to work for the CDC for a period of time, make decisions totally in the company’s favour, then switch to legitimate employment in the company after?

          Wouldn’t it be simpler to just outright bribe them? I mean, how much more money could they be making at Big Pharma to make it worth their while to put their actual plans on hold for that long?

  14. Christy says:

    Credibility has been lost on all sides of this debate. My question is: what are the motivations behind all this? Wakefield and Hooker are no doubt looking to win back their reputations. At this point, whenever I see their names attached to anything I take a deep breath. What is David Gorski’s motivation? He has been involved in this debate consistently over the past decade+. Is it a personal vendetta? Is it money? Is it a hobby?

    Perhaps the most concerning to me, as a mother and a teacher, is the fact that (because of this lack of credibility) the mainstream no longer takes any of it seriously. This creates a situation in which, I fear, we will never get to the truth. I teach American National Government and International Relations, so I am not new to the questionable practices between U.S. Institutions and corporate giants. I am troubled by how these iron triangles seem to be running the show.

    I want to hear from this CDC whistleblower. I want to see him sit down in an interview and tell his story. Then we can begin to decide. I don’t want Wakefield, Hooker OR David Gorski to be the middlemen in this debate any longer.

    1. Lawrence says:

      Absolutely – if this person has something to say, let him say it.

      Letting the likes of Hooker & Wakefield speak for him doesn’t lend much credibility to the accusations (accusations, mind you, that haven’t been made by the “whistleblower”)

    2. David Gorski says:

      Given that there is no credible science linking vaccines to autism, as we’ve documented here many times, what “truth” do you fear we’ll never get to?

      As for my “motivation,” I think that defending science from pseudoscience (like Wakefield and Hooker) and trying to counter the misinformation that leads parents not to vaccinate to the point where vaccine-preventable diseases are starting to make a comeback in the form of outbreaks starting in areas with low vaccine uptake are perfectly honorable motivations. Indeed, whenever I see someone throwing around the “pharma shill” gambit without any evidence, I wonder what that person’s motivation is to assume the worst about someone and try to equate him to someone like Wakefield, whose dishonesty and lack of honor are well documented.

      1. Not a Sheeple says:

        Seriously? There is loads of it!

        1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          If there is loads of evidence, why haven’t you provided any?

      2. Not a Sheeple says:

        How do you explain (and I am being serious, not sarcastic) that diseases went down from better sanitation and hygiene, not vaccines, as evidenced by countries that also got rid of the same diseases without vaccines at the time the sanitation as put in place? How do you explain that in the recent “scary” outbreak, it was mostly vax kids (no they didn’t get it from unvax kids)? How do you explain that we are the only industrialized country with this schedule, meaning so many shots so soon and they have lower rates than us for disease? I know how I explain it, but am curious your view point as I know it will be very different. I am eager to hear if it is something new or the same thing I have heard a million times.

        1. David Gorski says:

          Like this:

          http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/vaccines-didnt-save-us-intellectual-dishonesty-at-its-most-naked/

          Seriously. I’ve been blogging for nearly a decade. There’s no antivaccine trope you can regurgitate that I haven’t written about at least once, often many times, before. Do at least try to be original and give me something new that I haven’t seen a million times before.

        2. R. Miller says:

          How do you explain that in the recent “scary” outbreak, it was mostly vax kids (no they didn’t get it from unvax kids)?

          I can handle this one!

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraction_(mathematics)

          1. David Gorski says:

            @R. Miller:

            There’s this too:

            http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/05/26/one-more-time-vaccine-refusal-endangers/

            :-)

            Basically, because there are so many more vaccinated than unvaccinated kids, there are more infected in terms of raw numbers, but if you calculate the attack rate (i.e., the risk of acquiring the infection), the unvaccinated are almost always as greatly increased risk of being infected than the vaccinated. Yes, it’s just that easy, and only people who can’t do simple math (or don’t bother to) spout that particular trope.

          2. Chris says:

            And since this is the MMR vaccine, please show which American measles outbreak since 2000 has involved more vaccinated kids.

        3. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          Sheeple, how do you explain third-world countries without sanitation systems and hygiene who are experiencing drops in vaccine-preventable diseases that coincides with the introduction of the vaccines?

          And I am being serious, not sarcastic.

          Polio is gone nearly everywhere but Nigeria and Afghanistan, where local clerics and political leaders opposed vaccination. Why does polio appear there, and not say Bangladesh?

          How do you explain that in the recent “scary” outbreak, it was mostly vax kids (no they didn’t get it from unvax kids)? How do you explain that we are the only industrialized country with this schedule, meaning so many shots so soon and they have lower rates than us for disease?

          What outbreak of what disease? You’re so vague that it’s not actually possible to provide either a rebuttal or a clarification. Who are “they” that are getting fewer shots but have less disease? What shots? If you want to be taken seriously – be specific.

        4. All of those myths and many more have been fully explained in many places. It gets hard to take anti-vax folks seriously when they continue to use them as serious arguments.

          50 Anti-Vax Myths That Keep People From Vaccinating Their Kids

      3. Christy says:

        @David, I want so badly to believe that your motivation is honorable. My skeptic side, however, keeps me from taking your word for it. Or anyone’s word for it, for that matter. There is an actual truth to this story somewhere. I don’t know what it is, but I am fairly certain that it has not been completely uncovered yet. This is why I am on the edge of my seat, waiting for the whistleblower to come forward. It may turn out that nothing comes of it. But until this story gets the full, unbiased attention it deserves, we will never know.

        1. AdamG says:

          I want so badly to believe that your motivation is honorable. My skeptic side, however, keeps me from taking your word for it.

          It may help to point out that Dr. Gorski is interested in pseudoscience in general, not limited merely to vaccine denialists. For example, he is currently under fire from a rogue, pseudoscientific doctor who claims to be able to cure cancer. This doctor has gone so far as to contact Dr. Gorski’s supervisors and even the dean of his school. This site is a gathering place for those who view debunking medical pseudoscience of all sorts as a hobby and worthwhile endeavor. Like many of the scientist and doctors who comment here, Dr. Gorski is merely examining the actual scientific evidence rationally and drawing conclusions based on that evidence. Why are you so sure that “there is an actual truth to this story somewhere?” Wouldn’t an actual skeptic need more evidence than a heavily-edited video assembled by a known fraudster with a history of betraying or mistreating ‘whistleblowers,’ ?

          1. Christy says:

            Exactly! The ‘slick’ video you mention lost me in the first two minutes. I am equally frustrated with Gorski’s review here because it perpetuates this environment of bashing back and forth. There is an overwhelming need to be ‘on top of the debate’ and to counter every possible argument. Why don’t we take a breath and consider that maybe something bad did occur within the CDC. Maybe something is broken in this system. We need to hear directly from the whistleblower… if he does in fact exist.

            1. AdamG says:

              I think you should ask yourself why you’re focused on this particular ‘something bad.’ The only claim that there is ‘something broken in the system’ comes from, as you yourself said, a slickly edited video by a known fraud. Yet you seem to be convinced that that ‘side’ has a valid point. Why does this particular video convince you to be concerned about this issue? Why not be concerned about Alex Jones’ claims that 9/11 was an inside job, or Mike Adams’ claims that GMO is evil, or any of the other countless conspiracy theories posted on youtube?

              1. Christy says:

                I am especially concerned with this issue because my son had a reaction from his 4 month vaccine, many years ago. For this reason alone I have been following the debate very closely ever since. Why have you been so interested? I imagine we all have our reasons. Does the specific reason matter?

              2. AdamG says:

                I had a very unpleasant, but ultimately benign, reaction upon receiving my DPT when I was a kid. I’m also a scientist. That’s precisely why I care about this issue: the conspiracy-theory-driven antivax denialists eschew science and critical thinking in favor of fear mongering and attempts to silence opposition. They are ignorant of the research and testing that goes into bringing a vaccine to market, and they make a mockery of legitimate research into vaccine reactions. Where do you go with people who believe anything said by the CDC is an outright fabrication? These aren’t people who are interested in rational discussion.

              3. Christy says:

                I agree. It would be ridiculous to imagine that everything the CDC comes up with is a fabrication. It would be equally ridiculous, in my opinion, to believe that everything the CDC comes up with is TRUTH. It is science, after all.

              4. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

                I am especially concerned with this issue because my son had a reaction from his 4 month vaccine, many years ago.

                Was that reaction “autism”? If not, why worry about this issue?

                Was it one of the reactions recognized as part of the list of possible reactions in this quite comprehensive page?

                Even though I’m sure it was frightening, the recognized risks of reactions to vaccines is still orders of magnitude less risky than the diseases they prevent. And none of the reactions are “autism” (which is the focus of this manufactroversy).

              5. “conspiracy-theory-driven antivax denialists”

                Does this name calling doesn’t really seem to be from someone that wants to find the truth. Conspiracy Theory alone is used to discredit anyone, no matter what it says.

                Yes, all facts taken 9/11 has left thousands of unanswered questions, many from top scientists, architects, engineers, demolition experts, former military, former intelligence. But again, that’s not an issue that “should” deserve any attention and even less analysis. GMO has been shown to be harmful, and not only by the seralini study (which actually has been re-published), and taken the fact the mosanto denies any attempt to obtain the seeds for study show a bit of how honest they are. And of course, looking the millionaire lobby they use and staff that goes in and out the regulatory agencies, doesn’t seem to me that we would get a fair decision on the biotech seeds…

            2. qetzal says:

              Christy:

              Why don’t we take a breath and consider that maybe something bad did occur within the CDC. Maybe something is broken in this system.

              Speaking for myself, it’s not worth seriously considering at present because (a) no actual evidence of something bad has been presented, and (b) the people claiming to have seen or heard such evidence have a history of bias and lack of credibility.

              We need to hear directly from the whistleblower… if he does in fact exist.

              I agree – I very much hope this whistleblower comes forward to clarify what (if anything) he knows or suspects.

              1. Kathy says:

                Trouble is, Christy, that accusations can be leveled at anything or anyone, but until some good hard evidence is produced, there is nothing to investigate.

                And there just isn’t the time or money around to check out every theory that comes up, no matter how squirrely. There’s a lot of real corruption and crime out there, and the authorities have to account to the voting public how they use the money and manpower entrusted to them.

              2. lilady says:

                Christy, have you ever read a statement written by Dr. Gorski or any of the other science bloggers here, denying that a vaccine, in exceedingly rare instances, can cause a bad reaction?

                You are being vague, perhaps unintentionally, but if you would provide a few details about the reaction your child had to a specific vaccine, we could explain it to you (and show you the consequences of not protecting children from that vaccine-preventable-disease).

            3. brewandferment says:

              so what will you say if the whistleblower doesn’t actually exist? and how will you know they don’t (since you can’t actually prove something doesn’t exist, only that you haven’t found evidence of existence?)

              1. Christy says:

                Ha! Yes. Well, the title of this post is “Did a high ranking whistleblower really reveal the the cdc covered up proof that vaccines cause autism in african american boys?”. This is what I am interested in too. Unfortunately, the actual post was unable to answer the question, as I was hoping. We will all just have to wait and see. What else can one do??

              2. David Gorski says:

                Actually, the post answered the question quite nicely: Very likely no.

              3. skeptictmac57 says:

                And for the record,even if this source turns out to exist and believes what the video portrays to be true,it still has to be evaluated thoroughly by valid statistical methods,and the paper needs the scientific peer review scrutiny that any outlier finding might expect to receive.
                Linus Pauling had exemplary credentials,but that did not make his Orthomolecular therapy idea any more valid than any other run of the mill vitamin pusher.

              4. Christy says:

                David, I was not looking for another debate on whether the MMR causes autism or not… I was looking for specific info on a potential CDC issue.

              5. simba says:

                Why would they bother to cover it up when (a) it’s not proof, (b) it’s likely statistical noise and (c) it’s contradicted by other studies? I mean, realistically, who would care?

                It’s not like the anti-vaccine people let a negative study or a few hundred of them get in the way of their ideas.

              6. simba says:

                Christy- if the CDC really had gone ‘Oh no, this data shows an increased risk of autism in African -American babies’ and wanted to do a cover-up, even at the cost of being dishonest- why not just alter the data? Or, here’s a crazy one, not bother publishing the studies? Many studies are conducted and never published.

                They even published the data so it could be re-analyzed. That doesn’t fail the stink test to me. If any person, of any educational level or level of intelligence, wanted to commit a cover-up they could do it better.

              7. Christy says:

                Good point, Simbra. The stink test may prevail.

            4. brewandferment says:

              but what I’m getting at is this: Let’s say the whistleblower is not heard from for _____ days. At what point would you say ok, maybe he doesn’t really exist, at least not in the way Hooker etc say he does? How long do you want to wait? your criteria are way too open ended.

              And then along those lines: what are your criteria for saying, ok, there are other experts saying (still, and again and again) in many different forums, that there was no coverup and vaccines don’t cause autism, so I will accept that experts who spend their lives studying really do know what they are talking about?

              In other words, what would it take to convince you? You can’t just leave a vague and unspecified thought like “wait and see” because that’s unquantifiable and unanswerable.

              1. Christy says:

                Yes, I know that is a hard concept. The unanswerable… the unquantifiable. Life is full of that, no? : )

            5. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

              Why don’t we take a breath and consider that maybe something bad did occur within the CDC.

              Why don’t we take a broader view and note that the CDC is not the only public health body in the world, but that essentially all of them agree vaccines are safe, effective, and do not cause autism? Why not take the broader view and note the large body of evidence that effectively disproves the vaccine-autism hypothesis? Why worry about this one whistle-blower as if it somehow upended the entire body of evidence, rather than at best a single study?

              Science never relies on single studies, it relies on a convergence of evidence. That convergence has happened – vaccines don’t cause autism.

              1. Taken an even broader view, the vaccine industry mega-money lobby is spread all over the globe. Here in Brazil I believe is where they spend most of their money on politicians, not to be surprised that Brazil is one of the top vaccinated countries, which hasn’t stopped people from getting sick and dying, of course…

              2. Windriven says:

                “Brazil is one of the top vaccinated countries, which hasn’t stopped people from getting sick and dying, of course”

                The utter stupidity of that phrase stopped me dead in my tracks.

                How many Brazilians contracted smallpox last year?
                How many Brazilians contracted polio last year?
                How many Brazilians contracted pertussis last year?

                Let’s take pertussis as everyone with at least seven functioning neurons knows the answer to the first two. Brazil was a bit late to the pertussis vaccination party. From 1980 to 2009 pertussis vaccination rates went from 37% to 97% and the incidence of pertussis dropped from 37.6 cases per 100,000 to 0,5.

                That said, vaccines are specific, often very good, but rarely 100% effective. Look up herd immunity. And yes, vaccinated people do get sick though usually not from diseases against which they have been vaccinated.

                And – I really hate to break this to you – everybody dies of something. Vaccinated people just don’t often die of diseases they’ve been vaccinated for.

                So admit it Naturanus, you’re a fool. A dufus. An uneducated, noisome, moron with a tacky website and a taste for wacky conspiracy theories. Why on earth should anyone pay the slightest attention to anything you have to say?

            6. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

              I agree. It would be ridiculous to imagine that everything the CDC comes up with is a fabrication. It would be equally ridiculous, in my opinion, to believe that everything the CDC comes up with is TRUTH. It is science, after all

              My issue with this comment is that you aren’t referring to the science, you’re basing your opinion on a video, released by a fraud and a quack, about a whistleblower, related to a single misinterpretation of a single finding of a single study, based on an expected base-rate of error given the number of comparisons made. Really it all comes down to a single cell in a spreadsheet having eight kids with autism in it rather than five (or something equivalent).

              Do you think it is scientific to abandon all previous evidence because of one man being selectively quoted, and a known zealot data-mining some extremely fine slices without controlling for multiple comparisons?

              1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

                Oops, supposed to reply to this comment.

        2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          My skeptic side, however, keeps me from taking your word for it.

          My skeptic’s side means I look to what the experts say because I realize that I’m not informed enough, and never will be, to deeply grasp the underlying literature. Fortunately the actual experts seem to be pretty united – vaccines are safe and effective and don’t cause autism.

          Also, you are always free to click on the deep links included in the article, which ultimately always lead back to the actual primary sources if you read enough of them.

          I don’t know what it is, but I am fairly certain that it has not been completely uncovered yet

          Why? The evidence against the vaccine-autism hypothesis is robust, united and convergent. The evidence for it is fragmented, theoretical, and generally published in low-quality journals.

          Why do you think whistleblowers will add something to the story that the body of scientific research can’t?

          1. maybe because almost the whole “body of scientific research” has the money of the vaccine industry.

            1. Jopari says:

              That is impossible, because that would mean that Andrew Wakefield managed to get the “truth” out against all odds, but fails to give actual proof.

              Next, most scientists become scientists to help people, as do doctors, it is anything but an easy job. They would be particularly hard to bribe.

        3. Bob J says:

          @Christy, explore your skeptical side. Come to TAM and met James Randi and about 1800 other skeptical people including David. Many people are spending time to bring critical thinking and scientific knowledge into the light.

          1. Chris says:

            She should prepare a paper for the Sunday presentation. Then she can present her anecdote with data, and answer many questions.

      4. Jessica says:

        Why is Wakefield always referenced when autism and vaccines are discussed? For one, he is not the only one to find the connection he did and, secondly, he was exonerated of the allegations. Why would that happen if he was such a fraud and so guilty? He has no money to pay anyone off. He lost everything and is still dedicated to his research and findings.

        1. Harriet Hall says:

          Exonerated? No, his article was retracted and he was struck off the register (lost his license to practice medicine)

        2. Broken Link says:

          Jessica, you must realize that Wakefield inserted himself into this story. He’s not an author on the Hooker paper. Hooker did all the work, such as it was. Wakefield is there because a) he runs the Autism Media Channel and b) Hooker must be under the delusion that he brings credibility to a cause.

          As for him being exonerated, you must be kidding me. He’s still struck off (unable to practice medicine). His major work is still retracted. He has been called a fraud by many in the mainstream media, including Time magazine. His work has never been replicated, he was offered the opportunity to do so and turned it down. The papers people cite to “prove” his work is independently replicated are either nothing to do with his work or published by his co-authors.

          1. Broken Link says:

            Oh, and by the way, Jessica, Wakefield lives in a pretty nice house and has an income in excess of $100K per year, raised on the backs of credulous parents like you. A plummy accent and an ingratiating manner don’t automatically equal credibility.

        3. Chris says:

          Jessica: “For one, he is not the only one to find the connection he did ”

          Really? The MMR vaccine has been in use in the USA since 1971, it was the preferred vaccine for the 1978 Measles Elimination Program. The USA is a much larger country than the UK, plus it had been using the MMR for over twice as long as the UK when Wakefield published in 1998 paper. If the MMR was associated with autism it would have been noticed in a larger country using it for twice as long. Where is that evidence.

          Jessica, please post the verifiable documentation dated before 1990 show that autism increased in the USA corresponding to MMR use. This would go a long way to exonerate Wakefield, because right now it seems he really only got interested when approached by a lawyer holding a bag of UK taxpayer funded legal aide funds asking him to provide a study to support a lawsuit.

    3. Matt Carey says:

      “Credibility has been lost on all sides of this debate”

      OK. If you want to say you’ve lost credibility, so be it. Or is this not what you meant by “all sides”?

      1. Christy says:

        I am not on a side. Can you imagine that? I am a frustrated bystander. A mother who would like to trust what the Government is telling me about what is safe for my children.

        1. MadisonMD says:

          There are no authorities in science, only experts. If you are confused and distrust all, then compare the claims against the actual evidence.

          1. Christy says:

            That’s what I am trying to do! Why does a conversation about this topic have to be so black and white.

            1. simba says:

              It can often be tempting when a situation seems to have two opposing viewpoints to try and look for a middle answer. But often there isn’t one. It doesn’t matter if the truth seems too much at the extreme of one ‘viewpoint’, if it is the truth.

              If I said eating a bar of chocolate caused your arm to fall off by itself within a day, and someone else said it didn’t, it’s not then appropriate to decide that ‘a bar of chocolate won’t make you lose a limb tomorrow’ is too black-and-white a position. It’s perfectly reasonable to look at the evidence there and decide there is no middle ground- the claim is just right, or just wrong.

              1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

                Indeed, fallacy of the golden mean.

            2. David Gorski says:

              Sometimes an issue is black and white. This is one such issue. There is no credible or compelling evidence that vaccines cause autism and enormous quantities of evidence consistent with the hypothesis that they do not. Brian Hooker’s “reanalysis” of Destefano et al is so incompetent that it makes real statisticians cry. There is no middle ground here.

              There’s a logical fallacy known as the fallacy of the golden mean, which states that the truth is between two extremes. The problem is, in the case of many scientific issues like this the truth is not between the extremes. it is one of the extremes, and to argue otherwise if fallacious.

              1. Christy says:

                Let me give you an example of middle ground here, because I feel as though people get caught up in arguing for the sake of arguing when posed with this subject.

                My main concern right at this very moment is whether or not the CDC cooked some numbers on a research trial. Perhaps William Thompson was wrongly brought into this mess and has nothing to say about it. On the other hand, maybe he did take part in cooking said numbers. In and of itself, it does not prove the MMR does or does not cause autism. But it does have the potential to show me, and the world, that the CDC needs a shake up; like so many other federal entities. That is all.

                I understand that Hooker put out this study, and you can rightfully pick it apart. However, the real issue (for me) is whether or not the CDC purposefully omitted/changed/cooked data for whatever reason. That would be a big problem for me. I would think it would be a big problem for everyone, wouldn’t it?

              2. simba says:

                It’s also kind of funny that you’re asking for a debate that isn’t black and white, Christy, when your opening comment was this:

                “How much did big Pharma pay you to write this, David? I see you have some pretty strong ties with them.”

                Now that’s nuanced and reasonable, right?

              3. David Gorski says:

                Indeed.

                @Christy: Here’s a hint. Entering and starting out with the “pharma shill gambit” is not a particularly good opening gambit to begin a nuanced discussion about the issues surrounding vaccine safety. Funny how it is only now, after it’s been made abundantly clear that you don’t understand the science and subscribe to unfounded suspicions about vaccines, that you decide you want to try to claim the “reasonable” middle ground.

              4. MadisonMD says:

                My main concern right at this very moment is whether or not the CDC cooked some numbers on a research trial.

                Why is this your main concern? Deer already provided his analysis given input from the person he claims was the whistleblower. Look at the data. Look at Deer’s claims. Is his interpretation credible to you or no?

              5. AdamG says:

                My main concern right at this very moment is whether or not the CDC cooked some numbers on a research trial. Perhaps William Thompson was wrongly brought into this mess and has nothing to say about it. On the other hand, maybe he did take part in cooking said numbers.

                Let’s say, hypothetically, that months go by and there are no further statements from either the CDC or Thompson. What, in that case, would you conclude?

              6. Christy says:

                Yes, my black and white side definitely got the best of me when I first stumbled upon this blog. I was curious to see who was posting a story on this subject since no other media sources were going to tackle it. When I saw it was David (and I know your work well) I was honestly angry that the real issue of the CDC cooking numbers would get mired in the MMR autism debate. So frustrating! But anyway, I am not really a jerk or a troll. Not much anyway. Cheers!

              7. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

                My main concern right at this very moment is whether or not the CDC cooked some numbers on a research trial.

                If the CDC had cooked some numbers, then Hooker wouldn’t have been able to “find” them.

                And that still doesn’t invalidate the many other studies not conducted by the CDC that converge on the lack of association between vaccines and autism.

                Knowing a bit about research methodologies, it looks more like Hooker kept subdividing the samples into smaller and smaller slices until he got a result he wanted. It’s a statistical fishing expedition that’s not controlled for multiple comparisons. See this XKCD.

            3. Chris says:

              Christy, here is one way to look at the data:

              1. Calculate the risk of actually getting measles (a handy guide: The Clinical Significance of Measles: A Review).

              2. Compare that to the risks of getting the MMR (I’ll let you provide the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers, take note that Hooker is neither qualified nor reputable).

              3. And since you started out with the Pharma Shill Gambit, compare the cost of providing each child and two MMR doses versus treating one out of every ten who get measles in the hospital (the rate that was reported in recent Wales outbreak, another data point is that hospitalization for a severe disease like measles is over ten thousand dollars). (another handy guide: An economic analysis of the current universal 2-dose measles-mumps-rubella vaccination program in the United States)

              Do come back when you can tell us the relative risk of the MMR vaccine and the economics of treating versus preventing. And as every math teacher told me: show your work, provide the actual studies.

              1. Chris says:

                Oh, bugger… I hit the wrong “reply” link. Still I made a boo boo:

                “each child and with two MMR doses”

                Also, so clarify, make sure when you show the relative risk of the MMR vaccine to actually getting measles that you do not stick to the the demographic in the Hooker paper. Do include the other half that are female, the percentage that are not African American, and the even larger percentage that live outside of Atlanta, GA.

                And as far as demographics and cost of measles, if you read Pediatric hospital admissions for measles. Lessons from the 1990 epidemic., you will see those in the lower economic levels suffered more from measles. They also put a larger economic burden on California’s Medi-Cal program. This is the precisely the co-founder that Hooker is ignoring.

              2. Earthman says:

                You may wish to add that you would normally expect a rigorous study such as you suggest Christy do, to take about 2 years of hard graft, plus another 1 to 2 years to get it through peer review and published. Science is SLOW, but thorough. You cannot get instant answers, and you have to do really hard work.

              3. Chris says:

                I just get tired of people who demand something get done, but won’t lift a finger to help. Blame the years I helped with both the PTA and PTSA* at my kids’ schools.

                In my previous life I was a structural dynamics engineer who did lots and lots of parameter studies, and had to stand up in front of a group that included a hostile customer to defend my work. I know what it takes to do studies, and make them pass muster.

                * One PTSA group I was on in the high school years was one that promoted science by bringing in speakers. One that I brought in was someone from the local university’s “Human Studies” staff. Her job was to train every campus researcher the ins and outs of human study ethics. She was an engaging speaker, and we all learned lots from her.

        2. weing says:

          “A mother who would like to trust what the Government is telling me about what is safe for my children.”

          Why would you want to trust the government? Don’t you have a doctor who you can trust to tell you what he knows is safe for your children? Pay him to tell you what he really knows. Do you think the government wants your kids to be unhealthy and dependent on it for their future care or healthy so that it can depend on the taxes your children will pay?

          1. Christy says:

            Maybe you misunderstood. The heath care protocols that Doctors follow come from the top. So, when I say that I want to trust my Government, I mean I want to be able to trust everything that trickles down from the CDC, etc.… because my Doctor is directed by ‘them’.

            1. weing says:

              “So, when I say that I want to trust my Government, I mean I want to be able to trust everything that trickles down from the CDC, etc.… because my Doctor is directed by ‘them’.”
              And the government wants your children to be unhealthy and dependent on it for their upkeep?

            2. simba says:

              No, no they’re not. Your doctor is directed, mostly, by what other doctors and scientists write in studies that come from all over the world. There are also consensus and position statements that come from various bodies. But the government does not sit and go ‘this is the way everyone must treat patients forever and ever amen’.

              Maybe I’m misunderstanding you- explain specifically how what your doctor does ‘come[s] from the top’

              Besides which, vaccines are used all over the world by different countries, different doctors. It’s not just your government telling you something is a good idea, it’s lots of different people and organisations saying something is a good idea, and part of your government happening to agree with it.

              They are all saying it is a good idea based on the evidence, which has been discussed here before. Countries with public health care and insurance companies (both of which lose out if vaccines make you sicker) encourage vaccination.

              Are you also dubious about eating vegetables because ‘the government’ encourages you to do so?

              1. Christy says:

                Yes! The studies that fill the journals, which are crucial to informing the CDC and Doctor’s of best practices, lessons learned, etc. Let’s be sure that all these studies are being conducted for our greater good and not to sell a product. Wouldn’t you agree?

                Oh yeah, and I do choose to eat veggies all on my own. I am also very dubious at the government’s suggestion that bread should be at the bottom of the pyramid. That is just criminal.

              2. Windriven says:

                “Yes! The studies that fill the journals, which are crucial to informing the CDC and Doctor’s of best practices, lessons learned, etc. Let’s be sure that all these studies are being conducted for our greater good and not to sell a product. Wouldn’t you agree?”

                Christy, science works by, among other things, demanding that results be replicable. You aren’t ever going to be sure that every study is “conducted for our greater good and not to sell a product,” but you can be sure that eventually the bogus studies will be found out and overturned. This happens with some regularity and, in the most egregious cases, with considerable fireworks. You might look into the history of Wakefield for an obvious example.

                “I do choose to eat veggies all on my own. I am also very dubious at the government’s suggestion that bread should be at the bottom of the pyramid. That is just criminal.”

                First off, bread isn’t at the bottom, grains are. Second, eat all the veggies you’d like. Science will tell you to be sure that you get all the necessary amino acids, it will mention that homo is an omnivore not a herbivore, but veg out. No one is interested in stopping you.

              3. simba says:

                So you cannot explain how ‘the government’ controls what your doctor does? That appears to be your initial claim, unless you want to take it back. Tell us how your doctor is directed by ‘them’.

                Tell us how all doctors, all governments (including ones that have to pay for healthcare for their citizens and thus have a profit motive to provide safe preventative care) everywhere are directed by ‘them’, because unless you believe ‘they’ are the Illuminati I do not see how this is possible.

                ‘The studies’ on this issue have been conducted in lots of different countries by lots of different organisations, including ones that do not make a profit off the outcome.

                Again, do you believe pharmaceutical companies are so altruistic towards each other, so shy of money, that they would miss the marketing opportunity they could get if they could prove their competitor’s vaccine was dangerous and theirs was safer? Do you believe that governments who have public health care are willing to throw away money to benefit companies they have no interest in?

              4. Christy says:

                Simba, I belong to an HMO called Kaiser. All the doctors that work under Kaiser follow their protocols. If a patient comes in with certain symptoms, they follow a clear protocol of tests and procedures. From what I understand (a friend of mine is a doctor there), the doctors cannot really go outside of this recipe. Perhaps this is different for PPOs.

                I assume that the CDC plays a part in disseminating best practices, etc. down to industries such as Kaiser and eventually down to my doctor. Is this wrong? This is what I meant by ‘government’.

              5. simba says:

                So Christy, how do you address my points that (a) countries with public health care support vaccination (i.e. the opposite of the profit motive, they pay for this) and (b) it’s not just your country, it’s lots of different ones?

                The CDC plays a part in disseminating best practice, there’s nothing preventing Kaiser from deciding to go their own way on every single decision. ‘

                Think about it- The Lancet also plays a part in disseminating best practice, that does not mean The Lancet controls your healthcare. Information doctors use on how to treat people comes from a lot of different sources, and so does information the HMOs use to decide policy. Yes, there is a ‘trickle down’ but the government bodies do not provide more than a small part of the stream. On vaccines they are corroborated by other groups around the world, including ones with no profit motive. This is what you are ignoring.

                The CDC might have a great idea on what should be done to treat x disease but if Kaiser decides it will cut into the profits, it won’t happen. Again, HMOs are another one of those groups who have money to lose if vaccines do more harm than good, not because of being sued, but because ill people cost them money and healthy people give it to them.

              6. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

                Yes! The studies that fill the journals, which are crucial to informing the CDC and Doctor’s of best practices, lessons learned, etc. Let’s be sure that all these studies are being conducted for our greater good and not to sell a product. Wouldn’t you agree?

                Two points:

                1) Why do you think they aren’t being conducted for the greater good, given significant funding for vaccine licensing and research comes from the NIH, not manufacturers? Not to mention the data from manufacturers’ studies converges on the same conclusions as those not funded by manufacturers. And frankly, unless you suspect outright fraud (evidence please?) we can trust studies funded by Pfizer and GSK to a certain degree.

                2) What about all the other countries that research and publish on vaccines and vaccine safety? What about all the other research funding bodies? What about all the independent scientists who are paid by their universities, not Big Pharma?

                I guess a third point

                3) Why pretend at reasonableness only to pull out the “Big Pharma is Evul for the Evulz and bribes everyone to sell more products” non-argument at all? With all the bribes they are handing out, it would significantly cut into the already low profits they make on vaccines in the first place. And they have an amazingly effective conspiracy running, considering the pure number of people getting paid off who aren’t breaking ranks (or even refusing to accept a bribe, then going to the press).

                The perfect conspiracy is indistinguishable from simply being wrong about vaccines and autism, but the latter is far more parsimonious.

                Oh yeah, and I do choose to eat veggies all on my own. I am also very dubious at the government’s suggestion that bread should be at the bottom of the pyramid. That is just criminal.

                Why? Bread can provide significant calories (less of an issue on our times of food glut, important in generations past) and if consumed as whole grains, as recommended, can be part of a healthy diet. In fact, if you just ate vegetables, you’d die. Not to mention, the current recommendations are for a plate that prioritizes vegetables over grains.

                Also, “criminal” is a gross overstatement, absurdly so.

            3. Windriven says:

              “[W]hen I say that I want to trust my Government, I mean I want to be able to trust everything that trickles down from the CDC, etc.…”

              Everything? You expect your government to be omniscient, omnipresent? What you want is some god fantasy. Wish away but holding your breath isn’t advisable.

              We can quibble about the details but mostly science gets it right. Trust that. Details change, the focus gets sharper, sometimes even fairly big things get reevaluated and restated. But the scientific process is relentless in chasing the truth. Trust that. Slimeballs misuse it, abuse it, prostitute it, lie about it, throw hurdles in its path, praise it when it suits them and vilify it when it doesn’t. But ultimately the process wins. There are too many scientists to buy. Too many lies to tell. Too many secrets to keep. No conspiracy is that good. Trust that.

              Wakefield and Hooker and Thompson and the rest will not even register as footnotes in a century. But science endures. The foundation is solid. Each truth builds on the truths that preceded it. Every flaw eventually gets revealed. And corrected.

              Don’t overburden yourself with what your government says; it generally says whatever it believes to be in its interests to say. The Austro-Hungarian Empire came and went, the Soviet Union rose and fell, the Ottoman Empire conquered and expanded and withered and died. Science paid little attention. Neither should you.

              Vaccines are not related to autism. There is not a meaningful correlation and there is certainly no causal link. Trust that.

            4. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

              The heath care protocols that Doctors follow come from the top.

              Of course, vaccines are licensed by the FDA, not the CDC. Looks like you’re suspicious of the wrong federal agency.

              Also, what about the other government agencies that recommend the MMR? The UK government does, as does Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and those are only the countries that rely on English as a mother tongue. Meanwhile Japan doesn’t follow the pattern of these countries and is experiencing an outbreak of measles.

        3. lilady says:

          I am again asking you to provide some details about your child’s bad reaction to a vaccine.

          How do you expect us to reply to that statement, if you are unwilling to provide those details?

    4. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      What is David Gorski’s motivation? He has been involved in this debate consistently over the past decade+. Is it a personal vendetta? Is it money? Is it a hobby?

      I can’t speak for Dr. Gorski, but I’m pretty sure the answer is “hobby”, for despite the pretentions of his opponents and frothing lunatics like Hobbit, Dr. Gorski’s interests and posts are quite wide-ranging, covering vaccines, cancer, homeopathy, history, antisemitism and more; it’s not like he hovers over the vacine-autism idea to the exclusion of other ideas. He merely turns his firehose of output towards the topic once in a while. The sole uniting theme appears to be skepticism, a willingness to engage with, analyze and disarticulate nonsensical claims irrespective their origin.

      I’m a little disappointed he’s never taken on Ancient Astronauts though, they’re a favorite nutter fringe topic of mine.

      Perhaps the most concerning to me, as a mother and a teacher, is the fact that (because of this lack of credibility) the mainstream no longer takes any of it seriously.

      That’s now a feature, not a bug. Given the massive body of evidence against the vaccine-autism hypothesis, and the massive body of evidence for the safety and efficacy of vaccines, the press shouldn’t pay attention to, or give voice to, the few nuts who still support it. It’s a failed idea, and deserves no more attention than cold fusion, or even flat earthism.

      I teach American National Government and International Relations, so I am not new to the questionable practices between U.S. Institutions and corporate giants. I am troubled by how these iron triangles seem to be running the show.

      Sure, but how are the ideas related? The only evidence of an involvement of big business in the whole scenario is when Wakefield was given hundreds of thousands of pounds to try to work up some evidence for a class-action lawsuit (and when Wakefield tried to develop an alternative vaccine he could himself license and sell). Aside from that I can’t think of any credible evidence that Pfizer, GSK or any other major companies have actually exerted any pernicious influence. Sure, loons and quacks claim it’s all a conspiracy and whatnot – but all they produce is speculation, not evidence.

  15. Ren says:

    I’d like to do some shameless self-promotion and invite the “well-researched” and “intelligent” anti-vaccine folks commenting here to come over and have at my takedown of this whole Wakefield Hooker affair:

    http://www.epidemiological.net/directed-acyclic-graphs-and-the-mmr-vaccine-doesnt-cause-autism/

    Surely, with your extensive knowledge of epidemiology and biostatistics, you’ll be able to tell me how I’m wrong about Hooker being wrong. I’ll be waiting.

    1. joe says:

      Your site vanished into thin air, could that be, because you are not really and Epidemiologist. But a CDC Pharma shill?

      1. Ren says:

        No, Mr. Harris, my blog is still very much there. You had your say in it until you went batshit crazy with religious metaphors and all sorts of accusations. Also, I instructed you to take a deep breath and run your comments through a word processor. Your overuse of commas and periods where they don’t belong makes your comments nonsensical and injures the reader.

        That being said, Mr. Harris, I am very sorry that your vaccine court case didn’t go the way you wanted it to go. However, that is no reason to launch libelous accusations at me or anyone you have come to hate because of the hand you’ve been dealt in life.

  16. cia parker says:

    Except, of course, that Caucasian parents may find it worrying that so many thousands of Caucasions have also seen their children regress into autism shortly after receiving the MMR (Jenny McCarthy). We may consider that future, more honest studies will reveal that the MMR greatly increases the risk of autism for every racial group, and then honest studies will reveal how often the hep-B vaccine (you remember, the one that caused vaccine encephalitis in my baby and Judy Converse’s), flu (J.B. Handley), and DTaP vaccines (Ginger Taylor, and the one that erased my daughter’s only two words two months before she was diagnosed with autism) cause autism as well. I cannot myself understand why any parent would take this risk with their children.

    1. AdamG says:

      have also seen their children regress into autism shortly after receiving the MMR (Jenny McCarthy)

      McCarthy’s kid exhibited signs of autism well before MMR vaccination. Did you know that?

      We may consider that future, more honest studies will reveal that the MMR greatly increases the risk of autism for every racial group

      So, are you saying that Hooker’s study is dishonest? Remember it found no link between MMR and autism in Caucasians. Should it have? If so, why didn’t it? Or wait, maybe you think any study is dishonest unless it reaches a conclusion you agree with?
      More like Hard-of-Thinking Moms.

      1. Lawrence says:

        Or associations between any other groups…I wonder how long Hooker had to smash and crash the data before it got him any results at all?

        1. David Gorski says:

          Oh, I’m sure Hooker fiddled around with the data in SAS for many hours until he found some seeming “positive” result.

      2. Chris says:

        “McCarthy’s kid exhibited signs of autism well before MMR vaccination. Did you know that?”

        Plus his massive seizures were more than a year later.

        Note: my son had seizures before he had any vaccine, and then he had a bad seizure (not as bad as McCarthy’s son) while he was actually sick from a real disease before its vaccine was available.

    2. Matt Carey says:

      ” We may consider that future, more honest studies will reveal that the MMR greatly increases the risk of autism for every racial group”

      So, Mr. Hooker’s study is not honest?

      “Except, of course, that Caucasian parents may find it worrying that so many thousands of Caucasions have also seen their children regress into autism shortly after receiving the MMR (Jenny McCarthy). ”

      When did Jenny McCarthy’s son get the MMR? Kids typically get that at 12-18 months.

      When does Jenny McCarthy say he regressed? At about 32 months.

      But, of course, we also have the account of his grandmother who says he showed signs very early and that Jenny McCarthy threw the grandmother out of the house for pointing that out.

    3. Chris Hickie says:

      Remember this, CIAParker–if you and your ignorant, lying ilk drive down vaccination rates further, you will have the blood of those infants and children who died of vaccine-preventable diseases on your grubby hands. And you still won’t have done a damn thing to prevent a single case of autism.

    4. Ambulance Chaser says:

      Luckily, you don’t have to wonder. Because there is no risk.

    5. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      Except, of course, that Caucasian parents may find it worrying that so many thousands of Caucasions have also seen their children regress into autism shortly after receiving the MMR (Jenny McCarthy).

      Yes, and many other parents haven’t seen their children regress, and many others had concerns even before the first vaccine, and many parents who have never vaccinated have had children with autism. Oh, and many studies of thousands of childen have found no association. What you are describing is post-hoc ergo propter-hoc, and is an error in reasoning. These children were going to develop autism no matter what vaccines they were given.

      honest studies will reveal how often the hep-B vaccine (you remember, the one that caused vaccine encephalitis in my baby and Judy Converse’s)

      It’s quite possible that your child’s vaccination had nothing to do with their encephalitis. Give enough people vaccines and some will develop totally unrelated health conditions. And lots of people get hep b vaccines.

      I cannot myself understand why any parent would take this risk with their children.

      Well, if I had kids, I would say “because it’s better than my kid being dead”.

  17. Mark says:

    Dr. David Gorski is an Oncologist who blasts people full of harmful chemicals and radiation. Sounds like a guy I can trust for science based medicine. lol What a Sham!!!

    1. Matt Carey says:

      So you don’t believe that chemotherapy and radiation therapy can treat cancer? And we should believe your views on medicine why, exactly?

    2. David Gorski says:

      Actually, no. I’m a surgical oncologist, which means I cut people open and remove parts of their anatomy containing cancer. In the “cut, burn, poison” that cancer quacks like to use to attack conventional oncology, I’m the guy who does the cutting.

      But I am also a scientist who’s published on cancer in the peer-reviewed literature.

      1. Chris says:

        But knows about the chemotherapy and radiation routines that might benefit your patients. Though I can assume you are not the only one recommending them, because there would be other oncologists who are also working with both you and the patient.

        I am just guessing because from son’s experience we had to deal with multiple cardiologists and a cardiology surgeon (well, two of them… the cardiology surgeon fellow who followed his care after surgery, because the other had to go elsewhere*).

        * The Mayo Clinic actually called me a month before to tell me that the surgeon would go out of town right after the surgery and the after-care would be handled by someone he was training. They were actually surprised I was okay with that. It turned out to be a good thing, because the young man was much more approachable than the actual surgeon (though I did have to have their office spell his name out to me, it was a bit long on the name tag and I swear I was going to call him Dr. Panama Canal… only the latter part was in his name).

      2. Frederick says:

        LOL, to follow their logic, you cut people open? People are meat, right? So you are a butcher!

        huuum sliced meat… where’s my BBQ.

    3. Earthman says:

      I had cancer in 1982 and was cut, poisoned with platinum. and burnt with radiation. I am still here. If I had not been treated as thoroughly as I had then that would not be the case. Only 32 years in remission with no signs of recurrence, so obviously it was a bad thing to do? Rather than die a horrible painful death?

  18. Mark says:

    Do you people understand why mercury accumulates in fish? Do you also understand that if a child is “injected” with even trace amounts of mercury over and over it accumulates in the body? Do you also know that mercury is a neurotoxin? Why do you need a study to prove that injecting a neurotoxin over and over into a child for his first 2 years of life could influence his/her neurological system? What happened to common sense? Here is one study that proves that mercury stays in the body even at small amounts, let alone multiple injections of it into your bloodstream.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1280342/

    1. AdamG says:

      Hi Mark! Could you tell us which vaccines on the current immunization schedule contain mercury? Thanks!

    2. Matt Carey says:

      So, can you point us to where this “whistleblower” says that the thimerosal studies he worked on are not valid?

      That’s right. You can’t.

      1. Lawrence says:

        Somebody needs to learn that the MMR vaccine never contained Thimerasol…

    3. Shay says:

      Mark — since there never was any mercury in the MMR (live vaccine = no preservative. No preservative = no thimerosal), what exactly is your point?

      Unless it’s to demonstrate you haven’t the foggiest idea what you’re posting about?

    4. EBMOD says:

      You receive more mercury from eating a serving of tuna than is found in a vaccine. Why aren’t the Japanese or other coastal cultures exploding with autism?

    5. MadisonMD says:

      Which vaccine is injected directly into the bloodstream? How is your post relevant to autism? Thanks.

    6. Thor says:

      We’re talking two different forms of mercury. The mercury found in fish is methylmercury, the same stuff that used to be in thermometers. That form can be highly toxic. But that form has never been used in vaccines. Thimerosal is used in vaccines and that breaks down in the body to ethylmercury, which is much, much less toxic. Now, I think only the multi-dose flu-shot even uses thimerosal anymore. Why all the fuss?

      1. Chris says:

        And still, the issue is that it has never been in any MMR vaccine. Plus not an issue in the USA for a over decade in any other vaccine (about half of the influenza vaccines do not contain thimerosal).

      2. _Arthur says:

        Methyl mercury is not and has never been used in thermometers.
        What is used is metallic mercury, Hg.
        Tens of thousands of kids managed to swallow metal mercury from broken thermometers, without adverse effects.
        Organic compounds of metal mercury are more dangerous that the mercury itself; metal mercury doesn’t react easily in the disgestive tract, most of it will be excreted without having any interaction with the metabolism.
        Vapors of mercury are considered more dangeous than mercury drops.

        1. AKK says:

          In college, my father accidentally blew out the manometer in the lab which would have resulted in a 5$ fine. That was a lot of money in 1951 so he tried to get it up with a mouth pipette before the teacher caught him. He accidentally sucked too hard. He’s 85 now and he’s always wondered if that big ball of mercury is still rolling around in his stomach. I’ll let him know it’s not.

        2. Thor says:

          Thank you, I stand corrected.

    7. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      Hi Mark,

      What’s the difference between ethyl mercury and methyl mercury?

      Which type is found in fish?

      Which type was part of thimerosal?

      When was thimerosal removed from American vaccines besides one type of influenza vaccine?

    8. Calli Arcale says:

      Hi, Mark! Did you know that the form of mercury that accumulates in fish is not the same as the one that is used as a preservative in some adult vaccines, and zero childhood vaccines (except multi-dose influenza vaccines, which aren’t mandatory and have preservative-free alternatives)?

      Methylmercury persists in tissues for months. In an animal that lives in the sea, grazing constantly off of animals that eat plankton that eat bacteria that process inorganic mercury into methylmercury, it will tend to accumulate, potentially to concerning levels. In humans, if you keep your consumption of large cold water pelagic fish down to one serving a week, your body will be able to keep up with the methylmercury exposure with no difficulty.

      Ethylmercury, which is what thimerosal metabolizes to in the body, persists for a few weeks. Even if you were getting vaccinated on a weekly basis, you would not even approach dangerous levels.

  19. Jessica says:

    This article does nothing to pull apart the findings, for me anyway. To me, it just seems like someone trying to defend their opinion with an educated tone. Some of the references (Simpsonwood and Versatean (please forgive spelling since I am on my phone) were made almost impossible for anyone to access for further research outside of the CDC. Officials are coming out one by one and admitting that there is indeed something fishy. Why deny it? Is that easier? For all the years we have been researching autism we have not come much closer to any understanding of causes. Why? Because either 1. The motivation isn’t there which we can clearly see is unlikely since it is now considered an epidemic and parents a fighting for answers. Or 2. Someone with significant authority doesn’t want the information uncovered. Hmmm… It wouldn’t be the first attempt from government officials to hurt the people they are supposed to protect and try to cover it up.

    1. Harriet Hall says:

      First, we HAVE come much closer to understanding autism’s genetic and prenatal factors. Second, your false dichotomy omits the far more likely 3rd possibility that the causes are complicated and will take more time to work out. What you said is like saying we haven’t discovered the cause of cancer yet because the authorities are covering up the truth.

    2. AdamG says:

      Officials are coming out one by one and admitting that there is indeed something fishy.

      Can you name a single one of these officials?

      For all the years we have been researching autism we have not come much closer to any understanding of causes.

      On what basis do you claim that we have made no advancement in our understanding of the causes of autism? Are you familiar with the massive advancements made in autism genetics in recent years/ Here’s a place to get started: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v485/n7397/full/nature10989.html

      Why? Because either 1. The motivation isn’t there which we can clearly see is unlikely since it is now considered an epidemic and parents a fighting for answers. Or 2. Someone with significant authority doesn’t want the information uncovered. Hmmm… It wouldn’t be the first attempt from government officials to hurt the people they are supposed to protect and try to cover it up.

      That’s a wonder of a false dichotomy you’ve set up. Don’t you think that there’s a 3rd option?

      3. ASD is a heterogeneous disorder and difficult to study. Though we have made much advancement in the study of this disorder, there is still much research to be done, especially research into the various ASD subgroups as well as environmental cofactors that contribute to autism risk. However, the link between vaccines and autism has been extensively studied and ruled out as a contributor to autism risk.

    3. EBMOD says:

      As Dr Hall and others have already pointed out, there is a lot of study being done, and lot of useful discoveries being made.

      For example, with an eye movement test, it was found with very high specificity and sensitivity that children one year of age could be reliably predicted to manifest ASD later on: http://autism-center.ucsd.edu/treating-early-autism/Pages/eye-tracking.aspx

      Also, MRI’s are showing that ASD isn’t simply a matter of a normal brain under the influence of a toxin, their brains are physically wired differently:http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/news/20110902/mri-shows-differences-in-autistic-brain

      There is also tentative evidence that exposure to phthalates may play a role:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22537663

      I chose these three studies not only because they show that progress is being made, but show that as each advancement is made, the odds it can be caused by vaccines gets lower and lower.

      The eye test shows that children can be reliably screened for ASD long before the vaccine schedule at 2-3 years of age, the second that ASD is a developmental disorder where the brain is physically different from the time it was formed, not something that changes with the introduction of vaccines.

      The phthalate study shows that there are leads being found for solving the increased incidence of ASD and vaccination is not proving to be one of them…

    4. David Gorski says:

      This article does nothing to pull apart the findings, for me anyway. To me, it just seems like someone trying to defend their opinion with an educated tone.

      “Seems like someone trying to defend their opinion with an educated tone” is not a refutation. Even if it were true, it would not be a refutation. So, please, can you tell me specific things I got wrong in my analysis? If not, I’ll ask you the same question I asked the last person who said something like this: Why should I take your criticisms seriously?

      If you can show I’m wrong, do it. Go for it. If your science and arguments are good enough, you might even start to change my mind. But dismissing arguments because they “seem like someone trying to defend their opinion with an educated tone” is just vacuous. It says nothing other than that you are apparently incapable of offering better.

      1. Earthman says:

        “Seems like someone trying to defend their opinion with an educated tone”

        Funnily enough this was the impression I got of Andrew Wakefield in a video cited above. He threatened to out a whistle-blower in a way that showed a lack of morality and ethics, but his audience just laughed. This shows that Andrew is without ethics (as was shown by the study that got him struck off i.e. barred from practice), and that his audience is also ignorant of basic ethical practice.

    5. K says:

      You guys REALLY like to ignore genetic studies. I suspect you can’t deal with the fact that your gametes are defective at this point.

      1. Calli Arcale says:

        As the parent of an autistic child, I don’t think it’s a matter of defective gametes. Granted, some forms of autism are known to be caused by de novo mutations, but there’s strong evidence of heritability which suggests it isn’t all de novo. And autistic people do have things going for them as well. I have a hunch many of the genes for it are, independently of one another, evolutionarily adaptive, but when they come together problems can arise. If we consider the “inadequate synaptic pruning” model, autism could be a consequence of genes that normally would inspire great creativity and outside-the-box thinking getting a bit too good at preserving the early brain’s adaptability. Too much of a good thing causing problems.

  20. Lawrence says:

    Better yet – take a look at the list on this page:

    http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/SafetyAvailability/VaccineSafety/UCM096228

    And then tell us which vaccines that are routinely given (and mandated for things like school attendance) contain Thimerasol?

    1. Chris says:

      Or just ask which vaccine on the American pediatric schedule are only available with thimerosal.

    2. Chris says:

      And since the Hooker paper is on MMR, thimerosal is off topic.

  21. Curious says:

    Looks like there are some great resources here for the vaccine debate. I am curious, does anyone personally know or have they read any studies regarding the rates of autism in children who have not been vaccinated at all? I have looked but can not find anything.

    1. AdamG says:

      ‘Just asking questions’ huh?
      I don’t think you looked very hard.
      http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/03/11/for-the-anti-vaccinationists-out-there-t/

    2. Lawrence says:

      @Curious – this series of studies includes retrospective studies:

      http://www2.aap.org/immunization/families/faq/vaccinestudies.pdf

    3. Chris says:

      Vaccination Status and Health in Children and Adolescents

      The only difference is that those without vaccinations get more vaccine preventable diseases.

  22. sadmar says:

    From HuffPo in 2012:

    “The star of ‘Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo’ has finally weighed in on the government’s role in vaccinating children.”

    I mean, what else does anyone need to know? Rob Schneider knows stuff! He starred in ‘The Animal,’ about “a man given animal powers by a mad scientist”; and ‘The Hot Chick’, “wherein the mind of a petty thief is mystically switched into the body of a pretty, but mean-spirited high school cheerleader.” Who better to explain the Dark Side of medical science? I ALWAYS go to D-list SNL-alums when I need the straight dope.

    1. Frederick says:

      Don’t forget he is also the Stapler! ah, yeah right, it was a southpark joke!
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFLuIn6lj5g

      He also said despicable things related to Robin Williams Death. What a jerk, create fear for no reason than because you are ignorant!

      1. Windriven says:

        Hysterical!

  23. MadisonMD says:

    I don’t get it. There are about a dozen anti-vaxx posts here and none actually engage with the evidence. The best we get are a few JAQ-type questions, and irrelevant statements about thimerosal in vaccines. Their questions are answered. But ask why autism rates went up when thimersol was taken out? No response. Ask why Brian Deer, who looked, found a correlation only in African males, but apparently confirmed the lack of correlation in white males, white females, black females (as well as the entire population)? Silence. Ask about statistical methodology and post-hoc multiple hypothesis testing? Nothing. Ask about the timing of vaccination versus diagnosis in these studies? No reply.

    Are the anti-vaxxers truly this vapid?

    1. sadmar says:

      Religion is not evidence-based.

    2. Badly Shaved Monkey says:

      Did you muddle your Deers and Hookers?

      1. MadisonMD says:

        Yes, I did, didn’t I.

        1. simba says:

          Always a dangerous mistake to make.

          Caught a lot of ehrlichosis that way. Remember, always use (tick) protection.

          1. MadisonMD says:

            Oh, deer! Oh, dear! So confused. At least I need not worry about chronic Lyme.

    3. mouse says:

      MadisonMD – Years ago I saw a comment on thimerosal on another site (a mom criticizing another mom for revaccinating a recently internationally adopted child). When I think something is important, I do check the sources that people give, or track down their claims or “quotes” if they don’t give a source. I ended up on the CDC site. Oh wait thimerosal isn’t even in the vaccines in question. So I see other claims from people against vaccinating and check those out. But those claims didn’t check out either, the research they cite doesn’t say what they claim or some damning quote is actually taken out of context, etc. This completely undermines the credibility of the people making the argument.

      In the process of checking out these claims, I came across David Gorski’s. So I start checking his sources. They have been invariably accurate. His analysis has been logical. Sure sometimes he sounds like the Violet Crawley…but oh well.

      The lack of logical arguments or compelling evidence from the people against vaccines leaves me incredibly unconvinced by their arguments. In the end, their arguments rely on taking their word for it that vaccines are unsafe or sowing seeds of doubt. But having blown their credibility, I can’t take their word for anything and the doubt doesn’t amount to much when it is only what if(?)s.

      In the end, those against vaccine may have done more to convince me that vaccinating is the way to go, more than any vaccine advocate has. Because they have clearly search for an argument against vaccinating, but have been unable to produce it.

    4. EBMOD says:

      Here is my ‘spaghetti against the wall’ guess. At the risk of revealing too much of my own history on here, I grew up in a wonderful, though highly religious household. It was not until my late twenties that I finally came to to grasp with the fact that God most likely did not exist. Thing is, deep down, I knew for several years prior to fully accepting it that what I had been taught growing up wasn’t plausible. I would have internet debates defending my point of view and quit often I realized I had no answer for their arguments. Yet, I just couldn’t admit it to others.

      What changed was I learned to separate my emotions from my logic and let the facts and the data speak for itself. I basically learned to reprogram how I evaluate information and a huge part of that was not letting the deep down. Point is it took a long time for me to get to that point. Had I been raised that way, I doubt it would have been nearly as much of a struggle. Yet I now consider myself to be a very rational person who is able to accept what the facts point to regardless of my discomfort with any conclusions. Lots of this was due to my schooling and education. I learned through my medical training about Bayes theorem, cognitive biases, and other logical fallacies and it started me down the road to true rationalism and skepticism. I used think global warming was a hoax, that much of the govt was part of a conspiracy etc, until I learned to evaluate evidence and realized what set of smoke and mirrors those beliefs were.

      I think it is the same for anti-vaxxers, in deep down they feel the cognitive dissonance and know they are wrong, but as a matter of pride or self-preservation can’t admit it to themselves. There is also strong peer pressure, if all of your friends through Church believe the same, the consequences for reversing course typically aren’t pretty.

      That said, I am sure there are many who truly believe and have no cognitive dissonance, though I think those are the less intelligent ones, too dumb to realize how much they don’t know.

      1. Analu says:

        the CDC did that horrendous syphilis experiment???wth!

        1. MadisonMD says:

          Yes, that experiment was done by the CDC starting in 1932. The researchers justified it because they figured these people didn’t have access to medical treatment anyway. So they were not doing something positively harmful, but just omitting something beneficial (i.e. penicillin).

          This is a classic example of unethical research which has spawned IRBs and legal authority through HHS. It is also why a controlled trial of vaccines is illegal and unethical.

          … unless you want to argue, that hey there was no RCT of penicillin for syphillis so it was ethical?

    5. Earthman says:

      Don’t think that was Brian Deer

  24. Someone demonize CDC, I don’t think they need what they do by themselves.

    1. Windriven says:

      Você tem uma cabeça vazia. Ecos sem sentido dentro. Douchenoodle.

  25. docdale says:

    I see so much jousting over the safety of vaccines….maybe-maybe not. can someone please show me the PROOF that these vaccines work and cause no harm..I think the science is lacking the proof. Also discuss why the vaccine schedule is so loaded up front when environmental exposure is so low in the first few years. Does this have science to back it up…..my pediatrician said it was because they had you in the office for the infant check ups. Not good science. Follow the money.

    1. simba says:

      Environmental exposure is actually higher than the vaccines- babies get more aluminium from breast milk than from vaccines (to pick out one scary-sounding thing people worry about), they get more antigens from the things they eat than the vaccines.

      http://www.vaccinateyourbaby.org/safe/autism/overburdening.cfm Good explanation
      http://www.chop.edu/service/vaccine-education-center/vaccine-safety/vaccine-ingredients/aluminum.html Aluminium

      And this study actually found no increased risk of autism with vaccines.

      And the proof has been linked to up-thread. It is unreasonable to ask that anything causes no harm: people die by stairs all the time, young healthy people, so does that mean we should all avoid stairs? What about cars, which kill many many people?

      What level of safety do you think is acceptable for vaccines? As safe as sitting in a chair, as riding a bike, as eating a sandwich, as smelling a flower? People die every year of each of those things.

      Here- have a humorous article about risk assessment. http://www.cracked.com/article_18849_6-statistically-full-s2321t-dangers-media-loves-to-hype.html

      The proper risk assessment is whether the risk from the vaccine is lower than the risk from being unvaccinated (and potentially catching the disease.) Otherwise the number is meaningless. If I eat I risk choking or food poisoning, but the alternative is starving- it would be foolish to avoid eating in order to keep myself safe, I’m jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.

      Again, in countries where the government has to pay for those office check ups, even in countries where they’re desperately trying to cut costs on the health care system, they provide vaccines.
      Not because it’s profitable for the doctor- they aren’t getting paid per visit.

      Not because the people who run these programs like throwing money away for fun: the managers and organizers of these services have enormous incentives to save money.

      Because it’s more cost-effective than having to pay to care for people who are sick, and you’ll have fewer sick people if most kids get their vaccines. The profit motive suggests that if vaccines are dangerous and ineffective, these services shouldn’t provide them, but they do. Following the profit motive leads to the conclusion that childhood vaccines, given to very young children, are safer than leaving a child unvaccinated.

    2. Lawrence says:

      Given that doctors make little, if any money administering vaccines (in a lot of cases, vaccines are given at a loss), then your “follow the money” analogy falls flat on its face.

      Pharmaceutical companies also make 10x – 50x more money (and profits) for treatments other than vaccines – something like Viagra, for instance, it worth Billions of dollars to a pharma company, while a vaccine will generate much smaller profit, based on the limited number of times it is given (but the overall research cost is similar – if not more for vaccines, with the amount of testing that needs to be done).

      The overall risk profile of vaccines is incredibly low – much lower than the diseases they prevent & they are considered to be one of the safest medical treatments ever devised – specifically because of the amount of testing and post-release surveillance that is done.

      Once you actually research and understand how vaccines are made, tested, administered, tracked, etc. you would see the facts for what they are & not what the anti-vax folks want you to think.

    3. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      see so much jousting over the safety of vaccines….maybe-maybe not. can someone please show me the PROOF that these vaccines work and cause no harm.

      No:

      1) It is impossible to prove anything with absolute certainty

      2) There’s massive quantities of evidence that vaccines work (see here) but the certainly do cause some harm (see here), just considerably less than the diseases they prevent. What they don’t cause is autism.

      .I think the science is lacking the proof

      Are you sure the problem isn’t that you are unfamiliar with the science, and just believe what Joe Mercola, or Mike Adams, or Andy Wakefield tell you without doing any independent research? The topic of vaccine safety and efficacy is broad and compliated, if you haven’t found any proof of either, you may not have looked. Try googling pubmed and seeing where you get from there.

      Also discuss why the vaccine schedule is so loaded up front when environmental exposure is so low in the first few years.

      Because if you wait too long to vaccinate your child, some of them will die of pertussis, or diptheria, or get hepatitis and need a liver transplant 30 years down the road. The schedule was developed by a body of world-recognized experts on the specific diseases, their epidemiology, the risks of the vaccines themselves and an understanding of pediatric immunology. In all cases for all vaccines, it was estimated when was the best time to give a vaccine to maximize protection whiile minimizing adverse effects. And it turns out that if you stray from that schedule, things go badly.

      Also note that you are routinely exposed to a massive number of antigens merely by breathing, not to mention getting a splinter, or eating, or kissing. The tiny number of antigens found in vaccines are many, many orders of magnitude less than what you get after five minutes in a grocery store, or one minute on a farm. Not to mention – if you get infected with any vaccine preventable disease, the virus or bacteria will replicate in your body and you will be subjected to millions, even billions more antivens than that found in the entire vaccine schedule.

      Does this have science to back it up….

      Yes.

      my pediatrician said it was because they had you in the office for the infant check ups. Not good science. Follow the money.

      There’s a small amount of truth in your first statement – the schedule is set up to minimize the number of visits (which is very convenient, don’t you think?) but also to maximize benefits. As for following the money – Pfizer would make a ton more money selling serum to treat measles than it would a vaccine to prevent it. Vaccines aren’t particularly profitable.

    4. Chris says:

      Doc Dale (DC): “I see so much jousting over the safety of vaccines….maybe-maybe not. can someone please show me the PROOF that these vaccines work and cause no harm..I think the science is lacking the proof”

      Well, there are several studies on the safety listed on Vaccine Safety: Examine the Evidence.

      Now if you don’t believe they work, then you need to answer a very simple question. The following is US Census data from the twentieth century on measles incidence. Please tell us why, with supporting documentation, why the incidence of measles in the USA between 1960 and 1970 dropped 90%. Please do not mention deaths (mortality), any other decade or any other country (yes, some have tried to convince me England and Wales are USA states). Thank you in advance.

      rom http://www.census.gov/prod/99pubs/99statab/sec31.pdf
      Year…. Rate per 100000 of measles
      1912 . . . 310.0
      1920 . . . 480.5
      1925 . . . 194.3
      1930 . . . 340.8
      1935 . . . 584.6
      1940 . . . 220.7
      1945 . . . 110.2
      1950 . . . 210.1
      1955 . . . 337.9
      1960 . . . 245.4
      1965 . . . 135.1
      1970 . . . . 23.2
      1975 . . . . 11.3
      1980 . . . . . 5.9
      1985 . . . . . 1.2
      1990 . . . . .11.2
      1991 . . . . . .3.8
      1992 . . . . . .0.9
      1993 . . . . . .0.1
      1994 . . . . . .0.4
      1995 . . . . . .0.1
      1996 . . . . . .0.2
      1997 . . . . . . 0.1

    5. Calli Arcale says:

      “Also discuss why the vaccine schedule is so loaded up front when environmental exposure is so low in the first few years.”

      The vaccine schedule takes a lot of things into account, and it isn’t just about pragmatism (though pragmatism does factor into it — whenever possible, they try to avoid making you come into the office more than once a year, though in the first few years there some vaccines that you have to get more frequently). Different vaccines work in different ways, and different parts of the immune system mature at different rates, so different vaccines will be most effective on different schedules. MMR, for instance, can’t be given until the immune system matures a bit, since it’s a live virus vaccine. Hep B, however, will trigger the appropriate immune response even if given at birth. Also, different vaccines take longer to work — a flu shot will protect you in two weeks, but MMR takes two doses a couple of years apart before its protection is maximized. If a vaccine takes many doses to really do its job, that means you need to pick the age at which you want the kid to be immune and then subtract the time needed to complete the vaccine series. Lastly, different diseases demand different responses — if a disease predominantly strikes the young, or has particularly severe consequences for them, then you probably want to give the vaccine as early as possible. If a disease usually doesn’t strike until later, you might as well wait, since immunity does tend to wear off eventually without continued exposure; this is the case with the HPV vaccine. You’re not likely to catch HPV until you’re sexually active, so probably give it just before puberty to maximize its effectiveness.

      The CDC schedule is not some hallowed pronouncement, but it is a carefully thought out attempt to balance these things and come up with a recommendation of how best to achieve protection from the targeted diseases. It also attempts to balance population-level protection and individual protection, as well as population and individual risks, and it’s designed for the risks as they exist in the United States today. This is why other countries have different schedules, BTW; they have a somewhat different set of diseases, which may tend to hit different populations, which leads to a slightly different set of recommendations.

  26. TomatoTomato says:

    You people know nothing, global warming causes autism duh. Here are two “researched” links i found proving my point. note the increase in autism around 1986 in my eh, “researched” chart here http://anthonycox.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/figure1.gif And the global temperature has been above average consecutively since Feb of 1985 as noted here. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/ Obvious “facts” for you anti vaxxers out there, your barking up the wrong tree!!!!

    1. sadmar says:

      **applause**

      And don’t forget the spike in autism reports went up-up-up from 91-94 when the Bills lost four straight Super Bowls. Think about it! Forget Thimerisol. I blame Steve Norwood.

      1. MadisonMD says:

        Scott Norwood. Those games are etched on the brain of everyone who lived in WNY… thereby providing a mechanism for CNS effects.

        1. sadmar says:

          Facts, facts, facts. Always with your stinking facts. I show you the REAL conspiracy, and you get hung upon on little things like first names! So leave Brain Hooker alone, and do some RESEARCH on the backroom deal brokered between Mark Levy, Phil Tagliabue, and Bob Parcells in Prague under the watchful eye of Pusay Hussein!

  27. Susan says:

    I’m excited that the truth is coming out. But even without a whistleblower, the proof is already in our unvaccinated kids who are the living, breathing proof of what health is. All the unvaccinated kids are healthier. If you want to argue that, then for some reason your true desire must be to keep kids having allergies, asthma, autism, epilepsy, food allergies, and the countless other disorders that have become “mainstream” in this age.

    1. simba says:

      Funny, I’ve met some unvaccinated kids- kids is probably the wrong word, they were older adults now. I met them in the waiting room while they were going in to get physio for their deformities, caused by polio.

      Is your true desire for kids to be unable to breathe, or to have to get painful operations and lifetime physio/callipers/orthoses, or to die of siezures that could have been prevented if their parents weren’t ill-informed?

      I sadly never got to meet one of my mom’s cousins. Measles got her. But hey, at least she didn’t have autism, right? And she probably doesn’t count because she wasn’t living or breathing any more, dead babies don’t matter to you right?

      It’s not enough to look at those who are alive- you have to also count the dead. But maybe I’m wrong, provide your large-scale studies supporting your point, ’cause otherwise it’s my anecdotes against yours- and all the unvaccinated kids I know are sickly. Some of them have asthma.

      Look at any old medical book- allergies, asthma, and epilepsy were recognised and commonly seen by the ancient Greeks and Egyptians. Autism is thought to account for some of the stories of ‘changelings’ in traditional Irish and British culture- and you know what they did to changelings, right? The cure for a changeling is to poison them, put them in an oven, or leave them outside to die. In more recent times kids with autism were just considered ‘odd’ (in some country areas) or else put into institutions. We can read these accounts now and see what they had would be considered autism today- back then it was ‘idiocy’ or the like.

    2. EBMOD says:

      As I stated before in this thread, I am a pediatric optometrist and my wife is a pediatric RN.

      We had a huge whooping cough outbreak in our community and several unvaccinated children died as a result, my wife and I each had one young patient who passed away.

      By what criteria are you considering unvaccinated children healthier?

    3. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      But even without a whistleblower, the proof is already in our unvaccinated kids who are the living, breathing proof of what health is.

      Tell that to Dana McCaffery.

      If you want to argue that, then for some reason your true desire must be to keep kids having allergies, asthma, autism, epilepsy, food allergies, and the countless other disorders that have become “mainstream” in this age.

      Julius Caesar had epilepsy, do you think he was vaccinated? Autism was also thought to exist, and allergies, asthma, food allergies (it’s there twice) and most other disorders also existed. About the only thing that is really a modern disease is widespread obesity and type II diabetes in the under-20 crowd (sometimes, not always).

      If you want to argue that vaccines cause these things, you might want to reconcile it with the historical record.

      Though there may be some truth in the increased amount of asthma and allergies – but this appears to be more strongly related to a general reduction in antigens, not a specific exposure to vaccines.

      But I’m sure you knew that.

    4. Chris says:

      ” the proof is already in our unvaccinated kids who are the living, breathing proof of what health is.”

      Tell that to Roald Dahl’s surviving children. Here is an idea, get his book The BFG, and read the memorial that is written just before the story starts.

    5. lilady says:

      What “truth” is finally “coming out”?

      The only “truth” that Hooker has revealed is that he tortured the data to come up with a bogus result about black males supposed risk for autism after receiving an MMR vaccine.

      Brian Hooker is unqualified to conduct such a study and he did not have a bio-statistician on board to reanalyze the DeStefano, et al study properly.

      You want truth?

      An older cousin was left with permanent neurological sequelae as a result of measles encephalitis and my childhood friend died from polio…before vaccines were developed to prevent these serious childhood illnesses.

      When was the last endemic case of polio and the last endemic case of measles reported in the United States?

      http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/189/Supplement_1/S1.full.pdf

      The odious disgraced former medical doctor Andrew Wakefield was responsible for a major measles outbreak in Hennepin County (Minneapolis) during 2011. He sent his operative Jennifer Larson from yet another of his shell charities (The Strategic Autism Initiative) to meet with Somali-American parents to scare them away from having their children immunized against measles. Wakefield himself met secretly with Somali-American parents at least three times (twice before the outbreak began and once during the outbreak) to convince those Somali-American parents to not vaccinate their children.

      The MMWR is your friend; don’t be afraid to use it:

      http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6013a6.htm

      “….The patients included children aged 4 months–4 years and one adult aged 51 years; seven of the 13 were of Somali decent. Eight patients were hospitalized. Vaccination status was known for 11 patients: five were too young to have been vaccinated, and six (all of Somali descent) had not been vaccinated because of parental concerns about the safety of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. The most recent rash onset was March 28. An additional, unrelated case of measles was confirmed in a Hennepin County resident aged 34 years who was exposed in Orlando, Florida, sometime during March 1–10.

      The investigation determined that the index patient was a U.S.-born child of Somali descent, aged 30 months, who developed a rash February 15, 14 days after returning from a trip to Kenya. The patient attended a drop-in child care center 1 day before rash onset; measles developed in three contacts at the center and in one household contact. Secondary and tertiary exposures occurred in two congregate living facilities for homeless persons (four patients), an emergency department (two patients), and households (two patients). A virus isolate from the index patient was genotyped at CDC as B3, which is endemic in sub-Saharan Africa.

      Outbreak control efforts have included following up with potentially exposed persons, providing immune globulin to persons without evidence of immunity, and recommending that persons without evidence of immunity who have been exposed to measles not leave their residence while potentially infectious (21 days). Multiple vaccination clinics have been held or scheduled at community venues and in the congregate living facilities.

      In the United States, MMR vaccine normally is given as a 2-dose series, with the first dose at age 12–15 months and a second dose at age 4–6 years.* However, this series may be accelerated during outbreaks. In response to the current outbreak, MDH has recommended that children aged 6–11 months living in selected congregate living facilities receive a dose of MMR vaccine,† and that older children and adults in these facilities receive vaccine if they are susceptible and have had less than 2 doses of MMR vaccine. MDH also has recommended an accelerated vaccination schedule (a total of 2 doses of MMR vaccine separated by at least 28 days) for all children aged ≥12 months living in Hennepin County and all children of Somali descent living in the wider Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area.

      Measles was declared eliminated from the United States in 2000. However, importations of measles from other countries still occur, and low vaccination coverage associated with parental concerns regarding the MMR vaccine puts persons and communities at risk for measles. Public health and health-care providers should work with parents and community leaders to address concerns about the MMR vaccine to ensure high vaccination coverage and prevent measles.”

      Andrew Wakefield is a racist and a public health menace.

    6. Earthman says:

      “All the unvaccinated kids are healthier.”

      Apart from the dead ones

  28. Brenda Z. says:

    I’m patiently waiting for the day when someone finally does a full study on autism in the vaccinated and unvaccinated communities. One would think it would either uncover things the pro-vaccine community doesn’t want uncovered, or it will shift the thinking of anti-vaccinators. Either way- the information would be helpful to all. But I don’t think it will ever happen.

    1. Lawrence says:

      @Brenda – large scale retrospective studies have already been done….no link has been found.

    2. Chris says:

      Vaccination Status and Health in Children and Adolescents

      If you find that unsatisfactory, then design a study making sure it complies with the Belmont Report. Then get it approved by an Independent Review Board and go write a grant for funding. Then submit that grant for funding to organizations like SafeMinds, Autism Speaks, the Dwoskin Family Foundation, Generation Rescue, etc… and then get it done!

    3. Sawyer says:

      There’s a gigantic problem with doing this type of research for anyone interested in honest results. Many of the communities with low vaccinations rates have tons of other confounding factors that would interfere with the outcomes: diet, exercise, environmental influences, genetics, etc. On top of that, many of the people that are fearful of vaccines tend to have zero trust in scientists and doctors to begin with, and may not do a stellar job at conveying accurate medical information to them.

      The other option is to do a high quality, double-blind RCT, in which case you have to accept the fact that a small number children will die just to make anti-vaxxers happy. And we have plenty of evidence that NOTHING will make them happy, so you’d essentially be killing children for lulz. Not surprisingly, most compassionate people aren’t endorsing this research path.

  29. Daphne says:

    There is a link. You fascist pro vaccination people have no evidence that hasn’t been cooked by greedy scientists who want to rise up in positions of power like Julie G president of Merck vaccination now who was in charge of the cdc during the time of their faking the data.
    Why don’t you just spend some time insulting me and criticizing my grammar or spelling so you can ignore the truth. … You have no good arguments on your side.

    1. Lawrence says:

      @Daphne – I’m shaking in my shoes….how about providing some evidence of your own?

    2. Chris says:

      “You fascist pro vaccination people have no evidence that hasn’t been cooked by greedy scientists ”

      Why do you think insults are a valid form of evidence?

    3. weing says:

      “You fascist pro vaccination people have no evidence that hasn’t been cooked by greedy scientists who want to rise up in positions of power like Julie G president of Merck vaccination now who was in charge of the cdc during the time of their faking the data.”
      Please help us to be able to tell whether evidence has been cooked by greedy or generous scientists. How do you tell the difference?

    4. David Gorski says:

      You fascist pro vaccination people have no evidence that hasn’t been cooked by greedy scientists who want to rise up in positions of power like Julie G president of Merck vaccination now who was in charge of the cdc during the time of their faking the data.

      Argumentum ad fascistium, eh? Very amusing, but nothing to be taken seriously.

    5. Windriven says:

      @Daphne

      “You have no good arguments on your side”

      Pardon the hell out of me lady but you don’t have any arguments at all. Insults and allegations are sometimes interesting spices for the stew, BUT WHERE’S THE FLICKING BEEF?

  30. Earthman says:

    This story will no doubt run and run, and is far from over yet. There are two main points I wish to make, one scientific the other about the media ‘frenzy’.

    Starting with the important question, which is the scientific one, the original study compared time of vaccination with time of diagnosis. Was it in every case that the time of vaccination was prior to the time of diagnosis? It is unclear to me without going back to all the original papers. Does someone know? Of the 5 or so AA males in the 36+ month study did any of them have a diagnosis of autism prior to being given MMR? Indeed you could ask that question of the whole case study group. I kind of think of two overlapping bell curves, vaccine and diagnosis. There must be scope there for one to occur before the other?

    The second question is what does this have to do with Dr David Thompson? If this relationship of 340% increase at 31 months (ridiculous assertion from such a small sample size) has only just now come from Hooker’s flawed study how can Thompson have known about it in 2004? It seems ridiculous to link the two. I suspect Hooker presented his ‘evidence’ to Thompson, who could have been in admin for all I know (cannot find him on the CDC website) and he caved and said something stupid that has been re-edited. What role did Thompson have in CDC that he could possibly be privy to such information, and is he competent to understand it?

    There are a lot more questions to be asked in the future I am sure.

    1. Earthman says:

      Oh, and I should have said that shifting the age boundary from 36 to 31 months smacks of changing the sample range to get result you want. It was probability fishing.

    2. Science Mom says:

      Earthman, part of your question may be resolved with the fact that neither study examined age of diagnosis. It was a retrospective study that pulled cases (already diagnosed with an ASD) from MADDSP. So the important important variable and potential confounder, which couldn’t be controlled for, was not present.

    3. sadmar says:

      “What does this have to do with Dr. David Thompson?”

      “The Doctor” is Julius Erving, and David Thompson is “Skywalker.” Get your facts straight, man!

      …unless Dr. Thompson somehow used his 54″ vertical to jump to some conclusions mere mortals could not reach…

      1. Earthman says:

        Do you think you could please expand your comment, as it is completely incoherent inits present form.

        1. Chris says:

          I may be wrong, but I believe it is a reference to professional sports, but only vaguely. Only because I only have a vague relationship with sports just because I an old enough to still get the print edition of my local newspaper.

        2. sadmar says:

          The CDC doctor is William Thompson.

          David Thompson is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, having led NC State to the NCAA championship in 1974. He is credited with originating the ‘alley-oop” dunk play along with NC State guard Monte Towe. In a televised college game, he took a frightening spill to the floor after leaping toward the basket and catching his foot on the back of the head of a teammate who stood 6’7″. He was given the nickname ‘Skywalker’ due to his jumping ability and hang time.

          In basketball there has only ever been one ‘Doctor’.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAlvOfgNoP0

          1. mouse says:

            Whew sports – I thought it was a Doctor Who reference and I was completely demoralized because I didn’t get it.

  31. JD says:

    Something has been bothering me since this ridiculous fervor started last week. So, they are calling this a cover-up because the original authors of the study did not present a sub-group analysis that (as far as we know) wasn’t specified a priori? In the same vein, as far as we know there is some other perfectly valid reason for not stratifying.

    If this criteria were applied to all epidemiological studies on Pubmed, what proportion do we think would be guilty of such grave malfeasance? I would venture the majority. We don’t just do sub-group analyses willy nilly, there has to be a solid reasoning for doing so that at least encompasses biological plausibility. This is why not every study is stratified by race or gender. For our studies, I absolutely insist that things like this are specified before even the slightest glance at the data.

    Maybe a good way to demonstrate the true absurdity of this would be to obtain the same data and publish the following paper (or something similar): “Measles-mumps-rubella vaccination timing and autism among left-handed children with red hair: a re-reanalysis of CDC data.” Then we can make a nice video and everything.

    1. Earthman says:

      left-handed children with red hair

      that should get you down to the small sample size necessary for false positives

  32. Aiden's Dad says:

    Your article is a story ‘told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.’

    1. Harriet Hall says:

      Very helpful. That convinces us you have read Shakespeare; it doesn’t convince us you found anything incorrect in the article.

      1. sadmar says:

        Harriet: my guess would be wikiquote, rather than actually reading the Bard.

        1. Harriet Hall says:

          My guess too. I was trying to be nice.

  33. charles says:

    anyone who use the term “in actuality” is an idiot.

    If one cannot get basic english vocabulary right, I seriously question their analytical skills from the onset.

  34. Dilip Mutum says:

    You missed one recent blog post: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1164827

    You are totally missing the point. Instead of character assassination of people who released the news, there needs to be an independent investigation to find out whether the claims are indeed true. The Lancet paper by Dr. Andrew Wakefield and colleagues were retracted by the journal was pulled following the release of findings of a statutory tribunal. Now, if it is proven that certain findings were hidden to manipulate the data in the mentioned paper, it needs to be retracted as well and action taken against all those involved.

  35. Sue says:

    I’d like to get the author’s opinion on the safety of high doses of aluminum found in all vaccines. What do you think about Dr. Sears’ analysis of the dosages and their possible effects on the brain?

    http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/health-concerns/vaccines/vaccine-faqs

    1. Harriet Hall says:

      IMHO, he is speculating based on preclinical science and has no evidence that children have ever been harmed by the aluminum in vaccines.

    2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      I think you shouldn’t read anything Dr. Sears writes, since he’s a bit of a dishonest, self-promoting, antiscientific huckster.

      Also, aluminum is ubiquitous in the environment. You get far, far more from your food than you do as an adjuvant in a vaccine, as would any child.

      More info on aluminum:

      http://www.chop.edu/service/vaccine-education-center/vaccine-safety/vaccine-ingredients/aluminum.html

      1. Earthman says:

        About 7% of the mass of the surface crust of the Earth is Aluminium, making it the most prolific metal on Earth, at least at the surface – lighter metals rise to the top. Most is bound up with other elements such as silica. Mostly harmless, in the words of the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy

    3. David Gorski says:

      I am completely unimpressed. When it comes to vaccines, Dr. Sears doesn’t know what he’s talking about regarding a great many vaccine-related topics.

  36. Sue says:

    He agrees there are no clinical studies at this time and that is his point. There should be controlled studies on vaccinated/unvaccinated children and the effects that high doses of aluminum may have on infants. Clearly when other studies indicate that levels over 10-20 mcgs are dangerous in infants and we are currently injecting them with over 1000 mcgs we may have a problem on our hands.

    1. Chris says:

      How do you remove the larger effect of aluminum in the environment?

      Perhaps you should get together to do that study. Go design a study making sure it complies with the Belmont Report. Then get it approved by an Independent Review Board and go write a grant for funding. Then submit that grant for funding to organizations like SafeMinds, Autism Speaks, the Dwoskin Family Foundation, Generation Rescue, etc… and then get it done!

  37. Sue says:

    Obviously I am not a scientist so I would not be doing that research. He is arguing that perhaps the vaccine industry should run the studies. You don’t have to be a prick. Dr. Sears is not anti-vaccine. He is for safer vaccines. No one would argue that getting thimersol out of vaccines wasn’t a good idea. Maybe we need to determine whether another ingredient could replace the aluminum.

    1. Chris says:

      So what? Dr. Sears is also not a scientist, but you seem to think his opinions are worthwhile. You are demanding something, then you should go and get it done. Learn how to do the studies, or at least learn about the Belmont Report.

      Measles and pertussis are circulating now in the USA. If you want that study you would have to accept that the unvaccinated group would be susceptible to both diseases and may die. Are you willing to take that chance, or do you have some way to protect that group? Especially if you want the parents to not know if the child is vaccinated or just got the placebo.

      “No one would argue that getting thimersol out of vaccines wasn’t a good idea.”

      That would be wrong. Going to single doses that need to be kept at specific temperatures makes the vaccines much more expensive and actually more dangerous when stored improperly. This is a very big issue in developing countries, and sometimes some remote parts of the USA.

      1. Harriet Hall says:

        And the World Health Organization approves the use of thimerosal in multidose vaccines.

        1. Chris says:

          Exactly. It is not okay for wealthy Americans, like Sue and Dr. Sears, to force those are poor to pay more for no added benefit.

          The level of thimerosal and aluminum in vaccines has never shown to cause any real neurological issues. And claiming that they do while providing “treatment” for the non-issues is where the cash is (look up Boyd Haley, Rashid Buttar, Geiers, Sears, etc). Also screaming for studies to show an element causes problems when there are not problems is just trying to get attention and waste scarce resources.

          1. David Gorski says:

            It is not okay for wealthy Americans, like Sue and Dr. Sears, to force those are poor to pay more for no added benefit.

            What makes you think that Sue and Dr. Sears give a rodent’s posterior about the poor? :-)

            1. Chris says:

              It is obvious they don’t, especially Sears.

            2. JustMe says:

              My rodents would like to make it clear that their posteriors have nothing to do with anything either of them says.

        2. Frederick says:

          Yeah, but they are part of the conspiracy to depopulate the world and what-not, so they are lying. Don’t trust the WHO, except when they naively give to a CAM provider the duty to make the WHO statement on CAM, So my paranoid troll can link that as a proof it work!

          So my inner troll contradict itself? Irrelevant! I have the true truth!

    2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      Dr. Sears is a self-promoting, dangerous loon quite willing to make absolute claims rather than summarize a nuanced and complicated body of knowledge.

      Note that if we remove aluminum, it means having to use a larger number of antigens. That means you eliminate an unknown risk and replace it with a known risk of increased adverse effects.

      Maybe people should realize that aluminum adjuvants are actually quite well-studied and their pharmacokinetics are pretty well understood; unsurprising given it’s found pretty much everywhere on earth.

      1. Calli Arcale says:

        It also increases the cost of the vaccine, and reduces the supply, since it takes *time* to grow antigens.

    3. _Arthur says:

      It’s dead easy to eliminate the (harmless) aluminium adjuvant. Just use 20 times more of the attenuated virus, that’ll do the trick.
      It would increase the cost of vaccine doses by a factor 10, without any benefit.

  38. Sue says:

    Besides if both the control group and the vaccine group are exposed to the same environmental levels of aluminum it should be easy enough to account for it.

    1. Chris says:

      And they would be exposed the circulating pathogens. How do you plan to protect the babies in the placebo group from measles, tetanus, pertussis, Hib, etc? Or do you think the resulting illnesses, possible disability and death to be just part the study?

    2. Chris says:

      By the way, aluminum exposure is dependent on local conditions like what the percentage is in the soil the food is grown in. Or if there is a parent who does woodwork, since sandpaper grit is aluminum oxide. And on and on and on.

      You might want to learn a bit about chemistry and biology at your local community college. Or just read this:
      http://www.redwineandapplesauce.com/2013/12/21/the-one-study-or-why-the-anti-vaccine-movement-doesnt-really-understand-science/

    3. lilady says:

      Obviously, you are not a scientist and neither is Dr. Bob Sears.

      Dr. Bob Sears “alternative schedule”? He made it up, so he could pander to anti-vaccine mommies and daddies.

      Dr. Bob Sears’ patient, a seven-year-old deliberately unvaccinated child, who traveled to Switzerland where he contracted measles, was the index case responsible for a major measles outbreak in San Diego, 2008.

      http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2012/03/27/dr-bob-sears-vs-seth-mnookin-measles-out/

  39. Sue says:

    Okay Chris, I guess since Dr. Sears is just a medical doctor and not a neurobiologist we should just ignore his data. Let’s keep injecting kids full of aluminum and not study its effects. Hey we used to use lead paint on children’s toys before we determined it was a neurotoxin so why not continue injecting children with heavy metals with unknown side effects and see what happens?

    1. Chris says:

      I said he is not a scientist, any kind of scientist. And yes we should ignore him when it comes to vaccine, immunology, toxicology and or anything outside of basic pediatrics. And even then it is pretty shaky (get a better doctor!).

      Here are a couple of articles about him on this blog:
      http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/cashing-in-on-fear-the-danger-of-dr-sears/

      http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/paul-offit-takes-on-robert-sears/

    2. Chris says:

      And more:
      http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-perils-and-pitfalls-of-doing-a-vaccinated-versus-unvaccinated-study/

      Also remember, if you think “aluminum in vaccines” causes neurological damage, first you have to determine that vaccines do cause neurological damage. So far there is no real convincing evidence that vaccines are correlated with neurological damage: Vaccine Safety: Examine the Evidence. And work very hard at it since the MMR vaccine does not contain any aluminum adjuvants.

      As a parent of a child who had seizures from getting an actual disease before its vaccine is available, I am very sensitive to those who want more children to suffer. You will need to provide some very good data that it is worthwhile to subject children to actual diseases like measles, especially (and I know I am repeating myself) the MMR vaccine does not contain aluminum!

  40. Jason says:

    As a disinterested third party, I’ve always wondered – why doesn’t the scientific community do a long-term study to try to disprove the autism-vaccine correlation? As “nonsensical” as you think the anti-vaccine movement is, it clearly affects public policy to some degree. If it’s really hogwash, more should be done to prove it false.

    1. Badly Shaved Monkey says:

      And you think this hasn’t been done? How far have you looked?

    2. Chris says:

      The MMR vaccine has been used in the USA since 1971. If there was a correlation it would have been noticed before 1990.

    3. MadisonMD says:

      why doesn’t the scientific community do a long-term study to try to disprove the autism-vaccine correlation?

      Look at the posts here. The antivax element doesn’t read the studies. They dismiss the scientific evidence for any reason possible and argue toxins and anecdotal evidence.

      Hence, it won’t work. In fact, it hasn’t worked would be a more accurate depiction of the situation.

  41. DanDanNoodles says:

    Now, you are in the 10′s of thousands of ppb.

    Joe, I’m going to say this as gently as I can: you’re wrong. If you can’t see why, try this: make a mixture that is half water, half Scotch. Make another mixture, also half water, half Scotch. Now mix them together. What do you get? Is the resultant mixture all Scotch, because the two original ones where each half Scotch? Of course not.

    Now, instead of half Scotch, imagine that the mixtures were 1000ppb Scotch. Mix them together. What do you get?

    1. EBMOD says:

      And to think that from such elementary errors such as this, he believes there is justification in declaring us all damned to hell. Wow…

  42. Laurie says:

    Well, this is an exhaustive article, which goes to extraordinary lengths to attack and undermine every shred of integrity that the people behind the latest conspiracy theory might have ever had. It might have been enough to cause serious doubts in my mind, but there is something that is bothering me. In rebuttal to the contention that the CDC purposely manipulated/covered up data in the study at issue, we are told the following by thiswriter:

    They [the study's authors] also looked at a subgroup of the groups, children for whom a Georgia birth certificate could be located, in order to test correlations for other traits:

    We matched 355 (56%) case and 1020 (56%) control children to Georgia state birth certificate records, which allowed us to obtain additional information, such as each child’s birth weight and gestational age and the mother’s parity, age, race, and education.

    This is the data that is the subject of the controversy — it was apparently/allegedly manipulated and/or left out of the study results in order to reach the “correct result.” Problem is, according to some very active antivax people, Georgia has never, and I repeat, never collected such infrormation about the mother in or among or on or with its birth certificate records. This leads many to believe that such data was intentionally left out (i.e., that which related to the challenged numbers for African American boys on the purported basis that no birth certificate was produced), because it did not support the result that the study’s authors were trying to reach. You have to admit, it is suspicious, and your lengthy and seemingly reasoned article does nothing to help us resolve this glaring problem.

    1. Laurie says:

      I have gotten further information on the Georgia birth certificate issue. Turns out that the issued certificate does not have such information, but Georgia in fact collects such information and it may be available to researchers. Which leaves me only with this question — how hard would it have been to obtain the birth certificates of those African American boys whose data is the focus of this controversy?

      1. Harriet Hall says:

        Wasn’t the purpose of the study to see if there was any association between vaccine and autism? They were not looking for an association with African American boys. That’s not a cover-up or data manipulation; it’s simply a reflection of the hypothesis being tested and the way the study was designed. The association with African American boys was only found by torturing the data to support an agenda.

        1. David Gorski says:

          Actually, what Hooker’s “study” was was a perfect example of the old adage that if you slice the data more and more finely eventually you’ll find a result in a subgroup that is “statistically significant.”

          As my colleague Matt Carey has explained, if you look at Hooker’s paper, he probably based his results on maybe 20 subjects and used an unadjusted analysis:

          http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2014/08/26/autism-atlanta-mmr-serious-questions-and-also-how-brian-hooker-and-andrew-wakefield-are-causing-damage-to-the-autism-communties/

          Bottom line: When I wrote this, I wasn’t entirely sure Hooker’s “analysis” was nonsense. Now I’m quite sure. It was horrible, risibly incompetent.

  43. neuro_student says:

    PNAS has a feature this week on the impact of vaccines:
    Link
    It’s free for anyone to read – though most articles not included in the feature require subscription.

  44. lisa says:

    A few years ago the CDC said 1 of 100, now it’s 1 in 68. At this rate, it’s a mathematical inevitability… someone in your family will have autism. Keep on denying it, we’ll see how it works out for you if you continue to listen and believe those who can’t find a cure and don’t even know what causes autism. You should take time to educate yourself and listen to those of us who are going through this. Good luck to you, but just remember sarcasm and putting people down doesn’t solve anything.

    1. AdamG says:

      You should take time to educate yourself and listen to those of us who are going through this.

      Why do you assume that nobody here has family or friends on the spectrum? I assure you you are very, very wrong.

    2. Harriet Hall says:

      Why not believe the researchers who are trying hard to figure out what causes autism and are making progress and have determined that vaccines are not the cause? Isn’t that better than listening to people who “think” they know the cause because of their personal experiences?

    3. EBMOD says:

      So explain why the autism rate is INCREASING when the rate of vaccination is FALLING? Are todays vaccines more harmful and dangerous than just a few years ago? Hint: this strongly implies it is not the vaccines.

    4. sadmar says:

      Lisa:
      You might want to consider that the CDC can only track recorded diagnoses of autism spectrum disorders, not the actual instances of those conditions. You might want to review the history of the DSM and note how medical definitions of spectrum disorders have changed over time. You might discover that “autism spectrum” is a fairly recent concept, and before the spike in rates only severe cases of autism would likely be diagnosed as ‘autism’, and the steps down the spectrum were unlikely to be diagnosed at all. You might ask a sociologist of medicine whether increased autism spectrum diagnoses have been fueled by upper-middle-class parents seeking medical explanations for their childrens’ social problems resulting from what had previously been classified as “bad behavior.” And if you’re at all concerned about the children of the poor, you might consider the role that class (and thus, in the US, race) plays in having treatable mental health problems go undiagnosed and untreated, with a corresponding tendency for those untreated individuals winding up in incarceration or otherwise negatively enmeshed in the penal system.

      (Note to skeptics: the points above are one of the reasons Bruno Latour is actually your friend…)

  45. Marie says:

    David Gorski is a pathetic waste – a hubris being – a loser. Not human quality. This article is a disgusting attempt to discredit positive movement toward the truth. Every second, every minute sooner we have the truth many lives can be saved.

    What are Gorski’s disclosures and conflict of interest anyway?

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/06/david-gorskis-financial-pharma-ties-what-he-didnt-tell-you.html

    1. David Gorski says:

      Yawn. Seriously, people, can’t you come up with a new ad hominem to launch at me other than the pharma shill gambit:

      http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-pharma-shill-gambit/

      Here’s my answer to Jake Crosby’s lies about me that you’re parroting:

      http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-price-of-skepticism/
      http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/in-which-i-am-once-again-in-the-crosshairs-of-age-of-autisms-pharma-shill-machine-gun/

      Yawn.

      1. joe says:

        Mr. Gorski, time will mean nothing to you in hell. For hell, is for forever! No end,
        None. The rich man, that mistreated lazarus, is still wanting to have someone
        to just touch the tip of his tongue. With a drop of water, because I am in agony in this fire. He said.

        God almighty, will laugh at you one day, when you beg & plead for mercy.

        1. Chris says:

          Two things:

          First, the proper honorific is “Dr.” That is because Dr. Gorski has both an MD and PhD.

          Second if your deity of choice feels that it is better for children to get sick when that can be prevented with safe vaccines, that is not a good deity.

          1. sadmar says:

            **applause**

            I burn down your cities-how blind you must be
            I take from you your children and you say how blessed are we
            You all must be crazy to put your faith in me
            That’s why I love mankind
            You really need me
            That’s why I love mankind

            “God’s Song” by Randy Newman

        2. mouse says:

          “Mr. Gorski, time will mean nothing to you in hell. For hell, is for forever! No end,
          None. ”

          Oh well, considering all the people who are supposedly going to hell, at least there’ll be a chance of some good music, good conversation and a well stocked bar – forever, no end, none.

          (Although I hear Darwin’s always busy trying to classify the various demons by types of horns, tails, hooves, etc.)

        3. David Gorski says:

          joe’s threats might concern me were it not for two things: (1) I’m not doing anything evil (indeed, I’m doing good) and (2) I don’t believe in heaven or hell.

        4. Harriet Hall says:

          You still believe in Hell? You poor thing! Do you still believe in the Tooth Fairy, too? There is more evidence for the Tooth Fairy (money under pillows) than for Hell.
          Sartre said “hell is other people,” and I can relate to that when I read what certain people have been writing here.

        5. lilady says:

          Go away Joe.

          You’re just a sore loser because the claim you made on behalf of your child for vaccine-induced-autism in the United States Court of Federal Claims (Vaccine Court), was dismissed for lack of evidence and lack of any expert witnesses to support that claim.

          For the umpteenth time, the Vaccine Court is not a charity and it is not a social welfare program, to compensate parents who have a special needs child.

          P.S. The Vaccine Court has never awarded a child for being diagnosed as autistic. Autism is genetic…i.e., you are born with it.

          1. Hello Humpty Dumpty! says:

            False the vaccine court has compensated families for causing autism.

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/post2468343_b_2468343.html

            1. Chris says:

              David Kirby is not a reliable source of information. He was a free lance travel writer until he was hired to write a book for SafeMinds. Just search this blog’s archives for discussions on how gets most of it all wrong.

        6. terry says:

          not every religion has a hell. Mine doesn’t. Grow up, Joe. Unless you believe people not part of your religion go to hell, in which case, I deem you a horrible person.

    2. Windriven says:

      It’s true Marie! Dr. Gorski is in the employ of a cabal of Jewish Illuminati and red-caped Knights Templar who have joined forces to pollute the precious bodily fluids of all Americans – and All-Americans, too – with a toxic witches brew of mercury and aluminum and probably eye of newt. You can tell that it is true because David is paid by the word. :-)

      1. Windriven says:

        And new world order types. I forgot the damned new world orderers. They’re the fascists I think.

      2. KayMarie says:

        You can tell that it is true because David is paid by the word.

        That is the most ridicul….on the other hand…:-)

        1. mouse says:

          Ohhhh, it’s all becoming clear now! :)

      3. sadmar says:

        You forgot the Communists (and therefore, of course, Obama).

        Have you ever seen a commie drink a glass of water? Vodka. That’s what they drink, isn’t it? Never water? On no account will a commie ever drink water, and not without good reason. Water. Water is the source of all life. Seven tenths of this earth’s surface is water. Why, you realize that.. seventy percent of you is water. And as human beings, you and I need fresh, pure water to replenish our precious bodily fluids. Have you never wondered why I drink only distilled water, or rain water, and only pure grain alcohol? Have you ever heard of a thing called fluoridation? Fluoridation of water? Well do you now what it is? Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face? Do you realize that in addition to fluoridating water, why, there are studies underway to fluoridate salt, flour, fruit juices, soup, sugar, milk… ice cream. Ice cream, Mandrake, children’s ice cream. You know when fluoridation first began? Nineteen hundred and forty-six. How does that coincide with your post-war Commie conspiracy, huh? It’s incredibly obvious, isn’t it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual. Certainly without any choice. That’s the way your hard-core Commie works. I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, communist subversion, and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.

        Children’s Ice Cream! ‘Natural’ rain-water! Choice! It’s all there.

          1. Windriven says:

            One of my favorite films of all time. Sellers was brilliant. But what a cast! George C Scott, Keenan Wynne, Sterling Hayden, Slim Pickens. All stirred and baked by the incomparable Kubrick.

        1. Bob J says:

          And just how did Jack come to this revelation? /sarcasm

      4. David Gorski says:

        Damn you Windriven! You’ve discovered my secret. Now my pharma paymasters will have to make sure that you…disappear. :-)

  46. Lyme Green says:

    For those who claim that it’s all a bunch of crazy moms, have you ever sought them out and actually heard their stories? I don’t have an autistic child. I do have immune issues in my family and one of my children is diagnosed as having hypogammaglobulinemia and he requires monthly IVIG replacement therapy, sucks, he just turned 7. Another of my children had “the worst reaction I have ever seen” to the Varicella Vax, according to her pediatrician. I have photos, these things happened. Many parents of ASD children have photos and video are their children prior to a vax, and directly after clearly showing horrible differences. Do you think these are made up or exaggerated? A true scientist would leave no stone unturned, would be interested in these cases, outliers. But somehow the moms are made fun of, or are told that it can’t be true. How would you know? You were not there. You have not taken the time to find these parents, these children, these stories. Yet they exist. Take the time to ask the parents. There’s about 1 autistic child in every class room now. Is it so horrible to simply ask? I’m sure you will hear that some children were born that way, never showed eye contact, screamed from the start. But you may hear others say how happy their baby was, how engaged, and then screamed for hours straight following a vaccine and the happy baby was gone. Thinking scientifically does not mean that compassion must be lost. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3364648/

    1. Harriet Hall says:

      The irony is, scientists DID listen to the parents’ stories. They had reason to think there was a correlation between vaccines and autism, and they did what good scientists do: they investigated that hypothesis scientifically. They realized that if there was a real correlation, it would be easy to demonstrate it with a controlled study. They tried several different ways, were never able to demonstrate it, and concluded that the hypothesis was false: there was no evidence of correlation, much less of causation. They abandoned that hypothesis and turned their attention to others. I don’t know of any scientist who has lost compassion; they are doing their darnedest to help autistic children and their parents. Resurrecting moribund myths is not a way to help them.

      1. David Gorski says:

        Exactly. Back in the late 1990s, officials listened to parents’ stories and took them so seriously that they set up a number of trials and in 1999 ordered thimerosal out of nearly all children’s vaccines even though there was no compelling evidence that it was causing autism—or any adverse reaction that was particularly significant.

        Then what happened? Over the next several years, studies were done; data came in; and no credible study supported a link between thimerosal and autism. So the scientific community moved on, having found no evidence of a link to pursue. Unfortunately, the mercury militia, the wing of the antivaccine movement that passionately believes that mercury is the cause of autism, did not. Even now, 15 years later, as more and more negative evidence has come in, they cling to their delusions as passionately as any cult member clings to his.

        1. Hello Humpty Dumpty! says:

          False,

          Thimerosal is still in the flu vaccine which is injected into pregnant mothers.
          http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/thimerosal.htm
          and in your own words, “in 1999 ordered thimerosal out of “nearly “all children’s vaccines”

          What does that mean exactly, ‘nearly all’?

          And of course if you are cherry picking, you can support many positions.

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17454560

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18482737