Why you should listen to celebrities

By Phil Plait | March 3, 2009 3:02 pm
Jenny McCarthy, shot

It brings me no end of wonderment that anyone would listen to anything Jenny McCarthy says. Our evolved instinct to obey authority — if you sit still when the tribe leader yells "run!" you’re likely to become saber-tooth tiger nosh, and are unlikely to contribute to the gene pool — is clearly to blame here. Still, we also have large and I’m guessing generally unused portions of our brains which are built to override such foolish impulses.

Sure, Ms. McCarthy is something of a celebrity. She’s very pretty, attracting attention, and is actually very funny (yes, I have a sophomoric sense of humor sometimes), so it’s no surprise people might be tempted to listen to her.

But what she says is so mind-numbingly mind numbing.

Vaccines cause autism. She cured her son of autism. Her son is an Indigo child. And so on.

Her latest?

“I love Botox, I absolutely love it,” she said. “I get it minimally, so I can still move my face. But I really do think it’s a savior.”

I see. So injecting kids with scientifically-proven medicine that can save their lives and the lives of countless others is bad because of a fantasy-driven belief that it causes autism, but injecting a lethal pathogen — in fact, the most lethal protein known — into your face to help ease the globally threatening scourge of crow’s feet is just fine and dandy.

Got it.

Oh, say: can you excuse me a second? I need to go over here for a sec …


The stupid, it burns

If you want a little vaccination against her nonsense, read this spot-on op-ed in a student newspaper. It’s good to see some folks get it.

Tip o’ the syringe to BABloggees Philip W and Sparky.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Antiscience, Debunking, Humor, Skepticism

Comments (80)

  1. Davidlpf

    Anyone surprised, I’m not.

  2. Not surprised in the slightest… It seems our technology has made certian parts of our evolved brains obsolete, but somehow those parts tend to get used more than the other parts…

  3. Loaf Of Bread

    No, I’m not surprised.

    As to the lethality of botox, the amount neaded to kill a typical human being is less than 100 nanograms. Essentially, a few kg of the stuff could kill everybody on this planet.

  4. The difference is that Jenny McCarthy is an adult, Botox is well understood, nobody says it’s a healthy product. Women getting cosmetic surgery go under anesthesia which can cause certain health risks.

    Her son, and so many other children who suffer injury and death from vaccines are told they are safe. Children do not have the ability to read the adverse reaction label on the side of the box, and my guess is that 99% of all adults don’t read it either.

    But vaccines do cause brain injury and brain injury causes autism so says the ‘vaccine court’ in their decision in the following:

    Bailey Banks vs HHS – February 2009 – Special Master Abell found that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine caused brain damage in this child, which led to his diagnosis of Pervasive Development Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) an autism spectrum disorder. Bailey will likely receive over $3 million in compensation to cover a lifetime of autism care and treatment.

    So Botox or not, Jenny McCarthy is correct that vaccines can cause autism. It did for the Bailey boy.

    Don’t be so stupid, get informed. Make sure you know of all the risks prior to allowing your child to be vaccinated. You child’s life may depend on it.

  5. Chris A.

    Let’s not forget that she also opted for elective breast enhancement surgery, which carries its own risks (as any surgery does). And no, I’m not one who buys into claims of systemic illness brought on by silicone breast implants.

  6. TBRP

    Does anyone know why there have been no deaths (according to wikipedia) resulting from cosmetic use of Botox? It sounds like deadly stuff, but it’s also used in the most commonnly performed cosmetic procedure. I’d think with how lethal it is, there would have been more incidents…

    Oh, and bensmyson: studies or GTFO. The legal system is not a venue in which to do science.

  7. Mena

    “She’s very pretty”
    I dunno, I thought that she looked a bit scary on “Chuck” a couple weeks ago, but that may have been the botox. It looked like something was going on, and that makes sense, thinking back.

  8. TheBlackCat

    bensmyson, Bailey Banks did NOT have autism. He had an entirely separate disease. Same with that girl last year, she had a specific disease that was almost entirely unlike autism. On the three cases where the “vaccine courts” ruled on someone who actually had autism, they ruled definitively and unambiguously that vaccines had absolutely nothing to do with their condition. That is despite the fact that in none of the cases did the plaintiffs (the people doing the suing) actually have to show that vaccines caused their child’s condition, or even that the scientific evidence relating vaccines to autism supports them, they only had to give a plausible-sounding explanation for how vaccines could cause autism. They failed even that extremely weak standard.

    That is completely ignoring the fact that scientific debates are not carried out in courts, they are carried out in scientific journals and conferences. And there the evidence is extensively, thorough, and definitive: vaccines do not cause autism. The guy who got this whole thing started, Wakefield, falsified his data and lied about massive financial conflicts of interest he had. Nice try though.

  9. I’m glad The Black Cat got to it first…

    …but just to add to bensmyson, stop reading the garbage that’s on the huffpost and AoA and actually read some stuff by, you know, the medical people that are involved in the studies (besides Wakefield, who has had his issued brought in to the open recently). There are a couple of very good articles on ScienceBasedBlogs and well as a good book by Paul Offit.

    I’m going to head you off here, too, before you start spouting that “Big Pharma” is killing our kids, or the vaccine court is in Merck’s pocket, and that Offit is bias because he created a vaccine and god forbid, made some money off of it.

    AoA writers are STILL harping on thimerisol and mercury in the vaccines which has been refuted more times that I can remember.

    I’d like to just stop listening, but the garbage from the anti-vaxxers continue to spew just frosts my butt. Regardless of all the medical evidence that has been presented, they continue to just scream “La La La La LA!!! I can’t hear you! Mercury! Thimerisol! Toxins!” with their fingers firmly stuffed in their ears. ::mad::

  10. David D.G.

    Wow, that editorial was written by a student? Apart from the misspelling of “thimerosal,” it was astoundingly well written as well as brilliant. It’s definitely a pleasurable read.

    ~David D.G.

  11. Moose

    Evil-Moose (the one with the goatee) is tempted to start a rumor that Botox causes hereditary autism.

  12. Davidlpf

    @Evil Moose, Evil Davidlpf says need any help.

  13. Elliot Robert

    Why don’t you (Phil) just debate this women and get it over with. I’m sure she doesn’t have a lot going on, being a trust fund model and all.

  14. Evil Moose!!!! I’m up for that!!!!!

  15. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    there have been no deaths (according to wikipedia) resulting from cosmetic use of Botox

    Noo, I don’t think that is what the article says. The “botulinum toxin” article notes:

    In September 2005, a paper published in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology reported from the FDA saying that use of Botox has resulted in 28 deaths between 1989 and 2003, though none were attributed to cosmetic use.[24]

    On February 8, 2008, the FDA announced that Botox has “been linked in some cases to adverse reactions, including respiratory failure and death, following treatment of a variety of conditions using a wide range of doses,” due to its ability to spread to areas distant to the site of the injection.[25]

    In January 2009, the Canadian government warned that botox can have the adverse effect of spreading to other parts of the body which could cause muscle weakness, swallowing difficulties, pneumonia, speech disorders and breathing problems.[26][27]

    Several cases of death have been linked to the use of fake Botox.[28]

    Now, we can assume that apart from the first paper remaining problems and deaths of (real and fake) Botox may include cosmetic use, until we scrutinize them.

    And there is a Public Citizen petition to the FDA to be found on the web:

    A Public Citizen analysis of FDA data found that makers of the drug have reported 180 U.S. cases of people developing these sometimes life-threatening conditions after receiving injections, including 16 deaths; four of the deaths occurred in children less than 18 years of age. The FDA data come from voluntary reports, which have been estimated to account for only 10 percent of actual cases.

    The FDA has approved the use of botulinum toxin for a limited number of “therapeutic” conditions, including uncontrollable neck and shoulder muscle contractions, crossed eyes, spasmodic blinking of the eyes and excessive underarm sweating. The only approved cosmetic use is for temporary smoothing of wrinkles between the eyebrows. Most cosmetic uses of botulinum toxin are unapproved.

    So apart from concluding potentially thousands of problems and hundreds of deaths from all use of Botox, we can also conclude that FDA reports of “cosmetic use” will be a minute subset (treatment of eyebrows) of the actual cosmetic use.

    For example in all probability Jenny McCarthy’s “facial treatment” which is then FDA unapproved on top of providing foreign proteins by injection, just as vaccines do with antigens.

  16. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    we can also conclude that FDA reports of “cosmetic use” will be a minute subset (treatment of eyebrows) of the actual cosmetic use

    D’oh, no we can’t – but we can suspect that this how FDA reports “cosmetic use”. (Btw, the PC petition was recent enough, the PC site article is from 2008.)

  17. Deb G.

    My neurologist noted that some use had been made of botox injections for treating extreme cases of migraine. I said, “Oh?” She replied, “I think they’re crazy, but the treatment is gaining some popularity.” She added that, in the one double-blind study done, the botox injections provided only temporary (less than 3 months) relief.

    Okay, the migraines are debilitating. But having them inject botox in my forehead or neck for 3 months of ease? Oh, no. Nuh uh. I’ll stick to pharmaceuticals, thanks.

  18. Craig

    Phil: is the “the stupid, it burns” image a copyrighted thingie? Would it be acceptable for me to borrow it on appropriate occasions?

    Bensmyson: ditto for what TheBlackCat and company have already said. You might also benefit from having a read through the Bad Science MMR collection: http://www.badscience.net/category/mmr/

    If for nothing else, do it for the children. Antivax nonsense kills kids.

  19. Chris

    David D.G. said “Apart from the misspelling of “thimerosal,””

    Actually thiomersal is the spelling used in much of the world. If you check PubMed and the World Health Organization, you will find it spelled that way often. If you do a search on Wikipedia for “thimerosal” you will get the article on “thiomersal.” Since the university is in Canada, I would guess that is the spelling the student learned.

  20. Bensmyson,

    So Botox or not, Jenny McCarthy is correct that vaccines can cause autism. It did for the Bailey boy.

    Don’t be so stupid, get informed. Make sure you know of all the risks prior to allowing your child to be vaccinated. You child’s life may depend on it.

    Vaccines caused autism for me, and vaccines can cause autism for you! Hurry, don’t miss out by being protected from dangerous diseases, when you can get your autism causing kit today!

    Don’t let intelligence get in the way of your conspiracy theories! A free tin foil hat with every order – Just 4 easy payments of $99.95 and the danger to your child!

    Remember fight big business, send your money to us instead! Our part of the multi-billion dollar alternative medicine market is pure and honest and certainly not big busines!

    Now back to reality, although for some seriously deranged people that is reality.

    Evil-Moose – the autism passes from the child to the parent through the Botox? I love it. Where can I get some?

  21. Greg in Austin


    Wow. Don’t come here much, do ya? Would you like your butt gift wrapped before its handed to you?


  22. Do the the antivaxxers monitor the blogosphere for any mention of vaccines? Because “concerned parents” like bensmyson seem to turn up within minutes of any post about antivaxxers being posted. Kinda spooky.

  23. Davidlpf

    I think in general there are some amtivaxxers, EU/PU, creationists and others who come by here once and while just to check out whats being posted.

  24. @Craig, if you click through the “Stupid it burns” picture it takes you through to plognark’s site. The image belongs to him so you could ask him about borrowing.

  25. Tom Woolf

    Evil Moose – Sign me up!


  26. Sir Eccles

    @Evil Moose & Evil Davidlpf

    Did you know, Thimerosal increases the effectiveness of Botox injections.

  27. Keith

    “The Stupid, It Burns”

    I’d love to have that on a T-shirt. :)

  28. Her son is an Indigo child.

    That’s what you get for not using childproof caps on your food colouring bottles.

  29. You’ll be happy to know that the second paragraph of Wikipedia’s entry on Indigo children currently reads:

    There is no scientific support for these claims.

  30. shawmutt

    @ Keith


    Keep up the good work, this is only of my favorite blogs.

  31. shawmutt

    um…I mean “one” of my favorite

  32. OMG. Or whatever the atheist equivalent is. Shermer once said “someone else’s God”, but OSEG doesn’t quite work.

    No words. Picture says it all.

    Well, that & Blake’s comment.


  33. JD

    I agree that people shouldn’t be paying attention to celebrities.

    As far as I can tell, Jenny McCarthy has no qualifications on the subject other than being famous and having spawned a child that later turned out to be autistic, which aren’t really qualifications except that maybe causes her think that she knows things, but that’s like a patient that thinks they know how to do a physician’s job just because they had a health check-up.

    Maybe her points would be worth considering if she didn’t repeatedly resort to major logical fallacies.

  34. The stupid, it burns….most approriate use of your trade mark tag there.

  35. But Botox can do so many good things. Especially when administered to celebrities. Intravenously.

  36. MadScientist

    Noel Coward addressed this decades ago in “What’s going to happen to the tots?”

    The world today is hectic, a ceaseless battle we wage.
    Millions are spent to circumvent the march of middle age.
    Unfortunately all these new narcotics are quite unable to tell
    Whether we’re on the beam or not,
    Whether we are supreme or not,
    Whether this new regime or not is leading us astray.
    We’ve all got Frigidaires, radios, television and movie shows
    To shield us from the ultimate abyss.
    We’ve got pills for this and pills for that;
    Pills for making us thin or fat …
    But the question which haunts us all is this:
    What’s going to happen to the children
    when there aren’t any more grown-ups?
    Thanks to plastic surgery and Uncle’s abrupt demise,
    Dear Aunt Rose has changed her nose and doesn’t appear to realize
    The pleasures which once were heaven look silly at 67
    And youthful allure you can’t procure in term of perms and tucks.
    Lullaby, lullaby, lullaby my darlings;
    Try not to scratch those larger red spots.
    Think of their look when mummy’s face
    Is lifted from its proper place,
    What’s what’s what’s going to happen to the tots?

  37. Nigel Depledge

    Bensmyson said:

    But vaccines do cause brain injury

    No. Not “do”. “Can”. Very rarely.

    and brain injury causes autism

    No, this is not known.

    However, what is known is that there is no link between vaccinations and autism. Studies have been done with large numbers of people to obtain sufficient statistical power to confirm this. Deal with it.

  38. Nigel Depledge

    Bensmyson said:

    So Botox or not, Jenny McCarthy is correct that vaccines can cause autism. It did for the Bailey boy.

    No, she’s wrong and you’re wrong. He didn’t have autism, but a different developmental disorder. And the standards of evidence in that court are the lowest of anything anywhere in the civilised world.

    Don’t be so stupid, get informed. Make sure you know of all the risks prior to allowing your child to be vaccinated. You child’s life may depend on it.

    Strangely enough, I agree with you on this last point. Polio, mumps, measles, rubella, HPV, chickenpox, smallpox and so on (all of which have the potential either to kill or maim an infected person) are not worth the risk.

    Plus, also, if you don’t get your child vaccinated, you endanger other people.

  39. I am not surprised. All the same happen at the other side of the Atlantic, more or less.

    I liked the cartoon though :-)

  40. Todd W.

    @Nigel Depledge and bensmyson

    No. Not “do”. “Can”. Very rarely.

    I would add that in addition to the risk of brain injury from vaccines being very small, the risk of brain injury from the disease being inoculated against is many times greater, depending on the disease.

  41. Gary Ansorge

    Deb G:

    Migraine is one of the most debilitating, non lethal disorders. Mine started when I was ten years old, striking at irregular intervals, several times a year, for no discernable reason. At the age of 40, while I was experimenting with Hydergine, they just,,,stopped happening. Furthur research into the biological effect of Hydergine(it’s a very powerful anti-oxident with a specific affinity for neurons) led to the discovery that it is used in Europe as a prophylactic for migraine. As long as it is being used, migraine does not manifest. Unfortunately, as that was also the time when I was experimenting with lsd, which had also shown, as a side effect, the ability to completely eliminate migraine attacks, I cannot say for certain it was the Hydergine that eliminated my migraines however, you might try the Hydergine, since it has only one known side effect(it tends to amplify the excitatory effects of caffine for about two weeks after beginning tratment).

    Just something to think about. As I persue more of an engineering approach (ie, try everything,,,,see what works) than a theoretical one, sometimes I stumble over something useful, even though I have no idea why it does what it does.

    (PS: A mix of Hydergine, asperin, B complex, Vit C and H2O taken before heavy ingestion of alcohol and just before retiring, eliminates the hang over from a night of partying.)

    GAry 7

  42. LarryS


    I saw this the other day, but doubted the veracity due to the source, but I didn’t doubt the irony considering the subject. For Pasta’s sake, don’t give your kids life saving vaccinces because of all the “harmful” chemicals in the vaccines. But shoot me full of “natural” poisons.


  43. Todd W.

    @Gary Ansorge

    (PS: A mix of Hydergine, asperin, B complex, Vit C and H2O taken before heavy ingestion of alcohol and just before retiring, eliminates the hang over from a night of partying.)

    Personal anecdote or ya have some studies to back that up? :)

  44. @Gary: Actually, just the water will probably prevent your hangovers, which are usually caused by the person being dehydrated after the consumption. A friend of mine used to get hammered on Jim Beam. His trick was one shot of Beam, one glass of water. Never hung over.

    What the heck, my anecdote is just as good as yours. 😀

  45. Sili

    I still have no idea who she is – aside from the antivaxxery. But, meh, I don’t know who the Jonas Brothers are, either, nor why they’re a favourite target of Roflrazzi.com .

  46. Andy Cooke

    Hi there, bensymon.
    You may have already noticed that the information that you received and passed on was, well, not quite what you thought it was.

    It’s probably because of the antivaxxers who took the phrase “a non-autistic PDD” and turned it into “PDD [Autism]”.
    Or to put it another way, lied to you and millions of others with their recent poster campaign. Because I find it hard to fathom how anyone could read the word “non-autistic” and think “hey, that must mean it’s autistic! Let’s put that helpful detail on millions of posters for everyone”.
    Every single death from measles in the modern world is at their door. Every brain-damaged child who got that way due to a bad case of measles is at their door. Every scared parent who sees their child moaning from a bad case of measles even if their kid had their jabs but still got infected (no vaccine is 100% in preventing a disease, but vaccinate enough and herd immunity protects them) due to the dramatic crash in herd immunity … is at their door.

    Antivaxxers march proudly into the darkness, ignorance held high, and cause death and suffering – when the information to prevent it is not just available but shouted from the rooftops at them. I have profound contempt for the ones that do the lying (like whoever was behind this latest campaign) and those that should know better.

  47. Benyjmo

    Lawrence Lessig makes an interesting point in a recent talk at Google about his Change Congress movement. He uses anti-vaxxers as an example how money in the wrong places can distroy trust (in science).

    Basically he says that people don’t trust the sience behind vaccinations (at least in part) because there are practically no regulations for CDC members about taking moning from Drug companies. He quotes from an interview with Robert F. Kennendy Jr. on MSNBC that the science behind vaccines is “classic tobacco science”.

    http://www.lessig.org/blog/2009/03/me_google_re_change_congress.html – Minute 04:00 to 08:20

  48. I find it hard to fathom how anyone could read the word “non-autistic” and think “hey, that must mean it’s autistic!

    Perhaps they thought it meant the character Non from “Superman II” — the one who didn’t talk and seemed a bit slow — was autistic.

    Yeah, I suck at the whole devil’s advocate thing.

  49. Karl Withakay

    I’m not anti-botox; I just think we need to green our botox to get rid of all the deadly toxins.
    /end sarcasm

    It’s the most deadly substance known in the universe, and the concept “the dose makes the poison” seems to work for her for botox, but not for vaccines.

  50. Elmar_M

    Yeah, my wife read that to me a few days ago. I was wondering when you would pick up on that Phil (I was even thinking about forewarding that to you, but then it usually takes you months to get through you tons of emails).
    I personally have a theory, I cant prove that, but it is a theory. Mrs McCarthy’s previous life was well lets say colorful. I would tend to believe that like every celebrity of her profession and status she had some experience with illegal drugs before maybe even during the time of her pregnancy. Now having seen the damage this can do to embryos at all stages of development, I would not be surprised if this was the actual reason for her sons autism.

    Lawrence Lessig should get his head out of his a*s*s*dot com.
    The CDC is not the only medical oversight organisation in the world, not even in the US (there is also the FDA, which is actually much more involved with regulating pharmacy than the CDC is). There are many all over the world (pretty much every civilized country has one).
    Many of them are run by the government and at least theoretically (at least here) the workers there are NOT allowed to take money from anyone (whether they do in praxis is a differen topic – > Siemens). So this argumentation is very flawed as it is doubtful that there is a global conspiracy involving every government agency all over the globe.
    It is a typical mistake that people make that have seen nothing or at most very little of the world outside a US military base or an US embassy banquet.
    The world is big. The US is important but it is ONLY ONE of many civilized countries and the healthcare system in the US is by far worse than any in Europe in example. So in that sense a false (bribed) approval by the CDC is irrelevant, since every other country in the world would disapprove.
    Yet there is much less doubt in any European country about vaccines being something important and good than there is in the US.
    So Mr Lessig’s argumentation is lacking. He should go out more, travel to Europe and maybe Russia, heck even to Canada. The world is big and the US is only the 4th larges country by are (3rd according to the CIA, but forth according to the UN). It is by far not the largest by inhabitants. So in a sense the US is not all that important in a globalized world. With the way the economy goes right now it is loosing even more importance.
    Anyway point is: Even if there was an even pharmaceutical/government conspiracy in the US to turn all the children there autistic (LOL), it would not work, because it would be uncovered by other authorities from other countries.

  51. shawmutt

    Why do I get such a violent visceral response to the “green our vaccines” crap? Just typing it was painful. I remember first seeing a few weeks ago, and a sharp pain suddenly started in my temples. Ouch…there it is again.

    I make vaccines for a living, and I’m unsure what they are even talking about. What does “green our vaccines” even mean? Like many different pseudosciences, rudimentary research for this “movement” simply makes my brain hurt too much–it’s just another black hole for IQ, the more I read the more intelligence gets sucked out of my head.

  52. TheBlackCat

    and I’m unsure what they are even talking about.

    They can’t even seem to decide exactly what they mean. As best as I can tell it is just an excuse so they can say they are not “anti-vaccine”. They made the same mistake all idealogy-driven pseudoscience groups make at some point: they put forward a specific hypothesis. This is the absolute worst thing that a pseudoscience group can do, because as soon as you make a specific hypothesis all those pesky scientists will go out and test your hypothesis. And then when it turns out your hypothesis is wrong they arrogantly expect you to back down from your claims. The only recourse then is to forget or outright deny you every made the more specific claims and change yourself to something vague, constantly changing, and untestable, and steadfastly refuse any requests for anything more specific. The IDers at the Discovery Institute, Behe in particular, made this msitake on the past, but like all good denialists they learned quickly and have been more careful to keep things vague enough that they can never be proven wrong. It looks like the antivaxxers have finally learned the same lesson.

  53. Benyjmo

    @Elmar_M: I only posted a very short summery of what Lessing was saying (and he uses vaccines only as a sample in his talk). He neither says there is a conspiracy to turn all the children autistic nor that the authorities are actually bribed.
    He says that just the fact that there is no regulation (and money is flowing), destroys trust in the authorities and sheds a bad light on them. Even though vaccination is based on sound science, it gives anti-vaxxers an angle to work with (as is heard interview “classic tobacco science”), no matter how unfounded.
    And my perception is, that lobbying destroys a lot of trust in authorities here in Europe as well (especially on the EU level).
    Of course this is not the only reason vaccination is declining, just a point I haven’t heard before.

  54. TheBlackCat

    @ Benyjmo: Do you have a primary source to back up the claim about the CDC rules? The CDC conflict of interest faq page does not seem to agree with what you are claiming:


  55. Keith

    @Shawmutt, you have every right to feel the way you do about it. Especially when the celebs spouting the antivaccine/green vaccine garbage clearly couldn’t outwit a staple gun.

  56. Benyjmo

    @TheBlackCat: Lessig seems to quote a report from the House of Representatives on “Conflicts of Interest in Vaccine Policy Making” of 2000.
    The quote is in Section VI – 5. on page 40 in the document.

  57. Elmar_M

    No, it does not give them an angle, for the reasons I mentioned. They might think it does, but it does not.

  58. Nigel Depledge

    Gary Ansorge said:

    (PS: A mix of Hydergine, asperin, B complex, Vit C and H2O taken before heavy ingestion of alcohol and just before retiring, eliminates the hang over from a night of partying.)

    So does Irn Bru.

  59. Nigel Depledge

    Benyjmo said:

    Basically he says that people don’t trust the sience behind vaccinations (at least in part) because there are practically no regulations for CDC members about taking moning from Drug companies. He quotes from an interview with Robert F. Kennendy Jr. on MSNBC that the science behind vaccines is “classic tobacco science”.

    What, and this somehow invalidates all of the studies that have been conducted in, say, Europe that demonstrate no link between vaccines and autism? Your point only means something if the USA operates in a vacuum. Besides, aren’t there organisations independent of the CDC that do science in the US?

  60. Nigel Depledge

    Is Evil moose, like, the antithesis of live yoghurt…?

  61. This woman would make THE perfect axlotl tank.

  62. @shawmutt: They use the “Green Our Vaccines” phrase because “greening” something is the buzzword of this decade. They don’t know what it means, and can’t provide specific examples (that haven’t been thoroughly refuted) of something that can “green” a vaccine.

    I think it’s probably the stupidest use of this particular buzzword.

  63. Gary Ansorge


    Aspirin: anti-inflammatory,analgesic, and blood thinner.

    Hydergine: quenches free radical production in neuronal sheath and subsequent inflammation.

    H2O: to eliminate dehydration.

    Vit C: again for its free radical inhibition.

    B-complex: consumed by the liver during detoxification of the C2H5OH(ethyl alcohol).

    I had an alcoholic friend who had bummer hangovers until I suggested he try this concoction. After his bender he did try it and reported that for the first time in years he was free of such symptoms,,,anecdotal, to be sure, but it worked for me as well. I have tried the H2O regimen and it helps to a limited extent but this concoction totally eliminated ANY hangover symptoms,,,

    I suppose it MIGHT have been a placebo effect but I had no statistically significant numbers of volunteers to try it on.


    Gary 7

  64. Sarah P

    Best post I’ve seen on vaccines is at http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/010978.html#010978

    Yes, vaccines occasionally cause serious damage – which is why there’s a compensation mechanism in place. The diseases they protect against frequently caused terrible damage and death, so far in excess of the vaccine damage for anyone to seriously believe there’s a controversy, they have to be an idiot.

    Sigh. Hard topic to be silly about, given that it’s mostly kids who die, thanks to their parents’ willful ignorance.

  65. @Gary: Seems to me that the easier thing to do would to just stop drinking to excess. 😀

  66. ND

    Gary 7,

    What are the proportions in your hangover concoction?

  67. Todd W.

    @Gary Ansorge

    I smell a research grant…

  68. ND

    Gary, Todd W,

    Or at least a Mythbuster’s episode! That would be more fun to watch.

  69. Todd W.


    True, but not exactly a rigorous scientific study. And I seem to remember them claiming that they are never going to do drinking myths again. Granted, they’ve said that a couple times…

  70. Richard


    If lobbying efforts by the pharmaceutical industry should make us distrust them, then I don’t think we should trust anyone.

    Least of all the dietary supplement industry (“Pseudo Pharma”). Thanks to their lobbying(PDF, sorry), we have the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, which inexoribly led to the Kinoki foot pad and the infamous coral pills (aka, quackery).

    Herbal treatments? Meh! Homeopathic sprays (for you dog, even)? Feh! All-natural male enhancement pills? Meh-feh! Clark Stanley would beat Kevin Trudeau at the quackery game under this act.

    Guess who would be the ones to introduce “green vaccines”? You got it, Pseudo Pharma. (“Introducing the world first sprayable homeopathic spray. No more expensive doctor trips. No more needles. With Doctor Stanley’s patented No-Virus spray, you can stop the cold in its tracks. The flu is kung-fu’d. And smallpox is small potatoes. Act now, and we’ll even throw in Doctor Stanley’ homeopathic STD spray. Have the love life you’ve always wanted, the ‘all-natural’ way.“)

    Luckily, starting June 2010, the folks at Pseudo Pharma are gonna get some overdue (yet not enough) regulation.

    IMHO, I think they should be held to the same standard as the regular drug companies. If you’re gonna make a claim that your product treat a disease or illness then you made a drug and should be treated that way.


    Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994

  71. Martin


    The FDA, and not the CDC, regulates Drugs in the US. As such, anyone claiming that the CDC is doing regulating has his facts pretty much backwards. The FDA *does* work wih the CDC to ensure that the health of the people in the US is not adversely affected by epidemics, but the FDA is the group who tell you if the Science behind a drug is good. This is one of the principle reasons they re-instituted the Office of Chief Scientist a few years back. It is also the reason that now they are working with Drug Comapnies to implement R.E.M.S. Programs (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies) for certain products.

    As a disclaimer, I work in the Pharma Industry in Regulatory Affairs. I do not, however represent any company and my opinions and statements reflect my own views.

  72. LostInDaJungle


    You should be ashamed of yourself. Sure, the kid’s autistic, so blame the parents. Regardless of how you feel about Jenny McCarthy, that’s a low tactic to take. I guess you have no manners because your mom was a whore. (See how that works?)

    For the record, my Wife has never come close to taking any kind of recreational drug, and during her pregnancy stayed off of anything that could even remotely be harmful to the fetus, and my Daughter was born with Autism. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

    And for the record, my daughter was found to have lead poisoning, which we have had a great deal of success in treating. The “anti-vaxers” didn’t have our answer, but they sure put us on the right track for finding someone who would do something other than “Your kid’s Autistic, deal with it.”

    While I don’t buy the whole “Indigo Child” and anti-vaxing hysteria, I can tell you this much: Toxicity of the environment has an incredible amount to do with MY daughter’s case of “Autism”. Chelating her HAS lowered the lethal amounts of lead that were in her system.

    Hopefully some parents will make it this far… Parents: Don’t get hung up on the Thimerasol in the Vaccines, but DO have your children tested for food allergies and heavy metal toxicity. Put your skeptics hat on, but DO talk to one of those private doctors who can help. A good doctor will test and treat KNOWN problems. If you’re chelating Heavy Metals, then you should have a blood workup that shows you how much of each metal is in their system, and subsequent tests should show that amount decreasing.

    I’ve seen alot of my fellow parents get taken in with New Age BS, immersion tanks, etc… Don’t go there. However, there are providers who will do alot more than your standard PCP, and getting in touch with the DAN network is a good first start.


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