Jenny McCarthy: spreading more dangerous misinformation

By Phil Plait | July 6, 2009 7:30 am

If you haven’t had your quota of shockingly wrong medical advice for the year yet, try watching this video by Dr. Jenny McCarthy, as she manages to squeeze about a metric ton of misinformation into a two-ounce package.

[Update (July 6 2009): I checked this link last night, but in the meantime Generation Rescue -- Jenny McCarthy's antiscience organization and the hosting site for the video -- removed the page for some reason. I don't know why they did that, but the video is cached online and you can see it here. SCAM Blasting also has the video online.]

(Incidentally, as if her antiscience nonsense isn’t bad enough, this video is in flash, so you cannot fast forward or rewind; making it far less useful for its purported purpose: to "educate" parents, so I guess that’s a good thing). It starts off with the nonsense right away, when she says, "I am not antivaccine. I am antitoxin," then barely takes a breath before saying that vaccines are full of toxins, and that toxins cause autism.

Repeat after me: Vaccines do not cause autism! We know they don’t. The tests have been done, the studies examined, and we know that vaccines have nothing to do with autism. Anyone who says differently is trying to sell you something.

Dr. Jenny McCarthy

Things goes even farther off the rails from there, with her making all sorts of ridiculous and unfounded assertions. One of the first things she says is that autism isn’t genetic, and then confuses the issue with a statement about epidemics. But she’s wrong (which is pretty much the case with everything she says); there are strong genetic indicators of autism, but the underlying cause is still unknown. She makes claims about what triggers autism, when in fact no one knows what physically causes autism. But we do know vaccines do not cause them.

I hear antivaxxers all the time saying that if we don’t know what causes autism, how can we know vaccines don’t? But that’s just more empty rhetoric. It’s possible to not know something’s cause while still eliminating possibilities; that’s one way how medicine and science work. Start with an event and possible cause — for example, does chocolate cause acne? — then test the idea. If it comes up negative, move on. And, as I said, there is a lot of research on vaccines, and the conclusion is clear. When people like McCarthy say vaccines cause autism, they are ignoring the tsunami of evidence showing they are wrong.

We know a vast amount about children’s health issues; pediatricians devote their lives to them, and the antivaxxers are bent in throwing all this knowledge away, replacing it with fairy tales.

Vaccinations rid this world of smallpox, a scourge that killed millions of people. Measles was on the decline, pertussis was on the decline, rubella was on the decline. We are seeing a surge in outbreaks from these and other easily preventable diseases — including, tragically, deaths of children, deaths of babies — and a lot of it is traceable to the misinformation from the antivaccination movement.

I’m not a medical doctor. But I do understand science, and I have talked to many friends who are doctors, including one who is a pediatrician. So here’s my advice: Don’t listen to Jenny McCarthy. Talk to a doctor instead. Get real advice, based on actual science, knowledge, experience, and above all, reality.

That seems to be a place with which Ms. McCarthy is unfamiliar. But if you have young kids, reality is where you have to be. Your kids depend on it.

Tip o’ the syringe to BABloggee Jarno Verhoofstad.

Comments (225)

  1. “if we don’t know what causes autism, how can we know vaccines don’t?”

    Anybody that would make that argument deserves to be mercilessly ridiculed for the rest of their lives.

  2. dre

    Man, her grammar don’t even work right! How can you trust her “science” when her words don’t even follow rules?

    Phil, you say “Dr. Jenny” in the post, but I’m not sure what’s implied there. Did she or someone else actually call her that? Or are you just emphasizing that she is sort of the opposite of a doctor in all possible interpretations of the label “Dr.”?

  3. Becca Stareyes

    Heck, by that same logic, we don’t know what prevents autism, so for all we know, vaccines prevent autism.

    Except studies show vaccines make no difference(either way) in autism rates. They do help with rates of vaccine preventable diseases, and reduce childhood mortality.

  4. Len

    I like it when she says “Contrary to conventional medical wisdom”.

    Why would you do something contrary to a particular piece of wisdom, wouldnt that by definition be unwise?

  5. Stone Age Scientist

    Hi dre @ #2,

    Phil, you say “Dr. Jenny” in the post, but I’m not sure what’s implied there.

    dre, I think Phil is (sarcastically) referring to New McCarthyism, as does Debbie Schlussel.

  6. And for those with an interest in some real information about vaccines, take a look at antiantivax.flurf.net (click on my name to get there).

    Also, the CDC and FDA have very extensive information on vaccines and vaccine myths. The jottit site includes some handy links at the end to these places, as well as to Orac’s blog (Respectful Insolence) and some other very good sources of info on the reality of vaccines.

  7. Greg in Austin

    I watched 30 seconds of it.

    She claims she’s “Anti-Toxin,” yet reports are that she uses Botox, which is a… um… toxin.

    Are the reports false, or is she a hypocrite?

    8)

  8. @Greg in Austin

    No, no, no. Botox is a cosmetic, not a toxin. Silly.

  9. Autumn

    I’m beginning to think that the theory that McCarthy is being funded by the producers of tiny coffins is actually the most parsimonious.

  10. @Autumn

    She’s actually a shill for Big PharmaTM. See, the pharmaceutical companies stand to make gobs of money if these vaccine-preventable diseases come back. By generating fear of vaccines, McCarthy is helping companies like Merck and Pfizer make even greater profits. Greed Before HealthTM!

  11. Gary Ansorge

    DR. Jenny. Isn’t that a bit like DR. Phil McGraw, wherein once one has made the big time, ie, your own TV show, you automatically get promoted to DR?( I note that McGraw actually DOES have a PhD in Psychology, though he is NOT licensed to practice as a psychologist by any certified agency).
    I guess Jenny, like Dr. phil, both get away with their sthick because it’s ENTERTAINMENT,,,not real medical advice,,,

    I will also note, that the TV DR. Phil , made $ 80 million this last year. I guess there’s tons of money to me made off such,,,entertainment,,,too bad truthiness doesn’t pay as well,,,

    SO, how many kids have to needlessly die before we’re able to hold such “entertainers” culpable???

    Gary 7

  12. Well that sucks. The link doesn’t work for me.

  13. Looks like the video has been pulled from their site or at least moved. The link no longer works.

  14. ZERO

    Ooooooohhh! Measels! Who wants some? Or how about smallpox or poliomyelitis? XD

  15. Did they take the video down? The link is going to ‘page cannot be found’. This is something I just now started to follow.

    I think it’s great to have people speak up for research into causes/treatments for autism. It’s not so great to have people spread misinformation and more or less ignore scientific method.

    Hope the video gets put back. I’d like to watch it.

  16. Greg in Austin

    Heather: “In small doses, botulism tightens the skin, instead of killing you in the most gruesome way possible. ”

    8)

  17. John Phillips, FCD

    @Becca Stareyes, ironically, there was a study in Europe a while back, Italy or Belgium IIRC but don’t quote me, that actually had a lower incidence of autism among those in the study who had been vaccinated compared to those who hadn’t. Of course, from that particular study it was not possible to say that vaccination prevented autism for all kinds of reasons and nobody on our side tried to. Except perhaps for the occasional ironic rejoinder to those relying on the results from poor studies to support their failed stance.

  18. CS

    The link doesn’t work for me either. It opens the site map.

  19. Okay people. This is all you need to take away from this vid: Giving milk and wheat to your kid = GIVING THEM A JOINT!!!!!!

    Oh yeah, and only bad parents don’t give their kids food allergy tests. Oh yeah, and “chef cells” are double-secret agents than morph into Rambo (I think she was talking about glial cells, but it doesn’t matter b/c the analogy was so rad…). Chef cells who morph into Rambo also usually fight Iran and Iraq when they get blown up into our bloodstream after eating something with bad chemicals.

    In conclusion, don’t forget to spay or neuter your pet.

  20. Nomen Publicus

    There is not a chance she’ll ever change her mind. She’s thinking with the part of the brain that crazy god botherers use. In this mode, all evidence for or against, re-enforces the broken belief.

  21. Stone Age Scientist

    To Jules / Julia (reminds me of Victor Victoria :) ) @ #11,

    See the SCAM Blasting video.

  22. John Wiseman

    This girl is just flat out idiotic. Not only are her analogies insanely wrong, but it is obvious that she didn’t bother attending her high school science classes. this is what we get for letting actors speak using their own minds in stead of using professional script writers. Stupid does not begin to describe poor Jenny. She is tupid, (stupid in its more laughable plural form.)

  23. Father

    Clearly none of you have a child with Autism. While I don’t agree with everything she says there is a some truth in what she says. And as far as government test showing no connection, is this the same government that supported for many years that tobacco didn’t cause any harm either? Wake up, with 1 in 6 boys being diagnosed with autims in NJ and with nearly 1% of many school districts reporting autism classifications, there needs to be more attention. The cost in is the billions to the tax payers and even more on the families.

    And as far as Peditricans go, there are good ones and and not so good ones, just like every other job in the world. Prior to my son being diagnosed, 5 out 6 peditricans claimed he was non-verbal because his brother spoke for him. Well he is 17 now and has never spoken a word. 4 out 6 of the peditricians didn’t know what Autism was or how to diagnose it. Considering it was one 4 hour topic in medical school who could blame them.

    Just because you don’t agree with Jenny, doesn’t make her 100% wrong and sometimes I am annoyed at what she says I also know that attention to Autism is the important issue her and I truly believe that what we give to our children, including food, exposure to chemicals, and yes vaccines has a part in the rapid increase in Autism. Many people laughed at Christopher Columbus when he said he could sail around the world! Also keep in mind I have three children and all of them are vaccinated, just questioning vaccinations doesn’t make you anti-vaccine!

  24. Boca Condo King

    Just for fun, we should find someone to fund a study…

    Does the overuse of Marijuana, Coke, X, LSD etc., coupled with promiscuous sexual life (MRSA virus Etc.) prior to having children lead to children with Autism and other developmental issues?

    In this day and age, we are exposed to less environmental toxins then just 30 years ago, with better medical care etc. (no leaded gas, many products banned etc.)

    Perhaps the surge in autism is related to the sex drugs and rock and roll lifestyle? (which provides the extra kick to genetically susceptible children to develop these problems)

    Of course if that was true, Jenny would have to STFU since her own actions caused her problems. But it is never fun to blame oneself when you can blame ‘da man’.

  25. Ryan

    wow this is really hard to sit still through… and not because its boring either.

  26. Mooselet

    I wonder if in her “genetic history” there is a tendency to the stoo-pid. Because she has it in spades.

    It would be pathetic if she wasn’t doing harm to children.

  27. Mena

    Being naked in a magazine and sporadic guest star roles don’t make you a doctor, or at least an expert in medicine?

  28. If you don’t know what “causes” gravity, how do you know it’s not chocolate that does it?

    If you don’t know who killed JFK, how do you know it wasn’t Genghis Khan?

    If you don’t know what causes autism, how do you know it’s not McCarthyism that causes it?

  29. Erik M.

    We really need to devote more time to teaching logic in high schools. Her fallacies are so garingly obvious that anyone with any knowledge of basic linguistic fallacies would be able to see right through and destroy her poor arguments. There’s also a website called http://www.jennymccarthybodycount.com where you can see the numbers of those who have died from easily preventable vaccine related diseases since her crusade of ignorance began. We need more science and less emotionally charged rhetoric if we’re going to get anywhere in this needlessly drawn out debate.

  30. Austin L

    One thing which stands out to me is that she uses language like “I believe”, “I feel”, “to me (this means)” instead of phrases that imply there’s evidence which backs up what she’s saying, such as “I know”. Also, if milk worked like heroine, everyone would have a cow.

  31. I’d reply to “if we don’t know what causes autism, how can we know vaccines don’t?” with the following: We don’t know what causes autism so how can we know that money doesn’t cause it? After all, all parents of autistic kids have money of some kind. Thus, just to be safe, you should send all of your money to me so that you improve your kids’ odds of not getting autism.

    I wonder how many “how can we know vaccines don’t cause autism” folks would actually send me money. If I got any, I’d be sure to use some of it to buy everyone a round of Homeopathic Lagers. ;-)

  32. Jeff

    @Father: Going against established science and giving false medical information DOES make Jenny McCarthy 100% wrong. If she wants to “believe” that vaccines caused her child to become autistic, that’s fine. When she pretends to be knowledgeable about the subject and convince other parents to ignore empirical evidence to the contrary, she is now endangering the health, well-being, and possibly the lives of OTHER PEOPLES’ children. Bad form. This isn’t about whether or not we agree with Jenny, but about whether or not we agree with science. I pity anyone who doesn’t…

  33. @21 Stone Age Scientist

    LOL! Yeah I had to change it to the Jules/Julia because someone else awhile ago started to use my normal Jules name to reply to Phil’s blogs.

    @23 Father

    Way to make assumptions. It makes me laugh when people say things such “you science people clearly do not have children or children affected by these issues otherwise…” when many of us in fact do have children and have children who are affected by a wide range of developmental disorders. And it is because of this that maybe some of us are just as vocal as the anti-science/antivaxxers.

    As for the increase in diagnosis part of that is due to better diagnosis criteria and more awareness on Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Another change that has occurred recently is the field of abnormal psyc and how children are diagnosed. Both the medical field and the psyc field are better equipped and educated on the subject of abnormal psyc of children. That was not always the case. Up until recently, children were diagnosed using the criteria for adults and that just does not work as adult psychology is very different from child psychology.

    I could go on for ever on this. However I think I should stop since your first sentence “Clearly none of you have a child with Autism” tells me you already have your mind made up and are not open for a real dialogue since you fall under the “they must not…” thinking category.

  34. LI

    Autism has been on the rise since Jenny McCarthy was born. Therefore Jenny McCarthy causes autism.

  35. Mick

    Jesus this woman is a menace… to anyone’s intellect that watches that video.

    I actually watched the whole 15mins and I honestly feel a bit dumber for having experienced it. Are we sure Mccarthy isnt legally retarded?

    I don’t stand in a position of authority to comment on all the topics she talks about in that, but there is no way that any sensible person would trust someone acting as stupidly as she does in that video. Who does she honestly think she is talking to? Are people really this dumb? It truly boggles the mind.

  36. Mick

    Not to mention she also believes in ‘The Secret’… yes, the law of attraction!

    Check out this video from some of my fellow countrymen, “The Chaser’s War on Everything”. They have a look at the secret and see how it works in the real world…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usbNJMUZSwo

  37. Are people really this dumb?

    Unfortunately, in a lot of cases, yes.

  38. I’m not really sure what your point is, Father. You don’t need to have an autistic child to be able to examine the evidence for an empirical claim. The evidence is overwhelming that vaccines do not cause autism, and yet McCarthy continues to plug this line, endangering the health of many. This is not a difference of opinion, it’s not speculation on a round-the-world trip; it’s a testable claim that has been tested and found false, just as the link between lung cancer and cigarettes was a claim that was tested and found true, no matter what any government or company tried to say about it.

    If you want to pursue the sort of, “oh, well you can never really know” line that you appear to be advancing, then one wonders what the purpose is. I’m sure that as a father of three you would like best efforts made to ensure the health of your children. Is McCarthy’s provably wrong campaign doing that, do you think? If you’re going to reject out of hand any evidence on the basis that it could be made up by evil goverments, how will you ever know what’s best for your children?

  39. tictock

    @father

    Did you just comparre jenny to chris columbus? Two things to keep in mind about that. 1. The popular story that he believed the earth was round in opposition to his intillectual peers is not true. Many people in his time believed the earth was round, & there’s no evidence that doubters insisted he would fall off the edge of the earth’s foundation. 2. Columbus committed acts of genocide and brought disease to the natives.

    Ok. You got me on the second point. She really is like columbus.

    As for the tobacco canard, it was science that revealed the truth about the dangers of tobacco. You didn’t see marylin monroe being used as a spokesperson on public health conspiracies. You did, however, see quality science emerge to shine the light of truth.

  40. TS

    Many people laughed at Christopher Columbus when he said he could sail around the world!

    Only the people who wasn’t up to date on science….

  41. Marcus

    Why the ridicule when ‘science’ is filled with politics, when traditional allopathic medicine is a disaster, when it’s well-documented that the FDA is corrupt? I t seems clear that Discover is heavily funded by pharmaceutical companies. When doctors are the 3rd leading cause of preventable death in America why pick on those who promote critical discussion? When drugs & hospitals are the leading cause of preventable death in America (not to mention massive suffering), perhaps we should be asking different questions?

  42. Tom K.

    Thank you for the link. I couldn’t watch it all the way through until I went to the store and bought some whole wheat bread and a gallon of milk. Yeah that did the trick. Good thing I didn’t get pulled over on the way home, 4 pounds of weed!

    Christopher Columbus / Jenny McCarthy comparison is scary. Let’s hope what Columbus did to the natives he found does not happen to any child.

  43. Fordi

    I have weird tastes in women, but they’re usually predictable.

    For example, having grown up with MTV, Jenny McCarthy of course instigates the “Hot” response. However, I find that, very quickly, if a female says something stupid enough to want to rip my hair out in frustration, even the hottest women start looking more sleazy than anything else.

    This video was probably the stupidest thing I’ve seen since watching the vid on “reploids” and “tares” by YouTube’s own Gorilla199 – and it’s ruined Jenny McCarthy for me.

    Damned pseudoscience. Always ruins everything.

    “I hear antivaxxers all the time saying that if we don’t know what causes autism, how can we know vaccines don’t?”

    If you don’t know what started the universe, how do you know your last bowel movement didn’t?

    Because, figuratively speaking, you can TEST THAT S**T.

    @TS: Europe’s educated knew the earth was round since the BC. In 1492, Columbus was laughed at by the lay population because they thought he’d fall off. The educated elite criticized his plans, only because he thought the earth was much smaller than it was (by both reality and all academic calculations).

    The educated elite were correct – and a journey to India wouldn’t have been possible one way or another (if there were only ocean between Europe to the west and Asia to the East, he’d have run out of supplies before getting to India) – but Columbus lucked out by finding the Americas in the way.

    Of course, he didn’t know they were there – he thought he hit India.

    But anyway, Columbus didn’t discover the shape of the earth; Pythagoras did (mostly) almost 2,000 years prior. It was the lay people – the Jenny McCarthys of the time – mocking Columbus’ Voyage.

    McCarthy is no trailblazer. She is, apparently, an ignorant who, like many others, has been conned by new-age misinformation.

  44. Geek

    @23 Father: “Clearly none of you have a child with Autism”
    Jenny McCarthy is screaming for research money to be wasted on a thoroughly debunked hypothesis. If you want that, you’re not helping autism research, you’re just delaying the discovery of the true causes of autism. Fathers of autistic children in the future will have the likes of you to blame for that delay, Mr Self-Righteous Father.

    “There needs to be more attention”.
    Yes. And the attention needs to be of the potentially helpful kind, as opposed to the completely useless kind. There is no link to vaccines. I repeat: you are hurting, not helping autism research.

  45. Looks like they took it down, anyone got a copy?

  46. @Father

    Clearly none of you have a child with Autism.

    And incorrect assumption. There are some on here who are critical of Ms. McCarthy and also have children with autism.

    is this the same government that supported for many years that tobacco didn’t cause any harm either?

    To which part of government are you referring? If I recall correctly, NIH and FDA have been pretty much on the side of science, when it came to tobacco. In fact, FDA has, in the past, consistently refused to allow tobacco to be placed under their jurisdiction, as they would be forced to ban it (no medicinal value, and the risks are too serious for any perceived benefits) as unsafe.

    The cost in is the billions to the tax payers and even more on the families.

    Agreed that the cost is very high, and more needs to be done to investigate the causes, as well as make appropriate interventions (e.g., ABA) more affordable to parents and the communities in which they live.

    Just because you don’t agree with Jenny, doesn’t make her 100% wrong

    Actually, insofar as her “vaccines cause autism” shtick goes, yes, she is wrong. The evidence (from independent researchers at universities and others around the world, not just NIH-funded) at present rather clearly shows that there is no causal connection between vaccines and autism. There are a pretty large number of studies that have looked for some connection, and all the ones that have been done with proper controls (randomized, blinded, etc.) and robust sample sizes have come to the conclusion that there is no connection. Even in situations where there is a lack of the rigorous demands of proper science, the conclusion has been, thus far, that vaccines do not cause autism (see the Autism Omnibus Proceedings).

    Many people laughed at Christopher Columbus when he said he could sail around the world!

    And who would these “many people” be? I assume you are referring to the belief that “many people” of his era believed the Earth to be flat? That is actually a myth, as many people, since the ancient Greeks, knew that the world was round. Can someone else provide an appropriate reference that Father can look at?

    Also keep in mind I have three children and all of them are vaccinated, just questioning vaccinations doesn’t make you anti-vaccine!

    Of those three, how many have autism? And no, questioning vaccinations does not make one anti-vaccine. However, proclaiming that vaccines are toxic and taking a general stance that results in a message of “Don’t vaccinate”, not to mention continuing to spout the same tired nonsense that has been refuted time and time again, does make one anti-vaccine. Jenny McCarthy, Jim Carrey and all the rest at Generation Rescue most definitely are anti-vaccine, despite their protestations to the contrary. They are using a bit of double-speak a la 1984 (“War is Peace” and all that).

  47. @Marcus

    Why the ridicule when ’science’ is filled with politics, when traditional allopathic medicine is a disaster, when it’s well-documented that the FDA is corrupt?

    Citations please. If it is well-documented, you must be able to provide something to back up your claim (and please don’t just say “look it up yourself”. That would not help me at all to know where you are getting your info.).

    I t seems clear that Discover is heavily funded by pharmaceutical companies.

    Apparently you missed the disclaimer to the right, which states that “[t]he opinions and ideas expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Discover Magazine and/or the James Randi Educational Foundation, of which Dr. Plait serves as President.”

    When doctors are the 3rd leading cause of preventable death in America why pick on those who promote critical discussion?

    Citation, please.

    When drugs & hospitals are the leading cause of preventable death in America (not to mention massive suffering), perhaps we should be asking different questions?

    Citation, please.

  48. Here is the full 15 minutes video (The SCAM Blasting page only has 7 minutes of it online.)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDe_PAItC1A

  49. @DarkFox

    Phil has an updated link to the video in the post, now.

  50. TheBlackCat

    Many people laughed at Christopher Columbus when he said he could sail around the world!

    That was because he couldn’t. The world is way too big for ships of that period to get from Europe to Asia without resupplying. Columbus thought the world was much smaller than everyone else did. He was wrong. If it wasn’t for shear luck, that there happened to be another previously unknown continent in the way, he and his crew surely would have died at sea since he was too stubborn and closed-minded to turn back.

    He never sailed around the world. He went to his grave thinking he had reached Asia, but in reality he was only about a quarter of the way there. Yes they laughed at Columbus, and they were right while he was wrong. He was a just stubborn fool who got lucky.

  51. Eric

    There are scientific reasons to NOT VAX. First off, vaccines are not 100% effective. Some are as low as 60% effective, so not only are you putting something in your/your childrens’ bodies, but it’s may not do any good.

    Second, since the body is not fighting off the illness, vaccines do not confer life long immunity. Many diseases are making a comeback, and it’s not for a lack of vaccinations, but because of them. They wear off and the disease can attack the body.

    I recently had shingles (the adult form of chicken pox). I shouldn’t have gotten it because I had chicken pox as a child. When talking to a Dr., I found out the shingles is on the rise. Prior to the vaccine, people were exposed to the virus on a regular basis and this kept the bodies guard up. Since the vaccine, there is less exposure, so the body forgets how to fight it.

    Some diseases, like tetnus, I really don’t have a problem vaccinating, but tetnus is a bacteria, and not something the body will learn to fight. With small pox and polio, it’s hard to say. While I wouldn’t want my children to have them, I would question that I am really helping them by giving them a vaccine.

    Medicine has much better tools today than it DID in the 1700 and 1800, when these vaccination techniques were developed. If you are totally against medications, herbals like black elderberry and astragalus can be quite effective.

    http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/news/20031222/elderberry-fights-flu-symptoms
    http://altmedicine.about.com/od/herbsupplementguide/a/Astragalus.htm

    -Eric

  52. darth_borehd

    She needs to shut up about autism. Yes Vaccines don’t cause autism, but could they cause conditions that could be mistaken for autism? Not all vaccines are 100% free of all side effects. Could there be or have been an autism-like disorder, mild brain damage for instance, that at least at one time could have been at least partially caused by a vaccine?

    We should look at the problem another way. If vaccines don’t cause autism, why are so many parents with autism-diagnosed children saying that regression first occurred after a vaccination? Are autism rates really going up? Are parents really being informed of real potential side effects to vaccines? Would the government really suppress reports of side effects of vaccines to protect the pharmaceutical companies or so that the greater majority can thrive even at the expense of a minority? Unanswered questions like these are the reason why misinformation mavens like McCarthy get airtime.

  53. @Todd:
    Can someone else provide an appropriate reference that Father can look at?

    The Source Of All Knowledge:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Round_earth

    11. Gary Ansorge Says:
    I will also note, that the TV DR. Phil , made $ 80 million this last year. I guess there’s tons of money to me made off such,,,entertainment,,,too bad truthiness doesn’t pay as well,,,

    Gary, ‘truthiness’ (ref: Steven Colbert) pays VERY well… since it’s defined as what you WANT to believe, regardless of the TRUTH

    15. Lewis Says:
    I think it’s great to have people speak up for research into causes/treatments for autism. It’s not so great to have people spread misinformation and more or less ignore scientific method.

    Secondary effect: If we had an infinite number of researchers doing infinte research with infinite funds (yes, a play on the money/typewriter story), then I’d say go ahead with whatever (since it would be already in process). BUT, with limited funding, ‘false starts’ (e.g. autism=vaccination) are taking money away from, and thus postponing, actual, useful information.

    J/P=?

  54. @darth_borehd

    If vaccines don’t cause autism, why are so many parents with autism-diagnosed children saying that regression first occurred after a vaccination?

    Because many of the symptoms start to become more noticeable about that time, vaccinations are significant events (and thus stick out in one’s memory), and people tend to engage in post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacies. It’s quite natural, really.

    Are autism rates really going up?

    A good question to ask. It appears that rates are going up, but the reason is not clear (i.e., an actual increase vs. changes in diagnosis criteria/tools vs. overdiagnoses/misdiagnoses, etc.).

    Are parents really being informed of real potential side effects to vaccines?

    All known potential side effects (whether there is a true connection or merely plausible) are listed in the vaccine/drug information, according to regulatory requirements. Whether they actually read that information (or whether the pediatrician provides it) is another question.

    Would the government really suppress reports of side effects of vaccines to protect the pharmaceutical companies or so that the greater majority can thrive even at the expense of a minority?

    Possible, but highly unlikely. Quite apart from the fact that many individuals who work for FDA, CDC, NIH, AAP, pharma companies, etc., also have children who get vaccinated, hushing up something like that would be extraordinarily difficult. There are lots and lots of checks built into the system so that the majority of troublesome products are weeded out pretty early. Every now and then, one or two might slip through, but even those are typically caught within several years at the most.

  55. Blashy

    Talk to a Doctor??? Come on Phil, you know as well as I do the only up to date info they have is what the drug companies push them.

    Doctors are so overworked they have almost zero time for thorough research and they simply rely on what drug companies tell them and move along in the treat the symptoms manner of prescription after prescription.

    Our overall system of health is what gives “some” credence to snake oil salesmen out there. Drug companies are so much about profit instead of cures (obviously since a cure = 0 profit). That is how people like Jenny have some much airtime, the other side is guilty of having done some very unethical things in the pass, vioxx recently comes to mind.

  56. MartyM

    Oh she’s giving us a chemistry lesson… “I don’t know the names of the cells, but whatever. You’ll get my point.” LOL!

    Damn those cookies and milk. Here’s an idea…. if you think the store bought cookies and milk are toxic, then MAKE YOUR OWN FROM SCRATCH! Milk your own cows, grow your own vegetables. How many gardens does she maintain? I’m guessing none because she doesn’t even mention it. Stay away from cookies and milk, but load up on supplements that you have no idea where they come from.

    I’m still listening and could go on and on… but I’m laughing to hard (and crying on the inside at the insanity).

  57. Nothing to add on the actual issue, but, for what it’s worth, Flash does not prevent navigation — Hell, YouTube uses Flash, except when it’s talking to an iPhone. (Apple twisted their arm and insisted that they use MPEG.) If the now-vanished Generation DeathSkew webpage didn’t support navigation, it was because the webpage was set up that way, not because of the base technology.

  58. Dan I

    I was visiting my parents on Long Island over the holiday and was watching local news up there. News 12 Long Island.

    There were these parents on with an autistic son and the mother started saying “We were lost, we blamed ourselves until we read “Mother Warriors” by Jenny McCarthy and we were just floored at the irresponsibility, the LIES the Doctor’s told us…”

    God I wish that had been a call in show.

    @ Father

    You can “believe” whatever you want. That doesn’t make it true, the overwhelming weight of the evidence is against you. For the record, my brother is moderately autistic so don’t come after me with your “don’t know what its like” line.

    Secondly, very few people made fun of Columbus. Everyone knew the Earth was round. Oh, and Columbus never intended to sail around the world, you’re thinking of Magellan.

    What McCarthy is doing is actually STEALING resources from actual investigations into autism.

    Researchers keeping having to do study after study saying vaccines DON’T cause autism just to keep her from going COMPLETELY over the top. Those studies are literally LEECHING resources from programs and studies that could be helping YOU’RE child and MY brother.

  59. So if toxins cause neurological ptoblems what toxins has McCarthy been around?

  60. John Phillips, FCD
  61. Myk

    Sweet merciful crap! My brain hurts.

  62. Mick

    @ 52 – Eric

    So from your point of view, nothing should be used medically unless it provides a 100% degree of success?

    Good idea, we should tell those kids with cancer that we’re going to stop treating them because the methods that are being used won’t guarantee 100% effectiveness. Oh, and we’ll stop doing heart transplants, because they occasionally develop complications from the operation, or the heart doesn’t take. You know what, we will also stop treating infections with antibiotics, because they don’t always work too.

    I love your medical philosophy, if we follow your simple 0 step plan to medical success, we’re guaranteed to get nowhere fast!

  63. Evil Eye

    Botox good. Protection from killer viri bad.

  64. rcseefeldt

    I made it through the first minute of the video, but I was trying to eat my lunch and wanted it to be a one-way journey.

    As an alleged “actor,” at least before her conversion to anti-evil-science zealot, couldn’t Ms. McCarthy have, oh, I don’t know the technical term for it, rehearsed the spiel she’s so passionate about so she didn’t have to read it – agonizingly ineptly – line by line?

    What’s it called when laypeople choose to make significant medical decisions on the advice of a former Playmate and star of the eagerly anticipated “Santa Baby 2″ rather than on the basis of empiric research and evidence? I think it’s called “thinning the herd.”

  65. PhilB

    @52

    Weren’t the methods in use in 18th into the 19th century nowhere truly related to today’s vaccination. Innoculation against smallpox in the Revolutionary War era involved taking the pus from an infected person and placing it on a cut of the person being innoculated, basically giving them the disease. If they lived through it they were good, if they died, well they didn’t have to worry about it anymore either.

    Somehow, I’d prefer moderm vaccination.

  66. @Eric

    There are scientific reasons to NOT VAX. First off, vaccines are not 100% effective. Some are as low as 60% effective, so not only are you putting something in your/your childrens’ bodies, but it’s may not do any good.

    After the complete series of any given vaccine, the resultant efficacy is very close to 100% (though not completely there). There are some individuals, it is true, who have healthy immune systems but for whom vaccinations just don’t take. For the majority of the population, though, they are very nearly 100% effective. I’m curious about your source for the 60% figure.

    Second, since the body is not fighting off the illness, vaccines do not confer life long immunity. Many diseases are making a comeback, and it’s not for a lack of vaccinations, but because of them. They wear off and the disease can attack the body.

    Please provide a citation for vaccines causing a return of “many diseases”, as well as to which diseases you refer. As to lifelong immunity, the current evidence suggests that vaccines grant immunity just as as natural infection would. For example, pertussis can be contracted multiple times naturally, because the immunity wears off. To prevent this, we have booster shots (which adults should be getting!). Tetanus is another example. You never have lifelong immunity to some of these diseases (unless, of course, they kill you). So, your argument is not exactly valid. Just as some vaccines possibly will not grant lifelong immunity, neither will natural infection.

    I recently had shingles (the adult form of chicken pox). I shouldn’t have gotten it because I had chicken pox as a child.

    Actually, you’re wrong here. Shingles only occurs in individuals who have had chicken pox before. What happens is that the varicella virus sort of retreats into your nerves, where your immune system can’t attack it any more. It lies dormant there, and may remain so for the rest of an individual’s life. However, there are various factors that contribute to the virus reactivating (e.g., stress is a big one, IIRC) and causing the disease we call shingles. The only way to not get shingles is to never have the pesky virus make it into your nerves to begin with.

    Your links to articles about elderberry extract for flu and astragalus for general immune system boosting unfortunately lack any links to actual studies performed. Indeed, both articles remain rather tentative about drawing any sort of conclusions about any potential benefits, and the elderberry link clearly states that prescription medicines should be taken. I also note that the astragalus link lists a number of contraindications (shouldn’t be used by pregnant women, children or people with autoimmune diseases; may interfere with corticosteroids and immunosuppressants). In short, there does not appear to be proper scientific evidence to support the use of either as a general course of treatment or prevention of diseases, so it’s a bit premature of you to promote their use.

  67. John Foudy

    “We should look at the problem another way. If vaccines don’t cause autism, why are so many parents with autism-diagnosed children saying that regression first occurred after a vaccination?”

    Because Autism first tends to manifest itself around the same time that children are vaccinated.

    Lets say that on average 25/1000 children are diagnosed with autism.

    1: Take 1000 children who have been vaccinated, out of the 25 who have been diagnosed with autism, perhaps 15 or so will have originally manifested their symptoms (ie their parents noticed something they thought was odd) within a close period of time to being vaccinated. Many of the parents of those 15 will think, “maybe that vaccine was responsible, my child was ok before then”, then some of those parents will come across the anti-vaxxer’s arguments…

    2: Take 1000 children who have not been vaccinated, 25 will be diagnosed with autism.
    What I’m curious about is how many of the parents of those 25 were anti-vaxxers, and if any of them reconsidered their anti-vaxxer belief…
    Oh and some of group 2 will get whooping cough or the measles…

  68. Patrick K. Harris, P.E.

    I have a hypothesis that since most children with Autism are boys and most crib death victims are boys, the rise in Autism can be accounted for from the decrease in crib deaths. I.e., boys who normally would have died in their first year are the ones most likely to develop Autism. However, there is no way to prove this, except by telling mothers to put babies on their stomachs again and see if Autism rates decrease. Anyway, I would rather listen to a medical doctor than Ms. McCarthy or my mother-in-law (just replace McCarthy with her and Autism with ADHD).

  69. Carman

    @eric

    You need an immunology lesson.

    Vaccines confer immunity in the exact same way that getting sick does. Regardless of how you acquired the immunity and regardless of how, it will fade over time.

    That goes for bacterial infections like tetanus just like it does for viral infections. If there were no way for your body to learn to fight bacteria, vaccines would be completely freaking useless. Period.

    And seriously … Not sure you want to vaccinate for smallpox or polio? Are you freaking insane? You want your kids in a wheelchair? How about a coffin? I’ll take a vaccine for mine.

  70. Jeff

    Since I was born a few minutes after the Dark Ages, someone please let me know who this “infamous” girl is.

  71. @70 Jeff

    Playboy bunny and g/f to Jim Carrey

  72. Jeff

    So what are Playboy bunny doing involved in these matters. I watched Hugh Hefner’s TV series and the girls on there, I wouldn’t want them as policy advisers.

  73. @ Jeff

    She has a son diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and thus is an “expert” on the topic.

  74. @Father,

    “And as far as government test showing no connection, is this the same government that supported for many years that tobacco didn’t cause any harm either?”

    Um, actually it didn’t. The tobacco companies claimed that tobacco was harmless until their own studies and confirmation from independent labs were shown to prove otherwise. The only government officials involved in the debacles over tobacco and nicotine were federal judges hearing the cases.

  75. vel

    I do wonder why Ms. McCarthy isn’t simply called a liar. All of this pussyfooting around saying she spreads “misinformation” avoids the issue. She is willfully spreading lies. It would also be nice if there was an actual definition of “autism” rather than what seems to be the word any parent wants to use to claim that it ‘wasn’t our crappy genes that did this”.

    I do wish such idiots who decry actual science would be made to live in mud huts where they could die of some easily treated disease and cease attempting to cause harm to the rest of us.

  76. I just want to point out the humourous aspect of the top of this thread, where a poster named “Dre” was asking about the application of a fake “Dr.” honorific.

    Made my day :)

  77. And to the inevitable “clearly none of you has a child with autism or you’d obviously agree with me blah blah” comments, I say clearly I DO have a child with autism.

    I don’t think for a second his autism was caused by vaccines. He’s fully vaccinated, and I’d vaccinate him again.

    I also haven’t put him on a weird diet, overdosed him on vitamins, given him chelating agents, or analyzed his poop. (Yes, there are McCarthy followers who do these things.) And in spite of my clearly neglectful lack of woo treatments, my son is making progress in his development. Amazing!

  78. @ vel

    Here is the thing re: calling her a liar. She believes what she is saying is the truth instead of (as an example) asking your child if he took a cookie and he says no while the cookie is clearly hidden in his hand around his back.

    “It would also be nice if there was an actual definition of “autism” rather than what seems to be the word any parent wants to use to claim that it ‘wasn’t our crappy genes that did this”.”

    There is an actual definition but it appears it gets overlooked. This phenom reminds me of the time not too long ago when all of a sudden if one’s child displayed even the smallest symptom of ADD/ADHD (once there was better diagnostic tools and the general population became more aware of the term) their child was ADD/ADHD and off to the doctor they went for an Rx.

    All I can say it I am ever so grateful for people like Phil and other commentators on this blog who are able to eloquently say what I have trouble saying myself re: this and similar issues. It is a hot button topic for me for many reasons and that affects my ability to calmly discuss this topic without giving myself a lot of time to think about wording. And by the time I do come to a calm rational response, someone has already said it for me :)

  79. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    Heh. The McCarthy – Columbus comparison was funy, and scary. Besides arguing two myths, the exact opposite was the fact AFAIU. Even the well educated did laugh at Columbus, because he wrongly believed the Earth was much smaller (~ 1/2 circumference) than it actually was.

    Fortunately for him and his crews he was correct on one not so known fact though, the trade winds, so it wasn’t entirely luck that they survived his blatant error.

    but could they cause conditions that could be mistaken for autism?

    Evidently not against a medical diagnosis, as per the research results.

    The other questions have been hashed to mince meats before, correlation in time between vaccination schedules and possible autism diagnosis et cetera. All answered, except in the minds of pro-disease advocates.

  80. Here is an antidote to the McJenny stupid, a post from Shannon Rosa, a mother of a child with autism:

    http://www.blogher.com/identifying-and-avoiding-autism-cults

    Most parents start researching autism treatments, and quickly become overwhelmed by competing approaches, therapies, and programs. There is no primary autism authority to direct them, so the parents’ decision-making process becomes fueled by desperation. Their critical thinking skills degrade as they are asked to decide between evidence-based approaches that take time and effort, and unsupported testimonials promising recovery, and even cures. And they’re still looking for someone to blame, even as they search for answers.

    They are perfect targets for autism cults.

    [snip]

    The most prominent purveyors of autism cult-think are Generation Rescue and “The Daily Web Newspaper of the Autism Epidemic,” Age of Autism. Both ignore the one truth about autism — that no one yet knows its cause — and position themselves as autism’s truth-speakers, as fonts of non-compromised autism knowledge. They inappropriately promote biomedical approaches for all autistic children, undermine public confidence in vaccines, and perpetuate big pharma conspiracy theories. They support their claims not through evidence, but with testimonials and exceptions. They make scientists and critical thinkers rage with indignation. They aggressively denounce skeptics, and foster a culture of righteous true believers (just click on a few AoA posts and check out the comments). They rarely talk about support and love for autistic children in the present, and focus instead on theoretical future non-autistic kids. “

  81. Another post from Shannon Rosa, the mother of a child with autism, “My Child Has Autism and I Vaccinate”

    http://www.blogher.com/my-child-has-autism-and-i-vaccinate

    Have you or would you ever let your children travel by airplane? If your answer is “yes,” then you should re-examine any concerns about vaccinating your children. Both flying and vaccination carry real risks, but those risks are statistically unlikely to affect your family.

    I know it’s more complicated than that, so keep reading. I also understand the fear behind not vaccinating, as I’ve been there myself. I clearly remember the stone age of 2003: my two-year-old son was newly diagnosed with autism, and I was desperate to help him.

    [snip]

    We live in a culture where some people make critical health decisions for their children based on the opinions of self-proclaimed celebrity graduates from “The University of Google.” I’m asking you to help right the balance, to ensure that science-based viewpoints counter earnest but misinformed sensationalism in the autism — and parenting — communities’ information flows.

    I know that some people will never vaccinate their kids, no matter the argument or evidence. Herd immunity will compensate and keep the rest of our kids healthy *if* enough other children get vaccinated. That is why it is so important to reach and talk to parents who are still formulating their immunization opinions, to educate ourselves with facts rather than furor, to have the confidence to spread the word about what we know and believe, to tear down the wall of harm that Jenny and co. have erected, and to shout it loud:

    There is no proven link between autism and vaccinations! I believe it is my social responsibility to vaccinate my children!

  82. Okay like… she believes all sorts of things… and what truly infuriates me in a ‘positive thinking’ kind of way is that she believes that her beliefs are just as valid as FACTS.

    JenJen says: “I don’t know what the cells are like called but ummm”
    Okay so ummm how about you get back to us when you have learned the basics? The fact that this video was posted for anyone to see on an Autism site is really discouraging. Do you think that the producers of that video were thinking… “If we could get her to do it topless, no one would pay attention to what she’s says?”

    She is a liar and I can’t wait for the lawsuit that will inevitably come along when an innocent child of sane parents dies because they were infected by the spawn of a Jenizen who didn’t vaccinate. I sincerely hope that she is held responsible for her lies and her willful ignorance.

  83. TechyDad:

    I’d reply to “if we don’t know what causes autism, how can we know vaccines don’t?” with the following: We don’t know what causes autism so how can we know that money doesn’t cause it?

    Well, here’s a “scientific” :-) study you could perform. Contact all of the schools that specialize in treating autistic children, and get a rundown on the family incomes. I bet you would find that there are more rich kids than poor.

    QED.

    (Hey, it’s a “scientific” as “a mother just knows”.)

  84. ndt

    Jules (Julia) and Jeff: her son wasn’t actually diagnosed with an autism-spectrum disorder. She just assumed that’s what he had after she stopped thinking he was an “indigo child”.

  85. @ndt

    She just assumed that’s what he had after she stopped thinking he was an “indigo child”.

    I’ve heard both that he was diagnosed with autism and that he wasn’t. Do you have any citation that he wasn’t actually diagnosed with autism?

  86. @Daphne

    *shrugs* I forget the name of stuff all the time. However, if one is going to “educate” people on something, you would think to look up the relevant terms prior and write them down for just the event forgetfulness.

    What I found even more bothersome is how she renamed them, Iran and Iraq? She (in my opinion) is being a terrorist by using buzzwords that invoke fear in people due to current political situations overseas. THAT is more harmful than simply not knowing the technical term to something. Fear monger she is and trying to pull on the mommy heartstrings and illicit panic thinking is just not cool.

  87. PhilB

    Ok, one question that I’ve been meaning to ask as some brief pubmed searches haven’t yielded anything yet. How far has investigation gotten in looking into the potential environmental trigger in combination with genetic disposition? More specifically, have existing studies been able to rule out the existing vaccine schedule acting as said trigger.

    I ask because I don’t have the subscriptions or the statistical background to evaluate current data, and it’d be nice to have that sort of information on hand if it ever comes up.

  88. Phil, you’re way behind the times, blogospherically speaking. :-)

    That video’s been there for a while. It had been there for a while when I took it on:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/05/jenny_mccarthy_shows_off_her_knowledge_o.php

    In fact, if I do say so myself, I think my mockery may have had a hand in the video being buried. Back in May it was on GR’s front page. It disappeared not long after my post appeared. But any pile on is welcome.

    In any case, I was catching up with Skeptoid podcasts over the weekend while working on a paper, and I heard Brian Dunning actually argue that Jenny McCarthy is not stupid. While I agreed with him at some level that a lot of the people we reflexly label as idiots may in fact not be idiots, just misguided, Jenny McCarthy is the real deal, a bona fide dangerous idiot, full of the arrogance of ignorance. I may have to point this out to Brian if I see him at TAM7. This video would be exhibit A.

  89. PhilB

    @83

    Jules(Julia), I forget the names of things as well, but this is not an “off-the-cuff” moment. It’s a scripted and produced video. Probably between 8-16 hours of work at a guess. Not using the proper terminology in that context just shows laziness to me. Possibly a deliberate attempt to position herself in an “I’m ignorant just like you” sort of way.

  90. Chris

    father:

    Clearly none of you have a child with Autism.

    Actually many of us do have autistic and children with other disabilities.

    What I really dislike about your overall assumption that those who criticize the idiocy of McCarthy and the folks at Generation “Rescue” (more like Generation Endangerment) is that those of us with disabled children should automatically believe someone just because they have a disabled child.

    Wrong!

    Just because I have been dealing with a child who had complications starting with birth over twenty years ago does not mean I will fall for every stupid anecdote.

    What I did was go to my library and check out books by qualified authors. Instead of the “This is how I cured my kid” books, I preferred the ones written by actual neurologists, speech language pathologists and others (though one does have to be careful with some, the books by the physical therapist Glenn Doman are ones to stay away from).

    By the time the internet came around I knew enough to ignore a paper written by a nurse and a business man (or whatever Blaxill was), and learned how to use PubMed. There is real science going on, and what McCarthy and her handlers are doing at Generation Endangerment does not count.

    (oh, and Eric — let me add to the notes that you know absolutely very little about vaccines and diseases. It is common knowledge that if you don’t get chicken pox you don’t get shingles… plus vaccines work better with herd immunity. A word of advice: do not go to whale.to, NVIC, Age of Autism, Generation Rescue, Mercola and a bunch of other websites for science.)

  91. Dazcha

    Wow… she can’t pronounce the medical names of cells in the human body and instead calls them Iran and Iraq. I’m *really* convinced she’s a doctor…

    I think her peroxide has seeped in.

  92. @85

    Phil, I made that point :) “However, if one is going to “educate” people on something, you would think to look up the relevant terms prior and write them down for just the event forgetfulness.”

    But obviously I didn’t make it as clear as maybe it should have been, because as I also went on to say, her use of trigger words to illicit fear and panic is much worse than pretending to be an ignorant just like you normal people person.

    I guess my point in the end is I can overlook the fake ignorance, I cannot overlook the carefully plotted replacement terms (Iran/Iraq) “that you moms will understand” to push the panic button of the parent heart string.

  93. PhilB

    @87

    Yup, you did make that I point. I misinterpreted. :)

  94. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    he wrongly believed the Earth was much smaller (~ 1/2 circumference) than it actually was.

    Cough, cough! Not so fast.

    According to John Paradox reference, it is perhaps consistent with facts that Columbus used the age old trick to con his investors of money by screwing around with ‘the facts’. That reference claims he fumbled conversions of good estimates of distances for some reason, even though he was an excellent navigator I believe.

    And he did have an interest in pretending ROI was high and fast by a short route.

    @ Eric:

    Many diseases are making a comeback, and it’s not for a lack of vaccinations, but because of them. They wear off and the disease can attack the body.

    So you are left to arguing that the cure is responsible for the disease, if it fails?

    I shouldn’t have gotten it because I had chicken pox as a child.

    Wrong as commented. The only known way to prevent shingles is to be vaccinated against chicken pox. After the virus has hidden in the body, it is too late.

    Medicine has much better tools today than it DID in the 1700 and 1800, when these vaccination techniques were developed.

    Not true. Modern vaccination techniques differs radically. By intense work, the medical community has learned to make safer, more efficient vaccines against more ailments.

    And vaccination is AFAIK the only known preventer of diseases. They are also the only known eradicator of them, see small pox et cetera. To go pro-disease and waste them would be a terribly irresponsible and immoral thing to do.

    Join the herd (immunity) program! :-o

  95. Chris

    I know this will get moderated, but it is worth it:

    I wanted to start my response by saying that the comment from some parent that starts off with “you obviously do not have an autistic child” seems to imply that those of us with disabled children should automatically be credulous. Nah!

    Though really, about ten years ago (before forums and blogs) listservs for parent with disabled kids were very common (some of them are archived in groups.google), and I did subscribe to one.

    The listserv had parents who were asking about various treatments, including chelation, cranialsacral therapy, vitamins and various kinds of oils. I tried to look some of them up and found the Quackwatch website. On it was a link to a list of unreliable websites, which is how I found this delightful website of comments on the one thousand websites that annoy the webmaster:
    http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/

    Enjoy it, especially the whole section devoted to what he calls the “anti-vax liars.”

  96. @94

    No worries, it happens :)

    It is one thing to misinterpret something and remain open to clarification. It is another thing altogether to breed misinformation while using fear tactics.

    Boy does this ever get me riled up.

  97. Ryan

    I haven’t done my research on the subject but is there really human aborted fetal tissue in our vaccines?

  98. Will. M.

    I wonder if the likes of McCarthy could be legally stopped from spreading lies which are detrimental to the welfare of the public at large. It seems as if her deliberate proselytizing of misinformation has reached the stage of “yelling fire in a crowded theater” activity when no fire exists, since she seems to have started a movement across the world which has now begun to drive up the rates of communicable diseases which were once nearly eradicated worldwide.

    Using tobacco as an analogy, it shouldn’t take the nearly fifty years of an increasing scientific causation between cancers and the ingredients in tobacco to put an end to her unscientific raving, since the science already exists re autism and vaccines.

    As a society, we legally stop all kinds of harmful behavior from going public to protect the citizenry. It doesn’t seem too much of a stretch to ban this kind of unsubstantiated ranting, especially when it will likely cause harm to increasing numbers of children, and to do so without substantially weakening the free speech right granted in the First Amendment to the Constitution. One might interpret this kind of speech as treasonous, since were it to become a widespread belief, the very fabric of the nation would be in peril.

  99. Daffy

    Hey…maybe autism is connected to exposure to massive eye make up and hair dye?

  100. Ari

    It should be noted that Ms. McCarthy peddles the claims of an MD researcher who admitted to FAKING HIS DATA. Moreover, the percentage of autistic children from the Rocky Mountain states is roughly the same as elsewhere; many children living in MT, OR, WA, ID, WY, and CO had to be vaccinated TWICE for MMR between 1990 and 1999. If there had been any link between MMR and autism, there would have been an epidemic within this region. But there isn’t.

    As illogical as the anti-vax movement is, I don’t believe she’s intentionally spreading lies. She is simply too ignorant to understand what she’s saying. However, what she advocates is incredibly dangerous for several reasons. First, she gives false hope to parents with autistic children. Second, vaccination protects children against diseases like measles, mumps, rubella, and diphtheria: all of these diseases can either result in death or lead to other health problems. (Case in point: my mother suffered from measles and rubella as a child; she has a heart murmur as a result.) Third, the current state of the anti-vax movement promotes mass hysteria and assertion without proof. Some of you posters have said, “Oh, well, she’s only stating a belief.” The problem is that I could say, “It’s my belief that women and black cats cause AIDS.” We know this is false, but if we let McCarthy’s comments slide, then anything can be thereafter justified based upon simple belief. Then we’ll have nothing to protect ourselves.

  101. Sili

    Anti-toxin?

    So Botox isn’t a lifesaver anymore?

  102. Sean Greenwalt

    My research indicates that 100% of all children suffering autism have brains. I therefore recommend that some therapy be explored in which the brains of children are removed. I’ll bet this reduces the incidence of autism significantly. Also, if an individual has a family history of autism and plans on having children, s/he should be similarly treated (if we’re using psuedo-science, why not pass on acquired traits?). This would certainly end the “debate”. Just thinking out loud, here…

  103. Okay I am lost somewhere.

    Someone please explain to me the repeated Botox references and why they are being brought up in context with Jenny and Botox being a lifesaver.

  104. PhilB

    @104

    Because, in an interview a few months ago Jenny made the statement that she uses and “loves” botox. Apparently she made this without a real appreciation of the concept of irony.

  105. John Baker

    Ridiculous claims by the anti-vaccine lobby — and I can say that as the parent of an autistic child. Yes, he had all his vaccines (and has been very healthy as a result). So did I growing up. So did my son’s numerous cousins and friends of his same age — all without apparent ill effect. My wife and I have never regretted vaccinating our son because we are both well-educated reasonable people who can examine scientific evidence and do not feel the need to blame our son’s problems on any third party.

  106. Phil Beat me to it. Back in March, Jenny went on and on about how much she loves Botox:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/03/jenny_mccarthy_absolutely_loves_injectin.php

    My irony meter melted.

  107. Mark Hansen

    Ryan (99), Shhhhhhh, don’t say it too loudly. There’s also date-expired Mars bars or Hershey bars (depending on country of origin).

    Seriously now. No. No ground up human fetuses, calf brains, rhino horn, snips, snails, or puppy dog tails.

    Where do these stories come from?

  108. @108 and 106

    Wow. That is all I can really say is wow. Well I can say a lot more but am a tad dumbfounded at the moment. Surprising, no but dumbfounding still ensues.

  109. PhilB

    @99

    I couldn’t remember the exact explanation on fetal tissue myth either. Here’s an article that appears to be pretty well sourced and accurate. But, it’s not done by a medical doctor and I’m not one either so I’m sure others like Orac could elaborate. Nutshell version: many viruses require that they be grown in human cells and those cell lines are maintained by specific companies. The origins of some cell lines mentioned in the article were from abortions performed 35 years ago.
    http://www.apologia.com/vaccines/vac_abortion.html

  110. Jenny looks sooooo professional….

  111. Kent Heckenlively

    I find it unfortunate that every discussion of the vaccine-autism issue inevitably makes it seem as if this is just a Jenny McCarthy bandwagon. Consider the view of Dr. Peter Fletcher, Former Chief Scientific Officer for the Department of Health in the United Kingdom who said, “There are very powerful people in positions of great authority who have staked their reputations on the safety of MMR and are willing to do almost anything to protect themselves.”

    Consider also the words of former head of the U. S. National Institute of Health, Dr. Bernadine Healy who has written on this issue, “Finally, are certain groups of people especially susceptible to side-effects from vaccines, and can we identify them? Youngsters like Hannah Poling, for example, who has an underlying mitochondrial disorder and developed a sudden and dramatic case of regressive autism after receiving nine immunizations, later determined to be the precipitating factor. Other children may have a genetic predisposition to autism, a pre-existing neurological condition worsened by vaccines, or an immune system that is sent into overdrive by too many vaccines, and thus deserve special care . . . Less than a year ago, the National Institute of Health put out a call for expanded research on vaccine safety that contains many of the very things that parents are asking for: examination of the way the immune system handles different vaccines, the impact of nonvaccine components (like mercury and aluminum), and better understanding of susceptibility to vaccine side-effects. . . . This work is long overdue; shockingly, so is a study comparing groups of vaccinated and unvaccinated children.” You can read her entire column for US News and World Report at http://health.usnews.com/blogs/heart-to-heart/2009/04/14/the-vaccines-autism-war-dtente-needed.html

    If people like the former Chief Science Officer from the UK, and the former head of the National Institute of Health for the US are saying that this issue hasn’t been adequately studied, and needs to be, why are people attacking Jenny McCarthy when she says the same things? And maybe more importantly, why is the media not covering the remarks of Dr. Fletcher and Dr. Healy with the same gusto as they report the opinions of vaccine developer, Dr. Offit?

    All the best,
    Kent Heckenlively, Esq.
    Legal Editor, Age of Autism

  112. @111

    so are some claiming that vaccines are grown in multiple types of cells and proteins at once? Seriously I wish that were the case then I could be vaccinated but I cannot as I am allergic to egg white protein and vaccines are grown in egg white protein.

    I read the article and am confused. The articles says the vaccines are grown in human cells because the virus needs a medium to grow. However I cannot be and have never been vaccinated to do anaphylactic allergy to eggs. Vaccines are grown in ovalbumin (egg-white protein).

    Someone please clarify THIS point.

    Because seriously if there was this human cell growth option to vaccines I would be jumping all over that and begging the doctors to inject me with that so that my family doesn’t have to go into reverse quarantine during flu outbreaks or whooping cough outbreaks or reported cases of measles (even so we have a good vaccination program here it still happens every few years) since I have lupus, have never been vaccinated, have no titre when it comes to these illnesses and neither does my youngest.

    Both my doctor and the health authority have looked into alternates so that I can be vaccinated and nothing that would be considered safe due to my allergy.

  113. Chris

    Just note that Kent Heckenlively is doing all sorts of things to his daughter, including stem cell quackery (which will be inviting cancerous tumors later). He is the ultimate of the credulous parent getting sucked into scams.

    Take whatever he writes with a large lump of salt.

  114. ndt

    Kent, you are a liar and should be ashamed of yourself. You posted two quotes, but neglected all the studies showing that vaccines do not cause autism.

  115. Brian

    I saw an interview with Jenny McCarthy on The Hour (it’s a Canadian show). She said something to the effect of:

    “…you’d think that some SCIENTIST, or the FDA, would come to me and TALK to me about how my SON was performing at a SECOND GRADE LEVEL. Then with naturopathic medicine he’s completely NORMAL…” This is purely from memory, so please forgive any lapses in accuracy, which are likely considerable.

    Anyhow it made me laugh. Jenny McCarthy thinks she’s so important and credible, that with an uncontrolled experiment, and a datapoint of one, that scientists and the FDA will be beating a path to her door. Never mind that it would be professional suicide for any serious scientist to associate with this.

    In my experience, such viewpoints arise and thrive mostly when there are no good answers. Let’s face it–no one knows what causes autism. We also don’t know why diagnosis rates seem to be rising, and significantly too. We can make certain logical deductions, and we can rule certain causes out (i.e. vaccinations). However for a parent, desperately searching for answers, that’s not much to hang your hat on.

    Furthermore treatment of autism is, so far as I know, a bit dicey too. I know that some therapies are helpful and by all means go for it. However we also know that it’s not like you can take 1 shot (or even a series of shots) and be cured. There ain’t no cure and that leaves people searching for causes, treatments, and finally meaning.

    So while I think I understand something of Ms. McCarthy’s psychology and motivations, I definitely part ways with her on how she’s chosen to vent her frustration.

  116. Jason

    I’ve just finished reading through all the comments. I was going to respond to both Father and Eric but the responses have pretty much summed up what I was going to say. I love how they use the “drive by” comment tactic, by firing a provocative comment, then drive off never to be heard from to defend their nonsense from the thoughtful replies to their original comment. Oh well…I consider that to mean they have put their “Na na na I can’t hear you” defense or they realize they have been thoroughly dispatched and really can’t response intelligibly.

  117. Chris

    ndt:

    Kent, you are a liar and should be ashamed of yourself. You posted two quotes, but neglected all the studies showing that vaccines do not cause autism.

    Perhaps he is too busy dragging his daughter to quacks to check them out. I did find a few:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Relation of Childhood Gastrointestinal Disorders to Autism: Nested
    Case Control Study Using Data from the UK General Practice Research
    Database. Black C et al. BMJ 2002; 325:419-21 *Subjects: 96 children
    diagnosed with autism and 449 controls

    Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccination and Bowel Problems or Developmental
    Regression in Children with Autism: Population Study. Taylor
    B et al. BMJ 2002; 324(7334):393-6 *Subjects: 278 children with
    core autism and 195 with atypical autism

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

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

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

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

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

    Autism and Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccine: No Epidemiological
    Evidence for a Causal Association. Taylor B et al. Lancet 1999;353
    (9169):2026-9 *Subjects: 498 children with autism

    Absence of Detectable Measles Virus Genome Sequence in Inflammatory
    Bowel Disease Tissues and Peripheral Blood Lymphocytes. Afzal MA et
    al. J Med Virol 1998; 55(3):243-9 *Subjects: 93 colonoscopic biopsies
    and 31 peripheral blood lymphocyte preparations

    No Evidence for Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccine-Associated Inflammatory
    Bowel Disease or Autism in a 14-year Prospective Study.
    Peltola H et al. Lancet 1998; 351:1327-8 *Subjects: 3,000,000 doses of
    MMR vaccine

    Exposure to Measles in Utero and Crohn’s Disease: Danish Register
    Study. Nielsen LL et al. BMJ 1998; 316(7126):196-7 *Subjects: 472
    women with measles

    Immunocytochemical Evidence of Listeria, Escherichia coli, and Streptococcus
    Antigens in Crohn’s Disease. Liu Y et al. Gastroenterology
    1995; 108(5):1396-1404 *Subjects: Intestines and mesenteric lymph
    node specimens from 21 persons from families with a high frequency of
    Crohn’s disease

    Neuropsychological Performance 10 years after Immunization in Infancy with Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines
    Authors: Tozzi AE, Bisiacchi P, Tarantino V, De Mei B, D’Elia L, Chiarotti F, Salmaso S.
    Source: Pediatrics, February 2009, Vol. 123(2):475-82

    Mercury Levels in Newborns and Infants after Receipt of Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines
    Authors: Pichichero ME, Gentile A, Giglio N, et al
    Source: Pediatrics, February 2008; 121(2) e208-214

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

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

    Early Thimerosal Exposure and Neuropsychological Outcomes at 7 to 10 Years
    Authors: Thompson WW, Price C, Goodson B, et al; Vaccine Safety Datalink Team
    Source: N Engl J Med, Sep 27, 2007; 357(13):1281-1292

    Pervasive Developmental Disorders in Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Prevalence and Links with Immunizations
    Authors: Fombonne E, Zakarian R, Bennett A, Meng L, McLean-Heywood D
    Source: Pediatrics, July 2006, Vol. 118(1):e139-e150

    Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System Reporting Source: A Possible Source of Bias in Longitudinal Studies
    Authors: Goodman MJ, Nordin J
    Source: Pediatrics, February 2006, Vol. 117(2):387-390

    Thimerosal in Vaccines: Balancing the Risk of Adverse Effects with the Risk of Vaccine-Preventable Disease
    Authors: Bigham M, Copes R
    Source: Drug Safety, 2005, Vol. 28(2):89-101

    Comparison of Blood and Brain Mercury Levels in Infant Monkeys Exposed to Methylmercury or Vaccines Containing Thimerosal
    Authors: Burbacher TM, Shen DD, Liberato N, Grant KS, Cernichiari E, Clarkson T
    Source: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, April 21, 2005

    Thimerosal Exposure in Infants and Developmental Disorders: A Prospective Cohort Study in the United Kingdom Does Not Support a Causal Association
    Authors: Heron J, Golding J, ALSPAC Study Team
    Source: Pediatrics, September 2004, Vol. 114(3):577-583

    Thimerosal Exposure in Infants and Developmental Disorders: A Retrospective Cohort Study in the United Kingdom Does Not Support a Causal Association
    Authors: Andrews N, Miller E, Grant A, Stowe J, Osborne V, Taylor B
    Source: Pediatrics, September 2004, Vol. 114(3):584-591
    Abstract
    Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines and Autistic Spectrum Disorder: A Critical Review of Published Original Data
    Authors: Parker SK, Schwartz B, Todd J, Pickering LK
    Source: Pediatrics, September 2004, Vol. 114(3):793-804

    The Evidence for the Safety of Thimerosal in Newborn and Infant Vaccines
    Author: Clements CJ
    Source: Vaccine, May 7, 2004, Vol. 22(15-16):1854-1861

    Safety of Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines: A Two-Phased Study of Computerized Health Maintenance Organization Databases
    Authors: Verstraeten T, Davis RL, DeStefano F, et al
    Source: Pediatrics, November 2003, Vol. 112(5):1039-1048

    The Toxicology of Mercury–Current Exposures and Clinical Manifestations
    Authors: Clarkson TW, Magos L, Myers GJ
    Source: New England Journal of Medicine, October 30, 2003, Vol. 349(18):1731-7

    Association Between Thimerosal-Containing Vaccine and Autism
    Authors: Hviid A, Stellfeld M, Wohlfahrt J, Melbye M
    Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, October 1, 2003, Vol. 290(13):1763-6

    Thimerosal and the Occurrence of Autism: Negative Ecological Evidence from Danish Population-Based Data
    Authors: Madsen KM, Lauritsen MB, Pedersen CB, et al
    Source: Pediatrics, Sept. 2003, Vol. 112(3 Pt 1):604-606

    Autism and Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines. Lack of Consistent Evidence for an Association
    Authors: Stehr-Green P, Tull P, Stellfeld M, Mortenson PB, Simpson D
    Source: American Journal of Preventive Medicine, August 2003, Vol. 25(2):101-6

    Impact of the Thimerosal Controversy on Hepatitis B Vaccine Coverage of Infants Born to Women of Unknown Hepatitis B Surface Antigen Status in Michigan
    Authors: Biroscak BJ, Fiore AE, Fasano N, Fineis P, Collins MP, Stoltman G
    Source: Pediatrics, June 2003, Vol. 111(6):e645-9

    Vaccine Safety Policy Analysis in Three European Countries: The Case of Thimerosal
    Authors: Freed GL, Andreae MC, Cowan AE, et al
    Source: Health Policy, December 2002, Vol. 62(3):291-307

    Mercury Concentrations and Metabolism in Infants Receiving Vaccines Containing Thimerosal: A Descriptive Study
    Authors: Pichichero ME, Cernichiari E, Lopreiato J, Treanor J
    Source: The Lancet, November 30, 2002, Vol. 360:1737-1741

    An Assessment of Thimerosal Use in Childhood Vaccines
    Authors: Ball LK, Ball R, Pratt RD
    Source: Pediatrics, May 2001, Vol. 107(5):1147-1154

  118. Kent Heckenlively

    To 115 Chris: I am appreciative of the fact that you are aware we treated my daughter with stem cells. However, you may have forgotten we used umbilical cord stem cells for the very same reason you noted, the fear of cancerous tumors. Embryonic stem cells pose those risks for a number of reasons, such as starting with a relatively low number of cells and needing to multiply them through the use of viruses. Embryonic stem cells still pose a number of risks, and I am not comfortable that those risks are fully known at this time.

    To 116 NDT: I am curious how my quoting of the former Chief Science Officer of the UK, Dr. Peter Fletcher and the former head of the National Institute of Health for the US, Dr. Bernadine Healy, and their concerns that adequate safety testing of vaccines haven’t been done constitutes a lie. Let me add these comments from Dr. Bernadine Healy and I’ll again provide you with the link.

    “Healy goes onto say public health officials have intentionally avoided researching whether subsets of children are susceptible to vaccine side-effects – afraid that the answer will scare the public . . . There is a completely expressed concern that they don’t want to pursue a hypothesis because that hypothesis could be damaging to the public health community at large by scaring people. “First of all,” Healy said, “I think the public’s smarter than that. The public values vaccines. But more importantly, I don’t think you should ever turn your back on any scientific hypothesis because you’re afraid of what it might show.” http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/05/12/cbsnews_investigates/main4086809.shtml

    It’s my humble opinion after reviewing the studies which claim to show that vaccines are not linked to autism is that they’re badly flawed. They never compared vaccinated and unvaccinated children, and the more you dig into them the less they reveal. I think we can all agree that a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study would go a long way to showing whether vaccines are causing this problem.

    All the best,
    Kent Heckenlively, Esq.
    Legal Editor, Age of Autism

  119. Kent Heckenlively

    To 115 Chris:

    I’ve copied a list of scientific articles, along with explanations of the research for you to review. There is also some commentary on what the studies reveal, such as the UC Davis study which concludes that the rise of autism in California is not due to better diagnosing or changed standards, but reflects a true rise in autism, and also suggests a shift from focusing on genetics, to at least elevating environmental factors to the same level of scrutiny.

    1.

    The prevalence of neurological disorders amongst children is growing, which means the environment must be playing a role (because genetic conditions can only grow at the rate of population growth).

    We cite four published studies that support this position:

    Report to the Legislature on the Principle Findings from The Epidemiology of Autism in California: A Comprehensive Pilot Study
    MIND Institute, UC Davis, Oct 2002.
    Robert Byrd

    Using data from California, the state perceived to maintain the best data on autism, this report demonstrates clearly that the rise in autism is not due to improved diagnosis and expanded diagnostic criteria, but is rather a REAL rise for which some external factor must be playing a role. Excerpt:

    “There is no evidence that a loosening in the diagnostic criteria has contributed to increased number of autism clients…we conclude that some, if not all, of the observed increase represents a true increase in cases of autism in California…a purely genetic basis for autism does not fully explain the increasing autism prevalence. Other theories that attempt to better explain the observed increase in autism cases include environmental exposures to substances such as mercury; viral exposures; autoimmune disorders; and childhood vaccinations.”

    National Autism Prevalence Trends From United States Special Education Data.
    Pediatrics, March 2005.
    Craig J. Newschaffer, PhD [Johns Hopkins University].

    This study shows that the rise in the incidence of autism is real and that the greatest increase took place between 1987 and 1992, which matches the timing of the near-tripling of vaccines given to our children and the tripling of mercury within those vaccines.

    The Changing Prevalence of Autism In California
    Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, April 2003
    Mark Blaxill, MBA

    This study helps to refute the supposition made by some researchers that autism’s epidemic may only be due to “diagnostic substitution”. Excerpt:

    “They have suggested that ‘diagnostic substitution’ accounts for an apparent increase in the incidence of autism in California that is not real. This hypothesized substitution is not supported by proper and detailed analyses of the California data.”

    What’s Going On? The Question of Time Trends in Autism.
    Public Health Reports, Nov-Dec 2004.
    Mark F. Blaxill, MBA.

    This detailed analysis of reported rates of autism in the United States and United Kingdom serves to further refute the assertion made by some that the “epidemic” of autism is nothing more than better diagnosis.
    2.

    When environmental toxicity in children with neurological disorders is measured, it is meaningfully higher than neurotypical (normal) children.

    We cite five published studies that support this position:

    Porphyrinuria in Childhood Autistic Disorder: Implications for Environmental Toxicity
    Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 2006.
    Robert Nataf, Corinne Skorupka, Lorene Amet

    This new study from France utilizes a new and sophisticated measurement for environmental toxicity by assessing porphyrin levels in autistic children. It provides clear and unequivocal evidence that children with autism spectrum disorders are more toxic than their neurotypical peers. Excerpt:

    “Coproporphyrin levels were elevated in children with autistic disorder relative to control groups…the elevation was significant. These data implicate environmental toxicity in childhood autistic disorder.”

    A Case Control Study of Mercury Burden in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
    Journal of American Physicians and Surgeon, 2003.
    James Adams, PhD [Arizona State University].

    This recent study shows, through active chelation with DMSA, that autistic children excrete significantly higher levels of mercury than their neurotypical peers, leading to the conclusion that autistic children bear a much higher load of mercury in their bodies and that chelation may be an effective treatment for removing the mercury. Excerpt:

    “The data from this study, along with emerging epidemiological data showing a link between increasing mercury doses from childhood vaccines and childhood neurodevelopmental disorders, increases the likelihood that mercury is one of the main factors leading to the large increase in the rate of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. It is hoped that removing thimerosal from all childhood vaccines will contribute to a decline in the numbers of new cases of autistic spectrum disorders.”

    A Case Series of Children with Apparent Mercury Toxic Encephalopathies Manifesting with Clinical Symptoms of Regressive Autistic Disorder
    Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, 2007
    David A. Geier, Mark R. Geier

    This study reviewed the case histories and medical profiles of nine autistic children and concluded that eight of the nine children were mercury toxic and this toxicity manifested itself in a manner consistent with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Excerpt:

    “…these previously normally developing children suffered mercury toxic encephalopathies that manifested with clinical symptoms consistent with regressive ASDs. Evidence for mercury intoxication should be considered in the differential diagnosis as contributing to some regressive ASDs.”

    Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and blood mercury level: a case-control study in chinese children
    Neuropediatrics, August 2006
    P.R. Kong [Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, The University of Hong Kong].

    This study demonstrates that blood mercury levels are higher for children with ADHD. Excerpt:

    “There was significant difference in blood mercury levels between cases and controls, which persists after adjustment for age, gender and parental occupational status. The geometric mean blood mercury level was also significantly higher in children with inattentive and combined subtypes of ADHD. CONCLUSION: High blood mercury level was associated with ADHD. Whether the relationship is causal requires further studies.”

    Reduced Levels of Mercury in First Baby Haircuts of Autistic Children
    International Journal of Toxicology
    Dr. Amy S. Holmes, Mark F. Blaxill, Boyd E. Haley, Ph.D.
    March 14, 2003

    This recent study demonstrates that the levels of mercury in the birth hair of autistic children were significantly lower than their control peers. While this may at first appear contradictory, it highlights one of the critical insights to understanding mercury poisoning and autistic children: many autistic children are non-excretors of mercury. This means their capacity to excrete mercury is significantly lower than their neurotypical peers and contributes to their condition.
    3.

    The brains of children with neurological disorders are experiencing severe oxidative stress and inflammation, suggesting an environmental cause.

    We cite four published studies that support this position:

    Large Brains in Autism: The Challenge of Pervasive Abnormality.
    The Neuroscientist, Volume 11, Number 5, 2005.
    Martha Herbert, MD, PhD [Harvard University].

    This study helps refute the notion that the brains of autistic children are simply wired differently and notes, “neuroinflammation appears to be present in autistic brain tissue from childhood through adulthood.” Dr. Herbert suggests that chronic disease or an external environmental source (like heavy metals) may be causing the inflammation. Excerpt:

    “Oxidative stress, brain inflammation, and microgliosis have been much documented in association with toxic exposures including various heavy metals…the awareness that the brain as well as medical conditions of children with autism may be conditioned by chronic biomedical abnormalities such as inflammation opens the possibility that meaningful biomedical interventions may be possible well past the window of maximal neuroplasticity in early childhood because the basis for assuming that all deficits can be attributed to fixed early developmental alterations in neural architecture has now been undermined.”

    Neuroglial Activation and Neuroinflammation in the Brain of Patients with Autism.
    Annals of Neurology, Feb 2005.
    Diana L. Vargas, MD [Johns Hopkins University].

    This study, performed independently and using a different methodology than Dr. Herbert (see above) reached the same conclusion: the brains of autistic children are suffering from inflammation. Excerpt:

    “Because this neuroinflammatory process appears to be associated with an ongoing and chronic mechanism of CNS dysfunction, potential therapeutic interventions should focus on the control of its detrimental effects and thereby eventually modify the clinical course of autism.”

    Evidence of Toxicity, Oxidative Stress, and Neuronal Insult in Autism
    Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Nov-Dec 2006.
    Janet Kern, Anne Jones

    “This article discusses the evidence for the case that some children with autism may become autistic from neuronal cell death or brain damage sometime after birth as result of insult; and addresses the hypotheses that toxicity and oxidative stress may be a cause of neuronal insult in autism..the article discusses what may be happening over the course of development and the multiple factors that may interplay and make these children more vulnerable to toxicity, oxidative stress, and neuronal insult.”

    Oxidative Stress in Autism
    Pathophysiology, 2006.
    Abha Chauhan, Ved Chauhan

    This study provides a helpful overview of the growing evidence supporting the link between oxidative stress and autism. Excerpt:

    “Upon completion of this article, participants should be able to: 1. Be aware of laboratory and clinical evidence of greater oxidative stress in autism. 2. Understand how gut, brain, nutritional, and toxic status in autism are consistent with greater oxidative stress. 3. Describe how anti-oxidant nutrients are used in the contemporary treatment of autism.”

    4.

    Children with neurological disorders are often suffering from severe gastrointestinal distress and inflammation. A trigger of this inflammation and the resultant behaviors is the MMR vaccine.

    We cite four published studies that support this position:

    Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children
    Lancet 1998 Feb 28
    Wakefield AJ, Murch SH, Anthony A, Linnell J, Casson DM, [University Department of Medicine, Royal Free Hospital and School of Medicine, London, UK]

    This study demonstrates that the MMR vaccine triggered autistic behaviors and inflammatory bowel disease in autistic children. Excerpt:

    “Onset of behavioral symptoms was associated, by the parents, with measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination [MMR] in eight of the 12 children, with measles infection in one child, and otitis media in another… We identified associated gastrointestinal disease and developmental regression in a group of previously normal children, which was generally associated in time with possible environmental triggers.”

    The Significance of Ileo-Colonic Lymphoid Nodular Hyperplasia in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder.
    European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, August 2005.
    Andrew J. Wakefield, MD [Royal Free & University College Medical School, London].

    This study demonstrates that, to a much higher degree, children with an autism spectrum disorder suffer from Ileo-Colonic Lymphoid Nodular Hyperplasia (LNH) a serious disorder of the intestinal tract. Excerpt:

    “Both ileal and colonic LNH are significantly more prevalent, and of greater severity, in ASD children compared with developmentally normal controls.”

    Detection and Sequencing of Measles Virus from Peripheral Mononuclear Cells from Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Autism
    Digestive Diseases and Sciences, 2000
    Hisashi Kawashima, Takayuki Mori, Yasuyo Kashiwagi, Kouji Takekuma

    This study shows that the measles in the bowels of autistic children is from the MMR vaccine. Excerpt:

    “Additionally, a new syndrome has been reported in children with autism who exhibited developmental regression and gastrointestinal symptoms (autistic enterocolitis), in some cases soon after MMR vaccine. It is not known whether the virus, if confirmed to be present in these patients, derives from either wild strains or vaccine strains. …The sequences obtained from the patients with ulcerative colitis and children with autism were consistent with being vaccine strains. The results were concordant with the exposure history of the patients. Persistence of measles virus was confirmed in PBMC in some patients with chronic intestinal inflammation.”

    Dysregulated Innate Immune Responses in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Their Relationship to Gastrointestinal Symptoms and Dietary Intervention.
    Neuropsychobiology, 2005.
    Harumi Jyonouchi, MD [New Jersey Medical School].

    This study examines the link between autistic behaviors and gastrointestinal disorders and notes a possible link “between GI and behavioral symptoms mediated by innate immune abnormalities.”
    5.

    One preservative used in vaccines, Thimerosal (mercury), enters the bloodstream of the child and ends up in the brain after being administered.

    We cite two published studies that support this position:

    Iatrogenic Exposure to Mercury After Hepatitis B Vaccination in Preterm Infants.
    Journal of Pediatrics, May 2000.
    Gregory V. Stajich, PharmD [Mercer University].

    This study measured mercury levels in infants before and after the administration of a Hepatitis B vaccine containing Thimerosal and found that a “comparison of pre and post-vaccination mercury levels showed a significant increase in both preterm and term infants after vaccination.”

    Comparison of Blood and Brain Mercury Levels in Infant Monkeys Exposed to Methylmercury or Vaccines Containing Thimerosal.
    Environmental Health Perspectives, Aug 2005.
    Thomas Burbacher, PhD [University of Washington].

    This study demonstrates clearly and unequivocally that ethyl mercury, the kind of mercury found in vaccines, not only ends up in the brain, but leaves double the amount of inorganic mercury as methyl mercury, the kind of mercury found in fish. This work is groundbreaking because little is known about ethyl mercury, and many health authorities have asserted that the mercury found in vaccines is the “safe kind.” This study also delivers a strong rebuke of the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation in 2004 to no longer pursue the mercury-autism connection. Excerpt:

    “A recently published IOM review (IOM 2004) appears to have abandoned the earlier recommendation [of studying mercury and autism] as well as back away from the American Academy of Pediatrics goal [of removing mercury from vaccines]. This approach is difficult to understand, given our current limited knowledge of the toxicokinetics and developmental neurotoxicity of thimerosal, a compound that has been (and will continue to be) injected in millions of newborns and infants.”

    6.

    Higher levels of environmental mercury has been shown to produce higher rates of autism.

    We cite one published study that supports this position:

    Environmental mercury release, special education rates, and autism disorder: an ecological study of Texas.
    Health & Place, 2006
    Raymond F. Palmer, University of Texas Health Science Center

    This study demonstrated the correlation between environmental mercury and autism rates in Texas. Excerpt:

    “On average, for each 1,000 lb of environmentally released mercury, there was a 43% increase in the rate of special education services and a 61% increase in the rate of autism. The association between environmentally released mercury and special education rates were fully mediated by increased autism rates. This ecological study suggests the need for further research regarding the association between environmentally released mercury and developmental disorders such as autism.”

    7.

    The preservatives in vaccines, most notably Thimerosal (mercury) and aluminum, are highly toxic and damaging to the nervous system and immune system of a developing child, and reactions to these toxins may vary greatly by child.

    We cite nine published studies that support this position:

    Thimerosal Neurotoxicity is Associated with Glutathione Depletion: Protection with Glutathione Precursors.
    Neurotoxicology, Jan 2005.
    S. Jill James, PhD [University of Arkansas].

    This recent study demonstrates that Thimerosal lowers or inhibits the body’s ability to produce Glutathione, an antioxidant and the body’s primary cellular-level defense against mercury. Excerpt:

    “Thimerosal-induced cytotoxicity was associated with depletion of intracellular Glutathione in both cell lines…The potential effect of Glutathione or N-acetylcysteine against mercury toxicity warrants further research as possible adjunct therapy to individuals still receiving Thimerosal-containing vaccines.”

    Uncoupling of ATP-mediated Calcium Signaling and Dysregulated IL-6 Secretion in Dendritic Cells by Nanomolar Thimerosal
    Environmental Health Perspectives, July 2006.
    Samuel R. Goth, Ruth A. Chu Jeffrey P. Gregg

    This study demonstrates that very low-levels of Thimerosal can contribute to immune system disregulation. Excerpt:

    “Our findings that DCs primarily express the RyR1 channel complex and that this complex is uncoupled by very low levels of THI with dysregulated IL-6 secretion raise intriguing questions about a molecular basis for immune dyregulation and the possible role of the RyR1 complex in genetic susceptibility of the immune system to mercury.”

    Aluminum adjuvant linked to gulf war illness induces motor neuron death in mice
    Neuromolecular Medicine, 2007
    Christopher Shaw, Ph.D. [Department of Ophthalmology and Program in Neuroscience, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada]

    This study demonstrates the extreme toxicity of the aluminum adjuvant used as a preservative in vaccines. Excerpt:

    “testing showed motor deficits in the aluminum treatment group that expressed as a progressive decrease in strength measured…Significant cognitive deficits in water-maze learning were observed in the combined aluminum and squalene group…Apoptotic neurons were identified in aluminum-injected animals that showed significantly increased activated caspase-3 labeling in lumbar spinal cord (255%) and primary motor cortex (192%) compared with the controls. Aluminum-treated groups also showed significant motor neuron loss (35%) and increased numbers of astrocytes (350%) in the lumbar spinal cord.”

    Activation of Methionine Synthase by Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 and Dopamine: a Target for Neurodevelopmental Toxins and Thimerosal.
    Molecular Psychiatry, July 2004.
    Richard C. Deth, PhD [Northeastern University].

    This study demonstrates how Thimerosal inhibits methylation, a central driver of cellular communication and development. Excerpt:

    “The potent inhibition of this pathway [methylation] by ethanol, lead, mercury, aluminum, and thimerosal suggests it may be an important target of neurodevelopmental toxins.”

    Neurotoxic Effects of Postnatal Thimerosal are Mouse Strain Dependent.
    Molecular Psychiatry, Sep 2004.
    Mady Hornig, MD [Columbia University].

    This recent work by Columbia University Doctors explores whether genes are important in determining if mercury exposures akin to those in childhood immunizations can disrupt brain development and function. It is the first known scientific study done specifically on ethlymercury administered in a way similar to the vaccine schedule. Dr. Hornig discussed the study before Congress in September 2004. Excerpt:

    “The premise of our research is that if mercury in vaccines creates risk for neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, genetic differences are likely to contribute to that risk. Earlier studies, however, did not use the form of mercury present in vaccines, known as thimerosal, and did not consider whether intramuscular, repetitive administration during early postnatal development, when the brain and immune systems are still maturing, might intensify toxicity. Our predictions were confirmed. Using thimerosal dosages and timing that approximated the childhood immunization schedule, our model of postnatal thimerosal neurotoxicity demonstrated that the genes in mice that predict mercury-related immunotoxicity also predicted nuerodevelopmental damage. Features reminiscent of those observed in autism occurred in the mice of the genetically sensitive strain.”

    Thimerosal induces DNA breaks, Caspase-3 Activation, Membrane Damage, and Cell Death in Cultured Human Neurons and Fibroblasts.
    Toxicological Science, 2003.
    David S. Baskin, MD [Baylor College of Medicine].

    This study demonstrates the potent toxicity of Thimerosal on brain cells.

    Organic Mercury Compounds and Autoimmunity.
    Autoimmunity Review, 2005.
    Said Havarinasab, MD [Linkoping University].

    This study demonstrates the clear link between ethylmercury [from Thimerosal] and autoimmune responses.

    Mercury and autism: Accelerating Evidence?
    Neuroendocrinology Letters, Oct 2005.
    Joachim Mutter, M.D. [Freiburg University, Germany].

    This recent study from Germany summarizes many of the recent scientific advances. Excerpt:

    “The causes of autism and neurodevelopmental disorders are unknown. Genetic and environmental risk factors seem to be involved…Repetitive doses of thimerosal leads to neurobehavioral deteriorations in autoimmune susceptible mice, increased oxidative stress and decreased intracellular levels of glutathione in vitro. Subsequently, autistic children have significantly decreased level of reduced glutathione. Promising treatments of autism involve detoxification of mercury, and supplementation of deficient metabolites.”

    Retrograde Degeneration of Neurite Membrane Structural Integrity of Nerve Growth In Vitro Exposure to Mercury.
    NeuroReport, 2001.
    Christopher Leong, MD [University of Calgary].

    This study shows how mercury damages brain cells.
    8.

    The symptoms of autism and the symptoms of mercury poisoning appear to be very similar.

    We cite one published study that support this position:

    Autism: A Novel Form of Mercury Poisoning.
    Medical Hypothesis, 2001.
    Sallie Bernard, Albert Enyati, Lynn Redwood, RN, Teresa Binstock, PhD.

    This simple but groundbreaking work spelled it out for the layperson by demonstrating that the symptoms of autism and the symptoms of mercury poisoning are identical. Excerpt:

    “Due to the extensive parallels between autism and mercury poisoning, the likelihood of a causal relationship is great. Given that possibility, Thimerosal should be removed from all childhood vaccines and the mechanisms of mercury toxicity in autism should be thoroughly investigated.”

    9.

    The Government Reform Committee of the U.S. Congress has published reports on the relationship between mercury and autism and on the conflicts in policy-making for the national immunization schedule.

    We cite two studies by the Committee on Government Reform of the U.S. Congress:

    Mercury in Medicine – Taking Unnecessary Risks
    Congressional Record – Extensions of Remarks
    Congressman Dan Burton (R-IN), Committee on Government Reform
    May 21, 2003

    This extensive report was prepared by the staff of the Subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness and was the result of a three-year investigation. The Committee on Government Reform, chaired by Congressman Dan Burton, initiated the investigation and compiled the testimony of hundreds of researchers and physicians, as well as representatives from the FDA and CDC, who presented to the committee. Excerpt:

    “Mercury is hazardous to humans. Its use in medicinal products is undesirable, unnecessary and should be minimized or eliminated entirely. Manufacturers of vaccines and thimerosal, (an ethlymercury compound used in vaccines), have never conducted adequate testing on the safety of thimerosal. The FDA has never required manufacturers to conduct adequate safety testing on thimerosal and ethlymercury compounds…Thimerosal used as a preservative in vaccines is likely related to the autism epidemic. This epidemic in all probability may have been prevented or curtailed had the FDA not been asleep at the switch regarding injected thimerosal and the sharp rise of infant exposure to this known neurotoxin. Our public health agencies’ failure to act is indicative of institutional malfeasance for self-protection and misplaced protectionism of the pharmaceutical industry.”

    Conflicts of Interest in Vaccine Policy Making
    Majority Staff Report, Committee on Government Reform, U.S. House of Representatives
    June 15, 2000

    “Members of the advisory committees are required to disclose any financial conflicts of interest and recuse themselves from participating in decisions in which they have an interest. The Committee’s investigation has determined that conflict of interest rules employed by the FDA and the CDC have been weak, enforcement has been lax, and committee members with substantial ties to pharmaceutical companies have been given waivers to participate in committee proceedings.”

    10.

    Other studies of interest

    Complementary Alternative Medicine for Children with Autism: A Physician Survey

    Previous studies suggest over half of children with autism are using complementary alternative medicine (CAM). In this study, physicians responded (n = 539, 19% response rate) to a survey regarding CAM use in children with autism. Physicians encouraged multi-vitamins (49%), essential fatty acids (25%), melatonin (25%) and probiotics (19%) and discouraged withholding immunizations (76%), chelation (61%), anti-infectives (57%), delaying immunizations (55%) and secretin (43%). Physicians encouraging CAM were more likely to desire CAM training, inquire about CAM use, be female, be younger, and report greater autism visits, autism education and CAM knowledge. Physicians were more likely to desire CAM training, inquire about CAM and view CAM as a challenge for children with autism compared to children with other neurodevelopmental and chronic/complex conditions.

    Neurometabolic Disorders and Dysfunction in Autism Spectrum Disorders

    The cause of autism remains largely unknown because it is likely multifactorial, arising from the interaction of biologic, genetic, and environmental factors. The specifi c role of metabolic abnormalities also is largely unknown, but current research may provide insight into the pathophysiologic underpinnings of autism, at least in some patients. We review a number of known neurometabolic disorders identifi ed as having an autistic phenotype. We also discuss the possible involvement of mitochondrial disorders and dysfunction as well as a theory regarding an increased vulnerability to oxidative stress, by which various environmental toxins produce metabolic alterations that impair normal cellular function. Finally, we review various strategies for metabolic work-up and treatment. Accurate diagnosis of neurometabolic disorders and a broader understanding of underlying metabolic disturbance even in the absence of known disease have important implications both for individual patients and for research into the etiology of autism.

    All the best,
    Kent Heckenlively, Esq.
    Legal Editor, Age of Autism

  120. On SCAM Blasting, I had converted the file to .mp4 so you can rewind/fast forward at your leisure (I would guess only one of those options will be used by your readers ;)
    Jenny video .mp4

  121. Chris

    Kent, you would not know good science if it bit you on the butt.

    Some of the “esteemed” journals you listed included a journal that is more a political rag that is associated with Andy “Give me your data!” Schlafly, the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeon, and a of course “Medical Hypothesis” (you do know what the word “hypothesis” means, right?… and bonus: written by Blaxill, what did he get his science degree in?). Also, congressional testimony does not count.

    Also, try not to choose papers written by those who are paid by lawyers, mainly the Geiers and Wakefield (oh, did you hear? The Feb. 2009 Times articles about him are back online, his little press release backfired).

    If you are going to cherry pick, choose some better trees.

  122. Kent Heckenlively

    Chris, some of the articles in my list include research from UC Davis, Johns Hopkins University, Arizona State University, the University of Hong Kong, Harvard University, New Jersey Medical School, University of Washington, University of Texas, University of British Columbia, University of Arkansas, Columbia University, Baylor College of Medicine, Linkoping University (China), University of Calgary (Canada), and Frieburg University (Germany).

    I’m fine if you take out Mark Blaxill, Dr. Andrew Wakefield (although I think that if the General Medical Counsel had evidence of what they charge the trial would not have dragged on for nearly two years, with no decision expected until 2010. And I think the fact that many of the parents have written a letter of support of Andrew Wakefield shows something is amiss in this prosecution), and if you don’t like Congressional testimony, I’m fine if you throw that out as well.

    I believe this list of research from academic institutions in paragraph #1 should acquaint you with some of the issues.

    All the best,
    Kent Heckenlively, Esq.
    Legal Editor, Age of Autism

    1.

    The prevalence of neurological disorders amongst children is growing, which means the environment must be playing a role (because genetic conditions can only grow at the rate of population growth).

    We cite four published studies that support this position:

    Report to the Legislature on the Principle Findings from The Epidemiology of Autism in California: A Comprehensive Pilot Study
    MIND Institute, UC Davis, Oct 2002.
    Robert Byrd

    Using data from California, the state perceived to maintain the best data on autism, this report demonstrates clearly that the rise in autism is not due to improved diagnosis and expanded diagnostic criteria, but is rather a REAL rise for which some external factor must be playing a role. Excerpt:

    “There is no evidence that a loosening in the diagnostic criteria has contributed to increased number of autism clients…we conclude that some, if not all, of the observed increase represents a true increase in cases of autism in California…a purely genetic basis for autism does not fully explain the increasing autism prevalence. Other theories that attempt to better explain the observed increase in autism cases include environmental exposures to substances such as mercury; viral exposures; autoimmune disorders; and childhood vaccinations.”

    National Autism Prevalence Trends From United States Special Education Data.
    Pediatrics, March 2005.
    Craig J. Newschaffer, PhD [Johns Hopkins University].

    This study shows that the rise in the incidence of autism is real and that the greatest increase took place between 1987 and 1992, which matches the timing of the near-tripling of vaccines given to our children and the tripling of mercury within those vaccines.

    The Changing Prevalence of Autism In California
    Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, April 2003
    Mark Blaxill, MBA

    This study helps to refute the supposition made by some researchers that autism’s epidemic may only be due to “diagnostic substitution”. Excerpt:

    “They have suggested that ‘diagnostic substitution’ accounts for an apparent increase in the incidence of autism in California that is not real. This hypothesized substitution is not supported by proper and detailed analyses of the California data.”

    What’s Going On? The Question of Time Trends in Autism.
    Public Health Reports, Nov-Dec 2004.
    Mark F. Blaxill, MBA.

    This detailed analysis of reported rates of autism in the United States and United Kingdom serves to further refute the assertion made by some that the “epidemic” of autism is nothing more than better diagnosis.
    2.

    When environmental toxicity in children with neurological disorders is measured, it is meaningfully higher than neurotypical (normal) children.

    We cite five published studies that support this position:

    Porphyrinuria in Childhood Autistic Disorder: Implications for Environmental Toxicity
    Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 2006.
    Robert Nataf, Corinne Skorupka, Lorene Amet

    This new study from France utilizes a new and sophisticated measurement for environmental toxicity by assessing porphyrin levels in autistic children. It provides clear and unequivocal evidence that children with autism spectrum disorders are more toxic than their neurotypical peers. Excerpt:

    “Coproporphyrin levels were elevated in children with autistic disorder relative to control groups…the elevation was significant. These data implicate environmental toxicity in childhood autistic disorder.”

    A Case Control Study of Mercury Burden in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
    Journal of American Physicians and Surgeon, 2003.
    James Adams, PhD [Arizona State University].

    This recent study shows, through active chelation with DMSA, that autistic children excrete significantly higher levels of mercury than their neurotypical peers, leading to the conclusion that autistic children bear a much higher load of mercury in their bodies and that chelation may be an effective treatment for removing the mercury. Excerpt:

    “The data from this study, along with emerging epidemiological data showing a link between increasing mercury doses from childhood vaccines and childhood neurodevelopmental disorders, increases the likelihood that mercury is one of the main factors leading to the large increase in the rate of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. It is hoped that removing thimerosal from all childhood vaccines will contribute to a decline in the numbers of new cases of autistic spectrum disorders.”

    A Case Series of Children with Apparent Mercury Toxic Encephalopathies Manifesting with Clinical Symptoms of Regressive Autistic Disorder
    Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, 2007
    David A. Geier, Mark R. Geier

    This study reviewed the case histories and medical profiles of nine autistic children and concluded that eight of the nine children were mercury toxic and this toxicity manifested itself in a manner consistent with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Excerpt:

    “…these previously normally developing children suffered mercury toxic encephalopathies that manifested with clinical symptoms consistent with regressive ASDs. Evidence for mercury intoxication should be considered in the differential diagnosis as contributing to some regressive ASDs.”

    Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and blood mercury level: a case-control study in chinese children
    Neuropediatrics, August 2006
    P.R. Kong [Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, The University of Hong Kong].

    This study demonstrates that blood mercury levels are higher for children with ADHD. Excerpt:

    “There was significant difference in blood mercury levels between cases and controls, which persists after adjustment for age, gender and parental occupational status. The geometric mean blood mercury level was also significantly higher in children with inattentive and combined subtypes of ADHD. CONCLUSION: High blood mercury level was associated with ADHD. Whether the relationship is causal requires further studies.”

    Reduced Levels of Mercury in First Baby Haircuts of Autistic Children
    International Journal of Toxicology
    Dr. Amy S. Holmes, Mark F. Blaxill, Boyd E. Haley, Ph.D.
    March 14, 2003

    This recent study demonstrates that the levels of mercury in the birth hair of autistic children were significantly lower than their control peers. While this may at first appear contradictory, it highlights one of the critical insights to understanding mercury poisoning and autistic children: many autistic children are non-excretors of mercury. This means their capacity to excrete mercury is significantly lower than their neurotypical peers and contributes to their condition.
    3.

    The brains of children with neurological disorders are experiencing severe oxidative stress and inflammation, suggesting an environmental cause.

    We cite four published studies that support this position:

    Large Brains in Autism: The Challenge of Pervasive Abnormality.
    The Neuroscientist, Volume 11, Number 5, 2005.
    Martha Herbert, MD, PhD [Harvard University].

    This study helps refute the notion that the brains of autistic children are simply wired differently and notes, “neuroinflammation appears to be present in autistic brain tissue from childhood through adulthood.” Dr. Herbert suggests that chronic disease or an external environmental source (like heavy metals) may be causing the inflammation. Excerpt:

    “Oxidative stress, brain inflammation, and microgliosis have been much documented in association with toxic exposures including various heavy metals…the awareness that the brain as well as medical conditions of children with autism may be conditioned by chronic biomedical abnormalities such as inflammation opens the possibility that meaningful biomedical interventions may be possible well past the window of maximal neuroplasticity in early childhood because the basis for assuming that all deficits can be attributed to fixed early developmental alterations in neural architecture has now been undermined.”

    Neuroglial Activation and Neuroinflammation in the Brain of Patients with Autism.
    Annals of Neurology, Feb 2005.
    Diana L. Vargas, MD [Johns Hopkins University].

    This study, performed independently and using a different methodology than Dr. Herbert (see above) reached the same conclusion: the brains of autistic children are suffering from inflammation. Excerpt:

    “Because this neuroinflammatory process appears to be associated with an ongoing and chronic mechanism of CNS dysfunction, potential therapeutic interventions should focus on the control of its detrimental effects and thereby eventually modify the clinical course of autism.”

    Evidence of Toxicity, Oxidative Stress, and Neuronal Insult in Autism
    Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Nov-Dec 2006.
    Janet Kern, Anne Jones

    “This article discusses the evidence for the case that some children with autism may become autistic from neuronal cell death or brain damage sometime after birth as result of insult; and addresses the hypotheses that toxicity and oxidative stress may be a cause of neuronal insult in autism..the article discusses what may be happening over the course of development and the multiple factors that may interplay and make these children more vulnerable to toxicity, oxidative stress, and neuronal insult.”

    Oxidative Stress in Autism
    Pathophysiology, 2006.
    Abha Chauhan, Ved Chauhan

    This study provides a helpful overview of the growing evidence supporting the link between oxidative stress and autism. Excerpt:

    “Upon completion of this article, participants should be able to: 1. Be aware of laboratory and clinical evidence of greater oxidative stress in autism. 2. Understand how gut, brain, nutritional, and toxic status in autism are consistent with greater oxidative stress. 3. Describe how anti-oxidant nutrients are used in the contemporary treatment of autism.”

    4.

    Children with neurological disorders are often suffering from severe gastrointestinal distress and inflammation. A trigger of this inflammation and the resultant behaviors is the MMR vaccine.

    We cite four published studies that support this position:

    Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children
    Lancet 1998 Feb 28
    Wakefield AJ, Murch SH, Anthony A, Linnell J, Casson DM, [University Department of Medicine, Royal Free Hospital and School of Medicine, London, UK]

    This study demonstrates that the MMR vaccine triggered autistic behaviors and inflammatory bowel disease in autistic children. Excerpt:

    “Onset of behavioral symptoms was associated, by the parents, with measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination [MMR] in eight of the 12 children, with measles infection in one child, and otitis media in another… We identified associated gastrointestinal disease and developmental regression in a group of previously normal children, which was generally associated in time with possible environmental triggers.”

    The Significance of Ileo-Colonic Lymphoid Nodular Hyperplasia in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder.
    European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, August 2005.
    Andrew J. Wakefield, MD [Royal Free & University College Medical School, London].

    This study demonstrates that, to a much higher degree, children with an autism spectrum disorder suffer from Ileo-Colonic Lymphoid Nodular Hyperplasia (LNH) a serious disorder of the intestinal tract. Excerpt:

    “Both ileal and colonic LNH are significantly more prevalent, and of greater severity, in ASD children compared with developmentally normal controls.”

    Detection and Sequencing of Measles Virus from Peripheral Mononuclear Cells from Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Autism
    Digestive Diseases and Sciences, 2000
    Hisashi Kawashima, Takayuki Mori, Yasuyo Kashiwagi, Kouji Takekuma

    This study shows that the measles in the bowels of autistic children is from the MMR vaccine. Excerpt:

    “Additionally, a new syndrome has been reported in children with autism who exhibited developmental regression and gastrointestinal symptoms (autistic enterocolitis), in some cases soon after MMR vaccine. It is not known whether the virus, if confirmed to be present in these patients, derives from either wild strains or vaccine strains. …The sequences obtained from the patients with ulcerative colitis and children with autism were consistent with being vaccine strains. The results were concordant with the exposure history of the patients. Persistence of measles virus was confirmed in PBMC in some patients with chronic intestinal inflammation.”

    Dysregulated Innate Immune Responses in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Their Relationship to Gastrointestinal Symptoms and Dietary Intervention.
    Neuropsychobiology, 2005.
    Harumi Jyonouchi, MD [New Jersey Medical School].

    This study examines the link between autistic behaviors and gastrointestinal disorders and notes a possible link “between GI and behavioral symptoms mediated by innate immune abnormalities.”
    5.

    One preservative used in vaccines, Thimerosal (mercury), enters the bloodstream of the child and ends up in the brain after being administered.

    We cite two published studies that support this position:

    Iatrogenic Exposure to Mercury After Hepatitis B Vaccination in Preterm Infants.
    Journal of Pediatrics, May 2000.
    Gregory V. Stajich, PharmD [Mercer University].

    This study measured mercury levels in infants before and after the administration of a Hepatitis B vaccine containing Thimerosal and found that a “comparison of pre and post-vaccination mercury levels showed a significant increase in both preterm and term infants after vaccination.”

    Comparison of Blood and Brain Mercury Levels in Infant Monkeys Exposed to Methylmercury or Vaccines Containing Thimerosal.
    Environmental Health Perspectives, Aug 2005.
    Thomas Burbacher, PhD [University of Washington].

    This study demonstrates clearly and unequivocally that ethyl mercury, the kind of mercury found in vaccines, not only ends up in the brain, but leaves double the amount of inorganic mercury as methyl mercury, the kind of mercury found in fish. This work is groundbreaking because little is known about ethyl mercury, and many health authorities have asserted that the mercury found in vaccines is the “safe kind.” This study also delivers a strong rebuke of the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation in 2004 to no longer pursue the mercury-autism connection. Excerpt:

    “A recently published IOM review (IOM 2004) appears to have abandoned the earlier recommendation [of studying mercury and autism] as well as back away from the American Academy of Pediatrics goal [of removing mercury from vaccines]. This approach is difficult to understand, given our current limited knowledge of the toxicokinetics and developmental neurotoxicity of thimerosal, a compound that has been (and will continue to be) injected in millions of newborns and infants.”

    6.

    Higher levels of environmental mercury has been shown to produce higher rates of autism.

    We cite one published study that supports this position:

    Environmental mercury release, special education rates, and autism disorder: an ecological study of Texas.
    Health & Place, 2006
    Raymond F. Palmer, University of Texas Health Science Center

    This study demonstrated the correlation between environmental mercury and autism rates in Texas. Excerpt:

    “On average, for each 1,000 lb of environmentally released mercury, there was a 43% increase in the rate of special education services and a 61% increase in the rate of autism. The association between environmentally released mercury and special education rates were fully mediated by increased autism rates. This ecological study suggests the need for further research regarding the association between environmentally released mercury and developmental disorders such as autism.”

    7.

    The preservatives in vaccines, most notably Thimerosal (mercury) and aluminum, are highly toxic and damaging to the nervous system and immune system of a developing child, and reactions to these toxins may vary greatly by child.

    We cite nine published studies that support this position:

    Thimerosal Neurotoxicity is Associated with Glutathione Depletion: Protection with Glutathione Precursors.
    Neurotoxicology, Jan 2005.
    S. Jill James, PhD [University of Arkansas].

    This recent study demonstrates that Thimerosal lowers or inhibits the body’s ability to produce Glutathione, an antioxidant and the body’s primary cellular-level defense against mercury. Excerpt:

    “Thimerosal-induced cytotoxicity was associated with depletion of intracellular Glutathione in both cell lines…The potential effect of Glutathione or N-acetylcysteine against mercury toxicity warrants further research as possible adjunct therapy to individuals still receiving Thimerosal-containing vaccines.”

    Uncoupling of ATP-mediated Calcium Signaling and Dysregulated IL-6 Secretion in Dendritic Cells by Nanomolar Thimerosal
    Environmental Health Perspectives, July 2006.
    Samuel R. Goth, Ruth A. Chu Jeffrey P. Gregg

    This study demonstrates that very low-levels of Thimerosal can contribute to immune system disregulation. Excerpt:

    “Our findings that DCs primarily express the RyR1 channel complex and that this complex is uncoupled by very low levels of THI with dysregulated IL-6 secretion raise intriguing questions about a molecular basis for immune dyregulation and the possible role of the RyR1 complex in genetic susceptibility of the immune system to mercury.”

    Aluminum adjuvant linked to gulf war illness induces motor neuron death in mice
    Neuromolecular Medicine, 2007
    Christopher Shaw, Ph.D. [Department of Ophthalmology and Program in Neuroscience, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada]

    This study demonstrates the extreme toxicity of the aluminum adjuvant used as a preservative in vaccines. Excerpt:

    “testing showed motor deficits in the aluminum treatment group that expressed as a progressive decrease in strength measured…Significant cognitive deficits in water-maze learning were observed in the combined aluminum and squalene group…Apoptotic neurons were identified in aluminum-injected animals that showed significantly increased activated caspase-3 labeling in lumbar spinal cord (255%) and primary motor cortex (192%) compared with the controls. Aluminum-treated groups also showed significant motor neuron loss (35%) and increased numbers of astrocytes (350%) in the lumbar spinal cord.”

    Activation of Methionine Synthase by Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 and Dopamine: a Target for Neurodevelopmental Toxins and Thimerosal.
    Molecular Psychiatry, July 2004.
    Richard C. Deth, PhD [Northeastern University].

    This study demonstrates how Thimerosal inhibits methylation, a central driver of cellular communication and development. Excerpt:

    “The potent inhibition of this pathway [methylation] by ethanol, lead, mercury, aluminum, and thimerosal suggests it may be an important target of neurodevelopmental toxins.”

    Neurotoxic Effects of Postnatal Thimerosal are Mouse Strain Dependent.
    Molecular Psychiatry, Sep 2004.
    Mady Hornig, MD [Columbia University].

    This recent work by Columbia University Doctors explores whether genes are important in determining if mercury exposures akin to those in childhood immunizations can disrupt brain development and function. It is the first known scientific study done specifically on ethlymercury administered in a way similar to the vaccine schedule. Dr. Hornig discussed the study before Congress in September 2004. Excerpt:

    “The premise of our research is that if mercury in vaccines creates risk for neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, genetic differences are likely to contribute to that risk. Earlier studies, however, did not use the form of mercury present in vaccines, known as thimerosal, and did not consider whether intramuscular, repetitive administration during early postnatal development, when the brain and immune systems are still maturing, might intensify toxicity. Our predictions were confirmed. Using thimerosal dosages and timing that approximated the childhood immunization schedule, our model of postnatal thimerosal neurotoxicity demonstrated that the genes in mice that predict mercury-related immunotoxicity also predicted nuerodevelopmental damage. Features reminiscent of those observed in autism occurred in the mice of the genetically sensitive strain.”

    Thimerosal induces DNA breaks, Caspase-3 Activation, Membrane Damage, and Cell Death in Cultured Human Neurons and Fibroblasts.
    Toxicological Science, 2003.
    David S. Baskin, MD [Baylor College of Medicine].

    This study demonstrates the potent toxicity of Thimerosal on brain cells.

    Organic Mercury Compounds and Autoimmunity.
    Autoimmunity Review, 2005.
    Said Havarinasab, MD [Linkoping University].

    This study demonstrates the clear link between ethylmercury [from Thimerosal] and autoimmune responses.

    Mercury and autism: Accelerating Evidence?
    Neuroendocrinology Letters, Oct 2005.
    Joachim Mutter, M.D. [Freiburg University, Germany].

    This recent study from Germany summarizes many of the recent scientific advances. Excerpt:

    “The causes of autism and neurodevelopmental disorders are unknown. Genetic and environmental risk factors seem to be involved…Repetitive doses of thimerosal leads to neurobehavioral deteriorations in autoimmune susceptible mice, increased oxidative stress and decreased intracellular levels of glutathione in vitro. Subsequently, autistic children have significantly decreased level of reduced glutathione. Promising treatments of autism involve detoxification of mercury, and supplementation of deficient metabolites.”

    Retrograde Degeneration of Neurite Membrane Structural Integrity of Nerve Growth In Vitro Exposure to Mercury.
    NeuroReport, 2001.
    Christopher Leong, MD [University of Calgary].

    This study shows how mercury damages brain cells.
    8.

    The symptoms of autism and the symptoms of mercury poisoning appear to be very similar.

    We cite one published study that support this position:

    Autism: A Novel Form of Mercury Poisoning.
    Medical Hypothesis, 2001.
    Sallie Bernard, Albert Enyati, Lynn Redwood, RN, Teresa Binstock, PhD.

    This simple but groundbreaking work spelled it out for the layperson by demonstrating that the symptoms of autism and the symptoms of mercury poisoning are identical. Excerpt:

    “Due to the extensive parallels between autism and mercury poisoning, the likelihood of a causal relationship is great. Given that possibility, Thimerosal should be removed from all childhood vaccines and the mechanisms of mercury toxicity in autism should be thoroughly investigated.”

    9.

    The Government Reform Committee of the U.S. Congress has published reports on the relationship between mercury and autism and on the conflicts in policy-making for the national immunization schedule.

    We cite two studies by the Committee on Government Reform of the U.S. Congress:

    Mercury in Medicine – Taking Unnecessary Risks
    Congressional Record – Extensions of Remarks
    Congressman Dan Burton (R-IN), Committee on Government Reform
    May 21, 2003

    This extensive report was prepared by the staff of the Subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness and was the result of a three-year investigation. The Committee on Government Reform, chaired by Congressman Dan Burton, initiated the investigation and compiled the testimony of hundreds of researchers and physicians, as well as representatives from the FDA and CDC, who presented to the committee. Excerpt:

    “Mercury is hazardous to humans. Its use in medicinal products is undesirable, unnecessary and should be minimized or eliminated entirely. Manufacturers of vaccines and thimerosal, (an ethlymercury compound used in vaccines), have never conducted adequate testing on the safety of thimerosal. The FDA has never required manufacturers to conduct adequate safety testing on thimerosal and ethlymercury compounds…Thimerosal used as a preservative in vaccines is likely related to the autism epidemic. This epidemic in all probability may have been prevented or curtailed had the FDA not been asleep at the switch regarding injected thimerosal and the sharp rise of infant exposure to this known neurotoxin. Our public health agencies’ failure to act is indicative of institutional malfeasance for self-protection and misplaced protectionism of the pharmaceutical industry.”

    Conflicts of Interest in Vaccine Policy Making
    Majority Staff Report, Committee on Government Reform, U.S. House of Representatives
    June 15, 2000

    “Members of the advisory committees are required to disclose any financial conflicts of interest and recuse themselves from participating in decisions in which they have an interest. The Committee’s investigation has determined that conflict of interest rules employed by the FDA and the CDC have been weak, enforcement has been lax, and committee members with substantial ties to pharmaceutical companies have been given waivers to participate in committee proceedings.”

    10.

    Other studies of interest

    Complementary Alternative Medicine for Children with Autism: A Physician Survey

    Previous studies suggest over half of children with autism are using complementary alternative medicine (CAM). In this study, physicians responded (n = 539, 19% response rate) to a survey regarding CAM use in children with autism. Physicians encouraged multi-vitamins (49%), essential fatty acids (25%), melatonin (25%) and probiotics (19%) and discouraged withholding immunizations (76%), chelation (61%), anti-infectives (57%), delaying immunizations (55%) and secretin (43%). Physicians encouraging CAM were more likely to desire CAM training, inquire about CAM use, be female, be younger, and report greater autism visits, autism education and CAM knowledge. Physicians were more likely to desire CAM training, inquire about CAM and view CAM as a challenge for children with autism compared to children with other neurodevelopmental and chronic/complex conditions.

    Neurometabolic Disorders and Dysfunction in Autism Spectrum Disorders

    The cause of autism remains largely unknown because it is likely multifactorial, arising from the interaction of biologic, genetic, and environmental factors. The specifi c role of metabolic abnormalities also is largely unknown, but current research may provide insight into the pathophysiologic underpinnings of autism, at least in some patients. We review a number of known neurometabolic disorders identifi ed as having an autistic phenotype. We also discuss the possible involvement of mitochondrial disorders and dysfunction as well as a theory regarding an increased vulnerability to oxidative stress, by which various environmental toxins produce metabolic alterations that impair normal cellular function. Finally, we review various strategies for metabolic work-up and treatment. Accurate diagnosis of neurometabolic disorders and a broader understanding of underlying metabolic disturbance even in the absence of known disease have important implications both for individual patients and for research into the etiology of autism.

  123. @120

    Kent it is my pleasure to tell you that indeed they have done studies comparing rates of autism in vaccinated and non-vaccinated children and guess what? The instances of autism is the same! The rate of increase of autistic children is the same in both groups.

    Lo and behold doing a quick google search using the term vaccination rates autism and I was able to find a few studies on this subject.

    Enough money has been spent researching this and the money should be used to research other possible causes for autism. But again no, researches cannot do that, they have to spend even more money releasing studies on the huge negative affect people such as yourself and McCarthy et al are having on the general public.

    The most recent one just released May 26 of this years. And in this paper that should be forwarded to as many scared parents as possible (its something crazy like 1 in 4 are believing your nonsense) are all the links one could ask for regarding this matter, including links to research regarding autism and vaccinations and autism rates among children who have and have not been vaccinated. It even included the quack study which started this whole fear campaign.

    Your group should be ashamed of yourselves. You are nothing more than another group of terrorists preying on the fear of parents and now money that should be spend studying real autism links is used to study the effects of your campaign. Shame on you.

    “Researchers long ago rejected the theory that vaccines cause autism, yet many parents don’t believe them. Can scientists bridge the gap between evidence and doubt?”

    http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pbio.1000114

  124. @Eric, others have refuted your Chickenpox-Shingles assertion better, but I just wanted to point out that – even going by your line of reasoning that getting the disease naturally confers an advantage over vaccines – your chicken pox-shingles example wouldn’t hold up. You’re asserting that you got the chicken pox naturally. Therefore, according to your theory, you should be better protected against shingles than someone who got the chicken pox vaccine. However, you *did* get shingles. This shows a hole in your theory.

    I would agree with there being a scientific reason not to vaccinate, though. It’s called allergies. If, like Jules (Julia), you have an egg allergy and the vaccine is grown in or in some way uses egg proteins, you should steer clear of the vaccine. After all, the vaccine won’t do you any good if you go into anaphylactic shock.

    This is where herd immunity comes in. If everyone around you is vaccinated, your lack of vaccine won’t matter. The virus won’t be able to get a foothold enough to reach you. Unfortunately, if enough people aren’t vaccinated (for example, because their parents listened to a former Playboy bunny instead of a trained medical professional), then the virus gets a handy path through the immunized herd right to you. You fall ill and possibly die because someone else got their medical advice from a guest on Oprah.

  125. Mr Heckenlively,

    MMR and thimerosal have been studied and shown to not be the cause of the increase in autism diagnoses.

    You can either agree or join Bernadine Healy and the rest of the disingenuous crowd who are endagering public health.

    I wrote the above before I saw that you included the Hornig mouse-strain dependent study–without icnluding the Berman study which showed conclusively that Hornig was wrong.

    You cherry pick. That isn’t surprising. Your organization put out one of the worst pseudo-science fake studies I have ever seen. http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/?p=2299

    Question for you Mr. Heckenlively–are you willing to distance yourself from that bit of intellectual dishonesty?

  126. isles

    Kent, did you know that pasting large swaths of text from the Generation Rescue website is not the same as having a plausible argument?

  127. Kent Heckenlively

    Jules/Julia: Looked at the PLOS article you suggested and still can’t find where they conducted a study of vaccinated and unvaccinated children. Perhaps you refer to the Verstraeten study in which Thomas Verstraeten went through culling the data seven different times before publishing, then proceeded to lose the data set. He then went to work for a vaccine manufacturer in Europe. Still, he’s honest enough to have sent a letter to a medical journal (NEJM I believe) saying his research was “inconclusive” on the issue of whether vaccines were related to autism and other neurological disorders. His research was not looking at vaccinated and unvaccinated children. If I am incorrect, please respond by telling me the rates of autism in vaccinated and unvaccinated children from the research you were able to so easily find.

    Still, I’m sure you would agree it would be great if independent researchers had access to the Vaccine Safety Database, but unfortunately that was turned over to a private company in 2006. Nobody can look at it, even though you and I as taxpayers paid for it.

    Sullivan: The Hornig study has been successfully replicated by researchers in Peru (“Neurotoxic Effects of Thimerosal at Vaccine Doses on the Encephalon and Development in 7-Day Old Hamsters”) The problem with the Berman study as I recall is that they didn’t use the mice with the same genetic variation as those used in the Hornig study. The Hornig study if you recall used four genetically different strains of mice, the fourth being those with a history of auto-immune disorders. The first three groups showed no change, while the fourth did. This goes along with the experience of many in our community that there must be BOTH a family history of auto-immune problems, and vaccinations.

    Isles: Having helped to contribute to the scientific library of Generation Rescue, I don’t feel any hesitation in using it when somebody says there’s no science behind our concerns with vaccines.

    And finally, I’m somewhat amazed when the words of somebody like Dr. Bernadine Healy, who as head of the National Institute of Health was the person in charge of directing the bulk of this country’s medical research, is given so little credit. I understand you not giving my words any credit, but you should really consider those of Dr. Healy:

    “Healy goes onto say public health officials have intentionally avoided researching whether subsets of children are susceptible to vaccine side-effects – afraid that the answer will scare the public . . . There is a completely expressed concern that they don’t want to pursue a hypothesis because that hypothesis could be damaging to the public health community at large by scaring people. “First of all,” Healy said, “I think the public’s smarter than that. The public values vaccines. But more importantly, I don’t think you should ever turn your back on any scientific hypothesis because you’re afraid of what it might show.” http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/05/12/cbsnews_investigates/main4086809.shtml

    All the best,
    Kent Heckenlively, Esq.
    Legal Editor, Age of Autism

  128. Andy

    She has NO understanding of medical science AT ALL!! She talks like what she is saying is right. (”It’s like giving them a joint, sorry to be so blunt..” HAHA! She made a funny.)

    What’s with the baby voice????

    ”I believe” – ops! what, no proof, just your word??

    I can’t believe the crap she is pedaling!! And people probably believe her… She needs to be stopped. (physically) Charged with crimes against humanity or something…

  129. Toad

    Kent,

    It’s time to turn in your tinfoil hat and get on with your life. Your house of cards of mercury blame is so yesterday. A dead end. Period. End of story.

    You have the rest of your life ahead of you. Why not do something that will actually help your daughter (and those with similar circumstances) later in life? A failed lawsuit built on crapola “science” isn’t going to matter to her, I guarantee it.

    You may be comfortable knowing you’re part of an idiotic cult, heck, it may be all you really have at this point for real meaning in your life. However, perhaps someday you’ll consider the idea that your daughter and the world’s children deserve better than such an ill-fated pursuit on your part.

    Although you may prove me wrong on this next point, I’d argue that you’re probably capable of learning, and maybe even changing course. It won’t be easy, but you can do it and emerge with a clue.

  130. Greg in Austin

    @Kent Heckenlively,

    I missed the part in your 25 pages of information that has the link to the independent, properly controlled study that shows a causal relationship between actual vaccines (of any kind) and autism. Could you please post it by itself, so that I may review it?

    Thanks!

    8)

  131. @TechyDad

    Unfortunately me and many like me and children like me can no longer rely on that herd immunity.

    And even so there are studies now being released on the dangers that is the antivax movement, data on the increase of these diseases and outbreaks within the last 10 years and decreases in the number of children being vaccinated, and it is no longer Phil, other commentators, bloggers, myself saying children are dying but the scientific community in a larger sense, I fear that this is just going to be a boost to the antivaxexrs. Like they have achieved some great victory and who cares that children are dying all that matters is people are listening to them instead of the antivaxxers finally admitting they are wrong! (sorry for the run on sentences there)

  132. Kent, I heard you are a science teacher. Is that true?

  133. Kent Heckenlively

    Greg in Autism:

    We want the independent, properly controlled study on the rates of autism in vaccinated and unvaccinated children. It’ll probably cost somewhere between 3-7 million dollars and we’ve been advocating for the NIH to fund such a study. The good news is that the NIH has recently agreed to fund such studies. Here is a brief rundown of recently approved NIH funding, completely in line with that suggested by Dr. Bernadine Healy, former Head of the NIH.

    “Approved studies include CDC’s CADDRE investigation into thimerosal exposures and autism, and the HHS/EPA National Child Study, which is looking at vaccines and autism, among many other things. And last week, the National Vaccine Advisory Committee, which includes members from HHS, NIH and CDC, unanimously recommended a feasibility study on vaccinated-vs-unvaccinated children, plus three types of vaccine-autism studies on mitochondrial dysfunction, regressive ASD cases, and certain vaccine injures that might also show a correlation with ASD).”

    Amidst all of the drama in this thread, the fact is that behind the scenes there is some very important research being proposed and conducted which will help answer important questions about autism.

    All the best,
    Kent Heckenlively, Esq.
    Legal Editor, Age of Autism

  134. @Kent

    Man you kill me LOL. You just proved that you only see what you want to see (at least to me you did) His name is Greg in Austin i.e. that city in Texas NOT autism *sigh*

    Please do yourself a favour and read the article that I linked above.

  135. Greg in Austin

    Kent Heckenlively Says:

    “We want the independent, properly controlled study on the rates of autism in vaccinated and unvaccinated children.”

    Thanks for your reply. However, that’s not quite what I’m asking for. You say that such studies have been approved, but not conducted. So, where are the existing studies that show a vaccine causation (not correlation) with autism?

    Chris, #119 above, already posted about 50 studies that show NO causation. Can you show me ONE that DOES?

    Additionally, once these studies you just mentioned are completed, what will you do if they show no causation? Will you change your mind about vaccines? I am willing to accept that vaccines cause autism if the scientific data shows it. Are you willing to accept the results if the data says otherwise?

    8)

  136. HCN

    Going on what Greg in Austin said (oh, and that is a pretty cool city… I have spent a day there on a civics class trip checking out the legislature, and another day getting interviewed and tested for a Navy ROTC scholarship, which I didn’t get).

    Esquire Heckenlively, can you please give me some real actual factual scientific evidence that the DTaP vaccine is worse than diptheria, tetanus and pertussis (which now kills up to two dozen American babies per year)? This has to be evidence that I can read in a paper available in my local medical school library and NOT in the journal “Medical Hypothesis”!

    Come on, you can do it! Show us how the DTaP is worse than having over twenty babies die each year.

  137. Gonzo

    This is so scary.

    I have a good friend who works in a therapeutic day school in which a large portion of the students are somewhere on the autism spectrum. He informs me that a large amount of the staff at this school (all college educated mind you) believe that vaccines have something to do with autism, be it a cause or the cause. They are helping to peddle this misinformation and antiscience nonsense and they are doing it from a far more authoritative position than McCarthy, who is really nothing more than a nude model at the end of the day.

    I’m so glad you are this issue Phil. I urge everyone, everywhere to join me in my personal boycott of her beau Jim Carrey’s films as well as a boycott of the Oprah Winfrey Show. These people are dangerous and are going to be responsible for many, many deaths. Meanwhile, they hide behind the First Amendment. When ones right to free speech begins to encumber the lives and liberty of others in a society we need to reexamine what lines we have in our society regarding said amendment. Spewing irresponsible and dangerous rhetoric is very borderline, especially when people are dying because of it.

  138. @99, @109, @111:
    Fetal cells, abortions, and vaccines:

    There are three cell lines, derived from three abortions in the 1960s, that are involved in vaccine manufacture.

    Excruciating detail here:

    http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2009/01/vaccines-and-fetal-cell-lines.html

    I find it telling that very few members of the Society for the Advancement of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, the anti-vax brigade, can tell you which vaccines are made with the +40yo cell lines.

  139. AT @ 137, Kent Heckenlively said:

    We want the independent, properly controlled study on the rates of autism in vaccinated and unvaccinated children.

    But Mr. Heckenlively (possibly because he rarely leaves the Age of Autism echo chamber) has missed the number of discussions of why such a study is impractical and worse yet, unethical.

    Let me share two with you:

    One educated blog post on the idea of a “vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children & autism incidence”

    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/?p=2471#ixzz0KYAjyTgk&D

    So, as per a straight ‘vaccinated vs unvaccinated’ study, Ian Lipkin and NVAC Working Group agree that it can’t be done in the most scientifically accurate way and even if it could, it wouldn’t be ethical due to the requirement of excluding children from vaccination.

    What they are saying is that a group like the IOM therefore should write up a feasibility study as to how such a study could be done. Without this, its extremely unlikely that a vax vs unvax study will ever fly.

    Prometheus argues in part (I urge you all to read the whole post)

    http://photoninthedarkness.com/?p=154

    The Numbers:

    If we’re to do a study (as opposed to “putting on” a study), we need to have an idea of the numbers of subjects we’ll need to test in order to come up with a statistically meaningful result.

    In 2004, Smith et al published “Children who have received no vaccines: Who are they and where do they live?”. This was an extensive study of vaccination practices in the US, carried out from 1995 to 2001 on over 23,000 children selected at random to be representative of the larger population. Their results were interesting and bear directly on the desire to “put on a study” looking at the connection (or lack thereof) between vaccines and autism.

    What they found was that 62.8% of their study population was “fully vaccinated” (i.e. had received all the vaccines on the then-current vaccination schedule – 15 total in 2001). An additional 36.9% were “undervaccinated” – although 58.5% of them (20.4% of the total sample) were missing only one vaccine. Only 0.3% of the sample – 111 children ages 19 – 35 months over five years – had not received any vaccination.

    I’d like to emphasize a point. The Smith et al study only looked at children 19 – 35 months of age, which is well before school age, at which time undoubtedly a few more tenths of a percent of the unvaccinated were whittled away. However, this age includes the ages where children have been reported to have “regressed into autism” following vaccines.

    So, any study of unvaccinated vs vaccinated children has to deal with the fact that the “pool” of unvaccinated children is about 0.3% (or less) of the total population. Even if we could extend the Smith et al findings to the entire 0 – 17 year age range (”children”, by most definitions), this works out to only about 223,000 completely unvaccinated children. Given that at least some of the children who were unvaccinated before 35 months will have gotten at least one vaccination by their teen years, this number is sure to be much smaller.

    For the purposes of this demonstration, let’s limit the study group to younger children, both to eliminate the uncertainty about the number of unvaccinated children and to keep the diagnostic criteria somewhat comparable. After all, the criteria used to diagnose the 17 year-old autistic children were very different from those used today.

    How about we settle on the 3 – 6 year age range? This puts them past the scheduled time for the majority of childhood vaccinations and yet cuts off before the “school vaccination mandate” years. According to the US census bureau, this age group (as of August 2008) contains 16,550,753 children. Of that number 49,652 (or less) might be completely unvaccinated (and over ten million “completely vaccinated”).

    What sort of sample numbers do we need to “prove” the vaccine-austism question? Well, let’s make a few assumptions. The first assumption is that we will want to have a sample size large enough to be sure that we have less than a 5% chance of mistakenly saying there is a correlation if there isn’t (alpha error) – and we’ll want a less than 5% chance of saying there isn’t a correlation if there is one (beta error) in order to satisfy those who want to “put on a study” (normally, we’d accept a 20 – 50% chance of mistakenly saying that there is not a difference when there is one).

    Secondly, we’ll have to stipulate what sort of difference we expect to find between the two groups. If the “fully vaccinated” group had 50% more autism than the “unvaccinated” group, would that be enough of a reason to change vaccination policies? Would a 10% difference be enough? More to the point, how small a difference will be small enough for the vaccine-cause-autism proponents to say “I was wrong, vaccines don’t cause autism.”?

    That last point may be the one that actually torpedoes the study. Because if there is no number small enough to convince those who want the study that they are wrong, most of the reason for doing the study vanishes.

    Let’s say – for the sake of argument – that we decide that a 10% difference in autism prevalence is enough to convince the skeptics that vaccines might cause autism and that a less than 10% difference will convince the believers that vaccines don’t cause autism. [I know, the latter assumption is pure fantasy.]

    Well, plugging those numbers in – along with the current 1 in 150 autism prevalence – we find that we need over 360,000 children in each group to detect a 10% difference (you can try it yourself here). Unfortunately, that is more than the total number of unvaccinated children in the US, so that’s not going to happen.

    What can we get with our “sample” of 49,652 unvaccinated children? If we manage to include each and every unvaccinated child in the US in the study, we could detect a 26% or more difference in autism prevalence.

    Of course, it’s not even remotely practical to expect to get 100% of the unvaccinated children in the country into a study. How about a more practical number – say, 10% of them? That would allow us to detect a 70% or greater difference – about a three-fold difference in autism prevalence between the fully vaccinated and unvaccinated groups.

    Now, if a difference of this magnitude or greater were found, that would pretty effectively silence those who say that the data haven’t shown a connection between vaccines and autism. I would certainly change my opinion (from “not shown” to “strong indication”).

    But what if the results go the other way? What if the results are “negative”, meaning that the difference is less than 70%? Would that be enough to get the vaccines-cause-autism crowd to stop protesting and stop sending death threats? I doubt it.

    Of course, there are those who believe that the results will be unambiguously in favor of their belief that vaccines-cause-autism. They want the study to go forward because they are confident that they will be vindicated. They are also the people who will rant about “bias”, “flaws” and “corruption” if the data don’t go “their way”.

    Another other thing to consider is that a study with almost ten thousand children enrolled would be exorbitantly expensive, especially as they would all have to be tested carefully for autism. Even using a very conservative figure of $150 for an evaluation, that’s over $1.5 million just for the autism testing.

    Don’t forget that research money, time and facilities are not infinite. Resources spent chasing the vaccines-cause-autism “connection” will have to come from other research areas, and the most fair way to do that would be to take them from other autism research. Thus, much time and money is spent to accomplish little…or nothing.

    And is it likely that you could get the parents of 10% of the unvaccinated children in the country to enroll them in a study? Given that many of these children are unvaccinated because their parents harbor deep suspcions about doctors and “the government”, it seems unlikely.

    Finally, let’s “run the numbers” on a more practical study – one where we are able to enroll 500 unvaccinated children and 5000 fully vaccinated controls matched for age, sex, socioeconomic group, geographic location, urban vs rural vs suburban setting and race.

    This study – which would still be very difficult and expensive to do – would only be able to detect a more than 15-fold difference in autism prevalence between the two groups. It could detect as little as a 7-fold difference, but only if we were willing to accept a beta error (chance of erroneously saying there is no difference when there is a difference) of over 50%.

    I doubt this would “satisfy” the vaccines-cause-autism believers if the results were negative.

    So, before someone tells me – again – how easy it would be to study autism in unvaccinated children, first go out and try to find a few thousand completely unvaccinated children and then tell me how easy it is.

    Mr. Heckenlively, the hypothesis that vaccinations are somehow causal in autism is failed, from multiple lines of evidence, from populations in the United States and Europe.

    at @137, You suggest that a study to further investigate this hypothesis would cost “3-7 million dollars”.

    I invite you to consider what $3-$7 million could do

    a) in improving pediatricians’ ability to screen for autism at <36 months — early, effective intervention is key to improved outcomes

    b) provide more services to under-served autism parents, such as low SES parents in inner cities

    c) Evaluate different social-skills curricula for effectiveness in improving outcomes

    Those are just three, off-the-top of my head ideas for spending the money for studies that are actually useful for children with autism and their families.

  140. Alien Death-Ray

    I can’t even watch 30 seconds of the video. Man, I used to be totally infatuated with Jenny McCarthy, I mean I thought she was the perfect woman. Now, I just wanna puke. Doesn’t anybody see that these people are “emotional mercenaries”? We all agree that there is nothing more sad than sick kids. A problem that everyone would like to see ‘go away’. These TV shows just want ratings, and will do anything to ‘tug on the heart strings’ of America and create the next ‘fad’. See, the problem here is that is not some new ‘natural’ beauty secret, new fad diet, or the latest celebrity fashion. The only harm there is, you still have blemishes, still are fat, and still look like a dork. This time, innocent people are dying. Poor innocent kids are helpless now to stop their own misguided parents from unwittingly killing them and maybe others. TV shows that air this idiot propaganda should be held accountable for the damage.

    And to Eric #52. Vaccinations do “nothing”? Hmmm? Polio, Rubella, Small Pox? I believe there is 40+ years of research on that. And since when is 60% nothing? Take a look at the success rates of vaccinations in 3rd world countries since vaccinations were introduced there.

  141. Michael Kingsford Gray

    I used to think that Groucho Marx posing as the failed veterinarian turned quack-doctor:
    “Dr. Hacken-a-bush” was the ultimate gold standard for a conscious fraud, who subjected his victims to outrageous quack treatments that any fool was able to judge as risible garbage.

    Then “Dr.” Kent Heckenlively, Esq., self-proclaimed “Legal Editor” (read: Juvenile Wanker-in-cheif), “Age of Autism”, came along to soundly drub our Groucho to the position of the rank of the most comical mountebank in the history of fiction.

  142. @Kent Heckenlively

    In addition to requests for links to sound, scientific studies showing a causal link between vaccines and autism, please also provide links to sound, scientific studies that a) chelation therapy has a beneficial effect on children with autism and that the benefits outweigh the risks of the treatment; or b) stem cell treatments that you are undertaking have a beneficial effect on children with autism and that the benefits outweigh the risks of the treatment.

  143. Lori Culbertson

    Well, here is some ACCURATE science for you….

    First, all doctors and scientists know and should tell you:

    There is no such thing as a genetic epidemic. If you are seeing an explosion of a certain disease/disability, etc…then environment is most certainly playing a part.

    Here is a look at what is actually IN a vaccine, after you read the list of harmful TOXIC ingredients, why don’t you look them up and find out what they cause….
    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/appendices/B/excipient-table-2.pdf#undefined

    and then also know that after you see the load of toxins being put into yours or your child’s body by vaccination….1. It is being INJECTED into muscle, not just inhaled or touched…2. There are NO studies that have researched the COMBINED toxicity of these ingredients…..NONE…look for them you won’t find them.

    and second, if you’d really like to know what all those studies show, then go here…you will get a look from both sides of the table…there are a LOT of conflicts of interest.

    http://www.fourteenstudies.org/index.html

    Oh yeah, vaccinations have done plenty…the U.S. ranks 33rd in the WORLD for infant mortality rates…behind some THIRD WORLD countries, even though our vaccines rates are the highest and supposedly we have the best medical care.

    ONE in SIX children have a disability….that is including ALL disabilities, not just autism. U.S. has some of the highest rates in the world. Denmark has significantly LOWER rates of autism, and there VACCINE schedule is much lighter than ours.

    There are charts and graphs which show that the decline of many of these diseases started long BEFORE vaccines were introduced…and that actually, better SANITATION, HYGENE, MEDICAL PRACTICES (washing hands, sterilizing), INDOOR PLUMBING, etc…were what caused the decline in disease NOT VACCINES….you can get some of that info here…
    http://www.vacinfo.org/decline.htm

    I could go on, the SCIENCE to back up what parents of children with Autism are saying is there! The CDC, the FDA and other government agencies just don’t want you to know it.

    People, do your own research instead of believing the rhetoric of government officials.

  144. Oh, and just a quick note on that UC-Davis study Mr. Heckenlively mentioned. One flaw I can see with the study is that using a DSS database only accounts for those cases where families/schools applied for special services. An increase in reports alone to DSS would account for the increase in cases, without having anything to say about changes in diagnostic criteria, etc. Regardless, that study does not support a conclusion that vaccines are involved. In fact, that study does not even mention vaccines (at least in the abstract, available at http://journals.lww.com/epidem/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=2009&issue=01000&article=00016&type=abstract).

  145. @Lori Culbertson

    I was going to respond to the bulk of your comment, until I got to this:

    The CDC, the FDA and other government agencies just don’t want you to know it.

    That, right there, shows that you believe in a conspiracy theory and that you are entirely closed off to anything that might contradict you. You’ve been fed the misinformation, swallowed it whole, and now it has spread throughout your thought processes, blocking out rational appraisal of facts and data. What is the benefit? What reason would they have to cover something like what you propose up? And bear in mind that the people who work in those agencies, as well as those working for pharmaceutical companies, have families of their own. They have children, brothers, sisters, parents, nieces, nephews, all of whom are also exposed to these products. Are you suggesting that every last, single one of those people is a completely heartless, evil, vile being? That their own personal income is more important than the health and well being of the people they love?

    I’ll just suggest that instead of getting your info from places like Age of Autism, Generation Rescue, the National Vaccine Information Center and so one (all bastions of misinformation and bad science), look at quality research and don’t simply take the little quote-mined snippets that those web sites I just listed provide out of context.

  146. Mick

    @ Lori

    The problem is, you are generalising and missing the point. You have drunk the ‘Anti-Vax Kool-aid’ so to speak, and are not seeing the whole picture. People here are not ‘believing the rhetoric of government officials’. Far from it. They are basing their opinions on studies that independantly of any government body have shown no causal link between vaccines and autism. I think ‘independant’ is the important word there. There is no rhetoric at play.

    What many anti-vaxxers seem to not understand is that real scientists are not afraid of finding out they are wrong. For them, being wrong is just as exciting as being right – in fact probably moreso.

    Part of the problem is that in any given situation, there is an almost endless amount of factors to consider when looking for a causal link between a condition and the cause. Anti-vaxxers are falling into the common trap of looking for evidence for something once you have already made up your mind. We are good at picking out patterns, we can see faces in clouds, faces in rocks, recognisable things in anything random. It is how our brain works. Unfortunately, this limits a persons ability to see the whole spectrum of possible cause for a situation like this. Just because you see what appears to be a pattern of data pointing towards vaccines doesn’t mean that what you are perceiving is real.

    For these reasons we rely on independant, peer reviewed testing as a source of knowledge to base our opinions on. These are tests that are designed to assume that there is a causal link between vaccines and autism, and then attempt to see if they are correct. The fact that they show there is no link should be telling you something. If tests that are looking for the link cannot find it, what hope is there for that link?

  147. Gary Ansorge

    It has become apparent to me that the USA is devolving intellectually.

    Too Bad! I had high hopes for this country,,,

    GAry 7

  148. Kent Heckenlively

    Dear Group:

    I’d like the discussion on this thread to be responsive to the issues raised. I think the autism problem demands that we be civil to each other even as we present opposing views.

    I’ve made several points which have not been addressed in response.

    First, the former head of the National Institute of Health in the U.S. , Dr. Bernadine Healy, and the former Chief Science Officer for the United Kingdom, Dr. Peter Fletcher, have both expressed concerns about vaccinations and their possible relation to autism, and have proposed research which is completely in line with that segment of the autism community which believes vaccines are a possible, and likely cause of the increase in autism.

    Second, I presented research from UC Davis, Johns Hopkins University, Arizona State University, the University of Hong Kong, Harvard University, New Jersey Medical School, University of Washington, University of Texas, University of British Columbia, University of Arkansas, Columbia University, Baylor College of Medicine, Linkoping University (China), University of Calgary (Canada), and Frieburg University (Germany), which support various aspects of the idea that autism numbers are growing, and there are many biological reasons to support the idea that the components in vaccines may be to blame.

    Third, some commentators have suggested that research proposed by the bio-medical community would be unethical, but that neglects the fact that the U.S. research community has made such recommendations, “Approved studies include CDC’s CADDRE investigation into thimerosal exposures and autism, and the HHS/EPA National Child Study, which is looking at vaccines and autism, among many other things. And last week, the National Vaccine Advisory Committee, which includes members from HHS, NIH and CDC, unanimously recommended a feasibility study on vaccinated-vs-unvaccinated children, plus three types of vaccine-autism studies on mitochondrial dysfunction, regressive ASD cases, and certain vaccine injures that might also show a correlation with ASD).” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/nih-autism-study-to-leave_b_213820.html

    Fourth, you might also be interested in the recent comments of Dr. Harvey Karp, known as “America’s most-read pediatrician” and who in the past has appeared on Larry King arguing against the vaccine-autism theory, “Beside the NCS, I support other new studies to look at: 1) the autism risk in vaccinated vs. unvaccinated kids; 2) the metabolism of vaccine ingredients (like aluminum, added to make shots work better), 3) more accurate determinations of the true incidence of autism. (The number of kids getting autism is unclear. Some studies suggest that much of the autism spike is just a labeling shift: kids who used to be labeled “mentally retarded” increasingly are being labeled as “autistic.”)

    In conclusion, I thank all parents for their concern and interest and I especially want to salute activist parents for standing up and making their voices heard on behalf of their children…and all of our children.” (“Cracking the Autism Riddle: Toxic Chemicals a Serious Suspect in the Autism Outbreak”, Huffington Post, June 30, 2009)

    Finally, I suggest this article from the recent on-line issue of Forbes Magazine, “MONDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) — Children of mothers who have autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and celiac disease have up to a three times greater risk for autism, a new study finds.

    Although the association between autism and a maternal history of type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis had been found in earlier research, the researchers behind the new study say that theirs is the first to find a link between autism and celiac disease. People with celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein in wheat, rye and barley.

    “This finding reinforces the suggestion that autoimmune processes are connected somehow with the cause of autism and autism spectrum disorder,” said researcher William W. Eaton, chairman of the Department of Mental Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. “This finding is on the pathway of finding the cause of autism.” http://www.forbes.com/feeds/hscout/2009/07/06/hscout628750.html

    I would hope that your responses will take into consideration the points raised.

    All the best,
    Kent Heckenlively, Esq.
    Legal Editor, Age of Autism

  149. I read Lori’s post until she linked to “Fourteen Studies”. Sigh…

  150. Greg in Austin

    Lori Culbertson Says:

    “Here is a look at what is actually IN a vaccine, after you read the list of harmful TOXIC ingredients, why don’t you look them up and find out what they cause…”

    I opened that document and looked, but I could not find any data that shows the levels of each ingredient, nor the levels at which the ingredients would actually be harmful. You do understand the concept of “toxicity levels,” right?

    For example, chlorine is a poisonous gas. It was used in World War I to kill, and it is used today in bleach and other cleaning agents. Many deaths from ingesting or inhaling bleach occur every year. Sodium is a solid element that reacts violently with water. A small amount of sodium dropped in ordinary water will explode within seconds. Yet, everyday, at every meal, you put both of these into your food, and consume it. The formula is NaCl, but we call it salt. Life depends on salt, although if you were to ingest too much of it, it can kill you.

    Now, if you can show us a link to a report, or study, that shows the toxicity levels of compounds in vaccines are greater than what has been determined harmful, then you might have an argument. Otherwise, you are simply spreading fear from ignorance.

    8)

  151. Greg in Austin

    Kent Heckenlively said,

    “First, the former head of the National Institute of Health in the U.S. , Dr. Bernadine Healy, and the former Chief Science Officer for the United Kingdom, Dr. Peter Fletcher, have both expressed concerns about vaccinations and their possible relation to autism, and have proposed research which is completely in line with that segment of the autism community which believes vaccines are a possible, and likely cause of the increase in autism.

    Argument from authority. Where is the clinical research that supports their hypothesis? Again, where is the study that shows a causal relationship between vaccines and autism?

    “Second, I presented research from [edited for brevity], which support various aspects of the idea that autism numbers are growing, and there are many biological reasons to support the idea that the components in vaccines may be to blame.”

    Nobody is arguing that autism numbers are growing. What we are saying is that the scientific studies that are specifically looking at the components have not shown a causal relation. Unless you have one that says otherwise?

    “Finally, I suggest this article from the recent on-line issue of Forbes Magazine, “MONDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) — Children of mothers who have autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and celiac disease have up to a three times greater risk for autism, a new study finds.”

    Really?? Well, if Forbes Magazine says something about a medical condition, then it must be true!! Sorry for the sarcasm, but if you could at least take the trouble to link to the actual study, it may help others take you seriously. Not to mention, I don’t see anywhere in that paragraph the word “vaccines.”

    8)

  152. @Greg in Austin

    Not to mention, I don’t see anywhere in that paragraph the word “vaccines.”

    Mr. Heckenlively is playing a shell game. His real point is hidden behind a bunch of unrelated stuff. Throw enough unrelated info out there, and maybe, just maybe, people will be suckered in to his argument.

    Kent, keep to the point. The topic is specifically vaccines and how they relate (or don’t) to autism. Studies that show increases in rates (at least one of which has a flawed methodology) without addressing any causal factor are not really germane to the argument. Articles from magazines about other possible connections to autism (e.g., autoimmune disorders) are not only not good bases for scientific argument, but again, are not germane to the discussion at hand.

    You need to produce quality scientific studies that specifically look at vaccines and autism. You’ve yet to do so.

  153. Kent Heckenlively

    Greg in Austin:

    You ask some very good questions. I recently ran across this article regarding Dr. Peter Fletcher from the Daily Mail.

    Former science chief: ‘MMR fears coming true’

    By SUE CORRIGAN, Mail on Sunday

    A former Government medical officer responsible for deciding whether medicines are safe has accused the Government of “utterly inexplicable complacency” over the MMR triple vaccine for children.

    Dr Peter Fletcher, who was Chief Scientific Officer at the Department of Health, said if it is proven that the jab causes autism, “the refusal by governments to evaluate the risks properly will make this one of the greatest scandals in medical history”.

    He added that after agreeing to be an expert witness on drug-safety trials for parents’ lawyers, he had received and studied thousands of documents relating to the case which he believed the public had a right to see.

    He said he has seen a “steady accumulation of evidence” from scientists worldwide that the measles, mumps and rubella jab is causing brain damage in certain children.

    But he added: “There are very powerful people in positions of great authority in Britain and elsewhere who have staked their reputations and careers on the safety of MMR and they are willing to do almost anything to protect themselves.” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-376203/Former-science-chief-MMR-fears-coming-true.html

    I find it a little disingenuous that you attach no importance to the association of celiac disease and autism as reported by Johns Hopkins. The implementation of the gluten/casein free diet is one of the interventions pioneered by the bio-medical community, and now there appears to be growing scientific support for why it may be helpful to some children. For you request as to where the information was published, it can be found in the July 6, 2009 on-line edition of the Journal of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Medical Association. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/peds.2008-2445v1?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=celiac+disease+autism&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&resourcetype=HWCIT

    All the best,
    Kent Heckenlively, Esq.
    Legal Editor, Age of Autism

  154. @Kent Heckenlively

    [Dr Peter Fletcher] said he has seen a “steady accumulation of evidence” from scientists worldwide that the measles, mumps and rubella jab is causing brain damage in certain children.

    What is this evidence? What are the titles of the studies? What type of brain damage? (Encephalitis is a known risk of MMR vaccine, btw.) What is the rate of incidence of this brain damage? How does that rate compare to the rate of brain damage from measles? Your quote provides absolutely nothing to argue the point either way; it is merely hearsay and has no validity as a scientific argument.

    I find it a little disingenuous that you attach no importance to the association of celiac disease and autism as reported by Johns Hopkins.

    What is the overall incidence of celiac disease among the autistic population? What is the overall incidence of autism among the celiac population? What studies have been done using sound, rigorous standards to evaluate the efficacy of a gluten-free diet in the treatment of autism? In such a study, were the participants properly evaluated and receive a diagnosis of celiac disease? If not, why? If there is a strong correlation between autism and celiac disease, then what does this have to do with vaccines? Do vaccines cause celiac disease? If this is your contention, then please provide a study showing this. Are you arguing that vaccines cause autism in individuals with celiac disease? Again, show the study to support your argument.

    You are very fond of appeals to authority, use of conjecture and swamping the discussion with apparently unrelated stuff, not bothering to explain how you think it relates to the topic.

  155. @Kent Heckenlively

    I find it a little disingenuous that you attach no importance to the association of celiac disease and autism as reported by Johns Hopkins. The implementation of the gluten/casein free diet is one of the interventions pioneered by the bio-medical community, and now there appears to be growing scientific support for why it may be helpful to some children. For you request as to where the information was published, it can be found in the July 6, 2009 on-line edition of the Journal of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Medical Association.

    I took a look at the abstract (unfortunately, I don’t have access to the complete study). The abstract makes no mention of how many of the 689,196 children came from families with a history of autoimmune diseases. Nor does it mention how many of the 3,325 children diagnosed with an ASD came from families with a history of autoimmune diseases (ADs) and how many came from families with no history of ADs.

    I would also note that the study makes no mention of vaccines. Rather, it suggests that the association between familial history of ADs and autism is due to common genetic background and possible prenatal (in other words, before the child has been born and subjected to any vaccines) factors.

    How again, exactly, does this support your argument that vaccines cause autism? Because, I think I missed it.

  156. Chris

    Todd W:

    You are very fond of appeals to authority, use of conjecture and swamping the discussion with apparently unrelated stuff, not bothering to explain how you think it relates to the topic.

    As I said, and it bears repeating: Heckenlively wouldn’t know real science if it bit him on the butt.

    He is just doing scatter shot cherry picking, ignoring the real science, the large epidemiological and focusing on tiny in vitro studies, wild speculations and basically bad lawyer paid for studies (speaking of that, check out Orac’s blog today… it details how Wakefield shot himself in the foot with one of his stupid press releases).

    The scary thing is that Mr. Heckenlively has no longer a lawyer and is now an elementary level science teacher.

  157. Here’s the press release that Mr. Heckenlively mentioned @152, which is a lay summary of an article published in Pediatrics.

    Autism May Be Linked to Mom’s Autoimmune Disease
    07.06.09, 12:00 PM EDT
    Possible causes of disorder should now include celiac disease, study suggests

    MONDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) — Children of mothers who have autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and celiac disease have up to a three times greater risk for autism, a new study finds.

    Although the association between autism and a maternal history of type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis had been found in earlier research, the researchers behind the new study say that theirs is the first to find a link between autism and celiac disease. People with celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein in wheat, rye and barley.

    “This finding reinforces the suggestion that autoimmune processes are connected somehow with the cause of autism and autism spectrum disorder,” said researcher William W. Eaton, chairman of the Department of Mental Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. “This finding is on the pathway of finding the cause of autism.”

    Eaton noted that there is no clinical significance to the finding but that it could guide future research as scientists try to pin down the cause or causes of autism.

    One reason autoimmune diseases might have a role in autism is genetic, Eaton said. Children who are born underweight or premature are at higher risk for autism, and both of these obstetric problems are associated with celiac disease, he added.

    “There may be an overlap in the genetics of some of the autoimmune diseases and autism that would not be trivial,” he said. “Autism is strongly inherited, but we don’t have the faintest idea where. But this may point a flashlight to areas of the genome that connect to autism.”

    In addition, there might also be environmental triggers that affect the fetus, he said.

    The report is published in the July 6 online edition of Pediatrics.

    For the study, Eaton’s team collected data on 3,325 Danish children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, including 1,089 diagnosed with infantile autism. The children were born between 1993 and 2004, and their data was part of the Danish National Psychiatric Registry. Data on family members with autoimmune diseases came from the Danish National Hospital Register.

    The researchers found that children whose mothers had autoimmune disease were at a higher risk of developing autism spectrum disorder than children of mothers who did not have these conditions. In addition, the risk of infantile autism was increased in children with a family history of type 1 diabetes.

    The increased risk that autoimmune diseases contribute to autism is not huge, Eaton said.

    “The increased risk for type 1 diabetes is a little less than two times, for rheumatoid arthritis it’s about 1.5 times and for celiac disease it’s more than three times,” Eaton said. “That’s enough to impress an epidemiologist, but not enough to make anybody in the general population start changing their behavior.”

    Dr. Hjordis O. Atladottir, from the Institute of Public Health at the University of Aarhus in Denmark and the study’s lead researcher, said that the findings are important because they support the theory that autism is somehow associated with disturbances in the immune system.

    “It is important to emphasize that these results should not cause worry or be unsettling for parents or future parents with any of the above-mentioned diseases,” Atladottir said. “The large majority of people affected by an autoimmune disease do not have children with autism.”

    Autism expert Dr. Jeffrey Brosco, a professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said the study reinforces the association between autism and a mother’s autoimmune disease or, in the cases of type 1 diabetes, a mother’s or father’s condition.

    “This study confirms that we still don’t know what’s going on in autism but suggests there is something interesting about autoimmune diseases in parents of children with autism,” Brosco said.

    Though there seems to be a connection between autism and some parental autoimmune diseases, he said, the mechanism of that interaction is not known. It could be associated with the diseases themselves, it could be that the genes associated with autoimmune diseases and autism are located near each other or it could be that an autoimmune disease changes the quality of a pregnancy, which results in circumstances that increase the risk for autism, Brosco explained.

    “These findings are not going to change anything anyone does,” Brosco said. “You are not going to treat any patients differently. There is no strong evidence for changing clinical practice, but it does help scientists who are interested in autism understand what are the next questions to ask.”

    Geraldine Dawson, chief science officer for Autism Speaks, said that evidence is increasing that the immune system might have a role in autism.

    “One of the things we are realizing about autism is that it is not one disease but rather many different diseases or conditions that has many different etiologies,” Dawson said. “This may be one cause or one risk factor, and if it interacts with a genetic vulnerability, it can increase the risk for autism,” she said.

    More information

    The U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has more on autism.

    (SOURCES: William W. Eaton, Ph.D., Sylvia and Harold Halpert professor
    and chairman, Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg
    School of Public Health, Baltimore; Hjordis O. Atladottir, B.M.,
    Institute of Public Health, Aarhus University, Denmark; Geraldine
    Dawson, Ph.D., chief science officer, Autism Speaks; Jeffrey Brosco,
    M.D., Ph.D., professor, clinical pediatrics, University of Miami
    Miller School of Medicine, Miami; July 6, 2009, Pediatrics )

    I want to emphasize one point:

    “This finding reinforces the suggestion that autoimmune processes are connected somehow with the cause of autism and autism spectrum disorder,” said researcher William W. Eaton, chairman of the Department of Mental Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. “This finding is on the pathway of finding the cause of autism.”

    Eaton noted that there is no clinical significance to the finding but that it could guide future research as scientists try to pin down the cause or causes of autism.

    Note: my Google skillz aren’t good enough to find a link to the online version of the study, which was released yesterday.

  158. Kent Heckenlively

    Dear Gang:

    I’d like to restate my suggestion we keep to the issues and not indulge in personal attacks.

    Let’s review a few of my points.

    1. The former head of the National Institute of Health, Dr. Bernadine Healy, and the former Chief Science Officer for the United Kingdom, Dr. Peter Fletcher have expressed concerns about vaccine safety and are now on record supporting the type of research that has long been advocated by the bio-medical community.

    2. The National Institute of Health, (probably considering Dr. Healy’s views as well as others) has agreed to studies looking at the possibility of different neurological outcomes in vaccinated and unvaccinated children, as well as the possible effects of vaccine components (like mercury and aluminum).

    3. In the case of Hannah Poling, the government conceded that the nine vaccines she received during a single doctor visit caused her neurological problems (including autism). The next reasonable question would be how prevalent such mitochondrial disorders are, and if there are reasonable ways to check before vaccination so that the schedule might be adjusted for those children. Recent research from the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation has shown that such mitochondrial disorders might be as common as 1 in 200 individuals.

    4. There are two more significant cases regarding the question of vaccines causing neurological problems, that of Bailey Banks and Julia Colorado. Bailey Banks won his case for vaccine damage causing his pervasive developmental disorder (PDD is often a place-holder diagnosis until an autism diagnosis is made), while Julia Colorado won her case for encephalitis (brain swelling) caused by her vaccination. Significantly, in her blog, Julia’s mother says that her neurologist noted she has “signs of autism”, but that Julia’s mother didn’t want that word in Julia’s records until after her case was over. http://childhealthsafety.wordpress.com/2009/06/14/juliawinsmmrcase/

    5. I’m very pleased that most of the comments expressed here agree that there is a real increase in autism rates, as that is still very controversial among many medical practitioners.

    All the best,
    Kent Heckenlively, Esq.
    Legal editor, Age of Autism

  159. Greg in Austin

    @Liz Ditz,

    So, what that study is saying is that autism may be genetic? Am I understanding that correctly?

    8)

  160. Greg in Austin

    @Kent Heckenlively

    1) You’ve changed this claim. Previously, you stated,

    “First, the former head of the National Institute of Health in the U.S. , Dr. Bernadine Healy, and the former Chief Science Officer for the United Kingdom, Dr. Peter Fletcher, have both expressed concerns about vaccinations and their possible relation to autism, and have proposed research which is completely in line with that segment of the autism community which believes vaccines are a possible, and likely cause of the increase in autism.”

    Now you are claiming that they simply,

    “…have expressed concerns about vaccine safety and are now on record supporting the type of research that has long been advocated by the bio-medical community.”

    without mentioning vaccines. Please clarify, are these people claiming that vaccines are linked to autism, or are they not? Perhaps if you cite the actual source of your information, that would clear up any confusion.

    2) Please cite the source of this claim, so it can be reviewed as well.

    3) That one single court case does in no way constitute a medical conclusion that vaccines cause autism. Additionally, it was my understanding that Hannah’s disorder was possibly exacerbated by a reaction to vaccines, that the disorder already existed, and that her disorder is not the same thing as autism.

    4) Nobody has ever argued that autism rates are increasing. Everybody here is also very interested in finding the cause. However, the point of discussion is whether or not vaccines cause autism.

    By the way, I notice that you continue to ignore any and all direct questions posed to you. There have been many questions (most without any personal attacks) asked about the claims you are making, yet you purposefully sidestep them. Why is that?

    8)

  161. Lori Culbertson

    Actually, there is plenty of reason for the government to not release a lot of this information and it is greed…money is the root of ALL evil. I do think there are some good people in government, there needs to be more.

    My information does not all come from sites like Generation Rescue, and others like it….I check out the studies for myself. I search plenty of other sites which have no link to government or autism organizations.

    Anyone ever heard of the Simpsonwood meeting? The FDA, CDC and the WHO all met (without registering with congress first, which is required by law) to discuss a study…that implicated vaccines in Autism. Some very disturbing comments by the government officials in this meeting that was kept very secretive and hush-hush until the Freedom of Information act was used to obtain it.

    Just do a search for it, there are hundreds of links to it and you all can find the one you feel most reliable.

    As far as amounts of toxins in each vaccine, I think that may depend on the manufacturer, to be honest although I have searched a few times…I have yet to find a site that lists the amounts. I do know that there is only one flu vaccine that does not contain thimerosal, the others or at least one of them contains 25mcg of thimerosal and they are recommending this to PREGNANT women! Aluminum is found as high as 25mcg in some vaccines as well. Aluminum toxicity is very real, and many kids are tested and are found to have extremely HIGH levels of aluminum in their blood. Where did it all come from? Environment, food and VACCINES.

    Anyone ever heard of Glutathione? http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=50746

    It’s a very STRONG antioxidant that our body makes, but it can become depleted, one way is by Tylenol. Some people are just low in glutathione. It really helps the body rid itself of toxins…so if levels are low how do you think a person (mainly infants) rid their bodies of the toxins from vaccines? They don’t, they are not able to….levels should be checked BEFORE administering vaccines but they are not, so the toxins overwhelm the new baby and STAY in the body where they can go to the major organs and the BRAIN…this is something doctors know or should know. Simple blood tests can determine the levels.

    I do know that the SYNERGISTIC effects of these toxins has NOT been studied and there is no research currently being done to see how toxic these substances are when COMBINED..they may not be just twice as toxic, but even up to 6, 7, 8 times more toxic when put together.

    Dr. Paul Offit who has been very outspoken about his feelings has profited big time from his part in research for the Rotavirus vaccine…how many people know that? He has been quoted as saying “it was like hitting the lottery”…he has a LOT to lose if vaccines are found to be harmful to a certain subset of children.

    Bottom line, there is not ANY research which supports the safety of vaccines….it hasn’t been done (as far as the toxins they contain), babies don’t just get one shot at a time, they get numerous shots at once and so they are getting toxins from EACH shot…all those amounts add up.

    They should be testing children BEFORE giving a vaccine to make sure they aren’t going to react to a certain ingredient, like egg protein, or some of the antibiotics that are in the vaccines…and testing a child for an underlying mitochondrial disorder makes a lot of sense as well. You can do some blood tests which will help indicate or point to this being problem. As a true test would mean a muscle biopsy, but if you have evidence pointing to a certain problem you can rule it out or in.

    Medically speaking, I have had some testing done on my son, who received all of his vaccines up until age 5. His body cannot handle another vaccine of any kind. His immune system is completely out of whack, his thryoid is over productive and he has other medical issues as well. A lot of evidence points to a mito disorder…if he had been tested, they would’ve found this and KNOWN he couldn’t have the vaccines.

    We will be getting results of glutathione levels soon and my bet is they are significantly depleted and most likely have been since birth, again a simple blood test would’ve shown this.

    Whether you are a person with allergies or something else that cannot be seen, TESTING first means that doctors are “FIRST, DOING NO HARM”

  162. Alien Death-Ray

    So many studies, so many opinions. But what I’d like to know is where can these studies rule out that the mothers and infants in these studies, were ONLY exposed to the trace amounts of mercury in vaccines, and not from outside sources.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_(element)#Releases_in_the_environment

    “Please note the mention of volcanoes in the above article”

    There are many forms of mercury that occur naturally and can be absorbed by the mother and passed on to her baby. I’m not arguing that we shouldn’t pay careful attention to what we’re injecting into America’s babies. I’m just saying let’s not jump to conclusions that aren’t there. So stop arguing and go beat up a volcano!

  163. Charles Boyer

    “Many people laughed at Christopher Columbus when he said he could sail around the world!”

    Especially since it was the Pinzon brothers who originally had the idea to seek a passage to India by sailing to the west.

    But who needs any historical accuracy anyway?

  164. Gonzo

    How can we make it so the adults advocating not vaccinating children simply die, instead of their children? I’m so sick of coddling these fools.

  165. robo

    The unvaccinating movement has been around forever, way before jenny mc carthy opened her mouth to get the word out that there is something wrong with the way our kids are developing wether it be autism.adhd,add,apraxia,etc…. to blame the resurgence of diseases on the autism group is both infantile and harmfull. I have friends who have vaccinated children that have gotten varcirella after being vaccinated and of course the flu shot, the biggest scam of all. My 13 month old son had never been sick a day in his life untill two days after recieveing the flu vaccine. For the next year he had seizures,ear infections,strep throat,skin disorders, and quit eating all his favorite foods and would later be diagnoised with autism. I have lived and witnessed this, I bet half of you on here have never been through what I or the numerous other parents on this response sheet have lived and survived. hate ms Mc carthy all you want but she opened a can of worms that should be looked at.And people, the medical communtiy cannot say they have ruled out vaccines with the weak studies they have done,WEAK!!!!!! I bet you all would line up for a shot of thimerisol would’nt you? Don’t knock it till you have tried it I say and oh yes, my kids are vaccinated!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  166. Kent Heckenlively

    Dear Greg in Austin:

    Thank you for responding to my points and asking questions in a respectful manner.

    1. I’m not aware of having changed what I was saying about Dr. Bernadine Healy, former head of the National Institute of Health for the U.S., or Dr. Peter Fletcher, former Chief Science Officer for the U.K. (with responsiblity for vaccine safety.” Here is what I previously included from Dr. Fletcher. You can reread Dr. Bernadine Healy’s comments at your leisure from previous links I’ve provided.

    “Dr Peter Fletcher, who was Chief Scientific Officer at the Department of Health, said if it is proven that the jab causes autism, “the refusal by governments to evaluate the risks properly will make this one of the greatest scandals in medical history”.

    He added that after agreeing to be an expert witness on drug-safety trials for parents’ lawyers, he had received and studied thousands of documents relating to the case which he believed the public had a right to see.

    He said he has seen a “steady accumulation of evidence” from scientists worldwide that the measles, mumps and rubella jab is causing brain damage in certain children.

    But he added: “There are very powerful people in positions of great authority in Britain and elsewhere who have staked their reputations and careers on the safety of MMR and they are willing to do almost anything to protect themselves.” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-376203/Former-science-chief-MMR-fears-coming-true.html

    2. As far as the studies currently approved by the NIH, here’s a link to an article, which in itself has links to relevant documents from the NIH. http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/06/front-page-huffpo-david-kirbys-seven-studies-to-watch.html#more

    3. You must admit that the government’s concession that vaccines can cause autism in certain cases, is significantly different than the previous contention that vaccines could never cause autism. This is Dr. Poling’s account of the proceedings leading to the concession, and what he believes his daughter’s case means. http://www.ajc.com/search/content/opinion/stories/2008/04/11/polinged0411.html

    4. I must disagree with you that many members of the medical community question whether autism is really increasing. Here is Dr. Poling’s fine article on that very issue in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. http://www.ajc.com/services/content/printedition/2009/03/13/polinged0313.html?cxntlid=inform_sr

    I am very appreciative of the civil tone you’ve taken in questioning some of the things I have presented to you.

    Some excellent questions have been raised by this group about the basis of the assertions by Dr. Bernadine Healy and Dr. Peter Fletcher. I’m always looking for interesting subjects for my articles in Age of Autism, and as it’s apparent that many of the commentators in the thread are regular readers of Age of Autism, I will endeavor to produce such articles in the coming months.

    I’m sure we can all agree that the opinions of people such as Dr. Bernadine Healy, former head of the National Institute of Health in the U.S., and Dr. Peter Fletcher, former Chief Science Officer of the U.K. are of much greater weight than any of us here, or even (heaven forbid!), the author of the Bad Astronomy blog for Discover Magazine.

    All the best,
    Kent Heckenlively, Esq.
    Legal Editor, Age of Autism

  167. Chris

    Wow, Kent… you are clueless.

    Bailey Banks does not have autism, it said so in the legal papers. And even he along with Hannah Poling are just special case anecdotes (hint: not every child with autism has mitochondrial disorders).

    Repeat after me, and keep repeating until you understand it:

    The plural of anecdote is anecdotes, not data!

    Bernadine Healy is really a very poor choice for an argument from authority.

    By the way, Mr. Age of Autism editor, when are you going to remove the false claims the Times pulling down Brian Deer’s articles? They were brought down as a courtesy, but once Wakefield lied on the press release, they put them back up.

  168. Kent Heckenlively

    Chris:

    1. I noted the official diagnosis of Bailey Banks is pervasive developmental disorder, which is often a placeholder diagnosis for autism until a more thorough diagnosis can be made. I find it a little confusing that the island you seem to be standing on is that vaccines can definitely cause pervasive developmental disorder, but could never cause autism.

    2. You call Hannah Poling an anecdote, and as such, not of any value. I disagree. If a flying saucer landed on the White House lawn and an alien popped out it would not be proof of alien life all through the galaxy, but at least proof that somewhere besides Earth there is life. Similarly, that the government conceded the Hannah Poling case is evidence that vaccines can cause autism in some cases.

    3. I am confused why Dr. Bernadine Healy, former head of the National Institute of Health (and responsible for deciding a good proportion of where medical research dollars are spent during her time in office) is a bad choice for an authority.

    4. I am sure that my fellow editors at Age of Autism are on top of the Dr. Andrew Wakefield situation.

    All the best,
    Kent Heckenlively, Esq.
    Legal Editor, Age of Autism

  169. Chris

    You don’t read much, do you?

    Here you go, from epiwonk.com/?p=134 …

    President George H. W. Bush set an unfortunate precedent in 1991 when he appointed Bernadine Healy as Director of the NIH. The appointment was purely political, based on Healy’s lifetime support of the Republican Party. Although many feminists were overjoyed at the time, Dr. Healy was hardly a scientist. She was a career administrator.

    Let’s not forget that the National Institutes of Health have often been called the greatest scientific institution in the history of the world. Bernadine Healy was about as qualified for the job of NIH Director as Sarah Palin is to be President of the United States.

    There is more at: scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/04/bernadine_healy_flirtin_with_the_antivac.php

    And if you are top of stuff on Wakefield, why haven’t you printed a retraction? You can check yourself, the Feb. 2009 articles about Wakefield fudging data are back on the Times website (of course, there is also testimony in the US Federal Court that he used bad data, which is in the official record, something Wakefield would have to work very hard to erase).

    Also, the chances of a flying saucer landing on the White House are as likely as vaccines causing autism. Just to clarify:

    The science has been done, the link between vaccines and autism does not exist. It is a dead link… “It’s not pinin’! ‘It’s passed on! This link is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet its maker! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed it to the perch it’d be pushing up the daisies! Its metabolic processes are now ‘istory! It’s off the twig! It’s kicked the bucket, it’s shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-LINK!! ” (hat-tip to Monty Python and the dead parrot sketch)

  170. Kent

    How about I give you my own anecdotal evidence since you seem to think that if it comes from a parent with a child with ASD it counts as real evidence (even so it doesn’t but it seems that your MO)

    I am a parent who has both a child with ADD/ODD and another who falls in this huge thing we now call ASD, vaccines and all that you spout DID NOT cause it. How do I know this based on my first hand observations of my children that you and your kind only seem to want to listen to? My first thankfully was able to be fully vaccinated. My second was not do a very rare reaction to his first year of vaccines. BUT AHA you may want to say the ASD is because of those reactions? NO. Why? His symptoms never got better when reluctantly I had to stop his vaccines. His symptoms got better with early intervention from birth. Cause guess what we found something in his brain during an ultrasound that may be the cause. But again we do not know because there are only a couple handful of other cases such as his found in Canada. And it could be more common than the cases found since it was only by the sheer luck of me having placenta previa and having to go in for a non-routine ultrasound that his complications were found. Perhaps a change in the way prenatal ultrasounds are carried out help find more of these cases perhaps not. It certainly a better choice IMO than subjecting children to what and your kind do and refusing vaccinations. Could it have been something I passed on to him? Doubtful and I was tested for every possible disease from toxoplasmosis and rubella to crazy diseases you only get from traveling abroad (which I have never done) to eliminate as many environmental factors possible and all tests were negative. Does that eliminate ALL environmental factors, I doubt that is possible without subjecting myself or my son through a lot of really awful highly invasive procedures which at the end of the day really does not matter. What does matter for both of my boys (despite the barium swallows and food allergy testing and CT scans and bi weekly trips to the drs and infant development and speech therapy etc etc etc) is we treated both my children with PROVEN developmental/behavioral therapy interventions to help them cope with life. And guess what? Without subjecting them to a menu of 100s of crazy bio med choices, both my boys are very well adjusted. Go figure! Science works! Torturing your children while playing Russian roulette with woo therapies is parents grasping at straws because of this incurable need for answers that just are not there yet instead of focusing on what they have to actually deal with. Yes further research needs to be done on the causes of these disorders. That does not mean you stop sound scientifically proven medicine and preventative medicines (i.e. vaccines) putting not only your children and risk but the children of those around you at risk during this process?

    I could elaborate further on this and my own families struggles. If you want more info, read my blog and search it for antivaxx.

    I am a parent, I have children with these disorders and I am PRO VACCINE! And people like you really make me sick and anger me since this stuff you are spewing is killing children plain and simple. And I posted a recent study which speaks to this. I doubt you even took the time to read it like I had asked. That is all I ask. Is that you just read it. Maybe if you did what me and others on this forum have asked of you, we would be more inclined to receive you better. But instead you jump around the topic in a manner that is to illicit more fear and terror in the heart of poor parents struggling through the difficultly that is a child with special needs. Once again, shame on you!

    And yes I am not being very rational here and emotional. But I am tired of being told “we” don’t get it or its a conspiracy or all this other stuff. When we do. We live it!

    Yes it would be nice to know what caused these issues with my children. Does it matter for the way they were treated? No.

  171. Kent Heckenlively

    Dear Group:

    I find the assertions against Dr. Healy quite puzzling. If she was truly such a disaster as the head of the National Institute of Health, it seems strange that US News and World Report would choose to feature her with a regular column. Then again, it may be reminiscent of President Obama naming as his first pick for Surgeon General, Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN.

    Yes, it would be good to know what caused these issues with our children. I believe there must be clear biological markers for what is wrong with our children, but both traditional and complementary medicine have failed to find the answers.

    I have avoided personal anecdotes, but I recovered my son using the gluten/casein free diet and he’s a completely normal, top of his class, fourth grader. My daughter who’s eleven, is still non-verbal, has seizures, and is still in diapers. Sometimes the answers work, and sometimes they don’t, just as some people die from cancer even though they do radiation and chemotherapy. I believe science will give us answers, even if it’s to say that there’s nothing which can be done, but it’s also important we ask appropriate questions. (I know you and I will differ on what those questions would be!) However, I’m happy for the genetic basis of autism be pursued with equal fervor, as environmental influences, such as pollution, pesticides, and yes, vaccines. I am not afraid of gene research as I think it will dovetail with environmental exposures.

    Just as those who had AIDS used their organization “Act-Up” to press for answers to these issues we in the bio-medical community do the same. And like the AIDS cocktail which was discovered by mistake we may also stumble across an unexpected answer in our efforts.

    All the best,
    Kent Heckenlively, Esq.
    Legal Editor, Age of Autism

  172. Ray Martin

    This crazy loon isn’t even anti toxin, as she claims. She is an active advocate of Botox.
    So, essentially, she is just fine and dandy about the arbitrary and unecessary injection of the botulism neurotoxin, but totally against anything that can save the lives of children and eradicate deadly and preventable diseases.

  173. Chris

    Repeat: The plural of anecdote is anecdotes, not data.

    The science has been done, and there is no casual connection between vaccines and autism.

  174. Lori Culbertson

    @ Gonzo, you said:
    “How can we make it so the adults advocating not vaccinating children simply die, instead of their children? I’m so sick of coddling these fools.”

    I think asking this question is completely inappropriate and shows you as an uncaring person….really harsh if you ask me.

    I want SAFER vaccines! and if I die or any of these other parents…WHO IS GOING TO TAKE CARE OF OUR CHILDREN?

    I have NEVER asked to be “coddled”, and I am NOT a fool.

    It took years and years and LOTS of court cases and research before people believed that cigarettes did any harm.

    They are removing toxins from plastic because it can leech into the formula or juice that a baby drinks and cause damage…what makes you all think that vaccines are any different?

    We live in a much more toxic world than we used to and it is taking its toll on our bodies and children are the most susceptible to these toxins.

    All we want is SAFETY testing and safer vaccines….really, get a clue.

  175. Chris

    Lori, just a simple question: Why would the actual disease be safer than the vaccine?

    Right now there are increases in both measles and pertussis, and in the UK and Japan mumps has returned (note that in the news there have been at least eleven cases of measles in Brooklyn, NY). These are all serious diseases with some very high rates of complications like deafness, blindness, life-long lung issues and even death (the rates of death for pertussis has been increasing, especially for babies).

    So really, why would a child who is claimed to be “vaccine damaged” fair any better with the actual diseases?

    Why do you think that there is no research for safer vaccines? Did you notice that the DTP has been replaced by the DTaP, or that the OPV has been replaced by the IPV? If you go to PubMed.gov and plug in words like “vaccine”, “research”, “safety” you will find lots of ongoing research. I would suggest that you also look for the papers I listed above (many are available for free online, otherwise you can get a copy at a library, usually a university library).

    By the way this is false:

    It took years and years and LOTS of court cases and research before people believed that cigarettes did any harm

    We knew cigarettes were bad starting in the 1950s, from a website called dub dub dub dot tobacco.org that has a timeline:

    1950: HEALTH: Three important epidemiological studies provide the first powerful links between smoking and lung cancer
    In the May 27, 1950 issue of JAMA, Morton Levin publishes first major study definitively linking smoking to lung cancer.
    In the same issue, “Tobacco Smoking as a Possible Etiologic Factor in Bronchiogenic Carcinoma: A Study of 684 Proved Cases,” by Ernst L. Wynder and Evarts A. Graham of the United States, found that 96.5% of lung cancer patients interviewed were moderate heavy-to-chain-smokers.
    1950-09:30: RICHARD DOLL and A BRADFORD HILL publish first report on Smoking and Carcinoma of the Lung in the British Medical Journal, finding that heavy smokers were fifty times as likely as nonsmokers to contract lung cancer. The cancer advisory committee of the Ministry of Health say they have demonstrated an association, not a cause, and advise the Government to do nothing.
    FTC complains that cigarette ads touting physical benefits are deceptive. (Source: Chronology Of Major Events In Cigarette Smoking, Marketing, And Health , Bates #2025019398)

    Lots of the litigation was from the tobacco companies, but the medical consensus was that tobacco was bad was known for almost twenty years before ads for cigarettes were removed from television around 1970. On a personal note my siblings and I were hiding my mother’s cigarettes in the early 1960s, and my father did stop smoking in 1966 because his dentist spotted some markers for mouth cancer.

    If you are going to make a bunch of claims, do try to get some basic facts correct.

    Oh, earlier I noticed you used the canard “1 in 6″ children have something or other — I would suggest you do a look up on what the percentage of anything is outside of one standard deviation from the mean of a normally distributed curve, also known as the “bell curve”… you will find it works out to 1 in 6 above one standard deviation, and 1 in 6 below one standard deviation. There is a good page on Wikepedia on standard deviation, I suggest you look at it. It has a good graph, and the standard deviation is noted by a symbol called a “sigma”, which looks like an “o” with a little hat.

  176. Kent Heckenlively

    Dear Chris:

    If the research had been done, it would look something like this. Generation Rescue’s study which cost less than $200K and needs to be replicated on a larger scale, but they used the same procedures used by the CDC to establish disease prevalence. Considering the average autistic child will cost taxpayers about 3 million (roughly the cost of a fully powered study), it would be money well spent. To my knowledge, there is no other study which has looked at the neurological health outcomes of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children. You can access the pdf file at http://www.generationrescue.org

    Results

    SurveyUSA gathered data on 9,175 boys and 8,499 girls. Counties surveyed in California included:

    San Diego
    Sonoma
    Orange
    Sacramento
    Marin

    Counties surveyed in Oregon included:

    Multnomah
    Marion
    Jackson
    Lane

    The results of the survey can be accessed as a pdf file here. This is the primary data we received from SurveyUSA and it can be used for anyone to independently analyze our results.

    Generation Rescue analyzed the data provided by SurveyUSA, and a copy of our analysis can be found here. The most notable results of our survey are with the boys, which is not surprising considering boys represent approximately 80% of total cases of NDs. Namely:

    All vaccinated boys, compared to unvaccinated boys:

    - Vaccinated boys were 155% more likely to have a neurological disorder (RR 2.55)
    - Vaccinated boys were 224% more likely to have ADHD (RR 3.24)
    - Vaccinated boys were 61% more likely to have autism (RR 1.61)

    Older vaccinated boys, ages 11-17 (about half the boys surveyed), compared to older unvaccinated boys:

    - Vaccinated boys were 158% more likely to have a neurological disorder (RR 2.58)
    - Vaccinated boys were 317% more likely to have ADHD (RR 4.17)
    - Vaccinated boys were 112% more likely to have autism (RR 2.12)

    (Note: older children may be a more reliable indicator because many children are not diagnosed until they are 6-8 years old, and we captured data beginning at age 4.)

    All vaccinated boys, removing one county with unusual results (Multnomah, OR), compared to unvaccinated boys:

    - Vaccinated boys were 185% more likely to have a neurological disorder (RR 2.85)
    - Vaccinated boys were 279% more likely to have ADHD (RR 3.79)
    - Vaccinated boys were 146% more likely to have autism (RR 2.46)

    All vaccinated boys and girls, compared to unvaccinated boys and girls:

    - Vaccinated boys and girls were 120% more likely to have asthma (RR 2.20)
    - No correlation established for juvenile diabetes

    All vaccinated girls, compared to unvaccinated girls:

    - No meaningful differences in prevalence were noted for NDs (which may be due to the smaller sample size of the study because girls represent about 20% of cases.)

    Commentary

    Generation Rescue is not representing that our study proves that the U.S. vaccine schedule has caused an epidemic in neurological disorders amongst our children. We are a small non-profit organization. For less than $200,000, we were able to complete a study that the CDC, with an $8 billion a year budget, has been unable or unwilling to do. We think the results of our survey lend credibility to the urgent need to do a larger scale study to compare vaccinated and unvaccinated children for neurodevelopmental outcomes.

    All the best,
    Kent Heckenlively, Esq.
    Legal Editor, Age of Autism

  177. @Kent Heckenlively

    1) Hannah Poling had a preexisting mitochondrial disorder that was, according to the court, exacerbated by vaccines. That case does not show that vaccines cause autim. Rather, it suggests that people with a mitochondrial disorder can be made worse, but actual scientific inquiry into this would be needed before making any conclusions. I’m sure there are probably plenty of people with mitochondrial disorders who are fully vaccinated without suffering ill effects, just as there are people with autism but no mitochondrial disorder. – http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/hannah-poling-a-minor-her-parents-and-natural-guardians-terry-polingv-secretary-of-health-and-human-

    2) Bailey Banks’ official diagnosis was not PDD. It was ADEM, or acute disseminated encephalomyelitis. Note, that is an inflammation of the brain and is, like Hannah Poling, not autim. – http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/bailey-banks-his-father-kenneth-banks-v-secretary-health-and-human-services-020738v (Note the very first tag under the case title and number: Non-autistic developmental delay.) The interesting thing about this case is that the anti-vax crowd did not mention anything about this case when the results came out. It was only after their claims about Hannah Poling were shown to be baseless, years after the Banks case, that it was brought forth and touted as supporting the vaccine-autism link.

    3) Regarding Julia Colorado, there seems to be no information online other than your own article at Age of Autism. Assuming that your claim is true, that she suffered encephalitis as result of the MMR vaccine, then I think she probably rightly won her case (hard to say without any references to the actual decision, though). Why do I think this? Because encephalitis is a known risk of the MMR vaccine. That said, the risk of encephalitis is much, much lower from the vaccine vs. measles (1 in 1,000,000 vs. 1 in 1,000). – http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/6mishome.htm#risk

    4) None of those cases constitutes scientific evidence, even if they did reach the conclusion that vaccines cause autism, which none of them do.

    5) For those who have asked you questions, what specifically do you feel have been personal attacks?

    6) Why do you continue to avoid answering questions posed to you? Specifically, what scientific study of sound quality shows a causal connection between vaccines and autism?

  178. Greg in Austin

    Kent Heckenlively said,

    “You call Hannah Poling an anecdote, and as such, not of any value. I disagree. If a flying saucer landed on the White House lawn and an alien popped out it would not be proof of alien life all through the galaxy, but at least proof that somewhere besides Earth there is life. Similarly, that the government conceded the Hannah Poling case is evidence that vaccines can cause autism in some cases.

    IT IS NOT EVIDENCE! For one thing, this was NOT a properly controlled, double-blind study. Secondly, the government did NOT concede that the vaccines caused autism. What they agreed was that the fevers caused by the reaction to the vaccines (a known potential side-effect) caused a regression due to a pre-existing, but previously unknown, disorder.

    Try reading The Hannah Poling case and the rebranding of autism by antivaccinationists as a mitochondrial disorder March 10, 2008.
    www . sciencebasedmedicine . org/?p=66

    And I quote:

    “So what does this mean? First, one thing that it doesn’t mean, contrary to all the P.R. over the last few days, is that the government has conceded that vaccines cause autism. It hasn’t, and science doesn’t support that contention even if it did. Mitochondrial disorders of the sort suffered by Hannah are genetic in nature and rare, an estimated 5.7 individuals per 100,000 worldwide, and, as described well in this New Scientist article, the subset of these disorders that cause autism-like symptoms is even more rare. It is also known that children with mitochondrial disorders are prone to encephalopathy in response to stress or fever that can cause them to regress.

    8)

  179. Greg in Austin

    Kent Heckenlively said,

    “I am confused why Dr. Bernadine Healy, former head of the National Institute of Health (and responsible for deciding a good proportion of where medical research dollars are spent during her time in office) is a bad choice for an authority.”

    First of all, argument from authority is a logical fallacy. It renders your argument useless from a scientific perspective.

    Secondly, I don’t care if she’s the President of Earth or the Grand Poobah of Science. If you or I cannot repeat the study (by following the same methods, using the same controls, and getting the same results) then it IS NOT SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE. That is why all of us keep asking for real studies that show whether or not vaccines cause autism. So far, there have been at least 50 properly controlled studies that were specifically looking for a causal relationship between vaccines and autism, and so far, the score is 50-0. That’s 50 studies that did NOT show causation, and ZERO studies that DID. If you have data that says otherwise, PLEASE PRESENT IT.

    Court cases do not equal evidence.
    Anecdotes from families does not equal evidence.
    Books by former Playboy models is the opposite of evidence.

    Are you beginning to understand any of this yet?

    8)

  180. Chris

    Your Generation Rescue phone survey was a joke. It actually showed that the undervaccinated were more likely to have autism. Due to the fact it was a phone survey with leading questions you were more than likely to get a form of self-selection.

    From scienceblogs.com/insolence/2007/06/fun_with_phone_surveys.php:

    Not surprisingly, given the source, the “study” turns out to be totally underwhelming, nothing more than a phone poll really. (Amusingly, David Kirby has said that he doesn’t consider phone surveys to be “data.”) Even so, expect to see it trumpeted all over antivaccination websites and blogs as “proof” that vaccines cause autism or, at the very least, as “evidence” that compels a study. It might be, if it weren’t so poorly designed and analyzed and if it actually showed what GR claims that it shows.

    and from photoninthedarkness.com/?p=99:

    It would be helpful to know how many people they had to call to get the number of responses they did – this gives a good measure of how skewed the responses might be. The higher the percentage of people refusing to take the survey, the more likely that the people who do answer are not a representative sample of the population.

    Yeah, phone surveys have that problem. I actually will hang up if I detect leading questions, or stupid questions like one I got recently that asked me if I thought teenagers were worse than before (before what? worse in what? what are the parameters?).

    It continues with:

    Looking at the data, one thing that pops up as an immediate red flag is that the prevalence of autism is greater than the prevalence of PDD-NOS. This is an inversion of the usual finding, which is that autism (with stricter diagnostic criteria) is less common than PDD-NOS (which is essentially some of the criteria for autism but not enough to diagnose autism). This suggests that the people involved in the survey may not be asking the right questions

    Again with the stupid questions. But, wait there is more:

    The GR survey found that the prevalence of autistic spectrum disorders was 4.7% in their overall sample and ranged from 1.3% (female, fully vaccinated) to 8.4% (male, partially vaccinated). This is nearly ten times the CDC prevalence.

    Wow, just wow. I would say you definitely did not get a representative sample!

    Why are you still dragging out this stinky old phone survey after it was denounced at least two years ago?

    Here is a bunch more analysis of the Generation Rescue’s “science”, by multiple doctors including a neurologist and an infectious disease doctor:
    dub dub dub dot sciencebasedmedicine.org/?s=fourteen+studies

    Also, there was a UK based site that had a really good frisking of the data, but it has disappeared. Since the UK has stupid libel laws, did someone at Generation Rescue to some libel tourism and have that site taken down? That does not sound very honest (well, about as honest as Wakefield — why do you guys still support him, when he lied with his press release?).

    Another quick question, how come you guys can’t make up your idea of which vaccine or vaccine ingredient. First its the MMR (a vaccine that has been around since 1971), then it is thimerosal, then it is aluminum, now it is back to the MMR (which has never had thimerosal nor aluminum), and on and on?

    Make up your minds!

    Actually, since you guys would know good science if it bit you on the butt, I guess that is just too much to ask.

  181. Chris

    Arrgh… actually I screwed up, and should have said that Generation Rescue, Age of Autism and their friends would not know good science if it but you on the butt.

  182. Chris

    Oh, Kent, another thing that your keen legal mind should know about: Is Wakefield actually seeing patients in Texas?

    He was never qualified as a clinician in the UK (which is why other doctors had to see the dozen children, including the one who perforated one kid’s intestines in several places – OUCH!). He is also not licensed to practice medicine in the state of Texas (or any other state in the USA). So, what does he do at Thoughtful House other than release deceitful press releases?

  183. @Chris

    Good question about Wakefield. I was wondering what he was doing at Thoughtful House, other than writing premature press releases that just dig his hole deeper.

  184. Greg in Austin

    @Kent,

    Did you really post results from a survey as your data?

    8)

  185. Na

    “I hear antivaxxers all the time saying that if we don’t know what causes autism, how can we know vaccines don’t?”

    That’s like saying we have a room full of suspects of a crime, one of them has a watertight alibi, no motive or opportunity, we’ve searched them for a weapon but found nothing… but we can’t rule that one person out because we don’t know where the weapon is. I’d love to see McCarthy try to be a cop, or anything else that requires any sort of deductive reasoning. Evidently she’s never read any Sherlock Holmes.

  186. Greg in Austin

    Lori Culbertson Says:

    “I want SAFER vaccines!

    We live in a much more toxic world than we used to and it is taking its toll on our bodies and children are the most susceptible to these toxins.

    All we want is SAFETY testing and safer vaccines….really, get a clue.”

    What makes you think vaccines are not safe now? Are they not safer than allowing children to suffer and die from the actual diseases? What data have you seen that leads you to believe vaccines are harmful?

    We also live in a much safer and healthier world than we used to. People are living longer due to improved medical care. (ok, except for the fat, lazy people, but that’s their choice.) When was the last time you heard of someone contracting Polio? When was the last outbreak of measles that sickened people by the tens of thousands? When was the last time you heard of a disease spreading across the country killing millions of people in less than a year?

    I noticed you ignored my questions and comments about the levels of toxicity, back in post #154. Really, most of the posters here have a very good clue as to the effectiveness and importance of vaccines. Do you?

    8)

  187. @Greg in Austin

    Lori has bought into the idea that vaccines are not effective at all, that the diseases were on the decline before vaccines were ever introduced. So, in her mind, the vaccines have negative side effects without any benefit.

    Recall that in her very first post she stated:

    There are charts and graphs which show that the decline of many of these diseases started long BEFORE vaccines were introduced…and that actually, better SANITATION, HYGENE, MEDICAL PRACTICES (washing hands, sterilizing), INDOOR PLUMBING, etc…were what caused the decline in disease NOT VACCINES….you can get some of that info here…

    So, your comments about those diseases disappearing is clearly the result of better hygiene, not the vaccines, according to her reasoning.

    Her posts show that she has given her mind over to the conspiracy theory and has become a true believer. No amount of contrary data will convince her that vaccines are either safe or effective. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if she espoused the belief that viruses and bacteria do not cause illness.

  188. Andy Cooke

    Umm, Mr Heckenlively,
    You keep citing this “Dr. Peter Fletcher, former Chief Science Officer of the U.K” chap. I should clarify the position:
    Dr Fletcher was Chief Scientific Officer at the Department of Health in the UK in the late 1970s (ie he left his post 30 years ago). You seem to be confusing him with the Chief Science Adviser to the UK Government, which is a far more high profile post.

    The post in question, the “Chief Scientific Officer of the DoH” is one of the 5 Professional Officers (Chief Nursing Officer, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, Chief Health Professions Officer, Chief Dental Officer, Chief Scientific Officer) subordinate to the Chief Medical Officer. Of those five, the seniormost is the Chief Nursing Officer, who holds a place on the department’s board alongside the CMO.

    The role of the Chief Scientific Officer is described thus: “The Chief Scientific Officer is responsible for building the capacity of the healthcare science workforce, and for developing healthcare scientists and their roles whilst raising their profile and recognition across the Department of Health”, according to the DoH.

    I note that Mr David Kirby (and others) seem to be implying that Dr Fletcher has recently had a role similar to that of the Chief Scientific Adviser or the Chief Medical Officer. It is not at all apparent from the reading of these comments that his role was below that of the board of the Department of Health and was in any case thirty years ago. Could you ensure that this is highlighted in Age of Autism refernces in future?

    Many thanks.

    Incidentally, on the anecdote front, I’m sure you’ll be delighted to hear* that my severely autistic 5-year-old son has recently made huge improvements (going from totally non-vocal to speaking and understanding short phrases, controlling his own temper, actively seeking out interaction with peers (It was truly wonderful to watch him JOIN IN with the party games at his 8 year-old sister’s recent birthday party – he did really quite well at “Musical Statues” and “Musical Bumps” after getting the idea very swiftly), seeking to interact with us (his parents). I don’t have any miracle cures to put it down to, other than sustained love. I guess that sometimes breakthroughs happen. I did read a study claiming that one in seven children diagnosed with an ASD “improve” to the point where they appear/act totally “recovered”. If we could find out what causes that one in seven (and I’m sceptical about the GF/CF diet – it didn’t work with my son; most of his improvements happened after taking him off of the diet, but I can see the hesitancy about experimenting with withdrawing it from a child who has made progress coincidental with being put on the diet (plus or minus a month or two))

    *I’m actually not being sarcastic with this – I’m sure you would be pleased to here a success story, regardless of what caused it. Plus, I’m so chuffed with his recent improvements that I’ve been dying to mention it on any blog I’ve posted on before.

  189. Found an interesting ‘debate’ over mandatory vaccinations in Maryland: (YouTube)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6z3htbpq70

    Here’s the blog (John C. Dvorak, Tech Writer/Commentator), where you can see the comments:

    http://www.dvorak.org/blog/2009/07/08/mandatory-vaccination-or-go-to-jail-in-maryland/#comments

    J/P=?

  190. Mark Hansen

    Andy Cooke (193)
    “…The post in question, the “Chief Scientific Officer of the DoH”…”
    I thought Homer Simpson was in charge of that.

    Incidentally, congrats with your son. Hope things keep working out for you and your family.

  191. Brad

    Is that a Princess Bride reference I detect?

  192. Mark Hansen

    Not an intentional one. I’ve never seen the Princess Bride. I just thought the sentence looked funny.

  193. As a person on the Autism Spectrum, I can not stand Jenny McCarthy’s stupidity. I am perhaps the only person on YouTube who has a video that critizises her: “Jenny McCarthy is wrong on autism.” A lot of people can not stand her for her poor character.

  194. Calli Arcale

    Eric:
    Some diseases, like tetnus, I really don’t have a problem vaccinating, but tetnus is a bacteria, and not something the body will learn to fight. With small pox and polio, it’s hard to say. While I wouldn’t want my children to have them, I would question that I am really helping them by giving them a vaccine.

    Tetanus — another reason is because tetanus is so lethal. Without treatment, most patients will die. With treatment (but without vaccination), your odds improve considerably and you have only a 11% chance of dying (though you may be spending a fair bit of time in the ICU, on a ventilator, probably with a tracheotomy and possibly paralyzed by curare to try to get your body to relax enough to allow the ventilator to work, and you may have lifelong nerve, muscle, and/or joint damage — the muscle spasms are *powerful*). Also, there’s no chance of herd immunity, because Clostridium tetani is an extremely common soil bacterium; it doesn’t depend on us, and in fact it is completely coincidental that it is so lethal to us.

    Smallpox — don’t bother vaccinating unless you’re in the armed forces. The only possible way to be exposed is if an enemy manages to acquire one of the few remaining samples of the virus and weaponize it. The odds of this are so slim that even the DoD doesn’t really think it’s likely; vaccinating the troops is more of a deterrent against even attempting to weaponize it. (They’re basically telling enemy nations not to bother.)

    Polio, though, is still prevalent in the wild, particularly in places such as Africa and southeast Asia. In my part of America, we get a lot of African and southeast Asian refugees, so there would be quite a few opportunities for it to establish itself again if the local population isn’t widely vaccinated. It’s worth continuing to vaccinate, especially since you can use the inactivated version of the vaccine, which is more effective *and* safer than the oral one (which uses live virus, but is used in parts of the world where polio is still endemic because it’s much cheaper and curiously more effective while polio is endemic).

    Lori Culbertson:
    Anyone ever heard of Glutathione? http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=50746

    It’s a very STRONG antioxidant that our body makes, but it can become depleted, one way is by Tylenol. Some people are just low in glutathione. It really helps the body rid itself of toxins…so if levels are low how do you think a person (mainly infants) rid their bodies of the toxins from vaccines?
    …..
    Whether you are a person with allergies or something else that cannot be seen, TESTING first means that doctors are “FIRST, DOING NO HARM”

    Okay, you said glutathione was an antioxidant, and then you said it helps the body “rid itself of toxins”. Which is it? There is a substantial difference.

    As far as testing first, this is impractical. Tests themselves have significant risks; is it worth subjecting every child to the risk, pain, and expense of extensive testing which still would not detect all contraindications, when only a very tiny minority are likely to benefit? It is the *reverse* of the risk-benefit equation for vaccines; only a very tiny minority are likely to be harmed by vaccines while the majority will be helped, whereas with routine testing, only a very tiny minority are likely to be helped while the majority will be harmed.

    Ray Martin:
    This crazy loon isn’t even anti toxin, as she claims. She is an active advocate of Botox.
    So, essentially, she is just fine and dandy about the arbitrary and unecessary injection of the botulism neurotoxin, but totally against anything that can save the lives of children and eradicate deadly and preventable diseases.

    I am reminded of the Australian couple recently charged with crimes in conjunction with their daughter’s death. The infant died of complications from eczema, which is easily treated with moisturizers and the occasional antibiotic when the skin becomes infected. They had chosen homeopathy; indeed, they were both practicing homeopaths. What’s interesting, though, is that the wife had recently undergone conventional medical treatment for an infection. They were willing to accept mainstream medicine for themselves, but not for their child. I do not think this is because they are cruel and callous people; I think there’s something more fundamental going on. *Many* parents are hypocritical concerning their children, in some way, just usually it’s not fatal. Like the womanizing parent who grounds his daughter for a month just because she was caught kissing a boy. Or like the parent who never succeeded in athletics and is now trying to push their kid into athletic victory. I think a lot of us do it in small amounts, either because we want our children to do better or because we have a hard time seeing our children’s perspective (and realizing how uncomfortable something really is) or even because we’re in denial about something. It would be quite easy for that to get out of control, especially if one let one’s parental pride get the better of them. That’s probably the hardest part about parenting — keeping your pride in check. From what I can see, Jenny McCarthy appears to fail quite spectacularly in that.

  195. Two things Thelma (I’m just such a big, vibrant gal it’s almost necessary to refer to myself in third person, hons) wants ya’ll to know:

    Kent feels like he’s been wrestling with pigs here: http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/07/wrestling-with-pigs.html

    The broad with the graphs and things appears to be getting her misinformation from here: http://childhealthsafety.wordpress.com/graphs/#comment-1390

    Since Thelma has been banned from the second site and might as well go wrestle with pigs for all the good that trying to get onto AoA with a comment would do her bodacious redenkeck self, Thelma thought she would share with the readers here this information.

  196. Jack

    You all are clowns.

    Everyone that does not have a stake in making money off Autism knows vaccines cause it. This stupid chic writing this blog has every need to see Autism continue.

    One simple question. There is not a product, food, or medicine that can generically be placed into every human being on the planet, due to allergies and such. Air and water are the only things that every single person can put in their body. Even aspirin cannot be placed in everybody, oranges, apples, tacos cannot be placed in every body. Why would we all of the sudden think the government has invented a vaccine that can go into the little body of ever baby on the planet? Across the board, no questions asked. Straight inoculation. An assembly line of injections from the US Government. Every baby, every body gets an injection. That is false science and false medical care.

  197. @Jack

    Everyone that does not have a stake in making money off Autism knows vaccines cause it.

    I have no financial stake in this. I’m not employed by anyone that would make money off of autism or vaccines. I have no stock in any companies related to either. And yet, I am reasonably sure that vaccines do not cause autism. Why? Because no one has produced any good evidence that they do.

    This stupid chic

    Umm…you realize that Phil is a guy, right?

    There is not a product, food, or medicine that can generically be placed into every human being on the planet, due to allergies and such.

    Nearly true. But then, every vaccine has a note saying that if the patient is allergic to one of the ingredients in the vaccines, they shouldn’t receive it. Generally speaking, the majority of people do benefit from the vaccine. For a small portion, the vaccine will not grant immunity. For an even smaller portion, the vaccine will cause a serious adverse reaction. No one is claiming they are 100% safe or 100% effective. Not a single drug is. But, they are pretty close to 100%. Enough so that the benefits of the vaccine, in general, outweigh the risks from the vaccine and the risks of not vaccinating.

    If you have a valid, scientific criticism, please present it.

  198. Jack

    lol, Phil. :)

    I ask you the same Todd. You have yet to present anything scientific. Prove to me that autism was around before vaccines. Like I said, it is not a secret that poison in the body causes problems. The deadly soup mixture is death.

    So you are saying even if vaccines caused autism, less than one percent die or get autism, so it is ok to inject the babies with the poison? Is that your reasoning. Just pray it is not your baby’s number that comes up for autism? Hey, they are 99% safe, so screw the families who contract Autism. Wow. No wonder you have no problem letting the Government do this.

  199. @Jack,

    Your post makes no sense. But it’s nice to know exactly which category I can put you in. Wanna guess?

  200. @Jack,

    I have three kids on the spectrum. None of them had adverse reactions to vaccines. None of them “regressed” after vaccination. The science, which for whatever reason people like you and Kent choose to ignore, demonstrates with sufficient evidence that there is no connection between vaccination and autism. It demonstrates pretty clearly that there is a large genetic component which will most likely rival multiple congenital abnormalities/mental retardation for the sheer number of genes implicated in the development of the autism spectrum. In addition, there is a good evidence that autism is present by birth, whether through heritable genetic differences or through in utero traumas.

    If you want a condensed review on the neurology of autism, try Coleman’s (2005) The Neurology of Autism.

  201. Mark Hansen

    Jack (203),
    …I ask you the same Todd. You have yet to present anything scientific. Prove to me that autism was around before vaccines.…”

    Ooh, ooh, can I field this one?

    Autism (the term) coined in 1911, description of affected children from 1943. Note that this does not mean it wasn’t around before this time, it just wasn’t diagnosed as such.
    http://www.autism-pdd.net/autism-history.html

    Measles vaccine. Introduced 1963.
    http://www.immunizationinfo.org/vaccineinfo/vaccine_detail.cfv?id=8#history

    Mumps vaccine. Introduced 1967.
    http://www.immunizationinfo.org/vaccineInfo/vaccine_detail.cfv?id=23#history

    Rubella vaccine. Introduced 1969.
    http://www.immunizationinfo.org/vaccineInfo/vaccine_detail.cfv?id=24#history

    Gee, Jack. 10 minutes* of searching teh interwebs and I found that much. Just think of how much you could find if you try looking around.

    *10 minutes includes typing and editing. I’m not a typist by trade.

  202. @Mark Hansen

    Very succinctly handled. Well done.

  203. SJ Gaywont

    Nova Science Now was on last night and one of the topics they covered was the potential genetic markers that may have strong effects on Autism.
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow/0402/04.html

    So it’s possible that we are getting a bit closer to an understanding – which means we’re closer to a solution.

  204. Jack

    My post made perfect sense. You are too blinded to read. You said it is ok to give 1 percent of the children autism because vaccines help 100% of the kids with disease. I understand the argument, lunk head. I am saying that is wrong. Those are the types of tactics Hitler’s regime practiced.

    That is fine you have three kids that have not regressed. I am happy for the kids. I never said 100% of kids getting vaccines get autism. Are you that lame? I will speak slower with smaller words so you can understand. Nobody knows what causes autism. There is plenty of speculation that vaccines cause autism. Until we can figure it out, why not drop vaccines, or do deeper tests before the vaccines, or promote alternate schedules. Oh, wait. Wow. Alternate schedules? There’s an idea. lol, wow. Like I said, my cousin is allergic to seafood, I am not. So that means he cannot eat seafood but I can. The same thing with vaccines. If child A is more open to having an adverse reaction to the vaccine and might be allergic or have symptoms, but child B does not, then it is simply wrong to give it to every child across the board.

    Where is there evidence that it is there after birth? You cannot just pick that out of the sky and say see? She me the evidence. Show me the evidence that there are autistic kids that did NOT get the vaccines. You can do neither on both.

    Oh, and Mark, pro vaccine web sites placing propaganda about autism’s history is not very accurate and shows how ignorant you are. Your shallow thinking and obvious rant makes your debate really very lame. I could spend all day posting links from the autism side that shows autism started after vaccines, but I will save the effort as I know you are too clouded to read and understand.

    I noticed neither of you knuckleheads touched down on the government inoculating our children. lol, simply ignore that debate, do you? Figures, does not fit into your mission. I state again slowly so you can understand and maybe respond to.

    I do not think it is safe to blanket every child with the same dose, same amount and same soup. It simply does not make sense. You do not blanket same amounts of medicine to ANYBODY, why children? Second, I do not think the government should be in the business of child inoculation. I do not believe in assembly line injections.

    People smoke cigarettes and some people get Emphysema and some don’t. It IS genetic at that point. Guess what, I will never get Emphysema because I do not smoke. The same thing holds true with vaccines. It is the same exact principle. I bet you are a smoker. You suck em down dont you. And expect the government to pay for your health care. lol

    I have a child. I will not let him have vaccines. Guess what. He does not have autism and never will get it. Under your theory and reasoning, that means vaccines cause autism. Thanks for proving my debate. I knew you would see it my way.

  205. Jack

    SJ,

    So the same people who want people to have vaccines are now saying it is genetic. lol, we are no closer if the people pointing to genetics is the government.

  206. @Jack,

    I said that I have three children with autism. Did you miss that? Or are you too busy hurling insults?

    Your post may have made sense to YOU, but to people not engaged in a downwards spiralling conspiracy theory, it made NO sense. I’ll take Thelma’s back on that one.

    And you can put lol behind your absurdities, but it doesn’t lessen the absurdness of your claims.

    YOU may think that no one knows what causes autism, and that may be true in a proportion of cases, but it is not true of all cases. What it does is prove you have no expertise in the area.

  207. Mark Hansen

    Jack, I can see that you are sooooooooooo much more intelligent than I am. With your breathtaking debating skills, reasoned arguments, and a desire never to stoop to ad hominem attacks, how could you be wrong? So why don’t you show me when autism was first diagnosed, with the diagnosing doctor, and when measles, mumps, and rubella were first vaccinated against?

  208. @Jack

    First off, stop being a jerk. Believe it or not, it is possible to have a civil conversation.

    Second, try not to Godwin yourself.

    Third, you keep going on against the whole “every person is different” meme. No one is saying that everyone is the same. Even the government and pharmaceutical companies agree, that people are different. That’s why every drug, including vaccines, has a section of contraindications (e.g., don’t administer to people with an egg allergy or who have had allergic reactions before, don’t administer to those suffering autoimmune disorders like Crohn’s Disease or lupus, etc.). It’s also why they list possible adverse reactions, ranging from the uncommon and mild (e.g., swelling at the injection site) to the exceptionally rare but serious (e.g., encephalitis).

    People that are particularly susceptible to adverse reactions are so rare, though, that testing every single person is unfeasible. I think it was in this thread somewhere that someone addressed this, but to reiterate, the risks associated with testing people for various rare susceptibilities outweigh the benefits. Let’s say there is some disorder that affects 1 in 1 million individuals which puts them at risk for serious adverse reactions to vaccines. Testing (drawing blood, CT scans, etc. as necessary) puts every single one of those 1 million at risk when only 1 will benefit. It also greatly increases health costs, as tests for rare disorders are not cheap. The costs of testing will drive up insurance rates for everyone. Contrast this with vaccines. Nearly every single one of those 1 million will benefit from the vaccine (gain immunity), with just 1 suffering a potential adverse reaction, and maybe a small handful for whom the immunity does not take. So, we’re either putting 1 million at risk to benefit 1 person, or we put 1 at risk to benefit 1 million. Or, giving up vaccines altogether, we put 1 million at risk to benefit 0.

    You also suggest that vaccines are responsible for a rather large number of cases of autism. Indeed, you state that autism didn’t exist before vaccines, which implies that every single case of autism is vaccine-induced. Please provide some citations to scientific studies that show a causal relationship between vaccines and autism.

    I have a child. I will not let him have vaccines. Guess what. He does not have autism and never will get it.

    Glad to hear that he does not have autism. And seeing as autism appears to have a strong genetic component to it, exposure to environmental elements are quite unlikely to cause him to acquire autism. I hope that he never contracts measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, polio, pertussis or any of the other vaccine preventable diseases, either. Thankfully, herd immunity is likely to keep him safe, unless of course those who fight against immunization get their way and immunization rates plummet, destroying herd immunity and thus putting people at risk for infection. Just a quick example of what we’re looking at: if someone is infected with measles, they have a 1 in 1,000 risk of suffering from encephalitis, and a 2 in 1,000 risk of death. The vaccine has a risk of encephalitis or severe allergic reaction of 1 in 1 million.

    Under your theory and reasoning, that means vaccines cause autism.

    How did you come to this conclusion? None of the responses to you have included any reasoning that suggests vaccines cause autism. Not sure where you got that one.

    As a closing note, keep in mind that the people making the vaccines, and the people promoting the use of vaccines have kids, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and so on. If vaccines so obviously cause autism and are horrible, then what is your explanation for why these thousands upon thousands of people would continue to make and/or promote vaccines.

  209. Keith

    I’d take child care advice from Andrea Yates before I’d take it from Jenny McCarthy

  210. Cat

    http://cah1470.wordpress.com/2009/06/27/the-countdown/ I will admit to rambling a bit which I do quite a bit on my blog. But Brian @117 comment reminded me of something I rant about all the time.

  211. Bob Tomkins

    That video is unbelievable. I never realized what a stupid individual this woman is.

  212. Mark Hansen

    Still waiting for those links, Jack. You know, the ones that show Autism was first diagnosed after vaccinations started.

  213. Mark Hansen

    Oh, Jack, a little more info for you to think about.

    Quote: “…People smoke cigarettes and some people get Emphysema and some don’t. It IS genetic at that point. Guess what, I will never get Emphysema because I do not smoke…“. Unquote.

    Seems that not everyone agrees with your assessment of the situation. Smoking does cause the majority of the cases of emphysema but there are others. One that you may find interesting is whooping cough. Yes, that’s right, a vaccine-preventable disease can lead to emphysema. A link (but probably paid for by Teh Ebil Gummint™ and Big Pharma™) is below.

    http://respiratory-lung.health-cares.net/emphysema-causes.php

  214. @Mark Hansen

    Methinks Jack has left the building.

  215. Mark Hansen

    @Todd W.
    It’s a pity. I was looking forward to some more of his sparkling debating skills as well as the TRUE™ history of Autism as revealed by a completely non-biased gen-rescue, or similar, web page.

  216. J Gil

    There is a range of doctors whom have done the science and reported contents in vaccines that are toxic and poisonous with no benefits to the human physiology? Dr. Len Horowitz, Dr. Tim Shea and to some extent the famous Dr. Mercola have reported the same for those that require credentials for truth to be truth.

    Tim O’Shea’s book: http://www.thedoctorwithin.com/chapters.php . He reports that there are over 60 different drug cocktails given the babies and young children that are compromising their immune system for their entire lives. These are not required even if your school claims they are. They are being coaxed to say that with cash for compliance.

    Dr; Mercola article: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/08/20/Legal-Immunity-Set-for-Swine-Flu-Vaccine-Makers.aspx

    The older inoculations work fine. DO NOT COMPARE. It’s the trust people have in them that is allowing them to be duped. 2/3 of American parents are rejecting the Swine flu nonsense which is great news! My Mother’s general practitioner doc told her it’s slightly more serious than a regular flu and NOT to take the vaccine.

    There has as well ben a Federal lawsuit claiming genocide. There are errors and then there is designed maliciousness. Economic recovery via the banking cartels, reduce the population. No paranoia here for the skeptics. Just paying attention.

    Further reading: Paul Henderson – http://www.awakentothetruth.com/vaccinations_part_one.htm

    And why are vaccines being promoted and distributed by Pharmacies and grocery stores? Organic food and awareness..

  217. richard

    i think she is a great and powerfull women. she lives through this day to day fight tuthes will not help anyone.
    Hard trials are necessary for truth to be established… and when a women finds her truth she becomes the difference.!! i trully think she is on a right path to a ceer
    we love u Jenny MCCarthy

  218. Pam

    Actually, Jenny is completely right. Medical professionals never listen to the mothers. They never have, never will. (My daughter was ignored for 5 years with an immune condition, which I knew she had. Five years later, after a great deal of misery and basically missing out on several years of her childhood, she was correctly diagnosed. The experts just smirked at me.) Oh, and the experts are always right, right? Like the “experts” who said for years that autism was caused by cold mothers. Hmmmm. READ

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