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And now the antivaxxers’ humiliation is complete

by Phil Plait, Feb 03 2010

Oh, this is wonderful to hear: The Lancet — a leading UK professional medical research journal — is retracting the paper published by Andrew Wakefield back in 1998 that linked vaccines with autism.

The paper has been found to be multiply and fatally flawed, with Wakefield and his work being thoroughly discredited. As the Lancet editorial itself states:

Following the judgment of the UK General Medical Council’s Fitness to Practise Panel on Jan 28, 2010, it has become clear that several elements of the 1998 paper by Wakefield et al. are incorrect, contrary to the findings of an earlier investigation. In particular, the claims in the original paper that children were “consecutively referred” and that investigations were “approved” by the local ethics committee have been proven to be false. Therefore we fully retract this paper from the published record.


That’s great news, especially after Wakefield had his head handed to him last week by the GMC over his unethical and irresponsible behavior that led to this horrible paper being published in the first place.

The Lancet statement is a bit bloodless… but they are a professional research journal and not a blog, so it’s not appropriate for them to call out Wakefield in more emotional — and utterly deserved — terms. It’s up to the blogs to call out Wakefield for his tireless efforts in creating of the modern antivaccination movement, which is becoming so successful that measles, mumps, pertussis, and other preventable diseases are on the rise again. And to note that not only was his research wrong, but that he may have faked his data. And to say that he has a huge conflict of interest here, since at the time he was involved in creating an alternative to vaccination that would make him very, very rich if people became scared to vaccinate their kids. And to inform people that Wakefield was in the pocket of lawyers trying to sue the vaccine industry. And to basically call out the entire antivax movement for the incredible damage they have done and continue to do to public health.

All that’s left now is for the GMC to officially sanction Wakefield, disbar him, essentially, to finish this all up officially.

Of course, that won’t even slow Wakefield or the antivaxxers. They don’t care for the real world, based on evidence and fact. They are, for all intents and purposes, religious zealots now, believing in Wakefield, Jenny McCarthy, and the rest with such fervor that there is literally no amount of evidence that can ever sway them. And they will continue to spin, fold, and mutilate the truth, while we watch as diseases rise back from the dead, infecting hundreds of thousands of people, and killing many of them.

Never forget what’s at stake here. Never.

My thanks to the many, many BABloggees who sent me email or tweeted about this. Originally posted on The Bad Astronomy Blog.

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45 Responses to “And now the antivaxxers’ humiliation is complete”

  1. gfunkusarelius says:

    Sadly, I am sure the anti-vaxxers are already pitching this as the Big Pharma destroying a hero’s valiant attempt to save children and families from anguish and pain that the greedy corporate machine is perpetuating.

  2. Brian M says:

    I sadly think that this will just end in him being a martyr with a persecution complex. They believe so strongly that he is correct, that they will just see the entire medical community as an “evil” corporation, trying to poison their children… The stupid… It burns…

    • Max says:

      True, but ironically, at the same time they’re desperate for legitimacy and acceptance by the scientific community. They’ll point out any publication that seems even remotely anti-vaccine.

      • MadScientist says:

        That’s why Wakefield has been very active in promoting vanity publications and calling it “peer reviewed”.

  3. oldebabe says:

    This is a good step forward in illuminating the lethal fallacies of the `anti-vaxxers’. If only the whole dangerous idea could be stamped out…

  4. Tvorse says:

    Too bad there are many other Wakefields willing to take his place and create more misleading and false information about this subject. Unfortunately we won’t be able to go back to ignoring Jennifer McCarthy because she’ll find another “doctor” to support that movement.

  5. stargazer9915 says:

    It is said in some circles that there is no such thing as bad publicity. Unfortunately, this may be true even in this case. On the brighter side, I am happy to hear that Dr.(?) Wakefield has been publicly humiliated.

    Don’t stop fighting the good fight, whatever you do.

  6. BillDarryl says:

    Ya-friggin’-hoo. ‘s about time The Lancet stepped up on this.

    Good commentary on msnbc.com on this:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35218819/ns/health-health_care/

  7. Max says:

    How does it reflect on the Lancet for publishing the paper in the first place? Did the paper seem legitimate at the time, or should they have known better?
    Because I’m suspicious of a couple other papers they’ve published.

  8. Deprogrammer says:

    First of all, you know-it-alls have no idea what you’re talking about. You come to this site for your information then walk around as if you’ve been enlightened by the almighty himself and walk around acting like we’re all a bunch of nutjobs because this site said so.

    Have you ever heard of squalene? It’s an adjuvant used in many vaccinations. It has been linked to “Gulf War Syndrome”. Now let me tell what the “American Journal of Pathology” published. A study was done in 2000 where they injected rats with a single injection of squalene and it triggerd “chronic, immune-mediated joint-specific iflammation”, also known as rheumatoid arthritis.

    Now let me tell what it does to humans. Your immune sytem recognizes squalene as an oil molecule native to your body. It is found throughout your nervous system and brain. In fact, you can consume squalene in olive oil and not only will your immune system recognize it, you will also reap the benefits of the antioxidant properties. The difference between the good and the bad squalene is the route by which it enters your body. Injection is an abnormal route of entry which incites your immune system to attack ALL the squalene in your body, not just the vaccine adjuvant.

    Your immune system will attempt to destroy the molecule wherever it finds it, including places where it occurs naturally, and where it is vital to the nervous system.

    Gulf War veterans with Gulf War Syndrome (GWS)received anthrax vaccines which contained squalene MF59 and has since been linked to the devastating autiimmune diseases suffered by countless Gulf war vets.

    A test was developed to detect anti-squalene antibodies in GWS patients, and a clear link was esteblished bewtween the contaminated product and all the GWS sufferers who had been injected with the vaccine containing sqaulene.

    Now let’s talk about mercury.

    Mercury is frequently used as a preservative in vaccines. Some amount of mercury is found in virtually every vaccine given to children, not in just this one vaccine.

    Mercury, of course, is one of the most toxic substances you can put in a human body. It is a heavy metal known to contribute to neurological disorders, including autism, dementia, and even Alzheimer’s disease. Mercury also tends to build up in tissues in the human body and is not easily removed, so even small exposures to mercury can accumulate over time and end up compromising the health of the person involved.

    Vaccinations, it turns out, aren’t really good medicine at all. Vaccinations have been known to kill children or cause severe reactions that injure them for life. As more and more parents are educating themselves about the dangers of vaccines in the United States and elsewhere, they are avoiding giving their children these vaccines, and thereby protecting the health of their children. Mercury isn’t the only toxin known to be contained in vaccines — vaccines present many other health risks, including the potential for autoimmune disorders such as type 1 diabetes.

    So you know-it-all keep having your little brats injected with mercury because it’s good for them. Afterall, this site says so right? It’s all of us educated people causing diseases to rise up again, because it certainly couldn’t be the eugenic that the government is engaged in or “Codex Alimentarius” program which has been implemented recently.

    Most of you knuckle-heads can’t point your own state out on a map as you’ve been dumbed-down to near total retardation.
    Now go drink your flouride, eat yor aspartame, take your xanax, zoloft and paxil, keep feeding ritalin to your brats and watching Faux news. Your government loves you. Idiots.

  9. skepticat says:

    @Max

    The paper seemed totally legitimate at the time and the editor was blown away by Wakefield’s exposure by Brian Deer six years later. But he defended publication in the book he wrote, arguing that “Progress in medicine depends on the free expression of new ideas.”

    Bastard.

  10. Iggy Grey says:

    As Festinger codified: “cognitive dissonance” isn’t just a river in Egypt. Once folks adopt “outlying” philosophies/positions/dogmas set-backs only steel them. It takes years of slowly shaking the faith of the group members from the least ardent inward to the most.

    Anti-vaxers argument is basically it’s okay for your kids to die and be crippled so my kid doesn’t face a very small, percentage of a chance of autism. The medical community needs to tie “preventable disease” death and maiming of fetuses and pre-vac toddlers firmly to anti-vaxers letting their children run around.

    Anti-vaxers have succeeded in trading the “crippling diseases” bogeyman (now nearly eliminated from collective memory) for the “greed” bogeyman of established medical and pharma interest (very real and current). It is a clever distraction that has gone unaddressed by the health community.

    The medical community and health officials need to reiterate how diseases stalked the young until the 60’s. A serious threat to an urbanizing nation that caused society to accept that vaccinations would, could not be 100 percent safe for 100 percent of the children. People back then saw the greater good in a societal survival strategy because disease touched their lives. It was easy to accept slight risks to vax their own children because they had witnessed the alternative. It worked.

    The successful legacy of vaccinations does not belong to pharma or health officials like to anti-vaxers want to believe it belongs to their parents, grandparents and great grand parents.

  11. Deprogrammer says:

    @ Iggy, Your post has no foundation, nothing tangable, it is nothing but conjecture.
    Hasve you always felt that your personal opinions should be taken as scientific fact or is the just a one time thing?

    • Iggy Grey says:

      Yes! Yes I have! You are a superhuman of intelligence, total knowledge of what anybody knows and cognition capable of finding the the moat of mere “personal opinion” in my eye…no …sorry…can’t keep it straight.

      IN MY OPINION, you’re just a sniveling, spoiled grouse and for evidence I refer you to your rant above. You know facts but the hard part of consequence is lost.

      IN MY OPINION, it is petty of you to want a footnote on an internet comment to prove diseases like mumps, measles, chicken pox, rubella, TB and polio maimed, crippled and killed tens of thousand of America’s children prior to mass vaccinations in the late 50’s and 60’s and that the instances of these diseases grew exponential in large urban areas.

      IN MY OPINION, because the 5-watt bulb of your intellect has “never” shined its dim light on that piece of history don’t mean it didn’t happen. I do know and agree with Festinger that any piece of history or reality differing from you lilliputian worldview would create only greater cognitive dissonance for yourself. He postulated the theory of CG and wrote a book funnily enough called “A theory of cognitive dissonance.” Check it out.

      IN MY OPINION, there are no anit-vaxers today. There were anti-vaxers “back in the day” but they were called iron long salesmen, leg brace marketers, snake oil remedy makers and pro-crippling disease cheerleaders. You are PRO-CHRONIC, CRIPPLING CHILDHOOD DISEASE as proof read your rant above.

      Clearly your sniveling is less about the half-truths someone fed you and more about you. I believe, you believe that ANY vaccinations SHOULD BE 100 percent safe for 100 percent of the population – but mostly, especially for you. You want the rest of us to accept and assume all the risk of not vaxing our children regardless of the greater risk to the next generation. Why? Because, in my opinion, you are too small minded to wrap you little thinking bean around the consequences of what you endorse.

      IN MY OPINION, you are a person benefiting from the greater good this society has chosen but chooses personally to accept a “greater good” on your terms ONLY. One of those terms is we aren’t doing enough to protect you from the meanies, bullies, bumps and bruises of life. In my opinion, you think the rest of us daft for accepting life “as is” and that out inaction on our is only making life harder for you.

      IN MY OPINION, that makes you a whiny little snitch that cares only about the teeny-tiny little bit of half-truth you’ve made into a crusade and religion (and your welcome for the education and the rights to decipher your little conspiracy, plan your revenge, grow bitter and whine to the rest of us).

      IN MY OPINION, as brave as you think you are exposing nonsense it pales in comparison to the bravery and foresight as your forebears three generations back. They had to make a tough decision. They experienced suffering. They did not “just” accept vaccinations for no evidence or good reason on the “myth” of horrifying disease. They knew those diseases and did not accept them for future generations. They poured millions of dollars in tax money trying to cure them. The cure came. The cure still was (an still is) vaccinations. They debated and this country, and your family, accepted the tiny risk their children and grandchildren might succumb to the vaccine because the benefit of the arm prick would save future generations a great deal of agony.

      Thank those wise people from decades before that you’re here, spoiled and whiny, living healthy and long enough to be as small minded as you like.

      IN MY OPINION, you’re a special person. More specialer than anyone. I don’t need facts to see you believe you are so special that the rest of us need to guarantee you a suffering-free life whether real, contrived or imagined. Your perceived suffering is completely unfair to you and it’s everybody’s fault because we just can get it in our heads “it’s all about you.”

      IN MY OPINION, you want everything and everybody to stop and fix the teeny-tiny little bit of life that you stubbed your little logic on and can’t seem to move on from. You can’t accept, as we do, that the real problem you have is with the overwhelming achievement of vaccinations that exists all around you because it’s not about…you.

      I wish I could help you. I do. I would love the magic to let you before this vaccination stuff. Send you back to the 30’s and 40’s in say a ghetto in Boston or small hut in the swamps of Louisiana or east LA. I would love to yank out the immunities our society’s gifted on you and drop your whiny ass in Chiapas or Bangalor or Phnom Pehn.

      Do read Festinger’s book. In my opinion, you’ll see a little…no…a lot of yourself in it.

      ig

      PS – Anyone else smell an iron long salesman?

  12. MadScientist says:

    Of course that’s just The Lancet bowing to Big Pharma as they always do. (Or so it will be claimed.)

    The Lancet is only about 12 years late.

  13. I’m going to assume the typical antivaxxer position….*puts fingers in his ears and closes his eyes*

    Nyer, nyer! I can’t hear you.

  14. Deprogrammer – your comment is full of misinformation.

    It turns out – squalene was never even in the vaccines given to Gulf War vets. There is no evidence that squalene causes any medical problems. Your claim that route of entry affects how the immune system handles it is pure pseudoscience and betray a basic misunderstanding of immunity.

    read here: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=851

    Further – mercury has been removed from all routine childhood vaccines. A few have only trace amounts from the manufacturing process,the others have none at all. Toxicity is all about dose – and these trace amounts are truly insignificant.

    And – the removal of mercury from vaccines, in country after country, was not followed by any decrease in autism or the alleged disorders that anti-vaxxers claim are caused by vaccines.

    But it is nice to see that you are not only grossly misinformed by anti-vax propaganda, that you are also a conspiracy nut. It helps put things into perspective.

    • oldebabe says:

      Nicely put, Steve. Hopefully, it won’t encourage this blogger to continue the diatribe, tho, as these types are wont to do.

      Keep on!

  15. Deprogrammer says:

    Steven – You can call me whatever you wish. Sticks and stones. Don’t cry to me the fact that you’re in denial. It’s not hurting my feelings in the least. You wanna go get jabbed with Thimerosal then please, by all means…GO GET JABBED. It’s your body, you can do with it whatever you like. And yes pal, they do STILL put mercury in vaccinations whether or not you’d like to believe that, well it’s your dream, you can make as big as you want.

    Now let’s see what the National Autism Association says about Thimerosal, WHICH IS STILL USED IN SOME VACCINATIONS TODAY!

    *THIMEROSAL*

    Thimerosal is an inorganic mercury compound that is metabolized to ethylmercury and thiosalicylate and has been present since the 1930’s as a preservative in some vaccines and pharmaceutical products to prevent bacterial and fungal contamination.

    THE FACTS:

    Mercury is hazardous to humans. The use of a toxic poison as a preservative is undesirable, unnecessary and should be eliminated entirely.

    For decades, ethylmercury was used extensively in medical products ranging from vaccines to topical ointments as preservative and an anti-bacteriological agent.

    Manufacturers of vaccines and thimerosal, (an ethylmercury 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 ethylmercury compounds. Current evidence suggests thimerosal is neither “safe nor effective” when used as a preservative in vaccines.

    There are over 1500 studies and papers documenting the hypoallergenicity and toxicity of thimerosal (ethylmercury) have existed for decades.

    The United States is in the midst of a tragic epidemic of autism. An analysis of the US Department of Education data from 1992-1993 in comparison to 2000-2001 indicates that there has been an average increase of 644% among all US children. In addition, 13 states have reported an almost infinite or infinite increase in autism from 1992-1993 in comparison to 2000-2001. A review of children in US schools indicates that approximately 1 in 9 children in the US is currently disabled by the US Department of Education Statistics (see attachment). Recent studies in the Journal of the American Medical Association and Pediatrics have confirmed the autism epidemic is real and not due to changes in diagnosis, populational changes nor is it explained by other factors.

    At the same time that the incidence of autism was growing, the number of childhood vaccines containing thimerosal was growing, increasing the amount of ethylmercury to which infants were exposed threefold.

    A growing number of scientists and researchers believe that a relationship between the increase in neurodevelopmental disorders of autism, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, and speech or language delay, and the increased use of thimerosal in vaccines is plausible and deserves more scrutiny. In 2001, the Institute of Medicine determined that such a relationship is biologically plausible, but that not enough evidence exists to support or reject this hypothesis. Recent studies have confirmed the association between the use of thimerosal and autism has moved from “biologically plausible” to a “biological certainty” (Boyd Haley). Recent work by Dr. Mark Geier and David Geier in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons and Experimental Biology and Medicine have shown strong epidemiological evidence for a causal relationship between thimerosal and neurodevelopmental disorders in children.

    The FDA acted too slowly to remove ethylmercury from over-the-counter products like topical ointments and skin creams. Although an advisory committee determined that ethylmercury was unsafe in these products in 1980, a rule requiring its removal was not finalized until 1998.

    The FDA and the CDC failed in their duty to be vigilant as new vaccines containing thimerosal were approved and added to the immunization schedule. When the Hepatitis B and Haemophilus Influenzae Type b vaccines were added to the recommended schedule of childhood immunizations, the cumulative amount of ethylmercury to which children were exposed nearly tripled.

    The amount of ethylmercury to which children were exposed through vaccines prior to the 1999 announcement exceeded two safety thresholds established by the Federal Government for a closely related substance – methylmercury. While the Federal Government has established no safety threshold for ethylmercury, experts agree that the methylmercury guidelines are a good substitute. Federal health officials have conceded that the amount of thimerosal in vaccines exceeded the EPA threshold of 0.1 micrograms per kilogram of bodyweight. In fact, the amount of mercury in one dose of DTaP or Hepatitis B vaccines (25 micrograms each) exceeded this threshold many times over. Federal health officials have not conceded that this amount of thimerosal in vaccines exceeded the FDA’s more relaxed threshold of 0.4 micrograms per kilogram of body weight. In most cases, however, it clearly did. As evidence of the growing concern of the adverse effects of mercury, the FDA has recently changed its permissible dose of oral methylmercury from 0.4 microgram to 0.1 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day.

    The actions taken by the HHS to remove thimerosal from vaccines in 1999 were not sufficiently aggressive. As a result, thimerosal remained in some vaccines for an additional two years. Thimerosal remains in several vaccines and with the addition of the influenza vaccine now being recommended for infants, children are exposed to more thimerosal today than ever before.

    The CDC’s failure to state a preference for thimerosal-free vaccines in 2000 and again in 2001 was an abdication of their responsibility. As a result, many children received vaccines containing thimerosal when thimerosal-free alternatives were available.

    Thimerosal should be removed from all of these vaccines. No amount of mercury is appropriate in any childhood vaccine.

    The CDC in general and the National Immunization Program in particular are conflicted in their duties to monitor the safety of vaccines, while also charged with the responsibility of purchasing vaccines for resale as well as promoting increased immunization rates.

    There is inadequate research regarding ethylmercury neurotoxicity and
    nephrotoxicity.

    There is inadequate research regarding the relationship between autism and the use of mercury-containing vaccines.

    To date, studies conducted or funded by the CDC that purportedly dispute any correlation between autism and vaccine injury have been of poor design, under-powered, and fatally flawed. The CDC’s rush to support and promote such research is reflective of a philosophical conflict in looking fairly at emerging theories and clinical data related to adverse reactions from vaccinations.

    For more information please visit http://www.safeminds.org

    There is a whole list of facts that have been studied and verified. Now use your common sense and think about who has the most to gain with misinformation put out there, the National Autism Association or Big Pharma. Come on man, even you can’t be that ignorant.

    But like like i said earlier. You wanna get stuck, then go get stuck. But don’t point the finger at the rest of us who choose not to take a chance with the side effects.

  16. jaja says:

    Hannah Poling
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh-nkD5LSIg

    I support vaccination, but not the current schedule. It is unnecessarily aggressive and is designed to lower cost, not save lives.

  17. Lonnie says:

    Deprogrammer, you seem to spew a ton of your own “facts” yet I’ve noticed you, and other anti-vaxxers, always tend to conveniently skip over the information provided back to you to counter those claims, why is that?

    Also, what exactly do you consider “inadequate research” as listed in the bottom of your post? How much would ever be enough? How about taking out the Thimerasol (largely) from vaccines and having no drop in rates over 10 years now?

    Answer this question – What would it take to convince you your position is wrong? We know what it would take for you guys to convince us, and you havent provided it. So what would it take you convince you guys your hypothesis is incorrect? What amount and kind of evidence?

  18. Jana Hill says:

    Is it true that there are two groups only. One would never vaccinate, and the other would vaccinate with the antigens plus additives. Both sides offer valid points, but neither position is really viable. Is there no other position?

    Are we evaluating the principle of vaccine-initiated immunity or vaccine-initiated immunity plus additives? Aside from the temporary quality of vaccine-produced immunity, it does seem that the issue of adding preservatives and response-enhancers is the real one.

    Immune enhancers as Squalene are not necessary to produce the immune response. However they do allow a limited amount of antigen to go further. Add a too low amount of antigen but enhance its effect with an immune enhancer and make more vaccine with the same amount of antigen. This is an economic advantage. Is it a health advantage? This is the way that it is done today. This is not without unnecessary risk

    Is this practice of enhancement a necessary part of vaccine use? Would it not be prudent to make vaccines less hazardous by using just the attenuated virus minus the questionable contaminants? Would not the advantage be worth the expense?

    • Max says:

      The preservatives are there for a reason, you know, to prevent bacterial contamination, which poses a greater health risk.
      Immune enhancers may provide a health advantage to groups that have a weak immune response, like the elderly.
      When the number of vaccine doses is limited, the ability to double the number of doses is a public health advantage.
      As far as “economic advantage,” my Econ 101 tells me that increasing supply reduces prices, so that poor countries can afford more vaccine.

    • owen says:

      Actually, for many modern vaccines, an adjuvant is necessary to produce a protective response. Originally vaccines were whole killed or attenuated organisms. Beginning with the Hepatitis B vaccine as the (I believe) first genetically enginered sub-unit vaccine, vaccine manufactures began to try to focus on developing vaccines that were immunostimulatory while reducing antigens that produced uwanted side effects. Unfortunately, reducing the number of antigens necessarily reduces the immune response. Microgram per microgram, an unadjuvanted sub-unit vacine is unlikely to produce as much of an immune response as a whole vaccine. There is a dose response, but often even large doses do not produce protective levels of antibodies and or cellular immunity. So they are adjuvanted. MF59 was initially developed and tested sometime around 1989 as a modern adjuvant to suport modern vaccines.

  19. dreamer says:

    So Mr. Novella says squalene was never in da vaxine? That is true. only Deprogrammer never said it was. Deprogrammer said squalene was in the ADJUVANT! I can tell you won’t go search boxing fer that because you don’t even read what is here. SO? I’ll tell you what an adjuvant is. An adjuvant is used with the vaxine so it will spread and not be clumped up and get stuck in the needles. Its the adjuvant that will give you Gulf War Syndrome. The reason H1N1 nebber took off was folks know better to use natural products that work, such as oscillococcinum.

  20. deprogrammer – your facts are incorrect or misleading.

    You wrote: “At the same time that the incidence of autism was growing, the number of childhood vaccines containing thimerosal was growing, increasing the amount of ethylmercury to which infants were exposed threefold.”

    And yet, AFTER thimerosal was removed from the childhood vaccine schedule, and therefore mercury exposure through vaccines decreased to the lowest level in decades after 2001, autism rates continued to rise at the exact same rate. This disproves the association between thimerosal and autism. You cannot argue that increasing thimerosal increased autism but at the same time decreasing thimerosal did not decrease autism. This is basic logic.

    dreamer – your comment is incoherent. A vaccine adjuvant is IN the vaccine. Squalene is not in the adjuvant – it is the adjuvant. And no squalene was in the vaccines used on Gulf War vets. SO?

    jaja – there is no evidence that there is any risk to the current schedule. There are rare vaccine reactions – but they have nothing to do with the schedule.

    My response to the Poling case: http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=341

  21. Oh – and oscillococcinum is not “natural” it’s non-existent. It is a dilution of a delusion – the result of incompetent microscopy based upon the ignorance of the time, and perpetuated by pseudoscientists.

    Here is the full story – very illuminating: http://www.homeowatch.org/history/oscillo.html

    It also reinforces, as we are seeing over and over on this thread, how the anti-vaccine crowd spews misinformation without doing any due diligence.

  22. Deprogrammer says:

    Statement from Dr. Len Horowitz:

    The editors of Medical Veritas journal (www.MedicalVeritas.org) have condemned The Lancet’s retraction of the controversial study by Dr. Andrew Wakefield, charging editor Richard Horton with pandering to special interests in a conspiracy to defraud the public about the risks of vaccinations.

    • Max says:

      That says more about Medical Veritas than about The Lancet.
      Maybe Richard Horton can sue them for libel.

  23. Deprogrammer says:

    As far as i’m concerned, every one of you can go get stuck. By all means, go get your vaccinations.

    http://web.mac.com/len15/PHARMAGANDA__A_Study_of_Conflicting_Interests/Leonard_G._Horowitz_and_Sherri_Kane.html

  24. kabol says:

    i’m not feeling all that victorious, actually.

    maybe if someone had a clue as to what WAS causing so many cases of autism in children these days i’d feel more celebratory.

    oddly enough, i always come back to my own little notion of long term marijuana use in one or both of the parents. but i’m not a scientist or anything.

    • kabol says:

      i’m not ronald reagan either, obv.

      or maybe i AM….i am the ghost of….oh crap, look out — it’s pablo escobar! he’s trying to fight me for internet time! ::wrastle::

      well — where was i?

    • Brian says:

      So have the autism rates been normalized against the increase in our ability to diagnose it?

    • godlizard says:

      Oddly enough, a study was released today linking maternal age with autism — with mothers at or around age 40 having a much higher incidence. I’ve not read enough of it to say whether or not their methodology was solid, but if it is, it would go a long way towards explaining the increases, women have been putting off babies for career for the past three or four decades, since the “womens liberation movement” — and it’s logical, because it’s a well-documented fact that birth defects and complications rise with age.

      Let’s face it, whether you’re a pot smoker or not, plenty of environmental factors can cause chromosomal damage — and the older you are, the more damaged your zygotes are bound to be.

      (oh, and @Brian, the study did indicate that older parents are more likely to have the resources and education to identify and seek diagnosis — and cited that a possible factor)

    • Melinda Gallup says:

      I’ve never smoked it. Neither has my husband. Our son has autism, my husband has Asperger’s. My husband’s parents didn’t smoke it either.
      We are vegan and eat all organic foods, are non-smokers, and we don’t drink alcohol.

  25. Niall says:

    The retraction by the Lancet serves very little in the grand scheme of things. For us Skeptics we already knew the paper was flawed, for the anti-vaxxers it just goes down as another big Pharma conspiracy. What the retraction does do is once again highlight the issue and better inform people stuck in the middle ground.

    Engaging with anti-vax advocates such as Dreamer and Deprogrammer (as enticing as it seems to hit them with hard facts) also serves very little. They are the textbook definition of an Ideologue and I doubt any amount of good empirical science will sway them from their delusional state.

  26. Melinda Gallup says:

    Yes, our governments are lying to us. They want everyone in the world to be autistic (actually, autistics are pretty awesome- I’m married to one, and we have a son who is autistic, not to mention my many friends who are on the spectrum as well…). No, there’s no possible way that any of the scientists, doctors, researchers, and people in the government have a child with autism. Nope. That could never happen, and that’s why they are lying to all of us about vaccines!
    Sheesh! Honestly, these anti-vaccine people need a reality check! They are mad that their child/children didn’t turn out to be who they thought they would be, and they need to blame someone or something. I feel bad for them. They cannot accept reality, and it’s their unvaccinated children who will suffer because of their parents’ stupidity.
    The United States needs to include not vaccinating a child as neglect and child endangerment. These people are putting their children in harms way, leaving them vulnerable to deadly infectious diseases. You wouldn’t leave your child alone with a convicted sex offender. You wouldn’t let your child play with fire and gasoline. You wouldn’t leave your young child home alone. You wouldn’t allow your preschooler, kindergartner, or toddler walk home alone. You wouldn’t do these things because it puts them at risk. So why would you not vaccinate your child when ALL of the evidence shows that vaccines do NOT cause autism?? What kind of an idiot parent would do that? I’ll tell you what parents would- the kind who do not deserve to be parents.

    I am the mom of a little boy who has autism. We believed the scare and didn’t have our son vaccinated until he 2 years old. He was clearly autistic by 18 months old, even though he showed signs since birth. When it was clear that he was autistic, we had him vaccinated. I’m glad we did. He is now current on vaccines.

  27. REALLY? That two year old boy from Indonesia who smokes forty cigarettes is CRAZY. Someone needs to kick his folks a few times, or just throw them into the nearest large body of water. I saw the video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TOtoVEJSTU