The ScienceBlogs Book Club

My name is Paul Offit. I’m the chief of the division of infectious diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and my published expertise is in the area of vaccine safety and rotavirus-specific immune responses. (I’m the co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq). I’ve written a book about the vaccine-autism controversy titled AUTISM’S FALSE PROPHETS: BAD SCIENCE, RISKY MEDICINE, AND THE SEARCH FOR A CURE. First: a little background on autism and the birth of the controversy.

There is no known cause or cure for autism. But in the late 1990s two hypotheses garnered a great deal of media attention. The first, advanced by a gastroenterologist in London, posited that the combination measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR) caused autism. The second, advanced by parent advocacy groups in the United States, argued that thimerosal, an ethylmercury-containing preservative that had been used in vaccines since the 1930s, was responsible. The notion that vaccines caused autism wasn’t surprising; vaccines have often been blamed for chronic disorders such as asthma, allergies, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and mental retardation.

In response to the concern that vaccines caused autism, the public health and academic communities responded, performing a series of large, carefully controlled, epidemiological studies. Ten separate groups of investigators found no link between MMR and autism and six groups found no link between thimerosal and autism. Because of the strength, consistency, and reproducibility of these studies, the notion that MMR or thimerosal cause autism is no longer a scientific controversy.

The reason that I wrote the book is because of what happened after the studies exonerating vaccines had been performed and published. The media, using the journalistic mantra of balance, continued to cover the story as if it were a controversy. But the controversy is between those who believe in science as a way to answer scientific questions and those who don’t. The “vaccine-autism controversy” is really an anti-science story. Science is viewed by many in the media as just one more opinion in a sea of opinions.

The continued portrayal by the press that vaccines might cause autism has done a lot of harm. Harm because many parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children, witness the recent measles epidemic in the United States, the largest in more than a decade. Harm because the false notion that vaccines cause autism has caused parents to choose dangerous therapies, such as chelation. And harm because the notion that vaccines might be the problem continues to divert resources away from far more promising leads. My hope for this book is that people confused about this subject will see the sand on which the notion that vaccines cause autism is built. And also get a better look at the motivations of the fringe scientists, lawyers, journalists, and parent advocates who continue to flak for the irresponsible notion that vaccines cause autism.

Comments

  1. #1 mandydax
    October 1, 2008

    Dr. Offit, thank you for writing this book. It elucidates in a concise way how this whole thing came about, why it shouldn’t be an issue, and yet why it still is one. I literally just finished reading it moments ago.

    After so many times where the scientific community with the evidence that shows that there is no vaccine-autism link either remained silent or was pushed aside or dismissed with appeals to emotion or post hoc ergo propter hoc arguments, it was refreshing to see that so many stood up to ABC’s misrepresentation of the facts in that episode of Eli Stone.

    I should say that I’m not affected by autism (although with the widening of the spectrum and my hyperlexia, I started to wonder), but I find it reprehensible that these anti-vaccinationist are causing real harm to children by scaring parents out of immunizing their children. I have to side with Amanda Peet on this one; if they refuse the truth in light of all evidence, they are parasites.

    It is definitely an emotionally-charged issue, and it is difficult not to think of the anti-vax movement in less than flattering terms. I look forward to this discussion.

  2. #2 Sharon
    October 1, 2008

    I’ve yet to receive my copy of the book and I look froward to reading it when it arrives.

    Thanks for writing it. I’ll keep a close eye on these discussions too.

  3. #3 mollishka
    October 1, 2008

    Shall we call you Paul, or Dr. Offit? Hmm… the mysteries abound…

    I finished the book last night and am in the process of writing up the review now.

  4. #4 CyberLizard
    October 1, 2008

    Dr. Offit, many thanks for the book. I must confess that I had bought into the hype. My son was born in 2002 and, even though we had heard some of the “controversy”, we still elected to have him vaccinated. When my daughter was born in 2006, we decided that the “risk” wasn’t worth it and we would delay vaccination until we could find out more. Being relatively young, we had no experience with the diseases the vaccines were preventing. They were completely unknown. But autism we could see. It affected people we knew. Mistrust of the government was running high and it seemed quite conceivable that the government and its agencies would not be telling us the whole story. Because of the herd protection, we felt comfortable holding off while we looked into it.

    That herd protection lulls you into a false sense of security. It wasn’t high on our list of priorities to do any serious investigation, so we just kept moving along. Fortunately, I stumbled onto ScienceBlogs. Several bloggers (Orac, you there?) wrote so clearly, so passionately yet backed up by cold hard facts, that it became impossible to doubt the truth: that vaccines were safe and had no link whatsoever to autism or any of the other wild links that were put out there.

    We are currently getting my daughter caught up on her shots. This book has gone a long way to resolving any lingering doubt in my wife’s mind. Seeing the facts so clearly laid out, demonstrating the sequence of events and revealing peoples motivations, all in one place; it has much more of an impact than scattered news stories spread out over years, mostly drowned out by the antivaxers’ hype.

    I will definitely be presenting this book to those who still doubt and hope that it will make a difference.

  5. #5 mollishka
    October 1, 2008

    I wanted to get a review up before being “contaminated” by the discussions here (which I’m looking forward to!). I don’t have kids and I don’t personally know anyone with autism (though I have several friends with autistic siblings), so before reading this book all I knew about the controversy is that people are easily frightened and gullible.

    Here’s the review on my blog and also at LibraryThing.

  6. #6 Melissa
    October 1, 2008

    This book is a great play by play of the whole vaccine-autism controversy and the media buzz it created. Dr Offit has done such a nice job standing up for vaccines and perhaps more importantly, the need for science to drive medicine even if that makes parents uncomfortable. My question is for Dr. Offit and I wonder if you feel that perhaps more of the professionals in the public health field should have stepped forward to confront the bad science head-on. Any thoughts on that? Thank you.

  7. #7 John Dennehy
    October 1, 2008

    Excellent book, Paul. In my microbiology class, I’ve fended questions from students regarding whether vaccines were “safe”. Most students, although educated and worldly, were unaware of the studies showing no relationship between vaccines and autism for example.

    The most disturbing issues for me (highlighted in your Ch. 9) is the tendency of the media 1) to report only “sexy” stories 2) seek unwarranted “balance”.

    It is clear that the media attention given to reports that vaccines were unsafe far outweighed reports that vaccines are safe.

    Moreover, reports of the safety of vaccines were often accompanied by contradictory opinions in the interests of “balance”. I liken this to the Intelligent Design controversy where some believe educators should present “all sides” of the evolution “controversy”.

    So, my question to the panel is “What do we do about it?” Can we create a media whose primary objective is to inform rather than to entertain, and, if so, how can we get people to pay attention to it?

  8. #8 N.B.
    October 1, 2008

    But the controversy is between those who believe in science as a way to answer scientific questions and those who don’t. The “vaccine-autism controversy” is really an anti-science story. Science is viewed by many in the media as just one more opinion in a sea of opinions.

    This is a beautiful summary of a lot of the problems going on with media reporting of scientific issues today, not just vaccination. The idea that scientific research produces “just another opinion” that is somehow just as valid as the unsubstantiated beliefs of shouting mothers is the key to the manufactured controversy, and what we really need to do is find a way to educate the general public as to why that isn’t the case. The press isn’t helping.

    I find it interesting that this sort of thinking is prevalent basically anywhere that people are able to voice their opinions; if you look at the “talk” pages for many popular wikipedia articles covering pseudoscience or “alternative medicine” you’ll inevitably see someone complaining about how the article is “biased” toward the “scientific point of view” and is therefore not compliant with wikipedia’s goal of “neutral POV.” But if science–man’s tool for overcoming his own biases–doesn’t offer a neutral POV, what does?

    I think the real problem is that too many people have succumbed to a kind of post-modern media-propagated fallacy that you should just let both sides yell a lot and assume that the truth is some calculable mean that can be derived from the yammering on both sides.

  9. #9 AmandaM
    October 1, 2008

    This was a very engaging book, and I learned a lot. But I was also reading “The Republican War on Science” at the same time, and I can see why people have a problem believing that good science will eventually “win out” over bad science and that it doesn’t matter who pays for the study.

    We have government-funded scientists pushing for a “bill of rights” so they can publish their findings unedited by any government officials. Knowing this, it’s hard for me as a citizen to reconcile what SHOULD happen in science with what apparently DOES happen in some rare cases.

    While I certainly don’t believe vaccines cause autism, I can sort of understand the public’s confusion. Bad science may not be reproduced by other investigators, but if it has already been PUBLISHED in the media, and that publication gives it an undeserved air of credibility. Efforts to clear up misunderstandings or report contrary studies are then simply viewed as part of a paranoid fantasy of the government or drug company’s conspiracy to silence the “truth.”

    The big question seems to be “how do we prevent bad science from reaching the mainstream media before it has actually been repeated and tested and is READY for public consumption?”

  10. #10 Wendy
    October 1, 2008

    Thank you again, Dr. Offit, for writing this valuable book!

    I agree wholeheartedly with AmandaM’s last post about the big question of preventing bad science from reaching the mainstream media- especially so with such an emotionally-laiden topic like Autism. The question I walk away with is how are scientists, who supposedly abide by the scientific method, able to produce such bad science ? I found it astounding that co-authors on Wakefield’s powerful paper were not aware of what was actually happening in the selection of research participants, potential biases, etc. With that thought in mind, how do we prevent bad science from circulating amongst the scientific community before it even has a chance to reach the mainstream media? Thank goodness that Wakefield was exposed so the editorial system in place is hypervigilant…

    Beyond my astonishment at how Wakefield’s studies were conducting and te wide brush strokes with which his claims were painted, I am thankful that researchers are out there willing to expose the truth at the expense of their own safety. I am an in-home therapist for children with autism and the information in this book is so valuable for me to convey to the parents for whom I work. Many thanks!

  11. #11 Mike
    October 1, 2008

    Haven’t read the book but have followed the controversy for some time. I’m glad this book is out there but fear there is no way to stem the anti-science, ‘greedy industry’ side of this war. Jenny McCarthy was on cnn video today (1 Oct 08) pushing her new book and I’m guessing that Dr. Offit isn’t anywhere near as cute as she is on the cover providing a distinct disadvantage at the book store to a sadly large portion of America.

    If your child has autism, do you buy a book that explains, in detail, how vaccines are not to blame, gives no (or little) hope of a cure? Or do you pick up the book that has many emotionally wrenching stories of other kids just like your own and that promises a way to cure the disease?

    This is a tough sell in an environment where a large percentage of the population believes in woo, intelligent design, creationism, and angels.

    Good luck and thanks for all the fish.

  12. #12 Thomas D. Taylor
    October 1, 2008

    Those who are interested in learning more about Autism Spectrum disorders should feel free to listen to the free Autism Spectrum Podcasts put out by Midnight In Chicago at http://www.mic.mypodcast.com

    “Autism and vaccines: Parts I & II” might be particularly interesting to many here.

  13. #13 Richard Rasmussen
    October 1, 2008

    Dr. Offit, you are my hero. Thank you for standing up for science and reason on this most important issue. Also, I am visually impaired, and I wonder if you would consider putting your book on audio. Thanks again and keep up the good work!

  14. #14 Skepdude
    October 1, 2008

    I was one of the lucky 50 people that received this book for free thanks to this bookclub. I have a couple of chapters to go so I think I can chime in for a quick comment.

    This book is a must read, in my opinion, for any lay person, such as myself, who has an interest on the issue of autism. In very concise, easy to understand language it gives you a nice history of the “controversy” without getting bogged down in medical jargon, which would have put it out of most of the public’s reach. I didn’t know much about Andrew Wakefield and how important a role he’d played in creating the actual anti-vaccination movement heralded by the likes of Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey. And this is an important issue. You have a few rogue scientist who for whatever reason (financial gain, 15 min of fame, error) go out and make these wild claims, that cause so much trouble and end up costing society so much in terms of money, and lives and suffering. This book is a very nice case study of why one study or two do not make science, why the literature as a whole is what matters, why being able to reproduce a study is so so important.

    The most important thing for me is the fact that this book so clearly shows the constant goal posting moving coming from the pseudoscientific crowd. MMR causes Crohn’s,…well no but it causes autism….well no but thimerosal causes autism….well no but vaccines cause autism so let’s green them. This is one of their preferred techniques, when the evidence does not please them they make up a new “controversy” and demand attention, which the media is glad to give them. The problem is that these folks are making up unsubstantiated claims, and then REAL SCIENTISTS have to waste time and resources showing them wrong. And for what? Just so they can start the process anew with a new fantasy. In the mean time, real scientific research has to pay the price for it.

    ALL POLITICIANS AND POLICYMAKERS SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO READ THIS BOOK. Unfortunately, we already know that most of them are allergic to reason and logic, so most likely they will not. But if we can get parents, specifically parents of autistic kids, to read this book, there is a very good chance that some of them will see the truth and will be able to save themselves, and most importantly their kids, from all the cranks out there.

    Paul Offit has done a great job in this book and I congratulate him for that.

  15. #15 Kassiane
    October 1, 2008

    I just got my copy of the book yesterday.

    Best autism book I’ve got hands down. I’m making other people read it when this is done. The way the changes that led to the perception of vaccines as dangerous, ouch. THANK YOU DR OFFIT. You and many of the people in that book are among my heroes.

  16. #16 MitoScientist
    October 1, 2008

    I was also one of the lucky fifty to receive a free copy of the book (thank you very much!), and as I commented in Kevin’s post I only wish there was more discussion of mitochondrial physiology in the book. Dr. Offit nicely lays out in lay terms much of the science supporting vaccines, and to give digestible explanations of mtDNA mutation threshold effect, importance of the tissue affected by mitochondrial dysfunction (i.e high relative OXHPHOS activity or low), and the stochastic distribution of mutations, would have been very helpful for putting the Poling case in context for what it proves and doesn’t prove about vaccines. However, it might have been publication timing issues, as Orac pointed out.

  17. #17 Kevin Emerson
    October 1, 2008

    The book is about the fact that even though scientific evidence overwhelmingly proves that these claims of vaccinations causing autism have no footing, the media still gives them a large amount of covereage in the name of ‘balance’. This reminds of a few other things that are so commonly blogged about – Climate change and the few outsiders who claim that it is not happening and Evolution vs. Creation science. In both cases, it is common for a small minority of opinion to get equal footing in the media with the sole purpose of telling both sides of a story – Even when the story really only has one side that has empirical support.

    Should the media relax its focus on minority opinions? This is a tough call. Think about the history of scientific progress. Imagine you were watching Katie Couric discussing Galileo’s ideas in the early 17th century. The majority opinion, overwhelmingly accepted was that the sun revolved around the earth. It is what the media (at that time I guess Katie Couric would have been a priest, as they were the media of the time) had been saying for centuries. Along came Galileo with his novel, yet empirically based observations, claiming that, in fact, the sun was stationary and the earth rotated about the sun. Should he receive equal footing on the nightly news? My answer is yes in this case, as Galileo’s observations were based on empirical data that people were able to replicate in their own laboratories (or castle towers as the case may be).

    How is this different than the case with the novel (and if true, exciting) claim by the anti-vaccination crowd? Why should they not receive equal billing in the media? In this case, it has been shown time and time again, that the few empirically based, scientific studies that support vaccination as a cause of autism, have been shown to be the result of poor analysis, biased sampling, and personal belief rather than good empirical science. The more appropriate studies, that are non-biased, with large samples – these all say the same thing. Vaccinations are safe – they do not cause autism. That is what makes the anti-vaccination crowd different than Galileo. Galileo performed good science – the anti-vaccinationists do not.

    Science gives a very objective means by which to look at the quality of the research. There are firm, strict, rules (non-biased sampling, adequate sample sizes etc..) that if followed give credence to the results. If these rules are not followed, then you shouldn’t believe the work.

  18. #18 Danio
    October 1, 2008

    I, too, was one of the lucky 50 who received a free copy of the book. I am still working my way through the last few chapters, but I have read enough to realize that it is an extraordinarily important contribution to the cause of evidence-based medicine. Thank you, Dr. Offit, for producing such a clear, well-written account of the rise of antivaccination activism.

    I have a question regarding the choice you made to present the early findings (of, e.g., Wakefield) that contributed to the public panic over vaccine safety without simultaneous editorial comment or correction. Being somewhat familiar with the background, I could anticipate the refutations to come, but I wondered whether a reader with less or no prior knowledge of this particular topic might have had to work a bit harder to get through these bits. One possible reason for this approach that I can think of is that presenting the information empirically recreated, to some degree, the way it was presented to the scientific community and then to the public. As such, it gave me a really good sense of what it must have been like to hear these ‘facts’ spoken so confidently and officially, and how difficult it is to undo the damage when fallacious research findings are disseminated in such a way. I would be interested to hear your rationale for your approach to the early background of the movement, Dr. Offit.

  19. #19 Birgit Calhoun
    October 1, 2008

    Who says the controversy is about vaccines? The controversy is about toxins. Do you not believe that ethyl mercury is toxic? If you do believe that it is, I would like to ask you why you have not worked on a different kind of vaccine preservative. It is not only irrational to use Thimerosal in vaccines considering mercury destroys the immune system (vaccines are not supposed to destroy the immune system, they are supposed to help) but also because mercury is notorious for interacting with chemicals in an unwanted fashion.

    Also, why is it that mercury-free vaccines, or for that matter single dose vaccines (generally mercury-free) are often not available to those who are willing to pay for them?

  20. #20 Jennifer
    October 1, 2008

    @Danio

    I thought the way that the early findings of Wakefield were presented was just excellent. I very much liked the even, non-combative tone. The most important reason is that it showed that parents (and many doctors and scientists) were behaving rationally when they thought there might be a plausible connection between MMR and vaccination. In hindsight, and as presented in the subsequent chapters, we can see that the apparent connection was groundless. However, Dr. Offit does not take the easy route of ridiculing the people who initially bought into this failed hypothesis. His respectful tone makes the book palatable to those who are on the fence. And let’s face it, the die-hard anti-vaxers will not be swayed by this book. Nothing will change their minds. It’s the parents and doctors still unsure about a possible connection between autism and vaccines who can be reached.

  21. #21 Dawn
    October 1, 2008

    Dr Offit – I got my free copy and read it all in one day. It was very engrossing and hard to put down. I’ll post more when I am at home and have the book with me, I forget exactly where the section I had questions about is, within the book.

    I will say that I didn’t know about much of Wakefield’s early research, since I only read some of Brian Deer’s later research pieces. I was also amazed at the progession of the goal-post moving you pointed out.

    I never worried about thimerosal. I’m of the generation who played with Merthiolate, painting ourselves as much as we could because the red color was cool. Except, of course, when we had open wounds, in which case we ran as far and as fast away as we could… :) My mother used it on EVERY wound, even after our shots, to prevent infections. My family also wore/wears contact lens and used thimerosal-containing solutions for many years. If the amounts we were exposed to are any indication, we all should be autistic.

    I would reply to Birgit but don’t want to hijack this thread. All I’ll say is please prove that mercury free vaccines are not available for almost all single dose vaccines. (also, “mercury” has more than one formulation…which do you mean? ethyl mercury? methyl mercury? elemental mercury? They all have different LD50 levels, different risk levels and are eliminated at different rates).

  22. #22 Craig
    October 1, 2008

    I just read through the book. I enjoyed it (I do like reading about science history). It was well written and informative.
    I don’t have any children of my own, but have sent the book onto my sister, who is expecting her first. I hope she gets as much out of it as I did.

    And to Birgit Calhoun… Mercury has been removed from children’s vaccines for quite a while, and autism rates haven’t dropped. The mercury = aultism link is dead as dead can be. Why are you spouting the same old garbage?

  23. #23 MitoScientist
    October 1, 2008

    I think it’s worth noting, as Dr. Offit did in the book, that mercury only causes damage at certain concentrations and above. We all have mercury in our bodies, it comes from a lot of sources. Also, the chemical make-up (i.e. methylmercury versus ethylmercury) has much to do with how our bodies react with the substance and how fast it is removed. Oxygen is essential to life, but superoxide (O2-, elemental oxygen plus one extra electron) is a very destructive molecule biochemically, causing protein oxidation and DNA damage, among other detrimental effects. Its all in the details, folks.

  24. #24 Maggy
    October 1, 2008

    Dr. Offit. I wonder if you could answer some science questions for me?

    1) Is mercury more toxic to newborns and infants than to adults?

    2) Have you ever analyzed a multi-dose vaccine vial for mercury concentration? (If you had you would realize that the concentration is 50,000 ug/liter, a level 250 times higher than what the EPA classifies as hazardous waste based on toxicity characteristics
    http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/hazwaste/mercury/regs.htm#hazwaste). Why do you refer to this concentration as miniscule?

    3) Is ethylmercury, a short-chain organomercury compound as toxic as other forms of mercury? ( recent research shows that ethylmercury is immediately distributed to the brain. Primates exposed to injected ethylmercury, as opposed to equal doses of ingested methylmercury, end up with twice as much Hg++ deposited in the brain. This form remains permanently trapped and has been identified as the primary toxic agent in degenerative brain diseases. (Burbacher T, Shen D, Liberato N, Grant K, Cernichiari E, Clarkson T. 2005. Comparison of blood and brain mercury levels in infant monkeys exposed to methylmercury or vaccines containing thimerosal. Environmental Health Perspectives. 113:1015-1021)

    4) Do brain damaged kids behave in a way so that some psychiatrist will label them as somewhere on the autism spectrum?

    5) Is autism your area of specialty? How many kids have you diagnosed?

  25. #25 Stella
    October 1, 2008

    I received a copy of Dr. Offit’s book from ScienceBlogs, thank you very much! I am struggling to read it a little bit at a time, as I am visually impaired. I do appreciate both the style and content of the book. The Wakefield story is presented concisely and is easy to follow. I hope I will be able to keep up with the discussion.

    From first reading on Orac’s blog that the book was coming out, I began looking for an audio version. I easily found Jenny McCarthy’s books and much more pseudoscience available (under the subject heading of Science and Medicine) in audio formats, but not Dr. Offit’s book. This is the case with most popular science books.

    I hope we will soon see Autism’s False Prophets featured on Audible.

  26. #26 Matt
    October 1, 2008

    Thank you to Columbia University Press for the free copy of Autism’s False Prophets. I was one of the lucky 50! I read it through very quickly…and I’ve already figured out which person to pass it on to next. I’ve called my congressman’s staff and recommended it.

    Thank you Dr. Offit for stepping forward. I know it can’t be fun having some groups try to tarnish your name.

    I thought the book was very well written. I thought I was keeping up on the details of these events, but there was very good information in there.

    I look forward to the discussion.

  27. #27 Jane
    October 1, 2008

    “This is a tough sell in an environment where a large percentage of the population believes in woo, intelligent design, creationism, and angels”.

    You almost forgot those wacko’s who believe injecting newborns and infants with large quantities of orgnic mercury is dangerous crowd!

  28. #28 isles
    October 1, 2008

    The book is brilliant and brave. The thing I can’t believe is that Wakefield and cronies are carrying on as if all is well. They should be in prison. Instead, they’re merrily scoping away, pretending Wakefield’s work hasn’t been debunked six ways from Sunday.

    I wonder whether better science education would help. It seems to me people weren’t always as credulous as today’s “mercury moms.” I think maybe it’s not exactly science education, but the instillation of the idea that there is more to a subject than one can master in an evening spent Googling.

  29. #29 John Best
    October 1, 2008

    Offit,
    I invited you to help prove your point by helping us raise funds for autism but you never answered me. Here’s the invitation again. How about it? Here’s your chance to look like a good guy.

    http://hatingautism.blogspot.com/2008/08/lets-help-paul-offit-help-autistic.html

  30. #30 Bruto
    October 1, 2008

    Paul, I look forward to your answers to “Miss Smarty Pants” Maggy.

  31. #31 John Best
    October 1, 2008

    Offit,
    Here’s another link discussing your malpractice. Why don’t you try to show me I’m wrong? I don’t think you have the guts.

    http://hatingautism.blogspot.com/2007/09/paul-offit-md-despicable-dimwit.html

  32. #32 Steve D
    October 1, 2008

    Part of the great value of the book to me was that I am a “late entry” into the field of consideration of the vaccine/autism link.
    Since my oldest son was not diagnosed until 2004 (at age 3), much of the controversy has simmered, boiled, and overflowed by then. This book did an excellent job of reconstructing the history of the failed hypothesis from its genesis. It allowed me to understand what had transpired to create the frothing mass of anger and denialism that is today’s autism-antivax crowd, who all played a role in creating the mess, and what cultural components continue to drive it in the face of the copious amount of new information that has come to light over the past few years.
    Thanks, Dr. Offit, for writing it. Its a seminal work in terms of understanding the story behind the science in the field of autism etiology.

  33. #33 Kev
    October 1, 2008

    It is sad that my initial comment on this thread should be so negative but here we go.

    Firstly, please ignore John Best. He is a troll who loves attention.

    Secondly, Maggy: have you read the book?

  34. #34 Kathryn
    October 1, 2008

    Thanks to Dr. Offit for presenting the history of the vaccine controversy in such a clear, engaging manner, and to ScienceBlogs and Columbia Press for providing free copies.

    Dr. Offit: how exactly will the royalties generated from book sales go towards autism research?

  35. #35 Chris H.
    October 1, 2008

    I enjoyed the book because it was written clearly, and though it may have seemed repetitive it explained in great detail the science, the way science works and the events of the past two decades. It brought back memories of how I saw events occur through my computer screen as I participated in forums on Compuserve, my short stint on Usenet, and my experience of being on the Apraxia-Kids listserv for almost a decade.

    One think I noticed was that one could have a good sensible conversation of the science around vaccines ten years ago, and then it went downhill. Examples can be seen here with comments from Birgit Calhoun, Maggy and John Best. These people have obviously not read the book and no interest in any kind of real discussion.

  36. #36 John Best
    October 1, 2008

    Kev and Chris H,
    We can see from your cowardly comments that neither one of you have the guts to face the truth I and others present.
    Kev has been calling me a troll for a long time because he’s too afraid to face me. I wonder if Offit is also afraid to address the concerns I have with his malpractice.

  37. #37 Birgit Calhoun
    October 1, 2008

    Craig! Before you attack me about mercury in vaccines, check the facts. There are a number of vaccines that still contain a good dose of Thimerosal. I know that, even though there is a claim that mercury has been removed from vaccines, the vaccines already in doctors’ offices were not recalled. Furthermore has anyone actually gone to the trouble of checking what’s in the vaccines? Mercury is still used to make vaccines, which is then removed to satisfy a certain presumption. Besides I did merely ask a few questions. Apparently my statements don’t please you.

    But don’t blame me for stating some facts and making your life less pleasant. I can take your abuse. Meanwhile, trust me, mercury poisoning does exist.

    Also if you read my website, you’ll find out some other facts about mercury. Mercury is all over the environment. It even occurs in vegetables. Also note that once ethyl-mercury is in the brain, it turns into inorganic mercury which does not pass back into the bloodstream very easily. I understand it takes about twenty years.

    By the way, if all you can do is attack, you won’t make a good scientist.

  38. #38 isles
    October 1, 2008

    I hope this book discussion isn’t going to turn into the usual antivaxer tango of wild claims and knownothingness.

    Kathryn, I’ve read that all the profits on the book will go to the Center for Autism Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

  39. #39 Birgit Calhoun
    October 1, 2008

    I am mainly saying that mercury is toxic in all its forms and that includes dental amalgam vapors, vapors from certain paint, fish, paper products, shall I go on?

    As far as being able to obtain single doses, let’s say diphtheria vaccine by itself, they have not been available where I checked. Also I tried to get a flu shot without Thimerosal, and it was not available when I wanted one. I looked at the insert.

    Read my website. I have read quite a bit on the subject. Maybe I am not the scientist you like, but as long as nobody knows what causes autism, I am just as good a scientist as anyone. Birgit

  40. #40 AutismNewsBeat
    October 1, 2008

    Birgit, dose makes the poison. Oxygen, salt, zinc, vitamin C – you name it, is toxic at some levels, and safe at others.

    Thimerosal has been gone from scheduled childhood vaccines since 2002. So why haven’t diagnoses for today’s 3-5 year olds declined accordingly?

  41. #41 Orac
    October 1, 2008

    I hope this book discussion isn’t going to turn into the usual antivaxer tango of wild claims and knownothingness.

    Me, too. On the other hand, there are plenty here who can counter antivax nonsense.

  42. #42 Chris H.
    October 1, 2008

    Birgit, please read the book. Then you will see what the relative risks are. It is not a difficult book to read, I read it mostly in one day. See if you can find one in your local library, or go buy the book (the proceeds go to real research). The answers to your questions are in the book, including an explanation of why there is a danger of methylmercury in fish (pages 114 through 116).

  43. #43 Prometheus
    October 1, 2008

    Maggy,

    Dr. Offit appears to be busy, so I’ll take a crack at some of your questions.


    1) Is mercury more toxic to newborns and infants than to adults?

    It has been generally accepted that mercury is more “toxic” to developing animals than to adults. However, as the experience at Minamata, Japan showed, mercury – even at high doses and even with intrauterine exposure – does not cause autism.


    2) Have you ever analyzed a multi-dose vaccine vial for mercury concentration? (If you had you would realize that the concentration is 50,000 ug/liter, a level 250 times higher than what the EPA classifies as hazardous waste based on toxicity characteristics. Why do you refer to this concentration as miniscule?

    This is a three-part question, so I’ll give my answer in three parts.

    [a] The highest concentration of thimerosal used in vaccines was 50 mcg/ml, which – as Maggy states – works out to 50,000 mcg/l, or 50 mg/l. This can also be expressed as 50 parts per million (ppm).

    To put that in perspective, 50 ppm is the equivalent of one drop (1/10 ml) in 2,000 liters of water. That’s one small drop in a volume equal to a hot tub that could accommodate 6 adults.

    [b] Yes, you are correct that the EPA considers liquid waste with over 0.2 mg/l mercury to be “hazardous waste”. On the other hand, that same document states that diluting the waste to below that concentration. The EPA rules you cite are for disposal of liquid waste and are not directly relevant to human exposure.

    It’s a very powerful emotional image to think of vaccines as “hazardous waste”, but the same is true of many of the things we use in our homes on a day-to-day basis.

    [c] The amount of mercury children receive from vaccines in the form of thimerosal is indeed “miniscule”. Even at the highest concentration, the amount in a single vaccination is comparable to the amount of mercury (in the form of more “toxic” methylmercury) in a tuna salad sandwich.

    The sad fact is that we are all exposed to mercury (and arsenic and cadmium and ….) every day, from the day we are conceived to the day we die. Our bodies have evolved the ability to tolerate this exposure. If a child were born without the ability to tolerate the “miniscule” amount of mercury in vaccines, they would be unable to tolerate the mercury in their air, water and food.

    Oh, and before you go on about how autistic children have “mercury efflux disorder”. you might want to look at Gundacher, et al (2007). They showed that people with a true “mercury efflux disorder” not only had elevated hair mercury, they also didn’t have autism.


    3) Is ethylmercury, a short-chain organomercury compound as toxic as other forms of mercury?

    In your full question, you cite Burbacher et al (2005). Unfortunately, you’ve either misread the article or have had it mis-explained to you. Burbacher et al showed that less ethylmercury was retained in the brain, although a higher percentage of the total retained amount (which, again, was lower in the ethylmercury group) was in the brain. This was due, they postulated, to a higher percentage (of the lower overall retained amount) being in the form of inorganic mercury. In all instances and in all tissues, the ethylmercury-exposed animals had less retained mercury than the methylmercury-exposed animals.

    Pichichero et al (2008) confirmed this in a study of ethylmercury excretion in infant humans who had been vaccinated with thimerosal-containing vaccines. They found that the half-life of ethylmercury in infants was a bit less than 4 days – significantly shorter than the half-life of methylmercury in adults.

    I’ll leave the rest of your questions to Dr. Offit and the rest of the people on this ‘blog. In the future, you might find that you can learn more if you ask real questions instead of trying to interject anti-vaccination “talking points”.

    Prometheus

  44. #44 mollishka
    October 1, 2008

    I’m always tempted to just ignore the trolls. They’ll think we’re ignoring them because they’re right and we’re wrong, and we’ll know we’re ignoring them because they aren’t worth the time or effort. Everyone feels better about themselves, everyone wins.

    Oh yeah, except the kids of these assholes who are more likely to die of preventable diseases than protected children.

  45. #45 Joseph
    October 1, 2008

    I know that, even though there is a claim that mercury has been removed from vaccines, the vaccines already in doctors’ offices were not recalled.

    I’m tired of this nonsense. Do you think people are stupid Brigit? Are we to believe that a significant portion of vaccines doctors keep around are from the 1990s?

    FYI – random surveys have been done. By 2002 no more than 3% of vaccines were thimerosal-containing in the US.

  46. #46 ze
    October 1, 2008

    Readers should know that John Best has recommended on his low-traffic blog that all parents of autistic children kill their autistic children before they become a certain age, and that the parents should kill themselves. He’s also put out death threats to people who oppose his violent rhetoric. He needs to be locked up for a few years. John has been a prominent Rescue Angel for the Generation Rescue group. What does that tell you about them?

  47. #47 John Best
    October 1, 2008

    Ze,
    It’s true, I do think people who lie about the cause and cures for autism should be hung, or dragged behind a horse for a few miles for fun.

    Joseph,
    Thimerosal in the flu shot to pregnant women has a better effect on fetuses than the HepB did in causing autism since the fetuses are very small and their brains are still developing. It has the added bonus of scrambling the kids’ brains before they’re born so the parents don’t see the kid regress to give them a clue that something caused the kid to no longer be normal.
    Are you the same Joseph who’s a wizard with stat’s? Why don’t you tell us the rate of increase in autism for New Hampshire and Mississippi between 1993 and 1994? See if you can correlate that with the advent of the HepB shot in 1991. Try to just give us simple numbers here with no extra junk about your opinions on aborted Downs Syndrome babies.

  48. #48 Chris H.
    October 1, 2008

    Birgit, I went to your website and did not find anything useful, other than you are a librarian. You have no excuse to not have obtained a copy of the book and read it. Now, please find a copy and spend a couple of evenings reading the book.

  49. #49 ze
    October 1, 2008

    John Best has made those death threats against those with whom he can not argue intelligently. He also said that all parents should kill their autistic children and then kill themselves. He needs to be locked up.

  50. #50 Oblique Red
    October 1, 2008

    Dr. Offit,

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your bravery and dedication to children’s health (and to thank your publisher for the book!). I’m on my second read-through of your book, and when I finish it I’ll be passing it on to my mom, who works with new moms, so she can help combat the fog of misinformation that swirls around this issue.

  51. #51 Kev
    October 1, 2008

    Ze – your comments about John are accurate but they are simply giving him attention which he craves. The absolute best tactic for dealing with John is to starve him of attention.

  52. #52 Tony Jeremiah
    October 1, 2008

    First: a little background on autism and the birth of the controversy… There is no known cause or cure for autism. But in the late 1990s two hypotheses garnered a great deal of media attention.

    Somewhat related to this history (I suspect), was the observed rise in autism cases in the 90s. Presumably, this set of an alarm involving the general public looking for possible explanation(s). Gernsbacher, Dawson and Goldsmith (2005) wrote an article suggesting that rather than an environmental/biological cause, the rise was probably due to three (research-related) factors: a broadening of the diagnostic criteria for autism, increased public awareness of autism, and increased focus on intentionally finding autism cases.

    Reference

    Gernsbacher, M.A., Dawson, M., & Goldsmith,H.H. (2005). Three reasons not to believe in an autism epidemic. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14, 55-58.
    http://www.psychologicalscience.org/media/releases/2005/pr050630.cfm

  53. #53 D. C. Sessions
    October 1, 2008

    It’s true, I do think people who lie about the cause and cures for autism should be hung, or dragged behind a horse for a few miles for fun.

    If you really think it would be fun to be dragged like that then I guess whatever floats your boat, John. Let us know how it was afterwards, would you?

  54. #54 ebohlman
    October 1, 2008

    Birgit: you’ve misunderstood what “single dose” and “multiple dose” mean. A single dose vaccine means that each vial of vaccine is used for only one person; in other words, it contains only the dosage for a single person. A multiple dose vaccine means that several people get vaccinated with the contents of one vial. Since that means the vial can’t be kept completely sealed from the time it’s manufactured to the time the last dose in it is used, multi-dose vaccines need to contain preservatives to keep potentially infectious bacteria from growing in the vial.

  55. #55 John Best
    October 1, 2008

    Kev,
    Are you still training your daughter like a monkey or have you decided to try more advanced methods? Has she asked you to cure her yet?
    The chelation is going well with my son, maybe you should try it.

  56. #56 Joseph
    October 1, 2008

    John Best, ladies and gentlemen. When he’s not issuing death threats, he’s insulting little autistic kids.

    How many years is it now, John, that chelation has been going “well”? 4? 5?

  57. #57 mandydax
    October 1, 2008

    @CyberLizard #4: I’m so glad to see that ScienceBlogs is making a difference.

    @Danio #18: I also was wondering about the way it was presented as I was reading it. I knew that what Wakefield was presenting was not correct, and I felt the discomfort that many people must have felt about that time. There’s an inner feeling of “look at all this evidence; it must be right!” I understand that there was a chronology of the rise and fall of mercury and then the revelations of what was behind the curtain. However I do wonder what someone ignorant of the vindication of thimerosal and vaccines as a cause of autism would have thought while reading through that.

    Glad to see we have some trolls in the thread, too. :P I think before trying to “contribute” to a book club discussion, people should really read the book in question. Thank you, Prometheus. :D

  58. #58 Kristina
    October 1, 2008

    Dr. Offit, thanks not only for writing for the book but for it coming out in September of 2008: Perfect timing to go book-to-book with McCarthy and her “mother warriors.”

    When you blog about mercury and vaccines and autism, inevitable that you should get at least a small store of Best comments.

  59. #59 Also 2
    October 1, 2008

    Here’s a primer to what it’s like to live with a naricissistic parent. http://abusesanctuary.blogspot.com/2008/09/abusive-narcissistic-parents.html I believe this explains some of what we see with JB Handley, Lyn Redwood, Jenny McCarthy and others. These egomaniacs decided ahead of time that their children would be “perfect” and only “perfect” and anything that reflects badly on them must be exorcised, destroyed, warred against, or “cured” immediately before anyone else notices that their child isn’t going to be the next president of General Electric or NBC, the next editor of Playboy magazine or the next board member of Genisoy. Jenny was on CNN complaining how vaccines made their “perfect” (her word) children regress into autism. There’s a picture of her on the screen behind her in the CNN interview dressed as a witch. Now that is perfect.

  60. #60 Regan
    October 1, 2008

    Dr. Offit,
    Thank you for writing this book, and thanks to ScienceBlogs for sending me a copy (but only received it yesterday, so have some catch up reading to do).

    One aspect that I am finding very interesting is the prior history and backstory on some of the players that I am familiar with in the context of the thimerosal-autism, MMR-autism, and vaccine-autism controversies. Learning of their prior associations with failed hypotheses, faulty science and medical woo is new information for me, and is much appreciated.

  61. #61 John Best
    October 1, 2008

    Joseph,
    You don’t do well at reading comprehension. Criticizing how a stupid parent trains his child is not a reflection on the child. It only addresses the stupidity of the parent.

    I take my time with chelation to make sure I don’t screw it up and hurt him by trying to go too fast. The time it takes is irrelevant to the quality.

    Where are those stat’s, Joe?

  62. #62 mandydax
    October 1, 2008

    Dr. Offit, one of the things about the book that left me a bit dazed was the way the order of events were presented. I understand that with the way the chapters were laid out, events from one chapter might precede or be concurrent with events from another chapter. I mentioned this in comment to mollishka’s review: I think that a time-line showing when each thing happened relative to the others would have helped a lot. I did get confused as to chronology a bit, too.

    Perhaps something for a future edition?

  63. #63 Adolph Himmler
    October 1, 2008

    Dr. Offit is right. Vaccines do not cause autism. Autism is simply a term from the psychiatric DSM-IV manual. It’s nothing but a smokescreen. It provides an alibi for the drug companies who added mercury to vaccines at levels 250 times higher than hazardous waste levels (based on toxicity characteristics). It provides an alibi for the CDC, FDA, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the other drug company cronies who are responsible for the safety of our children. It provides an alibi for the people who administered this poison. It provides an alibi for health insurance companies so they don’t have to pay for treatment for these sick kids. It provides an alibi for psychiatrists so they can force powerfull anti-psychotic drugs on these kids who are already terribly confused.

    There will never be an identifiable cause for autism. There are though 11 published papers which identify the underlying medical condition of autism as neuroinflammatory disease. My favorite is ‘ Neuroglial activation and Neuroinflammation in the Brain of Patients with Autism’. This was published by John Hopkins University. Now, do you want to debate whether mercury, a known neurotoxin, added to childhood vaccines at levels 250 times higher than what the EPA identifies as hazardous waste, causes neuroinflammatory disease? Do you want to debate whether brain damaged kids behave in a way so that some psychiatrist can label them as somewhere on the ‘spectrum’?

  64. #64 Sullivan
    October 1, 2008

    A.H.–using a name like that should be grounds for deleting your post. I don’t know why you would want to ally yourself with that historic personage, but that’s your choice.

    Couldn’t you go back to Pete, Joe, or Thomas of WI (names you have used to post this on other forums)?

  65. #65 Danio
    October 1, 2008

    I would really appreciate it if someone in the know would post the links to install a ‘killfile’ program. I would delight in blocking John Best’s vitriol from my personal view of this and future pages, as it’s unlikely he will go away on his own. I imagine that a few other commenters who are keen for an opportunity to discuss these important issues without him raving away in the background could make use of the killfile as well. Thanks.

  66. #66 Kate
    October 1, 2008

    “If your child has autism, do you buy a book that explains, in detail, how vaccines are not to blame, gives no (or little) hope of a cure? Or do you pick up the book that has many emotionally wrenching stories of other kids just like your own and that promises a way to cure the disease?”

    I think this is EXACTLY the point (whoever it was that made that comment a ways up there) And let’s be fair, it’s not just because families who have autistic children are distraught and can’t think clearly. It’s a failure of science education in total. We live in an environment where being “intellectual” is an insult, the educated and knowledgeable are distrusted, and celebrities and preachers tell us how we should evaluate the world around us.

    By the way, I’m a parent of TWO autistic children, but before that, I was a science major. What do I do? I read the science. I read the journals on different occupational, tactile and emotional therapies that have proven effective in some situations, I’ve used those therapies on my child, continuing what works, discarding what doesn’t work, and I’ve continued to keep up to date with PEER REVIEWED journals in child development and continued to work with my children and their schools, doctors and so on.

    And guess what? They’re doing pretty well.

    Ignorance of science and distrust of evidence would not have gotten my kids as far as they’ve gotten.

  67. #67 John Rummel
    October 1, 2008

    I’ve followed the anti-vaccinationist propaganda for a few years, but had never delved as deeply into it as I was prompted to do while reading your book, Dr. Offit. My hat is off to you for writing a very readable, very comprehensive account of the lunacy of the antivacs and the measured and reasonable replies of the scientists.

    Of the fight, the only thing I can add at this point is that I believe the antivacs have actually outdone the creationist crowd in terms of their sheer will to adhere to a view that has been so thoroughly discredited. It boggles the mind how much sheer will to believe a view can distort one’s ability to perceive the evidence.

    Again, my hat is off. Great book.

  68. #68 Adolph Himmler
    October 1, 2008

    I’m sorry. I thought we all agreed that injecting newborns and infants with organic mercury was a wonderful, safe, life enhancing idea. We invented this you know. Not Offit (who is taking all the credit). The money made off of these little pr(offit) centers would have fueled the machine for another 100 years!

  69. #69 Adrienne
    October 1, 2008

    I’m so sick of the stupid “pharma shill” arguments. Ya know, the money to be made off of treating autistic children and adults, both in terms of money spent on quack cures and on real treatments, probably dwarfs the money made from giving children vaccines by orders of magnitude.

  70. #70 Ms. Clark
    October 1, 2008

    I want to know how many children with mitochondrial disorders have been benefited by Dr. Offit’s rotavirus vaccine since a bad case of diarrhea can set off a mitochondrial crisis and possibly lead to encephalitis? How many children didn’t get encephalitis/retardation/autistic symptoms because of his work with vaccines?

  71. #71 notmercury
    October 1, 2008

    Himmler Said:

    My favorite is ‘ Neuroglial activation and Neuroinflammation in the Brain of Patients with Autism’. This was published by John Hopkins University. Now, do you want to debate whether mercury, a known neurotoxin, added to childhood vaccines at levels 250 times higher than what the EPA identifies as hazardous waste, causes neuroinflammatory disease?

    Yes, I would very much like to debate that point. First you’ll have to show me that the levels of mercury found in a brain following vaccination are even close to levels that cause neuroinflammation, never mind your idiotic 250 times EPA threshold, then I’d like you to show us evidence that autism is caused by neuroinflammation or that mercury alone is the sole agent that triggers neuroinflammation.

    Feel free to crib from Jenny or Kirby’s books.

  72. #72 Joseph
    October 1, 2008

    Now, do you want to debate whether mercury, a known neurotoxin, added to childhood vaccines at levels 250 times higher than what the EPA identifies as hazardous waste, causes neuroinflammatory disease?

    Me too, Adolph. You clearly don’t understand the level you cite (a well known but mistaken canard). That’s based on parts per billion. The argument says that 200 ppb is classified by the EPA as hazardous waste, and vaccines have much more than that. Sure, but does ppb actually matter, or does the amount of mercury matter?

    According to your argument, if I have a solution with a total weight of 1 microgram, and 200 ppb mercury, it would be a dangerous solution. Yet, the solution would only contain 0.0000002 micrograms of mercury. I’d suggest it would be completely safe to ingest that 200 ppb solution. In fact, it would probably be quite safe to ingest a million of those solutions.

    The dose is what matters. The ppb just confuses things and it was meant as an environmental guideline, not one for vaccines.

  73. #73 Kev
    October 1, 2008

    Danio – if you are a Firefox user then first go here and install Greasemonkey:

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/748

    And then here and install Killfile:

    http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/4107

    which covers lots of blogtypes, including scienceblogs.com

    When its running, you’ll see a ‘kill’ or ‘hide’ option by each comment. Start plonking :)

  74. #74 Marion Delgado
    October 1, 2008

    The anti-science radical capitalists, who nowadays drive anti-science other than creationism, accuse “the left” of being “just as bad” because they ignore a “consensus” for example that GMOs are “completely safe” as foods and as living species, the way the anti-science market fundies are “said to ignore” a consensus on things like global warming, tobacco addiction and cancer links, species adaptation to DDT, etc.

    But this autism thing was pushed by a hero of the left environmental community, RFK, Jr., who did a well-received analysis of voting machines. Initially, it had a lot of support that cut across economic, political, income and religious lines, frankly. But it’s mostly what the market fundies describe as “the left” – people who believe in and accept the precautionary principle and who are suspicious of industry-driven research – who have accepted the vindication of vaccines. When I saw the results from Denmark, for instance, I never gave the autism from vaccines idea another thought, and I excoriated Robert Kennedy, Jr. for still pushing it after it became anti-science.

    I believe there’s considerable evidence that it’s the market and religious fundamentalists who are still the main anti-science contingent, frankly. To say animal protection activists are anti-science is to miss the point of most of them. They will stretch the truth to make animal studies look less useful than they are, but their thrust is not mainly that animal research doesn’t work, but that it’s immoral to a degree. And, frankly, most of the research the market fundies claim shows a consensus on the safety of GMOs IS bogus. Moreover most of the industry claims about GMOs are proven lies – in particular, they’ve been criminally fraudulent on the issue of contamination. And they defy a consensus that biodiversity is healthier, controlling for other factors, than monoculture. And so on.

    I think it’s clear when you have test cases that what they call the left, as defined above, is still heavily overlapped with the accepting-of-science segment of the population at large.

  75. #75 HCN
    October 1, 2008

    Marion Delgado said “But this autism thing was pushed by a hero of the left environmental community, RFK, Jr., who did a well-received analysis of voting machines.”

    Yeah, that is discussed extensively in the book. But the antivaccine thing is not really owned by either side of any political spectrum.

    On the “right” we have folks like the Schlafly family… Phyllis, the mom, has written several anti-vax things for her Eagle Forum (see http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/eagleforum.htm ), Andy Schlafly is the legal counsel for the AAPS which publishes lots more antivax stuff along with being the driving force on Conservapedia… and then I have debated Roger Schlafly many times on usenet.

    And then on the “left” there are all the nice crunchy moms on the sMothering forums and magazine (whose list of experts include Barbara Loe Fisher). Orac’s blog has discussed these guys, especially with the death of Christine Maggiore’s daughter (she was featured prominently on a cover of sMothering magazine when she was pregnant with her late daughter with a big AZT with a in a red circle with a big red slash through it).

    In short: real science does not have a political side.

  76. #76 Christopher Guerra
    October 1, 2008

    As a Functional Autistic i dont believe it as a disorder and i wouldn’t take or get a vaccine for me (if i had childen) yes it effects my social bonding…. but it has came with more benifits. If any people want to know more just Email me some time Countguerra@yahoo.com

  77. #77 Christopher Guerra
    October 1, 2008

    “stands up on his soap box”
    IF YOU DONT BELIEVE IN THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AND OUR SAVIOR JESUS H CHRIST THEN YOU WILL BE DIAGNOSED WITH AUTISM!!!
    *Jumps off the soap box*
    …… ouchiies my head! how do they do that? It hurts my brain

  78. #78 Joseph
    October 1, 2008

    @Christopher Guerra: Check out the Autism Hub. I think you’ll find like-minded people there.

  79. #79 Skeptyk
    October 1, 2008

    My loved one is on dialysis, on the transplant waiting list. All we need is for herd immunity to drop some more. He’s 22. He was in chronic renal failure from birth, as well as a bunch of other medical novelties. There was no varicella vaccine when he was a baby. He caught chicken pox, mild case. A few years later, he had a (living related donor) transplant. Of all the complications, operations, immunosuppression and side-effects he’s had, one of the very worst was shingles. Six years old, with pain the opiates barely touched. Varicella is sleeping along his spine, hopefully it won’t wake again.

    Yet celebrity-based medicine is encouraging more folks to avoid vaccination and to have pox parties.

    Well into reading my copy of this book, purchased at our awesome local independent bookstore, I, too, received a free copy via Scienceblogs and Columbia University Press (thanks!).

    Very timely. I hope (but don’t expect) that some of the media coverage will highlight the prevalence of bad journalism when science issues are involved.

    Quibble, that I hope the paperback will address: Offit’s take on the NCCAM. NCCAM, alas, has NOT fulfilled the role I had hoped (and it had hyped), that of using good science to evaluate various CAM, so we may better practice evidence-based medicine. In fact, it has muddied medicine by giving unwarranted legitimacy to lousy research, to deluded advocates of magical thinking and to greedy, virtually unregulated marketing of 21st Century snake oil. You, Paul, give them way too much credit.

    By the time the paperback comes out, the Cedillo case will have been decided, and the new trends of the anti-vax mob will have run their course. Some of those newer angles are, to paraphrase, okay, maybe it’s not the mercury, but it IS, somehow, vaccines, I can feel it my google-surfing gut, it’s the aluminum, the “toxins”, “too many too soon”, those mean scientists won’t pay for our research, let’s go to a chicken pox party…

  80. #80 Joe Z.
    October 1, 2008

    Paul Offit has a video on Youtube introducing his book:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9W7ddORBX_I
    (I really hope this link works)

    The comments there…whew! Frightening. People call him a murderer. I know autism can be quite the ordeal, but even if you believe all that anti-vaccination claptrap, isn’t going a scooch too far to call Mister Offit a murderer? It just takes my breath away.

  81. #81 bumblebrain
    October 1, 2008

    I was one of the lucky 50 who got a copy of the book for free, so thanks muchly Columbia University Press and our hosts.

    I really enjoyed reading it although it is also a frustrating story, and I hope that it reaches its target audience. One thing I did find a bit confusing was the section about Robert F. Kennedy Jr., discussing his association with trial lawyers (pg 149-150). I’m reading it as an implication that he may be being funded by them to act as a spokesman, but the evidence is not very concrete. On my first read, it looked like Dr. Offit was saying that his mere association with trial lawyers was suspicious – but to my mind, there is a difference between being associated with them (as in being acquainted with them) and being allied with them for a nefarious purpose. How strong is the evidence that he is behaving unethically here?

  82. #82 Brandon P.
    October 1, 2008

    As someone with Asperger’s Syndrome, I find the whole notion that it’s something to get upset about, as these people do, offensive. It is true that living with autism has its challenges, but it also has its strengths as well, so it is not in my view a disorder so much as a different way of looking at the world. I wish people would just accept us instead of treating us as if we are really victims of some vaccine or in need of a cure.

  83. #83 mollishka
    October 1, 2008

    The comments there…whew! Frightening. People call him a murderer.

    That’s like a frying pan calling the fire black. Autism may or may not suck, but it doesn’t kill … but not vaccinating your kid for a preventable disease sure as hell can kill.

  84. #84 HCN
    October 1, 2008

    Joe Z. said “The comments there…whew! Frightening. People call him a murderer.”

    I just checked. Many of the comments are from “Foresam”, who is John Best. You may have seen him recently posting on this blog post (he is also possibly the only person that Orac has banned from his blog).

  85. #85 Jay Gordon
    October 2, 2008

    Dr. Offit–

    Congratulations on publishing a book which will stimulate discourse in the medical and parenting community alike.

    I disagree with many of your ideas but apologize for previous ad hominem attacks.

    I have personally observed serious adverse reactions in close temporal proximity to vaccination. I think vaccines caused these reactions but can’t prove causation. I’d like to see serious studies more rigorous than those cited right now.

    Jay

  86. #86 Orac
    October 2, 2008

    Dr. Jay,

    Perhaps you could enumerate specifically what is not “rigorous” enough for you about these studies and tell us precisely how you would design a study to overcome the deficiencies you perceive in them.

  87. #87 Joseph
    October 2, 2008

    I have personally observed serious adverse reactions in close temporal proximity to vaccination.

    Dr. Gordon, there’s an anecdote in Dr. Offit’s book, and I was wondering what you think of it. He tells of a child who goes to get his or her vaccines. While the pediatrician is preparing the shot, the child has a seizure. If the shot had been given 5 minutes earlier, it would’ve been undeniable that the vaccine caused the seizure.

    Just an anecdote I suppose?

  88. #88 John Best
    October 2, 2008

    HCN,
    Yup, most of the people like Orac ban me from their dishonest blogs when they realize they can’t counter any of my debunking of their dishonesty. I consider it a victory over liars every time this happens.

    That’s the same reason the lying Dr Offit will never respond to anything I say to him. He just isn’t smart enough.

  89. #89 A -RAM
    October 2, 2008

    Did anyone on this list actually purchase the book or did you all get it for free? Dr. Offit, will the Merck Bunnies be passing out free copies of your book in pediatric offices like they did with 10,000 copies of your last book?

  90. #90 Talking Tom
    October 2, 2008

    “Dr. Gordon, there’s an anecdote in Dr. Offit’s book, and I was wondering what you think of it. He tells of a child who goes to get his or her vaccines. While the pediatrician is preparing the shot, the child has a seizure. If the shot had been given 5 minutes earlier, it would’ve been undeniable that the vaccine caused the seizure”.

    Now ain’t that convienent! Just another lie from the biggest pathological liar of these modern times (and he has some major competition for that title).

  91. #91 HCN
    October 2, 2008

    Dr. Jay, again you need to be reminded that the plural of anecdote is not data.

    Please, tell us exactly what real scientific evidence is there that shows the MMR is worse than measles, mumps and rubella or that the DTaP is worse than diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. I am presently sitting about a mile from a medical library, if you have a paper that shows these dangers from vaccines it should be available there (in other words, not your anecdotes, news articles or random websites).

  92. #92 Dr. Gerberdink
    October 2, 2008

    Dr. Offit. How many vaccines can you give to a 2 month old child while they’re having a seizure? Can you still go with all 12? If not, what do I tell the bean-counters?

  93. #93 Chris H.
    October 2, 2008

    Dr. Gerberdink, what do you think of the anecdote on page 210 and 211? That should answer your question.

  94. #94 longsmith
    October 2, 2008

    What if a study was done regarding un-vaccinated children and their rates of autism? Would that shut them up (the anti-vaccination crowd)? Has one been done?
    Just wondering.

  95. #95 Chris H.
    October 2, 2008

    longsmith said “What if a study was done regarding un-vaccinated children and their rates of autism?”

    Covered in detail in the book, Chapter 6 “Mercury Falling”. There are several LARGE epidemiology studies done that compared kids who got vaccines and those that did not through medical records… in several countries. None of them found a connection between vaccines and autism.

    If that kind of information was all that would be needed, then Dr. Offit would not have had a reason to write this book.

  96. #96 notmercury
    October 2, 2008
  97. #97 Christopher Guerra
    October 2, 2008

    I am glad that i am a funtional Autistic because being socially detached showed me how silly humans act….. sure my ADD doesn’t help me in my Math and English classes, but i blieve that its my autism that makes me a bad ass painter! i also have the ability to take someone 2d and put it in 3d. Why would anyone want to make a vaccine for an ability??/

  98. #98 HCN
    October 2, 2008

    Dr. Gerberdink said “Dr. Offit. How many vaccines can you give to a 2 month old child while they’re having a seizure?”

    My now 20 year old son had his first seizures when he was two days old. When it came time for his first set of vaccines he was denied the pertussis, and only given the DT. This was at a time when our county was having a pertussis epidemic (also about the time when over 120 Americans died from measles).

    My son had his last seizure when he was 15 months old. He had a nasty gastrointestinal bug (possibly the now vaccine preventable rotavirus), and was dehydrated. This mucked with his electrolytes and caused a seizure that required transport by ambulance to the hospital.

    From my experience there is consultation with neurologists, so I can assume that Dr. Offit would call on the neurologists that work at CHOP. The child would be checked to see if they can find the cause (most often the cause is NOT found), and proceed as safely as possible.

    That may include giving some very important vaccines like the Hib, and even the DTaP (more recent studies disprove the link between the pertussis portion of the DTP and seizures). Especially since pertussis and haemophilus influenza b can cause seizures and worse.

    I know that we made sure my seizure prone son up to date on his vaccines, and made sure that he did not get high fevers to prevent more seizures. Since he has also been diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with obstruction he gets a flu vaccine each fall (hmmm… need to make that appointment soon). I am also very glad that last year he was finally provided protection from pertussis with a Tdap vaccine.

  99. #99 TT
    October 2, 2008

    Here’s a review of one of those fine epidemiological studies you mention. It’s called “Dissecting A Thimerosal Study”. http://www.naturalnews.com/022237.html
    There is a whole section on Offit.

  100. #100 HCN
    October 2, 2008

    TT, that is not a journal available at the medical school library. It also makes the idiotic mistake of mixing up the Rotashield with the one Offit is associated with. Basically, it is just parroting the lies and misinterpretations that AFP is all about.

    Please, try harder. Perhaps you could start at http://www.pubmed.gov … and you would absolutely benefit from reading the book under discussion.

  101. #101 HCN
    October 2, 2008

    Egads! The author is a homeopath! Do we need to tell you that just thinking homeopathy has any medical benefit means that the author does not have a clue about chemistry?

    Really, TT, try much harder!

  102. #102 TT
    October 2, 2008

    Attack the messenger if you can’t handle the message HCN. You don’t have to be a genius to read the conflicts of interest of 6 of the paper’s authors. You don’t have to be a genius to note that 70% of the original kids in the study were eliminated because they did not conform to the pre-determined conclusion of the paper. You don’t need to be a genius to realize that all the kids who weighed less than 5.5 lbs. were eliminated from the study yet wouldn’t these kids be more susebtable to the injection of high doses of organic mercury? This is the same game-plan used for all of these epidemiological studies. Phillip Morris perfected this type of science.

  103. #103 Dr. Vortex
    October 2, 2008

    I read this book and let me tell you something. This Offit fellow is a blast! Every chapter was filled with the funniest load of crap that I have ever read. I have read 3 page Cold Fussion thesises that have more substance than all his chapters combined. I mean don’t get me wrong the book does have a few good uses and we have put all 25 of the copies that we have received from his staff to good use in our bathroom stalls.

    Since some of our staff and students use the bathroom regularly, we always run out of toilet paper. So, some of the copies are missing chapters. I will need to call his office and order more since we have almost run out of this book of jokes and TP. This guy could be making millions in moolah if he were to market his book as a book of jokes and TP combined. Please email me if you have any questions. Dvortex@uchicagokidshospital.com.

  104. #104 anonymous
    October 2, 2008

    There was a question about whether or not we all got a free book.

    I purchased 2 copies of AFP. One for me and one for a library. I didn’t get a free copy from scienceblogs.

    I suggest that others might conisder sending any spare copies to the employers, or colleagues, of the leading mercury militants so they can see what their co-workers/employees have been doing. I suspect that they don’t all talk about their activities as bloggers on AoA, for instance, at work.

  105. #105 Orac
    October 2, 2008

    Here’s a review of one of those fine epidemiological studies you mention. It’s called “Dissecting A Thimerosal Study”. http://www.naturalnews.com/022237.html
    There is a whole section on Offit.

    You’re citing Natural News as a serious news source? Heh

    Heh-heh.

    Ho ho ho ho ha ha hah! LOL! (I’m sorry; I can’t help it. It’s just too hilarious.)

    Good one! Citing Natural News as a serious source of medical information. Ever consider a career in comedy?

    See why I find your citation so funny:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/07/the_ghouls_descend_upon_the_corpse.php
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/02/if_you_want_some_cancer_woo_and_you_want.php
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/08/a_ghoul_descends_upon_christina_applegat.php
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/08/to_kill_and_cure_cancer_you_must_first_understand_it.php
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2007/10/breast_cancer_awareness_month_deception.php
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2007/07/how_can_so_much_stupidity_about_medicine.php

    And that’s just a small sampling.

  106. #106 Natalie
    October 2, 2008

    Funny, “Dr.” Vortex, the University of Chicago Children’s Hospital is at uchicagokidshospital.org. And they don’t appear to recognize your last name: http://www.uchicagokidshospital.org/childrens/FindPhysicianHandler.do;jsessionid=876ACCF681DAA8D37291F16F40CC026E

  107. #107 Mike
    October 2, 2008

    Dr. Vortex,
    I wonder if the University of Chicago Children’s Hospital would appreciate you ‘trolling’ from their facility. I wonder if the dean of medicine or the it director should be contacted.
    Cheers.

  108. #108 Regan
    October 2, 2008

    “Dr. Vortex” is punking. The chicagokidshospital.COM (vs. .org) domain is one of those “Your business here” spaceholders.

  109. #109 HCN
    October 2, 2008

    TT said “Attack the messenger if you can’t handle the message HCN.”

    Note that I included that “message” had some basic facts WRONG! Wrong, wrong, wrongety wrong. The rotavirus that had health issues was Rotashield, and Dr. Offit was not a part of that particular vaccine.

    Now, again… come up with some real evidence. Something using real data, real science and real statistics. Not an article written by a clueless idiot who cannot do simple research to find out that there is a difference between two rotavirus vaccines. Something you would have known if you had read the book.

    Also, the entity who calls himself Dr. Vortex: It is obvious you have also not read the paper, and cannot find any real substance to comment on.

  110. #110 Ms. Clark
    October 2, 2008

    The thing is that the Rotateq virus might not have caused those cases of intususseption. There were a very few more than would have been expected by chance, but they still might have been associated by random chance. Still, instead of going ahead with that vaccine that would have stopped rotavirus infections in many, many children, they took it off the market. That may or may not have been the right thing to do, but they did it.

    To me, it’s hard to imagine how a vaccine with a few virus in it can cause the guts of a child to get collapsed… but I’ll take it that it can happen somehow.

    In the kids that had that happen from the vaccine, what would have happened to them if they had run into the real virulent virus? The same thing? Worse?

  111. #111 mandydax
    October 2, 2008

    So, Orac, should we amend Scopie’s Law with a corollary about naturalnews.com? ;)

    Also, Kev, THANK YOU! The killfile is getting big already. Wow. :P

  112. #112 Daphnia Cannon
    October 3, 2008

    There is too much ignorance about what Autism is. For my own experience doctors label the kid and they ensure you that therapy is the only solution. For me is just treat the symptoms and not the illness. These kids really get sick. Their gut system and immune system is damaged and it works agaist their health. So what is seen as autism symptoms is just a reflexion of their health. This is based on my own experience with my son and I have read that many are in the same boat. Something in the vaccines, maybe the amount of them debilitates them to the point of a breakdown.
    So, vaccines are NOT SAFE, not in the amount, not in the content of toxins, not because doctors do not have a procedure to accurately check the current status of the immune system of child by the time of the innoculation.
    The most irritant thing is that the most of the medical community does not know how to treat it or handle it, but they do not acknowledge this fact. It takes many trips to specialists and lots of Internet research to find the correct doctor. These are a good resource of information http://www.thoughtfulhouse.org and http://www.autism.com. The last one has been a very solid source of information.

  113. #113 Chris H.
    October 3, 2008

    Daphnia Cannon: “There is too much ignorance about what Autism is. For my own experience doctors label the kid and they ensure you that therapy is the only solution…. These kids really get sick.”

    I’m sorry, but there is so much wrong with your statements.

    First off, there are several autistic people who do not suffer with all the illnesses you describe. Many have actually read the book and are commenting on this book discussion. Instead of ignoring them, you should (along with actually read the book) listen to them, and look at the real research. Not your own anecdotes, and the poorly thought out stances of the the two websites you posted.

    You see, if you had read the book you would be able to respond intelligently to the discussion. You would also be able to discuss why the dangerous testing done by Wakefield had to be done in another country, and why the waivers that the parents signed were incomplete. Why the testing for measles in the “gut” was flawed, and even when it was revealed to Wakefield that they were FALSE positives, he chose to ignore that information and continue on. If you knew of the blatant dishonesty shown by Wakefield, there would be no reason for you to support Thoughtful House.

  114. #114 MG
    October 5, 2008

    Dear Dr. Offit, thank you for your book. I already vaccinated my son, and my life is ruined because of his autism. After reading your book, more parents will vaccinate their children and get in the same boat with me. May be somebody finally will pay attention to that problem and treatments for autism will be found.

  115. #115 Chris H.
    October 5, 2008

    MG said “and my life is ruined because of his autism.”

    Go to http://www.autism-hub.co.uk/ to find support and information.

    Sorry your life is “ruined”… I wonder how you feel about those of us whose kids have other disabilities. My son had his seizures when he was 2 days old (no vaccines, this was before the HepB). I just talked to a friend whose teenage son was recently hospitalized for his bi-polar condition. Neither of us feel our children have ruined our lives.

    Made them more interesting, yes… ruined, no.

    You continue “May be somebody finally will pay attention to that problem and treatments for autism will be found.”

    Well, there are treatments, and lots of research funds going into treatments. Unfortunately too much time and effort is being wasted on the “vaccine/autism” canard. For more information on research go see:
    http://www.autismresearchnetwork.org/AN/

    By the way the list of research centers often have free or inexpensive services for autistic children. My son has benefited from the services at our local university. Look to see if there are inexpensive or charitable organizations in your area (RiteCare is one), plus many school districts are providing specialized education situations.

  116. #116 MG
    October 5, 2008

    Hi Chris,
    thanks for response. I feel so sorry about all kids with disabilities and their parents. I did not say that my son ruined my life. His life is also ruined. That’s nice that you find life more interesting. It’s definitely entertaining, when you get a call from school:”your son had a seizure”…But I would prefer to have some other interests in life. Thanks for the links. I have a feeling that I already passed that stage when I had hope that some link could save my life…And with all that research, there are no treatments so far.

  117. #117 HCN
    October 5, 2008

    MG said “And with all that research, there are no treatments so far.”

    There is also no treatment for the results of encephalitis from measles and mumps. These include deafness, blindness, mental retardation (about 1 in 1000 for measles) and of course, death (about 1 in 1000). Over 120 Americans died from measles around 1991 (you would know about that epidemic if you had actually read the book).

    Of course Hib also causes encephalitis with similar results. And even with almost 90% vaccination rates pertussis still kills over a dozen American babies each year.

    So you claimed “more parents will vaccinate their children and get in the same boat with me.”

    What a bunch of self-pitying regurgitated bovine excrement!
    There is no real evidence that vaccines have anything to do with autism. You would know that if you actually read the book.

    If you have real evidence to the contrary, please present it. Tell me (using papers I can find at my local medical school library) what real evidence shows that the MMR is worse than measles, mumps and rubella (by the way, rubella is a known cause of autism, the disease in the pregnant mother, not the vaccine), or that the DTaP is worse than diphtheria, tetanus or pertussis. Show us your real evidence. Here is a start to more information on those diseases:
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=186 … which repeats “Vaccine Side effects: not autism.”

    So why keep beating that dead horse?

    You said “I did not say that my son ruined my life. His life is also ruined.”…

    But earlier you said “my life is ruined because of his autism.”

    No, you claim your life is ruined…Stop with the pity party. Get on with your life and enjoy your kid. It is not all about you.

  118. #118 MG
    October 5, 2008

    Absence of proof of connection does not mean proof of absence of connection between vaccines and autism. I also know doctors who say this connection is likely. I read books that say that such connection exists. See http://www.thinktwice.com .I have never met anybody who had measles, but I know a lot of parents who have kids with autism. Doctors get alarmed about 100 cases of measles, but they completely ignore millions of cases of autism.
    I am not going to prove anything here. I don’t know for sure myself. I don’t have another kid to have the clear experiment.
    For everyone who would like to risk their kid to get autistic – vaccinate! The interesting life is ahead.

  119. #119 Alan
    October 5, 2008

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/amanda-peet-vsmedical-sci_b_113817.html

    David Kirby

    Amanda Peet vs. the Medical Establishment

    July 19, 2008 | 01:26 PM (EST)

    This week, actress Amanda Peet called parents who don’t vaccinate their kids “parasites,” and then essentially went on to lie when she announced that scientists have concluded there is “no association between autism and vaccines.”

    Peet saw fit to blast “the media and journalists” and “a few fringe medical groups and parent advocacy groups” for “presenting vaccine safety as a controversy.” She thinks the debate, save for a few dangerous holdouts, is over.

    I thought that Ms. Peet (and her ill-advised advisors such as Dr. Paul Offit) might want to see from whence these parasitic, fringey parents and doctors have been getting their cues of late.

    Here are just a few recent examples:

    July 15, 2008 – A workgroup report of the IACC (the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, which includes HHS, CDC, NIH and others) says that some members want “specific objectives on vaccine research” included in the new, multimillion-dollar national autism research program, as mandated by Congress in the Combatting Autism Act.

    Notes from the meeting indicate that workgroup members want federal researchers to consider “shortfalls” in epidemiological studies cited as proof against a vaccine-autism association (by Offit, Peet, et al); as well as a specific plan “for researching vaccines as a potential cause of autism.” The workgroup also says that the final research agenda should “state that the issue is open.”

    July 14, 2008 – Rep. Brad Miller (R-NC), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, (Committe on Science and Technology) writes to HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt to complain that current federal autism research “shows a strong preference to fund genetic-based studies,” even though there is, “growing evidence that suggests a wide range of conditions or environmental exposures may play a role” in autism. He cites a recent study on vaccines and monkeys, presented as a poster (unreviewed) at the International Society for Autism Research, which, “suggests that research on primates is about to emerge that will provide additional evidence of environmental contributions to ASD.”

    Rep. Miller specifically cites the case of Hannah Poling as “just one example that is suggestive of very important lines of inquiry,” and he recommends some “very suggestive writings along these lines,” such as the April 5, 2008 letter from Terry Poling, (Hannah’s mother, an attorney and former nurse) to The New York Times titled, “Vaccines, Autism and Our Daughter, Hannah.”

    Finally, Rep Miller writes that HHS “has lost much of the public’s trust,” and urges Mr. Leavitt to form a Secretarial-level Autism Advisory Board to provide public feedback, liaise with parents groups, and “assist in reestablishing the public trust” that Ms. Peet herself said was lagging. Miller recommends tapping groups such as Safe Minds, Generation Rescue, Autism Speaks and the Autism Research Institute for their, “experience evaluating research’ and an “in-depth knowledge of the current body of ASD research.” All four groups support vaccine-autism research, and thus presumably fall within the rubric of what Ms. Peet terms as “fringe.”

    May 12, 2008 – Dr. Bernadine Healy, former head of the NIH and the American Red Cross and current Health Editor of US News & World Report tells CBS News that, “Officials have been too quick to dismiss the hypothesis as irrational,” and says they “don’t want to pursue a hypothesis because that hypothesis could be damaging to the public health community at large by scaring people.”

    But, unlike Amanda Peet, Dr. Healy believes that, “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.”

    April 21, 2008 – Presidential Candidate Sen. Barack Obama, speaking at a rally in Pennsylvania, answers a question about autism by saying: “We’ve seen just a skyrocketing autism rate. Some people are suspicious that it’s connected to the vaccines. The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it.”

    April 11, 2008 – The HHS Vaccine Safety Working Group (comprised of the nation’s leading vaccine experts) meets to review the CDC’s draft research proposal for vaccine safety issues. Among the top vaccine questions that CDC wants answered: “Are neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism, clinical outcomes of vaccine injury?” And, “Is immunization associated with increased risk for neurological deterioration in children with mitochondrial dysfunction?”

    March 29, 2008 – Dr. Julie Gerberding, Director of the CDC, speaking about the Hannah Poling case on CNN says: “If a child was immunized, got a fever, had other complications from the vaccines, and was pre-disposed with the mitochondrial disorder, it can certainly set off some damage (including) symptoms that have characteristics of autism.” And she adds: “I think we have to have an open mind about this.” Meanwhile, the CDC website lists autism studies it currently funds on thimerosal and the MMR vaccine.

    March 11, 2008 – The CISA Network (Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment), headed by the CDC, receives a report from top researchers at Johns Hopkins University that 30 typically developing children with mitochondrial dysfunction all regressed into autism between 12 and 24 months of life. At least two of them (6%) showed brain damage within one week of receiving simultaneous multiple vaccinations.

    Included in this vaccine safety network is the US health insurance industry – which is now being forced by many states to cover autism treatments, and wants to know what possible role vaccines are playing in the neurodevelopmental health of children. A month later, the CISA network announces it has “formed a working group to study methods related to mitochondrial disorders and immunization.”

    February 25, 2008 – Presidential Candidate Sen. John McCain says at a rally in Texas that “It’s indisputable that (autism) is on the rise amongst children, the question is what’s causing it. And we go back and forth and there’s strong evidence that indicates that it’s got to do with a preservative in vaccines.” McCain notes that there’s “divided scientific opinion” on the matter, with “many on the other side that are credible scientists that are saying that’s not the cause of it.”

    February 22, 2008 – Medical Personnel at HHS concede an autism case filed by the family of Hannah Poling in the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, before the claim can go to trial as a “test case” of the theory that thimerosal causes autism. Though portrayed by some (ie, Dr. Offit) as a legal decision, it is in fact a medical decision. HHS doctors admit that the “cause” of Hannah’s “autistic encephalopathy” was “vaccine-induced fever and immune stimulation that exceeded metabolic reserves,” which exacerbated her underlying mitochondrial dysfunction. At 19 months of age, Hannah was given 5 injections containing nine vaccines.

    January, 2008 – Presidential Candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton, responding to a questionnaire, says that autism is “epidemic,” and that she is, “committed to make investments to find the causes of autism, including possible environmental causes like vaccines.” When asked if she will support an autism study of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children, she replies: “Yes. We don’t know what, if any, kind of link there is between vaccines and autism – but we should find out.”

    So there you have it. Since the beginning of the year, we have heard from:

    1) Three United States Senators
    2) The next President (and possibly Vice President) of the country
    3) The Director of the CDC (and her “open mind”)
    4) The former head of the NIH and the American Red Cross
    5) The Chairman of a House Science Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight
    6) A respected Pediatric Neurologist and Resident at Johns Hopkins University Medical School (Dr. Jon Poling)
    7) The HHS Vaccine Safety Working Group
    8) The CDC’s Vaccine Safety Research Agenda authors
    9) Medical personnel at the HHS Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
    10) The Strategic Planning Workgroup of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee
    11) The Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment Network
    12) Leading autism researchers at Johns Hopkins University Medical School
    13) America’s health insurance companies

    Virtually all of the above advocate, or have at least considered, exploring the possible links between vaccines and autism.

    I am not a parent, and I am not anti-vaccine. But if I were going to listen to experts on this subject, I would be more likely to consult some of these people, rather than a well-meaning but grossly misinformed actress who is guided by a doctor who will likely make money from his own work helping to develop a childhood vaccine.

    Ms. Peet apologized for calling parents “parasites,” and that’s nice. But it is her continued use of the “fringe” label, I believe, that will ultimately come back to bite her the hardest.

    The vaccine-autism debate may be over in the firmly closed minds of Peet and Offit, but for serious, rational thinkers such as those listed above, this debate (and the real work that lies ahead) has only just begun.

  120. #120 HCN
    October 5, 2008

    FYI: http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/?p=981 … with the title “David Kirby vs Accuracy”.

    David Kirby has no real medical training. He is essentially employed to do public relations for Safe Minds, Generation Rescue and AoA. He demands that there be studies done that make scientific sense. Read 126 to 127, and tell us who has the “closed mind”… especially with this quote “Kirby, on the other hand, refused to admit defeat. On November 11, 2006, he descended into parody…. Kirby claimed that children were getting autism because China was burning more coal, causing plumes of mercury-filled smoke to envelop the West Coast…”

    You have read the book, right?

  121. #121 Natalie
    October 6, 2008

    I have never met anybody who had measles

    The reason you’ve never met anyone who had the measles, MG, is widespread vaccination. Until recently, these vaccine preventable diseases were virtually unknown in the United States. You don’t need to have met people with the disease to learn about it’s effects, though – basic research should suffice. Start with an encyclopedia.

  122. #122 MG
    October 7, 2008

    Natalie,
    you can choose your risks. You can choose between the risk that your child gets measles (as we heard here, one year 100 kids got it) and as a result of the decease gets encephalitis ( one of 1000 measles cases)and will have all symptoms of autism as a result of that. Or you can just vaccinate your kids with MMR and they may get encephalitis from that and become autistic (one in 100 cases). I don’t say you should not vaccinate – you just should understand your risks. Don’t teach me about encyclopedia. Better educate yourself about statistics.
    By the way, there is data suggesting that hygiene is more important than immunization in preventing measles.

  123. #123 Dyson
    October 7, 2008

    But if I were going to listen to experts on this subject, I would be more likely to consult some of these people, rather than a well-meaning but grossly misinformed actress who is guided by a doctor who will likely make money from his own work helping to develop a childhood vaccine.

    As opposed to any other “grossly misinformed actress” like McCarthy, you mean?”

    As I read this sentence of yours it sounded so true (I thought you were talking about Jenny), until the last bit when I realised you weren’t.

    Amanda Peet explicitly said “Don’t listen to me, listen to the experts”. I suggest you take her advice. The list of experts who are “pro” vaccine outnumbers those who are “anti” vaccine by about a thousand to one. And by the way, I don’t count senators and presidential candidates as experts, as you seem to do.

    MG – without vaccination, everyone will get measles. Hygeine has absolutely nothing to do with it.

    In Europe, dozens of kids die each year from measles (in countries like Switzerland and Germany). If no-one vaccinated against measles in the USA, there would be 3-4 million cases annually, with around 500 deaths, never mind the thousands who would be brain damaged from encephalitis.

  124. #124 Diane
    October 7, 2008

    And kids will continue to be diagnosed with autism.

  125. #125 deeppattern
    October 7, 2008

    Study after study shows no vaccine connection to autism and yet researchers have been using the wrong (melanoma) cell line for the last 25 years of breast cancer research. Science can be wrong for a very long time.

    Lacroix, M. MDA-MB-435 cells are from melanoma, not from breast cancer. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2008 May 24.

    Lacroix, M. Persistent use of “false” cell lines. Int J Cancer. 2008 Jan 1;122(1):1-4. Review.

  126. #126 Dawn
    October 7, 2008

    MG – you must be very young if you have never met anyone who had measles. My parents and their siblings all had them. My brother and I had them. My uncle was so sick his parents thought he might die. To this day he has some residual problems (I’ll protect his privacy and not be more specific than that).

    Even with having the measles, I am one of the very few who has not developed antibodies, so I could get them again (even with the MMR, I have not developed antibodies). As one who is dependent on herd immunity to avoid measles, I thank those who also vaccinate their families. And yes, my children are fully vaccinated.

  127. #127 Natalie
    October 7, 2008

    you can choose your risks.

    No, we don’t all get to choose our own risks. This isn’t a goddamned buffet. Children who are too young to get vaccinated don’t have a choice. People who are allergic to the vaccine ingredients don’t have a choice. People who can never be vaccinated because of various disorders don’t have a choice. The reason measles levels are as low as they are now is because almost everyone who can be vaccinated is vaccinated.

    You can choose between the risk that your child gets measles (as we heard here, one year 100 kids got it) and as a result of the decease gets encephalitis ( one of 1000 measles cases)and will have all symptoms of autism as a result of that. Or you can just vaccinate your kids with MMR and they may get encephalitis from that and become autistic (one in 100 cases).

    a) the rate of measles is much higher in communities without vaccinations. So not getting a child vaccinated means a higher risk of acquiring measles when they come into contact with the virus.
    b) encephalitis =/= autism
    c) False dilemma. As the MMR does not cause autism, it is not necessary to choose between measles and autism.

    Don’t teach me about encyclopedia.

    Well, someone has to. You have no idea what you’re talking about.

    Better educate yourself about statistics.

    This from the woman who has made the most elementary statistics mistake – confusing correlation with causation. Pot. Kettle. Black.

  128. #128 John Best
    October 7, 2008

    The MMR shot DOES cause autism and it has been proven.
    http://amassnetwork.com/
    There’s a nice picture of Dr Offit here too.

  129. #129 HCN
    October 8, 2008

    Mr. Best, that very badly designed website does not count as acceptable scientific evidence. The MMR has been used in the USA since 1971, what evidence shows that it has caused autism since then? Give me something that I will find at my local medical school library.

  130. #130 HCN
    October 8, 2008

    Just because I am waiting for some food to finish cooking, I went back and looked at the web site that Best was promoted, and while my eyes were adjusting to the terrible color scheme I saw it offered to sell us “Brain Guard”!

    “Brain Guard”… oh, my word… John Best has furthered lowered himself as a shill for idiotic supplements!

  131. #131 John Best
    October 8, 2008

    HCN,
    Med schools don’t stock information that shows they are fools. The website design has nothing to do with the quality of the information it contains.
    Thanks for telling us you’re a liar since BrainGuard is not a supplement but an imaging process.
    Dr Moulden clearly shows here that Paul Offit has no clue what he is talking about and is just a child abusing shill for Pharma.

  132. #132 notmercury
    October 8, 2008

    But John, haven’t you always claimed that mercury, and only mercury in the form of thimerosal, is responsible for all autism? Haven’t you force fed your (still autistic) son chelation drugs for over 5 years now? MMR doesn’t contain thimerosal so why would you now suggest it causes autism?

  133. #133 HCN
    October 8, 2008

    Sorry, John… I did not really look at what “BrainGuard” is because the web page design was so bad it was hurting my eyes.

  134. #134 Mike
    October 8, 2008

    Maybe “BrainGuard” could be employed to prevent trolls like John from inflicting damage on other brains??

  135. #135 John Best
    October 8, 2008

    Not mercury,
    The information Dr Moulden has discovered does not invalidate the facts we know about mercury. It enhances our knowledge. As a genuine person who wants to see disabled kids get better, unlike you and Paul Offit, this knowledge will help us give more kids their lives back.

    The fact that we now know autism is a result of strokes tells us that removing mercury is not the whole answer. Of course, we already knew we had more to learn to cure everyone who was not 100% cured by chelation and supplements alone. So, while you and your disgraceful propagandists use this new information to knock an opponent, we will continue our quest for knowledge until we do have all the answers and can cure every child who was damaged by vaccines.

    Once more people learn this information, Offit will have no choice but to shut his ignorant, lying mouth forever.

  136. #136 Dawn
    October 8, 2008

    Nice moving of the goalposts, John. I thought chelation was the cure for the mercury poisoning? Now it’s autism is caused by STROKES and mercury? Riiiiigggghhhhtttt. When you know what a stroke looks like on an MRI or CT scan and can show that autistic people have those same insults, then I will believe you.

  137. #137 HCN
    October 8, 2008

    So, John, how much are you being paid to push traffic over to where they sell those fancy shmancy brain scans? :-/

    (oh, the place also has links on cures for cancer!)

  138. #138 John Best
    October 8, 2008

    You know what, I’m not going to explain this to you people. You’re corrupt enough to defend Pharma with your tiny brains and stupid insults so there’s no point in trying to educate you. I just came here to challenge Offit again anyhow. As usual, the coward won’t answer me. See ya.

  139. #139 HCN
    October 9, 2008

    John Best replied after being asked if he was paid to promote a website with dubious health products “You’re corrupt enough to defend Pharma with your tiny brains and stupid insults so there’s no point in trying to educate you.”

    Pot, meet kettle.

  140. #140 C-Ya
    October 9, 2008

    Somehow, when John Best puts out a URL for “am ass network”, I don’t want to click on the link.

    I am now guessing it is just a very poorly named domain?

  141. #141 Natalie
    October 9, 2008

    You know what, I’m not going to explain this to you people.

    Then why are you here?

  142. #142 storkdok
    October 10, 2008

    Dr. Offit, thanks so much for writing this book. It is invaluable. I have recommended it to all my son’s doctors and therapists.

    It needed to be written, and you stepped up to the plate…thank you!

  143. #143 Vinny Chase
    October 20, 2008

    I happen to agree with Dr. Vortex because he is a Doctor. Plus I can always use a good laugh while seated on the John. They should just call the crappers, offits from now on. Ima poet and didn’t even know it!!!

  144. #144 HCN
    October 21, 2008

    Vinny said “I happen to agree with Dr. Vortex because he is a Doctor”

    How would you know? Do you also think this guy is a medical doctor: http://www.drdemento.com/ ?

  145. #145 Antonino Broncatto
    October 21, 2008

    Dr. Vortex speaks his mind and I can respect that. I also bought this book but I had different feelings about it. I am not sure who to believe. The so called anti-vacs vaccinated their children until they became sick. I just don’t understand why they are concidered anti-vaccine. Also, Dr. Offit put together a really good book especially where it expounds on Dr. Wakefield’s findings and where he was wrong. I am just curious as to why the anti-vac group will not meet with Offit and have a one to one discussion on what should be done about this pandemic. In no disrespect, Dr. Vortex’s post was hilarious. Vinny is a MORON. He’s fake you idiot!

  146. #146 mamba
    October 25, 2008

    nice web site thks add my site http://www.cinselsorunlariniz.com

  147. #147 adult
    January 19, 2009
  148. #148 Chat
    January 20, 2009

    Thanks

  149. #149 Sohbet
    January 20, 2009

    thankss

  150. #150 mobilya
    February 14, 2009

    thank

  151. #151 sohbet
    March 11, 2009

    Thanks You So Much.. Have Nice Days..

  152. #152 kelebek cet
    March 25, 2009

    thanx invade

  153. #153 sohbet
    March 28, 2009

    thank you Red

  154. #154 sohbet
    March 31, 2009

    thanks

  155. #155 burun estetiği
    April 21, 2009

    Sorry, John… I did not really look at what “BrainGuard” is because the web page design was so bad it was hurting my eyes.

  156. #156 sohpet
    April 22, 2009

    Thanks for this article and most generaly for this very amazing website :)

  157. #157 club penguin
    May 23, 2009

    Thank you for standing up for science and reason on this most important issue. Also, I am visually impaired, and I wonder if you would consider putting your book on audio. Thanks again and keep up the good work!

  158. #158 chat
    August 4, 2009

    vaccinated their children until they became sick. I just don’t understand why they are concidered anti-vaccine. Also, Dr. Offit put together a really good book especially where it expounds

  159. #159 chat
    September 18, 2009

    Sorry, John… I did not really look at what “BrainGuard” is because the web page design was so bad it was hurting my eyes yes tou whan admin :)

  160. #160 chat
    September 18, 2009

    Thank you for standing up for science and reason on this most important issue. Also, I am visually impaired, and I wonder if you would consider putting your book on audio. Thanks again and keep up the good work! thansk you

  161. #161 sohbet
    September 23, 2009

    tanx see you later

  162. #162 v-pills
    September 26, 2009

    I can always use a good laugh while seated on the John. They should just call the crappers, offits from now on. Ima poet and didn’t even know it!!!

  163. #163 rx1
    October 7, 2009

    did not really look at what “BrainGuard” is because the web page design was so bad it was hurting my eyes.

  164. #164 izmirde satılık
    October 20, 2009

    izmirde satılık

  165. #165 Yasam Kocu
    October 28, 2009

    thank you

  166. #166 SOHBET
    October 31, 2009

    Thank you for standing up for science and reason on this most important issue. Also, I am visually impaired, and I wonder if you would consider putting your book on audio. Thanks again and keep up the good work!

  167. #167 sevişme
    November 1, 2009

    Coming from a well-respected doctor, the spiral downward into addiction is even more striking. He does not hesitate to open up about his worst experiences; being committed to a psychiatric ward against his will.

  168. #168 video
    November 30, 2009

    On some less-detailed maps their layout looks similar except they’re inverted relative to one another and there isn’t always a sign telling you you’ve crossed the border from one to the other. I once was using a map to navigate in that area thinking I was in Quincy only to notice that the setting sun was on the wrong side of the car.

  169. #169 sikiş
    December 5, 2009

    Arachnologist and diplopodologist Dr Jason E Bond at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, is most recently well-known for naming a spider (Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi) after Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Neil Young. Kristin Day of The Daily Reflector.

  170. #170 osmanlı iksiri
    December 29, 2009

    Dr. Vortex speaks his mind and I can respect that. I also bought this book but I had different feelings about it. I am not sure who to believe.

  171. #171 GekkoG
    January 8, 2010

    My name is Paul Offit. I’m the chief of the division of infectious diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and my published expertise is in the area of vaccine safety and rotavirus-specific immune responses.

  172. #172 estetik
    February 14, 2010

    I did not really look at what “BrainGuard” is because the web page design was so bad it was hurting my eyes

  173. #173 film izle
    March 9, 2010

    In no disrespect, Dr. Vortex’s post was hilarious. Vinny is a MORON. He’s fake you idiot!

  174. Offit will have no choice but to shut his ignorant, lying mouth forever.

  175. vaccinated their children until they became sick. I just don’t understand why they are concidered anti-vaccine. Also, Dr. Offit put together a really good book especially where it expounds

  176. #176 sağlık
    July 13, 2010

    Dear Dr. Offit, thank you for your book. I already vaccinated my son, and my life is ruined because of his autism. After reading your book, more parents will vaccinate their children and get in the same boat with me. May be somebody finally will pay attention to that problem and treatments for autism will be found..

  177. #177 Electronic Cigarette
    August 17, 2010

    I started to wonder), but I find it reprehensible that these anti-vaccinationist are causing real harm to children by scaring parents out of immunizing their children. I have to side with Amanda Peet on this one; if they refuse the truth in light of all evidence, they are parasites.

  178. #178 Brandon Pavlov
    August 31, 2010

    Even with having the measles, I’m one of the not many who has not developed antibodies, so i could get them once again (even with the actual MMR, I have not developed antibodies). As you who’s depending on herd defense to avoid measles, We say thanks to those who additionally vaccinate their families. And yes, my kids tend to be completely vaccinated.

  179. #179 film izle
    September 22, 2010

    Mr. Best, that very badly designed website does not count as acceptable scientific evidence. The MMR has been used in the USA since 1971, what evidence shows that it has caused autism since then? Give me something that I will find at my local medical school library..

  180. #180 stretch mark removal
    November 29, 2010

    If this said remedy is proven then it is the right one but if they just made an upfront scheme that claims but not proven scientifically it is just a mere myth. False Prophets that could leads to death if tolerated. I do hope there is a certain action done by the proper authorities that should monitor this false prophets.

  181. #181 su
    December 1, 2010

    You know what, I’m not going to explain this to you people…

  182. #182 pull your ex back
    December 4, 2010

    The book “Autism’s false prophets” by Paul Offit contains relatively little scientific argument, consisting instead mainly of ad-hominem muck-raking and “you can trust us” assertions of the supposedly superior authority of big wealthy

  183. #183 düzce haber
    December 15, 2010

    Sorry, John… I did not really look at what “BrainGuard” is because the web page design was so bad it was hurting my eyes…

  184. #184 remove moles
    January 2, 2011

    I am thoroughly convinced in this said post. I am currently searching for ways in which I could enhance my knowledge in this said topic you have posted here. It does help me a lot knowing that you have shared this information here freely. I love the way the people here interact and shared their opinions too. I would love to track your future posts pertaining to the said topic we are able to read.

  185. #185 güzel sözler
    January 4, 2011

    Dr. Vortex speaks his mind and I can respect that. I also bought this book but I had different feelings about it. I am not sure who to believe. The so called anti-vacs vaccinated their children until they became sick. I just don’t understand why they are concidered anti-vaccine. Also, Dr. Offit put together a really good book especially where it expounds on Dr. Wakefield’s findings and where he was wrong. I am just curious as to why the anti-vac group will not meet with Offit and have a one to one discussion on what should be done about this pandemic. In no disrespect, Dr. Vortex’s post was hilarious. Vinny is a MORON. He’s fake you idiot!

  186. #186 hemoriva
    February 3, 2011

    The book is brilliant and brave. The thing I can’t believe is that Wakefield and cronies are carrying on as if all is well. They should be in prison. Instead, they’re merrily scoping away, pretending Wakefield’s work hasn’t been debunked six ways from Sunday.

    I wonder whether better science education would help. It seems to me people weren’t always as credulous as today’s “mercury moms.” I think maybe it’s not exactly science education, but the instillation of the idea that there is more to a subject than one can master in an evening spent Googling.

  187. #187 how to win at blackjack
    February 9, 2011

    vaccinated their children until they became sick. I just don’t understand why they are concidered anti-vaccine. Also, Dr. Offit put together a really good book especially where it expounds

  188. #188 Omegle
    February 11, 2011

    I can’t believe is that Wakefield and cronies are carrying on as if all is well. They should be in prison. Instead, they’re merrily scoping away, pretending Wakefield’s work hasn’t been debunked six ways from sunday good.

  189. #189 husky training
    February 17, 2011

    I recently watched a Pen and Teller episode on autism and vaccines and I’m just amazed at what those people are doing. I get that some people are sleazy and want a quick buck.. but these are lives of children we are talking about. People like that make me sick

  190. #190 inscriptionari auto
    February 23, 2011

    Study after study shows no vaccine connection to autism and yet researchers have been using the wrong (melanoma) cell line for the last 25 years of breast cancer research.

  191. #191 how to win the lottery
    February 28, 2011

    John Best, ladies and gentlemen. When he’s not issuing death threats, he’s insulting little autistic kids.How many years is it now, John, that chelation has been going “well”? 4? 5?

  192. #192 detox diet
    March 3, 2011

    I would very much like to debate that point. First you’ll have to show me that the levels of mercury found in a brain following vaccination are even close to levels that cause neuroinflammation, never mind your idiotic 250 times EPA threshold, then I’d like you to show us evidence that autism is caused by neuroinflammation or that mercury alone is the sole agent that triggers neuroinflammation.

  193. #193 Sesli
    March 3, 2011

    I wonder whether better science education would help. It seems to me people weren’t always as credulous as today’s “mercury moms.

  194. #194 Anti Aging Diet
    March 4, 2011

    This is a tough sell in an environment where a large percentage of the population believes in woo, intelligent design, creationism, and angels.Good luck and thanks for all the fish.. All the best

  195. #195 game copy wizard
    March 4, 2011

    Fascinating and readable. “Autism’s False Prophets” traces the histories of the MMR-autism and thimerosal-autism controversies, and discusses the science in clear, layman’s language. I found the book very difficult to put down: it’s a wonderful (and enlightening) read for anyone interested in autism, vaccines, or scientific controversy, and its “Science and Society” chapter should be required reading for any parent (or any person) researching vaccines or other medical decisions.

  196. #196 Anti Aging Diet
    March 4, 2011

    ‘m always tempted to just ignore the trolls. They’ll think we’re ignoring them because they’re right and we’re wrong, and we’ll know we’re ignoring them because they aren’t worth the time or effort. Everyone feels better about themselves, everyone wins.Oh yeah, except the kids of these assholes who are more likely to die of preventable diseases than protected children.

  197. #197 inscriptionari auto
    March 6, 2011

    As you who’s depending on herd defense to avoid measles, We say thanks to those who additionally vaccinate their families. And yes, my kids tend to be completely vaccinated.

  198. vaccinated their children until they became sick. I just don’t understand why they are concidered anti-vaccine. Also, Dr. Offit put together a really good book especially where it expounds

  199. #199 how to build muscle
    March 18, 2011

    This book is a great play by play of the whole vaccine-autism controversy and the media buzz it created. Dr Offit has done such a nice job standing up for vaccines and perhaps more importantly, the need for science to drive medicine even if that makes parents uncomfortable. My question is for Dr. Offit and I wonder if you feel that perhaps more of the professionals in the public health field should have stepped forward to confront the bad science head-on. Any thoughts on that? Thank you.

  200. #200 tütüne son
    March 19, 2011

    ‘m always tempted to just ignore the trolls. They’ll think we’re ignoring them because they’re right and we’re wrong, and we’ll know we’re ignoring them because they aren’t worth the time or effort. Everyone feels better about themselves, everyone wins.Oh yeah, except the kids of these assholes who are more likely to die of preventable diseases than protected children.

  201. #201 orjin krem
    March 19, 2011

    This book is a great play by play of the whole vaccine-autism controversy and the media buzz it created. Dr Offit has done such a nice job standing up for vaccines and perhaps more importantly, the need for science to drive medicine even if that makes parents uncomfortable. My question is for Dr. Offit and I wonder if you feel that perhaps more of the professionals in the public health field should have stepped forward to confront the bad science head-on. Any thoughts on that? Thank you.

  202. #202 teknik servis
    March 21, 2011

    Many initial timers make the big mistake of sending multiple e-mail out a day. Doing this might get you banned from peoples’ email listing immediately. Completing this task will annoy men and women on the opposite end because they will just view your e-mail as spam. Consider it or not, men and women do not want to incessantly hear about which sort you need to sell.? It is best send messages just once and a while. Should you ship too quite a few email messages nobody will enjoy what type you have to say. Instead, it is advisable e-mail men and women less, however put more thought into each and every email.

  203. #203 altın çilek
    March 27, 2011

    I wonder whether better science education would help… It seems to me people weren’t always as credulous as today’s “mercury moms.

  204. #204 altın çilek
    March 28, 2011

    Eating right and maintaining a healthy body weight are about the two hardest things to do in today’s world of infinite menu choices. We all have (or should have) a grasp of the fundamentals where diet is concerned, but there are a few dangerous foods you might not be aware of. Here’s a list of six you may want to think twice about adding to the menu.

  205. #205 Electronic Cigarettes
    March 28, 2011

    The fact that we now know autism is a result of strokes tells us that removing mercury is not the whole answer. Of course, we already knew we had more to learn to cure everyone who was not 100% cured by chelation and supplements alone. So, while you and your disgraceful propagandists use this new information to knock an opponent, we will continue our quest for knowledge until we do have all the answers and can cure every child who was damaged by vaccines.

    Once more people learn this information, Offit will have no choice but to shut his ignorant, lying mouth forever.

  206. #206 game copy wizard
    April 1, 2011

    This is a little off the point but I am reading “Natural Causes” by Dan Hurley. Chapter 4 deals with how active use of PR was manipulated to push through the notorious DSHEA regulation that opened the floodgates for the supplement quacks. If you do not win in the arena of public opinion, being right will not win the day. For most people emotion is more powerful than reason. When these people vote – the truth be damed.

  207. #207 capsiplex
    April 3, 2011

    That herd protection lulls you into a false sense of security. It wasn’t high on our list of priorities to do any serious investigation, so we just kept moving along. Fortunately, I stumbled onto ScienceBlogs. Several bloggers (Orac, you there?) wrote so clearly, so passionately yet backed up by cold hard facts, that it became impossible to doubt the truth: that vaccines were safe and had no link whatsoever to autism or any of the other wild links that were put out there.

  208. #208 how to meditate
    April 18, 2011

    The controversy is about toxins. Do you not believe that ethyl mercury is toxic? If you do believe that it is, I would like to ask you why you have not worked on a different kind of vaccine preservative.

  209. #209 orjin krem
    April 21, 2011

    That herd protection lulls you into a false sense of security. It wasn’t high on our list of priorities to do any serious investigation, so we just kept moving along. Fortunately, I stumbled onto ScienceBlogs. Several bloggers (Orac, you there?) wrote so clearly, so passionately yet backed up by cold hard facts, that it became impossible to doubt the truth: that vaccines were safe and had no link whatsoever to autism or any of the other wild links that were put out there.

  210. #210 power balance
    April 30, 2011

    That herd protection lulls you into a false sense of security. It wasn’t high on our list of priorities to do any serious investigation, so we just kept moving along. Fortunately, I stumbled onto ScienceBlogs. Several bloggers (Orac, you there?) wrote so clearly, so passionately yet backed up by cold hard facts, that it became impossible to doubt the truth: that vaccines were safe and had no link whatsoever to autism or any of the other wild links that were put out there.

  211. #211 True Love Quotes
    May 17, 2011

    At two kids, we’re at replacement level. My husband and I never considered not having children.

  212. #212 PEMBE MASKE
    June 15, 2011

    Özellikle son zamanların en popüler cilt yenileme ürünüdür. Pembe Maske bir çok ünlü isim tarafından da yoğun olarak kullanılmaktadır. Yüzdeki kırışıklıklar, sivilce ve sivilcelerin sebep olduğu deformasyonları gidermede kullanılan Pembe yüz maskesi ve inceltici, selülit giderici olarak kullanılan pembe vücut maskesi olmak üzere iki farklı ürün mevcuttur.

  213. #213 orjinal panax clavis
    June 16, 2011

    That herd protection lulls you into a false sense of security. It wasn’t high on our list of priorities to do any serious investigation, so we just kept moving along. Fortunately, I stumbled onto ScienceBlogs. Several bloggers (Orac, you there?) wrote so clearly, so passionately yet backed up by cold hard facts, that it became impossible to doubt the truth: that vaccines were safe and had no link whatsoever to autism or any of the other wild links that were put out there.

  214. Blogs. Several bloggers (Orac, you there?) wrote so clearly, so passionately yet backed up by cold hard facts, that it became impossible to doubt the truth: that vaccines were safe and had no link whatsoever to autism or any of the other wild links that were put out there…

  215. #215 CAPSİPLEX TÜRKİYE
    June 17, 2011

    y serious investigation, so we just kept moving along. Fortunately, I stumbled onto ScienceBlogs. Several bloggers (Orac, you there?) wrote so clearly, so passionately yet backed up by cold hard facts, that it became impossible to doubt the truth: that vaccines were safe and had no link whatsoever to autism or any of the other wild links that were put out there…

  216. #216 RED PEPPER
    June 17, 2011

    n the opposite end because they will just view your e-mail as spam. Consider it or not, men and women do not want to incessantly hear about which sort you need to sell.? It is best send messages just once and a while. Should you ship too quite a few email messages nobody will enjoy

  217. #217 omegle
    July 12, 2011

    At two kids, we’re at replacement level. My husband and I never considered not having children.

  218. #218 film streaming
    July 29, 2011

    Fortunately, I stumbled onto ScienceBlogs. Several bloggers (Orac, you there?) wrote so clearly, so passionately yet backed up by cold hard facts, that it became impossible to doubt the truth: that vaccines were safe and had no link whatsoever to autism or any of the other wild links that were put out there.

  219. #219 virtual credit card
    August 19, 2011

    This book is a great play by play of the whole vaccine-autism controversy and the media buzz it created. Dr Offit has done such a nice job standing up for vaccines and perhaps more importantly, the need for science to drive medicine even if that makes parents uncomfortable. My question is for Dr. Offit and I wonder if you feel that perhaps more of the professionals in the public health field should have stepped forward to confront the bad science head-on. Any thoughts on that?

  220. #220 müzik dinle
    September 1, 2011

    vaccines were preventing. They were completely unknown. But autism we could see. It affected people we knew. Mistrust of the government was running high and it seemed quite conceivable that the government and its agencies would not be telling us the whole story. Because of the herd protection, we felt comfortable holding off while we looked into it.

    That herd protection lulls you into a false sense of security. It wasn’t high on our list of priorities to do any serious investigation, so we just kept moving along. Fortunately, I stumbled onto ScienceBlogs. Several bloggers (Orac, you there?) wrote so clearly, so passionately yet backed up by cold hard facts, that it became impossible to doubt the truth: that vaccines were safe and had no link whatsoever

  221. #221 filmovi sa prevodom
    September 8, 2011

    It wasn’t high on our list of priorities to do any serious investigation, so we just kept moving along. Fortunately, I stumbled onto ScienceBlogs. Several bloggers (Orac, you there?) wrote so clearly, so passionately yet backed up by cold hard facts, that it became impossible to doubt the truth: that vaccines were safe and had no link whatsoever to autism or any of the other wild links that were put out there

  222. #222 body slim
    September 10, 2011

    I wonder if you feel that perhaps more of the professionals in the public health field should have stepped forward to confront the bad science head-on. Any thoughts on that?

  223. #223 haber
    October 28, 2011

    That herd protection lulls you into a false sense of security. It wasn’t high on our list of priorities to do any serious investigation, so we just kept moving along. Fortunately, I stumbled onto ScienceBlogs. Several bloggers (Orac, you there?) wrote so clearly, so passionately yet backed up by cold hard facts, that it became impossible to doubt the truth: that vaccines were safe and had no link whatsoever

  224. #224 Finans
    October 29, 2011

    That herd protection lulls you into a false sense of security. It wasn’t high on our list of priorities to do any serious investigation, so we just kept moving along. Fortunately, I stumbled onto ScienceBlogs.

  225. #225 ebeveyniz.net
    November 5, 2011

    I wonder if you feel that perhaps more of the professionals in the public health field should have stepped forward to confront the bad science head-on. Any thoughts on that?

  226. #226 filmy
    November 26, 2011

    on our list of priorities to do any serious investigation, so we just kept moving along. Fortunately, I stumbled onto ScienceBlogs. Several bloggers (Orac, you there?) wrote so clearly, so passionately yet backed up by cold hard facts, that it became impossible to doubt the truth: that vaccines were safe and had no link whatsoever to autism or any of the other wild links that were put out there