The ScienceBlogs Book Club

AFP author–DAY3

As the hypotheses shift…

It’s now been about ten years since vaccines were first blamed to be the cause of autism. First, it was the MMR vaccine. The mechanism by which this vaccine was supposed to cause autism was ill conceived. Measles vaccine virus was proposed to replicate in the intestine causing chronic inflammation and loss of intestinal barrier function allowing for entrance into the bloodstream of encephalopathic proteins causing autism. However, there was no evidence that attenuated measles virus damaged the intestine and no evidence that specific encephalopathic proteins caused autism. Despite the absurdity of the hypothesis, tens of millions of dollars were spent performing many epidemiological studies showing that it was wrong. More recently, in a study by Mady Hornig, the premise on which the hypothesis was based–namely that measles vaccine virus replicated in the intestines in children who later developed autism–was also shown to be wrong.

Then we moved seamlessly to hypothesis number two–that the ethylmercury containing preservative thimerosal caused autism. This, too, was based on a nonsensical notion. Given that the signs and symptoms of mercury poisoning were quite distinct from those of autism, and given that the quantity of mercury contained and likely to accumulate from vaccines was less than a child would encounter in the environment, the hypothesis was ill founded. Still, in response to growing parental concerns, six epidemiological studies were performed showing that thimerosal-containing vaccines did not cause autism. Again, tens of millions of dollars were spent to address a hypothesis that had no rational basis.

But the anti-vaccine forces press on. Now we’ve moved to something that anti-vaccine advocacy groups have been saying for years–it’s just too many vaccines given too early. Let’s compare children who have received vaccines with those who haven’t, they argue. Again, the premise is not grounded in rational pathogenesis. To assume that too many vaccines are the problem, one would have to assume that there is evidence that autism is immune mediated. No such credible evidence exists. Also, as has been pointed out by several of you who have commented on this blog, such a study would be unethical. That vaccine-preventable diseases occur and that vaccines prevent them is not a matter of debate–one cannot follow unvaccinated children prospectively in good conscience. So, the study could only be done retrospectively and would be fraught with bias, primarily differences in healthcare-seeking behavior. And even if performed and performed well, it would not end the debate. Because those who believe that vaccines are causing chronic diseases will never be swayed by data.

It seems to me that if autism advocacy groups gave a damn about children with autism they would demand that we give up the vaccines-cause-autism hypothesis and focus on the wealth of studies pointing to neuronal and developmental proteins expressed in utero or early in development. These studies provide the only reasonable road out of the darkness and into the light.

Comments

  1. #1 Ticktock
    October 3, 2008

    Your book gave me inspiration to take on Robert F. Kennedy Jr. after his lecture in Cincinnati. I think I held up well, despite the fact that I wasn’t in a position to debate him.

    http://skepticdad.wordpress.com/2008/10/02/skeptic-dad-vs-robert-f-kennedy-jr/

  2. #2 Dawn
    October 3, 2008

    Dr Offit: I haven’t read your other books on vaccines, and I don’t recall that this question was addressed in AFP.

    What is the financial impact of the diseases prevented by immunizations?

    For example:

    Child A is exposed to the measles. The public health department puts the family into quarantine, the way they used to do. Mommy, Daddy, visiting cousin, and Sibling B are all locked into the house for this quarantine because no one has been vaccinated in the family, nor do they have evidence (through antibody testing) of immunity.

    How long, especially if Child A develops the measles on the last day of the latent period, will this family be in quarantine? How much income will Mommy and Daddy lose because their sick pay is all used up (if, indeed, they get sick pay)? And then, what if Mommy/Daddy/cousin/sibling B get the measles? Potentially for how long might this family be quarantined into the house?

    My mother recalls that her second year of school, mumps then measles swept through the elementary school. The entire school, 1-6 grades, had so many sick children that the first report cards were sent out with annotations that no grades could be given because of the insufficiency of school days attended! (One day, my mother recalls, there were 2 children, out of a class of 30 children, in attendance).

  3. #3 Jennifer
    October 3, 2008

    Dr. Offit,

    I’d just like to make this point here, even though it’s not relevant to what you wrote today.

    In your book you offer the statistic about how autism rates were 1 in 10000 years ago. And then you properly point out that the 1 in 150 rate today is mainly due to better diagnosis and the broadening of the diagnostic criteria.

    The 1 in 10000 number is widely used, but is not scientifically based. Here’s a summary of the evidence, quoted from Mike Stanton’s blog: “When Lorna Wing surveyed the major epidemiological studies carried out between 1966 and 1992 she referred to two studies in Utah (Ritvo et al 1989) and North Dakota (Burd et al 1987) that found rates of 4 and 3.3 in 10,000 respectively for DSM III autism which use very similar criteria to Kanner�s criteria. She also mentioned a study by Treffert which found a prevalence of 3 in 10,000 in 1970 in Wisconsin. When I considered Wing�s survey in an earlier post I remarked upon the robust nature of the figures. Researchers who combined consistent epidemiological methods with Kanner�s diagnostic criteria found rates of between 4 and 5 in 10,000.”

    Pro-epidemic people love to cite the 1 in 10000 number because it makes autism sound really rare. If the real number is 4 in 10000, that’s only 1 in 2500, which doesn’t sound so frightening compared to 1 in 150.

    I hope that later editions of your book will correct this error.

  4. #4 David W.
    October 3, 2008

    I think it’s more complicated.

    Most ‘autism advocacy’ groups are clubs for parents of autistics who are more interested in drawing attention to their own plight than to the plight of their children. They don’t see it this way, and think that the groups are so that they can peddle their ‘cures’ and the like, rather than discussing what is actually works for autistics. They care about making their own lives more convenient more than they care about making the lives of their children convenient, but I don’t know if they see it this way. They might see it as ‘bettering’ their children, and so perhaps do care about their children, albeit in an irrational way.

    Most of ‘aut advo’ really doesn’t give a damn about autistic children. There are some exceptional people in it who do care, though. I’ve sent links to this Book Club to the ones I know. Hopefully they choose to join in the discussion.

    I can’t tell you how many aut advo meetings I went to at which I was the sole autistic on the agenda.

    Offit, again I thank you for compiling this information. I come from parents who don’t give a damn about autistic children. I sent my copy of your book to them.

  5. #5 David W.
    October 3, 2008

    Continuing comment #4….

    I am guilty of not caring about autistic children. When I was involved in it, I tended to be emotionally distant from the matter. I wasn’t passionate. I sometimes avoided confrontation with parents who were passionate, because I didn’t think the hassle to be worth the effort. I, like them, made their children into an inconvenience, and that was when they were trying to listen to an autistic who had offered insight about how they might better accommodate their children, albeit not their children. I often blamed their lack of effectively trying to help their children on their lack of applying intelligence to parenting, and I think it showed.

    Reading this book and this book club, I’m beginning to sense what an important part such subtle matters have played in the lack of effectiveness of aut advo.

    I think you’re right. Aut advo should, on the whole, begin to work towards what we once claimed to be working towards. Instead, they continue their pseudo-intellectual masturbation, as I did.

    Perhaps I will re-enter aut advo. It could use some revision. I encourage others to do the same, if they want to see any change. If anyone knows any resources I could use to help my writing style (my wife is currently helping me compose my posts, but says it’s atrocious), please tell me some. I’m trying to be colloquial yet effective, and am failing at it.

  6. #6 Do'C
    October 3, 2008

    It seems to me that if autism advocacy groups gave a damn about children with autism they would demand that we give up the vaccines-cause-autism hypothesis and focus on the wealth of studies pointing to neuronal and developmental proteins expressed in utero or early in development. These studies provide the only reasonable road out of the darkness and into the light.

    And underneath this comment lies a likely truth for most autistic people, as well as most parents of children with autism – groups like Safeminds, Generation Rescue, and A-Champ are not autism advocacy groups.

    Thank you for an interesting and informative book Dr. Offit. I especially appreciated that you began to introduce the idea (in several places in the book) that the media (television in particular) has an influential role, yet maintains apparent scientific credulity and an appetite for anecdote.

    One question for you: do you consider it important, and if so, what specifically do you think can, or should be, done to encourage the mainstream media to adopt a more skeptical and scientific view (seek to present reality-based fact vs. providing equal oppportunity for all perspectives regardless of merit)?

  7. #7 Kev
    October 3, 2008

    It seems to me that if autism advocacy groups gave a damn about children with autism they would demand that we give up the vaccines-cause-autism hypothesis and focus on the wealth of studies pointing to neuronal and developmental proteins expressed in utero or early in development.

    It would seem that way to me too Dr Offit. What does it say about their motives that they simply will not – in the face of all rational evidence – give their pet ideas up?

  8. #8 Brian Scott
    October 3, 2008

    Hi Paul Offit –

    To assume that too many vaccines are the problem, one would have to assume that there is evidence that autism is immune mediated.

    This is insane. Ms. McCarthy is expected to be wrong about nearly everything; the mainstream doctors are supposed to be right about nearly everything, or at least mostly right. There is a clear, absolutely undeniable immune component to the physiology of autism.

    “Macrophage migration inhibitory factor and autism spectrum disorders.” – Genetic analysis reveals associations between known polymorphisms to encoding for immune system regulator chemicals and diagnosis of autism. Plasma concentrations of the specific regulator correltates with autism severity.

    “Folate receptor autoimmunity and cerebral folate deficiency in low-functioning autism with neurological deficits” – Reduced folate transport across the blood brain barrier is attributed to folate receptor auto antibodies. Supplementation results in partial or complete clinical recovery.

    “Gene expression changes in children with autism” – Analysis of multiple subtypes of autism reveals differential expression of genes involved in natural killer cells.

    “Decreased transforming growth factor beta1 in autism: A potential link between immune dysregulation and impairment in clinical behavioral outcomes.” – Analysis of regulatory cytokines reveal significant decreases in autism cohort as compared to controls. There is a significant relationship between the level of decrease and worse behavioral symptoms.

    “Elevated cytokine levels in children with autism spectrum disorder.” – Children with autism are found to have inceased activation of the immune response, with a shift towards the arm frequently associated with auto immune disorders.

    “Increased prevalence of familial autoimmunity in probands with pervasive developmental disorders.” – Autoimmune disorders at a family level are associated with having children with pervasive deveopmental disorders.

    “Increased serum albumin, gamma globulin, immunoglobulin IgG, and IgG2 and IgG4 in autism” – Significant elevations in a vareity of immunoglobulins are found in autism when compared to controls.

    There are many, many more.

    This in itself does not prove that autism is caused by vaccines; but having the ‘expert’ on the vaccine / autism debate be so clearly inaccurate on the findings of autism gives Ms. McCarthy all the more credibility.

  9. #9 Kev
    October 3, 2008

    Brain, you’ve emboldened two studies there. I’m assuming you think this is due to them being particularly good examples of your point?

    Neither of these two studies discuss causation, although they do mention severity of symptoms.

    How does severity correlate to causation exactly?

  10. #10 Brian Scott
    October 3, 2008

    Hi Kev –

    Neither of these two studies discuss causation, although they do mention severity of symptoms.

    I could say exactly the same thing regarding any genetic analysis; except in the case of genetic study, there is no way to correlate with severtiy of autism symtpoms; so in a sense, we have even poorer evidence of causation. Does this mean we can say there is no genetic component to autism because there aren’t any studies that discuss causation? Of course not.

    How does severity correlate to causation exactly?

    The premise provided was that vaccines are not a proper avenue for analysis because we have no evidence that autism is immune mediated. Causation was not mentioned.

    In any situation, I’m not sure if you are aware of this, but with precious few exceptions; the cause of autism is not known. If it were, this discussion would be largely unnecessary. Given that, I’m not under any mandate to provide a cause of autism in order to prove that the statements provided by the OP are not only simple to falsify; but seemingly also show a very poor understanding of the state of autism research. Do you disagree? If so, how or why?

    If the premise were true, what explanation can we have for the observation that as abnormal immune metabolites fluctuate, so do symptoms of autism? This is a geniune question; do you have an ideas?

    If the immune system were not involved with increased risk of developing autism, why should parents with auto immune disorders have children with autism at an increased rate compared to parents without such disorders? Again, in all honestly, do you know why this might be the case?

    Brian

  11. #11 Joseph
    October 3, 2008

    I suppose Down Syndrome is also caused by vaccines then.

    “Pro-inflammatory cytokinemia is frequently found in Down syndrome patients with hematological disorders.” (Shimada et al., 2007)

    “Interferon-gamma- and interleukin-4-producing T cells in Down’s syndrome.” (Franciotta et al., 2006)

    We’d have to conclude most developmental disabilities and psychiatric disorders, including PTSD, are caused by vaccines.

  12. #12 bumblebrain
    October 3, 2008

    This might interest members here: NPR’s Science Friday today is hosting a conversation about people believing weird things and a possible correlation between that and the lack of control people feel over the situation in front of them. It looks relevant to me (not having heard the program yet) because parents must feel terribly helpless over their child’s development of autism and may be more prone to trying to find a correlation or a predictable pattern.

  13. #13 notmercury
    October 3, 2008

    Brian Scott Said:

    There is a clear, absolutely undeniable immune component to the physiology of autism.

    No doubt about it, there are quite a few differences in several immune related proteins and genes associated with autism. Is that clear evidence that autism is immune mediated? It’s possible but it’s also possible that immune disturbances are secondary or share an underlying cause. Can you say otherwise, Brian, and offer specific evidence that immune response causes autism?

    How are Dr. Offit’s statements “clearly inaccurate”?

  14. #14 Tracy
    October 3, 2008

    Joseph, you don’t appear to understand the chromosomal relationship associated with immune system malfunctioning in Down’s. In fact, that is the point: in Down’s, we know the cause of the abnormal immune system function and its precise location. In autism, we don’t. To deny that immune system abnormalities are not present in autism is as foolish as to deny them in Down’s; both are backed with substantial evidence.

    Mr. Offit,are you foolhardy enough to deny an immune system link to autism? (I guess you are) Checking the MMR and thimerosal for relation to autism is insufficient. My son received little thimerosal, and showed symptoms of autism before his MMR. It is however still plausible that the vaccines he received starting at 6 weeks of age(there were many) led to development of autism, possibly due to genetic susceptibility via immune system function. Cord blood has been shown to have differing cord blood markers, so clearly there is setup prior to birth. That itself does not imply pre-natal or genetic causation nor exonerate a role of vaccines.

    The vaccine link other than the MMR and thimerosal has not been rigorously examined. You want people to stop questioning vaccines? STUDY THE REST OF THEM. Trust me, I would LOVE to cross it off the list. Until then, my friend, it’s on. You can write 1000 books and it won’t change that fact, so why don’t you go work on something that actually contributes and furthers knowledge?

    Kev, the studies listed above by Brian are far more in number than two. There are seven study titles in quotation marks. He merely highlighted two sentences in bold type. Clearly you are unfamiliar with this material and may want to visit pubmed before you come back spouting ignorance. You might work on reading comprehension as well.

    The presumption that you all are on the side of science with a mountain of evidence is preposterous. I’m glad Offitt has written this book and it would be fitting if one day it is shown to be as silly as the book “Dow 30,000 by 2008-Why it’s different this time”. Continuing to say it does not make it so.

  15. #15 Brian Scott
    October 3, 2008

    Considering the complexity, and to some extent, still not well understood mechanisms of the immune system, the notion that two disorders may posses a similar set of clinical symptoms with different causes is not controversial. Unless you disagree, an analogy between Down’s Syndrome and autism with respect to increased cytokine levels is successful in a ‘Drill, Baby Drill!’ fashion, but ultimately an example of gross over simplification, intentional or otherwise.

    I have yet to argue or provide the assumption that vaccines are ‘the cause’ of autism; but rather; that the studies thus far are incomplete to answer the question if they increase risk of developmental disorders. You have made up a phantom argument, placed it in my mouth, and ask that I defend it. If this is incorrect, it should be simple to provide a quote.

    Brian

  16. #16 Brian Scott
    October 3, 2008

    Hi NotMercury –

    Is that clear evidence that autism is immune mediated? It’s possible but it’s also possible that immune disturbances are secondary or share an underlying cause. Can you say otherwise, Brian, and offer specific evidence that immune response causes autism?

    I love the circular logic being employed here. The question at hand is, what causes autism?, not what do we have direct evidence for as a cause of autism.

    If we are to follow this logic that because we have no specific direct evidence of what causes autism, we need not look for causes in any specific areas. If our starting point for analysis is having a definitive cause already established; what is the point in moving forward?

    If we really want to figure out where to look for a cause of autism, we need to look at the things going wrong in the physiology of those with autism. One area, quite clearly, is the immune system. Can someone, please tell me why this is not an important area of investigation? If it is not, why should we also fail to investigate a series of ever earlier and more aggressive stimulations to the immune system that seem to correlate with a seeming increase in autism?

    Perhaps my original statement was incorrect; but a re-analysis is no less damning; the notion that we have no proof of an auto immune cause, and therefore, have no reason to study immune stimulations is nothing more than doublespeak in order to avoid answering any actual questions.

    Brian

  17. #17 Ms. Clark
    October 3, 2008

    It’s one thing to say that autistic kids have different immune systems. It’s another to say that for a fact if these kids weren’t vaccinated they wouldn’t become autistic. That is patently stupid.

    What we know about autistic kids is that their brains are wired to be autistic from birth, that they may have a pre-programmed trajectory that will cause their brains to wire-up in a certain way around 18 months that for some may cause a regression.

    This is what we know is likely. How do you get from, “This kid has a normal brain at birth but a wonky immune system. He is exposed to billions of germs every minute from birth on some of which are getting into his bloodstream every minute since birth. This kid is exposed to “toxins” from conception on since everything on earth is a “toxin” at some dose, but the kid is managing to detox everything fine… until you add a microscopic amount of stuff that the kid is already being exposed to: “toxins” and “germs” (dead or weakened) and BINGO suddenly the kid’s immune system causes his brain to be totally rewired.”

    That’s stupid.

    Until someone shows how an immune response of any kind can specifically cause autism, not “brain damage” but autism, then it’s a ridiculous idea. Just like saying a rabbit crossing the path in front of a child causes him to become autistic. How?? What is the pathway that one goes from exposure to vaccines to autism? Not brain damage… autism!

    Autism is specific. Brain damage is not.

    If vaccines can cause autism, then why don’t they cause plain MR without autism in a child?

    They don’t. Vaccines can prevent encephalopathies. All you fans of encephalopathic causes of autism better start championing vaccines because every time you demonize vaccines you put kids in danger of dying and getting… brain damage!

    So stop it! Stop spreading these fears of vaccines causing autism. There is no reason to think that they ever could given what we know autism IS.

  18. #18 Joseph
    October 3, 2008

    in Down’s, we know the cause of the abnormal immune system function and its precise location. In autism, we don’t. To deny that immune system abnormalities are not present in autism is as foolish as to deny them in Down’s; both are backed with substantial evidence.

    You do? Fantastic. Immune system differences seem to exist in autism and Down’s. They also seem to exist in bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, PTSD, persons with high job stress, etc. Do you also know the cause of these? Is it reasonable to assume it might be vaccines?

    The presumption that you all are on the side of science with a mountain of evidence is preposterous.

    Why? It’s obvious that the biggest and better designed studies looking at a connection between vaccines and neurodevelopmental outcomes are the negative studies. This is undeniable.

    I’m glad Offitt has written this book and it would be fitting if one day it is shown to be as silly as the book “Dow 30,000 by 2008-Why it’s different this time”. Continuing to say it does not make it so.

    That would be a change. So far the predictions that turn out to be spectacularly silly are the ones by the likes of David Kirby, JB Handley, Dan Olmsted, Richard Deth, etc.

  19. #19 truth bot
    October 3, 2008

    I believe it was Dr. Offit (please correct me if I’m wrong) that said the older smallpox vaccine contained more viral antigens than all of the current scheduled vaccines combined. While there is evidence that levels of immunologic proteins are different in autistic groups studied, it seems a bit of a leap to say that vaccines are the cause of some sort of “immune system overload” leading to autoimmune disorders. Children certainly run into many immunologic challenges in the initial years of life, and underlying conditions could be exacerbated by any of these, not necessarily vaccines. Also, I would be curious to know if there is a general window in which autism seems to show symptoms. If so, is there any data on much older children or adults developing autism near later in life vaccinations, due to not having been vaccinated as young children?

  20. #20 Joseph
    October 3, 2008

    Also, if autism were in fact due to a poor immune response or something of the sort, wouldn’t vaccines be a huge protective factor against autism? What’s wrong with this observation?

    (After all, a child gets many more and more severe fevers naturally than from vaccines).

  21. #21 AtheistAcolyte
    October 3, 2008

    The claims I’m reading here seem to be that in autistic people, there are genetic bases for immune issues. This is used to somewhat tenuously claim that vaccines cause the immune issues which cause the autism.

    Perhaps a genetic basis for autism is also at play here, rather than an environmental factor? I would never presume to speak for Dr. Offit, but I think what he meant by immune-mediated was “caused by immune system issues”. For which there is no evidence. Perhaps there is evidence for correlation between autism and immune issues, but none that I’m aware of for immune issues, exacerbated by vaccines, causing autism.

  22. #22 AtheistAcolyte
    October 3, 2008

    Brian Scott:

    love the circular logic being employed here. The question at hand is, what causes autism?, not what do we have direct evidence for as a cause of autism.

    … Isn’t “What do we have direct evidence for as a cause of autism” a more formal statement of “What causes autism”?

    By the way, we do have direct evidence for genetics being a cause of autism.

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=Genetic+autism&hl=en&lr=&scoring=r&as_ylo=2003

  23. #23 AtheistAcolyte
    October 3, 2008

    Not to pile on, but Brian Scott again:

    If we are to follow this logic that because we have no specific direct evidence of what causes autism, we need not look for causes in any specific areas. If our starting point for analysis is having a definitive cause already established; what is the point in moving forward?

    This is inaccurate. The suggestion was made that vaccines cause autism. Studies were performed and vaccines were vindicated.

    But to take it further, if the chain of causation you suggest is vaccines => immunologic shock => autoimmune disorder => autism, then examining populations with lower-than-CDC-recommended vaccine schedules or no vaccines at all should show *significantly* lower autism rates.

    The UK has 1 in 100 as a best estimate for current prevalence rates. Has their vaccine schedule changed as drastically as the US’s?
    http://www.immunisation.nhs.uk/Immunisation_Schedule

    Japan’s autism rate is similar. Do they have as large an immunization schedule as the CDC?
    http://www.city.shinjuku.tokyo.jp/foreign/english/guide/fukushi/img/yobou.pdf

  24. #24 Ms. Clark
    October 3, 2008

    We have evidence that too much social/emotional/life stress negatively impacts the immunes system. We know that autistic kids react negatively to these stressors to some common stressors, maybe all of them, to greater degree than do typical kids. They make more cortisol and the cortisol hangs around longer in the autism spectrum kids once they are stressed.

    The place to start in looking at immune problems in autism is with stress, not with vaccines. It’s totally stupid to overlook an obvious possible cause in favor of an arcane one, unless one is mainly motivated to bash vaccines or in making up a case for a lawyer pursuing the (wealthy) manufacturer (not wealthy manufacturers are of no interest here) of some “toxic” substance.

    It’s “occam’s duct tape” all over. If it’s a problem of any sort blame vaccines. Epilepsy? It’s something in the vaccines. Mental retardation? Of course, vaccines. Dyslexia? Must be vaccines. Tourette’s? Vaccines, obviously. Hair loss? It’s the vaccines. Ingrown toenails? Vaccines. Divorce? Vaccines. Big ugly nose? Vaccines. Bad breath? Vaccines. Bad attitude? Vaccines. War? Vaccines. Poverty? Vaccines. Noisy neighbors? They’ve been vaccinated haven’t they? Global warming? Duh! It’s the vaccines!

    This is the mind set of many of the “open minded biomed parents.” They refuse to see that it actually might not be anything related to vaccines. Occam’s duct tape.

  25. #25 Kathryn
    October 3, 2008

    Because those who believe that vaccines are causing chronic diseases will never be swayed by data.

    Please, please, please do not dismiss the many reasonable, scientifically literate, concerned parents who WOULD be swayed by data. I would love to be swayed by data! I am asking for someone to refer me to data that I can sway me.

    My question is not meant to be facetious or contentious: in all seriousness, I am asking this group of experts what data exists to show that kids who adhere to the current recommended vaccine schedule have no greater risk of chronic illness (beyond autism!) than kids who are on a delayed schedule. I understand the ethical/methodologic difficulties with such a study – I’m just asking whether one exists and where I can find it. Thank you.

  26. #26 AtheistAcolyte
    October 3, 2008

    Kathryn:
    Short answer: I don’t think there is such a study, because as many have pointed out, it’s unethical.

    As a natural experiment substitute, you can look at the immunization schedules of other countries and see who has a less strenuous schedule, then look at chronic disease incidence. Or, look at countries with similarly intense schedules and see if they have less or more disease incidence.

  27. #27 HCN
    October 3, 2008

    Kathryn said “I am asking this group of experts what data exists to show that kids who adhere to the current recommended vaccine schedule have no greater risk of chronic illness (beyond autism!) than kids who are on a delayed schedule.”

    First off, most of us are just parents of kids who have been affected by this debate. Along with a seizure disorder that may have caused a communication disability, AND made him rely on herd immunity for pertussis as an infant (which did not exist because there was an epidemic in the county), he has a severe genetic heart condition where it is important for him to not get infections (he is kept fully vaccinated, and he did get the Tdap last year). We are not “experts”, but we do know how to get information, differentiate between good and bad information and how to use it.

    Since there are studies that show no greater risk of “chronic” disease in children who are vaccinated, why would it be worth the money to find the few children who are on a different vaccine schedule?

    By the way, if you want to find what has been studied go to http://www.pubmed.gov and put in the search terms of interest in the search window. Most times you will just get an abstract, but they often have the conclusions, and the full paper is often available at a real library (sometimes city, many times a university and usually at a medical school library). Like this on the proposed association of vaccines to diabetes (which is a chronic disease, you can use whatever other chronic condition in your searches):
    N Engl J Med. 2004 Apr 1;350(14):1398-404.
    Childhood vaccination and type 1 diabetes…. CONCLUSIONS: These results do not support a causal relation between childhood vaccination and type 1 diabetes.”

    Many times the abstracts on PubMed have a link to a free copy of the full paper, like this one (you just have to look at an ad first):
    http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/159/12/1136

    To help you with evaluating the results from PubMed, I recommend you read Dr. Offit’s explanation of the types of studies and why certain ones are better than others in Chapter 6, “Mercury Falling”.

  28. #28 Ms. Clark
    October 3, 2008

    It’s not right to call the current US schedule more “strenous”. How strenuous was it before when more kids were getting meningitis? I’d say that’s pretty strenuous for the kids, the parents, the hospital staff… the mortuaries, the grave diggers. Seriously. The current schedule only looks “heavy” or whatever in comparison to a time when there were no vaccines for Hib or chickenpox. It’s strenuous for a parent who is barely hanging on financially to have a kid come down with chickenpox… and then another kid, and maybe another and another kid. Think you can send them all to daycare while you go to work? I don’t think so.

    How strenuous is it to care for a baby who has a rotavirus infection. Julia Berle found it was really strenuous, from what she said in her testimony about “coconut kefir” that “anonymous” posted to this blog.

    Mow strenuous is it for a baby to get measles, mumps, rubella and whooping cough? Really strenuous.

    I realize you weren’t meaning to bash the vaccine schedule, but our perception of all those shots shouldn’t be that they are “extreme”. Leaving the baby open to those diseases is really heartless and “extreme” considering that unless you and your child live like the unibomber did in a shack in the woods in Montana, you never know when you will meet someone who is carrying polio (because they just got off the plane from another country, for instance.)

    Polio is another strenuous disease preventable by vaccine.

  29. #29 desiree
    October 3, 2008

    how did vaccines come to be such a scapegoat? maybe if the root cause of all of this unease surrounding vaccines could be identified an addressed, much of the paranoia could go away.

    my first thought was that it was just the pain of the injections that made parents uncomfortable (i mean, no one likes it when their kids cry during the shots. i sure don’t). but i brought that up with a heading down the anti-vax path friend, and she said she didn’t care about that at all. what is it??

  30. #30 kristina
    October 3, 2008

    @truthbot,

    You wrote

    I believe it was Dr. Offit (please correct me if I’m wrong) that said the older smallpox vaccine contained more viral antigens than all of the current scheduled vaccines combined

    Yes, p. 45:

    Indeed, children confronted more immunologic challenges by receiving only the smallpox vaccine 100 years ago than they do while receiving 14 diferent vaccines today (200 versus 153).

  31. #31 Do'C
    October 4, 2008

    how did vaccines come to be such a scapegoat? maybe if the root cause of all of this unease surrounding vaccines could be identified an addressed, much of the paranoia could go away.

    Hi Desiree,

    I think this has largely to do with many people just not dealing well with uncertainty in general. Holding a belief about something that currently lacks scientific explantion provides certainty. If there’s something characteristic about vaccine etiology of autism believers, it is that they are certain. Even science only provides provisional certainty. It’s an emotional vs. a logical position.

    If this is a root cause, how could it be addressed?

  32. #32 AtheistAcolyte
    October 4, 2008

    Ms. Clark-

    I apologize for my poor wording. I didn’t mean it that way, but I can see your point. I meant to look at other nations with not as many vaccines in their schedule and decent healthcare reporting sources.

  33. #33 Ed
    October 4, 2008

    In regard to this:

    “It seems to me that if autism advocacy groups gave a damn about children with autism they would demand that we give up the vaccines-cause-autism hypothesis and focus on the wealth of studies pointing to neuronal and developmental proteins expressed in utero or early in development. These studies provide the only reasonable road out of the darkness and into the light.”

    I also wish that the pro-vax advocacy groups would give up the vaccines-do-not-cause-autism stand. It too is toxic for finding what can be done medically about autism.

    For example, glutathione levels in autistics hav been known to be low since the acetaminophen measurements done by Dr. Rosemary Waring in England. But, mercury also causes low levels of glutathione – can’t look at that.

    The reason why the MMR studies caused the controversy that they did was because they showed measles in the gut flora and in the spinal fluid of autistics. What should be taken from this is that the blood brain and the blood gut barriers have been compromised. This conclusion is supported by the measurements of peptides in the blood – can’t look at that, it would tie autism to the MMR.

    Is this the “cause” of autism? Probably not. Does it contribute to the symptoms? Probably. It is an avenue of attack that will likely never be taken by any government related research because it comes too close to the MMR controversy.

    My point is that if there is to be any medical improvements for autism both sides have got to quit spending their energy trying to be right.

  34. #34 Chris H.
    October 4, 2008

    Ed said “The reason why the MMR studies caused the controversy that they did was because they showed measles in the gut flora and in the spinal fluid of autistics.”

    No they did NOT. If you had read the book you would know that there were false positives, and that Wakefield was told they were false positives. Read Chapter 8, “Science in Court” pages 173 to 175.

    Here is a quote from page 174 “Nicholas Chadwick testified that Andrew Wakefield had only ignored data that disproved his contention, but he had also knowingly falsified them. If true, this revelation showed Wakefield had crossed the line from ill-conceived, poorly performed science to fraud”.

    Now, again, I say… this is a book discussion that presumes you have actually read the book. If you had read the book you would not have presented such false statements.

    As for your wish that “I also wish that the pro-vax advocacy groups would give up the vaccines-do-not-cause-autism stand. It too is toxic for finding what can be done medically about autism.”

    The actual medical scientific evidence points AWAY from vaccines causing autism. If you have evidence contrary to that presented in the book, please present it. Point us to exactly where Wakefield’s studies have been replicated (see pages 165, 167 and 172), show us what evidence counters the studies mentioned between pages 106 and 109.

  35. #35 Maggy
    October 4, 2008

    You have one big problem Pauly. Here is what you are defending; take a multi-dose vaccines vial which contains 50,000 ug/l of a short-chain alkyl mercury compound, draw up 500 ul of this solution and inject it into a baby. Ask any toxicologist what he thinks of this practice. You and your lapdogs can spin it anyway you want. You’re a whore of the worst kind! And Chris H., the most recent CDC MMR fudge study confirms one thing, that the work at O’learys lab was identical to the 2 labs used in the U.S. The claim that Wakefield’s results were false positives have now been undeniably refuted.

  36. #36 Ed
    October 4, 2008

    Thanks, Chris.

    You presented the case of toxicity on the pro-vax side well. You completely missed the point of the argument and by doing so you support it.

    The point being made is that the pro-vax view point, just as the anti-vax viewpoint has been so noxious that anything that might be helpful is ignored if it might be linked to anything the other side says.

    You are not alone in this. I see the anti-vax side saying that there is nothing genetic about autism. This, too, is absurd.

    Please note for future reference that I am not trying to take an anti-vax stand here. I know what vaccines do for our children and I do not wish to discontinue them. On the other hand, I do not believe that vaccines cause no harm. This is a pro-vax site. Anything I say that contradicts the mantra will sound anti-vax.

    BTW, my point about the MMR vaccine was the controversy and how that will prevent anything related to barrier leakage from being researched. Wakefield’s mistakes are not relevant to this point.

  37. #37 Chris H.
    October 4, 2008

    Maggy said “the most recent CDC MMR fudge study confirms one thing, that the work at O’learys lab was identical to the 2 labs used in the U.S. The claim that Wakefield’s results were false positives have now been undeniably refuted.”

    Wrong, it means that O’Leary’s lab cleaned up its act. And that paper shows that the opposite conclusion of Wakefields.

    The description on the page I used was not done in that lab. On page 173 it says “But Wakefield’s first paper — the one published in the Lancet that starte the controversy — wasn’t based on tests performed by Unigenetics. Rather, Wakefield’s Lancet paper was based on tests performed in his own laboratory.”

    Really, read the book.

    Though the testimony that is quoted is at page 2284 (page 8 of the pdf file) of:
    ftp://autism.uscfc.uscourts.gov/autism/cedillo/transcripts/day10.pdf

  38. #38 Chris H.
    October 4, 2008

    Ed said “On the other hand, I do not believe that vaccines cause no harm. This is a pro-vax site. Anything I say that contradicts the mantra will sound anti-vax.”

    That is very very wrong. There is no such thing as 100% certainty. No one who has read the book and understands it would claim that there is “no harm”. You are showing the basic misunderstanding of statistics. Read pages 208 to 109.

    You continue with “BTW, my point about the MMR vaccine was the controversy and how that will prevent anything related to barrier leakage from being researched.”

    My question to you is (since I have also read Offit’s biography of Maurice Hilleman) is this: The MMR vaccine has been around and used in the USA since 1971. Why is there a controversy starting almost three decades after that?

    Again, it really helps if you read the book.

  39. #39 Chris H.
    October 4, 2008

    Sorry, typo… read pages 208 to 209 (though please read the whole book, is that too much to ask?)

  40. #40 Ed
    October 4, 2008

    Chris H,

    My point was that anything that might help will get ignored if it can be tied back to something the other side says.

    You have reiterated my point because I can see nothing in your post that says it came through.

  41. #41 Ms. Clark
    October 4, 2008

    No Maggy, Jenny McDimwit is who you were thinking of when you wrote about a whore of the worst kind.

    Here’s the comment about McYeasty on Kristina’s blog:

    “The [May 2007]edition of LA Parent that featured Jenny also featured an article on Gardasil. She’s on the cover looking like Rosie the Riveter with her forearm up in the air, making a bicep muscle pop-out. The article isn’t online anywhere. I aske LA Parent if they could send me a pdf and instead they sent me the magazine, which was very kind of them.

    I have been transcribing bits of the article since I don’t have a way to scan it and OCR it. The box in the article says, “Jenny Goes Indigo,” here’s what it says, “The indigo child concept (www.indigochild.com) is a popular movement that has gained momentum since 2005. The term was originated in the 1970’s by San Diego parapsychologist Nancy Ann Tappe, who classified people by their auras. Tappe classifed children with deep-blue (indigo) auras as highly intuitive, self-reliant, energetic, gifted, compassionate to other living creatures, and reactionary to anything they perceived to be unfair (rules, discipline, authority).
    Often children described as indigo are hypersensitive to foods and chemicals and also have been diagnosed with forms of autism, ADD, ADHD and other social-emotional disorders. McCarthy has become an advocate for the movement as a way to help moms and children understand and learn how to support what many call “spirited” children.

    You can learn more about her views on her website, Indigo Moms with Jenny McCarthy (www.indigomoms.com), which features a community for moms to share their parenting experiences and find additional resources.”

    The resources that were on Jenny’s indigomoms.com website (that she say she is bringing back) were “angel therapy” and links to sellers of gemstone and mineral necklaces to be used for crystal therapy. Jenny was promoting some kind of new age machine from the site… a cosmic healing clock or something, part of the proceeds from the sales were to go to her so she could build all organic schools that would serve all organic food, etc.

    That was all going on while she was writing, “Louder than Words” which next to nothing in it about indigo moms or about her son being a crystal. I understand there’s one reference to “crystal” meaning “autistic.” But nothing about how these “crystal autistic” kids are a gift from the other world and are psychic because they are all tied in together in one community consciousness.

    Jenny’s angry mob representative, Janell, should go yell at Jenny from promoting autism as something wonderful, to be accepted, not just that, but treasured and bragged about, and as a fabulous gift from some great spirit “source” out there, instead of the worst curse imaginable invented by Eli Lilly in 1930 to destroy humanity as we know it.”

  42. #42 Ms. Clark
    October 4, 2008

    I meant, “here’s a comment about McYeasty I just made to Kristina’s blog”

  43. #43 Maggy
    October 4, 2008

    Ms. Clark, the issue is the injection of infants with large quantities of a short chain alkyl mercury compound. Stay on topic. This is the issue that non of the spin doctors like Offit want to talk about. Why is this? Why do they keep going back to “all of the studies [done by the perpetrators] show no link between vaccines and autism”. The term autism is just a distraction. Now what is more scientific, the 30,000+ published, peer-reviewed papers which identifie mercury as a potent neurotoxin or epidemiological (stats) studies done by the perpetrators of this dispicable, greedy, cowardly act?

  44. #44 Joseph
    October 4, 2008

    Ms. Clark, the issue is the injection of infants with large quantities of a short chain alkyl mercury compound.

    Maggy, what is the basis for saying that there were large quantities of mercury in vaccines? Large compared to what?

    Spare us the concentration sleight of hand, though. We’re not scientifically illiterate here. The concentration is not what matters. The dose is what matters. You can increase the concentration arbitrarily by simply reducing the amount of fluid.

  45. #45 Joseph
    October 4, 2008

    Now what is more scientific, the 30,000+ published, peer-reviewed papers which identifie mercury as a potent neurotoxin or epidemiological (stats) studies done by the perpetrators of this dispicable, greedy, cowardly act?

    That’s a nonsense argument, BTW. The fact that mercury is a neurotoxin is not a fact in dispute. It tells us nothing about the association between mercury in vaccines and neurological outcomes. If you didn’t realize this, you’re out of your depth here. If you did, you’re being disingenuous, Maggy.

    If we were to take your argument at face value, then tuna sandwiches should be banned on the basis that you’re poisoning yourself when you eat one. Additionally, you shouldn’t be using computers, because they emit electromagnetic radiation and everyone knows radiation is toxic to humans.

  46. #46 Ms. Clark
    October 4, 2008

    Maggy,

    You changed the topic from Dr. Offit’s book to “whores.” I just continued on that topic, correcting you as to what you must have meant to say. Jenny is a “whore-ier” mother than most.

    I’m just all scared now about short chain alkyl mercury thingies…

    gasp. gasp!!! no wait.. GASP!!!!!!

    How many molecules of mercury did I just inhale? It was just room air, but I bet someone could find a molecule or two in every breath we take. And it’s in water and … get this… even though the evil, evil, evil corn syrup manufacturers of America say that corn syrup is no worse than sugar (they don’t hint that they know it causes autism)… Dr. Isaac Pessah, of UC Davis, told a gathered parent group in the Bay Area that a corn syrup guy told him that there was loads of mercury in …. CORN SYRU!P
    !!

    !111!!!!! AAAAIIIEEEE!!!!! SAVE THE BABIES!!!

    and how much mercury is in each genisoy snack bar (profits of which go to support JB Handley)??? .5 micrograms (apparently according to one lab test)!!!!!!!! AIIIEEEE!!!!! Save the mommies!!!!!! Does the FDA not check the mercury content of Genisoy bars!!!! Oh the humanity!!!
    They should come with a warning or something. No telling how much TOXIC aluminum in them thangs!!!! And soy has all those bad hormone thingys that make babies grow breast buds if they are fed soy formula!!! Which contains mercury too!!!! AAAAIIIEEEE!!!!!! HE’P HE’P WEEZ DYIN’ HERE!!!! WEEZ ALL TOXIC AND SOME JUNK!!!! :-D Sorry. I should be more serious about this.

  47. #47 Do'C
    October 4, 2008

    “The term autism is just a distraction.”

    Wow, right out of JB Handley’s playbook.

  48. #48 Dedj
    October 4, 2008

    Personally, I can’t see why anyone whould want to humour cranks like maggy.

    If a person can’t see the difference between studying what potential effects a substance could possibly have, and studying the impact of the actual real-world dosage on real-world outcomes, then the refinement of thinking required to understand this book and this arguement is simply beyond them, and has historically been shown among anti-vaxxers to likely to be so for the foreseeable future.

    People like maggy are a worthless waste of text. This will be my last mention of her. I suggest it be the last one on here by anyone.

  49. #49 Maggy
    October 5, 2008

    O.K. you little lapdogs, I’ll try this again. Tomorrow when you get a minute (which shouldn’t be to hard since non of you seem to have a real job), call your nearest university and ask to speak with an expert on mercury. Then ask them this question; Hi, I have a solution that contains 50,000 ug/l of organic mercury. I would like to inject my infant 11 times with 500 ul of this solution which also contains over 500 ug of aluminum. Let me know what they say. Or better yet, let me know if they call the authorities! You might want to say that actually, my doctor wants to do this.

  50. #50 Joseph
    October 5, 2008

    O.K. you little lapdogs, I’ll try this again. Tomorrow when you get a minute (which shouldn’t be to hard since non of you seem to have a real job)

    If you had a valid argument, I don’t think you’d need ad-hominem and innuendo, Maggy.

    call your nearest university and ask to speak with an expert on mercury. Then ask them this question; Hi, I have a solution that contains 50,000 ug/l of organic mercury. I would like to inject my infant 11 times with 500 ul of this solution which also contains over 500 ug of aluminum.

    Why try to confuse the guy with concentrations, when you could just do the calculation, and say, “I have a solution that contains 25 ug of organic mercury. This is about the equilvalent of environmental mercury contained in one tuna sandwich. What would happen if you inject infants with this at different times over a period of a few years?”

    And of course, if the toxicologist is familar with recent scientific literature, he or she would give the right answer: “Nothing.”

    Do you advocate banning seafood, Maggy? After all, 30,000+ published, peer-reviewed papers identify mercury as a potent neurotoxin; or are you some kind of “mercury defender?”

  51. #51 Maggy
    October 5, 2008

    Let’s see, bound mercury in fish eaten by adults vs. direct injection of unbound mercury into a baby where it goes right into the bloodstream. Let’s take a 10 lb. baby and compare this to a 200 lb. adult. For starters the adult would have to eat 20 cans of tuna to correct for weight difference (200/10). Next, only about 10% of the mercury in fish makes it through the adult digestive system and into the bloodstream so we’re up to 200 cans of tuna (20/0.1). Next, mercury is at least 100 times more toxic to the developing brain so we’re up to 20,000 cans of tuna (200X100). Now this is a fair comparsion Joeseph.

  52. #52 Kristjan Wager
    October 5, 2008

    Maggy, we are not ignorant here, we know that there are different kinds of mercury, and the type of mercury used in vaccinations are not the type of mercury usually associated with mercury poisoning.

    We also know that the symptoms of mercury poisoning and autism are very different.

    On top of that, we are aware that thimerosal, which is the component containing mercury, is not used in childhood vaccinations any more. Influenza vaccinations can contain some, but those are not part of the normal vaccination procedure.

    So, all in all, we realize that the focus on vaccinations as a cause of autism takes resources away from real autism research. It doesn’t mean that it wasn’t worthwhile to look into the possibility in the past, but since we have realized a long time ago that there is no such link, the money is better spent on different venues.

  53. #53 Dedj
    October 5, 2008

    Maggy, I know I said you were a waste of text and that no-one here should reply to your crack-pottery, but those last two posts of yours were just a pure embarassment to read.

    Your maths are unrealistic with little real-world application, you have clearly demonstrated that you don’t know the first thing about the different mercury compounds invloved, nor do you demonstrate any knowledge on how vaccines are delivered, or even when they are delivered. Lastly, you make unreferenced assertions to mercury and the developing brain, again showing your ignorance of the different compounds.

    A total waste of two posts. Don’t waste any more.

  54. #54 Do'C
    October 5, 2008

    On top of that, we are aware that thimerosal, which is the component containing mercury, is not used in childhood vaccinations any more. Influenza vaccinations can contain some, but those are not part of the normal vaccination procedure.

    Hi Kristjan, good to see you. In the interest of clarification, flu vaccination is recommended as part of regular vaccination for children in the U.S. This doesn’t change the fact that, children’s vaccines (including flu shots) are virtually thimerosal-free.

    Vaccination for Children
    Influenza vaccination is recommended for all children aged 6 months up to their 19th birthday. The recommendation to vaccinate children 6 months up to their 5th birthday has been in place since 2006. These children should all be vaccinated annually. In 2008, ACIP added children 5 years up to their 19th birthday and recommended that vaccination of these children begin before or during the 2008-09 influenza season if feasible, but no later than the 2009-10 influenza season.

    Source

    Will the supply of thimerosal-free and preservative-free (trace thimerosal) influenza vaccine be adequate for the recommended pediatric priority groups (ages 6-59 months) during the 2008-09 season?
    For the 2008-09 season, there is one product licensed for 6-23 month old children (the product is thimerosal-free). For children between the ages of 2 and 5 years of age, there are three products available that are thimerosal-free (sanofi’s Fluzone; MedImmune’s FluMist) or preservative-free (trace thimerosal- [Novartis's Fluvirin]). Specific information about these products and other influenza vaccines can be found in the Table: Influenza Vaccine Manufacturers for the 2008-09 Influenza Season. Given the uptake of influenza vaccine among children less than 5 years of age, and the anticipated increase in vaccination coverage for this season, CDC projects that the vaccine supply for this age group will be adequate to meet demand.

    Source

  55. #55 Kristjan Wager
    October 5, 2008

    Hey Do’C. I don’t participate much in the autism debates these days, as I get tired of arguing with the same people, but I still follow the debates.

    Anyway, thanks for the correction. Flu vaccination is not very common in Denmark, and is generally only given to the elderly, and from what I’ve read, this hold generally true in all of Europe, so my remark on the flu vaccination might not be entirely correct in the US, but on a more global level it appears correct.

    And as we all know, the autism rates going up, is not just a US phenomenon.

  56. #56 Joseph
    October 5, 2008

    For starters the adult would have to eat 20 cans of tuna to correct for weight difference (200/10). Next, only about 10% of the mercury in fish makes it through the adult digestive system and into the bloodstream so we’re up to 200 cans of tuna (20/0.1). Next, mercury is at least 100 times more toxic to the developing brain so we’re up to 20,000 cans of tuna (200X100). Now this is a fair comparsion Joeseph.

    I didn’t say a can of tuna. I said a tuna sandwich. So you’re really talking about 20 tuna sandwiches for a 200 pound adult. It would be more like 6 tuna sandwiches if we’re talking about an 8 year-old child. I’ve known adults (in college) who eat one or two tuna sandwiches a day for years.

    Now, is there an original source for this claim to the effect that mercury is 100 times more toxic to infants than adults, or is it completely made up?

    Is there evidence that injection of mercury is more toxic than ingestion of mercury, as you claim? Or is that, again, a baseless claim?

    In any case, Maggy, it’s good to see that you’re tacitly admitting there are levels of mercury which may be considered safe (e.g. those in seafood — the seafood industry is not “perpetrating” a crime is your view I would think). So it’s not as simple as pointing out that 30,000+ peer-reviewed studies have found mercury to be a potent neurotoxin.

  57. #57 Joseph
    October 5, 2008

    BTW, instead of carrying out the silly exercise Maggy was proposing (her attempt at an argument from authority), we could just quote the sworn testimony of one of the top toxicologists in the world, Dr. Brent, at the OAP. (I’m copy pasting from Autism Diva).

    Q. I want to move on to your opinions today. Do you have an opinion whether Michelle Cedillo’s autism is causally related to the receipt of thimerosal-containing vaccines in conjunction with an MMR vaccine?

    A. Yes, I do have an opinion about that.

    Q. What is that?

    A. Well, I’ve looked at the medical records quite extensively. I’ve reviewed the literature in a great deal of detail, and I think it’s clear there’s no relationship between thimerosal administration and the development of autism or ASD.

    Q. And do you have an opinion whether it is more likely than not that the thimerosal-containing vaccines that Michelle Cedillo received caused an immune suppression that was ongoing at the time she received her MMR vaccine?

    A. There’s absolutely no evidence that I saw that would suggest that thimerosal in the doses administered in vaccines would cause immunosuppression (2309).

    And later:

    I know there’s been discussion about dose here earlier. I was here for some of that discussion. I think there may have been some confusion about the importance of dose so I’d like to just say a couple of words about this.

    You know, this concept really goes back to Paracelsus and the famous saying, “Poison is everything. Nothing is without poison.” The dosage makes it either a poison or a remedy. He was actually talking about mercury compound at the time.

    SPECIAL MASTER HASTINGS: We’re on Slide 19 now. Go ahead.

    THE WITNESS: And as you see here on Slide 20, the bottom line we take from Paracelsus and is still quoted in every toxicology textbook today as a fundamental principle is that there is no such thing as a poisonous substance. There are only poisonous doses.

    There is no substance that at low enough doses will not hurt you, and there is no substance that at high enough doses can be toxic. Water. I’ve had patients die from water, from drinking too much water. Psychogenic polydipsia it’s called.

  58. #58 Maggy
    October 6, 2008

    Dr. Brent! Are you joking. He’s nothing but an ignorant, well-paid, pharma whore. Answer me this Joeseph, why were Dr. Magos and Dr. Clarksons expert reports and testimony withdrawn by the respondants? This is after they completed/submitted their reports. I’ll tell you why, because they were unwilling to lie like Fombonner, Brent and the other greedy, arogant SOB’s. There reports would have supported the petitionaires argument so they were thrown out even after they recieved substantial payments from (you guessed it) the U.S. taxpayors.

  59. #59 Diane
    October 6, 2008

    Maggy, what’s your point? Have you read AFP? If you have, then you’ll remember the victims of the massive mercury poisoning at Minamata Bay in Japan.

    “…fish began to float in the bay…cats started jumping into the sea and dying…seagulls fell from the sky…people began to suffer unexplained numbness in their hands and feet, muscle weakness, and a narrowing of their field of vision…” it goes on: “by 2001, mercury had poisoned 3,000 Japanese citizens and killed 600.”

    But no difference in autism rates.

  60. #60 Maggy
    October 6, 2008

    By 2008 mercury has destroyed the lives of over 10 million U.S. children. Unfortunatley, they are instead being diagnosed (by psychiatrists) as Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADHD, Bi-Polar, childhood depression, etc…..What happened in Japan is accute poisoning. What happened here is chronic poisoning. You can’t compare historical events because this is the first time we injected infants with ethylmercuric chloride (thimerosal), a banned seed fungacide. I can guarantee you one thing, there will never be an identifiable cause of autism. There is too much money and arragonce at stake.

  61. #61 Chris H.
    October 6, 2008

    Diane said “Maggy, what’s your point? Have you read AFP?”

    It is obvious that she has not read the book.

  62. #62 Dedj
    October 6, 2008

    Maggy wrote :

    “What happened here is chronic poisoning”

    Wrong. The claim of your side is that infants are getting repeated huge doses through injection. To get all your dose in one is as acute as you can get.

    You can’t just turn around and refuse to accept an arguement you used earlier just because you don’t want to lose face.

    Pick an arguement and stick with it.

  63. #63 AmandaM
    October 6, 2008

    “He’s nothing but an ignorant, well-paid, pharma whore.”

    Couldn’t the same be argued about Wakefield? Although he doesn’t seem “ignorant,” replace “pharma” with “lawyers representing multi-million dollar lawsuits” and that seems to be a pretty accurate description.

    Something that I’m still not clear on is what exactly is the connection (or how are they related) between autism, vaccinations, and gastro-intestinal problems?

  64. #64 Joseph
    October 6, 2008

    Dr. Brent! Are you joking. He’s nothing but an ignorant, well-paid, pharma whore.

    Maggy, is that your counter to every individual who has a different point of view than yours? I bet.

    You just accuse people of wrong doing, without having one shred of evidence of said wrong doing.

    Fombonne – a perpetrator. The MIND Institute – perpetrators. The IOM scientists vetted for conflicts of interest – perpetrators. The CDC – perpetrators, of course. Schechter & Grether of the California Department of Public Health – perpetrators. The Danish – big perpetrators.

    By 2008 mercury has destroyed the lives of over 10 million U.S. children.

    Again, you just throw completely unsubstantiated claims around – serious accusations – and you expect people to just accept them.

    The NIH has tens of thousands of employees. The pharma companies have hundreds of thousands, which must obviously include many parents and grandparents. Tell us one thing, Maggy. After 10 years of this huge cover-up, where are the whistleblowers?

  65. #65 Maggy
    October 6, 2008

    Over 7 million kids on ritalin/adderall/stratera for ADHD, over 1 million on 30 different bi-polar drug combos, at least 1 million ASD and how many more with no official psychiatric label but definite learning disability. I don’t think 10 million is a reach at all Joseph. It’s pretty conservative. If you want verification of the numbers go to the pbs website “Frontline” and watch the “Drugging Of Our Children” segment.

  66. #66 Dedj
    October 6, 2008

    Learn to read maggy. Joseph was questioning the unsubstantiated assertion that these people were mercury damaged. Merely pointing out that they exist does nothing to further your cause at all.

    Calling thier (our) lifes ‘destroyed’ does nothing but make you look uninformed and callous.

  67. #67 Joseph
    October 6, 2008

    Next thing you know, huge class-action lawsuit, brought by lawyers on behalf of children who are below average, or roughly 30 million children in the US.

    How can the CDC allow this epidemic of children who are below average? The prevalence of this condition is hitting just about 50% at this point.

  68. #68 Penelope
    October 6, 2008

    When’s the real “false profit”, yea you Pauly, gonna explain why you defend the injection of babies with organic mercury. You keep refering to the amount as insignificant yet we all know what the real concentration of mercury in the vaccines vials is. Now, who really believes that injecting babies with a mercury solution at levels 250 times higher than what the EPA classifies as hazardous waste is safe? Come on Offit, speak up!

  69. #69 Chris H.
    October 6, 2008

    Penelope said “Now, who really believes that injecting babies with a mercury solution at levels 250 times higher than what the EPA classifies as hazardous waste is safe?”

    And yet another person who has not read the book. The answers to your question is Chapter 4, “A Precautionary Tale”, starting on page 60. Also, tell us many micrograms of methylmercury is expected from six months of breastfeeding (answer on page 114).

  70. #70 Joseph
    October 7, 2008

    That talking point Penelope cites is one that just doesn’t go away. I think people are impressed by it, even though they haven’t thought through it. That particular EPA guideline is applicable to water you find in the environment.

    For example, if you find a pond with 200 ppb mercury, that’s bad. Very bad. Even if you find a bucket of water with 200 ppb mercury, that’s bad. Let’s say the bucket has 15 liters of water. That’s 15 Kg or 15,000,000,000 micrograms. At 200 ppb, it would contain 3 milligrams of mercury. That amount could already make someone sick.

    But let’s say you find 1 cc (1 gram) of water with 200 ppb mercury. It would only contain 0.2 micrograms of mercury. It’s completely safe to ingest that “hazardous waste.”

  71. #71 Kibarlı
    December 8, 2010

    Dr. Brent! Are you joking. He’s nothing but an ignorant, well-paid, pharma whore.
    Maggy, is that your counter to every individual who has a different point of view than yours? I bet.

    You just accuse people of wrong doing, without having one shred of evidence of said wrong doing.

    Fombonne – a perpetrator. The MIND Institute – perpetrators. The IOM scientists vetted for conflicts of interest – perpetrators. The CDC – perpetrators, of course. Schechter & Grether of the California Department of Public Health – perpetrators. The Danish – big perpetrators.

    By 2008 mercury has destroyed the lives of over 10 million U.S. children.

  72. #72 orjin krem
    December 9, 2010

    Maggy, I know I said you were a waste of text and that no-one here should reply to your crack-pottery, but those last two posts of yours were just a pure embarassment to read.

    Your maths are unrealistic with little real-world application, you have clearly demonstrated that you don’t know the first thing about the different mercury compounds invloved, nor do you demonstrate any knowledge on how vaccines are delivered, or even when they are delivered. Lastly, you make unreferenced assertions to mercury and the developing brain, again showing your ignorance of the different compounds.

    A total waste of two posts. Don’t waste any more.

  73. #73 düzce haber
    December 15, 2010

    You have one big problem Pauly. Here is what you are defending; take a multi-dose vaccines vial which contains 50,000 ug/l of a short-chain alkyl mercury compound, draw up 500 ul of this solution and inject it into a baby. Ask any toxicologist what he thinks of this practice. You and your lapdogs can spin it anyway you want. You’re a whore of the worst kind! And Chris H., the most recent CDC MMR fudge study confirms one thing, that the work at O’learys lab was identical to the 2 labs used in the U.S. The claim that Wakefield’s results were false positives have now been undeniably refuted…

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