Open letter to Jenny McCarthy

Dear Jenny,

Jenny, Jenny, Jenny. Oh, Jenny. Look, I realize I might have been somewhat less than kind in the past, but I’m hoping you haven’t written me off. I’ve been told you catch a lot more flies with honey than with vinegar, so please take this letter in the spirit it was intended—corrective, constructive, and condescending.

I have it on good authority that you are planning on leading a “March on Washington” tomorrow. That’s a really interesting idea. Many groups have marched on Washington—the Bonus Army, Dr. Martin Luther King, anti-abortion groups, pro-choice groups, a Million Black Men—all to help bring attention to their causes. It is only natural (or should I say “green”) that you would wish to do the same. Other groups that have made the march have had pretty clear goals, whether they be veterans’ benefits, racial equality, or other political causes. I was wondering precisely what your goal is?

According to the website, the goal is “to give everyone who loves a child with Autism (sic) a day for their voices to be heard.” That being sufficiently vague, the website also states that you wish to:

…[d]emand [that] Congress take action to Green Our Vaccine Supply (sic) while reassessing our current vaccine schedule. Ask Congress to reenact legislation that would eliminate mercury and other toxins from our children’s vaccines, study the instance of Autism (sic) and other neurological disorders in vaccinated versus unvaccinated children, and to extend the statute of limitations to allow all children affected by vaccine induced Autism (sic) to file in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP).

I can understand racial equality and other socio-political causes, but I’m a little confused about your goals. The whole “giving a voice” thing seems rather devoid of actual content, so lets move on to your other statement.

[d]emand [that] Congress take action to Green Our Vaccine Supply (sic) while reassessing our current vaccine schedule.

First, I’m not sure what Congress has to do with this. Leaving that aside, what does it mean to “green our vaccine supply”? Do you wish them to be more verdant, like the Chicago River on St. Patrick’s Day? I suspect not. Perhaps you could clarify?

Ask Congress to reenact legislation that would eliminate mercury and other toxins from our children’s vaccines…

I’m sorry, Jenny, but that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. You already made us stop using mercury compounds, despite the overwhelming evidence of safety, and yet autism rates haven’t dropped. What “toxins” do you mean? I’m sure you couldn’t mean that list of “chemicals” in some of your literature—since everything is “chemicals”, I’m not sure which ones are “greener” (except copper—that can get pretty green, but it’s not in vaccines—yet). You mention “anti-freeze”, and yet there isn’t any in vaccines. Some have a compound with a similar name (polyethylene glycol vs. ethylene glycol—that “poly” makes a big difference, but it’s kind of “science-y” so I’ll leave it out for now). You mention “formaldehyde”, which is used to inactivate the viruses in some vaccines, but it’s present is such small amounts, that common environmental exposures are much more significant. In some flight of fancy, you also mentioned “aborted human fetus cells”. That’s truly bizarre. A cell culture line has existed for over 40 years whose ancestor cells came from human fetal tissue. To call these culture “human fetal tissue” is, well, wrong.

Oh, wait, here’s one of my favorites: “chick embryos”. Jenny, that’s a synonym (that means “means the same as”) “egg”. Eggs (yes, the same kind we eat) are used to make flu vaccines. It’s too bad, because people who are allergic to eggs will have to wait until we find a new way to make the vaccine in order to benefit from the shot.

I hope you have good weather, and at least check out some of the museums. Even better, you might want to drive a short way out of town and visit the NIH. They do science there. That means the test hypotheses, keeping the good ones and discarding the bad.

Jenny, you’ve been fed a disproved hypothesis (that means “you’re wrong”). It’s time for you to give up your degree from Google University and go back to being a mom and actress. You’re probably good at at least one of those.

Comments

  1. #1 Denice Walter
    June 3, 2008

    First, “Indigo”. Now, “Green”? Jenny, make up your mind!

  2. #2 Blind Watchmaker
    June 3, 2008

    Tell us more, Jenny, about how you “cure” your son’s autism with diet.

    Hmm, maybe he actually had Celiac disease. Maybe, he doesn’t have autism in the first place.

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

  3. #3 Another Anonymous Poster
    June 3, 2008

    The instance of autism? Methinks she’s confused with its not-so-homonymous ‘incidence’.

  4. #4 Paul Murray
    June 3, 2008

    The anti-vacc crowd, I imagine, don’t understand just how horiffic plagues of childhood disease are – far, far worse that thier most fevered supposings of what vaccines do.

    When ther’s enough unvaccinated kids to for a population that measles or whooping cough can sweep through, what will we do? Say “I told you so”?

    Of course, these anti-vaccers will find a way to do what irrational people always do: blame someone else for their own stupid, stupid decisions.

  5. #5 PalMD
    June 3, 2008

    Yes, the “instance” of “Autism”…I really meant to include that, because of it’s searing stupidity.

    These folks want to be taken seriously on scientific issues, and yet they can’t get basic terms correct, and they capitalize like Germans.

  6. #6 HCN
    June 3, 2008

    I am personally aggravated that she claims her son’s seizures are related to vaccines, yet fails to understand that seizures are also related to the diseases!

    My son’s seizures started when he was 48 hours old (Jenny, that is two days). He is too old to get the birth HepB vaccine. His first real needle was an IV of antibiotics at the hospital in case the seizures had a bacterial cause (started before the cultures were done, those take time).

    Fortunately the seizures stopped with the first dose of phenobarbital. He has had one other seizure after he was weaned from the anticonvulsant: it was during an illness! (which may or may not be a rotavirus, something there is now a vaccine for).

    Why do people now think seizures only occur because of vaccines? Don’t they know there are other reasons, even though many of these reasons are never discovered (seizures of unknown etiology).

    Or does Miss Jenny not want to take responsibility for her history of smoking cigarettes and other toxins she might have ingested.

  7. #7 Bill
    June 4, 2008

    I think you guys are the only ones actually listening to Jenny. The rest of us are just staring at her breasts and nodding occasionally.

  8. #8 Heidi Roger
    June 4, 2008

    You may think you are cool trying to dis Jenny, the mom of a boy who clearly had seizures right after her son had a vaccination but the science that proves that vaccines injure humans is already on the package inserts found with each vaccine, in the files at the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System and on the website at http://www.nvic.org, the National Vaccine Information Center, run by Barbara Loe Fisher, a parent of a vaccine injured son who is respected enough by the vaccine machine to be a consumer member on their panel. If the Vaccine Safety Study raw data had actually been made public and not pretend made public and covered up, it would prove that thimerosal causes autism. If Generation Rescue’s phone survey of vaccinated versus unvaccinated would be expanded into a full blown study, it would be very clear that vaccines may cause autism. Why is it so difficult for the vast majority of the public to realize that vaccines are just another medical product that could potentially be injurious? You don’t think Vioxx should have been recalled? You non believers should be more wary of being injured by your flu shots or Gardasil vaccines as you blindly accept doctors’ recommendations for medical treatment (that provides the doctor with profit) without adequately researching the risk benefit ratio of the possible side effects of that decision. We must all come together as a nation to demand more oversight and accountability for all medical products including vaccines to achieve the best level of public health.

  9. #9 Orac
    June 4, 2008

    If Generation Rescue’s phone survey of vaccinated versus unvaccinated would be expanded into a full blown study, it would be very clear that vaccines may cause autism.

    No, it wouldn’t. Expanding the size of a badly designed, badly executed survey would not produce better evidence. It would just produce a bigger, more expensive, badly designed, badly executed phone survey.

  10. #10 sruths
    June 4, 2008

    Fear clouds judgment. Human suffering stimulates srong emotional responses that shut down rational thinking. PALMD, I understand and agree with every point you are making, but still find your chosen tone of “corrective, constructive, and condescending” rhetoric to be more likely to arouse a strong emotional response (which we know clouds judgment) rather than a thoughtful, rational re-consideration of the matter in hand. It is important not to take a leaf out of the irrationalist book, and allow ad-hominem attacks to creep into a rational discussion. An idea can be right or wrong. The person holding the idea is just a person, doing the best they can with what they’ve got. And if the person has suffered, they are likely to perceive an attack on them as a denial of their suffering, not as a pointer towards the discovery of sounder, more evidence-based ideas. PS. I haven’t a clue who Jenny McCarthy is.

  11. #11 Natalie
    June 4, 2008

    “but the science that proves that vaccines injure humans is already on the package inserts found with each vaccine,”

    No one has ever claimed that vaccines are never harmful. Google “risk benefit analysis”.

    “If the Vaccine Safety Study raw data had actually been made public and not pretend made public and covered up”. [citation needed]

  12. #12 viggen
    June 4, 2008

    I don’t know what they’re hoping to accomplish. They claim incompetence and cover-ups orchestrated by the government, yet they’re descending on Washington. They claim big science is putting poison in vaccines, yet their purpose for this march is to get congress to do more science to research later vaccine schedules and explore causes of Autism. Who in the world do they think will be doing these studies they want more of? Is it just me or are they lobbying for work that has either already been done or that they won’t believe once it’s done anyway.

  13. #13 HCN
    June 4, 2008

    Heidi Rogers bleated: “Jenny, the mom of a boy who clearly had seizures”

    And the rest of us whose children had seizures NOT after vaccines (but due to real illneses) should just shut-up and accept what Jenny says?

  14. #14 Angela Utley
    June 4, 2008

    Thimerosal (mercury) is still used. When it was “removed” that was a recommendation not a mandate/law. And the term removal means that thimerosal can be used in the production process but it has to be “filtered out”. How do you filter out a compound that is half it weight in mercuy? HOW? That is why they are going for the term Elimentated. Aluminum the one that is used-cannot be broken down or absorbed by the body. Yes they are toxic. The only test done on Thimerosal (still used ) was in 1929 and it killed every one of the test subjects. The world’s leading manufacter of vaccines is China. Think about that one.
    My child had blood in her diaper after 6 hours from her vaccination shots. Yes she had seizures. Her intestines bled. Autism is just part of what my daughter has. Google Mother of A vaccine injured child. I answer questions . Parent to Parent Educate before you vaccinate.
    My child had been normal that morning. We are pursing a case in Vaccine Injury Court.

  15. #15 Deepsix
    June 4, 2008

    “They do science there.” PalMD

    Science hard. Make head hurt.

  16. #16 Deepsix
    June 4, 2008

    Denialists and woo believers always remind me of a favorite movie scene. When you carefully and completely point out the illogic in their thinking, they stare off into space for a moment, and then reply with, “These go to 11″.

  17. #17 TheNerd
    June 4, 2008

    OK, let me get this straight: Scientists warn us about the dangers of egg-alergy reactions to flue vaccines. Scientists have a conspiracy to keep the vaccine-autism correlation a secret. Why would they be so forward about one issue, while covering another in secrecy? Does no one see the issue here? The arguement against vaccines just doesn’t make sense.

  18. #18 khefera
    June 4, 2008

    dear anti vacc weirdos:
    the fat tourists in fanny packs and fbi t-shirts are bad enough, but please don’t come to dc. we have enough problems. plus, it’s summer (enjoy our accustomed 99% humidity) and any lawmaker with any clout is gearing up to leave town so they will not be here to pay attention to you. you’re just wasting your time and making morning commute worse by standing around stupidly trying to figure out the metro system.
    oh and you’re totally wrong on all that science stuff.
    sincerely,
    person who actually has to live and work here.

  19. #19 Mike Green
    June 4, 2008

    Ok, so Jenny you have a child with Autism, I have a nephew. I have no scientific proof, but I think it was because he was born with an R in the month? I think your intentions my be good, but in the process you are degrading all the folks out there who actually do “science”. I know its a big word but we are all grown ups now. Now, I am interested in how they will “green” these medications? Hmm, perhaps . . . Food coloring?

    I am all for finding a cure, but this hunt and peck method of yours will solve nothing. Once you do a real sceintific study let me/us know, because for now you are like those people out there who, when a mirror is placed in front of them, don’t like what they see, so they blame the mirror.

    Since the possibility of my child getting these various diseases is far more important than your junk science, I will continue to get them vaccinated.

  20. Does it ever occur to these anti-vaccine activists that we (and our children) are exposed to far more environmental toxins (toys, cars, air pollution, lead paint, fabrics, carpets, household chemicals) than could possible be in that vaccine? And not all of these chemicals have been fully tested.

    Sorry. Don’t want to sound like a foamer. It does seem, though, that autism diagnoses are up. Part of this may be due to expanded diagnoses (my son was diagnosed with Tourettes and Aspergers Syndrome (he has grown out of 95% of the symptoms, but his brain still views the world oddly)), but I can’t help wondering about the chemical stew in which we live.

  21. #21 Schmeer
    June 4, 2008

    Dear Khefera,
    That sounds awful, you have my sympathies. I only had to wade through the usual crazies with a normal distribution of anti vacc weirdos this morning. I suggest headphones with some nice music to help you deal with the commuting difficulties. Best of luck.

  22. #22 khefera
    June 4, 2008

    @Schmeer
    i felt better once that massive thunderstorm/tornado system rolled in. anti vaccers cause bad weather but NIH keeps burying all of the evidence to show a causal link.

  23. #23 Prevent Defense
    June 4, 2008
  24. #24 Julius
    June 4, 2008

    Billy – there’s probably something to it. I intensely dislike all the talk about “toxins” being the cause of everything (with the conclusion that we all need to “detox” by eating nothing but fruit for a week and having coffee enemas…). But yeah, a lot of the stuff that surrounds us can’t be good for us. Car exhaust fumes are probably a major one, in spite of all the advances in engine technology – in Europe, every idiot is buying diesels, which still have a huge problem with particulate emissions. Processed food is bad, not because of toxins but because it’s just crap. I don’t know enough about anything else – are food additives a serious issue? Not sure.

    But let me point out one thing: Don’t let the anti-vaxers hear this! Once they realise how much mercury and general (and ill-defined) “toxins” we’re surrounded by, the chelation therapy they put their kids through will NEVER end… enough of them have already noticed this with amalgam dental fillings and are spending ridiculous amounts of money having them replaced. (My parents did that – my mother is one of the more severe cases of the woo I know personally, though nowhere near as bad as some of our esteemed guest commenters here. I mean, she’s a trained homeopath, yet she actually accepts that mainstream medicine can do good, and when I had a severe cold the other week, she told me to go see a DOCTOR!)

    Erm. I’m rambling. My knee hurts for no apparent reason – probably toxins, eh.

  25. #25 Chuck
    June 4, 2008

    khefera,

    Maybe you haven’t noticed or gotten out of DC recently but, traffic didn’t get any worse than another day on the beltway. A million men, or less, makes no difference.

    PS My commute today was better then most days.

  26. #26 Kagehi
    June 4, 2008

    The majority of food additives are scientific names for stuff they found in some other kind of food/plant. Seriously, we don’t *generally* dump random stuff into foods. I have a damn good laugh every time someone buys a loaf of ‘no preservatives’ bread that, here at least, won’t last 2 days without mold on it, knowing that half the preservatives used “in” the other breads where found in some plant or other, and where used because a) you could eat that other plant safely already, and b) that plant was resistant to mold, due to that chemical.

    Its seriously idiotic. Other toxins… Yeah, probably an issue, if we bothered to look at it. But people can’t grasp one basic principle, with the exception of a few toxins that the body has real huge problems getting rid of, and are, due to this, just about 100% illegal to use “any place”, save in very controlled circumstances, most are toxic “only” at specific levels of dosage. Why? Because most of them are not that uncommon in human history. Sure, we have some novel ones now, but the question is then, “what do they break down to, or do they?”, not, “Are they novel?”. And the key issue is still, “When do they become toxic, and not just an irritant, or neutral?” Anti-vax people, anti-toxin people, none of them do science, most of their “evidence” is the same quality as you get from someone making up a poll that asks, “Do you even cover your head?”, then concluding that is 90% of the people answered yes, that means 90% of the world was Jewish, or some nonsense. Its only an “accurate” correlation if you can prove that all those people also ran out and bought Torah’s, only eat kosher, and started wearing Jewish stars, instead of crosses. Otherwise, its total BS.

    Same with vaccines and autism. You have to prove more than a correlation, especially if 90 fracking percent of the country get vaccines. They might as well ask them, “Does your child drink water?”, for all any correlation means jack, until/unless they can show that 90% get vaccinated *and* 85% get autism, or some such. And, just to be clear, the very nature of this numbers issues means that the odds of them finding someone whose kid has it, and has “never” been vaccinated is about as close to 0% as possible. Again, without secondary evidence, all of which has proven the opposite, you might as well ask if the kids drank water, breathed air or used a toilet.

  27. #27 HCN
    June 4, 2008

    For “Prevent Defense”, I clicked on your tinuURL… and it evokes Scopie’s Law:

    Analogous to Godwin’s Law and Poe’s Law is Scopie’s Law: “In any discussion involving science or medicine, citing Whale.to as a credible source loses you the argument immediately.”

    Now I see why you used tinyURL. Why would you want us to realize that you used John “satanic black lines burned my bum” Scudamore’s whale.to site for information?

  28. #28 GrammaKnows
    June 4, 2008

    Autism isn’t a disease – it never was. Autism is a group of symptoms in a guidebook for mental health practitioners – most of whom have never seen the inside of a medical school.

    Children and people WITH autistic symptoms have health problems. Most of them were not born with the health problems that bring on the symptoms. Most of them developed the health problems after they were vaccinated.

    This is not the first time vaccines have caused more problems than they solve. The first smallpox vaccines killed more people than they saved. That’s why Britain doesn’t have a mandatory vaccine policy. It was intentionally written into policy there that people had a choice for that reason.

    The DPT shot is another notorious example. The vaccine manufacturers almost went out of business entirely when the media – then friendly to the public and not pawns of advertisers – revealed the facts behind the DPT causing death and seizures.

    Whether you believe the symptoms of autism are provoked by vaccines or not, only a damn fool lines up and willingly accepts dosing with contaminated vaccines, aborted fetal tissue, chemicals that are toxic when ingested, metals that cause poisoning when used in occupational settings, controlled substances, petroleum products, wood preservatives and more.

    If the ingredients in the vaccines require hazmat suits for the handlers, what particular type of mental illness does it take to conclude injecting the materials into children, beginning on day 1 of life, is going to save them from anything?

    In order for a vaccine to work, it has to provide immunity – not turn the immune system into a self-digesting demon.

    So…grab another Twinkie – down another Blue Gatorade – line up at the closest fast food joint and enjoy your healthy, vaccinated lifestyle. When Alzheimers hits in your 40s, you won’t care if Jennie and the others are right or wrong…cause your life will be over.

    It took 40 years to get the Pertussis danger out of the DPT. Considering the parents of some of these kids had friends and family damaged from that fiasco, don’t expect them to quit making the autism association just because fools like you think you know better.

    Enjoy your vaccines – and the diabetes, arthritis, Guillane-Barr, seizures, cancer, strokes, Alzheimetrs, allergies and asthma that with them. 51% of you are already on chronic medication now, just 49% to go before the industry owns you completely.

    Just think – you won’t ever have chicken pox, and all it cost you was the rest of your life.

  29. #29 PalMD
    June 4, 2008

    Um, you haven’t read the actual words I’ve written, have you?

  30. #30 HCN
    June 4, 2008

    GrammaKnows: “Most of them developed the health problems after they were vaccinated.”

    And your evidence of this is where?

    I mean, lots of kids have health problems. My kid’s health problems started BEFORE he got a vaccine. Look up thread, I describe the seizures. How on this big blue earth did vaccines cause seizures in a two day old infant? (and while you are at it, tell me how they cause hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with obstruction).

    By the way, PalMD, do not expect a coherent answer from “GrammaKnows” (if she is really a “Gramma” she would remember the early 1960s rubella epidemic, and why the March of Dimes came into existence). These people do not actually read the words that might contradict their beliefs (which is why anti-vax forums are so heavily moderated). I did ask someone on another blog on how the MMR was dangerous. He responded that the MMR causes SIDS. Uh huh… well since SIDS is defined as a death of a child under the age of one year, and the MMR is not given to a child until they are over a year old, I just figured the guy did not have a clue.

  31. #31 Heidi Roger
    June 4, 2008

    you know, I should know better than to discuss these issues with non believers. It is okay. You can act all superior because you are so smart that you know everything and have all the answers. You can assume that we have not studied anything that we have not seen anything. That no one bothered to obtain any documentation via Freedom of Information Act and read all the emails by Thomas Verstraeten, the Primary Investigator of the pretend Vaccine safety study, you know those kind of emails that say things like “no matter how hard we try to change it, we can’t make the result go away, there is a statistically significant relationship between thimerosal and autism”. You know, then he quits the CDC and moves to Belgium to go work for a pharmaceutical company, you’re right, I’m just being paranoid that there could have been a mistake made that poisoned my son with his vaccines. I guess the fact that chelation therapy had him dumping mercury, lead and aluminum, that must have just been a coincedence. If there was a study that looked at autistic and non autistic kids after chelation therapy, then we would know if every kid is chock full of metals, but the NIH couldn’t get permission to do it, so I’ll never know. OH, and that Simpsonwood meeting, where they all sat around and discussed how to hide the problem, that would just be my imagination, I guess? Hmm, so what is your explanation for the former head of the NIH seeking the media to cover her statement that she was told not to do research on vaccines and autism and OOPS, she thinks that was a mistake now, she recommends that the NIH fund this type of research and not just epidemiological studies. How do we explain that? Just a fluke? No, its the monkey study my friends. The soon to be published independent study where those well accepted Macaque monkeys were given the same vaccines as those given to human infants and, they got very, very sick. One died. Please. Stop lashing out at us. Stop. This is not some drunken, crazy person crusade. We are like the Linda Hamilton character in the Terminator movies. We see the future and we want to stop it. For your and your descendants benefit. Safety first.

  32. #32 HCN
    June 4, 2008

    Heidi Roger stated “I should know better than to discuss these issues with non believers.”

    Well, that’s it in a nutshell.

  33. #33 zed
    June 5, 2008

    Heidi Roger,

    The big problem with your comment is that Science doesn’t need “Belief”, it relies on “Proof”, if you have to have faith and belief, it’s not science.

  34. Kagehi: Thanks. Good explanation.

    I do laugh at people avoiding all preservatives. Preservatives aren’t really something I’m worried about. Hell, I use nitrates when I make my homemade sausage (and they are right, you really don’t want to see what goes on in sausage making). I also laugh at the adverts on TV which tout “only natural ingredients.” Isn’t strychnine natural? Arsenic? Lead? Some of the most potent poisons/medicines are completely natural, yet the adverts imply that if it is natural, its good for you.

    I’m not that concerned with food colourings, preservatives, and other food additives. My concern is less with the odd chemicals in the water supply (which can, no doubt, be a problem), but with items not meant to be ingested: the smell of a new carpet, the odour or a new car, the heavy doses of antibiotics and synthetic hormones.

    I think the whole vaccine – autism thing is pure bunk (and remember, my son was diagnosed with a form of autism). But I can’t shake the feeling that I and my family are participating in a huge, uncontrolled experiment involving long-term exposure to low levels of toxins and irritants.

    To any anti-vaccination people reading this, please forget what I wrote. These are just some unrelated questions and thoughts. These are not the ‘droids you’re looking for.

  35. #35 Orac
    June 5, 2008

    I guess the fact that chelation therapy had him dumping mercury, lead and aluminum, that must have just been a coincedence.

    Not at all. If I were to chelate you or myself, we’d both dump heavy metals into the urine too. That’s why provoked urine testing for heavy metals is utterly bogus. The questions are whether heavy metal toxicity causes autism and whether chelation reverses autism. A large preponderance of scientific evidence tells us that the answers to both questions are “no.”

  36. #36 Joseph
    June 5, 2008

    That no one bothered to obtain any documentation via Freedom of Information Act and read all the emails by Thomas Verstraeten, the Primary Investigator of the pretend Vaccine safety study, you know those kind of emails that say things like “no matter how hard we try to change it, we can’t make the result go away, there is a statistically significant relationship between thimerosal and autism”.

    Interesting that you remember it that way, because I’ve seen the emails, and nothing of the sort was said.

    You know, then he quits the CDC and moves to Belgium to go work for a pharmaceutical company, you’re right, I’m just being paranoid that there could have been a mistake made that poisoned my son with his vaccines.

    So people are not supposed to switch jobs?

    I guess the fact that chelation therapy had him dumping mercury, lead and aluminum, that must have just been a coincedence.

    It’s not coincidence. It’s expected. Anyone who is chelated will dump mercury, lead and aluminum.

    OH, and that Simpsonwood meeting, where they all sat around and discussed how to hide the problem, that would just be my imagination, I guess?

    Ho-hum!

    Hmm, so what is your explanation for the former head of the NIH seeking the media to cover her statement that she was told not to do research on vaccines and autism

    Citation, please.

    No, its the monkey study my friends. The soon to be published independent study where those well accepted Macaque monkeys were given the same vaccines as those given to human infants and, they got very, very sick.

    You mean the study that had 13 monkeys in the exposed group and 3 in the unexposed group? The same study which included Andrew Wakefield as one of the authors, and whose primary author, Laura Hewitson, is the mother of an autistic child and a petitioner in the Autism Omnibus Proceedings? Are you saying that, considering the results of this study, most children who are vaccinated get very very sick?

    Seriously Heidi, try to keep up with the debate.

  37. #37 Bing McGhandi
    June 6, 2008

    Man, I’d never stop slapping her.

    HJ

  38. #38 Miss Grace
    June 6, 2008

    “That’s why Britain doesn’t have a mandatory vaccine policy.”

    If you are an adult, no medical treatment is mandatory in Britain. If you are a child then the doctors can over-rule parents if they can demonstrate that it’s in the child’s best interests. There have been 2 cases of the health service taking legal action where mothers have refused the MMR vaccine.

    Smallpox has nothing to do with it, Grammaknows – you are wrong about this and you are also wrong about smallpox – the vaccination did have a high mortality rate in the early trials (and we’re talking 200 years+ ago!!!) but nothing compared to the mortality rate from smallpox.

    I am a long-time UK lurker – I don’t work in health or science but I love this blog and the work it does to promote rational thinking.

  39. #39 PalMD
    June 6, 2008

    Welcome, Miss Grace! I hope we see more of you!

  40. #40 Skeptico
    June 7, 2008

    Heidi Roger

    Re: OH, and that Simpsonwood meeting, where they all sat around and discussed how to hide the problem, that would just be my imagination, I guess?

    Er, yes it would. Or more precisely, Robert Kennedy’s imagination fueled by willful ignorance.

    Re: No, its the monkey study my friends. The soon to be published independent study where those well accepted Macaque monkeys were given the same vaccines as those given to human infants and, they got very, very sick. One died.

    That’s the one – the study with no meaningful control group (just three controls out of 16 monkeys).

  41. #41 Alcari
    June 8, 2008

    Ugh…
    Look, there are just so many things wrong with anti-vaxxers, the stupid makes my head hurt.

    1 – Mercury has been used on a huge scale in baby eyedrops and laxatives back in the 80′s. No increase of autism has ever been found in people born during those days, surely, if mercury caused autism, it would be obvious? I’m not saying ingesting or injection mercury is a good thing, but it’s certainly not the inhumane horror you’re making it out to be.

    2 – Just because a child gets seizures after vaccination doesn’t mean it had seizures BECAUSE OF vaccination. Post hoc ergo propter hoc, you should look it up. Over here, 6 week old babies are vaccinated. All that’s required is that the child not show symptoms for a month and a half before the anti-vaxxers can claim “Vaccination ’caused’ the problem”.

    3 – Even if there were a remote chance of autism (which hasn’t been shown), that’s still no reason not to vaccinate your child. I guess you’re lucky enough never to have seen te effects of Polio, Pertussis, Diphtheria, Tetanus and a score of other diseases. Seriously, look them up on wikipedia, beware that the pictures aren’t suited for the weak of heart/stomach. My point is that the remote chance of autism (if real) is totally worth it, compared to every other horrible disease you’re preventing.

    4 – It’s obvious 95% of anti-vaccination people have no clue of how biology and chemistry work, so i’ll keep it simple. There is no way mercury, the effects of which have been observed quite well (ever hear of mad hatters or goldminers madness?) can cause autism. The human brain just doesn’t work that way.

    5 – Chelation. Seriously? You’re putting your children through chelation for no reason at all? You deserve repeated punches to the face for that, and your doctor as well. I’ve had to endure it once, and hope never to do that again.

  42. #42 Suzanne Arena
    June 10, 2008

    Sadly, most of the above is done with no real dedication to the pleuthora of science.

    Fact, Lancaster, PA there is a community of over 30,000+ unvaccinated (except for 2 that came to the Amish as adoptees through marriage and were vaccinated) and there is NO autism. Senior writer Dan Olmsted reported this and wanted Julie Gerberding of the CDC to investigate because she claimed there were not enough unvaccinated children to conduct a study…something she still claims, because she doesn’t want to.

    Fact, ethylmercury is far different than methylmercury (environmental one in fish etc.) and the latter is ingested. Ethylmercury and methylmercury, if injected, are both
    rapidly distributed to the brain, kidneys and liver.
    The difference between the two is the strength of the
    Hg-C bond. The methylmercury bond is much stronger.
    This means that the ethylmercury converts much quicker
    to inorganic Hg which remains trapped in the brain and
    other organs. This also explains why it rapidly
    disappears. The methylmercury is more stable and gets
    recycled, thus the longer half-life in the blood. We
    know from Charleston’s work that methyl mercury is
    still converting to inorganic mercury 18 months after
    exposure. Ethylmercury is all converted in days.

    Nice that we ask folks if they have allergies to Eggs and Feathers…but not Mercury or Lead (right, lead is bad…Mercury is a mirror of Lead). Alzheimer’s is up 300% in the last 20 years….humnn coincidence with Autism and ADD, ADHD, 1 in 6 with developmental. I could give you the studies, but your blog is pimping other gooblygook.

    Frankly, I have read enough and know that 85-90% of Big Pharma money is spent on doctors and your symposiums..that said, conflicts of interest run amuck in the medical profession.

  43. #43 HCN
    June 10, 2008

    Susanne Arena wrote ” Senior writer Dan Olmsted reported this ….”

    And he never even visited the Clinic for Special Children. The Amish do vaccinate, and many of their children do have some very serious genetic disorders. They are not a population that can be compared with the general population:
    http://autism-news-beat.com/?p=29

    There is a reason that Olmsted is no longer employed by UPI.

  44. #44 HCN
    June 10, 2008

    The Amish:
    http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/abstract/354/13/1370
    “We report a homozygous mutation of CNTNAP2 in Old Order Amish children with cortical dysplasia, focal epilepsy, relative macrocephaly, and diminished deep-tendon reflexes. Intractable focal seizures began in early childhood, after which language regression, hyperactivity, impulsive and aggressive behavior, and mental retardation developed in all children.”

    Research done here:
    http://www.clinicforspecialchildren.org/Welcome.html

  45. #45 George in Indiana
    June 16, 2008

    Vaccines should be as safe as possible, but I’d rather have my four children with Asperger’s grow up to be productive citizens instead of dying from a preventable disease.

    There is a story in the Whittier Daily News about a student with autism who recently graduated from his local high school. It’s an uplifting story about someone who has overcome difficulties associated with this condition.

    http://40-year-oldblog.blogspot.com/

  46. #46 Dada
    May 1, 2009

    Anti-vaccine-activists claim to protect heir children from the harms of vaccines, but at the same time have no problem with the fact that my children are exposed to those children’s measels, rubella, chickenpox, etc. If that logic was sound, then it would also be okay to drive 40mph on the freeway, because it’s safer than going 70. Who cares that it endangers everyone else??

    In Africa, children are dying from diseases long eradicated in the U.S. Do anti-vaccineists really want to go back to those days? Of course not, they are happy exploiting the majority, while calling it their duty to oppose vaccines to “protect” their kids.

    It is ethically unjust to benefit from the same thing that one critizes as unjust. I believe an anti-vaccine argument when all those loony moms have immigrated to Needle Bad Island, where after two generations everyone has been killed by viral and bacterial diseases.

    Anti-vaccine arguments are weak, unsound and irrelevant. This campaign is just another example of what a free society has to tolerate in order to remain free.

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