Respectful Insolence

I realize I’m a bit late on this, but it’s hard not to take the antivaccine movement’s icon and apply her own misinformation about vaccines being “toxins” injected into the bloodstream against her. In fact, doing so is far more justified, given that last week she was quoted in an interview as singing paeans of praise to one of the most deadly poisons known to humankind: Botulinum toxin. See:

I think plastic surgery is fun if it makes you feel good. I’m all for looking better, so I plan on doing whatever I want when the time comes. I love Botox, I absolutely love it. I get it minimally, so I can still move my face. But I really do think it’s a savior.

The irony is delicious.

After all, antivaccine macher J.B. Handley has willingly allowed Jenny McCarthy to supplant his position in his own organization, Generation Rescue, which has recently been rebranded as “Jenny McCarthy’s Autism Organization.” Given that Jenny McCarthy has repeatedly characterized vaccines as full of “poisons,” so much so that that has become a standard antivaccinationist trope, I have to wonder: Does Generation Rescue now support injecting poisons into skin and muscle? If not, why not? And before anyone points out that Botox doesn’t get into the bloodstream, I point out that vaccines are not “injected into the bloodstream” either, but that doesn’t stop the antivaccine movement from characterizing intramuscular injections that way.

In any case, it’s pretty hard for the most famouse spokeswoman for the antivaccine movement on the one hand to claim that vaccines are full ot “toxins” (an antivaccinationist lie, of course, but it is the Official Antivaccine Propaganda line) and decry injecting them into children, while at the same time singing the praises of injecting a toxin far worse than even mercury into her skin. To her, injecting babies and children with vaccines that prevent many horrific dieseases and have saved more lives in the history of medicine than any other medical intervention ever devised by physicians is scary and horrible because of her irrational fear that it somehow causes autism, but injecting an incredibly lethal toxin into her face to keep her from looking old is not only hunky dory but a “savior,” as is having plastic surgery. Apparently McCarthy actually does implicitly understand the dictum that the “dose makes the poison” for Botox. Why can’t she understand that the dictum applies to formaldehyde, mercury, and all the other horrific “toxins” she fears in vaccines?

This is the intellectual face of the antivaccine movement? This is the best they could come up with? After all, earlier in the same interview, she says:

Since the increase in the number of vaccinations, there has been an increase in autism. I can understand why the other side won’t admit to it, because they’re afraid of all of these deadly diseases coming back and people not vaccinating [their children]. But right now, you’ve got a 1 in 84 chance of a boy having autism. Those numbers, to me, are a lot scarier than my kid getting the chicken pox. And that’s where I get so upset with people thinking that I am part of an antivaccine group. Everyone is missing the point here. It is: Slow down the vaccines, pick the ones that are the most important to you, and clean out the horrible ingredients that are still in there.

Jenny, you are part of an antivaccine group. Period. In fact, you are its public face. You are also too dumb to understand that correlation does not equal causation. We’ve had an enormous increase in the use of the Internet since the early 1990s. Hey, maybe Internet use causes autism! So be as “upset” as you like; I don’t care. The truth hurts, and I keep hoping against hope that through pain comes wisdom.

I realize that I probably hope in vain.

Comments

  1. #1 Marilyn Mann
    March 7, 2009

    Those were consenting toxins.

  2. #2 Ramel
    March 7, 2009

    1 in 84? I thought the usual claim was 1 in 150 kids, did I miss something or do they just pick random numbers?

  3. #3 Kristina
    March 7, 2009

    Maybe the thought, if we may call it that, is that some “toxins” (like botox) are less “toxic” than others (like whatever she thinks is in vaccines)…….

  4. #4 Denice Walter
    March 7, 2009

    But they’re all natural!

  5. #5 Sceptical UK scientist
    March 7, 2009

    Careful. Don’t say “Maybe internet use causes autism” too loudly when ubiquitous British media-scientist Baroness (sic)Professor Susan Greenfield is about. Before you know it she’ll have repeated it on TV, or re-published the idea in a newspaper column.

    Indeed, I fear she may already have done it…

    *sigh*

    For US readers who don’t know her, Susan Greenfield is a bit like a mixture of Candace Pert and Bernardine Healy, though without the Woo (mostly) and lacking either Pert’s early scientific distinction or Healy’s right wing political stance.

  6. #6 Sharon
    March 7, 2009

    Jenny says, “I love Botox” ie, I love jabbing my face with botulinum toxin, the most toxic protein there is (so I’ve read).

    But I hate vaccines and all those nasty toxins.
    Green our poisons!

  7. #7 The Gonzo Girl
    March 7, 2009

    @ Ramel, it’s 1 in 150 people, not just kids, and the people are on the whole Autism spectrum. (It’s supposed to give the impression, that they’re all low-functioning.)
    That “1 in 150 children” statistic is a misleading scare tactic from curebie organizations like CAN, to fabricate an epidemic.
    Generation Rescue are not just misleading, but the most blatant liars when it comes to Autism statistics, as well as anything else that’s Autism related.

    Whether Jenny uses Botox and whether that is hypocritical is irrelevant IMHO, she gets paid by quack mongers to advertise their products, who in return promote her book, and also promote Generation Rescue, who in return promote the quack companies. GR is such a sewage of money-grubbing snake-oil peddlers, who just hired Jenny for playing the Autism mum.
    (…and for this she has to look young. :P)

    I’ve written a whole series of (satirical) posts about Jenny McCarthy and Generation Rescue, so anyone who’s interested in their lies and quack mongering should have a look at my blog for more on that.
    (Apologies for the shameless blog-promo.)

  8. #8 Dangerous Bacon
    March 7, 2009

    Here’s a listing of the contents of Botox Cosmetic that Jenny is enthusiastically having injected into her face:

    “BOTOX® (Botulinum Toxin Type A) Purified Neurotoxin Complex is a sterile, vacuum-dried purified botulinum toxin type A, produced from fermentation of Hall strain Clostridium botulinum type A grown in a medium containing casein hydrolysate, glucose and yeast extract. It is purified from the culture solution by dialysis and a series of acid precipitations to a complex consisting of the neurotoxin, and several accessory proteins. The complex is dissolved in sterile sodium chloride solution containing Albumin (Human) and is sterile filtered (0.2 microns) prior to filling and vacuum-drying.”

    http://www.rxlist.com/botox-drug.htm

    “Clostridium botulinum! Casein hydrolysate! “Acid precipitations” (shudder) and “several accessory proteins”, whatever they are. And human albumin, from God knows what kind of humans! Drug addicts selling their albumin? Aborted fetuses? They’re not telling us! What sorts of horrible things are these chemicals doing to people? Jenny, stop using this stuff immediately and help us lead the charge to “green our Botox”.

    A little* sagging is a small price to pay to prevent ADHD, hives, multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome and who knows what other dreadful afflictions that are probably caused by all these toxins. Evidence? I _feel_ that it must be true. Don’t call me anti-Botox.

    *well, maybe more than a little.

  9. #9 Joseph
    March 7, 2009

    Here’s something to mess with her head: Was she using botox during or before her pregnancy?

    BTW, the 1 in 84 number is for boys, and that’s probably right. Though anti-vaxers do constantly look for ways to inflate the numbers to make them seem scary. See this post.

  10. #10 has
    March 7, 2009

    Does Generation Rescue now support injecting poisons into skin and muscle?

    What about autism woo’s beloved chelation ‘therapies’? Plenty of toxic chemicals being ingested or injected directly into bloodstream or muscle of innocent children right there.

  11. #11 Robster, FCD
    March 7, 2009

    The standard argument is one of comparing getting disease A to the risk of disease B. By avoiding the vaccine for disease A, Jenny thinks people can keep their kids from getting autism. However, with the complete lack of evidence to support a link between the two, this is more like tossing virgins into a volcano to appease the gods and prevent an eruption. The two aren’t connected, and real people suffer from being sacrifices to ignorance.

  12. #12 Pareidolius
    March 7, 2009

    I don’t know, it looks like she’s being taken seriously by at least one medical journal . . .

    http://hellsnewsstand.blogspot.com/

  13. #13 Matthew Cline
    March 7, 2009

    I’m not anti-vax, but:

    1) Isn’t this an ad hominem? Whatever she might do in her life doesn’t have any bearing on the (lack of) validity of her arguments.

    2) The anti-vaxxers would probably point out the the brains of children, especially of babies and toddlers, is still developing, while the brains of adults are fully developed.

  14. #14 Dave
    March 7, 2009

    It’s questionable whether Jenny McCarthy’s brain is fully developed.

    I would say Orac’s critique is not ad hominem, but rather points out an inconsistency in her position. If toxins in injections are bad, why is she getting them? Even if she is an adult, that doesn’t mean toxins will have no effect on her, possibly different effects from those they have on children.

  15. #15 _Arthur
    March 7, 2009

    Is it true that chelating agents are entirely natural, and that Lupron is an eggplant extract ?

  16. #16 zeno
    March 7, 2009

    But Botox is a product of a natural bacterium, therefore it must be safe. You’ve just got to think a bit more like them… :-)

  17. #17 dreikin
    March 7, 2009

    For comparison:
    LD50s* of various psychoactive substances (including VX nerve gas):
    http://www.erowid.org/psychoactives/health/psychoactives_ld50s.shtml
    LD50s of various animal poison/venoms:
    http://www.seanthomas.net/oldsite/ld50tot.html

    All of those are in mg/kg, and the most potent from each page:
    VX Nerve gas (intravenous): 0.0154 mg/kg
    Coastal Taipan (intravenous): 0.009 mg/kg

    Botulinum toxin? 1-4 ng/kg
    That is, 0.000001 – 0.000004 mg/kg

    *LD50: the amount of substance needed to kill 50% of the exposed population.
    (click my name for link to source for botulinum toxin – a pdf on it, no less)

  18. #18 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 7, 2009

    I’m going to say this with the utmost intention of not sounding creepy using some Frank Zappa terminology.

    I wonder if those mammalian protuberances are real?

  19. #19 Rae
    March 7, 2009

    But she’s getting said natural product from a natural bacteria in an unnatural way. Tsk tsk tsk.
    :)

  20. #20 samuel black
    March 7, 2009

    Pointing out that correlation does not equal causation is I think unproductive. Because really good correlations do suggest causation. The problem is that the vaccine-autism correlation is really bad; I would say, absent.

    Autism diagnoses have increased smoothly and dramatically over the past 20 years, whereas vaccination has most certainly *not* increased smoothly and dramatically over the past 20 years. Rather, vaccination has had longish periods (5 years or so) of essentially no changes, with occasional additions or changes to the regimen, dramatic decreases in the use of mercury, and significantly reduced coverage. In fact the reduced vaccination rates have already resulted in significantly increased incidence of measles.

    Since the lag time between vaccination and autism is claimed to be on the order of weeks or months, the autism rates should have seen plateaus during periods of essentially unchanging vaccinations, and decreases resulting from the elimination of thimerosal, and lower vaccination rates. But there has not been a blip in the autism curve in response to any changes in the vaccine regimen, constituents, or coverage. In short, the correlation is absent.

  21. #21 chet
    March 7, 2009

    I believe laptop emissions (or cell phones attached to the belt) during pregnancy definitely causes autism (who tests these things really, the “FCC” or the “FCFC”…think about it right next to the fetus/baby) Money for the rich.
    To Orac, let’s just stop all this education=qualification thing, it’s condescending to us who just know we’re smart. We don’t need to be talked down to, talk to us as an equal and we’ll either agree or disagree. It’s America right, not the Soviet Union or Russia or whatever…Now stem cells and what’s next, that God’s will is complicated.

  22. Matthew Cline: Did you even read this post?

    http://darkhat.blogspot.com/2006/02/jenna-jameson-hooked-up-with-jenny.html

    Jenny = dumb whore with a lot of $ and a Google-PhD

  23. #23 Blake Stacey
    March 7, 2009

    Jenny, you are part of an antivaccine group. Period. In fact, you are its public face.

    The public face of the antivax movement is paralysed with toxins. I love it.

  24. #24 Caro
    March 7, 2009

    “I would say Orac’s critique is not ad hominem”

    Of course it is. That’s the only thing he knows how to do.

  25. #25 Marilyn Mann
    March 7, 2009

    Perhaps this is her motto:

    “It is better to look good than to feel good.”

    –Fernando Lamas (later appropriated by Billy Crystal for his Fernando character)

  26. #26 has
    March 7, 2009

    1) Isn’t this an ad hominem?

    No, it’s further evidence that whenever Jenny scaremongers about “injecting poisons”, she has no earthly clue what she’s talking about.

  27. #27 Alison Singer
    March 7, 2009

    Actually I think her new motto will be “Green Our Rystelene”

  28. #28 Uncle Dave
    March 7, 2009

    What about this????
    if you scroll down there is a video piece under the heading “Will MCain and Obama talk Autism with Jenny?”

    http://omg.yahoo.com/videos/will-mccain-and-obama-talk-autism-with-jenny/5466

    Not only is her son cured of Autism but he must stay home to avoid germs? “Any exposure to germs could cause violent seizures”. WTF???
    They just blurt that one out like a fart at ball game. surrounding group smells a slight hydrogen sulfide odor but everyone just goes back to watching the game again.

  29. #29 Uncle Dave
    March 7, 2009

    Good toxins make happy faces.
    Bad toxins leave autism traces.

    signed,
    Jenny

  30. #31 Rjaye
    March 7, 2009

    GonzoGirl: @ Ramel, it’s 1 in 150 people, not just kids, and the people are on the whole Autism spectrum. (It’s supposed to give the impression, that they’re all low-functioning.)
    That “1 in 150 children” statistic is a misleading scare tactic from curebie organizations like CAN, to fabricate an epidemic.

    Thank you, GG, for pointing that out. People new to ASDs think it’s a relatively new phenomenon when persons with autism spectrum disorders have been around all along. There’s many adult Aspies and Auties who are being diagnosed in their middle and older years, and many who realize on their own but who don’t go for a formal diagnosis because why? They are either getting treatment under another diagnosis, or they are functional…just the knowledge is relief.

    And what cracks me up about Jenny McCarthy is that she’s injecting a known neurotoxin into her face while squeeking about the “dangers” of vaccines with absolutely no evidence.

    Irony, or what?

  31. #32 DLC
    March 8, 2009

    It figures. Ms Google U has decided that hey, Botulism is fine! But damn you don’t touch my child with that icky stuff that will prevent him getting potentially fatal diseases!
    She’s fine with him getting chicken pox. . . wonder how she feels about him getting shingles ? How about measles ?

  32. #33 Confuseddave
    March 8, 2009

    and have saved more lives in the history of medicine than any other medical intervention ever devised by physicians

    I hate to be a pedant – no wait, that’s not right, I love to be a pedant – but I was lead to understood that the medical intervention that has saved more lives than any other was the WHO Oral Rehydration Recipe, which has saved in the order of 40 million children since it’s introduction in the 70′s?

    I can’t find estimates for how many lives have been saved by vaccines (which is probably not straightforward to work out as mortality from infectious diseases probably varies with population density which has changed a lot since the introduction of vaccines), so I can’t be sure which comes out on top.

  33. #34 lethalhoaxbuster
    March 8, 2009

    Autism/mercury link

    In the beginning, the hoax starts with the false study of a guy who wants make money with a previous patent on “safe method” using the traditionnal model of fear business.

    http://briandeer.com/wakefield/wakefield-patents.htm

    Than a well known international sect and quakers relay the hoax to exploit vulnerable parents with costly dangerous pseudo medecine.

    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/?p=1386

    Use of chelation is a result of the hoax and killed at least a boy and how many ‘ll be injuried without vaccine.

    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/?p=584

    When words are killing, the fear business and exploit of vulnerable people must be prosecuted.

    Elements of the discourse on autism is the signature, just take the time to check this.

  34. #35 Jen
    March 8, 2009

    I’m so discouraged this morning about autism “advocacy” by idiots. Between Jenny and
    this book I’m coming to the conclusion that my kids just don’t have a chance to have a world that accepts them, no matter what we do.

  35. #36 The Gonzo Girl
    March 8, 2009

    Rjaye, yeah, my dad is on the spectrum, too, it only became obvious to us after I’ve been diagnosed. All of a sudden everyone could make sense of him, but he’s 77 and more concerned about his typical old age health problems than learning about his neurological differences.
    I thought of this, after having read Skepticos blog entries about vaccines and Autism, where John Best kept asking a dozen times where the 77 year old Autistics are.
    (He’s convinced that Autism didn’t exist before vaccines were introduced, the tool)

    I have to also add, that Joseph is right, about the 1 in 84 boys, I meant to say that GR are liars in *general*, who like to twist the truth wherever they can, even if occassionally a No. is correct.

  36. #37 daedalus2u
    March 8, 2009

    confuseddave, vaccines win by far. The largest single disease would be smallpox. That has a normal fatality rate of more than 30% in unvaccinated populations. There has been vaccination for smallpox for centuries in the west, and even before then in Africa.

    Smallpox was eliminated in 1977 (by vaccination). Since then, the Earth’s population has increased from 4 billion in 1975 to 6.7 billion in 2008. If we assume births equal 2.5x deaths, then for the 2.7 billion increase there have been 1.8 billion deaths and 4.5 billion births for an increase of 2.7 billion. At a 30% fatality rate of the 4.5 billion born since smallpox was eradicated, 1.35 billion would have died from smallpox. Well over a billion saved by the smallpox vaccine alone, and that is just since 1977.

  37. #38 Jake Crosby
    March 8, 2009

    Is that quote really any more hypocritical than this one by Amanda Peet?

    “I buy 99 percent organic food for Frankie, and I don’t like to give her medicine or put sunscreen on her,” says Peet. “But now that I’ve done my research, vaccines do not concern me.”

    So, she won’t buy produce that was sprayed with pesticides even though DDT is moderately toxic to humans, but she WILL inject here 18 month old baby with quantities of aluminum and thimerosal, which is very toxic to humans and far exceeds accepted levels of safety.

  38. #39 Lucas McCarty
    March 8, 2009

    Except that Amanda Peet would only be hypocritical if those claims were not totally wrong and misleading, the product of outrageous cherry-picking.

    First, poison makes the dose. Second, what is inside vaccines is within *an enormous safety-margin* by many orders of magnitude.

  39. #40 Joseph C.
    March 8, 2009

    So, she won’t buy produce that was sprayed with pesticides even though DDT is moderately toxic to humans, but she WILL inject here 18 month old baby with quantities of aluminum and thimerosal, which is very toxic to humans and far exceeds accepted levels of safety.

    2005 called. It wants its canard back.

  40. #41 What?
    March 8, 2009

    DDT was banned for agricultural use in the U.S. in 1972, so indeed in Jake’s eyes, Peet faces a false dichotomy. Avoid a substance that isn’t even on the produce, or buy produce that also isn’t treated with said substance for some unqualified wacky celebrity reason.

    Breast milk contains quantities of mercury. Should mothers avoid breastfeeding Jake? Are they hypocrites if they don’t?

  41. #42 Riddle me this
    March 8, 2009

    Hey Jake, I just read JB Handley’s latest screed (grandiose, and disconnected from reality) at the blog linked with your name.

    Is it true that autism is really misdiagnosis for airplane food poisoning?

  42. #43 Kathleen Seidel
    March 8, 2009

    “SCARY MOVIE 3 actress JENNY McCARTHY has sworn off ever using Botox again, after the cosmetic procedure ruined her ability to smile for her latest book cover.” (May 5, 2005)

    So do we call this latest revelation evidence of relapse?

  43. #44 notmercury
    March 8, 2009

    Produce like vegetables and fruit, organic or otherwise, is full of aluminum. If it grew in the ground it has aluminum in it. Green our dirt!

  44. #45 Phoenix Woman
    March 8, 2009

    Kathleen @ 4:48: Great catch! Yes, yes, I think we could.

    Don’t even get me started on the real and proven dangers of silicone breast implants (or even worse, directly injecting silicone into one’s boobies).

  45. #46 MissFiFi
    March 8, 2009

    DUMB ASS. Someone smack this woman and her ilk. Do it for Lent! :)

  46. #47 Chris
    March 8, 2009

    Phoenix Woman, how about the dangers of smoking tobacco while pregnant? Something that Jenny also did.

  47. #48 Patience
    March 8, 2009

    I would actually say that the increase of internet usage is a strong positive correlation with the increase in ASD diagnoses. For those of us at either end of the spectrum–both those who can pass for ‘normal’ some days, and those who need assistance in all aspects of their lives–the internet has allowed more doctors, parents, and potential diagnose-ees to learn about autism. Previously, we were ignored or classified otherwise in the DSM (usually MR for the latter, and anxiety disorders if anything for the former). I feel profoundly relieved to have found the diagnosis that best fits me.

  48. #49 Jake Crosby
    March 8, 2009

    “DDT was banned for agricultural use in the U.S. in 1972″

    Exactly, pesticides as bad as DDT aren’t even sprayed on fruits and vegetables anymore and Peet is still avoiding them while willingly injecting quantities mercury and aluminum into her child because a Merck consultant who made at least $29 million off vaccine royalties and bragged that the money he made was like winning the lottery told her to.

    “Should mothers avoid breastfeeding Jake? Are they hypocrites if they don’t?”

    No, they should take out all their amalgams and heed the EPA warnings on fish consumption first. I wish my mother did, I might not have been autistic…

  49. #50 Joseph C.
    March 8, 2009

    No, they should take out all their amalgams and heed the EPA warnings on fish consumption first. I wish my mother did, I might not have been autistic…

    Mercury poisoning is not autism. All the best studies have failed to find a connection between thimerosal and autism.

  50. #51 Kathleen Seidel
    March 8, 2009

    Jake, I’m glad to see you visiting and offering your opinions here. I do hope you’re also taking the time to read Orac’s articles that inspire these discussions. I welcome you to do the same at my own weblog. As you yourself acknowledged in the comments thread for your most recent article, it’s generally a good idea to actually read articles that you intend to critique, rather than formulate an opinion about them based on other people’s characterizations and your own assumptions.

  51. #52 Joseph
    March 8, 2009

    So, she won’t buy produce that was sprayed with pesticides even though DDT is moderately toxic to humans, but she WILL inject here 18 month old baby with quantities of aluminum and thimerosal, which is very toxic to humans and far exceeds accepted levels of safety.

    There’s no evidence that aluminum exceeds safety levels in vaccines. Thimerosal, based on studies of neurological outcomes, clearly didn’t exceed levels of safety even when there were thimerosal-containing vaccines. The trace amounts in vaccines today don’t amount to anything worth considering (you get multiple times more mercury from breathing, eating and drinking.)

    Of course, if you creatively apply EPA concentration-based standards meant for drinking water and such to vaccines, you can fool people into thinking safety standards have been exceeded.

  52. #53 Do'C
    March 8, 2009

    Jake Crosby writes:

    No, they should take out all their amalgams and heed the EPA warnings on fish consumption first. I wish my mother did, I might not have been autistic…

    Your being autistic might have been caused by elemental and methylmercury? How does that work? I mean, biologically, what happens? Is there a relationship between mercurism and Asperger’s?

    It appears that you write for a blog that claims there is an autism epidemic. It’s pretty clear that thimerosal was an unlikely contributor to increased autism diagnoses. See Schechter and Grether, 2008.

    Has there been a corresponding increase the use of dental amalgams and fish consumption that offsets the reduction of thimerosal in childhood vaccines that somebody missed?

    If so, do the toxicokinetics for elemental mercury, ethylmercury, and methylmercury, match up so that corresponding reductions and increases produce near linear growth1 in the 3-5 year old autism caseload cohort in California over the past 10-12 years?

    1 http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/65/1/19/YOA70046F3

  53. #54 daedalus2u
    March 8, 2009

    Patience, there is a correlation with autism and the internet because it was people with Asperger’s who created the internet.

    Jake, mercury exposure was higher 60 years ago. That was when there was mercury in teething powders, 65,000 micrograms of HgCl per dose. Many tens of millions of doses containing that much were sold per year. In 1949 48% of children were given teething powders, many were given multiple doses. Exposure to this mercury caused pink disease, over 1,000 children died from pink disease, it was a leading cause of death in children. In England and Wales in 1947 and 1948 there were 174 deaths due to pink disease and 585 due to other causes. 23% of child deaths were due to mercury poisoning from teething powders. Not a surprise when many tens (or hundreds) of thousands of micrograms of mercury was given to many tens of millions of children.

    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=10645305

    What was the death rate from mercury poisoning during the height of the thimerosal exposure? Oh yes, it was zero. Not the cause of 23% of child deaths.

    So where is the epidemic of autism from the first half of the 20th century from the many tens of millions of children who received many thousands of times more mercury from teething powder than ever received from vaccines?

  54. #55 daedalus2u
    March 8, 2009

    The reference for the number of deaths due to pink disease in England and Wales is in here.

    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=14821416

  55. #56 Dianne
    March 9, 2009

    Modern pesticides mostly depend on disrupting metabolic pathways that mammals (including humans) don’t even have and so have little effect on humans. However, produce can be labelled “organic” if it is sprayed with certain older “natural” pesticides, including (IIRC) copper sulfide. So I think that Peet is wrong on the organic issue: she may actually be exposing her child to higher doses of potentially toxic substances than if she bought “conventionally grown” produce. However, that doesn’t change the fact that there is no evidence of a correlation between vaccines and autism. Or even mercury exposure and autism. There have been several incidents of mass mercury exposure. People got sick, people died, the rate of autism didn’t change.

  56. #57 catgirl
    March 9, 2009

    Isn’t it obvious? In the life of an actress, appearance is much more important than health. This doesn’t surprise me at all. Women with wrinkles don’t get the jobs.

  57. #58 Jake Crosby
    March 9, 2009

    “All the best studies…” Best studies? The study held up by Dr. Paul Offit as the “most comprehensive and definitive to date,” is the one on the CDC website exonerating thimerosal, published in NEJM, the first author is a former Merck employee, many other authors have similar COIs, excluded 70% of its original sample size, well above the maximum accepted level of sample elimination which is 30%. Of course, 30% is still ridiculously high for a study examining how something affects around 1 in 150 people. It even excluded neurological diseases such as meningitis and encephalitis. Hannah Poling would not have made it into this study.
    PS: if this were 2005, would you change the year of the canard to 2001?

    Mrs. Seidel, I have been on these websites many times already; I just haven’t commented on them like I am now. I’ll stay on as long as people stick with argumentation and do not resort to name-calling.

    Joseph, aluminum levels in vaccines exceed IV safety levels for infants (10-20mcg). The Hep B vaccine given on the day of birth alone contains 250 mcg Al.
    http://www.mothering.com/articles/growing_child/vaccines/aluminum-new-thimerosal.html
    I’m not even going to get into it with you on studies of neurological outcomes, the last study “exonerating” thimerosal excluded 30% of its sample size, included one autistic child, only examined thimerosal exposed groups and was done by a doctor whose grant support from Wyeth was not disclosed to Pediatrics, a huge conflict of interest. It’s no wonder it only found weak associations on other neurological disorders that “might have been attributable to chance.” Furthermore, the journal’s new editor Dr. Lewis First even mistated that it examined zero exposure groups, even though he graduated from Harvard School of Public Health with a masters in epidemiology. David Kirby had to correct him on that.

    Do’C, there is an association between mercury and all ASDs, by mercury entering the brain, breaking down into inorganic mercury (if it’s initially organic), inhibiting methylation pathways, and causing oxidative stress.
    Crematoriums are a release of elemantal mercury from amalgams, that’s increased, methylmercury comes from coal-burning plants, especially from those in rapidly industrializing China, that’s increased, for that matter thimerosal exposure has increased since it is given the flu shots that have increased over that period for pregnant women and children. Plus, DTaP, Hib and Hep B shots with thimerosal have remained on the shelves throughout the studied period.

    I’m no statistics expert, I even dropped a class in statistics this semester because of my procrastination, careless errors, and difficulty adjusting to Microsoft Excel thanks to my functioning level being hindered by my ASD. However, I do know that when you have a gradual decrease of one source of mercury, offset by increases of multiple sources of mercury, you will naturally have an overall gradual increase where the rate will roughly stay consistent.

    daedalus2u, unfortunately no large epidemiological study has been done on that population for autism but one has been done on a Japanese population in the Minamata region that showed increases in autism as methylmercury dumped into the bay by the Chisso Corporation accumulated.

    Dianne, see my previous response to daedalus2u.

    Orac, it appeears the NDs are giving you the majority of readership and support on this post. You must be very grateful to neurodiversity for making them support you and preventing them from turning against you. Surely it wouldn’t be good if all that came crashing down, would it?

    Anyway, I appreciate the responses guys, and look forward to reading more posts on “Respectful Insolence.” Keep ‘em coming.

  58. #59 Jake Crosby
    March 9, 2009

    “All the best studies…” Best studies? The study held up by Dr. Paul Offit as the “most comprehensive and definitive to date,” published in NEJM, excluded 70% of its original sample size, well above the maximum accepted level of sample elimination which is 30%. Of course, 30% is ridiculously high for a study examining how something affects around 1 in 150 people. It even excluded neurological disorders such as meningitis and encephalitis. Hannah Poling would not have made it into this study.

    Mrs. Seidel, I have been on these websites many times already. I just haven’t commented on them.

    Joseph, aluminum levels in vaccines exceed IV safety levels for infants (10-20mcg). The Hep B vaccine given on the day of birth contains 250 mcg.
    http://www.mothering.com/articles/growing_child/vaccines/aluminum-new-thimerosal.html
    I’m not even going to get into it with you on studies of neurological outcomes, the last study “exonerating” thimerosal excluded 30% of its sample size, included one autistic child, only examined thimerosal exposed groups and was done by a doctor whose grant support from Wyeth was not disclosed to Pediatrics, a huge conflict of interest.

    Do’C, there is an association between mercury and all ASDs, by thimerosal entering the brain, breaking down into inorganic mercury, inhibiting methylation pathways, and causing oxidative stress.
    Crematoriums are a huge release of elemantal mercury from amalgams, that’s increased, methylmercury comes from coal-burning plants, especially from rapidly industrializing China, that’s increased, for that matter thimerosal exposure has increased since it is given the flu shots that have increased over that period for pregnant women and children.
    I’m no statistics expert, I even dropped a class in statistics because of my procrastination, careless errors, and difficulty adjusting to Excel thanks my functioning level being hindered by my ASD. However, I do know that when you have a gradual decrease of one source of mercury, offset by increases of multiple sources of mercury, you will naturally have an overall gradual increase that will roughly conform to a straight line.

    daedalus2u, unfortunately no large epidemiological study has been done on that population for autism but one has been done on a Japanese population in the Minamata region that showed increases in autism as methylmercury dumped into the bay by the Chisso Corporation accumulated.

    Dianne, see my previous response to daedalus.

    Orac,
    Apparently, most of your insolent responses come from NDs. You must be very grateful to neurodiversity given that it’s causing them to support you and preventing them from turning against you. It would be a shame if that all came crashing down.

    Anyway, thanks for the responses guys. I look forward to more posts on “Respectful Insolence.” Keep ‘em coming.

  59. #60 Chris
    March 9, 2009

    Jake, just a friendly word of advice: Referencing “Mothering” is not recommended. It is similar to the whale.to website (look up Scopie’s Law).

    In the future you should try citing real research that is indexed at http://www.pubmed.gov (though even that has some pitfalls in that there are some questionable journals there like Medical Hypothesis).

  60. #61 Jake Crosby
    March 9, 2009

    Chris, I’m not going to eliminate a source just because of a comment posted on the website of an research psychiatrist for the IoP says so, especially since the IoP gets considerable amounts of funding from pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly etc. I could more easily discredit studies in the Archives of General Psychiatry or Pediatrics purely because of the funding sources of those journals.

    Furthermore, this information did not originally come from the website you mention, but from pediatrician Dr. Robert Sears.

    You have a point about citing real research however, the NEJM study, the California study and Tozzi et al. will all get you flunked in an introductory statistics class.

  61. #62 Dedj
    March 9, 2009

    Not to butt in, but I think you’ll find the IV safety is:

    a: for IV not IM
    b: for IV over an extended period of time
    c: is based on studies of premature infants with kidney problems. i.e. for infants who are ill enough to need IV.

    These premature, light weight infants, with kidney disfunction, received 100mcg IV with no ill effect, yet the other group needed 500mcg IV to show a ‘comparative’ ill effect after 18 months – a totally different outcome to those that claim immediate and apparant loss of function after their otherwise healthy child ‘regressed’ after a IM injection.

    In other words, it’s yet again another attempt at applying a correct figure to the wrong situation.

  62. #63 Chris
    March 9, 2009

    Huh? Okay, I got lost, who exactly is “research psychiatrist for the IoP”?

  63. #64 Chris
    March 9, 2009

    Just to let you know as a mother of a kid with several health issues, the “Mothering” magazine is a crappy place to get information. I bought one copy almost twenty years ago, and it was crappy enough then that I tossed it (essentially because of the chiropractors who claimed they could cure ear infections!).

    I tossed it into the recycle bin. I was even a crunchy kind of mom. I used cloth diapers, breastfed for almost two years, and made homemade baby food… but I knew what was crappy information even then.

  64. #65 Do'C
    March 9, 2009

    Do’C, there is an association between mercury and all ASDs, by thimerosal entering the brain, breaking down into inorganic mercury, inhibiting methylation pathways, and causing oxidative stress.

    An interesting hypothesis. A completely unsupported hypothesis.

    Crematoriums are a huge release of elemantal mercury from amalgams, that’s increased, methylmercury comes from coal-burning plants, especially from rapidly industrializing China, that’s increased, for that matter thimerosal exposure has increased since it is given the flu shots that have increased over that period for pregnant women and children.

    Another interesting hypothesis. Do you have any data that will support it whatsoever? I’d skip Olmsted and go straight to Kirby, if I were you, in search of such data. I’d also go back and check your thimerosal-containing flu shot uptake data for pregnant women if I were you (assuming your statement is based on data). When you’ve got the data to fit this all together, including corresponding increases and decreases that would produce a nearly flat trendline during the time thimerosal was removed, please don’t forget to carefully outline the toxicokinetics of the differing mercury species at the applicable points of exposure in time – so we can see that even though the increases and decreases won’t have exactly corresponding magnitudes, the toxicokinetics fit it all back together.

    I’m no statistics expert, I even dropped a class in statistics because of my procrastination, careless errors, and difficulty adjusting to Excel thanks my functioning level being hindered by my ASD. However, I do know that when you have a gradual decrease of one source of mercury, offset by increases of multiple sources of mercury, you will naturally have an overall gradual increase that will roughly conform to a straight line.

    You haven’t read Burbacher et al., 2005? Let’s have some data to back up this whole fantastic story please. I’m not interested in what you think you know (about statistics or anything else). I want to see the data that will show all of us that you are correct, and not just parroting anti-vax nonsense.

  65. #66 Joseph
    March 9, 2009

    You have a point about citing real research however, the NEJM study, the California study and Tozzi et al. will all get you flunked in an introductory statistics class.

    The NEJM study would be Thompson et al. (2007), in which Sallie Bernard from SafeMinds participated as a consultant in the design phase; that is, until she saw the results.

    OK Jake; state one convincing criticism of Thompson et al. (2007). Then provide two examples of retrospective studies (of anything) that have been more thorough, better designed, or more complex than Thompson et al.

    Then explain how the caseload in California (of any cohort of young children, like 3 year-olds or 3-5 year olds) could have the pattern it has had for the last 10 years if thimerosal in pediatric vaccines is a significant risk factor for autism.

  66. #67 Joseph
    March 9, 2009

    The study held up by Dr. Paul Offit as the “most comprehensive and definitive to date,” published in NEJM, excluded 70% of its original sample size, well above the maximum accepted level of sample elimination which is 30%. Of course, 30% is ridiculously high for a study examining how something affects around 1 in 150 people.

    Thompson et al. is quite thorough in the way it addresses all of its methodological limitations. It’s all in the paper. It’s not like the researchers were not smart enough to think about these problems. I count at least 18 authors in that paper. They also contracted many outside consultants, including Sallie Bernard from SafeMinds. You should read the paper, Jake.

    The 30% matters only if the 30% had not been representative. But they checked to see if they were representative. Basically, they found that the distribution of thimerosal exposure in the 30% group was the same as in the whole group.

    If they could’ve assessed all the children in the cohort, they would have. That’s not doable, though. But assessing children (as opposed to relying on recorded diagnoses) is a major strength of this study. It’s not confounded by coincidental cultural shifts.

  67. #68 Joseph
    March 9, 2009

    Joseph, aluminum levels in vaccines exceed IV safety levels for infants (10-20mcg). The Hep B vaccine given on the day of birth alone contains 250 mcg Al.
    http://www.mothering.com/articles/growing_child/vaccines/aluminum-new-thimerosal.html

    What do IV safety levels have to do with vaccines? I didn’t find anywhere that those are safety levels either; just the maximum levels they normally have in IVs. Basically, if someone is in a hospital and takes 2 liters of IV a day, they will have received about 200 mcg of aluminum in 5 days. In 50 days, that’s 2000 mcg.

    The CDC website has additional information on aluminum toxicity.

    The total body burden of aluminum in
    healthy individuals is 30 to 50 mg.

    Concentration in soil varies widely
    ranging from 7 to over 100 g/kg.

    Generally below 0.1 mg/L in surface
    water.

    Aluminum is the most abundant metal in
    the earth’s crust.

    An [Minimal Risk Level] of 1 mg aluminum/kg/day has been derived for intermediate-duration oral exposure (15-364 days).

    That would be 5000 micrograms for a 5 Kg baby in one day.

  68. #69 Chris
    March 9, 2009

    Jake said “Furthermore, this information did not originally come from the website you mention, but from pediatrician Dr. Robert Sears.”

    Robert Sears is an idiot:
    http://mainstreamparenting.wordpress.com/2008/09/19/dr-bob-vs-the-mmr/ (which has links to her analysis of his aluminum scaremongering)
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=333

    I remember when my oldest was a baby my family doctor mentioned something about his dad, that he was a nut! — though being a crunchy mom he thought I would accept some of his ideas. Though the advice was to carry the baby around (which I had to do with Child #2). The advice to sleep with the babies, not so much. We had a waterbed and knowing how that could lead to itty bitty baby suffocation, I opted for the nearby bassinet. Close enough to stagger over to feed, and then put back and go to sleep in my own sloshy bed.

  69. #70 Esther
    March 10, 2009

    It seems Dr. Sears is also an advisor to Andrew Wakefield’s Thoughtful House (along with Mark Blaxill, David Kirby, and 2/3 of the Dixie Chicks):

    http://www.thoughtfulhouse.org/board.htm

    Which may explain why he’s so wedded to the idea of vaccines causing autism.

  70. #71 Dedj
    March 10, 2009

    “I didn’t find anywhere that those are safety levels either;”

    They aren’t.

    That just happens to be the value that was chosen for the lower dose group. I think it was based on what they could filter from the IV. The ‘safe dose’ (for light weight premature infants with kidney problems) could easily be twice that amount and the study could not have picked up on it.

    It’s not even a proper safety study, like the anti-vaxxors demand, yet they’ll happily dismiss similar studies that look for a dose response relationship whilst holding any study – really, any study at all – that might hint at a connection.

    None of this changes the fact that the majority of the studies presented do not have outcomes even remotely similar to what the vaccine skeptics are claiming has happened/ is happening to their children. ‘Comparative’ impairments in functioning after 18 months is nothing close to the immediate, radical and obvious changes that are being claimed.

  71. #72 Cynical Pediatrician
    March 10, 2009

    Must…resist…urge…to…smack…troll…

    Jakers writes “daedalus2u, unfortunately no large epidemiological study has been done on that population for autism but one has been done on a Japanese population in the Minamata region that showed increases in autism as methylmercury dumped into the bay by the Chisso Corporation accumulated.”

    FAIL

    Source?

    Plunk “Minamata” and “autism” into Pubmed; tell us what you get, Jakers. Go on, we’ll wait.

    That’s right, you get NADA, because Minamata disease–aka methylmercury poisoning–has different symptomatology from autism. Sensory/coordination issues, auditory problems, potential memory impairment, but no expressive language disorder in conjunction with social impairment. Not in the adults, not in the children, not even in the exposed fetuses. Apparently whoever told you so is just a wee bit, how shall I put it, WRONG.

    Jake “I’m no statistics expert, I even dropped a class in statistics because of my…careless errors”–still stuck in your ways?

  72. #73 Joseph
    March 10, 2009

    Jake is a lot like another autistic I’m familiar with, Jonathan Mitchell, in that they both attribute their personal failures to autism. Unlike Jonathan, Jake in turn blames Big Pharma and even his mom for the way he is.

    I guess it’s very convenient to blame autism for failing college. Given the stereotypes of autism, most people probably find this reasonable, and will pity Jake. That’s what he wants no doubt: pity. The thing is, if he weren’t autistic, he’d probably find other external culprits for his personal failures. Because, you see, not only autistic people fail in college, by any stretch of the imagination.

    If Jake thinks that autistics who go to college generally fail, I can only conclude he hasn’t read Szatmari et al. (1989). Half of the sample from this study attended college, and 44% obtained a degree.

    But instead of realizing that autism is a poor excuse for things like this, I bet Jake is now trying to find how Dr. Szatmari is connected to Big Pharma, and how it is that the conspiracy dates back to 1989.

  73. #74 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 10, 2009

    “I’m no statistics expert, I even dropped a class in statistics because of my procrastination, careless errors, and difficulty adjusting to Excel thanks my functioning level being hindered by my ASD. However, I do know that when you have a gradual decrease of one source of mercury, offset by increases of multiple sources of mercury, you will naturally have an overall gradual increase that will roughly conform to a straight line.”

    That’s like saying “I know that if you start at zero, and subtract one number, and add one other number, and add one other number, and add one other number, you will end with a result that is greater than zero.” The person saying it is either a) reprehensibly sloppy, for saying “you will end up with” when the accurate version is “you might or might not end up with”; b) reprehensibly dishonest, for saying “you will end up with” when the accurate version is “you might or might not end up with”; or c) reprehensibly ignorant, for actually believing that you can confidently assert what the result will be of adding and subtracting multiple unknown, unquantified variables.

    “I do know that … you will naturally have an overall gradual increase [in mercury levels] that will roughly conform to a straight line” — no, Jake. You don’t know that. You were told that by David Kirby. You have chosen to swallow that improbable tale. But it’s nonsense.

  74. #75 Alyric
    March 10, 2009

    “Apparently, most of your insolent responses come from NDs. You must be very grateful to neurodiversity given that it’s causing them to support you and preventing them from turning against you. It would be a shame if that all came crashing down.”

    This is such woeful thinking but informative. Neurodiversity has a mind of its own?

    How can you discuss Thompson 2007 with someone who hasn’t read it and has no clue on the methodology? Not that Jake would because he does not have a grounding in basic science and never bothered to correct the deficit. Anyone who swallows conspiracy theory as automatically true has more than a few cognitive screws loose. But I think much worse than that is borrowing AoA canned reasoning uncritically and simply regurgitating it. It does not inspire confidence in the critical thinking skills of Jake Crosby, though there are lots of indicators that this was a problem from the start.

  75. #76 What happened to Jake?
    March 13, 2009

    Don’t suppose you’ve found any data to support your claims yet, have you Jake?

  76. #77 Jake Crosby
    March 13, 2009

    Dedj said:
    “a: for IV not IM”

    Isn’t the reason why vaccines are intramuscular is because they’re absorbed faster that way?

    and:
    “b: for IV over an extended period of time”

    Getting aluminum all at once is likely going to be more dangerous than getting that same amount over an extended period of time.

    and:
    “c: is based on studies of premature infants with kidney problems.”

    who also get their vaccines, which unlike IVs have no aluminum warnings

    Chris,
    Ben Goldacre is a research psychiatrist for the IoP, he runs the Bad Science columns and website.

    you said:
    “”Mothering” magazine is a crappy place to get information.”

    “6 copies for $19.95,” And Seed Magazine isn’t? Mad Magazine isn’t even that cheap. lol
    http://www.google.com/products?hl=en&q=magazine+prices&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=eIG5SY7GBpi6M7f04ZsI&sa=X&oi=product_result_group&resnum=1&ct=title

    Do’C said:
    “An interesting hypothesis. A completely unsupported hypothesis.”

    Probably because you ignore studies showing the pathology of your own disorder and instead look at trashy ecostudies done by a public health group lower down on the spine of a fish rotting from the head that is the CDC.

    “Do you have any data that20will support it whatsoever? ”

    Interesting, you ask me to prove these very obvious confounding factors in a study you originally parroted to “prove” your case, when in fact, if you want your California study to be at all conclusive in any way, the burden is on you to show that these confounders were addressed and to not skew its findings in any significant way. This is especially crucial for you to do in a study that examines all birth-years when thimerosal was still given in pediatric vaccines and does not examine any thimerosal-free years (as thimerosal wasn’t banned in California until 2006). Care to find me the VSD data confirming that these children did not in fact receive thimerosal? Then again, the CDC blocks access to the VSD(I wonder why). So it would be futile.

    “You haven’t read Burbacher et al., 2005?”

    Yeah, so? Methylmercury leaves high brain concentrations of mercury, whereas ethylmercury leaves higher percentages of mercury that undergoes de-methylation subsequently becoming inorganic, and the brain to blood ratio is slightly higher for ethylmercury than methylmercury. So, they’ll have varying effects on different parts of the brain, but this study does not suggest at all that one compound won’t have effects that could not potentially be caused by the other. That’s of course assuming this is the point your trying to make by bringing up this study, although it seems irrelevant to what I suspect is the argument you’re trying to make.

    “I wan
    t to see the data that will show all of us that you are correct and not just parroting”

    Now that’s strange, you want the burden of proof to be on me when you are the one parroting this study to confirm your views, regardless of all the errors both you and it ignored.

    Joseph said:
    “in which Sallie Bernard from SafeMinds participated as a consultant in the design phase; that is, until she saw the results.”

    And the methods which yielded t
    hose results which were absolute garbage.

    “Basically, they found that the distribution of thimerosal exposure in the 30% group was the same as in the whole group.”

    Excluding babies under 5.5lbs, and only focusing on thimerosal exposure not relative to the weight of the child. That’ll get you by in a statistics class. :S

    Joseph, you bring up another straw man argument similar to your response to my critique of the BRAINHE study with your irrelevant mention of “zero-confidence.” You imply that just because it’s “impossible” to include the entire original sample size, that therefore it’s alright to parrot this study as confirming your views when it exclusion rate is 70% for something that’s looking at how a poison affects 1 in around 150 people. This is problematic especially since along with lower-weight children it deliberately excludes children with brain conditions such as Encephalopathy which can lead to autism, not to mention the fact that families with autistic children are less likely to take part in these studies in the first place. Btw, Thompson
    is a former Merck employee just so you know. Others involved have similar COIs. These are the few disclosed COIs unlike in the majority of this garbage bin collection mostly published in Pediatrics.

    You and Do’C are suffering from two autistic problems, perseveration and rigidity. Perseveration in that you each latch onto your precious studies concluding what you want with such conviction, and rigidity in your thinking which shows a failure to take into considera
    tion of factors which both these studies ignored which skews the results. Both the authors of these studies have COIs, although at least with the NEJM study they’re disclosed as such.

    Good point, with an IV infants at least get the aluminum gradually, which cannot be said of a shot. If you read the link you would see that the FDA does not allow any more than 25 mcg of aluminum per liter of IV fluid, warning “Aluminum content in parenteral drug products could result in a toxic accumulation of aluminum in individuals receiving TPN therapy. Research indicates that neonates and patient populations with impaired kidney function may be at high risk of exposure to unsafe amounts of aluminum. Studies show that aluminum may accumulate in the bone, urine, and plasma of infants receiving TPN. Many drug products used routinely in parenteral therapy may contain levels of aluminum sufficiently high to cause clinical manifestations [i.e., symptoms]. . . Aluminum toxicity is difficult to identify in infants because few reliable techniques are available to evaluate bone
    metabolism in premature infants. . . Although aluminum toxicity is not commonly detected clinically, it can be serious in selected patient populations, such as neonates, and may be more common than is recognized.”

    A typical adult receives a liter of IV solution a day, so in five days that’s 125 mcg. Try comparing that to pneumococcal vaccines in which the infant receives this same amount of aluminum the moment the shot is injected.

    “The total body burden of
    aluminum in healthy individuals is 30 to 50 mg.
    Concentration in soil varies widely ranging from 7 to over 100 g/kg.
    Generally below 0.1 mg/L in surface water.
    Aluminum is the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust.”

    This reminds me of what a Big Tobacco CEO said when asked a question about the safety of cigarette smoke claiming, “It’s no better than New York City air.”

    “An [Minimal Risk Level] of 1 mg aluminum/kg/day has been derived for intermediate-duration oral exposure (15-364 days).
    That would be 5000 micrograms for a 5 Kg baby in one day.”

    “And because the body doesn’t absorb aluminum, it’s harmless when swallowed.”
    http://www.mothering.com/articles/growing_child/vaccines/aluminum-new-thimerosal.html

    Chris,

    The criticisms of Robert Sears are based on the assumption that the current vaccine schedule is harmless despite a complete lack of evidence for this.

    Esther,

    He was probably made a trustee of thoughtful house for his thoughtful concerns about
    vaccine safety such as aluminum.

    Dejd,

    You clearly did not read the link just as Joseph failed to do. The FDA has set a safety limit for aluminum in IV solutions, even though this has not been set for those in vaccines knowing it would be dependent on how much solution an adult could absorb versus a baby, which is a lot less. Plus, even if your fallacious claim were true (it’s not, no infant could absorb two liters of IV solution in a day), 20-40 mcg is little compared to 125 mcg in pneumonia shots and nothing compared to 850 mcg in
    GSK’s DTaP-Hib-Polio-combination Pediarix shot.

    At least you agree that the FDA hasn’t done a proper safety study on aluminum in vaccines.

    First of all, you only have the majority of epi/ecostudies on your side, which are contradicted through alternate data of the same kind obtained by FOIA requests. Secondly, big pharma has a majority of the money to carry out these studies. The only bragging right you have is how rich the people supporting your views are. There are no corporate CEOs on our side, meanwhile Adam Bly is the CEO of Seed Media Group who owns this blog and is trying to promote his company to pharmaceutical CEOs. It’s rather obvious where he stands, and he’s just one and isn’t even the CEO of a pharmaceutical company.

    No, the study clearly is not in PubMed, it doesn
    ‘t contain the word “Minamata,” as it is in the Fukushima prefecture.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7129258?ordinalpos=15&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

    Fukushima is actually not close to Minamata, I messed that up. It’s near Niigata, the second major outbreak of Minamata disease in Japan, beginning in 1965. My fault.

    Cynical Pediatrician:
    “aka methylmercur
    y poisoing – has…no expressive language disorder in conjunction with social impairment.”

    FAIL

    “Minamata disease (水俣病 Minamata-byō?), sometimes referred to as Chisso-Minamata disease (チッソ水俣病 Chisso-Minamata-byō?), is a neurological syndrome caused by severe mercury poisoning. Symptoms include ataxia, numbness in the hands and feet, general muscle weakness, narrowing of the field of vision and DAMAGE TO HEARING AND SPEECH.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minamata_disease

    emphasis mine

    “Jake “I’m no statistics expert, I even dropped a class in statistics because of my…careless errors”–still stuck in your ways?”

    Making fun of someone for their ASD-hindered functioning level in relation to academic
    organizational difficulties? That’s mentalist. I obviously wasted my time replying to another Michael Savage-type such as you. Btw, if your name is “Cynical Pediatrician,” why are you too deluded to accept the fact that much of your career has been spent poisoning children with mercury?

    Joseph,

    Jon and I are different. I was born right before the autism explosion and he was born well before it, which gives each of us very different perceptions of what causes autism. However, I highly doubt Jon will be happy to see “Skeptical Bloggers” teaming up with NDs that they are reliant on readership. People such as yourself have played a huge role in feeding Orac’s blogging arrogance. Jon is already concerned that prominen
    t doctors denying an autism-vaccine link such as Paul Offit are so wedded to neurodiversity.

    “I guess it’s very convenient to blame autism for failing college.” “Failing college?” WOW!!! When in time did I say I failed college? Just because I dropped a statistics course while being overloaded with four other classes? At Brandeis, the average student takes four classes a semester. Dropping classes in college, as you would know if you’ve ever attended one, is very common. This isn’t something I’m proud of but it’s not a failure, I’m writing this from my dorm room write now. This problem of rigidity concerning inability to think in between extremes is further confirms my concerns of you and Do’C, and is a common autistic trait. Knowing this, it’s no wonder you and everyone else in neurodive
    rsity is so wedded to your beliefs in a de-medicalization of autism, it seems you are channeled to think that way by your autism!

    Wow, and then you provide another example of such thinking. You seem to imply that just because lots of people fail college that therefore one particular developmental disability does not have that potential. This is the same kind of approach you and others have taken to interpreting data. Look at the way you’ve interpreted this study now, claiming I will accuse the doctor who lead it as having pharmaceutical ties? This does not even have anything to do with autism in particular and I’m sure if you asked him he’d probably tell you that many factors can cause attendees to drop out of20which ASD is just one.

    Antaeus,

    I’m not dealing with numbers here, I’m dealing with trends. It’s simply theoretical statistics, combining multiple increasing factors with one decreasing factor over a period of time will give a gradual(no spikes or dips) trend with a continuous growth rate that will most likely be increasing since only one factor is going down while all the rest are going up.

    “reprehensibly ignorant, for actually believing that you can confidently assert what the result will be of adding and subtracting multiple unknown, unquantified variables.”

    a.) I’m not speaking of variables.
    b.) The researchers doing this study did the exact same thing by declaring a conclusion from data that didn’t consider these confounders.

    Alyric,

    I’ve seen the way you’ve responded to Jon Mitche
    ll on leftbrain/rightbrain, and frankly having a serious conversation about anything with you would be a waste. I would be happy to discuss the NEJM study with you or any study you like for that matter, but when it gets down to name-calling and insulting someone else’s thinking for not matching up with yours, count me out! You don’t know what I do in my spare time, I research this subject constantly. I ask questions to reporters, doctors and parents who agree with me that are every bit as critical as those I ask of people with opposing views, and I don’t need you telling me otherwise.

    Anyway guys, it’s been fun, but I gotta go. It probably won’t be soon before I respond to you all again since I’m at college and don’t want to fail as Joseph already thinks I have, so I will be going. Come summer, I plan on being more active on “Respectful Insolence.” I look forward to debating anyone who doesn’t get too personal, thanks.

  77. #78 Chris
    March 15, 2009

    Jake said “Ben Goldacre is a research psychiatrist for the IoP, he runs the Bad Science columns and website.”

    So what? He is actually a salaried doctor for the NHS.

  78. #79 Dedj
    March 15, 2009

    “Dejd,

    You clearly did not read the link just as Joseph failed to do. The FDA has set a safety limit for aluminum in IV solutions, even though this has not been set for those in vaccines knowing it would be dependent on how much solution an adult could absorb versus a baby, which is a lot less.”

    First of all, don’t accuse people of laziness just because they disagree with you.

    I both went to the link AND went to read the readily available original research which was available through the FDA/CDC, and I did this several months ago when your link was first made known to me. I was familiar with your link way before you appear to have discovered it.

    The research said nothing close to what you presented it as evidence for. You presented it as a safety level for aluminum in IV, implying that it works as a safety level in vaccines.

    You made no attempt to addresss the concerns that you were:

    A: treating different modalities of administration as equivilants. Tip IV means intra-venous – that is direct into the bloodstream. IM means intramuscular, with slower release into the system. It’s why depot injections are given sub-cutaneous rather than IV.

    B: treating a mcg/kg/day level for long term exposure (in critically ill premature lightweight infants) as an acute exposure safety level

    C: treating outcomes radically different to those claimed by the anti-vaccine lobby as evidence in favour of the anti-vaccine lobby

    D: treating safety levels for 2-4 lbs premature infants with kidney problems as equivilant to healthy child safety levels.

    Nothing in your reply has addressed the fact that only a serious misreading of the original study and/or wishful misinterpretation of the outcomes lends any credence to the anti-vaxxor lobbyists typical claims. Mild comparative impairments in development after 18 months in nowhere close to immediate, obvious, significant regression.

    Deal with it.

    “Plus, even if your fallacious claim were true (it’s not, no infant could absorb two liters of IV solution in a day), 20-40 mcg……….”

    Huh , what? I’ve never claimed this. There’s nothing in my words that could be reasonably misread to indicate that I believe this. The nearest to it is the observation that the safe level could have been 20mcg/kg/day and the study could not have picked up on it.

    Just to clear something else up:

    “Making fun of someone for their ASD-hindered functioning level in relation to academic
    organizational difficulties? That’s mentalist.”

    Well, you happily tried to smear several people – at least you did it individually unlike John Best – yet as soon as you take some incoming you hide behind the “Bad man hurt me!” card.

    One thing that must be pointed out is that people with autism have a tendancy to be concrete, literal thinkers. It’s far more likely that a person with autism will think that autism is a disorder “Because the DSM/ICD says so” than they are to use abstract thought to think about what this signifies in terms of the systems in play.

  79. #80 Dedj
    March 15, 2009

    “”Symptoms include ataxia, numbness in the hands and feet, general muscle weakness, narrowing of the field of vision and DAMAGE TO HEARING AND SPEECH.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minamata_disease

    Read it again. Then follow the links.

    Expressive language is not the same as manner of articulation. There may be comordibly dyspraxic individuals with problems forming speech, but this is not indicative of autism by itself, and is mostly related to co-ordination, not cognition.

    Expressive language deficiets can hold across mediums, although some may find that the slower pace of writing allows for more time to consider what the write and to correct errors.

    People with motor speech difficulties can often also have dysphagia or difficulties chewing. These are not that common in autism and can often be attributed to institutionalisation or lack of habituation.

    People with echolalia or palilalia can have expressive language problems, but no problems forming speech.

    The two are not the same, as a proper reading of your reference would have indicated.

    Your only excuse for the continuing shockingly bad quality of your posts is that you are rushed and in a hurry. The only other interpretation is that you clearly don’t know what you’re talking about and don’t know that you don’t know.

  80. #81 Do'C
    March 15, 2009

    Jake Crosby writes:

    Now that’s strange, you want the burden of proof to be on me when you are the one parroting this study to confirm your views, regardless of all the errors both you and it ignored.

    Jake, you brought up amalgams. You brought up fish consumption. You brought up crematoriums. You brought up coal burning and China. You brought up flu shots. Please go back and read your own comments before posting again.

    I did bring up a study, but made absolutely no claims, other than that the growth of the 3-5 year old autism caseload cohort appears linear during a period of reduction of thimerosal in childhood vaccines. Contrary to actually making a specific claim, I asked you a question!

    “Has there been a corresponding increase the use of dental amalgams and fish consumption that offsets the reduction of thimerosal in childhood vaccines that somebody missed?”

    You responded with a fantastic story, but no data.

    Again, I don’t make any specific claim. In fact, I’m willing to concede that it is entirely possible that there are corresponding increases in other forms of mercury exposure (as you have suggested with specific sources named). Now all you need to do is provide the evidence that this is a true story and not anti-vax bullshit.

    If you don’t actually have any data to provide, this would be a good time for you to own up to it and just say so. There’s really no point in discussing your claims further without it.

  81. #82 Jake Crosby
    March 22, 2009

    Dejd:

    A: Claiming an IV release is faster than an IM one is a fallacious assumption, some drugs get absorbed faster when IM injected than by IV, and vice versa.

    B: Which is worse? 500 mcg Al delivered over the corse of 18 months, or 500 mcg Al delivered in a day from a shot?

    C: Are you defending vaccines or are you defending unsafe levels of Aluminum in vaccines?

    D: Do premature infants with kidney problems get vaccinated?

    You said:
    “Your only excuse for the continuing shockingly bad quality of your posts is that you are rushed and in a hurry.”

    Symptoms of Minamata disease include numbness in the limbs, difficulty in moving the hands and legs, a narrowed visual field, language disorders
    http://www.minamata-tour.org/en/disease/symptom/index.html

    Speak for yourself, a simple look on the Minamata tourism website would’ve prevented you from wasting time on that entire second post.

    Do’C,

    I did bring up amalgams, fish consumption, coal-burning, crematoriums, and flu shots. As I result you demanded:

    “When you’ve got the data to fit this all together, including corresponding increases and decreases that would produce a nearly flat trendline during the time thimerosal was removed, please don’t forget to carefully outline the toxicokinetics of the differing mercury species at the applicable points of exposure in time – so we can see that even though the increases and decreases won’t have exactly corresponding magnitudes, the toxicokinetics fit it all back together.”

    You, however, claimed that according to the California study, thimerosal had been removed from other pediatric shots. Conversions to preservative-free lots, however, weren’t made until 2001, and the shelf life on them is two years. Since older shots are used up first, most of them would probably be thimerosal preservative-containing in California from the years 2001-2003. The study does not cite any convincing sources to suggest otherwise. That said, you should use either the VSD or if unable to, find some alternative means to prove that the last lots of these vaccines really were gone by mid-2002. All you’d have to do is get the numbers for all the lots of vaccines, and find how many times a vaccine from each lot was administered to children in California during each of the 2001-2003 birth years. That shouldn’t be any harder than the demands you levied on me, no? All you need to do is provide the evidence that this is a true story and not mere ND denial of being “inherently toxic,” which would describe the substance in vaccines you are defending, not vaccines themselves.

  82. #83 Dedj
    March 22, 2009

    “Claiming an IV release is faster than an IM one is a fallacious assumption”

    Uh, no it’s the purpose of IV administration.

    “ome drugs get absorbed faster when IM injected than by IV, and vice versa.”

    You’re even now trying to claim you were talking about uptake, a different process to release, and one which does not help your case as we’re talking about the same substances, with the same uptake pathways.

    If you don’t have the honesty to not switch arguements halfway through, then there’s little point dealing with you.

    “B: Which is worse? 500 mcg Al delivered over the corse of 18 months, or 500 mcg Al delivered in a day from a shot?”

    Learn to read, and to check your sources. The rate was 500mcg, or 250mcg/kg over ten days.

    The initial point was that the outcomes from the studies your sources looked at (it’s clear YOU haven’t looked at them, despite the ease of availability on government websites) was radically different from that typically claimed by vaccine skeptics.

    Massively radical differences in rate of onset and in levels of impairment.

    You do not address the huge gaps that need to be filled to use the studies quoted by your sources as evidence for iatrogenic autism.

    “Speak for yourself, a simple look on the Minamata tourism website would’ve prevented you from wasting time on that entire second post.”

    Sorry, but I indicated why your original source didn’t say what you thought it did, and was evidently successful. You did not address this, instead preffering to suddenly switch references to a low-grade tourism source. You have still not addressed the difference in dysphasia evident in many people with autism, and the dysarthria evident in the minamata literature, nor showed any recognition of the possibility of a difference.

    Hell, you didn’t even bother to check what they were talking about http://www.nimd.go.jp/archives/english/index.html. That’s the people who are the source of your source by the way. As I said, Shockingly poor research skills there, Jake, you can’t even click a few hyperlinks it seems.

    It’s pretty clear that you’re just throwing out whatever you can to save face, and are not actually bothered about sticking to the arguement at hand. You have indicated that you will happily change sources and switch arguements without conscience.

    Go back to your studies, you clearly don’t have the time or ability to do both things effectively.

    Perhaps you might like to blame ‘your’ autism for that too.

  83. #84 Dedj
    March 22, 2009

    To add: That link above appears to throw up a 404.

    Navigating to http://www.nimd.go.jp/english/index.html then “Minamata Disease Archives”
    then
    “Outline of Minamata”
    then
    “Medical Explanation -1″

    appears to work.

    Try http://www.nimd.go.jp/archives/english/tenji/a_corner/a03.html as well.

  84. #85 Jake Crosby
    March 22, 2009

    “Uh, no it’s the purpose of IV administration.”

    Except that unlike with a vaccine, all the aluminum in the IV doesn’t go into the body the instant it’s injected.

    “If you don’t have the honesty to not switch arguements halfway through, then there’s little point dealing with you.”

    There’s no point in dealing with YOU if you base my dishonesty off my use of the word “release” in my last post and a word I used in the post before that (actually “absorb”), both used to describe the same thing. You can either deal with the words I say as I meant them, or make up your own message in your head.

    “The rate was 500mcg, or 250mcg/kg over ten days.”

    In other words, 50 mcg over the corse of a day, for healthy infants, which hardly compares to as much as 850 mcg from a single vaccine the instant it’s given. This is a radically different onset alright.

    This, however, is for healthy infants, not ones with kidney problems who to my knowledge also receive vaccines.

    “it’s clear YOU haven’t looked at them, despite the ease of availability on government websites”

    Now that I did it appears I didn’t have to, what it says supports the same concerns Dr. Sears was talking about:

    WARNING: This product contains aluminum that may be
    toxic. Aluminum may reach toxic levels with prolonged
    parenteral administration if kidney function is impaired.
    Premature neonates are particularly at risk because their
    kidneys are immature, and they require large amounts of
    calcium and phosphate solutions, which contain aluminum.
    Research indicates that patients with impaired kidney
    function, including premature neonates, who receive
    parenteral levels of aluminum at greater than 4 to
    5 mcg/kg/day accumulate aluminum at levels associated
    with central nervous system and bone toxicity. Tissue
    loading may occur at even lower rates of administration.
    http://www.fda.gov/cder/foi/label/2002/18961s12lbl.pdf

    Thank you for making me waste my time.

    “You do not address the huge gaps that need to be filled to use the studies quoted by your sources as evidence for iatrogenic autism.”

    Those gaps also need to be filled to show whether aluminum in vaccines is safe.

    “You did not address this, instead preffering to suddenly switch references to a low-grade tourism source.”

    I thought I was doing you a favor since the key word you were looking for was “language,” but now that you changed the word to “dysphasia,” I am forced to dig up yet another source to show you that this symptom is in the Minamata disease literature. Please don’t accuse me of not having conscience.

    Her grasping power was also reduced. She did notchew any food. She had slight swallowing difficulty, enhanced dysphasia (she was unable to speak distinctly), and her neck became unsteady.
    http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:gB8wygROvWMJ:www.nimd.go.jp/syakai/webversion/pdfversion/e001009_intro.pdf+minamata+disease+dysphasia&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

    and you accuse me of poor research skills.

    In fact, there are a number of symptoms of the disease your source fails to include, such as Dysphagia, or a difficulty swallowing. I have trouble with swallowing.

    Dyarthria can include difficulty controlling voice volume, I have trouble with that. Your source mentions sensory problems, also faced by a lot of people with autism as I’m sure you are well-aware of.

    “and are not actually bothered about sticking to the arguement at hand.”

    Let’s back up here. You started this argument by going off-topic, cherry-picking one portion of my response to cynical pediatrician that had nothing to do with the discussion at hand, right? I mean, it was in response to when I showed speech and hearing from a partial listing off wikipedia, you started pretentiously trying to prove it had nothing to do with language. So I found “language disorders” off the Minamata tourism website no less, you whined that it was “low-quality,” as if you have more knowledge of the disease then people who live in Minamata. So you then reference an source every bit as bad as you accuse me of linking that does not even include a complete listing of the symptoms. On the basis of that, you specifically mention dysphasia since it’s not listed on your source, when it turns out that people with Minamata disease also suffered from that as well. You then attempted to draw a line between autistic people and dysarthria since it is in Minamata literature, when I, a person with an ASD, have difficulty with volume which is a characteristic of that. It really is no wonder autism rates rose in Fukushima prefecture when it was affected by the second outbreak of Minamata disease in Japan.

    So in all this time you’ve spent arguing with me you’ve accomplished nothing, and this has really gotten nowhere other than some childish personal attacks and arrogance on your part, which I’ve experienced all too much with NDs like you. I’m actually writing an independent study paper on the vaccine-autism link. I was hoping to get new information out of these debates, but as usual I’ve yielded nothing out of you. I will go back to my studies now.

  85. #86 Paul Stein
    September 3, 2009

    Absolutely, Jenny McCarthy is one of these anti-vaccination people who doesn’t know the truth about her beloved Botox. In the event that vaccinations stop being given, terrible diseases, such as measles and the mumps will be given free reign. Some people claim that she is attacked as a nutjob, yet the truth is that Jenny McCarthy doesn’t know the first thing about medicine or autism.

  86. #87 Alice Tracey
    March 20, 2010

    She’s talking about children when she’s talking about vaccines. She does not misunderstand correlation and cause. She clearly discusses this. If she decides to use Botox as an adult despite potential risks, thats still her option to do so and has nothing to do with her campaign about too many vaccines too soon for children. Without her, most people would be clueless about the ingredients in vaccines. It’s time for the medical community to stop with the “trust us – it’s safe”.
    I’m proud of the parents who are speaking up about the sketchiness of returning home only days after a vaccine appoint. and suddenly child has symptoms they never had previously. So many parents.. coincidence?
    Awareness is our human right. So is speaking up. Calling people “dumb” never gets anyone anywhere. Sorry writer.. you lost the rapport with me.
    Go Jenny!

  87. #88 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 21, 2010

    I’m proud of the parents who are speaking up about the sketchiness of returning home only days after a vaccine appoint. and suddenly child has symptoms they never had previously. So many parents.. coincidence?

    There aren’t as many parents meeting that description as you think there are. Look at what happened with the Cedillos, one of the test cases of the “Autism Omnibus”. They thought that the first symptoms of Michelle’s autism did not appear until after her vaccination. But their own home movies proved them wrong, showing that she displayed symptoms well before that vaccination. Others who have bought into the “vaccines-cause-autism” will tell you that their child had a vaccination and suddenly started displaying autism symptoms … and then when you actually look at the medical history, you find out that a year and a half is what they’re calling autism symptoms coming on “suddenly” after a vaccination.

    The fact is that most autistic children have been vaccinated for the simple reason that most children have been vaccinated. And when a disorder’s symptoms manifest in early childhood, those symptoms will often be noticed after vaccinations for the simple reason that vaccinations also happen in early childhood.

    Oh, and “without [Jenny McCarthy], most people would be clueless about the ingredients in vaccines”? With Jenny, they must be even worse, because Jenny spreads falsehoods about vaccine ingredients that would be cleared up by five minutes’ Google searching. Seriously. Google “vaccine antifreeze” – that’s all it would have taken Jenny to correct her mistaken notion that vaccines contain antifreeze, but obviously she didn’t do that simple bit of research before presuming to tell everyone else. So, no to the “Go Jenny!” Yes, perhaps, to “Go and do real research on your subject before you presume to ‘educate’ others, Jenny!”