The little matter of finding out that the actor who played Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation appears to have anti-vaccine proclivities sidetracked me from something that I had actually wanted to blog about yesterday. Specifically, it’s something that my blog bud Abel Pharmboy has been hitting hard over the last couple of days. It may also, sadly, because I’ve become a bit jaded at the nastiness that anti-vaccine groups such as Generation Rescue (i.e., “Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey’s Autism Organization”–at least days) and its erstwile founder J.B. Handley can lay down. I’m referring, of course, to Amy Wallace, who wrote what to me is the best example of an article in the mainstream media about the anti-vaccine movement that “gets it.” The article was called An Epidemic of Fear: How Panicked Parents Skipping Shots Endangers Us All and appeared in WIRED Magazine.

It was a thing of beauty. There was no false “balance” that puts cranks pushing dangerous pseudoscience on the same plane as real scientists like Paul Offit. There was even a section calling out purveyors of vaccine misinformation. Several luminaries of the the anti-vaccine movement were there, including ones discussed frequently on this blog, like Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and Don Imus. But that wasn’t all! There was even a section on how to debunk anti-vaccine canards. What more could an advocate of science-based medicine ask for?

When I first read Wallace’s article, I knew she was going to be in for a rough time. The anti-vaccine movement doesn’t take kindly to criticism. Indeed, I even warned the publicist who had e-mailed a bunch of bloggers, including me, about the article that I hoped she was ready for a “shitstorm” (the exact word I used). After all, I’ve been the target of J.B. Handley’s wrath on more than one occasion. He’s particularly fond of trying to poison my Google reputation when I annoy him sufficiently, and one time either he or someone inspired by one of his attacks on me actually e-mailed my cancer center director a link to his screed. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if J.B. posts another similar smear after this post. Maybe I’ll post this under my own name under my other blog. J.B. only seems to complain about my all-out frontal assaults on the anti-vaccine movement when they come from behind the Orac ‘nym. Never mind that I’ve posted the same stuff, sometimes the almost exactly the same text, word for word, under my own name elsewhere. Indeed, when I do that, inevitably the attacks will land fast and furious on Orac and leave the Real Me alone. I guess that once outing is gone as a threat all that leaves is whining about my use of a pseudonym and how supposedly nasty I am–to which I retort that I consider endangering children to be far nastier than the worst sarcasm I’ve ever laid down here.

Be that as it may, the publicist said she and Wallace were ready. Well, as an interview on NPR with Wallace has shown, the shitstorm has arrived, and it is just as stinky as the term implies, complete with misogyny and sexism. Abel compiled a more coherent description from Wallace’s Twitter feed:

I’ve been called stupid, greedy, a whore, a prostitute, and a “fking lib.” I’ve been called the author of “heinous tripe.”

J.B. Handley, the founder of Generation Rescue, the anti-vaccine group that actress Jenny McCarthy helps promote, sent an essay title” “Paul Offit Rapes (intellectually) Amy Wallace and Wired Magazine.” In it, he implied that Offit had slipped me a date rape drug. “The roofie cocktails at Paul Offit’s house must be damn good,” he wrote. Later, he sent a revised version that omitted rape and replaced it with the image of me drinking Offit’s Kool-aid. That one was later posted at the anti-vaccine blog Age of Autism. You can read that blog here

Stay classy, J.B. That’s exactly the behavior from you that we’ve come to know and despise, and this is the sort of behavior that we expect from the anti-vaccine movement:

I’ve been told I’ll think differently “if you live to grow up.” I’ve been warned that “this article will haunt you for a long time.” Just now, I got an email so sexually explicit that I can’t paraphrase it here. Except to say it contained the c-word and a reference to dead fish.

I’ve already discussed how Paul Offit has suffered from attempted intimidation and death threats from the anti-vaccine movement. In this, the anti-vaccine is very much like the Animal Liberation Front or other animal rights groups, wielding intimidation to keep scientists from speaking out. Their level of understanding science is about at the same level, as well. But it’s not just Paul Offit. I’m currently reading Michael Specter’s new book Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives. (Why is it that books like this always require such a long and unwieldy subtitle? Hell, even Suzanne Somers’ book is called Knockout: Interviews with Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer–And How to Prevent Getting It in the First Place. Word to publishers: Stop it! But I digress.) In Denialism, Specter includes a solid chapter about the anti-vaccine movement, Vaccines and the Great Denial, and in that chapter he describes how Marie McCormick, who led the Institute of Medicine panel that produced a seminal report in 2004 scientifically exonerating vaccines as a cause of autism suffered from similar harassment. She now has a guard posted near her office.

It’s the M.O. of the anti-vaccine movement. Unable to win on science, they try to win through intimidation and smears. As a result, scientists are reluctant to go into autism research, because they quite understandably don’t want the hassle of dealing with the attacks. Ditto vaccine science. After all, all one has to do is to look at the examples of Paul Offit and Marie McCormick to understand why public health officials shy away from getting involved and especially from speaking out in defense of science and against fear mongering. The same is also true of journalists. Indeed, the reaction of the anti-vaccine movement to Wallace’s piece makes me wonder if part of the reason for so much of hte false balance and the apparent reluctance of journalists to call out Jenny McCarthy and put her on the spot in an interview has anything to do with the fear. It’s a possibility.

I do have to admit that I was quite amused by J.B.’s attack on Wallace in the anti-vaccine crank blog Age of Autism, though. It was full of whining and bits that show such a complete lack of self-awareness on J.B.’s part that it was truly hilarious to behold. Here is a sampling:

  • “Ms. Wallace appears to have gone exclusively to Google University to research her feeble attempt at describing a very complex topic.” I just about spit out my coffee all over my lovely MacBook Pro when I read this. Given that the new spokesmoron of Generation Rescue, Jenny McCarthy, is perhaps the best known user and abuser of the University of Google, a use and abuse that have led her to make gut-bustingly funny manglings of science like this, J.B.’s statement took my irony meter and fried that sucker into a puddle of molten metal and rubber, and even that was quivering in fear of another assault.
  • “I grow so weary of pointing out the same logical fallacies, misstatements, and outright factual errors that many journalists make when covering this debate, it’s going to be a struggle for my stamina to analyze her tripe in detail.” (This is one of the rare areas where I’m in agreement with J.B., just not in the way he thinks. In fact, I think I’ve used that very sentence, or a variation thereof, when beginning more than one post about some nonsense published on J.B.’s anti-vaccine blog Age of Autism, because I do get tired of pointing out the same logical fallacies, misstatements, and outright factual errors that each and every blogger–nay, every anti-vaccine zealot I’ve ever encountered!–routinely parrots. J.B. I is no exception; in fact, he spews more than usual, for instance “Fourteen Studies.” But I keep doing it, because, well, it’s become my duty. In fact, I’m going to have to exercise some of that patience and stamina right here because J.B once again serves up a heapin’ helpin’ of logical fallacies, misstatements, and outright factual errors. As usual.
  • “The main targets of our movement are the CDC, AAP, and vaccine makers. Offit is an annoying sideshow, nothing more. He’s annoying because of articles like yours. He didn’t cause my son’s autism, and he has nothing to do with my son’s recovery.” Wow. For someone that J.B. doesn’t consider very important, who is an “annoying sideshow,” J.B.’s blog and organization sure do waste a lot of verbiage attacking Dr. Offit. In fact, a quick Google search for “Paul Offit” in the domain ageofautism.com pulled up over 1,000 hits. In fact, Just this week, J.B. launched a hilariously off-base attack entitled Dr. Paul Offit, The Autism Expert. Doesn’t See Patients with Autism? So hilariously self-unaware was J.B. in that post that I seriously thought of doing a parody of it using Andrew Wakefield in Paul Offit’s place. After all, Wakefield doesn’t see children with autism either. He’s been a researcher, and now he lends his anti-vaccine cred to Thoughtful House, where he can’t see patients because of that pesky problem of not having a medical license. Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Wakefield has ever regularly seen patients since his residency training; he’s a “researcher,” and a truly awful one. Sadly, other things got in my way. Or maybe not so sadly.
  • “Offit actually has proven to be quite helpful – he’s the poster boy for the other side, which means his faults become the other side’s faults.” Project much, J.B.? Actually, it’s J.B. and his ilk who try to make Offit the poster boy for all the imagined and exaggerated faults fo the “other side.” Besides, every conspiracy movement needs a villain. For 9/11 Truther’s it’s the U.S. government (and sometimes the Mossad). For creationists, it’s Richard Dawkins. For the anti-vaccine movement, it’s Paul Offit, for much the same reason that Richard Dawkins is made into the villain by creationists and fundamentalists. They both dare to speak out against popular pseudoscience and don’t back down.

In his post, it’s also hard not to point out that J.B. does inadvertently demonstrate why any reasonable person should consider him anti-vaccine:

Why are you boring readers with misguided psychobabble? You could have used this time to read some of the science on our side of the fence which is also peer-reviewed! Clean water, toilets, and refrigerators eradicated disease, or at least 98% of it, I’ll give vaccines credit for the final 2% — and a whole lotta’ autism, allergies, and other demylenating illnesses.

Wow. Just wow. I’d really like to see what “peer-reviewed” evidence from “his side” that J.B. has that shows that it was not vaccines but rather clean water, toilets, and refrigerators that eradicated “98%” of infectious disease or that vaccines cause a “whole lotta autism allergies, and other demyelinating diseases.” Here’s hint one for J.B.: Peer-reviewed doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good research. It’s a minimum standard, and the “research” that J.B. cites has, without an exception that I’ve ever seen, been uniformly awful. As I pointed out with the most recent assault on science by the anti-vaccine movement, namely the execrable monkey study being touted as evidence that thimerosal in the hepatitis B vaccine causes “neurological damage” (an anti-vaccine code word in its “research” for “autism”), peer reviewers are routinely mislead by various studies by anti-vaccine cranks because they don’t know the subtext for these studies.

Here’s another thing that J.B.’s comment makes me wonder about. He gets very indignant when he is called anti-vaccine. He inevitably whines that he is not “anti-vaccine” but “pro-safe vaccine” or some variant thereof. I have to wonder, though. If J.B. really thinks that vaccines are only responsible for a mere 2% of the elimination of infectious disease–I mean, really, really believes it right down to the depths of his soul–why doesn’t he just come right out and admit that he’s anti-vaccine? After all, if he believes that vaccines cause an “epidemic” of autism, demyelinating diseases, and allergies, all for the benefit of a mere 2% when it comes to infectious diseases, then why not just say he is against vaccines because they don’t do any good and do a lot of harm? That’s what he just said, and I have no reason to believe he’s lying. Let’s put it this way. If I believed as J.B. apparently does, if I believed that vaccines were responsible for at most 2% of the elimination of infectious diseases and at the same time caused an “epidemic” of autism, demyelinating diseases, and other severe consequences, you can bet that I’d come out and say I was against vaccination. It would be a reasonable stance based on unreasonable beliefs about the dangers of vaccines. But I don’t believe anything of the sort. The scientific evidence simply doesn’t support J.B.’s assertions. I also suspect that, deep down J.B. doesn’t entirely believe these things either. If he truly does believe that vaccines do so little good and cause so much harm, his self-delusion would have to exceed even his obnoxiousness. Maybe it does.

After all, the evidence that vaccines played a major role in the elimination of diseases is incontrovertible. Smallpox was not eliminated by better sanitation and refrigeration. It was eliminated by a vaccine. The incidence of measles didn’t plunge dramatically primarily because of better sanitation or refrigeration; it plunged because of the introduction of an effective vaccine. (Unfortunately, this progress is being endangered by the misinformation being spread by the likes of J.B. Handley and the pseudoscience of quacks like Andrew Wakefield.) The incidence of invasive Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) disease didn’t plunge in the early 1990s because of better sanitation or refrigeration. Sanitation and refrigeration were just fine in the late 1980s. The incidence of severe Hib plunged because of a vaccine–indeed, to the point where younger pediatricians have never even seen a case of HiB. This is a good thing, although I’m not so sure J.B. would agree. Either that, or he’d try to claim that it wasn’t the vaccine, which is nonsense.

J.B. also can’t stand strong, principled disagreement with him. Like all people, he doesn’t like to be told he is wrong. The difference is that he reacts to criticism by attacking the person doing the criticism, not by refuting him with evidence. That’s because he can’t use evidence; his position is unsupportable by science. J.B. also has a huge amount of what appears to me to be a mixture of envy and contempt for the scientists who tell him he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Indeed, this is what he’s written:

I’m not intellectually intimidated by any of these jokers. Their degrees mean zippo to me, because I knew plenty of knuckleheads in college who went on to be doctors, and they’re still knuckleheads (I also knew plenty of great, smart guys who went on to be doctors and they’re still great, smart guys).

I chose a different path and went into the business world. In the business world, having a degree from a great college or business school gets you your first job, and not much else. There are plenty of Harvard Business School grads who have bankrupted companies and gone to jail, and plenty of high school drop-outs who are multi-millionaires. Brains and street-smarts win, not degrees, arrogance, or entitlement.

In other words, to J.B., it’s all about “elitism.” He honestly seems to believe that the reason the scientific community doesn’t accept his wild beliefs that vaccines cause autism is because of elitism and groupthink, not because the scientific evidence doesn’t support that belief. Unlike the case for scientists, it never occurs to him that maybe–just maybe–he might be wrong. It never occurs to him that the reason he is viewed with such disdain among scientists is because, well, he is wrong. But not just wrong, spectacularly, dangerously, and arrogantly wrong about the science. Truly, he is full of the arrogance of ignorance, and thinks that his success in the business world (or, as he puts it, his “brains and street smarts”) means that he can figure vaccines out. He can’t. Brains and street smarts count for little in science without a background understanding of science and acceptance of the scientific method, neither of which J.B. has.

One thing Amy Wallace gets completely right is described in her interview with NPR :

Wallace calls part of the discourse that has followed her article “a bullying tactic.” She points to JB Handley, founder of Generation Rescue — which contends that too many vaccines are given too soon and blames autism on vaccines — for many attacks against her in the blogosphere. She says such tactics dissuade many scientists from taking a stand in the debate. It is important to speak out against those tactics, she says, adding that she has been commenting regularly about the issue on Twitter.

Indeed it is important to stand up to bullies, and Wallace has done just that.

At this stage, I have to wonder if the anti-vaccine movement is becoming its own worst enemy. As the science keeps marching in that shows no connection between vaccines and autism and lends no support to the concept that vaccines are ineffective and dangerous promoted by the anti-vaccine movement, groups like Generation Rescue are becoming more shrill and even more quacktastic than ever. In doing so, they further marginalize themselves. Quite correctly, their behavior leads reasonable and scientific people to dismiss them more and more. Unfortunately, when that happens, all that leaves is abuse and bullying as tactics to intimidate those who speak out against them.

Comments

  1. #1 Michael Ralston
    November 3, 2009

    skeptifem: It’s simple.

    When the drug companies fund a study, if the study says bad things about their product, by and large, they just quietly kill the product, and the study isn’t interesting anymore. (Occasonally they don’t, but when they don’t, they quickly learn better – see Vioxx. No drug company wants another Vioxx.)

    When a study says GOOD things, well, they want to tell the world.

    It’s just a somewhat more extreme form of the overall bias against negative results – the fact that way more positive results than negative results get published doesn’t mean people are lying, it just means that people don’t talk about some kind of results.

    Of course, crying “CONSPIRACY” is more interesting, dontchaknow.

  2. #2 Damien
    November 3, 2009

    Oh noes!!!11! I seez u has a gud grasp on teh interwebz as u duz teh science. Dis is mah weh of tellin u dat dis iz wut ur rants bout TEH CHILDRENS sownz laik affer a while.

    “I’z not ‘anti-vaxzeen!’ I iz anti-scientific metud! Iz much beddur to put ur werk on teh wikiz, cuz mean kittehs r no nice and make teh funz of mee! I iz knowin beddur dan u cuz i getted mah BS from teh googel wit veddy smart teecher Susan Chu.”

    Do u seez what i iz sayin, goggie? Dere, dat is ebonix wit teh lolcat, maiks eezy fur u.

  3. #3 MI Dawn
    November 3, 2009

    @titmouse (#389) You don’t know how depressed that link makes me (and, I would imagine, as a fellow U-M grad, Orac).

    🙁

  4. #4 Interrobang
    November 3, 2009

    DF is apparently taking its rhetoric lessons from Francis E. Dec:

    Gangster Big Pharma worldwide SECRET SQUALENE POLICY, made possible SOLY by worldwide Computer Vaccination Frankenstein Controls, especially LIFELONG CONSTANT THRESHOLD BRAIN WASH AUTO-IMMUNE DISORDER ( quiet and motionless, I can slightly hear it; repeatedly this has saved my life on the streets ). SEVEN BILLION worldwide population ALL living have a Computer Vaccination CONTAINMENT POLICY SQUALENE CROHN’S DISEASE BRAIN, A REAL BRAIN, in the Brain Bank Cities on the far side of the Moon, we never see.

  5. #5 doctrinalfairness
    November 3, 2009

    Michael- one doesn’t have to cry conspiracy to point out that even with clinical trials eliminating many products ahead of time, the percentage of positive outcomes favoring drug company sponsored products is statistically impossible to achieve. Police yourself.
    Regarding Lolcat and Ebonics- google it once again-plenty of discomfort out there about this meme. Amos and Andy was all in good fun and Aunt Jemima was just a sweet old mammy on a bottle of syrup. People who don’t remember history are doomed to repeat it- unless of course, the outing of Holocaust denial is yet another diversionary tactic of this blog- just like diverting people away from the real lack of skepticim in science.

  6. #6 Dangerous Bacon
    November 3, 2009

    And with the invoking of Godwin’s Law, DF hammers the last nail into the coffin of her latest bout of credulous fearmongering.

  7. #7 JohnV
    November 3, 2009

    I have to give it to you, doctrinalfairness. I’m really impressed that you are somehow equating lolcatz to holocaust denial all as part of your effort to continue to ignore the actual data and science that’s been thrown at you for the last 400 posts.

    I’m still waiting on an explanation from you about what kind of experiment could possibly prove the safety of squalene. I mean you’re engaged in one of the standard “im not anti-vax I’m just anti-existing vaccines” practices. Namely, if you actually state what you want, it will be harder for you to keep shifting the goal posts.

  8. #8 DoctrinalFairness
    November 3, 2009

    And you, DB, are an abject intellectual coward to deny that there is any inference or criticism to be made of what some construe as nothing more than subtle hate speech. I’m hardly the first to have mentioned it and won’t be the last.

    I won’t hold my breath waiting for a fair and honest response to #382 as I have been insulted for over 400 posts with your readiness to offer knee-jerk insistence that data exists WHICH IS NOT THERE.
    There was a sign that hung Einstein’s office at Princeton:
    “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” Using your LOGIC, my CONCERN about autoimmunity has as much data to back it up as squalene safety in kids and pregnant women.

    Maybe the Noetic Sciences hold more promise than the people who are upholding this paradigm here- claiming to want to solve problems and heal, but spending an overwhelming amount of time hurling insults at others.

    Damien, I’ve never been fortunate enoug to be one of the “kool kidz” like you, but I once did a workshop at an afterschool program for some at-risk kids using this resource…

    http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Scapegoat#encyclopedia
    It might help you with your attitude problem- and you too, Chris, so you can get right back to that important mission of yours- protecting the world from communicable disease. Since the very worst and most common of communicable diseases is hatred, you seem to be making a big contribution to the spread.
    Kids in the hood would call you “haters” and they’d be 100% correct.

  9. #9 Todd W.
    November 3, 2009

    @DF

    And you, Todd, lecture me about the unfair antics of “anti-vax parents”? A completely unfair oversimplification and I’d bet even you know it.

    No, I was giving you a warning, advice as it were, if you did not want to be taken for an anti-vaxer. Second, it is not an “unfair” tactic, it’s just wrong. The logic of the argument doesn’t stand up to reality. Finally, it’s not “anti-vax parents” I was talking about. When I use the term “antivaxer”, I am referring to people like JB Handley, David Kirby, RFK Jr., Jenny McCarthy, Meryl Dorey…people who are actively engaged in created fear about vaccines and who are actively turning people away from vaccinations.

    Now, I’m still waiting for your answers to my questions, since you dodged them without answering. Be to-the-point and brief:
    * Is it only squalene-based adjuvants that you are concerned about? Or do you also have concerns about alum?
    * Is it specifically the effect of the adjuvants from your answer to the first questions in children with autoimmune disorders, or the effect of adjuvants in all children?
    * What, exactly, do you want from those of us on this blog?

  10. #10 Regan
    November 3, 2009

    OH MY GOSH! I cant believe this is still going on.

    DF-you are 100% correct in saying that there is no research specifically using 1000’s of children with auto immune problems to show that adjuvants will not harm them over 40 years. And, everyone else is correct in that there is no evidence of increased problems arising in the children that received adjuvants over the past 10 years. I think everyone has agreed that we dont know everything there is to know, and everybody wants children to be safe!

    Please, please, please move on to something else, or at least spend a week or 2 just reading and then come back. There is so much info here, from you and all, it will take at least 2 pots of coffee (or green tea 🙂 Relaxing is healthy.

  11. #11 DoctrinalFairness
    November 3, 2009

    Todd, no offense to you because you ARE one of the few true scientists here, but you are bossy.
    All of you here uphold the illogical conclusion that every vaccine is good until proven otherwise on the basis of scientific evidence that would NEVER fly in the “courts” that you use to persecute others.

    To answer your question- in weighing the risks/benefits for people with autoimmunity issues against their exposure or the risk of exposing others to things like smallpox, TB, polio and H5N1- I’d have no choice but to concur that even an untested vaccine adjuvant like squalene outweighs the risk of triggering a bout of autoimmune damage. But NOT for this flu.

    I trust the Cochrane Collaboration, perhaps wrongly, when they say that alum salts have been found to be a safe adjuvant in vaccines. My issue is that no one has really bothered to look at autoimmune disease until the last 10-15 years and certainly no one here at this blog is invested in finding the relationship between autoimmunity and vaccination. I have a vested interest, a breathing human being, and numerous friends and acquaintances who also struggle with pain and disability and I am maligned for not accepting the opinions of self-proclaimed skeptics who are warring on celebrities that I’ve never heard of.

    What I want for you here is to restore the integrity to a discipline that I have always admired and found to be a source of endless amazement and awe. Suzanne Somers, I’m sorry, holds little interest for me- yet someone else can break it to Orac that there’s another fire to put out in the never-ending war on psuedoscience- cancer does indeed vanish -http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/27/health/27canc.html?_r=1&em

    Or is it just another alt/med plot?

  12. #12 JohnV
    November 3, 2009

    “I’d have no choice but to concur that even an untested vaccine adjuvant like squalene outweighs the risk of triggering a bout of autoimmune damage. But NOT for this flu.”

    Links to the CDC statistics on who is dying from this flu, and when, have been posted here. Did you ignore those links, follow the links and interpret the data differently than the rest of us, go to them and not understand what was presented, or do you hate young people?

    It’s been pointed out more than once that H1N1 is killing people in a different pattern from seasonal flu.

    Now I’m going to play a game that you’ve played several times in these comments. Since the US flu vaccine doesn’t have squalene, maybe you’re just arguing against it because you are xenophobic and want as many of foreign kids to die as possible. Hey look, absurd baseless accusations can be fun.

  13. #13 JohnV
    November 3, 2009

    And while you may not have heard of Suzanne Sommers or care, many people have. And if you look at the sales numbers for her book on amazon, it is just possible that the attention paid to her isn’t for your benefit.

    #102 in Books
    #1 in Books-Health, Mind & Body-Diets & Weight Loss-Diets-Healthy
    #1 in Books-Health, Mind & Body-Cancer
    #1 in Books-Health, Mind & Body-Aging

  14. #14 DoctrinalFairness
    November 3, 2009

    Not sure why that didn’t work-
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/27/health/27canc.html?_r=1&em

    Regan, Great advice to take a break- I desperately need fresh air and fresh fruit!
    But,
    >> everyone else is correct in that there is no evidence of increased problems arising in the children that received adjuvants over the past 10 years.<< simply is untrue. The WHO expert on vaccine research stated in July that the reason there is no evidence of increased problems is that these novel adjuvants have never before been used in pregnant women and in many populations who they are now being rolled out for. Most of the insults hurled at me have been in loud support of a mythical proven track record of squalene based adjuvants in pregnant women and children, loudly proclaiming the safety and authenticity of non-existent data. Not even one cautionary word was uttered here regarding the potential folly in this. (see #384) Last time I checked that was not skepticism.

  15. #15 titmouse
    November 3, 2009

    yet someone else can break it to Orac that there’s another fire to put out in the never-ending war on psuedoscience- cancer does indeed vanish

    Here you go, doctrinalfairness: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=2249

    BTW, you will hear irritation from others due to your habit of sh*tting on them in nearly every one of your comments. This group of strangers is no different from other groups of humans anywhere. Example:

    What I want for you here is to restore the integrity to a discipline …

  16. #16 Todd W.
    November 3, 2009

    @DF

    All of you here uphold the illogical conclusion that every vaccine is good until proven otherwise on the basis of scientific evidence that would NEVER fly in the “courts” that you use to persecute others.

    Wrong, again. We do not hold the belief that “it’s a vaccine, therefore it must be good, even with testing”. If you go back and look, we have generally all said, in some degree, that products should be adequately tested before being marketed. You might also notice that we also point to post-market surveillance as evidence of safety, seeing as 10 years of use in the general population, including children (though not to the same degree as in the elderly), has not given rise to reports of autoimmune disorders or other purported adjuvant-related harm. Given that there is no smoking gun correlation to suggest any connection between squalene-based adjuvants and autoimmune disorders, there is little reason to pursue such research, in the grand scheme of things. It’s akin to saying that there is no safety evidence for the use of squalene in people suffering from schizophrenia.

    Try doing as Prometheus suggested: look at the incidence of autoimmune disorders or injury among people with autoimmune disorders in the European population and compare that with the incidence in the U.S. population. If there is a significantly higher incidence in Europe, there might be cause for investigation. If it is the same between the two groups or higher in the U.S., then there is not likely a correlation between use of squalene and autoimmune disorders. You do not even need to look specifically for studies that focus on squalene, since, given a random sampling of European individuals, it is likely that you will have a good portion, across all ages, who have received a squalene-based adjuvant.

    I have a vested interest, a breathing human being, and numerous friends and acquaintances who also struggle with pain and disability and I am maligned for not accepting the opinions of self-proclaimed skeptics who are warring on celebrities that I’ve never heard of.

    Your passion is to be commended, however, your execution of calling for research could use a bit of work. It would be best to avoid comments that sound like “Squalene is a horrible, awful thing with absolutely no safety testing!!!!” Instead, although I understand your emotional investment, try a more reasoned approach, saying “There is little or no safety testing of squalene-based adjuvants in children with autoimmune disorders or looking at autoimmune disorders as endpoints for healthy children receiving squalene-based adjuvants.”

    Thus far, your emotional pleas have, whether you intended to or not, given the impression that you are not much different from the antivaxers like those who run Generation Rescue (note again that I am not referring to the average parent with concerns about vaccines). Think about how what you say might affect the average reader. Will it scare them away from vaccines in general? Does it have the potential to create links in their minds where none exists in reality (e.g., the belief that has spread in the U.S. that the H1N1 vaccine used here has squalene in it, even though it does not have any adjuvants).

    I don’t condone how some of the people here have responded to you, and I think that some of the comments have done more harm than good. That said, I can also understand their frustration, given that many of the people here have seen and dealt with hard-core antivaxers who do not listen to reason.

    Take a step back. Take time to breathe and to read through the information that has been provided to you. Read it a couple times. If you still have questions, ask them in a reasoned, calm manner. Better yet, write to the FDA and/or CDC. They are in a much better position to answer the questions you have and to take action on your concerns. It may be cathartic to vent on a blog, but ultimately, you aren’t really going to accomplish much. So, go to the sources that can do something and which have access to a hell of a lot more information than anyone here.

  17. #17 DoctrinalFairness
    November 3, 2009

    JohnV,
    Fair enough. But there has been NO effort made here in the UK or Europe to give adults only the adjuvanted vaccine, since data supports this, and hold off until there is more safety evidence- even in animals!! -instead of using untested groups as huge experimental groups.
    It stinks.
    On that note, I’m going to take Regan’s advice and go have a cuppa and finish my re-read of Pride and Prejudice.

  18. #18 the bug guy
    November 3, 2009

    DF, from the same WHO press conference:

    Dr Marie-Paule Kieny: The SAGE also then, to further go into decision and in going out with recommendation for target groups, considered the safety of adjuvant vaccines and they noted that there was, so far, no concern of the safety of vaccine adjuvanted with the new oil-in-water adjuvants but that it was urgent to collect safety data in groups for which safety data is not available in numbers for the time being. They also noted that because these vaccines are novel, use for some of them, a very good post marketing surveillance and pharmaco- vigilance has to be implemented when the vaccine is deployed and that international cooperation is requested to have results of any signal that some vaccine might not be safe, which we don’t expect but you never know, be shared with the international community as soon as possible.

    From the Sept. 24 press conference:

    Udi: I have two questions, one is concerning the early data of the clinical trial, you said for healthy adults one dose is enough, I would like to know why only one dose is enough, does that mean that some adults have some immunity for the pandemic influenza or not, and the second question is concerning the safety of the vaccine with a new type of adjuvant and produced by cell culture.

    Kieny: Why one dose, it is true that it is a little bit striking because if everybody is naive which we would expect with a new virus and a new pandemic virus you would expect that one would need two doses – it may well be that there is enough similarity between this H1N1 virus and other H1N1 viruses which have been circulated before to make it that people are already primed, they are not immune but they have already seen something which resembles this virus and therefore they respond immediately after the first dose. It is interesting in the sense that numerous experiments have shown that immunization against the seasonal flu of last year for example did not induce any immune response that was neutralizing the pandemic virus so it seems to function in one direction and maybe not in the other one. In terms of safety, the safety of seasonal vaccine without adjuvants has been demonstrated in millions and millions of people in all types of populations from 6 months to old people, pregnant women. In fact it is recommended for pregnant women. So this is one thing, the other vaccines which use adjuvants are newer there is no doubt that the safety data base is not as large, nevertheless the safety data base with one of the adjuvant vaccines, the one from Novartis includes 40 million individuals, usually elderly people but still it is quite a large safety date base. The safety data base with the other adjuvanted vaccines – the one from GSK – also includes tens of thousands of people – is not that high, it hasn’t been tested or evaluated in special groups of the population. We have currently no reason to think that they will not be safe. We had an expert consultation on this topic in June, and the experts’ opinion was that, in all likelihood, these vaccines will be very safe.

    From the Oct. 30 press conference:

    HELEN BROWSWELL, CANADIAN PRESS: OK, if I could ask a follow-up regarding pregnant women. Again, the recommendation is not based on new data per se, is it? Is it based on the fact that the places where it is being adjuvanted H1N1 vaccines is being administered to pregnant women, there has been anything seen that would raise a red flag?

    DR KIENY: Well this is based on the fact that the safety profile of adjuvanted vaccines and nonadjuvanted vaccines are very similar, and the fact that the non adjuvanted vaccines have been recommended for pregnant women for many many years. So there is no reason in SAGE view to distinguish between both types of vaccines. In addition, as I am sure you know, inactivated adjuvanted vaccines have been licensed for pregnant women by the corresponding regulatory authority.

    We’re seeing a consistent picture here that the scientific consensus among the epidemiological experts is that it is safe, but that things should be watched closely.

    For those interested: Link to the WHO press conferences

  19. #19 Regan
    November 3, 2009

    414, you are right. That is not exactly what I meant. For the info they have right now, those who have received the adjuvant so far, there isnt a detectable rise in dz over the past 10 years. I agreed, the long term studies on certain portions of the population has not been done. That specific data isnt there, so maybe let it go. You can only present the facts, and the rest can either agree or disagree. Thank you for providing the links.

  20. #20 DoctrinalFairness
    November 3, 2009

    Todd,
    I appreciate your advice, but I have a caveat for people who are genuinely concerned about herd immunity- a concern which I happen to share but will continue to weigh against what I perceive to be unknown risks that I have little faith will be revealed to me by the current system.
    Don’t patronize us parents.

    From an old post of yours…

    >>The bug guy provided two studies that included a review of MF59 safety in children. Go back and read the quotes he provided and note where it says “children” and “infants”.

    I have also provided links to clinical trials that included children.< < I have looked at the studies. If you can justify the designs of those studies, the extremely limited number of controls, the very spotty history of reporting adverse reactions and the 70 years that autoimmune disease was ignored - then, I tremendously admire your ability to teach and communicate but have little respect for your assumption that the relationship will ever in my lifetime get any scrutiny whatsoever. I reiterate from the WHO expert above: >>You are absolutely right that safety data, at least in terms of numbers are lacking in certain population groups. You mentioned the children, certainly there are no data in children more than 6 months old and less than 3 years, there are no data in pregnant women, there are no data in asthmatics, so there are quite a number of populations for which there are no data. SAGE has also made the point that as quickly as possible data should be obtained on these populations groups if they are to be vaccinated with these new vaccines. In terms of use of this new novel adjuvant in children, there is no vaccine for very young children that is using the formulation. The closest being the vaccine which is currently developed as the malaria vaccine, which has been tested in a few thousand children and is being tested now in Africa with this indication for malaria in a few thousand children, but apart from that, these data are still lacking.<< Like I said, Andrew Weil is raided by the FDA for little vitamin packets. Why couldn't the adjuvanted vaccine be given only to the groups that it has a demonstrated safety record in? The others could have WAITED until more animal studies are done? Millions of pregnant women and children are getting a vaccine that has been proven safe in the elderly. It's a trust issue. The kettle is whistling.

  21. #21 titmouse
    November 3, 2009

    Why couldn’t the adjuvanted vaccine be given only to the groups that it has a demonstrated safety record in? The others could have WAITED until more animal studies are done? Millions of pregnant women and children are getting a vaccine that has been proven safe in the elderly. It’s a trust issue.

    Surely you understand why young children and pregnant women have been granted preferential access to the H1N1 vaccine over other groups.

    Again, you’re weighing a hypothetical concern about squalene causing some kind of delayed exacerbation of autoimmune disease against a known risk of illness, hospitalization, and even death from the H1N1 virus itself.

  22. #22 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 3, 2009

    Maybe the Noetic Sciences hold more promise than the people who are upholding this paradigm here- claiming to want to solve problems and heal, but spending an overwhelming amount of time hurling insults at others.

    Things like this make me believe that DF doesn’t even believe the things he/she is saying, that he/she is simply saying them in an attempt to get a rise. Announcing “I’m going to go be a devotee of Random Unproven Crap, and it’s all because you guys were so mean, not fulfilling my impossible demands!” is a very blatant attempt at emotional manipulation. It’s possible that DF is actually, as he/she has claimed, a mother of a daughter with an autoimmune disorder – but at this point, I view it as equally likely that DF and everything he/she has told us about “her” life is a fabrication by a bored, malicious 26-year-old male typing on a computer in a basement, laughing at how much ire he thinks he’s stirring up with his created character.

  23. #23 Jud
    November 3, 2009

    titmouse wrote:

    Again, you’re weighing a hypothetical concern about squalene causing some kind of delayed exacerbation of autoimmune disease against a known risk of illness, hospitalization, and even death from the H1N1 virus itself.

    doctrinalfairness is “weighing” nothing. Her original comments on this site were full of concerned-sounding plaints that all she ever did was ask reasonable questions that somehow no one was ever willing to give a straight answer to. She’s been pointed to cartloads and cartloads of studies regarding virtually every one of the scattered and mostly irrelevant points she raises (e.g., citing concerns, backed by no evidence, regarding adjuvants in discussions of the U.S. H1N1 unadjuvanted vaccine, then claiming that’s relevant on the basis of her unsupported speculation that the U.S. will turn to the production of adjuvanted vaccine).

    She always counters with either (1) yet more concerns from yet other sources, backed by no evidence (the anti-vaxer’s version of the “Gish Gallop”), or (2) her opinion that all of the studies and data supporting vaccines are not good enough (the anti-vaxer’s version of Behe’s infamous cross-examination testimony in the Dover case, see page 78 of Judge Jones’ opinion, available here: http://www.pamd.uscourts.gov/kitzmiller/kitzmiller_342.pdf).

    It’s very much like the folks you see at gyms playing solo handball or racquetball – you can toss anything at doctrinalfairness, no matter how scientifically well-supported, and it will just bounce off that wall.

    After a couple of multi-hundred comment threads, perhaps we should begin to tire of this little game?

  24. #24 Jud
    November 3, 2009

    If anyone has problems following the link in #423, just delete the paren and full stop after the “…pdf”

  25. #25 Not-so-innocent bystander
    November 3, 2009

    DoctrinalFairness has shown her ignorance in biology, chemistry, statistics, the scientific method, and even lolcats. Now, this wouldn’t always be a problem on its own, but she also refuses to learn anything or even to consider the possibility of her being wrong. Combined with her demonstrated hypocrisy:

    Why should I trust you, anyway? The whole “skeptical” operation employs unreasonable, abusive and insulting tactics to uphold their exclusive definition of reason. Oxymoronic?

    Like Michael Braungart says- disease is wonderful job security. One case of childhood leukemia = ten jobs. Wouldn’t want to mess with your security and look at the whole picture.

    I’d say that arguing with a wall would be more productive then trying to reason with DoctrinalFairness.

  26. #26 lb
    November 3, 2009

    422 I would laugh, but I remember when a mother wrote in about finding out that her daughter and several other 10-12yr old girls at space camp this summer had been practicing their ‘debating’ skills with several fictitious names on this blog. Actually, it was kind of funny to see where Chris was sucked in, swearing, childish name calling, and all out arguing with said psuedonyms.

  27. #27 Dedj
    November 3, 2009

    It’s pretty amazing that we’ve got to the stage where either:

    10 year olds having a piss-around at Camp are indistinguishable from vaxx-skeptics trying to be serious

    or

    we attract the sort of people who are willing to pretend to be their own mother with a baloney ‘Camp’ story rather than admit error.

  28. #28 Sid Offit
    November 3, 2009

    @Freespeaker
    Sid: “Offit has worked tirelessly to force parents to vaccinate against their will which is in my mind an actual, not threatened, act of violence against those families”

    Sid, could you point to where he has worked tirelessly to ***vaccinate against their will*****???

    Of course you cannot. This is but another one of those lies dreamed up to trash someone who you,and the other pro-infectious disease liar merchants of disability and death, a/k/a anti-vac liars, like to spout off as they think it will fool intelligent people.

    ————————

    http://www.examiner.com/x-13791-Baltimore-Disease-Prevention-Examiner~y2009m10d29-Dr-Paul-Offit-delivers-speech-with-arguments-against-exemptions-from-compulsory-vaccination

    Dr. Paul Offit delivers speech with arguments against exemptions from compulsory vaccination

  29. #29 lb
    November 3, 2009

    Dedj, if my memory serves, the topic was not vaccines. In actuality, I think most could tell something was up and did not stoop to that level in the ‘debates’.

  30. #30 D. C. Sessions
    November 3, 2009

    Nobody can say that anything is completely safe.

    No, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t place upper bounds on the risk to any desired degree of confidence.

    That’s the difference between “no chance whatever of any adverse effects of any kind” and “fewer than one person in 20 million will turn into the Incredible Hulk.”

  31. #31 B.C.
    November 3, 2009

    “fewer than one person in 20 million will turn into the Incredible Hulk.”

    You just ruined it for my son! He was ‘so totally looking forward to that’.

  32. #32 Chris
    November 3, 2009

    lb:

    Actually, it was kind of funny to see where Chris was sucked in, swearing, childish name calling, and all out arguing with said psuedonyms.

    I actually make it a point to not use profanity. If you could kindly link to where I used swearing, I would greatly appreciate it.

    And please do not feed the troll.

  33. #33 LK PhD
    November 3, 2009

    Love your work, Orac! Anyone who can flush JB out of the bushes and get him spewing nonsense is a friend of mine. I think if we tweak him a little more he might explode one of these days…

  34. #34 Chris
    November 3, 2009

    Actually, lb, I have no idea what the discussions were about, because I was not really participating much (and I have no idea who you are). All I remember was reading the disclaimer from some mom, then seeing someone make silly claims and posted this reponse. I don’t think I would consider that “swearing”. Hopefully with that kind of hint you can tell me where I used profanity.

  35. #35 lb
    November 3, 2009

    sorry, I was only going by memory to something I really didnt pay much attention to. I saw that disclaimer on a few of the threads over the summer, and I remember several ‘silly’ arguments about chemicals I think. I didnt think it was related to vaccines though? Anyway, I never read the thread you just linked to, but I can see your point.

  36. #36 Sid Offit
    November 3, 2009

    @Prometheus

    Look at the incidence of pediatric autoimmune diseases (Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, JRA, etc.) in the EU – which gives influenza vaccines with adjuvants like squalene to children
    ——————-

    Since Fluad is approved only for the elderly which adjuvanated flu vaccine is given to children

  37. #37 Dangerous Bacon
    November 3, 2009

    DoctrinalFairness: “Like I said, Andrew Weil is raided by the FDA for little vitamin packets.”

    Nope, not even close to reality. Weil was sent a warning letter by the FDA for suggesting on his website that his “Immune Support Formula” (a concoction he sells that purportedly contains astragalus and polypore mushrooms) will protect against H1N1 flu. He was not “raided” for selling vitamins.

    Apart from the mystery of why you referred to this matter in the first place (unless it was to compete for a prize for lamest tu quoque argument), if you can’t even get your facts straight on so simple a story, it lends even less credibility to your vague and unsubstantiated allegations about vaccines.

    I would respond to your “abject coward” remark, except it is too incoherent to comprehend.

  38. #38 doctrinalfairness
    November 3, 2009

    Please remember that safety is relative to risk. Squalene based derivatives are very safe and have been thoroughly tested in millions.

    But a little peek into my crystal ball tells me that the “War on Science” has just fired a salvo in favor of those who have been arguing for improved vaccine safety..

    And we can all watch closely what unfolds in the next few weeks, as the newest category of those at-risk for harm from squalene based adjuvants, middle aged men, is unveiled.

    Apparently the data from 20 million elderly people over ten years needed a bit more scrutiny.
    Will men be as willing to take the proverbial hit as readily as they were willing to foist it onto women with autoimmune disease and young children?
    Stay tuned.

    http://www.newfluwiki2.com/showComment.do?commentId=145927

    Ta Ta…

  39. #39 Damien
    November 3, 2009

    Oh noes, lolcatz are teh hate? Dere is discomfurt wit ebery meme on teh interwebz. But pleeze, lets me summarize ur body of wurk on dis tread:

    U all iz no expertz, teh expertz r nao on teh google. Teh NEEDLEZ IZ NO SAFE. Teh CHILDRENZ ARE BEIN HURTED! (Cites evidence that says no such thing.)

    (Evidence pointed out to be bullshit, other evidence cited, sometimes even within your evidence.)

    NOES NOES, U cans not showz dat teh NEEDLEZ is 100% safe fur teh childrens, and dat’s cuz dey is not. Howz do I knowz dat? Teh fluwiki! Ur “kitteh peer reveew” metud is no work in sum cases, derefore teh wiki is teh smartz kitteh way! U see how teh terapies dat gets prezented at teh confernses iz 100% teh way teh industree want it? I iz sure iz cuz iz bawt and paids fur, no cuz cumpneez will no pay fur teh trials of drugs dat no werk in furst stage.

    (More evidence cited, some non-respectful insolence)

    U kittehs iz meanz, I’Z JUST AXING TEH QWESCHUNS! I’Z BRAVE MAVERICK MUDDER! I’Z NOT TEH ENEMEE, u iz! U iz all haterz.

  40. #40 Todd W.
    November 3, 2009

    @DF

    From the abstract:

    A prudent consequence would be to establish careful survey systems alongside with mass application of new adjuvanted vaccines, or to hold mass vaccination in reserve for use only in situations of true need, such as would arise with the emergence of a more virulent new H1N1 virus strain, or to use non-adjuvanted vaccines in individuals who are potentially at risk for adverse side effects.

    This is the reasonable thing to do. While the animal models referenced in the abstract raise the possibility, it may be species-specific, in which case, surveillance (as is done with all drug products, especially influenza vaccines) is warranted to determine this. From the abstract, however, it does not sound at all to be a definitive thing, and the authors do not call for immediate cessation of the use of squalene-based adjuvants.

    So this study is not much more than science at work.

  41. #41 doctrinalfairness
    November 3, 2009

    “Science at work” has issued NO such warning for people with autoimmune disease- most have absolutely no clue of a potential link to any risk from adjuvants. I have been ridiculed for suggesting said link.
    I’ve NEVER called for the rejection of all adjuvants- from the evidence it appeared that they could be used safely in adults. We’ll see.

  42. #42 Todd W.
    November 3, 2009

    @DF

    “Science at work” has issued NO such warning for people with autoimmune disease- most have absolutely no clue of a potential link to any risk from adjuvants.

    Because there has not been any evidence that even suggests a risk. You have mentioned increased local reactions vs. non-adjuvanted vaccines, yet have provided nothing to say that such increased local AEs have any connection to autoimmune disorders. If there is no smoke, then it is perhaps not best to shout fire.

    I have been ridiculed for suggesting said link.

    Where people have ridiculed you (again, I don’t condone it), it has appeared to me to stem largely from you insisting that there is a risk without providing evidence of such risk, and persisting in your claim despite being shown evidence (such as it is) to the contrary.

    At this point, there is some evidence to suggest safety. There is little to no evidence of harm. Continuing to argue the point on either side isn’t going to do much except get people heated up. In the end, I go back to my post recommending that you take a break away from here for a few days to read what’s been provided and to write to FDA, CDC or even EMEA or NHS. Again, they are more likely to be able to answer your questions, without getting huffy, than anyone else here, beyond what has already been said.

  43. #43 D. C. Sessions
    November 3, 2009

    Today, integrative medicine. Tomorrow, integrative engineering!

    Don’t kid yourself. The main reason you don’t see engineering woo is that you don’t read Dilbert enough. The thing to understand about Dilbert it’s been prettied up to the point where people might read it — the reality is lots, lots worse.

  44. #44 Joseph C.
    November 3, 2009

    @DC

    Two words: Six Sigma. They start off with a good idea, but they start making all sorts of bogus claims about what you can do with it. Throw in a cult-like following and before long you’ve got engineers reporting to the VP of Six Sigma instead of the VP of Engineering.

    It’s good work while it lasts, but companies usually figure out that they’ve been rooked.

  45. #45 the bug guy
    November 3, 2009

    The publication is an editorial, not a regular scientific paper, which means it commonly has not undergone the usual level of peer review.

    The concept presented was based on a couple animal studies, general observations about the roll of inflammation in cardiac events and an non-significantly higher level of cardiac incidents after a 2003 case where smallpox vaccine was given to 36,000 civilians in the US. They also dismiss an examination of a 1947 smallpox outbreak in New York when 6,000,000 were vaccinated over 4 weeks without an increase in cardiac deaths without presenting any solid evidence beyond speculation that the base cause of cardiac incidents at the time was different.

    Even the authors admit that they are basically presenting a hypothetical situation.

    The article concludes with:

    So why play out a trump prematurely? Man has already won the first round in the race against this adversary. Why not hold mass vaccination in reserve? Or, if the vaccination program is implemented, would it not be prudent to use non-adjuvanted vaccine in individuals at risk? We have focused on cardiovascular disorders but the arguments would extend to other diseases that harbor immunopathological components. Finally, if the decision is still made to uniformly employ adjuvanted vaccines, careful survey systems should be implemented to clearly establish that the concerns expressed here, in particular the potential of adjuvanted vaccines to precipitate cardiovascular events, are nothing more than theory.

    Not a smoking gun, but something to consider.

  46. #46 D. C. Sessions
    November 3, 2009

    Two words: Six Sigma.

    […]

    It’s good work while it lasts, but companies usually figure out that they’ve been rooked.

    Reporting from the field: that’s only a small, small part of it.

    Statistical quality assurance is a great and wonderful tool. Unfortunately, it takes an institutional commitment to actually, like, engineering processes instead of satisfying the emotional needs of Management.

    Anyway, ’nuff said. Not that much is OT here in Orac’s playground, especially after almost 500 comments. Even if half of them are DF perseverating. Still …

  47. #47 DoctrinalFairness
    November 3, 2009

    Todd,
    If you want a little woo, an inspiring angel in my repertoire is Barbara McClintock. I imagine her as an adopted grandmother on the other side helping me to know my plants. She was ignored by her peers just as Susan Chu is being ignored for whatever bogus reasons the scientific community uses to ignore truth tellers.
    I lost faith in anything whatsoever to do with your model- it is inhabited by petty torturers and egoistic little tyrants whose disdain for the masses is palpable.

    The inexcusable part of all of this is that the evidence IS there- and has been for ten years that oil-based adjuvants trigger autoimmunity. Google it! Adjuvants and autoimmunity-tons of pubmed studies. It is silenced.
    Now that the erectile dysfunction sufferers appear to be at at risk, lets watch how quick that all changes. (I suggest you read the whole study)
    Some nasty savvy trial lawyers out there eventually stand to make billions of dollars or our friends who have been ignoring the evidence could COME CLEAN NOW- the stuff is cheap and they can put it in eye cream. Find something else.
    I’m jaded enough to know that won’t happen. It will end up in India and Africa as humanitarian flu prevention.

    Horrible.

  48. #48 titmouse
    November 3, 2009

    She was ignored by her peers just as Susan Chu is being ignored for whatever bogus reasons the scientific community uses to ignore truth tellers.

    We had a big week-long conference where we debated Susan Chu’s web diary. Finally we decided to blacklist her for disagreeing with us. That’s just what evil heartless bastards like us do for fun.

  49. #49 titmouse
    November 3, 2009

    Google it! Adjuvants and autoimmunity-tons of pubmed studies. It is silenced.

    LOL.

  50. #50 Joseph C.
    November 3, 2009

    I lost faith in anything whatsoever to do with your model- it is inhabited by petty torturers and egoistic little tyrants whose disdain for the masses is palpable.

    That’s cool. You’ve been a complete Mrs. Sparkles yourself. No abuse or hectoring coming from your side.

  51. #51 titmouse
    November 3, 2009

    DF:

    Why couldn’t the adjuvanted vaccine be given only to the groups that it has a demonstrated safety record in? The others could have WAITED until more animal studies are done? Millions of pregnant women and children are getting a vaccine that has been proven safe in the elderly. It’s a trust issue.

    From BetterHealth:

    According to the CDC, there have been approximately 700 reported cases of H1N1 in pregnant women since April. Of these, 100 women have required admission to an intensive care unit and 28 have died. In other words, 1 out of every 25 pregnant women who contracted H1N1 died of it.

    DF, how many have died from the H1N1 vaccine with squalene?

    Do you see that you’re amplifying one risk at the expense of another more serious risk?

    Do you see that you would make a very bad public health scientist?

    BTW the argument from ignorance is a technical term for a particular logical fallacy. When people here point out to you that your argument takes this form, they are not insulting you personally.

  52. #52 JohnV
    November 3, 2009

    Oh titmouse, silly foolish titmouse. HOW do you KNOW? That’s all I’m ASKING? DR CHU. RANDOM OLD ASS SCIENTIST. Can’t you SEE THE PATTERN? Now that MEN get autoimmune disease SQUALENE will be BANNED. JUST WAIT. NAZIS AND HOLOCAUST DENIAL. LOLCATZ are bad.

    YOU and your stupid PUBMED which I will completely IGNORE. Until I GOOGLE pubmed. Then it is a VALID source. Don’t ask WHY I google pubmed. BUT I DO. NO I don’t search from within pubmed. What part of GOOGLE UNIVERSITY, which you evil nazi child saving scientists are afraid of, don’t you UNDERSTAND.

    PS did I mention a hangup about MEN? Men used to never get autoimmune DISEASE. But now they DO AND ITS because of SQUALENE. ALSO I want kids to die so I’m against THIS vaccine.

  53. #53 titmouse
    November 3, 2009

    Adjuvants and autoimmunity-tons of pubmed studies

    At PubMed, go to the “advanced search” page. Check the box for “human” and “core clinical journals.” That way you’ll get articles with at least some clinical relevance.

    “squalene” and “autoimmunity” returns zero articles.

  54. #54 titmouse
    November 3, 2009

    GOOD NEWS!

    Four new studies by independent teams have found that the seasonal flu vaccine is particularly beneficial for pregnant women and their babies. Given that H1N1 has been hitting pregnant women even harder than seasonal flu, I’d expect the H1N1 vaccine to show an even greater benefit.

    FRIDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) — Pregnant women head the list of people who should get H1N1 swine flu and seasonal flu shots, and four new studies highlight the benefits of vaccination for moms-to-be and their babies. Bigger, healthier newborns, fewer preterm births and reduced rates of hospitalization top the findings, which are to be presented this week at the annual meeting of the Infectious Disease Society of America in Philadelphia.

  55. #55 DoctrinalFairness
    November 3, 2009

    Titmouse,
    From Susan Chu’s website.
    http://biopharminternational.findpharma.com/biopharm/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=444996&pageID=1&sk=&date=

    There ARE alternatives that don’t increase retrogenicity. Why isn’t anyone discussing them?

    New-Age Vaccine Adjuvants: Friend or Foe?

    >>>A major unsolved challenge in adjuvant development is how to achieve a potent adjuvant effect while avoiding reactogenicity or toxicity

    Abstract

    Older vaccines made from live or killed whole organisms were effective, but suffered from high reactogenicity. As vaccine manufacturers developed safer, less reactogenic subunit vaccines, they found that with lower reactogenicity came reduced vaccine effectiveness. Somewhat ironically, the solution proposed to boost immunogenicity in modern vaccines is to add back immune-activating substances such as toll-like receptor agonists-the very same contaminants removed from old-style vaccines. This raises the question of whether the vaccine field is moving forward or backward. We propose that by avoiding adjuvants that work through toll-like receptor (TLR) pathways, and instead focusing on adjuvants stimulating B- and T-cell immunity directly, one can minimize inflammatory cytokine production and consequent reactogenicity. We present data on a polysaccharide-based adjuvant candidate, Advax, that enhances immunogenicity without reactogenicity, suggesting that potent and well-tolerated vaccines for both adult and pediatric use are indeed possible.

    Bang away on the old “praise squalene” drum, defend it with your lives and wonder why people turn to faith healers.

    And I’m horrified about the deaths and selfishly worried like everyone else about family and friends.
    But I’d wonder how many women during the same time period died of complications of autoimmune disease. Also how many pregnant women got this shot and may never have gotten the flu without it? And what are the long term consequences of the shot on pregnant women? We have NO clue.

  56. #56 titmouse
    November 3, 2009

    We have NO clue.

    That’s an argument from ignorance, a logical fallacy. You’re not appreciating why it fails because it suits your personal biases.

    If I were to present an argument from ignorance that contradicts your biases, you would reject it just as I must reject your version.

    A valid argument would involve citing what we do know –e.g., people are dying from H1N1 but not from the H1N1 vaccine.

    We are compelled to reject errors of logic. If we don’t then wrib iwoa nlciw a;it111!! unintelligible.

  57. #57 titmouse
    November 3, 2009

    It’s not a good idea to move the conversation onto tangents before we establish agreements on the basics.

    Do we agree that the H1N1 vaccine with or without squalene has a favorable benefit/risk ratio in pregnant women?

  58. #58 Joseph C.
    November 3, 2009

    Without squalene we wouldn’t have Baby Jesus.

    (True story: squalene is a precursor to progesterone and numerous other hormones.)

  59. #59 titmouse
    November 3, 2009

    I like a fresh clove of garlic, thinly sliced, in a carafe of squalene and balsamic vinegar. It’s wonderful over a plate of baby spinach sprinkled with feta and chopped walnuts.

  60. #60 Joseph C.
    November 4, 2009

    @titmouse,

    Did the drug companies buy you that luxury dinner with the money they earned from poisoning the babies of America with squalene-laced vaccines?

  61. #61 Dangerous Bacon
    November 4, 2009

    “Bang away on the old…squalene” drum”

    I Don’t Want To Think
    I Just Want To Bang My Squalene Drum All Day
    I Don’t Need No Stinking Facts
    I Just Bang On My Squalene Drum All Day

    (with apologies to Todd Rundgren)

  62. #62 Todd W.
    November 4, 2009

    @DF

    There ARE alternatives that don’t increase retrogenicity. Why isn’t anyone discussing them?

    We present data on a polysaccharide-based adjuvant candidate, Advax, that enhances immunogenicity without reactogenicity, suggesting that potent and well-tolerated vaccines for both adult and pediatric use are indeed possible.

    First, I’ll quote a bit from your link:

    Safety and tolerability are critical regulatory issues confronting new adjuvants, and pose the greatest barrier to new adjuvant approvals. In addition to preclinical studies on the adjuvant itself, the combined antigen–adjuvant formulation must pass animal toxicology screens in at least two species at a dose and frequency similar to, or higher than, the proposed human dose, and using the same route of administration, to assess safety and tolerability before clinical tests can begin.

    Creating new adjuvants is not something that anyone here would argue against, first of all. Second, new adjuvants, as noted in the article, take a long time to develop and approve. Not only do they need to be safe, themselves, they also need to be safe in combination with the final vaccine product as well as effective. For example, alum is a pretty good adjuvant, but it doesn’t produce as much of an immunogenic response in the H1N1 vaccine as squalene. I’m sure there are probably also vaccines where alum works better than squalene, as far as efficacy goes.

    That all aside, the focus of that article, Advax, isn’t even approved for use in the U.S., and it might not be approved anywhere else. I’d much rather talk about whether or not to use something that actually has the clinical trial data and approvals to back up its use. We can speculate on Advax and other hypothetical adjuvants, but until the science is done, I’m not going to recommend their use.

    The inexcusable part of all of this is that the evidence IS there- and has been for ten years that oil-based adjuvants trigger autoimmunity. Google it! Adjuvants and autoimmunity-tons of pubmed studies. It is silenced.

    What, if there are tons of pubmed studies available via Google, how is it silenced? Second, give us a link to some pubmed studies that show a connection between squalene-based adjuvants and autoimmune disorders.

    But again, I’ll go back to my earlier advice. Until you follow it, I’m done. I’ve tried to reason with you, but you refuse to listen.

  63. #63 doctrinalfairness
    November 4, 2009

    Todd,
    The largest growing criminal industry in the world is the trafficking of women and children- something that the skeptical scientific community does nothing to address or understand- yet the entire premise of this blog post is the VERY GRAVE THREAT of the misogny of some stupid anti-vaxxer that 99% of the world knows nothing about.

    We both know that there will be NO difference in the data that you recommended to examine, because as I have stated the numbers in children are miniscule and very limited in adults. Just like the willed denial of ACTUAL violence against women and the silence and blindness to human trafficking which are grave incidences of REAL MISOGYNY, we can expect to witness the next ten or fifteen years hearing scientific blather that oil-based adjuvants DON’T cause autoimmune disease and we still don’t understand the conflicting studies saying that they do.

    Despite the fact that adjuvants are immunostimulants ON THEIR OWN, by definition, and are used experimentally to stimulate the immune sytem. (for all of the stupid parents like me trying to weigh the risks/benefits for autoimmune diseased children- read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immunologic_adjuvant )

    The discussion about the relationship to autoimmunity has been going on for 10 years. Any evidence to the contrary is immediately disproved to favor the use of adjuvants. (What WAS that statistic again about peer-reviewed studies?)

    Research will go around and around for another ten years pointing to infectious processes triggering autoimmune disease (very funny, that. the most infected countries of the world have very little autoimmune disease- how so?). Research is bought and paid for by people invested in an outcome.

    I will be practicing watchful waiting for the sudden recall of squalene-based adjuvants only when middle-aged male doctors and scientists begin to drop like flies from heart attacks. Eight percent of the population of girls and young women don’t amount to a hill of beans until that moment.

    And JohnV- I never said don’t vaccinate ANYONE for this flu.
    I said give adjuvanted vaccine to those who it has been studied on in the numbers to support its use. Give everyone else unadjuvanted. Influenza A has been known about for decades- don’t make it sound like scientists have been working night and day to figure it out for this flu. And read the latest profit statements for the vaccine manufacturers.
    They can put some of their reported 3rd quarter profits of billions from these vax sales into beefing up the process to make more antigen. Unadjuvanted is equally effective as adjuvanted, uses less of the antigen and has far less retrogenicity.

  64. #64 doctrinalfairness
    November 4, 2009

    BTW, the FDA just approved a squalene-based vaccination in the USA, Todd. And GUESS who its target audience is?
    So much for my fear mongering and hysteria about squalene for young women with autoimmune disease. Be very afraid indeed of Suzanne Somers?? Distraction.

    http://www.newfluwiki2.com/showComment.do?commentId=143704

    Critique her science please.

  65. #65 Scott
    November 4, 2009

    @464:

    Your link provides no support whatsoever for the contention that “the FDA just approved a squalene-based vaccination in the USA.” It in fact mentions squalene not at all. I suppose I’m not surprised that this is the level you consider to be evidence.

    And your little rant in 463 is so obviously disconnected from anything resembling reality (hint: if the focus of the blog were misogyny you might have a point, but it isn’t) that it deserves no response beyond this.

  66. #66 Joseph C.
    November 4, 2009

    I think DF is clearly a shill for Big Supplement. She hates children and doesn’t care if they die of easily-preventable diseases. Just as long as Dr. Weil can sell his fake flu cures unmolested by the government.

    Alternative medicine is “natural”, which means it’s self-evident that it works. Only Big Pharma should have to prove that their stuff works and is safe.

  67. #67 Chris
    November 4, 2009

    Stop feeding this clueless troll.

  68. #68 Todd W.
    November 4, 2009

    @Chris

    I’m with you. I tried to be patient. I tried to reason. I held out the hope that she might actually take some time away from blogging to contact people who can give her the answers she’s looking for. All for naught, though. As I said in my post to her, until she actually takes my advice, I’m done.

    Thought I’m beginning to wonder if she isn’t actually Susan Chu, with all the links to Chu’s blog. It could be an attempt to generate more traffic and bump google rankings.

  69. #69 DoctrinalFairness
    November 4, 2009

    Scott-
    Let’s review your little analysis…
    The topic of the blog post above was misogyny.
    I stated that the paltry example of “anti-vax” misogny is a diversion from the existence of a pandemic of REAL misogyny in the world.
    You then implied that my logic was psychotic and detached from reality.

    I assumed that you, as a scientist already so interested in vaccination, would be aware of the FDA approval of said vaccine and did not furniish a link. Look it up.

    And I don’t want women with pre-existing autoimmune disease to be put at risk yet again with a vaccine adjuvant that is arguably dangerous to autoimmunity, unnecessary and with a questionable risk/benefit profile.
    If you needed to see the word squalene to deduce that, then maybe you ought to do more crossword puzzles- your synapses could be stretched a bit.

  70. #70 Pablo
    November 4, 2009

    Your link provides no support whatsoever for the contention that “the FDA just approved a squalene-based vaccination in the USA.” It in fact mentions squalene not at all. I suppose I’m not surprised that this is the level you consider to be evidence.

    Moreover, it is an analysis of data from a 2006 report, which, even if it did refer to squalene, puts a new strain on the concept of “just approved,” which suggests it is somehow a recent development.

    BTW, you folks are just coming around to the conclusion it is Susan Chu herself?

  71. #71 Todd W.
    November 4, 2009

    To any curious readers who may still be following this thread, no HPV vaccine approved for use in the U.S. has a squalene-based adjuvant. Gardasil uses an aluminum-based adjuvant. Cervarix uses aluminum plus AS04, a monophospholipid A adjuvant. No squalene here.

  72. #72 Todd W.
    November 4, 2009

    @Pablo

    I had suspicions for quite a while. Just voicing them now.

  73. #73 doctrinalfairness
    November 4, 2009

    If any of the lurkers here visited the links to Susan Chu they can see why, as a lover of science, I would consider her to be a scientist in the actual skeptical sense.
    I have furnished the links because you won’t get the true story either from the anti-vaxxers OR from this blog.
    She has attended many a hearing and meeting and carefully in plain language reviews all of the studies so people can make their own decisions. If we are headed into fascism with mandatory vaccinations at least we can go down armed with the truth.

    Which is why parents of children with autoimmune conditions in Europe and the UK and now the USA need to weigh the risks/benefits of using an adjuvanted vaccine that increases the liklihood of an inflammatory incident against danger from the flu itself. If it’s likely that your child has already been exposed and is brewing the flu, then that should also be a considering factor.
    Adjuvants make the one size fits all story about vaccines a big lie and you won’t get any honest answers here.

    And any lurkers can also see how science is done right here too. Reminiscent of the schoolyard cafeteria or playground with the bullies kicking in the head of the puny kids.
    Not a huge stretch to look around the planet and see a relationship. But do trust them that they have your best intersts at heart!

    I look forward to a new paradigm of holistic thinking.
    You know, treat others how you wish to be treated. Such a novel concept.

  74. #74 JohnV
    November 4, 2009

    woohoo I got bingo finally with “facism”

  75. #75 Joseph C.
    November 4, 2009

    You know, treat others how you wish to be treated. Such a novel concept.

    Are you really that delusional? You’ve been hostile from the get-go.

  76. #76 doctrinalfairness
    November 4, 2009

    I’m sorry the great Todd is correct.
    And a quick read of Susan Chu will show that she does not make these types of mistakes typical of people with ADD!

    She is a fastidious researcher, you will get no tangents or stream of consciousness leaps – just hard research and truth. To imply that I even remotely resemble her in any way is just so illustrative of the tactics that you will go to discredit people. I didn’t do justice to her go read her yourselves.
    Pointing the finger right back atcha…

    btw, Susan Chu doesn’t discuss people, she discusses science. Get back to your discussion of tittytainers.

    Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people. Eleanor Roosevelt …

    Bye everyone.Nice knowing ya.

  77. #77 titmouse
    November 4, 2009

    A human trafficking tangent!

    Educated people discussing the pros and cons of some issue seek to find areas of agreement and try to resolve areas of disagreement step by step. Telling someone, “you’re not doing enough to end world horror X,” is disruptive to that process.

    Educated people recognize disruptive tactics for what they are: an escape from having to admit one was wrong, uninformed, misinformed, etc.

    doctrinalfairness, perhaps you were deprived of an opportunity for a good education. Maybe you hang out with people who can’t really think in an organized way and so you don’t know any better. Maybe you live in a world where emotional manipulation rather than reason is normal.

    Well, it’s never too late to learn a better way.

    Rule of thumb: tackle one question at a time.

    Do we agree that the H1N1 vaccine with or without squalene has a favorable benefit/risk ratio in pregnant women?

  78. #78 Pablo
    November 4, 2009

    You know, treat others how you wish to be treated. Such a novel concept.

    And a bad one at that, and here’s why: You are making the assumption that we would have a problem with it. But I will tell you, if I am spouting ignorant nonsense, I have no problem at all with people telling and showing me, in no uncertain terms, that I am an idiot. It doesn’t hurt my feelings, it makes me think about why everyone thinks I am idiot. And I don’t need anyone to be touchy, feely with it, worrying about making me feel bad. So if you say, “Do unto others…” it means you have to make an assumption about how those people want to be treated.

    “Do unto others” isn’t a very useful guideline when you are talking to people who are into S&M. (you can quote me on that one)

  79. #79 Dangerous Bacon
    November 4, 2009

    DF: “If any of the lurkers here visited the links to Susan Chu they can see why, as a lover of science, I would consider her to be a scientist in the actual skeptical sense.”

    Most of us view scientists as people who do research and base conclusions on actual evidence* – criteria which Susan Chu does not meet.

    *Such a novel concept.

  80. #80 DoctrinalFairness
    November 4, 2009

    Dangerous BS
    I’ll come out of retirement to defend slander of someone I admire.
    Orac has his little army of bootlickers over here and I contend once again that Susan Chu is the real skeptic, not any of you.

    http://www.newfluwiki2.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=4045

    She carefully reviews and examines your sponsoring industry’s “evidence” in which “scientists” like yourself justify putting the health and well-being of millions of people at risk. She very plainly illustrates, for we laypeople, the discrepancies that these numbers reveal and thus far NO one has done the hard work of disputing her accusations, because they can’t.
    I can think of countless Nobel Prizewinning scientists who were ignored and ridiculed- there’s a paper floating around with the long sorry list of them.
    While people are gleefully distracted here by tittytainment, she is a quiet educator who I stumbled upon, who is actually ANSWERING questions without the obscurant, patronizing knee-jerk party line offered here to we severely mentally handicapped morons.

    Your “evidence” is bought and paid for by people whose profits have suddenly SOARED to billions per quarter in a time of unprecedented economic chaos around the world.

    Before you slander her reputation, let the lurkers here go visit her website and decide for themselves who is telling the truth. Your minds are sealed shut.
    You call yourselves scientists and you are comfortable with safety data that is appalling. No one should trust you. You have sworn blind allegiance to an “evidentiary” process that consistently delivers results which are statistically impossible and that favor of the sponsoring industry. That is not skepticism- it’s patronage.

    So when you say “Most of us view scientists as people who do research and base conclusions on actual evidence* “- I would agree wholeheartedly.
    Except NONE OF YOU MEET your own criteria. And she does.

    Please get back to your exhaustive and brave examination of the issues at hand – Suzanne, musicians- the people America needs to keep us dumb and distracted so that the “experts” can then come along and tell us “the truth”.
    Bye again.
    And for every time I am pulled out of retirement to add to Orac’s ratings in the future, be sure to know that I will be including a URL for Susan Chu. Like Chris says, don’t feed the troll….

  81. #81 JohnV
    November 4, 2009

    “I can think of countless Nobel Prizewinning scientists who were ignored and ridiculed- there’s a paper floating around with the long sorry list of them.”

    How very shocking, no citation. And since you can think of countless winners, your failure to actually name any is noteworthy.

  82. #82 a-non
    November 4, 2009

    DF,

    Just because Susan Chu sounds scientific and uses a lot of sciency-sounding words, it doesn’t mean she is not biased. Her comments and posts on that website convey a clear anti-pharma sentiment.

    It also doesn’t mean she’s right, either. But I concede I’m not expert enough to deconstruct her work.

    What I am sure about, though, is that she likes to play the role of “lone voice of reason” to the hilt when it comes to squalene.

  83. #83 Dedj
    November 4, 2009

    The link provided to Susan Chu’s work looks indistingushable from a blogpost on an fairly run of the mill ‘science’ blog. There’s certainly nothing there that would meet basic standards for even a lit review. If the link provided is an example of her standard of work, she is working at the minimum level expected of a professional, if not working at the pre-registration level.

    Any professional would be expected to produce pieces of work of equivilant or greater quality from time to time. None of these would call such work a ‘body or work’ in the sense DocFair means it. Such work is expected as part of the role.

    There are multiple people here who are employed in research positions. DocFairs mealy mouthed and offensive accusations of lying, incompetance and willfull ignorance are not a defence of Susan Chu.

    Shame on them for thinking they could get away with such behaviour.

  84. #84 titmouse
    November 4, 2009

    If Susan Chu is in fact a retired pediatrician who reads and comments on journal articles, I doubt she would describe herself a “scientist.” Scientific research involves hypothesis testing. “Susan Chu is not a scientist,” is no more slanderous than, “Susan Chu is not a dentist.”

    Also, Susan Chu’s commentaries are not evidence. They’re secondary sources, representations of primary sources, aka hearsay and opinion. That fact is not slanderous either.

  85. #85 DoctrinalFairness
    November 4, 2009

    The papers… they are in Spanish- look them up.
    Rejecting and resisting Nobel class discoveries: accounts by Nobel Laureates JUAN MIGUEL CAMPANARIO

    Juan Miguel Campanario, Have referees rejected some of the most-cited articles of all times?, Journal of the American Society for Information Science

    …If Susan Chu’s credentials aren’t fit to evaluate, comment on and question the research findings of vaccine manufacturers, then no parent anywhere should be expected to trust the word of their pediatricians to advise them regarding a vaccination schedule. Parents, do take note that your pediatrician is neither educated or competent enough to examine the research findings of drug manufacturers.
    And Susan Chu wouldn’t call herself a scientist, but SHE IS doing science. Keep nitpicking and avoiding the FACTS, titmouse, that she is listing in her diaries.

    Here is today’s regarding secondary bacterial infection…

    http://www.newfluwiki2.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=4081

    And I apologize for putting words in her mouth- hers are NOT accusations, they are serious questions regarding how the world scientific community could accept the startlingly contradictory or very marginal data that constitutes evidence of safety. No offense to you fine skeptics, but MOST parents welcome that kind of scrutiny in a scientist. She is on record for wanting to be shown where she is wrong or proven wrong.

    The entire mantra and dogma of the safety of flu vaccines overriding their risks during an epidemic rests on the actual safety of the vaccine. If you want herd immunity, putting out a vaccine with substandard ingredients ain’t the way to go about it getting it.
    AltMed is lying no more or less than Western “Evidence” Based Med. And we’re vaccinating millions of children based on questionable findings.

    Fortunately, the tide is changing… one can only hope.
    http://blogs.nature.com/news/thegreatbeyond/2009/07/bring_us_your_tired_your_poor.html

    By the way, one day I intend to meet her and have her over for dinner and to meet my family, I would be honored to personally meet this type of humanitarian and scientist. You can keep the celebrities.

  86. #86 Dedj
    November 4, 2009

    “And Susan Chu wouldn’t call herself a scientist, but SHE IS doing science. Keep nitpicking and avoiding the FACTS, titmouse, that she is listing in her diaries.”

    Sigh.

    By that definition, the vast majority of people out there with an opinion on science are ‘doing science’. That would include the majority of the people on this blog. Myself included, although I have no legal claim to be a scientist, nor would I attempt to – as such actions you tout as science are minimum requirements in the majority of medical and allied health professions.

    If she is not producing any testable predictions, or systematically applying such knowledge, then she is not doing science. She is – as you have just said – ‘listing facts’. She is a blogger, blogging scientific information. Her work wouldn’t even make it in the real scientific word as lit reviews.

    Hardly novel.
    Hardly difficult.
    Hardly science.

    I would advise you not to embaress yourself further until you can provide real references to her actual scientific work. Being your crush of the month doesn’t count.

  87. #87 doctrinalfairness
    November 4, 2009

    Dedj- Certainly you have figured out by now that the least of my worries is that you might “embarrass” me, despite your most valiant efforts to do so. Unlike all of you, I make no claim to be anything other than a flawed human being without all the answers, but who is tired of being lied to. I care not one iota about whatever any of you think of me. Flame away.

    Meanwhile, a scientist interested in the truth, is doing systematic reviews of the study results that were/are the raison d’etre for ALL of you here to unanimously conclude that the safety of these vaccines outweighs the risks for nearly everyone. From my read of her- every single one of you is wrong.
    Which SHOULD make her fair game as a “psuedoscientist” or a anti-vax lunatic. Just so you know, SHE SUPPORTS VACCINATION.
    She doesn’t fit into any of your neat categories.
    So where does that leave YOUR argument?
    And the fact that Suzanne Somers gets scrutiny and obscure musicians Twitter pages are evaluated but this woman is ignored speaks volumes to me – as it should for those in whom to place their trust in this vast mess.

    For those on the fencem you might want to read:
    To Be or Not to BE vaccinated- the time to decide is NOW.

    http://www.newfluwiki2.com/diary/4002/to-be-or-not-to-be-vaccinated-the-time-to-decide-is-now

  88. #88 doctrinalfairness
    November 4, 2009

    Dedj- Certainly you have figured out by now that the least of my worries is that you might “embarrass” me, despite your most valiant efforts to do so. Unlike all of you, I make no claim to be anything other than a flawed human being without all the answers, but who is tired of being lied to. I care not one iota about whatever any of you think of me. Flame away.

    Meanwhile, a scientist interested in the truth, is doing systematic reviews of the study results that were/are the raison d’etre for ALL of you here to unanimously conclude that the safety of these vaccines outweighs the risks for nearly everyone. From my read of her- every single one of you is wrong.
    Which SHOULD make her fair game as a “psuedoscientist” or a anti-vax lunatic. Just so you know, SHE SUPPORTS VACCINATION.
    She doesn’t fit into any of your neat categories.
    So where does that leave YOUR argument?
    And the fact that Suzanne Somers gets scrutiny and obscure musicians Twitter pages are evaluated but this woman is ignored speaks volumes to me – as it should for those deciding in whom to place their trust in this vast mess.

    For those on the fence, you might want to read:
    To Be or Not to BE vaccinated- the time to decide is NOW.

    http://www.newfluwiki2.com/diary/4002/to-be-or-not-to-be-vaccinated-the-time-to-decide-is-now

    Don’t feed the troll…

  89. #89 titmouse
    November 4, 2009

    If Susan Chu’s credentials aren’t fit to evaluate, comment on and question the research findings of vaccine manufacturers, then no parent anywhere should be expected to trust the word of their pediatricians to advise them regarding a vaccination schedule.

    Secondary sources can be teachers. But generally they’re not accepted as primary sources –as evidence– apart from certain special situations.

    Pediatricians can explain the CDC recommended vaccination schedule. However, I would worry if my pediatrician were to tell me that the consensus opinion was wrong.

  90. #90 LW
    November 4, 2009

    doctrinalfairness, have you ever thought of having your own blog? doctrinalfairnes.wordpress.com is available right now! I checked. Apparently doctrinalfairness is one letter too long, but for a free blog, you can’t have everything. But you can have 3GB of your own.

  91. #91 titmouse
    November 4, 2009

    In science every effort is made to separate statements from the people making those statements.

    If an innovative scientist does some study, we might worry whether we should trust his results. However, if he writes up his methods with enough detail to allow for others to replicate his work, then once another group repeats the study and verifies the results, we don’t have to worry so much about the first guy.

    So there’s an ethos of objectivity and emotional distance among scientists. A scientist might say something like, “I really admire Susan Chu’s work.” Or he might dryly state, “Chu and colleagues at X University have reported…” But you won’t see a presentation of findings combined with personal praise. You won’t hear, “Susan Chu, who’s really a wonderful person and absolutely brilliant, published a review of the literature which concluded that adjuvants are blah blah blah…”

  92. #92 DoctrinalFairness
    November 4, 2009

    T,
    Normally I might agree with you- but not at this moment in time.
    This isn’t only two armies in a war- that’s inflammatory rhetoric masking the truth, which is never that simple and easy. In a war, a lot of people suffer and die before the truth is even considered- is that the goal?

    >>Anybody who thinks clinical trials, as they are currently done and accepted by the FDA and EMEA, can give us clear ideas about safety, should read the recent FDA meeting transcripts on Cervarix.
    Here’s the thing. There were signals that suggest increased autoimmune disease especially for neurological complications, and increased spontaneous abortion for pregnant women, but after a variety of ways of analyzing them, you can argue that none of the data is statistically significant. The sheer number of ways of analyzing the data is a real eye-opener!!

    Also, they used a large number of studies from all over the world. On the surface, it may look like that larger numbers of study subjects will give you more information, but in reality it only serves to cloud the picture and/or cancel out signals. For example, different studies used different controls (NONE of which was a true inert placebo), including alum, and 2 different concentrations of an alum-adjuvanted hepatitis B vaccine that is not normally given in the same schedule as the study. And yet they ‘pooled’ all the controls for analysis.

    Comparing with heterogeneous groups of controls will have the tendency to either dilute the signals, or, if there is a signal, the range of variation is so high that the data becomes statistically meaningless. Like this, from the transcripts:

    In the meta-analysis, I believe for all events, for HPV ASO4 products, the relative risk was 2.33, but the lower bound was 0.5 and 13.97 upper bound.

    How are you supposed to interpret this, a risk that varies from 0.5 to 13.97 – ie ranging between 50% reduced risk to 14 times increased risk?? Does this prove safety? The committee voted yes. To me it only proves how many different ways clinical trials data can be creatively interpreted…
    http://www.newfluwiki2.com/showComment.do?commentId=142504

    Susan Chu is not a psuedoskeptic- she is the genuine article.

  93. #93 JohnV
    November 4, 2009

    @titmouse

    We had a paper rejected recently and the editors comments were along the line of “Dr. so and so, who’s really a wonderful person and absolutely brilliant, submitted a publication which concluded that random science xyz…”

    It was quite disturbing.

  94. #94 redfish123
    November 4, 2009

    And the fact that Suzanne Somers gets scrutiny and obscure musicians Twitter pages are evaluated but this woman is ignored speaks volumes to me – as it should for those deciding in whom to place their trust in this vast mess.

    Maybe because Suzanne Somers and Billy Corgan are well-known, and to be honest, I hadn’t known of Susan Chu before you started posting links to her (and I doublt that I’m the only one). I don’t doubt that some people may be following her advice, but I’m willing to bet that more people follow Somers and Corgan (and sadly, people do follow medical advice from celebrities — Somers is a best-selling writer).

    Chu’s posts on the death the death associated with the Gardasil vaccine (scroll down) made me think of Feynman’s Cargo Cult Science lecture. Her theories on how the vaccine may have killed the girl in question are… well, here’s one of them:

    a totally unsubstantiated hypothesis, that ‘detoxified endotoxin’ may be as much an oxymoron as low-tar cigarettes, which btw only took about 40 years for scientists to finally declare them unsafe…

    The form seems right, the airport has been set up, but the plane failed to appear.

  95. #95 Dedj
    November 4, 2009

    “Dedj- Certainly you have figured out by now that the least of my worries is that you might “embarrass” me, despite your most valiant efforts to do so.”

    I didn’t ask whether you felt embarrassed or not, nor did I say that it would be any of ‘us’ that embarassed you. That you even think that’s what I was attempting (much less that I would actually have to try all that hard) speaks volumes about your ego.

    I asked you a simple question which directly related to your claims.

    You failed to answer at all.

    ” Unlike all of you, I make no claim to be anything other than a flawed human being without all the answers,…”

    None of us have claimed this, so please stop lying.

    “I care not one iota about whatever any of you think of me”

    That you only care about your own opinion and those that already agree with you is utterly obvious.

    “Meanwhile, a scientist interested in the truth, is doing systematic reviews of the study results…”

    Fantastic, you’ll have no problem finding a list of the journals and periodicals that these ‘systematic reviews’ are published in then, won’t you? Toodle off and get them then.

    Do you even know what a ‘systematic review’ is? It is certainly not a series of forum posts on a wiki somewhere, which is all you have presented so far. That you even attempt to conflate the two is an indication that your understanding of this is perhaps not as good as your hilariously pseudo-humble ego tells you it is.

    “She doesn’t fit into any of your neat categories.”

    She fits neatly into ‘science blogger’. I already mentioned that. It’s irrelevant where she fits anyways. She’s not original by any means, definetly not around these parts, which routinely has posts discussing people like her.

    “So where does that leave YOUR argument?”

    This question doesn’t make sense. I haven’t claimed to present an arguement. In fact, you don’t even know whether I agree with you or not, only that I find your behaviour laughable and offensive.

    Again, your personal amour for her is not an indication that she is anything other than fairly average in what she does. So – any references to her actual ‘scientific’ work, other than forum posts on a wiki?

  96. #96 Just
    November 4, 2009

    Just because people read Suzanne’s book or listen to other celebrities during an interview, does not mean they actually do what the celebrity said. Usually it is just entertainment and nothing else. But, the more attention brought to that person (like on this blog) does spread the word to even more people. I have seen several references to celebritites here that I have never heard of. I have read them now. I much appreciate the link to Susan Chu, thank you.

  97. #97 Pablo
    November 4, 2009

    In my field, there are folks who try to get by sitting back and taking pot shots at people who are doing the work, reanalyzing all their data and then pretending they have done something important. Gotta tell ya, no one has ANY respect for them, and they are not considered “true scientists and sceptics.” We consider them to be lazy asses who don’t have a creative thought of their own or the ability to actually contribute useful new information to the world, and think they can make themselves bigger by chopping into people who are actually contributing to the science community.

    You know what the difference is between these people and Susan Chu? These folks actually publish their whiney-ass crap in semi-legimate journals, and not just on a weblog somewhere.

  98. #98 DoctrinalFairness
    November 4, 2009

    I guess my psuedohumble ego isn’t sufficiently prostrate at your phony altar of “scientific skepticism”, Dedj .

    You find me laughable and offensive and I find your level of denial of responsibility for the hideous mess of science and the impending health crisis to be near sociopathic.
    The disrespect is entirely mutual.

    http://www.newfluwiki2.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=3986

    Susan Chu’s wrong assumption about the girl’s death from Gardasil will stand against your 100% unanimous chorus here about the benign qualities of squalene, the safety of adjuavanted vaccines in women and children and the recommendation that adjuvanted vaccines be given to people with autoimmune disease.

    Get back to your war…
    Time will tell who was serving science and who wasn’t.

    >He who joyfully marches to music rank and file, has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action<< Albert Einstein

  99. #99 Dedj
    November 4, 2009

    I’m not responsible for the “for the hideous mess of science and the impending health crisis” nor could I be, so the denial that you have falsely attributed to me could not have been forthcoming.

    Not only have you attributed arguements to me that I have not stated, you are now attempting to attribute fault to me that it is not possible for me to have held.

    You have now directly lied about me on at least 3 occasions that I can think off. As I’m only aware of you replying to me 3 times, that makes for a 100% record. Not good and certianly not impressive.

    Mealy mouthed accusations, lying about other people directly to them, and yet more false humbleness and ego-centricism, is not an answer to the questions being put to you.

    You have been asked multiple times to provide validation for your arguements regarding Susan Chu and squalene. You have always failed. You have resorted to crass personal accusations, lies and distortions.

    I think we all know what answer you are trying to avoid giving. It’s just a shame that you don’t.

    Given that you are throughly repulsive and fully willing to make bizarre personal accusations, I will have to say that I for one will not consider anything further from you – barring a full and complete apology – to have any validity.

    You have single handidly spoiled what could have been an otherwise decent discussion. You must be so proud of yourself – one your pseudo-humble ego allows you to be of course.

    Well done.

    Toodles.

  100. #100 Dedj
    November 5, 2009

    I also find it very odd that we are being expected to accept blogposts as scientific publications merely on someguysomewhere saying so and the same guy has dismiised the validity of modern science, yet the same guy has made repeated demands for a very particular piece of scientific evidence (and provided no rationale for why it ‘should’ exist).

    So, we must accept something as valid on his say-so (but our say-so is a no-no), but he gets to dismiss both the answers he got explaining what and why his question and understaning is flawed, but also gets to dismiss the possibility of a specific answer even being correct.

    Any person willing to pull such a stunt and not feel shame is clearly a person to avoid.

    I’ve said all I’m willing to risk saying.

  101. #101 DoctrinalFairness
    November 5, 2009

    Feel better now, Dedj? Happy to have spared the wife or the dog a round of your righteous rage tonight.
    LOL. Sorry to have used “YOU” so broadly, it was intended generally to the perennial members of your little jury.

    Calm down and have some warm milk. Goodnight.

  102. #102 Dedj
    November 5, 2009

    Accusations of wife of animal abuse aren’t funny, at least not in sober over-18’s.

    The irony of apologising for overgeneralising with your use of ‘you’ whilst at the same time lumping me in with everyone else here will be lost on you.

    You even fail at being meek and apologetic, turning it into yet another attempt at insulting and over-generalising. I feel utterly confident that your ‘apology’ was not sincere, and was only done convince yourself that you are ‘that sort of guy’.

    Apology definetly not accepted on grounds of being false and insulting.

    I think you’ll excuse me for not taking the advice of someone who accused me of ‘near sociopathy’ (for something someone else said) seriously.

    Please do not respond again, unless it is a proper apology or substantiation of why Chu should be taken seriously under a system you deem invalid.

    Any further attempts at insults will be deemed indicative of a inability to answer.

    Toodles.

  103. #103 Chris
    November 5, 2009

    Trolls tend to go away if you ignore them. Please remember this!

  104. #104 Johannes9126
    November 5, 2009

    I LOLed at #166

  105. #105 Dangerous Bacon
    November 5, 2009

    When I saw that comments had passed the 500 mark, I knew that DF had come back for encore(s), despite the final-sounding goodbyes. The conspiracy-minded will no doubt wonder whether a supposedly obsessed antivaxer is getting a cut of Orac’s Big Pharma payoffs in return for hanging around and driving up his page views.

    “I can think of countless Nobel Prizewinning scientists who were ignored and ridiculed”

    I eagerly await this list too, while noting that one little bitty difference (among many) between a Nobel Prize winner and Susan Chu is that Nobel-winning scientists actually do their own research, and do not rely on cherry-picking bits of others’ work to suit a particular agenda.

    I also wonder how one reconciles attacking Dr. Paul Offit for his statement that children can handle antigenic challenges vastly greater than they experience with current vaccines, and on the other hand urging higher quantities of antigen to be employed in adjuvant-less vaccines.

    Sorry Chris, but I hear that if we boost comments up to 750, Orac wins a pony.

  106. #106 DoctrinalFairness
    November 5, 2009

    Joha, Sad that none of this is a laughing matter. Nor will the next pandemic be anything to laugh at. The little matter of herd immunity is YOUR problem too- unless of course, it’s all a big sham to sell vaccines, as millions of people now believe.

    And the “little people” you sneer at aren’t blind. Most have observed that the PR machine of the “independent” press has now rolled out their huge campaign dispelling any notion that potential vaccine side-effects are due to anything but the normal occurences of illness patterns.
    All side effects are now to be considered coincidence until proven otherwise.
    The same creative interpretation of statistics that Chu points out in #494 (none of you have defended the math, I notice) to arrive at the evaluation of pre-vaccine safety will now be vigorously applied to the post-vaccination data of adverse reactions to the vaccine. You LOL’ed at #166, but please busy yourself in taking a crack at interpreting the safety data and do feel free to explain.
    I’d love to hear Richard Feynman himself de how you can assure us that the vaccine will not harm as many in equal numbers as it saves.
    Your silence can be construed as defense of the “creativity” of such statistical interpetation. Along with the statistical impossiblity of the positive, industry favoring findings in a huge percentage of peer review studies, you have failed to show whay anyone should believe that there is any more rigor in EVB than research that shows that “reflexology offers symptomatic relief in some people”.
    Thusly, the new name for your own servile Cult is up for grabs.

    Dedj, let’s replay your tape,
    How dare you wrongly extrapolate that I accused you of wife or animal abuse from my statements? I said absolutely no such thing. Please provide conclusive evidence that I did or apologize this very instant. Until you do so, you are “forbidden to reply”.

    I merely implied that I spared the poor wife and doggie to further subjection of pompous posturing, bullying, stonewalling and your cocksure assumption of an exclusive right to interpret reality, worth or value. Until you are ready to consider an expansion of the definition of abuse AND a peek at what constitutes sociopathology, then we have very little common ground nor is there any need for my apology. Continue to defend the indefensible and then wonder why you have a credibility problem.

    Please review the statistics at #494. Until then, I propose a contest to “Name that Cult”.

    BTW Chris, how’s the knee from all of that marching? Up down, up, down- all of that repetitive movement can’t be very good for it…

  107. #107 Joseph C.
    November 5, 2009

    DF is still here and bringin’ the crazy extra hard today. I thought she was leaving. How pathetic.

  108. #108 Vindaloo
    November 5, 2009

    Why is this DF troll being fed? I scanned through the links provided and this UK Chu (conveniently and similarly named for a US govt scientist) has mastered a good bit of the vocabulary but doesn’t appear to have done much itself. However, it does have a lot of time on its hands… as does DF troll.

  109. #109 Joseph C.
    November 5, 2009

    Why is this DF troll being fed?

    Sheer boredom and for the novelty of having finally found the female cooler.

  110. #110 Scott
    November 5, 2009

    I wouldn’t say DF is the female cooler. Her “best” work so far can be surpassed by cooler in his sleep. Truly, cooler’s depths of lunacy are nigh-impossible for mere mortals to plumb.

  111. #111 Wren
    November 5, 2009

    Wow. DF has really lost it. I actually wondered if she had a point there for a bit, but any point she may have been trying to make has been totally obscured behind the anti-science conspiracy theory ravings and insults.

    I hope my little contribution helps Orac win the pony.

  112. #112 ltcolrs
    November 5, 2009

    Hello Doctrianlfairness and Thank You,
    I heard my coworker pound the desk, and I asked what the uproar was over. Apparently he had had enough of someone named dedge? He told me which blog, and I started reading. Yes, I just finished reading all 502 comments and several links (it is still before work). As a first time reader who never thought much about these issues before, I must say I have been enlightened. Our first child is on the way, and the information is much appreciated. After getting through all the comments, I cant help but feel you have truly been put through a war by the same group of posters over and over. If you read from the beginning- your points, passion, common sense and links to data, are far and above the rest of the ‘gang’. I know sometimes that anger and exhaustion due to the same tired responses over and over can sometimes make people ramble, but even your rambling posts are genuine. I just thought you would like to know, from a new reader, that you have made a difference. They could post on and on with more rebuttals, but your message will hold. I think all new readers looking for answers will not believe a word of this particular group you have been up against.

  113. #113 Joseph C.
    November 5, 2009

    @DF,

    Sock puppets are the oldest trick in the book.

  114. #114 DoctrinalFairness
    November 5, 2009

    Sock puppets? No clue, Joe but I’ll venture a guess.
    Thank you “ltcolors”- I’d bet that Joe is implying that I’m now simultaneously posing as myself, Susan Chu and now you, too. Maybe from time to time your colleague will post for me in my upcoming absence to go backpacking with a friend sans my computer for a few days. Crunchy granola, too.

    I’ll be so sorry to miss out on the scintillating discussion on how and why a woman with very solid credentials in Flu Preparedness and many years of volunteer study in examining the science at hand with influenza can be so readily and easily ignored by this crowd, while every utterance and publication of celebrities is so carefully dissected.
    If Susan Chu can be run out of town, which undoubtably she will be, given the despicable threat that her “psuedo-scientific ramblings” on a blog pose to the impenetrable and frozen dogma here, at least a few people will be aware of it.

  115. #115 Joseph C.
    November 5, 2009

    Sock puppets? No clue, Joe but I’ll venture a guess.

    Bullshit. You fool nobody. Very weak attempt.

  116. #116 ltcol rs
    November 5, 2009

    No problem doctrialfairness. Sorry I dont have the experience or vocabulary to argue with these people. It did give me a chuckle though. That is not the usual kind of puppet we get called in the military. Thanks again. I will save the info for my wife. I should make it back to the states close to delivery time.

  117. #117 Chris
    November 5, 2009

    Joseph, I suspect that DF has used other sockpuppets here before. It is a common troll tactic.

  118. #118 ltcolrs
    November 5, 2009

    One more thing, doctrinalfairness. What do you think of kittehs?

  119. #119 Credentialed
    November 5, 2009

    DoctrinalFairness,

    When you arrived at RI, I took you seriously despite the tone of your first posts indicating you were more or less gunning for a fight. I even think we had a few reasonable back-and-forth posts regarding relevant scientific publications. However, one of the main reasons I have not responded to any of your posts over the last few days is the course you continue to run in your comments here. I am no longer convinced that it’s possible to have a meaningful conversation with you…Here are the main reasons why:

    1. Tone. I neither condone nor excuse the tone that some commenters here have taken towards you. On the other hand, it’s hard to take seriously your complaints that skeptics and RI commenters should treat you (and other concerned “laypeople”) with greater respect when you have been bombastic, dismissive, hyperbolic, and flat rude since your very first post. It’s the height of absurdity to repeatedly attack the residents of an online forum and simultaneously demand that they take your claims seriously and perform work for you (i.e., break down complicated published data in a rapidly changing field) instantaneously.
    2. Pace. You have posted a large volume in your short time. In some ways, it has been a “Gish Gallop” of half-reasonable/half-nonsense comments that make it highly difficult to effectiley address the relevant points and questions. Slowing down alone should improve the signal-to-noise ratio.
    3. Absurd, insulting claims. In just a single comment (#480 above), littered with scarequotes, you implicitly or explicitly assert that pharmaceutical industry studies are tainted, that doctors and scientists that agree with the current medical consensus put patients (knowingly or ignorantly, but willingly) at an unacceptable risk, that critical evaluation of the claims of people you don’t necessarily care about (e.g., actresses who claim medical expertise) is a diversionary tactic meant to keep the ignorant masses subjugated, that other commenters have “sworn blind allegiance” to underhanded pharmaceutical company research, etc. Maybe that comment was overboard because it was an angry “out of retirement” response to perceived slights, but I’ve witnessed plenty of other comments you’ve authored with similar assertions. These are not the writings of someone who will readily be taken seriously.
    4. Susan Chuphilia. There’s a reason why it appears nobody knew of this person before you arrived: she’s a retired physician writing a blog. She is currently, it seems, a non-entity in the relevant research world. I’ve read a number of her posts now and while she does a decent job of explaining some of the complexities of immunology, and has pointed out some of the weaknesses of the current data set regarding squaline-derived adjuvants, there’s a lot of sloppy thinking in those posts, too. I will provide an example below. I get the feeling you haven’t spent nearly the time and effort evaluating Chu’s claims as you have apparently dismissing those that have been presented here in response to your questions and assertions. Perhaps you need to re-read her self-published “Disclaimers” post in which she wisely states:

    I’m not a research scientist, and this is not a peer-reviewed journal. Any comment I make that is science related, including ones supported with references and/or links to peer-reviewed sources, should not be construed as a comprehensive and/or authoritative review of the subject, nor ‘proof’ of any theory, hypothesis, or causal relationship.

    I am a research scientist and I would readily appropriate the basics of this disclaimer for my own comments on this blog and others. Please remember that informal fora such as RI or fluwiki are just that. Dr. Chu might be wise to focus more of her efforts on influencing the relevant scientific literature though letters or editorials (such as the recent editorial @ PMID: 19851782) if she’s so angry and certain that there have been severe oversights in vaccine safety…

    I am not interested in your present flamewar and I have no illusions that I can salvage the present situation in any meaningful way. I’ve already resigned myself to a reasonable likelihood that I’m wasting a not-insignificant portion of my day on this comment and the critical evaluation below. If you wish to be taken seriously, DF, please disengage and start over.

    As for responding to Dr. Chu’s blog posts, I’ve looked at several and will spend some time evaluating one. This one. Here are a few things I’ve noticed…

    * Chu cites 4 studies on “Squalene-induced arthritis in mice.” Putting aside the repeated errors that these studies were actually performed in rats and not mice, I took the time to read the first publication in detail and the other three less closely (PMIDs: 10854227, 15196244, 11966758, 10023856). For each paper, “Squalene-Induced Arthritis” (SIA) developed following intradermal injection of 172-258mg of pure squalene in only one strain of rat (or crosses including that strain). SIA was transient, with symptoms peaking at about 20 days and almost completely subsiding by about 40, and “leaving no permanent deformation of the joints.” Chu never provided any critical evaluation of these papers, of which the obvious criticisms would include the dose & route of administration. Vaccinations are typically given intramuscularly, so an intradermal injection may produce a different response. More importantly, the administered dose of squalene to a rat is 17.6-26.5 times higher than that given to humans (9.75mg) in a 2001 flu vaccine safety trial (11425416); an adult human is typically 100-200 times larger than an adult rat, making the dose differential several orders of magnitude. Furthermore, it’s also worth noting that these reports ever compared treated rats to saline controls, arthritis evaluations weren’t blinded, and these studies were all performed by the same research group (not independently reproduced). These weaknesses are necessary caveats to the evaluation of these findings in the relevant literature. They’re very interesting, and likely important, studies; they’re not a smoking gun against the use of squalene adjuvants in humans.
    * The target of Chu’s post was this statement by a GSK rep:

    I think all the manufacturers have presented data that shows that the effects of the adjuvants are limited in time, limited to the space where it is injected and in the draining lymph nodes. They don’t have widespread activation of the immune response, and there isn’t plausibility that they would activate autoimmunity in organs separate from the muscle where they are injected.

    Chu’s incomplete analysis of these papers is, she claims, “already plenty enough IMO to debunk the misinformation from GSK.” I don’t think this is the case. While a 5000-fold higher dose of pure squalene may induce a transient widespread activation of the immune response in one strain of rats, that doesn’t really scale to a human vaccination dose. In fact, Chu never presents any human data in this post that counters the GSK claim. This doesn’t mean that GSK’s claims are correct; it simply means that Chu did not do a sufficient job of actually countering GSK’s actual claims, as far as I’m concerned.
    * There is more sloppy thinking in Chu’s comments below her post. Of particular note, Chu spent almost 1200 words on the case of the girl that died after her Cervarix vaccination and tangential topics, stating that “’association does not equal causation’, but in this instance, when association is so intimately linked with vaccination, it’s a lot harder to justify that it is unrelated to the vaccine” and railing against the “detoxified endotoxin” component of the adjuvant AS04. She spent about 30 words “completing the picture” with the link to the story describing the patient’s massive tumor that resulted in her likely-vaccination-unrelated death. Chu is under no obligation to re-balance her coverage of the situation, naturally, but that thread seems indicative to me of Chu’s apparent singular focus on vaccine adjuvant risks evidenced in her other posts…I’d argue this led her to jump to a set of conclusions that were ultimately not warranted.

    I’ve spent a lot of time on this post now. I’ve other work to do. I’ll wait and see whether this tome of a comment has any effect on the current dynamics of this thread (and others). I hope I haven’t wasted my time.

  120. #120 ltcol rs
    November 5, 2009

    Doctrinalfairness, I did not post #518. It appears they have not received training. The puppet argument is an enemy tactic used when no real information is available.

  121. #121 ltcolrs
    November 5, 2009

    DF,

    It’s great fun hijacking your lame sock puppet.

  122. #122 Todd W.
    November 5, 2009

    @Credentialed

    Well-written post. It echoes some of my sentiments as well. I also appreciate the analysis of Dr. Chu’s writing, though the link you provided appears to be broken.

  123. #123 ltcol rs
    November 5, 2009

    Don’t listen to #520, who is clearly not me but someone else!

  124. #124 Credentialed
    November 5, 2009

    Todd, thanks for the heads-up…the post I reviewed can be found at http://www.newfluwiki2.com/diary/3986/vaccine-adjuvants-and-the-pathogenesis-of-autoimmune-disease-i

  125. #125 ltcol rs
    November 5, 2009

    What an ass! You couldn’t hijack me if you tried.

    Your childish game has confirmed to me what I suspected after first reading these comments. Doctrinalfairness, I hope you see that I spoke the truth about why these people cant be trusted, and that it gives you the strength to carry on. Dont fall prey to their tactics.

  126. #126 ltcolrs
    November 5, 2009

    Don’t listen to the evil basement kitteh at #523.

  127. #127 JohnV
    November 5, 2009

    1) LOL at your obvious sock puppet doctrinalfairness. That’s hilarious and only adds to the legend of your performance here.

    2) @credentialed, thanks for that write up. I laughed when I saw the ~250 mg squalene injection. Expert analysis by Dr. Chu.

    Anyhow I hope to see more of your posts, that definitely saved a lot of time for us to search through the literature. Which, since I’m lazy, I probably wouldn’t have done just to deal with doctrinalfairness.

  128. #128 ltcol rs
    November 5, 2009

    518, 521, 523 and 526, It is so painfully obvious that you are not the original poster. Stupid imposters such as yourself would be killed instantly if you werent hiding in the states behind your desk probably on your big fat ass. You think you’re safe hiding there? I can get anything I want on you with as little one email. Keep hiding asswipe.

  129. #129 DoctrinalFairness
    November 5, 2009

    LOL att #523 kitteh. Did kitteh has squalene fur breakfasts?

  130. #130 doctinalfairness
    November 5, 2009

    credentialed,
    nice to hear from you again.
    Once again, I appreciate your time and this time, strongly disagrre with much of what you have written.

    >>While a 5000-fold higher dose of pure squalene may induce a transient widespread activation of the immune response in one strain of rats, that doesn’t really scale to a human vaccination dose. In fact, Chu never presents any human data in this post that counters the GSK claim.< < This is so disingeneous, where would that data ever be found, credentialed, other than in what? the approximate 97% of existing data in the over 65 set? Ask Dr. Diebold, from the FDA, whose credentials were under attack here for remotely suggesting caution with what is unknown! Or has everyone been closely monitoring the health and wellbeing of those 2000 little African children? The data doesn't exist. Which is Chu's point. The children/pregnant woman data is being collected now in a giant experiment-which is also my point. You are comfortable with that, I'm not. No one here has explained to me why I should be. You will soon get your well-deserved break from my volume of posts as I'm off on holiday with a friend. My defense of Susan Chu, of whom I have read on Effect Measure, said by your colleague revere, to be "one smart lady", is due to the fact that she alone addressed an issue hinted at by my own friend and physician. This, BTW, IS also very disingeneous: >>There’s a reason why it appears nobody knew of this person before you arrived: she’s a retired physician writing a blog<< I'll just let that stand a bit, undefended by me, until you are willing to look just a bit closer at how she has chosen to further the knowledge and preparedness for pandemic influenza for quite a long time now. If I do have a "crush" on this total stranger, she is in good company, my earliest 8th grade crushes were on Barbara McClintock and Victor Frankl and neither of them have ever let me down. I don't get crushes easily and I have no delusions that Susan Chu is right about everything. Her questions have much merit considering that she is NO WAY merely just a flu "blogger". That her tireless and varied contributions can be so readily dismissed in light of the actual work she has done is enlightening to me, putting NONE of my suspicions to rest. I notice that you too have ignored number 494. Everyone has. Until then I stand by my angry assertions in #480. I don't want to wait the three decades it will take the CDC to even begin to review their guidelines about flu vaccination in pregnant women, if the history of Lyme disease is any example of how these things work. Thousands of children with Lyme disease had to be told it was a self-limiting illness easily treated with 10 days of antibiotics and any of the crippling illness that lingered was either autoimmune with unknown etiology or psychosomatic. Thirty years later we're finding out that could not be farther from the truth. Maybe when just the right number of doctors who have been near death from ALS get treated with antibiotics and fully recover will the guidelines change once and for all..

  131. #131 Maj. Gen. Stubblebine III, US Army Ret.
    November 5, 2009

    ltcol rs:

    You think you’re safe hiding there? I can get anything I want on you with as little one email. Keep hiding asswipe.

    Well played, Colonel. A little research of our own should put these “researchers” in their place, eh?

  132. #132 Mrs. Maj. Gen. Stubblebine III
    November 5, 2009

    My husband is a kindhearted gentleman who would never stoop so low as to threaten total strangers over the Internet, I will have you know.

  133. #133 JohnV
    November 5, 2009

    “This is so disingeneous, where would that data ever be found, credentialed, other than in what? ”

    What does this even mean? Posting data from a paper is disingenuous? It came from a paper that Dr. Chu cited. IT CAME FROM A PAPER DR. CHU CITED. IT CAME FROM A PAPER DR. CHU CITED. He said in his comment which papers it came from. These are papers Dr. Chu used as her sources. IT CAME FROM A PAPER DR. CHU CITED. He then goes on to cite the source of the amount of squalene included in a flu vaccine. HE CITES THE SOURCE IT CAME FROM. Then he comments (uncited) on the size difference between rats and humans. Granted, that’s not cited but surely you are familiar enough with rats to understand how many times larger than a rat a human is.

    And why didn’t you address his comment? Does it even mean anything to you? Those rats were given ~5000x higher dosage/kg than humans are by a different injection route. And all you can say is “where would that data be found”? after he cites his sources and they happened to be the same sources Dr. Chu cited.

    Please address his comments. Do you think it is valid to extrapolate the effects of an ~5000x dosage of a compound injected intradermally in rats to the same compound (1/5000 as much per kg) intramuscularly.

  134. #134 Credentialed
    November 5, 2009

    DF, in your limited response to me it seems clear that you have interpreted what I’ve written in the worst possible light and tried to shout it down rather rather than responding to what the clear intentions of my post are meant to be: that this is a complex issue that is best understood with nuance and caveats. This includes factual claims that can be made by either side of the issue.

    Far from your claim that I readily dismissed Chu’s work, I stated that “she does a decent job of explaining some of the complexities of immunology, and has pointed out some of the weaknesses of the current data set regarding squaline-derived adjuvants.” If you’re not willing to accept that there are legitimate counter-criticisms of Chu’s claims (e.g., that GSK’s safety claims are “debunked” by experiments in rats, with a genetic propensity for developing arthritis, given doses of squalene that are up to 5000 times greater than a human would receive), then we lack a philosophical framework on which to base further discussions.

  135. #135 ltcol rs
    November 5, 2009

    532 Mam, it is not a threat to tell someone who assumes your identity to stop hiding. Serious breach. Highly doubt he had a kind heart for people who lie about their identity. That is what I meant by that could get you killed in the real world. Gotta get some shut eye. out

  136. #136 ltcolrs
    November 5, 2009

    oh yeah, say goodnight to your ‘husband’ for me. fool.

  137. #137 Squalene Kitteh
    November 5, 2009

    I can has autoimmune disease?

  138. #138 Bert Stubblebine III
    November 5, 2009

    #532 Rima dearest, please don’t get yourself worked up over matters that do not concern you.

    Military men share a certain understanding about fifth column types. I’m sure the good Colonel can see them crawling all over this thread just as I can. Old soldiers can spot these sorry cowards a mile away because, to be frank, they all stink of pussy.

    I use coarse terms not to offend you, my darling, but so you might appreciate the intensity of the reaction shared by Colonel here and myself. It is indeed most pleasurable. Once we catch the familiar scent of a target entering into range, only a fool would think to stand in our way.

  139. #139 SteyrAUG
    November 5, 2009

    ATTN. ITCOLRS AND STUBBLEBINE my secret username is CIDDECEP and I am your S2. My authorization code is Six Wun Quebec Oscar Fife. Your presence here is tactically dangerous and compromises our overall mission parameter. Cease and desist all activity on this board. Our “enemies” are deft at computer hacking and may trace you back to our primary locale. You have forced me to compromise my situation to protect your vulnerable flank. This issue will be addressed later.

  140. #140 just
    November 6, 2009

    steyraug,
    man, yu is bout stupid as I ever seen. that very stupid. now go eet yur kittehs.

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