Respectful Insolence

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 The Hypocrisy! It Burns!!
    October 30, 2009

    “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”

    My hypocrisy meter is going critical! You, calling them nasty? Really? Oh, dear….things could go thermo-nuclear.

    “Unable to win on science, they try to win through intimidation and smears.”

    And there it goes…it just exploded! The hypocrisy burns so bright that it blankets all light in the universe!

    “Truly, he is full of the arrogance of ignorance…”

    And there goes another one.

    You ever consider, asshole, that the reason why Handley and so many other people are so opposed to idiots like you is because of your attitude, intimidation, and bullying. You know, the very intimidation and scare tactics that you whine and snivel about in this farce you call a blog.

    Yes, the hypocrisy does burn. It burns so bright!

  2. #2 John C. Welch
    October 30, 2009

    yes, because ORac has often made death threats against the anti-vax idiots…oh wait…he hasn’t. damn, sucks to be you.

    You know what, fuck this anti-vax shit. It’s a way of dancing around what you really are: anti-science. You all deny reams upon reams of evidence because its inconvenient, and will promulgate the most idiotic bullshit, because it meets your sole criteria for “correct”: it agrees with what the voices in your head tell you is the truth.

    Personally, i think the first time one of you addle-pated nincompoops gets polio, (or worse, your kids who will suffer for your stupidity), or something similar, you’re going to be crying like the little babies you are about “WHY CAN’T WE PREVENT THIS”.

    Y’all remind me of those numbskulls who whine about the cops being jack-booted fascists, until your house gets robbed. Hypocrisy indeed.

  3. #3 Katharine
    October 30, 2009

    Oh fuck, my irony meter just exploded. THIB just spewed so much hypocrisy it’s gone past burning to create a giant miasma of toxic gas.

  4. #4 Katharine
    October 30, 2009

    Hey, THIB, has it ever occurred to you that you’re making one of the mistakes found in the article above: you’re not using science to refute claims, just your feeble attempts at intimidation?

  5. #5 Sivi Volk
    October 30, 2009

    “…and other demylenating illnesses.”

    Wait, what?

    Since when is that even an anti-vac claim? And how does it even make sense? No vaccine components have anything to do with demyelination. Gyah.

    I know, I shouldn’t expect even the most surface plausibility from anti-vaxxers, but it’s still disconcerting to see.

  6. #6 Adam_Y
    October 30, 2009

    “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). ”
    So he uses the peer review canard and then debunks the peer review canard himself. Huh?

  7. #7 Commander Data
    October 30, 2009

    I’m not intellectually intimidated by any of these jokers. Their degrees mean zippo to me … 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. … Brains and street-smarts win, not degrees, arrogance, or entitlement.

    Believing oneself to be perfect is often the sign of a delusional mind.

  8. #8 Grendel
    October 30, 2009

    The first thing I did after reading Amy Wallace’s piece was to send off a supportive email to her from the perspective of a parent of a child with autism – the least I could do as I, like you, assumed the shitstorm that must inevitably follow from the anti-vax nutters after such terrific science writing.

  9. #9 Kwombles
    October 30, 2009

    Just posted a piece this morning on the same concept of standing up to the anti-vaccine bullies. And David Brown takes on Handley directly regarding his lawsuit with Offit; this article is linked through mine.

    Thank you for taking a stand repeatedly on this issue. It is appreciated.

  10. #10 Vindaloo
    October 30, 2009

    Again, Sue M shows us her angry ignorance being firstie on this thread like she is on any thread involving antivax nonsense from Handley, Jenny and all the lemmings at Age of Autism.

    Does Sue’s Dark Mark swell up whenever Orac posts on AoA lunacy? Or does Handley lay in wait and light up the Quack2000onominator that transmits the cry for help?

  11. #11 DrFrank
    October 30, 2009

    THIB, have you ever had a short moment of introspection and thought, just for a second, “Wait, what if I *am* wrong about vaccinations, and the overwhelming scientific consensus of huge scores of medical researchers are actually correct? Maybe, just maybe, businessman J.B. Handley, Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey are incorrect, despite their huge amounts of research and peer-reviewed publications in the field of vaccination reactions”?

    If you ever do, I guess you just mutter “Big Pharma Big Pharma Big Pharma Big Pharma” to yourself like a mantra until the uncomfortable feeling goes away, because huge conspiracy theories solve everything.

  12. #12 BA
    October 30, 2009

    If only we had a THIB vaccine, the world would be a better place.

  13. #13 Joseph
    October 30, 2009

    You ever consider, asshole, that the reason why Handley and so many other people are so opposed to idiots like you is because of your attitude, intimidation, and bullying.

    No, I’m quite sure that’s not the reason. Handley et al. are opposed to anyone who doesn’t agree with their unfounded beliefs and imaginings, regardless of attitude.

    Plus I don’t believe you understand the meaning of the terms “intimidation” and “bullying.” Look them up.

  14. #14 Paul Browne
    October 30, 2009

    “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.”

    Given the tendency of the anti-vaccination cause to attract the worst elements of both the anti-science/anti-healthcare right and the anti-pharmaceutical industry/anti-vivisection left is it really that surprising that the tactics of the anti-vaccine movement should imitate those of animal-rights and anti-abortion extremists.

  15. #15 Pablo
    October 30, 2009

    You ever consider, asshole, that the reason why Handley and so many other people are so opposed to idiots like you is because of your attitude, intimidation, and bullying.

    “A statement of fact cannot be insolant.”

    I’ve read that somewhere.

  16. #16 Joseph
    October 30, 2009

    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.

    That’s correct. I was reading Egelhardt et al. (1980) because of a discussion in a separate thread. Measles incidence in the US was essentially stable between 1912 and the early 60s. It was anywhere between 200 and 600 cases per 100,000 population per year, with fairly big fluctuations throughout. (For comparison, the incidence of autism is probably around 15 in 100,000 per year, assuming awareness is stable.)

    The death rate from measles did drop considerably from about 8 in 100,000 per year to about 0.2 in 100,000 per year in 1964.

    That’s a 40-fold drop, which is amazing. The initial drop in the death rate due to the vaccine was about 10- to 15-fold, which is very good too.

    Since the incidence of measles was stable for a long time, clearly sanitation didn’t have anything to do with the drop in the death rate. Advances in general medical care would necessarily have to account for it. You know, science and stuff.

  17. #17 MikeMa
    October 30, 2009

    Silly Sue is still at it. Number 1 in stupid too. Marvelous. I expect Sid will be along shortly. He must sleep later :)) Maybe Jake will stop by. All the big guns…

    Wallace’s article was well done and deserves kudos from here and elsewhere. The baloney from AoA and GenR should be considered badges of honor. They push death and dishonor themselves. Wakefield’s day of judgment will be soon, next month I believe, and we will see if there’s an honest reaction by the anti-vax crowd condemning his lies and their devastating effects. Yeah, right.

    The cruel stupidity of the anti-vax crowd is they steal resources from the effort to find causes of autism when they attack science and promote woo and drivel. The waste is appalling when added to the intimidation that Orac alludes to that keeps researchers out of the field. Fools.

  18. #18 Three of Six
    October 30, 2009

    THIB, RESISTANCE IS FUTILE. YOU WILL BE VACCINATED INTO THE COLLECTIVE.

  19. #19 superdave
    October 30, 2009

    The saddest thing to me is that JB has created a caricature of Offit that the readers of his blog think is true. They really think that Offit is evil and has blood on his hands.

  20. #20 Anthro
    October 30, 2009

    I went to see my doctor today. She is just out of residency and starting her practice. She is also five months pregnant. The clinic got some H1N1 vaccine a few days earlier for the staff, but she declined because THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY WITHOUT THIMERISOL AND SHE’S “NOT TAKING ANY CHANCES, JUST IN CASE IT DOES CAUSE AUTISM’.

    Needless to say, my jaw dropped. She is so sweet (and seems to be a good doctor) I tried not to explode. I reassured her and told her to remember she’s a scientist. She blushed and said she knew better, and that she will talk to her own doc about it soon. I think there’s just something IN people that makes them superstitious in spite of any other training or knowledge. I really like this woman, but my respect for her is now unalterably diminished.

  21. #21 techskeptic
    October 30, 2009

    Anthro,

    Offit Talked about that exact issue at NECSS. It is very hard to “unscare” people.

    That includes Doctors and nurses.

  22. #22 han
    October 30, 2009

    Amy Wallace is my new hero. She had the balls to put herself in the position of target, letting the anti-vaxxers (oh, I’m sorry — “questioners”) discredit themselves by attacking her.

    Way to take one for the team, Ms. Wallace.

  23. #23 JB Handley
    October 30, 2009

    You’re right, I’m very envious of your position as Assistant Professor, I have always aspired to be an “Assistant” anything. Is that North of piss boy?

    Orac, both sides fight mean. When our scientists and doctors speak up, they typically just get fired, or, like Andy, have to leave their home country, so quit your pathetic whining.

    Soon enough, this debate will be settled. And, one of us will look like a complete jackass, and I’m confident the other one will never let the world forget. I look forward to it.

    JB

  24. #24 Azkyroth
    October 30, 2009

    Holy shit. It never ceases to amaze me how many people there are out there who’ve graduated, maybe gone to college, reproduced, have jobs and homes, possibly pay taxes, vote, even run for office, and their brains are still stuck in a plastic chair facing the corner of the kindergarten classroom pouting about how UNFAIR it is.

  25. #25 Todd W.
    October 30, 2009

    @JB

    When our scientists and doctors speak up, they typically just get fired, or, like Andy, have to leave their home country, so quit your pathetic whining.

    Umm…Andy did not have to leave the U.K. He could have stayed. There was no mandate that he be exiled. He chose to leave and avoid the bad publicity and reputation he created for himself over there. What happened in the U.K. wasn’t because he raised questions.

    Any other examples?

    Soon enough, this debate will be settled. And, one of us will look like a complete jackass, and I’m confident the other one will never let the world forget. I look forward to it.

    How prescient of you.

  26. #26 Scientizzle
    October 30, 2009

    JBH @ 23: Soon enough, this debate will be settled.

    How will it be sttled, JB? What, in you mind, will settle this “debate”?

  27. #27 Joseph
    October 30, 2009

    Soon enough, this debate will be settled. And, one of us will look like a complete jackass, and I’m confident the other one will never let the world forget. I look forward to it.

    @JB: Are you sure this hasn’t already happened? Did you read the post by chance?

    BTW, didn’t you say the same thing like 3 years ago? I seem to remember it. I certainly remember Dr. Deth making a bet that the thimerosal-autism link would be “near certain” in 18-24 months. That was in March 2006.

    I love anti-vax predictions. Remember when David Kirby said that if the 3-5 CalDDS caseload didn’t drop by 2007, that would deal a severe blow to the thimerosal hypothesis?

    You said pretty much the same thing, didn’t you?

  28. #28 ababa
    October 30, 2009

    Soon enough, this debate will be settled. And, one of us will look like a complete jackass, and I’m confident the other one will never let the world forget. I look forward to it.

    You look forward to looking like a complete jackass? Ok, I guess if it floats your boat.

    Of course, you look like one now, you just don’t recognize it. Nor do I believe you will ever allow yourself to be proven wrong. Move those goalposts!

  29. #29 Pablo
    October 30, 2009

    I don’t about you folks, but I can just see JB standing up and shaking his fist, “You’ll all see! We’ll be shown right, and then you all will be sorry!” Like every other crank.

    I love anti-vax predictions. Remember when David Kirby said that if the 3-5 CalDDS caseload didn’t drop by 2007, that would deal a severe blow to the thimerosal hypothesis?

    Oh, don’t think he knows this. He knows full well that the thimerasol hypothesis is dead in the water. That doesn’t matter though. They just move on to the next boogeyman (squalene, anyone?), and forget all about that time. Shoot, they will even deny that thimerasol was an issue. It wasn’t REALLY the big problem (kind of like how the invasion of Iraq REALLY wasn’t about stockpiles of WMD)

  30. #30 BA
    October 30, 2009

    This is, perhaps, a cryptic reference to a supposed case of dystonia caused by a flu vaccination in a 28 year old woman.

    See this account for more info:
    http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=1152

  31. #31 bob
    October 30, 2009

    These guys are getting scary. Seriously.

    Also, I can’t believe he’s mocking assistant professors. The assistant professors in my dept make nearly six figures, and are a few years away from an excellent shot at guaranteed lifetime employment (tenure). Piss boys, indeed.

    You chumps would be funny if you weren’t so dangerous. You’re like the flat-earthers … if their ideas somehow convinced people and put them in danger.

  32. #32 Andrew Dodds
    October 30, 2009

    Bob –

    When you say ‘six figures’, you’re not meant to include the cents/pennies.

  33. #33 Pareidolius
    October 30, 2009

    Nice post there J.B., but methinks the antivaxxer doth protest too much.

    When we were growing up, I could always tell who my sister had a crush on. The signs would be subtle, but irrefutable. She would start to talk like the boy in question. At first it would show up as incorporating favorite phrases he used, and then expletives. If it lasted more than a few weeks, syntax would start to creep in.

    So it appears to be with J.B. Handley and the object of his passion, Orac. I’ve been noticing his clumsy attempts at snark and insolence changing over the years apparently attempting to mimic our boxy host’s turn of phrase.

    Unfortunately, he’s really lousy at it, because he gets so frakkin’ mad that he ceases to make any sense at all. His diatribes always seems to end up sounding something like the classic “I know you are but what am I” . . . times infinity.

    Unlike my adolescent sister’s ardor, however, J.B.’s almost Khan-like intensity seems constant and enduring. I think he really believes that Orac’s cool insolence is somehow equivalent to his nearly apoplectic, rage- and threat-filled missives. When this is pointed out, he goes even more nuts.

    It’d all be kinda sweet if he weren’t spreading possibly life-threatening misinformation.

  34. #34 Liz Ditz
    October 30, 2009

    Over at Sean Carrol’s post at Cosmic Variance, Defending Science Isn’t Always Pretty, JB Handley’s trotting out the appeal to authority with Jon Poling and Bernadette Healey.

    Maybe it is time for pro-science folk to gin up a Project Steve in support of the safety and efficacy of vaccines.

    Project Paul? Project Maurice?

  35. #35 An article about you guys
    October 30, 2009

    7 Great Occupations for Horribly Stupid People

    http://www.cracked.com/blog/7-great-occupations-for-horribly-stupid-people

    #3: Health Care Professionals
    “To avoid any subjectiveness on this author’s part, I wanted one of these to be fully scientific. So I went on FutureProofYourCareer.com and took an extensive online quiz that tested my aptitude and personality traits to decide the perfect career for me. This was a quiz I was determined to fail.

    I gave myself the lowest possible scores in all aspects of human ability. Then I answered all the personality questions like a schizophrenic. If I was able to contradict myself at any time, I did. As far as this quiz knows, I can’t do math or stack objects, I’ve killed several drifters and I did great in math class while working as an object stacker. I’d like to think that by the time I finished, a computer somewhere was screaming and shooting itself in the mouth. Unrelated to this article, that image is also what I was thinking about every time I slept with you, ex-girlfriends.

    So now that this computer brain knows I can’t do anything right, and the property damage from me trying would be unacceptable, it suggested my primary field of study: healthcare practitioner. This seemed strange. Maybe because giving myself the lowest possible scores in everything proved I was honest enough to tell someone they have cancer without fucking with them, yet incompetent enough to have that turn out to be wrong. That’s win/win for everybody.

    Why They’re So Stupid:
    Don’t ask me. It’s simple science.”

    I think the article says it all.

  36. #36 Dan Weber
    October 30, 2009

    So, if you made a bomb, and you encased misogyny in a … a … y’know, a bomb, and threw it at your neighbor’s house because his dog pooped in your yard, literally, it would explode and release energy.

  37. #37 Kaessa
    October 30, 2009

    I just sent her an email in support. I forwarded this article to my daughter, maybe this will get through when nothing else has. She won’t vaccinate her kids, because she’s afraid they’ll get the disease from the vaccination. She insisted to me that when she was in the Marines, four people in her unit got smallpox from the vaccine.

    *headdesk*

  38. #38 Aj
    October 30, 2009

    “You’re right, I’m very envious of your position as Assistant Professor, I have always aspired to be an “Assistant” anything. Is that North of piss boy?”

    Everything’s north of the piss boys. That’s just gravity.

    Of course in terms of financial worth, piss boys are frequently very rich business men…

  39. #39 Dave
    October 30, 2009

    Perhaps JBH is hoping for a career move up from his current position of peg boy?

  40. #40 titmouse
    October 30, 2009

    I’ll give vaccines credit for the final 2% — and a whole lotta’ autism, allergies, and other demylenating illnesses.

    LOL.

    Wait, wut? Autism is a “demylenating” illness now?

    People take this guy JB Handley seriously?

  41. #41 MC
    October 30, 2009

    JB makes an interesting assertion. Somehow he seems to think that if he is proven correct, he won’t be a jackass anymore.

    Too bad that isn’t true–either that he may be correct or that he wouldn’t be considered a jackass.

    But, this is telling about his actions. He seems to think he can act as he pleases and be a jackass and it will all be erased when (in his mind) he is vindicated.

    Most people after being publicly humiliated for making a jackass out of themselves as Mr. Handley just did with Amy Wallace would realize that they need to reign in their jackass side.

    Not so Mr. JB Handley.

    He is a clown. A buffoon. If he weren’t dangerous at the same time it wouldn’t be so sad.

  42. #42 Corina Becker
    October 30, 2009

    It has occurred to me that as time goes on, it’s getting easier and easier to see right through their, er, arguments. Or is this just me?

    As soon as I read Amy Wallace’s article, I wrote her an email, thanking her and encouraging her good work.

  43. #43 Vindaloo
    October 30, 2009

    “JB makes an interesting assertion. Somehow he seems to think that if he is proven correct, he won’t be a jackass anymore.”

    FTW!!!!1111111111111!!!!

    Between the JB and Sue M nexus of angry ignorance, it’s a wonder they can even stand each other.

  44. #44 Raging Bee
    October 30, 2009

    These loons are the anti-vaxx equivalent of Harun Yahya. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when they sink to that level of thuggery.

    And getting misogynistic is a pretty silly thing for the anti-vaxxers to do, given the number of sanctimommies who drive that movement.

  45. #45 notmercury
    October 30, 2009

    Soon enough, this debate will be settled. And, one of us will look like a complete jackass, and I’m confident the other one will never let the world forget. I look forward to it.

    JB

    And how will we know when the debate has been settled, JB? Please tell us what it will take for either side to accept that vaccines do or do not cause autism? I know you always seem to have inside information about some pending top secret monkey study but you have never answered one simple question — “What will it take to convince you that vaccines don’t cause autism?”

  46. #46 MikeMa
    October 30, 2009

    JB is equating Andy ‘schmucko’ Wakefield with actual, functioning scientists? Really? Wow, that just sucks as Andy gave up any pretense when he, you know, faked the data and, whoops, took money to make his research come out a certain way.

    Nailed good and solid by Brian Deer and about to be nailed again when his case comes up in the UK.

  47. #47 JB Handley
    October 30, 2009

    In case Ms. Wallace is looking for any examples that the disparagement flows in both directions, please read up from here!! Thanks to all of you wildly anonymous folks, it’s always a sincere pleasure! Oh, and please get in line – the Pig flu shot are running out!

    JB Handley

  48. #48 Liz Ditz
    October 30, 2009

    Oh, Raging Bee:

    And getting misogynistic is a pretty silly thing for the anti-vaxxers to do, given the number of sanctimommies who drive that movement.

    Sorry — the sanctimommies turn and rend other women who don’t agree with their autism = vaccine injury fantasy. Not to mention outing people.

  49. #49 MC
    October 30, 2009

    JB Handley,

    do you know how to spell “associate”? As in “associate” professor?

    Much more, do you know what it means?

    As long as we are on the subject, do you understand what “assistant” professor means? It appears that you do not.

  50. #50 Raging Bee
    October 30, 2009

    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.

    Do does this mean Big Pharma is okay now?

  51. #51 JustaTech
    October 30, 2009

    Good grief. Have you see those comments at Wired? I thought the people who read Wired were marginally more intelligent than the average denizen of the internet, but clearly not.

    Bravo Amy. I might buy a subscription to Wired on the basis of this article. And JB? Go away, preferably somewhere where you’d need lots of shots. I hear yellow fever is delightful.

  52. #52 BlueMonday
    October 30, 2009

    A friend of mine from my college days will no longer speak to me because I persisted in calling her out on her facebook page every time she posted something anti-vax. The only reason I kept it up is that I feel a responsibility to combat that nonsense. I knew I wouldn’t change her mind (she actually said she would pray about it, but if God didn’t tell her to vaccinate then she wouldn’t–what do you even do with that?), but I was hopeful that fence-sitters would at least follow the links.

    It’s a never-ending job. Thank you for your efforts, Orac. I may not have a wide sphere of influence, but in my small corner of the world, I’m doing what I can.

  53. #53 Katharine
    October 30, 2009

    JB Handley, if you don’t know what an Assistant Professor is, your IQ is just barely high enough to be a piss boy.

    No wonder I hate business people; you’re a typical example.

  54. #54 Dan Weber
    October 30, 2009

    (she actually said she would pray about it, but if God didn’t tell her to vaccinate then she wouldn’t–what do you even do with that?),

    THIS IS GOD. VACCINATE YOUR CHILDREN, FOR MY SAKE.

  55. #55 Joseph
    October 30, 2009

    Some classic JB Handley predictions and views…

    There is no such thing as autism. Autism is a misdiagnosis for mercury poisoning.

    (Feb 2005, NBC interview)

    It takes 1 to 2 years [to cure autism with chelation.]

    (Same interview)

    If you line up 100 symptoms of mercury poisoning and 100 symptoms of autism they are exactly the same

    (Same interview and elsewhere)

    Late 2006 should be the first time that rates go down. If they don’t, our hypothesis will need to be reexamined.

    (Timesunion interview)

    Where are all the adults with autism? They don’t exist.

    (Larry King, April this year)

    Because [Finland's, Sweden's and Norway's autism] rates are one tenth of ours.

    (Same interview)

    Since we both can’t possibly be right, one of us has to be crazy.

    (Email to Dr. Minshew)

    Do we really have to wait to consider JB Handley a jackass?

  56. #56 Katharine
    October 30, 2009

    I think JB Handley deserves the simple moniker ‘worldwide wanker’.

    Because shit, if he doesn’t seem to get off about ‘oh poor me, my baby has autism and I can’t accept that it was probably a simple genetic or epigenetic problem that’s complex in nature so I’m going to go wank wank wank and attack people who actually try to use evidence to make their points and if they make me feel bad I’m going to say they’re all mental rapers or dweebs because I’m a dumbass and they make me feel bad that I’m an anencephalic cretin’.

    I mean, fuck, do daddy hormones intoxicate you that badly?

    Plus it’s ‘Associate Professor’, pimpledick. ‘Associate’. One step below full professor.

    And if you think autism or allergies are demyelinating illnesses (demyelinating? I’ve had allergies ever since I can remember and I don’t have fucking multiple sclerosis, you mentally bereft money-obsessed troglodyte!), you need to read some fucking neuroscience, dipwad.

    Really, I’ve just about had it with you snake-oil-pushers. Fuck you, Handley.

  57. #57 Katharine
    October 30, 2009

    Seriously, if you’re going to try to bilk people out of their money and kill them, at least look like you’ve got an impenetrable argument, Handley. Because your bunch of idiots is pathetic.

  58. #58 Becca Stareyes
    October 30, 2009

    It amazes me when people still trot out Andrew Wakefield. Whatever the rest of science says about measles, autism and the whole kit-and-kaboodle, Wakefield’s study was so shoddily done, any resemblance to the actual state of the field would be by blind chance. When I’m grading undergrad lab reports, students who just write down the answer they think is correct when their data doesn’t support it (or worse, make up data and/or fudge the error bars to make it look significant) get low grades and many comment, because that’s not how science works. Without good evidence, a conclusion is just a guess.

  59. #59 BlueMonday
    October 30, 2009

    Dan Weber, I’ll be sure to send this to her if she lifts her communications block on me. I did ask her to point out in the Bible where vaccines were even discussed. Of course, I think I shot myself in the foot with that one…

  60. #60 Sid Offit
    October 30, 2009

    Smallpox was not eliminated by better sanitation and refrigeration. It was eliminated by a vaccine.

    —————————–

    By the time vaccines did get around to wiping out smallpox the disease was, due to “better sanitation and refrigeration”, a largely harmless shell of it’s former self

  61. #61 PsyberDave
    October 30, 2009

    JB, some of Andy’s work has been discredited on the grounds of its poor quality and his suspected conflicts of interest (e.g. working for attorneys suing for vaccine damages, and having his own vaccine to compete with others already on the market), not simply because of the content of his claims.

    To say he merely “spoke up” and then was attacked completely ignores some points that many people regard as very important and relevant to their reaction to him; specifically, his work’s dubious quality.

  62. #62 BlueMonday
    October 30, 2009

    Dan Weber, I’ll be sure to send this to her if she lifts her communications block on me. I did ask her to point out in the Bible where vaccines were even discussed. Of course, I think I shot myself in the foot with that one…

  63. #63 Sid Offit
    October 30, 2009

    Each night I lie awake in bed weeping over the threats Dr. Paul Offit must endure. Now you say Amy Wallcae is being targeted as well. This is to much to bear.

  64. #64 Scientizzle
    October 30, 2009

    Sid @ 58: By the time vaccines did get around to wiping out smallpox the disease was, due to “better sanitation and refrigeration”, a largely harmless shell of it’s former self

    That “shell” of a disease? Responsible for an estimated 50 million yearly cases of smallpox worldwide in the early 1950s, of which smallpox “killed every fourth victim [and] scarred or blinded most survivors.” (source) Wild cases were eliminated by 1978.

    That, my friends, is not an example of a weakling virus that faded into history as a minor annoyance, but a remarkable medical triumph over a common disease with significant morbidity and mortality, a triumph dependent upon global vaccination efforts.

  65. #65 Scott
    October 30, 2009

    @62:

    Can’t say I’m surprised, Sid, given how repeatedly you’ve proven yourself to be a callous sociopathic bastard who doesn’t care in the least about the suffering or even death of anybody else.

  66. #66 grenouille
    October 30, 2009

    Anthro:

    I had the same conversation two nights ago with my best friend. She is pregnant and told me she would not get the H1N1 shot “unless it’s the version without mercury.” She added that thimerosal was shown to cause autism and that they removed it from pediatric vaccines for that reason.

    I was shocked into silence for a few minutes, then I tried to give her as much information as I could, in as mild a manner I could muster. But it shocked me. She is a zoology major, a former science teacher and had always been a skeptic. Her mother is an OB nurse and her brother is an MD.

    I suspect her new husband’s family is feeding her these lines. Her sudden change of attitude under what may be family pressures makes me fear that she will not have her child vaccinated. I feel strongly enough about this that we may no longer be friends if that happens. I will not be able to see her the same way, even after knowing her for over 20 years.

  67. #67 Sid Offit
    October 30, 2009

    @Joseph

    Since the incidence of measles was stable for a long time, clearly sanitation didn’t have anything to do with the drop in the death rate.

    You’re confusing incidence and mortality. Living conditions make diseases milder. They don’t necessarily eliminate them
    And mortality declined steadily from 1918.
    ———————-

    Advances in general medical care would necessarily have to account for it. You know, science and stuff.

    What be those advances?

    ———————-
    @Orac

    I have to agree with you that the rape/misogyny angle is entirely out of line and to be condemned

  68. #68 MI Dawn
    October 30, 2009

    I’m so glad you are lying in bed weeping over the threats to Dr Offit, Sid. It shows that maybe, just MAYBE you have an empathetic bone somewhere in your body. And gee. You feel bad about what is happening to Amy Wallace? Somehow, I don’t believe that.

    Now if you’d only get a clue about diseases. Smallpox killed 2 people out of 12 who were diagnosed with the disease in 1947 in NYC. So much for “By the time vaccines did get around to wiping out smallpox the disease was, due to “better sanitation and refrigeration”, a largely harmless shell of it’s former self”. Seems to me that a 1 in 6 death rate is not a “harmless shell” and those who died all benefitted from NYC’s known good sanitation and refrigeration.

  69. #69 bob
    October 30, 2009

    I know, right? Who gives a crap if people: (1) actively promote the spread of disease, and (2) threaten those who dare to disagree with them? No big deal. Live (die) and let (not) live, right?

    Can someone clue me in as to why THIB and “Sid Offit” are allowed to post here? The cranks scream “CONSPIRACY” and “CENSORSHIP” even when they aren’t banned (and even when they actually do suppress dissenting opinions on their sites), so why not improve the quality of discourse here?

  70. #70 Sid Offit
    October 30, 2009

    @Mike

    I expect Sid will be along shortly. He must sleep later
    ———————————

    Sid’s on California time but he does enjoy a good nights sleep – and I’ve been spending way to much time on the Commander Data posts

  71. #71 Joseph
    October 30, 2009

    You’re confusing incidence and mortality. Living conditions make diseases milder. They don’t necessarily eliminate them

    @Sid: So you’re saying there were great improvements in sanitation and refrigeration between 1912 and 1965, but for some reason they didn’t cause the incidence of measles to drop at all? How come? And yet, they were able to reduce mortality from measles. I suppose that’s possible, but it’s an extraordinary claim. I still think it’s more likely that people who got hospitalized for measles just didn’t die as much, because medical care had advanced.

    What be those advances?

    How should I know? Maybe someone else here can elaborate on that.

  72. #72 Sid Offit
    October 30, 2009

    Responsible for an estimated 50 million yearly cases of smallpox worldwide in the early 1950s, of which smallpox “killed every fourth victim

    ———————-
    1st we know how unreliable WHO “estimates” are. And 2nd the Africa/India/third world experience doesn’t reflect improved living conditions in the west.
    ———————-
    MI Dawn

    Interesting to note that the smallpox vaccine administered during the 1947 outbreak killed 3 times as many people than did the virus itself. And you don’t mention those were the 1st deaths in NY in over 35 years

  73. #73 MikeMa
    October 30, 2009

    Sid,
    Although I am heartily glad at the message and even the tenor of your posts as they relate negatively to JB and positively to Dr Offit and Ms Wallace. I cannot help waiting for another shoe to drop.

  74. #74 Damien
    October 30, 2009

    Ok, Sid, you’ve stumbled into my actual field of expertise. Smallpox is one of the virulent and debilitating diseases man has ever faced, and we are all extremely lucky to live in a time where it is no longer a threat.

    The idea that you could claim that “improved sanitation and refrigeration” destroyed smallpox is laughable. The reason that we in the West managed to largely rid ourselves of smallpox is because of a concerted and thorough vaccination campaign. And yes, the vaccine for smallpox will kill roughly 1 in a million people who take it; an outbreak of smallpox, on the other hand, could easily kill 35-60% of the population it infected.

    Why do you think that the WHO worked so tirelessly to find and eliminate it everywhere it cropped up? It’s so that we don’t need the vaccine anymore.

    Vaccines have reduced the death rate from viruses in this country, and many others, to levels that are historically astounding. So astounding that now people with no medical training and no grasp of the scientific method can come in to bitch about the very thing that has, I guarantee you, saved their lives.

  75. #75 carykoh
    October 30, 2009

    Sid, your hypothesis should be easy to prove. There must be at least one country in the world with poor hygiene, and hence should still have large numbers of small pox. If you could just point to one of these countries, I’d say you might have a point. Or is it your premise that sanitation and hygiene are at a peak worldwide with no country out there with sanitation poor enough for the virus to gain hold? And this sanitation and hygiene world wide was present in the 60’s and 70’s, or, again, can you point out a country at that point that had immunizations, but poor hygiene and hence large numbers of smallpox?

    I’m sure you’ve dodged this one before as well, but how do you explain the success of HIB, Varicella, and Pneumococcus vaccines in kids? Did hygiene in the US improve that much from 1990 to 2009? If so, what hygiene and sanitation measures caused such a dramatic decrease in these diseases?

  76. #76 titmouse
    October 30, 2009

    Sid Offit:

    Each night I lie awake in bed weeping over the threats Dr. Paul Offit must endure. Now you say Amy Wallcae is being targeted as well. This is to much to bear.

    I’m surprised you’re willing to reveal your position regarding the use of threats to do physical harm to those you don’t agree with.

    Most here will not take you seriously from this moment forward.

  77. #77 Corina Becker
    October 30, 2009

    This is for Anthro, JB, and pretty much everyone else.

    I’m an autistic adult. This Wednesday, I got my H1N1 vaccine, the GlaxoSmithKline one, Arepanrix (adjuvanted, containing thimerosal).

    Within 15 mintues, I’m still not more autistic. It’s been over 24 hours since I’ve gotten the vaccine; still not more autistic.

    I’m betting within a week from now, I’ll still be just as autistic as I was before the shot. Why? Because vaccines don’t cause autism.

    (Oh yes, and there were a couple of skeptical mothers in line too. They were unsure that all vaccines are completely necessary, but they were sure convinced that this one is)

  78. #78 Sid Offit
    October 30, 2009

    @Damien
    Smallpox is one of the virulent and debilitating diseases man has ever faced

    It is if you have 30 people living in one room

    And it’s actually my area of expertise as well so I welcome your input
    ———————–
    Carykoh
    If you read my post I did say vaccines wiped out smallox – but severity was, due to living conditions, declining before and during vaccination

    ———————–
    how do you explain the success of HIB, Varicella, and Pneumococcus vaccines in kids?

    Vaccines do work – but living conditions either cause disease or worsen severity. If not why is HIB so much more prevalent in the poor and why is breastfeeding protective?

    Did hygiene in the US improve that much from 1990 to 2009? If so, what hygiene and sanitation measures caused such a dramatic decrease in these diseases

    No. Vaccines did all the work but I was never worried about the chicken pox
    ————————–
    MikeMa
    Sorry. Here’s the shoe. I was being sarcastic about Offit. But genuine about Handley

  79. #79 Ray C.
    October 30, 2009

    Interesting to note that the smallpox vaccine administered during the 1947 outbreak killed 3 times as many people than did the virus itself.

    [citation needed]

  80. #80 Sid Offit
    October 30, 2009

    Tmouse

    I’m surprised you’re willing to reveal your position regarding the use of threats to do physical harm to those you don’t agree with

    I don’t endorse threats (and I have no problem with those who disagree with me), those threats just don’t bother me. 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

  81. #81 Scott
    October 30, 2009

    And it’s actually my area of expertise as well so I welcome your input

    This made me burst out laughing. If Sid has expertise in ANYTHING, it most certainly has absolutely nothing to do with medicine, biology, or science.

  82. #82 Sid Offit
    October 30, 2009

    and I don’t take those threats all that seriously. I don’t think anyone would do anything. I see it as a sympathy gambit. I’d actually be saddened if anything happened to the little guy

  83. #83 Damien
    October 30, 2009

    @78

    I don’t think you understand how epidemic smallpox actually works, or should I say (thanks to vaccines) worked.

    The virulence distance, as measured in time, for smallpox is two weeks. This means that the disease only needs individual populations with weak or no immunity to be within two weeks travel distance of each other. The second thing the smallpox needs is an amplifier, which you call “30 people living in one room.” This is a gross oversimplification, and if it truly is your area of expertise, you cannot possibly be serious.

    In one of the popsci books on smallpox called Demon in the Freezer talks about a smallpox patient in a German hospital they called “Peter Los;” he managed to infect a huge portion of the hospital merely by smoking through an open window when he was infectious. It is not 30 people in one room, it’s 1 person giving it to 2 people giving it to 4 people, etc. Smallpox epidemics were exponential, but they really took off with the amplifier effect.

    This was most typically in hospitals, but would also be in funerals for suspected smallpox victims, parties, even just one person sick in a movie theater. Suddenly smallpox explodes, because that group passes it around and around.

    Unless you got vaccinated.

    And, hey, if you don’t believe me, why don’t you call D.A. Henderson and talk to him about your vaccine idiocy? I’m sure he’d be reaaaal sympathetic.

  84. #84 Joseph
    October 30, 2009

    @Sid: The WHO site has information that might explain why the death rate from measles dropped while the incidence of measles was stable. First:

    “More than 95% of measles deaths occur in low-income countries with weak health infrastructure.”

    Then in the Treatment section:

    “Severe complications from measles can be avoided though supportive care that ensures good nutrition, adequate fluid intake and treatment of dehydration with WHO-recommended oral rehydration solution (to replace fluids and other essential elements lost from diarrhoea or vomiting). Antibiotics should be prescribed to treat eye and ear infections, and pneumonia.

    All children in developing countries diagnosed with measles should receive two doses of vitamin A supplements, given 24 hours apart. This can help prevent eye damage and blindness. Vitamin A supplements have been shown to reduce the number of deaths from measles by 50%.”

    Adequate medical care and adequate nutrition, in other words.

    No doubt hygiene helps reduce the spread of disease. The CDC itself recommends that you wash your hands. But once you get the disease, reducing your odds of dying is a bit more complicated.

  85. #85 Tom
    October 30, 2009

    “This made me burst out laughing. If Sid has expertise in ANYTHING, it most certainly has absolutely nothing to do with medicine, biology, or science.”

    So why expound on subjects you clearly know nothing about?

  86. #86 Antaeus Feldspar
    October 30, 2009

    Each night I lie awake in bed weeping over the threats Dr. Paul Offit must endure. Now you say Amy Wallcae is being targeted as well. This is to much to bear.

    This may be the most heart-breaking thing I’ve seen in weeks.

    Sid Offit actually manages to say something that an emotionally healthy human being with a working conscience would say – and it’s purely by coincidence, because he’s being sarcastic.

    He doesn’t actually understand why threatening people with death because they believe different things than you do is wrong.

  87. #87 MI Dawn
    October 30, 2009

    @Sid: “Interesting to note that the smallpox vaccine administered during the 1947 outbreak killed 3 times as many people than did the virus itself. And you don’t mention those were the 1st deaths in NY in over 35 years”

    Citation needed for the deaths caused by the vaccine, please. My references don’t have anything like that. Yeah. They were the first deaths as well as the FIRST OUTBREAK of smallpox in 35 years. Hard to have deaths if you don’t have the disease.

    And the man who infected everyone else (and died from the smallpox): he traveled by bus and train from Mexico with his wife. He stayed in a hotel room (was not living in a room with 30 others), traveled by taxi to the hospital, and STILL managed to cause other cases of smallpox while in the hospital, in isolation.

  88. #88 Grant
    October 30, 2009

    It’s good to see some people standing up to the nonsense and in particular it’s good to see in the mainstream media.

    Just focusing on the autism aspects, not the vaccine-only aspects:

    Speaking only for myself, I feel there is a need to say the positive stuff and not just “defend”.

    I think there is a need for people to keep holding these guys up, but it’s a shame there is so little showing the results of studies working positively towards finding just what does cause autism. After all, there is a lot of interesting and positive stuff going on there.

    I’m doing just a little blogging on autism in addition to far too many other topics. As newer hand at science blogging, and a more timid soul (!), I want to emphasise newer science working towards the underlying genetic causes of autism, i.e. moving positively towards the answer rather than “defending” against what is an unsupported claim (that thimerosal in vaccines causes autism).

    (This will in part reflect my part of the world. We have more than a fair share of anti-vaccine nonsense, but fewer prominent public figures who promote anti-vaccine stances than the USA does.)

  89. #89 trrll
    October 30, 2009

    By the time vaccines did get around to wiping out smallpox the disease was, due to “better sanitation and refrigeration”, a largely harmless shell of it’s former self

    You know, any halfway sensible person would have taken the trouble to google “smallpox” and learn just a little bit about it before mouthing off.

    How specifically do you imagine the refrigeration reduced smallpox to a “shell” (whatever that means)? Do you think it’s some kind of food poisoning? Smallpox is a virus, dude. It multiplies inside living cells, not in food. You know, like all viruses do?

    You catch it from people, and you can’t very well put them in the fridge. And improvements in sanitation don’t help much either, because smallpox is not spread primarily by human waste like, say, cholera–it spreads through aerosols, from person to person contact, and on contaminated objects. In other words, pretty much like the common cold. So have you noticed the common cold being wiped out by improved sanitation? Why not, do you think? It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with there being no vaccine for the common cold, could it? And how is it that smallpox was wiped out even in countries that don’t have improved sanitation? Do you bother to think for even a moment before saying these things?

  90. #90 Sid Offit
    October 30, 2009

    @MI Dawn

    Citation needed for the deaths caused by the vaccine, please. My references don’t have anything like that.

    Jonathan B. Tucker, Scourge (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2001): P49

  91. #91 Sid Offit
    October 30, 2009

    @trrll

    Where ya been. I’ve missed you.

    reduced smallpox to a “shell” (whatever that means)?

    Shell of ones former self. It’s an expression used in the English language. Here’s an example of someone using it:

    It is impossible to imagine the state of mind of an active, confident, energetic, and productive individual who without warning is reduced to a shell of his former self — immobile, weak, dependent.
    ————————–

    The refrigeration bit is from Orac’s post

    Smallpox was not eliminated by better sanitation and refrigeration

    …and I think what he means is that with access to refrigeration one’s access to healthier, fresher foods increases
    ——————–
    And how is it that smallpox was wiped out even in countries that don’t have improved sanitation?

    You’ve got to start reading my posts. I said vaccination did eliminate smallpox – problem was it was becoming less of a problem prior to and during vaccination in the West

  92. #92 trrll
    October 30, 2009

    Shell of ones former self. It’s an expression used in the English language. Here’s an example of someone using it:

    Yes, it is possible to say all sorts of foolish things in English. I’m asking you what it means, scientifically speaking, for a virus to be “reduced to a shell of its former self”?

    The refrigeration bit is from Orac’s post

    Smallpox was not eliminated by better sanitation and refrigeration

    What Orac wrote obviously is true. But what you wrote was, ‘By the time vaccines did get around to wiping out smallpox the disease was, due to “better sanitation and refrigeration”, a largely harmless shell of it’s former self.’ Or do you imagine that if you include a few out of context words from somebody else in a sentence of your own, that they somehow inherit the responsibility if what you say is foolish?

  93. #93 jre
    October 30, 2009

    Interesting to note that the smallpox vaccine administered during the 1947 outbreak killed 3 times as many people than did the virus itself.
    [citation needed]

    This is actually true, so far as it goes, but misleading.
    Arthur Allen reported on the New York outbreak, noting:

    When the outbreak was officially declared over on May 3, smallpox had killed only one person besides Le Bar, while sickening about a dozen. But the smallpox vaccine had killed at least seven people, and caused brain damage to several others. Nobody complained. Those were the costs of defeating a grave enemy.

    Was Allen suggesting that smallpox vaccine generally did more harm than good? Not on your life. The problem with the 1947 inoculation program was that it was hasty and far too large in scale — an overreaction resulting directly from the fact that vaccines had proven themselves many times over to be the best weapon available for fighting epidemics, and because smallpox was still a terrifying reality for much of the world.

    Allen’s larger point is that smallpox vaccination was spectacularly successful. It wiped history’s greatest killer from the face of the earth in just a few years. Pointing to the 1947 outbreak is misdirection at best.

    Anyway — go, as they say, and read the whole thing.

  94. #94 Sid Offit
    October 30, 2009

    @Damien

    I tried calling this D.A. Henderson but couldn’t get through so I tried Thomas Mack from the University of Southern California School of Medicine. He said:

    If people are worried about endemic smallpox, it disappeared from this country not because of our mass herd immunity. It disappeared because of our economic development. And that’s why it disappeared from Europe and many other countries, and it will not be sustained here, even if there were several importations.

  95. #95 Sid Offit
    October 30, 2009

    trrll

    I’m asking you what it means, scientifically speaking, for a virus to be “reduced to a shell of its former self”?
    —————————–

    It means better living conditions, fewer wars and famines, better nutrition (partially due to the invention of the ice box and the refrigerator) and the emergence of a weaker smallpox strain all made the disease considerably less dangerous

  96. #96 Sid Offit
    October 30, 2009

    …that’s why, in olden days, it was a disease primarily of the poor

  97. #97 Doctrinalfairness
    October 30, 2009

    By the standards that you insist on here, any death threats that have been made on Dr. Offit’s life should be considered anecdotal. And by the same token, since anyone with a “CONNNNCEEEEERRRNNNN” is an anti-vaxer, it should also be deduced that since pro-lifers make death threats on abortion doctors every year, every single person who rejects legal partial birth abortions is a potential murderer.
    Your own logic stinks. Nuance escapes you, too,

    Make better vaccines. Whatever is so threatening about that to warrant all of the buzz in avoiding and denying that fact? You specialize in distraction that before being hauled out in mass innoculations during unprecedented times of mistrust, vaccines need to be better tested. It’s not a luxury- this virus has been predicted and known in one form or another for decades. There is better science for breast augmentation and it’s disgusting that you defend the inconsistencies. Clean your own house or you prove that you are the Kool-Aid drinkers. Or something worse.
    BTW, you may want to hear Stametz on smallpox vaccines…too woo for you…but the DOD thinks otherwise.
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4783951

  98. #98 David Marjanović
    October 30, 2009

    You’re right, I’m very envious of your position as Assistant Professor, I have always aspired to be an “Assistant” anything. Is that North of piss boy?

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    Dude, the titles “assistant professor” and “associate professor” are historical baggage, nothing more. In reality, they are the normal professors. The so-called “full professors” are the exception; they have a bit more power and get more money, but that’s the extent of the difference.

    Orac, both sides fight mean.

    Complete with death threats?

    When our scientists and doctors speak up, they typically just get fired,

    So you don’t think gross incompetence, such as failing at the scientific method, is grounds for firing someone from a university?

    or, like Andy, have to leave their home country,

    To escape well-deserved ridicule? That doesn’t work anymore, thank Gore for the Internet.

    so quit your pathetic whining.

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    Quit projecting. It only makes you even more ridiculous.

    Thanks to all of you wildly anonymous folks, it’s always a sincere pleasure!

    It’s really laughable to complain about anonymity on the Internet. You couldn’t have possibly thought of a less relevant distraction?

    Do you bother to think for even a moment before saying these things?

    Thinking can’t lead anywhere when he hasn’t got anything to think about. At the moment, it looks like he doesn’t even know what a virus is

    Someone should make a website like fstdt.com with quotes by antivaxers. Sid, you have no idea how deeply you’ve embarrassed yourself.

  99. #99 Joseph C.
    October 30, 2009

    @JB,

    Wanna tell us about incidence rates v. prevalence rates again?

  100. #100 David Marjanović
    October 30, 2009

    It means better living conditions, fewer wars and famines, better nutrition (partially due to the invention of the ice box and the refrigerator) [...] all made the disease considerably less dangerous

    So? How does that work?

    The rich are good at staying away from the poor, which decreases their risk of catching infections from them. Doesn’t that sound obvious?

    and the emergence of a weaker smallpox strain

    Evidence, please.

    And then, please, evidence that any such strain was caused by a higher standard of living.

    I’m getting the impression you simply tell us stuff that sounds vaguely plausible to you and don’t bother finding out if it is in fact plausible. Learning what a virus is would doubtless help.

  101. #101 Sid Offit
    October 30, 2009

    David

    Thanks for your question.

    and the emergence of a weaker smallpox strain
    Evidence, please.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alastrim

    Never said living conditions caused V minor

  102. #102 D. C. Sessions
    October 30, 2009

    By the time vaccines did get around to wiping out smallpox the disease was, due to “better sanitation and refrigeration”, a largely harmless shell of it’s former self

    Sid, I hate to break the news to you but there are plenty of people who still remember smallpox, including what the case mortality was like even with “better sanitation and refrigeration.”

    People who could afford refrigeration got the vaccine. It was just about that simple. Y’all want some fun try pushing that crap about smallpox in India or Egypt — I’ve known plenty of folk from those countries who still remember smallpox (and one with the scars to prove it.) You’ll be real popular with that schtick.

  103. #103 jre
    October 30, 2009

    Who is this Sid, and is it worth anyone’s time to reply to him?
    He seems to be trying to imply (without actually saying it) that smallpox would have become a non-problem even without a vaccination program. This is baloney. Smallpox was still endemic in 31 countries in 1967.

    There is no way the disease would have been eradicated by even the most magical refrigerators and flush toilets.

    And if this is not Sid’s point, maybe he should tell us what is his point. Ah, screw it. I’m gonna killfile him.

    [plonk]

  104. #104 Chris
    October 30, 2009

    jre:

    Who is this Sid, and is it worth anyone’s time to reply to him?

    Sid Troll is a cherry picking troll. Probably some west coast naturapath who makes money selling supplements and other “cures” to desperate parents with disabled kids. Reminds me of the idiot who tried to tell me cranial sacral therapy would cure my son’s seizures (she had the audacity to tell me she knew about neurology).

  105. #105 Shay
    October 30, 2009

    And, one of us will look like a complete jackass, and I’m confident the other one will never let the world forget. I look forward to it.

    Beware of what you wish for, Handley.

  106. #106 Bill
    October 30, 2009

    Is “better sanitation and more toilets” some type of meme for the anti-vaxers?

    I’ve even seen one admonish “be careful enough not to get cut” to avoid exposure to tetanus.

    Do they never go outside for work or play?

    Even the most careful enthusiast will get cuts and abrasions from their outdoor activities.

  107. #107 Shay
    October 30, 2009

    Oh, and Sid? I’ve spent a great deal of time in parts of the world where sanitation is a hole in the ground and refrigeration rare. I don’t recall ever hearing about any smallpox cases while I was in country.

  108. #108 nlgirl
    October 30, 2009

    bob @69
    “Can someone clue me in as to why THIB and “Sid Offit” are allowed to post here? The cranks scream “CONSPIRACY” and “CENSORSHIP” even when they aren’t banned (and even when they actually do suppress dissenting opinions on their sites), so why not improve the quality of discourse here?”

    I love reading the THIB and “Sid Offal – oops I mean Offit” posts. Shows their true colours. Plus, they don’t know the difference between “to” and “too”. Don’t even get me started on any credible science.

    Always need a good laugh. Let them post and continue to shoot themselves in the foot.

  109. #109 Capt. Stormfield
    October 30, 2009

    Sid wrote:

    “It means better living conditions, fewer wars and famines, better nutrition (partially due to the invention of the ice box and the refrigerator) and the emergence of a weaker smallpox strain all made the disease considerably less dangerous”

    Interesting hypothesis. Tougher environment leads to less fit organism. Odd, that.

    Capt.

  110. #110 Salk
    October 30, 2009

    wow….my brain just exploded from the idiocy. Amy Wallace is basically my new hero.

    @JB: kindly go f*ck yourself. You are truly a waste of valuable oxygen.

  111. #111 diatom
    October 30, 2009

    In response to post #67 and others here regarding the impact of sanitation and hygiene measures upon infectious disease mortality rates in the first half of the 20th century.

    A 2000 paper highlights the dramatic decline in several infectious disease mortality rates in the first half of the 20th century. “The major declines in child mortality that occurred in the first third of the 20th century have been attributable to a combination of improved socioeconomic conditions in this country and the public health strategies to protect the health of Americans. These public health measures included the establishment of local health departments in nearly all of the states. State and local health departments implemented these public health measures including water treatment, food safety, organized solid waste disposal, and public education about hygienic practices. These improvements in water and food safety and purity are linked to the major decline in diarrheal diseases seen in the early years of the century. Similarly, improvements in housing and decreased crowding in US cities are linked to the reductions in mortality to tuberculosis and other diseases attributable to person-to-person airborne transmission. Vaccination, while first used in the 18th century, become more widely implemented in the middle part of the century. Vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis became available during the late 1920’s but only widely used in routine pediatric practice after World War II. Thus vaccination does not account for the impressive declines in mortality seen in the first half of the century.”

    [Annual Summary of Vital Statistics: Trends in the Health of Americans During the 20th Century, Guyer B. Freedman MA Strobino DM and Sondik EJ, Pediatrics 2000; 106;1307-1317]

    A 1999 JAMA article contains some enlightening graphs illustrating the dramatic decline of infectious disease mortality in the first half of the century, see figures 1, 3 and 4.

    [Armstrong GL, Conn LA, Pinner RW, Trends in Infectious Disease Mortality in the United States During the 20th Century, JAMA 1999;281(1):61-66]

    Even post-vaccine declines in disease incidence and mortality are not completely understood by experts. Columbia professor of public health James Colgrove, PhD, MPH writes:

    “Over the course of the 1930’s, the incidence of diphtheria plummeted even as rates of immunization remained flat or declined. The rate of diphtheria had been dropping slowly for decades before toxin-antitoxin came into use, and even supporters of the practice conceded that it was difficult to state definitively how much of the reduction was attributable to immunization and how much to overall improvements in hygiene or a natural decline in the virulence of the disease.”

    [Colgrove J, State of Immunity: The Politics of Vaccination in Twentieth-Century America (2006) University of California Press, page 107]

  112. #112 Phoenix Woman
    October 31, 2009

    Diatom: Herd immunity.

  113. #113 JimB
    October 31, 2009

    I’m a irregular reader around here, and this might very well be my first post.

    And this is directed at those who are calling for a ban on people.

    Now I’m not a scientist, but I do take care of the network for a bunch of scientists at the USDA. ;-)

    I’ll admit I can see thru a lot of the crap that the various trolls post. But I do learn stuff from the very thorough and intelligent replies I see to said trolls. It really does help some of us who read this stuff. Especially at other blogs, or even newspaper comment sections. I have friends who have bought into some of this antivax stuff and you guys give me all kinds of useful info and great links to form rebuttals.

    So. Thank you to Orac and the other great commenters I see around here.

    That’s my 2 cents anyway…

  114. #114 Ian C
    October 31, 2009

    Perhaps a slightly different approach to the anti-vaccine movement and its believers is appropriate. They seem suspicious of educated elitists (trained scientists) using their “science” to claim vaccines are safe. They seem to believe that street-smarts should be enough to see the truth. Well they might remember that two businessmen who with they may be familiar, men with unlimited access to the best minds in the world, have thrown their wealth into vaccinating the third world. I would be interested to know how they explain away the work of the Bill and Melissa Gates foundation and the fact that Warren Buffet (now there’s a naive fool for you) has made a major donation to their work.

  115. #115 Chris
    October 31, 2009

    Diatom, you are cherry picking (Which is a classic Sid Troll trick… by the way, in 1947 New York smallpox program did cause deaths by vaccination, but that pales in comparison to the effect of smallpox elsewhere… Actually, if those in New York had not come forward to be vaccinated, many more may have died from the actual disease. There is a reason Sid Troll concentrates on specific diseases and outbreaks, those are the ones he can find his supporting data. He falls silent when other diseases that do not support his conclusion are brought up.)

    No one has denied the value of sanitation for certain pathogens. It may have helped with diphtheria actually, and even with tetanus (only because they are bacteria, and it is not perfect) and definitely with cholera, typhus and typhoid. Though with polio, it actually caused an increase in cases (there were actual sanitation programs in effect in the 1940s and 1950s).

    But did measles plunge from several hundred thousand cases per year in the USA during the mid 1960s to under ten thousand cases per year in the 1980s due to a change in sanitation? Measles has returned to the UK, Germany, Switzerland and Japan (though it is going down there). Has there been some kind of massive degradation of sanitation in those countries?

    Now did you notice that Orac wrote “The incidence of invasive Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) disease didn’t plunge in the early 1990s because of better sanitation or refrigeration.”? By the way, it has that confusing name because it was the bacteria isolated from some of the 1918 influenza victims. So how well do you think the disease identification was prior to the 1940s?

    Also, do you think that Handley is fair in his sexual insults in regards to the journalist? Did he do that because she is female? Would that have occurred if the journalist was a guy? Why is it that vaccine researchers who actually create useful vaccines are treated like dirt by Handley, while one researcher who actually fudged his lawyer paid data is considered hero to Handley? Do you think that is fair?

    One actually is licensed to practice pediatric medicine, and the other has never been allowed to medically treat children. Do you remember which one is which? Do you actually care?

    Why would anyone listen to Handley in the first place? He claimed years, and years and years ago that his son was going to be cured. He tried some transdermal chelation cream, super supplements and who knows what else (oh, the program he had his wife on during her third pregnancy was a study on how to be a complete anal controlling asshole). Why does he claim his son is still autistic? Did the cures not work?

    By the way, my BS in engineering beats both of his BAs in whatever. I say this because I was cornered by someone who complained to me that his BA in chemistry only qualified him to be a technician, instead of a more highly paid “Scientist” in our company. When I asked why he did the “BA” instead of the “BS”, the reply was “Because it was easier”!

  116. #116 Damien
    October 31, 2009

    Oh. My. God.

    Sid, you cannot possibly claim that variola major is affected in any way by sanitation, refrigeration, etc. That is stupid. One of the last cases of smallpox was a woman and her family in England of all places. She was exposed through slightly faulty air purification, and she died. No “sanitation” helped her.

    I feel like you’re one of those people who watches a mass murderer slaughter people en mass and say “Oh no! Won’t someone stop that terrible man!” Then someone shoots him, and you start bitching about gun control, because “he was a shell of his former self.”

    And please don’t think I missed your casual dismissal of the disease’s rampage in the third world.

    Dick.

  117. #117 Damien
    October 31, 2009

    Oh, and don’t think I’m not calling Tom Mack tomorrow.

  118. #118 ESPness
    October 31, 2009

    You’re right, I’m very envious of your position as Assistant Professor, I have always aspired to be an “Assistant” anything. Is that North of piss boy?

    Does anyone else get an image of gobs of spittle and bulging neck veins, or is it just me?

  119. #119 Tamakazura
    October 31, 2009

    JB, you are aware you sound like a cartoon villain, right? Let me demonstrate the self absorbed melodrama of your post as perceived by the this reader with a little added theatrics.

    Soon enough, my pretties, this debate will be settled. And, one of us will look like a complete jackass and when you look you will find me there STARING BACK AT YOU, and I’m confident the other one will never let the world forget, you hear?! Never forget never forgive! Haet! haet! haet! I look forward to it.

    I’ll get you next time, Gadget, and your little dog too!

    Public service message: vaccinate your spawn and stop treating autistic people like lepers. They have a mental condition and instead of bitching and moaning about cruel fate you ought to try to teach them how to utilize their unique way of thinking in a way that will help them navigate through life.

  120. #120 DLC
    October 31, 2009

    sometimes it seems as if every rational logical person is outnumbered by 3 irrational illogical people.
    Look, all you need to do is study the current literature on the subject of vaccines.

    The idea that sanitation caused the eradication of smallpox is idiotic in the extreme. If all it took was sanitation, we wouldn’t have to worry about any infectious disease short of bioweapons. Come on, think! just a little! Vaccines are not 100% safe — no medical treatment ever is. But, when you weigh the risk vs benefit the risk is minuscule and the benefit monumental.

  121. #121 Grendel
    October 31, 2009

    Tamakazura – people who have autism do not have a ‘mental condition’ they have neurological differences that cause developmental delays in some functional areas.

  122. #122 DoctrinalFairness
    October 31, 2009

    So many of you pitifully rue the day of the dawning of Google University, but better learn to deal fast.
    I doubt that there was ever any fictional time long ago when the words of experts held sway as gospel for everyone. Many of we ignorant proles are well aware of how long it takes for paradigms to change in science and the very complicated and often not-so admirable reasons for why that is. And we can be confident that it’s one subject that will be studiously avoided on this particular blog, anyway.

    But good luck trying to prevent access to the numbers of new experts with expert opinions, because their numbers are growing exponentially every day. The reign of a limited number of Western elite experts IS coming to an end whether you like it or not; technological and economic change is happening at a dizzying speed.
    What do you propose? A return to the dark ages, the times when disease ran rampant and the fuedal lords controlled the food supply of the serfs?
    This arrived in my mailbox yesterday…you might want to have a look at it.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cL9Wu2kWwSY

    Lots of competing opinions and access to information banging at the door, how long do you think you can keep it all out and maintain your sanctified position as the sole keepers of truth?
    And BTW, the very notion of a bioweapon makes the case that the “experts” don’t always “have the back” of the flock, no?

  123. #123 the bug guy
    October 31, 2009

    @122, that was freaking hilarious. Thank you for pointing out the superiority of a degree from Google University. I feel so dumb now for spending years in graduate school learning the scientific method when I could’ve spent an afternoon in front of the computer.

    Well, now that you got your shiny new degree, when are we going to see you put it to use and stop the spread of infectious disease in the world?

    I’m waiting to see the superior training and knowledge in action.

  124. #124 DoctrinalFairness
    October 31, 2009

    Bug Job, Your graduate degree hasn’t yet won you the Nobel prize. Talk to me when it does. A two time Nobel prizewinner and the “father” of microbiology is still ignored by YOU and YOURS nearly a hundred years later because SOME of what he said has supposedly been “disproven”. The proverbial baby is thrown out with the bathwater in favor of the often dubious and conflict-of-interest ridden, peer-reviewed study. BTW, your “father” had no medical degree, he was self-taught. Look it up, if you even know who it is. I’m not telling you again.

    And why should I believe you? I have a natural suspicion of those who involve themselves with the “teaching of contempt”, which seems to be the preoccupation of the extremists in both the pro-vax and anti-vax camps. Contempt brings us war, crusades, zealots. You are either part of the problem or not. Decide.

  125. #125 DoctrinalFairness
    October 31, 2009

    Anticipating the hyena-esque pouncing on my mistake, make that the Father of Immunology. Senior moment of confusion had me thinking of the other “father”, still tainted ,ore by accusations of quackery and woo from his grateful fellows.

    Let’s not forget the happy history of eating your own who “turn” away from the flock.

  126. #126 Joseph
    October 31, 2009

    I think it’s very plausible that sanitation helped reduce the incidence of some diseases. That was certainly not the case with measles, which had a stable incidence during the first half of the 20th century. It probably was the case with some of the other diseases, like diphtheria.

    Once people got the disease, it’s also plausible that better nutrition played a role in reducing the death-to-disease ratio. However, these diseases also have medical treatments. Smallpox, for example, is managed with infection control, fluids, etc.

    I think Sid is allergic to medicine and science. I don’t think she wants to acknowledge that advances in medical care might have helped reduce the death-to-disease ratio before vaccines arrived.

    It’s also ridiculous to try to argue that smallpox was “harmless” even after said advances in its medical management. If the anti-vax movement depends on the truth of such assertions, really, good luck with that.

  127. #127 the bug guy
    October 31, 2009

    DL, You’ll have a long wait…biology isn’t included in the Noblel Prizes. ;)

    I never claimed to be an Immunologist. Perhaps the nickname “the bug guy” would’ve been a hint I’m trained in Entomology.

    And you haven’t really addressed my point. You’re trying to claim that google is eliminating the need for trained expertise. How’s is that possible?

    Oh, I understand that you’re trying to say that scientists don’t know everything. Guess what, you’re right and if you’d been paying attention, you’d have seen that stated over and over on this blog. However, a perusal of google results does not make someone an expert in a subject, especially in comparison to someone who has spent years studying it. That’s not elitism, that’s reality.

    If you want to see scientific and technological progress stop, then put the expert, Dumma Cum Laude graduates of Google University in charge. The pseudo-skeptics like you are not asking the real questions that will lead to change in innovation. You’re asking the questions to keep us running around in cirles.

  128. #128 titmouse
    October 31, 2009

    A Google U education is a cherry picker’s education. Humans invented science so they could see more than just the cherries.

  129. #129 the bug guy
    October 31, 2009

    Oh, DF, when you mention contempt, perhaps you should look in a mirror.

    Me, I am part of the solution. Science and education are what I do every day on the job. Just like all the other scientists and physicians that follow this blog. We are the ones making a difference and advancing knowledge.

    Those proud owners of a BS in Google are spreading fertilizer, and not even very good fertilizer.

  130. #130 k
    October 31, 2009

    Well said, JimB @ #112.

    JB and his merry band of misinformed pro-
    diseasers apparently don’t care if children/
    young adults (or for that matter, anyone
    else) dies of swine flu. The swine flu
    vaccine and Amy Wallace’s excellent
    article are grist for their mills of
    misinformation.

    As a certain German chancellor said,
    “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep
    saying it, and eventually they will
    believe it.” With few exceptions (Andrew
    Wakefield, c’mon down!), science doesn’t
    lie.

    JB – I’m an Aspie, along with others in
    my family. It’s hereditary. Sid, you
    might as well spin as long as you’re
    sitting Onnit.

  131. #131 JohnV
    October 31, 2009

    “I don’t endorse threats (and I have no problem with those who disagree with me), those threats just don’t bother me. 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”

    Hey look Sid is using the same argument that animal rights terrorists use to justify threats and assaults on scientists.

  132. #132 Joseph C.
    October 31, 2009

    So many of you pitifully rue the day of the dawning of Google University, but better learn to deal fast.
    I doubt that there was ever any fictional time long ago when the words of experts held sway as gospel for everyone.

    Anti-Vaxxers: When you really believe that you can replace years of training with a few hours online, there’s no limit to how badly you’re going to embarrass yourself. JB is a great example of this. He repeatedly demonstrates his ignorance when he does things like conflating very basic concepts like total autism cases in a county v. total new autism cases in a country in a given year.

    Is it theoretically possible to get a graduate degree’s worth of knowledge online? Yes. Has anyone done it? Probably. But the inescapable fact is that you’re still going to have to invest an incredible amount of time learning the material in detail. And when you do it on your own, you have no access to lab to run experiments and you have no professors standing behind you telling when you’re fucking up. Getting the equivalent training with Google probably takes MORE time than to just go to graduate school. So why not just go to grad school and get paid for your time?

    Many of we ignorant proles are well aware of how long it takes for paradigms to change in science and the very complicated and often not-so admirable reasons for why that is. And we can be confident that it’s one subject that will be studiously avoided on this particular blog, anyway.

    One of the first things they tell a new class in medical school is, “Half of what we teach you will turn out to be wrong. We just don’t know what half is wrong yet.” I’m sure Orac as a professor at a medical school is very aware of this and won’t shy away from actual advances in scientific knowledge.

  133. #133 Luna_the_cat
    October 31, 2009

    I see doctrinal is still at it.

    *sigh* Yes, doctrinal. Of COURSE it’s all just ‘cuz we’re big ol’ meanines who pick on people who disagree with us, and not at all because we are frustrated at the Kruger-Dunning effect and the fact that some people can’t even follow a simple line of logic, but nevertheless consider themselves expert enough to play with people’s lives.

    (Look, to respond to something you left on the other thread — you seem to think that we would never pick up long-term effects of vaccines because systems like the Yellow Card monitoring are not set up to detect things which happen more than 6 mos. after vaccination. But if there, for example, a rise in RA rates, then monitoring and research organisations like http://www.arc.org.uk/ would pick up that rise, and start looking into the causes. There are a multitude of approaches to every health problem within real, mainstream research, and sometimes they even manage to talk to each other. Fact is, it provides a lifetime of rather intense employment for some very skilled and intelligent people to try to pick signals out of all confounding factors, and they usually start from looking at things that are at least biologically plausible. Your zeal in believing that you can do so without even the knowledge of biology and existing research which tells you what is plausible, is to a certain extent to be commended. Your arrogance regarding your own expertise and your gullibility towards the claims of those who work without any data whatsoever, is rather less so.)

    Now, regarding your insistence that people MAKE BETTER VACCINES!!!! — Yeh, here’s the problem, hon: many, many people, including both pure academics and the Big Pharma who you hate so much, are already actively engaged in doing this very thing. ALL THE TIME. And yet, when they come out with any novel formulation — like, say, a new adjuvant which improves immunogenicity immensely, like, say, MS59 or AS03, then all of a sudden the anti-vaxx crowd are all over it screaming bloody murder about “toxins”, even when this flies in the face of available data.

    The fact is, it doesn’t matter how much safety data there are for vaccines and vaccine formulations — it will never be enough for this crowd, and they will continue scaremongering people who are more willing to be scared than sensible, because the fundamental objection is to the vaccines themselves (as has been noted by many, many people).

    You seem to identify yourself as being “not an anti-vaccinationist.” The problem is that you have swallowed multiple claims which are put forward by anti-vaccinationists and regurgitate them repeatedly, all the while actively resisting reassurance or any new information from mainstream scientists. THAT is a problem, and what gets you tarred with that brush.

    Aside from that — what the bug guy just said. Yup.

  134. #134 T. Bruce McNeely
    October 31, 2009

    A two time Nobel prizewinner and the “father” of microbiology is still ignored by YOU and YOURS nearly a hundred years later because SOME of what he said has supposedly been “disproven”

    Well, Doc Fairness, I just took a 5 minute stroll through Google U’s campus (nice cheerleaders, but their football team sucks), and found that there are 4 two-time winners of the Nobel Prize. The only one dating back a century is Marie Curie, who is for a number of reasons not the “Father of Microbiology”. The others are John Bardeen, who won twice for Physics, and F. Sanger, who won for Chemistry, and Linus Pauling, who won for Chemistry and Peace. No Microbiologists, and no one recognized as the Father of Microbiology.

    Google U. You’re doing it wrong.

  135. #135 T. Bruce McNeely
    October 31, 2009

    No Immunologists, and no one recognized as the “Father if Immunology” either.

    (checks again) You’re still doing it wrong.

  136. #136 DoctrinalFairness
    October 31, 2009

    Bugsy, I’m happy that you are an expert, I really am.
    Fascinated by many bugs, I’ve raised silkworms and tiger swallowtails, given to me by an entymologist, with kids in educational settings..)
    But there’s also a person on another thread who listened to the experts and her child died. I’m a huge fan of science and you preach to the choir to me about the necessity of vaccines, so I genuinely laugh and so does my family who reads this at the accusations of me as an anti-vaxer. It’s actually funny to all of us.
    But science has no answers as to the cause of autoimmunity, nor why so many people with the genetic markers have no disease, nor anything but a hypothesis about the relationship between autoimmunity to the much higher number of vaccines that are now being given. Reporting of adverse reactions has been sketchy and riddled with scandal. Until you figure it out, don’t ask me to put my child in harms way and don’t lie to me, as has been done on numerous threads, OK? As I have said, our family is happy to risk the hit from unadjuvanted for the good of ourselves and the herd- but not to squalene. Period.
    “We don’t know” is perfectly fine, but your best guess at treatment should do no further harm either. And allow me as a parent to be informed and aware of the risks/benefits of said treatment and not be treated as a pariah because I choose against SOME vaccines. You have NOT proven and cannot prove that there is no relationship between squalene-based adjuvants with their higher % of reactogenetic adverse reactions acting as a silent trigger for hidden systemic inflammation down the road and all of your patronizing noise will never mask that fact.
    YOU run the risks of being accused of psuedoscience if the hundreds of new scholars studying this right now prove YOU wrong, not me.
    And calling people dumb and treating them with contempt only brings light to the weakness of your position. A quick read of social science or the history of religion will show that the breakdown of almost all human society can be traced to those who have contempt for their “subjects”, so who are the abusive and Machiavellian manipulators here?
    Abusive people discharge contempt and there’s plenty of research about why that it- is that all psuedoscience? The level of contempt in a marriage is considered a predictor for divorce. The reason why you are increasingly divorced from large segments of people is because you are contemptous, patronizing and abusive. Wonder why we are all at risk once again for mumps and smallpox, stop blaming everyone else and take a good hard look in the mirror.

  137. #137 Adam_Y
    October 31, 2009

    “And BTW, the very notion of a bioweapon makes the case that the “experts” don’t always “have the back” of the flock, no? ”

    Ad hominem.

    “So many of you pitifully rue the day of the dawning of Google University, but better learn to deal fast.
    I doubt that there was ever any fictional time long ago when the words of experts held sway as gospel for everyone. Many of we ignorant proles are well aware of how long it takes for paradigms to change in science and the very complicated and often not-so admirable reasons for why that is. And we can be confident that it’s one subject that will be studiously avoided on this particular blog, anyway.”

    I pitifully rue the day of Google University because the vast majority of the time it spawns idiots who think that they know what they are talking about. The anti-vaccine movement is the best example of this. They cite these overtly bad studies as evidence even though most “experts” would rip the study apart. They confound the issue of elemental Mercury and Thimerosal even though “experts” know its not the same thing.

    “Anticipating the hyena-esque pouncing on my mistake, make that the Father of Immunology. Senior moment of confusion had me thinking of the other “father”, still tainted ,ore by accusations of quackery and woo from his grateful fellows.”

    That doesn’t help us figure out who the dam hell are you referring to. There are only four people who have one multiple Nobel prizes. NONE OF THEM DON’T HAVE THEIR PHD.

  138. #138 Adam_Y
    October 31, 2009

    “”We don’t know” is perfectly fine, but your best guess at treatment should do no further harm either. ”

    Great. You just single-handedly invalidated every single treatment as we know it.

  139. #139 the bug guy
    October 31, 2009

    DF, I never mentioned you being anti-vaccination. I was responding to your screed about how “Google U” was going to render us “experts” obsolete. Perhaps you should go back and rewatch the video you linked. All of those advances come from the application of the scientific method, not the application of Google.

    Yes, you are concerned for your child. In that case, really try to learn about the situation and not come here with a chip on your shoulder and then cry about being persecuted. Please quit implying that we want to hurt your child or that there is some vast conspiracy to hurt your child.

    We want you to be educated and we want you to know the relative risks. That is what many people have tried to steer you toward; high quality information on the material and the safety data available. Scientists are not a few elites holding sacred knowledge. Scientists want as many as possible to know and understand. However, in the age of Google U, there is a massive amount of misinformation, disinformation and outright lies around to confuse people. Blogs like this one are here to stand against that bad information.

    Yes, we tend to get short with disinformation. I deal with myths about DDT all the time. I see the same methods used by the anti-vaccination people as are used by those that think DDT is the wonder chemical to stop all malaria.

    Please, take a moment to look at the totality of the information and not simply focus on a couple of details. Understanding the broader body of knowledge on a subject will help you to understand where the good information leads.

  140. #140 DoctrinalFairness
    October 31, 2009

    Sue me- one of the prizes isn’t the Nobel, it’s an award established in his name at the 100th anniversary of his so-called founding and Fathering of Immunology. And he was not a medical doctor- I didn’t say he wasn’t trained but it wasn’t his specialty, meaning you would RIP into those credentials today.
    AD-hominem? Bio-weapons??? Do they exist?? Are they created by scientists???? Jeez, denial much?
    Luna, save it for your children and all the others who are are forced to endure your condesension, OK. Try sticking to the answer of my question, which you can’t.

  141. #141 Luna_the_cat
    October 31, 2009

    doctrinal, every time you’ve been given relevant information which contradicts your “concern”, you simply ignore it.

    I don’t ever condescend to my “kids”; they’re far more able to take in information which is given to them and respond to it sensibly.

    …Just a question, of course, but if you dislike condescension so much, why do you practice such condescension and comtempt towards everyone here? And don’t say “response”, you’ve done this since your first post on this site.

  142. #142 DoctrinalFairness
    October 31, 2009

    Bugsy- I never implied that Google U was going to make you obsolete AT ALL. In fact, I implied the opposite.
    You might want to try watching the YouTube video. Hundreds of thousands of experts are banging on your door with new discoveries. The exclusivity of the control of knowledge is a hot topic right now.
    Luna, cry me a river for the squalene makers. Science is a Darwinian enterprise. If there are better adjuvants, use them or figure it out how to use none at all. Don’t give us more diseases as justification for sparing us the risk of ones we were unlikely to get in the first place. Its-not-rocket-science.
    Ever wonder about what all those pesticides do Bugsy? They breed super-bugs. Just like all of your efforts to silence people with “concerns”.

    Exhibit A for why the flock is turning away from the fold is right here.

  143. #143 the bug guy
    October 31, 2009

    DF, you said,

    The reign of a limited number of Western elite experts IS coming to an end whether you like it or not;

    I took that to mean that you though we were going to be obsolete. But, let’s not dither over a single word, your position was clear that us “elites” were going to be overwelmed by this new knowledge base. You may want to rewatch that video. Where do you think all of those new discoveries are coming from? From experts applying the scientific method. Innovation is increasing because we have more and more people using science to push us forward. Contrary to your repeated assertion that scientists try to keep knowledge hidden away, scientists have long fought for and supported open exchange of knowledge and information. Oh, you know, like the ARPA researchers that created the beginnings of the Internet to share data. The people that want what you know to be limited are the hunksters and charlatans pushing psuedoscience. They want you to buy into their particular version of the world and ignore everything else, which is pretty much what you have been doing.

    Sorry DF, but set aside your grand delusions. We’re not trying to silence you. We’re pointing out reality.

    Pretty much, I’ve observed that “we” are getting to those people that honestly want to learn. The ones turning away are those that really don’t want to learn because they already know the “truth.”

  144. #144 Adam_Y
    October 31, 2009

    “Sue me- one of the prizes isn’t the Nobel, it’s an award established in his name at the 100th anniversary of his so-called founding and Fathering of Immunology. And he was not a medical doctor- I didn’t say he wasn’t trained but it wasn’t his specialty, meaning you would RIP into those credentials today.”

    You do realize that medicine encompasses almost every single field of science and engineering imaginable so that gambit won’t work. Also, Edward Jenners was a Medical Doctor and he never won a Nobel Prize. Googling that would have been easy if you didn’t make up 99.99999% of what you wrote.

  145. #145 Adam_Y
    October 31, 2009

    “Luna, cry me a river for the squalene makers. Science is a Darwinian enterprise. If there are better adjuvants, use them or figure it out how to use none at all. Don’t give us more diseases as justification for sparing us the risk of ones we were unlikely to get in the first place. Its-not-rocket-science.”

    Your committing another fallacy. There is risks to everything and it is impossible to produce something that is without risk. So tell me. Will you refuse to take all medicine because there is a small risk of various debilitating consequences? What makes vaccines any different? Unlikely risk is still a risk.

  146. #146 DoctrinalFairness
    October 31, 2009

    Luna. You have not provided me relevant information that contradicts my concerns whatsoever. There was a fairly powerful anecdotal example of why it wasn’t just a concern on the last thread, and you condescendingly responded to a parent who has LOST a child. Of course, judging by the blistering ridicule of Tawny, a parent who reports losing a child is also assumed to be an equally suspect anti-vaxer. And any parent with questions is looking to find someone to blame for just some random unfortunate coincidence that happened to her child. et cetera, et cetera

    The child who died had a known inflammatory condition – his parent might have been warned there may have been an increased risk with vaccination. There is no warning for eczema and it will be decades at this rate if one even ever shows up- your own Paliamentarian said as much.
    If one doesn’t adopt a defensive posture here in this little cyber-space, they will be torn to bits, unless of course they are in perfect accord with the single-minded party line of “ALL VACCINES =Good”= with very few exceptions. And that is a lie.
    And I can be every bit as bitchy and nasty as anyone else, never claimed otherwise.
    WHat possible problem should anyone here have with that? You are expert at it.

  147. #147 Adam_Y
    October 31, 2009

    “There was a fairly powerful anecdotal example of why it wasn’t just a concern on the last thread, and you condescendingly responded to a parent who has LOST a child.”

    Omg…. People have bad reactions to vaccines. Omg… People have bad reactions to all medicines. Omg… Omg…. Omg… Omg….. In all seriousness. What makes vaccines special compared to any other medicine your child can drop dead from due to a bad reaction?

  148. #148 T. Bruce McNeely
    October 31, 2009

    Doc Fairness:
    I’m guessing Mechnikoff. He did get an undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences, and then continued in a university faculty position doing research, including discovering the macrophage and its function, for which he received the Nobel. No, he didn’t have an MD, but he did have a university degree, so he was no more “self-taught” than most scientists of the day. His work is not ignored, however his views on longevity arising from healthy gut flora have always been regarded as questionable. Not dismissed out of hand, but questionable.
    There are other Fathers as well.
    Jenner – a medical doctor, not a Nobel winner, discoverer of vaccination.
    Pasteur – not a medical doctor, not a Nobel winner, developed rabies vaccine
    Ehrlich – a medical doctor, shared Nobel with Metchnikoff, developed effective treatment for Syphilis (pre-antibiotic era)
    Please note that 2 of them developed vaccines.

    Sue me- one of the prizes isn’t the Nobel

    You have demonstrated that Google U is only as good as the person who uses it. No, I won’t sue you. I do retain the right to laugh at you, however.

  149. #149 Coyote
    October 31, 2009

    Doctrinal, your failure at recognizing relative risk and reward does not make vaccines “unsafe.”

    Every action, every thing we do carries some inherent risk. I could be struck by lightning from the blue. But the risks are so low as to be irrelevant, while the rewards (getting out of the house to pay rent) are significantly higher.

    Vaccines work the same way. There is, admittedly, a small but finite risk to vaccination. But the risk is so small, and the reward so great, that vaccination is one of the safest gambles you will ever make. On top of that, by not vaccinating you are not only throwing the dice on your own child’s safety, but the safety of everyone around him.

    The smallpox vaccine had the potential to kill 1 in a million of the recipients.

    Smallpox kills 3 out of 4.

    Do the math.

  150. #150 Julian
    October 31, 2009

    “Exhibit A for why the flock is turning away from the fold is right here.”

    Yeah, black power! or whatever the hell you manifesto types always scream. Fight the power! Make war not peace! Don’t vaccinate your kids! Don’t take them to see trained professionals when they’re ill. You have your own mind! If anyone is going to cause the inadvertent death of a loved one it should be you!

  151. #151 DoctrinalFairness
    October 31, 2009

    Adam, I hope you are aware that the parent has been reading these threads and has just lost a child. Get a grip.
    T.Bruce- funny that you even had to search to guess the “father” of Immunology, but then I forgot that there is such huge disagreement about who these “fathers” are and who actually did the work and which of it is valuable.
    Hmmmm- kind of makes one skeptical about who is telling the truth.
    And I would venture a large bet that gut flora is going to come into its own, so to speak and I’ll have a good laugh at your easy dismissal of it and the one hundred years it took for immunologists to listen to their own “father”.
    Gotta go.

  152. #152 FreeSpeaker
    October 31, 2009

    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.

  153. #153 T. Bruce McNeely
    October 31, 2009

    Doc Fairness:
    I pretty much guessed at the outset you were referring to Mechnikoff. However, it was a little difficult to be sure with the “clues” you posted. Hence the trip to campus.
    Yes, gut flora is important (CDAD, traveller’s diarrhea, etc), however, a century of research has not tied it to longevity. You may have a long wait.

  154. #154 DoctrinalFairness
    October 31, 2009

    Coyote, I’ll bite, but my hub will never have dinner,
    My choice has been to watch closely people like Paul Stamets and Michael Braungart and Michael McDonough who I have been reading and listening to for years -people who at least consider the cradle-to-cradle safety profile of design of whatever is produced. But then, you would all scream “she supports the GREENING of vaccines” and I doubt very much whoever is calling for that has ever mentioned those people.

    What did Einstien say about solving a problem with the same level of thinking that created it? Your own blindness to realistic questions and largely unexamined ethical issues in your own discipline are going to come back and bite everyone in the entire world with the problem of the loss of herd immunity. I’m not the cause of the confidence problem. Nor are my questions.
    None of you even think about revisiting your positions on this, ever. I’d love to hear Orac say more about the HPV vaccine, for instance. Do tell about those numbers. It’s not as clearcut as you say.

  155. #155 Pablo
    October 31, 2009

    I’d love to hear Orac say more about the HPV vaccine, for instance. Do tell about those numbers. It’s not as clearcut as you say.

    Let me guess: you’ve found some information using Google?

  156. #156 Adam_Y
    October 31, 2009

    “Adam, I hope you are aware that the parent has been reading these threads and has just lost a child. Get a grip.”

    I’m sorry. I was doing my best impression of most people who are paranoid errr concerned about vaccines. They want the risk to be zero. Well I’m sorry but its just not the case.

    “T.Bruce- funny that you even had to search to guess the “father” of Immunology, but then I forgot that there is such huge disagreement about who these “fathers” are and who actually did the work and which of it is valuable.
    Hmmmm- kind of makes one skeptical about who is telling the truth.”

    That is so stupid. There is no disagreement about who did what. The term father is a stupid platitude that people have invented.

  157. #157 T. Bruce McNeely
    October 31, 2009

    Hmmmm- kind of makes one skeptical about who is telling the truth.

    – says the person arguing for the value of a Google U education!

  158. #158 Antaeus Feldspar
    October 31, 2009

    Of course, judging by the blistering ridicule of Tawny, a parent who reports losing a child is also assumed to be an equally suspect anti-vaxer.

    I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you have completely forgotten who Tawny was.

    Tawny was not a parent who reported losing a child. Tawny was a woman who claimed that she was an RN; claimed that she had saved many lives in the hospital, implying that this gave authority to any medical opinions she might put forth; claimed that she was only ASKING QUESTIONS; but then revealed a startling ignorance of the basics of immunology by asserting that “Medical science has proven that infants do not have an immune response.”

    The QUESTIONS that Tawny should be asking at this point is “How did I come to be so badly misinformed about a subject on which I’m trying to second-guess the experts?”

  159. #159 diatom
    October 31, 2009

    Chris, Joseph, etc. Citing articles does not consitute cherry picking. ALso, you are talking about two different things: morbidity and mortality rates. The subject was mortality rates. The articles I cited include measles in their graphs of infectious diseases for which mortality rates were reduced simultaneously with public health sanitation and hyigene improvements. Your cherry picking mantra is not only inaccurate, it is wearing very thin. People who want to learn something instead of reacting with knee jerk “antivax” accusations will read the articles and ponder. I am not trying to convince you or anyone else of anything, simply offering valid science based information which the readers can peruse and cogitate upon. That is those readers who prefer to think for themselves rather than merely succumb to all the bias and personal opinion that thrive here.

  160. #160 diatom
    October 31, 2009

    btw, cherry picking often occurs when the quotes cited from an article are inconsistent with its conclusions, or when the article is a complete outlier and doesn’t corrobate conclusions drawn in other articles. That is not the case here.

  161. #161 Jane
    October 31, 2009

    “I hope you are aware that the parent has been reading these threads and has just lost a child. Get a grip.”

    Hold your horses. My 9-year-old girl died in September of osteosarcoma and we faced some incredibly difficult treatment choices. I’ve found your posts to be insulting to those like me who have had to weigh some truly frightening risks and forge ahead with a treatment plan, knowing that what we chose was not perfect and had the potential to make things worse. My girl died of complications after surgery.

    Keep spouting off over the very small risks of vaccination, it’s a luxury brought to you by physicians and scientists. I would have given anything for those kinds of odds.

    Goddamn. The only thing better than a cure is prevention. People get offered prevention and they find a way to whine about it and demand perfection. I now hate the way people balk at the relatively easy choices. It reminds me of how fecking privileged they are and feels like a sneer.

    Sorry to the others for the rant. Hit a nerve I wasn’t expecting, and I realize mine are still raw. I’m out, since I came here with a banal question about pneumovax and got interested in these threads. I’m not yet ready for this level of aggravation.

  162. #162 skeptiquette
    October 31, 2009

    Adam_Y writes:

    “Also, Edward Jenners was a Medical Doctor and he never won a Nobel Prize. Googling that would have been easy if you didn’t make up 99.99999% of what you wrote.”

    Do you have any evidence that Edward Jenner was a bonafide M.D…. or is this something you made up?

    There is quite a different perspective of history in which it is claimed that He bought his doctor of medicine degree for 15 bucks! Duck, Duck…. Quacktastic. If the version of history I am linking to has validity, then Jenner should go down in history as the WOO WOO overlord.

    Here is an excerpt…

    “The “discoverer” so-called was, as you all know, a man by the name of Edward Jenner, who lived at Berkeley, in your own county. He was not, however, the discoverer. The whole thing was a superstition of the Gloucestershire dairymaids years before Jenner was born–(laughter)–and the very experiment, so-called, that he performed had been performed by an old farmer named Benjamin Jesty twenty years previously. Now this man Jenner had never passed a medical examination in his life. He belonged to the good old times when George III. was King–(laughter)–when medical examinations were not compulsory. Jenner looked upon the whole thing as a superfluity, and he hung up “Surgeon, apothecary,” over his door without any of the qualifications that warranted the assumption. It was not until twenty years after he was in practice that he thought it advisible to get a few letters after his name. Consequently he then communicated with a Scotch University and obtained the degree of Doctor of Medicine for the sum of £15 and nothing more. (Laughter.) It is true that a little while before, he had obtained a Fellowship of the Royal Society. but his latest biographer and apologist, Dr. Norman Moore, had to confess that it was obtained by little less than a fraud. It was obtained by writing a most extraordinary paper about a fabulous cuckoo, for the most part composed of arrant absurdities and imaginative freaks such as no ornithologist of the present day would pay the slightest heed to. A few years after this, rather dissatisfied with the only medical qualification he had obtained, Jenner communicated with the University of Oxford and asked them to grant him their honorary degree of M.D., and after a good many fruitless attempts he got it. Then he sent to the Royal College of Physicians in London to get their diploma, and even presented his Oxford degree as an argument in his favour. But they considered he had had quite enough on the cheap already, and told him distinctly that until he passed the usual examinations they were not going to give him any more. This was a sufficient check in Jenner’s case, and he settled down quietly without any diploma of physician.”

    Here is the link to the entire text.

    http://www.soilandhealth.org/02/0201hyglibcat/020119hadwin/020119hadwenrallytalk.html

    Although I can’t vouch for the credibility, it is an interesting read, and one that should probably be read by most here to gain a better understanding of the history behind vaccination.

    It seems to me the antivaccination vs. provaccination goes back quite some time, most definitely not a phenomenon of the early 90’s.

  163. #163 DoctrinalFairness
    October 31, 2009

    Feldsy, Right. And had she said “limited” instead of “none” she would have been correct, so you all annilihated her for her mistake. But does the entire world scientific community relentlessly endorse breastfeeding to enhance infant health whn last years discovery of molecules in breast milk can confer immunity to rotovirus? No. Because that would piss off the formula manufacturers and we want to encourage all women to have the choice to nurse or not, instead.
    So don’t treat all mothers who want to be given the “choice” to vaccinate their children against rotovirus as insane anti-vax lunatics.
    Somewhere in the middle lies the truth.

    BTW, Bruce, we have a bet. Google “fermented food” and tell me that they are all whacko. Since the USA is headed way down in chart in life expectancy
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy
    gotta wonder if those kim-chee and kefir eating countries aren’t onto something. But that’s probably much too woo-ey for your blood. And there aren’t any studies that prove it.

  164. #164 DoctrinalFairness
    October 31, 2009

    Feldsy, Right. And had Tawny said “very limited” instead of “completely none” she would have been perfectly correct, but you all annihilated her. But given what she said, does the entire world scientific community relentlessly endorse breastfeeding to enhance infant health after last years discovery of molecules in breast milk that can confer immunity to rotovirus?

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081026101713.htm

    No. Because that would piss off the formula manufacturers and we want to encourage all women to have the choice to nurse or not, instead.
    If you are fine with that, then don’t treat all mothers who want to be given the “choice” to vaccinate their children against rotovirus as insane anti-vax lunatics.
    Somewhere in the middle lies the truth.

    BTW, Bruce, we have a bet. Google “fermented food”. Since the USA is headed way down in the charts in life expectancy
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy
    dontcha wonder if those kim-chee and kefir eating countries aren’t onto something?
    But that’s probably much too woo-ey for your blood. And there aren’t any studies that prove it.

  165. #165 Julian
    October 31, 2009

    “cherry picking often occurs when the quotes cited from an article are inconsistent with its conclusions”

    Sometimes. Sometimes it can also be in reference to the larger body of data. As in, ‘your study is cherry picked.’

    DocFairness – Why are you still here? Generally speaking g2g means ‘there’s somewhere I have to be and this conversation is liekly to make me late.’ But your still here. Has ‘I’ve got somewhere to be’ suddenly become code for ‘I’m trying to seem cool and collected and aloof and all that good stuff because it must mean I’m right?’

  166. #166 has
    October 31, 2009

    So many of you pitifully rue the day of the dawning of Google University, but better learn to deal fast.

    “Welcome, students, to Google U. I am Professor Dunning, and this is my colleague, Dr Kruger…”

  167. #167 Adam_Y
    October 31, 2009

    “Although I can’t vouch for the credibility, it is an interesting read, and one that should probably be read by most here to gain a better understanding of the history behind vaccination.

    It seems to me the antivaccination vs. provaccination goes back quite some time, most definitely not a phenomenon of the early 90’s.”

    Hahahahhahahahahah…. You just linked to a person who actually denies the Germ Theory of disease. Hhaahahhaahah…. You linked to an article made by someone who denies Germ Theory of disease. Hahahahhahahah…..

    “But does the entire world scientific community relentlessly endorse breastfeeding to enhance infant health whn last years discovery of molecules in breast milk can confer immunity to rotovirus?”

    Passive immunity though.

  168. #168 DoctrinalFairness
    October 31, 2009

    I apologize for the double posts, my connection is crappy today.

    Jane, I’m very, very sorry for the loss of your daughter. I mean you no disrespect, but there really is no way of assessing the risk at present squalene derived adjuvanted vaccines on the long term health of women already at higher risk from death due to autoimmunity. None.
    Autoimmune disease is among the top ten causes of death in young women, who constitute 78% of the 8% of Americans who are diagnosed with it. If their risk profiles could be accurately determined, none of this conversation would be taking place.

  169. #169 Scientizzle
    October 31, 2009

    @DF: “But does the entire world scientific community relentlessly endorse breastfeeding to enhance infant health whn last years discovery of molecules in breast milk can confer immunity to rotovirus?”

    Please cite a mainstream scientific organization that does not endorse breast feeding. I’d like to see this…

  170. #170 DoctrinalFairness
    October 31, 2009

    ooh Julian, instead of going food shopping, I popped some chicken in the oven, sorry for misleading you about my coolness quotient…
    you outed me on my middle aged frumpiness, happy now?

  171. #171 Adam_Y
    October 31, 2009

    “Please cite a mainstream scientific organization that does not endorse breast feeding. I’d like to see this…”

    I all ready knew this which is odd because I am a 23 year old man.

  172. #172 DoctrinalFairness
    October 31, 2009

    OK, Adam. We both know that there are endorsements (statements) and then movements (like this blog).
    The entire debate here revolves around the oversimplification that there are pro-vaccination and anti-vaccination forces, with the anti’s putting children at risk for disease and putting the entire world in jeopardy because of their stupidity (some of which I agree with). But where is the equally important info from the scientific community LOUDLY suggesting that women breast feed? As loudly as they endorse vaccinations?

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081026101713.htm

    Let people choose both ways.

  173. #173 titmouse
    October 31, 2009

    Citing articles does not consitute cherry picking.

    Without first clarifying the consensus opinion and its evidential basis, citing articles is indeed cherry picking.

  174. #174 Scientizzle
    October 31, 2009

    So you’re saying that you don’t know of any mainstream scientific organization that argues against breastfeeding? Furthermore, in order for your attempted equivalence to work, what’s the social movement spreading misinformation about breastfeeding (e.g., that breastfeeding is unhealthy, hardly necessary given the advances in sanitation and refridgeration, and may cause as-yet-identified majorlong-term side effects) in order to reduce breastfeeding rates?

    If your argument is that people here should argue just as hard for promotion of breastfeeding as they do in the promotion of vaccination, it’s a non-sequitor. I haven’t seen you come out against puppy mutilation (or, for that matter, neither has the WHO or AAP or the CDC…)
    DF, why don’t you care about puppies?

  175. #175 DoctrinalFairness
    October 31, 2009

    >>So you’re saying that you don’t know of any mainstream scientific organization that argues against breastfeeding?<<

    Not what I said.
    It’s misinformation to suggest that a mother puts her child at risk for not vaccinating against a disease that can be prevented by breastfeeding.
    It’s chery-picking.

  176. #176 DoctrinalFairness
    October 31, 2009

    >>So you’re saying that you don’t know of any mainstream scientific organization that argues against breastfeeding?<<

    Not what I said in the slightest.
    I said that it’s misinformation to suggest that a mother is evil and puts her child at risk for not vaccinating against a disease that can be prevented by breastfeeding.
    You loudly proclaim the vaccination, demonize the mother who foregoes it and neglect to point out that the disease is preventable by breastfeeding.
    It’s dishonest cherry-picking.
    Lies of ommision are still lies and you engage in them too.
    Or is this a case of Caveat Emptor?

  177. #177 skeptiquette
    October 31, 2009

    Hey Adam,

    I actually have no idea regarding Hadwen’s ideas about germ theory, and somehow using this as proof that he is wrong about Jenner’s credentials is, well… a non-sequitur
    Does anybody have any proof that Jenner was a bonafide MD or scientist for that matter and not just a run of the mill Quack?

    Adam, please try again. I am genuinely interested in this.

    It seems a bit peculiar that all of this would be make believe… and therefore I would be interested in reading some other interpretations of history.

    If anybody has any proof of Jenners credentials, or alternate interpretations of history including Jenner and vaccinations, I would be interested in reading them.

  178. #178 Bensmyson
    October 31, 2009

    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?

    Could it be because he doesn’t say they they don’t do any good, he in fact says they stop 2% of all disease they are meant to protect.

  179. #179 M
    October 31, 2009

    Breastfeeding is good – and besides many other good things breastfeeding somewhat decreases risk of rotaviral infection. However, brestfeeding does not guarantee that child is protected against rotavirus diarrhea.
    And my personal anectotal evidence – both of my children were breasfeed while they got rotavirus infection, and both had severe disease and ended up in the hospital needing intravenous fluids due to dehydratation. So, no one can persuade me that breastfeeding is good enough protection against rotavirus infection.

  180. #180 Antaeus Feldspar
    October 31, 2009

    Feldsy, Right. And had she said “limited” instead of “none” she would have been correct, so you all annilihated her for her mistake.

    What you are overlooking, Docness, it that when she claimed that infants have no immune response, it was as part of an argument that was itself entirely annihilated by infants having any immune response.

    Her argument was, to spell it out including the enthymemes:

    1) Vaccinations are intended to prime the immune response.
    2) But “Medical science has proven that infants do not have an immune response”.
    3) Therefore giving “NEWBORNS vaccinations in their FIRST HOURS OF LIFE” is obviously ridiculous and cannot possibly be done with the child’s health as the true intent.

    The fact that her premise #2 is false makes her whole argument false. You cannot pretend that “no immune response” and “limited immune response” are so close together that her argument was only a little bit wrong, because her argument depended upon newborns having no immune response. If infants have only a limited immune response, then enhancing that immune response makes more sense, not less.

    It’s as if you saw me in the supermarket buying dog food and you yelled at me, shouting “How dare you feed that to humans! I know you must be intending to feed it to humans, because you don’t have a dog!” And when I pointed out that I do in fact have a dog, you huffed that it was only a small dog, and how dare I “annihilate” you for the tiny, tiny difference between “no dog” and “small dog”, when you were entirely willing to “annihilate” me for an intent to serve dog food to humans that existed nowhere but in your own mind.

  181. #181 Antaeus Feldspar
    October 31, 2009

    If their risk profiles could be accurately determined, none of this conversation would be taking place.

    No, that’s not the case. Because if the risk profiles were accurately determined to 99.99% accuracy, there would be a contingent of people who’d angrily demand to know why we were trying to push stuff on them that wasn’t known to 99.99999% accuracy. You’d probably be among them. And if we kept the careful records and did the painstaking analysis and managed to get to 99.99999% accuracy, the goalposts would just get moved again.

  182. #182 Scientizzle
    October 31, 2009

    I said that it’s misinformation to suggest that a mother is evil and puts her child at risk for not vaccinating against a disease that can be prevented by breastfeeding.
    You loudly proclaim the vaccination, demonize the mother who foregoes it and neglect to point out that the disease is preventable by breastfeeding.
    It’s dishonest cherry-picking.
    Lies of ommision are still lies and you engage in them too.
    Or is this a case of Caveat Emptor?

    It would be a lie of omission only if one was led to believe that a vaccine is the only method to prevent said infection. Aside from the fact that I don’t believe I’ve ever heard anyone claim that regarding rotavirus, is it a “lie of omission” if someone doesn’t “LOUDLY” suggest to mothers to wash their hands at every reasonable opportunity, keep diapers clean, and avoid all public waterways in order to prevent infection? No.

    The obvious difference is the intent of the information delivery: if I tell you a vaccine can help prevent rotaviral infection, there’s no lie of omission. If I lead you to believe that only a vaccine can help prevent rotaviral infection, that is dishonest. I’m sure you wouldn’t actually categorize it as a “lie of omission” if one tells a mother that ‘breastfeeding is a healthy way to feed your baby and it may offer protection against rotaviral infection,’ right? By your standard above, it would be, because it neglects to mention that there are effective vaccines that could provide protection for those that can’t be breastfed and extra protection for those that can.

    Quit trying to paint a “you’re just as bad as them” tu quoque scene–it’s making you look foolish.

  183. #183 Tamakazura
    October 31, 2009

    Grendel, I’m on your side. Autism is a condition what affects the way a person thinks, ie their mind. I used the term precisely because it is vague and because I feel I don’t know enough on the topic to use the more specific term. If I was trying to be ignorant or offensive there are many other more loaded terms I could have used. I used that term because as a person who suffers from a “mental condition” I found it the least loaded. So in short, chillax.

  184. #184 Joseph
    October 31, 2009

    But where is the equally important info from the scientific community LOUDLY suggesting that women breast feed? As loudly as they endorse vaccinations?

    Poor analogy.

    A better analogy might be Global Warming. It’s a comparable problem. We’re talking about the survival of the species as we know it. You also have a bunch of loud and organized wackaloons who are trying to muddy the waters, making it look like there’s more scientific controversy than there actually is.

    It’s different in some ways. The scientific consensus there is contrary to certain corporate interests. That’s incidental, of course. But the denialists still find ways to claim there’s a conspiracy.

  185. #185 firemancarl
    October 31, 2009

    I remember back in the early 90s when my fire departmet issued an order that all personnel were to get the Hep B vax. The only complaint was having to go off duty since it took 3 shots. No one said they were worried about any side effects. I am 100% sure that none of the firefighters got or had kids born with autism. Maybe we’ll all get lucky and 2012 will swallow up the anti vax crowd and they will dissapear forever.

  186. #186 riotnerd
    October 31, 2009

    Though I am an avid collector of logical fallacies, I think Handley commits one here which does not have a name yet even though I’ve long felt it should. It’s a bit hidden because it’s tucked into outright factual error, but there non the less. Handley commits what I’ll call the “fallacy of small numbers.” I’m sure someone else has already named it, but what the hell, here goes:
    One commits the fallacy of small numbers when one speciously ignores the scale attached to a number and instead diverts focus to the fact that in absolute terms the number is not very big. (Which is of course meaningless, as any first grader who has been stumped by the “infinity plus one” retort in a game of think of a big number.)

    I first noticed this fallacy when reading about sentencing guidelines in the U.S. judiciary system. I noticed (in an entirely unscientific google research study)that people would complain endlessly about about a criminal getting 2 years in prinson but were fairly satisfied with someone getting 24 months.

    Handley is up to similar non-sense. While his 2% number is obviously a complete fabrication, and shall we say “low balling,” on a hilarious and nefarious scale, it is also a really really really huge number. If I were to cure a mere 2% of infectious disease, if one out of every fifty people who would otherwise get sick did not because of me, I would get the Nobel in Medicine, Peace, and maybe Literature or something just to make entirely clear to everyone how great it is that 2% of infectious diseases no longer infect people.

    My point is not that the 2% number should be let stand, but that Handley’s use of it shows how unbelievably callous he and his ilk actually are to the suffering created by Measles, Mumps, and etc. Imagine if someone scoffed at a fairly simple and uncomplicated method for ending just 2% of all violent crime in the world, now scale up to disease. That’s what an a*#hole Handley is.

  187. #187 T. Bruce McNeely
    October 31, 2009

    Doc Fairness:
    You ask me:

    dontcha wonder if those kim-chee and kefir eating countries aren’t onto something?

    You’re right, I did wonder, and lo and behold I went back to Google U after I checked out your link re longevity by country. Yes, the USA measures up poorly, placing 50th on the list. Then I looked up Kefir and Kimchee in Wikipedia. Here are the countries listed and their places on the list:
    Kimchee:
    South Korea – 40
    North Korea – 169
    Kefir:
    Sweden – 10
    Norway – 24
    Finland – 37
    Poland – 75
    Lithuania – 86
    Hungary – 106
    Bulgaria – 111
    Estonia – 113
    Romania – 117
    Latvia – 119
    Belarus – 141
    Ukraine – 150
    Russia – 161

    Only 2 countries place well above the USA, and they are both affluent countries with universal health care coverage.
    I was kind of interested in Canada’s ranking, since that’s where I live. It’s 8th on the list, and Australia is 7th.
    The only fermented food that’s consumed in great quantities in both places is beer.
    So what is your point about fermented foods and longevity again? Please notice that I am not dismissing your statements out of hand. I am looking them up and finding error after error. Why should we take anything you say seriously?

  188. #188 Dangerous Bacon
    October 31, 2009

    Doctrinal Fairness: “The entire debate here revolves around the oversimplification that there are pro-vaccination and anti-vaccination forces, with the anti’s putting children at risk for disease and putting the entire world in jeopardy because of their stupidity (some of which I agree with).”

    You’ve descended from oversimplification into a strawman argument. It’s silly to claim that pro-vaccine advocates accuse their opponents of “putting the whole world in jeopardy”, for this is obviously false. That antivaxers’ falsehoods and half-truths endanger the health of children (and adults) is the issue at hand.

    From the division of half-truths comes your posting a link relating to breast-feeding, which you suggest is “equally” important as vaccination. What the article actually talks about is lower incidence of intestinal infections in infants that breast-feed as opposed to getting formula, and preliminary findings on molecular mechanisms in passive antibody transference. The scientists involved are not claiming that rotavirus (or other) vaccines can be dispensed with if mothers breast-feed. In fact, the discovery highlighted in the article may lead to more effective vaccines. From your link:

    “…mothers’ milk carries protective antibodies which shield the newborn from infection, and this study demonstrates the molecular mechanisms used by the mother’s body to get these antibody-producing cells where they need to be.”

    Understanding the role of the molecule, called CCR10, also has implications for potential future efforts to help mothers better protect their infants.

    “This tells us that this molecule is extremely important, so if we want to design a vaccine for the mother so she could effectively pass protective antibodies to the child, it would be absolutely essential to induce high levels of CCR10,” said Wilson.”

    Maybe now the parade of illogic from antivaxers will feature claims that passive antibody transference in mother’s milk is good only when the antibodies are formed in response to infection, and not to vaccination. Or you could put your fingers in your ears again and shout “SQUALENE!!!”

    “Lies of ommision are still lies”

    You said it.

  189. #189 T. Bruce McNeely
    October 31, 2009

    Skeptiquette:
    Here is a Q&D bio of Edward Jenner:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Jenner
    As you can see, he had a remarkably good education for a doctor of his time. The article you refer to is a slander, and is a small example of the depths the antivaxers will go to.

  190. #190 MI Dawn
    October 31, 2009

    One thing the “breastfeeding is protective” people need to be clear on: a mother cannot pass on passive immunity to an infant if she has never had a disease or been vaccinated against it. Therefore, if a mother never had rotavirus, she cannot pass immunity on to her child. Her child could still get the disease and become quite ill.

    disclaimer: I am VERY pro breastfeeding; breastfed both of my children and as a midwife highly recommended it to my patients. But not all women can breastfeed or want to breastfeed. And breastfeeding does not protect against everything.

  191. #191 riotnerd
    October 31, 2009

    Oooh, ooooh, there’s also a fallacy of amphiboly in the 2% number. Handley says that Vaccines only cure 2% of infectious diseases, but does not say what on earth he means.

    That is, he could mean, as I guessed earlier, that one out of every fifty people do not suffer infectious disease because of vaccines. That’s already stupid. On the other hand, he could equally well mean that of all known diseases, vaccines only cure 2%. On this one he is like actually giving Vaccines too much credit, but making an even stupider argument. After all, if he meant the latter it’s going to matter a great deal exactly which 2% vaccines cure. It’s also going to be very important how he defines a disease. Is the flu one disease or a class of diseases? For that matter, is autism one disease or a spectrum of diseases?

    One could in principle cure 100% of people of .0001% of infectious diseases and save every life on the planet. One could similarly cure 100% of people of 99.999% of infectious diseases and watch in terror as everyone in the world dies of something else. Either way, Handley manages to say something ridiculous without having to worry about being proven wrong because he could equally mean something quite different, and I would not be surprised if he knows this.

  192. #192 Militant Agnostic
    October 31, 2009

    I don’t have a dug in this fit, but I think it is breast if this thread doesn’t get hijacked in the course of feeding Docness information in the ongoing tit for tat lest we end up looking like a bunch of boobs as happened last week.

    @riotnerd – amphiboly? I have never heard of that one – you are definitely a collector of rare logical fallacies. I’m off to Google U to look it up.

  193. #193 riotnerd
    October 31, 2009

    Militant agnostic,

    Because I’m lazy, here’s how about.com defines amphiboly:
    This term amphiboly comes from the Greek ampho, which means “double” or “on both sides.” This root, obviously enough, is closely related to the English world ambiguity. Instead of using the same word with multiple meanings, as with the Fallacy of Equivocation, the Fallacy of Amphiboly involves the use of sentences which can be interpreted in multiple ways with equal justification.

  194. #194 Militant Agnostic
    October 31, 2009

    Not as lazy as me – I haven’t googled it yet.

  195. #195 DoctrinalFairness
    October 31, 2009

    You are feeding me information, MA? I’ll have to check up on this boobness from last week, thanks for the tip.

    Also thanks to those who made points about rotovirus and breastfeeding/maternal immunity- it was implied that the molecule discussed in the article conferred immunity and from my reading, the loss of breastfeeding as a widespread practice has been speculated here and there as a cause for autoimmune disease.

    And Yikes, T.Bruce, I tossed off kefir and kimchee as examples, but there’s also homemade kraut and roti and tibios and villi and yogurt and buttermilk and sourdough- a hundred other foods with either lactic acid or probiotic ferments here and in many foreign cultures that may explain why countries with more poverty and less access to health care are higher on the longevity charts than us.
    I wasn’t defending a PhD thesis on the basis of my words- but thanks for the fact checking. Even from your examples, I still don’t see how it’s that clearcut. Rumor has it that vodka replaced kefir as the drink of choice in the modern Caucasus. But what IS the explanation for both the USA and the UK’s position in both the infant mortality and the life expectancy rankings of the world- we have world class medical care.

    Feldsy, you are just so wrong about me. The last thing I want is for smallpox or polio or TB to be leashed upon the world once again. I AM NOT ANTI-VAX. But there is a subset of the population that is already autoimmune and if we aren’t going to screen them beforehand, I WANT TO WEIGH THE RISKS.
    If 92% of the population can handle squalene, fine- just don’t require the other 8% to have it.
    My well-founded worry is that the data will never be found because it won’t ever be looked for and it is clearly not there now.
    If thats all thats available and the virus mutates, the risks from H5N1 would warrant the risk, but not for this flu. Meanwhile, I would not hesitate to have her get the unadjuvanted H1N1. Such anti-vax lunacy on my part.

    Also these were ORAC’s words, not mine,regarding evil parents who now refuse to vaccinate.
    >>>No, Dr. Offit is right. We’re not there yet. In fact, I’m a lot more pessimistic than he is. He says “enough” children will have to die before anti-vaccine loons like Jenny McCarthy are relegated to the lunatic fringe, where they can wallow in conspiracy websites like Rense.com or show up on late night paranormal radio shows like Coast to Coast. They can be taken with all the seriousness that David Icke and his Lizard people idea is as he blames the swine flu on the Illuminati. My prediction is that a lot of children will have to die before the anti-vaccine movement looses its influence. Hundreds. Thousands. Tens of thousands, even. We have a short memory as a society. A mere 60 years ago, people lived in fear of polio. Every summer, in various parts of the country, swimming pools would be shut down based on its appearance. Children were condemned to iron lungs. Thanks to the polio vaccine, that all came to an end. Even more recently, a mere 20 years ago, Haemophilus influenza B was wreaking havoc among children:
    >>>
    So. It IS cast as EITHER evil, stupid parents or brave, heroic, selfless doctors like Dr. Offit. Both extremes, along with all of the fascinating sources and websites mentioned, are using the well-honed techniques of media manipulation> (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_manipulation) and inquiring minds want to know whether all of the distraction is a significant indicator of another story that is being ignored. Which would only be business as usual.

  196. #196 Dangerous Bacon
    October 31, 2009

    DF: “So. It IS cast as EITHER evil, stupid parents or brave, heroic, selfless doctors like Dr. Offit.”

    Nope. Another strawman of yours.

    The problem is not “evil, stupid parents”, but misinformation fed to well-meaning parents by antivaxers, whose vehemence against vaccination is fed by their flawed perceptions of science, political/philosophical inclinations, and oddities like fear of needles.

    The correct either/or is as follows: Either we protect ourselves from preventable infectious diseases using the proven and highly successful methodology of immunization, or give in to fearmongering from those for whom no level of vaccine safety and efficacy will ever be enough.

    Try as you will, you cannot label those who practice and respect evidence-based medicine as “extreme”. There’s no “middle ground” between good medical practice and antivax nuttery.

  197. #197 David Marjanović
    October 31, 2009

    But what IS the explanation for both the USA and the UK’s position in both the infant mortality and the life expectancy rankings of the world- we have world class medical care.

    The UK perhaps, but the US? Only for those who have health insurance.

    I was once told that infant mortality is counted in a different way in the US than elsewhere. Is that true?

  198. #198 Damien
    October 31, 2009

    Look, DocFairness, you are jumping to conclusions about all vaccines using anecdotal evidence, claiming that there isn’t sufficient information to determine the safety of vaccines, and speciously linking vaccines to autoimmune responses. Add in what is essentially the “OMG teh toxxinz!!1!” gambit about squalene and you are largely parroting the talking points of the anti-vax crowd.

    I would also like to point out that your demand that the US not use, apparently, any adjuvants in our H1N1 vaccine is selfish in the extreme; the US’ reliance on non-adjuvanted vaccine means we need more virus, which is causing a shortage in the rest of the world’s vaccines.

    Since adjuvants are solely designed to ensure that a vaccine provokes an aggressive immune response to the virus, it would be a great help if we could figure out the best one to use. You don’t like squalene or thimerosol, and I’m betting hihydromonoxide is next one your list. As you have your BS from Google, can you name a single adjuvant that you would find acceptable in a vaccine?

  199. #199 DoctrinalFairness
    October 31, 2009

    EssentialFattyAcidsinBacon,
    Can I remind you that the bulk of anti-vax parents were all at one time unquestioning pro-vaccination parents that trusted that evidence-based medicine WAS in fact the bastion of the independent quest for knowledge and health that you stand by so proudly?
    And maybe I do inhabit both camps because I watched a skilled surgeon TWICE save my father from certain death, a topnotch neurologist in the UK return my husband from meningitis-induced dementia and near death – both of them back to the fully functional living. My daughter loves her surgeon and her doctors (they are fine people) and refuses any kefir – calling it a Bill Nye the Science Guy mess.
    People who think they can live without the advances of modern medicine (and modern anything) are in for a huge shock when and if chaos strikes.
    My hope from all of this is that the result is going to be more transparency and a major revamping of business as usual. I haunt the editorials and articles at medical journals and have felt heartened to know that the opinions at this blog don’t represent many of your colleague who DO want more independent research and less Uncle Tom to Big Pharma- who also I know is largely made up of countless family people putting one foot in front of the other to do research and to please their stockholders and is not the EVIL empire, but an industry with many skeletons. WHat a perfect time to cut the crap and address those right this minute! I think it would be an amazing coup to restore confidence if there WAS from time to time an acknowledgement of their errors. I would bet market research TO THIS DAY shows that the public associates Johnson and Johnson with truth due to how they handled a Tylenol tampering many years aqo. They need to COME CLEAN a whole lot quicker and better than they have a record for doing.
    And unless this is a manufactured crisis with an already determined ending like so many believe, somebody, somewhere had better address the middle ground.
    Wasn’t it Gandhi who said “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind?”. We’re going blind.

  200. #200 Damien
    October 31, 2009

    DocFairness, it would be great if you could break up your rants a bit with white space. Thanks.

    Secondly, please point out something backed by evidence that requires the vaccine companies come clean? And not this anecdote-backed idea that vaccines cause autoimmune, or autism, or freaking whatever. Point to something that has a clear and logical line from vaccine to problem which has not been addressed at any time by the vaccine makers.

    And people will use their innate confirmation bias to back up whatever they think already when they’re doing research. Physical evidence and repeatable observations are the names of the game, and those point to vaccines being as safe or safer than our other available medical treatments.

  201. #201 Joseph
    October 31, 2009

    About infant mortality, it’s mostly associated with low birth weight, which is in turn associated with poverty. In the US and the UK, it probably has to do with the income gap and racial inequality.

  202. #202 DoctrinalFairness
    October 31, 2009

    Here Damien- you can take it up with Jesse Goodman,OK?
    And there’s lots of white space between his rant for ya…
    This is getting so old.
    Adults can get adjuvanted.
    Not for kids and not for ANY kid or young adult with autoimmune issues.

    >>>We typically see, for effective
    19
    adjuvants, increased reactogenicity, an FDA
    20
    term for feverishness, sore arm at the site,
    21
    things we typically see with non-adjuvanted
    22
    vaccines but often see more in the presence of
    1
    an adjuvant.
    2
    I want to point out it is very
    3
    unclear whether these ever correlate with more
    4
    severe adverse events. You know occasionally
    5
    they do. But we have not found, to date -6
    but the flip side is it would be difficult to
    7
    find, for example, that increased local
    8
    reactogenicity or feverishness down the road
    9
    increases the commonality of some of the more
    10
    severe adverse events that we might be
    11
    concerned about such as neurologic events.
    12
    There just aren’t those data. I
    13
    think to some degree that may reflect the
    14
    weakness of our tools to look at it.
    15
    Issues have been raised about the
    16
    potential role of autoimmunity. There is an
    17
    interesting article just recently in JID from
    18
    the folks at CDC Penn and other places about
    19
    what seemed to be antigen-specific reactions
    20
    to flu vaccine that may cross-react with the
    21
    GM1 neural ganglioside and could potentially
    22
    be related to the rare cases of GBS that have
    1
    occurred after flu vaccine. And also concerns
    2
    have been raised about autoimmunity and immune
    3
    disease in general.
    4
    One question that has been raised
    5
    with children is for some potent agonists, are
    6
    there plausible risks to a developing immune
    7
    system. And I don’t know of evidence that
    8
    that would be true but I ask the scientists is
    9
    this plausible and are there ways that we need
    10
    to look at it. And I think that is one of the
    11
    questions at this meeting.
    12
    And I’d like to end up by saying we see some reassuring observations to date.
    14
    One is, as I said, even strong pattern
    15
    recognition signaling is likely similar to
    16
    natural infection. It’s not — you know you
    17
    go through life and you get some pretty bad
    18
    infections.
    19
    And you get a lot systemic
    20
    reactions, for anybody who has had one of
    21
    these bacterial infections, and on the other
    22
    hand, a caveat if people are aware of the
    Page 31
    1
    recent study with monoclonal antibody that was
    2
    an agonist to CD28, which would certainly be
    3
    a costimulatory pathway, that unexpectedly and
    4
    despite negative studies in primates, this
    5
    monoclonal antibody stimulated near lethal
    6
    effects through essentially T cell
    7
    stimulation. And, again, people who know much
    8
    more about this could probably comment on
    9
    that.
    10
    The other good thing is there is
    11
    no evidence to date of major problems with
    12
    those compounds being most actively
    13
    considered. But we always point out the
    14
    absence of evidence is not evidence of
    15
    absence. It just tells you a little.
    16
    There are very few of these
    17
    studies with adequate numbers of controls with
    18
    long-term follow up or with children.
    19

    YOU COULD READ IT YOURSELF.
    http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/NewsEvents/WorkshopsMeetingsConferences/ucm095698.htm

  203. #203 Damien
    October 31, 2009

    There’s no reason to be petulant, DocFairness. I only asked for more white space so that I could more clearly respond to your statements. Their somewhat rambling and rather disjointed nature was making it difficult for me to adequately respond.

    Now, as for what you posted, here are a couple of the major takeaways:

    We typically see, for effective adjuvants, increased reactogenicity, an FDA term for feverishness, sore arm at the site, things we typically see with non-adjuvanted vaccines but often see more in the presence of an adjuvant. I want to point out it is very unclear whether these ever correlate with more severe adverse events.

    One question that has been raised with children is for some potent agonists, are there plausible risks to a developing immune system. And I don’t know of evidence that that would be true but I ask the scientists is this plausible and are there ways that we need to look at it.

    The other good thing is there is no evidence to date of major problems with those compounds being most actively considered.

    So what do you see here? I see a scientist laying out the fact that all of the evidence and knowledge that we have available at this time point to there being absolutely no connection to long-term effects such as those that you are talking about. He does, however, use the CYA language that all scientists use to ensure that we are not claiming there is 100% never, ever, ever going to be shown that there is a connection. It’s the same language you would normally hear about pretty much anything of controversy in the scientific world.

    And he doesn’t say anything about adjuvants in children or immunosuppressed people. Lastly, I know for a fact that if an adjuvant had an antigenic effect it would cease to be used, because the definition of adjuvant is “an agent that may stimulate the immune system and increase the response to a vaccine, without having any specific antigenic effect in itself.”

    I don’t think this Google University is working that well, guess my time at Georgetown wasn’t a waste after all!

  204. #204 Chris
    October 31, 2009

    Via Abel Pharmboy (not Google University): How Do Adjuvants Work? Important Considerations for New Generation Adjuvants, a commentary.

    Just to remind DF: Squalene is not used in the USA. Squalene is made in your liver. Squalene is sold in health food stores as a natural supplement. It has been used in Europe for over ten years, even in children.

    Again, if you have any real evidence of the risks from squalene, please provide the non-Google University evidence (really, something from real researchers).

  205. #205 DoctrinalFairness
    October 31, 2009

    Damien, the Jesuits taught you well.
    Lots of my little circle are from Georgetown.
    But like I said, it’s old.
    casuistry
    1. the branch of ethics or theology that studies the relation of general ethical principles to particular cases of conduct or conscience.
    2. a dishonest or oversubtle application of such principles

    Grow a conscience. This is not something that has adequately been studied in children or in developing immune systems. The whole world you uphold is built on evidence.
    You ask me to produce evidence that it isn’t safe, when the evidence YOU have to justify it’s use in MILLIONS of children, once this is rolled out, is flimsier than ANY huckster’s that you would be SCREAMING about on Quackcast.
    The emporer has no clothes. You don’t want people to have knowledge. The source of that was an FDA workshop not Natural News.

  206. #206 Phoenix Woman
    October 31, 2009

    Just had to second this:

    I’m a irregular reader around here, and this might very well be my first post.

    And this is directed at those who are calling for a ban on people.

    Now I’m not a scientist, but I do take care of the network for a bunch of scientists at the USDA. ;-)

    I’ll admit I can see thru a lot of the crap that the various trolls post. But I do learn stuff from the very thorough and intelligent replies I see to said trolls. It really does help some of us who read this stuff. Especially at other blogs, or even newspaper comment sections. I have friends who have bought into some of this antivax stuff and you guys give me all kinds of useful info and great links to form rebuttals.

    So. Thank you to Orac and the other great commenters I see around here.

    That’s my 2 cents anyway…

    See, for Orac and most of the regulars here, PubMed is as much a household word as is Google to the rest of the population. But most of the people (including a distressing number of the journalists covering the medical beat) seem not to know about it.

    So while you all may think that you’re not getting anywhere when you patiently and repeatedly make good-faith explanations of things to trolls who then ignore what you wrote, please bear in mind that the trolls aren’t your only audience. You all really are doing good.

    The one thing I would urge everyone here to do is to help out the Google rankings of key websites — such as the WHO’s July 2006 Statement on Thiomersal explaining why ethylmercury is not the same as methylmercury (and therefore safe for use as a preservative in vaccines). That way, when someone decides that a few hours at Google U beats twelve years of education, at least there’s a better chance that the hours spent at Google U might turn up something other than Jenny McCarthy’s latest atrocity.

  207. #207 Joseph C.
    October 31, 2009

    I haunt the editorials and articles at medical journals and have felt heartened to know that the opinions at this blog don’t represent many of your colleague who DO want more independent research and less Uncle Tom to Big Pharma- who also I know is largely made up of countless family people putting one foot in front of the other to do research and to please their stockholders and is not the EVIL empire, but an industry with many skeletons.

    When you say “more independent research”, what do you mean exactly? The onus is ultimately on the drug companies themselves to prove the safety and efficacy of their own products. Who else is going to do the research if not them?

    Also, your post is a massive straw man in that you assume that we all support “big pharma” in everything that they do just because we find your fear of adjuvants to be unfounded. Most of us ARE aware of the antics.

  208. #208 Dianne
    October 31, 2009

    DF: Specifically, which vaccine and which adjuvant are you concerned about and why?

  209. #209 Chris
    October 31, 2009

    Joseph C.:

    When you say “more independent research”, what do you mean exactly?

    I also wonder about that. Someone has to pay for the work.

    Lots of the research is from government labs and is paid for with tax dollars. But if you link to any research paid by the CDC or NIH in the USA, the NHS in the UK or by any other government (like Denmark, where the vaccines are manufactured by the government — and the taxes are very high) the “I am not anti-vax” folks still scream that it is not “independent”.

    How much of this research is being paid by Generation Rescue, NVIC, TACA, NAA and SafeMinds?

  210. #210 Damien
    October 31, 2009

    Look, I’ve got to head to a Halloween party, but DocFairness, let me put it to you this way:

    Do you think that if there were any serious risk to children that researchers would cover it up and doctors be complacent? What kind of monsters do you think they are?

    Science can only operate on the evidence, and there is no tangible, empirical evidence that says vaccines are doing the damage you claim; the massive preponderance of evidence shows that vaccines are safe. Even the post that you made citing the FDA workshop has no smoking gun showing that there is serious doubt in the scientific or medical community. As the segments I posted for you show, the speaker is very specific to state that there is no evidence, but as a good scientist he is reserving doubt and wants more research done.

    Do you know why this is? It’s because every single person on earth, myself included, wants vaccines to be as safe as humanly possible. I don’t want children to be sickened and die unnecessarily, but you have yet to give me any tangible evidence that lends even a whit of weight to your argument.

    I guess here’s my question for you: cars kill thousands of kids every year, and yet they are, for the most part, considered safe. Why aren’t you screaming at the auto manufacturers about possible long-term consequences of the particulate matter tires spit in the air? Or the emissions’ effects on our environment? Why do you, I assume, drive yourself, kids, friends, etc. in a car that could have one of a thousand necessary pieces fail and careen into a wall? You could hypothetically need crutches for life, or you could lose your leg like my first girlfriend; why is it vaccines, which are demonstrably safer than cars, that get your attention?

  211. #211 Chris
    October 31, 2009

    Dianne:

    DF: Specifically, which vaccine and which adjuvant are you concerned about and why?

    I believe it is the H1N1 vaccine with squalene in Europe… even though she is American (which means that her child would not have had a squalene adjuvanted vaccine). More than likely she read it on Mercola, and when reminded (multiple times) that it is not used in the USA she responded with “The USA will get it soon!”.

  212. #212 Chris
    October 31, 2009

    Her first post she demanded that Orac…

    Please comment on the work of Dr. Susan Chu. As a public service to millions of European and Canadian youth and unborn fetuses who are undergoing the giant, untested experiment of an adjuvanted vaccine, please limit your response to her questions with a point by point refutation of her methodology or her research findings.

    She started off on the wrong foot, and has been hopping on it ever since.

  213. #213 Dianne
    October 31, 2009

    The adjuvant form of the H1N1 vaccine isn’t approved in the US. Only the high thimerosal* non-adjuvant form.

    *Well, relatively high. It’s still far lower mercury than, say, a can of tuna.

  214. #214 Dianne
    October 31, 2009

    Please comment on the work of Dr. Susan Chu.

    Err…who? I can’t find any publications by an S Chu referring to H1N1 influenza or squalene in PubMed at all. A Chu SY has a number of publications referring to vaccination, but none of them are relevant. So, what work? Where was it published or presented?

  215. #215 Chris
    October 31, 2009

    Susan Chu participates on FluWiki… something DF has linked to multiple times. Just click on the link to her first post, it is all there.

  216. #216 titmouse
    November 1, 2009

    doctrinalfairness,

    Seems to me you have a bad feeling about vaccines.

    I can think of several words that come with a bad feeling attached –“nuclear,” “radiation,” “toxin,” “invasive,” “contaminated.” That’s kind of what I imagine you feel at the thought of vaccines.

    Human beings often develop fixed emotional associations to certain things. Best thing to do, I think, is let you live your life without vaccines.

    Can you let others live their lives with vaccines? Or must you try to frighten them, as you have been frightened?

  217. #217 Rej
    November 1, 2009

    My daughter did not develop RA until 12 1/2 years of age. I dont see any studies following any of the medications or immunizations that she received here in Germany for that length of time. I was not aware that inflammation only caused problems right away. I have many mates with a variety of inflammatory diseases that the doctors dont know where they came from. It seems risky to dismiss things as safe when there are safer alternatives. It is not like adjuvants (such as squalene) have been around for generations. Also, I was wondering, arent things like testosterone, estrogen, thyroxin, insulin, bile, rbcs, melanin, etc, all produced in the body? yes, but I dont think any of them should be injected into a childs arm. Just because squalene is produced in the body doesnt mean it should enter into a childs muscle. Why spend so much time arguing over something that isnt even necessary in the vaccines. You should all want it out.

  218. #218 a-non
    November 1, 2009

    DoctrinalFairness is a troll. Please stop feeding said troll.

  219. #219 Chris
    November 1, 2009

    Rej:

    Also, I was wondering, arent things like testosterone, estrogen, thyroxin, insulin, bile, rbcs, melanin, etc, all produced in the body? yes, but I dont think any of them should be injected into a childs arm.

    Aside from the false dichotomy… You don’t think children with Type 1 Diabetes should have shots of insulin? Interesting.

  220. #220 Rae
    November 1, 2009

    “Also, I was wondering, arent things like testosterone, estrogen, thyroxin, insulin, bile, rbcs, melanin, etc, all produced in the body? yes, but I dont think any of them should be injected into a childs arm.”

    So I take it you’re opposed to blood transfusions? What the hell?

  221. #221 Damien
    November 1, 2009

    @Rej:

    Can you explain, with evidence, why you don’t think minute quantities of chemicals (less than that produced in the body in 3 hours, usually, and far less than that produced in a day) should be injected into a child’s arm? Why do you think we should use more virus instead?

    And what are these “safer alternatives?”

    Please explain.

  222. #222 Chris
    November 1, 2009

    Perhaps this would be part of the “etc” in that sentence: Would she also want to not let kids who get anaphylactic reactions to bee stings and other allergens to use EpiPens, because epinephrine is a hormone also produced by your body.

    (Wait, I looked it up… I just learned it was first discovered in Japan, does that mean it is okay to use because it is not “western”?)

  223. #223 flim flam
    November 1, 2009

    Jane, on the off chance you’re still around i just wanted to express my condolences, i cannot imagine anything worse than losing a child.

    It does indeed bring the whole anti vax insanity into sharp relief. The panic and posturing around minor side effects ( OMG! slight swelling on the injection site!, minor fever!!!, slight rash!!)is only possible for those who have not been faced with the death or serious illness of their child.
    The impossible demands for total 100% safety while at the same time completely ignoring the very real dangers of vaccine preventable diseases. The utter self absorption and selfishness, disregarding the risks not vaccinating poses for those who are genuinely immuno- compromised, the contempt for the herd in which they hide, freeloading on everyone else while at the same time pretending that vaccines are useless, knowing all the time that the only reason they are protected is not their super duper bio dynamic vegan diet, or chiro/homeopathy/whatever sCam bollocks is fashionable but the very vaccines they despise.
    Truly, if it really is about OMG the babies!!!, then they should all be encouraging any pregnant women they know to get the H1N1 vaccine as soon as possible. Women and their babies are getting very sick and dying in disproportionate numbers. That is much scarier than some paranoid fantasy about squalene. Maybe Doc F or one of the numerous Masters of google Woo PhD can explain to me how squalene can be a wonder supplement “all natural from sharks!” at the same time as it’s an evil baby killing adjuvent? or is this just more wackaloon cognitive dissonance?.

  224. #224 titmouse
    November 1, 2009

    I was not aware that inflammation only caused problems right away. I have many mates with a variety of inflammatory diseases that the doctors dont know where they came from.

    If the vaccine caused an auto-immune problem, there should be some sign of it shortly after the vaccination.

    Auto-immune diseases are associated with certain genes and tend to be chronic, life-long conditions that wax and wane. This isn’t what you’d expect to see if vaccines caused these conditions.

  225. #225 Dianne
    November 1, 2009

    If the vaccine caused an auto-immune problem, there should be some sign of it shortly after the vaccination.

    It takes something on the order of two weeks to get a good antibody response, so an auto-immune reaction, if there was one associated with the vaccination, would likely first appear about then, maybe even later.

    I find the idea that vaccines might cause (or rather trigger in a genetically vulnerable individual) not entirely implausible. Viral infection can trigger AID so why not vaccination with partial or dead virus? But for any vaccination which might cause AID infection with the relevant virus would probably be more likely to cause AID.

  226. #226 DoctrinalFairness
    November 1, 2009

    Titmouse,
    your comment #224 displays a startling ignorance of autoimmune disease- perhaps it would behoove you to spend a little time at Google University and/or visit the CDC website and/or Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autoimmunity

    to learn just a few basic facts about this set of diseases and then maybe you can be considered fit to comment.

    Likewise, the ignorance of something that effects 8% of the population is astounding. Squalene may be produced in the liver, but when the bodies own substances are attacking IT FROM WITHIN, adding even a natural substance that is known to increase inflammatory cytokines SHOULD BE STUDIED.
    It hasn’t been.

  227. #227 titmouse
    November 1, 2009

    I agree with you Dianne about the time frame. I would expect a post-vaccination autoimmune problem to be like that of a post-viral autoimmune problem –i.e. appearing days or weeks after the exposure, not years later. But I’d trust an infectious disease expert’s opinion over my own.

  228. #228 titmouse
    November 1, 2009

    doctrinalfairness,

    It’s clear to me that this is an emotional issue for you.

  229. #229 Joseph C.
    November 1, 2009

    You don’t think children with Type 1 Diabetes should have shots of insulin? Interesting.

    Or testosterone injections for Klinefelter Syndrome.

  230. #230 DoctrinalFairness
    November 1, 2009

    We could trade diagnoses of our mental health suspicions of each other all day, titmouse, or we could discuss the huge questions raised by the use of squalene-adjuvanted vaccines in people with pre-existing autoimmune diseases.
    For decades, these were diseases that struck mainly women, often in the prime of their lives. I can only speculate as to how many of them were accused of emotionality, malingering or hysteria and were ignored.
    Now that the incidence in men is growing and found to be more severe and even more life-threatening, perhaps it will be worthy of the type of research and attention that penile dysfunction has commanded in the scientific community.

  231. #231 Joseph C.
    November 1, 2009

    Now that the incidence in men is growing and found to be more severe and even more life-threatening, perhaps it will be worthy of the type of research and attention that penile dysfunction has commanded in the scientific community.

    Which disease gets more public attention and funding: breast cancer or prostate cancer?

  232. #232 Dangerous Bacon
    November 1, 2009

    In all of her googling about SQUALENE and the HIDEOUS DANGERS it poses when used in some countries as a vaccine ADJUVANT and which THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW, Doctrinal Fairness apparently hasn’t considered a couple of things, namely

    1) infecting viruses have lipid components which are developed after they attack cells, and these can include squalene.

    2) one of the environmental factors thought to be involved in the genesis of autoimmune diseases is viral infection – you know, actual infectious diseases in which the amount of immune-stimulating antigen is far, far greater than what we receive in the form of a vaccine.

    So why isn’t Doctrinal Fairness up in arms about the scientific community needing to develop more vaccines (against agents like hepatitis C, for example) as a way of potentially diminishing the incidence of autoimmune diseases?

    Or is it more important for her to attack vaccination using whatever weapon seems handy?

  233. #233 JohnV
    November 1, 2009

    “Now that the incidence in men is growing and found to be more severe and even more life-threatening, perhaps it will be worthy of the type of research and attention that penile dysfunction has commanded in the scientific community”

    Do you have any quantitative data (with proof) to substantiate your above claim?

    I give you credit, however, I believe that you are the first anti-vaxxer that I’ve seen to throw out the sexism charge (aside from discussions about the HPV vaccine). Because I know that you people value anecdotes more than anything else, here’s my anecdotal evidence: I know hundreds of researchers in a variety of settings (e.g. clinical, industrial, academic, government, defense, non-profit) and none of them spend any time studying or receive any funding to study erectile dysfunction.

  234. #234 DoctrinalFairness
    November 1, 2009

    Fair enough, Joseph. Much of the attention to breast cancer was generated by patients and their families.
    The grass-roots efforts of women in response to the loss of their closest friends or loved ones have been integral to the whole campaign. Why that hasn’t happened to the same degree for prostrate cancer is anyone’s guess.

  235. #235 DoctrinalFairness
    November 1, 2009

    make that prostate

    prostrated to this blog isn’t a good use of my time.-

  236. #236 DoctrinalFairness
    November 1, 2009

    make that prostate

    prostrated to this blog isn’t a good use of my time.

    EssentialFattyAcidsinBacon,
    You make my point- why add even more if you are already going to be injecting the antigen?
    And how can you prove that the mimicry of infection in an adjuvanted vaccine – fever, swelling, rash- did not in fact trigger the pre-existing genetic tendency for autoimmunity?
    Why should I trust you, anyway? The whole “skeptical” operation employs unreasonable, abusive and insulting tactics to uphold their exclusive definition of reason. Oxymoronic?

  237. #237 Rej
    November 1, 2009

    219, 220, 221, and 222- Wow, not one answer. I asked because I dont know, and I guess you do not either. However, I do know that you cant just inject the same amount of insulin into every child with and without diabetes, so that was an ignorant, useless comment. Also, you would not inject epinephrine into every child unless they needed it, so that was a useless comment. Minute quantities of any substance can make a major difference in some individuals. Again, just because something is produced in the body doesnt mean every single kid should have it in an immunization. I highly doubt there is a major deficiency of squalene in children out there, so why do they all need it? The vaccine works fine in the US without the adjuvant, and I think we should all have that. Not too terrible of an alternative to ask for. No need for the comments of people who actually need something for a deficiency.

    224 and 225 Thank you very much!

  238. #238 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 1, 2009

    Why spend so much time arguing over something that isnt even necessary in the vaccines.

    Rej, adjuvants are not “necessary” in the sense that cars aren’t “necessary”. Anywhere you want to go by car – couldn’t you get there instead by horse-drawn cart? Or even by foot? Why, sure you could — but if we told you that after your heart attack, you’d have a choice of being taken to the hospital by a motorized ambulance or one that was horse-drawn, I’m confident you’d pick the one that was motorized.

    It’s the same thing with adjuvants. If scientists ever find a way to produce antigens at near-to-zero cost and in unlimited supply, so that everyone can get all they could ever need, way before any epidemic has a chance to get going – adjuvants will disappear, because there won’t be a need for them.

    But that’s not the case in our world. In our world, Country A may need three million units of antigen, but only be able to afford one million units, even if those units are being sold at exactly the cost of manufacture. Or Country A needs three million units of antigen, but so does Country B and Country C — and producing antigens as fast as they possibly can, the manufacturers have only been able to produce three million units total.

    Given that we cannot wave magic wands and make these issues disappear, the best option left for Country A is using adjuvants, to make one unit of antigen work like three. You say it’s “unnecessary” to use adjuvants to make a limited supply of antigens go as far as it can. Sure it is – in exactly the same way it’s “unnecessary” to get a heart attack victim to the hospital as fast as possible. If the victim dies because the horse-drawn cart didn’t get to the hospital in time, is that okay because at least they didn’t run the horrible risks that come with those dangerous horseless carriages?

  239. #239 Katharine
    November 1, 2009

    Rej, the key to your misunderstanding of production of certain things in the body wrt injecting them into people is a question of amounts: insulin is produced in the body, but sometimes not in enough amounts, or other parts of the body are resistant to it, so one needs more insulin to overcome the insulin resistance. It’s also a question of metabolism.

    It actually angers me quite a lot that a lot of antivaxxers are people who rely on anecdotal evidence and whose reasoning clearly says they haven’t taken even a college biology class. Before trying to make an argument about it, acquire the relevant knowledge.

  240. #240 Dangerous Bacon
    November 1, 2009

    DoctrinalFairness: “You make my point- why add even more if you are already going to be injecting the antigen?

    Add more what? Adjuvant? Are you aware that using adjuvants in vaccines makes it possible to use considerably less antigen?

    And how can you prove that the mimicry of infection in an adjuvanted vaccine – fever, swelling, rash- did not in fact trigger the pre-existing genetic tendency for autoimmunity?

    You’re invited to submit convincing evidence that the low amounts of antigen present in vaccines are somehow much more capable of inducing autoimmune diseases than the large quantities of antigens and physical impact of full-blown disease present in “natural” infections. It isn’t logical – but surely you can present us with something besides your antivax suspicions.

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

    Um, like childish reworkings of usernames?

    You’re beginning to sound like Dr. Jay Gordon (and many other alt med proponents) with this “exclusive definition of reason” gambit. Standards for conducting and accepting scientific research in the development of evidence-based medicine are not something that nasty skeptics made up to bedevil alties (Dr. Jay think’s it’s ever so unfair that his “experience” doesn’t count for more than extensive research into the safety and efficacy of vaccines). And your griping about the “insulting tactics” of posters here carries little weight when you engage in such tactics yourself.

  241. #241 Militant Agnostic
    November 1, 2009

    Somewhere upthread Doc F made the “Wheres there’s smoke there’s fire” argument, claiming that the antivaccination movement wouldn’t exist if there wasn’t hazards that “they” are not telling us about.

    This is like arguing that there is significant probability Obama is not a Natural Born American citizen because otherwise the birther movement exists.

  242. #242 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 1, 2009

    Here’s Rej’s original argument:

    Also, I was wondering, arent things like testosterone, estrogen, thyroxin, insulin, bile, rbcs, melanin, etc, all produced in the body? yes, but I dont think any of them should be injected into a childs arm.

    And here’s Rej, after moving the goalposts:

    However, I do know that you cant just inject the same amount of insulin into every child with and without diabetes, so that was an ignorant, useless comment.

    No, Rej, it was a reminder that your medical judgment is limited. You were basically arguing “Even if those fancy medical doctors who actually study these things say there are circumstances where it’s medically reasonable to inject this substance, we know different! We know squalene is always bad to inject, because these other substances are also always bad to inject!”

    Now, even if your premises had been shown correct, your conclusion did not follow from those premises, but when your premises were shown to not be correct, you changed to the argument “These substances are sometimes bad to inject, therefore squalene is always bad to inject! It doesn’t matter that there are indeed circumstances where it’s medically reasonable to inject insulin, a substance made in the body, into the arm of a child; there are self-obviously no circumstances where it’s medically reasonable to inject squalene into the arm of a child! Because it’s made in the body!”

  243. #243 jre
    November 1, 2009

    In the interest of a shared understanding, I would like to point Doctrinal Fairness to Roitt’s Essential Immunology, and specifically to Chapter 18 (pp. 410-445) on autoimmune diseases. Seriously; read it. Then we can have a productive discussion on vaccine reactions.

  244. #244 Rej
    November 1, 2009

    242 No. I was specifically talking about the fact that since the adjuvant is used in the vaccines, then ALL the children would be getting it. Since people like to use the argument that squalene is produced in the body so therefore it is safe…I was simply stating there are many things produced in the body, but they are not safe for ALL. Since we were talking about it being in the vaccine, that would mean all the kids got it, not just the ones for which it was prescribed for a medical reason like diabeties, allergies, etc. Why waste so much space using stupid examples of medical need in some when you knew the topic was about ALL the children getting something they didnt need?

  245. #245 Militant Agnostic
    November 1, 2009

    I’m listening to The Sunday Edition on CBC Radio One and Michael Enright is interviewing historian Michael Bliss, author of a book (Plague the Story of Smallpox in Motreal), about the 1885 century smallpox outbreak in Montreal – at that time there was a belief among the french speaking population that that vaccination was a plot by the anglos to poison them.

    The more things change the more they stay the same.

  246. #246 T. Bruce McNeely
    November 1, 2009

    perhaps it will be worthy of the type of research and attention that penile dysfunction has commanded in the scientific community

    You might not know that the most effective treatment for erectile dysfunction (Viagra and its analogues) was discovered by accident – a side effect of a new antihypertensive.
    You might not know that Viagra has also been found to be life-saving in at least two severe illnesses – primary pulmonary hypertension and high-altitude pulmonary edema.

    I would also be interested in a comparison of research dollars devoted to autoimmune and rheumatic diseases versus erectile dysfunction. Do you have evidence or is this more information from the University of Your Ass?

  247. #247 Katharine
    November 1, 2009

    Rej, all bodies produce these things.

  248. #248 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 1, 2009

    Ah, but that’s the thing, Rej. No one said “Squalene must be perfectly safe BECAUSE it is made in the body.” What happened is that people were saying “Squalene must be a horribly toxic ingredient that will utterly harm your body if it’s ever allowed inside!” and other people, with more sense, were saying “Squalene cannot be that toxic because if it was, all our bodies would be poisoning themselves as they generate squalene internally.”

    No one ever said “Squalene must be safe, because the body generates squalene internally.” That may have been how you heard the argument, but that wasn’t the argument. The argument was “all those people who are trying to second-guess the experts on whether squalene is safe are going to have to come up with better arguments that don’t simply assume that squalene is toxic in every way at every dose.”

  249. #249 Joseph C.
    November 1, 2009

    Why waste so much space using stupid examples of medical need in some when you knew the topic was about ALL the children getting something they didnt need?

    Because you set yourself up for it! Then you tried to change your story when you were called out.

    As for whether adjuvants are needed or not: We live in a world of limited resources. Apparently even rich countries like Germany are doing things to try to extend their resources. They’ve decided that squalene has an acceptable enough risk profile to use it in vaccines given to their 80 million citizens. The US has not done this.

    Also, we don’t have the resources and are not currently advanced enough to test every drug/vaccine for every possible ill effect. This has resulted in spectacular failures like a certain COX-2 inhibitor, which was intended to have less side effects.

    The good news is we’re learning more and more about pharmacogenetics. In the not too distant future, we’ll be quite good at detecting possible problems before they happen with genetic tests.

  250. #250 Rej
    November 1, 2009

    246 no duh, but you dont inject ‘those things’ into every child’s body for no reason. just b/c you produce insulin, squalene, testosterone…doesnt mean you can inject it into any child without problems. it is just stupid to say “your body produces it, so it is safe to inject”. basic common sense, let it go. my question was about the time for expression of inflammatory conditions. it was answered by titmouse and Diane. since i am trying to prevent anything inflamm, have many allergies, as do many others i know, maybe we would like the same vaccine, without the added ‘items’, that you get. if i had the choice, i would trade in my epi pen and insulin for squalene any day. we just dont need anything extra right now. except maybe a break. geesh

  251. #251 Rej
    November 1, 2009

    248 never changed the story. i was talking about the fact that all kids get it in the vaccine to begin with. i never said that some didnt need medications. i would not give my medications to other people though, and the vaccine with adjuvant(even though produced in the body like insulin and others) goes to all children. sorry, you must have misinterpreted.

  252. #252 a-non
    November 1, 2009

    Rej,

    Provide evidence that squalene in vaccines is harmful or dangerous. The benefit to its use in vaccines is clear, it is important that you provide a legitimate rationale for not using it.

    Otherwise you’re just using another variant of the “toxins” gambit.

  253. #253 Craig Willoughby
    November 1, 2009

    To “An Article About You Guys” at #35.

    LMAO…absolutely brilliant. Yes, I agree…it certainly applies to this group, yes?

    Best line?

    “Why They’re So Stupid:
    Don’t ask me. It’s simple science.”

    Nuff said….nuff said.

  254. #254 T. Bruce McNeely
    November 1, 2009

    Orac, perhaps you would be more successful in convincing others to “come to your side” if you weren’t so much of an ass.

    Just a thought.

    Posted by: Craig Willoughby | November 1, 2009 1:06 PM

    To “An Article About You Guys” at #35.

    LMAO…absolutely brilliant. Yes, I agree…it certainly applies to this group, yes?

    Best line?

    “Why They’re So Stupid:
    Don’t ask me. It’s simple science.”

    Nuff said….nuff said.

    Posted by: Craig Willoughby | November 1, 2009 2:46 PM

    Hey, Craig, ever thought of taking your own advice?

  255. #255 Katharine
    November 1, 2009

    Willoughby’s too stupid to understand any of it so he says we’re all nerds.

    1) Since when was being a nerd a bad thing?

    and

    2) If you’re going to come to a battle about facts, don’t come armed with the wet sock of ad hominems.

  256. #256 Craig Willoughby
    November 1, 2009

    Hey, T. Bruce?

    I call them as I see them.

    And Katharine? I never said you were a nerd. That would imply that you have intelligence.

  257. #257 Craig Willoughby
    November 1, 2009

    Oh, and Katharine?

    1) Since when is agreeing with someone an ad hominem? Maybe you should learn what that is.

    and

    2) If you are going to come to a battle without an ounce of understanding of what “humor” is, don’t come armed with the wet sock of ad hominems.

  258. #258 Chris
    November 1, 2009

    Craig, do you agree with JB Handley’s depiction of Ms. Wallace? What data did she miss in her article?

    What reason do you think that JB Handley and others who comment so vociferously here (and complain about the use of the name “Orac”) never show up and comment a ScienceBasedMedicine when the exact thing is posted?

    What actual evidence do you have that the vaccines have more risks than the diseases? And please do not post anything other than real science (nothing from AoA, GenerationRescue, NVIC, SafeMinds, NaturalNews, etc).

    Or am I being too much of a meany by actually expecting substance from you?

  259. #259 Craig Willoughby
    November 1, 2009

    Chris, thank you for asking somewhat politely.

    No, i don’t agree with Mr. Handley’s characterization of Ms. Wallace. I emailed him privately and told him this, but he has not responded. That is, of course, his choice. What she missed in her article? She didn’t look at any of Paul’s COI’s. It was one-sided and biased. That is not objective journalism. I sent a very polite email to Ms. Wallace expressing this, but she has also not responded, and I wish she would.

    I don’t know why JB and others never show up on SBM and not here. Ask them. I know why I don’t comment over there; the server that it is hosted on is horrible, and 7 out of 10 times, the web page has trouble loading.

    I never said that vaccines are more risky than the disease. My view is that vaccines do have risks, and these risks quite possibly occur more than the CDC, the FDA, and Orac admit. Vaccine safety data on adverse reactions are gleaned from VAERS, and only 10% of health care professionals report to that system. What I do know is that there is absolutely no other explaination for my son’s encephalitic reaction, seizures, and subsequent brain damage other than the vaccine.

    And you could have had a very nice post without that last comment. I’ll let it slide this time, though, because the rest of your comment was genuine.

  260. #260 Pablo
    November 1, 2009

    You might not know that Viagra has also been found to be life-saving in at least two severe illnesses – primary pulmonary hypertension and high-altitude pulmonary edema.

    Not surprising, of course, considering that there are many benefits for endothelium relaxation. Improving blood flow does lots of good things besides cause an erection.

  261. #261 Orac
    November 1, 2009

    No, i don’t agree with Mr. Handley’s characterization of Ms. Wallace. I
    emailed him privately and told him this, but he has not responded. That
    is, of course, his choice.

    Hmmm. Let’s say I were to say something outrageous (for instance, to say that J.B. Handley or Andrew Wakefield “intellectually raped” some female member of AoA and to make jokes about date rape drugs) and you e-mailed me over it to call me out (which would be appropriate if I were ever to do such a thing). Then, let’s say I ignored your e-mail and never responded. Would you then blithely forgive my transgression and simply say “that is, of course, Orac’s choice.”

    Somehow I doubt it. Somehow I doubt you’d be quite so forgiving.

    More likely, you’d castigate me for being a coward and fearful of criticism, or some such thing. But I ask you: Who’s fearful of criticism? Someone who allows virtually anyone criticize him, however harshly, in the comments of his blog and has only banned three people in five years and then only for the most egregious offenses (John Best, anyone?) or the person who ruthlessly censors anything too critical, as J.B. et al do on Age of Autism?

  262. #262 Chris
    November 1, 2009

    Craig Willoughby:

    Vaccine safety data on adverse reactions are gleaned from VAERS, and only 10% of health care professionals report to that system. What I do know is that there is absolutely no other explaination for my son’s encephalitic reaction, seizures, and subsequent brain damage other than the vaccine.

    It has been explained over and over again that the VAERS is a passive reporting system, and often when investigated the vaccines are often not the cause of the injury (some of the injuries have been reported to have occurred months after the vaccine).

    My son had his seizures as an infant before any vaccines, and later while sick with a now-vaccine treatable disease. You do understand that seizures happen without any known reason, and have occurred in history before there were vaccines? The neurologists reports (and there was more than one) said that the seizures were “idiopathic” for the initial neonatal convulsions, but caused by the infection for the last seizure when he was a toddler. “Idiopathic” means that the cause is not known.

    There is a level of seizure activity in children that will happen. And the number that happen after seizures is pretty much the number that would happen with or without a vaccine before hand:
    Encephalopathy after whole-cell pertussis or measles vaccination: lack of evidence for a causal association in a retrospective case-control study.
    Ray P, Hayward J, Michelson D, Lewis E, Schwalbe J, Black S, Shinefield H, Marcy M, Huff K, Ward J, Mullooly J, Chen R, Davis R; Vaccine Safety Datalink Group.
    Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2006 Sep;25(9):768-73.

    Also, even with my last comment the politeness I used was far and above greater than what you deserved after you posted:

    To “An Article About You Guys” at #35.

    LMAO…absolutely brilliant. Yes, I agree…it certainly applies to this group, yes?

    Comment #35 was an obvious troll comment. The fact that you agreed with it pretty much identifies you as a troll. If wish to be treated politely, I suggest you change your tone and come up with actual facts and evidence, not insults.

  263. #263 Craig Willoughby
    November 1, 2009

    “Then, let’s say I ignored your e-mail and never responded. Would you then blithely forgive my transgression and simply say “that is, of course, Orac’s choice.”

    Somehow I doubt it. Somehow I doubt you’d be quite so forgiving.”

    You are correct, Orac. That’s because I don’t like and don’t respect you. JB has earned my respect, so I’m willing to forgive him for not responding.

    Chris, my son’s condition was caused by a vaccine-induced fever. His seizures were not idiopathic, but were caused by neuroinflammation. The fever caused his encepalopathy. This is a known reaction to the MMR, which the CDC acknowledges happens 1 in a million times.

    I agree that VAERS is a passive data collection system, but the CDC uses this passive collection system to post prevalence data. If the data they are using in their one-in-a-million times is wrong, then how can we know if their numbers are correct?

  264. #264 NP
    November 1, 2009

    Craig Willoughby:

    What I do know is that there is absolutely no other explaination for my son’s encephalitic reaction, seizures, and subsequent brain damage other than the vaccine.

    And how exactly did you reach this conclusion? By what process did you rule out every other possible cause?

    IMHO, one of the reasons why pseudoscience prevails is because people cannot accept that there are some things for which we do not yet have answers. I can understand that in the context of a disease affecting one’s child, the search for answers is especially taxing. But resorting to pseudoscience, no matter how innocuous your intentions, can be deleterious.

  265. #265 Chris
    November 1, 2009

    Craig Willoughby:

    The fever caused his encepalopathy. This is a known reaction to the MMR, which the CDC acknowledges happens 1 in a million times.

    Which you have to weigh against the risks of getting measles and mumps. And weigh the risks realistically.

  266. #266 Pam Ronald
    November 1, 2009

    Great post-

    I have no doubt that the anti-vaccine movement will collapse upon itself, weakened terminally by lies that can no longer be sustained but how many children will die needlessly in the meantime? How long will it take?

    If Al Gore had not come along, the public would likely still believe that the scientists were all wrong and that we could continue emitting CO2 for years with no effect. Similarly, their is a good segment of the public that believes, even in the face of broad scientific consensus otherwise, that we can continue with our current agricultural system, when in fact it is unsustainable and we need to do everything possible to change it- conserve water, farm the dwindling arable land more efficiently and use the best seed and best practices to reduce harmful environemntal inputs (and yes it will occasionally make sense to use GE seed).

    In any case, you are doing your part with accurate, direct and very funny blogs. Keep up the good work. Your blog gives me hope.

  267. #267 NP
    November 1, 2009

    Craig Willoughby:

    I agree that VAERS is a passive data collection system, but the CDC uses this passive collection system to post prevalence data. If the data they are using in their one-in-a-million times is wrong, then how can we know if their numbers are correct?

    There are data from other countries, e.g. Denmark, where health information is kept in registries and where underreporting and recall bias are less of an issue.

  268. #268 Kemist
    November 1, 2009

    Sid @ 58: By the time vaccines did get around to wiping out smallpox the disease was, due to “better sanitation and refrigeration”, a largely harmless shell of it’s former self

    Er…

    And that’s why the very last samples are kept in a very few level 4 labs, where people who manipulate it must wear a neoprene body suit with its own air supply.

    And must be vaccinated with an old leftover vaccine in a dusty bottle with instructions in russian.

    That’s also why the many people want those last few samples destroyed, because, you know, it’s so harmless.

  269. #269 Isis the Scientist
    November 2, 2009

    Ping, Brother Orac.

  270. #270 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    November 2, 2009

    Congratulations on your huge increase in views and viewers, David!!!!!

    I do love Craig’s wording when he calls you “anti-safe vaccine.”

    I like to use the same wording when I discuss a woman’s right to choose: I am pro-choice and those who disagree with me are anti-choice.

    By the way, I do not think that my experience is more important than published studies. I am, however, very certain that discarding this experience and observation is unscientific.

    I am afraid that Craig’s got a point: You and many here seem quite vociferously opposed to even thinking about making our vaccines safer. Instead you insist on carelessly labeling those of us who think there’s a little room for improvement (let alone a lot of room!) “anti-vaccine” Nothing could be further from the truth and you persist in using this inaccurate epithet where it doesn’t apply.

    There are people opposed to all vaccines. I’m not one of them and many of those offering their opinions here are neither in favor of all vaccines nor opposed to them.

    Maybe there are three camps: pro-safer vaccines, anti-safer vaccines and anti-vaccines.

    Again, here’s to the next 5,000,000 views. For better or worse, you deserve them.

    Best,

    Jay

  271. #271 Damien
    November 2, 2009

    Dr. Gordon, I’ve been waiting a long time for the opportunity to ask you how you can possibly come to the conclusion that Orac, Chris or any of the commentators here are flip about the safety and efficacy of vaccines.

    Every single person here wants vaccines to be as safe as possible, but I think the difference between us and you, Craig, Rej and DocFairness comes down to a willingness to look at the available scientific data, weigh the risks as measured by that data and come to a conclusion. You all seem to have this notion that the current schedule of vaccines, the adjuvants, the number of approved vaccines, or whatever are all static and set in stone. Nothing could be further from the truth, if there was actual, legitimate epidemiological evidence that vaccines caused the harm you claim, they would be halted instantly.

    You have a very dark view of humanity, Dr. Gordon, and one that I cannot share, because everyone wants vaccines to be as safe as possible, but we aren’t willing to ignore science to do it.

    Also, it’s not unscientific to reject our observations if they don’t jibe with the experimental and empirical data, that is called science; holding onto them no matter how many times they’re disproved is called an intellectual security blanket.

  272. #272 kwombles
    November 2, 2009

    Oh, you, Dr. Jay, when you cozy up to the anti-vaccine folks and try to have it both ways, well, you lose. When you think your highly selective practice reflects incidence rates of disease, you lose. What do you lose? Respect. Credibility. Being taken seriously.

  273. #273 Katharine
    November 2, 2009

    Jay –

    Funny. Really. While you’re attempting to somehow be funny to compensate for your pathetic lack of knowledge of the data surrounding vaccines, you once again painfully show that you don’t comprehend anything that’s being said here.

    We all want vaccines to be safe. But some of us actually go by the data, not by anecdotal evidence, which can distort one’s perception of the actual situation. Have you ever heard of confirmation bias or the fact that when one suffers a rare occurrence, one may think it happens more often?

    I think you have a logic problem.

  274. #274 Trixster
    November 2, 2009

    JB Handley and his rape fantasies are really creepy. “Jackass” doesn’t even begin to cover it, I think he’s a psychopath.

  275. #275 tl
    November 2, 2009

    Jay:

    I do love Craig’s wording when he calls you “anti-safe vaccine.”

    Given that the current vaccine schecule has proven to be both safe and effective, aren’t you the one that’s anti-safe vaccine?

  276. #276 DoctrinalFairness
    November 2, 2009

    Jay, if the devotees on this blog were to admit to a third category, PRO-SAFE vaccines, the justifying premise for their very existence, “psuedo-science”, would rapidly ricochet right back at them. Psuedo-science is the flimsy and inexcusable way that safety in vaccines is arrived at in the first place.

    But what would that then do to their smug pretensions of superiority -if they actually PRODUCED THE RESULTS OF THE RESEARCH OF ASO3 and MS59 on children. And then explained exactly why squalene was also used AS THE PLACEBO in some of the paltry few studies done on children. And then explain to we mentally impaired idiots how and why that constitutes a control group and how the “gold standard” of scientific research was applied.
    Next they can explain why very serious and unusual autoimmune disease in infants that appeared three weeks after vaccination in a very small study was dismissed as coincidence.
    http://www.newfluwiki2.com/diary/4011/im-angry-by-SusanC

    And yes, adjuvants may make less of the antigen possible- but pushing vaccines with truly untested novel adjuvants en-masse onto guinea pig children who have inherited factors for autoimmune disease, when the risk of flu to that child may be much lower than the risk of the vaccine trigger from a pro-inflammatory agent like the adjuvant- it’s flat out irresponsible until more is understood for an estimated 8% of the population.

    You all illustrate perfectly why EVIDENCE-BASED medicine doesn’t even exist- it is arbitrarily whatever you decide to say it is, given that you ignore or insure that any evidence that contradicts your party line is discredited or ridiculed.

    Your dishonest siren call of ” ANTI-VAX” and your willingness to so readily oversimplify and silence the evaluation of a very complex reality should be a warning for any reasonable person (AND true lovers of science) that you are dishonest and exist merely as yet another smokescreen to smother real examination of the EVIDENCE.

    No. History will show that you were ANTI-SAFE vaccines if you can so easily extrapolate questionable safety data from adults to infants and children.
    http://www.newfluwiki2.com/diary/3986/vaccine-adjuvants-and-the-pathogenesis-of-autoimmune-disease-i

    Susan Chu MD has been helping with flu preparedness for many years and set out to illustrate vaccine safety- she had NO anti-vax agenda. From her writing she has has carefully examined the research and has asked her peers to please show her where her science is wrong. The best that they can come up with is to dismiss her entire body of work (160 diaries) because she includes references to the work of scientists that were “discredited” in studies on adjuvants. Anyone want to explain the impact of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals and exactly how that discrediting is so expertly and flawlessly arranged??

    http://www.newfluwiki2.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=3987

    One day the truth will come out. By then, you will have all helped to nail shut the coffin on any trust whatsoever in “evidence-based medicine”. Yesterday I got this link in my inbox from a highly educated friend…
    http://www.thelivingmatrixmovie.com/
    Fascinating that people with autoimmune disease, (for which you have no cure and mainly nasty treatments with tetrogenic side effects) are examining this branch of inquiry. The people that you put at risk and into harm’s way by your dishonesty are abandoning your paradigm in droves. And it’s not due one bit to “psuedo-science”. “Compromised science” is a more accurate defintion and it’s becoming more glaringly obvious every day.

  277. #277 DoctrinalFairness
    November 2, 2009

    Jay, if the devotees on this blog were to admit to a third category, PRO-SAFE vaccines, the justifying premise for their very existence, “psuedo-science”, would rapidly ricochet right back at them. Psuedo-science is the flimsy and inexcusable way that safety in vaccines is arrived at in the first place.

    But what would that then do to their smug pretensions of superiority -if they actually PRODUCED THE RESULTS OF THE RESEARCH OF ASO3 and MS59 on children. And then explained exactly why squalene was also used AS THE PLACEBO in some of the paltry few studies done on children. And then explain to we mentally impaired idiots how and why that constitutes a control group and how the “gold standard” of scientific research was applied.
    Next they can explain why very serious and unusual autoimmune disease in infants that appeared three weeks after vaccination in a very small study was dismissed as coincidence.
    http://www.newfluwiki2.com/diary/4011/im-angry-by-SusanC

    And yes, adjuvants may make less of the antigen possible- but pushing vaccines with truly untested novel adjuvants en-masse onto guinea pig children who have inherited factors for autoimmune disease, when the risk of flu to that child may be much lower than the risk of the vaccine trigger from a pro-inflammatory agent like the adjuvant- it’s flat out irresponsible until more is understood for an estimated 8% of the population.

    You all illustrate perfectly why EVIDENCE-BASED medicine doesn’t even exist- it is arbitrarily whatever you decide to say it is, given that you ignore or insure that any evidence that contradicts your party line is discredited or ridiculed.

    Your dishonest siren call of ” ANTI-VAX” and your willingness to so readily oversimplify and silence the evaluation of a very complex reality should be a warning for any reasonable person (AND true lovers of science) that you are dishonest and exist merely as yet another smokescreen to smother real examination of the EVIDENCE.

    No. History will show that you were ANTI-SAFE vaccines if you can so easily extrapolate questionable safety data from adults to infants and children.
    http://www.newfluwiki2.com/diary/3986/vaccine-adjuvants-and-the-pathogenesis-of-autoimmune-disease-i

    Susan Chu MD has been helping with flu preparedness for many years and set out to illustrate vaccine safety- she had NO anti-vax agenda. From her writing she has has carefully examined the research and has asked her peers to please show her where her science is wrong. The best that they can come up with is to dismiss her entire body of work (160 diaries) because she includes references to the work of scientists that were “discredited” in studies on adjuvants. Anyone want to explain the impact of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals and exactly how that discrediting is so expertly and flawlessly arranged??

    http://www.newfluwiki2.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=3987

    One day the truth will come out. By then, you will have all helped to nail shut the coffin on any trust whatsoever in “evidence-based medicine”. Yesterday I got this link in my inbox from a highly educated friend…
    http://www.thelivingmatrixmovie.com/
    Fascinating that people with autoimmune disease, (for which you have no cure and mainly nasty treatments with tetrogenic side effects) are examining this branch of inquiry. The people that you put at risk and into harm’s way by your dishonesty are abandoning your paradigm in droves. And it’s not due one bit to “psuedo-science”. “Compromised science” is a more accurate defintion and it’s becoming more glaringly obvious every day.

  278. #278 Ruth
    November 2, 2009

    DIF

    Some of us are old enough to remember lots of women falsely believing their autoimmune disorders were caused by silicone implants. Dow went bankrupt, women had implants removed and suffered stress for what turned out to be lawsuit-driven pseudoscience. Which is true for much of the anti-vax brigade. I won’t bother explaining why you are wrong-over 200 replies here have tried, but you can’t be reasoned with. And we have no cure for pigheadedness.

    I have autoimmune disorder(Sjogren’s) and am very interested in the real science involved. I have a child on the autism spectrum and hate the quacks who prey on parents with there blame the vaccines pseudoscience.

  279. #279 the bug guy
    November 2, 2009

    DF, Since you seemed to be so incensed about the lack of research on squalene and demanding that research be done NOW, why don’t you go badger Dr. Susan Chu? She produced the hypothesis but has done no research and has published no peer-reviewed papers on the subject. That’s the way science works. Publishing 160 diaries on a wiki is not science, it’s grandstanding. If she is so convinced that this is a serious problem, then she needs to do the serious work to prove her point. Despite you buying into the false idea that the scientific establishment tries to suppress information, the reality is the opposite. If the data can be produced that show squalene to be a real problem, then things will change.

    I’m sorry, but right now, it looks like you’ve been taken in by someone’s pseudoscience. The fear that you feel is one of the reasons that people fight so hard against this kind of activity.

  280. #280 DoctrinalFairness
    November 2, 2009

    Black and white, either/or thinking is the hallmark of people with borderline personality disorder, fundamentalist religious zealotry and arrested ethical or moral development. The labelling right now of thousands upon thousands of people as simply ANTI-VAX because they disagree with your knee-jerk assertions is a flat-out LIE.
    You reveal yourselves to have a very high comfort level with inflexible, dualistic thinking that gives rise to extreme prejudice and hatred among billions of uneducated impoverished people around the world. One wonders why- perhaps you are invested in this sort of outcome.

    Ruth, please demonstrate how the quacks that prey on your child are any less guilty of the exact same ethical/moral retardation that is exhibited by the frozen dogmatists right here that insist on ignoring, hiding or mis-stating ACTUAL evidence. These novel adjuvants have NOT been proven safe in children or those with autoimmunity.
    If you were one of the very fortunate ones who did not have to spend years figuring out your diagnosis, good for you. To suggest that all autoimmunity would be readily and easily discovered in post-vax reporting is beyond unconscionable. And to then dismiss it because it cannot is also unconscionable.
    The two hundred replies, with only one exception who pointed only to her guilt by association (another tired tactic) with a so-called “anti-vaxxer”, have not once responded to Susan Chu’s work. “Real science” also brought us Vioxx and safety data was willfully ignored.
    By now I have a bit of a feel for the knee-jerk reductionists and who the honest scientists here may be, but for the thousands of lurkers looking for independent research from someone without an agenda -please check out the work of Susan Chu in the links above. I don’t expect a genuine and honest critique of her exhaustive academic work from anyone here, but YOU decide.

  281. #281 tl
    November 2, 2009

    DoctrinalFairness opined:

    Jay, if the devotees on this blog were to admit to a third category, PRO-SAFE vaccines, the justifying premise for their very existence, “psuedo-science”, would rapidly ricochet right back at them. Psuedo-science is the flimsy and inexcusable way that safety in vaccines is arrived at in the first place

    But the devotees of this blog are PRO-SAFE vaccines. Jay Gordon, is very anti-safe vaccine. You seem to be anti-any adjuvent that sounds scary.

    You have no evidence whatsoever to indicate any problem with these adjuvents.

    Before they were approved for use in other countries, they were tested for safety and effectiveness.

    They have been in use for years in other counties, during which time no statistically significant increase in the problems you claim happen have been observed. This despite the millions of doses that have been administered.

    You are like a person who travels about the country by bus because airplanes aren’t safe enough. No, he’s not anti airplane, he’s pro-safe airplane!

  282. #282 DoctrinalFairness
    November 2, 2009

    Bug Guy- DOn’t tell me how science is done until you answer the question as to how this science- the actual studies that HAVE been done on these adjuvants in children – even qualify as your “gold standard “science in the first place.

  283. #283 Dangerous Bacon
    November 2, 2009

    Hi, Dr. Jay.

    This is to remind you that we would appreciate clarification of your fluctuating and confusing statements about when (and if) you’d ever recommend H1N1 vaccination to any of your patients, how your “guidelines” differ from those of the CDC, and how you arrived at them. Several of us posted questions on this matter to you during the discussion of Brent Spiner’s antivax views, and we’ve yet to get a response. Here’s what I was hoping you’d respond to:

    “Dr. Jay says (in the Spiner thread): “Here’s the heart of the issue: This new H1N1 virus is here to stay and doctors should discuss vaccination with their higher risk patients. Low risk people will eventually be exposed to the disease and this might be the best year to get the “weakest” iteration of Swine Flu.”

    This statement implies that Dr. Jay will be “discussing” H1N1 vaccination with his “higher risk” patients, and one would think this means that some would wind up getting immunized. But on his website, Dr. Jay says the following:

    “I also won’t be giving the flu shot to the kids and parents in my practice unless there are extraordinary risk factors. I anticipate giving none at all this year.” (bolding added)

    So, Dr. Jay has 1) apparently made up a category of “extraordinary risk” patients for whom H1N1 vaccination is theoretically possible, but somehow he anticipates giving none of them protection. Then he comes in here and talks about “discussing” vaccination with a similarly nebulous “higher risk” group (“higher risk” sounds more encompassing than “extraordinary” risk, but we still have no idea what Dr. Jay is talking about).

    The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended initial emphasis on vaccinating patients in five groups it considers at high risk from H1N1 flu, including pregnant women, people who live with or care for infants under 6 months of age, and children and young adults aged 6 months to 24 years. Tell us, Dr. Jay, do you see any patients/parents who fall into these groups, and what are you “discussing” with them? Do you consider anyone coming under these guidelines to be at high enough risk to recommend vaccine protection? Do you treat any patients with cystic fibrosis, asthma, immune system disorders or other chronically ill children who are even more at risk from H1N1, and are they “extraordinary” enough to deserve being immunized?

    Have you taken these children and parents into account in anticipating that you will give the H1N1 vaccine to no one this year?

    If you still plan on immunizing no one in your practice, how do you reconcile that with your claim of not being an antivaxer?”

    By the way, your invention of an “anti-safer vaccine camp” is disingenuous in the extreme. The “Green Our Vaccines” ploy (as used by Jenny McCarthy – I believe you spoke at her rally held under this banner) is nothing more than a dishonest attempt to paint vaccines as dangerous, with the alternative being vaccine refusal and subjecting children to risks of preventable infectious diseases.

    Awaiting a response on your H1N1 vaccine “guidelines”,

    DB

  284. #284 Travis
    November 2, 2009

    the bug guy,
    I always wonder about where the evidence of this suppression is. For instance, DF has talked about editors not being willing to publish the results, but where are all these unpublished papers, the rejection notices, reviewers comments etc. I see lots of effort being expended, but not a lot of effort to actually do the science. Of course, the science is the hard part.

  285. #285 DoctrinalFairness
    November 2, 2009

    Bug Guy- Don’t tell me how science is done until you address the factual reality that this science- the actual paltry studies that exist on the use of these adjuvants in children – would never even qualify as the “gold standard” of evidence based medicine in the first place.

  286. #286 Chris
    November 2, 2009

    DoctrianalFairness is a troll. Ignore her.

  287. #287 DoctrinalFairness
    November 2, 2009

    Right, Chris. And the science that you so zealously defend in more than 200 posts (a WAR on ignorance!!) uses the substance under question AS THEIR PLACEBO in a hallmark “study”, making the question of safety a rather nebulous concept.
    Watch you don’t get arthritis jerking that knee up and down so quickly in step with your little army on ignorance.

  288. #288 Sullivan
    November 2, 2009

    She didn’t look at any of Paul’s COI’s.

    So, the fact that Dr. Offit invented a vaccine and earns royalties on his invention isn’t a COI>? Or did you not read that far into the article?

  289. #289 the bug guy
    November 2, 2009

    Yeah Chris, I know, but sometimes, you just get bored. ;)

    DF, you’ve been given plenty of information on the subject previously. Please review it. You are suffering from what those in the military call “target lock.” You have focused so much on one small detail that you are not noticing the wider evidence base out there.

  290. #290 Pablo
    November 2, 2009

    So, the fact that Dr. Offit invented a vaccine and earns royalties on his invention isn’t a COI>? Or did you not read that far into the article?< .blockquote>

    Oh it’s not that. The real complaint is that she didn’t just immediately dismiss everything Offit said, and actually had the audacity to explain in detail what those “conflicts of interest” really were and why he had them in the first place.

    I mean, if you want to cast him in an unsympathetic light, you have to say things like, “As a pro-vax spokesman, Offit is getting 10s of millions of dollars from the Big Pharmaceutical companies.”

  291. #291 the bug guy
    November 2, 2009
  292. #292 Joseph C.
    November 2, 2009

    Right, Chris. And the science that you so zealously defend in more than 200 posts (a WAR on ignorance!!) uses the substance under question AS THEIR PLACEBO in a hallmark “study”, making the question of safety a rather nebulous concept.

    Zealous does describe someone here. I wonder who it is.

    You seem to suggest that because science hasn’t answered your pet question to your satisfaction that the public at large is going to abandon it. That’s interesting. Probably not true, but interesting none the less.

    What do you suggest as a replacement to science-based medicine? Should we just stick to Reiki and Homeopathy? After all, we can say with 100% certainty that neither of those modalities will cause problems in people with autoimmune disorders. Sure they don’t do anything, but at least we don’t have a risk of side effects.

    Like with democracy and capitalism, we’re stuck with science-based medicine not because it is a perfect system, but because it sucks far less than the alternatives.

  293. #293 JohnV
    November 2, 2009

    DoctrinalFairness,

    In addition to your Google U. degree in immunology and rhetoric, did you also take courses in psychology and projection?

  294. #294 DoctrinalFairness
    November 2, 2009

    Bug Guy- I’ve been given misinformation. You are locked into your little zealous war on people who have thus far served as your willing believers. You patronize them at your peril.
    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. Best to split it into false dichotomies and make enemies of the naysayers. Perhaps Dr. Offit saves lives with his vaccine. Insisting that 100,000 vaccines (with squalene based adjuvants?) would be safe for children was a HUGE mistake on his part. Based on the outright lack of numbers on children which even Goodman has said “THERE AREN’T THE DATA” about- how on earth can you defend such statements. And call that science????
    I don’t care that at this moment squalene isn’t being used in the USA vaccine- it is being used on children all over the world as an experiment. THERE AREN’T THE DATA may be one small detail to you, but to 8% of the worlds children who haven’t yet read “The Art of War”- it is one detail that needs reiterating AGAIN and AGAIN to those who would deny it.

  295. #295 Joseph C.
    November 2, 2009

    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. Best to split it into false dichotomies and make enemies of the naysayers.

    I submit this to all that still believe that DF isn’t a hardcore crank. She ain’t just a concerned parent asking questions.

  296. #296 Chris
    November 2, 2009

    Joseph, I don’t even bother reading her blather now. She has shown to be an anti-vax crank who refuses to even bother learning. A classic troll. Time to ignore her.

  297. #298 DoctrinalFairness
    November 2, 2009

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tittytainment
    The media circus around one dystonic cheerleader is yet another diversionary sideshow.
    In case you haven’t noticed, the economic reality all over the globe has created an atmosphere of well-deserved distrust for the elite few who manipulate the many.
    According to the goals of tittytainment, 80% of the world population will be without access to jobs or health care.
    At that point faith healing and reiki are far superior to the big NOTHING in treatments that will be available to them.
    BTW, I was the first to use the word projection in my discussions on this blog – so get busy dealing with your own hideous shadow of the rot that you project out and make into external bogeymen of anyone who isn’t marching to your little battle cry in your phony war.

    Participants in 7th grade science fairs are taught that a control/placebo group need be treated differently than the experimental group if you are attempting to demonstrate the safety of the experimental substance. One hardly needs an immunology textbook for that. You need to insist on the stupidity of others to divert from the paucity of data that you are using to warrant your conclusions. Your own motivation should be under fire, not that of a weary public who are tried of lies.

  298. #299 the bug guy
    November 2, 2009

    DF, please review my previous link to PubMed that deals with your claim that there is no data on the safety of squalene as a vaccine adjuvant. The dataset is robust in support of its use.

    You have a mistaken interpretation of Dr. Offit’s comment. He never said to give children 100,000 vaccinations. He stated that modern vaccines use fewer antigens than previous ones and that a child’s immune system has the capacity to handle the same antigen load as that found in 10,000 vaccines. A very big difference. This was in reference to the “too many, too soon” gambit that the current vaccine schedule is overloading the immune system of children. It could be argued that it was an unfortunate choice of words in light of how anti-vaccination activists have twisted them to mean something completely different.

  299. #300 DoctrinalFairness
    November 2, 2009

    Oh my! Pub-Med studies on the elderly and in adults touted as definitive evidence of safety for use in pregnant women and neonates and children.

    From that data we can insist authoritatively
    and predict what will happen in children.

    OK. I’m happy that’s the gold standard of science for so many of you, enough to eviscerate anyone who dares question it.

  300. #301 Rej
    November 2, 2009

    note-since this is a blog and not a conversation place- I think some of you attack over misinterpretations in a most unfair way. This is a simple clarification, not whining, and it does not need any further nasty comments.

    1)myself @217 “My daughter did not develop RA until 12 1/2 years of age. I dont see any studies following any of the medications or immunizations that she received here in Germany for that length of time. I was not aware that inflammation only caused problems right away.”?

    –My family has several debilitating medical issues. I have never suspected vaccines as the cause of the RA because it did not occur in association with vaccines. We have never known a cause. So, I was asking “what was the usual time?” titmouse and dianne answered like sane human beings-thanks. the rest did not

    2)my next comment was “I have many mates with a variety of inflammatory diseases that the doctors dont know what the cause was either. It seems risky to dismiss things as safe when there are safer alternatives. It is not like adjuvants (such as squalene) have been around for generations.”?? has it?

    –Some of our inflammatory dz came later in life. The doctors are always looking for different causes.
    –you guys were discussing squalene. several comments said ‘you do know it is produced in the body right?’- that was the only reason in the comment as to why it was safe.
    –I know nothing about the stuff…so I asked, “Also, I was wondering, arent things like testosterone, estrogen, thyroxin, insulin, bile, rbcs, melanin, etc, all produced in the body? yes, but I dont think any of them should be injected into a childs arm (we were talking about it being in a vaccine for all kids in my country). Since the adjuvant would be in the vaccine for all kids, I thought you would understand the comment that ‘just because something is produced in the body doesnt mean it is safe to inject in ALL kids!’ Some of you had to respond with ridiculous comments about people who needed things like insulin and epi as a medication. Again-I was talking about All kids getting those substances like the vaccine. That does not make me a dumb crazy person. Some of you try to hurt people and make up your own interpretations so you can call them names…

    3)last comment-“Why spend so much time arguing over something that isnt even necessary in the vaccines? You should all want it out.”

    –If there is a better way-shouldnt everyone be striving for that instead of arguing? As one comment pointed out-some of you seemed to be gloating that the US didnt have to worry about it, so just let it go. That is an evil thing to say.

    Anyway, I did not make one bad comment about a vaccine. We never had any side effects from vaccines that I know of. I dont think we have an antvax membership here? I only wondered and asked a question about what you all were arguing about. I really dont think that makes me stuck on any data @271. I asked because I had NO data. Since I know several people with auto immune problems with unknown causes I thought you guys might be discussing that. Could it be something that happens decades later or in later generations? I guess that is not known. Since we have no answers as to why so many things cause us (my family) to live in so much pain, we need to be extra extra cautious of adding any new substances into our bodies. Honestly, I think we have capped out on anti inflammatories, anti histamines, anti rejection drugs, Tcell regulators, insulin, epinephrine if needed…

    To finalize-thank you again to titmouse, Dianne, and especially doctrinalfairness and todd for all the links to information about inflammatory diseases. Also, Thank you docfair and Dr G for trying to keep vaccines safe without pushing people away from them with such severe attitudes. I think most people, even if they are ‘afraid’, do know that vaccines are the best prevention. I must admit though, there is so much aggression on this site that it makes me suspicious. I will need to check out other sites now to see why. As a new observer, the ones who said that some of you are your own worst enemy were right. thank you

  301. #302 JohnV
    November 2, 2009

    @DoctrinalFairness,

    Since, clearly, none of us are capable of providing the info you want, why don’t you tell us with some minimal level of detail the kind of study you’d like to see that would, in your estimation, be capable of demonstrating the safety of squalene as an adjuvent in vaccines.

    Also, I’m really impressed with how fast you were able to read those 41 studies on pubmed about squalene safety. Especially considering that quite a few are not open access. I appreciate the money you must have spent purchasing access to those papers. And I am most impressed with how quickly you were able to dismiss their findings because they don’t support your theory while at the same time failing to provide any actual data to the contrary. Other than because you say so with random words in all caps.

    I do feel, however, that you’re taking an awful lot of credit for the term “projecting”. While you may have been the first to use it on this particular comment thread, a quick stop to Google (the authoritative source for everything, I’m told) suggests that some guy named Freud came up with it. Regardless of that, or who used it first, that doesn’t mean that you are incapable of doing it. (Cue several rounds of recursive projectionism)

  302. #303 Calli Arcale
    November 2, 2009

    Like Michael Braungart says- disease is wonderful job security.

    Yes, it is. Note, for instance, that Roche makes Tamiflu — but does not make flu vaccines. It is frequently much more profitable to make drugs which treat diseases than to make drugs which prevent them. (Note: this changes when a disease is extirpated from the population, and nobody needs treatment, but obviously we’re not anywhere near that with influenza.) Tamiflu has been extraordinarily profitable, and is desired far beyond Roche’s manufacturing capabilities. Since time immemorial, the two things that have been most persistently desired and most persistently exploited by hucksters have been remedies for impotence and the common cold. Today, we actually have the first real drugs that fit that demand: Viagra/Cialis/etc for impotence, and Tamiflu and a few other antivirals for influenza. Predictably, they have been huge moneymakers. (Hell, worthless fakes are moneymakers; the real deal is even more profitable.)

    Other manufacturers are investing in better vaccines, because there is still profit to be made, and because they are humans who care and because they too would like to be free of disease. But the profit margins are slim for most vaccines, so it doesn’t take much for a manufacturer to discontinue the effort.

    You are absolutely right, DF. Disease is wonderful job security. It’s why vaccine manufacture isn’t a big element of Big Pharma. It costs money and doesn’t return much profit. It is much more profitable to treat the diseases than to prevent them.

    Me, I’d rather prevent them. How about you?

  303. #304 Joseph
    November 2, 2009

    if the devotees on this blog were to admit to a third category, PRO-SAFE vaccines, the justifying premise for their very existence, “psuedo-science”, would rapidly ricochet right back at them.

    The existence of that category implies there’s an anti-safe vaccines group; i.e. a group that wants vaccines to be dangerous. You’ll have to point out who they are before we can take you seriously.

  304. #305 the bug guy
    November 2, 2009

    DF, yes, we can appropriately draw considerable information from those studies and apply them to pregnant women and children. We are all the same species and the basic biochemistry and immunology apply. Yes, there are some differences between the groups, but the overall similarity makes the safety information appropriate to use.

    You are trying to apply something similar to the “god of the gaps” argument. The problem with that someone can continue to insist on more studies to show the safety for this subgroup or that subgroup without end. We have good RCT data on the safety of squalene and we have good post-vaccination surveillance data on the safety of squalene. May there still be some risks we don’t know? Yes, there can be. But, we have the data to know that these possible unknowns are rare and don’t override the benefit of these vaccines.

  305. #306 Matt
    November 2, 2009

    if the devotees on this blog were to admit to a third category, PRO-SAFE vaccines…

    Of course we can admit to there being pro-safe vaccine groups.

    That who *we* are.

  306. #307 DoctrinalFairness
    November 2, 2009

    Calli, I appreciate your point that the prevention of communicable disease is a paramount concern and I agree.
    I’ve elected vaccinations in the recent past and still haven’t ever read Dr. Jay or even one anti-vax argument before arriving here on this blog. But I plan to now.
    If one were to google “science blogs and vaccination” with a question about autoimmunity, which is how I ended up here, I can follow all sorts of links provided from this very blog leading me to people like David Icke and Rense.com and sources who suggest that a eugenicidal pogrom is underway.
    Their believers and the millions of followers of similar scaremongers are the subject of utmost ridicule here, but to deny that eugenicidal pogroms have ever taken place in history is to put yourself in the camp of Holocaust denial- which blog author is so vehemently opposed. At least be consistently insolent and present all the facts! And what is the reason to give any attention to those questionable sources at all? Eugenics may be based on psuedo-science and irrationality but it has a fervant following even among scientists. Hegelian dialectic at work?
    An observation about casting “skepticism” as a batallion in the “war on science”- it’s a big farce.
    Susan Chu is skeptical. She has absolutely nothing to gain, she risks her reputation and her life’s work as a retired pediatrician who has been reading and evaluating and bringing her questions to well-known scientists for years.
    I’m going with her take on it- no one here except Todd and credentialed are even versed in the studies that the sycophantic defense of the safety was arrived at in children in the first place.
    And I suggest others who may be similarly suspicious by all of the contempt and ridicule here- Sir Walter Scott had a different take on it- “Ridicule often checks what is absurd, and fully as often smothers that which is noble.”
    One needs to be also skeptical of a huge crop of supposed skeptics… IF THEY CAN MANIPULATE THE PRESENTATION OF THE THE SCIENCE and go for the jugular or diversionary tactics instead, exactly where is their nobility?

  307. #308 doctrinalfairness
    November 2, 2009

    >>DF, yes, we can appropriately draw considerable information from those studies and apply them to pregnant women and children. We are all the same species and the basic biochemistry and immunology apply. Yes, there are some differences between the groups, but the overall similarity makes the safety information appropriate to use. <<

    And No, Bug Guy-
    The above statement is flat out BS and just more outright lies, a very poor stab at skepticism- and crappy science.

  308. #309 Todd W.
    November 2, 2009

    Just a quick summation of DF’s attitude re: squalene for everyone reading (and correct me if I’m mistaken):

    DF has a child with an autoimmune disorder and is concerned about the potential risks of squalene used as an adjuvant in vaccines, since, in the future, it might affect her child. She is also concerned about the effect it may be having outside of the U.S. (since it isn’t approved here, yet). Her concern stems from the fact that it has primarily been studied in elderly populations, with little study done in children (and perhaps no study done in children with autoimmune disorders).

    I haven’t noticed objections by her to other adjuvants, such as alum. Her only problem seems to be with squalene. I can’t recall off-hand her basis for issues with squalene in particular (either in MF59 or AS03), but it seems to stem from localized, minor inflammatory AEs (e.g., pain/redness/swelling at injection site), which have a slightly higher incidence rate than vaccine with no squalene adjuvant.

    I can’t speak to the regulations of other countries, regarding safety trials in special populations, however, in the U.S., any novel medicinal product for use in humans is required to undergo safety testing, including in special populations (e.g., pediatric, pregnant women, impaired hepatic/renal function) if the intent is to market the product for those special populations. So, if squalene in either adjuvant form (MF59 or AS03) is approved for use in pediatric populations in the U.S., it will have had to go through the full suite of clinical trials required by law before it can be sold in the U.S.

    DF, your concerns have been noted. You have been shown some of the trials that examined squalene, including those trials that used pediatric populations, though they did not specify whether the additional subgroup of “children with autoimmune disorders” were included. If random sampling were utilized, as one would expect of a well-designed trial, then by chance alone there should be some children with autoimmune disorders included in the trials, despite the lack of specific endpoints examining them.

    I wonder what else you would have of the individuals posting here?

  309. #310 the bug guy
    November 2, 2009

    Sorry DF, not BS, just good, basic science. I’m sorry that you refuse to understand. The vast majority of human physiology is the same between any given individuals without regard to age, gender or reproductive status. Therefore, it is valid to extend the collected data to special populations with the understanding that there can be some differences, as I stated. You don’t have to start de novo with each special population. You build on prior knowledge.

    As I mentioned, because of your previous reading, you have become focused on one detail and have been missing the broader evidence supporting the use of squalene.

  310. #311 doctrinalfairness
    November 2, 2009

    Thank you, Todd, for “noting” my concerns.
    My child is in remission- which was ONLY achieved after surgery that removed a foot of her intestines for a disease for which there is currently no proven etiology and no cure. If there is a relationship between vaccination and autoimmune disease, she might be given the choice to attempt to avoid the flu or end up with an ostomy bag. Capish?
    Since NO ONE in large extended families on either side has ever had IBS or bowel disease, yet several WOMEN have had other crippling autoimmune conditions, I’d like to insure that my family members and future grandchildren aren’t put at further risk for diseases which have only begun to get attention since their appearance a mere one hundred years ago. Probably due to the fact that women are notoriously hysterical and the majority of their complaints are psychosomatic, which was the prevailing notion at the time- just ask Dr. Freud.

    And please assure me how the discovery of Crohn’s disease in a 2 yr old will ever be linked to a squalene-based adjuvanted H1N1 vaccine that was once given to her pregnant mother. This is something that won’t ever be found because no one will be ever be inclined to look. Especially if there is a history of autoimmunity in the family.
    Eight percent of the population is a significant number and our FDA chairman has raised questions about the relationship of adjuvants and autoimmunity.
    SO the astounding resistence here and the subsequent attempts at humiliation for anyone who dares presume to question the possibility of the relationship is frightening to me. Say you don’t know with any certainty when you don’t or risk losing millions of people to what amounts to arrogant disinformation.
    Until you do, reiki has a better shot at healing my daughter than anything else you will offer her other than surgical removal of her intestines. Which is why my friend with lupus will be forking over her $17.99 for “The Healing Matrix” video. I just may buy it too and really begin to examine more closely what is being said on the supposed fringe.

  311. #312 Damien
    November 2, 2009

    OK, DocFairness, I went ahead and Googles Dr. Susan Chu and read one of her cross-posted entries
    here
    . Let me quote a couple of things here:

    Serum antibody responses at 1 month after the third injection were dose dependent in recipients of vaccine without adjuvant or with MF59 but were similar at both doses when alum was the adjuvant. With the higher dose, the geometric means of serum ELISA antibody titers (95% confidence intervals) to purified VLP 1 month after the third injection were as follows:10,240 (1499 to 69 938) without adjuvant, 10,240 (1114 to 94 145) with MF59, and2190 (838 to 5723) with alum

    (emphasis mine)

    The lack of LC activation was reversible when TGF-beta was removed from the LC medium. VLP-induced induction of costimulatory molecule expression, RelB activation and cytokine secretion by DC was blocked by inhibition of NF-kappaB activation, heparin or TLR4 mAb. The data provide evidence that HPV-VLP signal DC through a pathway involving proteoglycan receptors, TLR4 and NF-kappaB, and shed light on the mechanism by which VLP stimulate immunity in the absence of adjuvants in vivo.

    (emphasis hers)

    DocFairness, this woman may be a doctor, but she does seem to miss a fairly straightforward logical progression. I’m going to lay it out, and do please tell me if you understand it. I’m not saying that to be mean, mind you, only because you cited this woman and I want to ensure that you don’t fall into a similar trap.

    1 – As cited above, the vaccines without adjuvant and with adjuvant are equally as effective.

    2 – The vaccine without adjuvant requires more virus.

    3 – Virus is often expensive and time-consuming to create.

    4 – Therefore, using less virus and an effective adjuvant is just as good and less expensive.

    Now, this particular article was about the HPV vaccine, but the same could be said of the H1N1 vaccine or any other.

    But, you know what? You’re not going to change your mind, no matter how much evidence is handed to you. I am sure that there will always be something that you will find distasteful in vaccines, whether it’s the question of autoimmune response, the vaccines’ effects on children, and no matter how much evidence or studies we bring out for you, it won’t be enough.

    And yet you accuse us of being anti-science. It’s remarkable.

  312. #313 Todd W.
    November 2, 2009

    @DF

    Thank you, Todd, for “noting” my concerns.

    Just FYI, I was not being condescending in my comment or dismissive of your concern. Rather, I was just trying to point out that we are aware of your concerns and have tried to show you what evidence there is, as well as ask what you would have of us.

    And please assure me how the discovery of Crohn’s disease in a 2 yr old will ever be linked to a squalene-based adjuvanted H1N1 vaccine that was once given to her pregnant mother

    Wait…are you suggesting that a squalene-based adjuvant given to a pregnant woman caused a case of Crohn’s disease in the child? Upon what do you base such a supposition? Are you aware of cases of Crohn’s affecting the children of women given squalene-adjuvanted vaccines in greater numbers than in pregnant women not receiving squalene-adjuvanted vaccines?

  313. #314 Katharine
    November 2, 2009

    I think it may be worth noting that a lot of the people who are screeching opposition to Orac are parents of children who they perceive to be affected by vaccines. It is very probable that they are ‘not all there’ in this discussion because of their emotional attachment to their children.

    Also, doctrinalfairness, if you honestly take Freud’s opinions about women seriously, you are a retard.

  314. #315 Scott
    November 2, 2009

    Wait…are you suggesting that a squalene-based adjuvant given to a pregnant woman caused a case of Crohn’s disease in the child? Upon what do you base such a supposition? Are you aware of cases of Crohn’s affecting the children of women given squalene-adjuvanted vaccines in greater numbers than in pregnant women not receiving squalene-adjuvanted vaccines?

    No, it’s just the standard antivax tactic. “You can’t conclusively prove this is not true, so we must assume that it is!”

  315. #316 Jamis
    November 2, 2009

    Katharine,
    My son is retarded and will never be able to keep up with wits of df.

    you suck! (his answer to everything applies to you)

  316. #317 Damien
    November 2, 2009

    DocFairness, once again, I must protest here:

    [O]ur FDA chairman has raised questions about the relationship of adjuvants and autoimmunity.

    If this is from the same quotes you posted earlier as the “rant,” then I believe I pointed out to you how strenuously that man pointed out there was no evidence.

    I personally am not mocking you because you believe that there is the possibility, sometime, to find a connection between an adjuvant and some complication. I myself hold the position that there are things that we don’t know about vaccines, autoimmune diseases and pretty much anything else. To be a doctor or a scientist is to live in a state of continuous doubt.

    However, I mock you because you ignore the fact that there is no current evidence for your claims and yet you’re acting on them as though there was. This is not scientific, this is a faith-based system.

  317. #318 D. C. Sessions
    November 2, 2009

    The articles I cited include measles in their graphs of infectious diseases for which mortality rates were reduced simultaneously with public health sanitation and hyigene improvements.

    Well! That settles that, then — after all, public health and sanitation were the only things happening in the first half of the 20th century that could possibly have had any effect on measles case mortality.

  318. #319 Militant Agnostic
    November 2, 2009

    Surely someone must have filled in their anti-vax fallacies bingo card by now and we can ignore the troll.

  319. #320 Not-so-innocent bystander
    November 2, 2009

    doctrinalFairness @293 said:

    I don’t care that at this moment squalene isn’t being used in the USA vaccine- it is being used on children all over the world as an experiment. THERE AREN’T THE DATA may be one small detail to you, but to 8% of the worlds children who haven’t yet read “The Art of War”- it is one detail that needs reiterating AGAIN and AGAIN to those who would deny it.

    Now I’m curious. What does 孫子 (Sun Tzu) say about the use of squalene as an adjuvant in vaccines?

  320. #321 jre
    November 2, 2009

    Forgive my harping on this, but it would really be quite easy for Doctrinal Fairness to learn something about the subject of autoimmune disorders.

  321. #322 doctrinalfairness
    November 2, 2009

    No, Todd, I’m not suggesting that squalene based adjuvants cause Crohn’s disease. DO they trigger an autoimmune response that appears much later?
    I’d bet there are very few people who would extract,from what I have said, that Crohn’s is caused by vaccination. Just as BugGuy so wrongly defends extrapolating data from senior citizens to children,(which fortunately even the FDA did not allow in this case), I’m fairly certain that a stranger to this argument would not have extrapolated that my issue has remotely to do with the effectiveness of adjuvanted vs adjuvanted vaccines.

    No one, especially Susan Chu, has suggested that adjuvants aren’t equally effective to unadjuvanted. How about their effects on inflammatory cytokines? What is the relationship between local adverse reaction and systemic problems down the road? If the activity of the adjuvant is merely local, why is the antigen activity systemic? How about the fact that in countries where there are very high deaths from communicable disease there is a a very low level of autoimmune disease reported.
    What IS the relationship so that parents can make choices- risk of death from the flu or death from peritonitis while waiting for a surgery date? Genital Warts or wheelchair?

    Katherine, I wouldn’t bother replying to such stunning insensitivity, but would you care to opine on whether Freud’s lingering legacy has played out today in the initial medical response to CFS, fibromyalgia and Lyme disease? Many intelligent, thinking women don’t get a diagnosis for an autoimmune condition for years and are ignored as attention-seeking malingerers. I know a few. They have sought alternative opinions and gotten symptomatic relief from what are now known to be physiological diseases.
    I’d have to agree with Jamis’s special needs son about you.

  322. #323 doctrinalfairness
    November 2, 2009

    JRE,
    Thanks for the link. I’m happy to read it.
    Read Susan Chu at
    http://www.newfluwiki2.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=4045

  323. #324 the bug guy
    November 2, 2009

    DF, don’t twist my words. What I said was nuanced, not absolute. If you can’t understand that, then I’m afraid you won’t understand much else of what people have been trying to tell you.

    You are demanding very specific testing for a very specific group of people, based on the non-reviewed writings of one person. Why don’t you demand that the person who put forth the hypothesis do the research to support it?

  324. #325 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 2, 2009

    The best that they can come up with is to dismiss her entire body of work (160 diaries)

    Uh, I may be missing something here. I’ve heard of papers and posters and monographs as established methods of submitting one’s researches to the scientific discourse. Exactly where do “diaries” fit into this paradigm?

    Are these “diaries”, in fact, simply Susan Chu’s postings to newfluwiki2.com ? If my “entire body of work” consisted wholly of wiki postings without a single publication in a peer-reviewed journal, it wouldn’t exactly be a mystery to me why it wasn’t setting the scientific community on fire.

  325. #326 Travis
    November 2, 2009

    Ahh, I think you are supposed to respect diaries like you are supposed to respect Dr. Jay’s personal experience. You are being so unfair not accepting that as evidenece even though they either contradict data or lack any data.

    Besides, publishing is hard, you have to do some research, find something new and interesting, write a paper, do corrections, get it accepted. All those things require effort and a willingness to accept mistakes and criticisms.

  326. #327 Timothy (TRiG)
    November 2, 2009

    There’s an excellent chapter on vaccination in Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science.

    There are also excellent chapters on …. Oh, the whole book’s excellent. There’s one free chapter available on his website. Take a look.

    TRiG.

  327. #328 Jamis
    November 2, 2009

    btw @315 I used the word ‘retard’ in reference to Katharine’s use. Although my son’s learning is very retarded, HE is not retarded.

  328. #329 Todd W.
    November 2, 2009

    @DF

    I’m not suggesting that squalene based adjuvants cause Crohn’s disease.

    Apologies if I misunderstood you. From what you had written, it seemed to me that you were suggesting that squalene-based adjuvants could cause autoimmune disorders in children if given to the mother while she was pregnant.

    A couple questions:
    * 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?
    * To be clear, you are fine with vaccines that do not use adjuvants?

  329. #330 Prometheus
    November 2, 2009

    DF asks (#310)

    And please assure me how the discovery of Crohn’s disease in a 2 yr old will ever be linked to a squalene-based adjuvanted H1N1 vaccine that was once given to her pregnant mother.

    She then later (#321) says:

    No, Todd, I’m not suggesting that squalene based adjuvants cause Crohn’s disease. DO they trigger an autoimmune response that appears much later?

    I can see how this would be confusing to some people.

    To answer the first pseudo-question (pseudo-question because DF seems to have already concluded that it can’t be determined), a connection between squalene-adjuvanted vaccines during pregnancy and Crohn’s disease two (or more) years later would be hard to detect. However, a dramatic “uptick” in Crohn’s disease in children – especially very young children, would be noted.

    Has this been observed? We certainly have seen an increase in pediatric Crohn’s disease in Europe, which uses adjuvanted influenza vaccines. However, a similar increase has also been seen in the US, which doesn’t/hasn’t used adjuvants in its influenza vaccines.

    Now, I have no illusions that this will allay DF’s fears (which, not being reason-based, cannot be reasoned away), but the data – at this time – do not support a connection between adjuvanted influenza vaccines and Crohn’s disease in children.

    Fortunately, we have a wonderful opportunity right now. The US still doesn’t use adjuvants in its influenza vaccines and the EU (and the UK, I believe) do. All it takes is a few minutes on PubMed looking at your favorite autoimmune disoerder (or autoimmune disorders in general) to find out if there is any reason to pursue research into a possible adjuvant-autoimmune connection. Look at the incidence in EU countries and compare it to the US incidence.

    If DF had spent the time she used to comment on this ‘blog actually doing some literature searches (and reading the literature), she would have her answers already. Instead, she reads some pre-digested Internet site and thinks that Google has set her free.

    It’s easy, but it’s not that easy. If you really want to learn something, you have to go to the primary sources.

    This is the reason why I don’t think DF is here for information – this is the second time I’ve made the same suggestion and she still hasn’t done her homework. Her questions can be answered, but she doesn’t seem to want to find the answers.

    Prometheus

  330. #331 Dedj
    November 2, 2009

    Diaries can be used in some areas of research, such as pain management.

    However, in such cases, the diaries are rigourously examined under objectively determined criteria, and themes are extracted which then are often sent into an additional round of objective study, often by an additional researcher or research team.

    Diary keeping can be a useful therapeutic tool, and useful in gathering data for further study, but as a body of scientific work? No , sorry. Scientists and clinicians keep logs and diaries all the time, yet the accepted form of submission is to analyse what the data means and then present that.

    No one would ever call entries in a clients notes ‘a body of work’ (although they might refer to them as evidence of continuing competancies) because such things are of low value outside of context and are expected. Same as with materials for students on placement. You wouldn’t call that a body of work until you were stepping out of your clinical role into the role of respected source.

    There is no reason to call diaries anything other than personal/office records.

  331. #332 Pablo
    November 2, 2009

    THERE AREN’T THE DATA

    I will repeat again what I said initially: What would these data even look like?

    I may have missed it in your ramblings. I will admit that you run-on posts, constant references to Google, and incessant persecution complex have caused me to stop reading your comments, but I come back to the point that the “data for its safety” is found in the lack of evidence of actual harm (as opposed to “ooh, this is an effect that COULD be harmful), which I don’t think you’ve ever actually disputed.

  332. #333 titmouse
    November 2, 2009

    Now I’m curious. What does 孫子 (Sun Tzu) say about the use of squalene as an adjuvant in vaccines?

    If I recall correctly, he advises us to ask “will the action lead to the bad thing?” and “will avoidance of the action lead to the bad thing?” with equal measures of passion.

    Some here have asked, “Will vaccines with squalene as an adjuvant cause more problems in children with autoimmune diseases than vaccines without squalene?”

    Has anyone asked, “will vaccines without squalene cause more problems in children with autoimmune diseases than vaccines with squalene?”

  333. #334 the bug guy
    November 2, 2009

    Hmm, interesting quote from Fox, CB 2009. Squalene Emulsions for Parenteral Vaccine and Drug Delivery. Molecules 2009, 14(9), 3286-3312. that addresses the autoimmunity reports:

    There are studies regarding some oils, including squalene, that have been found to induce autoimmunity indications when 500 L of the pure oil was injected intraperitoneally in mice [144,146], or 200 L of pure oil intradermally in rats [147], or that neural damage in rats was induced
    after 20g/kg squalene per day for 4 days [148]. Similarly, one report suggested that excessive intake of
    oral squalene tablets caused lipoid pneumonia in a human patient [149]. Of course, all of these reports
    involve excessive amounts of non-emulsified squalene and so their relevance for administration of minute amounts of emulsified squalene such as would be injected in a vaccine is questionable. In summary, there is significant evidence that squalene vaccine emulsions such as MF59® have an excellent safety record. Any indication of squalene toxicity at low doses is inconclusive.

    Hmm, very complete review article with a nice section on the overall safety of squalene as an adjuvant. Which includes:

    Perhaps the strongest case for the safety of squalene in a vaccine setting is the well documented
    safety record of MF59®, which has been reviewed elsewhere [63]. Approximately 27 million doses of MF59® have been injected into humans of all age groups (including infants) with little or no adverse side effects.

  334. #335 titmouse
    November 2, 2009

    Will eating this leftover Halloween Snicker’s bar trigger a covert autoimmune reaction that later blossoms into a crippling, disabling illness several years hence?

    YOU DON’T KNOW, PEOPLE! So stop acting like you have all the answers.

  335. #336 the bug guy
    November 2, 2009

    From Schultze, et al., 2008. Safety of MF59™ adjuvant. Vaccine Volume 26, Issue 26, 19 June 2008, Pages 3209-3222

    The overall clinical database available for safety evaluation confirms that Fluad® (MF59TM-adjuvanted influenza vaccine) has a good safety profile and induces higher antibody levels than non-adjuvanted vaccines in elderly subjects, including those with chronic diseases who have developed decreased antibody responses to conventional inactivated influenza vaccines. The safety and adjuvanticity of MF59TM has been widely tested in children, adolescents and adults with different antigens.

    They review the current data for pediatric use (all positive), though they do include the caveat that not enough data is available for a final determination.

    So, we have a good database of safety data, including work with children, though more is needed and is on its way. Hardly a smoking gun of suppression and conspiracy to hide a safety problem.

  336. #337 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 2, 2009

    So, the fact that Dr. Offit invented a vaccine and earns royalties on his invention isn’t a COI

    No more than it’s a COI for a fireman to both give lectures on fire safety and also fight fires. There’s not even a conflict of interest if he gets paid for both activities; both activities are fully consistent with one interest, which is preventing loss of property and life due to fires. Just as writing to explain how vaccines work, and exposing misinformation being promulgated by anti-vaccinationists, and developing safe effective vaccines, is all consistent with one interest, that of preventing misery and death from disease.

  337. #338 titmouse
    November 2, 2009

    Approximately 27 million doses of MF59® have been injected into humans of all age groups (including infants) with little or no adverse side effects.

    I’m sorry, bug guy. Your resistance to the argument from ignorance is futile.

    YOU CAN’T SAY FOR SURE IT’S SAFE!!!!!!

    What if squalene causes changes in the brain that increase the risk of Alzheimer’s later in life?

    You see how easy it is to stump you with questions you can’t answer?

    All I want is a safe vaccine. Why do you fight me? Do you hate America’s children?

    Make me tea in Russell’s kettle now in orbit about the sun, sonny boy. Look high and lo for it.

  338. #339 billdc
    November 2, 2009

    —Has anyone asked, “will vaccines without squalene cause more problems in children with autoimmune diseases than vaccines with squalene?”—

    exactly! or will vaccines cause more problems in children with autoimmune dz than no vaccine at all? It appears df’s child may have a severe case of crohns?? which could be affected by any increased inflammation? The increased antigen in the USA vaccine would more likely cause a greater inflammatory response than would the vaccine with squalene in it. If her child is at risk, she should talk to her doctor about any antigen stimulation, not necessarily adjuvants.

  339. #340 doctrinalfairness
    November 2, 2009

    Jerome Kassirer, MD, former editor in chief of the NEJM, Barbara Angell, another former editor of the NEJM and Robert Smith, an editor of the BMJ have ALL very eloquently pointed out the limitations of peer review and the abysmal record of policing the human frailties and conflicts of interests that hamper scientific and medical integrity.

    Insulting parents who have sick children and don’t want to have a hand in making them sicker is hardly a way to restore confidence in an industry whose very harshest critics have come from inside the mothership, NOT from the whacko fringe.

    I never suggested that I had ANY answers. Just questions that you cannot answer. Show me this data on infants. It is mysteriously unavailable. Squalene-based adjuvants have been predominantly used on millions of senior citizens who would hardly notice a dramatic increase in inflammmatory conditions.

    titmouse, we have an epidemic of obesity in which elevated levels of IL6 seems to be playing a role. Instead of maybe SOME scientists questioning the use of adjuvants, every single one who does is labeled a finge-inhabiting, evil person who jeopardizes the entire human race. try a clementine.
    bug guy, yes we know its very safe in senior citizens whose immune response is much slower generally- a fact which was cited during an explanation of it’s effectiveness in the FDA hearings. Old = slower. Please show me the epidimiological studies of anyone looking too hard for increased levels of inflammatory conditions in the over 65 set related to vaccines? Can you say CONFOUNDERS?

  340. #341 D. C. Sessions
    November 2, 2009

    Jane:

    Sorry to the others for the rant.

    You lost a child and you’re apologizing to us?

    Rant away. Pleased to be of assistance, however little.

  341. #342 titmouse
    November 2, 2009

    exactly! or will vaccines cause more problems in children with autoimmune dz than no vaccine at all?

    Exactly! Or will skipping vaccines cause more problems in children with autoimmune dz than giving vaccines?

  342. #343 Damien
    November 2, 2009

    Wait, wait titmouse, I’ve got to get in on this. Sorry DF, but after trying for two days to have you provide some serious evidence for assertions that the FDA head (whom you cited) stated are supported by none, I’m just gonna have some fun.

    And now, the lolcat version of DocFairness.

    O hai! i herd u waz madz bout teh NO SAFE NEEDLEZ in teh worldz. Iz sorry but u mean kittehs no can has evdince that ur healfy noms is safe fur teh CHILDRENS! Can u showz me teh proof dat ur noms in 1960 no MAKE TEH ITTEH BITTEH KITTEHS SICK IN 2009? no u cans not, and if u no cans den teh needlez cud be doinz it.

    bug guy u no is teh smart kitteh, i studiez mah google! Susan chu kitteh is smart kitteh, she put her smartz on teh webz wit wiki cause is BETTAH DAN TEH KITTEH PEERZ REVEEW!

    i iz not antiVACZEEN, i is jes axing question cuz i carez abowt teh CHILDREN!

  343. #344 Dedj
    November 2, 2009

    That peer review has problems is not under question (although the extent and solution is discussed, even in newer professions).

    That peer review has problems does not invalidate any objections to the idea that we must take non-peer-reviewed, unpublished non-data as valid until proven otherwise.

    I’ve seen pro-vaccine scientists and parents called every name under the sun and then some. Some pro-vaccine proponents have reported physical, social and online harassment, including cross-publishing of identifying information, threats made at work and having people creep up right behind them and shout in their ears outside interviews and hearings. I personally do not use my real name to avoid superfluous formal complaints.

    Compared to what some sections of the whacko-fringe get up to, the mainstream debate over vaccines is tame beard pulling. Thats from the whackofringe that think they are nice people. Death threats and public calls for execution are not unknown in the openly nasty regions.

  344. #345 titmouse
    November 2, 2009

    …try a clementine.

    Good idea. But that means a drive to the market and all the associated risks.

    If I don’t return to post again… well, just know that I truly enjoyed the precious few moments of living that we all shared together here.

  345. #346 doctrinalfairness
    November 2, 2009

    But billdc, NO ONE IS ADDRESSING THESE QUESTIONS. The increased antigen in the unadjuvanted vaccines caused fewer AE’s and in some studies, no fever compared to fevers in the adjuvanted. WHY? What does that mean?
    The tone here is pure Doctor knows Best, based on the mythical gold standard of evidence- based medicine.
    It looks like “Evidence-based Medicine” is undergoing a necessary peer-review from within. Consider parents who don’t trust you anymore as the review from without. Hopefully, this transparency that has been promised to be forthcoming for the past 10 years will result in badly needed reform- but I have VERY serious doubts, just based on the tone here on this blog toward EMOTIONAL PARENTS who have the audacity ask questions.

  346. #347 bob
    November 2, 2009

    Jay sez: “By the way, I do not think that my experience is more important than published studies.”

    Liar.

  347. #348 Prometheus
    November 2, 2009

    DF complains:

    “I never suggested that I had ANY answers. Just questions that you cannot answer.”

    I’ve given her at least one answer and showed her how should could find many more – you’d think that would warrant at least an acknowledgement.

    One last time, DF, then you’re on your own:

    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 and pregnant women – and in the US (which doesn’t). If the incidence and time trends show significantly more disease in the EU than in the US, you’ve got a correlation (not causation, but enough to justify a study). If the incidence and time trends are similar OR if they are higher in the US, then you don’t have a correlation.

    Correlation may not prove causation, but a lack of correlation is pretty good evidence of a lack of causation.

    Good luck with your literature search, DF! Let us know what you find.

    On the other hand, if she just wants to complain about how callous and unfeeling scientists are and how lousy vaccine research is, then I doubt she’ll bother to look for herself. After all, if you already have all the answers, why look for them?

    Prometheus

  348. #349 doctrinalfairness
    November 2, 2009

    There are lunatics on both sides of any debate.
    And the entire UNited States ecomomy was recently brought down by large numbers of stupid people who flat out refused to look at the evidence because they were making huge pots of money. They were just doing their jobs, there was no was no COI, thats what investment bankers and portfolio advisors and motgage and insurance compamies and hedge funds do. blah, blah, blah

    Per Susan Chu -to operate the links go to
    http://www.newfluwiki2.com/diary/4011/im-angry-by-SusanC

    >>I have been looking at adjuvants for a few years. The reason why I kept at it was, everytime I wanted to find something to reassure me, I found something worse. But still, I considered myself a veteran, who’s (not quite, but almost) seen it all. You know, the misleading/fraudulent references, like this example, and the use of a cosmetics review paper to support the safety of squalene (see here, here, and here). The absence of widely claimed animal safety data (see here, here, and here). The misleading/fraudulent comments by company representatives (example). Attempts by the UK government to downplay AEs for the HPV vaccine by simply telling NHS staff to NOT report certain symptoms (more here). The misleading/fraudulent presentation of data in the FDA Gardasil file, to hide an 44.6% increased risk of getting CIN (carcinoma in situ) AFTER vaccination, for the group that was already seropositive and PCR positive (see here). I can go on.
    So, I didn’t think I could still get so angry. Last night I started to look through the H1N1 vaccines ‘approved’ by the EMEA. I went through the file for the GSK vaccine. Tonight I started to read the one for the Novartis vaccine. These files are important because these products are proprietary, therefore NO ONE has any safety (or any) data on them except what the companies put out. And, supposedly, these are the kinds of information the EMEA depended on, to license these products to be given to MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of people, pregnant women and their unborn offsprings included.

    There really isn’t one thing that made me so mad, but the cumulative effect of reading page after page of, well, to call it mildly, stuff. Like (not in order of importance, I’m too mad to care, sorry):

    The EMEA approved the Novartis vaccine based on 4 clinical trials on a grand total of 1018 subjects, of whom – drum rolls please – only 59 were given the nonadjuvanted flu vaccine as control. (see CHMP assessment report for Focetria) All other trials compared MF59 adjuvanted H5N1 vaccine vs MF59 adjuvanted seasonal flu vaccine (or different doses of HA in the H5N1 adjuvanted vaccine). And that included 471 kids. Like, Hello? How on earth are you supposed to evaluate the safety of an ADJUVANTED vaccine, when the ADJUVANT is given to both groups? Do we care to compare the safety difference between H5N1 and seasonal flu? Heck, No!! But obviously, the EMEA scientific committee thinks it’s perfectly proper and acceptable. Hence the vaccine is approved.

    Now for GSK. (see CHMP assessment report for Pandemrix) This one you may already know about. They did ‘reproductive toxicity’ tests, tested the offsprings for reflexes, found a whole bunch of them not up to par, and their conclusion on that page? That those tests are appropriate to evaluate reproductive toxicity. How about, since these tests are appropriate, then the test results DEMONSTRATE fetal toxicity?? You know, rats don’t go to school. They are pretty primitive, compared to humans. Therefore, any neurodevelopmental test is very CRUDE. But PRECISELY because they are crude, any positive finding is of great concern. The report itself says it’s likely to be due to ‘treatment’.

    BUT, the great men and women of the scientific committee seem to think it’s ok, so they concluded that the tests did not show any reproductive or fetal toxicity. Or something to that effect.

    And then, he scientific committee expressed concern about the lack of safety data for early pregnancy (ie concerned about possible early abortion) GSK responds that there is no risk because there is no systemic cytokine response DETECTABLE. (Increase in certain cytokines, notably IL6, is associated with risk of abortion).

    Well, yeah, if you don’t MEASURE it, you can’t DETECT it! (Or you measure it and then hide not disclose the data.) So, where is the data to support that claim? Since Novartis published something on cytokine response a gazillion years ago (not really, in 1994) proudly showing the increase in IL5 and IL6, they have been scrambling to cover their backsides, because we now know that IL6 is a strong proinflammatory cytokine associated with, among many things, autoimmune diseases, adverse outcome in ARDS, trauma, pancreatitis, etc etc. I’m thinking of the ‘hypothetical’ risk of someone who gets vaccinated when in fact they already just got infected and is brewing a viral pneumonia. I asked this question of 2 WORLD-CLASS scientists whose names are instantly recognizable to most here, and they both said, that’s a good question, we don’t really know what happens in that case. Meaning, they DIDN’T think I was a wacko thinking up doomsday scenarios. I wish they said I was wacko, but they DIDN’T!! (more on adjuvants and cytokines.)

    I guess they all got smart, huh? These companies, I mean. There is ZERO data on serum cytokines for AS03, whether in published journals or in the EMEA file, but they are ALLOWED to make the claim there is no cytokine effect???

    BUT, scattered ALL over the clinical trials data, are reports of fever, myalgia, malaise, etc after vaccination. Including a significant % of Grade 3 fever (39 or above) in kids. And how does fever happen? It happens when your body makes some pyrogens (fever-causing molecules). Where do they come from? They come mostly from signals from the hypothalamus, which in turn is induced by, listen up, CYTOKINES!! (more)

    And then there’s one case of anterior uveitis in a pediatric case for the AS03 vaccine, which they THEMSELVES said is likely to be causally related. And in the very next paragraph, after they describe 2 more cases of autoimmune hepatitis, they go on to say, quite ‘logically’, that

    Therefore, there is currently no evidence to suggest that AS03-adjuvanted vaccines are causally associated with development of AIH or other autoimmune disorders.
    Pediatric uveitis is no small matter. It is often associated with or precede the onset of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. There is also significant risk of long-term visual impairment. (more here) AIH is a very serious LIFE-LONG disease that, especially with childhood onset, often need LIFE-LONG treatment with such nasty drugs as steroids plus (not or) immunosuppressive drugs. Relapse is more common in pediatric cases, and some of them need liver transplant. A very small % develop liver cancer.

    You know, I have asked this question so many times that I’m sick and tired of it, and that is, HOW DO THEY SLEEP AT NIGHTS??

    We here have been debating on vaccine safety issues (which is great). I come across SO many places on the internet, stuff about thimerosal. Well, guess what? It suits them just FINE, for parents to be fighting trench warfare with GOVERNMENTS over something that no one can prove or disprove (so sue me if you disagree), while the whole time the COMPANIES are laughing all the way to the bank.

  349. #350 Not-so-innocent bystander
    November 2, 2009

    doctrinalfairness @339

    titmouse, we have an epidemic of obesity in which elevated levels of IL6 seems to be playing a role.

    Now this is just too funny, considering that skeletal muscles produce interleukin 6 during periods of activity. I’d love to hear how more exercise leads to obesity.

    Pedersen BK, Fischer CP (2007) Beneficial health effects of exercise–the role of IL-6 as a myokine. Trends Pharmacol Sci 28: 152–156.

  350. #351 Dedj
    November 2, 2009

    “It looks like “Evidence-based Medicine” is undergoing a necessary peer-review from within.”

    Uh, that’s part of the whole point of EBM and EBP. That you keep insinuating that this is a significant point, and that it actually means something…er, well, it’s hard to know what you think you’re getting at. You’re getting at something, possibly negative, but you don’t quite say it.

    Anyway.

    You have been asked time and time again why you think the information you seek should be there, and why you think it’s abscence has any meaning at all.

    You have utterly failed to answer. Except to sling snide remarks about.

    You cannot demand an answer to a question that you have failed to ask competantly. You have been given multiple directions on how to ask the question competantly , and where to begin.

    Now, stop pestering the good people here or come up with something decent.

  351. #352 Todd W.
    November 2, 2009

    @DF

    Jerome Kassirer, MD, former editor in chief of the NEJM, Barbara Angell, another former editor of the NEJM and Robert Smith, an editor of the BMJ have ALL very eloquently pointed out the limitations of peer review and the abysmal record of policing the human frailties and conflicts of interests that hamper scientific and medical integrity.

    And your point is? You say that you are not antivax, so I’m going to give you a warning. A common tactic among the antivax crowd is to cite research pointing out the flaws in peer-review when peer-reviewed research (PRR) is asked for, when PRR is presented to shoot down a baseless antivax argument or when uncontrolled, biased sources of information (e.g., anecdotes) are called out for lacking scientific rigor. The implication that the antivaxer is trying to make is that since PRR has certain flaws to it, it is therefore as unreliable as anecdotes, thus anecdotes are just as worthy of consideration. Scientists are aware of some of the flaws in PRR and just as concerned about them as those who question it. Some of those flaws are how studies like Andrew Wakefield’s infamous one can get published in the likes of Lancet. If you do not wish to be called an antivaxer, then I would suggest avoiding this line of argumentation.

    Just questions that you cannot answer. Show me this data on infants. It is mysteriously unavailable. Squalene-based adjuvants have been predominantly used on millions of senior citizens who would hardly notice a dramatic increase in inflammmatory conditions.

    and

    bug guy, yes we know its very safe in senior citizens whose immune response is much slower generally- a fact which was cited during an explanation of it’s effectiveness in the FDA hearings. Old = slower.

    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.

    Again, I would ask that you answer the three questions I posed to you, as well as clarify what it is you want from us.

  352. #353 titmouse
    November 2, 2009

    NO ONE IS ADDRESSING THESE QUESTIONS.

    Here is your answer: We have no evidence to suggest that the tiny amount of squalene in vaccines poses a threat to humans of any age.

    Anyone who posits a link between squalene and autoimmune or other illness must explain why this connection failed to manifest in the 27 million people who got vaccines with squalene over the past 10 years.

    The squalene-autoimmune hypothesis must also explain how a tiny amount of squalene injected into a muscle is somehow harmful while the same molecule –a cholesterol precursor –is ubiquitous in animal tissues and among our friends and distant cousins, the fungi.

  353. #354 doctrinalfairness
    November 2, 2009

    Debate in science? When the 32 year old son of a friend of mine was put on a temporary pacemaker after receiveing CPR on the beach, it was discovered that the 10 days of antibiotics he had taken two months prior was probably not enough to treat the tick bite that he had gotten a few weeks before. My friend did a little research and discovered what she described to me as a “War” between Yale and Columbia Presbyterian and the 30 year old struggle to get Lyme disease recognized as something more than an easily treated and dismissed bacterial infection. Yet another person skeptical of CDC guidelines.
    Only now, 30 years later, are there hearings at the IDSA about Lyme disease- it took that long and its still not resolved. All those Lymies are crazy too- and apparently they’ve been accused of making death threats too- I’d like to see evidence of all of those threats.

  354. #355 Dangerous Bacon
    November 2, 2009

    DF: “There are lunatics on both sides of any debate.

    Don’t worry, this is an uneven contest. The antivaxers hold an insurmountable lead in lunacy.

    For instance, this collection of antivax loons makes even DoctrinalFairness look…well, average.

  355. #356 titmouse
    November 2, 2009

    …while the whole time the COMPANIES are laughing all the way to the bank.

    You mean Herbalife and other multi-billion dollar per year unregulated supplement manufacturers? The guys who bash “Western medicine” as they pitch their “natural” products containing God-knows-what from filthy factories in China?

    I would agree that anti-vax BigPharma conspiracy talk is money in the bank for that crowd.

  356. #357 Prometheus
    November 2, 2009

    “Dr. Jay” bleats:

    “By the way, I do not think that my experience is more important than published studies. I am, however, very certain that discarding this experience and observation is unscientific.”

    One important point – “experience” and “observations” of a single individual should not be discarded unless they are in conflict with data from better sources (or data from many sources).

    As an analogy:

    If an exterminator tells you that, in his vast experience, termites infesting your house can cause your lawn to die, despite a complete lack of any data suggesting that termites can cause grass to die, wouldn’t you be wise to “discard” that “experience”?

    Another analogy:

    If your car is stolen and several eye-witnesses say the thief was a man and a video surveillance tape shows that the thief was a man, would you not “discard” the lone eye-witness who claims it was a woman?

    Experience and anecdotes are better than no data at all, but only a fool would claim that they somehow are equal to data collected in actual studies.

    And, strangely enough, a fool does claim just that.

    When the data conflict with experience, believe the data.

    Prometheus

  357. #358 the bug guy
    November 2, 2009

    I’m sorry, bug guy. Your resistance to the argument from ignorance is futile.

    YOU CAN’T SAY FOR SURE IT’S SAFE!!!!!!

    Nobody can say that anything is completely safe. This has been explained to you before. However, the combined data from laboratory, clinical and post-market surveillance all point to a high degree of safety for all age groups.

    What if squalene causes changes in the brain that increase the risk of Alzheimer’s later in life?
    You see how easy it is to stump you with questions you can’t answer?

    What basis do you have for such an idea? You could as easily ask if the vaccinations cause immune changes that lead to fibromyalgia later in life. Or changes that result in Multiple Sclerosis. We can play “what if?” games all day, but it would be foolish to prevent the use of a safe and effective material based on idle speculation that it might cause some kind of harm in some way.

    All I want is a safe vaccine. Why do you fight me? Do you hate America’s children?

    We all want safe and effective vaccines. What we have tried to point out to you is that there squalene-adjuvated vaccines are safe, based on the robust evidence accumulated over the last decade of its use. There might be some as-of-yet undetected side effects, but with the large number of doses already applied with no detection of adverse effects above background levels, these side effects would be extremely rare.

    I don’t hate children. I want them safe and protected and vaccines are one of the simplest and cost effective ways to do so. Squalene has a good track record in the European Union and it looks like a useful tool to improve the efficacy of vaccines in a safe manner.

  358. #359 Joseph C.
    November 2, 2009

    @bug,

    titmouse was kidding with you. She’s on our side!

  359. #360 the bug guy
    November 2, 2009

    @Joseph C

    Doh!

  360. #361 DoctrinalFairness
    November 2, 2009

    Not sure if the emotionality and terminal stupidity of parents was the driving force behind this finding, but I’m sure you will try to find a way to blame them…

    Pharmaceutical Company Funding and its Consequences: A Qualitative Systematic Review

    “Three recent systematic reviews have shown that pharmaceutical industry funding of clinical trials is strongly associated with pro-industry results. This article builds on those analyses, situating funding’s effects in the context of the ghost-management of research and publication by pharmaceutical companies, and the creation of social ties between those companies and researchers. There are multiple demonstrated causes of the association of funding and results, ranging from trial design bias to publication bias; these are all rooted in close contact between pharmaceutical companies and much clinical research. Given these points, most proposed measures to respond to this bias are too piecemeal to be adequate.”
    Sergio Sismondo
    Queen’s University
    Contemporary Clinical Trials, Vol. 29, pp. 109-113, 2008

    or, from Medscape, Baltimore, MD – Researchers have found that 100% of industry-sponsored studies recently presented at the annual scientific meeting of a medical professional society reported findings that support product use. The study, by Drs Thomas Finucane and Chad Boult (Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD), appears in the December 1, 2004 American Journal of Medicine [ 1 ].

    “The overwhelming nature of this finding was a little surprising,” Finucane told rheuma wire . “But then again, it would be surprising if the results didn’t favor the product. On reflection, it makes sense.”

    So BugGuy, where again are the studies on infants and children that demonstrate safety?
    They don’t exist. If you want a safe vaccine, they would exist. You would demand that they existed. But when you know that the research is nearly always going to favor the manufacturer, regardless of the safety results- it helps we stupid raving loony parents to know that someone out there is actually reviewing the data they contain.

    And you, BugGuy, neglected to mention that the author of said paper had a stated COI.
    He works for a non-profit research outfit that makes squalene vaccines and whose funders include GlaxoSmithKline and Eli Lilly. Show me the studies.
    I’m not going away until you do.

  361. #362 Joseph C.
    November 2, 2009

    DF,

    Again, you dance around the real question: If it’s not going to be the drug companies funding clinical trials of their own products, then who will do it?

  362. #363 snerd
    November 2, 2009

    YOU CAN’T SAY FOR SURE IT’S SAFE!!!!!!

    My gods! You’re right, there’s no safety here, no safety anywhere! There is no choice but to weld myself into an airtight, airless container and have myself concreted into an abandoned mine! Only then can I be SURE!!!!!1oneeleventy to be free of teh evil squalenes!

    Hey DF – do you drive, or otherwise use public roads?

  363. #364 Dangerous Bacon
    November 2, 2009

    Or the sleazeoids behind the banner ad on Scienceblogs that promise you can get RIPPED in JUST FOUR WEEKS without dieting or exercising. That must be some wonder supplement.

  364. #365 Dedj
    November 2, 2009

    DF – I don’t think anyone has called peer-review perfect.

    Your constant assertion that peer-review is not perfect therefore somethingsomethingsomethingorother about EBM, is neither an actual arguement for whatever case you are hopelessly trying to make nor is it an answer to the multiple requests for you to substantiate your rather vague assertions that the lack of a specific study means somethingsomethingsomethingwhatever about vaccines.

    “If you want a safe vaccine, they would exist.”

    You have been asked repeatedly to explain why these studies ‘should’ exist. You have failed each and every time. You can’t just ask a highly specific question and expect to claim that whatever it is you’re too afraid to openly state is true.

    Until you give a good enough reason as to why the multiple directions you have been pointed in are not good enough for your Royal Highness, you will continue to be treated like the offensive and condescending timewaster it is abundantly clear you are.

    You have been asked multiple questions by multiple people, each expressly related to your comments. I suggest you get to answering them before you start calling other people liars and willfully ignorant.

  365. #366 titmouse
    November 2, 2009

    But when you know that the research is nearly always going to favor the manufacturer…

    Leading journals now require that clinical trials be registered before any patients are enrolled to insure that negative study results are not overlooked.

    And you, BugGuy, neglected to mention that the author of said paper had a stated COI. He works for a non-profit research outfit that makes squalene vaccines and whose funders include GlaxoSmithKline and Eli Lilly. Show me the studies. I’m not going away until you do.

    The onus rests on the person making the claim to provide evidence in support of that claim. That’s why we require drug manufacturers to do studies demonstrating the safety and efficacy of their products before we approve them for use in the US.

    If you’re going to throw out everything sponsored by drug manufacturers directly or indirectly via non-profits receiving funding from several sources, who then will pay for research?

  366. #367 Joseph C.
    November 2, 2009

    who then will pay for research?

    Kittehs!

  367. #368 the bug guy
    November 2, 2009

    DF, the studies are referenced in the review articles I quoted. The information on the post-market surveillance is also listed in the bibliography of the quoted papers. It’s all there, if you’d take the time to look.

    So, the author works for a nonprofit that gets funding from drug companies. That does not invalidate the data presented. To dismiss a paper like that is to be intellectually lazy and to pander to basic conspiracy mongering. To dismiss such research would be to shut down most research in this country.

    Something that most people who want to use the canard that industry funding automatically makes a paper suspect miss is that researchers have egos and they have reputations. They have to stand behind the data among their peers, not just for the company. If you want to see brutal, watch the back and forth at a scientific meeting. Look at what goes into serious peer-review of a paper. That can be exceptionally brutal.

    You have been given the evidence. I’m sorry you that won’t accept it. But, badgering and insulting those trying to show you won’t make it go away.

  368. #369 doctrinalfairness
    November 2, 2009

    DB, it must be true if it’s on ScienceBlog. I didn’t get that particular banner and I could use some of that supplement.

    Joseph, to answer your question- I don’t know how else to pay for research. But if research is going to just amount to drug company propaganda- because those kind of published results are statistically impossible- then the true skeptics are the people who are watching closely and asking questions and demanding transparency, like Susan Chu.
    And what does this kind of bias in research do to truly independent researchers who may have other theories about disease and/or useful therapies or approaches to try? Conveniently, nearly all of them are disposed of as unscientific quacks.
    Making fun of me and insulting people like me only masks the insolent fact that what passes as science here is not.

    I never asked for everything to be safe- I want the right to decide the risks of said treatment for my child and I no longer trust in the methods that you arrive at to determine them, nor do I even trust at this point that most of you even know what they are. If pointing that out gets me ridiculed, then so be it.

  369. #370 snerd
    November 2, 2009

    who then will pay for research?

    Brave Maverick Doctors, working tirelessly, taking neither food nor drink nor sleep, until they find the Elixir of Life^H^H^H^H the Evidence of Harm. Or at least some tenuous bit of psuedophilisphical nonsense that gives them an idea to sell you some vitamins for enourmous mark-ups.

  370. #371 doctrinalfairness
    November 2, 2009

    >>O hai! i herd u waz madz bout teh NO SAFE NEEDLEZ in teh worldz. Iz sorry but u mean kittehs no can has evdince that ur healfy noms is safe fur teh CHILDRENS! Can u showz me teh proof dat ur noms in 1960 no MAKE TEH ITTEH BITTEH KITTEHS SICK IN 2009? no u cans not, and if u no cans den teh needlez cud be doinz it.<<

    Damien, I take it back that the Jesuits taught you well. They merely taught you casuistry. Maybe you cut all of the classes where you potentially might have learned something about moral development and social justice, you are clearly lacking those sensitivities.
    So far we’ve seen demonstrated ridicule of rabidly stupid parents, developmentally disabled people and African Americans. Nice work. But Susan Chu is NOT PUBLISHED, so she is unworthy of review from the esteemed scientists here concerned about the health of the entire human race. Yeah.

    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. Maybe nobody else here, but you at least have demonstrated the rational behavior that I somehow ridiculously ascribed to the majority of scientists.

  371. #372 snerd
    November 2, 2009

    But Susan Chu is NOT PUBLISHED, so she is unworthy of review from the esteemed scientists here concerned about the health of the entire human race.

    So what’s stopping the publishing then? The Rosicrucians? The Gnomes of Zurich? The Fraternal Order of the Water Buffalo? The Church of the SubGenius?

    The fear of peer review not coming out in favour of the brave maverick scientist?

  372. #373 DoctrinalFairness
    November 2, 2009

    How could Susan Chu possibly get published when 100% of industry funded studies have outcomes favorable to new products? She has evidence pointing to shoddy research on adjuvants. Think it will ever get published? HA.
    You aren’t skeptics.
    Your little squalene study funded by the makers of squalene is 100% likely to say it’s safe. And the results of two peer-reviewed studies told me as much. If it wasn’t, you have shown an appalling disinterest in learning one way or another. And you wonder why there are anti-vaxxers.

  373. #374 titmouse
    November 2, 2009

    Conveniently, nearly all of them are disposed of as unscientific quacks.

    Actually, no.

    Over the past 20-30 years managed care organizations have cut reimbursements very close to the bone. Teaching hospitals are struggling to figure out how to cover the cost of training doctors. At the same time, DSHEA has created a new, unregulated alt med industry flush with cash.

    No surprise then that the alties have bought their way into over 40 of our leading medical schools. Respectability is good business. Respectability sells.

    The quackademics have lowered the evidential bar to allow anecdotes and placebo responses as proof of efficacy. There’s now a generation of young faculty untroubled by this kind of thinking. They have their own pseudoscience friendly journals. Five years more and it will become nearly impossible to spot genuine, rigorous science from the stuff that just looks pretty.

    The wooly thinkers have more money that God. The other side, the science-based medicine team, is like 13 dudes and a few friends.

    Will the government help? I’m afraid the feds are too busy printing money to care. An exponentially increasing debt burden is nothing to sneeze at.

    Good think you like Reiki, homeopathy and the like. Low tech feel-good healthcare is the wave of the future.

  374. #375 redfish123
    November 2, 2009

    doctrinalfairness, before you see Susan Chu as an expert on these matters, you should note that she herself says:

    I’m going to tell you in plain English that I don’t have the answers. I can’t tell you whether the vaccine is safe or not safe. I’m not an epidemiologist and not a statistician.

    If you’re going to be skeptical of mainstream medicine, I’d take what she has to say with a grain of salt as well.

  375. #376 titmouse
    November 2, 2009

    100% of industry funded studies have outcomes favorable to new products?

    Actually, no. Most novel compounds studied by the pharmaceutical companies are found to be problematic or ineffective during pre-clinical testing.

    Large clinical trials are enormously expensive. Companies only invest in them when they’re fairly confident they’ve got a product that works.

    get dropped during pre-clinical

  376. #377 titmouse
    November 2, 2009

    I accidentally the post button. Hopefully not too confusing.

  377. #378 snerd
    November 2, 2009

    “Your little squalene study funded by the makers of squalene”

    The vast Squalene Manufacturers Conspriacy seems to need a better accountant.

    S2002-5GLBL Squalene – 5 gal Bulk EA $2160.00

    5 US Gallons, or about 18 litres. That’s … count’s on fingers … ooh, lots. Why, Big Squalene must be up for hundreds, if not thousands of dollars of Vast Profit! Such naked perfidy!

  378. #379 titmouse
    November 2, 2009

    Broken link above: more money than God.

  379. #380 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 2, 2009

    How could Susan Chu possibly get published when 100% of industry funded studies have outcomes favorable to new products?

    Yeah, cause we all know how that stopped Andy Wakefield from getting his anti-MMR hoax published in The Lancet. The Mighty Big Pharma Conspiracy sure used its all-powerful tentacles to keep that paper from being published, all right.

    Here’s a more relevant question: What proof can you provide that Susan Chu has ever tried to get published? To subject her scientific work to the same peer-review process that every scientist faces? Publishing “diaries” on a wiki is not how you present scientific findings to your colleagues (or would-be colleagues) – it’s as inappropriate as presenting your scientific findings via press conference. If Chu hasn’t even attempted publication of her results, she isn’t taking her science seriously, so why should anyone else?

  380. #381 snerd
    November 2, 2009

    Bah, braino:
    5 US Gallons, or about 18 litres. That’s … counts on fingers … ooh, lots of individual vaccines.

  381. #382 DoctrinalFairness
    November 2, 2009

    Titmouse, I’ve heard about Reiki but have no real clue what it is. But I DON’T trust the people printing money nor that they have the good of the citizens in mind at all.
    Snerd, millions of vaccines will use lots of 5 gallon buckets. And because the people printing money are such huge liars, vaccine compliance won’t be as good as one might hope. Don’t blame stupid people for that, blame the liars- and they aren’t all anti-vaxxers.

    Squalene hasn’t been adequately tested to use en-masse on children in the slightest.

    Regarding the lack of data, perhaps you’ll have a look at the WHO proceedings from July 13,2009. Squalene adjuvants have only ever before been widely used on elderly people and never before in pregnant women. You keep insisting that data exists which is not there.

    From the WHO Press COnference: July 13, 2009

    Dr Marie-Paule Kieny, Director of the Initiative for Vaccine Research, World Health Organization:
    “Now, in terms of these new vaccines, new adjuvants there is one manufacturer who has had an oil-in-water adjuvanted influenza vaccine in use for many years for seasonal vaccination and the safety database for this particular antigen is very large although mainly in elderly people and there does not seem to be any signal for any unexpected severe event like Guillain-Barre. But as I said, all must be put in place to detect any signal as early as possible.

    >>Helen Branswell, Canadian Press: I would like to get some information about adjuvants and children. Obviously young people are among the people hardest hit by this strain so far but I don’t think that there is much evidence at all about safety of adjuvants in that group. I was looking at a document yesterday that shows that with MS59 for instance, it has been given to 6 or 700 children which is not a long safety record. Are there any other vaccines – not influenza vaccines – but marketed vaccines with these kind of adjuvants that children receive now and that might give us a sense of whether or not they are safe to use in children?

    Dr Marie-Paule Kieny: 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.<<<<

    Prometheus, how would I ever search for comparative data- it isn’t there. The WHO’s Director of Vaccine Research clearly states as such. But I’m the loony zealot who is being unreasonable.

  382. #383 titmouse
    November 2, 2009

    The drug companies lie some of the time. But we’re wise to most of the tricks they might use to sneak around the rules. They largely do real science. Most of the amazing medical benefits people enjoy today are due to their efforts.

    On the other hand, the alties want to break the rules of evidence as they can’t fulfill them. If they could, they wouldn’t be alties; they’d just be medicine.

    BigPharma lies sometimes. Alties lie all the time.

  383. #384 DoctrinalFairness
    November 2, 2009

    Titmouse, I’ve heard about Reiki but have no real clue what it is. But I DON’T trust the people printing money nor that they have the good of the citizens in mind at all.
    Snerd, millions of vaccines will use lots of 5 gallon buckets. And because the people printing money are such huge liars, vaccine compliance won’t be as good as one might hope. Don’t blame stupid people for that, blame the liars- and they aren’t all anti-vaxxers.

    Regarding the lack of data, perhaps you’ll have a look at the WHO proceedings from July 13,2009. Squalene adjuvants have only ever before been widely used on elderly people and never before in pregnant women. You keep insisting that data exists which is not there.

    From the WHO Press COnference: July 13, 2009

    Dr Marie-Paule Kieny, Director of the Initiative for Vaccine Research, World Health Organization:
    “Now, in terms of these new vaccines, new adjuvants there is one manufacturer who has had an oil-in-water adjuvanted influenza vaccine in use for many years for seasonal vaccination and the safety database for this particular antigen is very large although mainly in elderly people and there does not seem to be any signal for any unexpected severe event like Guillain-Barre. But as I said, all must be put in place to detect any signal as early as possible.”

    >>Helen Branswell, Canadian Press: I would like to get some information about adjuvants and children. Obviously young people are among the people hardest hit by this strain so far but I don’t think that there is much evidence at all about safety of adjuvants in that group. I was looking at a document yesterday that shows that with MS59 for instance, it has been given to 6 or 700 children which is not a long safety record. Are there any other vaccines – not influenza vaccines – but marketed vaccines with these kind of adjuvants that children receive now and that might give us a sense of whether or not they are safe to use in children?

    Dr Marie-Paule Kieny: 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.<<<<

    Prometheus, how or why would I ever search for comparative data- it isn’t there. The WHO’s Director of Vaccine Research clearly states as such. But according to everyone here, I’m a loony zealot who has been completely unreasonable by not accepting or checking or comparing all of this safety data. Sounds like a logical disinfo campaign.

  384. #385 titmouse
    November 2, 2009

    In a representative democracy, we are the government. We are the ones printing money to pay our bills.

    You’re right not to trust us, as we’re lazy, monkey-minded sorts most of the time.

  385. #386 Damien
    November 2, 2009

    Iz not sorry i maded fun of u. Ur bein silly wit dis stuf and u no listen to teh kittehs who been to schoolz for teh nowledge. Ur first post wuz totez all “u smarteh pants no iz teh future of teh smartz, teh future is googel! Haha!” Den wen u wuz kweschuned on dis assershun, u wuz all “is teh troof! lojikal fallasee, lojikal fallasee!” Now u sez u is anti-science, witch no iz a suprize.

    And teh Jeshuits no dids teech me berry gud to gladlee suffer teh fooz.

  386. #387 DoctrinalFairness
    November 2, 2009

    Sorry once again- if the connection is slow, I cannot get my post to appear…
    The thing that gets to me is that I don’t want to see the return of TB or smallpox or polio – I WANT vaccinations for diseases like(all of the 80 varieties) of meningitis and HIV/AIDS – but at some point, I also do wonder if trying to put out all of the viral and bacterial fires the same way (through vaccine alone) is so wise.
    I do think that H5N1 is going to kill millions more than this flu and I WANT herd immunity, I AM NOT THE ENEMY.

    But after hanging out here- I don’t understand in the slightest this “never the twain shall meet” stance with all that is at stake here. It fuels the fires of what, exactly? Some apocalyptic wet dream of either pro- or anti- vax fundamentalists?
    If people within this country can create such a psychic civil war over something that affects everyone like this- I think we deserve our fate. We have proven ourselves beyond hope.

  387. #388 Joseph C.
    November 2, 2009

    Titmouse, I’ve heard about Reiki but have no real clue what it is.

    It’s just faith healing. You put your hands on someone and supposedly heal them. Sure they put a New Age/Eastern Mysticism spin on it, but that’s just because woos know that suckers love things that sound exotic and not Christian.

  388. #389 titmouse
    November 3, 2009

    doctrinalfairness,

    I found some kindly, warm-fuzzy doctors you will like. They’re nothing like the cranky bastards here who are always going on about “evidence” and “plausibility.”

    Very respectable bunch. They teach at the U Michigan medical school. Web site here: http://www.med.umich.edu/umim/resources/holistic_family_medicine.htm

    They will love you unconditionally. I am not kidding.

  389. #390 DoctrinalFairness
    November 3, 2009

    Sorry once again- when the connection is slow, I can’t get my post to send or appear…even with two screens..
    Titmouse- I am not opposed to all things AltMed for things that traditional med has nothing for. But I don’t want to see the return of TB or smallpox or polio – I WANT vaccinations for diseases like(all of the 80 varieties) of meningitis and HIV/AIDS – but at some point, I also do wonder if trying to put out all of the viral and bacterial fires the same way (through vaccine alone) is such a wise concept.
    I do think that H5N1 is going to kill millions more than this flu and I WANT herd immunity, I AM NOT THE ENEMY.

    But after hanging out here- I don’t understand in the slightest this “never the twain shall meet” stance with all that is at stake here. It fuels the fires of what, exactly? Some apocalyptic wet dream of both the extreme pro- or anti- vax fundamentalists? NO middle ground?
    If people within this country can deliberately delight in the creation and propogation of such a psychic civil war over something that affects every single person like this- I honestly think we deserve our fate. We have proven ourselves beyond hope.

  390. #391 titmouse
    November 3, 2009

    More mainstream medicine you will love, doctinalfairness, this time from the U Minnesota medical school.

    Doctors at U Minnesota learn how to be guided by intuition and psychic sensitivity.

    While it is true that the purest intuitive experiences are correct, most of us have to learn to distinguish between pure intuition and wishful thinking or projected ideas about people and situations. We simply need experience before we can identify our pure intuition (almost all of us haven’t had much schooling on the development of our intuition).

    Remember also that our “logical” conclusions are not always right either.

    You see? U Minnesota encourages skepticism toward logic. I think you’d agree with that sentiment. After all it’s logic, not intuition, that prompts doctors to stick needles into helpless babies.

    Why hang with the hard-nosed jerks here when you could have Dr. Soulkindlywarmies, MD PhD? I promise you, he won’t force the vaccine issue if it’s not your “path.”

  391. #392 Joseph C.
    November 3, 2009

    @titmouse,

    We don’t need you Western Allopathic croakers anymore. Not now that we have Theta DNA Healing:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utE9bCnMWJs

    It’s “advanced science”.

  392. #393 DoctrinalFairness
    November 3, 2009

    And I am skeptical about the illogic of testing a novel adjuvant on millions of developing bodies with such little safety evidence. That is insanity.
    Damien, you learned some ebonics at Georgetown but your parents wasted their money. There are many levels to being a Fool, but that’s too deep for someone who uses racist humor to understand. Try Google University for Fool and get back to me, OK.
    Titmouse, I don’t need or want Dr. Touchyfeely as my personal physician, but I don’t disagree entirely with his message. You behave as if chaos beckons if we abandon logic, while my observation is we’re always in flux and growing. You are afraid that irrationality will result from the alt/meddies and I think irrationality is already employed under the guise of logic to uphold the sometimes unreasonable traditional medical field. Whatever difference does it make? Marrying the two of them does not have to be the end of civilization.

  393. #394 snerd
    November 3, 2009

    Damien, you learned some ebonics at Georgetown but your parents wasted their money.

    Sigh.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lolcat

    Ceiling Cat frownz at ur shenanigans.

  394. #395 titmouse
    November 3, 2009

    Yes, why not marry lies with truth? Humans have always done thus.

    The race-to-the-moon forced us to get serious about sound scientific methodology. We were at war and we understood the dangers of Lysenkoism. Back then, we protected science from political bullying.

    Science now seems too hard, the maths too demanding. We’ve lost the patience for understanding how the technology around us actually works. We seek teachers, but they refuse to listen to our arguments against them.

    Why shouldn’t we be free to decide for ourselves what is true? Today, integrative medicine. Tomorrow, integrative engineering!

  395. #396 Chris
    November 3, 2009

    I really do not read DF’s screeds… I can only see what you all post. So just as I was about to trundle off to bed I see this:

    Damien, you learned some ebonics at Georgetown but your parents wasted their money.

    So along with ignoring the answers and long patient answers to her rantings, shall we add racism to the list of reasons that this person is a troll?

    Please do not feed the troll.

  396. #397 titmouse
    November 3, 2009

    And I am skeptical about the illogic of testing a novel adjuvant on millions of developing bodies with such little safety evidence. That is insanity.

    You must weigh an unknown, hypothetical risk against the very real risk of illness, hospitalization, or death due to the infection itself.

    Remember that the flu vaccine is voluntary. You and your child can skip it if you prefer.

  397. #398 titmouse
    November 3, 2009

    Oh it’s late. I missed the anti-adjuvant angle.

    Most drugs need to demonstrate safety and efficacy in two studies before they’re approved in the US. The H1N1 vaccine in the US has no adjuvant.

    I recommend you recognize and accept your phobia about vaccines, DF. You’re stuck with it as some are stuck with a fear of flying.

    It’s possible to overcome phobias sometimes if you work at it. But you’re not there yet.

    It is difficult to unscare people who’ve been made afraid. Try not to scare more people about vaccines if you can help it, DF. They really have been a wonderful thing for the children of this world.

  398. #399 skeptifem
    November 3, 2009

    I don’t know what all the anti-vaccine people are going on about with trials always coming out on the corporations side- that is completely false. Anyone who cares to actually look it up will see that the FDA rejects drugs from major companies all the time.

  399. #400 Chris
    November 3, 2009

    titmouse:

    The H1N1 vaccine in the US has no adjuvant.

    I have told her that over and over and over again over the past week. For some reason it has not sunk into her skull. There must be a reason for that. Oh, wait, I know why:

    She is a troll!

    Please ignore the troll.

  400. #401 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.

  401. #402 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.

  402. #403 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).

    :-(

  403. #404 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.

  404. #405 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.

  405. #406 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.

  406. #407 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.

  407. #408 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.

  408. #409 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?

  409. #410 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.

  410. #411 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?

  411. #412 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.

  412. #413 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

  413. #414 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.

  414. #415 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 …

  415. #416 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.

  416. #417 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.

  417. #418 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

  418. #419 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.

  419. #420 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.

  420. #421 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.

  421. #422 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.

  422. #423 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?

  423. #424 Jud
    November 3, 2009

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

  424. #425 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.

  425. #426 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.

  426. #427 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.

  427. #428 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

  428. #429 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’.

  429. #430 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.”

  430. #431 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’.

  431. #432 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.

  432. #433 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…

  433. #434 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.

  434. #435 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.

  435. #436 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

  436. #437 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.

  437. #438 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…

  438. #439 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.

  439. #440 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.

  440. #441 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.

  441. #442 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.

  442. #443 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.

  443. #444 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.

  444. #445 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.

  445. #446 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 …

  446. #447 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.

  447. #448 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.

  448. #449 titmouse
    November 3, 2009

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

    LOL.

  449. #450 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.

  450. #451 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.

  451. #452 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.

  452. #453 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.

  453. #454 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.

  454. #455 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.

  455. #456 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.

  456. #457 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?

  457. #458 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.)

  458. #459 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.

  459. #460 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?

  460. #461 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)

  461. #462 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.

  462. #463 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.

  463. #464 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.

  464. #465 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.

  465. #466 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.

  466. #467 Chris
    November 4, 2009

    Stop feeding this clueless troll.

  467. #468 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.

  468. #469 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.

  469. #470 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?

  470. #471 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.

  471. #472 Todd W.
    November 4, 2009

    @Pablo

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

  472. #473 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.

  473. #474 JohnV
    November 4, 2009

    woohoo I got bingo finally with “facism”

  474. #475 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.

  475. #476 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.

  476. #477 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?

  477. #478 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)

  478. #479 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.

  479. #480 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….

  480. #481 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.

  481. #482 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.

  482. #483 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.

  483. #484 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.

  484. #485 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.

  485. #486 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.

  486. #487 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

  487. #488 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…

  488. #489 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.

  489. #490 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.

  490. #491 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…”

  491. #492 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.

  492. #493 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.

  493. #494 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.

  494. #495 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?

  495. #496 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.

  496. #497 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.

  497. #498 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

  498. #499 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.

  499. #500 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.

  500. #501 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.

  501. #502 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.

  502. #503 Chris
    November 5, 2009

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

  503. #504 Johannes9126
    November 5, 2009

    I LOLed at #166

  504. #505 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.

  505. #506 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…

  506. #507 Joseph C.
    November 5, 2009

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

  507. #508 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.

  508. #509 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.

  509. #510 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.

  510. #511 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.

  511. #512 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.

  512. #513 Joseph C.
    November 5, 2009

    @DF,

    Sock puppets are the oldest trick in the book.

  513. #514 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.

  514. #515 Joseph C.
    November 5, 2009

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

    Bullshit. You fool nobody. Very weak attempt.

  515. #516 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.

  516. #517 Chris
    November 5, 2009

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

  517. #518 ltcolrs
    November 5, 2009

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

  518. #519 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.

  519. #520 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.

  520. #521 ltcolrs
    November 5, 2009

    DF,

    It’s great fun hijacking your lame sock puppet.

  521. #522 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.

  522. #523 ltcol rs
    November 5, 2009

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

  523. #524 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

  524. #525 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.

  525. #526 ltcolrs
    November 5, 2009

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

  526. #527 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.

  527. #528 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.

  528. #529 DoctrinalFairness
    November 5, 2009

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

  529. #530 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..

  530. #531 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?

  531. #532 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.

  532. #533 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.

  533. #534 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.

  534. #535 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

  535. #536 ltcolrs
    November 5, 2009

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

  536. #537 Squalene Kitteh
    November 5, 2009

    I can has autoimmune disease?

  537. #538 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.

  538. #539 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.

  539. #540 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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