The double standard of the anti-vaccine “autism biomed” movement never ceases to amaze me.

Imagine if you will, that a pharmaceutical company examined a chemical used for industrial purposes. Imagine further that the chemical this pharmaceutical company decided to look at originated as an industrial chelator designed to separate heavy metals from polluted soil and mining drainage. Imagine still further that that pharmaceutical company wanted to use that chemical as a treatment for autism, a chelator to be given to children. Finally, imagine that the drug company was giving this chemical to children without anything resembling any sort of competent preclincal testing or toxicology testing. Then suppose that, in order to avoid having to obtain FDA approval, the pharmaceutical company rebranded its chelating agent as a “supplement,” using the DSHEA of 1994 to bypass any need for extensive clinical trial testing for safety and efficacy in order to be able to market this chemical directly to consumers. What do you think the reaction would be of the crew at Age of Autism and other anti-vaccine blogs?

I think I know. They’d scream bloody murder. That’s what they’d do. And they’d be absolutely right.

Yet, that’s exactly what Professor Boyd Haley, a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky and former chairman of the Department of Chemistry there whose career tanked after he fell down the rabbithole of mercury-autism pseudoscience has done. Trine Tsouderos of the Chicago Tribune, the reporter who has worked on two previous excellent exposes of the anti-vaccine movement and “autism biomed” movement has documented something that I had from time to time been meaning to write about but for whatever reason hadn’t, has documented it in a third excellent story to add to her trifecta entitled OSR#1: Industrial chemical or autism treatment? Parents giving kids compound created for use in mining, sold as supplement.

An industrial chemical developed to help separate heavy metals from polluted soil and mining drainage is being sold as a dietary supplement by a luminary in the world of alternative autism treatments.

Called OSR#1, the supplement is described on its Web site as an antioxidant not meant to treat any disease. But the site lists pharmacies and doctors who sell it to parents of children with autism, and the compound has been promoted to parents on popular autism Web sites.

“I sprinkle the powder into Bella’s morning juice and onto Mia and Gianna’s gluten free waffle breakfast sandwich,” wrote Kim Stagliano, managing editor of Age of Autism and mother of three girls on the autism spectrum, in an enthusiastic post last spring. “We’ve seen some nice ‘Wows!’ from OSR.”

A search of medical journals unearthed no papers published about OSR#1, though the compound’s industrial uses have been explored in publications such as the Journal of Hazardous Materials.


Ah, testimonials for giving your autistic children an untested industrial chemical! Don’t you love the double standard?

Depressingly, but not surprisingly, not only is the anti-vaccine movement not criticizing this practice, but it’s enthusiastically embracing it. Indeed, the anti-vaccine crank blog, Age of Autism, has been enthusiastically pimping Haley’s wonder supplement for over a year now. Examples include Kim Stagliano’s glowing testimonial that attributes imporvements that could almost certainly be due to growth and development that Tsouderos quoted in her article:

My three girls began taking OSR several months ago. OSR has been the only recent addition to their treatment. I can tell you that Gianna is now in two mainstream classes in school, Mia is telling me what day it is and what’s on her schedule at school and Bella is…. well, Bella is cuter than ever and her receptive speech has improved to where she can follow directions and communicate with her PECS. I’ve seen some minor sleep disruption that passed in two of the three girls.

Because OSR makes autistic children cuter, I guess. Oddly enough, Stagliano and the crew at AoA seem not at all concerned that this chemical has not undergone adequate safety testing. Indeed, when AoA got wind that Tsouderos’s article would soon see print, it launched a pre-emptive attack. In the comments the mercury cultists even stooped so far as to make fun of Tsouderos’ first name. Stay classy, AoA. Stay classy. Oh, well. I suppose it’s not as bad as being portrayed as a baby-eating cannibal.

In any case, Haley does not like being questioned about OSR by anyone who’s not a toady, sycophant, or lackey (like AoA) whose message he can’t easily control (as he can AoA’s), and he really doesn’t like being questioned by skeptical reporters. No, he doesn’t like it at all:

Boyd Haley, president of the Lexington, Ky.-based company that produces the compound, acknowledged its industrial origins but calls his product “a food” that is “totally without toxicity.” He said he has been taking the supplement for nearly three years.

“Look, I put myself on the line,” he said. “I have taken 250 milligrams per day, on the average.”

Federal law requires manufacturers to explain why a new dietary ingredient reasonably can be expected to be safe. The Food and Drug Administration told the Tribune that Haley had not submitted sufficient information.

In an interview, Haley said that the compound had been tested on rats and that a food safety study was conducted on 10 people. Asked to provide documentation of the studies, he stopped communicating with the Tribune.

More telling is comparing Boyd Haley from four years ago to Boyd Haley now:

In a 2006 interview for the magazine Medical Veritas, Haley told a reporter from AutismOne Radio that he was interested in developing better chelators for people.

“We’ve made compounds that … work tremendously” in a test tube, he said. “However, we’ve got to show that they’re not toxic. That costs a lot of money and it’s very difficult to do, you have to have the right facilities. That’s where we’re hung up right now, the question is, ‘How do we get somebody to do these studies?'”

In January 2008 Haley changed the name of his company from Chelator Technologies Inc. to CTI Science Inc. Less than a month later, he notified the FDA he would be introducing the compound as a new dietary ingredient.

Heh. I like how Tsouderos described Medical Veritas as a “magazine” and not a journal. That’s perfect, because MV is as cranky a journal as JPANDS.

I will give Haley credit for chutzpah, tough. On the OSR website, the company denies explicitly that OSR is a chelator, even though it appears to be chemically identical to…an industrial chelator developed by Haley’s colleague David Atwood at the University of Kentucky! Curiouser and curiouser. Indeed, the ever-vigilant Kathleen Seidel first documented that this was the case a year and a half ago in a series of posts that included A Fine White Powder; The Industrial Treatment; and An Inquiry Emerges. All are worth your reading completely, as they show unequivocally that OSR is indeed a chelator and that Haley had been discussing his new “chelators” at various autism quackery conferences, his attempt to “rebrand” it as an anti-oxidant and deny its industrial past.

More interesting still is how the company claims that the drug has undergone extensive toxicity testing in both rats and humans but the results of that testing are nowhere to be found in the medical literature. Even if that’s true, I find it irresponsible to the point of recklessness to give an industrial chemical like this to children without its having undergone phase 1 clinical testing to define its toxicity and maximal tolerated dose and its having undergone phase 2 and 3 testing to show that it’s actually good for a medical condition and that the risk-benefit ratio is favorable. In the absence of this data, what we are dealing with is unethical experimentation on autistic children.

Not that this is anything new for the anti-vaccine movement. Think Lupron.

Tousderos’s story is instructive in two ways. First, it reveals more plainly than anything I can think of the utter hypocrisy and double standard behind the anti-vaccine movement and the “autism biomed” movement. They say they want “natural” treatments like dietary manipulations and supplements; yet, they are not only not fearful of sprinkling a white chemical powder made for industry on their children’s food. Secondly, it shows how the DSHEA of 1994 has allowed nearly free rein to the unscrupulous to sell virtually anything with minimal FDA interference, even if it’s selling synthetic chemicals to children. All they have to do is to declare it a “supplement,” and they can sell virtually anything.

More importantly, however, this story shows a new trend that began last year in the media. This most welcome trend involves newspapers and media outlets deemphasizing the false “balance” construct so common in lazy journalism about pseudoscientific movements like the anti-vaccine movement. In its place, at least in this case, there is a more realistic portrayal of the state of medical science. Experts say plainly that there’s nothing too this stuff and it might be dangerous. No more swallowing the claims of psuedoscience credulously, without checking out these claims and finding out that, far more often than not, they don’t check out.

In journalism, 2010 is staring out OK, particularly as I watch the anti-vaccine movement lose its mind in the after Tsouderos’ article.

Comments

  1. #1 Pareidolius
    January 20, 2010

    Wow, I’m having a bit of deja vu. I just got back from our local Skeptics in the Pub get together where we were confronted by a sad, angry old man with a rucksack of crank books by Peter Duesberg, Christine Maggiore, Deepak Chopra, Fritjof Capra and other nutcases. He couldn’t figure out why if we were a skeptical group that we couldn’t see the truth in these books. He told us that we were in thrall to big Pharma and big Science and that he was the real critical-thinker. He was a former college profesor and clearly a smart man in his day, but all in all just seemed kind of scared and angry. Then I come here an read Best Doctor in the World’s sad, paranoid screeds. In the immortal words of Yogi Bera, it’ deja vu all over again . . .

  2. #2 Jared Spurbeck
    January 20, 2010

    I am autistic, and it depresses me that so many people would rather I didn’t exist. That so much effort goes into “fixing” people like me, and so much money goes into finding out how people like me come about so that we can be killed.

    I feel like I should just get rid of myself to save everyone else the trouble. Autism “destroyed” me, after all, and made me a burden on everyone else. Never mind that I can write stories that people like, and articles that people want to read. We’re looking for flaws, here, not strengths or ways that different (or even disabled) people can contribute.

    Sorry.

  3. #3 MI Dawn
    January 20, 2010

    @Jared: welcome to RI. You sound like you have done very well, if you are able to write stories people like and articles people want to read. Unfortunately, there are many people out there who do believe that autistic persons are flawed and need to be “fixed”. Orac rants about those people often because they are so wrong. But if you read the comments from Chris, Kristin, Kim, etc, you will find acceptance here and the knowledge that you DO have strenghts and ways to contribute.

    As for “flaws”…well, we all have them, some are just more visible than others. Please don’t get rid of yourself. You obviously have a lot to contribute to this conversation and we would like to hear your thoughts on this topic.

  4. #4 Jud
    January 20, 2010

    Jared @202:

    Don’t go overboard on the self-pity thing (yeah, believe me, I know it ain’t easy). Every parent in the world wants contradictory things for their kids. They want “special” and “bright” and “beautiful” and “talented” and “athletic” and OMG above all please let him/her be “normal” and “blend in.”

    Now I tend to agree with the opinion that normal is waaay overrated. But I believe parents’ motivation in wanting their kids to be normal and blend in isn’t because they hate what’s different, it’s because life is supposed to be easier if you’re just one of the crowd, and parents would like their kids to have lives with a minimum of trauma. Whether life really is easier for “average, normal” folks (if such people even exist), who really knows, but you can’t stop people from hoping that their loved ones will have the easiest, most comfortable lives possible.

  5. #5 Kristen
    January 20, 2010

    Jared @202

    I feel like I should just get rid of myself to save everyone else the trouble. Autism “destroyed” me, after all, and made me a burden on everyone else.

    My husband has Asperger Syndrome and I love him more than any other person in the whole world. It took me longer to understand him, but I am so glad I took the time! He is a genius and is wonderful with our children (in his own way). He even tells me he “needs” me, which is the most beautiful thing in the world, because he doesn’t need anyone.

    My six-year-old son is autistic and I couldn’t imagine life without him. I wouldn’t “cure” him if I could! There is nothing to “cure”, it would be like trying to “cure” my daughter of her vivid imagination. It is who they are.

    If the people around you are not accepting of you, than they just don’t deserve to know you. Don’t give up! There are people who know how special you are, your autism gives you a uniqueness that this world needs, be proud of it.

  6. #6 Calli Arcale
    January 20, 2010

    Worlds Best Doctor:

    Okay, you plagiarized a bunch of stuff from somebody else about garlic and vitamin C and a bunch of other unrelated stuff, but still didn’t answer why you think garlic and Vitamin C are chelators (much less “powerful” ones). (Note: it doesn’t matter if you’ve kept your intellectual property violation on your home computer and cut-and-pasted it from there. If somebody else wrote it and you don’t attribute it properly, it’s plagiarism. That doesn’t affect the merits of your argument, except for the fact that you have seriously hurt your credibility by essentially claiming someone else’s work as your own.)

    I strongly suspect you don’t actually understand what a chelator is. Yet if you were a real doctor, you’d have undergone enough basic chemistry coursework to know what the word means. You’d also understand enough biology to know why a lot of the claims you’ve been fed are bunk. You have been *cheated*. You should be angry. Unfortunately, you don’t realize that you’ve been cheated yet. You’re like the person so pleased to be getting that large fee from the nice man in Nigeria, just as long as you pay a few processing fees first. Eventually you’ll realize that you’ve been had, but by then you’ll be poorer, and since this involves health, potentially sicker. Hopefully you’re one of the “worried well”, but this stuff can actually hurt you.

    Did you read about the DMSO rat trial? Caused brain and kidney damage. And the doses used were provided orally, and were proportionately equivalent to doses used in humans. Doesn’t mean it’ll do the same in humans, but it should make you worried. After all, that’s consistent with what biochemistry predicts would happen in humans.

    Chelators are not gentle at all…. Luckily for you, most of the ones sold OTC are complete frauds and do nothing at all.

    Though it’s unrelated to the thread about chelation, I have one more question for you:

    I can’t get graviola becuase it is in Brazil, but a friend is working on getting some seeds in here to grow our own graviola – a fruit 10,000 time more powerful than chemo and much more effect on cancer.

    Eating healthy fruits is great! But 10,000 times more powerful than chemo? If that were true, wouldn’t it be lethal?

    Oh, and Jeff Mahr @ 200 wins 5 internets. 😀

  7. #7 Raging Bee
    January 20, 2010

    “World’s Best Doctor” proves he’s a paranoid crank with the following phrase alone: “if the government run hellcare refuses to pay for surgery…” He’s an anti-gummint fruit-bat and a teabagger; there’s no need to bother with him.

  8. #8 redacted
    January 20, 2010

    From someone who didn’t read Kanner 1943 or 1965: I don’t think it’s a coincidence that of the first 11 children diagnosed with Autism, the oldest was born in 1931. 1931 was the year thimerosal was introduced into vaccines. Coincidence? Let me know what you find out…

    Why was autism the group created again… oh, right because Kanner found children who didn’t regress in a group that does regress. Also the older children who weren’t dumped in institutions were doing pretty good and their parents were saw progress. Can people please read the paperwork before whining?

  9. #9 Vicki
    January 20, 2010

    Jared–

    Try not to let the people who want to “fix” you bother you too much. They’re afraid of variety. Afraid of anyone not like them.

    We’re all “burdens” on each other sometimes, including those people who claim to be “normal” and “healthy” and that the rest of us aren’t. (I’m not autistic, but they’d have equally nasty words for me, for being bisexual and an atheist. They really want to “fix” that.)

    From another angle, we all lean on each other. Humans are a social species, and can do a lot more in groups than all alone. And no, that doesn’t mean you have to be just like the other humans. It means that, as you’ve noted, you have things to contribute, and the people who read them are better off for that.

  10. #10 L. Harper
    January 20, 2010

    You want to know why this blog is nothing but mostly a one-sided discussion? Most people who are of the ‘Vaccines are not safe’ mind-set don’t want to come on here and get heckled by a bunch of piranhas. You CLAIM you care about the children – that is why you take it upon yourselves to point out the “woo”. Well, I think this set of comments proves you are just as bad as those AoA’s who posted the Thanksgiving turkey picture you cling to like a life preserver. You all can be just as vicious. Just look at the comments above, you have people posting how to contact the FDA on Boyd Haley, you have the classy Kristen calling people “a heartless bitch” because a mother said she wants to help her child lead a normal life, and people saying they would call CPS on parents who use OCR. You act like AoA is the bunch of the wild-eyed, vicious people but perhaps you just need to take a little looksy at your own group here.
    I think Orac post things like this on purpose. Orac knows his band of piranhas will circle around Boyd Haley and bring him down. If you care about the children, why try and hurt a man who is offering help to autistic children? You may not agree with it but lots of parents sing it’s praises? So, why do that?
    To me – you all are just a little too gung ho to be RIGHT. Like I said above, I think it is out of fear you may be wrong and then where does that leave you…. perhaps in Wooville? Wooville isn’t so bad if you open your mind a little. In fact, it is down right nice here.

  11. #11 Pablo
    January 20, 2010

    If you care about the children, why try and hurt a man who is offering help to autistic children?

    We have very different concepts of what it means to ‘help,’ I think.

  12. #12 Kristen
    January 20, 2010

    @L Harper

    you have the classy Kristen calling people “a heartless bitch” because a mother said she wants to help her child lead a normal life

    If she wants to help her children, that is wonderful. When I called her a “heartless bitch” it was because she said autistic children are “destroyed”. However you want to spin that, it was heartless, especially since she said she has autistic children.

    I will defend autistic children to my dying breath. I don’t care if I hurt her feelings, she certainly doesn’t mind disparaging those who can’t speak for themselves.

  13. #13 Chris
    January 20, 2010

    L. Harper whined:

    You want to know why this blog is nothing but mostly a one-sided discussion?

    Except for one big difference: you are allowed to comment without being moderated. It may seem one-sided to you, but science is based on data and evidence, not opinion. If you have evidence that is contrary to what is discussed here, you are more than welcome to present it. Just be prepared to defend.

    Can we do that on AoA?

    So, really, you actually approve of putting untested chemicals in children? Do you think that Haley is selling the stuff to help children? Can you show us the evidence that it works (and not anecdotes)?

  14. #14 Jud
    January 20, 2010

    L. Harper writes:

    I think Orac post things like this on purpose.

    Well of course. If you heard a doctor tell a loved one he/she should take Laetrile (extract of apricot pits) for cancer and forego chemotherapy that might actually be curative, wouldn’t you want to publicize it for the benefit of others who might otherwise be taken in by the same scam?

    That is the same spirit in which Orac posts about people like Boyd Haley, especially when there are therapies that can help many autistic individuals lead more fulfilling and enjoyable lives. These therapies aren’t “magic pills,” they’re hard work, particularly for parents.

    I can tell you though, having watched my sister-in-law spend hour upon hour working lovingly to educate her son, and refuse to take no for an answer when there was aid available to pay for teaching assistants and physical therapists, it can pay off. My nephew is in the same classes as the “normal” kids his age, and is near the top academically. In fact, if you hadn’t seen him at 4 years of age (no speech, continual repetitive behaviors, no eye contact…), you might not notice that he was on the autism spectrum at all. At the cost of taking a bit longer to do his homework (his parents make sure all the homework is done and he understands all of it, every single school night), my nephew mixes with all the other kids, has friends, and pretty much enjoys his life as much as any other child his age.

  15. #15 Kristen
    January 20, 2010

    @Jud

    I can tell you though, having watched my sister-in-law spend hour upon hour working lovingly to educate her son, and refuse to take no for an answer when there was aid available to pay for teaching assistants and physical therapists, it can pay off.

    Your sister-in-law and others like her are an inspiration to me. I have every reason to believe that my son will overcome his difficulties, but it does take work. When I became a mother I didn’t expect to have a child with so many needs, but I chose to be a mother and it is my responsibility to do all I can for him.

  16. #16 bluemaxx
    January 20, 2010

    HARPER:

    piranha are fish that react when edible morsels are thrown/wander into their territory.

    When folks like you wander in and toss “academic breadcrumbs” into the discussion please don’t then act shocked and dismayed your assertions and poor reasoning is attacked.

    The recommendations of Mr Haley are, to those of us with actual scientific/medical/nursing backgrounds, both scary, and unsafe. WE mention things like involving CPS out of a concern, and depending on what state you live in, statutory requirement to consider the potential for child abuse, endangerment, or neglect when we hear about people ‘sprinkling” a chelating chemical powder into a child’s juice or breakfast sandwich. We, as a group, tend to react strongly to assertions of foregoing fact and science in the name of pursuing unproven “miracle” cures that have been previously suppressed by the bigPHARMa conspiracy…

    You, sir, seek out controversy and argument, and then protest when you get what you asked for!!! If you don’t like the product(s) sold here at ORAC-mart, please consider shopping elsewhere?

  17. #17 Just Curious
    January 20, 2010

    My previous comment may have been lost in the shuffle, but I just wanted to know if anyone has been able to find any information on anyone who has had adverse reactions to OSR. Any injuries or hospitalizations as a result of this product?

  18. #18 Todd W.
    January 20, 2010

    @L. Harper

    You want to know why this blog is nothing but mostly a one-sided discussion?

    If you take a look upthread, you’ll see that I mentioned I posted a comment on AoA, asking if anyone could point me to the studies that show OCR is safe. It’s been over 24 hours, now, and my post still has not shown up. I can speculate about why that might be (simply asking for the evidence casts doubt on the product that is so loudly trumpeted), but I can’t know for sure.

    Against that, you have Respectful Insolence, where, unless you include 2 or more hyperlinks in your post, your comments generally show up in a few seconds. Now, remind me again which place is one-sided?

    And secondarily, can you please point out how Boyd Haley has not violated Federal regulations? If a pharmaceutical company had violated Federal regulations, would you also protest people calling for the company to be reported?

  19. #19 A. Noyd
    January 20, 2010

    L. Harper (#210)

    You may not agree with it but lots of parents sing it’s praises? So, why do that?

    And a lot of parents will tell you of the importance of beating your child senseless on a regular basis. Parents aren’t perfect and when they’ve been fed a bunch of lies by the likes of Wakefield and McCarthy, they don’t even need an ounce of malice to torture their children. Just willful ignorance, which you’re so eager to display.

  20. #20 Scientizzle
    January 20, 2010

    If you care about the children, why try and hurt a man who is offering help to autistic children? You may not agree with it but lots of parents sing it’s praises? So, why do that?

    As noted above: “offering help” is a remarkably subjective descriptor of an activity. From the available evidence, it appears that Boyd Haley is actively marketing a substance that does not appear to have had sufficient safety testing for use in humans as a medical treatment (or “dietary supplement”). This alone is beyond ethically dubious, in my opinion. Further, this compound’s mechanism of action (chelation) is known to carry substantive medical risks, as other chelators have definite known side effects and can even cause death. Finally, chelation as a treatment for autism is based on the discredited hypothesis that mercury exposure (primarily through immunization with thiomersal-containing vaccines) is a causative factor of autism spectrum disorder development.

    In review:
    1. OSR#1 is a compound with inadequate demonstration of safety for use in humans as a medical/dietary treatment…
    2. that is of a class of compounds with a known set of health risks and only proved benefits in narrow treatment cases (i.e., heavy metal poisoning)…
    3. marketed, if only by inference and place of advertisement, for the treatment of a set of disorders with no demonstrable relation to heavy metal poisoning.

    The hypocrisy of AoA and related groups is abundantly evident. On the basis of low-quality evidence (anecdotes, discredited/withdrawn research publications, some carrying allegations of fraud), and in the face of contradictory evidence of higher quality (multiple studies, vastly greater numbers of subjects, a wide variety of methodologies using multiple independent data sets), AoA associates embrace Haley’s treatment (and other nostrums, such as the Lupron protocol) and demonize demonstrably effective and safe medical treatments such as vaccination.

    Tell us, L. Harper, why should we be nice about this? If we “care about the children,” would it not be our ethical imperative to evaluate the claims of Harper and others on the available evidence and–should that evidence indicate seriously irresponsible actions that may put minors at risk of needless health complications–react accordingly?

  21. #21 JohnV
    January 20, 2010

    “I think Orac post things like this on purpose. ”

    No kidding? You mean he doesn’t just pick topics at random to post on his blog?

  22. #22 Scientizzle
    January 20, 2010

    It’s worth noting that the OSR#1 FAQ has been expanded in the last two weeks…The Google cache version of Jan 7, 2010 14:52:50 GMT is rather sparse while the current version has ‘new’ information along the lines of:

    “Is it true that OSR#1® is less toxic than Aspirin and Vitamin E?
    Yes, OSR#1® is significantly less toxic than aspirin and vitamin E as well as many other over the counter products.”

    “There is an internet rumor that OSR#1® is an Industrial Chelator. Is this true?
    No. OSR#1® as produced by CTI Science is not now and has never been marketed or tested as an environmental or industrial chelator. Nor has OSR#1® been tested in humans as a chelator by CTI Science, and no claims of chelation treatment use are made by CTI Science.”

    etc., etc.

    Maybe someone should take some screenshots?

    Anyway, it looks like there is a recent effort by CTI Science to respond to all these criticisms posted by Orac and others. (A cynic might consider this an effort in ‘covering your ass’?)

  23. #23 BLueMaxx
    January 20, 2010

    I may have missed this if earlier posted..but a good science based, logically presented analysis of this WOO-Chelation therapy…

    http://getbetterhealth.com/case-studies-dangerous-and-deadly-medical-experiments-conducted-on-austistic-children-by-anti-vaccinationists/2009.10.08

  24. #24 Sam N
    January 20, 2010

    “Worlds Best Doctor” is a fascinating specimen. He reads various pseudoscience BS and swallows it hook, line, and sinker, choosing what to believe based on what sounds good to him. No attempt to seriously construct a model of the world and search for flaws in that model. I guess that’s probably how a lot of people operate, and it makes for relatively easy swindling.

  25. #25 Kristen
    January 20, 2010

    @BLueMaxx

    I haven’t had a chance to read that whole article you linked to, but what I have read has literally made me sick. I am going to finish reading it when I get home from work.

    What they are doing to their children is

    barbaric

    . I look at my precious son and cry to think about what children like him are going through.

    I am glad Dr. Gorski wrote this article on Get Better Health, it really humanizes these autistic children. That is something that is horribly lacking in these ‘we need a cure’ people.

  26. #26 Camsron
    January 20, 2010

    “Benzene is even sometimes fatal to the laboratory chemists who use it when developing other organic compounds!”

    Yeah, right. Benzene is a low-reactive solvent. We used to use it to rinse our dishware in chem lab thirty years ago. Benzene and other aromatases are probably carcinogenic in th elong run but are not immediately fatal.

  27. #27 Mu
    January 20, 2010

    BLueMaxx, I’m sure the author of this blog is aware of this article.

  28. #28 Mike Crichton
    January 20, 2010

    Jeff Mahr at 89: NaCl is a pretty poor example. Ordinary table salt is pretty close to being pure, the extra purification steps for lab use wouldn’t do anything to make it harmful.

    Javier: Oh, won’t someone _please_ thing of our Precious Bodily Fluids!

  29. #29 Calli Arcale
    January 20, 2010

    Mike Crichton: depends on the salt. Salt sold for human consumption can be anywhere from 60% to 99% pure NaCl. Most table salt is pretty darn pure, but there is a growing fashion for “gourmet” salts. I’ve got a lovely jar of “Jurassic Sea Salt” in my spice rack. It’s rock salt, mined from what amounts to evaporated Jurassic seawater which is now underground in Utah. It’s distinctly pink. My six-year-old daughter thinks it is extraordinarily cool, and I admit I mostly bought it for the dino-cool factor than anything else. (Marketing at work!)

  30. #30 Pareidolius
    January 20, 2010

    There’s stupid, and then there’s prideful stupid . . .

    Wooville isn’t so bad if you open your mind a little. In fact, it is down right nice here.

    And I know me some Wooville. I used to live there once, and underneath all the organic-rainbow-unicorn-hopefulness, it wasn’t nice at all. It was based on fear. As I recall, whenever anyone has said that I needed to keep an open mind about something, they were inevitably trying to sell me magic beans. I don’t think I’ve ever had a professor or teacher ever tell me that what I was learning required an open mind. An open mind won’t really help with understanding, say, evolution, or the size of the universe. Hard work and study will help with topics like that.

    Open mindedness only seems necessary when approaching the unseen, unheard and untenable. Homeopathy requires an “open mind”. Autism crankery requires an “open mind”. Phlogiston requires an “open mind”. So an open mind is most definitely required for matters of faith. Curiosity and critical-thinking are required for matters of fact.

  31. #31 Dr. Smart's evil twin
    January 20, 2010

    Ethanol safe to drink? No wonder there are so many crazy people in the world. That stuff is bad for your car, not to mention yourself. I don;t even buy gasoline that contains ethanol. I only use the real stuff. It clogs up your injector ports. To hell with the environment, save my truck.

  32. #32 Dangerous Bacon
    January 20, 2010

    Ever notice how lots of the wildest and wooliest woo posted in comments on this blog comes from people who self-identify as Dr So-and-So or __ Doctor?

    Maybe we need an addendum to the Crank Miranda Warning:

    “Statements on this website attributed to a Doctor should not be assumed to come from an actual medical doctor. The Doctor who recommends our product or other form of woo could be a homeopath, a naturopath, a chiropractor, a rug doctor or a lawn doctor. Follow their advice at your own risk.”

  33. #33 Dr. I.M. Smart
    January 20, 2010

    Dangerous Bacon:

    Didn’t you know? I am a doctor of homo-pathic medicine. I can cure your homo-pathic tendencies. I have experience in curing this phsychological and physical illness know to some as gayism. There is a cure for them to be normal again but for you, I am not so sure, so follow the instructions and we’ll take it from there:

    Prescription: Place your pecker in a frying pan and cook until it looks like bacon. Remove, place between buns and squeeze the juice out. Market it to San Francisco as a “special sauce” .

    Call me in the morning. If your pain has not subsided, then calmly place your entire arm up your butt, grab your uvula and pull real hard.

  34. #34 Dr. I.M. Smart
    January 20, 2010

    I took some Colloidal Silver today made from American Biotech Labs. I got it at GNC. Actually I have taken it before. it works wonders on Colds. Of course I was also taking ViraBloc and Vitamin C too. I took a cold on Friday. It was gone yesterday.

    My friend convinced me to take some liquid Goldenseal. I’ll never do that again. Damn that was some nasty tasting stuff!

  35. #35 Kristen
    January 20, 2010

    @232, 233

    Let me get this strait…You are going to insult (I am guessing you think being called homosexual is an insult?) ones here, and then try to get those same people to try your remedies?

    I don’t think your approach is going to work.

    Also, FWIW I really could do without your disgustingly colorful rants.

  36. #36 Dr. I.M. Smart
    January 20, 2010
  37. #37 Dr. I.M. Smart
    January 20, 2010

    I only insult when I am insulted. It is not for me to guess wether some is insulted by being called a homosexual. That trend is catching on these days and actually I was sort of serious about curing it. It is not normal. It could be phsychological – perhaps a childhood hurt gone way wrong.

  38. #38 Kristen
    January 20, 2010

    Interesting:

    Dr. I.M. Smart just posted the same web address as Medicine Man did on an older blog post. What a coincidence!

  39. #39 Dr. I.M. Smart
    January 20, 2010

    We are twins.

  40. #40 la piraña
    January 20, 2010

    @235
    Biogetica claims that

    Keeping in mind the basic cause of development of Type I diabetes (insufficient insulin production by the pancreatic cells), Biogetica therapies stimulates the pancreatic cells to secrete the required amount of insulin .* The combination of natural herbs and homeopathic remedies has proven to be beneficial in increasing the immunity and responsiveness of the body.* The therapeutic ingredients are safe and beneficial even during pregnancy or menstruation.* Biogetica kits correct subtle imbalances within the pancreas and stimulate it to function optimally.*

    They go on to say that Metformin is a common drug used to treat Type I diabetes.

    Yeah, I’m pretty sure I don’t need their expert advice…

  41. #41 Chris
    January 20, 2010

    Actually, sockpuppets, he just mixed up who he was supposed to be and where was posting… and the stupid sales site did not work the last time.

    I gave him enough chances, and he blew it. Big Time. Now, let’s ignore the off-topic clueless troll.

  42. #42 Kristen
    January 20, 2010

    @Chris

    Sorry, I was being sarcastic. I posted the same thing on both posts because I wanted to make sure you saw what he is doing.

    1[)107

  43. #43 Kristen
    January 20, 2010

    That last tag was for him, not you.

  44. #44 Chris
    January 20, 2010

    No problem, and thanks. I suspected it was the same guy, mostly by the tone. Definitely clueless.

  45. #45 KWombles
    January 20, 2010

    Interesting tweet by age of autism:

    Contrary to the Chicago Tribune’s implication, OSR#1® has undergone extensive safety testing. The truth is at http://bit.ly/7ezat2.
    about 3 hours ago from TweetDeck

    Sure it has. Way more than vaccines, of course.

  46. #46 Pablo
    January 20, 2010

    Ordinary table salt is pretty close to being pure, the extra purification steps for lab use wouldn’t do anything to make it harmful.

    Not that I disagree with a lot of what you are trying to say, I should also note that “pretty close to pure” isn’t necessarily sufficient, depending on the impurities. For example, drug synthesis people know very well that they need to avoid using a Stille coupling step in their synthesis, because no matter how pure you get the final product (99.9999% or better) you can’t get the tin level down below required levels (ppb or something like that).

    Lab grade NaCl might be 99.99%, which might even be higher than some commercial versions (as Calli points out), but that doesn’t mean it is necessarily safe for consumption.

    Absolute ethanol is a lot purer than 95%, but 95% is safer to drink (it’s azeoptroped with water, as opposed to benzene). PS Don’t drink labgrade 95% ethanol, either – it is laced with phenolphthalein – a good laxative

  47. #47 Kristen
    January 20, 2010

    KWombles

    I looked at that site. I saw alot of ‘it’s okay because I said so’ and ‘but it didn’t hurt the rats’.

    I am curious about this statement:

    OSR 1 is composed of two natural compounds found in fluids of humans and other mammals.

    Can someone smarter than me please tell me if this is accurate? Even if it is, there are lots of things “found in the fluids of humans and other mammals” that I am sure I don’t want to feed my children.

  48. #48 Chezjuan
    January 20, 2010

    Do you think AoA noticed the disclaimer on their “evidence of extensive testing”? “OSR#1® is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The statements in this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.”

    And I think they confused testing of what it does with clinical trials (i.e. safety testing)…

  49. #49 KWombles
    January 20, 2010

    @Kristen,

    But it’s also a single pure compound, too.

    I don’t know why this “testing” and information is adequate for those who buy and use the product but none of the research that shows vaccines didn’t cause autism aren’t sufficient.

    Actually, that’s not true; I do understand it psychologically. I just don’t understand it logically. Once you know your gut can screw with your judgment, seems to me you discount the gut. Once you know your memory is malleable, you go with the science.

  50. #50 Phoenix Woman
    January 20, 2010

    Interesting:

    Dr. I.M. Smart just posted the same web address as Medicine Man did on an older blog post. What a coincidence!

    Thanks! Promptly killfiled. (World’s Biggest Diarrhea can now keep him company.)

  51. #51 Todd W.
    January 21, 2010

    It is now almost 48 hours since I posted my comment on AoA’s thread, and it still has not appeared. Funny, really, because I wasn’t even being aggressive or bashing anything. All I did was ask where I could find the studies showing OSR was safe, since the CTI web site didn’t actually have anything. Innocent question, no?

  52. #52 Kemist
    January 21, 2010

    My first thought is OH MY GOD THE STENCH!!! Anyone else out there ever work with aromatic thiols? They must be selling it as the sodium salt or the disulfide.

    My thoughts exactly. But even as the salt, as you put it in slightly acidic media, like food, it must still stink to high heaven. Given the sensitivity to thiols I have developped from a few years as an organic chemist, I wood probably be completely unable to keep down any food that has this in it. Heck, I have trouble keeping even garlic down.

    Just thinking of the aftertaste that would assail me if I burped this thing makes me throw up in my mouth.

  53. #53 Dangerous Bacon
    January 21, 2010

    “OSR 1 is composed of two natural compounds found in fluids of humans and other mammals.”

    Dunno about that claim – but it’s noteworthy that the sweetener aspartame is composed of two natural compounds found in humans (amino acids). And many people in the “Vaccines are BAD” camp also believe aspartame is a toxic agent that causes a bunch of diseases.

    Oh, and formaldehyde is also naturally found in human bodily fluids.

    Apparently “natural” is good only when you want it to be.

  54. #54 Calli Arcale
    January 21, 2010

    Dr Smart’s Evil Twin:

    Ethanol safe to drink? No wonder there are so many crazy people in the world. That stuff is bad for your car, not to mention yourself.

    There are indeed some very serious adverse effects to drinking ethanol. These include:

    * thinking that you are the best comedian in the world
    * believing that cute girl in the corner booth likes you
    * putting lampshades on your head
    * false perception of invulnerability
    * vomiting
    * loss of consciousness, followed by pranks played upon your person by inebriated colleagues
    * waking up with an unfamiliar member of the opposite sex in your bed and a deep sense of remorse
    * blackouts
    * dehydration
    * adverse interactions with drugs such as acetominophen, aspirin, warfarin, and any narcotics
    * inability to safely operate heavy equipment

    Withdrawal causes photosensitivity, headaches, upset stomach, and public embarrassment.

    Prolonged heavy use can lead to dependency, hepatotoxicity, cardiac disease, brain damage, loss of driving privileges, loss of financial security, loss of employment, loss of friends, loss of loved ones, and even death.

    So yes, ethanol can be very dangerous to drink. I still enjoy a little bit every now and again; the glass of wine I have once or twice as week is about 14% ethanol.

    (Were you perhaps confusing ethanol and methanol, or are you part of a temperance movement?)

  55. #55 JohnV
    January 21, 2010

    “Absolute ethanol is a lot purer than 95%, but 95% is safer to drink (it’s azeoptroped with water, as opposed to benzene). PS Don’t drink labgrade 95% ethanol, either – it is laced with phenolphthalein – a good laxative”

    Ahh the joys of working in a biology lab – non-denatured ethanol.

    I mean, yeah, don’t drink the lab ethanol 😮

  56. #56 Kemist
    January 21, 2010

    @246

    A “single pure compound” cannot be “composed of two other compounds” – it’s either a pure single compound or it isn’t.

    If what is meant is that two natural compounds are reacted to make the “single pure compound”, then the resulting compound is chemically different from the two starting “natural” compounds and it is particularly stupid to assume that it will have the same properties as the starting compounds – it hurts the part of my brain that it used for chemistry that a chemist, of all people, could say such things.

    If Haley has written that publicity, it is particularly despicable of him in that he is relying on his clients utter beffuddlement and ignorance in matters of quite accessible high-school level chemistry – the difference between pure substances and mixes, as well as the definition of a chemical reaction is a very very basic notion of chemistry. It shows that he has a particularly low opinion of the education and intelligence of his marks.

    I have no idea how he can still look himself in the mirror as a scientist after having written or approved such drivel.

  57. #57 jen
    January 21, 2010

    The bottom line for a lot of these parents, though, is that they are seeing gains/progress after some of these bio-medical/chelation treatments. And, in a funny way, just as you don’t think the vaccines can cause any harm (and they almost certainly can-as demeonstrated by some studies), they believe (anecdotally) that the bio-med supplements are helping. The truth obviously lies somewhere in the middle. All the evidence is NOT in where vaccines and brain problems/injuries are concerned and same with the chelation/bio med treatment.
    If I were one of those parents, though, I would be trying something to help my child be the best that they can be, especially if I saw them regress and felt certain it was due to some kind of toxin.

  58. #58 jen
    January 21, 2010

    In fact, the more I think about it, the angrier I get. So, it’s o.k. to shove 30 some ingredients (some neurotoxic) into little babies arms (hep b at birth!) and think that’s all fine even though the studies backing them are half the time lame (Fombonne actually looked at a few kids in Montreal and used data on vaccination rates from Quebec City!)and yet you laugh at parents who use “industrial chelators.” YOu guys are hypocrits!!

  59. #59 Scientizzle
    January 21, 2010

    just as you don’t think the vaccines can cause any harm (and they almost certainly can-as demeonstrated by some studies)

    Two remarks regarding this sentence fragment:
    1. Nobody here is claiming that vaccines carry no risk of adverse effects. Quite the contrary. It is a straw man position to claim that the pro-vaccine side claims vaccination is risk-free.

    2. Please cite the studies that indicate a risk in developing an autism spectrum disorder following vaccination. It may prove useful to search this blog (by author name, for instance) for possible critical evaluation of those studies. Further, explain why the studies you cite are sufficient to cast doubt on the considerably large volume of contradictory evidence published on this topic.

    I’m not convince the “truth obviously lies somewhere in the middle” at all. Sometimes one side is just plain wrong…

  60. #60 Dianne
    January 21, 2010

    I’m not convince the “truth obviously lies somewhere in the middle” at all. Sometimes one side is just plain wrong…

    Thank you for giving me an excuse to link this.

  61. #61 Todd W.
    January 21, 2010

    @Scientizzle

    I’ve tried to get jen to provide study citations before, but she doesn’t. Hopefully she’s taken some time to do a little more reading on the topic, as I recommended a while ago. We’ll see.

    @jen

    So, we have a lot of parents who, based on anecdotal evidence, believe that vaccines caused their kids’ autism. They also believe, again, based only on anecdotal evidence, that chelation and other unapproved treatments have helped their kids get better. With all these stories, you would think that there would be some studies (including clinical trials to gain FDA approval) showing that these things not only safe, but actually work. Why don’t the makers and marketers of these treatments try to get FDA approval (and the marketing exclusivity that comes along with it)?

    On topic to this post, though, Haley is marketing a chelator as a dietary supplement. He has not provided FDA with the materials they require showing that a) OSR#1 is a safe dietary ingredient or b) that it is a dietary supplement. Further, he’s using the “dietary supplement” as an end-run around the new drug laws. This puts people, mostly children who cannot advocate for themselves, at risk of harm, the nature and severity of which we don’t know because there aren’t any studies!

  62. #62 jen
    January 21, 2010

    shit, just wrote a long one but forgot to enter name etc.
    some studies: Hornig, M. NEurotoxic effects of postnatal thim are mouse strain dependent.
    Echeverra D.et al. Low level mercury exposure, BDNF polymorphism and ass’n with cognitive and motor function.
    Herbert, M.R. Large brains in autism. The challenge of pervasive abnormality.
    Petrik, M.S. Aluminum hydroxide inject
    ions lead to motor defiicits and motor neuron degen.
    Vargas,D.L. Neuroglial activity an neuroinflammation in the brains of patients with autism.
    Obviously, there need to be clinical studies of brain inflammation alongside the vaccine program and yet this would be impossible now that they are vaccinating on the first day of life. YOu would have to compare vaccinated against unvaccinated children re. Brain inflammation and this has to happen. FDA may eventually approve these but it would be tantamount to admitting environmetal damage (vaccines being a big contender). I do see it happening, though. Sorry so brief-have to go to work.

  63. #63 Dedj
    January 21, 2010

    I’m guessing “cite some studies” was a request to do more than quote article titles out of context and with no explanation of how they supposedly relate to the arguement they purportedly support.

  64. #64 Dangerous Bacon
    January 21, 2010

    jen: “And, in a funny way, just as you don’t think the vaccines can cause any harm (and they almost certainly can-as demeonstrated by some studies), they believe (anecdotally) that the bio-med supplements are helping.”

    What’s (not so) funny is that opinions about the high degree of safety of vaccines and lack of evidence of an autism link, are based on actual evidence attained through clinical studies, while the supposed improvement in autistic kids through “bio-med” supplements are based on intrinsically faulty anecdote.

    “The truth obviously lies somewhere in the middle.”

    A classic error, though one that the media frequently falls into. When you’ve got one position argued from science and another from bias and hyperbole, the truth does not automatically lie in some magical middle ground. When you’ve got nothing to offer, half of that is still nothing.

    jen‘s Gish gallop of cites does nothing to back her claims.

  65. #65 Chris
    January 21, 2010

    Dangerous Bacon:

    jen’s Gish gallop of cites does nothing to back her claims.

    Plus, many of those cites have been give the respectful insolence treatment by Orac. Also, Orac has written several times on the ethics (or lack of ethics) on the vax versus unvax study.

    For instance here:

    Point one: There have been lots of experimental studies on research animals of vaccines trying to show a link between vaccines and autism. I’ve written about some of them right here, and other bloggers have discussed them in detail as well. For example, there was the infamous Mady Hornig “rain mouse” study, in which she claimed that thimerosal at the doses infants received, adjusted for size, caused autistic symptoms. Both Prometheus and Autism Diva enumerated the numerous flaws and ethical lapses in that experiment.

    and… here:

    In other words, Dr. Herbert is making claims far beyond what her publication record in the peer-reviewed literature can, even under the most charitable interpretation possible, support. Nothing at all in her publication record appears to support the concepts above of autism being a systemic, rather than brain-based condition.

    That is two of the papers in the Gish Gallop. The other papers have not been discussed much. But they have been cited in the comments, sometimes in a Gish Gallop, and sometimes being criticized. Still the science is very much against thimerosal (that has not been in pediatric vaccines for almost a decade) being a cause of autism.

    And even it was, that does not in any way exonerate Boyd Haley for exploiting parents of disabled children with his untested “supplement.”

  66. #66 Kristen
    January 21, 2010

    @Jen

    If I were one of those parents, though, I would be trying something to help my child be the best that they can be,

    I agree with you on this point. ABA, OT, Floor Time, SCERTS and Handwriting without Tears* have all helped my son progress.

    What I disagree on is giving my son unproven ‘treatments’ which have not been properly tested and are potentially dangerous. The above list is not exhaustive there are many other safe and effective treatments. All the treatments I have tried have no side-effects, save the effect of bringing my son and I closer.

    These proven techniques are difficult and time-consuming, a parent has to literally put their life on hold to help their autistic child to succeed. Some are not willing to put in the time, or they are not content with the best their children can be. They want ‘normal’ as fast as possible.

    *These are thing we have tried. I cannot guarantee these sites are completely woo-free, but I think they are.

  67. #67 Pablo
    January 21, 2010

    If Haley has written that publicity, it is particularly despicable of him in that he is relying on his clients utter beffuddlement and ignorance in matters of quite accessible high-school level chemistry – the difference between pure substances and mixes, as well as the definition of a chemical reaction is a very very basic notion of chemistry. It shows that he has a particularly low opinion of the education and intelligence of his marks.

    Actually, this is kind of why I didn’t respond to Kristen’s initial post. It’s so wrong I don’t even know where to start. I, too, thought this was pure material. N,N-bis-2-ethylthiol-isophthalimde, or something like that (I know the structure, I’m just not good at naming). So to say that it consists of “two compounds” is not at all correct. It may be synthesized from two compounds, but it is still a single substance at the end. Just as sodium chloride is a single substance, made from sodium metal and chlorine, that doesn’t mean sodium consists of sodium metal and chlorine.

    Although it doesn’t matter, I wonder what are the two things that are common in the body? While I admit I have only simple synthetic skills, my first thought would be some isophthalic acid derivative and the N,N-bis-ethanethiolamine, but I am probably wrong.

    I am trying to think of the source of the mercaptan. Maybe it’s a cysteine?

  68. #68 Kristen
    January 21, 2010

    Kemist, Pablo

    Thank you for answering my question. I feel like I did when my husband was trying to explain quantum computing :).

  69. #69 Prometheus
    January 21, 2010

    The CTI “FAQ” (should be “deceptively answered questions” or “DAQ”) section claims:

    “”There is an internet rumor that OSR#1® is an Industrial Chelator. Is this true?
    No. OSR#1® as produced by CTI Science is not now and has never been marketed or tested as an environmental or industrial chelator.”

    This is – technically – true. Although the exact same chemical has been produced, tested and (I believe) marketed as an environmental chelator, “OSR#1” has not.

    This is no different from saying, “Although there has been an Internet rumor that Firewater brand whiskey is an industrial solvent and antiseptic, Firewater brand whiskey is NOT used – and has NEVER been used – as an industrial solvent.”

    The difference is that, although enthanol (the active ingredient in whiskey) IS used as an industrial solvent, etc., NOBODY uses whiskey (not even the cheap stuff) as an industrial solvent (I HAVE seen it used as an antiseptic).

    The answer is true, in a very limited sense.

    Prometheus

  70. #70 Poogles
    January 21, 2010

    “and yet you laugh at parents who use “industrial chelators”.”

    I’m sorry, but this kinda pissed me off…who’s laughing?? If I’m not mistaken, mostly everyone who’s posted here has been horrified at what these parents are doing to their children! Not laughing, as if it’s some harmless and silly “treatment.” Sure there’s been some snark and the like…not anything close to what I would call “laughing at parents.” This is far too serious for that.

    Interesting, though, that that’s how you would interpret the previous comments. As if the calls for studies and consequences, and the horror and shock expressed, is just us teasing those poor poor parents, because we’re just big meanies. WTFever.

  71. #71 Calli Arcale
    January 21, 2010

    jen — out of curiosity, why do you feel that the studies done to date on vaccines are inadequate, yet feel comfortable with the complete lack of studies on OSR#1?

  72. #72 Prometheus
    January 21, 2010

    I’ve been trying to track down the basis for CTI to claim that “OSR 1 is composed of two natural compounds found in fluids of humans and other mammals.”

    According to Boyd Haley’s submission to the FDA, the two ingredients of OSR#1 are cysteamine (a breakdown product of the amino acid cysteine) and isophthalic acid (benzene-1,3-dicarboxylic acid). Now, while csyteamine is normally found in “fluids of humans and other mammals” (at low levels), I am at a loss to see where isophthalic acid is a common metabolic product of mammalian (or human) metabolism.

    While you might find isophthalic acid in the blood and other “bodily fluids” (see: Dr. Strangelove), it would be a contaminant – absorbed as a result of isophthalic acid contamination of food, water or (possibly) air.

    Although my knowledge of metabolic physiology is extensive, it is not absolute. If anybody knows of any organism that produces isophthalic acid, I’d be interested. From what I can find, however, it is not a normal component of human or mammalian tissues. I was able to find enzymes (five in bacteria, one in wheat) that can metabolize ortho-phthalates, isophthalate is a meta-phalate and does not appear to have any known enzymes that can metabolize it.

    I suspect that this claim – that the two ingredients are “found in fluids of humans and other mammals” – is a part-truth (sometimes called a “lie”). Isophthalic acid is definitely found in human body fluids, it just isn’t supposed to be there.

    Prometheus

  73. #73 BlueMaxx
    January 21, 2010

    QUICK RATIONALITY QUIZ

    Which statement doesnt belong?

    1] A relabeled but clinically untested chelation chemical is fine to use on my child, autistic or not, to treat or prevent possible illness.

    2] Vaccines are dangerous, despite decades of research and testing

    3] vaccination is a safe and sage way to protect both the health of your children as well as their siblings and classmates, and has resulted in decreased mortality and morbidity for many diseases in the US and the world.

    4] my goldfish has stayed alive, gotten bigger and shinier in his tank over the last 6 weeks, so I bet if I drink some of the water I will also receive health benefits.

  74. #74 MS
    January 21, 2010

    I can’t help but imagine Haley trying to get OSR for autism past an IRB.

  75. #75 Marishka
    January 21, 2010

    202 Jared, you cannot compare yourself to what other families are going through with their particular children. Nobody is affected the same. You are not damaged, but sometimes children are. I have 4 adopted children with autism, and they are all extremely affected. They have been treated with years of love and patience (as someone posted earlier was all they needed to be ‘cured’), and therapy. Not one of them will ever be ready to live on their own. Not one of them can feed, bathe, or communicate independently. You all get upset when some parents feel like their child is damaged, but you forget that sometimes they actually were. Their brain was damaged in some way, and they do not learn how to function even after 14+ yrs. Kristen, Chris and others, you cannot forget that in your posts.

  76. #76 Enkidu
    January 21, 2010

    @253 regarding formaldehyde

    I got into an argument with an anti-vaxer today. She brought up formaldehyde. Her beef is that the formaldehyde that your body produces is “natural” and therefore okay, while the formaldehyde in vaccines is synthetic and therefore dangerous.

    *sigh*

  77. #77 Chris
    January 21, 2010

    You are painting us with a very big brush, Marishka. I have one of those children who cannot function as an adult (and there has been a recent health development that is actually life threatening, I am very upset).

    I would also remind you that the child you are describing is a fraction of the numbers in the 1 in 100 statistics.

  78. #78 Marishka
    January 21, 2010

    I always have good thoughts for your child Chris, and I hope all works out well soon. I only meant the way the parents are disparaged sometimes before we even know their true difficulties. I appreciate the facts. All 4 of my children are in that fraction, so that makes it a big ‘statistic’ (real children, not numbers) in my house.

  79. #79 Kristen
    January 21, 2010

    Marishka

    I do feel for you, how wonderful that you are taking care of children with so many needs. They would probably not be in a very good place without you.

    I do understand the difficulties, my son is not on the most profound side of the spectrum, but he is also not so close to the other side.

    I do understand that all autistic children are very difficult to raise, some more so than others. Even the children who are mentally retarded, though, deserve for those who care for them to accept who they are.

    I disagree with the ‘damaged’ label because, to me it sounds dehumanizing. I don’t think parents with a Down’s child would refer to them as ‘damaged’ and wouldn’t be searching for a magic cure. When children are described as ‘damaged’ there is the connotation that they need to be ‘fixed’. I also don’t like these children being referred to as ‘ruined’ or ‘destroyed’.

    It is hard to raise one autistic child, and I am also raising my teenage sister with severe Bipolar Disorder. With just these two children with exceptional needs, I feel overwhelmed. I can’t even fathom how difficult things must be for you with four. And the fact that you are not biologically responsible for them makes you an extremely good person.

    The thing that makes me so angry is not necessarily the ways parents describe them (and since you have shown me a different perspective, I will try harder to understand why they do). It is the fact that some parents will stop at nothing to find a ’cause’ and a ‘cure’, up to and including dangerous, untested therapies. This article that someone else pointed out earlier, quotes parents bragging about experimenting on their own children! This is what makes me so angry. It seems some parents can only think of how the autism effects them, not how they can help their children.

    I am sorry if I have come off as cold, or unfeeling. My children are my passion and I tend to get over-excited.

  80. #80 Chris
    January 21, 2010

    Marischka, where have I disparaged parents on this posting for what they are doing to their children?

    Let me see what I wrote…

    “Javier, you are a nutter going on about a tempest in a teapot.” and “Please provide the real evidence. Or do you just go by silly insults, rhymes and conspiracies?” and “Also, even the influenza vaccine is available without thimerosal. So do try to state your concerns that are real, based on fact and with evidence.”

    Oh, noes! I disparaged someone for posting conspiracy stuff! I did not disparage him for his parenting, but for assertions without evidence.

    “He probably just goes to anti-vax sites like AoA, which are echo chambers. More than likely he has never had anyone challenge him. If you think he was fun, you should see the guys who were upset over PalMD’s questioning the practice of a doctor (Crisler) over at WhiteCoatUnderground.”

    Oh, noes! I gave an explanation why someone decided to would not react well to being challenged. Somehow I do not think that is disparaging him on how he parents.

    “Or just show where in the several years of blogging that Orac has skewed the science. Just show us why you said “AoA skews science in their favor when they need it – you do the same crime.””

    Oh, noes! I am asking for evidence.

    “I believe the money flow is pointing directly towards Boyd Haley. Just like it did a decade ago when he was cashing in the the dentel amalgam scare (he had another company that sold tests and cures). He seems to have found more panic and deeper pockets in the parents of disabled children.”

    “So, really, you actually approve of putting untested chemicals in children? Do you think that Haley is selling the stuff to help children? Can you show us the evidence that it works (and not anecdotes)?”

    “And even it was, that does not in any way exonerate Boyd Haley for exploiting parents of disabled children with his untested “supplement.””

    Again, my whole feeling is that Boyd Haley is an opportunistic quack, who has been earning money over mercury scares for over a decade. This last scheme to sell them some untested powder is just pure evil. I very much dislike how he takes advantage of desperate parents. I cannot find any reason to defend Haley. If you thinks that is “disparaging” the parents, then you have a very different definition of the term than most of us.

  81. #81 jen
    January 21, 2010

    Calli, OSR#1 should be tested properly and I bet most parents trying it would agree with that. I also think that there may be some serious hurdles put up for that to happen in that, as I mentioned before, if they work then that’s pretty tantamount to saying that the children have been environmentally damaged (possibly including by vaccines). Look at the fuss created regarding Desiree Jennings.
    I did provide some studies showing that vaccine ingredients could be linked to problems, obviously some of the people here think they are not perfect. Well, neither is stuff like Fombonne’s prevalance data for Canada. It’s really bad; embarrasing even.
    Scientizzle and Todd, I have a challenge for you. You have both stated before that vaccination has risks of adverse effects (#259). Now, you show me the evidence for that with studies as to that fact. How do you know that there have been adverse effects? What evidence have you seen?
    And Chris, before you try and minimize that “fraction” of children, I will remind you that those fractions are alot of real children who will grow up needing alot of support and love.

  82. #82 jen
    January 21, 2010

    Calli, OSR#1 should be tested properly and I bet most parents trying it would agree with that. I also think that there may be some serious hurdles put up for that to happen in that, as I mentioned before, if they work then that’s pretty tantamount to saying that the children have been environmentally damaged (possibly including by vaccines). Look at the fuss created regarding Desiree Jennings.
    I did provide some studies showing that vaccine ingredients could be linked to problems, obviously some of the people here think they are not perfect. Well, neither is stuff like Fombonne’s prevalance data for Canada. It’s really bad; embarrasing even.
    Scientizzle and Todd, I have a challenge for you. You have both stated before that vaccination has risks of adverse effects (#259). Now, you show me the evidence for that with studies as to that fact. How do you know that there have been adverse effects? What evidence have you seen?
    And Chris, before you try and minimize that “fraction” of children, I will remind you that those fractions are alot of real children who will grow up needing alot of support and love.

  83. #83 Chris
    January 21, 2010

    Yes, but that “fraction” is made out to be the whole. Sure it is lots, but so are the kids who used to be permanently injured from the diseases. Do we need to go back to the days when there were whole institutions full of children who were disabled from measles, mumps, Hib, rubella, polio and other vaccine preventable diseases.

    Also, jen, just go to the CDC Pink Book and read each chapter. The vaccines are explained, including all the side effects (actually, I have a nice piece of paper given to me when I got my H1N1 vaccine a few days ago, it is all spelled out). Certainly lots more than you get with that one page FAQ on the OSR.

  84. #84 jen
    January 21, 2010

    the vaccines and their possible side effects are listed on the piece of paper. Well that’s just great but I don’t think that they (vaccine courts) seem to be too forthcoming with admitting that indeed a particular child did suffer a particular side effect even though the piece of paper says that that is a possibility. I’m still waiting for what Todd and Scientizzle have on that. Your comment about OSR not listinng side effects, is I believe, what you refer to as strawman.
    I still say they need to compare children who have been vacced to children who have not and looking for things like brain swelling. I think there would be lots of volunteers for the unvacced group!

  85. #85 Cathy Sander
    January 21, 2010

    I’m very disappointed by the sheer cognitive dissonance Boyd Haley’s facing now. Given the fact he’s been practicing chemistry for quite some time, I would have thought that he would have become more responsible for the knowledge he pronounces.

    And yet, he has metaphorically sold his ethical soul!

    Even the basics of toxiology [“the dose makes the poison”] and the different properties of synthesing different chemicals is neglected. As to the natural vs. artifical divide over chemicals: squalene produced by the liver has exactly the same molecular structure and reaction potential as the squalene found in skin lotions. What matters, as always, is the safety, medical effectiveness and the metabolic breakdown of these substances. I reckon it’s the intuition of the natural ‘essence’ of things that persuades people into taking quack therapies.

  86. #86 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 21, 2010

    Calli, OSR#1 should be tested properly and I bet most parents trying it would agree with that.

    No, not really. The kind of parents who are already giving OSR#1 to their kids don’t want the compound to be tested, they want it to be rubber-stamped.

    I also think that there may be some serious hurdles put up for that to happen in that, as I mentioned before, if they work then that’s pretty tantamount to saying that the children have been environmentally damaged (possibly including by vaccines).

    I would compare this to Orly Taitz’s belief that major portions of the government are engaged in a conspiracy to keep the lawsuits in which she thinks she can prove that President Obama is not a “natural-born citizen” out of the highest courts. She believes that it is because if her lawsuits are heard they will surely prove that Obama is not qualified for the Presidency.

    Everyone else believes it is because she has the cart before the horse: until she has some sort of extraordinary evidence to support her extraordinary claim that Barack Obama is not a natural-born citizen as the records of his birth state indicate, there’s no reason that everyone’s time should be wasted with the claim.

    Look at the fuss created regarding Desiree Jennings.

    Indeed. And look at how many people who desired the conclusion that Desiree Jennings was vaccine-injured abandoned actual rigorous logic to try and jump to that conclusion. For instance, those who said “Now that she is being treated by Dr. Rashid Buttar for what he believes is mercury toxicity induced by a vaccine, and she is reporting improvement; this is tantamount to admitting that mercury toxicity induced by a vaccine is what she actually had!” This particular fallacy is known as affirming the consequent. A three-year-old might tell you that the cookie jar got broken when a gang of masked burglars ran into the kitchen and tried to get the jar off the shelf and accidentally knocked it down instead; we would not conclude that this particular far-fetched scenario is particularly supported by the fact that the cookie jar is actually broken.

  87. #87 ebohlman
    January 21, 2010

    I still say they need to compare children who have been vacced to children who have not and looking for things like brain swelling. I think there would be lots of volunteers for the unvacced group!

    I’m sure there would be. That’s the problem: it’s called self-selection. You simply can’t generalize from any study performed on a self-selected sample.

    If you had a chance to live your life over again, would you still have children? That very question has been asked to both randomly-selected and self-selected samples of mothers (the self-selection involves putting out an ad asking mothers to call or write in) multiple times. Every time, in the randomly-selected group, the overwhelming majority of mothers would do it again. And every time, the overwhelming majority of mothers in the self-selected sample wouldn’t.

    The problem here is that mothers who are unsatisfied with their choices are much more likely to make the extra effort to respond than ones who are satisfied, and therefore they’re overrepresented in the sample. It’s like listening to people talk about their cars; long ago, JD Power found out that people who are unhappy with their cars tell 4-5 times as many people about it than people who are happy with them.

    The point is that all your volunteers would be an unrepresentative group, and their kids certainly could not be used as a proxy for what kids would be like if everybody stopped vaccinating (in the kind of study you propose, I’d actually expect that the unvaccinated kids would be healthier than the vaccinated kids, representing nothing more than the fact that they’d be disproportionately upper-middle-class white kids).

  88. #88 jen
    January 21, 2010

    Antaeus! That is some funky answer you have going! I think parents would love for some real help for their kids and I think they would seriously be open to having these treatments studied. Bottom line is Desiree did seem to get better using non-conventional medicine. You people do seem to admit to there being harmful side effects from vaccines because, if nothing else, they are listed on the package inserts. Yet, neither you nor the courts show these “fractions” any compensation. It’s grossly unfair.

  89. #89 Chris
    January 21, 2010

    And they are listed in great detail, with a bibliography here:
    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/pink-chapters.htm

    The bibliography is a selection of the thousands of papers one the effects of the vaccines done before they are even allowed to go on the market, and including post-market surveillance. It is not one paper, it is thousands. I went to PubMed and plugged in “vaccines safety” and it spit out “Results: 1 to 20 of 8038.” If only reviews are selected it spits out “Results: 1 to 20 of 1787.”

    Examples include (this would be where I could do a Gish Gallop, just because there are so many!):
    Safety of influenza vaccination during pregnancy.
    Tamma PD, Ault KA, del Rio C, Steinhoff MC, Halsey NA, Omer SB.
    Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Dec;201(6):547-52. Epub 2009 Oct 21. Review

    M2e-based universal influenza A vaccine.
    Fiers W, De Filette M, El Bakkouri K, Schepens B, Roose K, Schotsaert M, Birkett A, Saelens X.
    Vaccine. 2009 Oct 23;27(45):6280-3. Review.

    A combined measles, mumps, rubella and varicella vaccine (Priorix-Tetra): immunogenicity and safety profile.
    Czajka H, Schuster V, Zepp F, Esposito S, Douha M, Willems P.
    Vaccine. 2009 Nov 5;27(47):6504-11. Epub 2009 Aug 7. Review.

    Pediatric combined formulation DTaP-IPV/Hib vaccine.
    White C, Halperin SA, Scheifele DW.
    Expert Rev Vaccines. 2009 Jul;8(7):831-40. Review.

    Actually, my comment about OSR is not a strawman, it is the subject of this blog posing. What is happening is that Haley is selling an untested chemical as a “supplement” to get around the rules for drugs. The reason is because of the idiotic DSHEA. Try reading what Orac wrote:

    Then suppose that, in order to avoid having to obtain FDA approval, the pharmaceutical company rebranded its chelating agent as a “supplement,” using the DSHEA of 1994 to bypass any need for extensive clinical trial testing for safety and efficacy in order to be able to market this chemical directly to consumers.

    So even if these kids had heavy metal poisoning (perhaps by eating lead figurines), how does anyone know that it is safe and effective?

  90. #90 jen
    January 21, 2010

    Ebohlman, I understand your point. I suppose a randomized double-blind study would be the answer. Tougher, but not impossible. We have too many children experiencing regressive autism not to do something. Either way, ethics are an issue.

  91. #91 jen
    January 21, 2010

    Chris, I did read the abstracts for two of the studies you cited. The one about safety of influenza vacc during pregnancy never even specified whether the flu shots contained thimerosal (at least in the intro) and only studied the infants to 6 months. The number of mothers who got the vaccine was quite small in relation to the control group of those who had not got the shot. Also, what about the fact that Joe Dr. may not read the insert and give a pregnant woman a shot in the first trimester? Probably happens all the time. No safety data on that (from that study, anyways).
    The Priorix Tetra study only compared that shot against another MMR series and a separate varicella vaccine. So that seems kind of lame to me. Lets compare say, people who smoke 2 packs of cigarettes a day to people who smoke 1 pack. No big differences? No problemo -the smokes must be fine. I sure as heck wouldn’t be giving my kids that live 4 in 1 vaccine!

  92. #92 Chris
    January 21, 2010

    Oooh, you found flaws in two out of the several thousand studies that deal with vaccines and safety! But never a thought on how Hornig tortured mice, or that other researchers massaged data after some wonky primate studies. And yet, who cares what you think about vaccines? Really, who cares? Because, get a hint… it is off topic.

    How does your little foray into PubMed make Boyd Haley a happy hero selling his concoction? What does it have to do with selling stuff to parents who hope to find a way to help their kids (other than lots of speech therapy, occupational and physical therapy, and many many hours in IEP meetings, which they all do in addition to spending thousands of dollars on supplements, cranialsacral therapy, and other dodgy treatmens)?

    If you want to make Haley a happy hero, then you tell us why the OSR is so great. Give us the real data that vaccines today hurt kids (oh, and remember they no longer contain thimerosal, so you’ll have to find data on the other reasons).

    Because until you actually have real data and evidence (and not on mice or monkeys!), this the only way I will reply:
    The science has been done, the link between vaccines and autism does not exist. It is a dead link… “It’s not pinin’! ‘It’s passed on! This link is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet its maker! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed it to the perch it’d be pushing up the daisies! Its metabolic processes are now ‘istory! It’s off the twig! It’s kicked the bucket, it’s shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-LINK!! ” (hat-tip to Monty Python and the dead parrot sketch)

  93. #93 jen
    January 22, 2010

    Chris, you sound pretty steamed that I found faults in the studies you provided just as you have found fault in some that I provided. The science is not conclusive on the issue of vaccines and autism.
    Of course OSR should be studied, I actually said that several times earlier. Parents whose children have suffered regressive autism would likely welcome it. Bring it on!
    “Give us the data today that vaccines hurt kids.” Well the package inserts tell us about possible adverse effects and yet miraculously they don’t publish as to the whys of those. The courts hardly ever even compensate the poor kids/parents who have suffered those side effects.

  94. #94 jen
    January 22, 2010

    Chris, please try and remember to stop saying that “the shots no longer contain thimerosal” since the multi-dose flu shots do!

  95. #95 Chris
    January 22, 2010

    Influenza shots without thimersal are available, and really not many kids get the flu shot (at last report on 20% of the USA population). Talk about your strawman arguments!

    I am steamed at you finding minor faults with two out of thousands of studies, yet feel free to both post very flawed studies (how do we know mice are autistic?) and ignoring the very evil tactics of Boyd Haley…

    Good grief, what part of Haley effectively saying “Hey! these idiots will buy crap if I tell it will turn into gold!” that you fail to understand? He is a crook. He has been playing off of people’s fear for over a decade. This is not a nice man, he is someone who makes the actual scum of the earth wish he would move to another galaxy. At first it was dental fillings, now it is vaccines. Even though every single pediatric vaccine is available without thimerosal (even influenza!).

    I repeat:

    The science has been done, the link between vaccines and autism does not exist. It is a dead link… “It’s not pinin’! ‘It’s passed on! This link is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet its maker! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed it to the perch it’d be pushing up the daisies! Its metabolic processes are now ‘istory! It’s off the twig! It’s kicked the bucket, it’s shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-LINK!! ” (hat-tip to Monty Python and the dead parrot sketch)

  96. #96 triskelethecat
    January 22, 2010

    @Jen: I’m only going to say this one last time: A randomized double blind study of vaccinated vs unvaccinated children is UNETHICAL!!!! You have been told this before. If you want that kind of study done, YOU find an IRB that will pass it. NO IRB in the USA or Canada would ever pass that kind of study. So, I guess you can say that we are all part of the evil Big Pharma, and are hiding something.

    For pete’s sake. If you are going to ask for research, at least do some learning about how studies in human subjects are set up. Orac had a very good post several months ago about IRBs. (And don’t point at Hitler, or Tuskaloosa, because they are all BEFORE the current rules were established.)

  97. #97 Jud
    January 22, 2010

    jen writes:

    Bottom line is Desiree did seem to get better using non-conventional medicine.

    Fixed that for ya, since we don’t really know whether the reason that she appeared to get better was in fact due to the (discredited) treatment. And I’m encouraged that you included the phrase “seem to,” since there is some uncertainty regarding exactly what Desiree’s diagnosis was or whether it had anything to do with non-psychological effects of the vaccine.

    Of course there’s also the fact that Desiree is one among tens of millions receiving the vaccine, while there are thousands dead or who were made gravely ill by flu (including unexpectedly large numbers of young, healthy people) among the unvaccinated.

  98. #98 Jud
    January 22, 2010

    jen writes:

    [P]lease try and remember to stop saying that “the shots no longer contain thimerosal” since the multi-dose flu shots do!

    Now that the multi-dose shots have been given to hundreds of thousands, or perhaps millions, where are the hundreds or thousands of reports flooding in of children suddenly displaying autistic symptoms? What the anecdotal “evidence” always seems to indicate is that onset of symptoms occurs within hours or days. So in a year or so let’s look for the great autism pandemic of 2009-2010 in the statistics, shall we?

  99. #99 Todd W.
    January 22, 2010

    @jen

    Here are the results of a post-marketing surveillance study on Infanrix, a DTaP vaccine from GSK. It examined the safety of the vaccine from first dose (2 months old) through 4 weeks after the final dose (4-6 years old). They collected data on serious adverse events for the entire study period, solicited AEs (i.e., those known or suspected from pre-market clinical trials) during the 4-week followup and unsolicited AEs (i.e., any AE reported as temporally connected, regardless of causality) during the 4-week followup.

    This is only the results (sans narrative) of just one study on one vaccine. The AEs you see in a vaccine insert are those discovered during Phase I-III clinical trials, which are required by law before marketing approval. The list also includes AEs discovered during Phase IV (post-marketing) clinical trials, as well as AEs reported to any employee of the company. By law, the package insert must list all related AEs, even those not shown to be causally related.

    Now that that’s out of the way, do you believe that Boyd Haley should be allowed to sell OSR#1 without any testing?

    Antaeus has it right; the people who are currently using OSR#1 most likely do not want it to go through clinical trials, but rather just get rubber-stamped. You know why? Because they already “know” that it works and is “safe”. Clinical trials would just slow things down and keep them from getting the product. They don’t need it tested; they have conviction.

  100. #100 Pablo
    January 22, 2010

    [P]lease try and remember to stop saying that “the shots no longer contain thimerosal” since the multi-dose flu shots do!

    It always confuses me why the “thimerasol in vaccines causes autism” advocates mention thimerasol in multi-dose flu vaccines. What does that have to do with anything?

    Aside from Desiree Jennings, as far as I know flu vaccines have not (seriously, even among the usual anti-vax crowd) been associated with ANY actual problems – only fear. Regardless of which version (thimerasol containing or not containing, shot or mist) of the flu vaccine we are talking about, there have been 100s of millions of doses given over the years with no associated problems at all.

    Including autism. As far as I know, no one has ever noticed even an association between flu shots, thimerasol containing or not, and autism, certainly not like is claimed for MMR (and when the MMR accusation fails, goalposts at other positions).

    I guess I don’t get it. There is no indication flu vaccines cause any real problems, and certainly not autism. So what’s the point of pointing out that they may contain thimerasol?

  101. #101 Prometheus
    January 22, 2010

    Jen comments:

    “…please try and remember to stop saying that “the shots no longer contain thimerosal” since the multi-dose flu shots do!”

    Great, but influenza vaccine uptake among the under-three group has been (up to this past year) very low, and since – even with the influenza vaccine – their life-to-date thimerosal dose is lower than it would have been before the onset of the “autism epidemic”, how does that explain anything about autism?

    Frankly, perseverating on the “thimerosal-causes-autism” dead hypothesis is silly. The amount of thimerosal children get from vaccines – even if they get the thimerosal-containing influenza vaccine – is (as mentioned above) currently below the amount children received in the 1970’s. All but the most rabidly irrational anti-vaccination advocates have “moved on” from thimerosal to “greener” pastures.

    Thimerosal (and mercury) as a cause of autism is a dead concept. Unless some new data (real data) pops up to explain how thimerosal can still be causing a rising prevalence of autism despite removing thimerosal from (almost all) children’s vaccines and rolling the cumulative dose back to levels not seen since the 1960’s, it’s time to let the poor thing moulder quietly in its grave.

    Absent new, significant data, blaming autism on thimerosal is clear evidence of magical thinking. Of course, rationality is not the forte of the “vaccines-cause-autism” movement.

    Prometheus

  102. #102 BLueMaxx
    January 22, 2010

    PABLO @ 300

    || ‘There is no indication flu vaccines cause any real problems, and certainly not autism. So what’s the point of pointing out that they may contain thimerasol?||

    The point of course is to keep yelling and crying over the presence of a minute amount of thimerasol, to confuse the issue and make an issue out of a non issue. Thimerasol is NOT Mercury, doesnt act like Mercury, and has, repeatedly and consistently, been shown to NOT have any adverse effects. But if you keep yelling FIRE and FIRE and FIRE in a crowded theater… eventually everyone will turn and look around… and then the antiVax folks say “see,.. they looked too!”

    FACTS: thimerasol has been researched over and over and over. Nothing can be linked to it’s use, other than a reduced amount of spoiled immunization serums. ODT#3 or whatever they have repackaged the mining chemical as… not tested.

    can you imagine the outcry if a bucket of it was knocked over on a school playground? I offer the likelihood that these same parents now engaged in giving their children patent medicine and modern snake oil would be on evening news, screaming that it “has to be dangerous” and calling for all the playground soil to be removed pronto.

  103. #103 jen
    January 22, 2010

    Pablo, the point of mentioning that the flu vaccines still contain thim (some, not all) is that just a few years ago the CDC included it on the ever-expanding schedule for infants 6 months and older and pregnant women. If an infant (and you indicate that uptake is relatively low for this) gets flu shots every year starting at 6 months of age and their flu vacc. does contain thim then we have a reason potentially for the brain damage (autism) to be continuing, despite it having been taken out of most of the other recommended vaccines in the schedule. So these kids getting the recently recommended flu shots kind of overlap for the ones who stopped getting the thim in the other recommended shots. Todd, thanks for the GSK study.

  104. #104 Scott
    January 22, 2010

    Except that your theory doesn’t even begin to fit the evidence. Autism should have dropped after it was removed, then started to creep back up a bit after the recommendation. This did not happen; the curves were entirely unaffected.

    Really, you’re pretty much at the level of invoking black magic here.

  105. #105 Todd W.
    January 22, 2010

    @jen

    Can you provide any studies in humans that show neurological damage of any kind (though specifically causing autism would best) from the doses found in annual influenza vaccines (~25mcg/dose)?

    Note that the study should be in humans. Animal studies, while interesting, do not necessarily translate to humans.

  106. #106 Chris
    January 22, 2010

    jen, you seem to have problems with comprehension: This post is about Haley and his scam. Also, as you have been reminded over and over and over again that there is no evidence that thimerosal in vaccines causes autism, influenza vaccines are available in single doses, and even if the kids get a vaccine from a multi-dose vial the amount of thimerosal is much less than what kids got in the 1970s.

    So I repeat, and it echos what Prometheus said, “Thimerosal (and mercury) as a cause of autism is a dead concept.”:
    The science has been done, the link between vaccines and autism does not exist. It is a dead link… “It’s not pinin’! ‘It’s passed on! This link is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet its maker! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed it to the perch it’d be pushing up the daisies! Its metabolic processes are now ‘istory! It’s off the twig! It’s kicked the bucket, it’s shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-LINK!! ” (hat-tip to Monty Python and the dead parrot sketch)

  107. #107 Pablo
    January 23, 2010

    Pablo, the point of mentioning that the flu vaccines still contain thim (some, not all) is that just a few years ago the CDC included it on the ever-expanding schedule for infants 6 months and older and pregnant women.

    And yet, it has still never been associated with ANY problems, much less autism.

    You are creating a cause in search of an effect. But there is no effect. And without that, why worry about the cause?

  108. #108 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 23, 2010

    “jen” really does like the rhetorical figure of announcing that some fact that looks like it supports her is the “bottom line”, doesn’t she? Like this one:

    Bottom line is Desiree did seem to get better using non-conventional medicine.

    It’s almost like she refused to read, or was incapable of comprehending, the explanation of why “affirming the consequent” is a fallacy.

    I’ll give one more explanation, and I don’t have faith that “jen” will put forth the minimal effort needed to comprehend it, but I’ll try for the possibility that someone who is acting in good faith, who doesn’t yet understand the fallacy of “affirming the consequent”, may be reading:

    The argument that Jennings’ recovery proves her diagnosis goes as follows when put in syllogism form:

    1) If Jennings suffered from mercury toxicity induced by a vaccination, she would show improvement when treated for mercury toxicity.*
    2) Jennings seemed to get better when treated for mercury toxicity.
    3) Therefore, she actually had mercury toxicity induced by a vaccination.

    * Let’s ignore for the moment that Jennings’ doctor, Rashid “Prettybeads” Buttar, is up on charges before the North Carolina Medical Board for, among other things, diagnosing “mercury toxicity” in patients whose mercury levels are normal even according to Buttar’s own tests, and offering treatments that “lack any evidentiary basis or any evidence of efficacy.” Let’s pretend that Buttar’s treatments would work on a case of actual mercury toxicity — purely for the sake of argument, since we have no reason to believe this is actually true.

    This seems superficially convincing, doesn’t it? It sure does, but the key word is “superficial”. Logical fallacies are almost always superficially convincing, because if they weren’t, they wouldn’t fool anyone. But let’s revise term 1) and see how it changes our term 3:

    1) If Jennings suffered from mercury toxicity induced by a vaccination given to her by a one-armed, one-eyed Albanian dwarf whose bronco-busting skills once made her greatly in demand on Radio Tirana, she would show improvement when treated for mercury toxicity.*
    2) Jennings seemed to get better when treated for mercury toxicity.
    3) Therefore, she actually had mercury toxicity induced by a vaccination given to her by a one-armed, one-eyed Albanian dwarf whose bronco-busting skills once made her greatly in demand on Radio Tirana.

    Ridiculous, isn’t it? Yet this syllogism is in the exact same form as our first syllogism, meaning that if Jennings’ recovery does not imply the reality of the one-armed, one-eyed Albanian dwarf, it does not imply that Jennings’ problem was mercury toxicity either.

    That’s because both syllogisms are in the form:
    1) If A, then B.
    2) B (is true).
    3) Therefore, A (is true).

    If syllogisms in this form were valid, then you could substitute any “If A, then B” statement for term 1 and “prove” all sorts of improbable and mutually contradictory values for “A.” You could prove that Jennings’ vaccination had taken place when there was no person of Albanian nationality or little person within 500 miles – even though we just “proved” that it was an Albanian dwarf who vaccinated Jennings!

    Oh my droogies, it gets even worse (for believers in the Jennings silliness, that is.) Because any statement in the form “If A, then B” where A is false is automatically a true statement. It could only be made false if A was true and B wasn’t. “If the capital of France is Paris, then I’m the Czar of the Moon” is false, but “If the capital of France is Buenos Aires, then I’m the Czar of the Moon” is true! We can use Jen’s syllogistic structure to prove that 2+2=5, helium is heavier than plutonium, and the Earth is flat.

    Are there any valid syllogisms we could draw from the Jennings affair? I’ll suggest this one:

    1) A person who has a non-psychogenic disorder is not going to experience near-total remission of symptoms when they get a quack treatment.
    2) Desiree Jennings experienced near-total remission of her symptoms when she received quack treatments from Rashid “Prettybeads” Buttar.
    3) Therefore, Desiree Jennings did not have a non-psychogenic disorder.

    Some people might argue that the above syllogism is not sound, but it’s in valid form: “If A, then not B; B; therefore, not A.” It all depends on if you want to argue that Buttar’s treatments are not those of a quack, in which case you have the uphill struggle against the North Carolina Medical Board and Buttar’s promotion of “gemstone energy medicine.”

  109. #109 Enzo Peroni
    February 13, 2010

    Chelation therapy was used by the British after World War II to remove arsenic, lead, and other metals. Patients’ conditions improved as these metals were removed from their bodies.[7] Treatment may be applied to the skin via a transdermal patch.[8] Another treatment is administered intravenously, a process that takes 2–3 hours, costs about $100 per treatment, and 20-30 treatments are often required. (From wikipedia)

  110. #110 Chris
    February 13, 2010

    Enzo, perhaps you can have someone translate this page into your native language, because you certainly did not understand that this was not a medically approved chelator (hence the title including the phrase “industrial chelator”).

  111. #111 Travis
    February 13, 2010

    As Chris said, this is about the use of an industrial chelator that has not been tested for medical use. Hell, from previous posts it seems there has been nearly nothing done to look at the safety of it in any uses.

    Not only that, I do not think anyone here is saying chelation does not have a place at times. The issue most people have with chelation in relation to this is issue that there is no evidence it is useful for autism or that autism is related to the removal of heavy metals from the body.

  112. #112 Effie
    February 15, 2010

    Kristen your pseudo-psychology into the minds of the parents of children with autism (minds which you can obviously read)is telling of your holier-than-thou attitude and projection of obviously less-than-perfect parent/child relationships in your own life. See I can play the mind-reading game too. Keep it to yourself.

  113. #113 Chris
    February 15, 2010

    Effie, did it take you three weeks to come up with that comment? Why do you think anyone would care about your opinion of what someone said weeks ago?

  114. #114 Effie
    February 15, 2010

    Chris, thanks for the forum-police post. Gee, how relevant.

  115. #115 Chris
    February 15, 2010

    About as relevant as your post on Kristen’s personality is to the practice of selling desperate parents an industrial chelator to feed to their autistic kids.

  116. #116 Effie
    February 15, 2010

    My post was on Kristen’s attack on parents use of certain words that she deemed “unacceptable” as well as her character attacks of those parents based on criteria created in her mind. My post had nothing to do with the safety or efficacy of industrial chelators.

  117. #117 Effie
    February 15, 2010

    Nor was it directed at any of Kristen’s sycophants.

  118. #118 snerd
    February 16, 2010

    Effie, so because you take umbrage with someone’s use of certain words your entire world-view is somehow exempt from critical analysis. Got it.

  119. #119 sikiş
    February 16, 2010

    Effie, did it take you three weeks to come up with that comment? Why do you think anyone would care about your opinion of what someone said weeks ago?

  120. #120 Kristen
    February 16, 2010

    Effie@316

    My post was on Kristen’s attack on parents use of certain words that she deemed “unacceptable”

    I don’t claim to read people’s minds. What I do is call a spade a spade. When someone calls a child ‘destroyed’ I take offense for the simple fact that my own son has the same developmental delay.

    When a parent is willing to chance poisoning their child with a chemical, then yes, a reasonable person could come to the conclusion that they are gambling with their child’s health. A larger issue is these same parents subjecting their children to all manner of dangerous and painful ‘treatments’ to make themselves feel better, because they are doing something, right.

    projection of obviously less-than-perfect parent/child relationships in your own life.

    As anyone on these posts who have read more than one of my comments knows; I have a son with autism, I am raising my 14-year-old sister with Bipolar Disorder and I took her friend off the street and am raising her. I will let those who know me personally judge if I am a good mother or not.

    BTW, if you are looking for perfection in parent/child relationships, watch a sitcom.

  121. #121 Effie
    February 16, 2010

    Kristen, you “took offense” to a lot more than the chemical issue and the word “destroyed”. You targeted other words and you called people names. You chose to assign your own meanings to those words and then crucified those parents on the cross of your imagination. You were abusive.

    Your relationship with you child was not actually in question, I was being hyperbolic. In other words, I was merely giving you a dose of your own toxic, untested, medicine. Telling people you know what they must think and you know what kind of relationships they must have and how you feel sorry for their children; right back at ya.

    BTW, there are many adults with autism who find the therapies that YOU are doing with your child to be cruel and dehumanizing. They use the same words to describe their parents that you used to describe others. I find your obliviousness to that irony to be hilarious. You judge yourself with your own words and don’t even know it. Why are you bothering with ABA if accept your child as they are? Don’t bother answering; this isn’t my question. It’s the question posed by those adults with autism I mentioned. Go to their boards and explain it to them. See what names YOU get called.

    The other posters on this matter are useless. I will not bother anymore with this nonsense. One accomplishes nothing with personality cults and closed-minded haters like in this group. Thanks for bring the autism community to a new low.

  122. #122 Kristen
    February 16, 2010

    My last word on the matter; my husband has Asperger’s, so I guess he doesn’t think ABA is cruel. I DO accept my son, but also realize that the world will not change to accommodate him, he must learn to function in the world.

    Jenny McCarthy says I am a bad mother, and you do too. Pot, meet kettle.

  123. #123 Kristen
    February 16, 2010

    Oh, forgot to say. I do regret calling sickofthis a bitch. I was angry. But I stand by the rest of my initial post.

  124. #124 Christine
    February 25, 2010

    All I know is that when my 4 year old severely autistic son started taking OSR # along with his vitamin/mineral supplements he started to do thing again i had not see him do in a very long time – eye contact improved dramatically, he began looking in the mirror again and laughing at his own reflection – all sorts of things spontaneously, he did as a 12 month old that autism slowly robbed him of. You guys in your ivory towers looking for every opportunity to bag the ani vaccine movement obviously do not live with the constant heartbreak of seeing your child (who talked and smiled and cuddled) gradually slip away and be replaced with a screaming banshee 24 hours a day.
    Everyone in this community should direct their efforts into trying to help our children, NOT bring down someone with opposing views!!!

  125. #125 Chris
    February 25, 2010

    Christine:

    You guys in your ivory towers looking for every opportunity to bag the ani vaccine movement obviously do not live with the constant heartbreak of seeing your child (who talked and smiled and cuddled) gradually slip away and be replaced with a screaming banshee 24 hours a day.

    Are you willing to listen to a parent whose toddler suffered a severe seizure due to a real now vaccine preventable disease? Or does my son’s disability not count because it was caused by illness?

  126. All I know is that when my 4 year old severely autistic son started taking OSR # along with his vitamin/mineral supplements he started to do thing again i had not see him do in a very long time – eye contact improved dramatically, he began looking in the mirror again and laughing at his own reflection – all sorts of things spontaneously, he did as a 12 month old that autism slowly robbed him of. You guys in your ivory towers looking for every opportunity to bag the ani vaccine movement obviously do not live with the constant heartbreak of seeing your child (who talked and smiled and cuddled) gradually slip away and be replaced with a screaming banshee 24 hours a day.
    Everyone in this community should direct their efforts into trying to help our children, NOT bring down someone with opposing views!!!

    We are trying to help children – help keep them from being killed by preventable childhood illnesses and diseases. You strike me, with your wording, as the sort of person who believes their child would be better off dead than with autism – expecially using the words “Screaming Banshee”. Autism is neurodiversity, and is not stasis but delay – which explains, along with confirmation bias, the reason that the children seem to get better as they age, with unproven and ineffective alternative medicine modalities.

    Don’t try to appeal to emotions when you use a sickening tactic of blaming the autistic along with the vaccines.

  127. #127 Dedj
    February 26, 2010

    “Everyone in this community should direct their efforts into trying to help our children, NOT bring down someone with opposing views!!”

    No we shouldn’t.

    We have jobs, careers and/or chosen fields of study. Some of us work in areas that have application to a lot more than 1% of the population.

    Many of us here already take time out (our own free time) to join in this debate out of interest, out of a desire to help, out of compassion, or out of family ties.

    Some, like me, have more time to spare than others whereas others can spare at best a few minutes a day, if that.

    If stopping people who aren’t ‘helping’ but are harming is how people decide to spend their precious time then that is up to them.

  128. #128 Chris
    February 26, 2010

    As a parent who saw a child suffer from a now vaccine preventable disease, I am now one who has an “opposing view” on vaccines. Why should I be ignored?

    Explain exactly and clearly with supporting scientific evidence that the vaccines in the present pediatric schedule are worse than the diseases. Make sure the evidence is acceptable to the standard criteria. No random websites or “arguments by assertion.” Stick to journals that can be found in your average medical school library.

  129. #129 Ali Haefke
    May 27, 2010

    Your comments are full of criticism and disdain…. but really…. where is your evidence that this product is harming kids? There is certainly plenty of evidence that vaccines are harming kids by the droves. My own son contracted the measles from the MMR and barely survived the ensuing lung infection. Then he slid into autism with head-banging, hand-flapping, loss of speech etc.. We managed to bring him partway back with cod liver oil and other supps but I had to endure several MD’s making fun of me when I shared our experiences of healing from supps and several pressed for more vaccines. I’ve finally learned to glean from MD’s and to “consider the source” when it comes to mainstreamers and we visit mainly holistic MD’s now. Our health is much better.
    So…. where is your evidence of harm?

  130. #130 Chris
    May 27, 2010

    Dude, the plural of anecdote is anecdotes, not data.

    So if your son contracted measles from the MMR you obviously reported it through the VAERS system. Do you mind giving us some data so that we can verify that?

    Plus, you must be one of the 5000 families in the Omnibus lawsuit system. How is that going for you?

  131. #131 Jeff
    June 24, 2010
  132. #132 MI Dawn
    June 24, 2010

    @Jeff: IIRC, he has been warned before but that letter looks like the FDA is stepping up on their warning. I wonder if the FDA will follow through? And what will AOA and the other quacks have to say (besides “the ebil guvment is suppressing a CURE for our kids! elebentyone!!111!!)

  133. #133 andrew
    August 17, 2010

    Sorry my ‘dear’ friend who wrote all that crap above. You’re an IDIOT !!!!! Damn materialist who doesn’t give a s… about peoples’ suffering

  134. #134 Chris
    August 17, 2010

    andrew, could you be more clear as to who is the “IDIOT”? Is it the owner of this blog, or anyone who sprinkles an industrial chemical on their children’s cereal?

  135. #135 calibration equipment
    March 21, 2011

    I can tell you though, having watched my sister-in-law spend hour upon hour working lovingly to educate her son, and refuse to take no for an answer when there was aid available to pay for teaching assistants and physical therapists, it can pay off.

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