Respectful Insolence

One week ago, The Chicago Tribune added yet another excellent addition to its recent series of articles exposing the dark underbelly of the anti-vaccine movement and, more importantly, the quackery that permeates the “autism biomedical” movement promoted by anti-vaccine groups such as Age of Autism. The first installment in the series, written by Tribune reporters Trine Tsouderos and Pat Callahan, examined Mark and David Geier’s Lupron protocol for autism (which I had written about three years ago under the title Why not just castrate them?), and the second shone a light under the rock covering a panoply of cranks and quacks promoting dubious “biomedical” treatments for autism, many based on the scientifically discredited idea that vaccines cause autism while others hijack legitimate science and yoking it to the service of putting a science-y gloss on rank quackery. The worst part of this second installment is how parents would in essence use their children as lab rats, all with the best of intentions, in a desperate search for a cure for autism. The third part of the trifecta, published a week ago, looked at a particularly egregious example of this tendency. It examined how a disgraced chemistry professor by the name of Boyd Haley, who used to be the chairman of the Department of Chemistry but whose career crashed and burned as he delved deeper into mercury pseudoscience (including his “Toxic Teeth” nonsense), has been marketing a chelator originally developed for industrial purposes as an “anti-oxidant.” I couldn’t resist pointing out the–shall we say?–odd disconnect between anti-vaccine activists who rant and rave that vaccines are not “adequately tested” and are full of chemical “toxins,” but then are perfectly willing to defend the marketing of an artificial chemical without anything resembling complete safety testing having been done. It’s amazing what the anti-vaccine movement will embrace and defend if it perceives it to be done by someone whom it views as being on the side of right.

I had wondered when the counterattack was coming. The history of Age of Autism led me to know that, sooner or later, the anti-vaccine movement would strike back. It’s been getting hammered in the mainstream press lately, elements of which have finally awakened to the good story that exposing the threat to children that the anti-vaccine movement represents as well as the quackery to which it subjects children on a daily basis. Each time, there has been push-back. For example, Amy Wallace, who wrote an excellent WIRED story on the anti-vaccine movement was the subject of misogynistic attacks by J.B. Handley. Around Thanksgiving, Age of Autism published a poorly Photoshopped picture of Trine Tsouderos, Paul Offit, and others preparing to have a Thanksgiving feast with a baby as the main course. That latter prank went too far even for AoA, as the post containing the photo has disappeared, although I and many others have kept a copy around and will be more than happy to resurrect it whenever necessary to rub AoA’s nose in it. At least J.B. Handley and crew do have some sense of shame; I suppose that’s something.

After Tsouderos’ third article on the anti-vaccine movement exposing the very likely illegal marketing of Boyd Haley’s industrial chelator cum “antioxidant,” I was only surprised at how long it took AoA to counterattack. The only thing I wondered about was what form this counterattack would take. Predictably, AoA did what AoA does best. It decided to slime the Tribune and Tsouderos with a hilariously inept version of the pharma shill gambit by Teresa Conrick entitled Tribune Watchdog Or Tribune Skunk? that would have been worthy of nothing but laughter and derision were it not for Conrick’s descent into tactics resembling stalking in part 2 of her “expose.” Conrick starts out with this unbelievably un-self-aware diatribe:

It has been almost two months since the Chicago Tribune did their second malicious and biased report on the biomedical treatments for autism. They have since done a third which also smells suspicious. Many of the treatments that the Tribune incorrectly reported in that November 23rd article are medically based and focus on restoring normal function to organs and systems damaged by chronic bacterial, viral, and fungal infections as well as metals such as lead, aluminum and mercury. Many of these toxins are found in vaccines. The Tribune has appeared to make it a mission of theirs to try and paint a picture of desperate parents doing voodoo to treat children who have some sort of genetic and incurable developmental disorder. Hardly the reality as we now look at 1:100 children developing autism and a 50% increase from just 2 years: Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders — Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, United States, 2006.

More like the Tribune has been doing a bang-up job reporting on the quackery to which too many parents have been subjecting their autistic children. Conrick is parroting the misinformation and pseudoscience of the anti-vaccine movement here. The “toxins” in vaccines are not toxic at the concentrations found in vaccines, and there is no convincing evidence that vaccines are associated with autism or any of the ills that the anti-vaccine movement likes to blame them for. Although Conrick exaggerates how the Tribune has portrayed these parents, in reality in some cases what we are looking at really is the equivalent of voodoo. The Lupron protocol, for instance, is based far more on faith than science–as is the myth of the “autism” epidemic. I will say right here, right now, that in my opinion parents who subject autistic children to Lupron through the Geiers are committing child abuse, given that they are administering a powerful drug with powerful side effects that can interfere with their sexual development based on no good evidence that it will help their children’s autism. In any case, although it’s possible that autism prevalence may be increasing somewhat, the apparent huge increase is very likely far more due to the broadening of the diagnostic criteria, greater awareness, and much more intensive screening. In fact, recent studies all seem to be converging on a prevalence of around 1 in 100, with its being controversial whether there has been a true increase.

Next, Conrick, pathetically unable to address any of the science or substance behind Tsouderos’ articles, predictably goes for the ad hominem. She complains about a letter in the Trib about a letter from representatives of Association for Science in Autism Treatment, praising Tsouderos’ report and then decides to do Jake Crosby one better by “investigating” this organization and noting that Drs. Stephen Barrett, Bennett Leventhal, and Eric Fombonne are all on the ASAT’s board of directors–as if that were a bad thing. Obviously, to Conrick, having science-based people on the board of directors must mean that the organization is in the thrall of big pharma:

Quite a mouthful especially since he now also has become an expert witness for Respondents in the Autism Omnibus Cases. He and fellow genetic autism, psychiatry, researcher Dr. Ed Cook, who is also now known for his Respondent testimony in the Autism Omnibus cases, have been a team looking for those elusive autism genes for MANY years

They also have another common bond. It appears that they have each been involved with Eli Lilly (HERE). Dr. Cook reported to receive Consultation Fees (include scientific advisory boards) for Eli Lilly.

Dr. Leventhal is a bit more popular: Dr. Leventhal received “research support from Abbott, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Shire, Pfizer, and Forrest Laboratories; he is on the speaker bureaus of Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, and Bristol-Meyers Squibb/Otsuka; and he has consulting relationships with Abbott, Eli Lilly, Janssen, McNeil, Pfizer, and GlaxoSmithKline.”

Eric Fombonne is also in on the conspiracy to pump children full of teh toxinz, it would appear:

Dr. Fombonne also has similar interests like Dr. Cook and Dr. Leventhal. Rigorous and unwavering research on genes as the sole cause of autism, also an expert witness for Respondents in the Autism Omnibus cases, and…you guessed it….”In the United Kingdom, Dr Fombonne has provided advice on the epidemiology and clinical aspects of autism to scientists advising parents, to vaccine manufacturers (for a fee), and to several government committees between 1998 and 2001. Since June 2004, Dr Fombonne has been an expert witness for vaccine manufacturers in US thimerosal litigation.”

As far as Dr. Barrett goes, Conrick repeats the same nonsense that pro-quackery apologists have repeated about him for years now. Conrick then asks a question that disintegrated my irony meter:

Now how is it possible that expert witnesses in cases regarding vaccine injury and autism, including thimerosal, could possibly be unbiased when they have received money from these same companies that have been involved in making vaccines or manufacturing thimerosal? How can a paper like the Chicago Tribune post letters from an “association” and doctors who have such conflict of interest on the topic of vaccine injury, autism, and the treatments that are helping those children? Where are all of the other letters sent to the Tribune?

I’ve often alluded to the curious sensitivity the anti-vaccine movement has to conflicts of interest when it comes to anyone or anything they don’t like, which was taken to a risibly over-the-top stupid extreme in their evaluation of Fourteen Studies, J.B. Handley’s propaganda effort from last April. Indeed, they have been known to exaggerate to the point of parody. They look for dark conspiracies and find them, even if only in their fantasies. Don’t get me wrong. COIs are important; indeed, I’ve written about them on numerous occasions. However, undisclosed COIs are far more corrosive than disclosed COIs, and Drs. Leventhal, Fombonne, and Barrett’s COIs, such as they are, are all fairly well known. In marked contrast, anti-vaccine apologists like Conrick turn a curiously blind eye to the COIs of their heroes. Andrew Wakefield, for instance, was in the pocket of trial lawyers when he published his infamous 1998 Lancet study. Mark and David Geier make nice living treating autistic children with Lupron. Laura Hewitson published a truly execrable study trying to implicated the hepatitis B vaccine as a cause of autism but did not disclose the first time around that her daughter was one of the petitioners in the Autism Omnibus. Given that her study would be used as “evidence” to support the Omnibus claim, that’s a pretty huge COI. Indeed, she did not disclose these relationships until forced to by the publicity from the blogosphere. Then there’s Boyd Haley himself. He is marketing an inadequately tested chemical as a “supplement” and anti-oxidant and apparently making money off of it, or at least hoping to. To the antivaccine movement, Haley’s on the side of angels; so his COI, which is exactly the same sort of COI that every pharmaceutical company has, doesn’t matter. To them it’s all good. After all, Haley’s the brave maverick doctor trying to cure children!

It’s in part 2 of her expose, however, that Conrick gets creepy. She sets the stage by doing what all anti-vaccinationists do, painting themselves as the victims of a huge conspiracy to hide The Truth About Vaccines and Autism:

For those who do not know, there are many groups who have been fighting hard to suppress the fact that vaccines can cause autism. They are people in the media, in public health, in medical organizations, in vaccine development and patents, in universities with autism gene chasing grants, in the public sector (NIH, CDC, AAP, et al) in the private sector, (pharmaceutical companies) and many in between.

Yes indeed, The Man is out to suppress The Truth! Big pharma, the government, and anyone else who doesn’t buy into the myth that vaccines cause autism and that “biomedical” woo can cure it are in on the conspiracy, obviously! That includes scientists who quite properly reject the pseudoscience and quackery of the anti-vaccine movement and are not afraid to say so. That Tsouderos concentrated her interviews–quite appropriately–among actual scientists for her articles rather than on Conrick’s preferred pseudoscientists and quacks enrages Conrick to the point where she decided to up the creep factor by trying to rope Tsouderos’ sister into this argument. First, she dug up a report from 2001 listing Tsouderos’s sister as an award recipient in HIV/AIDS research. Apparently she now works for a data management and statistical consulting company that has–gasp!–worked for The Man:

Now that might have some impact on Trine’s obvious anti-biomed slant but I decided to see what that Public Health involvement might be. It seems she worked for a company that did multi-center NIH-funded health studies. Well, autism is part of the NIH studies so that too could sway Trine so I then decided to see who some of her sister’s clients had been.

That proved to be quite a list. Here are some of the names known to the autism community: Department of Defense, Harvard University, National Institute of Health, National Institute of Mental Health, and the US Department of Health and Human Services, to name some biggies. For those of you who also may not know, if someone you love is injured, dies, or receives an autism diagnosis due to vaccines, it is you vs. the US Department of Health and Human Services, so they do play a big part in the current issues dealing with autism causation, especially vaccines.

Oh, the humanity! The horror! The company that Tsouderos’ sister works for does contract work for academic institutions and government agencies, such as the NIH, Harvard, HHS, and the Department of Defense!? Damn! How nefarious can it get? How evil? Clearly, Trine’s sister’s company has used her sister to influence a Trib reporter to make sure that The Truth About Vaccines and Autism is never known, the better to protect its massive profits doing contract work for the NIH, CDC, and HHS. Obviously it is a plot by the Illuminati, who have clearly inducted Tsouderos’s sister into its dark order in order to influence the press through her relationship with a Tribune reporter. It’s so obvious!

Do conspiracy theories get any lamer than that? I think not.

What I do think is that Conrick’s tortured attempt to link Trine’s sister to her work as a Tribune reporter writing excellent exposes of the sort of quackery that Conrick believes in is, in fact, intentional retaliation. AoA has decided that painting Tsouderos as a baby-eating cannibal only made them look stupid (which it did, in spades); apparently the merry crew of anti-vaccine cranks there doesn’t think that trying to drag Tsouderos’s family into the issue on the thinnest of pretexts won’t make them look even more pathetic and desperate. Certainly at best it makes Conrick look desperate, and at worst it makes her look creepy and stalkerish.

Stalkerish or not, I have no doubt that this is an intentional attack, a message to the world that if you go against AoA it will try to drag your family and friends into the argument. It is clearly a message to those who would speak out against vaccine pseudoscience that says, in essence, “Hey, we know where your sister works” and “You wouldn’t want us to cause trouble for your family, now, would you?” In warped view of the anti-vaccine movement, this blatant intimidation tactic appears to be all about “shaming,” as this commenter points out:

I am wondering out loud if we need to shame each and every person in this multi-layered cabal, because they continue their despicable behavior with impunity. They are obviously solidifying their alliances to make their world impenetrable. They maintain the stranglehold by keeping the information secret, inaccessible, because they know the outrageous truths are being known by larger numbers.

Even if Obama was 1000% committed to force a level of transparency in government, VAERS and VSD and everything known about vaccine damage will not see the light of day. There is too much at stake, not the least of which is “the shame”. Protecting vaccinations, protecting the religion, is also protecting them from shame.

I’m all for more transparency in government. However, the fantastical conspiracies imagined by this commenter and Conrick herself boggle the mind; like all such conspiracy theories, they require that so many different people from so many different organizations exhibit a level of competence and discipline unseen in human history. Such conspiracy theories require huge numbers of people to work towards one end and, more importantly, that none of them blab about the conspiracy. Aside from the conspirators themselves, only those Brave Rebel Fighters Against The Conspiracy know about it. They really buy into it and will torture reality to make it fit their vision of a grand conspiracy working to thwart them at every turn, as this commenter does:

I cancelled my subscription in Nov. but trying to think of something more drastic this time. Hmmmmmm…..so many things come to mind but probably not safe to print.

Thank god for people like you who actually know how to write and report on accurate research. Journalism at it’s finest.

One worries about such rhetoric, one does. What does she mean by “something more drastic”?

But none of that is really the issue main reason why this hit piece was simultaneously so amusing and appalling. The reason is that Tsouderos has brought to the anti-vaccine movement what it really doesn’t want for itself: Transparency. Even though antivaxers have deluded themselves that the quackery they embrace is the One True Hope for Autism, I suspect that, deep down, they realize just how badly, how unethically, some of their luminaries are behaving. Examples include the Geiers doing unethical human experimentation injecting powerful anti-sex hormone drugs into autistic children on the basis of no science, DAN! quacks profiting selling useless supplements to the parents of autistic children, and, yes, Boyd Haley doing an end run around FDA approval by marketing his industrial chelator as a supplement without even being able to meet even the minimal level of evidence required by the government that it is safe and should be considered a food. They want “transparency” for the agents of their imagined conspiracies, but when the light of day is shined upon their activities, they do not like it. Not one bit at all.

And they lash out in retaliation.

All Tsouderos did was what the press should have started doing years ago: Actually investigating the claims of the anti-vaccine movement from a science-based perspective. As a result, AoA is trying to slime her sister. The message is clear. If you speak out, they’ll do the same to you, too, if you can.

Comments

  1. #1 reasonablehank
    January 22, 2010

    “Keeping the information secret”

    Yes. That’s right. The wealth of “evidence” that anti-vaccinators present, only to have their bottoms smacked with said “evidence”, has all been kept from them and the deluded public.

    Why do they keep banning us when they present their truths? Surely they want the message to get out there, even further: way out there.

    They keep using the Argument from Ignorance in citing VAERS, and what it “doesn’t tell us”, like it is a universal truth.

    They are a parody. Their claims are getting more ridiculous the more the cranks are being exposed.

  2. #2 Citizen Deux
    January 22, 2010

    A related great article about the challenges of getting out the message from the evidence / science based side of the house!

    Pseudoscience in the Ascendency

    For me this is the winning line;

    “I’m allergic to willful ignorance, but I’m in desperate need of an open exchange of ideas. I never won a debate using make-believe facts, but neither did I ever win one by calling my opponent stupid.”

  3. #3 Phyllis Cahoon
    January 22, 2010

    Autism is a National Emergency and it’s time to recognize that and find the answers. 1 in every 110 children are now diagnosed with this. Today is the LAST day to vote for the National Autism Association. They’re currently in 7th place and need to be 6th or better to win $100,000 for their programs! You could really make a difference for lots of families affected by autism. PLEASE take a little time to vote today and then share this link with all your Face Book friends. http://www.VoteAutismNow.com – Thank you!

  4. #4 Orac
    January 22, 2010

    No, Phyllis, my suggestion to my readers is that they do not vote for the National Autism Association. It’s a pseudoscience-boosting, anti-vaccine-promoting group and is not worthy of my readers’ votes or money.

    In my opinion, of course.

  5. #5 Todd W.
    January 22, 2010

    Yep, AoA’s all about transparency. I mean, just look at the comment I made on Kim Stagliano’s article, asking where I could find the studies showing OSR#1 is safe. Oh, wait, you can’t because they haven’t let it through moderation. Yep, they’re transparent all right.

  6. #6 Kristen
    January 22, 2010

    Orac Writes:

    I have no doubt that this is an intentional attack, a message to the world that if you go against AoA it will try to drag your family into the argument.

    This is what is so scary about this whole ‘debate’. AoA are so nice if you agree with them, but become thugs when they feel threatened.

    I remember about a year ago I was contacted by an advocate who was looking for parents who would be willing to be interviewed. She wanted to have a mother, whom other mothers might be able to relate to, to try to convince them to vaccinate their children.

    I communicated with her for about a month before turning her down. These people are vicious, and I didn’t want their rage turned against my family. I admire those who are willing to write on this subject, because, as much as I have to say, I’m intimidated.

  7. #7 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 22, 2010

    Given that the National Autism Association sponsors the Age of Autism blog, one has to wonder if Phyllis is totally clueless or just hopes everyone else is. In case it’s the former, perhaps this post will explain to Phyllis why I would never vote for the National Autism Association and their sleazy, dishonest ways.

  8. #8 Mike Dark
    January 22, 2010

    I love Friday Woo! Thanks for this Orac.

  9. #9 kittywhumpus
    January 22, 2010

    The anti-vaccination organizations and spokespeople are reminding me more and more, every day, of Scientology and its spokespeople & tactics.

    Terrifying.

  10. #10 Denice Walter
    January 22, 2010

    They follow the lead of super-woo publicizers/salesmen/ publicity whores like Null and Adams:trying desparately to get mainstream media attention, then condemning it when it brings well-deserved, reality-based criticism.The new battle cry becomes:”Don’t trust the media!”(which matches nicely with:”Don’t trust the Government!”,”Don’t trust the Medical Establishment!”"Don’t trust Big Pharma!”,”Trust ME!!!”- see websites/archives of the aforementioned idiots)-hopefully,resulting in their banishment to the dustier,wackier corners of the internet, realm of Jones, Rense, & Scudamore.((AND….. speaking of the Illuminati: my late father created a long-running series of family jokes & sarcasm based on conspiracy theories surrounding the Freemasons-in actuality, he worked with many *real* masons in the USAAC/USAF,stateside,and they got on well.I guess that makes me second-generation and explains my proclivities)).

  11. #11 Todd W.
    January 22, 2010

    Okay, I just submitted the following comment on part 1 of Teresa’s article:

    I tried posting this on Kim’s post from several days ago about this Trib piece, but it hasn’t appeared yet. I took a look at CTI’s web site, but I couldn’t find any links to the studies showing it is safe in humans. Can someone help me out? I know they say it’s safe, but I’d just like to see the actual studies that were done. It’ll help me argue about it.

    Let’s see if this one gets through.

  12. #12 Orac
    January 22, 2010

    The anti-vaccination organizations and spokespeople are reminding me more and more, every day, of Scientology and its spokespeople & tactics.

    Scientology is an apt analogy, I’m afraid. Fortunately, the anti-vax movement is nowhere near as powerful as Scientology. For now.

  13. #13 KWombles
    January 22, 2010

    Conrick isn’t the only one to bring Tsouderos’s family into it. Commenter bensmyson also brought in her husband, providing his name and email.

    I also second Orac on not voting for the NAA. They ran the hit piece press release on Offit several months ago, which David Brown and I both covered on Countering (mine is linked through my name) and David’s can be found here: http://counteringageofautism.blogspot.com/2009/09/anti-vaccine-propaganda-circulated-as.html.

  14. #14 history Punk
    January 22, 2010

    Could be worse, PALMD over at Whitecoat Underground got libeled as a child molester by one the quack’s he criticized.

  15. #15 Terrie
    January 22, 2010

    The thing that amazes me about their “conspiracy” is that they have no one who used to be a part of it. Even the Satantic Panic people could find people to claim they were once a part of it, but escaped. You’d think they could at least find someone who used to work as a janitor for the CDC or something.

  16. #16 Orac
    January 22, 2010

    Could be worse, PALMD over at Whitecoat Underground got libeled as a child molester by one the quack’s he criticized.

    What makes you think I haven’t been libeled as a child molester before? It’s happened to me several times, starting with Holocaust deniers around 2000 and progressing to quacks and anti-vaxers more recently. Indeed, John Best not too long ago tried to paint me as a pedophile.

    You have to understand that you haven’t truly made it as a skeptical blogger until some crank tries to paint you as a pedophile.

  17. #17 Jennifer
    January 22, 2010

    I’m confused. Didn’t the parents from AoA and NAA fully vaccinate their children? Wouldn’t this be the opposite of anti-vaccinaters? Also, the main ingrediant in Boyd Haley’s product is N1, N3-bis(2-mercaptoethyl)isophthalamide. Read the Material Safety Data Sheet that accompanies this material (or the Merck Manual) and compare it to the one that comes with thimerosal (which is made from ethylmercuric chloride, an industrial fungicide,
    slimicide banned because of etreme toxicity for any use except vaccines). Which one is more toxic Orac?

  18. #18 Todd W.
    January 22, 2010

    @Jennifer

    Do you have a link to the MSDS?

  19. #19 OleanderTea
    January 22, 2010

    Scientology is an apt analogy, I’m afraid. Fortunately, the anti-vax movement is nowhere near as powerful as Scientology. For now.

    Possibly the scariest thing I’ve read on this site.

  20. #20 Catherina
    January 22, 2010

    Jennifer

    Neither 1,3-benzenediamidoethanethiol nor N,N’-bis (2-mercaptoethyl)isophthalamide appears in the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry. Neither chemical name has a corresponding Materials Safety Data Sheet; neither has been thoroughly tested to determine its toxicity and pharmacodynamics in human beings.

    from:

    http://www.neurodiversity.com/weblog/article/169

  21. #21 Andreas Johansson
    January 22, 2010

    Yes indeed, The Man is out to suppress The Truth! Big pharma, the government, and anyone else who doesn’t buy into the myth that vaccines cause autism and that “biomedical” woo can cure it are in on the conspiracy, obviously!

    How does one get in on this conspiracy anyway? I could use a couple big bags of cash and a few trophy wives.

  22. #22 HealthEd
    January 22, 2010

    < < How does one get in on this conspiracy anyway? I could use a couple big bags of cash and a few trophy wives. >>

    Yeah, as a member of the media with the power to publish Teh Truth (or not), where’s my vat of hush money?

  23. #23 Dedj
    January 22, 2010

    Recently I’ve seen commentators on AoA redefine the value of 1, and imply that sharing the same county of residence is sufficient evidence to make implied accusations of fraud and corruption.

    The biggest shock for me was that the AoA writer supplied a reference. Needless to say, it was neither relevant nor did it even attempt to properly depict the content of the document referenced, but at least they tried.

  24. #24 Omri
    January 22, 2010

    Jennifer, there is no MSDS for this chelator.

    It’s not even safety-tested for industrial use, let alone ingestion.

  25. #25 David N. Brown
    January 22, 2010

    “in my opinion parents who subject autistic children to Lupron through the Geiers are committing child abuse.”

    I think stronger language is in order: At least one parent has been successfully prosecuted for having Lupron administered unnessarily. If the Geiers were prosecuted on this present, they could easily end up with more prison time than they will be alive.
    I have seriously investigated options for putting the Geiers out of commission. The best bet is that the elder (Mark, I think) Geier’s license will be up for renewal sometime this year. I strongly urge others (esp. in Maryland jurisdiction) to start presenting complaints to relevant authorities.

  26. #26 Jud
    January 22, 2010

    Jennifer @17:

    Didn’t the parents from AoA and NAA fully vaccinate their children?

    - I’d imagine some of the parents who participate in the activities and conversations at AoA and NAA had all their children vaccinated, some had some of their children vaccinated, and some had none of their children vaccinated. What’s your point?

    the main ingrediant in Boyd Haley’s product is N1, N3-bis(2-mercaptoethyl)isophthalamide. Read the Material Safety Data Sheet that accompanies this material (or the Merck Manual)

    We’ve already had a comment that there is no MSDS on this “main ingredient.” Care to link to an MSDS, or tell us where it is in the Merck Manual? Besides the very basic problem of verifying your assertions as fact, there are the following points:

    - I would imagine the main ingredient in most vaccines is water. So by your own “logic,” no worries, eh? Except there is far more than some nonsensical argument masquerading as reasoning where vaccines are concerned, there are quite exhaustive studies (none of which I expect to convince you even a little, since when you can’t find anything wrong with one of them, this is taken to mean the bad news must have been suppressed – neat little world view).

    - You are seriously contending an MSDS is an adequate basis for feeding a drug at arbitrary (because untested) dosages to children?

  27. #27 Enkidu
    January 22, 2010

    I found this “MSDS” pdf for OSR on what appears to be a Swiss(?) anti-aging site.

    http://www.praxis-seegarten.ch/pages/medinfo/pages/osr-msds.pdf

    Is this thing for real? And how does one define “massive amounts?” (see 4th paragraph in Section II)

  28. #28 KWombles
    January 22, 2010

    @Jennifer,

    No, not all of the folks who believe vaccines cause autism have fully vaccinated their children. In fact, some have admitted that they haven’t vaccinated some of their children. Stagliano’s three daughters have autism. The youngest was never vaccinated.

  29. #29 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 22, 2010

    I’m confused. Didn’t the parents from AoA and NAA fully vaccinate their children?

    Evidently you are very, very confused. You would have to do quite some searching before you found a group of parents less likely to fully vaccinate their children.

  30. #30 Vicki
    January 22, 2010

    If I actually wanted a group of parents who wouldn’t vaccinate their children, I’d go to the nearest Christian Science Reading Room.

    Hmm. That’s a thought.

    Has anyone studied autism rates in Christian Scientists, and whether they’ve changed over time? (It’s not double-blind, but it may be the closest we’ll get to an ethical comparison study.)

  31. #31 the bug guy
    January 22, 2010

    I found this “MSDS” pdf for OSR on what appears to be a Swiss(?) anti-aging site.

    http://www.praxis-seegarten.ch/pages/medinfo/pages/osr-msds.pdf

    Is this thing for real? And how does one define “massive amounts?” (see 4th paragraph in Section II)

    It looks like someone who doesn’t understand an MSDS tried to fill in a blank sheet. Much of the alleged information provided in Section II, Hazardous Ingredients/Identity Information, should be in Section IV, Health Hazard Data. I think this is the first MSDS I’ve seen that hasn’t had the CHEMTREC emergency contact number. There’s no CAS#, no RTECS, no TSCA information.

    The presentation of toxicity data is highly nonstandard and yes, “massive amounts” is meaningless on an MSDS and shouldn’t be on a legitimate one.

    The safe handling measures are also suspect. I’ve never seen reiterations of “It is very non-toxic and not reactive” in the handling information. It also repeats that the material is not water soluble. Um…if it’s not water soluble and is apparently given in powder form, how is it being absorbed and used by the body?

    It’s interesting that there’s no First Aid information provided. Even the most benign material have at least some minimal boilerplate first aid information.

    The formatting seems to be rather old, despite the 2008 date given. Newer MSDS sheets tend to use a different format.

    If that’s their MSDS, it’s woefully inadequate and suspect.

  32. #32 Todd W.
    January 22, 2010

    @the bug guy

    Thanks for your comments on that link. I thought the language seemed rather juvenile and not technical. It also seemed a bit sparse, but then, I’m not particularly familiar with MSDSs.

    Even if it were the actual MSDS and the info contained therein were accurate, an MSDS is only valid for explaining industrial use (correct me if I’m wrong, those familiar with them) and in no way says anything about the use of the substance in a dietary or pharmaceutical context.

  33. #33 Trish Parnell
    January 22, 2010

    Thanks for keeping the conversation lively, Orac. I enjoy your posts.

  34. #34 Greg Fish
    January 22, 2010

    In any case, although it’s possible that autism prevalence may be increasing somewhat, the apparent huge increase is very likely far more due to the broadening of the diagnostic criteria, greater awareness, and much more intensive screening.

    All great points, but there’s one more potential culprit being studied: the age of the parents. A ten year hike in the ages of moms and dads was found to have a 38% and 22% increase in the odds of a child diagnosed with autism respectively…

    http://worldofweirdthings.com/2010/01/10/when-doing-the-right-thing-could-backfire/

    Granted this is very preliminary, but even if much of the increase is diagnostic in nature, there’s still a chance that older parents are more likely to have their children diagnosed with autism and older parents tend to be more and more of a norm today in the developed world.

  35. #35 Anonymouse
    January 22, 2010

    It’s interesting to see the AOA commentors talk about shame, because from the outside it seems that many of them are motivated by deep shame over having an autistic child. It’s like they’re willing to do anything to make their children non-autistic, and they’re also willing to embrace any causal theory that isn’t genetic (because that would somehow make them responsible for their child’s autism). It’s sad.

    I wish we had a better handle on real causes and effective therapies for autism. We know so little about it and with the huge increase in diagnoses (which like Orac I believe are mostly attributable to changes in diagnostic criteria), we’re panicking parents without providing enough concrete information on ways they can help their children. The vacuum of information is what’s fueling a lot of the crazy.

  36. #36 BLueMaxx
    January 22, 2010

    @32 TODD:

    generally speaking, MSDS sheets provide info on safe handling, shipping, and storage. They also are intended to provide information about emergency treatment and effects of exposure as inhalation/splash/ingestion hazard, and are a standard reference used in US Emergency Departments to assist in the evaluation and treatment of chemical exposure cases.

    I would concur with THE BUG GUY @comment31. The form as presented appears incomplete, with rather informally entered data in other areas. a bit of science info did seep in there, citing a specific LD50 for rats.
    LD50 is a toxicology term, reflecting the LETHAL DOSE at which it will kill 50% of the population (of lab rats). Of course, there are measured dose levels that can produce LD10% too… hopefully not a dose that is close to that of the 250mg dosing they refer too…and that the children getting the special ODT#3 orange juice or “gluten free waffles” are receiving.

    I will stop short of saying it looks like a counterfeit but will readily agree it looks incomplete and of questionable validity. Fascinatingly, it appears that the CTI company has specific human data for prolonged dosing. If I am correct, isnt CTI the same company that is packaging and selling this as a “supplement” to unsuspecting autism families?

    BTW… I find it tragically amusing that the same parent that goes to the extreme of eliminating gluten from child’s diet out of perceived fear it is aggravating for autistic symptoms, would not flinch to sprinkle some white powder onto their breakfast!!!

  37. #37 Anonymouse
    January 22, 2010

    there’s still a chance that older parents are more likely to have their children diagnosed with autism

    I wonder if there’s a genetic/epigenetic reason or if it’s because older parents are more likely to have a higher socioeconomic status and are therefore more likely to seek a diagnosis. It’s all very interesting.

  38. #38 Jennifer
    January 22, 2010

    Anybody find the MSDS for thimerosal and/or it’s main ingredient ethylmercuric chloride?

  39. #39 Todd W.
    January 22, 2010

    @BLueMaxx

    Thank you for the added details of MSDSs and how they are used. So my general statement was correct, they do not bear much, if any, relevance to the substance’s use as a dietary or pharmaceutical agent.

  40. #40 BLueMaxx
    January 22, 2010

    JENNIFER @38.

    I didnt realize we were seeking it… the group, I believe was waiting FOR YOU, JENN, to provide the web citation for the MSDS sheet, MERCK Manual reference, or ANY other similar factual reference material. That was what you seemed to be offering/ speaking of earlier!???

    HMMMMmmmmm? we are waiting!

  41. #41 Just Curious
    January 22, 2010

    I’m wondering if anyone has any information on reports of injury or adverse reactions to OSR.

    To Anonymouse at #37:
    According to the IACC, inbreeding is a major contributing factor to Autism. If I were the parent of an autistic child, I would be highly insulted, no matter what side of the debate my beliefs fall on.

  42. #42 Anonymouse
    January 22, 2010

    According to the IACC, inbreeding is a major contributing factor to Autism.

    They do not make any such claim. Inbreeding? What? I just did a search of the IACC website and the word doesn’t appear once. Where did you get that from?

  43. #43 BLueMaxx
    January 22, 2010

    TODD

    well..they DO provide information about biological effects, with calculated dosing, when available,… so while they are NOT primary pharmacology reference materials, they do provide information, when available, about what happens when ingested either as part of diet, or taken as a “medicine.”

    remember that almost all Medications are bioactive chemicals with specific effects, both desired and undesirable. The art and science of medicine/ pharmacology is to determine a dose that has measurable and consistent POSITIVE Effects, while low enough to avoid and serious SIDE or ADVERSE Effects. Almost all compounds/chemicals/plant matter can be toxic, in large enough doses. Drinking too much water can be toxic, at high volumes. Putting very very small microdose of thimerasol into vaccines as preservative yields the POSITIVE effect of preserving /extending shelf life of vaccine, while so low as to avoid all known and measurable SIDE or ADVERSE Effects.

    and for those that wondered about THIMERASOL MSDS sheet.. here is a web reference
    http://www.sciencelab.com/xMSDS-Thimerosal-9925236

    and it serves as a good example of the way a properly detailed, fully completed MSDS data sheet should look. Please compare to the earlier questionable MSDS for ODT#3.

    have a nice weekend, everyone.

  44. #44 Omri
    January 22, 2010

    I sent a tip to University Diaries, since UD stories about academic misconduct tend to spur results.

  45. #45 Just Curious
    January 22, 2010

    Anonymouse @42

    It’s in the “What Causes Autism” portion of the IACC plan. It lists parents who are related to each other, specifically parents who are first and second cousins, as a major causation factor. This was also mentioned at the IACC conference call this past Monday, I believe.

  46. #46 jen
    January 22, 2010

    @Kristin, what were you saying about being contacted by an advocate to pair up with other parents to “convince them” to vaccinate? That sounds kind of whack! Please expand on that.

  47. #47 Anonymouse
    January 22, 2010

    Just Curious @45, I did some looking around, and you appear to be quoting an AoA blog post. I read the IACC strategic plan online and haven’t found any mention of cousins in it at all. It’s certainly not listed as a major cause of autism. You’re welcome to take a look and see if you find a reference.

    http://iacc.hhs.gov/strategic-plan/2009/IACC_Strategic_Plan.pdf

  48. #48 DLC
    January 22, 2010

    You know, I do empathize with the parents of autistic children.
    But I want to remind people:
    Autism is a case of delay, not stasis.
    Your children may indeed “grow out of it.”
    many do. Some kids are autistic at 4 and ‘normal’ at 17.
    And in many ways this itself is a large part of the problem.
    Junior is autistic at 3, and you start in on the “biomedical” bull, and meanwhile Junior grows out of it by 12, after 9 years of being used as “My Laboratory” (to quote Jenny McCarthy). the reality of the situation is, Junior just grew out of it. His delay ended.

    and in the meanwhile, the Giers got richer, you got poorer, and your child was subjected to http://www.drugs.com/lupron.html, the insanity of a gluten free casein free diet, being tied down, being weighted, forced to endure hours of hyperbaric oxygen treatments . . .
    When in fact, all they really needed was time.

    If you have to consult a web resource on Autism, please pick the NIH, NIMH or even (as a last resort) the Mayo Clinic web site instead of AoA or DAN!. pretty please ? with lupron sprinkles on top ?

  49. #49 Fuzzzone
    January 22, 2010

    Well done, Anonymouse. And with a name like “Just Curious”, I’d had such high hopes for pearls of wisdom. /sarcasm

    Even if there were a mention of close parental familial relations being a possible contributing factor to autism in the IACC plan, in what way would that be insulting to parents “no matter what side of the debate” ones “beliefs” fell on? That’s as absurd as suggesting that it is insulting to say that parental age may play a factor. Or that parental eye color is the determinant of offspring eye color. If it proves to be true, it is true, and no amount of “oh, I’m so insulted” can change reality. I’m sorry if that truth hurts your feelings, but it sounds like a personal problem.

  50. #50 Anonymouse
    January 22, 2010

    If you have to consult a web resource on Autism, please pick the NIH, NIMH or even (as a last resort) the Mayo Clinic web site instead of AoA or DAN!

    The big problem is that AoA and DAN! have answers (albeit wrong ones), while the mainstream sites don’t. There aren’t a lot of good, evidence-based autism therapies available, the ones that exist are extremely expensive and time-consuming, they often aren’t covered by insurance and they don’t help all children. Until science has better answers for desperate and frightened parents, the quacks are going to fill the void.

  51. #51 Dave Ruddell
    January 22, 2010

    Well, if you Google MSDS and thimerosal, the first hit you get is this:

    http://www.sciencelab.com/xMSDS-Thimerosal-9925236

    Since this was so easy to find, I call bad faith on Jennifer, not that this is surprising.

  52. #52 Kristen
    January 22, 2010

    Jen

    @Kristin, what were you saying about being contacted by an advocate to pair up with other parents to “convince them” to vaccinate? That sounds kind of whack! Please expand on that.

    You twisted my words a bit. It was to speak with parents who were scared to have their children vaccinated because of all the misinformation they had been fed. You see, there are parents out there who are actually interested in the facts, and haven’t stubbornly decided they are right and science is wrong.

    And BTW, did you just say “whack”, really? How old are you, fifteen?

  53. #53 the bug guy
    January 22, 2010

    @32 TODD:

    I have seen MSDS sheets with a lot of “not available” entries, but those have tend to be first generation MSDS sheets from the 1980s. More modern MSDS sheets (like the ones for thimerosal linked above) are more complete.

  54. #54 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 22, 2010

    The big problem is that AoA and DAN! have answers (albeit wrong ones), while the mainstream sites don’t.

    I do wonder two things, in connection with this:

    1) How many parents would be grown-up enough to accept an honest “I don’t know” when it’s appropriate? I’d like to think it’s a lot, but considering how many parents would rather hear “sure! sprinkling an industrial chemical on their breakfast will ‘recover’ them!” than “WTF are you on, giving an industrial chemical that the inventor has specifically avoided testing the safety to your child??” I fear the reality might be far fewer.

    2) What ever happened to the good old FAQ? We used to have them in the Usenet days (he said, shaking his cane) but not so much anymore. It’d be nice to be able to tell the 10,000th person who says “We need to do a double-blinded randomized controlled trial of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children because anything else isn’t real science” simply “Answers 15 and 22, thanks, have a nice day.”

  55. #55 snerd
    January 22, 2010

    AF: http://antiantivax.flurf.net/ is probably the closest thing I can think of to a FAQ; perhaps an Oraculish wiki would be a good idea?

  56. #56 LAB
    January 22, 2010

    The Autism Society of America, a seemingly mainstream group to which many parents new to autism turn, supports the biomed approach and believes vaccines cause autism.

    http://www.autism-society.org/site/PageServer?pagename=research_envirohealth_vaccines

    The ASA runs support groups in many cities in America. A perfectly reasonable parent might walk into one of these for help and information and walk out with a referral to a DAN! doctor and an armful of books by Kenneth Bock and Jenny McCarthy. Sadly, it’s not just the nuts at AoA and Generation Rescue peddling this nonsense, but the seemingly innocuous groups, too.

  57. #57 Bill
    January 22, 2010

    It still all comes down to money.

    HBOT, chelation, lupron, etc. all are extremely lucrative for the ones administering those “therapies”, normally to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars per month (far more than from any conventional medicine)

    Shoot, more than 30 years ago prescribing Laetril provided at least one clinic with a six figure monthly income.

    CAM is never going to go away because it pays so well for so little effort.

  58. #58 Anonymouse
    January 22, 2010

    @56 LAB, yes, it’s really bad out there. My son came close to being diagnosed with an ASD (now that he’s older, it’s been ruled out). I looked into support groups and online sources of information and the level of hysteria and sheer lunacy out there is breathtaking. There isn’t a single autism parents group in my area that doesn’t push the vaccine hypothesis, as well as the GFCF diet and other questionable therapies.

    We’re lucky because my son has responded beautifully to his OT and speech therapy and is doing well in a mainstream school. But parents with more seriously disabled kids are really in a bad spot. They need good information and support, and they’re not getting it.

  59. #59 Harry
    January 22, 2010

    When I read the Trib. article I see Boyd Haley has been taking his own toxic industrial chemical daily for 3 years now. I wonder if any real scientists/MD’s would be willing to take an injection of thimerosal 11 times (adusted for weight remember). You in Orac?

  60. #60 Harry
    January 22, 2010

    When I read the Trib. article I see Boyd Haley has been taking his own toxic industrial chemical daily for 3 years now. I wonder if any real scientists/MD’s would be willing to take an injection of thimerosal 11 times (adjusted for weight remember). You in Orac?

  61. #61 superdave
    January 22, 2010

    Harry, an N of one isn’t much of an experiment.

  62. #62 Amenhotepstein
    January 22, 2010

    Harry:

    Already had my 11 (or more) weight-adjusted doses of thimerosal – when I was vaccinated as a child. No ill effects yet! Today’s kids don’t even get that, so what’s your point?

    Also, why would Boyd Haley take his own medicine? He’s not autistic! Does he think it’s “tonic”?

  63. #63 jen
    January 23, 2010

    @Kristin, I really don’t think my age has anything to do with this issue. I guess I could have said, Gee, Kristin, that sounds really quite desperate (and odd) of that parent partnership situation for you to have been solicited to “convince” other parents to vaccinate. I did not twist your words at all; go back and look. Bottom line in terms of this sad situation is that many parents have lost trust in the vaccination program. Parents are not feeling convinced about vaccine safety (simple consumer confidence)Sure, there may be the odd decent vaccine safety study but alot of them are lame and the public is starting to realize it.

  64. #64 Chris
    January 23, 2010

    Harry, here is something you should read: Clinical course of severe poisoning with thiomersal.

    jen, here is something you should try to comprehend:
    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)

  65. #65 Passerby
    January 23, 2010

    The very parents who are busily pointing fingers at vaccines as the source of autism in their children ARE the cause of their offsprings delayed neurological and mitochondrial energetics polymorphisms: it’s called epigenetics and its largely centered around methyl donor insufficiency in reproductive cells.

    Do parents really think that their days of junk food binging, chronic lack of sleep, booze, smoking and drug use during teen years, when egg and sperm undergo programming that reflects their health and environmental exposure by methylation of histones and silencing or activation of key chromosomal segments – would really have no consequences??

    Au contraire! The result is impaired redox management in cells, oxidant damage that is cumulative and very much related to methylation biochemistry because part of that all important methyl donor pool is needed to make important antioxidants that also combat pollutant and physical stressors that are part of daily cellular wear-and-tear.

    Add ‘em up! At least three generations of truly stupid and selfish lifestyle decisions by young wannabe parents, resulting in an ongoing and growing tide of biochemically impaired children.

    You don’t see much autism among the Mormons, the 7th Day Adventists and Jehovoah’s Witness (nor Hindu or Buddhists, either) – the Abstemious Folk. You may not like their lifestyles, but in an increasingly polluted environment and in a population drifting far from tens of thousands of years of dietary programming of nuclear receptor regulatory genes that are sensitive to environment, it’s the price of inappropriate lifestyle choices. It’s dashed important to watch your lifestyle Ps and Qs during YOUR formative years because your health is also reflected in your reproductive cells and later, in your offspring.

    Time for the rest of us who find our health imperiled through public exposure of sick, unvaccinated chitlins to point fingers back at the source of autistic damage in children – their parents and grandparents.

  66. #66 Otto
    January 23, 2010

    @Chris: “THIS IS AN EX-LINK!!”

    Do you do anything other than wasting the time of friend and foe alike with this lame riposte?

  67. #67 Chris
    January 23, 2010

    Otto:

    Do you do anything other than wasting the time of friend and foe alike with this lame riposte?

    Yes.

    I posted it because jen insists on posting off-topic stuff. This blog posting was about AoA retaliating against a journalist by trying to denigrate or out her family members. It really has nothing to do with vaccines. She posted the same off-topic comments on another blog posting which was about a quack selling untested chemicals as a supplement, and I told her whenever she decided to wax on about vaccines I would remind her of this with this little screed.

    Now, do you have any else better to do than be a concern troll?

  68. #68 Otto
    January 23, 2010

    @Chris: “Now, do you have any else better to do than be a concern troll?”

    Why, yes, in fact I do. Never would I have suspected that you were merely engaged in the noble and repetitive task of maintaining comment hygiene.

    “Concern troll,” my ass.

  69. #69 Chris
    January 23, 2010

    Aww, poor baby.

    So what do you think about trying to tie the reporting of a quack selling an untested chemical to desperate parents to the work history of the journalist’s relatives?

    Silly or stupid?

  70. #70 Otto
    January 23, 2010

    Go fuck yourself in the eye with a stick, Chris. I think Boyd Haley should be clapped in irons and Teresa Conrick would have fit right in with the Manson family.

    This has nothing to do with signal-to-noise ratio, though, the point upon which my original criticism is based.

  71. #71 Kristen
    January 23, 2010

    @LAB

    The ASA runs support groups in many cities in America. A perfectly reasonable parent might walk into one of these for help and information and walk out with a referral to a DAN! doctor and an armful of books by Kenneth Bock and Jenny McCarthy.

    This is exactly how it is in my city. Even the ‘Living with Autism’ support group that the school district sponsors occasionally gives out resources that point parents to questionable websites for information.

    The misinformation is getting ubiquitous, it is hard for parents to find reliable advice.

  72. #72 Kristen
    January 23, 2010

    @Jen

    Bottom line in terms of this sad situation is that many parents have lost trust in the vaccination program.

    Not really. The great majority of parents get their children vaccinated on schedule. The anti-vaccers are an extremely vocal minority.

    I will continue to convince my friends and family (and anyone who asks) that vaccination protects their children. No, they are not 100% safe, but they save far more people than they injure and have nothing to do with ASD.

  73. #73 han
    January 23, 2010

    @Passerby

    Do you have anything to offer besides tedious moralizing? Like maybe some evidence to back up your sciencey-sounding claims? Or are you here simply to judge and condemn a large group of people about whom you know virtually nothing?

    Throughout the entire course of history, humans have sought out altered states of consciousness. Marijuana and alcohol, not to mention many, many other substances you would label as “stupid” and “selfish”, have been used by humans around the world for untold generations. Getting fucked up is certainly nothing new, and if it were as dangerous as you claim, we humans would have died off long ago.

    Trying to convince people that they’ve done something to cause their child’s autism is disingenuous and just plain mean.

  74. #74 Harry
    January 23, 2010

    Chris, is this the kind a science you’re referimg to; “Dissecting a Thimerosal Study”, http://www.naturalnews.com/022237_thimerosal_Merck_mercury.html

    Seems more like statistical manipulation than science!

  75. #75 Dedj
    January 23, 2010

    Harry:

    The purpose of the study was to look for the possible effects of Thimerosal, and whether it may cause neuropsychological deficits. Such a study would want and need to reduce confounders, which is exactly what they did.

    You should have questioned the bias and/or competance of a person who criticises a study design for being designed to study the study question. They didn’t answer the questions Stevenson wanted them to, but that wasn’t the purpose of the study as she should well have known.

    If you can’t grasp the idea that scientists like to ask and answer questions using a scientific approach, then you are not capable of contributing to this discussion.

  76. #76 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 23, 2010

    Harry, when you wish to make a point, it is not sufficient to cite a source.

    It is necessary to cite a credible source.

    You have cited Mike Adams’ “Natural News” website.

    Here is Mike Adams “explaining” how the “caduceus” was actually chosen to be a subconscious indoctrination tool:

    That the two snakes representing evil would encircle the staff of public announcement could be an indication that the purpose of the staff is to announce evil (the propaganda of western medicine). At the same time, the mythological carrier of the staff is the protector of liars and thieves (the drug promoters and drug companies).

    Once you understand the symbology, it becomes quite evident that this prominent symbol of western medicine was not chosen by chance: It sends a powerful subconscious message, much like the symbols of secret societies used on dollar bills, for example (the all-seeing eye floating above the pyramid on the back of the dollar bill). It might even be said that, through the repetition of this symbol which adorns the most important documents and texts used in the medical schools, doctors are, in a very true sense, being continuously indoctrinated with the powerful symbols of evil and death.

    Once these impressionable young doctors graduate from their medical schools, they are given the tools of death to “treat” patients: Chemotherapy poisons, toxic pharmaceuticals, scalpels and radiation machines. They slice off women’s breasts and call it “cancer prevention.” They poison children’s brains with chemicals and call it “medicine.” They damage and destroy key organs like the heart, liver, kidneys and brain through the forced application of toxic chemotherapy agents, sometimes at gunpoint (as with the case of Daniel Hauser).

    (fuller analysis to be found here)

    And here is Mike Adams exploiting Patrick Swayze (the day after Swayze’s death) and being just about as wrong as it’s possible to be about chemotherapy:

    Could Patrick Swayze have saved his own life with natural medicine? Absolutely. Without question. Even late-stage pancreatic cancer can be reversed (yes, reversed) with full-on naturopathic treatments involving Chinese herbal medicine, deep body detoxification that includes sweat saunas and colon cleansing, radical changes in diet from “dead” foods to “live” foods, a healthy dose of vitamin D and the daily consumption of raw anti-cancer living juices made from fresh, organic produce like cabbage, broccoli and garlic.

    Many people, of course, aren’t willing to engage in these lifestyle changes in order to save their own lives, but for those who are, the results are astounding. I’ve personally met numerous people who told me their personal stories of reversing cancer (even late-stage liver cancer) by turning to natural medicine. I’ve met all kinds of people who once had cancer and are now completely cured of cancer after making the very simple lifestyle changes espoused here on NaturalNews.com. And yet, at the same time, I’ve never met a person who was cured by cancer with chemotherapy. Not a single one. Never even heard of such a person. They don’t exist. Even the cancer industry will tell you their “cure rate” is zero (because they don’t believe cancer can ever be cured).

    (fuller analysis to be found here; I recommend special attention to the part where Mike Adams tells cancer patients that God will judge them harshly for getting chemotherapy.)

    Now, do you have a credible source for your claims?

  77. #77 daijiyobu
    January 23, 2010

    There’s apparently a new ‘objective’ vaccine org and website, http://vaccines.procon.org/ .

    And, apparently the North American NDs have gotten on the Generation Rescue ‘vaccine refusal promotion’ bandwagon

    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/should-any-vaccines-be-required-for-children-pros-and-cons-and-current-research-at-new-proconorg-website-82379837.html

    -r.c.

  78. #78 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 23, 2010

    perhaps an Oraculish wiki would be a good idea?

    I’d certainly support such a thing!

  79. #79 jen
    January 23, 2010

    Chris and Kristin, the science has not spoken at all on vaccines and autism/brain damage. What needs to happen is some real research comparing vaccinated kids against unvaccinated-perhaps even measuring for things like brain swelling in the two grops. Especially but not limited to the period before the blood/brain barrier is finished developing. Consumers (in this case parents) are not stupid. Yes, probably the majority do still vaccinate but many are rightly questioning the need for so many (hep b at brith?!), chicken pox? and so soon. Consumer demand may eventually force them to take a closer look at what is happening. And good-because it’s all in the best interest of the children. And to throw Chris a bone, yes, as I’ve stated before I think OSR should be studied more as to effects and I bet that the parents of kids with regressive autism would say bring it on. Don’t worry Otto, Chris is pissed because I found quite a few flaws in half the vaccine safety studies she showed me.

  80. #80 Chris
    January 23, 2010

    jen,

    What does that have to do with the tactic of the AoA going after a journalist’s family? What part of “off-topic” do you not understand? Actually I am frustrated at you repeating all the idiocy after you have been corrected several times by several people, especially since (now try to read with comprehension): there is no thimerosal in pediatric vaccines and there is even influenza vaccines come without thimerosal.

    Do you understand? Do you care? Are you really that stupid?

    Actually the only part of it that is on-topic is that if the AoA had actual science and real evidence for their claims, then they would you that. Instead they resort to libelious hit pieces, working on innuendo instead of substance.

    Now, what you have to do instead of your constant whining about vaccines is to actually come up with real science done on real humans (examples of relevant studies). Plus, you need to post that science on a blog posting where it would be actually on topic.

    Harry, you have invoked Scopie’s Law… “In any discussion involving science or medicine, citing Whale.to, NaturalNews, Rense (and a few others) as a credible source loses you the argument immediately …and gets you laughed out of the room.” Especially with how much fun it is to watch Mike Adams and the Shorty Awards affair!

    Shall I get Mr. Otto Palindrome the Concern Troll more upset and post the dead link parody again? I only do it because folks like jen and Harry don’t understand that the science has been done and there is no link. They keep repeating the same “thimerosal/MMR/vaccine cause autism!” crud over and over, even after the evidence to the contrary has been in for years…. and almost ten years since thimerosal was removed from pediatric vaccines, even pediatric influenza vaccines! Talk about the signal to noise ratio!

  81. #81 Todd W.
    January 23, 2010

    Just took a quick look, and my comment on AoA still has not been approved, though others made after mine have. Gotta love how open AoA is to questions.

  82. #82 Todd W.
    January 23, 2010

    OT (Sorry, Chris)

    @jen

    You comment about how people are losing confidence in the vaccination program. What are some possible reasons for this? The biggest one that comes to mind is a small group of very vocal people “just asking questions” which are not grounded in reality. Perhaps you can give some basis for the questions? Simply asking “why hep B at birth?” isn’t enough. Even saying “hep B is an STD, so why do infants need it?” is not enough either, since hep B is not only an STD. It started with thimerosal and MMR. Those have been examined, and the science found no evidence for any connection. Then, without any basis, other questions came up: aluminum, formaldehyde, “too many too soon”, hep B, varicella, blah blah blah. There was nothing to suggest that there may be any problem with any of those, so why ask the questions? Why sow doubt? So, as in the other thread (and which you’ve yet to answer), I will ask you:

    Can you provide any studies in humans that show neurological damage of any kind (though specifically causing autism would best) from the doses [of thimerosal] found in annual influenza vaccines (~25mcg/dose)? Or even any other vaccine or vaccine ingredient? Any studies at all that suggest there could be a problem?

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

  83. #83 Chris
    January 23, 2010

    Okay, Todd… because I have one addendum to your off-topic comment.

    You said “The biggest one that comes to mind is a small group of very vocal people “just asking questions” which are not grounded in reality.”

    Another problem is that their questions get answered, yet people at AoA, jen, and Harry refuse to listen to the answers. Usually because they do not like the answers. Sometimes they even change the answers to something that was in no way related to reality (like the toothpick acupuncture study, where the “conclusion” was that poking with toothpicks is just as effective as acupuncture, therefore acupuncture works… boggle).

    Now back on topic: it is due to their reaction of covering their ears saying “La la la! I can’t hear you!” to anything that contradicts what they want to the conclusions, that makes them filter the data (your comment on AoA), and that they have attack with insults, innuendo and conspiracy theories.

    Another good illustration on how AoA, Generation Rescue and Handley distort the science, and confuse it with opinion is the infamous 14 Studies. Especially telling is the “Conflict of Interest” criteria, where Orac writes:

    For example, the grossly incompetent “study” by Generation Rescue that I discussed last week and that is featured on Fourteen Studies was commissioned and performed by an organization whose raison d’être is to convince lawmakers and the public that vaccines cause autism and that “biomedical treatments” targeted at “vaccine injury” can cure autism. If that’s not a conflict of interest, I don’t know what is.

    Of course, even though the “14 Studies” site was ripped to shreds here, and by three different authors on the ScienceBasedMedicine blog, Handley is still pushing it as “real science.” The most recent and very ridiculous case is at a response to someone who actually knows a bit more than he does: Forbes On My Mind: Get Vaccinated(be sure to check out Mr. Nelson’s CV).

    Here is part of Handley’s comment (his is the first one, so it is now on the second page):

    First off, you are wildly misinformed. Run, don’t walk, to this website: http://www.14studies.org read it, and then feel bad for falling for the headlines without doing your own homework.

    I wonder if there will be a hit piece on Robert Nelson soon on AoA (they will probably drag out some nefarious conflict of interest because his involvement with a prestigious cancer research center).

  84. #84 Kristen
    January 23, 2010

    @Jen

    From now on, unless you ask a valid question, without a condescending tone, I will no longer engage you in conversation.

    Talking to you is like talking to a rock. I get my point out, but it never sinks in. No amount of evidence will change your mind. You have repeated the exact same points, and asked the same questions over, and over; I am sick of it.

  85. #85 Calli Arcale
    January 23, 2010

    Bug Guy:

    The safe handling measures are also suspect. I’ve never seen reiterations of “It is very non-toxic and not reactive” in the handling information.

    I think this MSDS must’ve been written by their marketing department rather than safety, QA, or legal, because this is the sort of nonsensical crap that peddlers of junk remedies put on their promotional material. “Not reactive” is a strange thing to say on something promoted as an antioxidant and chelator, since if it were not reactive, it would be neither. (What are they suggesting? That it’s a noble gas?)

    You’d think that anyone who’d completed high school would have enough chemistry to realize this, but either their customers aren’t remembering anything they learned in science class, or they are simply not paying enough attention and thus don’t notice the inherently contradictory claims.

  86. #86 Enkidu
    January 23, 2010

    @77 RE: the pro/con website

    What a piece of junk website. Why list arguments that are false/untrue as a reason for or against? All they are doing is muddying the waters further with misinformation.

    For example, their #7 CON says that, “Vaccines can cause brain inflammation (encephalopathy),” a true statement, but it is then followed by, “which can lead to death or permanent brain damage and disorders such as autism, ADD/ADHD, and other developmental problems. [14] In addition, the vaccine additive thimerosal (found in most pre-1999 vaccines) has been associated specifically with the development of autism…”

  87. #87 Chris
    January 23, 2010

    Enkidu, I looked at it too. It seems to be a kind of “research” group that has very politically similar to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. It is best ignored.

  88. #88 Jen M
    January 24, 2010

    Let me get this straight.

    An industrial chemical used in mining processes (by, I assume, employees) has no MSDS? Is it in current use? By industrial workers *and* supplement manufacturers?

    We have to have an MSDS for every damn thing, update it every two years and make sure it came from the manufacturer of our specific brand. We can’t just copy one from the lab next door that uses the same chemical but from a different manufacturer.

    I thought MSDS were supposed to be available to every employee by law.

    Where the heck is OSHA

  89. #89 Broken Link
    January 24, 2010

    @Jen M #88

    BDET, otherwise known as OSR#1 is not in active industrial use. It’s too new for that – it’s still under research by Dr. Haley’s colleague, David Atwood.

    But strangely enough, it is already fed to children.

  90. #90 the bug guy
    January 24, 2010

    Calli,
    I’d say you’re right. That certainly looks more like public relations liturature than something that would be useful.

  91. #91 isles
    January 24, 2010

    Is there no penalty for issuing an MSDS with false information on it? Did Haley just write this up to provide sciencey-sounding reassurance to potential customers, and not have to file it with any federal agency?

  92. #92 Broken Link
    January 25, 2010

    It seems that anyone can write an MSDS sheet. But, in doing so, you accept certain legal responsibilities that the information you provide is accurate.

    http://www.ilpi.com/msds/faq/partc.html#whocan

  93. #93 Todd W.
    January 25, 2010

    My comment on Teresa Conrick’s part 1 still hasn’t been approved, so I posted the following:

    Just curious why my comment hasn’t been posted yet? On the 22nd, I asked:

    I tried posting this on Kim’s post from several days ago about this Trib piece, but it hasn’t appeared yet. I took a look at CTI’s web site, but I couldn’t find any links to the studies showing it [OSR#1] is safe in humans. Can someone help me out? I know they say it’s safe, but I’d just like to see the actual studies that were done. It’ll help me argue about it.

    Why hasn’t this post been approved?

    I wonder if they’ll approve this one. I won’t hold my breath.

  94. #94 Todd W.
    January 25, 2010

    OMG! AoA approved my post! Will wonders never cease.

  95. #95 isles
    January 26, 2010

    Thanks for tracking that down, Broken Link. I surely hope that if a child is injured by OSR#1 (if it hasn’t happened already), the parents will have their heads on straight enough to realize what’s happened and hold Haley fully responsible.

  96. #96 Regan
    January 26, 2010

    “The misinformation is getting ubiquitous, it is hard for parents to find reliable advice.”
    —————–
    Interestingly enough, aside from being a convenient target and lightning rod for AOA at the moment, The Association for Science in Autism Treatment/ASAT is actually a good source for evidence-based advice on autism treatment, and I might also recommend Research Autism (UK)’s Introduction to Interventions in Autism page and the Organization for Autism Research’s, A Parent’s Guide to Research.

    There are other recently published evidence-based reports – (The National Autism Center has a couple of recently published evidence-based reports from the National Standards Project, and Interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorders: State of the Evidence. Report of the Children’s Services Evidence-Based Practice Advisory Committee – A Collaboration of The Maine Department of Health and Human Services & the Maine Department of Education.) And, naturally, the policy statements (Myers, et. al (2007)and consensus reports (such as Buie, et.al.(2010) from the American Academy of Pediatrics ).

    Those are potentially useful resources that could be disseminated and shared with parents, educators, physicians and other interested stakeholders more than they seem to be at the current time. I realize that this is a pretty plugged-in group, but maybe if some of the evidence-based information got more routine circulation it might help provide antidote to the avalanche of non-evaluated advice out on the web and the grapevine.

  97. #97 barb
    April 4, 2010

    Did you know that the FDA says that highly refined peanut oil is GRAS (generally recognized as safe) and does not have to be listed as an ingredient on the package insert of vaccines or other pharmaceuticals? And that pharmaceutical companies are given trade secret protection so they do not have to reveal this to the public? And it is against the law for the FDA which is supposed to be protecting us to tell us which vaccines may contain peanut oil?

    There is a peanut allergy epidemic among our vaccinated children? 1 in 125 children have a possibly fatal peanut allergy.

  98. #98 triskelethecat
    April 4, 2010

    @Barb: GRAS items STILL need to be listed as ingredients in anything. And ingredient list is just that. A list of everything. And why did you post this on THIS thread, instead of the thread where someone (I forget if it was Chris or Luna) already pointed out that the FDA does require all ingredients to be listed. I want some of what you are smoking today.

  99. #99 Douglas Simmons
    May 2, 2010

    Dr. Stephen Barrett? “science based people” Really?
    Attaching this man’s name to an opinion gives it legitimacy? The only science he recognizes is that which lines his pocket.
    How about Stephen Barrett “self-serving, mendacious mercenary.” That is a more appropriate moniker for “Dr.” Barrett.

  100. #100 Douglas Simmons
    May 2, 2010

    Dr. Stephen Barrett? “science based people” Really?
    Attaching this man’s name to an opinion gives it legitimacy? The only science he recognizes is that which lines his pocket.
    How about Stephen Barrett “self-serving, mendacious mercenary.” That is a more appropriate moniker for “Dr.” Barrett.

  101. #101 Chris
    May 2, 2010

    You have had several months to read this blog posting, and yet all you can demonstrate is complete lack of reading comprehension.