Respectful Insolence

The mercury militia parties like it’s 2005

Way, way back in the deepest darkest depths of history, before I entered the Knowledge Room and sold my soul to big pharma to become a pharma blogger (in other words, way back in 2005), my inauguration as a skeptical blogger taking on anti-vaccine misinformation, pseudoscience, and lies occurred in a big way when I referred to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s infamous article Deadly Immunity as flushing Salon.com’s credibility down the toilet. That was when I discovered the mercury militia, that subset of the anti-vaccine movement that believes that mercury in the thimerosal preservative that used to be in vaccines until the CDC and AAP recommended its removal in 1999, a process that was completed in 2002. Since 2002, there has been no mercury in infant vaccines other than in the flu vaccine (for which there are thimerosal-free alternatives) and trace amounts in some childhood vaccines. Even though one would expect that, if thimerosal in vaccines cause or contribute to the development of autism or autism spectrum disorders, autism incidence should start to drop significantly three to five years after the last thimerosal-containing vaccines were taken off the shelf given that most autism is diagnosed around age 3, there has been no such decrease, as multiple studies have documented. By 2007, even Generation Rescue was backing away from its claim that autism is a “misdiagnosis for mercury poisoning.” Even the cranks seemed to see the writing on the wall. Even the cranks seemed to be read to bow under the weight of the evidence and move on to other, vaguer, more difficult-to-falsify hypotheses, which they did with gusto with “too many, too soon” and blaming vague combinations of “toxins” in vaccines for autism.

Even so, there remained a contingent of the anti-vaccine movement that clung to the thimerosal hypothesis, refusing to let go of it until science pried it from their cold, dead hands. Which science tried to do repeatedly. In any event, even though the biggest anti-vaccine groups moved on to more fertile (and more profitable) pastures of biomedical woo based on exaggerating mitochondrial disorders, more generalized “detoxification,” and “antioxidants.” Even so, the thimerosal hypothesis was the zombie that wouldn’t die. (Are there any other kinds?) Seemingly killed again and again, like Jason or Freddie or Michael Myers or any other fictional slasher, who ends one movie seemingly deader than the proverbial doornail, only to return to slash again a year or two later in another movie, the thimerosal hypothesis returned again and again.

It’s back again in 2010, and the mercury militia looks like it’s ready to party like it’s 2005. They’ve even brought back the same old crew from 2005, up to and including even Deirdre Imus. That’s right. Deirdre Imus, who appeared again in that repository of all things quackery and anti-vaccine, The Huffington Post. This time around, she posted an article entitled The Age of Autism. For once, I’m not referring to the anti-vaccine crank blog Age of Autism, but rather a book by AoA stalwarts Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill, the not-so-dynamic duo who have teamed up to pen The Age of Autism: Mercury, Medicine, and a Man-made Epidemic. Before I get to Imus, let’s look at what this book is supposedly about:

Leo Kanner’s original cases, linked only by this overlooked association with mercury, suggest that from the very beginning autism was an environmentally induced illness– a toxic injury rather than something inherited or inculcated. Certainly, some children were more susceptible to mercury exposure– and that may implicate genetic vulnerabilities. This is very different, however, from saying that autism is an inherited genetic disorder.

Tragically, the best and the brightest in science and medicine have missed these clues from the start, blinded first by the belief the parents were responsible and then by their ongoing pursuit of the “autism gene.” The Great Autism Gene Hunt has come up empty– but continues to drain off millions of dollars and thousands of hours that should go to more promising environmental research.

Having thoroughly failed to solve the autism puzzle, the medical industry is putting forth a new wave of epidemic deniers to claim autism isn’t really increasing after all. Simply put, this idea is nonsense; and sadly, it prolongs the epidemic and prevents the urgent response this public health crisis demands.

Ah, yes. it’s the same outline that scientifically dubious books since time immemorial have followed. There’s some sort of horrific health threat that, somehow, either no one in mainstream medicine or science has noticed or mainstream medicine is outright denying. Then, of course, there’s the coverup (big pharma, of course, and the government) that prevents anyone from finding out The Truth. These books are so predictable that I’ve thought of trying to write one myself, as a sort of attempt at a quack Poe, and then seeing if anyone can tell if it’s serious or not. Of course, if I ever were able to find the time to write a book, I don’t think I’d waste my time doing that, but it’s a fun idea. Instead, apparently, we’ll have to do with Age of Autism, which, not surprisingly, Deirdre Imus appears to love, as evidenced by her fawning interview ith the authors of said pseudoscience, Olmsted and Blaxill, which she introduces thusly:

The new book “The Age of Autism: Mercury, Medicine, and a Man-made Epidemic” is shaking up the autism world. Orthodox scientists and medical groups have dismissed and even ridiculed the idea that incredibly toxic ethyl mercury — still in flu shots given to infants and pregnant women — could be linked to the explosion in autism rates beginning in the 1990s, when the vaccine schedule was rapidly expanded. Just the day before the book came out this week, the CDC issued yet another flawed study that found not only was mercury safe — it actually had a protective effect against the risk of autism. This is obviously absurd, as is the fact that almost all the children in the study had received mercury-containing shots, rather than including a control group without any mercury exposure. Authors Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill — two names well-known in the autism community and editors of the blog Age of Autism (ageofautism.com), have for the first time traced the roots of autism beginning in the 1930s. What they found is electrifying and suggests the debate is about to heat up again, whether the government and medical industry like it or not.

Well, probably not, this book notwithstanding. As has been pointed out, it’s not exactly setting the book world on fire, sales-wise, and we’ve seen similar claims before for a recent anti-vaccine book by someone who is far more famous among the general public than Dan Olmsted or Mark Blaxill will ever be. That’s right; I’m talking about Andrew Wakefield and his book Callous Disregard: Autism and Vaccines–The Truth Behind a Tragedy, a truly execrable book that made a very brief flash around its release just before Memorial Day and had faded into oblivion long before the 4th of July. Of course, it never made the best seller lists, as far as I can tell; so its flash was minimal indeed. Similarly, I predict that The Age of Autism is likely to suffer a similar fate. By Halloween, it’s likely to be gone. Maybe by Columbus Day.

Imus’ interview with Olmsted and Blaxill is long and covers a lot of well-trod ground as far as mercury militia claims go, many of which will be familiar to long time readers of this blog. However, it starts off with a statement that is quite revealing, but not in the way that B & O think it is:

The other thing that we want people to embrace is contained in the title — this really is The Age of Autism. Autism is the single most devastating childhood disorder any of us have faced in our lifetime — and it has become a national health emergency. The rates of autism have gone from effectively zero before the 1930s to 1 in 100 children today, and that’s happened in the lifetime of a single individual — in just seven decades.

This is, of course, the well-known claim favored not just by the mercury militia but the anti-vaccine movement in general, that there is some sort of “autism epidemic,” that something must be causing autism prevalence to be approximately 1% (which is the commonly accepted estimate these days). It never occurs to them that that “something” is very likely a huge broadening of the diagnostic criteria resulting in diagnostic substitution combined with much more intensive screening efforts. What’s often hard for people to accept is that, as a general principle, the more intensely you look for a condition, the more of it you find. There also tends to be a shift to milder cases that would have been missed or diagnosed as something else before. That’s largely what we have seen with autism and ASDs. It’s an open question whether there has been a true increase in prevalence, but what is pretty clear is that there has not been a massive increase in ASDs. Studies of adults suggest that the currently estimated prevalence of around 1% appears to have been stable for at least decades, as evidenced by the prevalence of ASDs being similar in adults as it is in children. Basically, the “autism tsunami” myth confuses diagnosis for condition.

The revealing part, however, is how Blaxill characterizes autism. It’s not just a problem, but the “most devastating childhood disorder than any of us have faced in our lifetime” and a “national health emergency.” I’m sure that parents of children with cerebral palsy, profound mental retardation, or other permanent conditions in which there is little or no hope of improvement and whose victims require every bit as much around the clock care as a child with severe autism does would beg to differ. In contrast to these children, a significant proportion of autistic children can and do make significant progress–even recover to “leave the spectrum.” But by what definition does Blaxill declare autism to be such a horrific health problem? There’s no doubt that autism is a significant burden on the health system, but the most significant burden?

Basically, the entire interview consists of one long commercial for B & O’s book. That in and of itself is not unexpected. After all, authors do interviews to promote their books. The problem is, the B & O’s self-promotion consists of a continuous string of anti-vaccine nonsense. What’s different is that B & O have taken the hoary old ghost of the thimerosal-autism claim and thrown a fresh coat of makeup and lipstick on it, much like the proverbial pig. Basically, the not-so-dynamic duo claim to have located seven of the eleven original children identified by Leo Kanner in 1943 as having autism:

So we decided to look more closely at this group of children, who were identified only by a first name and last initial. In this Internet age, we were able to identify 7 of those 11 children — and what we found was a startling link in those families: both to mercury exposure in general and specifically to the new ethyl mercury compounds that were first commercialized around 1930. There were three initial commercial uses for ethyl mercury — in agriculture as seed disinfectants and lumber treatment, and in medicine as a preservative in the new diphtheria vaccine.

They dismiss any question over whether this might be a coincidence thusly:

We think the pattern of evidence is much too strong to be dismissed as pure chance. Kanner’s initial case series was a small cluster of 11 children and the mercury link really jumps out. The problem is that Kanner noticed the parents’ professional accomplishments and focus and all the working mothers — many working in the medical industry — and suggested there were “very few really warm-hearted fathers and mothers” in the entire group. Although he later backed off of that accusation, people like Bruno Bettelheim turned parent-blaming into the prevailing theory of autism causation.

No, in eleven children, it’s virtually impossible to say anything about exposures. True, such a sample might raise suspicions of an environmental etiology for a disease or condition, but that’s all it can do. Like acupuncturists who point to small preliminary studies that suggest efficacy for acupuncture, B & O point to their small sample that may or may not be representative and whose original reports are separated from the present by 67 years. There’s been a lot of research since then, and it has failed to show a link between vaccines and autism, mercury in vaccines and autism, or mercury exposure and autism. Look at it this way. For an environmental exposure to cause what is described as an “epidemic” of autism, the causal linkage would have to be very strong, if, as is claimed by the mercury militia, it’s the driving cause of an “epidemic” that pushed the prevalence of autism from close to zero to over 1% of the population. There’s just no evidence of such a strong link; indeed, just last week there was yet another study that failed to find a link. Meanwhile, Olmsted completely misunderstands the concept of genetic predispositions with low or incomplete penetrance:

Then, when it became clear that there was a higher rate of autism in twins, parent-blaming was discredited. But scientists misunderstood the gene studies to conclude that autism was therefore a genetically-determined disorder that could not be prevented or treated. But there are plenty of identical twins who are discordant for autism — one has it, the other is typical — and there are also fraternal twins, who are no more identical than they are with other siblings, who both have autism. That suggests some sort of environmental injury in genetically vulnerable children.

Well, yes and no. It might suggest that. Or it might suggest low penetrance, which can be difficult to distinguish from environmental factors, or, as studies have suggested, it might suggest a complex, multi-gene condition. In any case, notice how Olmsted doesn’t actually say what the concordance is for identical twins and autism compared to fraternal twins. It’s actually quite high. Funny how Olmsted neglects to mention that, assuming he knows it.

When I saw that Deirdre Imus is once again leaping into the fray, playing the role of the sycophant and publicist for the anti-vaccine movement, I debated whether or not even to bother with it. After all, I did predict that by Halloween this book will be as forgotten as Wakefield’s tome. On the other hand, it is educational to point out just how little has changed in five years. Yes, B & O have put a slightly new twist on an old canard, put new wine in an old bottle, so to speak. Besides, looking at these tired old arguments makes me feel as though it were 2005 again.

If only I could shave five years off my actual age. My hair was a bit less gray, my waistline a bit less wide, my blood pressure a bit lower, and my skin a bit less wrinkled then.

Comments

  1. #1 cervantes
    September 21, 2010

    Although he appears to have shut up, at least for now, on this particular issue, Upper Class Twit of the Decade RFK Jr. has paid little reputational price, it seems, for perpetrating this fraud. He still shows up on teevee touting one environmental cause or another, endorses political candidates, and generally puts a shine of glamor on whatever he touches.

    Execrable. This guy is famous only for having his father’s name, and he traded on that unearned celebrity to smear public servants who were doing their best to protect the public, with visions of class action sugar plums dancing in his head. What a schtickdreck.

  2. #2 Joseph
    September 21, 2010

    Then, when it became clear that there was a higher rate of autism in twins, parent-blaming was discredited.

    I’m surprised they got that right. I would’ve expected them to credit Bernie Rimland, who supposedly debunked the refrigerator mother hypothesis by means of really really good arguments.

  3. #3 René Najera
    September 21, 2010

    The Great Autism Gene Hunt has come up empty– but continues to drain off millions of dollars and thousands of hours that should go to more promising environmental research.

    Uh… Let me fix that for them…

    The Great Autism Gene Hunt Mercury Link dream has come up empty– but continues to drain off millions of dollars and thousands of hours that should go to more promising environmental research.

    There. My work is done for the day.

  4. #4 Lawrence
    September 21, 2010

    People don’t understand the difference between Ethyl-mercury & methyl-mercury (lumping it all under the “toxic” mercury umbrella.

    They also never address the issue of the why vaccine exposure is so horrible, when children eat mercury-ladden tunafish, but don’t become autistic.

    And, as Orac repeated above, since the preservative isn’t used in current vaccines (with the exception of flu) I don’t understand why this argument is even relevant anymore (not that it was in the beginning anyway).

  5. #5 KWombles
    September 21, 2010

    Lawrence,

    The AoA readers are coming up with other mercury exposures even if Blaxill and Olmsted are still stuck on vaccines. I came across this site courtesy of one of the comments left on their facebook page: http://globalskywatch.com/stories/my-chemtrail-story/chemtrail-information/why-chemtrails.html.

  6. #6 Science Mom
    September 21, 2010

    Why is Eugen Bleuler so overlooked? He did, after all, describe autism in 1910.

  7. #7 Ruth
    September 21, 2010

    They confuse the first published reports of a condition with the appearance of a new disease. I was reading a short story by George Elliot (“Brother Jacob”) in which she very accurately describes Prader-Willi Syndrome, which was not reported in the medical literature until 1956.

    In the 1970′s, when methyl mercury was used on seed grains to prevent mold, there were many cases of accidental consumption of mercury laced food, the largest being in Iraq. There should have been an explosion of autism in the mostly poor countries where poisoning occurred.

  8. #8 Lancelot Gobbo
    September 21, 2010

    “Autism is the single most devastating childhood disorder any of us have faced in our lifetime…”

    Wouldn’t want my son any other way. I’m proud to say he has progressed to the point where he is starting his third year at university, doing a triple major of math, physics and philosophy. Just ask him if he’d like to be ‘cured’ – he regards the typpies as the ones with a handicap.

  9. #9 Nepenthe
    September 21, 2010

    Science Mom,

    Bleuler only defined autismus as a form of schizophrenia. His definition is completely different that the modern interpretation defined by Asperger in 1938 and Kanner in 1943

  10. #10 Todd W.
    September 21, 2010

    I was actually surprised to see that Imus got the name of the mercury compound in thimerosal correct. Not that that makes any of what she, Blaxill or Olmsted say correct.

    So, B & O think that autism started in the 1930s because it was first named in the ’30s. By their logic, a new species of beetle discovered and named today would not have existed before today. Are they trying to start some new field of inquiry…quantum medicine, perhaps?

  11. #11 Science Mom
    September 21, 2010

    @ Nepenthe,

    Bleuler only defined autismus as a form of schizophrenia. His definition is completely different that the modern interpretation defined by Asperger in 1938 and Kanner in 1943

    True, however, Kanner and Asperger recognised Bleuler’s autismus description in their patients and refined the set of observed behaviours. My point being that the idea that autism spontaneously arose with the Kanner description is ludicrous.

  12. #12 Kev
    September 21, 2010

    Back in 1887 ‘autism’ was being described by respected doctors.

  13. #13 JohnW
    September 21, 2010

    Autism is the single most devastating childhood disorder any of us have faced in our lifetime…

    Not polio, diphtheria or whooping cough?

  14. #14 Todd W.
    September 21, 2010

    @JohnW

    Not polio, diphtheria or whooping cough?

    Well, you see, none of them have faced those diseases. The only thing they’ve faced with their kid is autism. Ergo, it’s the most devastating childhood disorder they have faced.

  15. #15 Kristen
    September 21, 2010

    It’s not just a problem, but the “most devastating childhood disorder than any of us have faced in our lifetime” and a “national health emergency.”

    Please excuse my crassness: What a bunch of fuckwits. They devalue these children so much.

    Anything but autism!’. Why does autism have to be a “national health emergency” (BTW, does this mean autism elsewhere doesn’t matter?)?

    I know my son will never be “normal” but he has potential to be successful as a human and live a very productive life. If a parent doesn’t believe this, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    /soapbox rant

  16. #16 Liz Ditz
    September 21, 2010

    Blaxill & Olmstead imply that all parents of children with autism believe in the vaccine causation meme. That too is false. See for example today’s post from Shannon Rosa, Autism and Vaccines: Stand Up, Speak Up, Be Smart.

  17. #17 Sid Offit
    September 21, 2010

    Did JohnW just compare whooping cough to autism?

  18. #18 MikeMa
    September 21, 2010

    Did JohnW just compare whooping cough to autism?

    No Sid, I believe he was implying that whooping cough is worse. We realize you continually downplay the effects of whooping cough but sadly, you are not one of the parents of dead children in California. What a prick.

  19. #19 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    September 21, 2010

    Did JohnW just compare whooping cough to autism?

    Sid – well, I suppose in a sense he did in terms of which is the “most devastating childhood disorder any of us have faced in our lifetime”, whatever that means. Presumably not in the sense of “autism is just like whooping cough” or “I prefer autism to whooping cough” or some such.

    I personally don’t know what is the “most devastating childhood disorder any of us have faced in our lifetime.” I’d heard it was starvation or possibly AIDS, but don’t really know how you create a single devastation scale. Presumably you’d need to factor in both the number of people affected and the impact of each case, though “impact” is also pretty imprecisely defined. So it sounds like it’s subject to some interpretation and difference of opinion.

  20. #20 MI Dawn
    September 21, 2010

    No, Sid, JohnW did NOT just compare whooping cough to autism, but his point evidently went swooshing over your head…

    Try reading it again, and this time use comprehension.

  21. #21 Lawrence
    September 21, 2010

    Really not a fair comparison – since a disease that can be “FATAL” is much worse.

  22. #22 ebohlman
    September 21, 2010

    Todd#10: The notion that “naming” a phenomenon brings it into existence is a common conceit in certain branches of postmodern theory, particularly among the followers of Michel Foucault. John Best always used to use that argument, which was quite amusing given that someone as homophobic as he is would normally shy away from anything to do with Foucault.

  23. #23 Art Tricque
    September 21, 2010

    A quick aside, am I the only person having trouble getting to the web site of the colleague of the friend of Orac, Dr. Novella?

  24. #24 Tony_Bateson
    September 21, 2010

    It is almost unbelievable how offensive people can be on this subject or how overblown, longwinded, nonsensical they can be. Look for the elephant in the room – there aren’t any unvaccinated autistic kids! It’s arithmetic – math – not science! Stop it – go and look for an unvaccinated autistic kid. I have looked intensively in the UK since 1996 – I know hundreds of families – no they are not unvaccinated – I have written to hundreds of other families – no they are not unvaccinated. I believe Dan Olmsted to be right there aren’t any autistic Amish nor unvaccinated Homefirst patients. I came to Arlington, Virginia and told the Geiers there weren’t any in Britain – they thought my claim was flakey but they looked at VAERS found an association between exposure to Thimerosal and autism so the Bush administration stopped them looking any further! The CDC relied upon paid scientific villains to underpin their rejection of the link but Dr. No Link, Poul Thorsen has taken them for $2 millions and disappeared. I would have thought that was fairly serious but neither ours nor your mainstream media think it’s worthy of comment. What do you think is going on? I will tell you it is the world’s first ‘shelf life’ disaster, that’s whats going on.
    Tony Bateson, Oxford, UK.

  25. #25 Orange Lantern
    September 21, 2010

    /facepalm

  26. #26 Ruth
    September 21, 2010

    #22

    Did you contact any of the unvaccinated autistic kids named for you over on LBRB? Or any of the other blogs you troll. You quote the same tired script, then act hurt when people actually show you the unvaccinated autistics. Perhaps you should see someone about this perservation?

  27. #27 brian
    September 21, 2010

    @22

    Tony Bateson:

    I’m sure that it’s been pointed out to you that there are, in fact, “autistic Amish.” Here’s a link, again:

    http://imfar.confex.com/imfar/2010/webprogram/Paper7336.html

    You repeatedly post your nonsense despite it having been repeatedly proven false.

    What did AoA’s Kim Stagliano say when you offered her $1,000 if her youngest, unvaccinated, child with ASD was actually an unvaccinated child with ASD?

  28. #28 Sullivan
    September 21, 2010

    Tony Bateson,

    if you believe Dan Olmsted, why don’t you believe him when he mentions a mother with 5 kids, all with regressive autism, in one of his stories?

  29. #29 Antaeus Feldspar
    September 21, 2010

    Look for the elephant in the room – there aren’t any unvaccinated autistic kids!

    Oh, come off it, Tony Bateson the liar — you know very well because people have told you over and over, even Generation Rescue’s rigged phone study found unvaccinated autistic kids. Don’t you get tired of lying through your teeth?

  30. #30 Joseph
    September 21, 2010

    Tony Bateson must truly believe that if you repeat a lie 1000 times it becomes true. (And that’s probably an under-estimate.)

  31. #31 brian
    September 21, 2010

    Here’s a link to a discussion that includes a recent example of Tony Bateson’s nonsense:

    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2010/09/thimerosal-in-vaccines-did-not-cause-an-autism-epidemic/

    Note that Bateson’s offer of $1,000 (at nonsense-friendly AoA) or only $100 (outside of his echo chamber) is for PROOF that a child with ASD AND the child’s mother have never come into contact with “vaccine materials”, which of course include aluminum (the third most-common element in the earth’s crust), viral or bacterial proteins, and water–and the prize will only be awarded if the claimant presents impartial third-party testimony to the truth of the claims.

    Of course, I’m still interested in whether AoA’s associate editor Kim Stagliano has contacted Bateson in an attempt to claim her prize. Since her first two (vaccinated) children have ASD and her third (unvaccinated) child also has ASD, Stagliano’s family history may somehow prove that ASD cannot have a genetic component but is instead caused by toxic plumes of mercury from the dental amalgams in Chinese cremations, or something.

    It’s appropriate to avoid perjoratives such as “idiot” when discussing a subject that is frequently associated with intellectual impairment, but in Bateson’s case “bufoon” may be applicable.

  32. #32 Chris
    September 21, 2010

    Tony’s latest excuse is that they have not contacted him. He

    What a cop out!

  33. #33 Travis
    September 21, 2010

    Chris,
    So things only exist if they contact Tony? What kind of overinflated ego could make someone think that people would even want to contact him? Why does he think he anyone would care to do that?

  34. #34 Chris
    September 21, 2010

    Travis, you will have to ask him. Here is his excuse:

    None of the five were substantiated, Kim Stagliano has not approached me, Generation Rescue has not approached me,

  35. #35 Todd W.
    September 21, 2010

    Tony Bateson: narcissistic solipsist?

  36. #36 Michael Suttkus, II
    September 21, 2010

    Dad turned on Fox News morning show the other day, and to my disgust they started with a story about the Hannah Poling case. The Fox News-Twit said, “The government report was careful not to call Hannah’s condition Autism”. In much the same way they were careful not to call it smallpox, one supposes.

  37. #37 Interrobang
    September 21, 2010

    Hey, Orac, cerebral palsy is not as bad as you’re making it out to be, and certainly most people with CP don’t need “round the clock care”; somewhere between 60 and 75% of people with CP wind up living independently as adults, and some of us even occasionally do such stereotypically able-bodied things as hold jobs, pay taxes, and (*gasp*) have sex lives. (If the unemployment rate for handicapped people overall were not so chronically dismal, more of us I’m sure would have jobs.)

    I know I’m pretty high-functioning for a person with CP, but a lot of people who meet me don’t even notice I’m handicapped at first. I do get a lot of “Did you hurt your leg?”, though. I actually think CP is comparable to autism — with a lot of early remediation and a lot of maintenance work, people who have it even fairly badly* can wind up fairly close to “normal.”

    Having had arthritis since age 30 is kind of a bitch, and the whole handicapped experience isn’t exactly the most fun thing in the world, but overall, it’s not a fate worse than death. I’d much rather have CP than, say, spina bifida, cystic fibrosis, or hydrocephalus…

    ________
    * The initial prognosis on me was that I would never walk, and I not only walk, I exercise regularly and lift weights. My doctor has forbidden me to run, though — see “arthritis at age 30.” :(

  38. #39 brian
    September 22, 2010

    I apologize for the typo: I’ve never called anyone a “buffoon” before, and I mistyped it as “bufoon” when I might instead have termed Tony Bateson a fool and have been done with it.

    Nonetheless, I’m still interested in learning from Bateson if AoA’s Kim Stagliano will be unable to claim the Bateson Prize because the youngest of her three daughters with ASD (that’s the unvaccinated daughter) once ate a tuna sandwich—or because her mother did.

  39. #40 Matthew Cline
    September 22, 2010

    @Tony Bateson:

    I believe Dan Olmsted to be right there aren’t any autistic Amish

    Ahhhhhahahahaha!

  40. #41 adelady
    September 22, 2010

    And Adelaide has had a whooping cough death this month. A 5 week old boy.

    With over 5000 cases last year and more expected this year, these people have a lot to answer for.

    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/south-australian-doctors-call-to-make-whooping-cough-vaccines-free-after-babys-death/story-e6frea83-1225925099008

  41. #42 herr doktor bimler
    September 22, 2010

    The rates of autism have gone from effectively zero before the 1930s
    Horace Dewey observed that pre-revolution Russia had a long tradition of putting autism into a religious context and sticking the label of “blessed fool” on kids who were indifferent to society, insensitive to pain, mute, epileptic, etc. The pattern was common enough to be a recognised niche in society.
    Must have been a lot of exposure to mercury in 18th-century Russia.

  42. #43 Dedj
    September 22, 2010

    “I would have thought that was fairly serious but neither ours nor your mainstream media think it’s worthy of comment.”

    It certainly attracted comment.

    People commented that:

    it was unlikely that he ever had access to the funds personally

    and

    he produced papers and had kept two registered addresses after he ‘disappeared’.

    In other words, he apparently only took all the money and ‘disappeared’ if you redefine ‘all’ to mean ‘none’ and ‘disappeared’ to mean ‘still working where he said he did’.

  43. #44 Dedj
    September 22, 2010

    “Note that Bateson’s offer of $1,000 (at nonsense-friendly AoA) or only $100 (outside of his echo chamber) is for PROOF that a child with ASD AND the child’s mother have never come into contact with “vaccine materials”……..and the prize will only be awarded if the claimant presents impartial third-party testimony to the truth of the claims.”

    Of course, in this context, a $1,000 offer is a derisable sum of money. Third party validation would be likely to cost considerably more than this, and you can bet Tony expects the parents to take the costs upon themselves first.

    Having to spend several times the ‘prize money’ upfront with zero chance of actually getting it, and allowing some random person off the internet/out of the paper/at a conference intimate access to you and your childs medical history? I can see why people aren’t going to fall for it, and I suggest here and now that Tony knows this too.

    “What kind of overinflated ego could make someone think that people would even want to contact him? Why does he think he anyone would care to do that?”

    Because people already have, including one physician who held several such children on his books. Tony’s response was to visit him in his office (although Tony represented this as ‘insisting on visiting him in his office’, he was actually rather politely invited) and demanded to see the records of the children, a quite unethical request that could have been illegal, if not at least highly unprofessional and possible grounds for a professional misconduct charge, had he been allowed access.

    He has also dismissed examples on grounds other than receipt of vaccines. He has been caught good and proper changing his demands and his story at several points.

    I have asked him time and time again to validate his methods, which consist of a few letters a year, asking for hands up at conferences and bugging medical instiutions. He has refused for no valid reason. He not only wants people to do what he asks, but he wants them to do it without question.

    He has yet to assert any plausible mechanism for the persistance of vaccine materials or effects across generations. He has, by his own logic, failed to make any case.

    He refuses to answer reasonable questions about his own beliefs and has provided no reason why any significant numbers of people should be motivated to answer his question.

  44. #45 Broken Link
    September 22, 2010

    It’s possible to follow the parties and signings for the Age of Autism book on Facebook. There is a signing coming up:

    Friday, September 24 · 6:00pm – 8:00pm
    Location Brown University Book Store
    244 Thayer Street
    Providence, RI

    So far 9 people are attending, including Mark Blaxill.

    There was also a book release party last Saturday. Andrew Wakefield was in attendance, as well as Richard Deth, Wendy Fournier and Erik Nanstiel.

  45. #46 MikeMa
    September 22, 2010

    @Broken Link,
    It seems odd to me that they would hold a signing at a university where they are likely to be ignored due to subject matter or laughed at due to intelligence or both.

    In fact their showing up at the Brown University Bookstore probably lowers the average IQ of the place quite a bit.

  46. #47 triskelethecat
    September 22, 2010

    Oh, joy. Tony Bateson the liar has reappeared on this side of the pond internet-wise. What’s the matter, Tony? Tired of getting called out on LBRB? You forget, most of us read many blogs, recognize your ramblings and can call you out no matter where you go (except maybe AOA…I won’t go there. I can’t drink enough alcohol to handle their screeds).

    @Dedj: nice work about Tony.

  47. #48 Broken Link
    September 22, 2010

    @ MikeMa,

    I was surprised by this location. But the book signing was nevertheless arranged by TACA, so they must have a connection there. Still, it seems an opportunity for sceptics to appear.

  48. #49 Dan Weber
    September 22, 2010

    Colleges often (should) see themselves as equal access. If they disallow one speaker because of his POV, it raises serious questions about who else is allowed.

    The Time Cube guy spoke at MIT, although there was a level of irony there that probably isn’t present here.

  49. #50 martin
    September 22, 2010

    @ruth (7)

    Many thanks for pointing out the story, I found it most interesting. Brother Jacob indeed looks like a PW patient.

  50. #51 Prometheus
    September 22, 2010

    I just finished reading an excerpt of “Age of Autism”…what a tragic waste of time.

    I can’t help seeing Blaxill and Olmsted (B&O – and just as out-of-date as the ex-railroad of that name) as terribly behind the times, even within their own uniquely retrograde sect. It’s like coming out today with a new book on computers that touts the simplicity and flexibility of MS-DOS. The world has moved on and left them floundering in the dust.

    OK, so Olmsted is a washed-up has-been (or, more precisely, a “never-was”), but Mark Blaxill is an acknowledged expert in intellectual property and should be more “with the times” than this.

    There is nothing more pathetic than being the last guy to figure out that the party is over and everyone else has left and gone home. It’s like being the last person in your class to figure out that Santa Claus lives among us under a secret identity (don’t want to burst the bubble for any young kids reading this ‘blog – the rest of you know what I mean).

    Frankly, I wonder how this book will impact the future careers of the authors. As mentioned above, Dan Olmsted’s career is in the terminal ballistic phase, but Mark Blaxill might have a few clients who read this book and ask themselves “This is the guy I’m paying for advice?” I’m not saying this as some sort of veiled threat, but in a real sense of concern for someone who clearly isn’t getting it.

    Here is the reality of mercury and autism:

    [1] The amount of mercury that kids get by age 3 years in childhood vaccines – even if you include annual flu shots – since 2002 (hint: eight years ago) is less than 10% of the dose children received before the “autism epidemic” started.

    [2] Environmental mercury levels are dropping and have been since at least the early 1980′s and probably since the mid-1960′s.

    [3] Despite [1] and [2], autism prevalence has continued to rise in the US, UK, Canada, EU, etc. in a nearly monotonic fashion with nary a deflection.

    It is still possible that a minority of autism cases are caused by mercury, but that number – at most – is going to be very, very small. It may be – and probably is – ZERO.

    It is time for Messrs. Blaxill and Olmsted to go through the grieving process for their dead hypothesis. It is sad to see a promising young hypothesis cut down in its prime, but life goes on. Have a good cry and move on.

    The alternative is to become yet another pathetic figure moaning about conspiracies and cover-ups and how “I coulda been a contender!”.

    Requiescat in pace, “mercury-causes-autism”, we hardly knew you.

    Prometheus

  51. #52 Calli Arcale
    September 22, 2010

    It’s like coming out today with a new book on computers that touts the simplicity and flexibility of MS-DOS.

    Better yet, BeOS.

  52. #53 MikeMa
    September 22, 2010

    Calli Arcale,
    You and I must be 2 of the handful of users of BeOS worldwide. I installed that thing many years ago and found it interesting but in no way compelling. Ah, well.

  53. #54 Calli Arcale
    September 22, 2010

    Actually, I’ve never used BeOS. I looked into it, and was seriously considering buying a computer that ran it, but by the time I actually had some money on hand to get one, they weren’t available anymore, and I ended up with another Mac. There were great things about the system’s design, but it just never attracted enough customers, and today it is kept alive by a handful of the faithful, who maintain it themselves (open source) now that the original creators have long since moved on.

    So while I’d hate to compare BeOS in any way to the idiocy of the thimerosal-in-vaccines-causes-autism nonsense, there are some parallels in its fandom.

  54. #55 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawnkdPMoSTBZA-i3d6qu2uMmwlPIve6fCus
    September 22, 2010
  55. #56 Todd W.
    September 22, 2010

    @55

    Except that Gates was talking about how improved health leads to smaller family size because people don’t need to make huge families just so some of them survive.

  56. #57 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    September 22, 2010

    @Unpronounceable dude:

    If you’d listened to the full context of what Mr. Gates said, you’d know that vaccines reduce infant mortality. There’s a tendency that when infant mortality drops, people have fewer children. This leads to reduced overpopulation.

  57. #58 Dan Weber
    September 22, 2010

    ONEness education is anti-intelligence and reduces mentality to CYCLOPIC HALFBRAIN.

    Bill Gates wants reduced population so he can sell MS-DOS again.

    Except for human brain, no ONEness exists!!

  58. #59 Ruth
    September 22, 2010

    @Martin (50)

    Good novelist are careful observers, and many Victorian novels have characters that would today have a DSM-IV label.

    When a true biochemical link is discovered, the number of actual cases of a disorder can decline dramatically. With iodine supplements, we rarely see cretinism today in the west. Most people probably only know it as an insult, and not as a medical condition. Testing for PKU and following the proper diet reduces the number of kids with retardation. If ethyl mercury affected autism, we would see the results by now.

  59. #60 Joseph
    September 22, 2010

    I personally don’t know what is the “most devastating childhood disorder any of us have faced in our lifetime.”

    Childhood cancer has got to be up there. (Note to Sid: the incidence of childhood cancer is comparable to that of autism.)

  60. #61 stripey_cat
    September 22, 2010

    Can I put $5 on infant diarrhea, please? HIV and malaria are worthy candidates, but good, old-fashioned runs are still the biggest killer of young children I can think of. (Oh, sorry. I forgot these arseholes don’t count poor kids.)

  61. #62 Militant Agnostic
    September 22, 2010

    @45

    Richard Deth has to be great name for an anti-vaxxer. Can the other 3 horsemen be far behind?

  62. #63 BTDT
    September 22, 2010

    http://www.kpho.com/valleynews/25118264/detail.html

    October is Autism Vaccine Injury Awareness Month, who knew?

  63. #64 brian
    September 22, 2010

    Prometheus wrote:

    The amount of mercury that kids get by age 3 years in childhood vaccines – even if you include annual flu shots – since 2002 (hint: eight years ago) is less than 10% of the dose children received before the “autism epidemic” started.

    Hi, Prometheus–could you tell me how much mercury was administered according to the pediatric vaccine schedule “before the ‘autism epidemic’ started” (ca. 1983?) and the maximum amount–including flu shots–that could be administered today? Thanks.

  64. #65 Matthew Cline
    September 23, 2010

    Except that Gates was talking about how improved health leads to smaller family size because people don’t need to make huge families just so some of them survive.

    That’s just what the shapeshifting reptilian aliens WANT you to think!

  65. #66 Prometheus
    September 24, 2010

    Brian,

    After about 1971 (when the MMR vaccine was introduced) to 1982 (when the Hepatitis B vaccine was introduced) children were exposed to 200 mcg of thimerosal (100 mcg mercury) from vaccines (DTP) by age three years.

    From 1982 to 1992, that exposure was raised to 350 mcg of thimerosal (175 mcg mercury) by the addition of the Hep B vaccine.

    After 1992 (when the Haemophilus influenza B vaccine was introduced), that exposure went up to 550 mcg of thimerosal (275 mcg mercury) by age three years.

    None of these include the influenza vaccine, since formal recommendations were lacking until recently. Even today, the indications are that influenza vaccination in pre-school children is very low. If we are to add annual influenza vaccinations – which were very rare in children under three years prior to the 21st century – that would add (at most) 75 mcg of thimerosal (37.5 mcg mercury) to the above totals.

    Currently there are thimerosal-free influenza vaccines and the recommendation – since 1999 – is that children receive thimerosal-free influenza vaccines. This leaves only the one DTaP vaccine that contains thimerosal (0.3 mcg per dose – 0.15 mcg mercury per dose) as a source of thimerosal (mercury) in children’s vaccines.

    If you “run the numbers”, you’ll see that the total thimerosal exposure – if the Tripedia (Sanofi) DTaP vaccine is used consistently – would be 1.2 mcg of thimerosal (0.6 mcg mercury).

    This is less than 10% (1.2%, in fact) of the thimerosal/mercury dose that children routinely received from the 1960′s to the early 1970′s and is a hair over 0.2% of the dose received from 1992 until 2000.

    Of course, if children receive thimerosal-containing influenza vaccines annually from age 6 months to age three years, their thimerosal exposure would be 75 mcg (37.5 mcg of mercury) – 38% of the 1970 dose and 14% of the 1993 dose. However, that is not the recommended vaccine for children.

    So, whether you like the “less than 10%” (actually, less than 2%) figure or the “less than half” figure, children born since 2002 (and probably a year earlier) have been receiving less thimerosal/mercury in their vaccines than they did in the decades preceding the “autism epidemic”.

    Therefore, if you believe in the “autism epidemic”, you can’t (logically) believe that mercury or thimerosal are the cause. Likewise, if you believe that thimerosal or mercury cause autism, you can’t believe in the “autism epidemic”.

    I hope that helps.

    Prometheus

  66. #67 Pablo
    September 24, 2010

    Todd – do you have something like Prometheus’s comment on your antiantivax website?

    Man, this is as clearcut as it can get. Shoot, you could even do it better justice by tabulating it and whatnot.

  67. #68 brian
    September 24, 2010

    Thanks, Prometheus.

    I was having a bit of trouble understanding Blaxill’s assertion that exposure to thimerosal via influenza vaccines–in addition to the essentially thimerosal-free pediatric vaccine schedule–somehow accounts for the fact that the administrative prevalence of ASD did not drop when thimerosal use was dramatically curtailed. You’re post explains a lot, although it certainly does not explain how Blaxill could possibly believe what he says ;)

  68. #69 Todd W.
    September 24, 2010

    @Pablo

    Not yet, but I will add one now. Prometheus, do you have links for those figures?

  69. #70 Jake Crosby
    September 24, 2010

    @Prometheus

    “So, whether you like the “less than 10%” (actually, less than 2%) figure or the “less than half” figure, children born since 2002 (and probably a year earlier) have been receiving less thimerosal/mercury in their vaccines than they did in the decades preceding the ‘autism epidemic’.”

    What about parents who’ve found thimerosal-preserved DTaP, Hep B and Hib vaccines after 2002? Are they liars?

    And from what set of autism data do you use to base your conclusions on autism rates?

  70. #71 Calli Arcale
    September 24, 2010

    Jake, assuming they exist, they’d be in the minority. (I have not read of any, but am wiling to accept a few may have been able to procure expired vaccine lots and perhaps even persuade a nurse or physician to use them on their child.) If only a very small few have received thimerosal compared to the masses who were before, why is the autism rate either stable or increasing (depending on which figures you use)? Either thimerosal has no connection, or all those parents of autistic children who did not use any thimerosal-treated vaccines are, in your opinion, lying.

  71. #72 Todd W.
    September 25, 2010

    @Jake

    They may be lying. They may be mistaken. They may be telling the truth. If a doctor used an expired vaccine, then the doctor was violating the patients’ trust and going against the good standard of practice.

    If a doctor did, indeed, administer expired vaccines containing thimerosal, well, then you have a new confounding variable to consider. Assuming, for the sake of argument, that the vaccine actually caused a patient’s autism (which it almost certainly did not, just to be clear), then was it the thimerosal or was it the fact that the vaccine was expired and possibly dangerous? You cannot conclude that it was the thimerosal, because we have a new variable that needs to be accounted for.

    All that said, Jake, you still cannot explain why autism rates have not dropped precipitously with the drastic reduction in thimerosal exposure.

  72. #73 Orac
    September 25, 2010

    Jake can’t explain much of anything about science, medicine, or autism, actually. A shame.

  73. #74 Dedj
    September 25, 2010

    Bear in mind, Jake has written an article on autism rates.

    Jake will be fully capable of alledging autism rates have gone down, whilst at the same time, standing right back whilst his supporters and associates claim autism rates are skyrocketing.

    Do not expect consistancy from this man.

  74. #75 Orac
    September 25, 2010

    Oh, I’m aware that Jake has written such a post. It was as…amusing as most of his other posts.

  75. #76 Chris
    September 25, 2010

    Jake Crosby:

    What about parents who’ve found thimerosal-preserved DTaP, Hep B and Hib vaccines after 2002? Are they liars?

    Then why didn’t they respond to Sallie Bernard’s request for DTaP vaccines with thimerosal on the Autism/Mercury Yahoo Group?

    See:
    # Subject: Thimerosal DTaP Needed
    # From: Sally Bernard
    # Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2001 00:01:50 -0400
    # Yahoo! Message Number: 27456
    http://onibasu.com/archives/am/27456.html

    Hi all:

    A group of university-based researchers needs several vials of the older DTaP vaccine formulations which contained thimerosal for a legitimate research study. If anyone knows an MD who might have some of these vaccines or knows where to get them, please email me privately.

    Thank you.

    Sallie Bernard
    Executive Director
    Safe Minds

  76. #77 brian
    September 25, 2010

    Re: Jake Crosby

    It’s not productive to discuss a topic with someone who lies.

    Towards the end of the long thread linked below, Crosby quote-mined a paper to find a one-line nugget in an attempt to support his argument by profoundly distorting the beliefs of the authors. In his guise as a Master of the Biological and Medical Literature, Crosby wrote: “It is apparent that you have not read beyond the abstract of the paper you cite to deny vaccine damage with genetic mutations, because if you did, you’d have read: ‘In the presence of SCN1A mutations, vaccination can still be argued to be a trigger for the encephalopathy, perhaps via fever or an immune mechanism.’ …Your vaccine damage denial argument is over.”

    Crosby receive a rather restrained reply: “It could be argued that yours is a rather insightful post from someone who has only recently completed an introductory survey course in modern biology and thus has precious little knowledge of medicine, genetics, or molecular biology, but the problem is that you seem to have quite intentionally misrepresented the authors’ beliefs by omitting the lines that immediately follow the line that you quoted . . .” [My emphasis.] The response included the rest of the paragraph from the cited paper, which starts here with the single line that Jake quoted and includes (in italics) the material that Jake intentionally omitted—that is, the material that directly counters his argument:

    In the presence of SCN1A mutations, vaccination can still be argued to be a trigger for the encephalopathy, perhaps via fever or an immune mechanism. Our experimental design does not address this issue, but the role of vaccination as a significant trigger for the encephalopathy is unlikely for several reasons. First, although vaccination might trigger seizures as shown by the increased risk of febrile seizures on the day of triple antigen or MMR vaccination, there is no evidence of long-term adverse outcomes. Second, less than half our patients had documented fever with their first seizure, which indicates that fever is not essential. Third, our neuroimaging data showed no evidence of an inflammatory or destructive process. Finally, truncation and missense mutations reported in conserved parts of SCN1A have not been found in many hundreds of healthy patients. Thus, individuals with such mutations seem to develop SMEI or SMEB whether or not they are immunised in the first year of life. We do not think that avoiding vaccination, as a potential trigger, would prevent onset of this devastating disorder in patients who already harbour the SCN1A mutation.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/political-science/2010/aug/31/1?showallcomments=true#end-of-comments

    It’s best to ignore Jake.

  77. #78 Orac
    September 25, 2010

    Wow. I knew Jake was clueless; I hadn’t realized that he was that clueless.

  78. #79 Jake Crosby
    September 25, 2010

    Orac,

    Perhaps you ought to refrain from calling people clueless or can’t explain much of anything without addressing their comments.

    Your drug industry along with the CDC was found to have been dishonest about thimerosal content in their vaccines, that’s probably why no one responded to Sallie’s thread, because parents were led to believe that vaccines with thimerosal were free of the junk.

    “Jake, assuming they exist, they’d be in the minority.”

    lol, what makes you so sure? Just because a parent didn’t report getting a vaccine with thimerosal doesn’t mean the vaccine had no thimerosal.

    “If a doctor did, indeed, administer expired vaccines”

    No, not necessarily expired…

    “Jake will be fully capable of alledging autism rates have gone down, whilst at the same time, standing right back whilst his supporters and associates claim autism rates are skyrocketing.”

    How interesting, such a statement like this is made and yet no one’s addressed my second question: what current database do you use to make this claim about thimerosal? The HRSA survey data? IDEA? The CDC’s? An entirely new one I have never heard of before? Which?

    “The response included the rest of the paragraph from the cited paper, which starts here with the single line that Jake quoted and includes (in italics) the material that Jake intentionally omitted”

    I intentionally omitted it because it didn’t matter, the person “AbelW” was using it to “prove” that DTP didn’t cause epilepsy which if he read the paper, he’d know is not the case, as the authors make clear in their discussion.

  79. #80 Orac
    September 25, 2010

    Perhaps you ought to refrain from calling people clueless or can’t explain much of anything without addressing their comments.

    Oh, I can. I simply no longer consider you to be worth taking the effort to bother with trying to educate, as you have conclusively demonstrated yourself to be uneducable on this issue, a true Ferrous Cranus who chants “tobacco science, tobacco science!” as his new standard retort to any study that does not support his belief in mercury-autism and vaccine-autism pseudoscience:

    http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/ferouscranus.htm

    Although you do appear to be developing a bit of the Artful Dodger with your latest attempts to dodge criticism:

    http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/artfuldodger.htm

    I suppose maybe that’s an improvement; I’ll check back in a few months.

    In any case, I gave you the benefit of the doubt for the longest time, excusing your repeated antics because of your youth. After your attack in June, I’ve concluded that I mistaken to have let my hope that you would grow out of your current crank phase cloud my judgment, much less to have taken you the least bit seriously. I blame my overly optimistic view of human nature.

    Your drug industry along with the CDC was found to have been dishonest about thimerosal content in their vaccines, that’s probably why no one responded to Sallie’s thread, because parents were led to believe that vaccines with thimerosal were free of the junk.

    Lame, even by your standards. You’re speculating, nothing more.

  80. #81 Jake Crosby
    September 25, 2010

    ” a true Ferrous Cranus who chants “tobacco science, tobacco science!” as his new standard retort to any study that does not support his belief in mercury-autism and vaccine-autism pseudoscience:”

    I’m sorry, but that is exactly what you are doing right now, only with the word “pseudoscience.” As long as you keep citing the same old studies to support your position without going into any detail as to their strengths and weaknesses while remaining impervious to any criticism they deserve, they will be aptly termed tobacco science.

    “Although you do appear to be developing a bit of the Artful Dodger with your latest attempts to dodge criticism:”

    That’s quite a serious charge you’re making – in my last post I believe I pretty-well ensured that I addressed all the counterpoint arguments. If there is something I “dodged” I’d love to here what it is.

    “Lame, even by your standards. You’re speculating, nothing more.”

    The point I’m trying to make is that given the CDC and pharma (namely Merck), really were dishonest, that therefore just because no one responded doesn’t mean that “proves” thimerosal was gone from vaccines since people were being misled.

  81. #82 herr doktor bimler
    September 25, 2010

    If the current line of argument to explain the non-falling autism rate is that pharmaceutical companies could still be slipping mercury into vaccines anyway (and lying about it), or doctors could still be administering old expired vaccines, then is there any reason to trust the companies and doctors about anything?

    I mean, if they are that determined to poison you with ethyl-mercury compounds, then they could just as easily be putting it in any medicines, and there’s no reason to single out vaccines as more suspicious than anything else.

  82. #83 Science Mom
    September 25, 2010

    Your drug industry along with the CDC was found to have been dishonest about thimerosal content in their vaccines, that’s probably why no one responded to Sallie’s thread, because parents were led to believe that vaccines with thimerosal were free of the junk.

    You are either being completely disingenuous with these statements or just an idiot. http://www.bloomingtonalternative.com/f/weldon_FDA_thimerosal.pdf
    Now the onus is upon you to prove that TCVs were still being used beyond 2002 and ‘parents say so’ doesn’t cut it. And the pharma shill gambit is so old and lazy Jake, give it up.

  83. #84 Dedj
    September 25, 2010

    Personally, I would want to see the content analysis tests that have been done on TCV’s.

    There are more than enough vaccine skeptics who have legitimate access to vaccines, who have enough funding available, who have access to the appropriate labs, and who have the motivation to submit samples for testing. I highly doubt such analysis would be illegal.

    If “Your drug industry along with the CDC was found to have been dishonest about thimerosal content in their vaccines,” is true, then it should be a cinch to produce the false statement(s) and the non-hearsay evidence to prove it is false.

    I expect a reference by the end of sunday, US time to be generous.

    Do not fail Jake. You can do it, I believe in you.

  84. #85 Todd W.
    September 25, 2010

    @Science Mom

    I was just going to post a link to that letter, showing that the last TCVs produced would have expired in 2002. The funny thing is, that letter has been shown to Jake before (well, it would have been if the AoA moderators hadn’t censored the commenter who posted it).

  85. #86 Jake Crosby
    September 25, 2010

    “I mean, if they are that determined to poison you with ethyl-mercury compounds”

    Wow, no one is claiming that they’re intentionally trying to poison anybody! At least I’m not.

    However, this letter does not assure me of anything:

    “If physicians are currently able to purchase the routinely recommended pediatric vaccines in thimerosal containing presentations (as a preservative), we would appreciate hearing from them. FDA is unaware of a manufacturer supplying such a product.”

    That’s quite a far cry from saying manufacturers actually stopped supplying such products, especially coming from the FDA. Relying on this letter to say that all vaccines given beyond 2002 were free of thimerosal is already a complete stretch, and even more of a stretch to say that therefore thimerosal does not cause autism because the “removal” supposedly had no affect on autism rates.

  86. #87 Dedj
    September 25, 2010

    “Relying on this letter to say that all vaccines given beyond 2002 were free of thimerosal is already a complete stretch”

    Not really, it’s from a reliable authourity using the expected methods to extract the relevant information from the entities that would – by the nature of being the producers of the product – be most expected to hold the most comprehensive data.

    If you can give reasons why its ‘a complete strecth’ then do so.

  87. #88 Todd W.
    September 25, 2010

    @Jake

    Considering the fact that FDA routinely samples lots of drug products, if FDA was unaware of a company producing TCVs, then most likely any company producing and selling such vaccines would be doing so, most likely, illegally.

    Now, other than your incredulity regarding the letter, do you have, y’know, actual evidence that TCVs were still being produced and used after 2002?

  88. #89 Jake Crosby
    September 25, 2010

    The letter also revealed that Merck lied:
    http://articles.latimes.com/2005/mar/07/business/fi-merck7

  89. #90 Dedj
    September 25, 2010

    @Todd W.

    Ah yes, but the TCV producers know they wont be found out – by either the FDA or any other relevant authourity in any of the multiple countries that they sell to – because they’re all in cahoots with each other.

    Either that, or they’ve managed to shift hundreds of millions of units of illegal product over a period of 8 years without any of the overseeing bodies deciding that this highly contentious product that has been the centre of a considerable controvesy might be worth taking a look at now and then.

    It’s utterly unbelivable that you’d be so dim as to not believe in a global conspiracy and/or widespread insitutional incompetance. No you fool! Untrained, unqualified parents with no access to testing labs know best!

  90. #91 Todd W.
    September 25, 2010

    @Jake

    You appear to have missed this line:

    The thimerosal-containing supplies had expiration dates in 2002.

    So, evidence that TCVs were still around after 2002?

  91. #92 Dedj
    September 25, 2010

    “The letter also revealed that Merck lied:
    http://articles.latimes.com/2005/mar/07/business/fi-merck7

    Which states the expiry dates were 2002, as you were told earlier.

    Jake, you have to come up with evidence that addresses the point you are trying to counter, not another point that you failed to tell anyone else about.

    You can’t just throw anything in and expect people to fall for it, people will read your links and take you up on it.

    So, how does the link show that TCV’s were still available after 2002? Reply by the end of sunday.

  92. #93 Jake Crosby
    September 25, 2010

    Todd said:
    “Considering the fact that FDA routinely samples lots of drug products”

    Except that it didn’t in the case of thimerosal and instead appealed to ignorance as calls to remove it from vaccines were only a recommendation.

    “Not really, it’s from a reliable authourity…”

    Right, whose next commissioner would wind up serving jail time.

    “…to extract the relevant information from the entities that would – by the nature of being the producers…”

    Like Merck, that was shown to have lied.

  93. #94 Chris
    September 25, 2010

    Jake Crosby:

    that’s probably why no one responded to Sallie’s thread, because parents were led to believe that vaccines with thimerosal were free of the junk.

    One the Autism/Mercury Group? Are you kidding? If any group thought that there was no thimerosal left, it was not them!

    So explain exactly why Burbacher had to add thimerosal to the vaccines he used to the poor unfortunate monkeys for the “Comparison of Blood and Brain Mercury Levels in Infant Monkeys Exposed to Methylmercury or Vaccines Containing Thimerosal.”

    That article said it was two years after 1999, that would be 2001. Isn’t that before 2002?

  94. #95 Todd W.
    September 25, 2010

    @Jake

    Quick lesson in logic. “They lied, therefore I’m right” is not a sound argument, regardless of whether or not the former premise is true or not.

    In order to show that you are right (i.e., your claim that TCVs were still in use after 2002), you need to show actual evidence that such was the case. Saying that FDA was simply ignorant or that one company supposedly lied is not evidence in support of your argument. I do, sincerely, hope that you apply much more rigorous effort to your studies than you do in your anti-vaccine ranting.

  95. #96 Jake Crosby
    September 25, 2010

    “Which states the expiry dates were 2002, as you were told earlier.”

    Which were derived from that letter sent by the FDA which did not confirm anything.

    And here is some of my evidence:

    From a parent:
    http://adventuresinautism.blogspot.com/2005/08/still-finding-thimerosal-in-doctors.html

    And from a scientist:
    http://www.vaccinationnews.com/boyd_haley_1-8-08.htm

    Whether you decide to accept any of it is up to you.

  96. #97 Jake Crosby
    September 25, 2010

    “If any group thought that there was no thimerosal left, it was not them!”

    Really? You asked them?

    “Quick lesson in logic. “They lied, therefore I’m right” is not a sound argument, regardless of whether or not the former premise is true or not.”

    No, but it does make them not credible as a source, which is required for making such hard and fast statements about when thimerosal was in as opposed to not in vaccines.

    “you need to show actual evidence that such was the case.”

    I did in a previous comment, but it went into moderation.

  97. #98 Pablo
    September 25, 2010

    You can’t just throw anything in and expect people to fall for it,

    But it works so well over at AoA?

  98. #99 brian
    September 25, 2010

    Jake, you’re the only one here who is dishonest.

  99. #100 Jake Crosby
    September 25, 2010

    In any case, any claim that autism rates continued to rise after thimerosal was removed is based on zero rigorous data, according to the CDC. The only rigorous data that purports to say this is the study that came out earlier this month, and it’s no good.
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/09/safeminds-comments-on-pediatrics-study-on-thimerosal-and-vaccines.html

  100. #101 Jake Crosby
    September 25, 2010

    *”The only rigorous data that purports to say this”

    *That thimerosal does not cause autism, according to the CDC of course.

  101. #102 tresmal
    September 25, 2010

    In any case, any claim that autism rates continued to rise after thimerosal was removed is based on zero rigorous data,…

    The point is that they should have fallen, dramatically.

  102. #103 Jake Crosby
    September 25, 2010

    “The point is that they should have fallen, dramatically.”

    Well, thimerosal exposure did not exactly fall dramatically either, and no reliable autism database supports your claim.

  103. #104 Chris
    September 25, 2010

    Young Master Crosby, have you even heard of the Autism/Mercury Yahoo Group? And yeah, I have dealt with them. Some of their members were trying to get me kicked off a listserv in 2003 because I had the audacity to mention that that the MMR never contained thimerosal! I was getting nasty grams from A/M groupies in 2004 that there was still mercury in vaccines. I quit that listserv in 2005, about two weeks before Roy Kerry killed a kid because he was autistic.

  104. #105 Jake Crosby
    September 25, 2010

    “I was getting nasty grams from A/M groupies in 2004 that there was still mercury in vaccines.”

    Right, from parents still finding it in their kids’ vaccines well-after the CDC and the drug companies said they “removed” thimerosal.

  105. #106 Todd W.
    September 25, 2010

    @Jake

    Current thimerosal levels are, as Prometheus pointed out, below those seen in the 1970s. Yet, current estimates of the rate of autism are about 1 in 100, much higher than the rates at the beginning of the purported “epidemic”.

    If thimerosal were a significant contributor in the cause of autism, then autism rates should certainly have fallen below the rates seen at the beginning of the “epidemic”.

    You say that you provided evidence that thimerosal was still in use in vaccines after 2002 but that the comment is in moderation. Let us know when it pops up so we can all take a look. Even if thimerosal were still in use and gradually declining instead of dramatically declining, we should still have seen a reduction in autism rates, right? Yet we don’t.

  106. #107 Jake Crosby
    September 25, 2010

    “Yet, current estimates of the rate of autism are about 1 in 100″

    Sure, in children born no later than 1998.

  107. #108 Chris
    September 25, 2010

    Sure, in children born no later than 1998.

    Oh, really?

  108. #109 Orac
    September 25, 2010

    You say that you provided evidence that thimerosal was still in use in vaccines after 2002 but that the comment is in moderation. Let us know when it pops up so we can all take a look.

    It’s been approved. It consists of nothing but unconfirmed reports written in response to David Kirby’s appearance on Meet the Press to debate Harvey Fineberg. I’m not impressed. Just like I’m not impressed by anything Jake says.

  109. #110 Jake Crosby
    September 25, 2010

    First of all, those figures approach numbers no where near 1 in 100, are in considerably younger children, restricted to just classic autism – not all ASDs – and rely on an administrative database, not prevalence figures obtained in population field studies like those of the CDC.

    Furthermore, it seems you haven’t read the last sentence of the study:

    “Continuing evaluation of the trends in the prevalence of autism for children born in recent years is warranted to confirm our findings.”

    Which is especially odd for a study that came out one week after the database it used to base its findings was overhauled and no longer fit for use.

    Even the CDC admits this is not a rigorous study.

    Those are just a few of its problems, not to mention those I wrote about in a lengthy commentary here:
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/03/the-fallacy-of-thimerosal-removal-autism-increase-a-failure-of-science-a-bigger-failure-to-children-.html#more

  110. #111 Jake Crosby
    September 25, 2010

    “I’m not impressed.”

    No one asked for anything impressive, just for evidence of people saying they’ve found thimerosal in vaccines after it was said to have been taken out of vaccines.

  111. #112 Jake Crosby
    September 25, 2010

    @Orac:

    You also ignored my link to Boyd Haley’s commentary.

  112. #113 Science Mom
    September 25, 2010

    Right, from parents still finding it in their kids’ vaccines well-after the CDC and the drug companies said they “removed” thimerosal.

    You have posted nothing that indicates usage of expired vaccines beyond 2002. So Merck spun (lied even) about concurrent circulation of thimerosal-free and TCVs, well within the expiration date. Yeah so? It’s a different argument altogether and doesn’t change the fact that a.)TCVs expired in 2002 and b.)physicians could easily exchange those prior to expiration. Not to mention how few TCV’s were even around in 2002.

    Please also support your claim that, “Well, thimerosal exposure did not exactly fall dramatically either,” I see maths aren’t your strong suit either. But give it a whirl, it’s simple subtraction.

  113. #114 Chris
    September 25, 2010

    Boyd Haley sells an industrial chemical not approved for internal consumption to desperate parents to give to their children. He has been ripping off people scared of chemical for a decade, starting with dental fillings. Why would his commentary or opinion be given any weight?

  114. #115 Todd W.
    September 25, 2010

    @Jake

    No one asked for anything impressive, just for evidence of people saying they’ve found thimerosal in vaccines after it was said to have been taken out of vaccines.

    No, we did not ask for evidence of people saying that they found thimerosal in vaccines. We asked for evidence that there in fact was thimerosal in vaccines after 2002. Not hearsay.

  115. #116 Chris
    September 25, 2010

    Boyd Haley pushing dubious stuff in 1998:
    http://web.archive.org/web/19981205165530/http://www.altcorp.com/

  116. #117 Todd W.
    September 25, 2010

    One other thing to note. If a vaccine contains trace amounts of thimerosal (e.g., <0.3 mcg Hg/0.5 mL dose), then the label will state that the vaccine contains thimerosal. If it did not list it, then it would be considered misbranded, which is in violation of the regulations.

    And, Chris, good point about Haley. He has a very, very strong financial interest in promoting the “mercury causes autism” story.

  117. #118 Jake Crosby
    September 25, 2010

    “Yeah so?”

    So what if we believe drug companies on issues that they have lied to us about?

    “He has been ripping off people scared of chemical for a decade, starting with dental fillings.”

    Because they contain mercury also.

    “We asked for evidence that there in fact was thimerosal in vaccines after 2002. Not hearsay.”

    Let’s back up here. You are saying that they expired in 2002 based on a letter to prove it from an incompetent government agency that simply admits it’s unaware of thimerosal-use and is essentially asking others to do its job for it while relying on hearsay from drug companies – one of which was found to have lied based on the letter’s contents themselves. Personally, I believe the parents over the pharmaceutical industry, but you can believe whoever you want.

  118. #119 Jake Crosby
    September 25, 2010

    “which is in violation of the regulations.”

    Technically, thimerosal’s continued use is in violation of the regulations.

  119. #120 Calli Arcale
    September 25, 2010

    Jake:

    That’s quite a far cry from saying manufacturers actually stopped supplying such products, especially coming from the FDA. Relying on this letter to say that all vaccines given beyond 2002 were free of thimerosal is already a complete stretch, and even more of a stretch to say that therefore thimerosal does not cause autism because the “removal” supposedly had no affect on autism rates.

    You are correct — the FDA’s statement is not proof that no vaccines were made with thimerosal. Afer all, you can’t prove a negative. But you seem to be alleging that thimerosal exposure has remained constant — is this really the best you can do as evidence of that? That the FDA can’t prove a negative, therefore all vaccines that used to have thimerosal still do, and all of the manufacturers are lying for no readily apparent reason?

    Let us assume that one vaccine manufacturer has, for whatever reason, chosen to continue including thimerosal but lie about it. That would still leave children receiving far less thimerosal than they did before 2002. If thimerosal has a connection to autism, autism rates would have dropped by now, or at least the severity of new cases would, on average, be less.

    You completely missed my point earlier — even if some children are somehow receiving the full vaccination schedule with thimerosal levels circa 2000, the majority are clearly not. Therefore, casting a teeny bit of doubt on all thimerosal being gone really doesn’t support your case.

    Seriously, dude. Your arguments that mercury causes autism now consist of nothing more than “well, there might be SOME mercury still”. Not evidence that there is. Not evidence that it’s anything comparable to what it was. I’ve seen better arguments from geocentrists.

  120. #121 Todd W.
    September 25, 2010

    @Jake

    The letter stated that the last TCVs expired in 2002 (with references to actual data). The article you posted from the LA Times also stated that the vaccines expired in 2002.

    You have produced stories from parents (without references to verifiable data) and the opinions of someone who would stand to lose LOTS of business if mercury were not responsible (and who also did not provide references to support claims that vaccines still contained full amounts of thimerosal).

    It isn’t a matter of belief, so much as a matter of the quality of evidence. The two links you provided are not very strong.

    As to the FDA’s letter itself, you have not shown that their analysis is incompetent. You are being a bit too literal in your reading if you think they are seriously asking other people to do their job. The impression that I got was that they were being rather sarcastic; that they were suggesting that the idea that doctors are still buying TCVs was rather extraordinary and, therefore, required some evidence to substantiate the claim.

    We’ll keep waiting for your evidence that TCVs were still in use after 2002.

  121. #122 Todd W.
    September 25, 2010

    @Jake

    Technically, thimerosal’s continued use is in violation of the regulations.

    Show me the regulation, not guidance or guideline, that bans the use of thimerosal in vaccines. All you need do is provide the reference to which part of 21 CFR states that vaccines cannot contain thimerosal.

  122. #123 Science Mom
    September 25, 2010

    From Jake’s AoA blogpost:

    Expiration dates on many of the vaccines that contained thimerosal were well after 2003. Furthermore, unpublished statistics show that there were sharp increases in thimerosal exposure from flu shots given to infants and pregnant women, while other sources of mercury exposure further confound the study’s conclusions.

    Complicating this further is the fact that there seems to be no consensus on when the first year routinely recommended vaccines truly contained no thimerosal preservative. Schechter and Grether said the preservative was all gone from vaccines in the middle of 2002, citing the IOM Report. However, all the IOM said was that the ACIP gave an “expressed preference” that all thimerosal be removed by 2002, hardly reflective of actual thimerosal content in vaccines. The FDA said the last lots preserved in thimerosal expired at the beginning of 2003, but the Council of State Governments said it was early 2004, while parents have found vaccines on the shelves of doctor’s offices with expiration dates that surpass all these years. So no one really knows.

    What is available, however, is the immunization data for the rate of postnatal flu shots among children ages 6-23 months of age, as reflected among clients enrolled in the Northern California Kaiser HMO, which jumped from 5% during the 2001-2002 influenza season, to 45%, in the following season. By winter of 2004-2005, 57% of 6-23 month olds were getting flu shots, practically all of which were preserved with thimerosal. Data for pregnant women are not available, but they were also a target group for flu vaccines in the same period.

    So let me get this straight, you can’t seem to locate any stats for flu vaccine uptake for pregnant women and don’t have a clue of when thimerosal was actually removed yet you draw the conclusions that you do? Citations? Hello? Got any? This kind of drek may be well-received by the brain-addled on AoA, but you’re not in Kansas any more.

    What does, however, are the results obtained by Dr. Mark Geier, a fellow of the American College of Epidemiology, and his son David Geier, when they analyzed both the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System of autism-related adverse events and the California Department of Developmental Services data of total new autism cases and found a decrease in both, according to a study entitled “Early Downward Trends in Neurodevelopmental Disorders Following Removal of Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines,” published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.

    You made a point of mentioning the American College of Epidemiology yet any epidemiologist would know that you can’t use VAERS to do what they did. Actually, it doesn’t even take an epi to know that you can’t do what they did. Incidentally, the same Mark Geier that has been described by various Special Masters in Vaccine Court as,”areas for which he has no training, expertise and experience.” “intellectually dishonest,” “not reliable” and “wholly unqualified.”?

    There is so much more, in fact, every single paragraph of what you wrote that is so very wrong. You really shouldn’t have linked to that as an authoritative source. It just shows how sloppy, disingenuous and delusional you really are.

  123. #124 Jake Crosby
    September 25, 2010

    “The letter stated that the last TCVs expired in 2002 (with references to actual data)…You have produced stories from parents (without references to verifiable data)”

    So according to you: when drug companies, including one found to have lied, say so it’s actual data but when parents say so it’s just hearsay.

    “As to the FDA’s letter itself, you have not shown that their analysis is incompetent.”

    No, I said the FDA is incompetent, but that’s a different matter altogether…

    “The impression that I got was that they were being rather sarcastic”

    Which would cast even further doubt on their credibility if they were.

    “Show me the regulation, not guidance or guideline, that bans the use of thimerosal in vaccines.”

    For a person who asks for such specific evidence, you base your claim that thimerosal was removed in a specific year on utter spin. Last I checked, however, injecting dozens of meningitis patients with an untested substance who all die within weeks is hardly proof that it’s safe, even though that’s what is repeatedly used to say so.

  124. #125 Jake Crosby
    September 25, 2010

    “That the FDA can’t prove a negative, therefore all vaccines that used to have thimerosal still do, and all of the manufacturers are lying for no readily apparent reason?”

    Nope, that the FDA never gave us any stats for thimerosal content in vaccines, it would be hasty to draw any solid conclusions on thimerosal’s content in vaccines because we simply do not know.

    “You completely missed my point earlier — even if some children are somehow receiving the full vaccination schedule with thimerosal levels circa 2000, the majority are clearly not.”

    Oh really? Let’s see the numbers?

  125. #126 Jake Crosby
    September 25, 2010

    “yet you draw the conclusions that you do?”

    You clearly ignored what I wrote in the quoted text, so I will repeat it for you: “no one really knows.”

    “yet any epidemiologist would know that you can’t use VAERS to do what they did.”

    So the Geiers’ studies are wrong but the CDC study released earlier this month is right? Sounds like a double standard. And btw, the CDC has used VAERS to claim vaccines are safe, according to David Kirby’s book.

    “Incidentally, the same Mark Geier that has been described by various Special Masters in Vaccine Court as,”areas for which he has no training, expertise and experience.” “intellectually dishonest,” “not reliable” and “wholly unqualified.”?”

    Like the Special Master who said regressive autism both does and does not exist?

  126. #127 Todd W.
    September 25, 2010

    @Jake

    You claimed that using thimerosal in vaccines is against the regulations. It is not. There is no regulation that bans the use of thimerosal in vaccines. Your claim is wrong, and instead of attempting to support your claim with a reference (or admitting that you were mistaken), you engage in non sequitur with the meningitis bit.

    As to sarcasm, use of sarcasm does not bear on an individual’s credibility. And thanks for ignoring my explanation of why I thought that. You know, the bit about it being an extraordinary claim that requires some evidence to support it?

    Finally, regarding hearsay. On the one hand, we have an agency that has no vested interest in whether or not thimerosal is used in vaccines contacting manufacturers to find out the thimerosal content of their vaccines. The manufacturers, who also have no demonstrated vested interest in using thimerosal (indeed, it could be argued that it is against their interests), provide the information, which can be verified by examining the vaccines in question. On the other hand, we have parents who are recalling, from mutable memory, stories that cannot be verified. Their stories are based upon their fears and, very likely, reading stuff like the tripe at AoA which twists and misrepresents the truth on a regular basis. They understandably want something to blame, some explanation. Thimerosal is an easy target.

    The big thing, though, is the quality of the evidence. Claims that can be verified (FDA’s findings) vs. claims that cannot be verified (parents’ stories). You should have learned, I hope, that the latter is not reliable evidence.

    Now, stop whining and provide some actual evidence that thimerosal was still in use after 2002. No more excuses. Show us the evidence to back up your claim. Here’s a hint: a study that showed full thimerosal content in a vaccine after 2002 would be good.

  127. #128 brian
    September 25, 2010

    When Jake was called out as a liar, he quoted: “The response included the rest of the paragraph from the cited paper, which starts here with the single line that Jake quoted and includes (in italics) the material that Jake intentionally omitted”

    Then Jake lied again: “I intentionally omitted it because it didn’t matter, the person “AbelW” was using it to “prove” that DTP didn’t cause epilepsy which if he read the paper, he’d know is not the case, as the authors make clear in their discussion.”

    Since AbelW responded by quoting material from the paper that you had intentionally omitted in order to misrepresent the authors’ beliefs, it’s curious that that Jake suggests that AbelW did not “read the paper.” However, it’s clear that Jake intentionally again misrepresents the discussion: he lies again. I read that discussion section, Jake–and, unlike you, Jake, I understand both the paper and the fact that if you have to lie to support your argument, you don’t have much of an argument.

    I’m through with you, and I respectfully suggest that others who read and comment in this thread should also ignore you, because there is nothing to be gained from discussions with a liar. You’re a fool.

  128. #129 Jake Crosby
    September 25, 2010

    “you engage in non sequitur with the meningitis bit.”

    Well no, it’s the sole bit of safety evidence the FDA uses to show it’s safe and therefore fit to be in vaccines. Do you believe this is adequate scientific evidence for its safety?

    “As to sarcasm, use of sarcasm does not bear on an individual’s credibility.”

    It would for a public health authority that expects to be taken seriously and maintain a standard of professionalism.

    “The manufacturers, who also have no demonstrated vested interest in using thimerosal (indeed, it could be argued that it is against their interests), provide the information,”

    Well, apparently not, since one of them lied.

    “which can be verified by examining the vaccines in question.”

    Not any more than the claims of the parents.

    “On the other hand, we have parents”

    Who unlike drug companies have not lied.

    “who are recalling, from mutable memory,”

    No, from actually looking up the lot numbers of the vaccines their kids received.

    “reading stuff like the tripe at AoA which twists and misrepresents the truth on a regular basis.”

    So your answer in response to what you call a “conspiracy theory” is a conspiracy theory.

    “Thimerosal is an easy target.”

    I know, such hardship that little neurotoxin faces.

    “Now, stop whining and provide some actual evidence that thimerosal was still in use after 2002. No more excuses.”

    You want me to disprove a claim for which there is no proof or even evidence beyond the drug companies, one of which lied.

  129. #130 Jake Crosby
    September 25, 2010

    “I’m through with you, and I respectfully suggest that others who read and comment in this thread should also ignore you, because there is nothing to be gained from discussions with a liar.”

    And yet you’ve not pin-pointed one lie I actually said in that whole entire rant.

    “You’re a fool.”

    Speak for yourself.

  130. #131 Matthew Cline
    September 25, 2010

    @Jake Crosby:

    If there continued to be thimerosal in vaccines past 2002, yet it’s not because of the vaccine manufacturers doing it on purpose and then lying about it, then why would there continue to be thimerosal in vaccines? The manufacturers doing it by accident, year after year, on a massive scale?

  131. #132 Jake Crosby
    September 25, 2010

    Ultimately, if thimerosal is found as a preservative in vaccines after 2002 – and it is – than the FDA’s claim that thimerosal exposure ended in 2002 is simply incorrect. To write such reports off as “unverifiable” for no good reason and that the FDA was just being sarcastic when it admitted in its letter to Congressman Weldon that its own claims are unverifiable is dishonest spin.

  132. #133 Todd W.
    September 25, 2010

    @Jake

    “you engage in non sequitur with the meningitis bit.”

    Well no, it’s the sole bit of safety evidence the FDA uses to show it’s safe and therefore fit to be in vaccines. Do you believe this is adequate scientific evidence for its safety?

    You said that it was against the regulations to use thimerosal. There is no regulation stating that thimerosal cannot be used. Instead of admitting this, you bring in a subject that is wholly unrelated to whether or not there is a regulation banning thimerosal. That is a non sequitur, Jake. If there really were such a regulation, you would be able to point to it by providing the section number. The format would be something like this: 21 CFR 500.21 (just for clarity, I am not making a reference to any particular regulation – just providing a sample of the format).

    Who unlike drug companies have not lied.

    Jake, I suggest you stop before you make a bigger fool of yourself. We do not know whether or not they have lied. Also, I am not saying that they lied because, well, I don’t know. What I am saying is that they could very well be mistaken.

    Furthermore, those reports are second-hand. We have no way of verifying whether or not Ms. Taylor was accurately reporting those stories. We have no way of verifying the validity of those stories if they were accurately reported. We have assertions without any actual references that can be double-checked.

    No, from actually looking up the lot numbers of the vaccines their kids received.

    Hey! That is something that can be checked! Let’s have those lot numbers. (Funny how information from a manufacturer is reliable [which lots contained thimerosal] when it supports your belief but is unreliable [reports to an agency that has the power to fine or remove approval of their products] when it doesn’t support your belief).

    You want me to disprove a claim for which there is no proof or even evidence beyond the drug companies, one of which lied.

    You claimed that thimerosal was still in use after 2002. The onus is on you to provide reliable evidence that such was the case. You have yet to do so. If you cannot provide evidence to support your claim, then do not make the claim to begin with. Or, more succinctly, “put up or shut up.”

  133. #134 Jake Crosby
    September 25, 2010

    “If there continued to be thimerosal in vaccines past 2002, yet it’s not because of the vaccine manufacturers doing it on purpose and then lying about it”

    Actually, Merck did lie about it when it first claimed to have do so back in 1999, then was caught out for lying and shifted goalposts to 2002.

    “then why would there continue to be thimerosal in vaccines? The manufacturers doing it by accident, year after year, on a massive scale?”

    Ask them.

  134. #135 Todd W.
    September 25, 2010

    @Jake

    To write such reports off as “unverifiable” for no good reason and that the FDA was just being sarcastic when it admitted in its letter to Congressman Weldon that its own claims are unverifiable is dishonest spin.

    Where did the FDA admit that their own claims were unverifiable? You mean the bit where they tell Weldon to provide evidence to support his assertion that thimerosal was still in use?

  135. #136 Chemmomo
    September 26, 2010

    Jake, re comment 129

    Could you point me towards those “lot numbers of the vaccines their kids received” you mention? I didn’t find them in the letters quoted on Ginger Taylor’s site.

  136. #137 Jake Crosby
    September 26, 2010

    “There is no regulation stating that thimerosal cannot be used.”

    I said “technically,” not that such a regulation stated that.

    “you bring in a subject that is wholly unrelated”

    it has every relation to why thimerosal is considered safe for use.

    “Also, I am not saying that they lied because, well, I don’t know. What I am saying is that they could very well be mistaken.”

    More likely lied if they said their whole infant vaccine line was thimerosal-free in 1999 yet continued to supply vaccines with the preservative well beyond that year. Either way, it doesn’t speak well for their credibility.

    “No, from actually looking up the lot numbers of the vaccines their kids received.

    …or by checking the package insert.

    “Hey! That is something that can be checked! Let’s have those lot numbers.”

    Can you tell me where they can be checked first?

    “You claimed that thimerosal was still in use after 2002.”

    No, but rather that the claim that thimerosal was not in use after 2002 is not substantiated.

  137. #138 Jake Crosby
    September 26, 2010

    “Where did the FDA admit that their own claims were unverifiable? You mean the bit where they tell Weldon to provide evidence to support his assertion that thimerosal was still in use?”

    No, by saying they are unaware of its continued use and want to passively receive reports from doctors rather than going out and measuring thimerosal content on their own.

  138. #139 Chemmomo
    September 26, 2010

    Actually, Jake, what the FDA is saying in that last paragraph of the letter is the exact same thing we’re all saying to you:

    If, after reviewing all of the data just presented indicating current thimersol content of vaccines, you (or Rep. Weldon) has evidence for your claim that thimersol is still in use, please present it.

  139. #140 Technically Confused
    September 26, 2010

    Jake, I’m confused by your statement that

    I said “technically,” not that such a regulation stated that.

    How does “technically” change the meaning of the rest of your sentence such that it no longer means that there is a regulation governing Thiomersal?

  140. #141 Chris
    September 26, 2010

    Jake, Sallie Bernard’s whole purpose in life is to prove that thimerosal causes autism. It is what drives her. This is why SafeMinds paid Burbacher to do his silly study on monkeys, the one where he had to add thimerosal to the vaccines because there was none available.

    Now, Ms. Bernard did try finding the stuff, and in June of 2001 she asked a group whose sole purpose was to show that thimerosal caused autism and failed. Now, the fact that Burbacher had to actually add the thimerosal to the vaccines given to the monkeys means one of two things:

    1) That the stock of DTaP with thimerosal was depleted.

    or

    2) Ms. Bernard is either incompetent or a liar.

    Which is it?

  141. #142 MI Dawn
    September 26, 2010

    @Jake Crosby: since I have company over, I haven’t been keeping up with the rebuttals. But I DO have a question for you and I’ll look for your response later.

    You claim Merck lied when they said that all thimerosol was out of their vaccines in 1999, then changed the date to 2002. I don’t know your data, but, as a nurse, I DO know that doctors offices often have medications from previous manufacturing cycles. So, Merck may have ceased to create vaccines with thimerosol in 1999, but that does not mean there were not vaccines out there with 2002 expiration dates already.

    Go look in your medicine cabinet. Check all the expiration dates of the medications. I’ll bet that you will find some with expired dates. But, unlike a doctor’s office, who is legally required to either return expired meds to the manufacturer or dispose of them, you might just throw them back into the cabinet. Any GOOD physician will not keep expired meds, nor will they give them to a patient. So I’d be REALLY interested to see the “expired lot numbers” that those mothers claim were given to their children.

    Put up or shut up, Jake.

  142. #143 Joseph
    September 26, 2010

    Well, thimerosal exposure did not exactly fall dramatically either, and no reliable autism database supports your claim.

    Does anyone buy Jake’s misinformation? Thimerosal exposure did indeed fall dramatically. The CDC conducted random surveys of pediatrician practices. (I don’t have the document handy, but I’ve read it.) The drop was something like 50% to 2% of pediatricians having TCVs, in a couple years.

    The peak of cumulative thimerosal exposure by 6 months was about 180 micrograms in the mid 1990s. Now the CDC estimates it’s at most 3 micrograms. 98% of thimerosal was removed from pediatric vaccines. Don’t let Jake spin this as “not exactly a dramatic fall.”

  143. #144 Broken Link
    September 26, 2010

    Jake and Joseph,

    The document Joseph is referring to is located here:

    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/grabit/acip-min-feb.pdf

    The whole thing is interesting, but the portion most relevant is on p. 51.

  144. #145 Science Mom
    September 26, 2010

    “yet you draw the conclusions that you do?”

    You clearly ignored what I wrote in the quoted text, so I will repeat it for you: “no one really knows.”

    I read what you wrote just fine and the fact that you DID say, ‘no one really knows’ does not allow you to draw the conclusions that you did. Furthermore, don’t mistake something you don’t know or refuse to acknowledge as something that the rest of us don’t know.

    “yet any epidemiologist would know that you can’t use VAERS to do what they did.”

    So the Geiers’ studies are wrong but the CDC study released earlier this month is right? Sounds like a double standard. And btw, the CDC has used VAERS to claim vaccines are safe, according to David Kirby’s book.

    Another pathetic appeal to authority, who is not. The Geier study is wrong, on its very premise and the Price et al. study was done with the correct dataset and parameters. You have some severe limitations of your knowledge, stop being so arrogant and take the time to learn.

    “Incidentally, the same Mark Geier that has been described by various Special Masters in Vaccine Court as,”areas for which he has no training, expertise and experience.” “intellectually dishonest,” “not reliable” and “wholly unqualified.”?”

    Like the Special Master who said regressive autism both does and does not exist?

    Another non sequitur and reading comprehension fail. The Geiers are sleazebags and are not recognised by anyone, save the AoA zombies, as experts on any aspect of vaccines. You are also defending scum who chemically-castrate children, which goes to their credibility and ethics.

    You cannot defend your statement that thimerosal was still in paediatric vaccines past 2002. Put up or shut up, your dancing around makes you look weak and foolish.

  145. #146 Todd W.
    September 26, 2010

    @Jake

    I said “technically,” not that such a regulation stated that.

    If it is against the regulations, then there must be a regulation stating that its use is not allowed. Why is it so hard for you to admit that you were wrong? If you were not wrong, then you should be able to show, using references to the regulations, that thimerosal’s use is not allowed.

    “Also, I am not saying that they lied because, well, I don’t know. What I am saying is that they could very well be mistaken.”

    More likely lied if they said their whole infant vaccine line was thimerosal-free in 1999 yet continued to supply vaccines with the preservative well beyond that year. Either way, it doesn’t speak well for their credibility.

    You tried to imply that I thought the parents were lying. That’s who I was referring to: the parents, not the companies.

    Can you tell me where they can be checked first?

    You said that there were lot numbers. Let’s have them.

    No, but rather that the claim that thimerosal was not in use after 2002 is not substantiated.

    Okay, fine. You did not make an overt claim. However, from your very first post you have been implying that thimerosal was in use after 2002.

    As to the claim that thimerosal was not in use after 2002 not being substantiated, it has been. Or at least, it is substantiated that production of TCVs halted prior to 2002 and that the last lots that did contain thimerosal expired in 2002.

    No, by saying they are unaware of its continued use and want to passively receive reports from doctors rather than going out and measuring thimerosal content on their own.

    I’ll try to explain this again. Maybe you’ll get it this time (one can hope). The FDA investigated the issue. They documented which companies had produced TCVs and when the last TC lots were produced and would expire. Weldon was trying to claim that thimerosal was still in use. So, the FDA told him, “Look. We’ve investigated this. We were not able to find any evidence that thimerosal was still in use after 2002. If you have evidence of this, then let us know, because we couldn’t find it. You’re making a serious claim. You need to back it up.”

    The FDA was not being passive. They actively investigated the concerns. They were telling Weldon the same thing we’re telling you: put up or shut up.

  146. #147 Sullivan
    September 26, 2010

    “Ms. Bernard is either incompetent or a liar.”

    He’s implying that pediatricians never checked or kept quiet about the vast stockpiles of thimerosal containing vaccines in their offices.

    Of course, he is also claiming that all of SafeMinds, NVIC and any and all of the other “vaccine safety” groups were either complicit or incompetent.

    Let us not forget Robert Kennedy, David Kirby, Dan Olmsted. I guess anyone who can go to Amish country looking for disabled children and miss the cryptically named Clinic for Special Children could also investigate mercury in vaccines and never check if the vaccines in pediatricians’ offices had thimerosal. The guy who made so many mistakes in “Deadly Immunity”…ditto. Can someone point me to the page in “Evidence of Harm” where investigative Journalist David Kirby reveals this shocking secret? I guess he never checked?

    Maybe if Generation Rescue hadn’t wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars on a phone survey to show that vaccines protect against autism (at least that’s what their data shows). Maybe if instead they had done a phone survey of pediatricians’ offices they could have something useful to their cause.

    I’m actually OK with Barbara Loe Fisher, David Kirby, Dan Olmsted, Robert Kennedy and many others being incompetent. I just think that (a) the idea makes no sense and (b) some doctor somewhere would have spoken out by now.

  147. #148 Sullivan
    September 26, 2010

    Todd W.,

    thanks, I forgot Dave Weldon and Dan Burton. I guess in Jake’s world they are incompetent also.

    And people said we would never find common ground.

  148. #149 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 26, 2010

    Merck didn’t lie in 1999 (emphasis added):

    “Now, Merck’s infant vaccine line,” the company’s press release said, “is free of all preservatives.”

    From 1999 on, Merck had a preservative-free version of its vaccine intended for infants. The non-infant line which still contained thimerosal expired in 2002.

    The CDC guidelines made a clear distinction between infants and children/adults for this vaccine.

  149. #150 Jake Crosby
    September 26, 2010

    “You said that there were lot numbers. Let’s have them.”

    I gave an example as to how the vaccines would be checked, I didn’t ask anyone for the lot numbers because unlike you I didn’t feel these parents weren’t telling the truth. The fact that you insist that vaccines with thimerosal expired after 2002 with no study to back this up, while asking for lot number verification from parental reports of finding this stuff in vaccines after 2002 is an inherent double-standard on your end. You listen to hearsay of drug companies that do not have a good track-record of honesty, yet ignore those of parents.

    “As to the claim that thimerosal was not in use after 2002 not being substantiated, it has been.”

    When it comes from drug company spokesmen, it is true, when it’s from parents it’s not true. That is the scope of your whole argument.

    “The CDC conducted random surveys of pediatrician practices.”

    That’s not random, that was done from a convenience sample, which is by definition totally non-generalizable and therefore not evidence for anything, Joe.

    “Or at least, it is substantiated that production of TCVs halted prior to 2002 and that the last lots that did contain thimerosal expired in 2002.”

    Well, the FDA has since pushed that claim into 2003:
    http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/vaccines/QuestionsaboutVaccines/ucm070430.htm

    “He’s implying that pediatricians never checked or kept quiet”

    Well, they wouldn’t with the AAP constantly telling them it’s safe.

    “If it is against the regulations, then there must be a regulation stating that its use is not allowed. Why is it so hard for you to admit that you were wrong?”

    It doesn’t state that explicitly but a study where dozens of meningitis patients who get injected with this stuff and then all die within weeks does not meet the FDA’s standards of safety. The only reason why thimerosal continues to be used is because it was introduced before pre-marketed testing of all new drugs became a requirement. It was effectively grandfathered into the market – is that good justification for further use?

    “However, from your very first post you have been implying that thimerosal was in use after 2002.”

    Okay, well, now that you know, perhaps you should address my actual argument and not the one I have been “implying” according to you.

    “Merck didn’t lie in 1999…From 1999 on, Merck had a preservative-free version of its vaccine intended for infants.”

    That’s misleading – intended for infants is not the same as given to infants in place of thimerosal-preserved vaccines. When you make a press release saying your entire infant vaccine line is preservative-free, people will take that to mean thimerosal is no longer being used in vaccines given to infants. Such a statement that doesn’t take that into account is utterly false.

  150. #151 Jake Crosby
    September 26, 2010

    And why are we even going on about this? The uncertainty of mercury content in the vaccines after 2002 with all these parents finding the preservative in their kids’ vaccines is only the beginning of the problem, and even the CDC admits that no rigorous evidence refuting a correlation between thimerosal and autism rates exist. The only rigorous evidence according to the CDC refuting any link between autism and thimerosal came out earlier this month, after more than a decade of arguing. We should be discussing that, not revisiting old, defunct claims defending thimerosal that even the CDC has retracted.

  151. #152 Chris
    September 26, 2010

    Jake, you missed answering my question! You even missed it when you said

    When it comes from drug company spokesmen, it is true, when it’s from parents it’s not true. That is the scope of your whole argument.

    So when Sallie Bernard could not find DTaP with thimerosal in 2001, even asking the Autism/Mercury Yahoo Group (whose members were telling me that thimerosal was still in vaccines in 2004!) was it because:

    1) That the stock of DTaP with thimerosal was depleted.

    or

    2) Ms. Bernard is either incompetent or a liar.

    Which was it? Was it #1, #2 or both?

    Also you said:

    It doesn’t state that explicitly but a study where dozens of meningitis patients who get injected with this stuff and then all die within weeks does not meet the FDA’s standards of safety.

    What study? When did this happen? Meningitis caused by what? What is “this stuff”?

  152. #153 Chris
    September 26, 2010

    The uncertainty of mercury content in the vaccines after 2002 with all these parents finding the preservative in their kids’ vaccines is only the beginning of the problem,

    How come they did not tell Sallie Bernard where those stocks were so she could get some to Burbacher?

  153. #154 Science Mom
    September 26, 2010

    And why are we even going on about this?

    You are dodging. You have painted yourself into an uncomfortable corner with your ludicrous claims and can’t get yourself out.

  154. #155 Jake Crosby
    September 26, 2010

    “Jake, you missed answering my question!”

    Oh bloody murder, especially with 10 comments to respond to! There are things I’ve said on here that people missed and I’m not complaining about it, even though I’m not one of ten commenters.

    “What study? When did this happen? Meningitis caused by what? What is “this stuff”?”

    Nevermind! You obviously haven’t even read David Kirby’s book. Read it and get back to me.

    “How come they did not tell Sallie Bernard where those stocks were so she could get some to Burbacher?”

    Because at that time, pharmaceutical companies such as Merck led people to believe their vaccines were free of the preservative since 1999.

  155. #156 dean
    September 26, 2010

    “And why are we even going on about this? ”

    Because you continue to lie about it.

  156. #157 Jake Crosby
    September 26, 2010

    “You are dodging.”

    Like how you just dodged my comment?

  157. #158 Jake Crosby
    September 26, 2010

    “You have painted yourself into an uncomfortable corner with your ludicrous claims and can’t get yourself out.”

    No, you want the entire argument to be within the scope of pharmaceutical companies including those that lie can make claims and be believed at face value, yet parents make those same reports of finding thimerosal in their kids’ vaccines and they somehow can’t be believed. The entire false premise of your whole argument is done under that double standard.

  158. #159 Jake Crosby
    September 26, 2010

    @Chris:

    And btw, I responded to that tired, old argument from you before and you just didn’t like my answer.

  159. #160 Science Mom
    September 26, 2010

    “You are dodging.”

    Like how you just dodged my comment?

    You offer nothing of substance; just a lot of whining and foot-stomping because we aren’t as gullible as you and place the same weight of what some parents said on the same plane as verification by the FDA (to a U.S. representative) that there were no TCVs past 2002. Now considering Rep. Weldon did not respond, I guess he couldn’t locate these parents you speak of either.

    Because they don’t exist.

  160. #161 a-non
    September 26, 2010

    Jake,

    Enough with the sideshow. Provide us some kind of real, tangible evidence that thimerosal in vaccines causes autism. Please. Everything else you’re going on about is at best tangentially relevant to that critical question.

  161. #162 Jake Crosby
    September 26, 2010

    “of what some parents said on the same plane as verification by the FDA”

    Orwellian logic – “verification by the FDA” is just what they heard from the drug companies. I could just as easily say verification by parents.

    “Now considering Rep. Weldon did not respond, I guess he couldn’t locate these parents you speak of either.

    Because they don’t exist.”

    Well, if you actually read David Kirby’s book, you’d know his office actually put out a statement alleging that vaccines preserved in thimerosal continued to be used as late as early 2005. So apparently he could and did.

  162. #163 Chris
    September 26, 2010

    Nevermind! You obviously haven’t even read David Kirby’s book. Read it and get back to me.

    Of course I will not read it. I looked at it and realized it was a waste of time (and it has now been removed from my local library because no one ever checked it out, I used to be able to walk in, pick it up and read the pertinent part — but it is gone). Obviously that was something that happened only in the fantasy of those who commissioned him to write that book when he was making a living doing freelance travel pieces.

    You either give the PubMed ID of that study, or we will assume you are continuing to lie.

    Because at that time, pharmaceutical companies such as Merck led people to believe their vaccines were free of the preservative since 1999.

    What? So you are saying that parents found thimerosal containing vaccines did not tell Sallie Bernard because of Merck? Yet these were the same Autism/Mercury yahoo people yelling at us in 2004 that there were still mercury in vaccines. And you are saying they also believed Merck?

    Are the fumes from the paint you used to get into that corner starting to make you dizzy?

  163. #164 Jake Crosby
    September 26, 2010

    “You offer nothing of substance”

    The CDC offers nothing of substance? Good to know.

  164. #165 Jake Crosby
    September 26, 2010

    “Of course I will not read it.”

    Then there is absolutely no point talking to you! I now know why you are so ignorant.

    “What? So you are saying that parents found thimerosal containing vaccines did not tell Sallie Bernard because of Merck? Yet these were the same Autism/Mercury yahoo people yelling at us in 2004 that there were still mercury in vaccines. And you are saying they also believed Merck?”

    You have gotten the chronology in your story mixed up, which if you read David Kirby’s book, might clear up the events for you. In 2001, people were far more trusting of drug companies and the government then they are now. That was pre-Simpsonwood (before we knew about Simpsonwood, not before the meeting of course!), pre-Eli Lilly protection ryder, pre-early preliminary data was released showing that thimerosal causes autism and a host of other disorders, pre-botched IOM report. In terms of all this, 2001 was a year that was completely different from 2004.

  165. #166 Jake Crosby
    September 26, 2010

    @Orac:

    Are you finished hiding behind your fan commenters yet? Is it because you’re still too embarrassed about your previously undisclosed drug industry ties?

  166. #167 l'asperge
    September 26, 2010

    Jake is immune to embarrassment. I love irony.

  167. #168 Science Mom
    September 26, 2010

    Well, if you actually read David Kirby’s book, you’d know his office actually put out a statement alleging that vaccines preserved in thimerosal continued to be used as late as early 2005. So apparently he could and did.

    You can’t be serious (rhetorical for the thick-headed). Kirby said so must be true. This should be verifiable, i.e. medical records with the date of vaccination and lot numbers. Did you bother to take this step Jake? Your standard of proof for yourself is humorously low.

    “You offer nothing of substance”

    The CDC offers nothing of substance? Good to know.

    Not even a remotely competent attempt at more deflection. Gah, you’re an arrogant little shit. A good little soldier you are though, basking in the praise by equally impaired fools is more important to you than actual knowledge. We all have our limitations, even those of us here with impressive letters after our names and working in our respective fields and that is what separates us from the likes of you. We recognise those limitations and strive to seek knowledge from those with it. You, on the other hand, glean some nomenclature and dictionary definitions and think you can parse the scientific literature and do better than the actual scientists/physicians conducting the studies. Those, of course, that don’t produce results that you like, but fall over yourself to praise half-baked self-proclaimed experts working out of their basements or a Pak-n-Mail.

    Good luck with that Jake; you may have a future in fantasy/science-fiction.

  168. #169 Pablo
    September 26, 2010

    Well, if you actually read David Kirby’s book, you’d know his office actually put out a statement alleging that vaccines preserved in thimerosal continued to be used as late as early 2005

    Yeah, no shit he did. Of course, he had to do something because he was the one who actually put his pecker on the block claiming that the autism rates had to drop, or the mercury/autism link was dead.

    When it didn’t pan out for him, he went into denial instead of letting his pecker get chopped off. Big surprise…

  169. #170 Todd W.
    September 26, 2010

    @Jake

    “Or at least, it is substantiated that production of TCVs halted prior to 2002 and that the last lots that did contain thimerosal expired in 2002.”

    Well, the FDA has since pushed that claim into 2003:
    http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/vaccines/QuestionsaboutVaccines/ucm070430.htm

    Umm, you may want to read that again. Here’s the pertinent quote:

    In addition, all of the routinely recommended vaccines that had been previously manufactured with thimerosal as a preservative (some formulations of DTaP, Haemophilus influenzae b conjugate (Hib), and hepatitis B vaccines) had reached the end of their shelf life by January 2003.

    Now, let’s take a look at what that actually means. By the time January 2003 came about (i.e., by the end of 2002), the last TCVs had expired. So no, Jake, they did not push it back to 2003.

    So it still stands that, according to the FDA, the last lots expired in 2002. Brush up on your reading comprehension, Jake.

  170. #171 squirrelelite
    September 26, 2010

    Jake,

    Orac responded to you last night at 9:47 pm.

    Having read all your comments from yesterday and today, I don’t see anything that impresses me either. Instead of making a coherent argument for anything, you are back to your old tricks of rattling off strings of “is too … is not”.

    The complete evidence for your claims consists of

    1. Thimerosal is still in vaccines because you say so.

    2. If we don’t accept your unsupported assertion, we should believe it anyway because someone told you some parents said it was still in there.

    3. If that isn’t good enough, we should still believe it because David Kirby said so.

    You have yet to provide references to credible scientific data that support your assertions.

    When we attempt to point out your logical contradictions and get you to clarify and commit yourself to one choice or another, you only respond

    I responded to that tired, old argument from you before and you just didn’t like my answer.

    That is why I don’t tale you seriously.

  171. #172 Chris
    September 26, 2010

    In 2001, people were far more trusting of drug companies and the government then they are now.

    Ha ha ha ha… snort… ha ha ha!

    Now it obvious you are just making stuff up. If there was some study that caused meningitis, then you could easily find its index in PubMed. But no, you have to reference a stupid book by a travel writer who was bought and paid for.

    Didn’t they teach you anything about primary sources in that school you are attending?

    So how come Sallie Bernard was unable to get thimerosal containing vaccines to the researcher they were also paying for? Come on, give us a real good answer. Not your speculations and lies.

  172. #173 Chris
    September 26, 2010

    By the way, Mr. Crosby, here is SafeMinds’ 2005 990 tax form, where it says on page 15 that as part of their outreach:

    THE BOOK “EVIDENCE OF HARM, MERCURY IN VACCINES AND THE AUSTISM EPIDEMIC: A MEDICAL CONTROVERSY” WAS RELEASED IN 2004 AND SAFEMINDS PRESIDENT, LYN REDWOOD, WAS FEATURED ON THE MONTEL WILLIAMS SHOW ALONG WITH AUTHOR, DAVID KIRBY. THIS IMPORTANT BOOK EXAMINES BOTH THE PERSONAL STORIES OF FAMILIES AND THE UNFOLDING DRAMA IN THE COURTS AND HALLS OF CONGRESS.

    Tell me why that does not look suspicious.

  173. #174 Chris
    September 26, 2010

    Jake, so why could Sallie Bernard not find thimerosal containing vaccines in 2001? And what was that meningitis study you referred to?

    Oh, and I found a review of Kirby’s book. It has a couple of interesting statements:

    Although Kirby reports that one family involved in the campaign has spent more than $500 000 (£260 000; €380 000) on such treatments, he appears oblivious to the dangers to vulnerable parents of quacks and charlatans peddling miracle cures.

    … and…

    The only value of this woefully one sided account of the mercury and autism controversy is the insight it offers into the way that credulous journalists have contributed to the public nuisance and private distress caused by antivaccine campaigns.

  174. #175 Orac
    September 26, 2010

    Having read all your comments from yesterday and today, I don’t see anything that impresses me either. Instead of making a coherent argument for anything, you are back to your old tricks of rattling off strings of “is too … is not”.

    Or, as I put it, Jake is just continuing to be Ferrous Cranus:

    http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/ferouscranus.htm

    No matter how many times his arguments are crushed, he keeps repeating them, with very little variation. He’s even lost the bit of Artful Dodger that he had been developing:

    http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/artfuldodger.htm

    That’s what in essence he’s spent the last 16 hours or so doing since I last checked in, proving my sarcastic remark about his being Ferrous Cranus to be correct.

    As for his crack about his supposedly “exposed” me, all I can say is that Jake has an unjustifiably high opinion of himself.

  175. #176 Todd W.
    September 26, 2010

    @Orac

    Very funny site. I like the descriptions…and there are so many types to choose from!

    And yeah, Jake has shown again and again that he does not understand quite a number of things. Just to pick two examples, he does not understand what a real conflict of interest is and he does not understand what is really meant by “against regulations”.

    If he wasn’t such an arrogant prick, I’d actually feel bad for him and wonder how he manages to get through his classes with passing scores.

  176. #177 Orac
    September 26, 2010

    Just to pick two examples, he does not understand what a real conflict of interest is and he does not understand what is really meant by “against regulations”.

    I think that’s what was most amusing in retrospect about Jake’s little hissy fit about me in June. Jake has no idea what is and is not a true COI, and clearly neither do AoA-colytes, either. (Big surprise there.) When people asked me what all these e-mails provoked by Jake’s ill-conceived and truly brain dead insinuations about me were, several of them either laughed, scoffed, or said highly unflattering things about Jake’s level of understanding when I explained to them what it was about. However, being Ferrous Cranus, Jake allows no explanation to interfere with his fantastical view of the world.

    It’s sad really. I can only hope for Jake’s sake that he grows up a bit before he has to face the world and find a real job, particularly if the economy hasn’t recovered by then. Things you can get away with in high school and college are not looked kindly upon by employers. Oh, well, you can’t say I didn’t try to warn Jake in the most fatherly way possible, back before he burned the last bridge to me. He’ll learn. If he doesn’t, he’ll have a very hard time of it in his career.

  177. #178 Jake Crosby
    September 26, 2010

    “Ferrous Cranus is utterly impervious to reason, persuasion and new ideas, and when engaged in battle he will not yield an inch in his position regardless of its hopelessness.”

    That sounds just like you, “Orac,” and all your other supporters on this thread.

    By your double-standard: Your pharmaceutical industry, even when it lies, is automatically right and parents of autistic children, journalists, scientists, and politicians who disagree with you are automatically wrong.

    And yet you still have the nerve to insist you don’t have a conflict of interest, even though you are conducting a clinical trial of Riluzole sponsored by your university in partnership with the drug’s maker, Sanofi-Aventis. As I am sure you are aware, whether or not a COI exists has no bearing on whether the source in question (i.e. you) perceives having a COI, much less whether or not he denies having one.

    I won’t go into this issue anymore here. If my article still bothers you that much – and I can tell it does – you are more than welcome to discuss it further in the comments section under my article

    Jake

  178. #179 Chris
    September 26, 2010

    Your pharmaceutical industry, even when it lies, is automatically right

    You have shown how your reading comprehension has a bias filter, it makes you look very silly:
    Threats to science-based medicine: Pharma ghostwriting (revisited)
    and
    The saga of Avastin and breast cancer

  179. #180 Chemmomo
    September 26, 2010

    Jake re #150 where you said:

    “You said that there were lot numbers. Let’s have them.” I gave an example as to how the vaccines would be checked, I didn’t ask anyone for the lot numbers because unlike you I didn’t feel these parents weren’t telling the truth.

    Why?

    What exactly about those parents is so credible?

    And now you’re claiming that you mention the lot numbers as an example. Back at Post 129, you say “No, from actually looking up the lot numbers of the vaccines their kids received. ”

    Which is it? Do you know parents who looked up the lot numbers? Did they tell you what those lot numbers were, so you could look them up too?

    Or are you just using a hypothetical example?

    Please clarify this for us.

  180. #181 Orac
    September 26, 2010

    And yet you still have the nerve to insist you don’t have a conflict of interest, even though you are conducting a clinical trial of Riluzole sponsored by your university in partnership with the drug’s maker, Sanofi-Aventis.

    God, you’re dense. It’s been explained to you time and time again that this clinical trial is not funded by Sanofi-Aventis; it is not funded by my university or any university-industry partnership; rather, it is funded by a grant from a private foundation that has nothing to do with either. There is no COI by any accepted definition of the term. You had to twist the definition and misrepresent the facts to try to write that defamatory post of yours. Not only that, but you had to bring in a completely unrelated clinical trial and try to relate it to mine somehow–ignorant at best, dishonest at worst, IMHO.

    As I am sure you are aware, whether or not a COI exists has no bearing on whether the source in question (i.e. you) perceives having a COI, much less whether or not he denies having one.

    Irrelevant, because, as I’m not so sure you’re aware, whether or not you perceive there to be a COI has no bearing on whether or not there is in fact a COI. The basic fact is, as has been explained to you time and time again, there is no undisclosed COI because there is no COI by any accepted definition of the term. At this point, I can only conclude that either my description of you as Ferrous Cranus was spot-on accurate or you’re simply being dishonest.

  181. #182 Todd W.
    September 26, 2010

    I’d like to apologize to Jake for the prick comment. That was uncalled for. I was in a grumpy mood.

  182. #183 Science Mom
    September 26, 2010

    “Ferrous Cranus is utterly impervious to reason, persuasion and new ideas, and when engaged in battle he will not yield an inch in his position regardless of its hopelessness.”

    That sounds just like you, “Orac,” and all your other supporters on this thread.

    Lazy, lazy, lazy. You are too inept to make any such determination, particularly existing over in your hive of communal reinforcement. You salivate like Pavlov’s dog for the patronising pats on the head you get for your twaddle, completely oblivious to the level of ignorance that you are receiving them from.

    By your double-standard: Your pharmaceutical industry, even when it lies, is automatically right and parents of autistic children, journalists, scientists, and politicians who disagree with you are automatically wrong.

    Christ on a cracker, your reading is selective to maintain your idiocy. Check the archives here and SBM and there are numerous posts about dodgy pharma practises and criticisms thereof. Hint for you Jake, there are many, if not mostly, independent replications of vaccine science. Now take a look at your list of who you are holding out as authoritative sources and therein lies part of your problem.

    And yet you still have the nerve to insist you don’t have a conflict of interest, even though you are conducting a clinical trial of Riluzole sponsored by your university in partnership with the drug’s maker, Sanofi-Aventis. As I am sure you are aware, whether or not a COI exists has no bearing on whether the source in question (i.e. you) perceives having a COI, much less whether or not he denies having one.

    I honestly don’t know how someone can be that ignorant and still be able to tie his shoes, unless you are still using the velcro ones. You just don’t know what constitutes a conflict of interest do you? Just do what you are told and what you think will make you feel important.

    I won’t go into this issue anymore here. If my article still bothers you that much – and I can tell it does – you are more than welcome to discuss it further in the comments section under my article:

    Hear this Jake, you are irrelevant; your post on the subject is a joke and what people do when they have no argument of substance. You give your annoyance too much credit and furthermore, that silly blog you post on doesn’t allow any dissenting information. Surely you know that and like the tosser you are, will proclaim victory when no contrary posts go through.

  183. #184 Sullivan
    September 26, 2010

    You have gotten the chronology in your story mixed up, which if you read David Kirby’s book, might clear up the events for you. In 2001, people were far more trusting of drug companies and the government then they are now.

    The idea that evidence of harm is a book about people who were trusting as of 2000 or 2001 doesn’t work with this reader.

    SafeMinds was submitting foia’s as early as 2000, as I recall from Evidence of Harm. There are a number of instances of foia requests mentioned in the book. Is this evidence of the trust you assert?

    Barbara Loe Fisher was more trusting of the government then? Please. Don’t stress credulity so much. Her battles with the government go back long before then.

    Are we to believe that these groups were monitoring the government so closely that they were doin foia requests and they found out about the vaccine rider and simpsonwood, but they just decided to not even monitor the promise to phasenout thimerosal?

    Are we to believe that no pediatricians noticed that they were getting thimerosal containing vaccines after they were toldnthe tcv’s were phased out?

  184. #185 Orac
    September 26, 2010

    Barbara Loe Fisher was more trusting of the government then? Please. Don’t stress credulity so much. Her battles with the government go back long before then.

    Indeed, BLF was battling the government back in the early 1980s, nearly a decade before Jake was even born. To imply that she might have been more “trusting” of the government in the 1990s is ludicrous.

  185. #186 MadScientist
    September 26, 2010

    “The most devastating childhood disorder”? Oh gee, “my childhood disorder is more devastating than yours”. I’ll see you two autisms and raise you a cystic fibrosis. I’ll see your cystic fibrosis and raise you ten palsies. Hang on, I’ve got an appointment at the nearby hospital’s neonatal unit – I’ve promised to give all the babies a bit of pertussis – it’s better that way because the vaccine will give them autism.

    What dangerous loons. One of my most hated “treatments” is still that chelation nonsense. Chelation is not even the indicated treatment for mercury poisoning, and here it is being touted as a treatment for autism, purportedly because it removes that mercury from the body. We even know what chelating agents those crooks are using; I’d like to see blood cation tests done on the victims after a “treatment” to see how their electrolytes are screwed up by this bogus treatment. I’m astounded that those crooks can remain out of jail.

  186. #187 Chris
    September 26, 2010

    MadScientist:

    “The most devastating childhood disorder”? Oh gee, “my childhood disorder is more devastating than yours”. I’ll see you two autisms and raise you a cystic fibrosis. I’ll see your cystic fibrosis and raise you ten palsies.

    Have you seen these incredible Mompetitor videos?

    By the way, the latest Skeptics’ Guide 5×5 is about chelation.

  187. #188 dt
    September 27, 2010

    Jake, it is quite possible that after 2002 there were a few expired lots of infant vaccines lying around. But the way vaccines are given, with an independent nurse/practitioner double checking the expiry date of each individual vaccine prior to administration, would make this scenario vanishingly rare in clinical practice.

    Perhaps it has happened, i don’t know, but if it did it must represent a tiny fraction of the pre-1999 thimerosal vaccine burden. It is incorrect for you to continue to insist this problem was so prevalent that it contributed to autism rates continuing to rise. That is just quite impossible.

    You have also made reference to “lot numbers” which parents supposedly recorded from expired [thimerosal containing] vaccines. Now the rational thing to do if this occured would be to take up the issue with the relevant authorities, publicise the problem and create a major stink.

    Now since none of this seems to have happened, and you now say you have no record of vaccine lot numbers or any details whatsoever, make it appear that all this handwringing so long after the event is merely what it appears to be – a woefully lame attempt to claim, without any evidence, that thimerosal continued to be pumped directly into the blood streams of the majority of tiny vulnerable infants.

  188. #189 Sauceress
    September 27, 2010

    #96 Jake

    And here is some of my evidence: From a parent:

    From link provided @96

    What some parents are finding is that vaccines with the full 25 micrograms of mercury are still being distributed in doctors offices, some with an expiration date of 2007.

    I thought I’d take a look for a bit of background info as to the claims of parent, “Vera Smith”.
    First up…

    Claim 1. by “Vera Smith”

    My daughter received between 39 and 50 micrograms of mercury in one visit. The expiration dates on the vaccines extended into 2006.
    Full amount of thimerosal in the Connaught DTaP she received on 5/13/2003. Expiration date: 7/2004

    Firstly on “Connaught” DtaP…
    Sanofi Pasteur (formerly Aventis Pasteur, Pasteur Merieux Connaught; includes Connaught Laboratories and Pasteur Merieux)

    The only Sanofi Pasteur DtaP vaccines listed on the FDA’s table are Daptacel and Tripedia.

    Daptacel

    –Thimerosal Concentration:0 Mercury: 0
    –Approval Date for Thimerosal Free or Thimerosal / Preservative Free (Trace Thimerosal)Formulation: Never contained Thimerosal

    Tripedia:
    –Thimerosal Status Concentration ** (Mercury) – Trace -less than, or equal to 0.00012%
    –Mercury: less than, or equal 0.3 µg/0.5 mL dose
    –Approval Date for Thimerosal Free or Thimerosal / Preservative Free (Trace Thimerosal) Formulation – 03/07/01

    Soooo Jake…again…about those lot numbers?

    p.s. More to come on “Vera’s” second and third vaccination claims.

  189. #190 Sauceress
    September 27, 2010

    My first post (Claim 1.)got caught in moderation. A little background on the claims of “Vera Smith” at the Adventures In Autism site Jake linked to:

    Claim 2. by “Vera Smith”

    Full amount in the Connaught HIB she received on 5/13/2003. Expiration date: 1/2005.

    ActHIB/OmniHIB (OmniHIB is manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur but distributed by GlaxoSmithKline) is the only Hib made by Sanofi Pasteur (“Connaught”) listed on the FDA’s “Thimerosal Content of Vaccines Routinely Recommended for Children 6 Years of Age and Younger” table.

    -Thimerosal Status Concentration (Mercury): free

    -Approval Date for Thimerosal Free or Thimerosal / Preservative Free (Trace Thimerosal) Formulation – Never contained Thimerosal

    Claim 3 by “Vera Smith”

    Full amount in the Aventis Pasteur ProHibit HIB she received on 6/18/2004. Expiration date: February, 2006.

    No mention of a “ProHibit HIB” vaccine on the FDA’s site, but I found it at mdimmunet.org listed under Vaccine Trade Name or Common Name as ProHIBit®(discontinued)
    Manufacturer: Pasteur-Merieux (Note: Looking up Wiki on Pasteur-Merieux -”1999: Rhône-Poulenc and Hoechst unite their Life Sciences activities in a single company, which takes on the name Aventis. Within this group, Pasteur Mérieux Connaught changes its name to Aventis Pasteur.”
    Then in “2004: merger of Aventis with and into Sanofi. Aventis Pasteur, the vaccine division of the sanofi-aventis Group, changes its name to sanofi pasteur.)

    When was it discontinued?
    The Minnesota Immunization Information Connection has this info:

    Trade Name: ProHIBit
    Vaccine Group: Historical Hib
    Vaccine: Historical DTP/aP
    Description : Discontinued Hib-PRP-D vaccine, licensed 1987-2000; use for historical data only
    CPT code from CDC: 90645
    MVX Code (Vaccine manufacturer): PMC – sanofi pasteur (formerly Aventis Pasteur, Pasteur Merieux Connaught; includes Connaught Laboratories and Pasteur Merieux)

    Looking rather shaky don’t you think Jake?

  190. #191 Sauceress
    September 27, 2010

    Testing post

  191. #192 Sauceress
    September 27, 2010

    Now the rational thing to do if this occured would be to take up the issue with the relevant authorities, publicise the problem and create a major stink.

    Exactly!

    I have a few posts on the vaccination claims of “Vera Smith” from Jake’s “evidence” link at #96 currently in moderation. I’d appreciate Jake’s verifiable explanation of the information provided in those.

  192. #193 LW
    September 27, 2010

    If there had been large quantities of TCVs in doctors’ fridges by 2002, as Jake contends, doesn’t that imply a deliberate decision on the part of the doctors to stock up in 1999, before all that lovely, lovely mercury was taken out? It seems to me unlikely that doctors routinely purchase greater than a three-year supply of, well, anything, really. It also seems unlikely that the few companies still willing to produce vaccines despite the vilification heaped on them would produce more than could be used up in three years. In fact, the occasional shortages of vaccines that have occurred suggest that they don’t stockpile much at all.

    If doctors all across the nation individually decided to invest in large stocks of TCVs, with which they filled their fridges for the express purpose of poisoning children for as long as possible, then I would suggest to Jake that rather fussing about lot numbers, he should be documenting the huge spike in demand for TCVs just before they were phased out. That should show up in financial statements for the manufacturers, surely.

  193. #194 herr doktor bimler
    September 27, 2010

    I can’t believe that you drug-industry dupes are so willing to simply take the drug companies’ word for it that they were ever putting thimerosal in their vaccines in the first place.

  194. #195 Sauceress
    September 27, 2010

    The entry “Vaccine: Historical DTP/aP” for the ProHIBit vaccine in post #190 should have read Hib-PRP-D. (Historical DTP/aP was TriHIBit)

  195. #196 Science Mom
    September 27, 2010

    I would like to clarify a comment I made in post #183. My comment about velcro shoes, was in no way, an affront to Jake’s autism, nor anyone’s autism for that matter. I had my young children’s lack of sensibility and logic in mind when writing that (and they wear velcro shoes). So I apologise if anyone took it the wrong way.

  196. #197 Prometheus
    September 27, 2010

    Jake Crosby (#70) had some questions for me in his comment:

    “What about parents who’ve found thimerosal-preserved DTaP, Hep B and Hib vaccines after 2002? Are they liars?”

    To begin with, there are many reasons that people might provide incorrect information; lying is only one. I do understand that Jake feels his argument – such as it is – is more powerful if he can present it as a false choice between believing what he says (he provides no sources) or calling other people liars. Other possible choices are that the people making such claims (if they exist) are mistaken or that Mr. Crosby is the liar.

    If these parents that Mr. Crosby refers to have tangible proof that thimerosal-preserved vaccines (as opposed to those containing “trace” amounts) were given after 2002, I would accept that. The mere existence of thimerosal-preserved vaccines after 2002 doesn’t mean that they were administered, since the first thing every nurse I’ve seen does before administering a vaccine is to check its expiry date.

    I have – in my lab regrigerator – a vial of thimerosal-preserved vaccine right now, in 2010. However, it has an expiry date of 1993, so it would be a gross violation of medical standard of care to administer it (even if I was licensed to give vaccines). Does its existence – in a research lab that doesn’t treat humans – constitute proof of Mr. Crosby’s claims? I think not.

    What would be needed to support Jake’s extraordinary claim would be a thimerosal-preserved (again, as opposed to containing trace amounts of thimerosal) vaccine with an expiry date of later than 2002, which he appears to lack (apart from thrilling tales told on the Internet).

    Show me the data, Jake, not more conspiracy theories.

    Jake continues:

    “From what set of autism data do you use to base your conclusions on autism rates?”

    I make no conclusions about autism rates, Jake, only autism prevalence. For this, I use the IDEA annual reports to Congress. Yes, I know that it is suspect data (as are all data from administrative sources), but it has the benefit of being easily obtained and being comprehensive. It is also the data used to support the now-dead “thimerosal-causes-autism” hypothesis.

    Again, if you believe in the “autism epidemic”, then you can’t believe – logically – that thimerosal causes autism. If you believe that thimerosal causes autism, then you can’t – logically – believe in the “autism epidemic”.

    However, if you don’t believe in logic, then the sky’s the limit.

    Isn’t is, Jake?

    Prometheus

  197. #198 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 27, 2010

    Merck didn’t lie in its September 9, 1999 press release – here’s the full press release:

    MERCK LAUNCHES PRESERVATIVE-FREE HEPATITIS-B VACCINE
    9/9/99 0:1
    /ADVANCE FOR AYEMS THURSDAY, SEPT. 9/
    Company’s Infant Vaccine Series is Now Preservative Free
    /ADVANCE/ WEST POINT, Pa., Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ — Merck & Co., Inc.
    (NYSE: MRK), will launch its thimerosal-free, preservative-free hepatitis B
    vaccine (RECOMBIVAX HB(R)) in conjunction with guidelines published for its
    use in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s September 9 Morbidity
    and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). An approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for
    the preservative-free RECOMBIVAX HB(R) came on August 27, following a submission of a Product
    License Supplement by the Company. Now, Merck’s infant vaccine line — including its combination
    vaccine against hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b (COMVAX(R)) — is free of all
    preservatives.
    “Merck recognizes that public trust in the safety of vaccines is critical to our childhood immunization
    program,” Adel Mahmoud, M.D., President of the Merck Vaccine Division, wrote in a September 8 letter to
    U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher. “When government and industry collaborate in the interest of
    public trust, as they’ve done with the thimerosal question, our nation’s children are the winners.”
    According to Dr. Mahmoud, Merck is committed to working closely with the PHS and others to assure the
    speedy adoption of preservative-free vaccines for infants from birth through six months of age. “Our
    objective, as yours, is to keep immunization rates high and disease rates low,” Dr. Mahmoud said in his
    letter.
    The public health guidelines published in the September 9 issue of the MMWR, specifically state:
    – Priority should be given to the use of preservative-free hepatitis B vaccine for all newborns.
    – All infants up to six months of age should be vaccinated with a preservative-free vaccine, as available.
    Infants six weeks of age or older can receive either a preservative free hepatitis B vaccine or a
    preservative-free combination containing hepatitis B vaccine.
    – Infants up to six months of age who are at high risk of perinatal or early childhood hepatitis B virus
    transmission, should be vaccinated with a thimerosal-containing hepatitis B vaccine if preservative-free
    vaccine is not available.
    – Thimerosal-containing hepatitis B vaccine should continue to be used for vaccination of children six
    months of age and older, adolescents and adults.
    Merck & Co., Inc., is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company with a commitment to preventive
    health care through the discovery, development and distribution of highly effective vaccines with strong
    safety profiles.
    SOURCE Merck & Co., Inc.
    -0- 09/09/1999
    /CONTACT: Isabelle Claxton of Merck, 215-652-5558/
    (MRK)

    Note that the press release specifically acknowledges the possibility that some infants under 6 months would receive thimerosal-containing shots, and that children 6 months and older should receive thimerosal-containing shots.

  198. #199 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 27, 2010

    Fixed for formatting issues:

    MERCK LAUNCHES PRESERVATIVE-FREE HEPATITIS-B VACCINE
    9/9/99 0:1
    /ADVANCE FOR AYEMS THURSDAY, SEPT. 9/
    Company’s Infant Vaccine Series is Now Preservative Free
    /ADVANCE/ WEST POINT, Pa., Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ — Merck & Co., Inc.

    (NYSE: MRK), will launch its thimerosal-free, preservative-free hepatitis B
    vaccine (RECOMBIVAX HB(R)) in conjunction with guidelines published for its
    use in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s September 9 Morbidity
    and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). An approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for
    the preservative-free RECOMBIVAX HB(R) came on August 27, following a submission of a Product
    License Supplement by the Company. Now, Merck’s infant vaccine line — including its combination
    vaccine against hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b (COMVAX(R)) — is free of all
    preservatives.

    “Merck recognizes that public trust in the safety of vaccines is critical to our childhood immunization
    program,” Adel Mahmoud, M.D., President of the Merck Vaccine Division, wrote in a September 8 letter to
    U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher. “When government and industry collaborate in the interest of
    public trust, as they’ve done with the thimerosal question, our nation’s children are the winners.”
    According to Dr. Mahmoud, Merck is committed to working closely with the PHS and others to assure the
    speedy adoption of preservative-free vaccines for infants from birth through six months of age. “Our
    objective, as yours, is to keep immunization rates high and disease rates low,” Dr. Mahmoud said in his
    letter.

    The public health guidelines published in the September 9 issue of the MMWR, specifically state:

    – Priority should be given to the use of preservative-free hepatitis B vaccine for all newborns.

    – All infants up to six months of age should be vaccinated with a preservative-free vaccine, as available.
    Infants six weeks of age or older can receive either a preservative free hepatitis B vaccine or a
    preservative-free combination containing hepatitis B vaccine.

    – Infants up to six months of age who are at high risk of perinatal or early childhood hepatitis B virus
    transmission, should be vaccinated with a thimerosal-containing hepatitis B vaccine if preservative-free
    vaccine is not available.
    – Thimerosal-containing hepatitis B vaccine should continue to be used for vaccination of children six
    months of age and older, adolescents and adults.

    Merck & Co., Inc., is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company with a commitment to preventive
    health care through the discovery, development and distribution of highly effective vaccines with strong
    safety profiles.

    SOURCE Merck & Co., Inc.
    -0- 09/09/1999
    /CONTACT: Isabelle Claxton of Merck, 215-652-5558/
    (MRK)

  199. #200 Joseph
    September 27, 2010

    Looks like Jake got pwned by Orac in #181, and then disappeared. I guess the fun is over?

  200. #201 Orac
    September 27, 2010

    He’s probably just licking his wounds and planning another smear piece on AoA.

  201. #202 Dedj
    September 27, 2010

    Thank you W Kevin Vicklund.

    I’ve read that release before. It seems a fairly standard product announcement.

    One thing that has been bugging me is why a product announcement of a change to a product was taken as an announcement which affects existing units. When you announce a new version of a product with a long shelf life, no-one should expect it to apply to the existing units. They even went on to explain that there may be TCV units left.

    People that are accusing Merck of lying either require them to have been producing the new product before it was approved, or to have destoryed existing distibution stock. Neither of these two options is very sensible and is certainly not standard practice in any other industry, much less one where discontinuity of product supply has both financial and public health implications.

    So the question remains – why are people claiming Merck said all of their vaccines were thimerosal free, when no such statement was made, and the statement that was made cannot have rationally and reasonably been applied to anything other than new production?

    People appear to be hung up about a single sentence (ignoring the context of the rest of the announcement) that doesn’t make any sense if you take it to mean what they took it to mean.

  202. #203 Todd W.
    September 27, 2010

    @Dedj

    Age of Cherry Pickers and Generation Quote Mine. It’s what the anti-vaxers do best. Can’t win on evidence or logic, so, spin, spin, spin. They probably do quite a bit to keep Hasbro rollin’ in dough.

  203. #204 Chris
    September 27, 2010

    I wonder if Jake still believes, like Wendy Founier, if the John Merck Fund is related to the pharmaceutical company.

  204. #205 Matthew Cline
    September 27, 2010

    @Todd W:

    It’s what the anti-vaxers do best. Can’t win on evidence or logic, so, spin, spin, spin.

    Reminds me of the old lawyerly adage: “If the law is on your side, pound on the law. If the facts are on your side, pound on the facts. If neither is on your side, pound on the table.”

  205. #206 Orange Lantern
    September 27, 2010

    Thanks Kevin, when I was reading Jake’s assertion over and over again, I kept thinking I needed to look up the context of the original statement.

    Again, very telling of Jake’s, and AoA’s, desire to obsfucate facts. Champions of informed consent… right.

  206. #207 W. Kevin Vicklund
    September 28, 2010

    Took me a while to find. Ironically, I found it on an anti-vaccine site. I had a strong suspicion that the press release consisted of more than a single sentence…

  207. #208 Dedj
    September 28, 2010

    I’m not sure why the context would be needed.

    Surely people should realise that a product announcement of a new variant of the product can not be retroactively applied to existing units of the older variant?

    Surely people realise that ‘our range is now xxx-free’ does not apply to products in the old range?

    Why are we even giving these people the time of day?

  208. #209 dt
    September 29, 2010

    @Chris #204
    I know AoA still think the Wellcome Trust is linked with Glaxo-Wellcome, and that any funding from them implies a financial pharma CoI. Dribbling idiots.
    http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/About-us/History/index.htm

  209. #210 dt
    September 29, 2010

    Whoops, I meant Glaxo Smith Kline.
    The shareholding is under 2% I believe.

  210. #211 brian
    September 29, 2010

    Yep, if you don’t have any data, try to imagine some COIs: “[The] study was also supported by the Wellcome Trust. Wellcome Pharmaceuticals was purchased by Glaxo Smith Kline, the maker of the British MMR vaccine. [Age of Autism, August 24, 2009]”

  211. #212 Jake Crosby
    September 29, 2010

    “Note that the press release specifically acknowledges the possibility that some infants under 6 months would receive thimerosal-containing shots, and that children 6 months and older should receive thimerosal-containing shots.”

    It does, but no where does it say the company would continue to distribute thimerosal-preserved doses.

  212. #213 Todd W.
    September 29, 2010

    @Jake

    It does, but no where does it say the company would continue to distribute thimerosal-preserved doses.

    You claimed that Merck lied about their vaccines being thimerosal-free. It has been shown they did not lie. The press release, in fact, says nothing about whether they will continue to produce or will stop producing thimerosal-containing vaccines, though it can be inferred that some will continue to be produced based on the recommendations:

    The public health guidelines published in the September 9 issue of the MMWR, specifically state:

    – Priority should be given to the use of preservative-free hepatitis B vaccine for all newborns.

    – All infants up to six months of age should be vaccinated with a preservative-free vaccine, as available.
    Infants six weeks of age or older can receive either a preservative free hepatitis B vaccine or a
    preservative-free combination containing hepatitis B vaccine.

    – Infants up to six months of age who are at high risk of perinatal or early childhood hepatitis B virus
    transmission, should be vaccinated with a thimerosal-containing hepatitis B vaccine if preservative-free
    vaccine is not available.
    – Thimerosal-containing hepatitis B vaccine should continue to be used for vaccination of children six
    months of age and older, adolescents and adults.

    In other words, for newborns, thimerosal-free vaccine should be used if at all possible. Same for infants up to 6 months. Only if infants up to 6 months are at high risk and preservative-free vaccines are not available should a TCV be used. Over 6 months, TCV should be used (presumably to ensure an adequate supply of thimerosal-free vaccines for newborns and pre-6-month infants, though this is not stated explicitly).

    So, I believe the words you meant to type were, “I was wrong. They did not lie.”

  213. #214 Jake Crosby
    September 29, 2010

    “The press release, in fact, says nothing about whether they will continue to produce or will stop producing thimerosal-containing vaccines”

    Wrong, the first line of Merck’s press release states:

    “Company’s Infant Vaccine Series is Now Preservative Free.”

    Yet infants continued to get thimerosal-preserved vaccines put out by Merck anyway. The background information does not change the fact that Merck lied…or screwed up. Either way, it does not reflect well on them as a company, or on the pharmaceutical industry in general for that matter. Given that Merck was already aware of the potential dangers of thimerosal at least eight years before, I’m leaning towards the former…

  214. #215 Orange Lantern
    September 30, 2010

    I’m still not buying it, Jake. If you have an ad that says “Free Car Wash” with an asterisk that says “Gas Purchase Required,” do you call it lying because the car wash really isn’t free?

    The press release has its spin (PR spin? No way!) but is still technically accurate. Their preservative-free version became the version for their infant line, and they detailed how it should be given preference over any available thimerosal-containing vaccines for that population. The infant line is clearly the series intended for infants, not necessarily any vaccine that can possibly be given to an infant.

    It did not say their entire stock for all ages would be thimerosal free, nor did it say that available TCVs could not be given to infants, because of course they can. Because it is safe for infants, and there is no reputable evidence to the contrary.

    Not that this all matters, because you still have zero evidence that non-expired thimerosal-containing vaccines were ever given after 2002.

  215. #216 Julian Frost
    September 30, 2010

    Jake,

    Yet infants continued to get thimerosal-preserved vaccines put out by Merck anyway.

    1. Do you understand the difference between “manufactured” and “used”?
    2. What hard evidence do you have that Merck continued to make vaccines with thimerosal in them after saying that they had stopped. Oh, and unverified claims by a known antivaxxer don’t count as hard evidence.

  216. #217 Chemmomo
    September 30, 2010

    Um, Jake, but, um, the first line says “Is now preservative free.”
    That’s not the first line of the press release. It’s the subtitle.

    You need to read more than just the titles. Try the next line (copied from W. Kevin Vicklund’s link in Post #198 above):

    MERCK LAUNCHES PRESERVATIVE-FREE HEPATITIS-B VACCINE
    9/9/99 0:1
    /ADVANCE FOR AYEMS THURSDAY, SEPT. 9/
    Company’s Infant Vaccine Series is Now Preservative Free
    /ADVANCE/ WEST POINT, Pa., Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ — Merck & Co., Inc.
    (NYSE: MRK), will launch its thimerosal-free, preservative-free hepatitis B
    vaccine (RECOMBIVAX HB(R))

    Do you understand what will launch means?

    It’s future tense.

    You cannot claim that your inability to read the beyond the subtitle of the press release to the actual first sentence of the press release means that “Merck lied.”

    The actual first sentence clearly says “Merck will launch.” Not launched — will launch. As of the date of the press release, the thimerasol-free vaccine is not out there yet. It will be soon. Not yet.

  217. #218 Dedj
    September 30, 2010

    “Yet infants continued to get thimerosal-preserved vaccines put out by Merck anyway.”

    As stated, these were most likely to not be from the infant range, or if they were, they may have been from existing older variant stock.

    You do know that a product launch cannot be retroactively applied to include existing units of the previous version? Nor can it be applied to products that are not in the range mentioned?

    Do you have any evidence that Merck was producing TCV’s of the old range beyond the switch-over date? If you don’t , then all you are demonstrating is that you do not have the requisite skills or knowledge to read a product launch announcement without serious error.

    Merck’s statement does not contain the claim you claim it does, and it is not reasonable to apply the statement they did make to products the statement was clearly not about.

    You even got what the press release was about totally wrong, despite it being clearly stated!

    Your continued 100% error rate – despite repeated correction and guidance – is utterly amazing.

    Before you respond – you knew before coming into this discussion that Merck was clearly talking about thier infant range, yet you appear to be arguing about TCV’s in general.

    You either cannot read a simple press release (it’s being kind to you to assume you have actually read it first hand) or you have knowingly engaged in misdirection.

    Either way you have a hell of a lot of explaining to do.

    You best get to it.

  218. #219 MI Dawn
    September 30, 2010

    Obviously, Jake is expecting that every doctor who cared for infants ran right out, pulled all their TCV and returned them to the manufacturer for exchange. Damn the time, cost and lack of necessity, since thimerosol STILL hasn’t been linked to autism.

  219. #220 Pablo
    September 30, 2010

    I still don’t understand. Even if Jake is right and there were TCVs still lingering around in 2002 or even 2003, that was 7 stinking years ago! Have autism rates dropped dramatically in the last couple of years? I don’t think so. So what’s the point?

    You know it is a friggin waste of time when, even if you grant a (false) premise, the argument STILL fails.

    Does Jake have anything useful to say? I haven’t seen it.

  220. #221 Chemmomo
    September 30, 2010

    Actually, my guess is that Jake’s only source for “Merck lied” was Myron Levin’s 2005 LA Times article which Jake links in Post 92. Levin quoted the subtitle of the press release too – and only the subtitle.

    The only way I can understand Jake’s persistent interpretation of the press release as “Merck lied” is that he never actually read the text of the press release before W. Kevin Vicklund posted it here. If Jake had read it before, his reading comprehension and basic English language skills (i.e., the difference between past, present, and future tense) are in dire need of improvement.

  221. #222 Joseph
    September 30, 2010

    “Company’s Infant Vaccine Series is Now Preservative Free.”

    Yet infants continued to get thimerosal-preserved vaccines put out by Merck anyway.

    I’m not sure that’s even misleading. It says one of their vaccine series is preservative-free. That’s all it says.

  222. #223 Matthew Cline
    September 30, 2010

    @Pablo:

    I still don’t understand. Even if Jake is right and there were TCVs still lingering around in 2002 or even 2003, that was 7 stinking years ago! Have autism rates dropped dramatically in the last couple of years? I don’t think so. So what’s the point?

    As far as I can tell, his point is that if the vaccine manufacturers lied once about removing thimerosal, they might do so again. And again. And again. So they might still be lying, and there might still be non-trace thimerosal in pediatric vaccines.

  223. #224 Orange Lantern
    September 30, 2010

    I’m dying to know – if pharmaceutical companies have such a desire to lie and surreptitiously put thimerosal in vaccines, why would they print it on the inserts?

  224. #225 Matthew Cline
    October 1, 2010

    I’m dying to know – if pharmaceutical companies have such a desire to lie and surreptitiously put thimerosal in vaccines, why would they print it on the inserts?

    The minds of our Phrama Overlords are truly beyond mortal ken.

  225. #226 Jake Crosby
    October 3, 2010

    “It says one of their vaccine series is preservative-free. That’s all it says.”

    It says their infant vaccine series is preservative-free, even though the company continued to distribute the thimerosal brands to infants at least until 2002. That is misleading, if not a flat-out lie. Coming from Merck which knew about the potential dangers of thimerosal since 1991, however, it’s probably a lie.

    “As far as I can tell, his point is that if the vaccine manufacturers lied once about removing thimerosal, they might do so again.”

    Maybe…maybe not. What I do know is that if you lie about one thing, it not only makes that particular claim of yours wrong, but discredits you on that topic completely. So if we want accurate data on thimerosal content, it shouldn’t be through the drug companies, especially when conscientious parents who’ve inquired about the thimerosal-content of their kids’ vaccines by checking the package inserts, lot numbers, calling and asking their pediatricians’ offices etc. tell a different story.

    “if pharmaceutical companies have such a desire to lie and surreptitiously put thimerosal in vaccines, why would they print it on the inserts?”

    You tell me. After all, in 1999 Merck put out a press release saying they’ll immediately distribute all thimerosal-free infant vaccines, then claimed to the FDA four years later that it actually didn’t start happening until 2002.

    “The minds of our Phrama Overlords are truly beyond mortal ken.”

    If they were, they would not have been caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar already.

  226. #227 squirrelelite
    October 3, 2010

    Jake,

    Your continual attempts to twist and squirm to try to make Merck’s press release announcing the introduction of a thimerosal-free line of infant vaccines are starting to remind me of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony # 6, The Pathetique. You can choose to believe or disbelieve press releases as you choose. But, if you sincerely believe a vaccine manufacturer is including thimerosal in vaccines without properly labeling them, it’s not that hard to prove. It would cost a few dollars, but the evidence would speak a lot louder than your unsupported assertions.

    Just ask some of your friends at AoA to buy a few samples and take them to a good independent lab for analysis (not Doctors Data). You might even talk a biochemistry professor at your college to having some grad students do it as practice learning how to use a mass spectrometer.

  227. #228 triskelethecat
    October 3, 2010

    Jake, Jake, Jake. You are in college and you can’t read standard English? How sad. I went back and read the press release again. The press release states that Merck’s infant line is NOW (meaning, that from now on, they will only manufacture) thimerosol free. It does NOT state they went around and got rid of all the stock they had made previously that would expire between 1999 and 2002. It does NOT state that they will throw all those vaccines away nor does it state that doctors’ offices should get rid of perfectly good vaccines that hadn’t expired

    Basically, Merck’s announcement is that their infant line of vaccines that they are now manufacturing will be preservative free.

    Now how hard was that to read? I have condensed that whole press release into a short sentence for your comprehension.

  228. #229 Science Mom
    October 3, 2010

    “It says one of their vaccine series is preservative-free. That’s all it says.”

    It says their infant vaccine series is preservative-free, even though the company continued to distribute the thimerosal brands to infants at least until 2002. That is misleading, if not a flat-out lie. Coming from Merck which knew about the potential dangers of thimerosal since 1991, however, it’s probably a lie.

    It’s only misleading for people like you that have become so wedded to a particular belief that they refuse to acknowledge anything to the contrary. TCV’s expired in 2002, they aren’t going to be distributing them then, particularly when they had been manufacturing thimerosal-free since 1999.

    “As far as I can tell, his point is that if the vaccine manufacturers lied once about removing thimerosal, they might do so again.”

    Maybe…maybe not. What I do know is that if you lie about one thing, it not only makes that particular claim of yours wrong, but discredits you on that topic completely.

    Oh that is bloody rich coming from someone who routinely lies for that execrable bullshit mill you write for. Care to turn that litmus test on yourself and your confederates?

    So if we want accurate data on thimerosal content, it shouldn’t be through the drug companies, especially when conscientious parents who’ve inquired about the thimerosal-content of their kids’ vaccines by checking the package inserts, lot numbers, calling and asking their pediatricians’ offices etc. tell a different story.

    The parents say? Your calibre of evidence is pathetically wanting. Why didn’t they bring this so-called evidence to Rep. Weldon’s attention? Or Sen. Burton? Because it doesn’t exist and you get more mileage out of your little story by relying upon the emotional factor.

    “if pharmaceutical companies have such a desire to lie and surreptitiously put thimerosal in vaccines, why would they print it on the inserts?”

    You tell me. After all, in 1999 Merck put out a press release saying they’ll immediately distribute all thimerosal-free infant vaccines, then claimed to the FDA four years later that it actually didn’t start happening until 2002.

    Why are you being so damned thick? They did distribute thimerosal-free and there was still stock of non-expired TCVs that had already been distributed and stocks were dwindling as thimerosal-free production ramped up and replaced them. They were both in circulation at the same time for ~3 years.

  229. #230 LW
    October 3, 2010

    Jake reminds me of a coworker some years ago. He complained about a bug in the code. I fixed it and prepared a patch. Our QA people tested it and it was released. I notified him the bug was fixed. The next day he called and shouted at me that I had *lied* and it wasn’t fixed at all. I was completely puzzled, until it occurred to me to ask if he’d downloaded the patch. He hadn’t, and he was outraged that we had claimed it was fixed if *he* had to do something about it. He apparently thought I couldn’t truthfully claim the bug was fixed unless every single copy of the code was updated by my personal efforts.

    Just like Jake thinking that Merck couldn’t truthfully claim to have removed the thimerosal from their vaccine line unless they personally destroyed every dose that contained it.

  230. #231 Orange Lantern
    October 3, 2010

    It says their infant vaccine series is preservative-free, even though the company continued to distribute the thimerosal brands to infants at least until 2002

    No, they didn’t. First of all, they distributed them to doctors’ offices, not to infants. It was up to the offices to prioritize the T-free vaccinations to infants.

    Second, do you have any evidence that Merck manufactured and distributed TCV’s after the press release? The last TCV’s expired in 2002, but that does not mean they were distributed in 2002. Perhaps that evidence is out there, but I haven’t seen you produce it.

    What I do know is that if you lie about one thing, it not only makes that particular claim of yours wrong, but discredits you on that topic completely.

    No, it doesn’t “discredit you on the topic completely.” Sorry. For example, we don’t dismiss Generation Rescue’s “studies” because of the lies repeated by Generation Rescue. We dismiss them because they are junk in and of themselves.

    Even if it did discredit them completely, you cannot possibly make the argument that misinformation from the PR department means that they have been secretly producing large amount of TCVs for no logical reason at all.

    Of course, then the fact remains that Merck did not lie in the press release.

    especially when conscientious parents who’ve inquired about the thimerosal-content of their kids’ vaccines by checking the package inserts, lot numbers, calling and asking their pediatricians’ offices etc. tell a different story.

    You have not produced any verifiable evidence of any of this. You insinuated you had lot numbers, then retracted that claim. This is entirely hearsay.

  231. #232 Jake Crosby
    October 3, 2010

    “But, if you sincerely believe a vaccine manufacturer is including thimerosal in vaccines without properly labeling them, it’s not that hard to prove.”

    Never said I sincerely believed that, though doing so now would not exclude the possibility that they might have done so in the past. Still, it could only help to conduct such an analysis – if done independently – though the deception seems to be primarily coming out of the press releases.

    “Basically, Merck’s announcement is that their infant line of vaccines that they are now manufacturing will be preservative free.

    Now how hard was that to read?”

    From you? Not at all. From the press release? Impossible, given that it includes no such statement.

    “They did distribute thimerosal-free and there was still stock of non-expired TCVs that had already been distributed and stocks were dwindling as thimerosal-free production ramped up and replaced them.”

    Wrong:

    “But Merck continued to distribute vaccine containing the chemical known as thimerosal, along with the new product, until October 2001, according to an FDA letter sent in response to a congressional inquiry.”
    http://articles.latimes.com/2005/mar/07/business/fi-merck7

    Okay, October 2001, so I was off by three months according to the FDA letter. Still years after Merck said they would switch their infant vaccine line to thimerosal-free, they hadn’t “already been distributed” by the time of Merck’s press release in September 1999. And I’m not particularly inclined to believe Merck’s second claim after the previous one proved to be wrong.

    “Just like Jake thinking that Merck couldn’t truthfully claim to have removed the thimerosal from their vaccine line unless they personally destroyed every dose that contained it.”

    They couldn’t. Had they told the truth, they’d have said that they would start distributing thimerosal-free vaccine along with those containing the preservative back in 1999, as opposed to making sweeping and untrue statements about their infant vaccine line.

    “No, it doesn’t ‘discredit you on the topic completely.”

    Whatever you say, just remember: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

    “you had lot numbers, then retracted that claim.”

    Never made such a claim, and that was only one example I gave of how parents could check their kids’ vaccine ingredients.

    “This is entirely hearsay.”

    Parents reporting the thimerosal-content of vaccines their kids received are no less hearsay than sweeping claims in press releases by drug companies of their vaccine lines, especially when the latter – at least in Merck’s case – was shown to be false.

    “For example, we don’t dismiss Generation Rescue’s “studies” because of the lies repeated by Generation Rescue.”

    Meanwhile, you haven’t even come up with an example.

    “they distributed them to doctors’ offices, not to infants. It was up to the offices to prioritize the T-free vaccinations to infants.”

    Then they should’ve said that instead of making consumers erroneously believe that all their vaccines distributed after that date and given to infants would be free of the preservative.

  232. #233 Chemmomo
    October 3, 2010

    Jake, re your post #226

    You tell me. After all, in 1999 Merck put out a press release saying they’ll immediately distribute all thimerosal-free infant vaccines, then claimed to the FDA four years later that it actually didn’t start happening until 2002.

    could you point out to us exactly what line of the press release includes the works “immediately distribute”?

  233. #234 Militant Agnostic
    October 3, 2010

    Chemmomo @233 – you have a typo (“works” instead of “words”).

    This discredits all comments you have made in the past and all comments you will make in the future.

  234. #235 Chris
    October 3, 2010

    Being the parent of a college sophomore impels me to ask this question late on a Sunday evening: Jake, have you finished your homework?

  235. #236 Chemmomo
    October 3, 2010

    Ooops that should read “words” not “works.” Evidently I am completely incapable of proofreading a computer screen, even after hitting Preview.

  236. #237 squirrelelite
    October 3, 2010

    So, Jake, evidently no one that you know of believed Merck was including thimerosal in their thimerosal-free vaccines strongly enough to spend some money trying to prove it. If they had done so, I am confident that you in particular would be aware of it and have happily told us about it many times.

    So, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, we will take it as a given that Merck did eliminate thimerosal from their infant vaccines (except for flu) and that their vaccines were manufactured in accordance with their labeled ingredients.

    Thus, your case against Merck comes down to complaining about their wording their press release the way you wish they had and quibbling about the exact dates the last thimerosal containing infant vaccines were distributed and administered.

    Without a 4-D temporal scanner, we’ll probably never know that exact date, but whatever it was it was about 7 or 8 years ago. So, for the last 7 or 8 years, thimerosal in infant and child vaccines has been drastically reduced and diagnoses of ASD have continued to increase. Whatever is causing that increase (if there is any real increase aside from diagnostic substitution and heightened awareness, etc) is highly unlikely to be thimerosal. Which is entirely consistent with the results of Price et al.

    Unfortunately, I have no talent for either memory charms or apportation, or I might be able to remove this idee fixe from your brain and allow you to take a fresh look at the question of what causes autism and other conditions in ASD.

    But, alas, I fear that shall never be.

  237. #238 Dedj
    October 3, 2010

    “Then they should’ve said that instead of making consumers erroneously believe that all their vaccines distributed after that date and given to infants would be free of the preservative.”

    Again, they announced that the range was preservative free.

    That other people erroneously took this to mean that units of the old range was included is not the fault of Merck.

    There was no reason to read Mercks statement to mean any of the things you have alledged it did. The reasons why you should not have read it that way have been presented to you again and again.

    You have provided no reason why you read it the way you did. It is a bog standard new-variant announcement and you failed to understand what it meant. Do not blame Merck for your failure.

    You certainly don’t want to risk you reputation on this just because you can’t accept that Merck did exactly what they said they would.

  238. #239 Matthew Cline
    October 3, 2010

    @Jake Crosby:

    So, according to you, Merck should have explicitly said in it’s press release “we haven’t destroyed our existing stocks of TCV”, and not including that statement was a lie of omission which caused people to believe that they had destroyed their existing stocks of TCV?

  239. #240 Dedj
    October 3, 2010

    “You tell me. After all, in 1999 Merck put out a press release saying they’ll immediately distribute all thimerosal-free infant vaccines,”

    You will, of course, continue to fail. You have no chance of producing the exact wording that led you to believe this, so I’m not going to ask.

    ” then claimed to the FDA four years later that it actually didn’t start happening until 2002.””

    This is certainly NOT what was going on. The use-by dates were for 2001-2002 at the latest. Merck did not claim that the distribution did not start happening until 2001-2002.

    It may be possible that some back-stock may have been distributed as late as 2001, utterly unlikely, but possible, however, you are making it sound like a deliberate plan of deception.

    Get the damn story straight and stop changing it every few posts, then pony up some serious evidence.

  240. #241 Dedj
    October 3, 2010

    @Matthew Cline.

    Could it be possible that Jake has never been in a position to experience what a product switchover is like from the manufacturing side?

    Could that be why he’s badly misunderstanding what product announcements are and what they mean?

  241. #242 Matthew Cline
    October 3, 2010

    @Dedj:

    Could it be possible that Jake has never been in a position to experience what a product switchover is like from the manufacturing side?

    If that’s true, well, lots of people have no such experience, so lots of people might have misunderstood the press release in the exact same way as Jake. So maybe the PR department should have explicitly noted that existing stocks weren’t being destroyed. It would at least have prevented tiring arguments like this.

  242. #243 Chemmomo
    October 4, 2010

    @Matthew Cline – I respectfully disagree. Why would anyone assume existing stocks would be destroyed when the press release quotes the public health guidelines for prioritizing the thimerasol-free version? Those guidelines would be completely unnecessary if the world worked as Jake imagines it does and the fact that a press release for a new product magically converted all the existing product into the one that had not yet been launched.

    In any case, it’s a press release, not a news article. The purpose of a press release is to make the company look as good as possible in a few words as possible. It’s not investigative journalism. It’s not any kind of journalism.

    And even if they had explicitly stated that the existing stock would not be destroyed, the Jakes of the world would just find something else to misinterpret.

  243. #244 Chemmomo
    October 4, 2010

    @Militant Agnostic
    No typos this time (I guess I noticed it about the same time you posted). But I know I’m already discredited – Jake hasn’t answered any of my questions yet.

  244. #245 Chemmomo
    October 4, 2010

    Ooops wrong again – that’s “look as good as possible in as few words as possible.” Can I retract the first sentence of Post#244?

  245. #246 Julian Frost
    October 4, 2010

    Jake,
    Give it up. You misquoted Merck to suggest they lied about thimerosal in vaccines. When your error was pointed out you obfuscated and distorted, and you were again corrected. This then repeated for several rounds.
    You have failed to stump up the evidence to support your claims and I’m guessing that’s because you don’t have any. Either put up the proof that Merck continued to make infant vaccines containing thimerosal after saying they would stop, or admit that you got it wrong.

  246. #247 Chris
    October 4, 2010

    Mr. Frost, I really really want to visit your webpage… but everytime I click on it I get this… and until that is changed, you are officially a stinker!:

    The website declined to show this webpage
    HTTP 403
    Most likely causes:
    This website requires you to log in.

    What you can try:
    Go back to the previous page.

    More information

    This error (HTTP 403 Forbidden) means that Internet Explorer was able to connect to the website, but it does not have permission to view the webpage.

    For more information about HTTP errors, see Help.

  247. #248 Julian Frost
    October 4, 2010

    Sorry Chris, I don’t know what on earth could be causing that. iBlog.co.za is a free blogging website. Literally anyone should be able to see what’s on it. It might be because it’s a South African site, as several people have told me that they can’t access the site. I assure you, I have not set up a login as I don’t know how, and I wouldn’t anyway.

  248. #249 Julian Frost
    October 4, 2010

    Sorry Chris, I don’t know what on earth could be causing that. iBlog.co.za is a free blogging website. Literally anyone should be able to see what’s on it. It might be because it’s a South African site, as several people have told me that they can’t access the site. I assure you, I have not set up a login as I don’t know how, and I wouldn’t anyway.

  249. #250 Dedj
    October 4, 2010

    @Matthew Cline

    “So maybe the PR department should have explicitly noted that existing stocks weren’t being destroyed. It would at least have prevented tiring arguments like this.”

    I would have to respectfully disagree as well.

    With the exception of made-on-demand products (e.g. fast-food), I can’t think of a single industry where it’s reasonable to expect any producer to not supply warehouse stock of the old product alongside (or in priority to) production units of the new product, except in cases of explicit demand or recall of a product – neither of which was the case here.

    In the case of products with short production-to-sale times, one might expect them to deliberately run down warehouse stock prior to launch. Long term products (e.g. cars, TV’s, clothes) are usually discounted before the new variant comes in, not removed from sale.

    Destroying existing stock is usually the choice of the point-of-sale (or point-of-use in this case) retailer, which would be the physicians and not Merck. The LATimes article states that Merck ‘halted its use’, something that does not appear in the original statement, and which may not even be within Mercks powers.

  250. #251 Prometheus
    October 4, 2010

    Whether or not Merck “lied” about thimerosal-free vaccines (it is my position that they did not) and whether or not every last thimerosal-containing children’s vaccine vial was destroyed by 2002 or 2003, Jake still has a very large “inconvenient truth” to work around:

    Autism prevalence has continued to rise.

    Even if Merck “lied” and there were a few thimerosal-containing vaccines that might have been given to infants, the unalterable fact is that children’s thimerosal exposure dropped dramatically in 2002-2003 and has fallen below where it was before the “autism epidemic”.

    Despite that, the rise in autism prevalence continues apace. Children born in 2003 – when the thimerosal exposure was known to be only a fraction of what it was in the preceding few years – are turning (or have turned) seven this year. When this year’s IDEA report is released, will it show a dramatic drop in autism prevalence for children seven and under? Probably not.

    And why not? Because thimerosal doesn’t cause autism. If thimerosal did cause any significant proportion of the cases of autism, we would have already seen a drop in prevalence.

    At any rate, Jake is making (another) vacuous argument. Merck didn’t “lie” about thimerosal in children’s vaccines – Jake simply didn’t read the press release; he relied on the interpretation of others to form his opinion.

    There is a pattern in this that I’ve noticed in Jake’s other rantings on this ‘blog. He allows himself to become agitated by other people’s (fallacious) arguments and then launches into rambling diatribes unencumbered by data. When the errors in his argument – which is, in reality, someone else’s argument – are pointed out, Jake resorts to the electronic equivalent of putting his fingers in his ears and shouting “Lalalalala, I can’t hear you!”.

    Jake, I must say, is not unique in this – as a teacher in a large university, I see this sort of thing every day. Jake has trusted other people to do his critical thinking for him, a form of mental out-sourcing. And, like other types of out-sourcing, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

    It’s not working, Jake. Try thinking for yourself – or at least find some more trustworthy people to think for you.

    Prometheus

  251. #252 Pablo
    October 4, 2010

    Well, it seems Jake thinks that the thimerasol hasn’t actually been removed, so no effect should be observed. No basis, for this, of course, other than a conspiracy, but it is possible for conspiracies to be internally consistent (“absence of evidence” proves they conspired to remove any evidence)

    Of course, they could just pay for a test from a reputable analytical lab (mercury concentration is easily measured by using flame absorption and should be routine), but that would require actually putting up.

  252. #253 Joseph
    October 4, 2010

    Of course, they could just pay for a test from a reputable analytical lab (mercury concentration is easily measured by using flame absorption and should be routine), but that would require actually putting up.

    If they truly bought their own conspiracy-talk, they would’ve done this test in 2004. They would carry out random tests periodically. And, BTW, who’s to say they haven’t?

  253. #254 Mu
    October 4, 2010

    Look, the reason that the removal of thimerosal didn’t immediately show in the number of autism cases is that AoA got the mechanism wrong. Thimerosal accumulates in the ovaries and testes of the young kids, and does its destructive work via genetic changes. Now you’ve moved the deadline for the thimerosal-removal drop to about 2025, with cases possible until 2040. Jake can go to law school and make a living of thimerosal for another 30 years!

  254. #255 herr doktor bimler
    October 4, 2010

    That is misleading, if not a flat-out lie. Coming from Merck which knew about the potential dangers of thimerosal since 1991, however, it’s probably a lie.

    This strikes me as bizarre, minor detail though it is. A synecdoche, as it were, for Jake’s overall style of thought.
    To spell it out: If a press release is misleading (but not technically incorrect), then it will remain technically correct, even if its source turns out to be a company you distrust.

    Conversely, if the press statement is not compatible with the facts, then it’s wrong (rather than misleading), whatever the source. But we would like to see the incompatibility, and the facts, rather than rely on mistrust of a company.

  255. #256 Jake Crosby
    October 4, 2010

    @Prometheus:

    “If thimerosal did cause any significant proportion of the cases of autism, we would have already seen a drop in prevalence.”

    So, does that mean then, that if for example a drop in prevalence came within the next five years or so, thimerosal would not be the cause because the drop would have come too late to be correlated according to you?

    Jake Crosby

  256. #257 Jake Crosby
    October 4, 2010

    “if the press statement is not compatible with the facts, then it’s wrong”

    And therefore misleading.

  257. #258 Joseph
    October 4, 2010

    So, does that mean then, that if for example a drop in prevalence came within the next five years or so, thimerosal would not be the cause because the drop would have come too late to be correlated according to you?

    @Jake: It wouldn’t exactly fit, no. The scientific thing to do would be to look for more likely explanations.

    I see it as a fantasy of yours, either way. I doubt autism diagnoses will become less prevalent until the day a preferred (more appealing) diagnosis arrives.

  258. #259 Jake Crosby
    October 4, 2010

    “The scientific thing to do would be to look for more likely explanations.”

    Or, we could continue to monitor the autism rate for changes, and then trace any possible changes we may end up seeing to prior changes in environmental exposures, including thimerosal.

    “I see it as a fantasy of yours,”

    No more a fantasy than saying that autism will remain the same or continue to increase in the next five years. All we can do to find out is wait.

  259. #260 Jake Crosby
    October 4, 2010

    *5 years being a completely hypothetical period of time, of course, as I would support the continued monitoring of autism rates for any possible changes indefinitely.

  260. #261 Science Mom
    October 4, 2010

    Or, we could continue to monitor the autism rate for changes, and then trace any possible changes we may end up seeing to prior changes in environmental exposures, including thimerosal.

    Even though you don’t like the numerous studies regarding thimerosal and ASD rates, that is your failing to accept the replication that has failed to correlate thimerosal with autism. Furthermore, you don’t even have a biological plausibility. That’s pretty important. You simply have the same handful of self-proclaimed experts (rife with COIs which you refuse to apply your own metric to) caterwauling ‘thimerosal causes autism’ in order to sell products and services.

    But I would like to turn your attention to the fact that you have also failed to produce any evidence, whatsoever, that TCVs were still being used into and past 2003. Which is what you came screeding in here about.

  261. #262 Jake Crosby
    October 4, 2010

    “Even though you don’t like the numerous studies regarding thimerosal and ASD rates, that is your failing to accept the replication that has failed to correlate thimerosal with autism.”

    Well, one of the central figures in producing those “numerous studies” you speak of has absconded with $2 million.

    “Furthermore, you don’t even have a biological plausibility.”

    Never mind the fact that the vast majority of published, peer-reviewed research supports a connection between autism and heavy metals like mercury in vaccines.

    “But I would like to turn your attention to the fact that you have also failed to produce any evidence, whatsoever, that TCVs were still being used into and past 2003.”

    Yes, parents who’ve found the preservative in their kids’ shots in and past 2003. I think they would have a better idea than some dubious drug company press release.

  262. #263 Lurkin
    October 4, 2010

    ‘thimerosal causes autism’

    I’m confused.
    What’s happened to Andrew Wakefield’s “MMR causes autism”?

  263. #264 Orac
    October 4, 2010

    Well, one of the central figures in producing those “numerous studies” you speak of has absconded with $2 million.

    Ah, the fine art of distraction:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/03/thorsen_wakefield_fine_art_of_distraction.php

    Kind of like AoA’s response to the Guatemala syphilis experiment:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/10/the_guatemala_syphilis_experiment_human.php

  264. #265 Jake Crosby
    October 4, 2010

    @Orac:

    So do you plan on coming back out of hiding again?

  265. #266 Jake Crosby
    October 4, 2010

    “I’m confused.
    What’s happened to Andrew Wakefield’s “MMR causes autism”?”

    Andrew Wakefield never said the MMR causes autism, he just said it warranted further study.

  266. #267 Chris
    October 4, 2010

    So the MMR’s use since 1971 was not enough to study it?

  267. #268 Jake Crosby
    October 4, 2010

    “Ah, the fine art of distraction:”

    Hardly, Thorsen’s behavior is just the kind you can expect from a researcher who attaches his name to tobacco science that concludes thimerosal does not cause autism because the autism rate was fudged when the preservative was removed.

    “Kind of like AoA’s response to the Guatemala syphilis experiment:”

    No, kind of like Arthur Caplan ignoring every single point Anne Dachel made in her email to him.

  268. #269 Orac
    October 4, 2010

    So do you plan on coming back out of hiding again?

    I was never in hiding.

    Do you plan on stopping being so obtuse?

  269. #270 Orac
    October 4, 2010

    No, kind of like Arthur Caplan ignoring every single point Anne Dachel made in her email to him.

    Every single point Anne Dachel made was fallacious and based on her erroneous belief in the pseudoscience that claims that vaccines cause autism. In fact, Art Caplan was incredibly kind and polite in his response. Dachel didn’t warrant such a nice response, but, then, Art Caplan is a gentleman, unlike you.

  270. #271 Science Mom
    October 4, 2010

    “Even though you don’t like the numerous studies regarding thimerosal and ASD rates, that is your failing to accept the replication that has failed to correlate thimerosal with autism.”

    Well, one of the central figures in producing those “numerous studies” you speak of has absconded with $2 million.

    Central figures? Really Jake? Take a look at the studies and tell us what position his name appears. You do know that has relevance right Jake? You also seem rather sure that you know what actually happened with the funds in question. Since I don’t think for a second that you are privy to any real information on the subject that the rest of us aren’t, you’re talking out of your ass.

    “Furthermore, you don’t even have a biological plausibility.”

    Never mind the fact that the vast majority of published, peer-reviewed research supports a connection between autism and heavy metals like mercury in vaccines.

    Emphasis mine. I’ll hold you to the ‘vast majority part when you deign to produce an actual list of citations. You can do that right?

    “But I would like to turn your attention to the fact that you have also failed to produce any evidence, whatsoever, that TCVs were still being used into and past 2003.”

    Yes, parents who’ve found the preservative in their kids’ shots in and past 2003. I think they would have a better idea than some dubious drug company press release.

    Ah, back to ‘the parents say so’. On what planet is that even close to a minutiae of evidence? You are making a bloody fool of yourself by asserting this repeatedly, whilst simultaneously, holding everyone else to impossible standards. Do you see what you are doing? It’s preposterous.

  271. #272 Chris
    October 4, 2010

    Jake Crosby:

    Andrew Wakefield never said the MMR causes autism, he just said it warranted further study.

    Which MMR? The one used before or after 1992 in the UK?

  272. #273 Jake Crosby
    October 4, 2010

    “Central figures? Really Jake?”

    Read the following

    “Jose,
    As we discussed on Friday, we have become aware through Poul Thorsen of an exciting opportunity to study the role of MMR vaccine and autism using several registries/existing studies and the repository of biologic specimens and laboratory capabilities in Denmark. Attached below is a proposal for such a study. Poul will be leaving on Thursday to travel to Denmark where he will be meeting with the PIs for the proposed study on June 6th. We would like to be able to have Poul say whether it is likely that CDC (NIP) can fund the study, if NIP is interested. The proposed budget is included; there may be additional sources of funding (in addition to NIP) but we are not certain at this time. Unfortunately, the DD Branch does not have much (if any) $$ to fund the study, but we do have the expertise that we have developed due to the autism surveillance in Atlanta and the MMR/autism case-control study. I will be out of the office tomorrow, but you may contact Diana or Poul if you have questions. Thank you so much for considering this proposal. Marshalyn.”

    Then the CDC’s Frank DeStefano wrote two days later:

    “I hadn’t seen it but it looks like a good opportunity. The availability of data
    from pregnancy, as well as blood specimens, is particularly attractive. The blood
    spot component would be very valuable just by itself to try to confirm the exciting
    findings from the small NIH study. If these are true biomarkers for autism, it would
    be great to see if they identify high risk groups of kids for a vaccine-autism
    association. In addition to MMR, the study should include all infant and childhood
    vaccines to look at issues of multiple antigens, VACCINE ADDITIVES, etc. Serologies for
    measles and rubella in the maternal and cord blood might also be worth
    considering.”(caps mine)

    Then one month after the MMR-NEJM study was published in 2002, Jose Cordero, addressed in the first email, wrote to the editor of Pediatrics:

    “Dear Dr. Lucey
    I am writing in support of an expedited review and consideration of the enclosed
    manuscript that examines the association between thimerosal, an ethyl mercury
    containing preservative, and autism. As you may know, there has been considerable
    interest by parents, clinicians, educators and policy makers for an explanation of the
    marked increase in the rate of autism in recent years… One factor hypothesized to
    have a causal role is childhood vaccinations. Specific aspects of vaccinations that
    have been subject to inquiry include the MMR vaccine and thimerosal. There are
    now numerous epidemiologic studies to suggest that the MMR vaccine is not
    associated with the risk of autism; an Institute of Medicine review that was
    published in 2000 concluded that the weight of the scientific evidence did not
    support a link between MMR vaccine and autism.
    For thimerosal, however, there are limited data to evaluate this factor.”
    http://www.taap.info/DanishStudy2005.pdf

    So we really have Poul Thorsen to thank for the Danish tobacco science.

    “Emphasis mine. I’ll hold you to the ‘vast majority part when you deign to produce an actual list of citations. You can do that right?”

    I take it you have not read this post that ran on AoA last month:
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/09/theres-a-funny-thing-about-evidence-more-support-for-autism-mercury-link.html

    “whilst simultaneously, holding everyone else to impossible standards.”

    Nope, just that parents should be taken no less seriously about what was in their kids’ vaccines than drug companies, that’s all.

    “Which MMR? The one used before or after 1992 in the UK?”

    either/or

  273. #274 Joseph
    October 4, 2010

    No more a fantasy than saying that autism will remain the same or continue to increase in the next five years.

    It’s not quite like that, Jake. There’s a scientific discipline called forecasting. I happen to know a thing or two about it. There’s usually quite a bit of error in forecasting, but it’s possible to produce forecasting methods that outperform a “naive” (i.e. it stays the same) method or something simple like linear regression.

    In the case of the administrative prevalence of autism, it’s quite clearly an sigmoid curve or S-curve, and it apparently approximates a logistic function. This makes sense, i.e. it grows, then levels off. If you use this as the model, it’s possible to come up with an estimate of when and how it will level off.

  274. #275 Jake Crosby
    October 4, 2010

    “I was never in hiding.”

    Sure you weren’t…

    “Do you plan on stopping being so obtuse?”

    If your idea of not being so obtuse is using grammar as bad as “stopping being,” than no.

    “Every single point Anne Dachel made was fallacious”

    And yet neither you nor Arthur Caplan can tell us how.

    “Art Caplan is a gentleman, unlike you.”

    He may help little, old ladies cross the street and keep his elbows off the table at dinnertime, but that does not absolve him from giving a full response to Anne’s email.

  275. #276 Jake Crosby
    October 4, 2010

    “There’s a scientific discipline called forecasting. I happen to know a thing or two about it…This makes sense, i.e. it grows, then levels off. If you use this as the model, it’s possible to come up with an estimate of when and how it will level off.”

    Assuming the causal factors of autism will become constant across birth years, but we can’t assume that, we must wait and see.

  276. #277 Jake Crosby
    October 4, 2010

    “than no.”

    *then no, I suppose I am “stopping being” so obtuse.

  277. #278 Chris
    October 4, 2010

    And yet neither you nor Arthur Caplan can tell us how.

    Actually, trying to tell you anything is like having a conversation with a brick wall. You have a closed mind to anything that goes against any of your beliefs. Which is clearly evident by your behavior on this thread.

    Especially with the concept that the diseases are far worse than the vaccines, and herd immunity is needed to protect those who either cannot get the vaccine (say a child with leukemia), is too young for a vaccine (like any child less than a year old, which is before they can get the MMR, and have not finished the DTaP series), and those where the vaccine just does not work (80% to 95% efficacy means that some are unprotected).

    Comparing the syphilis/penicillin tests to kids getting vaccines was stupid, abhorrent and a false analogy.

    I see you are refusing to even touch my MMR comments. So I have another one for you: Did you think the vax versus unvaxed tests done at Willowbrook School were justified? You will find that if you do a Google search using the words ‘willowbrook’ and ‘ethics’ one of the first page hits is an actual bioethics test question on that subject.

  278. #279 Orac
    October 4, 2010

    “Every single point Anne Dachel made was fallacious”

    And yet neither you nor Arthur Caplan can tell us how.

    You clearly didn’t stop being obtuse, because I just did tell you how. Here’s the link in case you didn’t bother to read it, which, I suspect, you didn’t:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/10/the_guatemala_syphilis_experiment_human.php

    There you go. I just told you where Dachel is full of crap. Again.

    BTW, grammar flames are about as lame as it gets. Pathetic, even. Seriously.

  279. #280 Orac
    October 4, 2010

    Actually, trying to tell you anything is like having a conversation with a brick wall. You have a closed mind to anything that goes against any of your beliefs. Which is clearly evident by your behavior on this thread.

    Indeed it is, which is why I only occasionally bother with Jake. Obtuse doesn’t even begin to describe his imperviousness to even considering ideas that he doesn’t believe.

  280. #281 Chris
    October 4, 2010

    His obtuseness also makes me wonder how he does in classes. He is like those students you hear professors complain about who actually refuse to learn.

  281. #282 squirrelelite
    October 4, 2010

    It is difficult to take anything Anne Dachel writes seriously when she writes such confused sentences as this one:

    He slammed author David Kirby and activist attorney Robert Kennedy Jr for daring to question the practice of injecting the second deadliest element on Earth into pregnant women and small children.

    “He” refers to Arthur Caplan and obviously Anne Dachel doesn’t like his response to David Kirby and Robert Kennedy Jr. But based on that sentence alone, who chose the term “second deadliest element on Earth” (presumably mercury)?

    Since she doesn’t quote anyone directly, I think the default presumption is that that is Anne Dachel’s assessment. And that leads to the conclusion that Anne Dachel can’t tell or doesn’t care about the difference between the pure element mercury (in its metallic form) and any of its dozens or more various compounds which have different toxicities.

    A quick look at the Wikipedia LD50 page shows that mercury chloride is only number 10 on the list. It is half as toxic as beryllium oxide and 5 orders of magnitude less toxic than polonium 210. And thimerosal is 40-90 times less toxic than mercury chloride.

    But, why bother with mere data? :)

  282. #283 Jake Crosby
    October 4, 2010

    “Actually, trying to tell you anything is like having a conversation with a brick wall.”

    I could have said the same about everyone else on here.

    “Especially with the concept that the diseases are far worse than the vaccines”

    Which would obviously depend on the disease and depend on the vaccine/what’s in the vaccine.

    “herd immunity is needed”

    With the current autism rates, lots of state and insurance money will have to be set aside to support this new population of young disabled people. This will inevitably raise medical costs and decrease the quality of care for everyone else. That is a much bigger threat to public health than any breach of herd immunity.

    “Comparing the syphilis/penicillin tests to kids getting vaccines was stupid, abhorrent and a false analogy.”

    Not to poorly and untested vaccines and/or vaccine ingredients.

    “I see you are refusing to even touch my MMR comments.”

    No, I responded to them.

    “Did you think the vax versus unvaxed tests done at Willowbrook School were justified?”

    Of course, it involved injecting disabled people with untested vaccines.

    “And thimerosal is 40-90 times less toxic than mercury chloride.”

    And organic mercury compounds are about 100X more toxic than elemental mercury. What’s your point?

  283. #284 Orac
    October 4, 2010

    His obtuseness also makes me wonder how he does in classes. He is like those students you hear professors complain about who actually refuse to learn.

    Good point. I don’t mind vigorous debate; I thrive on it. But Ferrous Cranus (which is the Flame Warrior Jake most resembles) gets old in a hurry.

  284. #285 Chris
    October 4, 2010

    Which would obviously depend on the disease and depend on the vaccine/what’s in the vaccine.

    Oh, pray tell! So you are now okay with the DTaP because pertussis is killing real babies, and MMR since measles and mumps are disabling real people. Woot! Maybe there is actual hope for you.

    No, I responded to them.

    This is not an answer: “either/or”

    And you are okay dokay with “injecting disabled people with untested vaccines.” Wow, you are a piece of work.

    So tell us, which one of these stories is about you?

  285. #286 Jake Crosby
    October 4, 2010

    @Orac:

    “You clearly didn’t stop being obtuse, because I just did.”

    No, you just didn’t. You just called Anne’s email about Hannah Poling “fallacious” on the spot without any further consideration and it is not even mentioned anywhere in your linked-to post. It seems your trying to distract and dodge by linking to posts that do not address any of the issues posed to you.

    “BTW, grammar flames are about as lame as it gets. Pathetic, even. Seriously.”

    Not half as lame as calling someone “full of crap” as an excuse to not respond to any of their points.

    “Obtuse doesn’t even begin to describe his imperviousness to even considering ideas that he doesn’t believe.”

    See my previous point.

  286. #287 Jake Crosby
    October 4, 2010

    “Of course, it involved injecting disabled people with untested vaccines.”

    *Of course NOT. Typo.

  287. #288 Chris
    October 4, 2010

    See my previous point.

    Actually, you have no point. You are all just bluster and blather, but absolutely no substance.

  288. #289 Orac
    October 4, 2010

    “You clearly didn’t stop being obtuse, because I just did.”

    No, you just didn’t. You just called Anne’s email about Hannah Poling “fallacious” on the spot without any further consideration and it is not even mentioned anywhere in your linked-to post

    The second post linked to in #264:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/10/the_guatemala_syphilis_experiment_human.php

    Clearly you didn’t bother to notice just a couple of comments up where I compared Dachel’s attack on Caplan in relation to the Guatemala syphilis experiment to the fine art of distraction demonstrated when you brought up Thorsen again. There is a section of the post (“The CAMsters attack”) that deconstructs Dachel’s idiotic response to Caplan’s criticism of this unethical study, as well as Mike Adams’ criticism. Clearly you didn’t bother to read it; otherwise you would have certainly noticed that you are mentioned unfavorably in it.

  289. #290 Jake Crosby
    October 4, 2010

    “So you are now okay with…MMR since measles and mumps are disabling real people.”

    MMR is disabling real people, you know.
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/04/i-am-josh-a-boy-after-his-mmr.html

    “This is not an answer:”

    Uh…yeah, it is. Although, if you want me to elaborate, I will.

    “So tell us, which one of these stories is about you?”

    The one about the guy who had to put up with online bigotry for being a student.

  290. #291 Jake Crosby
    October 5, 2010

    “Clearly you didn’t bother to read it; otherwise you would have certainly noticed that you are mentioned unfavorably in it.”

    Oh I read it, and I responded:
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/10/valid-concern-for-60-year-old-medical-travesty-what-about-todays.html?cid=6a00d8357f3f2969e2013487f8c4e2970c#comment-6a00d8357f3f2969e2013487f8c4e2970c

  291. #292 Orac
    October 5, 2010

    Obviously, Jake never noticed that I did indeed respond to SafeMinds “criticism” of the latest thimersosal article:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/09/safeminds_swings_at_price_et_al_and_miss.php

    Are your research skills for your classes so sloppy? I hope not for your sake. Ditto for your citations. It’s very uncool not to link to the post you’re criticizing. It also raises the question of deception, because if you’re too cowardly to link to the post you’re criticizing, one has to wonder if you represented what it says accurately.

    Whenever I criticize anyone’s post, I always link to it, with almost no exceptions. That includes AoA, where I don’t recall ever having failed to link to an AoA post that I criticized. I don’t consider it asking too much that you return the favor. If you’re worried about somehow increasing my Google ranking, don’t. Links in comments don’t count in most blogging software, and if you want to be sure you can always use the rel=”nofollow” tag.

    As for your accusation that I have “undisclosed pharma ties,” that’s just a bald-faced lie. In fact, it’s arguably libelous.

  292. #293 Chris
    October 5, 2010

    MMR is disabling real people, you know.

    It is known that measles will disable or kill at least one in a thousand. How does that compare with the MMR, and what data do you have? Remember anecdotes are not data, so links to AoA will not be accepted.

    The MMR has no casual relationship to autism, especially since its introduction in 1971. There have been over twenty studies, several done in other countries spanning the globe and one attempt to replicate Wakefield by a researcher who tried to show thimerosal turned mice autistic… but in the end, Wakefield’s findings were worthless. Especially since the data were fraudulent.

    Okay, show us the link to the story. You are not experiencing bigotry for being a student. You are getting criticized because you are being obtuse, illogical and close minded.

    Being the parent of a college sophomore, I am obligated to worry that you are not doing well in college because of spending too much time online, not doing your homework and refusing to have a mind open to new information. This pales when compared to my younger son’s issue with having a roommate who has not paid his rent in three months… and my son’s job cannot handle another month of carrying the rent load (yes, he has to pay his own housing).

  293. #294 Chris
    October 5, 2010

    I am also a parent of a disabled son (one with actual brain damage from seizures) who has psychological issues. He has taken advantage of school psychologists to deal with some of his problems.

    Jake, it seems that growing up you lived in a household where you were considered damaged goods. That is not a healthy environment. You should really check into your university’s health services to discuss you issues with us, your mother, and everything else. (full disclosure: having lost a parent through death as a child, I received mental health therapy… which really made a difference and there should be no stigma from getting the help you need)

  294. #295 Jake Crosby
    October 5, 2010

    “Jake never noticed that I did indeed respond to SafeMinds “criticism” of the latest thimersosal article:”

    I did, you just never addressed their criticisms and said the study was good for a whole lot of irrelevant reasons as I make clear here:
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/09/safeminds-response-to-thimerosal-and-autism-pediatrics-study.html?cid=6a00d8357f3f2969e2013487740624970c#comment-6a00d8357f3f2969e2013487740624970c

    “As for your accusation that I have “undisclosed pharma ties,” that’s just a bald-faced lie.”

    You are more than welcome to post your concerns in the comments section, here:
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/06/david-gorskis-financial-pharma-ties-what-he-didnt-tell-you.html#more

    “In fact, it’s arguably libelous.”

    There’s a ton of stuff on your blog that’s arguably libelous so I really wouldn’t be talking if I were you.

    And btw, what’s the name of that private foundation that is funding your riluzole research?

  295. #296 herr doktor bimler
    October 5, 2010

    If your idea of not being so obtuse is using grammar as bad as “stopping being,” than no.

    Orac’s construction is not euphonious, but it is perfectly grammatical.

  296. #297 Julian Frost
    October 5, 2010

    Jake,
    1) I suggest you get your hands on a copy of the book “Kluge” by Gary Marcus, and read it through cover to cover. That will explain to you why the people here are distrustful of “the parents say X, so X it must be”.
    2) As has been pointed out to you, Poul Thorsen did not abscond. He was at his old address.
    3) “Tobacco Science”. You keep using that phrase. I don’t think it means what you think it means. A certain researcher was asked by a lawyer to gather data on MMR to be used in a lawsuit. Said researcher used individuals referred to him by the lawyer, subjected them to invasive procedures without obtaining the proper permission to get his data, and finally, when the data did not support his hypothesis, “altered” it. That’s Tobacco Science.
    4) Related to point 1: the Cedillos were adamant that Michelle was developing normally until her MMR jab. Videotape of Michelle before she received her jab was admitted by the Cedillos to Vaccine Court. An expert on autism then showed that Michelle was already showing signs of autism.

  297. #298 Matthew Cline
    October 5, 2010

    @Jake Crosby:

    Not to poorly and untested vaccines and/or vaccine ingredients.

    So vaccines receive less testing than other FDA approved drugs? Or they receive the same amount of testing, but all FDA approved drugs are poorly tested? Or maybe vaccines, compared to other drugs, require a larger amount of testing to be considered adequately tested?

  298. #299 realmotk
    October 5, 2010

    In terms of Net Warriors, I think of Jake more as a palooka.

  299. #300 herr doktor bimler
    October 5, 2010

    And organic mercury compounds are about 100X more toxic than elemental mercury. What’s your point?

    Jake, you really don’t seem to be keeping up. Is this something you work at? At 275, you complained that
    “And yet neither you nor Arthur Caplan can tell us how” [every single point Anne Dachel made was fallacious].

    In response, Squirrelelite @282 pointed out that whereas Dachel had described mercury as “the second deadliest element on Earth”, a lot is known about the toxicity of mercury compounds, which show this claim to transcend the bounds of ‘extravagant hyperbole’ and to enter the realms of ‘absolute bullshit’. In other words, an example of a fallacious point from Anne Dachel.

    Squirrelelite’s point seems perfectly clear to me, and perfectly cogent. How can we spell it out more clearly?

  300. #301 squirrelelite
    October 5, 2010

    @Chris,

    Thanks for the link in 285.

    My vote would be for one of the “18 out of 20″ described by “Len from Las Cruces” (probably New Mexico State).

    What good comes of it? What good comes for the 18 out of 20 students who sorrowfully spend 16 weeks with me each term? Those 18 kill my spirit, make me want to set myself (or them) on fire. And they fight me from day one to day last. They don’t want to be in college, and have 999 reasons for it that I can’t even begin to defeat or answer.

    Those 18 come in dumb, go out dumb, too. And they’ve been sold a bill of goods by their parents, the culture, the media, their high school counselors, etc. The way college has devolved is into a sort of grade 13/14 mess of bullshit remediation, caretaking, and babysitting. We don’t challenge them because – my god – the customer in them won’t stand for it. And after 10 years of fighting this – modestly, I’m no hero – I have fallen into the groove dug for me by my colleagues.

  301. #302 triskelethecat
    October 5, 2010

    Wow. Jake really perservates about Poul Thorsen, and he obviously doesn’t read what he posts. From above (#273)(bolding mine):

    Poul will be leaving on Thursday to travel to Denmark where he will be meeting with the PIs for the proposed study on June 6th.

    It says RIGHT THERE that Dr Thorsen was NOT one of the PIs for the study. From reading the quote, it is more like Dr Thorson is being reached out to for funding. Not as one of the investigators (and where his name is listed in the authors list supports that he was not involved in the research).

    MI Dawn

  302. #303 squirrelelite
    October 5, 2010

    Our “conversations” with Jake would provide good material for one of the videos from xtranormal.com.

    I especially like this one on orthopedics vs anesthesia.

    It even includes the brick wall!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rTsvb2ef5k&feature=related

  303. #304 Joseph
    October 5, 2010

    With the current autism rates, lots of state and insurance money will have to be set aside to support this new population of young disabled people.

    OK Jake, demonstrate that there are trends in the population of developmentally disabled people who don’t live at home or independently. Surely, you must have data on this.

  304. #305 Todd W.
    October 5, 2010

    Notice that Jake’s problem with the Willowbrook study was that the kids were injected with vaccines, not that they were intentionally infected with a pathogen.

    And, on the grammar flame thing, yeah, it is pretty lame, especially when your target didn’t actually make mistakes in grammar. It’s even worse when your grammar flame contains several grammar mistakes of its own. Best to just stay away from them.

    Just out of curiosity, Jake, which of the following vaccines do you think should be given on-schedule, which should be given on a delayed schedule, and which should not be given at all:

    DTaP
    MMR
    HepA
    HepB
    Rotavirus
    HiB
    Pneumococcal
    IPV
    Influenza
    Meningococcal
    HPV
    Varicella

  305. #306 Science Mom
    October 5, 2010

    Since Jake has offered nothing resembling a shred of evidence for his claims, most recently Thorsen as a ‘central figure’ in the Danish MMR and thimerosal studies and the ‘vast majority’ of peer-reviewed published literature demonstrates a thimerosal-autism causation, I can only conclude that he can’t exist outside of his hive of propaganda at AoA. The mental gymnastics that Jake needs to perform to torture the literature and facts is daunting and tiresome. He’s a lost cause in the realm of logic and reason.

  306. #307 Prometheus
    October 5, 2010

    Jake Crosby (#256) asks:

    “So, does that mean then, that if for example a drop in prevalence came within the next five years or so, thimerosal would not be the cause because the drop would have come too late to be correlated according to you?”

    Short answer – yes. Right now, we have an autism prevalence of about 1%. At some point – even if the cause of the “autism epidemic” is simply broadening diagnostic criteria and greater awareness – the increase will have to slow down. It is also reasonable to assume that, with time, the diagnostic criteria for autism will be “tightened up” when it becomes apparent (as it should be right now, with 1% of all children being classified as “autistic”) that the diagnosis has become meaningless.

    Even leaving aside purely administrative and sociological impacts on autism prevalence, it is far too late for a drop in autism prevalence to be attributable to the removal of thimerosal from children’s vaccines. Five years from now will be even later still.

    The “thimerosal-causes-autism” hypothesis is dead. Even Blaxill and Olmsted admit as much in their latest sci-fi fantasy book (Age of Autism). Even they have moved the goalposts to “mercury in general”.

    At comment #262, Jake repeats his unsupported claim:

    “Yes, parents who’ve found the preservative in their kids’ shots in and past 2003.”

    Can Jake substantiate this claim? Apparently not, since he immediately launches into an unrelated diatribe about “corruption” in medicine. Let me make it a bit easier – I won’t ask for evidence, just that Jake provide a little more information:

    [1] How do these un-named parents know that the vaccines their children received had thimerosal?

    Did they read the package insert (from the actual vial their children received) or are they assuming the vaccine had thimerosal? Did they also check the expiry date of the vial? If the vaccine was expired, why did they let their child receive that vaccine and have they filed a complaint against the doctor?

    [2] Which vaccine contained the thimerosal?

    Was this vaccine a children’s vaccine or was it an adult vaccine that was given to their child? If this was an influenza vaccine, then it is hardly evidence that children’s vaccines still had thimerosal after 2002.

    [3] How many parents have claimed that their children received thimerosal-containing children’s vaccines after 2002?

    [4] What documentation do these parents have to support their claims?

    This should be easy enough for Jake to provide – if he’s not making it all up. If, as I suspect, Jake is simply parroting others who have made this claim, he could admit that and refer us to his original source. Failing that, this is nothing more than another “Urban Legend”.

    Your turn, Jake.

    Prometheus

  307. #308 Orange Lantern
    October 5, 2010

    I’ll give you credit, Jake, for at least finding evidence TCVs were distributed after 1999, though you have not provided evidence that they were manufactured after 1999.

    You have still not provided a sufficient argument that:

    1.) The press release contains falsifications. I will agree that taken in isolation, the lines you quote can be misleading. In the context of the press release, it is clear to me they are detailing the rollout of their new product and phaseout of existing stock. Certainly, it is likely that the PR department knew that the lines would be quoted out of context and wanted to de-emphasize the existing stock. I’m not saying it is entirely acceptable to do that, but it is not inaccurate.

    2.) A misleading statement by press release casts serious suspicion that there is a large-scale coverup of TCV production. You have devolved from “it discredits you on that topic completely” to:

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

    If you were fooled by the press release, you will no doubt be fooled a thousand times over. Oh, wait, this has already happened.

    3.) There is any rational reason to believe that TCVs were manufactured after 1999, or that non-expired TCVs were ever given after 2002. It is possible they are accurate, but it is possible that they are imaginary on the part of the blogger, falsifications on the part of the parent, or erroneous. However:

    *You have not been able to provide anything verifiable, including lot numbers.
    *Indeed, no one had the presence of mind to so much as take a cell phone photo of their findings.
    *No doctor’s offices reported TCVs after 2002.
    *Safeminds was unable to find TCVs in 2001 despite their efforts including a request directed to groups most interested in such a finding.
    *Science Mom has demonstrated above that several of the small number of reports you have linked to are erroneous.

    Given these points, there is no reason for a rational person to believe that the parent reports are accurate. And speaking of lot numbers:

    “you had lot numbers, then retracted that claim.”

    Never made such a claim, and that was only one example I gave of how parents could check their kids’ vaccine ingredients.

    Back up, cowboy. I said “You insinuated you had lot numbers, then retracted that claim.” Which you did, when you stated parents verified lot numbers and Todd requested, “Hey! That is something that can be checked! Let’s have those lot numbers.” You replied:

    Can you tell me where they can be checked first?

    Emphasis mine. The clear implication here is that first, Todd tells you how to check them, and next, you provide the lot numbers. Note that I had given you the benefit of the doubt and did not say you were lying. But you were certainly misleading.

    Fool me once…

  308. #309 Orange Lantern
    October 5, 2010

    My apologies to Sauceress, who was the one who evaluated the TCV reports, not Science Mom. Lots of shared letters. See, I’m a parent and I make mistakes!

  309. #310 Mu
    October 5, 2010

    And don’t feel bad you were fooled by a press release while in junior high in 1999 Jake, many of us were mislead about important facts of life at that age.

  310. #311 Sauceress
    October 6, 2010

    No worries Orange Lantern. While I spent almost my entire meal break looking up that info, hurried ad hoc formatting resulted in a rather messier presentation to what I would have preferred, so perhaps it’s actually Science Mum to whom you should be apologising. :)

    @Jake
    If the Olympic games had an event for cognitive dissonance I’m sure you could have been a serious contender. Your closest rivals would have been the cdesignproponentists, especially in Heat 11.

    11) When an explanation shows you to be absolutely wrong, ignore the explanation and reassert the original claim.

    I’m sure you would have been a shoo-in for heats #6,#7and #8 as well.
    Face it Jake you could have become famous.

    Also, I want to thank Jake for linking that AoA page @291
    Interesting comment by Ginger Tayler there…
    Ginger Taylor |October 03, 2010 at 11:44 AM

    After my son regressed into autism following his 18 month shots, I was told it was not the shots. So I looked for research to back that up. I found MMR/autism research, but my son didn’t get MMR. I found thimerosal research, but he had not gotten thimerosal at that visit either.

    But of course, as a following poster corrects, Ginger must be mistaken as to there being no thimerosal in her son’s shots.

    Random thought: I haven’t heard much of the evils of MSG in recent years.
    Is MSG out of flavour now?

  311. #312 Chris
    October 6, 2010

    Is MSG out of flavour now?

    Giggle!

  312. #313 Jake Crosby
    October 8, 2010

    “The clear implication here is that first, Todd tells you how to check them”

    Except that he never did, although I think this misses the point completely.

    The prevailing point is that everybody here is asking me for verification with information I clearly don’t have but other people have to disprove completely unverified claims made by some pharma press releases. You’re all demanding verification when you all have none, which is totally unfair not to mention a double-standard and therefore not worth wasting my time on.

    Thanks for the Ginger Taylor posting, though, as it shows that thimerosal isn’t the only thing to worry about with vaccines given her son’s reaction to them. However, we are most certainly on the right track with thimerosal.

    Anyway, I’m done here, you may discuss this under my article further if you want:
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/08/do-reliable-thimerosal-estimates-exist.html

  313. #314 Scouser Scott
    October 8, 2010

    Dear Jake
    When you make the claim that parents have evidence for the use of TCV’s post 2002, then the onus is on you to provide evidence to support that claim. As the saying goes, put up or shut up.
    I am really thankful that you are not a student in my research methods class; but to be honest, you have been a part of my class for the past week.
    You have provided an endlessly humorous example of how to loose a scientific argument and make a fool of yourself in the process. I wish that I could say that we were laughing with you as we detailed your unsupported claims, deflections, paranoid rants, and evasions of the questions put to you, but sadly we were laughing at you.
    If nothing else, you did succeed in illustrating to my students the importance of making a coherent, evidence based argument when engaging in public dialogue; lest, like you, they wished to look a fool.

  314. #315 Todd W.
    October 8, 2010

    @Jake

    “The clear implication here is that first, Todd tells you how to check them”

    Except that he never did, although I think this misses the point completely.

    I think you misunderstood Orange Lantern. He was saying that the implication is that you are demanding that I tell you where the lot numbers can be checked before you will tell us what the lot numbers are.

    And Orange Lantern’s comment does not miss the point. You came in here stating that Merck was wrong and that they lied. You failed to substantiate that claim and have been shown, repeatedly, how you were wrong. You brought up “looking up the lot numbers” in support of your claim that thimerosal-containing vaccines were still being administered after 2002. The onus is on you to back up your claim. If you say that parents looked up the lot numbers, then prove it.

  315. #316 Orange Lantern
    October 8, 2010
  316. #317 Dedj
    October 8, 2010

    “The prevailing point is that everybody here is asking me for verification with information I clearly don’t have but other people have to disprove completely unverified claims made by some pharma press releases.”

    If they have it, then you can tell us where. If you don’t know, then it’s ‘completely unverified’ under even your own idiosyncratic criteria as well as the rest of the worlds.

    This process of providing your sources is called ‘referencing’. You should already be familiar with the concept.

    “You’re all demanding verification when you all have none, which is totally unfair not to mention a double-standard and therefore not worth wasting my time on.”

    It’s not really a double standard under your criteria. If you expect us to believe you due to the say-so of some parents, then the say-so of some pharma-companies is just as good. Thus, under your criteria, we have verification.

    Of course, we also have “a reliable authourity using the expected methods to extract the relevant information from the entities that would – by the nature of being the producers of the product – be most expected to hold the most comprehensive data.” as a means of verification.

    Your dismissal of this verification at approx #93 was based on the accusation that the sources had lied, an accusation that was clearly spelt out to you as originating from your own failure to properly and competantly understand a run-of-the-mill press release.

    Your dismissal of the CDC and FDA verification is not only unsupported, highly contentious, but also perfectly circular in logic. You, in effect, failed to understand the situation despite repeated correction and guidance and reference to the original source.

    Don’t pretend your failure is our fault.

    “Anyway, I’m done here”

    Yes, run away brave Sir Robin!

    Again.

  317. #318 Jake Crosby
    October 8, 2010

    “I am really thankful that you are not a student in my research methods class; but to be honest, you have been a part of my class for the past week.”

    Maybe you ought to actually teach your students real research methods instead of blogging with them.

    “You failed to substantiate that claim and have been shown, repeatedly, how you were wrong.”

    Merck’s press release was not honest. You can’t honestly say your vaccine line is free of all preservatives and then go about distributing vaccines preserved in thimerosal for the following years. It’s not logical.

    “He was saying that the implication is that you are demanding that I tell you where the lot numbers can be checked before you will tell us what the lot numbers are.”

    To be honest, I briefly thought about weeding out some the lot numbers on the shots parents claim their kids received with thimerosal, but I wasn’t going to without knowing where, if anywhere, they could be checked out. So I asked you, and your lack of response ultimately defeats his point altogether.

    “The onus is on you to back up your claim. If you say that parents looked up the lot numbers, then prove it.”

    I did not say they did, I said they said they did. If you want to find out the lot numbers for yourself, ask them. It isn’t hard to find a parent whose found thimerosal-containing vaccines on the shelves after 2002 online either by checking the lot numbers or otherwise. I, for one, don’t have a problem with their claims and I’m not going to grill them on it for flame war ammunition. You do, so you should go and ask them yourself. I’m not saying thimerosal was on the shelves after 2002, only that some parents say so from what they’ve found in their kids’ vaccines either by checking the lot number or otherwise, that FDA later changed their story to say it was the beginning of 2003 and not in 2002 at all, and that according to David Kirby, the Council of State Governments says the last lots expired at the beginning of 2004. And that none of these claims are any less verifiable than claims of drug companies like Merck saying their last lots expired in 2002, after Merck already put out a dishonest press release. I hope I’ve made myself clear, although I think I’ve made myself pretty clear already.

  318. #319 Orange Lantern
    October 8, 2010

    I did not say they did, I said they said they did.

    I hope I’ve made myself clear, although I think I’ve made myself pretty clear already.

    Priceless.

  319. #320 Orange Lantern
    October 8, 2010

    BTW, Jake, now you have definitely lied. Twice.

    Anyway, I’m done here, you may discuss this under my article further if you want:
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/08/do-reliable-thimerosal-estimates-exist.html

    You weren’t done here, and we can’t discuss this at AoA. Or are you going to sneak us in past the bouncers?

  320. #321 Dedj
    October 8, 2010

    “Merck’s press release was not honest.”

    They said that they had new product approval.
    They said they would be making the new product.
    They said that this means thier range will be preservative free.

    They mentioned nothing about this announcement applying to existing stock.

    It would also be illogical and against all normal processes for the announcement to be presumed to apply to existing stock.

    This has been explained to you over and over.

    “You can’t honestly say your vaccine line is free of all preservatives and then go about distributing vaccines preserved in thimerosal for the following years.”

    It’s also not what they did. They announced a new product that would make thier range preservative free. No mention was made of existing stock. Indeed, the context of the announcement appears to imply that preservative containing stock was still available.

    “It’s not logical.”

    What is illogical is assuming the announcement applied to the old range, when the existing units of old range was not mentioned as being covered by this change, and the production-to-use time is sufficient enough for it to be reasonable to assume that preservative containing units of the old range would still be in existance.

    That you thought they were saying what you thought they did is your fault, not Mercks.

    Stop blaming other people for your own mistakes.

    “If you want to find out the lot numbers for yourself, ask them.”

    We can’t as you’ve failed to indicate who they are and how they may be contacted. If you have, you will quote it in your reply.

    It’s unfair to expect people to know who your sources are if you don’t/won’t/can’t tell us.

    “that FDA later changed their story to say it was the beginning of 2003 and not in 2002 at all,”

    Source? An URL will do fine.

    “the Council of State Governments says the last lots expired at the beginning of 2004″

    Source?

    Come on Jake, stop being lazy. Pony some decent stuff up or run away again.

  321. #322 Chemmomo
    October 9, 2010

    Jake,
    Two things.

    One, in Post #318 you say

    I’m not saying thimerosal was on the shelves after 2002, only that some parents say so from what they’ve found in their kids’ vaccines either by checking the lot number or otherwise

    However, back in post #132 you said (my emphasis added)

    Ultimately, if thimerosal is found as a preservative in vaccines after 2002 - and it is – than the FDA’s claim that thimerosal exposure ended in 2002 is simply incorrect.

    You did say it.

    Two, I asked you before, and since you ignored the question, I’ll ask again:

    Why do you find parents who claim that their children received thimerosal containing vaccines after 2002 so credible?

  322. #323 Jake Crosby
    October 9, 2010

    That’s cute, but it’s the most recent comment that matters, like comment #146:

    “No, but rather that the claim that thimerosal was not in use after 2002 is not substantiated.

    Okay, fine. You did not make an overt claim. However, from your very first post you have been implying that thimerosal
    was in use after 2002.”

    So, we straightened that out already with Todd W.’s comment #146. I may have implied it by saying it was found in vaccines after 2002 – not by me – but by others whose findings you can consider valid or invalid, but I did not say it was actually in use after that year. Not that I don’t think it was…

    “BTW, Jake, now you have definitely lied. Twice.”

    No, I changed my mind, and there are plenty of critical comments under my articles.

    “Why do you find parents who claim that their children received thimerosal containing vaccines after 2002 so credible?”

    Perhaps the same reason why you find drug companies so credible.

  323. #324 Chemmomo
    October 9, 2010

    Jake,

    “Why do you find parents who claim that their children received thimerosal containing vaccines after 2002 so credible?”
    Perhaps the same reason why you find drug companies so credible.

    I asked you the question. You haven’t answered it. The question is about your belief, not mine.

  324. #325 Chemmomo
    October 9, 2010

    And Jake,

    That’s cute, but it’s the most recent comment that matters, like comment #146

    Does this mean that you stand corrected by Todd’s comment #146?

    If so, why would you follow that up with

    but I did not say it was actually in use after that year. Not that I don’t think it was…

    Which one is it? Or are you just trying to avoid saying what you really believe again?

    Oh wait, that’s been answered. Since you told me “it’s the most recent comment that matters,” I guess we have to go with you don’t think it was not in use.
    And to be more clear, avoiding the double negative: you think it was in use after 2002. Correct me if I’ve misinterpreted you.

  325. #326 Orange Lantern
    October 9, 2010

    I may have implied it by saying it was found in vaccines after 2002 – not by me – but by others whose findings you can consider valid or invalid, but I did not say it was actually in use after that year. Not that I don’t think it was…

    My goodness, you’re fluent in doublespeak. I’d like to get back to those few findings you were able to dig up for us, and continue what Sauceress had started in #189 and #190. Here are the links again for everyone, from #96 – I will add Q’s to the beginning and ends to avoid the filters (I hope) so you can cut and paste them if into your browsers:

    QQQhttp://www.vaccinationnews.com/boyd_haley_1-8-08.htmQQQ
    QQQhttp://adventuresinautism.blogspot.com/2005/08/still-finding-thimerosal-in-doctors.htmlQQQ

    The first link is Boyd Haley stating that he has talked to mother who have seen thimerosal in infant vaccines. No links to any testimonies are given. There’s not much we can discuss there.

    The second link is Ginger Taylor’s blog from 2005. Ginger had watched Meet the Press the day before when David Kirby was interviewed. She states “One point that was repeatedly stated was that except for the flu shot, all vaccines that have been offered to parents since 2003 have been thimerosal free. This is not the case.”

    Well, if this was stated in the episode, then it was in error. Only the vaccines in the routine infant schedule have been thimerosal-free or containing trace thimerosal. This will be important later.

    She then lists five parent testimonies. They are addressed to Mr. Russert or ABC news, so I presume she culled them from comments posted on the Meet the Press site after the episode aired. But she does not state explicity.

    The one by Vera has already been investigated by Sauceress above. In that case, one of the vaccines she listed had been completely discontinued in 2000, and one had never contained thimerosal, even before everyone went T-free. One might have been a candidate, but without a lot number we can’t determine if it was a vaccine that was supposed to have had the thimerosal removed, or if it is another one that had never contained thimerosal. But given the fate of the other two, I wouldn’t put money on an outcome that Jake likes.

    I’m going to blockquote excerpts from the other three here to make things easier, but don’t hesitate to use the link above to check my work. I apologize for the long post. Emphases will be mine.

    Beth writes:

    I would like to correct a statement that Dr. Fineburg made. He stated that thimerosal had been removed from all vaccines for children with the exception of some flu vaccines. On July 25, 2005, just two weeks ago, I took my 18 month old daughter in for her well check and vaccines. I asked the Dr. about the thimerosal in the shots and he did tell me that the DTP still contained a trace of it. He mentioned to me that he may have some thimerosal free DTP and that he could give hr that one. I told him that of course I wanted the one without thimerosal as I have an autistic son and am terrified that my daughter might become autistic as well. Several minutes went by and he came back in the room to tell me that all they had at that time was the DTP with thimerosal; but that he would be glad to order the thimerosal free shot for me. He also mentioned to me that he just recently found out that there was even a DTP without thimerosal available. This is a very well respected Dr. in my community and he has been a pediatrician for nearly 30 years.
    When the doctors office called several days later to tell me that they had the thimerosal free version in stock now and from now on that would be all that they would order. I asked the nurse why this was just now becoming an option. she told me that the state of NC just recently – in the past month or so began paying for the thimerosal free version.

    This testimony has nothing to do with full dose TCV’s, but rather, her desire to find T-free over trace thimerosal.

    Next, Sue writes:

    Just last month, I had my older son at the doctor’s office for a checkup, and was told that he needed a tetanus booster shot. Since I already have one son with mercury poisoning, I requested a mercury-free version. The doctor assured me that they ONLY use mercury-free vaccines in her practice. However, when I checked the vial that the nurse brought in, it clearly said “Contains thimerosal”.

    The doctor in this case made the same error that the mother did: tetanus boosters are not necessarily thimerosal free. They are not infant vaccines.

    Similarly, Janice writes:

    In May of 2005 my daughter was offered a tetanus shot with the full 25 micrograms of thimerosal at her doctor’s office in Old Saybrook, CT.

    I don’t know how old Janice’s daughter was, but the strong impression here is that this is a tetanus booster, not a routine infant immunization. Tetanus shots still contain thimerosal.

    Finally, Holly writes:

    First, Dr. Fineberg was dead wrong when he stated, and you reiterated at the end of the show, that vaccines have been mercury free as of 2003. On the contrary, you can walk into doctor’s offices across the USA today and find full-dose mercury containing vaccines still in use.
    I run a large support group and I am still getting many emails and calls from parents who went to their doctor’s office and upon asking to see the label on the vial, found full dose vaccines with expiration dates as late as 2007.

    This is testimony quite abstracted from the original source, and Holly does not indicate whether or not the stories in question were infant vaccines, or if they are making the same mistakes as the above parents.

    That’s all the testimonies on that page. Jake, the paltry evidence that you have provided thus far, that non-expired infant TCV’s were used past 2002, does not hold up to simple scrutiny. Certainly you can see that.

  326. #327 Jake Crosby
    October 9, 2010

    “My goodness, you’re fluent in doublespeak.”

    No, you and everybody else on here has said that just because people have found vaccines preserved in thimerosal after 2002 does not mean thimerosal was used as a preservative in vaccines after 2002 because those people are probably just mistaken.

  327. #328 Jake Crosby
    October 9, 2010

    “because those people are probably just mistaken.”

    …which I think is utterly ridiculous, given the dishonesty of the drug company Merck.

  328. #329 Jake Crosby
    October 9, 2010

    I gather your response will be the whine “that’s not finding, that’s claiming!!!” And our pointless little argument will veer off from thimerosal altogether to one about dictionary definitions.

  329. #330 madder
    October 9, 2010

    @JC:
    No, not dictionary definitions so much, but perhaps we can review the use of language in general. Note that the press release in question, and all of the commenters here, specifically made the claim with respect to vaccines for infants. Please do try to keep up.

  330. #331 Dedj
    October 9, 2010

    Indeed, as madder has indicated (which I think was said directly to Jake before), the discussion is about whether a particular range of updated vaccines were found to contain pre-announcement levels of preservative, or other non-neglible levels, equivilant to the content of the older range.

    Jake has repeatedly received reminders and clarification of what the discussion is about, yet he gets it wrong at every turn and even shows confusion over what he has said and implied.

    Pull yourself together Jake. Only you appear to show any difficulty with the distinction here – so what gives?

  331. #332 Orange Lantern
    October 9, 2010

    “because those people are probably just mistaken.”

    …which I think is utterly ridiculous, given the dishonesty of the drug company Merck.

    The honesty of the Merck has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not the parents are mistaken. Above, I demonstrated for you how the parents you have submitted as evidence are indeed mistaken.

    Don’t rag on us for not personally contacting families and asking for lot numbers. We have no reason to do so, because we have no reason to suspect that infant TCVs were in use after 2002 in the first place. Not only have you not provided any verifiable evidence that infant TCVs were used after 2002, the testimonies that you have tried to use as evidence are erroneous.

    We’re just blog commenters, Jake – you’re the one who is playing journalist. It is not our job to fact check for you. It is your job to research your topics to the best of your ability so you can provide accurate information to your readers. If, as you believe, the facts are on your side, then you have nothing to fear by digging in to and confirming these testimonies. Anything less is sloppy journalism and your readers deserve better.

    If you believe in your cause, treat it with respect.

  332. #333 Kimberly Kramer
    October 10, 2010

    While I respect your opinion, I have to disagree with you considering that I have a lab document that shows elevated levels of metals that presented much like autism. So I would have to say metals do and will cause neuroinflammation that if allowed to continue without interruption can cause problems with neurotransmission and alterations in gene expression. Metals may not be the only factor that causes autism but they sure do contribute to it. Unfortunately, many females that are of child-bearing age have bioaccumulation from being exposed to lead paint and dust that may offload to their unborn child just like it does in animals that have high toxic loads from eating contaminated prey. As far as vaccines — an inflammatory response may develop that contributes to aggravation of autistic symptoms but I do not believe that they cause autism — but from what I see another study is being performed to see if this is the case. So I guess the jury is still out on that one too!

  333. #334 Chris
    October 10, 2010

    I have a lab document that shows elevated levels of metals that presented much like autism.

    A lab document? One? Just one?

    What about the study done in the Faroe Islands? Those kids born to mothers who ate lots of mercury laden seafood had high levels of mercury, but did not express symptoms of autism.

    You have a point about lead, since it is still in the environment even after it was removed from gasoline. But still, our mothers and grandmothers would have had even more exposure. So if there is a connection, autism should have started to decline a while ago.

  334. #335 Orange Lantern
    October 12, 2010

    “I have a lab document that shows elevated levels of metals that presented much like autism.”

    A lab document? One? Just one?

    Hey, that’s one more piece of verifiable evidence than Jake has.

  335. #336 Prometheus
    October 13, 2010

    Ms. Kramer (#333) claims:

    “…I have a lab document that shows elevated levels of metals that presented much like autism.”

    With all due respect to Ms. Kramer and her lab report, what she has is a report that shows (blood, urine?) “levels” of “metals” (mercury, aluminium, tin, sodium?) that are outside of the “normal range” reported by the lab that did the testing. In addition, the person from whom the sample was taken has been diagnosed with autism or has “presented much like autism” – which is pretty much the same thing, these days.

    Let’s parse this claim:

    [1] If the normal range was for urine tests done without chelation [hint: they all are] and the test was done after chelation, the results are not valid (they are, in fact, uninterpretable).

    [2] If – as has been shown with several of the mail-order labs – the “normal range” is not consistent with the normal range used by most labs, the interpretation of the level is possibly incorrect. A true normal range is derived by testing a large number (usually more than 1,000) healthy, normal people and setting the normal range at the mean plus and minus two standard deviations (for results that follow a normal distribution). Some of the mail-order labs use either a low mean or one standard deviation or both. These non-standard “normal ranges” are meaningless.

    [3] “Metals” (even “toxic metals”) have not been shown to cause autism, although some can cause other neurological disorders, none of which happen to look anything like autism.

    [4] The presence of “elevated levels of metals” in a person with autism is no more evidence of causation than an elevated blood pressure (which can also cause “neurological disorders”) would be.

    It’s time for the “mercury-causes-autism” rank and file to wake up and smell the data. They are on a sinking ship (in the sense that Titanic is a sinking ship) and it is time to move on to a more plausible hypothesis.

    Just because mercury or cadmium or arsenic (or aluminium) can cause “neurologic disorders” doesn’t mean that they can cause any neurologic disorder (e.g. autism or “autism-like” disorders). This is as ludicrous as saying that since high blood pressure can cause “neurological disorders” (e.g. stroke) that it can also cause autism (or, more precisely, can “present much like autism”).

    I understand that a lot of parents are desperate for answers, but that doesn’t mean they should settle for b******t answers like “mercury-causes-autism”. Have a little respect for youselves – insist on real data, not “Just So” stories and sci-fi/fantasy tales.

    Prometheus

  336. #337 Scott
    October 13, 2010

    It’s time for the “mercury-causes-autism” rank and file to wake up and smell the data. They are on a sinking ship (in the sense that Titanic is a sinking ship) and it is time to move on to a more plausible hypothesis.

    You’re being too kind. Their ship hasn’t just sunk, it’s been melted, blown up, vaporized, and the resulting atoms annihilated with antimatter. Then the resulting photons redshifted and dispersed until they disappeared in the CMB.

  337. #338 Sauceress
    October 13, 2010

    Their ship hasn’t just sunk, it’s been melted, blown up, vaporized, and the resulting atoms annihilated with antimatter.

    Yet, using imaginary oars, they still row away madly in an attempt to keep afloat their anti-vaxx ideology as if their entire self-perception of life depends on it.

  338. #339 Prometheus
    October 14, 2010

    I don’t hold out any hope that the hard-core believers (e.g. Mark “I just want civil discourse” Blaxill) will ever change their minds – they can’t, not without admitting to their followers that they were wrong (something that business people never willingly do, apparently).

    My only hope is that some of their hapless followers, wondering why they are ankle-deep in ice-water will finally start heading for the lifeboats (to continue the Titanic theme).

    I see this as a matter of self-respect. It’s time for parents of autistic children to stop being satisfied with bulls**t answers and start asking for real answers – answers with data behind them. For too long, the rank and file have accepted simplistic, fairy-tale, sci-fi/fantasy explanations for complex medical problems. It’s time they stood up and asked “Show me the data that supports your claims!”

    Prometheus

  339. #340 squirrelelite
    October 14, 2010

    A former co-worker of mine posted this link today on his Facebook page.

    I cite it as a reminder of how lucky I was not to get this disease (polio) before an effective vaccine was available to protect against it. Also, immediate fatalities are not the only important consequences of disease.

    R.I.P Thomas.

    http://hosting-24467.tributes.com/show/Thomas-Campbell-89545239

  340. #341 Jake Crosby
    November 6, 2010

    @madder:

    “No, not dictionary definitions so much, but perhaps we can review the use of language in general. Note that the press release in question”

    So a blog commenter who is just stating his opinion should be held to the same standard as your drug company which probably lied about the ingredients of its product.

  341. #343 Dedj
    November 6, 2010

    “So a blog commenter who is just stating his opinion should be held to the same standard as your drug company which probably lied about the ingredients of its product.”

    Is this supposed to be a question or a statement? As a question, it has no little relation to the content of post it was posted in response to. Indeed, a suspicious person could assert that you avoided dealing with the content as it indicates that your arguement is derived from a simple error that you have failed to correct despite having it repeatedly explained in quite painful detail by multiple people, including some who have experience in dealing with people with language and communication difficulties.

    The standard that you are being held to is a basic one, that is: you should deal with what was actually said, not what you wish had been said.

    The errors in your reading of the press release have been extensively pointed out. The errors you have made subsequently have been pointed out. Your only response so far has been to make further claims which rely – in part or in whole – on your misunderstanding of the press release and the subsequent discussion.

    Kindly shape up or stop bothering people.

  342. #344 Jake Crosby
    December 16, 2010

    Orac,

    If you’re so concerned about verification, you can start by telling your pharmaceutical industry to cut the lies before claiming the experiences of honest people have to be “verified.”

    You also misinterpreted (spun?) what I said in your linked to post, as always:
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/10/how-vaccine-damage-deniers-threaten-us-all.html?cid=6a00d8357f3f2969e20133f5b57e17970b#comment-6a00d8357f3f2969e20133f5b57e17970b

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