Pity poor Andrew Wakefield.

2010 was a terrible year for him, and 2011 is starting out almost as bad. In February 2010, the General Medical Council in the U.K. recommended that Wakefield be stripped of his license to practice medicine in the U.K. because of scientific misconduct related to his infamous 1998 case series published in The Lancet, even going so far as to refer to him as irresponsible and dishonest, and in May 2010 he was. This case series, thanks to Wakefield’s scientific incompetence and fraud, coupled with his flair for self-promotion and enabled by the sensationalistic credulity of the British press, ignited a scare about the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine in which, afraid that the MMR vaccine causes autism, parents in the U.K. eschewed vaccinating their children in droves. As a result, vaccination rates plummeted far below the level necessary for herd immunity, with the entirely predictable result of massive measles outbreaks in the U.K. Measles, which as of the mid-1990s had been declared under control by British and European health authorities, came roaring back to the point where in 2008 it was declared once again endemic in the British Isles. In a mere decade and a half, several decades of progress in controlling this scourge had been unravelled like a thread hanging off a cheap dress, all thanks to Andrew Wakefield and scandal mongers in the British press.

True, Wakefield had long since moved to Texas, the better to be the founding “scientific director” of a house of autism quackery known as Thoughtful House. Thus, the removal of his license to practice had little practical import, or so it would seem, given that Wakefield did not treat patients and hauled in quite the hefty salary for his promotion of anti-vaccine pseudoscience. Fortunately, karma’s a bitch, and, as a result of the GMC’s action, in short order The Lancet retracted Wakefield’s 1998 paper; Wakefield was pushed out of Thoughtful House; and his latest attempt to “prove” that vaccines cause autism in an animal study was also retracted. Investigative reporter Brian Deer’s investigation finding that Andrew Wakefield had committed scientific fraud in carrying out his Lancet study joined prior findings that Wakefield had been in the pocket of trial lawyers (to the tune of £435 643, plus expenses) seeking to sue the vaccine industry at the time he carried out his “research” and the allegations by renowned PCR expert Stephen Bustin during the Autism Omnibus as to how shoddily Wakefield’s other research was carried out. Finally, the mainstream media started to back away from its previous embrace of Wakefield and his claims. As a result, for a while at least, Wakefield was reduced to lame appearances at sparsely attended anti-vaccine rallies last spring.

As bad as the findings were that Wakefield had committed scientific fraud, it turns out that it was even worse than the original reports indicated. A few hours ago, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) published an analysis of the scientific fraud committed by Wakefield, fraud that journalist Brian Deer likens in an accompanying editorial to the Piltdown Man. The articles are:


And here is CNN reporting on the story:

Even better, this is part one of a two-part series, and it knocks down whatever is left of Andrew Wakefield’s scientific reputation (such as it was), jumps up and down on it, and then kicks the ashes away. Deer begins, as he began one of his news stories before, with the testimony of a parent of one of the 12 children that Wakefield included in his study:

Mr 11, an American engineer, looked again at the paper: a five page case series of 11 boys and one girl, aged between 3 and 9 years. Nine children, it said, had diagnoses of “regressive” autism, and all but one were reported with “non-specific colitis.” The “new syndrome” brought these together, linking brain and bowel diseases. His son was the penultimate case.

Running his finger across the paper’s tables, over coffee in London, Mr 11 seemed reassured by his anonymised son’s age and other details. But then he pointed at table 2–headed “neuropsychiatric diagnosis”–and for a second time objected.

“That’s not true.”

Child 11 was among the eight whose parents apparently blamed MMR. The interval between his vaccination and the first “behavioural symptom” was reported as 1 week. This symptom was said to have appeared at age 15 months. But his father, whom I had tracked down, said this was wrong.

“From the information you provided me on our son, who I was shocked to hear had been included in their published study,” he wrote to me, after we met again in California, “the data clearly appeared to be distorted.”

Then Deer describes exactly how. For instance, before Wakefield ever undertook his infamous study, he and a solicitor named Richard Barr had claimed to have identified a new syndrome consisting of bowel inflammation and regressive autism and aimed to show a temporal association between MMR vaccination and the onset of first symptoms. Unfortunately, Child 11’s case was a disappointment, as his discharge summary from the Royal Free Hospital, which showed that the boy’s regression began two months earlier than claimed in Wakefield’s paper and a month before he had ever received his MMR vaccine. Deer also describes Child 2, whose parents were the first to have approached Wakefield, sent by the anti-vaccine group JABS. This boy appeared in numerous news reports and was one of the four “best cases” used by Barr in a lawsuit. The boy’s mother’s story was vague and she wasn’t clear on how long it was between the child’s vaccination and the onset of his symptoms.

But that’s not all. The more the paper was investigated, the more anomalies were found. For example, only one child clearly had regressive autism, and three of nine described as having regressive autism did not. In fact, none of these three even had a diagnosis of autism at all! There were other anomalies as well. Several of the children clearly had preexisting conditions. For example, all twelve children were described in the paper as “previously normal,” but at least two of them clearly had developmental delay and facial dysmorphisms noted before they were vaccinated with the MMR. All twelve children taken together did not support the existence of a syndrome of bowel problems and regressive autism, at least not the syndrome as described in Wakefield’s paper. Deer summarizes how Wakefield “fixed the link” between MMR and regressive autism with enterocolitis:

The Lancet paper was a case series of 12 child patients; it reported a proposed “new syndrome” of enterocolitis and regressive autism and associated this with MMR as an “apparent precipitating event.” But in fact:

  • Three of nine children reported with regressive autism did not have autism diagnosed at all. Only one child clearly had regressive autism
  • Despite the paper claiming that all 12 children were “previously normal,” five had documented pre-existing developmental concerns
  • Some children were reported to have experienced first behavioural symptoms within days of MMR, but the records documented these as starting some months after vaccination
  • In nine cases, unremarkable colonic histopathology results–noting no or minimal fluctuations in inflammatory cell populations–were changed after a medical school “research review” to “non-specific colitis”
  • The parents of eight children were reported as blaming MMR, but 11 families made this allegation at the hospital. The exclusion of three allegations–all giving times to onset of problems in months–helped to create the appearance of a 14 day temporal link
  • Patients were recruited through anti-MMR campaigners, and the study was commissioned and funded for planned litigation

As Brian Deer so aptly put it, Wakefield “chiseled” the data, “falsifying medical histories of children and essentially concocting a picture, which was the picture he was contracted to find by lawyers hoping to sue vaccine manufacturers and to create a vaccine scare.” The discrepancies between the case reports as described in Wakefield’s Lancet paper and the actual medical records are anything but random; all are in the direction of suggesting a link between the MMR and Wakefield’s as yet unverified syndrome of regressive autism and enterocolitis. The cases that were selected appear not to have been random, sequential patients but were rather recruited specifically through anti-vaccine activists and trial lawyers. Moreover, as Deer puts it:

Moreover, through the omission from the paper of some parents’ beliefs that the vaccine was to blame, the time link for the lawsuit sharpened. With concerns logged from 11 of 12 families, the maximum time given to the onset of alleged symptoms was a (forensically unhelpful) four months. But, in a version of the paper circulated at the Royal Free six months before publication, reported concerns fell to nine of 12 families but with a still unhelpful maximum of 56 days. Finally, Wakefield settled on 8 of 12 families, with a maximum interval to alleged symptoms of 14 days.

Between the latter two versions, revisions also slashed the mean time to alleged symptoms–from 14 to 6.3 days. “In these children the mean interval from exposure to the MMR vaccine to the development of the first behavioural symptom was six days, indicating a strong temporal association,” he emphasised in a patent for, among other things, his own prophylactic measles vaccine, eight months before the Lancet paper.

Yes, that’s exactly what Deer has found. When the time frame between vaccination and the onset of symptoms was too long to be useful for showing a link between MMR and regressive autism with enterocolitis, Wakefield systematically removed subjects whose parents blamed the MMR for their children’s autism until the time frame between vaccination and onset of symptoms was a much more impressive 14 days. There is no innocent explanation possible for the systematic and numerous discrepancies between the medical record and Wakefield’s paper, as the editors of the BMJ point out in their accompanying editorial:

The Office of Research Integrity in the United States defines fraud as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism. Deer unearthed clear evidence of falsification. He found that not one of the 12 cases reported in the 1998 Lancet paper was free of misrepresentation or undisclosed alteration, and that in no single case could the medical records be fully reconciled with the descriptions, diagnoses, or histories published in the journal.

Who perpetrated this fraud? There is no doubt that it was Wakefield. Is it possible that he was wrong, but not dishonest: that he was so incompetent that he was unable to fairly describe the project, or to report even one of the 12 children’s cases accurately? No. A great deal of thought and effort must have gone into drafting the paper to achieve the results he wanted: the discrepancies all led in one direction; misreporting was gross.

Exactly. The degree of falsification and the number of discrepancies were huge. The chutzpah Wakefield demonstrated in his fraud was truly breathtaking. So is the chutzpah he continues to exhibit today with his denials. Even after this report and all the stories reporting on it, Wakefield continues to deny that he has done anything at all wrong and blames the criticisms leveled against him on conspiracies. In reality, given the way the anti-vaccine movement has begun to circle the wagons to defend Wakefield yet again, it’s tempting to claim that this is a conspiracy. Personally, I consider it a conspiracy of utter cluelessness. For one example, check out this video of J.B. Handley:

Yes, Handley’s regurgitating antivaccine favorites like the “tobacco science” mischaracterization, touting Wakefield’s “monkey business” study (which he neglects to mention was withdrawn), and defending Wakefield.

For another example, check out this defense of Andrew Wakefield by the anti-vaccine National Autism Association, which makes the astonishingly ludicrous claim that the BMJ article is “yet another attempt to thwart vaccine safety research.” The anti-vaccine crank blog Age of Autism naturally reposted the NAA’s counterattack.

One of the NAA’s claims in its press release is that Wakefield’s study has been “repeatedly confirmed,” and the NAA cites five studies that allegedly confirm Wakefield’s fraudulent results. However, as Just the Vax and Sullivan show, these studies do not represent independent confirmation of anything. One of them was by a close associate of Wakefield; one is a case report of an adult autistic with enterocolitis; and none of the rest confirm Wakefield’s results either. Yet, every time a story pops up showing that Wakefield committed scientific fraud, Wakefield defenders in the anti-vaccine movement dutifully trot out the same five studies, as though any of them were independent confirmation of his work, while anti-vaccine activists launch ad hominem attacks against BMJ editor Fiona Godlee and regurgitate old attacks on Brian Deer. Particularly off-base is the NAA’s claim that somehow, by laying bare Wakefield’s clear cut and vile scientific fraud, the BMJ is interfering with “vaccine safety research.” No, it’s revealing a dangerous scientific fraud, nothing more.

So egregious was Wakefield’s fraud that Deer likens it in an accompanying blog post to “Piltdown medicine,” making this direct comparison to the infamous “Piltdown Man” hoax:

The Piltdown contrivance involved the pre-arranged “discovery” of features brought together to be sensationally “found.” A piece of skullcap was human, a partial jaw was an orangutan’s, and a tooth was a chimpanzee’s, filed down. They were stained with chemicals and, to fabricate a temporal link, were buried with flint tools in datable gravel near the tiny village of Piltdown, East Sussex.

Some would suggest that their proximity was a matter of chance, but the odds of this would have taxed an astronomer. “That two different individuals were present,” one of the scientists who unmasked the fraud explained later, “a fossil man, represented by a cranium without a jaw, and a fossil ape, represented by a jaw without a cranium, within a few feet of each other and so similar in colour and preservation, would be a coincidence, amazing beyond belief.”

And so it was with Wakefield, eight decades after the Piltdown discoveries. Amazing beyond belief. For skullcap read “developmental disorders”, for the jaw “enterocolitis”, and for the tooth “parental complaints about MMR”. Bring them together at one hospital, with a 14-day temporal link, and another assemblage was “found”.

This is a very apt analogy. The more we find out about how Wakefield put together his case series for The Lancet, the more it becomes obvious that he calculatingly put together a fraud every bit as elaborate and planned as that of the Piltdown Man hoax.

What I can’t figure out–I mean, really, really can’t figure out–is why the anti-vaccine movement continues to cling to Wakefield’s tattered “science.” Surely the more sober and intelligent members of the anti-vaccine mvoement (they do exist, believe it or not) must realize by now that Wakefield is now very much like the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, who, having had his arm hacked off by King Arthur declares it to be “just a flesh wound.” After hacking off all but the Black Knight’s left leg, the Black Knight keeps taunting Arthur, who retorts, “What are you going to do, bleed on me?” and finally, unable to take any more, cuts off the Black Knight’s last leg.

This article by Brian Deer is the last swing of the sword that hacks off Wakefield’s last limb.

Unfortunately, like the Black Knight, not realizing that, scientifically he’s been utterly discredited, Wakefield fights on. Worse, he is still feted by the anti-vaccine movement. Right now, he’s in Jamaica as part of a “vaccine safety” conference whose list of speakers is chock full of anti-vaccine activists.

For Wakefield, even 13 years later, fraud pays.

Comments

  1. #1 MartinM
    January 9, 2011

    H. Pylori is now treated with antibiotics and is the number one factor in peptic ulcers proven by clinical trials and discovered by a maverick doctor criticized by his peers until he proved them wrong.

    Actually, that’s something of an urban legend.

  2. #2 capsiplex
    January 9, 2011

    You are very gullible. You really ought to replace those magazines with real books.

  3. #3 han
    January 9, 2011

    @Chris

    Ryan’s mom may not appreciate the book list you posted, but I sure do. I’m currently reading The Emperor of all Maladies, which I believe you recommended a while back. I look forward to checking out these other titles.

  4. #4 JohnV
    January 9, 2011

    “MMR 2001 contains human fetal tissue.”

    Aww not this shit again.

  5. #5 Agashem
    January 9, 2011

    @Ryan’s mom; my PDD-NOS daughter would tell you that autism does NOT need to be eliminated. She does not want to be normal. Temple Grandin has said that given the choice she would remain autistic. We need to stop trying to put square pegs into round holes. Do you think some of the oppositional behavior your son displays may be because he likes the way he is and doesn’t want to change? It is very hard to wrap your head around that idea. Maybe you need to think how you can help him cope rather than try to make him ‘normal’. If he has verbal skills, have you asked him? Don’t forget, he needs to be a participant in all of these so-called interventions, he is not a puppet on a string………

  6. #6 Travis
    January 9, 2011

    I have reread some of the posts by Ryan’s Mom and the replies and I realize I have the same question I have been left with many times when anti-vax people come here. Actually, the same issue I often have when people with various wooish beliefs are around.

    Why do people maintain their position and not doubt themselves when they are consistantly shown to have said misleading things, or repeated outright lies they found elsewhere. Why would someone not start to wonder if they really know that much about a topic when post after post it is shown the things they say are often incorrect?

  7. #7 Chris
    January 9, 2011

    Han:

    I’m currently reading The Emperor of all Maladies, which I believe you recommended a while back

    Thank you, but I was not the one who suggested it. When it was I put it on hold at the library, and I am 156 in line for 60 copies.

    I have just finished reading Tabloid Medicine by Robert Goldberg. Even though he quotes Orac, it was a “meh”, okay, but he really is a professional pharma shill so there was a bit too much cheerleading for pharmaceuticals. I then put on hold the book White Coats, Black Hats as a version of similar stuff from the other extreme side.

    I logged onto my library account and noticed that Offit’s Deadly Choices is “in transit.” Woo hoo!

    Oh, I should recommend something for those who are busy: audio books. I downloaded Oliver Sacks’ book on music to my mp3 player and listened to while I was gardening.

  8. #8 Doctor Smart
    January 9, 2011

    @ militant agnostic

    Selenium is a natural mercury chelating agent.

    Besides chelation can clear your arteries so that you do not have to go through the painful and expensive heart bypass surgery. Just thoght I would let you know there are alternatives to big pharma and the doctor bills.

    @ Chris

    Aren’t you cute? Calling Medicien Man an idiot all while being a bigger one for believing in the lies of big pharma.

  9. #9 Militant Agnostic
    January 9, 2011

    Evidence – crickets – I though not

  10. #10 Chris
    January 9, 2011

    Folks, Doctor Smart is one of Medicien Man’s multiple sock puppets. He is an electronics technician who occasionally trolls his inane right wing and alt med idiocy here.

    He hates me because I pointed out that he got the Desiree Jennings story all wrong, and the fact that he challenged me that he could cure any disorder I named. So I named Diabetes Type 1, to which his answer were links to commercial supplement sites.

    Which is ironic that he calls up pharma shills, yet posts commercial supplement web sites as some kind of proof.

    He is just comedy gold.

  11. #11 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    January 9, 2011

    “He is just comedy gold.”

    So… a pillock, yes?

  12. #12 Drivebyposter
    January 9, 2011

    Selenium is a natural mercury chelating agent.

    Selenium is also a heavy metal and can be toxic.
    LIKE MERCURY YOU FUCKING BIG PHARMA SHILL!!!
    go fucking shill elsewhere.

  13. #13 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 9, 2011

    Why do people maintain their position and not doubt themselves when they are consistantly shown to have said misleading things, or repeated outright lies they found elsewhere. Why would someone not start to wonder if they really know that much about a topic when post after post it is shown the things they say are often incorrect?

    A while back, there was a blog essay that briefly went viral, about “the three types of knowledge,” which in the pithy phrase of the blogger, were: 1) The Sh*t You Know, 2) The Sh*t You Don’t Know, 3) The Sh*t You Don’t Know You Don’t Know. The essay established these categories and went on to posit that the real goal of education is not so much, as traditionally believed, to put knowledge into the first category, but to take it out of the third category… because it’s the stuff in Category 3 that makes you truly dangerous, to yourself and those around you. In an update to the essay, the blogger identified a sub-category of the third category as “the most dangerous of all knowledge”, namely, Sh*t You Think You Know But You Don’t. I agree with that characterization, since it’s that knowledge, “misknowledge,” that’s least likely to ever move to category 1 or 2.

    I think that of those diehards who come here to inform us of this piece of misknowledge or that, many of them actually are capable of recognizing it when that information is shown to be categorically false. They just aren’t emotionally capable of taking the right decision in response to it: instead of saying “Oh, wow, I believed Mike Adams when he said he knew exactly where skeptics were wrong in their beliefs about health, but it turns out he doesn’t even know what those beliefs are, so I’d better start unlearning everything I thought I learned from him,” they say “This new evidence points almost unavoidably to a conclusion that’s pretty terrifying for me, and therefore I choose to disbelieve this new evidence. It must be fraudulent evidence cooked up by some conspiracy, or there must be some other factor which means that this evidence doesn’t actually matter.” It’s just psychological denial; deep down they know there’s a problem, but they find it too easy to pretend there isn’t. It’s easier for a woo-ster to pretend there’s some knowledge out there in Category 2 which explains all the glaring contradictions than to realize they’ve been not just harboring but proselytizing stuff from the worst recesses of Category 3.

  14. #14 Doctor Smart
    January 9, 2011

    Seekenium can be toxic in large doses, dummy. Selenium is a cancer fighter as well. Selenium can be found in Brazil Nuts, etc.

    Human fetal cell lines were also used in the 2005 manufacture of the flu vaccine in Alabama. Most were recalled. It should be illegal.

    @ Chris

    Chris is just mad becuase he is my stalker and won’t listen to anything. Everytime i say something he jumps back into his time machine again. I though secualr oppressives always moved “forward”. I guess Chris ddin’t get that memo. Hey Chris you like my website? maybe I’ll feature a story about you an me soon. Oh, I told you medicien man was one of my brothers, you dummy. You NEVER listen!

  15. #15 Ryan's mom 2
    January 9, 2011

    To Ryan’s mom,

    I have read many comments from you. That’s why I think you will find “AoA” has a lot of good information for you. AoA = ageofautism.com. The best and most intelligent site about autism I’ve ever come across where many think “outside the box”.

  16. #16 Ryan's mom 2
    January 9, 2011

    To Ryan’s mom,

    I have read many comments from you. That’s why I think you will find “AoA” has a lot of good information for you. AoA = ageofautism.com. The best and most intelligent site about autism I’ve ever come across where many think “outside the box”.

  17. #17 Ryan's mom 2
    January 9, 2011

    To Ryan’s mom,

    I have read many comments from you. That’s why I think you will find “AoA” has a lot of good information for you. AoA = ageofautism.com. The best and most intelligent site about autism I’ve ever come across where many think “outside the box”.

  18. #18 Ryan's mom 2
    January 9, 2011

    To Ryan’s mom,

    I have read many comments from you. That’s why I think you will find “AoA” has a lot of good information for you. AoA = ageofautism.com. The best and most intelligent site about autism I’ve ever come across where many think “outside the box”.

  19. #19 Ryan's mom 2
    January 9, 2011

    To Ryan’s mom,

    I have read many comments from you. That’s why I think you will find “AoA” has a lot of good information for you. AoA = ageofautism.com. The best and most intelligent site about autism I’ve ever come across where many think “outside the box”.

  20. #20 Ryan's mom 2
    January 9, 2011

    To Ryan’s mom,

    I have read many comments from you. That’s why I think you will find “AoA” has a lot of good information for you. AoA = ageofautism.com. The best and most intelligent site about autism I’ve ever come across where many think “outside the box”.

  21. #21 Ryan's mom 2
    January 9, 2011

    To Ryan’s mom,

    I have read many comments from you. That’s why I think you will find “AoA” has a lot of good information for you. AoA = ageofautism.com. The best and most intelligent site about autism I’ve ever come across where many think “outside the box”.

  22. #22 novalox
    January 9, 2011

    @215

    That’s new, an aoa agent spamming links here, probably one of the most pathetic things I have seen a troll do here. And that’s saying something.

    And for your ilk, thinking “outside the box” = anti-science, anti-public health, anti-reason, pro-disease.

    @214

    Of course, to have a rational discussion, you have to be willing to listen and back up your points, which you have consistently failed to do. Instead, you constantly use ad hominems and ill-reasoned arguments which make you look silly, to put it mildly.

    So it should be no surprise to you that you are constantly mocked for your foolishness.

  23. #23 Kristen
    January 9, 2011

    I call BS,

    A few things about Doctor Smart: He is medicien man (unless he and his “brother” make identical comments within mere minutes of each other on different posts (as he has been known to do)). So he is either a liar (very likely) or his “brother” is an idiot with no independent thought.

    Also, Chris is a woman. Doctor smart/medicien man knows this but he is a misogynistic jerk that constantly try to get her goat because he has nothing constructive to say.

    Unless he indeed has something OT to say about Wakefields egregious fraud.

  24. #24 Kristen
    January 9, 2011

    I meant, of course, on topic, not off topic. Acronym fail (facepalm).

  25. #25 Doctor Smart, Ph.D.
    January 9, 2011

    Medicien man is my brother you dummy.

    Chris is a woman? Wow, I didn’t see that one coming. No wonder I have so much trouble fending off chris.

    Wakefield a fraud? Now global warming. That’s a fraud! Evolution is a fraud. Obama’s HELLthcare “law”is a fraud.

    My brother, medicien man does not have much of a personality. We have interesting idea exchanges.

    Oh, and Rumpleforskin is my sister. PZ Myers, the poll fornicator, loves her. Oh and Ed Brayton is my cousin. He gets his feelings hurt so bad sometimes. He is tender.

  26. #26 Chris
    January 9, 2011

    Boring trolls are obviously boring.

  27. #27 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 9, 2011

    That’s why I think you will find “AoA” has a lot of good information for you. AoA = ageofautism.com.

    Actually, Age of Autism is more about suppressing information, as perusal of http://silencedbyageofautism.blogspot.com/ will show. I’ll shamelessly note my own experience, where I responded to an Age of Autism story titled “BMJ Editor Refuses to Acknowledge Brian Deer’s Role as Complainant in GMC Case” by pointing out that “complainant” is a specific legal role, not a general term; even if the case had (for the sake of argument) been initiated by a complaint by Brian Deer, that would not make Brian Deer the complainant, any more than John Stone, by publicly defending Wakefield, becomes Wakefield’s “public defender.”

    That comment, containing factual legal information which any of them could have verified, was censored. So much for AoA “having a lot of good information”; if they get good information, they delete it as quickly as possible, before their target audience might see it and wake up to AoA’s deceptions.

  28. #28 Doctor Smart, Ph.D.
    January 9, 2011

    Girls with boys’ names are boring. Do you wear boy clothes too?

    Don’t make me call my brother on you.

  29. #29 Todd W.
    January 9, 2011

    @Antaeus

    Thanks for the shout-out for Silenced. I was catching up on comments and was going to post that far from being a good source of information, Age of Autism is, if not as bad as someplace like whale.to or Natural News, a pretty abysmal place to get accurate info. And it’s not just my site that was sprouted by AoA’s censorship of dissenting voices. Left Brain/Right Brain and Countering… both came about because of AoA’s censorship, as did Age of Ignorance (the author of which sadly passed away last year).

    For research, I would recommend Autism Science Foundation. Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism is probably a decent blog to peruse. For those needing support or advice, try getting in touch with the Lurie Family Autism Center, which has a big focus on support for individuals with autism and their families. It’s based in Boston, but they may still be able to provide advice or contacts with other organizations around the U.S. Also, Science-Based Medicine has a pretty extensive resource on the whole vaccine and autism issue.

    And, of course, there are the CDC and FDA. Ryan’s Mom mentioned she doesn’t exactly trust FDA because they’ve been wrong about products they approved, but try to understand that they operate with the level of knowledge that is currently available, including information to which the general public may not necessarily have ready access. As more research is done and the degree of knowledge changes, they may be forced to change their stance, for instance by issuing a recall. Ultimately, I would say to generally trust the FDA, cautiously, but don’t outright distrust them on all things.

  30. #30 Chris
    January 9, 2011

    Isn’t it interesting that certain people have avoided the subject of this article, Andrew Wakefield’s scientific fraud, and keep going off on all sorts of odd tangents from fluoride to complete vapid stupidity? It is like they want to avoid discussing the uncloaking of one their cohorts.

  31. #31 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    January 9, 2011

    RM2: “The best and most intelligent site about autism I’ve ever come across where many think ‘outside the box’.”

    Can I call Poe’s Law on your arse, or are you serious?

    That egomaniacal pillock: “Doctor Smart, Ph.D”

    Pitifully-hung Dipshit?

    With that much egomania, I would think so…

    Chris: “It is like they want to avoid discussing the uncloaking of one their cohorts.”

    That’s exactly what they want. They’re pathetic, really…

  32. #32 Doctor Smart, Ph.D.
    January 9, 2011

    @ David Andrews,

    waht does yours stand for?

    Mr. Ed’s Creepy Pecker Sugary Eggs?

    I call silly law on you. What’s with the letter buddy? You trying to impress Chris? She’s already spoken for. Didn;t you know she’s my stalker.

    Boy, don’t make me call my brother on you. You know better. I guess all that global warming finally cooked your brains.

  33. #33 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    January 9, 2011

    *shoots and scores*

    Mind you… this (“Mr. Ed’s Creepy Pecker Sugary Eggs?”) was almost chuckle-worthy.

    *writes on the troll’s grading paper: “You must try harder”*

  34. #34 dt
    January 10, 2011

    @Chris #197
    You probably don’t want to read all of Offits’s books!
    (“Vaccines” by Offit and Plotkin runs to over 3000 pages)

  35. #35 David Anderson
    January 10, 2011

    I believe him! I believe that this site has missrepresented the facts and believe that Andrew Wakefield has caused irrifutable financial damage to the Pharma companies ! I challenge ANYONE here who remains an advocate and diasbelier of the risks of the vaccine to inject themselves with a proportionate dose of MMR (take the weight differentials of an infant and multiply the dose by the BMI of of the victim / patient ! In fact, given that Brian Deer is so much so a proponent of these jabs and believes that there is absolutely no health risks associated with them, I’d like to see him get up on national television and give himself a jab! Bet you he wouldn’t ! Come on Brian, are you man enough to put your life where your mouth is?

  36. #36 Jud
    January 10, 2011

    Hmm, so the same Ryan’s Mom who says

    One thing I don’t understand is why they want to give children so many vaccines at one time and why they give them so many boosters.

    also thinks

    As Jenny McCarthy and Holly Robinson Peete advocate, try every therapy out there.

    So if it’s found safe by extensive trials and research, you want to be watch out, but if it hasn’t been tested and is being peddled by a combination of non-experts and quacks, go for it! Yep, sounds logical to me.

    Before you get miffed at the “condescension,” Ryan’s Mom, just review the above and see where I’ve got you wrong. I don’t.

    You had crappy experiences with some of your children’s doctors. Hey, join the crowd. My dad, who was on multiple medications, was prescribed an antibiotic that interacted with his anti-clotting medicine and caused an intestinal bleed that almost killed him outright, and I’m sure hastened his death (which occurred within a couple of months). And he got the antibiotic because he was unlucky enough to be one of a very small percentage of people receiving pacemakers whose implant site got infected – which happened to a cluster of pacemaker implant patients at that hospital-based clinic at that time. So at least two fairly significant medical screw-ups contributed to my dad’s death.

    Oh, but – my father was 91 when he died, after a couple of heart attacks (the first at age 60) and more bypasses than you can count on one hand. He was overweight nearly his entire life, had bad cholesterol genetics (my mom too, which I unfortunately inherited from them), had diabetes later in life, a broken hip a few years before he died, the aforementioned pacemaker (his second or third, I can’t remember which), and was completely mentally sharp up through the day he passed away. Without modern medicine, I doubt he would have made it much past that first heart attack.

    Like anything else, with modern medicine there’s good and bad; in my dad’s case, 30 additional years says to me it’s mainly to the good. In your case, a couple of bad experiences with child doctors means there are a couple of bad child doctors (okay, maybe more than a couple), not Entire Medical Establishment Bad, Flavor-of-Month Unproven Snake Oil Good.

  37. #37 Calli Arcale
    January 10, 2011

    David Anderson @ 229:

    I believe him! I believe that this site has missrepresented the facts and believe that Andrew Wakefield has caused irrifutable financial damage to the Pharma companies !

    If you know this damage is irrefutable, surely you have some evidence of it. As far as I can see, pharmaceutical companies are doing quite well. Wakefield’s attempt to discredit the MMR so that he could introduce a new measles vaccine failed years ago, at least as far as Big Pharma is concerned; in fact, Wakefield’s efforts arguably helped them. Yes, seriously! His bad science coupled with the fearmongering of the antivax movement managed to get herd immunity to drop below the minimum required to keep measles, mumps, and rubella at bay — but not very much below. So they were still selling millions of doses of MMR; given population growth in the same time period, it may not even have resulted in a decline in sales. BUT it did reduce the overall effectiveness of it, leading to an increase in sales of medicines to treat the illnesses, followed now, years later, by a resurgence in interest in vaccination.

    Big Pharma never retaliated against Wakefield. It never needed to. His threat was against public health, not the pharmaceutical companies. Seriously.

    I challenge ANYONE here who remains an advocate and diasbelier of the risks of the vaccine to inject themselves with a proportionate dose of MMR (take the weight differentials of an infant and multiply the dose by the BMI of of the victim / patient !

    I’m not sure why the dose needs to be increased; however, I’ve had repeat MMR shots in adulthood. One, because the MMR lot that had been used on my in childhood was associated with a suspiciously large number of cases of rubella later on, suggesting it hadn’t been effective, so I was revaccinated. When I became pregnant a decade later, my rubella titers were too low so as soon as I’d given birth, I was vaccinated again. I would rather not get the vaccine again (it’s one of the more painful ones) but if there were any doubt of my immunity against rubella, I’d get it again in a heartbeat. Rubella is *nasty* to unborn babies, and I’d hate to be an unwitting carrier.

    Going on television to get a jab is just plain stupid, though. A dumb publicity stunt, because if you’re sufficiently paranoid to not believe the science about MMR vaccination, you’re not going to believe the shot received on live television is real. You’ll claim it was just saline. It’s like the moon-hoax proponents. They ask why NASA doesn’t send a mission to photograph the landing sites*, and the answer (besides the cost) is that if they did, the moon hoax proponents would just claim the new photos were faked. There’s no point. It’s far better to give such claims exactly the response they deserve — none.

    *Actually, NASA did eventually send a mission which has photographed the landing sites, but that’s just a bonus to its primary mission. And predictably, when they even acknowledge the existence of the images, the conspiracy theorists claim they’re faked.

  38. #38 Chris
    January 10, 2011

    dt:

    “Vaccines” by Offit and Plotkin runs to over 3000 pages

    Ooops, you are correct! I should change that to most of his books for the general public. Thanks!

  39. #39 dt
    January 10, 2011

    @ David Anderson #229

    You want I should get an MMR shot which is the volume for weight equivalent that a toddler gets? You think it will be “toxic” to me?

    How about I crank up the stakes considerably.
    I will give the exact volume for weight of MMR to someone I love more dearly than life itself and whose health I prize above all else, even my own.
    And what’s more, I’ll make sure she has an immature and weak immune system so that the toxins have even more of a chance to do the devil’s work on her vulnerable brain and body.

    Doh!
    I just realized.
    I’ve done that already, to my daughter, when she was only 13 months old.

  40. #40 Dangerous Bacon
    January 10, 2011

    “I challenge ANYONE here who remains an advocate and diasbelier of the risks of the vaccine to inject themselves with a proportionate dose of MMR (take the weight differentials of an infant and multiply the dose by the BMI of of the victim / patient !”

    Oh good, another “vaccine challenge”.

    The most famous of these was by Jock Doubleday who offered docs (later expanded to pharm. co. execs) up to $150,000 if they’d drink vaccine components. A number of people reportedly took him up on the “challenge”, only to find that there was always something wrong with their applications and/or other roadblocks to being accepted (among other things, Doubleday required psychiatric examinations (at your own expense, apparently) to make a point about how you’d have to be crazy to accept his offer. It was all a publicity stunt.

    Harriet Hall has a good article here on such “challenges”, and makes the point that physicians and other parents have made all the statements they need to, by not only getting their own immunizations but assuring their children are protected too. She notes that while monetary stakes wouldn’t motivate her to apply as a “challenge” candidate, there’s one prize she’d compete for – if successful completion of the “challenge” would result in antivaxers giving up their vitriolic fact-deprived campaign against vaccines, it’d be worthwhile.

  41. #41 Matthew Cline
    January 10, 2011

    The most famous of these was by Jock Doubleday who offered docs (later expanded to pharm. co. execs) up to $150,000 if they’d drink vaccine components.

    To take his challenge you had to sign two agreements, A and B. The thing is, only agreement A was publicly available, since you’d have to sign agreement A to get a copy of B. However, if you signed agreement A but then refused to sign agreement B once you’d read it you’d have to pay a fine of at least $1,000. If I was a doctor or pharma exec I would have refused to go through with something like that! Also, the contract said that, after ingesting the vaccine ingredients, you had to make at least five different TV appearances about your experience. Doubleday tried to make his “challenge” so onerous that as few people as possible would accept (and then he stonewalled the people who did accept)

    (Note that this is all from memory. The text of agreement A seems to have disappeared from the Internet)

  42. #42 David Anderson
    January 10, 2011

    How about I crank up the stakes considerably.
    I will give the exact volume for weight of MMR to someone I love more dearly than life itself and whose health I prize above all else, even my own.
    And what’s more, I’ll make sure she has an immature and weak immune system so that the toxins have even more of a chance to do the devil’s work on her vulnerable brain and body.
    Doh!
    I just realized.
    I’ve done that already, to my daughter, when she was only 13 months old.
    Posted by: dt | January 10, 2011 11:47

    Oh gee – now that you put it that way I have no doubt about the logic and validity of your argument ! Like you, I’m more than happy to inject toxic and foreign materials past the natural defense of my child directly into his/her blood stream! Makes perfect sense !

  43. #43 dedicated lurker
    January 10, 2011

    David Anderson – how many vaccines are injected into the bloodstream? Hint: it rhymes with “Nero.”

  44. #45 Chris
    January 10, 2011

    Anonymous, how can you tell if someone is lying? They posted an article on AoA.

  45. #46 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 10, 2011

    Hahahahaha! David Anderson, you’re a hoot! “I’m more than happy to inject toxic and foreign materials past the natural defense of my child directly into his/her blood stream!” Makes it clear that you don’t even understand how vaccines are intended to work, let alone knowing enough to second-guess the huge body of data showing that they do indeed work.

    Here’s a hint: A vaccine does not get injected “past the natural defense” of the recipient; a vaccine is designed to activate the natural defense of the recipient. If you don’t understand that, you don’t understand anything. (Which is not exactly news, now is it.)

  46. #47 Anonymous
    January 10, 2011

    Ahh, biased, blind little Chris. So afraid to see Saint Deer as anything but upstanding. Pretty soon he’ll be feeling the heat.

  47. #48 Matthew Cline
    January 10, 2011

    @Anonymous:

    Pretty soon he’ll be feeling the heat.

    Really? Like, say, Wakefield suing Deer for libel? Like Wakefield already tried, failed at, had to pay Deer’s legal expenses, and was the reason why Deer got access to the medical records? ‘Cause I’m not sure how to interpret your statement except as implying that Deer is soon going to be sued.

  48. #49 LW
    January 10, 2011

    I think antivaxxers must be under the impression that the Exclusionary Rule applies to outside of criminal trials.

    In a criminal trial, if you can prove that the police violated the law or the Constitution in obtaining evidence, then that evidence can be thrown out and treated as if it never existed, and then the accused might get off.

    But the Exclusionary Rule does not apply in other contexts. No matter how Deer got the evidence (though there is no reason to believe that he did anything wrongful, unethical, or illegal to get it), that evidence proves that Wakefield committed scientific fraud in his paper. The only way antivaxxers can get around that is to prove that the evidence Deer provides is not true. Attacking Deer is just a distraction to try to prevent us from noticing that they cannot prove that Deer’s evidence is false — indeed, they have not, so far as I can tell, even really tried to prove it false.

    Also, I join others in this thread in thanking Brian Deer for his tireless efforts to unmask this fraud.

  49. #50 David Anderson
    January 10, 2011

    @Antaeus Feldspar
    You’re so right ! How stupid of me. Injecting foreign and “toxic” materials directly into the bloodstream is totally natural.

    You’re comment – Here’s a hint: A vaccine does not get injected “past the natural defense” of the recipient; a vaccine is designed to activate the natural defense of the recipient. If you don’t understand that, you don’t understand anything. (Which is not exactly news, now is it.)

    I mean – ridiculous of me to think that injecting the vaccine into the bloodstream of a human is NOT totally natural. I mean the body was designed for this kind of trauma wasn’t it ! Jeez I’m so glad you cleared that up ! For a moment there I was totally on the wrong track.

    As for this costing the Pharma companies revenue, I guess a significant drop in immunizations would have NO bearing on the revenue otherwise created by Pharma companies. Again I’m just jumping to conclusions there.

    Jeez – you guys are so smart. Thanks for all your help !

  50. #51 LW
    January 10, 2011

    David Anderson, I’m trying to decide if the problem is that you actually have never experienced, seen, or even known anyone who experienced or saw a vaccination, or if the problem is that you have no inkling of anatomy.

    When doctors *want* to put something directly into the bloodstream — when they’re putting in an IV, for instance — they generally do not put the needle into the shoulder, thigh, or buttocks, all of which are favored for vaccination. Instead, they put the needle into one of those more accessible blood vessels on the inside of the lower arm, and even then it can be fairly difficult. If sticking a needle into the body just any old where is sticking it “directly into the bloodstream”, why are IVs difficult to place?

    As for this costing the Pharma companies revenue, I guess a significant drop in immunizations would have NO bearing on the revenue otherwise created by Pharma companies. Again I’m just jumping to conclusions there.

    Indeed, you are jumping to unwarranted conclusions here. If there were a Pharma company that sold vaccines and nothing else, yes, a significant drop in immunizations would harm them. But there are no such companies, and if there were, they would be very small and hence unable to bribe politicians to join their conspiracy. The Pharma companies that actually exist sell many products, including vaccines but also including all the antibiotics used to treat secondary infections, antipyretics for fever, aspirin and other painkillers for headaches and body pains, cough syrup … all kinds of things that will be consumed in greater amounts if fewer people are vaccinated and therefore more get sick.

    Instead of sneering at the commenters here, maybe you should think about whether your statements even make sense.

  51. #52 Chris
    January 10, 2011

    David Anderson:

    I mean – ridiculous of me to think that injecting the vaccine into the bloodstream of a human is NOT totally natural.

    I love it when folks like you come here to educate us on the evils of vaccine, but make incredible stupid errors like “inject the vaccine into the bloodstream.”

  52. #53 Calli Arcale
    January 10, 2011

    LW:

    Indeed, you are jumping to unwarranted conclusions here. If there were a Pharma company that sold vaccines and nothing else, yes, a significant drop in immunizations would harm them.

    What’s more, given that there are regularly shortages of various routine childhood vaccinations (including MMR), a minor decline in uptake would do little more than reduce the pressure on their manufacturing line for a while. The vaccine manufacturers were never seriously threatened by Wakefield; anti-vaccination has never gained enough adherents to threaten their bottom line — especially since vaccines are not purchased by patients but by the clinics, often with government funding.

  53. #54 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 10, 2011

    I mean – ridiculous of me to think that injecting the vaccine into the bloodstream of a human is NOT totally natural. I mean the body was designed for this kind of trauma wasn’t it ! Jeez I’m so glad you cleared that up ! For a moment there I was totally on the wrong track.

    Apart from your other errors, you seem to have this unexamined assumption that “natural” = “good” and vice versa. Do you put bandages on your wounds? Do you think that’s natural? It sure isn’t, but it happens to be effective, so we do it. The same applies to vaccines.

    You also happen to be right when you think you’re being sarcastic. “I mean the body was designed for this kind of trauma wasn’t it !” In a sense, yes.

    The way that a body reacts to a vaccine is that the immune system detects the antigens in the vaccine, says “Uh-oh, invader!” and starts preparing cells to clobber invaders of that kind. That’s exactly the way it would react to an actual infectious agent in the wild with those antigens.

    The body’s reaction to a vaccine is natural, and the reason the body is “designed” to react in such a way is that humans evolved in a messy, dangerous world where random things quite frequently did (and do) invade the body. Since we can never ensure that “foreign and toxic materials” will never invade the body, we do the next best thing: we try to give the immune system “wake-up calls” which pose no actual danger, but make the system prepared in case it ever has to face the real thing.

    I realize that, just as you keep repeating “injected into the bloodstream! injected into the bloodstream!” despite it already being explained to you that this is inaccurate, you will probably clap your hands over your ears and grit out your sarcasm once more: “Silly me how could I ever be concerned that Toxic-And-Foreign-Materials are being allowed to contaminate our precious bodily fluids!” But somewhere out there, there’s someone who has an ability you lack: the ability to learn from their discussions. They may not know yet how a vaccination works. But your willful ignorance will help them leave their own unwitting ignorance behind.

  54. #55 David Anderson
    January 10, 2011

    People, we seem to be playing with semantics here, and in spite of the clear logic, I conclude only that you must do so in order to help cement an otherwise weak point.

    Firstly, *(and let me clarify, I am certainly no doctor, but my understanding is that a Vaccine works by having an “apparent dead pathogen introduced into the bloodstream, whereby causing the body’s B-cells to go to work. It is these cells that are responsible for fighting disease-causing pathogens. Once the B-cells are stimulated to act, antibodies are formed and the body develops immunity to the particular pathogen. Once a person receives a vaccine and develops immunity, he or she is usually protected for life.

    By very definition, had the vaccine NOT entered the blood stream, NO antigen would be created. Tell me, is this NOT how it works? I’m clearly not as well intellectually endowed as many of you are so I may well be basing my understanding of how this process works on misinformation. Although it would appear as though that is perfectly acceptable here?

    Finally, let me point out the following. Regardless of the overall “wealth”, and “volume of scripts/medications” which are sold by the major pharmas, you’d have to be a complete dim wit to not acknowledge that the immunization market is going to suffer financially if people were to stop immunizing. In fact, assuming that everything stays on track for the Pharma industries and you PRO Vacco’s get your way, it is estimated that the Vaccine market will be worth a total of $52bn by 2016 ! Holly gosh, goodness me. You guys are right, a mere 52bn aint worth all this effort. How stupid of me to conclude that a drop of 15 – 20 percent in immunizations world wide would have a financial impact on the industry. In fact, by my numbers, I conclude that a drop of only 10 percent usage is worth 5.2 BILLION dollars. Yeah, your right – this isn’t about money ! How down right stupid of me to have thought it was !

  55. #56 JohnV
    January 11, 2011

    “I mean – ridiculous of me to think that injecting the vaccine into the bloodstream of”

    In case you didn’t get it yet, you’re a dumbass. Vaccines aren’t injected into the bloodstream.

    Also any citations for your numbers or are you just making them up too?

  56. #57 David Anderson
    January 11, 2011

    I’m assuming then that you are refuting my claim that vaccine’s work by entering the blood stream, or are you simply still trying to make a valid point on a mute point?

    As for the $$$ fact, see;

    http://www.in-pharmatechnologist.com/Industry-Drivers/Vaccine-market-worth-52bn-in-2016

    When you say, “making it up”, do you mean in the same way that your dribble has been provided or do you mean in the way that Brian Dear has been doing?

  57. #58 Michael Ralston
    January 11, 2011

    David Anderson, are you not capable of reading? Vaccines are injected into the muscle, not the bloodstream.

    (not that it would make much of a difference, I suspect, but I admit to not having studied the matter in that level of depth.)

  58. #59 Lawrence
    January 11, 2011

    Again with the whole “profit” fallacy. It is much more profitable to treat diseases (and expensive to society in general) than to administer vaccines and support herd immunity. You have one shot (or a short series) vs. potentially days or weeks of treatment – including hospital visits, additional medications, lab time, etc.

    So, if the medical establishment was based purely on the profit-motive, they’d minimize the influence of vaccines & want to see a major uptick in infectious diseases – because they’d make much more money on treatments than they ever would by actually preventing the diseases in the first place.

  59. #60 Jud
    January 11, 2011

    David Anderson writes:

    I mean the body was designed for this kind of trauma wasn’t it!

    Yes, in fact it is – it’s designed for continuous “trauma” on a scale far, far greater than any vaccine, or even all the vaccines you have ever received in total.

    Upon birth, babies begin to be infected with trillions of microbes. But these must be good microbes that the body is OK with, right? Well, no, things aren’t quite so simple. Immune cells in the body are actually put in what is called a state of “chronic activation” by these microbes. These trillions of microbes play a critical role in training the immune system and keeping it operating. Every second of every day you’re alive your immune system puts out proteins in response to the microbes living in you. Researchers are discovering that at least some of these proteins have important functions, such as protecting the intestinal lining.

    There are a few differences between these trillions of microbes (which far outnumber your own cells – you might think of yourself as more a micro-ecosystem than an isolated animal) and the contents of vaccines:

    – There are far fewer antigens, by many orders of magnitude, in all the vaccines any person ever receives in total, than the numbers of microbes in your body.

    – The antigens are weakened, killed, or just bits of the antagonist, rather than live and capable of replicating as the microbes in your system are.

    – The body’s reaction to certain classes of microbes that could be very harmful if allowed to spread unchecked typically includes “turning up the heat,” i.e., fever, and sending lots of immune cells to the infection site, i.e., inflammation. Scientists have gotten so good at eliciting a robust immune response even with extremely low doses of weakened, killed or chopped-up antigens that vaccines can occasionally produce fever and inflammation at the injection site. That’s not a sign of “trauma,” it’s the body’s immune system being trained to respond big-time if the real thing ever shows up. Even though the load on your immune system every second of your life is far, far greater than all the vaccines you’ll ever get, the potential immune system response to the particular antigens in vaccines – possibly including fever or inflammation – is often much more outwardly apparent than the far greater actual volume of immune system responses to your own internal microbes.

    – In summary: A vaccine isn’t a “trauma” to a pristine system, it’s a drop in the ocean. The body’s potential reaction to that drop (“It’s the flu! Better gin up a fever to kill all those viruses!”), however, can occasionally be more outwardly apparent than its reaction to the ocean. (“Just pumping out all sorts of proteins all over the body in response to trillions of microbes – nothing to see here, please move along.”)

  60. #61 Luna_the_cat
    January 11, 2011

    A quick note re. the relative level of profit for vaccines:

    Going by the link which David Anderson provides, the total global vaccine market was ~$26 billion in 2009 and may be as much as $52 billion in 2016.

    According to an overview of the global pharmaceutical industry as a whole (http://www.policymed.com/2010/04/ims-reports-significant-global-pharmaceutical-sales-growth-in-emerging-markets.html ), the total global pharmaceutical market was $837 billion in 2009, and may be $1,100 billion by 2014.

    Yes, the industry gets some revenue from vaccines, but (a) they are far from being high-profit compared to most drugs (that is, the profit above costs is much smaller), and (b) the industry would hardly collapse without them. And, as Lawrence points out, antibiotics and therapeutics to treat disease sequelae are FAR more expensive and higher profit items.

  61. #62 Tsu Dho Nimh
    January 11, 2011

    David –
    FYI, various cells involved in the development of immunity can slide out of the blood vessels and wander around in the body tissues. They exit through the capillaries, somehow making a temporary opening at the seam where on capillary cell touches another.

    These cells detect the presence of a foreign substance (bacteria, virus, or particle of foreign antigen) and engulf it. They carry the stuff to other cells involved in the antibody development process.

    Slight inflammation triggers these engulfers to be more active – which is why the adjuvants are used. That slightly swollen, sore arm is part of the process.

  62. #63 Calli Arcale
    January 11, 2011

    Michael Ralston:

    David Anderson, are you not capable of reading? Vaccines are injected into the muscle, not the bloodstream.

    (not that it would make much of a difference, I suspect, but I admit to not having studied the matter in that level of depth.)

    Actually, it does make a difference — the vaccination site matters. In fact, there’s a difference between different muscles, even. The deltoid is favored mostly because of a combination of accessibility (usually not too much fat), size, and convenience (people would much rather pull up a sleeve than pull down their pants). Some injections still require a larger muscle; my Rho-Gam shot was in the gluteus maximum, and boy did it sting! I’m a software engineer, so I’m not really clear on all the details, but I seem to recall that the muscles are really good sites for vaccination because it’s a great place to mount a localized immune response. My guess is this is an evolutionary response to the likelihood of getting deep cuts or punctures on one’s arms and legs — the muscles need to be able to respond promptly to infection. Also, by injecting into the muscle instead of the bloodstream, you aren’t diluting the stuff over the entire body, which means you don’t need anywhere near as much.

    Note: this is probably wrong in at least some respects. It is not my area of expertise; just interest. I think there are vaccines given subdermally as well; I’ve certainly seen my dogs given vaccines that way. (It’s easy to do that on a dog, because their skin is so loose, especially around the scruff of the neck.) That’s where the needle is slipped under the skin but not actually into a muscle.

  63. #64 T. Bruce McNeely
    January 11, 2011

    David Anderson:

    Why are you so worked up about the fact that a company might make a profit on a huge investment like a vaccine – especially a product that will cut into the sales of its other products?

    You’re not a communist, are you?

  64. #65 W. Kevin Vicklund
    January 11, 2011

    Global vaccine revenues will be $52bn in 2016.

    Revenues is not profit. Revenues are basically net sales. Let’s look at an industry example of how net sales compares to revenues. In 2009, Novartis reported increases in revenues of $0.8 billion. It also reported increases in net sales of $44.3 billion. That’s a profit margin of about 1.8%

    At revenues of $52 billion, that equates to less than a billion dollars of profit. I really don’t think an industry that measures profit in tens of billions is really all that concerned about a loss of $100 million spread over several companies, especially since the treatments are much more profitable.

  65. #66 David Anderson
    January 11, 2011

    LOL – What a stretch. We go from trying to identify motive to becoming a communist. Of course I’m a communist! I also eat children and practice witch craft!~

    You know what – I’m inclined to think that you guys are trolling for big pharma. Your arguments lack conviction and when challenged you lash out personally. As for your comment Kevin, it lacks evidence or fact. It’s just another void statement that has absolutly no basis of fact.

    Let me ritterate.

    1. A “toxic” substance is “injected” into a human and enters the blood stream.
    2. Pharma has a “financial” imperative to ensure it continues.
    3. There are many, many studies that prove that such vacines have real and traumatic health impacts.

    These are the facts. Everything else is just induendo and BS. Now if you excuse me, I am off to attend my commy meeting !

  66. #67 David Anderson
    January 11, 2011

    LOL – Nice stretch. I simply point out that the Pharma industry is worth some 52 billion dollars and am then accused of been a communist.
    FYI I am also a practicing witch and like to eat the fetuses of young children.
    Now I’m not going to waste my time highlighting how the Stock Exchange works and revenue is as valuable as profit because I’ll probably get flamed down as some Right Wing Nazi Fascist. However, what I will say once again is the following.
    1. Pharma has a real financial interest in ensuring that the Vaccine Industry stays healthy. (I’m sure that many of you work in this industry so you already get that!).
    2. There are many, many case studies of vaccines causing irrefutable long term health impacts. (I’m not going to waste my time providing you with information you are already aware of.)
    3. A vaccine works by “entering” the blood stream.
    It appears to me that many of you are very likely trolls working for the Pharma industry so I’m sure you’ll come back with some other ridiculous taunt that is a personal attack. Whatever the case, I wish you all well.
    Now if you will excuse me, I’m off to my monthly pro-communist meeting ! LOL

  67. #68 W. Kevin Vicklund
    January 11, 2011

    As for your comment Kevin, it lacks evidence or fact. It’s just another void statement that has absolutly no basis of fact.

    Would you like some salt with that crow?

  68. #69 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 11, 2011

    Let me ritterate.

    1. A “toxic” substance is “injected” into a human and enters the blood stream.
    2. Pharma has a “financial” imperative to ensure it continues.
    3. There are many, many studies that prove that such vacines have real and traumatic health impacts.

    1. Yes, that is essentially correct, especially if you add the “eventually” before the word “enters.” Except for the fact that the substance isn’t toxic, of course.
    2. Pharma had a financial imperative (not a “financial” imperative – what did they teach you in school about the use of quote marks?) to continue selling secretin after it was determined that secretin performs no better than placebo. By the way, what do you do for a living, David? Are we allowed to assume that because you have a financial imperative for doing the work, it must be valueless work and you must be concealing its valuelessness?
    3. Yes, there are numerous studies purporting to show that this vaccine or that one is dangerous. Most of them are junk, like Wakefield’s fraudulent MMR hit-job, or Wakefield and Hewitson’s meaningless macaque study.

    It really doesn’t do any good to “ritterate” your position if your position is still based on poor premises.

  69. #70 Chris
    January 11, 2011

    I love how the AoA bunch try to edumacate us, but reveal they are clueless by using the following false statements:

    1) Vaccines are injected in the bloodstream.
    2) That everyone here thinks the MMR is 100% safe and effective.
    3) That there was mercury in the MMR.
    4) Measles is a mild disease.
    5) Vaccines make a big profits.

    Those are just off the top of my head. I am sure there are more.

  70. #71 LW
    January 11, 2011

    I was stuck in an airport for hours a few years ago and had to listen to a moronic homeopathy ad over and over endlessly. I finally got the earbug out of my system but now it’s back with a slight change, thanks to David Anderson: “Apply directly to the bloodstream! Apply directly to the bloodstream!”. Gah! Thanks, David.

  71. #72 Calli Arcale
    January 11, 2011

    David:
    LOL – Nice stretch. I simply point out that the Pharma industry is worth some 52 billion dollars and am then accused of been a communist.

    We actually already got your points, and responded to them. You do not need to reiterate; however, responding to the rebuttals would be nice. Nevertheless, for simplicity, I’ll summarize.

    $52 billion may be the net worth of the entire pharmaceutical industry; the vast majority of that is not vaccine-related. The biggest earners are typically drugs for chronic illness, rather than preventative medicine — things like statins, acid reducers, psychiatric drugs, painkillers, hormone replacement, birth control, impotence treatments, etc. This isn’t surprising if you think about it for a moment.

    1. Pharma has a real financial interest in ensuring that the Vaccine Industry stays healthy. (I’m sure that many of you work in this industry so you already get that!).

    Actually, I think most of the commenters don’t. I don’t; I’m a software engineer in a very definitely non-medical industry. (Aerospace, mainly.) But we’re not stupid; of course a maker of vaccines will want the market to remain healthy. But their control is limited. For the routine vaccines, governments typically set the prices in order to ensure herd immunity will be economically feasible. This considerably narrows the profit margin; an MMR shot has very little profit margin compared to a Gardasil shot. In fact, manufacturers for the routine vaccines are currently barely able to meet demand, and shortages occur routinely.

    So the market *is* healthy, from an economic standpoint, so healthy that they really don’t need to groom it at all. To date, antivaccination fearmongering has failed to reduce vaccine uptake enough to harm their bottom lines.

    2. There are many, many case studies of vaccines causing irrefutable long term health impacts. (I’m not going to waste my time providing you with information you are already aware of.)

    I appreciate your concern, but I am not aware of such studies. I am aware of extremely rare long-term adverse effects from vaccines, but they are so rare as to not make it worth skipping the vaccine unless the patient has a specific reason, like egg allergy or something.

    We like data here; don’t be afraid of “wasting” our time by supporting your arguments adequately. Honestly, failing to support your arguments wastes more time.

    3. A vaccine works by “entering” the blood stream.

    As has been repeatedly pointed out to you, this is untrue. I’m not aware of any vaccines which are injected into the bloodstream. The majority are injected into muscle tissue, not blood. It is true that many of the vaccine components will make it into the bloodstream eventually, but by this time they have already done their job.

    It appears to me that many of you are very likely trolls working for the Pharma industry so I’m sure you’ll come back with some other ridiculous taunt that is a personal attack.

    What makes you think that? Merely because we disagree? Is the possibility of other points of view so foreign to you that you must assume others to be lying? Are you so closed-minded you cannot accept the possibility that there is more to the world than you think you know?

  72. #73 David C. Holzman
    January 11, 2011

    They need to disbar the lawyers who were involved in this.

  73. #74 T. Bruce McNeely
    January 12, 2011

    Oooh, David Anderson has sure got his panties in a bunch about my “communist” question. How about I apologize for that? It was a cheap shot. Fun, but cheap.

    Maybe I’ll ask a few other questions instead:

    1) In an capitalist economy, why is it so evil for pharmaceutical companies to be motivated by revenues and profits, when every other private enterprise is motivated in exactly the same way?

    2) Why are companies marketing supplements, homeopathic preparations and other Alt-Med products not subjected to the same criticism, since their motivation (money) is exactly the same?

    3) If private enterprise is too corrupt to be responsible for providing pharmaceuticals, what would be the alternative? Non-profit organizations? Turn the whole system over to universities? Government takeover of pharmaceutical companies? Any ideas, David?

    BTW, I have no ties to any pharmaceutical company and receive no income from them. Just thought you’d like to know.

  74. #75 T. Bruce Mcneely
    January 12, 2011

    Another thought occurred to me after I hit the post button:

    If somehow the provision of vaccines was taken out of the hands of the private pharmaceutical companies, they would still be developed and recommended the way they are now. This is because they work. They save lives, prevent suffering, keep people from missing school, work, etc. and prevent chronic disease in the future. If you think that the profit motive is the reason vaccines are recommended, you are delusional.

  75. #76 Marcus Ranum
    January 12, 2011

    I think Wakefield’s next move is going to have to be to have a “reality” TV show about his exploits as he dodges the global conspiracy against him while trying to save the world and sell his book. Maybe they’ll call it “Rogue:Doc” or something edgy like that. And Deer would not make actual appearances but would be occasionally represented in the edge of the camera-frame as a shadowy black shape kind of like Darth Vader. With a bangin’ soundtrack and some actress who wears minimal clothing (in the role of loyal assistant and homeopathic cure-tester…) it’d work. It just might work.

  76. #77 Marcus Ranum
    January 12, 2011

    1) In an capitalist economy, why is it so evil for pharmaceutical companies to be motivated by revenues and profits, when every other private enterprise is motivated in exactly the same way?

    In all fairness, I think it’s reasonable for people to have some concerns about the behavior of capitalists. It does, after all, emphasize the maximum possible transfer of wealth, and that encourages abuses. It’s why we DO have to regulate pharmaceutical companies and it’s why we DO have to require that they not give doctors “payola” for prescribing products based on the interests of the pharmaceutical company instead of the patient.

    As a non-involved observer, I see this whole kerfluffle as a sort of proletarian backlash against the perceived power of the insurance industry and medical care costs. Walkefield and his cronies exploited that discomfort to make money for themselves – thereby confirming Doctor John’s argument “if I don’t do it – somebody else will” with regard to ripping off the ignorant.

    I hope Brian Deer goes after the lawyers who got Wakefield started on his path; there’s probably a lot of newsworthy dirt there.

  77. #78 Chris
    January 12, 2011

    Actually, I would like see the TV bio-pic Hear the Silence given either the Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment, or a mini series based on Brian Deer’s investigation and experience. That would include scenes of Wakefield collaborating with Barr, and the every strange Dr. Fudenberg. Plus Brian Deer being accosted by a crazy woman at the GMC hearings. Which comics should play John Stone and Clifford Miller?

  78. #79 Militant Agnostic
    January 12, 2011

    I hope Brian Deer goes after the lawyers who got Wakefield started on his path; there’s probably a lot of newsworthy dirt there.

    Indeed, the lawyer who initially funded Wakefield appears to be a director of the British Society of Homeopaths.

    http://www.homeopathy-soh.org/about-the-society/Bod.aspx

    Second from the bottom

  79. #80 Calli Arcale
    January 12, 2011

    *evil laugh* I like the idea of a MiSTie version. On the other hand, it’s 120 minutes. That’d be brutal to produce and stay funny the whole time.

  80. #81 Just Sayin'
    January 12, 2011

    FYI I am also a practicing witch and like to eat the fetuses of young children.

    Young children are getting pregnant? Who knew?

  81. #82 Dave
    January 15, 2011

    These video’s are so great. Love how JB Handley just has nothing. There is no credibility to anything he says.

  82. As I understand it, the General Medical Council’s lawyers demanded that the hospital and the researchers provide their files. Brian Deer’s latest articles summarize the GMC’s 6-million-word transcript of their hearings.

  83. #84 Steve
    February 3, 2011

    If the vaccines are all totally safe, why is it necessary to continue to have the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act in place, which prevents any and all courts up to the Supreme Court of holding vaccines manufacturers responsible for ANY adverse reactions to their vaccines outside of a specially mandated “vaccine court” which rarely rules in favour of the injured and dispenses cases in record time.

    Why can I not find any studies that show the levels of formaldehyde used in vaccines to be non-carcinogenic?

    Why does vaccine testing rarely require more than a couple weeks observation of a few groups of people and never involve long-term tracking of any adverse consequences of using carcinogenic ingredients.

    With the UK recently moving the flu vaccine schedule from everyone at 6 months up to only those 5 yrs and up, and the Cochrane Library’s recent analysis in 2010 of 50 available flu reports, including 15 done by the manufacturers and 40 having 70,000 or more people in them, concluding that the effectiveness against transmission is ZERO and the effectiveness against the flu on average is 1% vs non-vaccination does Health Canada and the US Gov’s Flu website continue to maintain that the flu vaccine is your best protection against the annual flu when other studies in Japan have shown D3 levels to be several times more effective?

  84. #85 Steve
    February 3, 2011

    If the vaccines are all totally safe, why is it necessary to continue to have the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act in place, which prevents any and all courts up to the Supreme Court of holding vaccines manufacturers responsible for ANY adverse reactions to their vaccines outside of a specially mandated “vaccine court” which rarely rules in favour of the injured and dispenses cases in record time. Wouldn’t removing this Act ensure that the manufacturers take the time to make sure the ingredients their using are safe in the long-term and that the combination and number of vaccines being done these days aren’t responsible AT ALL for the massive increase in neurological disorders such as ADHD, Autism, Parkinsons, Alzheimers, etc?

    Why do massive organizations like Big Pharma and the WHO claim that innoculations are responsible for so much of the world’s diseases being 95% eradicated when the data from the US, UK and Australia shows that 95% of the credit should be given to changes in our sanitation?

    Why can I not find any studies that show the levels of formaldehyde used in vaccines to be non-carcinogenic?

    Why does vaccine testing rarely require more than a couple weeks observation of a few groups of people and never involve long-term tracking of any adverse consequences of using carcinogenic ingredients.

    With the UK recently moving the flu vaccine schedule from everyone at 6 months up to only those 5 yrs and up, and the Cochrane Library’s recent analysis in 2010 of 50 available flu reports, including 15 done by the manufacturers and 40 having 70,000 or more people in them, concluding that the effectiveness against transmission is ZERO and the effectiveness against the flu on average is 1% vs non-vaccination does Health Canada and the US Gov’s Flu website continue to maintain that the flu vaccine is your best protection against the annual flu when other studies in Japan have shown D3 levels to be several times more effective?

  85. #86 Scottynuke
    February 3, 2011

    Hope Steve @279 doesn’t smoke — all that straw is SUCH a fire hazard.

    Dude, you might want to try reading through this blog first and see how thoroughly your strawmen have been deconstructed, time and time again.

  86. #87 Todd W.
    February 3, 2011

    @Steve

    For beginning reading, you may want to read The Truth About the Evils of Vaccination. Lots of additional resources there. And, as Scottynuke said, peruse this blog, as well as Science-Based Medicine.

  87. #88 Beamup
    February 3, 2011

    If the vaccines are all totally safe, why is it necessary to continue to have the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act in place

    Because nobody claims that vaccines are totally safe.

    Wouldn’t removing this Act ensure that the manufacturers take the time to make sure the ingredients their using are safe in the long-term

    They’re already required to do so by the FDA. What repealing the Vaccine Act would do is allow antivax idiots to destroy all vaccine manufacturers with frivolous lawsuits, thereby killing millions.

    and that the combination and number of vaccines being done these days aren’t responsible AT ALL for the massive increase in neurological disorders such as ADHD, Autism, Parkinsons, Alzheimers, etc?

    What massive increase? What reason to suspect vaccines as opposed to, say, plasma TVs? And it’s impossible to prove such a negative conclusively.

    Why do massive organizations like Big Pharma and the WHO claim that innoculations are responsible for so much of the world’s diseases being 95% eradicated when the data from the US, UK and Australia shows that 95% of the credit should be given to changes in our sanitation?

    Citations needed; what the figures actually show is that disease incidence drops dramatically with vaccination and comes back when vaccination drops. Are you suggesting that the UK’s standards of sanitation somehow plummeted, coincidentally right after Wakefield’s fraud?

    Why can I not find any studies that show the levels of formaldehyde used in vaccines to be non-carcinogenic?

    Because they’re far less than the levels the body produces naturally, so such a study would be quite a waste of time and money. As well study whether drinking 2 oz. of water a day is carcinogenic.

    Why does vaccine testing rarely require more than a couple weeks observation of a few groups of people and never involve long-term tracking of any adverse consequences of using carcinogenic ingredients.

    Citations needed that this is all the FDA requires. You’re going to have a major uphill battle against the mountains of evidence to the contrary (e.g. the existence of VAERS).

    With the UK recently moving the flu vaccine schedule from everyone at 6 months up to only those 5 yrs and up, and the Cochrane Library’s recent analysis in 2010 of 50 available flu reports, including 15 done by the manufacturers and 40 having 70,000 or more people in them, concluding that the effectiveness against transmission is ZERO and the effectiveness against the flu on average is 1% vs non-vaccination does Health Canada and the US Gov’s Flu website continue to maintain that the flu vaccine is your best protection against the annual flu when other studies in Japan have shown D3 levels to be several times more effective?

    Because that’s not what any of the studies you mention actually said.

  88. #89 MartinM
    February 3, 2011

    Can’t help but notice that Steve doesn’t have a damn thing to say about the actual topic of discussion; namely, Wakefield’s blatant, malicious, self-serving fraud.

  89. #90 novalax
    February 3, 2011

    @283

    What can steve say, when he doesn’t have a valid point or an argument, he just unloads with a bunch of misplaced strawmen attacks.

  90. #91 Calli Arcale
    February 3, 2011

    Steve:

    If the vaccines are all totally safe, why is it necessary to continue to have the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act in place, which prevents any and all courts up to the Supreme Court of holding vaccines manufacturers responsible for ANY adverse reactions to their vaccines outside of a specially mandated “vaccine court” which rarely rules in favour of the injured and dispenses cases in record time.

    Okay, there’s several things that need to be said here:

    1) The vaccine court actually is *more* likely to rule in favor of the injured, not against, as compared to a normal civil court

    2) Vaccines, like everything in life, cannot ever be totally safe. Someone, somewhere is going to be injured. The most common serious injury (they don’t rule for stuff like “my arm was a little sore for a while”) is anaphylaxis — a life-threatening allergic reaction. Even that’s rare, but rareness doesn’t mean they don’t deserve compensation.

    3) The government fixes the prices of many vaccines, because it’s not fair to require people to get vaccinated and then make them pay an excessive amount to do so. The end result is that the profit from the mandatory vaccines is very slim. This makes vaccine manufacture much less appealing than, say, making a blockbuster erectile dysfunction pill. It wouldn’t take many lawsuits (even failed lawsuits) to clean out that profit. So the national vaccine injury compensation program was started to remove that worry. It gives out awards for “table injuries” — like anaphylaxis, for instance. If there was something new and novel that NVICP can’t award for, by all means, take it to the next stage.

    4) Most significantly, NVICP doesn’t actually shield the manufacturers. It does reduce their risk from a business perspective, but there is no law forbidding suing a vaccine manufacturer. You simply have to go through NVICP first. If you fail there, you can try again in regular court, and you can indeed take it all the way to the Supreme Court if you so choose.

    Wouldn’t removing this Act ensure that the manufacturers take the time to make sure the ingredients their using are safe in the long-term and that the combination and number of vaccines being done these days aren’t responsible AT ALL for the massive increase in neurological disorders such as ADHD, Autism, Parkinsons, Alzheimers, etc?

    As noted above, this act does not protect the manufacturers from lawsuits. It reduces the risk of them being served with frivolous lawsuits, and it takes care of the garden-variety lawsuits for them. A more serious defect would almost certainly progress past the vaccine court and become very bad business for them. The FDA also has the power to impose additional penalties beyond what a court could; courts can award damages, but the FDA has the power to shut them down altogether, at least as a vaccine manufacturer. The CDC can also get involved.

    Why do massive organizations like Big Pharma and the WHO claim that innoculations are responsible for so much of the world’s diseases being 95% eradicated when the data from the US, UK and Australia shows that 95% of the credit should be given to changes in our sanitation?

    It has been said that 93.217% of all statistics are made up on the spot….

    I’ve never seen any claims that specific, either way. The truth is that the reductions in disease prevalence and in disease morbitity and mortality are due to many things. The three biggest are probably public sanitation, hygeine, and vaccination. None would have done it alone, because they address different things.

    Public sanitation can eliminate ancient scourges such as cholera and the guinea worm (a horrific parasite likely to go extinct in the near future), but counterintuitively, it makes polio much worse. And it does absolutely nothing to protect against Haemophilus influenzae type B (HiB), measles, rubella, tetanus, petussis….

    Hygeine was the second thing I listed. The introduction of routine handwashing by medical workers reduced the incidence of puerperal fever (a major killer of new mothers) to a very low number — in the US today, the incidence is between 1-8%, with three dying of it for every 100,000 deliveries. (Maternal death rate in the US is 13 per 100,000, so it’s still a significant fraction of the deaths.) But back in the 17th Century, a quarter of all mothers died this way. The rate is lower but still significant in parts of the world where women must give birth in squalor and access to soap is poor. (Hospitals in the pre-handwashing era had higher rates of infection than homebirth of the period, because of the opportunity for contagion to be passed from one mother to another via the physicians hands. In particularly bad outbreaks, all of the women in a maternity ward might die. It was bad.)

    *Numbers from Wikipedia’s article on puerperal fever

    Now we come to vaccination. While handwashing is great at controlling the spread of many diseases, and clean water is all you need to prevent the transmission of cholera, other diseases aren’t so easy to control. Air-transmitted diseases are nearly impossible to control by these means, and quarantine is a reactive method of control, not proactive — a lot of people will become sick and perhaps even die before the problem is recognized, and more still before the scope is understood and an appropriate quarantine can be put in place. This used to be the preferred method for controlling the spread of measles — indeed, if you read Dr Suess’ early book “The King’s Stilts”, measles becomes a plot device as the villain puts ink dots on our hero’s face so that people will think he has measles and force him to stay in quarantine. The problem is that with most of these diseases, you are contagious before you show symptoms, and you may develop so mild a case that nobody even realizes afterwards that you even *were* contagious. So the quarantines, while helpful, were not very effective, and a great deal of productivity was lost as communities had to shut down, in whole or in part, until the latest outbreak subsided. Since the introduction of widespread vaccination, quarantines have become rare. They’re no longer needed. Most notably, smallpox (which, being transmitted by direct contact, wasn’t much affected by sanitation measures) was eliminated by the 1970s. I have never been vaccinated against it, because I was born too late to need the vaccine. It is quite likely that polio will be the next vaccine-eradicated disease; the remaining reservoirs are in Nigeria, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan — not coincidentally, regions with significant logistical challenges for any health measure.

    Interestingly, vaccines have successfully extirpated polio from regions with shockingly poor sanitation. There is cholera in Haiti, but no polio.

    Why can I not find any studies that show the levels of formaldehyde used in vaccines to be non-carcinogenic?

    Beats me, because it’s actually a very well-studied chemical. Formaldehyde is actually more benign than people generally realize — and much more common, too. It’s actually naturally occuring in our atmosphere, synthesized by natural processes in the upper atmosphere. (You’d be surprised how much chemistry goes on in the stratosphere. Much of it is driven by solar radiation that doesn’t penetrate to ground level.) It is also produced by pretty much any combustion of organic material. It is rapidly metabolized to formic acid in the human body, which means that it can’t accumulate in the body — thus, to be toxic or carcinogenic, you’ll need to be exposed to enough of it to exceed the body’s capabilities, or be exposed so frequently that your body is always having to clean it out. (The latter is why the EPA has fairly strict limits for occupational exposure.) It is primarily known to cause cancer when inhaled as a gas, particularly through outgassing from wood products, paints, varnishes, tobacco smoking, etc. This was the source of the problem in the infamous Katrina FEMA trailer fiasco. (People housed in temporary trailers which became sort of permanent developed respiratory problems because of the low quality of particleboard used in their construction, leading to potentially hazardous levels of formaldehyde fumes.)

    So the main risks with formaldehyde are long-term exposure to gaseous formaldehyde. (Breathing it in, day in and day out for weeks.) It’s cleared from the blood fairly rapidly, so unless you’re regularly eating food contaminated with it or injecting yourself on a daily or maybe weekly basis, low levels should not present a problem.

    Why does vaccine testing rarely require more than a couple weeks observation of a few groups of people and never involve long-term tracking of any adverse consequences of using carcinogenic ingredients.

    There are actually many types of testing, and novel vaccines have to undergo a lot more testing than that before they can be approved. (The 2009 H1N1 vaccine did not, but it wasn’t a completely novel vaccine; it was an old vaccine with a new antigen, so much of the old testing was still applicable.) Novel vaccines generally are tested for YEARS before they are approved, not just a couple of weeks, and need a lot of subjects. And it is compltely false that there is never any long-term tracking of adverse consequences. Obviously if a vaccine is only three years old, you can’t have any data on what things are looking like in ten years, but there is post-market surveillance, and researchers (including independent researchers) do continue to study the effectiveness and adverse effects which may be associated with a vaccine down the road.

    With the UK recently moving the flu vaccine schedule from everyone at 6 months up to only those 5 yrs and up, and the Cochrane Library’s recent analysis in 2010 of 50 available flu reports, including 15 done by the manufacturers and 40 having 70,000 or more people in them, concluding that the effectiveness against transmission is ZERO and the effectiveness against the flu on average is 1% vs non-vaccination does Health Canada and the US Gov’s Flu website continue to maintain that the flu vaccine is your best protection against the annual flu when other studies in Japan have shown D3 levels to be several times more effective?

    1%? The last time I looked, the cochrane report found a 60% reduction in flu symptoms. Where did you get 1%? How could you even *detect* 1%?

    Bottom line, Steve: these questions are neither unasked nor unanswered. You’ve done enough online searching to stumble upon these claims. Don’t stop there and assume that because they *say* the questions are unanswered that they really are.

  91. #92 MI Dawn
    February 3, 2011

    @Calli Arcale and beamup: nice responses to Steve. Unfortunately, it appears that he dumped his strawmen and ran.

    Cleanup on Aisle 4!

  92. #93 Randy C
    February 12, 2011

    In another discussion thread, a defender of Wakefield says this:

    “Rather than attack one man, governments and medical establishments would be better off finding ANSWERS to the question of autism.”

    That’s absolutely true. Since it is also absolutely true that vaccines don’t cause autism, we have found another reason not to try to link those two things. We should, instead, invest our autism research funds elsewhere.

  93. #94 Rosherville
    March 5, 2011

    Time to look more closely at Brian Deer’s ‘research’ !

    He’s gone as far as he can and the cracks are beginning to show.

    ‘methinks he doth protest too much’,

  94. #95 Rosherville
    March 5, 2011

    Time to look more closely at Brian Deer’s ‘research’ !

    He’s gone as far as he can and the cracks are beginning to show.

    ‘methinks he doth protest too much’,

  95. #96 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 5, 2011

    Rosherville, if you actually could provide even one example of Brian Deer’s research showing “cracks”, you certainly would have. But you didn’t, leading to the conclusion that you can’t. Talk is cheap; don’t bother coming back until you have the guts to commit yourself to a specific claim.

  96. #97 kapoore
    April 20, 2011

    Why does the CDC pay this Danish criminal tax payer money to buy himself a house, a motorcycle, and cars? In reading about this Danish researcher he reminds me of Madoff. And this Danish study is the one everyone always cites. In the meantime Wakefield discovered measles viruses in the guts of autistic children–a study confirmed I believe in North Carolina by another research team. People will be using Wakefield’s work 20 years from now while the Danish study will probably lie forgotten. The Danish study is another one of those horrendous abuses against the American people like the CIA studies on LSD in the 50s & 60s. It makes you wonder if the CDC has any humanity whatsoever. Maybe we should line them all up and inject them with all those vaccines at once and send them off into brain fog land for the rest of their lives. Oh would I love to give them a dose or two of their own toxic brews

  97. #98 Gray Falcon
    April 20, 2011

    Sorry, this article isn’t about Thorsen (who, while guilty of theft, has not been accused of faking research), it’s about Wakefield and his crimes. Here’s the article you want:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/04/tpoul_thorsen_vaccine_safety.php

  98. #99 Antaeus Feldspar
    April 20, 2011

    Sorry, this article isn’t about Thorsen (who, while guilty of theft, has not been accused of faking research), it’s about Wakefield and his crimes.

    As far as I know, Thorsen’s indictment was only a week ago. The accusations in the indictment do make a pretty damning case — but it’s worth remembering that the accusations in the Duke lacrosse case were even more damning, and those turned out to be lies from beginning to end.

    But of course, Gray Falcon is correct: this is not a post about Poul Thorsen at all, and seeing that the list of recent posts on the left-hand pane lists not one but two recent posts about Thorsen our Necromancer “kapoore” could have posted on, the logical conclusion is that he posted on a dormant thread because he was too scared to voice his brave opinion someplace where someone might answer.

  99. #100 Andrew
    April 20, 2011

    Kapoore – so your contention is that the CDC paid off Thorsen to lie about vaccines, and then reported him for fraud so the story would get out? Brilliant theory.

  100. #101 John Fryer Chemist
    May 9, 2011

    Cracks in his research (Deer research)

    Going to a persons home claiming to be someone else.

    Good ruse but it does sort of prove you are a LIAR.

  101. #102 HCG drops
    August 5, 2011

    Vaccines? Still people blame them for a host of imagined problems.
    I suspect that many of the illnesses claimed to be perpetuated by the vaccine haters (autism etc) can be linked to something far more common.
    A lot of people never get vaccinated

  102. #103 Kodawe
    October 12, 2011

    Wow you provaxers never fail to humor me. What a shallow bunch of uneducated pharma shills. Oh wait… Sorry your not uneducated. Pharma hires the best. How about evil twisted educated people that only care about themselves and making a buck. God forgive you guys. I am pretty sure the meaning of life has nothing to do with lying and treating people like crap for no other reason than to line your pockets.

  103. #104 Andrew
    October 12, 2011

    It’s funny that people who call Orac a pharma shill bother to post here. Surely, if Orac was a pharma shill, he’d be diligent in deleting any comments that exposed him. Yet Kodave posts here, indicating that

    a) he has nothing to do in his life other than writing comments he imagines will be deleted
    b) he knows he’s lying, but can’t be bothered to come up with a plausible lie
    c) he really thinks that pharma shills are evil, twisted folks, but that even they wouldn’t stoop to deleting comments

  104. #105 Chris
    October 12, 2011

    Kodowe, did you actually spend almost a year thinking up the old lame and rather boring Pharma Shill Gambit? Why are you gracing us with your lack of brilliance on this article and not the one posted today about SaneVax’s friend, Dr. Sin Hang Lee?

    Oh, and what has Andrew Wakefield been up to lately? Talking at conferences where they discuss 9/11 conspiracies, or making more videos with infamous supplement shill Mike Adams for Alex Jones?

  105. #106 Matthew Cline
    October 12, 2011

    Yes, since obviously none of us could possible believe what we say. The only possible reason for anyone to say something favorable about vaccines is money.

  106. #107 Kodawe
    October 12, 2011

    Kodawe posts here because he is sick and tired of the lies and unbending nature if the provaxers. I have a vax damage child and two more that are reactive to the same chemicals contained in these vaccinations. I have twin foster children that had to have a TB test run about a week and a half ago. Both reacted within 48 hours of this test. One was hospitalized with resperitiry failure due to this TB test. It is documented in their medical records as a reaction to the Tween 80 (aka Polysorbate 80) found in this TB PDD skin test. If you will reference the medical journals of The Annauls of Allergy and Asthma (2005) volume 95 you will find a study conducted showing reactions to Tween 80 resulting in respiratory distress, low blood pressure and death. I am not opposed to vaccinations in general. I would love to think there is some magic bullet that every single person on the face of the earth can take that will protect them. However, logic alone says this is not feasible. We are all different. What my be fine for some can kill or damage others. That is my problem. I am totally fine with someone getting a vaccine if they want one but to force people to get them is just insanity. Forcing these things on my kids is a possible death sentence. That is why I fight this fight. Why do you? What is your vested interest? Mine is keeping my children out if the hospital or possibly the cemetery. Your reply will be the same, you are worried that my unvaxed child could cause you child to catch something. To that I ask, do the vaccinations work and actually immunize? If so get one shut up and move on. But as long as you are here talking crap about how everyone needs to get these for the betterment of society, that my friend is pure crap, and shows a lack of caring for the children that can die or be damaged by these vaccinations. That is why I am here, my life… You betcha!

  107. #108 Chris
    October 12, 2011

    Dude, read the comment! Why did you post on an old article?

    Here, let me type slower:

    W h y n o t t h e SaneVax a r t i c l e p o s t e d
    t o d a y?

    (also, you might want to learn about this cool literary concept that makes wall of text easier to read: paragraphs)

  108. #109 Chris
    October 12, 2011

    Kodawe:

    The Annauls of Allergy and Asthma (2005) volume 95

    A proper cite includes the title and actual date of the paper. Or you can just post the PMID.

    And the blog software screwed up my slow typing, I’ll try again:

    W_h_y

    n_o_t

    t_h_e

    SaneVax

    a_r_t_i_c_l_e

    p_o_s_t_e_d

    t_o_d_a_y

    ?

  109. #110 lilady
    October 12, 2011

    Hello Kodawe: Why are you posting in the third person and why are you resurrecting an old post?

    I’m wondering why your twin foster children were tested for TB…it seems you have extraordinary bad luck with all these natural children and foster children either damaged by vaccines, sensitive to ingredients contained in vaccines and two foster children who had a respiratory reaction to the PPD administered during Mantoux testing.

    Are you certain that the “reaction” that occurred within 48 hours following the Mantoux test is not indicative of latent TB infection?

    You owe us an apology for your vicious attacks on Orac and others who post here.

  110. #111 Antaeus Feldspar
    October 12, 2011

    Your reply will be the same, you are worried that my unvaxed child could cause you child to catch something. To that I ask, do the vaccinations work and actually immunize? If so get one shut up and move on.

    Notice that Kodawe’s argument rests on a claim that provaxers (i.e., the scientifically literate) do not make: that vaccinations provide 100% protection from disease. In reality, vaccinations greatly improve your protection against disease, but that is only one part of what protects us in the modern day from the rampant disease that used to be a constant of life. The other half, the complement to individuals increasing their own protection, is that as more and more individuals acquire individual protection, they reduce the number of individuals in the population who can pass the disease on to others.

    It would be nice if real life worked like the fantasyland Kodawe describes, where we can give ourselves perfect protection from the irresponsibility of others simply by choosing to be responsible ourselves. Unfortunately, it’s not so. You can’t tell people who are angry with your choice to drive drunk, “Well, if sober driving is so much safer, you go drive sober, shut up and move on,” because both sober drivers and pedestrians can still be badly hurt by those who insist on the “freedom” to drive drunk and endanger others.

  111. #112 Matthew Cline
    October 13, 2011

    @Kodawe:

    That is why I fight this fight. Why do you? What is your vested interest? Mine is keeping my children out if the hospital or possibly the cemetery. Your reply will be the same, you are worried that my unvaxed child could cause you child to catch something.

    There are (at least) two other reasons:

    1) General altruism, because the pro-vaxxer thinks that vaccines have a good risk/benefit ratio and helps people.

    2) Being anti-pseudo-science in general (which is why many people argue against things like perpetual motion machines, moon landing hoaxers, and so on).

    Also, does the “Your reply will be…” sentence mean you no longer think we’re shills?

  112. #113 lilady
    October 13, 2011

    @ Matthew Cline:

    I would suggest that there is a third and fourth reason

    3. I grew up in the era before vaccines were available to protect against polio and measles. I lost my close childhood friend to polio and my cousin was left with lasting sequelae due to measles encephalitis.

    4. My involvement has to do with being a public health nurse who has seen firsthand the devastating consequences of childhood vaccine-preventable diseases. These sad cases include the death of a young infant from pertussis and numerous cases of invasive meningitis and bacteremia that resulted in deaths of kids, neurological impairments, organ failure and gangrenous amputations, because effective vaccines were not available.

    We all questioned the necromancing Kodawe for additional “details” about what he reports as vaccine-induce autism, sensitivities to vaccine components and the supposed “reaction” to a Mantoux test and Kodawe has chosen to not reply.

    Kodawe is a drive-by anti-vax troll who is afraid to respond because he/she knows we would dissect the bogus posting bit-by-bit and destroy the arguments presented.

  113. #114 Krebiozen
    October 13, 2011

    Kodawe,

    Should you return, I think the article you refer to is this one. It is a case study of one patient who experienced a non-IgE-mediated anaphylactoid reaction to an IV multivitamin preparation, not a vaccine. There is no mention of the patient dying, and it would be very unusual for a patient to die after any IV as epinephrine injections should always be readily available in case of such a (very rare) reaction, just as they are when vaccines are administered.

    The amount of polysorbate in IV multivitamin preparations is very much greater than in vaccines, as it is used to solubilize fat-soluble vitamins. For example 5 ml of one preparation intended for children contains 50 milligrams of polysorbate 80, while a vaccine typically contains less than 50 micrograms, as does the dose of tuberculin PPD. This is 1000 times less.

    This is a tiny amount – I have estimated it is a similar quantity to the amount of dish-washing detergent (a very similar chemical) you would find in a drop of the water you use to wash your dishes.

    I have never seen a case of a reaction to such a tiny amount of polysorbate 80 reported in the scientific literature. As we can see, even a reaction to 1000 times that amount is unusual enough to be reported as a case study. Are you sure your children have definitely been diagnosed with a hypersensitivity to polysorbate 80?

  114. #115 Dominique Adey Balinova
    November 10, 2011

    Mmm, so, in the end, I wonder who will truly be found to have falsified reports/data etc.?

    http://gaia-health.com/gaia-blog/2011-11-10/brian-deers-charges-against-wakefield-are-false-documents-analyzed-by-outside-expert/

    Perhaps Andrew Wakefield’s year will end more positively than it began. Who knows the truth?

  115. #117 Beamup
    November 10, 2011

    @ Dominique:

    So they’re claiming that one of the many outright falsehoods on the paper was the result of gross incompetence rather than deliberate fraud. Not exactly a positive claim.

    And Deer made no claim that “Wakefield is the sole person responsible for claiming that nonspecific colitis was found in children with autism” – that’s just made up out of whole cloth, as a read of the April 2010 BMJ article discussing that point (http://briandeer.com/solved/bmj-enterocolitis.htm) will clearly demonstrate.

    It’s worthy of note that there’s no attempt made in your link to argue that the Lancet paper was RIGHT – just claims that Wakefield misunderstood Dhillon’s forms. Beyond pathetic.

  116. #119 lilady
    November 10, 2011

    @ Dominique: Are you the same Dominique Adey Balinova who has posted on the Facebook-Dr. Wakefield’s Work Must Continue website?

    Are you also the same Dominique Adey Balinova who has posted about your permanent injury resulting from mercury amalgam dental fillings?

    Tell us all about your “theories” of mercury poisoning and gut bacteria and why you think that “Dr. Wakefield’s work must continue”.

  117. #120 Ray M
    November 14, 2011

    No, not Wakefield, but BMJ and dishonest journalist Brian Deer (probably paid for by lobbyst) are FRAUD.

    An Elaborate Fraud, Part 8: In Which The British Medical Journal Tries to Debunk a Clear-Cut Case of Regressive Autism – AGE OF AUTISM

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2011/11/an-elaborate-fraud-part-8-in-which-the-british-medical-journal-tries-to-debunk-a-clear-cut-case-of-regressive-autism.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed

    We Support Dr. Andrew Wakefield
    http://www.wesupportandywakefield.com/

    Being myself a scientist, have had a look at this case recently, and now i expect some serious reflection on this issue “Wakefield is fraud” on your blog. Thanks for attention.

    Ray

    ====

  118. #121 briandeerisafraud
    March 14, 2012

    It is now March 2012.

    What a difference a year makes!

    Professor Walker-Smith was just reinstated. See http://www.ageofautism.com/2012/03/general-medical-council-response-to-successful-appeal-of-professor-john-walker-smith.html

    Dr Andrew Wakefield is soon to be vindicated.

    Brian Deer is a fraud. Neener, neener, neener.

  119. #122 Chris
    March 14, 2012

    Dear Necromancer Troll, have you checked more recent articles on this blog? Like:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2012/03/will_prevail_in_his_libel_suit.php

  120. #123 JGC
    March 14, 2012

    Uhh….

    All the justice found was that the GMC did not have sufficient evidence to prove the claim that Walker Smith understood he was ordering procedures for the purpose of research rather than clinical investigation and treatment which required prior approval by a Research Ethics committee. This finding does not speak to the GMC’s separate findings against Wakefield (which may be found at http://www.gmc-uk.org/Wakefield_SPM_and_SANCTION.pdf_32595267.pdf ) in any way, shape or form?

  121. #124 lilady
    March 14, 2012

    Haven’t you heard, necromancing fanboi of Wakefield…he is in deep doo-doo.

    Brave intrepid defrocked doc has two legal avenues open to him; either he discontinues his lawsuit, to avoid testifying and a criminal charge of perjury…or he gets (b*tch) SLAPP’ed by Deer.

    Whatever recourse he opts for, he will be paying all of Deer’s considerable legal costs…and may be assessed for fines due to the frivolous nature of his lawsuit.

  122. #125 lilady
    March 14, 2012

    Oops correction…my last sentence should read…

    “Whatever recourse he opts for, he will be paying all of Deer’s considerable legal costs…and Deer may receive monetary damages due to the frivolous nature of Wakefield’s defamation lawsuit.”

  123. #126 Bronze Dog
    March 14, 2012

    or he gets (b*tch) SLAPP’ed by Deer.

    I think you might have gotten that backwards: Wakefield’s SLAPP against Deer likely to be b*tched by the courts.

  124. #127 Chris
    March 14, 2012

    I wonder about the intellectual rigor that the Necromancer Troll used to find the appropriate post to tell us something we have known about for a while. Plus the “science” education of Ray M (who has crashed and burned elsewhere).

  125. #128 lilady
    March 14, 2012

    Bronze Dog: Somehow “…gets anti-(b*tch) SLAPP’ed by Deer…” does not convey my thoughts on the subject :-).

  126. #129 Chris
    March 14, 2012

    Necromancer Troll, here is some reading for you:
    http://www.medpagetoday.com/Pediatrics/Vaccines/31655

    The last sentences say “That ruling does not affect Wakefield’s status. Walker-Smith retired in 2001.”

    lilady, your comment above should be tweaked to : “and Deer may receive monetary damages due to the frivolous nature of Wakefield’s defamation lawsuit, again.”

  127. #130 Science Mom
    March 14, 2012

    Can I just say bitch-SLAPP’ed is awesome and would like permission to use that if I may?

  128. #131 lilady
    March 14, 2012

    @ Science Mom: Sure, and here’s your “permission slip”.

    http://media.photobucket.com/image/bitch%20slap/lorrdraiden/bitch-slap.jpg?o=19

  129. #132 Science Mom
    March 14, 2012

    Heh. Thanks lilady.

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