Respectful Insolence

The race to flee Andrew Wakefield

What does it take to get an advocate of pseudoscience to change his or her mind? Many are the times I’ve asked myself that question. Over the years, I’ve covered the gamut of techniques, going from what some might call “militant” or even insulting to being as reasoned and calm as can be–and probably everywhere in between. It’s not just the anti-vaccine movement, either, but the anti-vaccine movement provides a convenient example. This is particularly true because of the recently released revelations, both more detailed old and also new, about how anti-vaccine hero Andrew Wakefield not only committed scientific fraud in conducting the “research” that led to his case series in 1998 that sparked the latest chapter in the seemingly never-ending battle between the anti-vaccine movement and science but planned to make a lot of money as a result of his fraudulent research. Indeed, even though the last two weeks were the culmination of the drip, drip, drip of allegations and findings that began after British investigative reporter Brian Deer originally discovered evidence of Wakefield’s massive undisclosed conflicts of interest, that didn’t stop his admirers and followers from circling the wagons and lashing out at Brian Deer. It appeared that not a mind was changed.

But it’s not just the anti-vaccine movement that has trouble admitting it was wrong. It’s basically everyone; indeed, human nature makes it very, very difficult for most people to admit when they are wrong. The more invested they are in a point of view, the harder it is to admit it when that point of view is shown to be wrong. However, even those who might not be that invested in a point of view also have difficulties. Salon.com, for instance. Consequently, we see abuse heaped on Brian Deer over and over and over again by the likes of Katie Wright, J.B. Handley, and Martin Walker, and, of course, Ginger Taylor, whose attacks on Brian Deer are comical in their irrelevance and who blames criticism of the anti-vaccine movement on misogyny, all the while ignoring history of extreme misogyny coming from people on “her side,” such as J.B. Handley himself.

These attacks all basically boil down to insinuations (or outright accusations) that Brian Deer is a pharma shill, that he is an obsessed loner who has lost all sense of proportion as he pursues Andrew Wakefied relentlessly, and that, oh, by the way, Andrew Wakefield’s work has been replicated. (It hasn’t, at least not by anyone not associated with him. Even then it’s debatable, and one attempt that explicitly tried to replicate Wakefield’s results failed to do so.) However, it wasn’t just members of the die-hard anti-vaccine underground who have promoted the scientifically discredited idea that vaccines cause autism.

Five and a half years ago, I made my first minor splash in the blogosphere when wrote a post that I entitled, in my own inimitable fashion, Salon.com flushes its credibility down the toilet, because, well, it did just that. The article to which I referred, which was published simultaneously by Salon.com and Rolling Stone, and entitled Deadly Immunity. Written by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., it was a conspiracy mongering pile of nonsensically burning stupid blaming thimerosal in vaccines for the “autism” epidemic. It was an article so chock full of unfounded conspiracy theories, outright misstatements of fact, and misrepresentations of history and science, that I was shocked that Salon.com would publish such tripe. Although Salon.com made minor “corrections” in response to the heated criticism it justly received, for over five and a half years it stood by the article, refusing to remove it from its website.

Until now:

The piece [Deadly Immunity] was co-published with Rolling Stone magazine — they fact-checked it and published it in print; we posted it online. In the days after running “Deadly Immunity,” we amended the story with five corrections (which can still be found logged here) that went far in undermining Kennedy’s exposé. At the time, we felt that correcting the piece — and keeping it on the site, in the spirit of transparency — was the best way to operate. But subsequent critics, including most recently, Seth Mnookin in his book “The Panic Virus,” further eroded any faith we had in the story’s value. We’ve grown to believe the best reader service is to delete the piece entirely.

I can’t help but think that the editors of Salon.com appear to be throwing their colleagues at Rolling Stone under the bus, blaming them for the numerous inaccuracies and the outright pseudoscience in RFK, Jr.’s turd of an article, even though presumably the editors at Salon.com agreed to publish it. It just goes to show what happens when you trust someone else to fact check for you. Even so, the question remains: Why has Salon.com decided to retract Deadly Immunity now? Quite frankly, I don’t think it a coincidence at all that the editors of Salon.com made this decision so soon after Brian Deer’s most recent revelations about Andrew Wakefield’s fraud. I have little doubt that Seth Mnookin’s book had some impact, but, let’s face it, it’s been abundantly obvious that Deadly Immunity was a load of pseudoscientific, conspiracy-mongering crap since right after it was published. Numerous bloggers joined me in dissecting the nonsensical and paranoid claims within days of its release, one of the best being Skeptico. Paul Offit published a book two years ago that demolished the claims RFK Jr. made in his article, but Salon.com didn’t retract his article in 2008. Nothing against Seth Mnookin, whose book I’m reading and enjoying thus far, but Paul Offit is a vaccine scientist and systematically deconstructed the myth that thimerosal in vaccines causes autism in his book Autism’s False Prophets two years before Mnookin took on the same topic. So, the question remains: Why now?

I can’t help but conclude that the answer to that question boils down to Brian Deer’s recent revelations about Andrew Wakefield. True, it might well be a confluence of Mnookin’s book and Wakefield’s further humiliation, but I strongly suspect that Wakefield’s downfall is what did it. Think of it this way. Not only has Wakefield been shown quite convincingly to have falsified his data, but he’s also been revealed as a profiteer who hoped to make rake in millions upon millions of dollars hand over fist. Even though Wakefield’s claims had nothing to do with whether thimerosal has anything to do with autism causation (thimerosal was never in the MMR vaccine, which was the target of Wakefield’s fraudulent research), his actions have been so dishonest, so unethical, so egregiously wrong that he has managed to taint the the entire anti-vaccine movement. Worse, the more Wakefield has fallen, the more dishonest he has been shown to be, the tighter the anti-vaccine movement has embraced him, with the National Vaccine Information Center giving him awards, numerous anti-vaccine groups rallying to cover his back, and the anti-vaccine crank blog Age of Autism spending most of its verbiage over the last week and a half defending him, up to and including its spokesmodel Jenny McCarthy defending him in that wretched hive of scum and quackery, the Huffington Post.

All of this brings me back to one criticism of Brian Deer that I had last week. Basically, Deer criticized Ben Goldacre and Paul Offit for having made statements that said, in essence, that it doesn’t matter whether or not Andrew Wakefield is a fraud; what matters the most is that his science was wrong. I pointed out that, from a scientific and medical point of view, Goldacre and Offit were absolutely correct and that I agreed with them strongly. However, from a societal viewpoint, that Wakefield committed scientific fraud matters. It matters a lot, and I could see how Goldacre and Offit’s statements could be interpreted as dismissing the importance of Brian Deer’s investigation. Yet, now we can see how much it matters that Wakefield committed scientific fraud through how it’s affected the debate. Not only was Wakefield wrong, but he almost certainly falsified his research data. If he had been wrong in an honest fashion, it would have been no harm, no foul. At the very worst, even if the data reported in Wakefield’s Lancet paper had been conducted ethically and accurately, he would have been viewed as a crappy scientist (which he is, regardless of his fraud) for having leapt to such sweeping conclusions and, in particular, promoting them in the press on the basis of such weak evidence. Add fraud on top of that, and it magnifies the offense by orders of magnitide. It also makes at least some people think a bit. Moreover, it can’t be denied that revelations of Wakefield’s professional misconduct a year ago led directly to the retraction of his Lancet paper shortly thereafter, which further led to Wakefield’s marginalization to the point of showing up at sparsely attended demonstrations by anti-vaccine loons, looking pathetic.

I’ll conclude with an example of the “Wakefield” effect, as I like to call it. Craig Willoughby, someone who really, really detests me and appears strongly invested in the idea that vaccines have something to do with causing autism, left this comment after Jenny McCarthy’s post on HuffPo:

Well, after spending the past few days reading over everything I could concerning Andrew Wakefield, the GMC, the TF patent application, and Brian Deer, I have no choice to come to the conclusion that Wakefield is fraudulent in his research. The evidence to this is pretty damning, and I cannot deny it. It is clear that he had COI’s, and I can certainly say that this could have motivated him to do what he did. Do I believe all the charges leveled against him? No. Some of the things Wakefield has said in his own defense line up with the evidence. But yes, I have to agree that Brian Deer’s thorough investigat ion is pretty damned rock solid.

This was not easy to write (I’ll probably have a post on my blog concerning this in the next few days). I defended his research in hopes that it could offer clues to my son’s condition. Even if you try to paint him in the most favorable light, and think that he had the best interests of children in mind, it still does not excuse faking research, and this both angers and saddens me. It angers me that I defended him (I’m mad at myself, mostly), and it saddens me that it will prevent children like my son, who have had real and verifiable reactions to one or more vaccines, will probably not ever be investigated or helped by medical science.

But, as a reasonable person, I can no longer defend Dr. Wakefield.

When I first learned of this, I was flabbergasted, because Craig had become quite militant in his support of the idea that vaccines cause autism and contemptuous of several of the people arguing against this discredited contention, not the least of which myself. True to his word, Craig then followed his HuffPo comment up with a post on his own blog entitled An Assessment of the Wakefield Affair, part 1, in which he wrote:

My evaluation looked at Brian Deer’s BMJ articles, his website, Andrew Wakefield’s defense and those websites that defended him, and finally the GMC transcripts. The transcripts were the most time consuming aspect of this case because it was over 6 million words, and I will admit that some of the things mentioned in there I didn’t completely understand. Maybe it was the language used (I’m only bilingual; I speak American, Texan and a tiny bit of Coon-ass). I’ve spent the past week, both day and night, reading, pondering, evaluating, weighing, and thinking. Sometimes, all night, just laying in bed thinking about it (which is why some of my posts on Jenny’s Huffpo article are so rife with spelling and grammar errors…I’m usually much better about things like that)

I’m not going to lie to you; I’m having a really hard time writing this. I put a little bit down, then have to step away and really think about what I need to say next. Some of my trepidation is knowing that my admission has disappointed many people I consider friends. Some of it is mental exhaustion. Some of it is self evaluation. Some of it is the realization that I don’t really have to try to convince anyone of turning against Andrew Wakefield; I only have to tell you what convinced me.

I will repeat again. I really, really wish that it had been the science alone that convinced someone like Craig that Andrew Wakefield was wrong. But it wasn’t. It was persuasive evidence of Wakefield’s scientific fraud, coupled with shameless profit-seeking behavior as egregious, if not more so, than the most profit-driven pharmaceutical company, and massive undisclosed conflicts of interest that finally persuaded Craig. While it is true that Craig has been distancing himself from the more loony pronouncements of the AoA collective for a while, in particular recently chastising J.B. Handley for claiming that Sullivan is in reality Bonnie Offit, not to mention various AoA minions for their vicious attacks on Skepchick Elyse Anders and even their attempts to get me fired from my job, there is no doubt that he remains strongly invested in the idea that vaccines cause autism. Despite that strong personal and emotional investment, even Craig was susceptible to the evidence presented by Brian Deer that Wakefield committed fraud, and it clearly shook him to his core to have to admit that Wakefield is a fraud. He had the integrity and courage to look at the evidence and, when it did not agree with his beliefs, admit he was wrong. That’s hard, and maybe that’s why it took evidence of fraud, rather than just science, to get him to do it.

In any event, it gives me hope that Craig is ultimately reachable.

Of course, I might be wrong. Craig has demonstrated himself to be resistant to evidence before on numerous occasions. He very well might find a way to compartmentalize Wakefield’s fraud. He might well rationalize it as not affecting the concept that vaccines cause autism. To an extent, that is even true. After all, Wakefield’s work is not the be-all and end-all of anti-vaccine crankery; there’s plenty of pseudoscience out there about vaccines that anti-vaccine advocates use to justify their fear of vaccination. But a seed of doubt has been planted. Whether that seed will germinate or not, I don’t know, but it has been planted. I rather suspect that the revelations of Wakefield’s fraud might also have planted seeds of doubt in the minds of other anti-vaccinationists. I don’t have to like it, but I can still only hope, because the overwhelming quantity and quality of scientific evidence against a vaccine-autism link sure hasn’t succeeded. If these seeds germinate, perhaps they will grow to encompass more than just Wakefield. Maybe they will germinate and lead some in the anti-vaccine movement to look at the other evidence that fails to support their belief that vaccines cause autism. Maybe they will germinate and even lead some anti-vaccine activists to science and reason.

A guy can hope, can’t he?

Comments

  1. #1 Lawrence
    January 17, 2011

    It isn’t surprising that some of the more “modertate” anti-vaxxers are starting to jump ship. Wakefield and crew took the plunge off the deep end & now that the fraud has been exposed for the general public to see, it has damaged their credibility in a way that ultimately effects their bottom line (harder to get donations, sell books, etc).

    Of course, what this means is that they’ll have to cater more and more to their remaining base (the real crazies) and I’m sure you’ll start seeing even more outlandish conspiracy charges leveled against the pro-vaccination side. At this point, it is all they have left – but, it will continue to motivate that core group that won’t ever change their minds.

    And I love some of the anti-Deer folks – because it does boil down to “if you can’t argue facts, argue semantics!”

  2. #2 Phil
    January 17, 2011

    As an occasional reader with Asperger’s, all I can say is that this anti-vaccine stuff really pisses me off – one of the few things that really does.

    I agree with Lawrence – as the moderates leave, the anti-vaxxers will get even crazier, which might keep the rational away. Or at least, I hope so…

  3. #3 MikeMa
    January 17, 2011

    Brian Deer did a bang up job of detailing Wakefield’s transgressions. I’m glad we are seeing some reversals in the media and hope we see more. Arguing against the substantial evidence against Wakers hints at a less than stellar intelligence at work.

    Very sorry that McCarthy didn’t see fit to join the real world in this, but I don’t think she has yet admitted her son’s condition wasn’t autism to begin with so no real surprise there. AoA is certainly spinning out the usual lies and crap but the alternate sources of news on Wakres and vaccines are almost uniformly pro-vaccine and anti-Wakers. Good news.

  4. #4 cervantes
    January 17, 2011

    I realize this is innuendo, so I’m not asserting it, just wondering, whether RFK Jr. had visions of class action sugar plums dancing in his head. At the very least, he thought it would be a brilliant career move to expose the vast conspiracy of evil scientists intentionally poisoning children. The point is, you don’t need to be able to connect the corrupt dots in order for someone to have ulterior motives. (Maybe we all do, to some extent, but hopefully we don’t let them get the better of us.)

  5. #5 Science Mom
    January 17, 2011

    I left a supportive comment on Craig’s blog and I think it would be nice if others did as well. He is bound to be marginalised by the ‘ever-faithful’ and that has to be a scary place to be. I think this is a difficult conclusion to come to and I commend him for making the effort.

  6. #6 Brian Deer
    January 17, 2011

    I know nothing of Craig, but if he is a genuine person seeking information, I may be able to answer any difficult questions he has about my investigation. I’ve always been willing to give up time, and even to supply documents, to those with a reasonable attitude, whatever their ultimate opinions are.

    I have no material secrets, no conflicts of interest, nothing I am ashamed of. But if he wants anything, he needs to be fairly quick as I have other things to get on with next week.

  7. #7 krazykraut
    January 17, 2011

    This salon article was the reason I quit reading salon. Seems they learn, although slowly.

  8. #8 Todd W.
    January 17, 2011

    @Science Mom

    Posted a supportive comment, too. He’s got a hard road ahead, especially if his experience lines up with some of the thoughts I outlined over at Silenced about reaction to the fraud allegations. It wouldn’t surprise me overly much if the core members of AoA turn on him.

  9. #9 triskelethecat
    January 17, 2011

    Went over, read Craig’s post and left a supportive comment, too. I admire a man who can admit he has been wrong and who is willing to admit that to the public.

    MI Dawn

  10. #10 Lawrence
    January 17, 2011

    Todd, I’m afraid you’re probably right. He’ll be declared a heretic for daring the challenge the accepted version of events that AoA has scripted for itself. It probably won’t be pretty.

  11. #11 Craig Willoughby
    January 17, 2011

    Thanks for the link, Orac, and thanks Science Mom and Todd for the words of support.

    Todd, I was expecting some blow-back from some of the more die-hard Wakefield defenders, and I have received it. However, most of them have been supportive, if disappointed. Many have asked what convinced me, and I’ve been chronicling my thoughts concerning this on my blog. It wasn’t easy, not in the least, to write it, and I’m still having difficulties with it, but I feel that I would be doing myself a disservice by not doing so. I just cannot defend someone or something I do not believe in.

    Mr. Deer, I appreciate the offer of answering questions. I may have one or two for you this week. Right now, I’m writing the second part of my assessment, so if I get stuck on something, I’ll try to shoot you a question.

    Orac, as to autism causation and vaccines, I’m not going to debate that with you. Yes, I am still convinced my son’s brain damage was caused by one or more vaccines. No, I am not convinced that vaccines are as safe as advertised. But right now, I just want to finish my assessment (which is taking me a while) and get some rest.

    I will say this. Right now, the anger at Wakefield is starting. I just watched him on GMA, and his only defense was to claim that Brian Deer was lying, yet he wasn’t able to provide evidence. Sorry, don’t buy it.

    If you look at it from my perspective, as the father of a child who I think was injured by vaccines, this is a terrible and sad blow to research into children like my son. Even if the research was promising (and I’m not arguing that it was promising), no one will touch it now. Right now, I’m angry and depressed. I’m also a bit under the weather, so my blog post is being a bit more delayed than I’d like.

    Again, thanks for the link, Orac, and thank all of you for your offers of support. We’ll talk later.

  12. #12 cfeagans
    January 17, 2011

    I just watched Wakefield on Good Morning America and tuned in just as George Stephanopoulos was really letting him have it. I can’t remember the dialog word-for-word, but G.S. was asking Wakefield direct questions about the conflicts of interest and pointed out that his study was deeply flawed…

    ..and all Wakefield did was deny, deflect, and out-right lie.

    But at least he isn’t guaranteed softball pitches as he makes the talk-show rounds.

  13. #13 Lawrence
    January 17, 2011

    Craig,

    I was over at your blog & appreciate your openness and opinion regarding Wakefield. He’s led his supporters down the primrose path for far too long & I do believe he’s done the austism research community a huge disserve by focusing on vaccines, when there are many other avenues of more likely causes (with genetics being the top of the list).

    All of the time and money that has been thrown down this particular rathole could have been used much more productively – both in research and better treatments based on actual science.

    Also, you’ll never see anyone here claim that vaccines are 100% effective or against the continued improvement of the quality of vaccine manufacturing. But, when compared to the cost associated with letting vaccine-preventable diseases get a foothold again in this country (as is happening already with pertussis) is far greater than the small number of people that do legitimately receive bad side-effects (and should be appropriately compensated as such).

    But, just because we can’t guarantee 100% positive outcomes, does not mean that we need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. There is an inherent risk with all medical procedures & use of drug regimens – but what we all do is to try to learn from past issues and mistakes, to make things better.

    I would never discount the life of even a single individual, but there is a delicate balancing act that exists between the needs of the person vs. the needs of society – and we do try to do the best we can to honor both.

  14. #14 Purenoiz
    January 17, 2011

    I was on the fence about vaccines until a year ago, more concerned about local reaction than anything to do with what people were saying about autism and vaccines. It was a Brian Deer report in the form of a comic that Orac linked to that provided me with the information to be firmly pro vaccine. I even got a friend who was traveling to Peru to get his vaccinations, and he is a homeopath in training. Thank, after our conversation pre trip he had many questions answered, but more importantly I addressed HIS very unique concerns. If you don’t address that, you just spray and pray, that is to say send out all the information you have and hope that it lands in the sweet spot that will adjust their critical thinking. There is something to be said about asking the questions (notice plural) and dig down until you get to the point where you can give people the information they need to have an impact on their thinking. I guess that Wakefields fraudulent research resonated with pre existing fears, concerns or bad experiences with the medical establishment and insurance companies. Comedians make jokes about the side effects of drugs being worse than the conditions themselves, this is only funny since their is some truth to it (when is a sinus infection better than an allergy? So what will be the thing that makes individuals drop wakefield, I bet it will be when they have their deep troubling and most likely unvoiced concerns actually taken care of.

  15. #15 dt
    January 17, 2011

    Kudos to Craig for doing what very few do – look long and hard at the evidence and having the courage to change one’s mind.

    It’s an easy thing to do when that’s the current fashion, but must be incredibly hard to do if it will buck a trend and mark one out for vilification by one’s friends and colleagues.

    I too think that the truncated rump of the antivax movement will be a more strident and conspiracy-fuelled place, impervious to any reason and totally lackiong in rational thought. One example – over at Huffpo there are a few who have swallowed enough Koolaid to kill a legion, and one even had this to say about Brian Deer’s previous exposes of drug company wrong doing and problems with drugs (bactrim, vioxx etc) – that they wouldn’t be surprised if he had done all that work just as a preparatory distraction before he got to his real agenda (vaccines) to throw people off the scent.
    Such are the ways in which conspiracy and cognitive dissonance merge.

  16. #16 Denice Walter
    January 17, 2011

    Posted today @ NaturalNews: a “video” (actually, audio plus a slideshow) of Wakefield with Robert Scott Bell ( what’s next? Whale.to? Info Wars?) that contains the following gems from the ex-doctor :
    ” Parents trust their instincts more”, “The main stream media gives in to their sponsors”,” 61% of parents believe that vaccines cause autism”, the “H1N1 scam”: the “outbreak was nothing”, Mr Deer has ” an agenda”**, ” You have to be honest with people” ( he really said that!). Andy shamelessly advertises his website: “AutismFile.com”.
    Is there yet a vaccine for virulent mendacity- I’m sure he’ll oppose that one as well!
    ** compare and contrast with the interview with Null I commented about yesterday, wherein he describes Deer as “tragic”.

  17. #17 superdave
    January 17, 2011

    One of the biggest problems with fighting the anti vaccine issue is that scientists and laypeople don’t use the English language in the same way. Fraud though, is something that is perfectly clear to both people and I think that a charge of Fraud resonates much more strongly to lay people than explaining why a particular study was poor science.

  18. #18 lilady
    January 17, 2011

    @ Craig Willoughby. Mr Willoughby we share your sorrow and applaud your honesty. Many of us who post on this site are parents of a developmentally disabled child or medical practitioners who have have provided cared for such children. And, some of us are practitioners with developmentally disabled children, as I am.

    You are on my short list of heroes in this debate.

  19. #19 Pablo
    January 17, 2011

    There is an old saying, “You can’t rationalize someone out of a position that they didn’t reach rationally.” I think that goes to your comment,

    “I really, really wish that it had been the science alone that convinced someone like Craig that Andrew Wakefield was wrong.”

    The reason that science alone wouldn’t convince Craig to change his mind is because his support of Wakefield’s work in the past was not based on his assessment of the science. It was based on the fact that Wakefield’s unstated conclusions, regardless of how they were reached, agreed with his pre-conceived notions of what he wanted things to be (of course, the conclusions of the actual paper were very different from the propaganda that came from it). Was he even aware of what the science behind the study really said? Or did he base his favorable assessment on the fact that it had good conclusions? I mean, as soon as you bring up the pharma shill stuff, you have moved beyond the science, have invoked a completely different question in terms of honesty.

    This applies even moreso to the general public, who know NOTHING about the paper except that it claims there is a link between autism and vaccines. It doesn’t matter that a) this is massively too broad, and goes well beyond the scope of the paper, or that b) scientists have known since almost the beginning that the paper is crap. If they put any significance in the paper at all, it is not because they have examined the science of its claims and found it to be reasonable. If that were the case, showing that the science was wrong would indeed cause them to reconsider. No, the acceptance of that was based on the authority they attribute to the scientist who did the work. When we hear about science breakthroughs in the media, it is always “Scientists at Harvard have shown…” and the like. It’s the authority of the people doing the work that sells the work to the public, not the work itself. If “scientists” say it, it must be right.

    Therefore, it is not surprising that what it takes to discredit some pop science issue is to discredit the person who claimed it, because that is why people accepted it in the first place.

    It certainly wasn’t Wakefield’s great scientific study that made people stop vaccinating, because nothing in the paper supports that response. Therefore, discrediting the science won’t affect anything. The anti-vax attitude didn’t come from the science of the paper, but came from Wakefield the man. He was the source of the anti-vax sentiment, the pillar on which people were building on.

    The biggest crack in the pillar came when the paper got retracted. That’s when most of the “on the fencers” discovered that their pillar wasn’t near as solid as they thought. When he got stricken, the pillar was exposed as even weaker. Now that he is exposed as a dishonest fraud, all be the most deadset will admit that it’s not a pillar at all, but just a pile of crushed rock.

  20. #20 Mu
    January 17, 2011

    I think the reason the AV crowd has so much trouble letting go of Wakefield is that he’s one of the very few academics with a verifiable scientific background and track record (at least until the Lancet paper). He’s got 100 publications on pubmed, that’s probably more than all DAN doctors combined. If you take him out of the pictures Jenny’s google-U becomes the average degree in their supporters, propped up a bit by MD “but I don’t publish” Jay.
    Which is why I agree to a point with Brian’s criticism of Offit and Co., as a scientist and parent I agree with Offit’s sentiment, but as someone being a public figure and one of the main spokespersons in the fight against AV he comes over as an ivory tower inhabitant by not caring that it was fraudulent as compared to just bad science. You can have arguments about which science is good or bad, fraudulent is much easier to prove (and believe) than simply bad.

  21. #21 Lawrence
    January 17, 2011

    I do find it very interesting that people did distill Wakefield’s work to “vaccines cause autism” and built up an entire catalog of effects based on that single notion (mercury, toxins, too many too soon, etc), without actually researching any of the science behind the hundred+ year history of vaccines – their development, use, etc.

    You see some backpedaling now as his “supporters” try to claim that Wakefield’s work wasn’t the original basis for most of their concerns, but again, you’ve knocked down one of the main tentposts for the entire anti-vaccine craze (and the media has jumped on the bandwagon – since fraud is a good storyline).

  22. #22 Tim Farley
    January 17, 2011

    Great post making a great point. I encounter many skeptics who seem entrenched in the mindset that since we have science on our side, we are therefore “correct” and we will “win” eventually. I find this attitude naive at best.

    Skeptics need to be continually aware that sometimes emotion, politics, art and even humor have a place in what we do. We can’t simply rely on the science being right.

  23. #23 Daniel J. Andrews
    January 17, 2011

    over at Huffpo there are a few who have swallowed enough Koolaid to kill a legion,

    Nah, chances are most of them took the homeopathic version of the Koolaid. They’re just on a sugar rush.

  24. #24 Denice Walter
    January 17, 2011

    @ Mu : A funny thing, here! While the most vocal ( and adamantly incoherent) woo-doers rant, rag, rail, and rave on about the atrocities of “the orthodoxy”, “university elitism”, “traditional medicine”**,”standard science”, the “medical – or pharmaceutical- industrial complex”, “corporate scientists”,”compromised researchers”, ad nauseum, they will trip over their own feet rushing towards any doctor, scientist, or prof ( better yet, *Nobel laureate*) *if* ( and only if) his or her views allign with their own pseudo-science… Andy, Duesberg, Pauling, now Montagnier.. In addition, they repetitively decorate their material with the admired one’s titles… it’s always “Doctor” Wakefield, “Professor” Duesberg, “Professor emeritus” such-and-such, while seemingly forgetting the title if it belongs to Drs. Offitt, Gallo, or Orac.
    ** wasn’t “traditional” usually a signifier of woo? as in TCM?

  25. #25 nybgrus
    January 17, 2011

    Agreed. Craig, I respect anyone that can change their mind in the face of evidence – regardless of how long or how much it takes. Stay with us on that tact – follow evidence and look at data. We all do it here on this blog. My hope is that you can manage to further accept that we here make the sincerest efforts at intellectual honesty and have only the betterment of society and individuals as our goals. Your son may indeed have been injured by a vaccine. The fact that serious adverse reactions to vaccines are exceedingly rare does not mean nobody will ever suffer those negative consequences. I hope you can realize that no one here has attempted to comment on your specific case and that everyone here is sincerely sympathetic to your son’s condition. The only thing we stress is that, in the case of vaccines, the benefit so VASTLY outweighs the harms that we should not do away with them.

  26. #26 Dangerous Bacon
    January 17, 2011

    “Posted today @ NaturalNews: a “video” (actually, audio plus a slideshow) of Wakefield with Robert Scott Bell ( what’s next? Whale.to?”

    Wakefield is featured on numerous whale.to pages, regarding his martyr status etc.

    Here’s a sample, with pithy quotes from Andy and his wife. Be sure to shield your irony meters (particularly when Ms. Wakefield talks about “academic integrity”).

    Congratulations to Craig Willoughby for having the integrity to acknowledge that Wakefield’s behavior is indefensible.

  27. #27 Rob Jones
    January 17, 2011

    “These attacks all basically boil down to insinuations (or outright accusations) that Brian Deer is a pharma shill, that he is an obsessed loner who has lost all sense of proportion as he pursues Andrew Wakefied relentlessly, and that, oh, by the way, Andrew Wakefield’s work has been replicated.” —

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  28. #28 Sid Offit
    January 17, 2011

    the scientifically discredited idea that vaccines cause autism.

    In Vaccineworld never been studied = scientifically discredited

  29. #29 DangerousBacon
    January 17, 2011

    In SidWorld, “never been studied” = “extensively studied, but did not reached the conclusions I want”.

  30. #30 DW
    January 17, 2011

    @ D. Bacon – I meant recent *interviews* ( i.e. damage-control): they capture his delightful, mellifluous,*concerned*, sincere tones so well!- I know that he’s been the darling of the whale.to crowd for years.

  31. #31 Todd W.
    January 17, 2011

    OT – Just saw this via Twitter.

    I wonder if Mr. Bateson would say that Elizabeth Obrey’s two youngest, completely unvaccinated autistic children don’t exist.

  32. #32 sophia8
    January 17, 2011

    The comic – giving the facts on Wakefield – that purenoiz mentions is by Daryl Cunningham.

  33. #33 Matthew Cline
    January 17, 2011

    @dt:

    and one even had this to say about Brian Deer’s previous exposes of drug company wrong doing and problems with drugs (bactrim, vioxx etc) – that they wouldn’t be surprised if he had done all that work just as a preparatory distraction before he got to his real agenda (vaccines) to throw people off the scent.

    Aha! I knew some people would say something like that!

    You wouldn’t happen to remember which article it was a comment too, would you? I’d like to go take a look.

  34. #34 hardindr
    January 17, 2011

    I have little doubt that Seth Mnookin’s book had some impact, but, let’s face it, it’s been abundantly obvious that Deadly Immunity was a load of pseudoscientific, conspiracy-mongering crap since right after it was published. Numerous bloggers joined me in dissecting the nonsensical and paranoid claims within days of its release, one of the best being Skeptico. Paul Offit published a book two years ago that demolished the claims RFK Jr. made in his article, but Salon.com didn’t retract his article in 2008. Nothing against Seth Mnookin, whose book I’m reading and enjoying thus far, but Paul Offit is a vaccine scientist and systematically deconstructed the myth that thimerosal in vaccines causes autism in his book Autism’s False Prophets two years before Mnookin took on the same topic. So, the question remains: Why now?

    This is easy to explain. Mnookin is a well-known and well-respect reporter, so his judgement on vaccines will have more impact on what other reporters think about Salon.com’s (or Rolling Stone’s) reporting than any scientist could. I have not read Mnookin’s book, but from reviews and the Salon.com interview, it is scathing in its assessment of Salon.com’s reportage on vaccines, as well as the media at large. Reporters care mostly about what other reporters think about them, just like scientists care mostly about what other scientists think of them.

    I would humbly suggest that science advocates and bloggers consider courting/being friendly with high quality/well-known reporters/writers (or for that matter any writer). One article (or book) by the right writer can have the impact of a million blogposts by scientist/science advocates.

  35. #35 Mu
    January 17, 2011

    Todd, while the kids were not vaccinated via injection, they were still exposed to the highly infectious persistent vaccine strains due to their older sister. And those vaccine strains transferred the autism gene to the younger siblings while in the womb. And it was full moon when they were born, and a bat flew by the window. Twice.

  36. #36 Lulu
    January 17, 2011

    Craig said that he has read the GMC transcript. Does anyone know where I can find it?

  37. #37 t_p_hamilton
    January 17, 2011

    On the importance of exposing fraud vs showing somebody is scientifically wrong: You can’t reason a person out of a position that they did not reason themselves into.

  38. #38 Melisssssssssa
    January 17, 2011

    If Craig Willoughby reads these comments, I tried to leave one on his blog expressing my support and admiration for his difficult mind-change on the Wakefield matter. Per usual, I think I blogfailed in leaving the comment, though– so, Craig, just wanted to say YAY FOR YOU!!! :)

  39. #39 KWombles
    January 17, 2011

    @35 Lulu, it’s not available online; it has to be requested, paid for and mailed to you. See http://www.gmc-uk.org/publications/right_to_know/publications_scheme.asp.

    It’s possible Craig has confused the 48,000 word Fitness to Practice Panel Hearing finding with the 6 million word transcript.

  40. #40 Brian Deer
    January 17, 2011

    Well, I see Wakefield in his interview with George S lights on the case of child 1 in his fraudulent case series.

    So be it. We can do child 1 here on Orac’s page. And we can show what a cheat was at work. In my original copy, I highlighted this case as among those which showed the most evidence of “midnight oil”. I’d be only to happy to go over it.

    This is the one where the ONLY symptom positively asserted as remembered something like 2 years later by the mother (7-10 days) after MMR is that her son was “pale”. Yes: “pale”.

    Then the clinician (hunting for evidence against MMR) prompted the mother and took down a “maybe” and a “possibly”, for a fever reaction, which he recorded in his notes with question marks.

    Wakefield, in writing up the paper, then deleted the question marks – which is itself research fraud – and claimed that “delirium” was the first symptom of autism.

    This was at one year. And yet the hospital’s neurologist, working with Wakefield (and who in fact was Wakefield’s closest personal ally on the project), recorded that the boy reached his normal milestones until 18 months.

    And at 9 months, a GP took a history which included that the boy’s older brother was autistic, and that the mother had brought the child because she was concerned about his hearing, and also that he may have an ear infection.

    Sadly, with or without an ear infection (which elsewhere in the paper Wakefield uses to date the first onset of behavioural symptoms in another child, hence contradicting himself on this point), that encounter may have been (and I didn’t say it was) a classic first presentation of autism. Indeed, the child went on the usual circuit of audiology clinics, which is typical of these unfortunae kids, and his hearing was, as is typical, normal. He just wasn’t responding, which is typical.

    In fact, unlike delirium, behaviour such as to lead parents to fear that a child cannot hear properly is a classic behavioural symptom of autism.

    In any event, there were grounds to suspect a problem starting before vaccination, and grounds to suspect a problem starting long after vaccination. And no grounds to suspect a problem starting a week after vaccination, which was the plainest fraud – involving the deletion of question marks, the misrepresentation of symptoms as indicative of possible autism, and the alteration of the time-frame recorded by the clinician.

    Wakefield then claimed that this boy had regressive autism, despite the fact that both admission and dischange summaries said he had “classical” autism.

    Here is the history I gave

    http://briandeer.com/solved/bmj-wakefield-1-2.htm

    So, there is child 1, the plainest fixing of the data so as to suit the requirements of the lawsuit Wakefield was contracted at the rate of £150 an hour to support.

  41. #41 KWombles
    January 17, 2011

    As to the transcript hearings, Sullivan wrote at LBRB: “All that said, I find the transcripts very interesting. No way I can read them all, but what I have read leaves me even more dismayed. I didn’t think it possible, but there it is.”

  42. #42 Amy
    January 17, 2011

    I just wanted to write and thank you all for what you do and are doing. I really appreciate Orac and Mr. Deer for what they have done, and it is inspiring reading Mr. Craig W.’s posts.

  43. #43 Craig Willoughby
    January 17, 2011

    Kim,

    No, it was the entire 6 million word document. I had to pay for and order it, and it is sitting here on my desk. It is very….tedious…. wade through. I read almost all of it, skipping over portions that I was too tired to follow. And Sullivan is very much correct…it is very difficult to wade through

  44. #44 Matthew Cline
    January 17, 2011

    Is the transcript copyrighted by the GMC, or is it just that it’s too big to scan and put up online?

  45. #45 KWombles
    January 17, 2011

    Was it on disk or print, Craig? I’m still waiting for a response from the GMC on how much to send me a copy. Thanks.

  46. #46 Catherina
    January 17, 2011

    Craig,

    just wanted to say: thank you for sharing your thought process!

  47. #47 Lawrence
    January 17, 2011

    6 million words is one heck of a large file – might not be small enough to upload.

  48. #48 Dan Weber
    January 17, 2011

    I wonder if Mr. Bateson would say that Elizabeth Obrey’s two youngest, completely unvaccinated autistic children don’t exist.

    The troll commented right on the news story:

    http://www.news-leader.com/comments/article/20110117/LIFE04/101170301/Family-is-a-case-study-in-vaccine-autism-link

    Get your barf bag ready.

  49. #49 Catherina
    January 17, 2011

    Lawrence, the zip file is 10.2 Mb – not really very large.

  50. #50 Kristjan Wager
    January 17, 2011

    I can’t help but think that the editors of Salon.com appear to be throwing their colleagues at Rolling Stone under the bus, blaming them for the numerous inaccuracies and the outright pseudoscience in RFK, Jr.’s turd of an article, even though presumably the editors at Salon.com agreed to publish it.

    Actually, there is something more interesting going on between those two magazines.

    Yesterday, Chris Clarke made me aware, via Twitter, of something I didn’t know. Rolling Stone seems to have removed the article as well, but without retracting it.

    When you search on google on either “deadly immunity” or “robert kennedy” (without quotation marks), and limit the search to the Rolling Stone website, the article doesn’t show up.

    Deadly immunity search

    Robert Kennedy search

    So it might be that Rolling Stone has retreated from the article a long time ago, and let Salon face the criticism alone.

  51. #51 Matthew Cline
    January 17, 2011

    @Todd W.:

    I wonder if Mr. Bateson would say that Elizabeth Obrey’s two youngest, completely unvaccinated autistic children don’t exist

    If I recall correctly, Bateson’s standard of evidence for the existence of an autistic unvaccinated child is that the child’s fuly medical history must be released to him for verification. Since no parent is crazy enough to hand over their child’s medical history to a complete stranger, Bateson can claim that his challenge has gone unmet.

  52. #52 jre
    January 17, 2011

    Not on-center to the current topic, but intriguing nevertheless, was this at #4:

    … just wondering, whether RFK Jr. had visions of class action sugar plums dancing in his head.

    If I am not mistaken, RFK Jr. did name a ballpark figure for liability when he was interviewed by Jon Stewart. It was in the billions. Of course, the truth or falsity of RFK Jr.’s claims are not determined by how much money he might hope to make, but it’s a rare person who can keep those issues separate in assessing someone’s credibility. Which makes that comment on-topic after all.

  53. The vaccines that children get now contain 4% of the foreign proteins that children got in the 1950s – 1980s.

    And if you take a look at the rise in autism determinations for extra school help (which is the graph that is used to scare people about autism), you’ll find that it’s attended by a mirror-image fall in determinations of mental retardation over the same time period: Same scare graph with retardation added.

  54. #54 David
    January 17, 2011

    I hope that “Coon-ass” isn’t what I think it is.

  55. #55 KWombles
    January 17, 2011

    According to Wiki, “Coonass, or Coon-ass, is used in reference to a person of Cajun ethnicity. Many consider it an insult but others consider it a compliment or badge of honor.
    Although many Cajuns use the word in regard to themselves, other Cajuns view the term as an ethnic slur against the Cajun people, especially when used by non-Cajuns.”

  56. #56 stripey_cat
    January 17, 2011

    I think this is a good demonstration of how it takes an emotional response to overcome an emotional belief. Weak statistics and an impatience with regulations are things we know intellectually are bad, but may actually have some sympathy with. On the other hand, desiring to punish and ostracise cheats (and people who do unpleasant things to kids without a damn good reason) is pretty well ingrained culturally at the very least.

    This suggests that we need to work on presenting emotional hooks along with data-based arguments.

  57. #57 jre
    January 17, 2011

    Markita – Your link doesn’t work. However, I think it is possible that this is the graph to which you refer (credit: Prometheus).

  58. #58 Joseph
    January 17, 2011

    You gotta hand it to Craig. He’s done a lot of work to examine his belief system. The rest of us have only read summaries of the GMC proceedings, and the case for fraud. Sullivan is the only other person — that I know of — who might have read about as much as Craig, if that.

    It occurs to me that this is what keeps some support for Wakefield alive. Very few people will do what Craig has done — which is read nearly all 6 million words of the GMC proceedings, Wakefield’s rebuttals, and other documentation published by Brian Deer.

  59. #59 LW
    January 17, 2011

    The GMC hearing transcript is available for the asking (and paying)? That pretty much disposes of the argument that Brian Deer was up to something unethical because he didn’t take shorthand notes of the hearing. Why try to make your own transcript if you can just buy one?

  60. #60 Craig Willoughby
    January 17, 2011

    Kim,

    It was sent to me in hard copy. You can obtain a copy through this site.

    http://www.gmc-uk.org/publications/right_to_know/contact_us.asp

    The Coon-ass reference was an attempt at levity on a subject that is not in the least bit funny. My mother’s side of the family is Cajun French. My Grandmother, when I was growing up, used to prattle in half french/half english. But the woman could cook like you would not believe.

  61. #61 KWombles
    January 17, 2011

    Yes, I linked to it in an earlier comment above. That had to be quite a hefty box. Based on the page count for the panel hearing (48,000 words in 143 pages), 6M words has to come in at thousands of pages. I wouldn’t envy anyone the reading of that. Or the carting it around.

  62. #62 AnthonyK
    January 17, 2011

    Craig, I think you are a brave and clever man. And, you will have noted, you have been treated only with well-deserved courtesy on this blog – which, a short while ago, must have seemed the worst nest of lying vipers on the net.
    Clearly, your son has the father he deserves.

  63. #63 Laura
    January 17, 2011

    I changed my mind completely, finding out that some commonly-accepted, mainstream ideas were wrong or at least, not purely right, as I’d assumed they were.
    The difficulty of changing one’s mind applies to ALL of us. Not just to anti-vaxxers. People build up all sorts of investments in their beliefs. Our minds wrap illusions around us as if they warmed us like clothing.

  64. #64 a-non
    January 17, 2011

    I’m still trying to wrap my head around the conciliatory tone that Craig is taking now on this blog as opposed to as little as two weeks ago, when he referred to RI as a “cesspool of lies and misinformation”.

    http://my-socrates-note.blogspot.com/2011/01/new-news-is-old-news-and-anecdotal.html

    Forgive me if I’m still a touch skeptical of this conversion.

  65. #65 Orac
    January 17, 2011

    As long as Craig keeps a civil tone, so will I. I’m quite aware of the several relatively recent posts he’s written castigating me.

  66. #66 Craig Willoughby
    January 17, 2011

    I’m sure you can understand a few digs here and there at those you consider enemies, right?

    I kid.

    Simple fact of the matter is that I’m tired of fighting. Much of what has been going on in these online autism wars is just people pointing fingers, making angry posts, or in the case of some groups (not you guys), making what some could perceive as threatening posts while posting pictures of that person and her child. I will freely confess that I am guilty of hurling insults at those who don’t follow my point of view.

    But, what is this doing to help my son? What is this doing to help parents of children like my son? Particularly those new to this diagnosis.

    Honestly, my perusal of Wakefield’s dishonesty took quite a bit of the wind out of my sails. It forced me to evaluate what I am fighting for, and it also forced me to realize that, while I don’t agree with the tone of what is written here and other places, I have come to realize that you and others are doing what you think is right. That is certainly admirable.

    So, in the spirit of this epiphany, future posts from me will not be as antagonistic toward those I don’t agree with.

  67. #67 Narad, the Man of Iron
    January 17, 2011

    What ever became of Lujene Clark?

  68. #68 Purenoiz
    January 17, 2011

    @66
    This is the epiphany we all should have. The negative tones never make a sick child healthy. My hats off to Craig, I know what it is like to change ones view amidst people who do not support that view. I work in the natural foods industry, a breeding ground of incoherent logical fallacies, all to sell a product. Some of those products are good (omega-3′s) others are just crap (homeopathy, flower essences, kangan water systems etc.). Nobody wants to hear that vaccines strengthen the immune system better than echinacea so on so forth.

  69. #69 Lawrence
    January 17, 2011

    Craig,

    There is always room for differing opinions. When we discuss ideas and evidence with civility and rationality, progress can be made. You and your family have had a hard road to travel, and it will continue to be challenging in the years ahead. I would like nothing more than to see research and resources dedicated to finding better treatments and make life easier for people like your son. As a father of two boys I can sympathize with the desire to know what happened to your perfect child.

    We’ve spent years throwing accusations back and forth, and in the case of people like Andrew Wakefield, they get rich while parents and families continue to suffer needlessly – either from grasping for the latest unproven treatment that line the pockets of woo-doctors or watch their babies suffer from vaccine preventable illnesses.

    There have been too many losses on both sides of the house. What has all the AoA screaming gotten us? And I will not gloat that a tentpole tenet of the autism-vaccine link has been proven as a fraud, because the cost has been far too high. I do wish the best for you and your son, and I know that those of us here in the community that are able will continue to push for continued research that benefits the families, stop playing the blame game, and find the best possible means for being part of the solution, not part of the problem.

  70. #70 Pieter B
    January 17, 2011

    Craig, well said. It takes a great deal of intellectual and moral fortitude to publicly announce that you’ve been wrong about something in which you passionately believed and which you passionately defended.

    My hat is off to you as well.

  71. #71 Trish Gannon
    January 17, 2011

    I remember reading with surprise the articles about how when people are presented with facts that are contrary to their paradigm, it makes them MORE certain of the truth of their (erroneous) belief. (Not sure how to link here, but here’s one article: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/07/11/how_facts_backfire/

    I was a guest on a talk radio show today (regarding violent rhetoric by politicians and media) and we got into the question of how you can have an honest debate when you can’t agree on the facts. (I brought up the ‘vaccines cause autism’ myth, which undoubtedly means I made everyone angry today.) The discussion reminded me of something.

    I have one cat who insists on sitting on the kitchen counter on the rare occasions I eat cereal. He has learned, somehow, when I try to shove him off, to shift his center of gravity. The result of a shove is that he ends up CLOSER to the bowl of cereal than before the shove.

    When roaming the internet, I came across a link that led me to the Rodale website, and an article about how it’s now been proved that “vaccines do not cause autism.” (It’s here: http://www.rodale.com/causes-autism ) (Not sure if I should be coding the links or not.) Regardless of how it came about, there’s cause to celebrate when at least one wide-spread myth begins to bite the dust.

  72. #72 Nicole
    January 17, 2011

    @Purenoiz

    Funny that you post that. Craig and I were just discussing the fact that like Big Pharma and Allopathic Dr.’s , Dan Dr’s and supplement companies also have a financial interest in what they do.

    Also how I plan to question my son’s new Dr about everything and do my own research just as I would at a traditional M.D.’s office because yes, some things are necessary in the right amounts and other things are sewage stuffed into capsules.

  73. #73 TemporarilyAnonymous
    January 17, 2011

    Mr. Willoughby, this is incredibly painful for me to write, which is why I am switching to this pseudonym, so I hope you will read it through. I am an adult with Asperger’s syndrome, and pre-school kids today who behave the way I did, well, they get labeled as full blown autistic. So I have a whole body of painful memories of the frustrations I caused my family as a kid, and the effect it had on them. I know it’s worse for you, since you have to prepare arrangements for your kid’s adulthood, while nobody ever thought I’d be unable to live independently. (And I do live indpentently. Married. Employed.) Nevertheless, part of why this antivaccine madness swept the nation is the dynamic between autistic kids and their parents is something I saw firsthand. Raising an autistic kid is something that causes no end of anxiety and frustration, and it leads the parents to be afflicted with idees fixees (fixed ideas). Such as the notion that something in toddlerhood is the single cause of their child’s autism. The experience is so foreign to anyone not raising an autistic kid, that it makes you think they just don’t get it.

    But, there is no way around this: being this close to the problem makes you less able to judge the cause, not more. The statisticians who have been studying the question can say nothing about what you’re going through, but they are better able to discern the causes behind it than you are. I had no end of screaming matches with my own mother in other contexts about why she was wrong to think personal experience counts for more than scientific evidence. (Yes, I went to a college in a tech major.) Being autistic really does enable you to detach yourself enough to understand this. And raising an autistic really does diminish your ability to step aside, count to 10, and understand this.

    Now as far as personal experience goes, it cuts both ways. Two months ago a whole family I know caught pertusis. My friend could have lost his infant daughter. His wife and older daughter didn’t enjoy it either. That’s the main reason I am typing this: you have to understand what is at stake.

    People don’t go to the Web to have their views challenged. They go to the Web to have their views reinforced. Yet, you just changed your mind on something you were invested in. In public. Some people will consider that a failing on your part, but it’s a sign of strength. I hope you’ll take it further.

  74. #74 Krubozumo Nyankoye
    January 17, 2011

    In the often bare knuckle world of blog debates it is pleasing to see reasonableness prevail. I have to give credit to Orac for returning to this topic and recognizing why Brian Deer’s work was important and why he had a point in his argument over whether science alone was enough to settle the debate.

    I must admit I am impressed by Mr. Willoughby’s epiphany. It takes a fair amount of courage to admit you have been wrong, even in some very small things, it takes more yet to admit you have been fooled and wrong, and it takes a considerable amount to come out publicly and say so. I would offer as some condolence the suggestion that if indeed your son was injured by vaccine in some way, ultimately only science can elucidate that and identify how to avoid similar errors in the future.

    And to Brian Deer who appears to be reading this thread, I would like to say (because for some odd reason I can’t reach your web site) that after reading your work and corresponding with you very briefly some years ago, that the initial lesson I learnt then has been powerfully reinforced. That lesson was and is that people such as yourself are vital to the continued positive benefit of science to society because we (scientists) are not trained to reckon how the polity sees and understands such complex issues. Few journalists demonstrate such integrity, persistence and grasp of the subject matter and few indeed would be brave enough to contradict the conventional wisdom.

    Though it is impossible to quantify the impact of Wakefield’s fraud in any terms, we in the scientific community should ask ourselves, how much worse could it have been were it not for Brian Deer?

  75. #75 Jay Gordon
    January 18, 2011

    The discussion of pseudoscience leads me to ask for your comments about these quacks in the BMJ who have written an article which might lead to the death–according to the World Health Organization and UNICEF–of millions of babies.

    http://www.babyfriendly.org.uk/pdfs/unicef_uk_response_to_BMJ_article_140111.pdf

    Thanks for your input. Apparently the BMJ will publish just about anything. (That last part’s an attempt at levity.)

    Best,

    Jay

  76. #76 Militant Agnostic
    January 18, 2011

    Still standing behind Wakefield Jay? I see you are so desperate that you are now spamming with a lame ass tu quoke
    in an attempt to distract us. What a disingenuous gobshite you are.

  77. #77 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 18, 2011

    Jay, this is the third post on which you have spammed that link – a link which DOES NOT contain any support for your claim that UNICEF and WHO are talking about the article “lead[ing] to the death … of millions of babies.” Are you the real Jay Gordon or just a troublemaking creep stealing his name? Either way, stop crapping up the comments.

  78. #78 autismandoughtisms
    January 18, 2011

    I regularly read and reply to discussions about autism (specifically in regards to vaccines) on a local parenting forum. I am used to being in a vocal minority in my efforts to get people to drop the link they thought was established between autism and the MMR vaccine. Within a few days of Brian Deer’s piece being published, I saw a significant swing away from people defending the link. I also saw a lot of people saying they no longer sit on the fence of the issue; they consider there to be no good reason to think MMR causes autism.

    These are just your “everyday people” on a parenting forum, so they make some errors in their facts and arguments about what Wakefield and Brian said (don’t we all now and then), but the swing from one side to the other in opinions about the cause of autism, was strong enough to take note. I haven’t seen a swing back yet either. I take heart that some people have honestly started questioning their established views about the benefits and risks of vaccines, particularly in regards to autism. Time – and vaccination rates – will tell.

  79. #79 The Crack Emcee
    January 18, 2011

    Dear Orac,

    For once I’m writing not to criticize you but to praise you – and I’m glad about that. Why am I praising you? Because, though you only glance at it, you learned something too – something I’ve been trying to tell you for some time:

    There’s more going on here than just what what you can discover through science.

    I’ve been harping, specifically, on “fraud” for some time now – even going so far as to title a post “Focus On Fraud (Or Fraud Will Focus On You)” – during my investigation/eviseration of the cult NewAge Movement. After the recent shooting of Congresswoman Giffords, when everyone started putting a political motive on the shooter, I – alone – focused on his NewAge obsessions, and have recently been vindicated for my insight there. Ever since I found Respectful Insolence, I’ve been trying to get you to look at another aspect of all this stuff we both are interested in defeating (call it, for my lack of a better term, the NewAge aspect) and, with this post, I think you’ve done it.

    2011 has been a good year, so far, for us. Believe it or not, I think we’re winning this battle for reason, though our successes are meager. I also think we’d be stronger together than in the dismissive fashion that’s characterized our interactions so far. Our work interacts in such a weird fashion:

    While you’ve been looking at, and attacking, the anti-vaccine movement from a science perspective, I’ve been nailing, for instance, Jim Carrey, over and over and over again as a NewAger. Here’s my post on Wakefield’s exposure.

    Anyway, the last time I wrote I offered you a challenge – get a grant to tabulate, through a questionnaire, the spiritual beliefs of those who go for quackery. Now I’m asking. I think we’ll find a preponderance of them fall into the “spiritual but not religious” category. If I’m right, then the key to solving this problem is what’s called “snapping” – invented by my hero, Ted Patrick, AKA “Black Lightning” – which sounds like what’s happened to Craig Willoughby.

    Let me know if you’d consider it. I think it would do a lot of good. Maybe even win you an award or something. Something more than mere praise from me.

    Keep up the good work.

    Your friend (and sometimes sparring partner),

    The Crack Emcee

  80. #80 Anonymous
    January 18, 2011

    Salon retracts “Deadly Immunity,” RFK Jr. keeps it on his site…as does Dr. Jay
    http://sethmnookin.com/2011/01/17/salon-retracts-deadly-immunity-rfk-jr-keep-it-on-his-site-as-does-dr-jay/

  81. #81 Anonymous
    January 18, 2011

    Wow. Just discovered that Autism Speaks is advertising on Hulu.

  82. #82 dt
    January 18, 2011

    errr, Jay (if it is really you), perhaps you didn’t notice that the BMJ article was talking about infant feeding in the UK.

    The article talks about something as trivial as introducing solids a couple of months earlier (whilst still continuing to breast feed until mothers wish to stop) in a country where around 600,000 babies are born each year. If you have evidence that millions of babies will die in the UK from this advice, I think you’d better tell us where to find it, and quickly.

  83. #83 Orac
    January 18, 2011

    And Dr. Jay does come close to spamming here because on two of the three threads where he posted his nonsense it’s off topic, and it’s only peripherally on topic here. Barely.

    Dr. Jay is beginning to feel the heat, methinks.

  84. #85 brian
    January 18, 2011

    Nice of you to drop by, Dr. Jay. Can you answer a question?

    Jay, you wrote last May:

    Any thoughts I ever had about wavering in my support of Andrew Wakefield have dissolved.

    Do you still give Andrew Wakefield your unwavering support, Jay?

  85. #86 Dangerous Bacon
    January 18, 2011

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for a meaningful on-topic response, brian.

    It wouldn’t be surprising if Jay’s breathless rock-star adoration of Andrew Wakefield is quietly removed from Jay’s website somewhere down the line, as was the case with the similarly embarassing HIV denialist nonsense he used to feature.

  86. #87 Militant Agnostic
    January 18, 2011

    dt@82

    The article talks about something as trivial as introducing solids a couple of months earlier (whilst still continuing to breast feed until mothers wish to stop) in a country where around 600,000 babies are born each year. If you have evidence that millions of babies will die in the UK from this advice, I think you’d better tell us where to find it, and quickly.

    I think I have figured it out. Introducing solid foods a couple of months earlier will cause some of the babies to become psychopaths who will emigrate as adults to other countries and murder babies. I am sure Jay has observed this phenomenon many times in his vast clinical experience. It makes about as much sense as the vaccination autism link.

  87. #88 Calli Arcale
    January 18, 2011

    Dr Jay usually includes his credentials in his name when posting; that may be someone appropriating the name in hopes of getting people to actually notice the off-topic post. Only Orac and the ScienceBlogs server logs know the truth, though it’s probably not worth his effort to find out.

  88. #89 Pieter B
    January 18, 2011

    From 1st-Time-Mommy’s linked blog post:

    Trusting Jenny McCarthy for medical advice is like asking Snooki to do your taxes.

    1st-TM is hereby awarded one internets.

  89. #90 John Stone
    January 19, 2011

    I am intrigued by Brian Deer claiming that Child 1 is his strongest case. I note that he excluded any reference to the ear infection in his original expert medical and psychiatric analysis in the Sunday Times, and failed to mention it yet again in BMJ, but now he agrees that it is there – so he confirms for the first time (albeit dressed up in all sorts of reservations) what Andrew Wakefield told us twice in the interim in his press complaint and in his book. Although BMJ has almost completely excluded any questioning of Deer’s data in the journal I actually managed to reference this information in a letter there 9 days ago, yet even now Mr Deer prefers to respond here not there.

    Well, actually I don’t think either he or BMJ are behaving in a credible way. This is hit and run: not the way to conduct respectable science.

  90. #91 ChildHealthSafety
    January 19, 2011

    Brian Deer | January 17, 2011 2:20 PM

    “Indeed, the child went on the usual circuit of audiology clinics, which is typical of these unfortunae kids, and his hearing was, as is typical, normal.”

    …………

    “Wakefield then claimed that this boy had regressive autism, despite the fact that both admission and dischange summaries said he had “classical” autism.”

    That is not what the records show. Contrary to what Mr Deer says, the records appear to show that Child 1 regressed after the MMR vaccine.

    If Mr Deer wishes to cite evidence to the contrary, please can he indicate where it may be found?

    The GMC transcript records that the referral letter to The Royal Free Hospital from Child 1′s family doctor stated:-

    “[Child 1] initially developed normally, reaching the normal milestones until he was about 15 months old. He then regressed and has now been diagnosed as autistic …..”

    That shows Child 1 had regressive autism. Mr Deer appears to be engaging in a semantic distinction without a difference.

    “Regressive autism” not a formal diagnostic term under DSM IV or ICD 9 or 10 but is a term used to distinguish an autistic condition which appears to start at birth from an autistic condition which occurs after a period of normal development where the child regresses into an autistic condition.

    And what did the family doctor records show?:-

    Before MMR:-

    “4.11.93”, which records that Child 1 is:
    “New patient – recently posted from XXXX. Mum worried re hearing/wax in ears/? Discharge left ear … Reassured.”

    MMR 19 January 1994

    After MMR:-

    “Little co-operation with psychomotor assessment. Will not obey. Tantrums when denied. Does not seem to understand or express speech very much.”

    That is not the same child behaviourally but that is Child 1 before and after MMR.

    Child 1 – Hearing

    11.3.93 [age 2 months] Health visitor record:

    “Hearing and development normal.”

    12.8.93 [age 7 months] Health visitor record:

    “Hearing and development normal.”

    And the family doctor records as seen above shows that the family doctor reassured the mother about Child 1′s hearing on 4.11.93.

    But after MMR on 19 January 1994 Child 1′s hearing was not normal according to the results of the audiology tests.

    The records shows as of 27 February 1995:-

    “Child 1 was tested by distraction technique using a variety of high and low frequency signals, namely to Voice, High Frequency Rattle, Low frequency Signal and the G Chime Bar. He responded at minimal levels to all these Msignals bilaterally.”

  91. #92 ChildHealthSafety
    January 19, 2011

    We notice our post yesterday @3:53 PM has not yet appeared.

    We trust you do not mind our posting it again in case it was lost:-

    “Brian Deer | January 17, 2011 2:20 PM

    “Indeed, the child went on the usual circuit of audiology clinics, which is typical of these unfortunae kids, and his hearing was, as is typical, normal.”

    …………

    “Wakefield then claimed that this boy had regressive autism, despite the fact that both admission and dischange summaries said he had “classical” autism.”

    That is not what the records show. Contrary to what Mr Deer says, the records appear to show that Child 1 regressed after the MMR vaccine.

    If Mr Deer wishes to cite evidence to the contrary, please can he indicate where it may be found?

    The GMC transcript records that the referral letter to The Royal Free Hospital from Child 1′s family doctor stated:-

    “[Child 1] initially developed normally, reaching the normal milestones until he was about 15 months old. He then regressed and has now been diagnosed as autistic …..”

    That shows Child 1 had regressive autism. Mr Deer appears to be engaging in a semantic distinction without a difference.

    “Regressive autism” not a formal diagnostic term under DSM IV or ICD 9 or 10 but is a term used to distinguish an autistic condition which appears to start at birth from an autistic condition which occurs after a period of normal development where the child regresses into an autistic condition.

    And what did the family doctor records show?:-

    Before MMR:-

    “4.11.93”, which records that Child 1 is:
    “New patient – recently posted from XXXX. Mum worried re hearing/wax in ears/? Discharge left ear … Reassured.”

    MMR 19 January 1994

    After MMR:-

    “Little co-operation with psychomotor assessment. Will not obey. Tantrums when denied. Does not seem to understand or express speech very much.”

    That is not the same child behaviourally but that is Child 1 before and after MMR.

    Child 1 – Hearing

    11.3.93 [age 2 months] Health visitor record:

    “Hearing and development normal.”

    12.8.93 [age 7 months] Health visitor record:

    “Hearing and development normal.”

    And the family doctor records as seen above shows that the family doctor reassured the mother about Child 1′s hearing on 4.11.93.

    But after MMR on 19 January 1994 Child 1′s hearing was not normal according to the results of the audiology tests.

    The records shows as of 27 February 1995:-

    “Child 1 was tested by distraction technique using a variety of high and low frequency signals, namely to Voice, High Frequency Rattle, Low frequency Signal and the G Chime Bar. He responded at minimal levels to all these Msignals bilaterally.”

  92. #93 Sauceress
    January 19, 2011

    Well, actually I don’t think either he or BMJ are behaving in a credible way. This is hit and run: not the way to conduct respectable science.

    Your opinion on “behaving in a credible way” is credible because?

    Your opinion on the way to conduct respectable science should be considered credible because?

    Perhaps you consider receiving non-disclosed payment for the production of research results which may be used to facilitate a lawsuit against vaccine manufacturers as behaving in a credible way? This would be considered by John Stone as conducting science in a respectable way?

  93. #94 John Stone
    January 20, 2011

    Sauceress@ 10.19pm, you are trying to shift the subject. The only thing which is relevant here is Mr Deer’s continued silence.

  94. #95 John Stone
    January 20, 2011

    Can Mr Deer please come here and answer the questions. He is a journalist – he can’t just walk away.

  95. #96 LW
    January 20, 2011

    No, John Stone, the only thing that matters here is Wakefield’s pretended research.

    His findings cannot be replicated by anyone other than him or his close associates, despite many efforts. He had major undisclosed conflicts of interests that would have encouraged him to find what he reported. And there are inconsistencies between his report of the children’s cases and the written reports of the cases, all such inconsistencies going toward his desired conclusion.

    Brian Deer has already been sued once by Wakefield. He must expect that Wakefield will sue again if he can. Therefore he has every incentive to make the most accurate report he can. You, on the other hand, are a commenter on the Internet. You risk nothing by making assertions and accusations. Why should Deer respond to you or any of the thousand other anti-vaxxers spamming the Web with accusations against him?

  96. #97 Anonymous
    January 20, 2011

    John Stone, you really have an illogical and inflated sense of entitlement. Journalists do not exist at your personal beck and call.

    May I suggest taking up a hobby?

  97. #98 LW
    January 20, 2011

    I noticed something interesting about CHS’ endless litany about Child 1:

    “11.3.93 [age 2 months] Health visitor record:” That means Child 1 was born in January, 1993.

    “MMR 19 January 1994″ That means Child 1 received the MMR at age approximately 12 months.

    “[Child 1] initially developed normally, reaching the normal milestones until he was about 15 months old. He then regressed and has now been diagnosed as autistic …..” That means Child 1 did not regress until three months after the MMR.

    Which is, of course, part of what Brian Deer said about these cases: the temporal correlation wasn’t as close as claimed.

    Further, look at this: “4.11.93”, which records that Child 1 is: “New patient – recently posted from XXXX. Mum worried re hearing/wax in ears/? Discharge left ear … Reassured.”

    Note that the mother was worried about the child’s hearing but was reassured. There is no comment about actual wax in the ears or an infection that did or did not require treatment, and there should have been if there were any such findings. This report, which CHS seems to find quite damaging to Deer’s findings, in fact supports them. The mother was worried about the child’s hearing, but there was nothing physically wrong. He just didn’t respond, which is precisely what Deer reported.

  98. #99 John Stone
    January 20, 2011

    To recap Mr Deer, who wasn’t there, isn’t an expert in psychiatry, audiology, general medicine or anything else, represented a mother’s concern about her child’s hearing as an early sign of autism suppressing the fact that this was connected with an ear infection. It isn’t a question about Wakefield or me, it is a question of the reliability, competence and objectivity of Mr Deer’s own reporting based on a morass of documents many of which are unavailable. Now, can he come here and explain why he omitted this important information in the Sunday Times and BMJ and giving a completely false impression of the case.

  99. #100 LW
    January 20, 2011

    I left off a bit:

    But after MMR on 19 January 1994 Child 1′s hearing was not normal according to the results of the audiology tests.

    The records shows as of 27 February 1995:-

    “Child 1 was tested by distraction technique using a variety of high and low frequency signals, namely to Voice, High Frequency Rattle, Low frequency Signal and the G Chime Bar. He responded at minimal levels to all these Msignals bilaterally.”

    “after MMR on 19 January 1994″ — that would be thirteen months after. Babies go through a lot of changes between age one year and age two years.

    I think someone said CHS is a lawyer? Well, that explains it.

  100. #101 LW
    January 20, 2011

    “suppressing the fact that this was connected with an ear infection.”

    Where is the evidence that this was an ear infection? What you’ve quoted makes it clear that it was not.

  101. #102 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    January 20, 2011

    “May I suggest taking up a hobby?”

    He has one.

    Dropping his shite all over this and other blogs he disagrees with!

  102. #103 Todd W.
    January 20, 2011

    @John Stone

    Umm, why should Deer reply to you here? Are you physically incapable from contacting him by e-mail? I don’t know about you, but if I want an answer from someone for whom an e-mail address is readily available, I tend to go with the e-mail address, rather than some random comment on a blog thread that the person may or may not read regularly. That, I think, is what any sane person would do.

    So, which is it, are you an incompetent and annoying pest or are you just insane? I suppose stupid is also an option.

  103. #104 ChildHealthSafety
    January 20, 2011

    Notably still no response from Mr Deer but only argument and opinion from others.

    LW
    January 20, 2011 7:01 AM
    January 20, 2011 7:19 AM

    wrote:-

    “[Child 1] initially developed normally, reaching the normal milestones until he was about 15 months old. He then regressed and has now been diagnosed as autistic …..”

    ‘That means Child 1 did not regress until three months after the MMR.’

    Not so.

    1) the family doctor’s referral letter says “about 15 months old” – not at 15 months old;

    2) The family doctor [GP] notes will be unlikely to record the first signs of onset of symptoms. A general practitioner would not see cases like this all the time as at The Royal Free and would be unlikely to consider disintegrative disorder or look for it.

    What Mr Deer fails to appreciate seemingly because a) he is a man on a mission b) with no medical background and c) did not trouble to get and quote expert comment [which is what normal and professional journalists do]: is that it was first thought at The Royal Free Hospital that these children had disintegrative disorder. The regressions are progressive over time.

    To ascertain first onset of symptoms requires the taking of a clinical history afresh which was done by a specialist clinician at the Royal Free to look for indications which it was highly unlikely the generalist family doctor would not have troubled to look for.

    What the family doctor notes do confirm is that by no later than 15 months the child had regressed into autism.

    The reality of course is these parents had no idea what was happening to their child and watched a progressive deterioration over time – for some it would be faster than others.

    “The mother was worried about the child’s hearing, but there was nothing physically wrong. He just didn’t respond, which is precisely what Deer reported.”

    The pre-MMR notes do not say Child 1 was not responding. That was noted regarding after MMR and not before – consistent with the diagnosis of autism after MMR.

    Mr Deer claimed the hearing issue was an early sign of autism before MMR – which the family doctor records [quoted] show was not the case.

    Mr Deer’s claims are comprehensively wrong but he will not come here and admit it or explain himself.

    Won’t answer = can’t answer.

    Mr Deer if you disagree – answers please.

  104. #105 ChildHealthSafety
    January 20, 2011

    Todd W. January 20, 2011 8:12 AM

    The usual abuse disparagement and insults. Still no answers from Mr Deer.

    “… if I want an answer from someone for whom an e-mail address is readily available, I tend to go with the e-mail address ….. That, I think, is what any sane person would do.”

    So Todd, why did you not email John Stone instead of posting this here?

    “So, which is it, are you an incompetent and annoying pest or are you just insane? I suppose stupid is also an option.”

  105. #106 ChildHealthSafety
    January 20, 2011

    LW | January 20, 2011 7:23 AM

    says re Child 1

    “Where is the evidence that this was an ear infection? What you’ve quoted makes it clear that it was not.”

    Above. Read and engage brain before posting?

    “Before MMR:-

    “4.11.93”, which records that Child 1 is: “New patient – recently posted from XXXX. Mum worried re hearing/wax in ears/? Discharge left ear … Reassured.”

    Or to put it another way, Child 1 had a purulent otitis media when he was having trouble hearing.

  106. #107 One Queer Fish
    January 20, 2011

    I know plenty of people that have e-mailed him directly and he never replies. Why would anyone want to e-mail someone who is psychopathic ,serial, habitual, liar,mis quotes, Doctors, Lawyers, High Court Judges, parents of disabled children, con tricks his way into houses of disabled parents under the name of Brian Lawrence.. so that he can have an exclusive and compare medical notes he stole from The Royal Free.(you cant make this stuff up)

    Someone you would like to e-mail c.c. Ted Bundy at the same time, why don’t you? Why not make an e-mail group, Jack The Ripper, et-al that’s about Deer’s level

    Deer’s a murderer just like Pharma the real Mass serial killers.

    The small time killers are in jail the mass murderers are on the loose…aided and abetted by Deer

  107. #108 Gray Falcon
    January 20, 2011

    Any evidence for your accusations, OQF? Listen closely. They aren’t responding to you because they don’t have time to respond to every fool who makes baseless claims. Put up, or shut up.

  108. #109 Chris
    January 20, 2011

    Funny, OQF. I have emailed Brian Deer and received a reply. Perhaps it was something you said.

  109. #110 One Queer Fish
    January 20, 2011

    While I wait for Brians reply to the GMC questions heres

    Gary Null Show brodcasted today 20/01/11 ,listen to Isabella Thomas,Jackie Fletcher and Clifford ..( a challenge for Deer)

    http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-gary-null-show-wnye/

    Were a tighter group every time were attacked were closer…

  110. #111 Lawrence
    January 21, 2011

    And a much smaller group as well – as the fence-sitters evaluate the information as it becomes available & realize they’ve made a terrible mistake believing there was ever a link between vaccines & autism.

    As I posted before, pretty soon, the only ones left will be the real “true-believers” resulting in even more isolation from the mainstream (much better to make fools of themselves). They will continue to rant and rave, but the general public has figured out that these conspiracy rants are null and void, and the only result has been the death and disablement of children by childhood diseases that they never should have been exposed to in the first place.

    When you can’t argue the facts – argue semantics….morons.

  111. #112 Pablo
    January 21, 2011

    As I posted before, pretty soon, the only ones left will be the real “true-believers” resulting in even more isolation from the mainstream (much better to make fools of themselves).

    Lawrence, I think we are already mostly there.

    Most of the fence-sitters got off when the paper was retracted. That’s basically when the media got on the bandwagon and starting going after it, too.

  112. #113 Todd W.
    January 21, 2011

    @CHF

    So Todd, why did you not email John Stone instead of posting this here?

    Easy:

    1) John Stone is actively commenting here.
    2) It’s not a big enough deal to me. I do not have a burning question that ZOMG!!one! MUST BE ANSWERED!!!eleventy!11!

  113. #114 Militant Agnostic
    January 21, 2011

    @110
    Gary Null? – why don’t you just get a tattoo on your forehead saying “Whackaloon and Proud of it”.

    Were a tighter group every time were attacked were closer…

    WTF is that supposed to mean?
    F_ing Punctuation – How does that work?

    Lawrence is @111 is correct. The anti-vaxxers are being pared back to the hard core paranoid whackaloons.

  114. #115 One Queer Fish
    January 21, 2011

    Altogether now…I TOLD YOU SO ..Messiah Deer conned his way into disabled parents houses..If he lied to gain access why wouldnt he lie to the GMC.???mmmmm….Phantastic

    ,,,http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.UK/2011/01/7246/#comment-127569

    Brian Deer
    January 21st, 2011
    11:43:06
    Sullivan,

    I did indeed use my middle rather than last name when interviewing two individuals at the very beginning of my investigation. I did so after approval both from editorial and legal managers. The reason was to ascertain what these people would say to a reporter they didn’t know, know of, or be capable of researching on Google. In short, to obtain a forensically neutral account.

    One of them told me that Wakefield’s research subjects were JABS members. The other gave a totally different account of her child’s history to the one she apparently told at the Royal Free. Over the years, the case against MMR had switched from being a sudden-onset syndrome to an insidiously emergent syndrome (obviously to rake in a lot more claimants). Her story had changed, in parallel, with the passage of time, such that it could not be reconciled with the paper.

    I’m proud that standard investigative techniques, used routinely by proficient journalists, including the use of pseudonymns and the supply of findings to regulators for statutory inquiry, led to the nailing of the charlatan Wakefield and the unmasking of his research fraud.

    I’m entirely satisfied that nobody has identified any material action or inaction on my part concerning the MMR investigation such that I have done what I should not have done, or failed to do what I should have done.

  115. #116 NJ
    January 21, 2011

    Militant Agnostic @ 114:

    The anti-vaxxers are being pared back to the hard core paranoid whackaloons.

    One Queer Fish @ 115:

    Messiah Deer

    QED

  116. #117 Sauceress
    January 21, 2011

    Sauceress@ 10.19pm, you are trying to shift the subject. The only thing which is relevant here is Mr Deer’s continued silence.

    Umm..no John. The subject concerns Andrew Wakefield’s fraudulent research. (re-read OP please)
    Now:
    John Stone #93

    Well, actually I don’t think either he or BMJ are behaving in a credible way. This is hit and run: not the way to conduct respectable science.

    Your opinion on “behaving in a credible way” is credible because?
    Your opinion on the way to conduct respectable science should be considered credible because?
    Perhaps you consider receiving non-disclosed payments for the manufacture of research results which may be used to facilitate a lawsuit against vaccine manufacturers as behaving in a credible way? This would be considered by John Stone as conducting science in a respectable way?

    So John Stone…
    Won’t answer? Can’t answer? Both?

  117. #118 Sauceress
    January 21, 2011

    Blockquote fail!
    Should have read…
    #94 John Stone

    Sauceress@ 10.19pm, you are trying to shift the subject. The only thing which is relevant here is Mr Deer’s continued silence.

    ect. ect.
    ~~~
    #110 Queer Fish

    Were a tighter group every time were attacked were closer…

    Shrug…same with all cults. It’s a fundamental part of the cult leaders Washing of the Brains (WoBs) ceremonies. Now be a good little sycophant and have some more Kool Aid dear.

    ~~~
    Queer Fish

    If he lied to gain access why wouldnt he lie to the GMC.???mmmmm….Phantastic

    So you think that the GMC findings were based on testimony from Brian Deer?

    I know one shouldn’t laugh so hard at the metally challenged, but you are hilarious :)

  118. #119 LW
    January 21, 2011

    So CHS argues some more.

    I pointed out that the family doctor’s referral letter stated that the child reached normal milestones until he was about 15 months old, which was some three months after the MMR, and then regressed. CHS contends that “about 15 months old” doesn’t mean exactly 15 months old, which is true, but it is hardly likely that “about 15 months old” means “12 months old”, which is what would be required to put the regression at the time of the MMR. And of course “about 15 months old” could also mean “almost 16 months old”, putting it even later.

    Further, he points out that the family doctor would not record the first signs or look for them. But then the parents would be even less likely to record those first signs or look for them, as they are even less experienced than the doctor. When the specialist clinician took a clinical history, he had to be relying on the parents’ memories because, as CHS just stated, there would be no records. Human memory is notoriously fallible, and I’m pretty sure The Royal Free Hospital didn’t have a time machine to go back and check.

    One must also note the claim that the dire effects of the MMR are practically instantaneous and unmistakable ["the light went out of his eyes"], which rather contradicts the claim that the family doctor — taking contemporaneous notes on parental reports — completely missed those dire effects.

    CHS continues to contend that Child 1 had an ear infection — in fact, “purulent otitis media” — and that the only action taken was that the mother was “reassured.” Note there was no antibiotic prescribed and no suggestion that the child should be brought back if the problem did not resolve on its own. Moreover, ear infections are painful, yet the mother did not complain that her pre-verbal child was screaming and pulling at his ears. Therefore there is no evidence in what CHS keeps reciting to indicate that the child did have an ear infection, and CHS has no basis for diagnosing one.

    I am not a physician and neither is CHS. Neither is Mr. Deer, but he and his publisher have access to plenty of physicians and are well aware of that Wakefield will sue for libel if he can, so we can be quite sure that they had an expert go over these records.

  119. #120 One Queer Fish
    January 22, 2011

    Andrew Wakefield’s thank you to parents

    http://www.cryshame.co.uk/

    To all parents:

    “I am immensely grateful to you for your wonderful support. Your voices are being heard around the world and that is precisely why our opponents have become so vicious. The only hope of victory for those who oppose the recognition of what has happened to your children for what it is and a Safety-First vaccine policy, is to divide us. Together we have come too far, for too long, for good reason, to be divided. Each attack makes us stronger and more determined. Science and safety must be the new language of vaccine policy. Solidarity will ensure this happens.”

    Andy

    ——————————————————————————–

  120. #121 One Queer Fish
    January 22, 2011

    Sauceress

    Deer still needs to answer uregently as matters are snowballing ,bigger and worse can you get him to answer
    ORAC blog and on his own blog in The Guardian and questions put to the BMJ, including for example those about Child 1, 8 and 11.

    No need to worry Messiah Deer (to all on here)

  121. #122 Chris
    January 22, 2011

    AWOL / OQF:

    Deer still needs to answer uregently

  122. #123 Militant Agnostic
    January 22, 2011

    I read Wakefield’s letter at 120 and got this

    Our brother’s teacher of the Moral ABC, mason-tent-&-sandal maker Hillel, taught Carpenter Jesus to unite all mankind free! With it, every Human being created on God’s Spaceship Earth, can evolve united, inspired-raised-trained-skilled-disciplined, guided lightning-like by a new birth! Without it … we destroy God’s Spaceship Earth!

  123. #124 Science Mom
    January 22, 2011

    Deer still needs to answer uregently as matters are snowballing ,bigger and worse can you get him to answer

    No they’re not because there are no ‘matters’ other than what exist in your own minds of the (now) grumpy band of twoo beweevers. You said his GMC appeal was preventing Wakers from filing a libel suit, well he has no impediments now, what excuses will you continue to make for Wakers?

  124. #125 One Queer Fish
    January 22, 2011

    “So Sue him”, you say, I can’t tell you what’s going to happen that, would give the game away.Deer is going to need you all, will you all be around when he starts to tumble? I doubt it, a few of his “phriends” last year were jumping ship quicker than the rats, from the great ship Bliar Deer named after its captain,on the possibility of Deer falling just around September Gold arse etc..

    Autism isn’t related to vaccines ..I ask you “is the Pope a catholic?? Same answer applies to Autism and Vaccines..

    Simple enough reason why he cant proceed with libel just now, your all going to have to wait and see, similarly with the appeal, ..very sensible reason for not appealing .

    What I can tell you were not even half way through the lies of Deer its been all Deer for a decade tables turn ,and what he has put about is just about to come about straight back to him..phantastic..

  125. #126 novalox
    January 22, 2011

    @125

    Yawn, more unsupported and unreasoned ranting and raving at Deer from oqf.

    Worth a good laugh or two.

  126. #127 Militant Agnostic
    January 22, 2011

    Big Secret Stuff is happening behind the scenes just you wait and see. Any day now Brian Deer will get his comeuppance and we will all be sorry any day now – any day now just you wait.

    Reading OQFs ranting makes me think it is a good that it is very difficult to get a handgun in Britain.

  127. #128 novalox
    January 22, 2011

    @127

    Well, what do you expect?

    If the facts aren’t on his (qof’s) side, then he attack with ad hominems, strawmen, insults, and insinuations in order to attempt to derail the argument.

    It’s almost laughable in its predictability.

  128. #129 One Queer Fish
    January 22, 2011

    I agree with you wouldnt it be far more interesting if Deer just came down from high and answered this ORAC blog and on his own blog in The Guardian and questions put to the BMJ, including for example those about Child 1, 8 and 11.

    While were waiting for Messiah Deer to answere(he will have to one day)

    This article shows the truth behind the FDA and how they conduct their business…should i say that on here you never know whos reading??careless me..

    http://vactruth.com/2011/01/22/fda-duped-into-approving-fake-product-for-human-testing/

    Please help me to expose the truth,please pharmlet`s,pretty please Pharmlet`s,

    Thanks

  129. #130 herr doktor bimler
    January 22, 2011

    I for one am shocked that Mr Deer does not spend all his time at Orac’s blog, arguing with anonymous strangers.

  130. #131 Chris
    January 22, 2011

    Oh, rats, blockquote fail on my comment. Only the first line of the blockquote is supposed to be in there.

    AWOL / OQF, either sue or shut up.

    Deer invited Wakefield to sue him on CNN. So go ahead, sue him.

  131. #132 Militant Agnostic
    January 22, 2011

    herr doktor bimler @130

    Maybe that is their Fiendishly Clever Secret Plan. If Brian Deer were to spend all his time arguing with whackaloons on blogs he wouldn’t dig up more dirt on Wakefield and his henchmen.

  132. #133 novalox
    January 22, 2011

    @129

    What can I say, you just proved my prediction right, you’d come back and rant with more ad hominems, insults, and insinuations, in order to attempt to derail the conversation, with no evidence to back up your assertions.

  133. #134 One Queer Fish
    January 23, 2011

    Forget Wakefield guys ,this is why your all screwed!!
    If Deer`s about ? obviously he can still come in and answer the questions on his GMC paper??

    Nearly half of Americans still suspect vaccine-autism link

    http://usat.me?42857230

    Deer isnt so great after all the public arent conned by Deer..Pharma is screwed…

  134. #135 novalox
    January 23, 2011

    @134
    What can I say, you just proved my prediction right again, you’d come back and rant with more ad hominems, insults, and insinuations, in order to attempt to derail the conversation, with no evidence to back up your assertions.

    Your postings are so unintentionally ignorant, they are laughable. At least you are providing some much needed humor to my day.

  135. #136 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 23, 2011

    Nearly half of Americans still suspect vaccine-autism link

    Well, only if you believe a USA Today poll, and only if you believe “unsure” means “suspects a vaccine-autism link”.

    Regardless, medical facts do not depend on public opinion.

    To the best of my knowledge, there is no convincing credible evidence that vaccines cause or contribute to autism. If you have data, please present it.

  136. #137 Wazzever
    January 23, 2011

    “Regardless, medical facts do not depend on public opinion.”
    It’s IRregargless by the way….;)
    “How do vaccines work?” – Insane Clown Posse

  137. #138 One Queer Fish
    January 23, 2011

    Keep the abuse coming I thrive on it.Credible you would have to quantify who is credible in your Pharma world ,suppose Dog Breath Deer would do you..but we dont know where Deer is he has gone to ground over the BMJ papers.

    Anyway!!here you go

    Autism And Enviormental Health Research(Iv`e used TV because none of you understand writting)ha!ha!ha! laughed at that one myself…

    http://www.c-spanarchives.org/program/ID/229731

  138. #139 novalox
    January 23, 2011

    @138

    Yawn, another boring rant from oqf, with nary a shred of evidence to support its views.

    But it’s certainly interesting to see an obviously scientifically illiterate person becoming more unhinged with every post he/she/it makes, at the very least it makes an interesting case study.

    @136

    What makes you think he/she/it will ever post any relevant information that will support its views? All he/she/it has done has ranted and raved with multiple ad hominems, insinuations, and general misinformation and baiting, not looking for any rational conversation, as well as posting links with spurious information at the best, with so much misinformation in them, that passes for him/her/it as evidence.

  139. #140 One Queer Fish
    January 23, 2011

    novalox ,Pharmlet

    No sign of Deer coming to explain The Guardian and questions put to the BMJ, including for example those about Child 1, 8 and 11.

    keep the abuse coming,if it stops I know I`m not hitting a nerve..scream even!But by way of an educative,”rational conversation, let’s take a minor side-path and read a column in the Telegraph, written by Dr James Le Fanu called ‘Statins for all’ – and billions for drug firms”, which was reprinted in today’s New Zealand Herald. Le Fanu puts it in a nutshell:

    Back in 1975, Henry Gadsden, the chief executive of the drug company Merck, expressed his frustration that the market for his company’s products was limited to those with some treatable illness. Ideally, he said, he would like to “sell to everyone”.

    Three decades later, his dream would seem to have come true – epitomised by the most profitable class of drugs ever discovered, the cholesterol-lowering statins that are taken by an estimated seven million people in Britain, and tens of millions worldwide.

    Statins are frequently portrayed as the wonder drugs of our age, whose role in reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes prevents tens of thousands of deaths per year. But not according to the most recent review of the many trials investigating their effectiveness, published yesterday. It suggests that for three quarters of those taking them, they offer little or no value, while exposing millions to the hazard of undesirable side-effects.

    Could we please substitute the word “Vaccines” for statins? (Quelle horreur – une vache sacrée !)

    Everyone thinks that statins being bad is a unique finding,… but have forgot Vioxx, Bextra, Thalidomide, DES and the lists of drugs still being withdrawn just about daily… or even the new revelations on Paracetamol,now back to the real issue I hear that Deer is being silently pushed and salted out of the media spot lightbecause,he has become a liability..no link for this one obviously…mmmmm

    It does follow the complete silence from and the BMJ and hardly a mainstream out let would carry his lies concerning Dr Wakefield..

  140. #141 Joseph
    January 23, 2011

    Could we please substitute the word “Vaccines” for statins? (Quelle horreur – une vache sacrée !)

    I’m afraid not, OQF. Could you please stay on topic?

    BTW, Brian Deer did elaborate on child # 1 in one of these threads — not that he’s under any obligation to continue to engage you or Stone, who have been wrong time and again — and again — regarding this matter.

  141. #142 One Queer Fish
    January 23, 2011

    So, sorry Joseph,did i miss Deers comment`s? or was he just repeating himself and i never took notice..Anyway the situation is,Deer is one hot spud!!ouch!!Please put quietly down.

    Posiibly you could get him to explain The Guardian and questions put to the BMJ, including for example those about Child 1, 8 and 11.

    Thanks in advance, very kind regards

    Sincerely
    O.Q.F.

  142. #143 daedalus2u
    January 23, 2011

    OQF, @129 didn’t you read your link? That was not an FDA IRB, it was a private for hire IRB. It is an IRB hired by people doing research on new drugs. The FDA doesn’t do research on new drugs, the FDA evaluates the research that drug companies have done on new drugs. The drug companies need to hire or constitute IRBs as part of their drug research.

    Bogus IRBs can be constituted, a notorious example was the one constituted by the Geiers that approved injecting Lupron at 10x normal doses into young adults after they had gone through puberty, effectively castrating them.

  143. #144 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 23, 2011

    @Wazzever,

    Thanks for the vocabulary lesson, but I’m afraid “regardless” and “irregardless” mean the same thing and “regardless” is considered more standard. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irregardless and http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/irregardless.

  144. #145 One Queer Fish
    January 23, 2011

    daedalus

    The FDA, are crooks, deceivers, thieves etc and just do not like being caught out .You know, you , Pharmlets can`t say Wakefield is the Patsy for the Lancet 12 paper and in the same breath the FDA have nothing to do with “drugs”..(you do ,but who gives a toss to what your lies read about AW ,anyway?)

    If the hat fits wear it.daedalus
    try to get Deer to explain The Guardian and questions put to the BMJ, including for example those about Child 1, 8 and 11 these matters are more important ,and more to do with why were all on here blogging,only one missing the party is Messiah Deer invite him someone..

    Thanks in advance, very kind regards

    Sincerely
    O.Q.F.

  145. #146 Sauceress
    January 23, 2011

    I see John still hasn’t answered the questions in my post at #117…even though his parrot (or is it a hand puppet?)is still here sqawking away incoherently.

    So John Stone, why haven’t you answered my questions?
    Won’t answer? Can’t answer? Both?

  146. #147 LW
    January 23, 2011

    OQF’s grasp of punctuation, grammar, and coherent communication is decaying with each comment.

  147. #148 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 23, 2011

    @One Queer Fish,

    1. I’m really trying to figure out what you found to be abusive in my post. I was, I thought, making my points rather politely.
    2. I do not live in “pharma world”, whatever that is.
    3. “Credible” means backed by repeatable research done in a way that minimizes the chance that the results were in error.

  148. #149 novalox
    January 23, 2011

    @140, 142, 145

    And now we get conspiracy theory, as well as the usual ad homienms and crazy talk from oqf!

    What a laugh, this guy certainly is unintentionally funny when he adds more of the crazy to his postings.

  149. #150 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 23, 2011

    The link OQF included at 129 is actually pretty interesting. Actually, I should say that the real story from the New York Times is pretty interesting as it sheds light upon a phony IRB-for-profit (shades of the Geiers!) and OQF’s link is interesting because it shows the intellectual contortions that anti-vaxxers will perform trying to get the conclusions they want out of facts that just don’t support it.

    For starters, of course, the title of the story at OQF’s link is false, claiming as it does “FDA Duped Into Approving Fake Product for Human Testing.” That’s completely false, as the fake product was never even submitted to the FDA.

    The fake product (more precisely, a fake study regarding a fake product) was submitted to a company called “Coast Independent Review Board.” This company was suspected of committing fraud, accepting money to do evaluations of proposed studies, but actually rubber-stamping the proposed studies without doing the evaluations they claimed to be doing. The GAO set up a sting operation to test the allegations against Coast, and sure enough, Coast rubber-stamped the fake study the GAO submitted through a non-existent company.

    You know what isn’t anywhere in that story? That’s right, any mention of the FDA! For all we know, the GAO decided that Coast was a company it should investigate because the FDA came to them and said “You know, we’re seeing a lot of clinical trials that used Coast as their IRB and no matter how different the trials under consideration were, the reports from Coast all seemed the same. Maybe you should look into whether they’re really doing due diligence.” Do I have any shred of evidence to suggest that that is in fact what happened? Not a bit! But even considering that it’s still far more plausible a scenario than “the FDA was duped into approving a fake product for human testing” when there is no evidence to suggest that a fake product concocted for a sting operation was ever submitted to the FDA, and no reason to think it ever would have been!

    Besides its completely false title claim, OQF’s article is basically a case study for a fallacy much beloved of anti-vaxxers, which I call the “possibility is certainty” fallacy. The basic form of this fallacy is “If I have proved that X is at least faintly possible, I can thereafter treat X as a proved certainty.” So “one IRB rubber-stamped a fake study” (even though two other IRBs the study was submitted to rejected it as “awful,” “piece of junk,” and the “riskiest thing I’ve ever seen”) becomes “no study anywhere can be trusted.” And “no study anywhere can be trusted” becomes “Gardasil is almost certainly the cause of death and maiming worldwide, so let me promote this Kickstarter project trying to fund a propaganda documentary against it.”

  150. #151 Militant Agnostic
    January 23, 2011

    OQF’s grasp of punctuation, grammar, and coherent communication is decaying with each comment.

    What a laugh, this guy certainly is unintentionally funny when he adds more of the crazy to his postings.

    When you make less sense than a Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap label it is time to quit. Exception? NONE!

  151. #152 One Queer Fish
    January 24, 2011

    Ant-a-eus Feldspar,
    It’s the entertainment I come on here for its ,better than anything I know for making me larph, larph, larph.. Just let me get back on my chair ,I fell from larphing… adventures in Pharma Wonderland…

    1.“Coast rubber-stamped the fake study the GAO submitted through a non-existent company.
    You know what isn’t anywhere in that story? That’s right, any mention of the FDA! For all we know, the GAO decided that Coast was a company it should investigate because the FDA came to them and said…”
    Ant-a-eus Sure it is stupid, in the link supplied

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/13/business/13sting.html

    The undercover investigation of the trial industry was conducted by the Government Accountability Office, a research arm of Congress, at the subcommittee’s request, a G.A.O. spokesman said.

    2.“Do I have any shred of evidence to suggest that that is in fact what happened? Not a bit!”

    Ha ,ha,ha, what a dick you make of yourself..

    3”still far more plausible a scenario than “the FDA was duped into approving a fake product for human testing”
    Well call me old fashioned but I still believe in some Journos(never Messiah Deer).What is reported is what happened .The F.D.A. were caught with the proverbial , arse out the window and flapping”..they were not “duped” in this sting but they obviously must have turned a blind eye to other products that COAST approved for public use..as the article says…
    This whole episode has shown very serious issues concerning the way the FDA conduct their business. One gets the impression that the FDA is passing the buck and using unreliable sources to approve medication and vaccines for the purpose of testing on humans. If this investigation had not been carried out then no one would be any the wiser.
    4.“no evidence to suggest that a fake product concocted for a sting operation was ever submitted to the FDA, and no reason to think it ever would have been!”

    Your right the false product never was submitted to the FDA.It was the G.A.O. that instigated the false product known as a “sting” .The GAO gave to Coast,false subject matter, false FDA numbers ,false address, and false scientists…nothing to do with the FDA because they were the criminals being investigated in the sting…..give me strength…..
    You are not ever, going to turn round to criminals ,the F.D.A in this instance, and let them know “were going to hit one of your corrupt friends ,with a sting operation”… Ant-a-eus are we stupid???or more` to the point ??

    Do you know Brian Deer, try to get Deer to explain The Guardian and questions put to the BMJ, including for example those about Child 1, 8 and 11 these matters are far more important ,everyone knows the FDA are mobsters aided by wimpy Deer.

    Thanks in advance, very kind regards
    Sincerely
    O.Q.F.

    P.S Militant Agnostic ,novalox,Mephistopheles O’Brien,LW.. (LOOK AND LEARN THE MASTER AT WORK)psst.. any sign of MESSIAH DEER???

  152. #153 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 25, 2011

    @OQF – I appreciate the shout out, but am not sure what I’m supposed to be learning, nor what you are the master of.
    Besides your game of “Where’s Brian Deer”, I mean. Whom, as far as I can recall, only you have called the Messiah. Are you acting in the role of Pilate?
    I agree with you that the GAO investigation is very troubling.

  153. #154 One Queer Fish
    January 25, 2011

    5minutes in guys Clifford speaking,its good

    http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-gary-null-show-wnye/

    If you see Brian tell Brian people are looking for him…

  154. #155 Antaeus Feldspar
    February 2, 2011
    1. Coast rubber-stamped the fake study the GAO submitted through a non-existent company.
    You know what isn’t anywhere in that story? That’s right, any mention of the FDA! For all we know, the GAO decided that Coast was a company it should investigate because the FDA came to them and said…

    Ant-a-eus Sure it is stupid, in the link supplied

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/13/business/13sting.html

    The undercover investigation of the trial industry was conducted by the Government Accountability Office, a research arm of Congress, at the subcommittee’s request, a G.A.O. spokesman said.

    All right, then, I’ll be more precise. For all we know, the FDA took their concerns to the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, which in turn took them to the GAO.

    The larger point, however, which you manage to quote and yet not come up with any good answer for, is that there is absolutely no evidence for the claim made by the article you linked to, which was that the fake study in question duped the FDA.

    2. Do I have any shred of evidence to suggest that that is in fact what happened? Not a bit!

    Ha ,ha,ha, what a dick you make of yourself..

    You are missing the point (not that your doing so is terribly surprising.)

    The article that you linked to claimed “FDA Duped Into Approving Fake Product for Human Testing.” The supposed source for that article was a New York Times article which does not mention the FDA even once. My suggestion that the investigation was initiated by the FDA may be based on no evidence, but so is the claim you tried to publicize here — and mine at least makes internal sense, whereas yours does not.

    3 “still far more plausible a scenario than “the FDA was duped into approving a fake product for human testing””

    Well call me old fashioned but I still believe in some Journos(never Messiah Deer).What is reported is what happened .

    Sure, you “believe in some Journos” the way birthers believe in alleged Kenyan birth certificates posted by absolute strangers on the Internet. You believe in a purported “Journo” who claims “FDA Duped Into Approving Fake Product” even though you can read for yourself the New York Times story from which your “Journo” supposedly got her facts and see that the New York Times does not support her story.

    The F.D.A. were caught with the proverbial , arse out the window and flapping”..they were not “duped” in this sting but they obviously must have turned a blind eye to other products that COAST approved for public use.

    Showing that you don’t actually understand what was reported (not a big surprise.) Coast did not approve products for public use. Coast was an IRB, which means that it evaluates the study designs that other parties have proposed.

    An “A-OK” from Coast did not mean “okay, the product can go on the market!” it meant “okay, the company is now allowed to go ahead and conduct their planned studies of the safety and effectiveness of the product.”

    Let me see if an analogy will make it clear. Suppose there’s a particular gym that’s very popular and high-status, because it offers a really intense workout – let’s give it a name, say, Silver’s Gym. Its workout is so intense, in fact, that they insist you get a full medical checkup before you can join.

    After a while, suspicions get raised about one particular doctor who’s been giving checkups to prospective Silver’s members. The suspicion is that instead of doing a serious examination and saying “Yup, you’re completely healthy!” only to those members who pass that serious examination, the doctor just gives his “clean bill of health” to everyone who pays him.

    So the state’s board of medicine decides to test the doctor’s standards: they have a woman call up and say she’s “Mitzi Darling” and she wants a good physical so she can join Silver’s. Sure enough, the doctor mails a certificate certifying that “Mitzi Darling” is in good health, despite the fact that he’s never even seen “Mitzi Darling” in person; if he did, he would have discovered that Mitzi Darling is a sadly deceased Persian cat.

    Now, a journalist who writes “Physician Awarded Clean Bill of Health To Dead Cat!” is telling the truth. By contrast, a “Journo” who writes “Silver’s Gym Duped Into Accepting Dead Cat As Member On Crooked Physician’s Say-So!” is at the very least an incompetent fool (not to mention a tempting libel-suit target.) Quite possibly, however, they’re actually just as corrupt as the physician; they know that they’re not telling the truth, but they don’t care who they lie to as long as it gets them what they want. Which category do you think “vactruth” falls into, OQF? Are they incompetent fools, or are they crooked deliberate liars? They could, of course, be both.

    This whole episode has shown very serious issues concerning the way the FDA conduct their business. One gets the impression that the FDA is passing the buck and using unreliable sources to approve medication and vaccines for the purpose of testing on humans.

    Again, “one” only gets that impression if one does not have any idea what an IRB is and what role they play in the process.

    4. “no evidence to suggest that a fake product concocted for a sting operation was ever submitted to the FDA, and no reason to think it ever would have been!”

    Your right the false product never was submitted to the FDA.It was the G.A.O. that instigated the false product known as a “sting” .The GAO gave to Coast,false subject matter, false FDA numbers ,false address, and false scientists…nothing to do with the FDA because they were the criminals being investigated in the sting…..give me strength…..

    So your belief is that if Joe Schmoe goes to Dr. Quack and says “Hey, doc! I want to get into Silver’s Gym; you better set me up with phony test results that make me look healthy!” then obviously it means that Silver’s Gym has done something wrong? That’s what you think?

    You are not ever, going to turn round to criminals ,the F.D.A in this instance, and let them know “were going to hit one of your corrupt friends ,with a sting operation”… Ant-a-eus are we stupid???

    Do I think it’s pretty stupid to assume that if Party A says to Party B, “I’ll rubber-stamp this part of your application to Party C, claiming I did due diligence when I didn’t,” that Party C is somehow implicated in the wrongdoing? Do I think it’s an extra heapin’ helpin’ of stupid to be making that claim in a case where Party B wasn’t actually submitting anything to Party C but merely trying to catch Party A in the act of offering that fraudulent rubber-stamping? Yes, I think it’s pretty damn stupid. And stupid seems to be what you choose, time and time again.

  155. #156 sheldon101
    February 9, 2011

    The GMC transcripts are available free from the GMC.
    _______________________________________________________

    Send an email to foi@gmc-uk.org
    You’ll be sent an email asking for some information. When asked for the name of the organization and position, I just put that it wasn’t connected to my work.
    The second email back gives you a phone number to call in Manchester. Make sure you’ve got the proper prefix for calling outside of the UK (It is one less digit). You call up the IT department and they give you a usename and laughable password. Sign on using a browser and you have a directory with about 150 files.

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