Mike the Mad Biologist

Well, I feel better about voting for Obama already. Actually, what’s sad is that she really doesn’t support the vaccination leads to autism position:

Would you support a large-scale federal study ofthe differences in health outcomes
between vaccinated and unvaccinated groups?

Yes. We don’t know what, if any, kind of link there is between vaccines and autism – but we should find out. The lack of research on treatments, interventions, and services for children and adults with autism is a major impediment to the development of delivery of quality care. We need evidence-based research on what works and what doesn’t in order to provide the most effective services for people with autism. In addition to a large-scale federal study, I will create a task force that would include significant representation from the autism community and would be charged with identifying gaps in evidence-based biomedical research, behavioral treatments, and services for children and adults with autism. The task force would present these findings to Congress and the Executive Branch and would make recommendations on how to make evidence-based treatments, interventions, and services available at the state and local levels. Once the task force has completed its work, I will provide funding to establish state-based demonstration grants to provide these evidence-based autism treatments, interventions, and services.

Would you support a federal right for families and individuals to choose for themselves which vaccines they will use?

As President, I will support efforts to ensure that vaccines are safe and effective, including independent reviews and large-scale studies. All Americans should have access to accurate and comprehensive information about vaccinations.

I hate to tap into stereotypes, but if that’s not a stereotypical Clinton weasel, I don’t know what is. The shame is that I’ve talked with some of Clinton’s health policy people, and they’re smarter than this.

Update: McCain has fully embraced this crap, and Obama seems to be pulling the same weasel dodge. Bipartisanship at last….

Every dollar we spend on this woo is a dollar we’re not spending to find the real causes of autism.

Comments

  1. #1 miles
    April 23, 2008

    actually the science linking vaccines to health problems is quite reliable. When Japan broke away from the US vaccination schedule in the 70′s and delayed their vaccinations until the child was at least 2 years old (and their blood/brain barrier and immune system had finished developing) they saw their SIDS rates fall from US rates to almost zero. They now have three decades of consistent data to show that if you want to get rid of a SIDS epidemic, start looking at how we vaccinate our children. The Japanese still use most of the vaccines we do, but later use makes all the difference.

  2. #3 ryan
    April 23, 2008

    Not to depress you (although it certainly depressed me), but I’m a public health graduate student in Atlanta. In a recent class, a student group presenting on autism implied that the autism-vaccine link was still a valid hypothesis, without enough evidence either way.

    I obviously objected, quite vociferously, but seemed to be the only one astounded by the claim. These are public health, some of them epidemiology, students!

    What hope have we?

  3. #4 Joel
    April 23, 2008

    Ahem. *cough* Obamasnotmuchbetter. *cough*

    Yes, but we must hold Hillary to a much higher standard.

  4. #5 HCN
    April 23, 2008

    miles, you have been lied to, especially about Japan and SIDS.

    From http://www.pathguy.com/antiimmu.htm:
    The anti-immunization activist author goes on with inflammatory, unreferenced stuff. After doing a computer search of the literature back to 1965, I am convinced that some activist simply made up the business about SIDS in Japan. He follows it with rhetoric about the need for a massive study of the whole business, not telling his readers that this has already been performed and that no correlation has been found.

    April 10: Jennifer Bankers-Fulbright wrote me about the explanation for the Japan SIDS business.

    JAMA 257: 1375, 1987: “In Japan, the problem of vaccine-associated SIDS was eliminated not by the introdution of acellular pertussis vaccines, but by the change of immunization from 3 months to 2 years.”
    The rate of SIDS in Japan did not change, but because the immunization schedule was changed, people stopped blaming the vaccine.

    I have spent a lot of time looking for this often-cited Japanese evidence, and have found so little that I must believe that the story originated with the misinterpretation of one person and spread like wildfire (as all the really “good” stories do). The rate of SIDS, I recall, did not change over the time-frame when this vaccination schedule shift occurred… Clearly it is the “vaccination-associated” classification of SIDS that went away; not SIDS itself.

    6//7/00: A correspondent shared an account of the SIDS in Japan business. An online account of further deceptions involving vaccines and SIDS is also down.

    ……

    A search on PubMed found now real information on Japan and SIDS. But I did find this abstract:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15889991?

    Which says:

    “An antivaccine movement developed in Japan as a consequence of increasing numbers of adverse reactions to whole-cell pertussis vaccines in the mid-1970s. After two infants died within 24 h of the vaccination from 1974 to 1975, the Japanese government temporarily suspended vaccinations. Subsequently, the public and the government witnessed the re-emergence of whooping cough, with 41 deaths in 1979. This series of unfortunate events revealed to the public that the vaccine had, in fact, been beneficial. Furthermore, researchers and the Japanese government proceeded to develop safer pertussis vaccines. Japan now has the most experience worldwide with acellular pertussis vaccines, being the first country to have approved their use. This review describes the major events associated with the Japanese vaccination program. The Japanese experience should be valuable to other countries that are considering the development and use of such vaccines.”

  5. #6 Marek
    April 24, 2008

    This is the true, ugly head of the “same old politics.” partisan politics are certainly no worse than politicians being willing to say whatever you think will help them.

    I’ve got a blog post about this as well. To quote myself:

    “We have become so accustomed to double-talk, that we have trouble understanding something as empirical as science, something that is more than smoke and mirrors.”

    To me, that’s the true tragedy. Opinion is king, spin is king, and we are conditioned to be willing to view nothing as empirical, or “true.” We are at ease disagreeing with anything that doesn’t suit us.

  6. #7 Joel
    April 24, 2008

    Since Obama is not much better, maybe there is another reason you feel better voting for him?

    April 24, 1928

    The Supreme Court of Canada declares that though women are indeed legal “persons,” they are nevertheless ineligible to serve in the Canadian Senate. The Court agreed that the term “person” applies equally to humans of both genders, but the British North America Act referred specifically to “fit and qualified persons” — necessarily excluding unfit and unqualified people (aka females).

  7. #8 hydropsyche
    April 25, 2008

    Since Obama and McCain have said similar things, maybe you should change the headline on this, or at least put your update/correction above the fold?

  8. #9 seks shop
    February 13, 2010

    The Supreme Court of Canada declares that though women are indeed legal “persons,” they are nevertheless ineligible to serve in the Canadian Senate. The Court agreed that the term “person” applies equally to humans of both genders, but the British North America Act referred specifically to “fit and qualified persons” — necessarily excluding unfit and unqualified people (aka females

  9. #10 yargıc
    February 19, 2010

    Not to depress you (although it certainly depressed me), but I’m a public health graduate student in Atlanta. In a recent class, a student group presenting on autism implied that the autism-vaccine link was still a valid hypothesis, without enough evidence either way.

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