Terra Sigillata

Thanks to the always vigilant eyes of Liz Ditz, Ratbags.com is reporting that pediatric immunologist and vaccine developer Dr. Paul Offit, writer Amy Wallace, and Condé Nast (publisher of Wired magazine) are being sued for libel in US District Court by Barbara Loe Fisher, founder and acting president of the so-called National Vaccine Information Center.

Readers will recall that Wallace’s article on Dr. Offit and the fear and misinformation propagated by anti-vaccinationists was the centerpiece of a feature in Wired magazine aptly titled, “Epidemic of Fear.”

My short take: The lawsuit is an attempt to silence or intimidate those who speak out against individuals and organizations that threaten public health. When scientific facts accumulate that refute their views, the response is to file frivolous legal action.

Ratbags.com has posted a copy of the complaint here (PDF) that was filed December 23 in Alexandria, Virginia. Fisher seeks damages of $75,000.

As detailed on under item #20 on pg. 11, the complaint boils down to what is described this “principle [sic] attack on Fisher’s honesty”:

Offit was quoted by Wallace as saying, “She lies,” in reference to Fisher.

On October 25, I wrote a post singing the praises of Wallace’s article (original here) and the entire issue of Wired. Two days later, we wrote more, this time on the hostile, sexually-explicit comments made to Ms. Wallace by anti-vaccinationists following the lauding of Wallace’s article by the international science and medical community. An anti-vaccination organization followed up at Thanksgiving posting a “parody” photograph of Offit, Wallace, and others dining on a baby at the holiday feast.

Orac at Respectful Insolence puts this case in perspective in his post, “Suppression of speech through legal intimidation: Anti-vaccine edition.”

The incomparable Peter Bowditch provides his own analysis at Ratbags.com.

I encourage all bloggers who enjoyed Ms. Wallace’s article to be equally vocal in writing about this nuisance attack on her and Dr. Offit.

P.S. As I’m writing this post this morning, Good Morning America has a story on a study to be published today in Pedatrics that refutes the utility of “special diets” in helping children with autism. Watch for the response from those who advocate, or garner financial gain, from promoting such diets.

Comments

  1. #1 Mark Richards
    January 4, 2010

    I am thrilled. When I read that screed the thought occurred to me that Wired was hanging out on a very thin limb allowing that speech.

    Science discredits itself getting mixed up in the politic and money (very BIG money) around this issue. Doing so will not have a good end. Proponents of science equally disgrace themselves through simplistic arguments used to attack those who are attempting to keep a solid line drawn that protects individual human rights. Calling the opposition “religious nutcases”, “quacks”, or “liars” does nothing to support their arguments.

    Barbara Lo Fisher is a well educated person who understands the science and – most relevant – the players. The reason she is so despised by the proponents of the mass vaccination programs is that she is not afraid of them.

    I count myself among scientists who stand with her.

  2. #2 Katharine
    January 4, 2010

    Mark Richards -

    No. She does NOT understand the science.

    And this is not libel.

  3. Do you think it might be a conflict of interest that Dr. Paul Offit of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, received at least $29 million from his share of royalties for Merck’s Rotateq vaccine after using his position with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure that childhood vaccination with the vaccine became compulsory?

    http://tiny.cc/offitcdcvaccine
    http://tiny.cc/offitmercola30million

    http://www.fourteenstudies.org/index.html

  4. #4 automandc
    January 4, 2010

    Minor correction: she is actually requesting $1 million in damages (see paragraph 34 at the end). The $75,000 figure you saw is just the necessary amount to get the case into federal court (it says the damages *exceed* $75K).

    She won’t win. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the case dismissed at a fairly early stage.

  5. #5 Orac
    January 4, 2010

    Winning is not her goal. Harassing Dr. Offit is.

    Of course, if this case were to proceed too far, Ms. Loe Fisher could find out that discovery is a real bitch. That’s the real reason I doubt this case will proceed too far. Can you picture Conde Nast’s lawyers using discovery process to look into the NVIC’s doings and show its anti-vaccine activities? My guess is that Ms. Loe Fisher most definitely does not want that to happen, although she may not yet realize it.

  6. #6 D. C. Sessions
    January 4, 2010

    The incomparable Peter Borowitz

    I’ve been corresponding with the owner of ratbags.com for rather more than a decade, and he’s always signed his name “Peter Bowditch.”

    From Abel: Thanks D.C. – I made the correction above. The caffeine was just beginning to circulate when I wrote Peter’s name.

  7. #7 D. C. Sessions
    January 4, 2010

    Do you think it might be a conflict of interest that Dr. Paul Offit of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, received at least $29 million from his share of royalties for Merck’s Rotateq vaccine after using his position with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure that childhood vaccination with the vaccine became compulsory?

    Don’t we all just love the way that lies [1] like this are posed as questions in an attempt to avoid rock-solid libel claims? “Reckless disregard for the truth [2]” is easily established: Dr. Offit recused himself from the proceedings over his RotaTeq vaccine, and that fact has been pointed out repeatedly when this canard is launched.

    Likewise the amount he received from CHP for his share of the patent licensing is also a matter of public record [3].

    [1] The name on this post is my legal name. If “NJ Coalition for Vaccination Choice” doesn’t like me calling a spade a bloody shovel, she can sue me. Too.
    [2] One of the key issues at stake in matter of libel against a public figure.
    [3] Hint: it was a lot less than $29 million.

  8. #8 k8
    January 4, 2010

    It’s no libel if it’s the truth.

  9. #9 D. C. Sessions
    January 4, 2010

    Of course, if this case were to proceed too far, Ms. Loe Fisher could find out that discovery is a real bitch.

    Ms. Fisher’s clock for “too far” can be pretty short. IANAL, but my understanding of the FRCP is that her ability to unilaterally dismiss the complaint ends as soon as the defendant files counterclaims — and unlike Columbia University Press, Dr. Offit and Conde Nast have a serious incentive to make an example of her.

  10. #10 D. C. Sessions
    January 4, 2010

    AP:

    The caffeine was just beginning to circulate when I wrote Peter’s name.

    Dude! You’re a freaking pharmacologist! Natural products, even! You should know better than to blog with too much blood in the caffeine stream.

  11. #11 Jim Lippard
    January 4, 2010

    The requested damages are “at least $1,000,000,” not $75,000.

    The “at least $75,000″ figure early in the filing is just to establish federal jurisdiction on the suit.

  12. #12 Todd M. Elsner, D.C.
    January 4, 2010

    Haha! I hope the NVIC wins and wins BIG! And by the way… Vaccines cause autism! The U.S. Congress concluded after eight independent investigations into the autism epidemic that: “Thimerosal used as a preservative in vaccines is likely related to the autism epidemic. This epidemic in all probability may have been prevented or curtailed had the FDA not been asleep at the switch regarding the lack of safety data regarding injected thimerosal and the sharp rise of infant exposure to this known neurotoxin. Our public health agencies’ failure to act is indicative of institutional malfeasance for self-protection and misplaced protectionism of the pharmaceutical industry.”

    Source: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getpage.cgi?position=all&page=E1030&dbname=2003_record

  13. #13 Liz Ditz
    January 4, 2010

    Dear Mr. Elsner: (you are not a physician, you have a post-tertiary degree in an area of study more restricted than physical therapy. Your field of manual therapy for limited conditions is notorious for its weak research base.)

    Vaccines cause autism!

    No, they do not. Multiple, multi-national studies have refuted a correlation between vaccination and subsequent development of autism. (Good collection of articles for lay readers on this subject: http://sciencebasedmedicine.org/reference/vaccines-and-autism/ Indeed, the latest study from Poland has an intriguing finding that those vaccinated against measles, mumps & rubella (MMR) are less likely to have an autism diagnosis. Link to abstract of “Lack of Association Between Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccination and Autism in Children: A Case-Control Study.”

    I was unable to open your link http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getpage.cgi?position=all&page=E1030&dbname=2003_record which appears ill-formed. However, searching for some strings in your quote, I discovered that you had meant to link to Rep. Dan Burton’s “Mercury in Medicine Report”, which was read into the Congressional Record on May 20, 2003.http://www.aapsonline.org/vaccines/mercinmed.pd

    (an aside: Six and a half years ago, which is a very long time in terms of medical research…)

    Whose scientific and medical acumen would I trust? Multiple independent researchers with years of training in the various disciplines of epidemiology, vaccinology, medical statistics, infection disease, developmental pediatrics…or a person who did not finish college? (Aside: Burton may be a very able and effective Representative, but that does not make him into a medical expert.)

    The U.S. Congress concluded after eight independent investigations into the autism epidemic that: “Thimerosal used as a preservative in vaccines is likely related to the autism epidemic.

    (a) The United States Congress is not a scientific body.
    (b) Individual members of Congress are subject to a great many influences unrelated to scientific integrity.

    the autism epidemic

    There isn’t one. Numerous sources. One of the most recent, interesting posts is that the true prevalence of adults with autism is around 1:86 http://autismcrisis.blogspot.com/2009/12/1-in-86-prevalence-of-autism-among.html.

  14. #14 Liz Ditz
    January 4, 2010

    Sorry. I must have missed at least one close quote.

    Does this make it better?

  15. #15 fusilier
    January 4, 2010

    Liz Ditz@#13

    It is my misfortune to be in Dan Burton’s Congressional district. He is neither able nor effective; IINM, he has the worst attendance record of any US Representative or Senator not hospitalized. He much prefers to be on the golf course with lobbyists.

    He is widely recognized as an anti-vaxxer and proponent of various medical woo.

    I leave out his personal behavior, since it is irrelevant to the issue at hand.

    fusilier
    James 2:24

  16. #16 David N. Brown
    January 5, 2010

    “Do you think it might be a conflict of interest that Dr. Paul Offit of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, received at least $29 million from his share of royalties for Merck’s Rotateq vaccine after using his position with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure that childhood vaccination with the vaccine became compulsory?”

    Wow, I don’t remember seeing anyone actually defend this figure since I destroyed it last August-September. Olmsted himself admitted he was wrong in Dec. 9, and is now making excuses and trying to reinflate Offit’s alleged income to over $10M.
    And, if Fisher ever did anything with this number, it would be a slam dunk for Offit!

  17. #17 Peter Bowditch
    January 5, 2010

    “Incomparable”!! I’m blushing.

    I’ve rewritten my piece to clarify the damages amount. Fisher is claiming a million dollars but any number over $74,999 would have achieved what she wanted, which is to maximise the cost and inconvenience for the defendants.

    I notice that she is claiming real damages of a million bucks. As she is suing personally, not as NVIC, this must mean that her personal income has been reduced by at least a million dollars between October 19 and December 23. Even if that meant her income had dropped to zero that would put her on just less that $6,000,000 a year. Do you believe that she earns $6,000,000 a year? Neither do I. As it said in the article she is complaining about “She lies”.

  18. #18 Todd M. Elsner, D.C.
    January 5, 2010

    Dear Ms. Ditz:

    I disagree with your claims and will respond in laymen terms so you will be sure to comprehend.

    First, the doctorate degree…. You seem to compare my degree to that of a medical degree. So let’s compare apples to apples. D.C.s have hundreds of hours more in education than M.D.s. So the truth is Chiropractors are not third rate doctors, but rather M.D.s are second rate doctors to D.C.s.

    Source: http://www.chiroweb.com/archives/ahcpr/chapter3.htm

    However, if it makes you feel better to refer to me as mister, I share compassion with you in your poor upbringing and lack of education. I hold no hard feelings, “To error is human, to forgive is divine.” And I forgive you.

    Second, there are copious studies validating the effectiveness of Chiropractic. In place of getting into a study voiding match, I will cite what Paul Shekelle, M.D. (from the RAND corporation) stated on ABC’s 20/20 regarding Chiropractic:“There are considerably more randomized controlled trials which show the benefit of Chiropractic than there are for many, many other things which physicians and neurosurgeons do all the time.”

    However, if you would like to begin your research into the effectiveness of Chiropractic, you can begin here: http://www.acatoday.org/level2_css.cfm?T1ID=13&T2ID=67

    Third, you state that “Multiple, multi-national studies have refuted a correlation between vaccination and subsequent development of autism.” This is laughable at worse, because it is the American children who suffer along with their families that are torn into this devastation called autism- I know, I see these children every day! The studies that you are referring to were performed by the pharmaceutical companies who have everything to lose. Why don’t you try looking into the facts? You can start here:
    http://www.putchildrenfirst.org/

    However, If the tobacco companies’ stated today “smoking does not cause lung cancer,” would you believe them? If so, please look at the facts with an open mind. The truth is…. Pharmaceutical companies have paid for these autism studies for self protectionism (i.e. To save their own a$$).

    Fourth, I checked the link http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getpage.cgi?position=all&page=E1030&dbname=2003_record And it opens just fine. This is what the U.S. Congress read into the Congressional Record after they concluded their investigation. Your argument referring to Dan Burton reading this into the record as not being scientific is the same as saying a criminal did not receive a sentence because the judge read it into the record. Your arguments are beginning to become asinine.

    Fifth, you call these researchers independent. You call Thomas Verstraeton an independent researcher? This man found a 7.62 and 11.35 relative risk for autism associated with mercury-containing vaccines (A relative risk of 2.00 is all that is needed in a court of law to prove causation). And then he goes to work for a pharmaceutical company (GSK Belgium), finishes his study and finds a zero risk? How about Julie Gerberding, this lady was former head of CDC who swore vaccines don’t cause autism, and then she goes to work this year for Merck? Ms. Ditz, if you believe them, you are truly a DITZ!

    Sixth, You state: “The United States Congress is not a scientific body.” They held eight independent investigations into the current autism epidemic. They heard scientist speak from all around the world (i.e. “World Renowned”). Their conclusion was based on scientific information, and that conclusion was: “Thimerosal used as a preservative in vaccines is likely related to the autism epidemic. This epidemic in all probability may have been prevented or curtailed had the FDA not been asleep at the switch regarding the lack of safety data regarding injected thimerosal and the sharp rise of infant exposure to this known neurotoxin. Our public health agencies’ failure to act is indicative of institutional malfeasance for self-protection and misplaced protectionism of the pharmaceutical industry.” It appears you are in denial….

    Seventh, There isn’t an autism epidemic??? You truly show your ignorance with this statement. Polio was 1/3000 in the 1950’s. Today autism is 1/110 according to the CDC. Look how much national attention autism receives compared to polio in the 50’s- no comparison. This is due to the fact that the pharmaceutical companies want to cover this epidemic up as much as possible.

    Lastly, you claim that chiropractic is limited in studies. I suggest you educate yourself with the Windsor Autopsies. It was reported in 1921 in the Medical Times that Chiropractic was effective in “curing” visceral disease. I name this study because it was done in 1921. What the medical profession fears today is that Chiropractic is a threat to their bottom line- Money. If you’re not convinced after reading the Medical Times study, then read how the AMA tried to eliminate the Chiropractic profession by Googling “Wilk vs. AMA”.

    Sources: Winsor Autopsies: http://www.sequoiawellness.com/files/Winsor-Autopsies.pdf
    Wilk vs. AMA: http://www.chiro.org/Wilk/

  19. #19 Omri
    January 5, 2010

    First, the doctorate degree…. You seem to compare my degree to that of a medical degree. So let’s compare apples to apples. D.C.s have hundreds of hours more in education than M.D.s. So the truth is Chiropractors are not third rate doctors, but rather M.D.s are second rate doctors to D.C.s.

    That is not apples to apples. DC’s spend those hours learning chiropractic. MD’s spend those hours learning medicine. And I have spent more hours with my ass on the can than any MD or DC spent in class, and by that measure, I trump your claim to being qualified to judge whether vaccines cause autism.

  20. #20 Omri
    January 5, 2010

    Third, you state that “Multiple, multi-national studies have refuted a correlation between vaccination and subsequent development of autism.” This is laughable at worse, because it is the American children who suffer along with their families that are torn into this devastation called autism- I know, I see these children every day!

    Last I checked, autism sucks for children of any nationality. But that is orthogonal to whether it is caused by vaccines.

    “The studies that you are referring to were performed by the pharmaceutical companies who have everything to lose.”

    Not the studies performed in Britain and Denmark. Hence: multinational.

  21. #21 Chris
    January 5, 2010

    Mr. Eisner, none of the links you posted are reliable sources of scientific evidence, especially the congressional testimony. The Putchildrenfirst website is just another one of JB Handley’s pieces of work (just like Generation Rescue, Age of Autism and the regrettable 14Studies sites, plus the several websites that he cybersquats, including one using Paul Offit’s name).

    Since you can’t tell the difference between a public relations website and actual science, I believe you wasted your time getting a DC degree. The following are actual papers by actual scientists, I suggest you try to find them, read them, and then go find a real doctor to explain them to you:

    Lack of Association between Measles Virus Vaccine and Autism with Enteropathy: A Case-Control Study.
    Hornig M et al.
    PLoS ONE 2008; 3(9): e3140 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003140
    *Subjects: 25 children with autism and GI disturbances and 13 children with GI disturbances alone (controls)

    Measles Vaccination and Antibody Response in Autism Spectrum Disorders.
    Baird G et al.
    Arch Dis Child 2008; 93(10):832-7.
    Subjects: 98 vaccinated children aged 10-12 years in the UK with autism spectrum disorder (ASD); two control groups of similar age: 52 children with special educational needs but no ASD and 90 children in the typically developing group

    MMR-Vaccine and Regression in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Negative Results Presented from Japan.
    Uchiyama T et al.
    J Autism Dev Disord 2007; 37(2):210-7
    *Subjects: 904 children with autism spectrum disorder
    (Note: MMR was used in Japan only between 1989 and 1993.)

    No Evidence of Persisting Measles Virus in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells from Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
    D’Souza Y et al.
    Pediatrics 2006; 118(4):1664-75
    *Subjects: 54 children with autism spectrum disorder and 34 developmentally normal children

    Immunizations and Autism: A Review of the Literature.
    Doja A, Roberts W.
    Can J Neurol Sci. 2006; 33(4):341-6
    *Literature review

    Pervasive Developmental Disorders in Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Prevalence and Links with Immunizations.
    Fombonne E et al.
    Pediatrics. 2006;118(1):e139-50
    *Subjects: 27,749 children born from 1987 to 1998 attending 55 schools

    Relationship between MMR Vaccine and Autism.
    Klein KC, Diehl EB.
    Ann Pharmacother. 2004; 38(7-8):1297-300
    *Literature review of 10 studies

    Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism. Institute of Medicine.
    The National Academies Press: 2004
    (w w w . nap.edu/books/030909237X/html) *Literature review

    MMR Vaccination and Pervasive Developmental Disorders: A Case-Control Study.
    Smeeth L et al.
    Lancet 2004; 364(9438):963-9
    *Subjects: 1294 cases and 4469 controls

    Age at First Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccination in Children with Autism and School-Matched Control Subjects: A Population-Based Study in Metropolitan Atlanta.
    DeStefano F et al. Pediatrics 2004; 113(2): 259-66
    *Subjects: 624 children with autism and 1,824 controls

    Prevalence of Autism and Parentally Reported Triggers in a North East London Population.
    Lingam R et al.
    Arch Dis Child 2003; 88(8):666-70
    *Subjects: 567 children with autistic spectrum disorder

    Neurologic Disorders after Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccination.
    Makela A et al.
    Pediatrics 2002; 110:957-63
    *Subjects: 535,544 children vaccinated between November 1982 and June 1986 in Finland

    A Population-Based Study of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccination and Autism.
    Madsen KM et al.
    N Engl J Med 2002; 347(19):1477-82
    *Subjects: All 537,303 children born 1/91–12/98 in Denmark

    Relation of Childhood Gastrointestinal Disorders to Autism: Nested Case Control Study Using Data from the UK General Practice Research Database.
    Black C et al.
    BMJ 2002; 325:419-21
    *Subjects: 96 children diagnosed with autism and 449 controls

    Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccination and Bowel Problems or Developmental Regression in Children with Autism: Population Study.
    Taylor B et al.
    BMJ 2002; 324(7334):393-6
    *Subjects: 278 children with core autism and 195 with atypical autism

    No Evidence for a New Variant of Measles-Mumps-Rubella-Induced Autism.
    Fombonne E et al.
    Pediatrics 2001;108(4):E58
    *Subjects: 262 autistic children (pre- and post-MMR samples)

    Measles-Mumps-Rubella and Other Measles-Containing Vaccines Do Not Increase the Risk for Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Case-Control Study from the Vaccine Safety Datalink Project.
    Davis RL et al.
    Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2001;155(3):354-9
    *Subjects: 155 persons with IBD with up to 5 controls each

    Time Trends in Autism and in MMR Immunization Coverage in California.
    Dales L et al.
    JAMA 2001; 285(9):1183-5
    *Subjects: Children born in 1980-94 who were enrolled in California kindergartens (survey samples of 600–1,900 children each year)

    Mumps, Measles, and Rubella Vaccine and the Incidence of Autism Recorded by General Practitioners: A Time Trend Analysis.
    Kaye JA et al.
    BMJ 2001; 322:460-63
    *Subjects: 305 children with autism

    Further Evidence of the Absence of Measles Virus Genome Sequence in Full Thickness Intestinal Specimens from Patients with Crohn’s Disease.
    Afzal MA, et al.
    J Med Virol 2000; 62(3):377-82
    *Subjects: Specimens from patients with Crohn’s disease

    Autism and Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccine: No Epidemiological Evidence for a Causal Association.
    Taylor B et al.
    Lancet 1999;353 (9169):2026-9
    *Subjects: 498 children with autism

    Absence of Detectable Measles Virus Genome Sequence in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Tissues and Peripheral Blood Lymphocytes.
    Afzal MA et al.
    J Med Virol 1998; 55(3):243-9
    *Subjects: 93 colonoscopic biopsies and 31 peripheral blood lymphocyte preparations

    No Evidence for Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccine-Associated Inflammatory Bowel Disease or Autism in a 14-year Prospective Study.
    Peltola H et al.
    Lancet 1998; 351:1327-8
    *Subjects: 3,000,000 doses of MMR vaccine

    Exposure to Measles in Utero and Crohn’s Disease: Danish Register Study.
    Nielsen LL et al.
    BMJ 1998; 316(7126):196-7
    *Subjects: 472 women with measles

    Immunocytochemical Evidence of Listeria, Escherichia coli, and Streptococcus Antigens in Crohn’s Disease.
    Liu Y et al.
    Gastroenterology 1995; 108(5):1396-1404
    *Subjects: Intestines and mesenteric lymph node specimens from 21 persons from families with a high frequency of Crohn’s disease

    Neuropsychological Performance 10 years after Immunization in Infancy with Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines
    Tozzi AE, Bisiacchi P, Tarantino V, De Mei B, D’Elia L, Chiarotti F, Salmaso S.
    Pediatrics, February 2009, Vol. 123(2):475-82

    Mercury Levels in Newborns and Infants after Receipt of Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines
    Pichichero ME, Gentile A, Giglio N, et al
    Pediatrics, February 2008; 121(2) e208-214

    Mercury, Vaccines, And Autism: One Controversy, Three Histories
    Baker JP
    American Journal of Public Health, February 2008;98(2): 244-253

    Continuing Increases in Autism Reported to California’s Developmental Services System: Mercury in Retrograde
    Schechter R, Grether JK
    Arch Gen Psychiatry, January 2008; 65(1):19-24

    Early Thimerosal Exposure and Neuropsychological Outcomes at 7 to 10 Years
    Thompson WW, Price C, Goodson B, et al; Vaccine Safety Datalink Team
    N Engl J Med, Sep 27, 2007; 357(13):1281-1292

    Pervasive Developmental Disorders in Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Prevalence and Links with Immunizations
    Fombonne E, Zakarian R, Bennett A, Meng L, McLean-Heywood D
    Pediatrics, July 2006, Vol. 118(1):e139-e150

    Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System Reporting Source: A Possible Source of Bias in Longitudinal Studies
    Goodman MJ, Nordin J
    Pediatrics, February 2006, Vol. 117(2):387-390

    MMR-Vaccine and Regression in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Negative Results Presented from Japan
    Authors: Uchiyama T, Kurosawa M, Inaba Y
    Source: J Autism Dev Disord, February 2007; 37(2):210-217

    Thimerosal in Vaccines: Balancing the Risk of Adverse Effects with the Risk of Vaccine-Preventable Disease
    Bigham M, Copes R
    Drug Safety, 2005, Vol. 28(2):89-101

    Comparison of Blood and Brain Mercury Levels in Infant Monkeys Exposed to Methylmercury or Vaccines Containing Thimerosal
    Burbacher TM, Shen DD, Liberato N, Grant KS, Cernichiari E, Clarkson T
    National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, April 21, 2005

    Thimerosal Exposure in Infants and Developmental Disorders: A Prospective Cohort Study in the United Kingdom Does Not Support a Causal Association
    Heron J, Golding J, ALSPAC Study Team
    Pediatrics, September 2004, Vol. 114(3):577-583

    Thimerosal Exposure in Infants and Developmental Disorders: A Retrospective Cohort Study in the United Kingdom Does Not Support a Causal Association
    Andrews N, Miller E, Grant A, Stowe J, Osborne V, Taylor B
    Pediatrics, September 2004, Vol. 114(3):584-591

    Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines and Autistic Spectrum Disorder: A Critical Review of Published Original Data
    Parker SK, Schwartz B, Todd J, Pickering LK
    Pediatrics, September 2004, Vol. 114(3):793-804

    The Evidence for the Safety of Thimerosal in Newborn and Infant Vaccines
    Clements CJ
    Vaccine, May 7, 2004, Vol. 22(15-16):1854-1861

    Safety of Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines: A Two-Phased Study of Computerized Health Maintenance Organization Databases
    Verstraeten T, Davis RL, DeStefano F, et al
    Pediatrics, November 2003, Vol. 112(5):1039-1048

    The Toxicology of Mercury–Current Exposures and Clinical Manifestations
    Clarkson TW, Magos L, Myers GJ
    New England Journal of Medicine, October 30, 2003, Vol. 349(18):1731-7

    Association Between Thimerosal-Containing Vaccine and Autism
    Hviid A, Stellfeld M, Wohlfahrt J, Melbye M
    Journal of the American Medical Association, October 1, 2003, Vol. 290(13):1763-6

    Thimerosal and the Occurrence of Autism: Negative Ecological Evidence from Danish Population-Based Data
    Madsen KM, Lauritsen MB, Pedersen CB, et al
    Pediatrics, Sept. 2003, Vol. 112(3 Pt 1):604-606

    Autism and Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines. Lack of Consistent Evidence for an Association
    Stehr-Green P, Tull P, Stellfeld M, Mortenson PB, Simpson D
    American Journal of Preventive Medicine, August 2003, Vol. 25(2):101-6

    Impact of the Thimerosal Controversy on Hepatitis B Vaccine Coverage of Infants Born to Women of Unknown Hepatitis B Surface Antigen Status in Michigan
    Biroscak BJ, Fiore AE, Fasano N, Fineis P, Collins MP, Stoltman G
    Pediatrics, June 2003, Vol. 111(6):e645-9

    Vaccine Safety Policy Analysis in Three European Countries: The Case of Thimerosal
    Freed GL, Andreae MC, Cowan AE, et al
    Health Policy, December 2002, Vol. 62(3):291-307

    Mercury Concentrations and Metabolism in Infants Receiving Vaccines Containing Thimerosal: A Descriptive Study
    Pichichero ME, Cernichiari E, Lopreiato J, Treanor J
    The Lancet, November 30, 2002, Vol. 360:1737-1741

    An Assessment of Thimerosal Use in Childhood Vaccines
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  22. #22 Chris
    January 5, 2010

    NJ Coalition for Vaccination Choice:

    Do you think it might be a conflict of interest that Dr. Paul Offit of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, received at least $29 million from his share of royalties for Merck’s Rotateq vaccine after using his position with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure that childhood vaccination with the vaccine became compulsory?

    Where did you get that very false information? If it was from the NVIC, I would say that Ms. Fisher should reconsider her lawsuit.

    Even Olmsted at Age of Autism has (somewhat) corrected the amount of money Dr. Offit earned for co-developing RotaTeq.

    Also, you can go in and check the ACIP meetings, and membership lists. Offit has not been a member for several years, and certainly not when RotaTeq was being discussed, as noted by these ACIP meeting minutes.

  23. #23 geolith
    January 6, 2010

    Third, you state that “Multiple, multi-national studies have refuted a correlation between vaccination and subsequent development of autism.” This is laughable at worse, because it is the American children who suffer along with their families that are torn into this devastation called autism- I know, I see these children every day!

    There seem to be a few missing rungs in this logic ladder…

    For example, since I see obese American children every day, is that also the consequence of vaccinations? If not, perhaps you could describe the differential explanatory mechanism?

  24. #24 Tsu Dho Nimh
    January 6, 2010

    @18 … Unfortunately for you, Google Books has more information:

    EVENING SESSION—8:00 P. M.
    Ten-Minute Addresses

    Sympathetic Segmental Disturbances, or the Association of Visceral Diseases with Minor Spinal Curvatures of the same Sympathetic Segments. Dr. Henry Winsor.
    Abstract: After the examination of fifty animals and fifty human skeletons, minor curvatures of the spine were observed in the majority; after summarizing the results of fifty necropsies, visceral diseases were found to be secondary to minor curvatures of the vertebral column, sympathetic irritation causing vaso-motor spasm of the organs, the ischemia thus produced resulting in a predisposing factor of disease. Temporary curvatures produced in the spines of cats caused collapse of the great vessels and diminution of cardiac movement. Dissections of the sympathetic showed that movement of the spine causes stretching and relaxation of the sympathetic.

    ************
    Nowhere does Winsor mention CURING anything, merely that on autopsy he found what he considered to be misalignments that he related to the visceral disease in the patient that was confirmed at autopsy.

    If you wanted to take his research one step further, take 100 autopsies (or standard chiropractic x-rays) and without referring to any medical records, split out the ones with visceral disease based on which vertebrae are misaligned.

  25. #25 Katharine
    January 8, 2010

    Ho crap, did I miss a chiropractor moron going ‘BUT WAAAAAH I HAVE MORE SCHOOLING THAN DOCTORS, NEVER MIND THAT IT’S ONLY IN PUSHING AROUND PEOPLE’S SPINES AND NOT IN, SAY, REAL SCIENCE AND LEARNING ABOUT THE BODY, SO I’M MORE QUALIFIED THAN DOCTORS!’ Cripes, some of us who are on the grad school track, where we learn REAL science, take five or more years to get our PhDs and we still would go to an MD for medicine because they learn medicine.

    Fuck you, third-rate alt-med chiropractor moron. You and your entire bunch of fellow alt-medders are more useful as soylent green.

  26. #26 Elizabeth
    January 11, 2010

    The fact that people like Fisher, Jenny Mc Carthy and her her sidekick comedian partner have managed to thumb their nose at evidence based medicine is saddening. They are nothing but hucksters and snake oil salesmen that prey on a parent’s inherent guilt when their child does not develop normally, even it that guilt is unfounded. Of course when something deviates from the norm a parent will try to find any denominator–no matter how false– to alleviate that guilt. so let’s blame the vaccines.

    And while we’re blaming vaccines, let’s join other huckters and advocate for snakeoil treatments like antifungals, antivirals, oddball diets, expensive supplements that are made by autism awareness organizations and the potentially dangerous chelation.

    Do you know what these are? Placebos with side effects!

    The antivaccine hucksters are always talking about how Offit, et al have a conflict of interest because they have made a profit. Well what are these snakeoil salesmen doing? They’re making a profit at the expense of parent’s fears.

    Science has proven that vaccines save lives. Expensive Jenny McCarthy “cures” for autism have done nothing but line the pockets of the hucksters that hawk them to vulnerable families.

  27. #27 curious
    April 25, 2010

    Where does Robert Kennedy fit into this equation? He has called the vaccination research Tobacco Science. Is he a quack?

  28. #28 Erin
    July 15, 2010

    The essential issue that the pro-vaccine side keeps missing in this debate: a growing minority of the American (and European) popoluation no longer trusts the “authority” of the vaccine industry. And make no mistake – it is purely a multi-billion-dollar industry. Though the comments here may quibble over the amount of money Dr. Offit and others may have made from Merck, the essential issue is that he has some serious grounds (10 million is still very serious, in my book) to be very biased about any results or findings he may have.

    The question we all need to be asking is – why is is that so many of us (regardless of the science around this issue)are worried about the negative effects of vaccination and choose to believe that those we should trust the most – pediatricians, FDA, CDC – do not actually have our children’s best interests at heart here? Maybe we have found something in the anecdotal evidence that rings true to us? Or maybe it is comments like Elizabeth’s who, as usual, claim that any vocal opponent to vaccination is a snake-oil salesman pushing (gasp) “oddball” diets or vitamin supplements, that finally push some of us into the other camp.

    And let’s please not use diet as an example of “Placebos with side effects”. The entire pharmeceutical industry’s wares could be described that way(anti-depressants, for starters).

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