A press conference touting "proof" that vaccines cause autism and that the government has admitted it?

I can hardly wait to see what the "proof" is this time:

Investigators and Families of Vaccine-Injured Children to Unveil Report Detailing Clear Vaccine-Autism Link Based on Government's Own Data

Report Demands Immediate Congressional Action

Directors of the Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law and Advocacy (EBCALA), parents and vaccine-injured children will hold a press conference on the steps of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (717 Madison Place, NW in Washington, DC) on Tuesday, May 10 at 12:00 PM to unveil an investigation linking vaccine injury to autism. For over 20 years, the federal government has publicly denied a vaccine-autism link, while at the same time its Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) has been awarding damages for vaccine injury to children with brain damage, seizures and autism. This investigation, based on public, verifiable government data, breaks new ground in the controversial vaccine-autism debate.

The investigation found that a substantial number of children compensated for vaccine injury also have autism. The government has asserted that it "does not track" autism among the vaccine-injured. Based on this preliminary investigation, the evidence suggests that autism is at least three times more prevalent among vaccine-injured children than among children in the general population.

I'm getting out my popcorn, and I also thank Age of Autism in advance for providing me blogging material for Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. Sadly, I have to work on Tuesday, and, because it's my OR day, there's just no way I'll be able to watch the press conference live, even from my office. I'm sure, however, that it will be posted somewhere for my edification by Tuesday evening. I'm also sure that, at the very least, it will give me a hearty chuckle, if the quality of past "reports" and "studies" of this sort is any indication.

More like this

...its Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) has been awarding damages for vaccine injury to children with brain damage, seizures and autism.

Nice sleight of hand there. Strongly implies that 'brain damage, seizures and autism' are the aforementioned 'vaccine injuries' for which damages were awarded, without actually stating it.

They "will hold a pess conference on the steps of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims"-

I am imagining this will compete with the cheesiest of all made-for-tv movie scenes of disgruntled publicly-aware informed citizens ( who vote!) addressing the entrenched-powers-that-be *with one voice*! Fight the power!

As to their evocation of the "vaccine injured" being more likely to display autism- the tact is called -"any port in a storm".

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 07 May 2011 #permalink

Should be good for the utter stupidity presented at this non-event.

I'm sure it will be well attended...just like all the other recent rallies...and covered by the mainstream press (hopefully in bold headlines on the front pages of every newspaper)...just like all the other recent rallies.

Any port in storm, grasping at straws, mountain out of a molehill, yada, yada....

Apropos: a study in England that confirms that the "epidemic" in autism is an artifact caused by the change in diagnostic criteria:

Epidemiology of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Adults in the Community in England

Traolach S. Brugha, MD(NUI), FRCPsych; Sally McManus, MSc; John Bankart, MSc, PhD; Fiona Scott, PhD, CPsychol; Susan Purdon, MSc, PhD; Jane Smith, BSc; Paul Bebbington, PhD, FRCPsych; Rachel Jenkins, MD, FRCPsych; Howard Meltzer, PhD

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2011;68(5):459-465. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.38

Agreed, I like the slight of hand there. Expected though ...

I still don't understand why people can't parse the difference between a severe mental handicap that results in brain injury, and autism. Because they share similar traits, doesn't make them equal.

By haversham (not verified) on 07 May 2011 #permalink

Proof: "Some of those who have been compensated by the vaccine injury program were also diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (a fairly large acceptor), ergo their autism must have been caused by vaccines!
It's all so clear to me now!

After all the vaccine crap posted here, I happened to ask my mom if I ever reacted to a vaccine.

She replied, "Only the MMR."

"Your sister wouldn't talk for a few days and you couldn't walk for a week or two. But after that we were ok."

Some crazy correlations you ask me. We got vaccinated the the same time and we both developed immune/neurological disease in our twenties. Needless to say, I obviously have no memory of this, but I am now more open to the idea that vaccines could cause disease, and I'm not sure it's possible science can be rigorous enough to end the debate.

However, that being said, I remain agnostic.

By The Analyst (not verified) on 07 May 2011 #permalink

She replied, "Only the MMR."

"Your sister wouldn't talk for a few days and you couldn't walk for a week or two. But after that we were ok."

Some crazy correlations you ask me. We got vaccinated the the same time and we both developed immune/neurological disease in our twenties. Needless to say, I obviously have no memory of this, but I am now more open to the idea that vaccines could cause disease, and I'm not sure it's possible science can be rigorous enough to end the debate.

I dont really believe vaccines cause "diseases" but here's a story about how I believe vaccines probably may have caused a "disease" in me.

By Drivebyposter (not verified) on 07 May 2011 #permalink

Correlation and causation... Check it:

"I got circumcised at birth and couldn't walk for a whole year afterward."

Clearly, by the logic used by anti-vaccine types, circumcision takes away the ability to walk.

(Except, it doesn't, but polio does.)

I was vaccinated and later got into a car accident. You can't tell me that vaccinations are totally safe!

RFK Jr. Was supposed to give a press conference about a month ago like this.

The study is in process at the PACE law journal

The study appears to be the one David Kirby started telegraphing years back: a look at the vaccine court decisions and a statement that the "prevalence" of autism in that group is high compared with that expected.

One concern I have in advance is the fact that many cases were decided early on based on a table injury assumption that was incorrect. The "residual seizure disorder" table injury was removed at about 1995. It was removed because the science that put it there in the first place was wrong.

Hannah Bruesewitz, whose case was recently decided by the supreme court, would very likely have been considered a table injury had her family filed something like a month earlier.

Also, the fact that court cases have been decided on autism has already been made public. Kathleen Seidel made this public years back. Others copied her, and, no doubt, this is what got the ball rolling on this study.

Up until now, the definition of "vaccine injured claimant" from these groups has been "someone who filed". By that logic, autism is highly prevalence within the vaccine program, as about 5000 cases were filed for the Omnibus.

It will be interesting to see how many cases involve autism, and how many involve "autistic tendencies".

Such as this case:
"(6) As a sequela to the encephalopathy, Wes Ian Kleinert suffered complications for more than six months after the administration of the DPT vaccine, and he continues to suffer from these complications, which have developed into a residual seizure disorder and autistic tendencies. "

Next week promises to be a big week for autism news. IMFAR has their news conference on Wednesday.

It figures that such tripe is being published by a festering toilet of a law school like Pace. The type of law schools that is just barely above getting its accreditation revoked by authorities. I would be really surprised if more than 10 percent of their students actually get law jobs after graduation and the tuition is around the 45k a year mark. They are the law equivalent to the online, for-profit degrees in sciences.

Anyway, a good partner for ageofautism and their scam-artist supplement-pushing physicians.

By Agent Smith (not verified) on 08 May 2011 #permalink

@ Matt Carey: The case you cited, Wes Ian Kleinert, really interests me. If in fact the child received the whole cell antigen DPT, he may have had a high fever...it was one of the problems with DPT. The citation provided no other pre-existing conditions such as infantile febrile seizures, failure to meet developmental milestones, or any genetic testing. I suspect the citation deliberately left out an evaluation for mental retardation....yet uses the buzzwords "autistic tendencies".

If the child has any degree of mental retardation... autistic-like behavior or "autistic tendencies" are manifested frequently as well. Parents of moderately, severely and profoundly retarded children consider themselves fortunate if the "autistic tendencies" that go along with their child's impairment is limited to (harmless) self stimulating behaviors rather than the very difficult to manage self-injurious behaviors.

See that is what happens when the original diagnoses for special education gets changed from "Learning Disabled" to ASD, from ADHD to ASD and "Mental Retardation" gets changed to ASD.

ASD has become the "trend thing"..the disorder dejour. It, in many cases, has turned into the mantra "my child was injured by vaccines", especially when you have celebrity moms, backed up by a alternative medicine doc, naturopaths, homeopaths other "nutrition" experts who are believed by a gullible, vulnerable group of parents.

@ Agent Smith- What can you expect, a crappy law school involved in publishing articles like this, crappy lawyers involved in the press conference - if you look at EBCALA's board ( see website) Mary Holland ( co-author of "Vaccine Epidemic" w/ LKH) and Robert Krakow ( the "Vaccine Laywer"),accomplice of RFK jr and natural health entrepreneurs. BTW, Pace is in NYC, *everything* in NYC costs 45K.

@ Matt Carey-I made a joke @ RI that since I was invited to an event RFK jr will host I should personally congratulate him on his environmental work and for enabling disease promoters like Wakefield et al. However tempting it is, I raised to be a lady which means "send him a note" instead.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 08 May 2011 #permalink

First off, this "study" is simply a compilation of legal decisions. And even if the VICP had compensated parents for autism caused by vaccines, that is a legal decision (in a system biased in favor of the plaintiff) about what caused the "autism" and a legal decision that the injury was, in fact, autism. [Note: as I recall, the VICP has not specifically compensated for "autism" and - again, based on my possibly flawed memory - there was a large "omnibus" proceding which came out rather strongly against the hypothesis that vaccines caused autism.]

And, to bring the point home, legal decisions are not data. The data indicate that vaccines do not cause autism.

Secondly, if - as the data suggest - vaccines do not cause autism, we should still expect that at least 1% of so of the cases filed with the VICP should involve children with autism. This is the current estimate of autism prevalence in the US, so it would be significant if there was a lower autism prevalence among children claiming compensation through the VICP.

In fact, since filing VICP claims en masse for autism has been somewhat of a cottage industry among tort lawyers, I think that we should expect a much higher autism prevalence among VICP claims and - as a result - among those awarded compensation.

Finally, it appears - from the press release - that this "study" will attempt to conflate "brain damage" and seizures with "autism" in an attempt to artificially inflate their numbers. This suggests that even the liberal VICP awards didn't give the authors the "data" they needed to make their pre-ordained point (i.e. that vaccines cause autism).

I expect they will do this by claiming that children compensated specifically for seizures, encephalitis or "brain damage" also have autism or "autistic features". Given the protean nature and flexible diagnostic criteria for "autistic spectrum disorder" (not to mention the flexible practitioners who diagnose it with little rigour), this is not a very sound argument (to say the least).

So, watch for these three tactical manoeuvres at the press conference:

[1] Using legal decisions as scientific data.

[2] Neglecting to mention that tort lawyers have "stuffed" the VICP with "autism" claims.

[3] Claiming or implying that "brain damage" and seizures are equivalent to "autism".

I may be completely wrong, but having watched this particular Kabuki theatre play out so many times, I think I know how this one will turn out.


I am predicting right now that this will be some highly cherry picked internal communication of a government agency taken entirely out of context.

By superdave (not verified) on 08 May 2011 #permalink

I am predicting right now that this will be some highly cherry picked internal communication of a government agency taken entirely out of context.

You're probably giving them too much credit. I am expecting this to be their evidence:

For over 20 years, the federal government has publicly denied a vaccine-autism link, while at the same time its Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) has been awarding damages for vaccine injury to children with brain damage, seizures and autism.

That and variations of that statement.

By Drivebyposter (not verified) on 08 May 2011 #permalink

The claim that the government has admitted that vaccines cause autism has a familiar ring.

It reminds me of the NaturalNews revelation of an HPV "vaccine hoax", in which Mike Adams trumpeted that the FDA knew that HPV doesn't cause cervical cancer but approved the Gardasil vaccine because, well, because it's part of an Evil Big Pharma Conspiracy.

Mikey seized on an FDA publication which noted that most HPV infections are cleared by the immune system without causing cervical cancer, therefore hey presto! the FDA has admitted that the virus is blameless.

I expect similar deception to be unveiled at the autism lawyers' press conference.

Given that Age of Autism recently praised Mike Adams' NaturalNews as a reliable news media source, we shouldn't be too surprised at the overlap in tactics.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 08 May 2011 #permalink

I think it's staggeringly offensive to autistic children (and to children with brain damage of various forms) that they can't be arsed to distinguish between different types of non-normal. "It's not perfect, therefore it's broken." Nice mentality to apply to your kids.

By stripey_cat (not verified) on 09 May 2011 #permalink

@14 Agent Smith:
"It figures that such tripe is being published by a festering toilet of a law school like Pace. The type of law schools that is just barely above getting its accreditation revoked by authorities. I would be really surprised if more than 10 percent of their students actually get law jobs after graduation and the tuition is around the 45k a year mark. They are the law equivalent to the online, for-profit degrees in sciences."

Actually, Pace highly regarded in Environmental Law (its LLM is ranked as the #3 program), although the law school is generally a low second tier or high third tier program. There is no chance it will lose its accredition. Full disclosure, I am not a Pace Law School grad, nor is any member of my family. As the recently made popular saying goes, "I don't have any skin in that game."

Still, there are three related problems with a law journal publishing this. First, as Prometheus correctly states (and analyzies the problem), a legal case is not data and does not provide data. He could go one and also explain (as he did once in a blog on his own site) that there are a significant number of cases in which the proffered opinions of "vaccines cause autism" experts have been disallowed by courts as failing to meet the applicable legal standard for admission into evidence and consideration by the jury. This has occurred under the Daubert, Frye and modified Frye tests. Accordingly, any reliance on legal decisions would also have to factor in those cases in which the proffered opinions were not admitted as not meeting basic reliability criteria (and also factor in those decisions in which an opinion was admitted, but the expert's opinion testimony was limited, sometimes quite severely limited, in its scope).

Second, a law journal is not a scientific publication. The criteria for article selection and editing standards (and expertise of the editors) are completely different. There is no peer review or any procedure akin to peer review. And, it is perfectly ethical for a law journal article to advocate a position (and ignore evidence that contradicts the opinion of the author).

Finally, the Pace Environmental LLM is clearly a captive of its chief benefactor: RFK, Jr. It's an excellent program, but has an obvious political slant. One must be a true believer in the issues in which RFK, Jr. is a true believer -- which includes vaccines cause autism, and human activity is the cause of catistrophic climate change. Since law is essentially politics, there aren't many valid objections to this, since law isn't science (although much science is becoming heavily politicized in the search for public funding).

Nice mentality to apply to your kids.

But entirely consistent with their usual rhetoric. See also: 'stolen', 'soulless', 'worse than cancer'...

@stripey_cat And not only are they "broken," but they're all "broken" in the exact same way. The idea of different conditions with overlapping symptoms is totally alien to them. Because my OCD shares a few symptoms with ASDs, clearly I have been damaged by vaccines JUST like those with autism. Both cases are TRAGEDIES, because we're not WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN. Ugh.

For all the challenges I have faced, I neither need nor want their pity and condescension. Those of us with neural variations need accommodation and understanding, and to be treated as individuals.

This study
Was reviewed on NPR this morning.
In a study of over 55,000 kids, Results: The prevalence of ASDs was estimated to be 2.64% (95% CI=1.91â3.37), with 1.89% (95% CI=1.43â2.36) in the general-population sample and 0.75% (95% CI=0.58â0.93) in the high-probability group.
That's quite a bit higher than the 1% cited by the CDC. It's gotta be all that vaccine!!!

Oh boy, this should be fun! Shot down in flames in pretty much every scientific arena, the loonies now think that they've found their "proof" in legal decisions (and only after some apparent stretching, if the press release is any indication). So once again, at best, it's "argument by anomaly". I mean, when you want good scientific research, don't most people first reach for law journals? Since it's said that "turnabout it fair play", perhaps in the next AAP journal they can publish an article where Pediatricians detail the limits of the 14th Amendment.

I nominate Red Queen for the Frigging Fox "News" viewer/reporter...just kidding Red Queen.

Thanks for the link to Fox News. I viewed that rather long video on You Tube with their medical "expert"...merely a re-hashing of the tiresome vaccine-autism link and playing with the numbers of people now diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum; totally unscientific and boring.

@lilady: I saw some anti-vaxxers foaming at the mouth about that one like it was Christmas and Jolly Ol' Andy Wakefield had come down their chimney (or perhaps it was just untreated rabies?) and I immediately thought- Fabulous! Now the brain-absent among us who saw this 'fair and balanced' report are going to firmly entrench this "news" in the empty space where high school science curriculum should be. Sadly, people don't even have to see this through to its inevitably pseudoscientific conclusion to use it as a reason not to vaccinate. And we really don't need to be doing measles any more favours.

By Red Queen (not verified) on 09 May 2011 #permalink

@ Red Queen: I did some slumming at Age of Autism and they are featuring the "doctor" who will appear at tomorrow's press conference in a video...unable to view it on my laptop.

The "doctor" is Sarah Bridges, Ph.D.; she is an "Executive Coach, Consultant and Thought Leader"; she has her own webpage at:


Sarah has her own press office and I also did some slumming over there and viewed her article in the Washington Post "Something was Wrong with Porter" and her article in Seed Magazine "The Rise Against Mercury"...what drivel.

So much for the "revealing" press conference showing a conspiracy on the part of the Federal government...I can hardly wait.

It's all so funny...until you yourself have a beautiful child with so horrible a disability as autism. Are vaccines linked to autism? There is some very convincing evidence...

However, there's also similar levels of convincing evidence that we didn't land on the moon, that the Loch Ness monster is real, that GM has an engine that will run on water, etc.

@cajungal: My 12 year old son was diagnosed with high-functioning PDD only a week ago. His early childhood verbal scores and intelligence have never been questioned, they were all in the 65% range. I don't see him as disabled, I see him as different from the majority.

Now instead of calling my child disabled, perhaps you might cite some of your "convincing evidence".

@ cajungal: I also had a disabled child, he died 6 years ago, peacefully in his sleep at age 28. Many of the "regulars" who post here also have children diagnosed with autism and other disabilities. None of us has ever found it "all so funny...until you have a beautiful child with so horrible a disability as autism".

I myself never felt that my son's multiple profound disabilities (including autistic-like behaviors) was "horrible". What I do think is "horrible" is the proliferation of junk scientific studies, theories about vaccine causing autism and the autism "experts" who suck in vulnerable parents.


I viewed that rather long video on You Tube with their medical "expert"...merely a re-hashing of the tiresome vaccine-autism link and playing with the numbers of people now diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum; totally unscientific and boring.

But we all know you are a medical expert. 2 years on top of an LPN degree in the pre scientific '60's. Surely you are objective and therefore scientific with no "skin in the game" right?

No! You vaccinated people for a living. You've convinced yourself it was the best thing to do no matter what happened to your indigent patients. You were more committed to an idea than to what happened to each patient you deceptively gained trust in. That's Ok. That's what you "believed" in.

So, along the "medicine has progressed" mantra that pervades science blogs mentality, you undoubtedly administered some of these less than ideal medicines. How do you feel that you undoubtedly harmed some of your unsuspecting patients? Do you block it out? Do you rationalize, like some religious doctrines, that you did more good than harm therefore you're a good person? Do you deny that medicines harm? What about vaccines? Do you deny that you ever caused harm?

By augustine (not verified) on 09 May 2011 #permalink

Augustine - since when does one need to be a master plumber to call out shoddy workmanship faces with dripping tripe water from badly fitted installations? We stand in the puddle of anti-vaccine waste water and we cannot point out that this seems to be coming out the wrong end?

Ugh Troll: you have repeatedly attacked me on this blog with your vicious postings. I am not an LPN I am a registered nurse who is still licensed to practice. Unlike you I graduated college with a BS-Nursing degree from a real university. Unlike you I know statistics, medical epidemiology, disease process, immunology, bacteriology and virology...somewhat more educated in sciences such as anatomy/physiology, organic and inorganic chemistry, care of patients...than you could ever aspire to. My specialty when I was "gainfully employed" was, and remains Public Health. If you were ever gainfully employed..what was your profession..flipping burgers doesn't count.

I suspect you have some sort of "mommy" complex manifested by your nasty postings directed to me...weird and sicko.

Perhaps your real mommy told you that your many problems of socialization in the real world, your lack of pursuing higher education and your just plain laziness/lack of gainful employment is because you are vaccine "injured"...she lied to you Ugh Troll.

Get an education, try to develop a real personality, knock it off with the "imaginary" children...we all find it tedious and disturbing...and by all means get a real job and get off the dole.

We stand in the puddle of anti-vaccine waste water ...

Nice non science Rhetoric. Touche. Just the vacts website? Seriously? Are you an LPN from the 60's also? You do realize Lilady is an emotional nurse? There is no place for emotions in science. Unless you could provide peer reviewed evidence of course.

Since you are not an expert in plumbing what do you think about indoor plumbing and the vanishing rates of infectious mortality? Any correlation? Nutrition? Any correlation? Sanitation? Any correlation? hygience? etc.,?

What about this one? "I'm on the autistic spectrum and I absolutely love ALL vaccines. I have Aspergers". Are they really on the autistic spectrum?

Yet vaccine induced encephalopathy could no way be on the autistic spectrum? What if the vaccine induced encephalopathy victims could speak out for the greater good. Would you then admit they were autistic?

What "proof" would constitute a vaccine victim to you personally?

By augustine (not verified) on 09 May 2011 #permalink

while at the same time its Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) has been awarding damages for vaccine injury to children with brain damage, seizures and autism.

Wait, last I heard from these folks, the evil court system had barred the poor vaccine victims from receiving any compensation as part of the Vast Government Conspiracy.

I guess the conspiracy is only half-vast.

lilady, I really wouldn't let it bother you when someone who cannot subtract 40 from 2011 and get the correct answer questions your knowledge level.

@lilady: those of us who are adults know that you are a RN. little augie is being very immature and childish. He can't prove you are wrong any other way so he resorts to bratty personal attacks. Please ignore him.

@little augie: I am breaking my rule not to talk to you, but since you are acting like one of my children in a snit, I am going to. Grow up, act your age (or are you REALLY 12? That was the last age I allowed my children to get away with such behavior) and quit attacking people. You have no facts on your side so you throw a tantrum and it's no longer amusing.

Science is not determined in the law courts (and few of the "experts" AOA et al love to use were accepted as experts in law courts). If you want to use Daubert rulings, where law requires scientific proof, then show us the data that would meet the Daubert standards that vaccines, any vaccines, cause autism.

@MI Dawn, if legalities were the arbiter of scientific truth, then using AoA's apparent logic Heliocentrism wasn't formally recognized until 1992 when John Paul II formally acknowledged that Galileo was right and that the church's legal system had been in error.

@Denice Walter: Attorney and "Professor" Holland's uncle was head of the FDA, then became Chairman of a "Big Pharma". If she has family issues (as we all do) that's fine- but don't take it out on the lives of children unvaccinated by parents who fall for her credentials (Harvard and Columbia-Russian and Soviet Studies) She's probably never taken one science course (given the lack of a truly balanced curriculum at Harvard College). It's really too bad that her anger (which is legitimate) is taken out in this way -perhaps she finds comfort, even solace in it. By the way, her brother is Chief of Infectious Diseases at NIH - but he in NO way endorses her work. In fact, he disowns it.
Pace is a decent third tier school, but only New York Law School ranks below it. It provided a forum back in March for her and Krakow. Ohm, and someone should ask RFK, Jr. about his past experiences with needles - a man called, er shooting, "horse"

full paper is here and is (upon first browse) a joke - cannot wait for Kathleen Seidel's take down - will give it a thorough read later!

@Gizmo: I know, and I don't mean to imply that legalities are the determining factor. But little augie can't even give LEGAL facts that vaccines are recognized as a cause of autism, much less the valid scientific facts (which we all know are suppressed by Big Pharma anyway - snicker).

Thanks for the link, Catherina. Some observations from a preliminary scan, without looking at the historical sections in detail (the "study" part received much closer attention):

This assessment of compensated cases showing an
association between vaccines and autism is not, and does not
purport to be, science.

Many "facts" are stated unequivocally without any foundation. Examples include the claim that the government has officially concluded that the increase in autism diagnoses is due to environmental causes (based on a single interview with a single doctor by Kirby); "there is no ambiguity that Hannah Poling in fact had autism" simply because Kirby says so; "Peer-Âreviewed medical and legal journals and prominent vaccine researchers have acknowledged the value of evaluating compensated claims in the past" based on a citation to Ginger Taylor's blog; and a straight-up lie about the content of an article in The Economist which actually came down firmly against the plausibility of any vaccine connection.

Of the 21 cases where they claim that there is autism documented in the decision, only two of them seem to have actually been diagnosed with autism by anyone other than the expert claiming vaccine causation. They then come up with the rest of their claimed cases based on phone screens by volunteers and a questionnaire (when the authors of which state that it is for screening only, not diagnosis).

In other words, it's even more full of lies and manufactured results than Wakefield's Lancet article, which takes a LOT of doing.

@ Catherina: Thanks for the link. I read through it and it has nothing, nada, zilch, bupkes in the way of new information. What a waste of money and resources to try and prove (unsuccessfully, again) a vaccine-autism link.

(Please don't make me read the dreck, again), but did I see something about childhood-onset asthma somewhere in the paper?

One of the wildest, unsubstantiated government conspiracy theories I have ever read.

@ Ted: Sure, I've read about her family. I'm more interested in her relationship with AoA scandal-mongers/ disease promoters and lawyers who are also tangled up with famous woo-meisters- "birds of a feather".

On RFK jr: I have no problem with substance-abusers who have "cleaned up their act" ( or not)- the issue is entirely about using his fame in enabling and advocating pseudo-science that has lead to lower rates of vaccination and higher rates of vaccine-preventable illness. And I'm a *lady*, I would never ambush anyone at a public charitable event. There are typewriters, you know.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 10 May 2011 #permalink

@Denice Walter: It's all about the tort money, and all about the rage when confronted with the sad fact that life at times is not fair and it is how we accommodate that fact which is what distinguishes us. We humans have rights, but here it appears that the right of her autistic child(ren) outweighs the right to life of those who have not been vaccinated, here as well as in poor Third World countries (witness her sad demonstration at Microsoft's NYC offices when the Gates Foundation had the NERVE to suggest vaccination to eliminate, oh polio and other infectious diseases which deprive the Third World of a fresh generation which could solve their problems). She has little understanding (even for one schooled in the law) of "unintentional harm" - if you drive a car incorrectly, it will kill you,. If you board a flight, you might not survive it.Her association with the "woo meisters" align well with what appears to be a Messianic complex (they call her a Warrior Mommy, after all). Even those with monied "credentials" can be easily fooled when outside their areas of expertise, especially when one shapes the facts to fit their agendas..
As far as RFK, Jr., well I can only thank the powers that be in that the clan is in eclipse. (I guess that's the power of public relations, an "entitlement" ethic and instant expertise- after all, his dad was Attorney General at what, 28?).
I've also reviewed the 26 "studies" which claim a MMR-Autism link and find the pretzel logic astounding. Oh, and by the way, I have NO connection with Big Pharma whatsoever, and have led efforts to get pens, pizza, doughnuts, samples, bimbo cheerleaders as detail reps, and others of that ilk out of my hospitals and clinics.
I can tell you a hell of a lot more, but not in this forum..

From the report (p 528):

We anticipate lively critique of this preliminary assessment.
Here are several of the most likely counterarguments:

(1) âSecondary autismâ exists, but vaccines only âresulted inâ autism and did not âcauseâ it.
Some may argue that vaccines indirectly caused autism as a
result of other vaccine-Âinduced brain damage. Whether autism is considered a secondary injury to encephalopathy and residual seizure disorder or a primary injury appears to be a semantic point having little legal significance.

There may be little legal significance, but there is a major clinical distinction in terms of exact medical diagnosis. What we see here is an attempt to usurp a legal ruling about an issue in an attempt to conjure up non-existent medical evidence of direct causation.

(2) These individuals suffered from Dravetâs Syndrome, a genetic disorder;; they would have had the same outcomes without vaccination.
Vocal proponents of the U.S. vaccine program are likely to
argue that many of these cases were wrongly compensated in the first place. They will argue that these brain damaged individuals suffered from a rare genetic condition called Dravetâs Syndrome, and thus their seizures and encephalopathy shortly after vaccination were coincidental.

And they would very probably be right. Dravet's is a genetic epilepsy disorder that presents within the first year of life. The fact that someone with the genetic fingerprint of the disease might experience a fit a short time after a vaccination is something that happens; the only possible antivax counterargument/corollary seems to be that a child with Dravet's would never experience fits if they hadn't been vaccinated - a ridiculous concept, analogous to claiming that someone with hemophilia would never have a haemorrhage unless they were not vaccinated first.

(3) Parents are poor reporters of their childrenâs condition.
Critics will assert that parental caregivers are poor reporters of their childrenâs conditions, subject to âconfirmation bias.â As a result, they will argue that these findings are not credible. Because of these concerns, we administered the SCQ to 27% of the total number of compensated families (and 35% of the cases having no published decisions) and found a high correlation between parental reports and scores for autism using this recognized screening tool.

Well parents may be poor reporters of their children's condition (cf Michelle Cedillo, Autism Omnibus). But this antivax defence (showing parents are good at recognising autism traits) is rather a strawman, and unlikely to be a prominent reason why this study will be viewed as hardly credible.

And.... That's it.
The authors come up with 3 possible "criticisms" of their study which they try and indicate are invalid. Except in my estimation they have not achieved this at all, merely waffled on about irrelevancies and tried to confuse the issues further in a lame attempt to throw critics off the scent.

They want criticisms? How about this one - autistic spectrum disorders are common (1 in 100 or so kids?). Statistically speaking, many kids will first display autistic symptoms after vaccination. If that vaccination was linked at the time to a reaction like a fever, then an observer will spuriously try and link the vaccination reaction with later exhibition of autistic symptoms, without proof of causation. Since autism is common, this supposed link will be quite common, and if autism leeches, sorry, vaccine claimant lawyers whip up a plethora of claimants, then the problem may give the appearance of being very common, when it may be entirely coincidental. And no review of legal claims will ever be able to provide evidence otherwise.


i was wondering what happens the rates of infectious mortality when wars destory santations systems and food production. Things like plauge dysintary thyphiod do but not measels and such. though they do when pop up when vacine rates drop like the break up of the soivet union any ideas

By mr. admas (not verified) on 10 May 2011 #permalink

Look no farther than Haiti - after the recent earthquake, the introduction of Cholera by UN personnel has been devastating.

I viewed the press conference at:


Nothing new there, just the same old arguments from parents whose children received compensation for onset of seizures following immunization that resulted in severe/profound degrees of intellectual impairment...along with autistic-like behaviors.

Each of the speakers reiterated that they are not anti-vaccine, but rather proponents of safe vaccine and want Congress to hold hearings about the vaccine court's decisions...and that kids who are diagnosed with autism should be compensated.

@lilady: yes, but watch them sway and dance to the musician playing "Vaccine Gestapo" at the Autism "demonstration" in Grant Park in 2010.
Or, how they hoot down public health advocates with ad hominem insults (such as at NYU Law School in February 2011)
Anti-vaccine? yeah, right, and I've a bridge to sell you.