Variations on a theme of anti-vaccine nonsense

If there's one thing about anti-vaccine activists that is virtually their sine qua non, it's an utter lack of understanding of science. Actually, a more accurate description would be that it's a highly selective understanding of science. Nowhere do I find this to be the case as much as when I see anti-vaccine loons pulling what I like to call the "toxins gambit," or, as I've put it before, "Why are we injecting TOXINS into our babies?" It's a gambit that anti-vaccine activists seemingly never tire of, and it comes in a wide variety of forms, but they all have one of two things in common. Either a chemical that is not toxic is represented as being toxic, or a chemical that is not toxic at the dosage found in vaccines is hyped as a horrible toxin, using warnings that apply only to much, much higher exposures than found in any vaccine, as Dr. Jay Gordon once so boneheadedly did with formaldehyde, the added silliness being that formadehyde is produced in the body during normal metabolism.

The reason I bring this up is because it occurred to me that the recent bit of nonsense promulgated by the anti-vaccine group SANE Vax posted a series of fear mongering press releases claiming that they had detected--gasp!--HPV DNA in the HPV vaccine Gardasil is in fact a variant of the "toxins" gambit. Let's put it this way. SANE Vax made a huge deal over how Merck states on the package insert for Gardasil that there is no HPV DNA in the vaccine. What that means in science is that Merck couldn't detect HPV DNA in Gardasil using standard tests in existence at the time. It's highly questionable that SANE Vax's pathologist, Dr. Sin Hang Lee has actually detected what he's claimed to detect, but let's assume for the moment that he has. Let's for the moment assume that he somehow developed a more sensitive nested PCR test to detect HPV DNA. Even if that were the case, it wouldn't make Merck and the FDA liars for saying that there is no HPV DNA in Gardasil, because to the best of their knowledge using the best tests available at the time there wasn't any. Moreover, even if Dr. Lee actually did detect what he claims to have detected, the amounts of HPV DNA are so small as to be meaningless. Certainly, they couldn't cause all the catastrophic side effects. In other words, SANE Vax has simply fallen for another version of the "toxins gambit."

Small wonder, then, that SANE Vax falls for an even more ridiculous version of the "toxins gambit" in its latest nonsense entitled WWII Military Handbook Reveals Pesticide Chemicals Used In Infant Vaccines. It's the same article that's shown up on other anti-vaccine websites. Get a load of the nonsense that VaccineTruth and SANE Vax are laying down:

A United States military handbook published in 1946 shows chemical compounds used in formulating the pesticide DDT are currently injected into babies.

The handbook entitled, "DDT and Other Insecticides and Repellents", reveals Triton X-100, Tween 20, and Tween 80 were used as major components of spraying operations of DDT. Their stated purpose was to prevent separation of ingredients and increase absorption of DDT.

As I've pointed out before, this is just plain silly. In fact, it's so silly, that it took all my limited self-control not to start laughing hysterically when I read this article, which is now circulating around the anti-vaccine underground. Truly, its author Jeffry John Aufderheide is about as scientifically ignorant as they come. I've used all of these compounds before. They're commonly used in molecular biology for various assays. Usually, it's used to permeabilize cells and make cell extracts in order to isolate protein, DNA, RNA, or other cell constituents. They're used in the preparation of vaccines for the same purpose, and, as is the case for many of the assays I used to do only very tiny trace amounts are left over afterward. Tiny amounts, trivial amounts, safe amounts. Basically, Triton X-100, Tween 20, and Tween 80 are nothing more than detergents, and they are present in vaccines in trace amounts left over after the vaccine manufacturing process.

After helpfully listing the various vaccines that contain Triton X-100, Tween 20, or Tween 80, Aufderheide is not content to stop digging deeper into scientific ignorance:

What I discovered was shocking.

Tween 80 and Triton X-100 can:

  • Be used in pharmaceuticals to deliver nano-particles to the brain because they cross or disrupt the Blood Brain Barrier - which protects the brain.
  • Suppress the immune system
  • Promote epileptic seizures in rats
  • Accelerate the development of female organs in rats
  • Trigger cell death or 'suicide' called apoptosis
  • Cause cancer in rats at the injection site
  • Damage and promote intestinal damage in rats
  • Cause bleeding disorders, kidney failure, liver failure, and death in infants who received a vitamin E product combined with Tween 80
  • Possibly promote viral or bacterial infections
  • Break down Red Blood Cells
  • Cause damage to the heart when injected into rats

Read about them here:

Naturally, I went to the VaccineTruth post linked to in the passage above. It was even funnier than the original link labeling Triton X-100 and the two Tweens as being "pesticide chemicals." For oen thing, Aufderheide makes a big deal about how he's found all his information about these compounds from the National Institutes of Health websites. What he means is PubMed, and it's also very clear that he doesn't understand what he's found on PubMed. For example, this article about using polysorbate 80 in coating nanoparticles to target them to the brain. Never mind that the amount of polysorbate 80 (which is basically the same thing as Tween 80) needed to accomplish this is orders of magnitude more than what could conceivably be in vaccines. In the face of such ignorance, the concept of dose-response curves has a hard time standing.

Not surprisingly, Aufderheide also cites a study suggesting that Tween 80 is harmful to the female reproductive organs in rats. As I pointed out before when another clueless wonder tried this ploy, the amount of polysorbate 80 used in this study was hundreds of times the amount that can be found in vaccines.

The stupid, it burns. Or rather, should I say: The stupid, it foams.

Not that any of this stops Aufderheide from continuing deeper into the foaming stupid:

To minimize the above information, you may hear arguments about the chemicals being safe because they are in hand soaps, ice cream, and in our lungs (natural surfactant).

For the record, I've never seen a mother feeding or injecting a newborn with soap or ice cream. My word of advice to mothers is follow your intuition and ask a lot of questions.

And adding:

In a nutshell, the same companies who formulated and patented DDT, are putting the same industrial chemicals in childhood vaccines. To add insult to injury, their public relations campaigns brainwash doctors and the scientific community into believing that injecting babies, even in small amounts with these chemicals, is somehow okay. Even more bizarre are claims chemicals such as Triton X-100 or Tween 80 are involved in promoting health!

Not exactly. It's the vaccines that promote health. The Triton and Tween are in essence neutral. Of course, the portrayal of these innocuous compounds by someone like Aufderheide is anything but neutral or even evidence-based. Oh, sure, he'll claim it's evidnece-based because he can quote actual PubMed references, but it's how Aufderheide uses those references that reveals that he does not understand them.

I'd propose to Aufderheide that he ought to think about an example that illustrates exactly what he is doing. Consider the dreaded dihydrogen monoxide (DHMO). For example, it's a major component of acid rain, and in gaseous form can cause severe burns. It's also a major component of most strong acids, such as hydrochloric acid and or sulfuric acid. It's also a major component of many bases, such as sodium hydroxide, not to mention a byproduct of internal combustion engins. It's also an industrial solvent and coolant, a fire retardant, and--horror of horrors!--it's used in the manufacture of chemical weapons, the manufacture of recombinant DNA, and, yes, in the manufacture of pesticides, including DDT. The facts are clear!

And DHMO is in vaccines! In fact, it's the major component of most vaccines!

If you're afraid of Triton X-100, Tween 20, or Tween 80 in vaccines, you should be even mor afraid of the DHMO in vaccines.

More like this

One of the oldest antivaccine tropes that first encountered is one that I like to call the “toxins gambit.” Basically, this is an antivaccine lie that portrays vaccines as being laden with all manner of “toxins” because they have—gasp!—chemicals with scary sounding names and even some chemicals…
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Alright, I think I got the whole Maher/Dawkins thing out of my system for now. True, given the highly annoying reaction of one reader, I was half-tempted to write yet another post on the whole fiasco just out of spite, but I decided that spite in and of itself was not a good reason to write a blog…

"highly selective understanding of science" ?

We understand the "science" just fine. It's the stupid politics we don't get.

Why do we have entire agencies devoted to destroying freedom of choice in America? The FDA and EPA are two of the most dictatorial organizations in history. Both should have funding suspended pending criminal investigations into their far left political actions.

Better yet, fire everyone who mentions global warming and ship them off to Siberia in the dead of winter wearing only a loincloth. I bet they wish they had some of that global warming then.

By the way, Gadasil is a dangerous drug. If you wish to permanently damage someone, Gardasil would be the way to go. Far better than some poisons you would find in the pest control department.

Speaking of pest control, don't bother buying insect "killer" anymore. The EPA has everything so weakened down to the point where the label has more poisonous chemicals than does the liquid itself.

If you wish to kill inspects, screw the EPA and their regulations. Gasoline, diesel fuel, chlorox, etc. are all far better insect control methods than the products that the brain dead EPA basterds have their controls over. The dumbasses even took all the phosphates out of detergents. So, you buy soap without the ingredients that make it soap. Oh, how I would love to ship these basterds out of this country and put things back like they were. This type of tyranny is what you get when you put far left commie drug snorter hippy sissies in charge.

Well, maybe when Rick Perry gets elected, he will fire everyone involved in ruining America in the name of wealth redistribuion/global warming (same thing) and change everything back to the way it was. Better yet, I would love everyone involved to be in prison ... preferably in Siberia.

By Medicien Man (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

No the government does not need ot give money to any education of STDs. All it takes is telling someone to keep their oily diseased pecker in their own pants.

Next is to put things back into perspective. Abstinence is a sure fire way to dramatically reduce STDs, yet our pinheads in govenrment thinks it is ok to teach boys and girls to have sex as long as they dos it "safely". It is this 1960s hippy mentality that has plagued this nation with a number of diseases. Promiscuity has always been around, but at least in the old days it was condemned by a majority of the public and the evildoer was ashamed of his/her actions. We need to get rid of sex on tv and on radio and in the public ears and eyes altogether and put things back like they were to solve this problem.

Shame has always been on the side of progress when it comes to sin. Why does our government promote open sin? Becuase the far left radical commies from the 1960s are running the show. Maybe when they all die of an STD we can take back over again and put things back.

By Representative… (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink


Regulation is one thing but when the FDA illegally uses US Marshalls to raid people's property becuase they are growing a vegetable garden, then it is time for a criminal investigation. As a matter of fact if people who start shooting back at the basterds it might send a clear message to stay out of private affairs.

Not to mention, the FDA has illegally raided dozens of vitamin stores and personal private vegetable ardens just this year alone. They even raided an Amish farm becuase the farmers committed the crime of .... OH MY GOD, THE TERRORISTS!... selling raw milk. It is my duty as a free man to state that raw milk has been consumed for the last 6500 years of human history. All of a sudden the government deems normal human behavior as a unforgivable sin.

The FDA and EPA are way out of control and someone need to take them down about 25 notches back into reality. These totalitarian dictators are way out of line. Someone in congress should open a criminal investigation into these acts of terror perpetrated by these agnecies. Someone should go to prison for these crimes.

A government agency that is powerful enough to raid your vegetable garden with machine gun toting puppets is way too powerful. What ever happened to the people running the government? Looks like they run us. Just once I would like to see the whole community start throwing rotten tomatoes at the little nazis. A good smack in the eye with a hot pepper might do well also. I say if they want your vegetables, hand them over. Let them leave wearing the vegetables if they want it so bad.

By Medicien man (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

I have nothing to say of Canadian politics since I live in AMERICA. If you so choose to be socilaists and rip off the tax payers and steal from them, then go for it. I won't slow you down. However, THIS IS AMERICA! Socialism is the enemy of America. Socialism is the enemy of freedom. It is soft tyranny. Sometimes hard tyranny. Ever hear of the Nationalist Socialist Labor Party? Ever hear of Soviet Russia? Ever hear of Fidel Castrate? Che? All of them were murdering socialist bums.

What you do in your country is your business, but don't bring that crap to mine. We have a constitution and a declaration of independence that clearly defines freedom as God Given and that freedom cannot exist in a world full of dictators that socilaism requires to exist.

By Representative… (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

Can't you see? The FDA are moving into arresting anyone for growing any produce whatsoever.

This is because the laws against our number one crop (been in use, in raw form, safely, for at least 10,000 years) are going fail because people now have access to modern science which is showing it to be remarkably safe and beneficial.

So, they make it illegal to grow anything that may be food or medicine because prohibition has no other leg left to stand on.

Learn about 'Jury nullification' and use it. It ended alcohol prohibition and it can end raw food prohibition too.

Pardon me, what is a Poe?

lilady I logged on here and the first thing I saw was YOU picking on people, without offering any science or citations. You're obviously here for the drama. Histrionics are a thorn in the side of any serious discussion.

If you think buttocks are vile, I suggest you may have some hang-ups or at least a serious body-image problem. Are you hyperorectic?

It took hard googling and I know what a poe is: A parody of fundamentalism! errm, so I'm a pro-vaccine, pro-emotional intelligence troll unless I admit that I'm a fundamentalist parody and a male one at that!

Hi, did you miss me? It's the original Jacob here.

I've finally got hold of a copy of my original asperger's diagnosis from September 2003. There was some doubt about my 'status' previously.

I'd like the opportunity to present it if I may please?

By The Original Jacob (not verified) on 13 Sep 2011 #permalink

Ouch. I see you have met Jeffry John Aufderheide, regular poster of nonsense; regularly and embarrassingly found out by a real scientist on the fake Matt Lauer Facebook page. Not that this stops Jeffry. Jeffry has made the big time. The Australian Vaccination Network also like the work of Jeffry. For that, we thank them.

By reasonablehank (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

That's a weird name. It reads to me (blame my time in Glasgow if you must) as "Auf yer heid" or "of your head" i.e. nutty as a squirrel's breakfast.

Coincidence, or is there some strange trolling going on? Either way it's pitiful.

Anyone who has worked in laboratories will chuckle a little at the idea of Tween, Brij, Triton and polysorbate being deadly chemicals. They are functionally identical to household detergents, including the ones we wash dishes with.

I can rarely resist doing a few ballpark calculations about these things to give a little perspective. Gardasil has 50 micrograms of polysorbate-80 in each 0.5 ml dose. When you consider that a drop of water weighs about 33,000 micrograms (assuming 30 drops to 1 milliliter which weighs 1000 milligrams, or 1000,000 micrograms), I doubt you could even see 50 micrograms of polysorbate-80 (it's a little denser than water).

I think it is likely you would absorb more nonionic surfactant than this through a minor abrasion on your skin when washing dishes. In fact assuming 10 grams of nonionic surfactant (a moderate squirt - I just weighed one, sadly) added to 10 liters of water (a large bowlful) gives about 30 micrograms of surfactant to each drop of water. So even a couple of drops of dishwashing water left on a plate or a spoon will leave a residue of more surfactant than you find in a shot of Gardasil.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

Your comment reminds me of the movie The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill where everyone in the Welsh village had a qualifier for his name like Jones the petroleum or Morgan the goat. Jeffry's qualifier is perfect.

The stupid isn't limited to vaccines. My back door neighbor refused his doctor's prescription of warfarin after his heart surgery because 'it was rat poison!'. Well, yes it was, because it's very good at doing what your doctor wants it to, you silly idjit.

"Certainly, they couldn't cause all the catastrophic side effects."

Um, what catastrophic side effects? You mean the "deaths" the anti-vaxxers claim to be caused by Gardasil, which include a car accident and a suicide?

Unfortunately for us, DHMO is everywhere and exists in almost everything on the planet.

Thank you for this. I've seen that WWII article floating around and been shoved into spotlight and it was so horrendous I didn't know how to address it.

"Either a chemical that is not toxic is represented as being toxic, or a chemical that is not toxic at the dosage found in vaccines is hyped as a horrible toxin, using warnings that apply only to much, much higher exposures than found in any vaccine"

My all-time favorite warning about vaccine "toxins" was the one about the horrific chemical sucrose being found in vaccines. It's mentioned in this article, written by some guy named David Gorski. Pretty good stuff.

There's also ploy #3 in the antivax toxin gambit - lying outright about a toxic substance supposedly found in vaccines which in fact is not present at any concentration. Example: "antifreeze" which Jenny McCarthy and others cite as an ingredient. We're supposed to think there are giant drums of Prestone in the vaccine manufacturing facilities, being poured into the vats while shadowy Pharma conspirators rub their hands together with glee. Except there is no antifreeze (i.e. ethylene glycol) in vaccines even in trace amounts. What may be present in minute quantity is polyethylene glycol which sounds similar, especially if you are an ignorant and/or deceptive antivaxer, but is not "antifreeze" or a "toxin".

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

And DHMO is in vaccines! In fact, it's the major component of most vaccines!

Indeed! There is a facebook page by some loonies titled "I'd pay $100 to see Paul Offit injected with 100,000 vaccines". They seem to think it would kill him. I tend to agree but mainly because, if the average vaccine is ~1mL, the administration of 100 liters of the dreaded DHMO would be enough to kill anyone. ZOMG, the toxicity!!!!!!!!

By Poodle Stomper (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

In an interesting parallel to cancer alt med wherein advocates get SBM surgery first then "follow-up" with woo-ful "treatments" ( to which they then usually attribute all good results- see Suzanne Somers *par example*):

I have noticed that several people who write on AoA, when talking about their busy lives as caretakers** of a child with ASD, mention multiple therapy appointments and education ( as given by the community)- all of which tells me something hopeful- at least these kids are getting something SB that will eventually affect them positively ( and of course, *time* is often an important factor in of itself). Ms Stragliano wrote about how much her daughters are *improving* ( she shows a photo of her clean white jeans after eating with them in a restaurant noting that in earlier times, she wouldn't have ever chosen white).

I'm sure that some of the parents continue with woo-ful "therapies" alongside the SB ones- like gluten-free/ caseine-free, possibly supplements and chelation, but it would be interesting to me to know how they attribute any improvements the child might experience. My bets are placed are on woo first, although if you spend that much time and effort on real therapy you might also choose not to see it as totally useless.

So at the very least, they are not actively *discouraging* readers away from therapy and school but they perseverate on the toxin-phobia and other non-SBM poppycock which might encourage others to forestall realistic treatments.

** that these parents have difficult lives as caretakers in our post-institutional era- should always remain in our minds.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

That GetBetterHealthWidget is bizarre!

Let us not forget that DHMO (also known as hydrogen hydroxide, HOH, I believe) is often the largest single component of liquid homeopathic remedies - powerful stuff, indeed!

i welcome all the DHMO that exists here on Earth. without it, those aliens would have gotten Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix!

I don't know if any of you have seen the new movie Contagion, but it is pretty good, and it has a character in it that combines Mike Adams, Andrew Wakefield, And Joe Mercola all wrapped up in one. This character is played by Jude Law and is rightly depicted as the bad guy he's an anti-vaxxer, homeopathic, conspiracy theorist with is own blog spreading misinformation. All who read this blog will be interested in this movie, I highly recommend you see it.

I'm sorry to go a bit off topic here, but my local crazy anti-vax person has some posts about her son's chicken pox. She purposely exposed him and then when he got sick treated him with homeopathic remedies. This is one of her posts about his illness (she describes his "hallucinations" during his fever):…

There are more posts about this.

Lawrence, you've commented on her site. Maybe some others would like to add their 2 cents here. She deletes my comments, but didn't delete Lawrence's.

By the way they are currently on some paleo diet. She thinks nuts, margarine, gluten and sugar are evil. Her kid, who is the same age as mine seems to always have something wrong with him. Laura is a heavy woo believer. Apparently her blog has gotten some notice (few commenters as far as I can tell) and the Oz show contacted her about a show. She's also become some kind of lobbyist for CAM.

By Lynn Wilhelm (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink


character in it that combines Mike Adams, Andrew Wakefield, And Joe Mercola all wrapped up in one.

Does he have a dash of John Scudamore extolling how to avoid satanic ley lines?

Let's for the moment assume that he somehow developed a more sensitive nested PCR test to detect HPV DNA.

As the Wakefield case shows, you cannot trust these people to run a PCR assay with proper controls to detect cross-contamination.

Orac, you forgot to mention that DMHO administered in sufficient quantity can cause heart failure, dementia, seizures and death, and inhalation of even a fairly small quantity is often fatal.
It should be pointed out to those whose fear of this chemical is not sufficient that homeopaths treat on the premise that "like cures like", and that EVERY SINGLE HOMEOPATHIC REMEDY CONTAINS DMHO and most often nothing more; it is fair to conclude that homeopaths must believe that DMHO can cause the symptoms of every disease there is!

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

Ah, the old DHMO card. Last time I checked, infants weren't being injected with water only.

By Blacksheep (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

I'm reminded of my very early years in public health, when the entire county health department was planning a huge post exposure TB testing clinic.

I and another nurse new to the health department wanted to "practice" our techniques for intradermal injection of tuberculin PPD (purified protein derivative). We didn't have access to vials of isotonic normal saline used in the hospital setting to flush IV lines, but located some extra vials of sterile DHMO used as the diluent to reconstitute MMR vaccine. In lieu of the 0.1 ml of the PPD we used the sterile DHMO hypotonic vial to practice out technique. It burned like hell and I can only imagine the serious consequences of injecting babies with the vaccines that contain DHMO.

Mr. Aufderheide needs a couple of spaces to repair his German name. Auf der Heide = on the moor; these kinds of descriptive names were common with nobility, and often got bastardized when the titles got lost/dropped.
As for his writing, select all and hitting the space bar would be the best that could happen to it.

Well, Here's what Mike Adams has to say about the movie Contagion. He thinks it's a brainwashing propaganda film.

I think you just killed my brain. Thanks EVER so much! I hadn't seen him do numerology before, but I'm not in the least surprised.

Lynn Wilhelm @16

By the way they are currently on some paleo diet. She thinks nuts, margarine, gluten and sugar are evil.

Nuts are considered evil because paleolithic hunter-gatherers never ate nuts? I wonder if they eat such paleolithic staples such as beef and bacon (a favourite of the Neanderthin doofus). A cow is about as paleolithic an animal as is a Chihuahua.

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

@Krebiozen Thanks for the calculations. I was looking for good equivalents the other day. One adjustment, though. Back in the day we used 20 drops/ml as the rule of thumb, and a quick Google shows me that this is still the case, so one drop of DHMO = 50,000 mcg. It would have been nice to be able to toss that at the anti-vexer who was freaking out about "TRACE AMOUNTS of mercury" in all the childhood vaccines. The FDA defines "trace" as less than 1 mcg per dose.

Mr. Aufderheide needs a couple of spaces to repair his German name. Auf der Heide = on the moor

When one's own name translates as "Someone or something that makes a tinkly noise", one stays away from mocking other people on the basis of surnames.

Mike Adams [...] thinks [Contagion is] a brainwashing propaganda film.

Are there any movies he thinks aren't brainwashing propaganda?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

herr doktor bimler, according to Larousse, "heide" as "heather" takes "die" (feminine), while as "heathen" or "pagan" takes "der" (masculine).

Ah, the old DHMO card. Last time I checked, infants weren't being injected with water only.

And the analogies were completely missed on you. Spare the faux indignation it's so hackneyed.

The stupid, it burns. Or rather, should I say: The stupid, it foams.

It could burn if you get it in your eye ...

By Haversham (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

Here's an overview of the Paleo diet from

"The Paleo diet is simple yet remarkably effective for fat loss and halting or preventing a number of degenerative diseases. To reap the benefits of the most effective nutritional strategy known, one need simply build meals from the following:
â¢Lean proteins (ideally) grass fed meat, free range fowl and wild caught fish
â¢Seasonal fruits and vegetables
â¢Healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, and coconut oil

Our 30 day challenge is the true test of the Paleo diet. Regardless of your fitness or health goals, you WILL look, feel and perform your best on the Paleo diet. Give it a shot and let us know how you do."

So, apparently, nuts are OK, but Laura thinks they are bad. So even fad diets aren't good enough for her.

There are more gems at that link. Somehow this guy got a book out of his ideas.

Maybe I just have a very healthy family, but we've not been bothered by the "American diet" in general. I know I should lay off the sugar a bit, but to obsess about food so much is just crazy.

By Lynn Wilhelm (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

Wild caught fish -- would that include Alaskan pollock caught and processed into fish fingers aboard a factory ship? ;-) Methinks probably not, but hey, it's wild-caught....

I'm also amused at the notion she had of gluten being incompatible with a paleo diet. I'm guessing her nut and gluten aversion is due to allergy concerns (albeit misguided; gluten intolerance is rather more fundamental than an allergy), but gluten was most certainly eaten in prehistoric times. They ate grains; they just hadn't worked out how to grow them yet, or discovered the wonderful mutations that made freak versions of them so much more useful for agriculture.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

Ah, the old DHMO card. Last time I checked, infants weren't being injected with water only.

Nor indeed were they being injected with pure polysorbate-80 only, pure ethyl-mercury preservative, or pure Triton X-100. This might even have been Orac's point.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

Mike Adams says: "Perhaps it is all just one giant coincidence, and there really is no deliberate plan to release deadly, bioengineered viruses. But if mainstream news and entertainment media really is laced with psychological warnings about future events, it is important to take careful note of them now in order to be as prepared as possible."

Be prepared, get yer super-duper colloidal silver supplements from our preferred dealers! You'll be blue if you don't, actually you'll be blue no matter what you do!

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

My goodness Lynn....that woman is doing quite a bit of damage to her child. I can't even post over there, too disgusted.

Last time I checked, infants weren't being injected with water only.

Evidently your check did not cover homeopathic websites.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

"Ah, the old DHMO card. Last time I checked, infants weren't being injected with water only.

Posted by: Blacksheep"

Do I detect the reek of smelly socks here?:

As I recall, Blackheart first ventured out from beneath the troll bridge with this posting:

"I must admit I have never seen such a bigger bunch of sheep in my life."

Gary @ 28:

If I ain't misrememberatin' my high school German, "auf" is one of those prepositions that takes the accusative or the dative depending on whether you're moving into the zone of focus or always in it, respectively. So "Auf der Heide" is correct if you're "on" the moorâit would only be "Auf die Heide" if you were jumping onto the moor from somewhere else.

(And if you were "on the heathen" (?) it would be "Auf dem Heide".)

By The Very Rever… (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

I second the guess of "sock-puppet."

Well Lawrence, she deleted my comment. I think we owe it to the general public to comment there. I don't know about her readership--I hardly ever see more than one comment, usually none--but some people will find it.

I'll keep checking in to see what happens to her kid. I just don't want her comments to go unchallenged when they could harm others.

By Lynn Wilhelm (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

Just posted - we'll see what happens. I can't believe that she thought the whole hallucinations thing was "funny."

That's serious business - and now little Colson gets to worry about Shingles later in life.

Pieter B,
It depends on the size of the drop I suppose, but a 50µl drop certainly makes the calculations easier - I counted the drops from 1ml in a pipette. Either way, 50 micrograms of polysorbate is almost invisible.

The Palaeo diet is for wimps. If you want to see a really extreme diet, read this interview with Aajonus Vonderplanitz who eats rotten meat.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

Reverend, I will defer to your clearly greater knowledge of this subject.

Lynn - looks like your friend couldn't handle the comments. She deleted all of the "Chicken-Pox" related posts.....

@ Krebiozen: I nominate you for today's R.I. award for linking to the loon who eats rotten meat.

I cannot recall so much BS piled on in any of the crazy blogs I have ever read and I am wondering whether he ever foraged for magic mushrooms or continues to "indulge" for the hallucinogenic effects. Perhaps he has indulged in eating raw (fresh or rotten) deer and elk meat and is suffering from CWD (chronic wasting disease)...which would explain his mental state?

read this interview with Aajonus Vonderplanitz who eats rotten meat.

Icelanders must be doing *something* right...

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

The Paleo Diet: so easy a caveman could do it.

@ herr doktor bimler:
Welllllll, I have heard that *some* folks' relatives/ ancestors are known to, uh... age fish and then soak it in lye prior to eating it.
( altho' with my relatives'/ ancestors' cuisine traditions, I shouldn't talk!)

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

These surfactants are also necessary to avoid flocculation and particulate formation during storage for some proteinaceous solutions. Flocculation can decrease the stability and shelf-life of these types of solutions.

Woah - Michele Bachmann just said that the HPV vaccine causes mental retardation. Or at least that some woman told her that Gardasil causes mental retardation.

If you wish to kill inspects, screw the EPA and their regulations. Gasoline, diesel fuel, chlorox, etc. are all far better insect control methods than the products that the brain dead EPA basterds have their controls over. The dumbasses even took all the phosphates out of detergents. So, you buy soap without the ingredients that make it soap. Oh, how I would love to ship these basterds out of this country and put things back like they were. This type of tyranny is what you get when you put far left commie drug snorter hippy sissies in charge.

Damn, Orac really needs a "best of" section.

I have HPV and I am an engineer who works for the largest STD dating and support site STDslove. com. I have to tell you a secret, you can choose not to believe me. But the truth is that this site has more than 1,880,000 members and about 80% members are good looking in my estimation.

Unfortunately, STD rates soar worldwide and most people with STDs don't even know that they have them. The government should grant more money for STD education to lower the rates of STD transmission.

By qingaxizhzi (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

Medicien (sic) Man,
These oversight responsibilities of the FDA were originally proposed because the "freedom of choice" model was not working. Some in congress were trying to protect people from unsafe drugs and being preyed upon by the snake oil salesmen, but congress was stalled. Then a chemist used diethylene glycol as a solvent to make a liquid form of sulfanilamide, without understanding its was toxicity. The company put the new formulation out without any safety testing (not required at the time and killed over a hundred people. Then congress took action.

To me, allowing the victimization of people seeking medical help for themselves or their children, by not regulating healthcare would be tragic.

Damn, Orac really needs a "best of" section.

I'm settling for the plonk section.

Representative of the Guilded Liberal is AWESOME!

If I were in a more persnickety mood, I'd point out that 'guild' is a noun and therefore doesn't have a past tense. But Representative is very amusing, so I won't mention it. Representative, can you talk about Canada next, please? It's my country, and I'd love to get your take on it. Feel free to mention our socialist healthcare system and taxpayer paid-for vaccinations. Since we should probably get back on topic and all, or at least in the general vicinity of the topic.

By Raincitygirl (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

my trainer and doctor agree. stay informed and make choices that benefit me most. i get most of the vaccinations these days because i travel constantly and am exposed to everything under the sun. i also work with a professional fitness coach who designs plans to cleanse my body and nourish it at all times so i feel like im doing the best that i can with the information that i have.

So you're saying if I sold you a bottle of rat poison and called it medicine, I'd be perfectly right to do so because to test anything called "medicine" would be socialism, and that would be bad, right?

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

If I were in a more persnickety mood, I'd point out that 'guild' is a noun and therefore doesn't have a past tense.

Maybe s/he means "gilded"?

By Matthew Cline (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

Oh cripes, I already got my fill of crazy on TV tonight after watching the Tea Party sponsored Republican candidates debate.

I was hoping for some lively scientific debate here and along comes Medicien man and his fellow-traveler Representative of the guilded liberal. Why don't you two just run along now and post on a site where you would be appreciated?

"Let's for the moment assume that he somehow developed a more sensitive nested PCR test to detect HPV DNA."

Unfortunately, we have no idea about the sensitivity of Dr. Lee's PCR test because he steadfastly refuses to submit the test to the FDA to have their lab test it. I suspect it is a bogus test, just like his PCR serum Lyme disease test that purportedly is able to detect B. burgdorderi bacterium DNA in serum.

@ Guilded:

"No the government does not need ot give money to any education of STDs. All it takes is telling someone to keep their oily diseased pecker in their own pants."

I suggest you keep watching them oily peckers and I'll keep posting about the value of sex education:

Patient teenagers? A comparison of the sexual behavior of virginity pledgers and matched nonpledgers.
Rosenbaum JE.

Health Policy PhD Program, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

The US government spends more than $200 million annually on abstinence-promotion programs, including virginity pledges. This study compares the sexual activity of adolescent virginity pledgers with matched nonpledgers by using more robust methods than past research.

The subjects for this study were National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health respondents, a nationally representative sample of middle and high school students who, when surveyed in 1995, had never had sex or taken a virginity pledge and who were >15 years of age (n = 3440). Adolescents who reported taking a virginity pledge on the 1996 survey (n = 289) were matched with nonpledgers (n = 645) by using exact and nearest-neighbor matching within propensity score calipers on factors including prepledge religiosity and attitudes toward sex and birth control. Pledgers and matched nonpledgers were compared 5 years after the pledge on self-reported sexual behaviors and positive test results for Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Trichomonas vaginalis, and safe sex outside of marriage by use of birth control and condoms in the past year and at last sex.

Five years after the pledge, 82% of pledgers denied having ever pledged. Pledgers and matched nonpledgers did not differ in premarital sex, sexually transmitted diseases, and anal and oral sex variables. Pledgers had 0.1 fewer past-year partners but did not differ in lifetime sexual partners and age of first sex. Fewer pledgers than matched nonpledgers used birth control and condoms in the past year and birth control at last sex.

The sexual behavior of virginity pledgers does not differ from that of closely matched nonpledgers, and pledgers are less likely to protect themselves from pregnancy and disease before marriage. Virginity pledges may not affect sexual behavior but may decrease the likelihood of taking precautions during sex. Clinicians should provide birth control information to all adolescents, especially virginity pledgers. (PubMed 19117832)

Representative, did you mean "gilded"? If you did in fact mean "guilded", was that a wry comment on modern-day trade unions as the equivalent of the medieval craft guilds?

Bravo, by the way, Representative. This is great stuff, although kind of tangential to vaccination as a topic. Do you have an opinion on the possible presence of trace quantities of HPV DNA in Gardasil?

By Raincitygirl (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

@ Guilded: Unfortunately I have a comment stuck in moderation about oily diseased peckers...too bad.

This liberal hippie will continue to "preach" about science and the value of sex education and guiding people toward condom use to prevent pregnancies and to prevent STDs.

BTW Guilded, think about getting a grammar book and a spelling book at "your level"..."Fun with Dick and Jane" comes to mind.

I wonder if the regular commenters here could help me out with a favor. Leslie Botha is the public relations director for SANEVax. She also has a radio show during drive time on 88.9 FM KRFC Fort Collins in Colorado. The show is called Holy Hormones Honey! and it's a rather blatant propaganda tool for SANEVAX and the anti-vaccine movement in general. I also have a show on this station, a talk show about science and skepticism, and have been increasingly incensed that she is allowed to spew this (in my opinion) murderous nonsense over the air. I have complained about the content of her show many times, but the station management, like so many people, believes the CAM community is legitimate science. This may change if people in greater numbers than just me make their voices heard to the management.

I haven't taken this to others before now out of a misguided sense of family amongst programmers, but she continues to cross the line, her show started off as a general topic alt-med show, it is purely anti-vax nonsense and anti-science hatred now. (Her episode calling for people convicted of shaking babies to death to be released because it was actually vaccines that killed them is a classic.) Like the management, people who are not exposed to science are prone to believe she is citing accepted science.

Please help by calling, E-mailing and tweeting KRFC and making your opinion heard. Calling would be by far the most effective. I am going to post this in the other thread that mentioned SANEVax as well. I don't mean this as spam. Ending such a loud voice for SANEVax would certainly be a tremendous blow. Also, If Orac or anyone else here has a suggestion on how to take this plea to a wider audience, please let me know. Thanks.

Her website is here:
The contact page for KRFC is here:

Good stuff! Quite entertaining I must say. It is very amusing how all the detractors have problems with spelling and basic grammar. Try re-enabling your spell check program. No one will ever take you seriously if you cannot spell properly. Also, hearsay (unsubstantiated information you read on the internets), do not hold the same weight as peer reviewed scientific studys.
Keep posting anyways though, it makes me smile!

By steviewire (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

Gray Falcon @61
Rat poison wasn't the best example for your argument - warfarin comes to mind ;).

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

@ Jucie: What would be that number one crop that you reference? At one time corn was considered to be the number one crop...then I believe it was surpassed by soybeans. Of course, recently some claim the number one CASH crop is now cannabis.

Are you leading up to advocating for deregulation of growing cannabis, or have I misinterpreted your reference to the (unknown) crop?

It's nice to be specific on this blog and name the crop that you are referring to.

Have you met our erstwhile poster Jacob?

@ Yucey: Care to name the number one crop you have in mind whose growers are being persecuted by the FDA?

It is customary to be specific on this blog and also to provide citations.

I'm pretty sure Yucie is a Poe.

By Matthew Cline (not verified) on 12 Sep 2011 #permalink

@ Matthew Cline: Poe? maybe, more likely some miscreant sock puppet of one of our more notorious posters.

@Guilded Has anyone told you yet that the internet went global, well, from its inception? And it is often called by many things but AMERICA isn't really one that springs to mind. As you were.

Yucie is stalking me with vile comments. He is a filthy-mouthed troll and it is best to ignore it.

Hmmmmmm......I think Jacob might have snuck back into the house.

llilady - ignore him, he's obviously baiting you.


Well, Here's what Mike Adams has to say about the movie Contagion. He thinks it's a brainwashing propaganda film.

It's hard to get a better recommendation.

Though I would watch that movie anyway. Matt Damon is starring in it.

As a side-note, killfile is wonderful invention. Also, it can be considered mental health product.

"representative": Governments, preachers, etc. have spent a long time telling men to keep their diseased peckers in their pants. It doesn't work. The men deny that they're diseased (if they even know), or they don't care because they're sure there's a cure (and that goes back to the days when the "cure" for venereal diseases was mercury), or they don't care because their own pleasure matters more to them than someone else's health (who might be a random pickup, a wife, or a prostitute). Very few men indeed are going to listen when told they shouldn't have sex with their wives. Your advice leads to women getting fatal diseases from their husbands.

Education saves lives. But since it saves women's lives, you may not care.

Five years after the pledge, 82% of pledgers denied having ever pledged. Pledgers and matched nonpledgers did not differ in premarital sex, sexually transmitted diseases, and anal and oral sex variables.

Yeah; the thing is, although abstinence is the most effective way to not get an STD or get pregnant, it's a bit like saying that diet and exercise is the best way to stay slim. We're not stupid. We know how to stay un-pregnant and skinny, but we're trying to fight millions of years of evolution with nothing more than words. It didn't work 2,000 years go, when premarital sex could carry a public death sentence, and it's not going to work now.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 13 Sep 2011 #permalink

medicien man

I still think you (and your "brother" Doctor Smart) may be clever parodies, but for entertainment purposes I shall assume you are real.

Gadasil is a dangerous drug. If you wish to permanently damage someone, Gardasil would be the way to go.

I'm curious - what do you think is the deadly ingredient? Here are the ingredients in each 0.5ml dose of Gardasil:

120 micrograms of protein made by bacteria - you know what protein is, right? This protein is similar enough to the protein coating of the human papilloma virus that the immune system mistakes it for HPV itself. The amount, 120 micrograms is tiny, the same weight as about 400th of a single drop of water. Isn't it amazing that such a tiny amount of protein can stimulate probable lifelong immunity to a virus that causes cancer?

225 micrograms of aluminum as aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate - this is an aluminum compound similar to some antacids and baking powders. Again the amount is tiny.

9.56 milligrams of sodium chloride - common salt, recommended daily allowance 6000 milligrams.

0.78 milligrams of L-histidine - an essential amino acid - you can buy capsules of l-histidine from your local health food store, in 500 milligram doses.

50 micrograms of polysorbate 80 - a detergent similar to dish-washing liquid, in tiny quantities, about 1000th of a drop.

35 micrograms of sodium borate - a normal infant's blood contains up to 1,250 micrograms of sodium borate in every liter.

Less than 7 mcg yeast protein/dose - that's the same as you find in yeast extract, again it's available at the health food store, and again it's present in Gardasil in invisibly small quantities.

Perhaps, and only perhaps, a tiny amount of the DNA that codes for the proteins I mentioned. There is no reason to think that DNA could possibly do anyone any harm. By the way, I have heard that bacon is contaminated with massive amounts of porcine DNA which can lead to hyperuricacidemia in susceptible individuals.

The rest is DHMO which kills tens of thousands of people every year.

I think the only reliable way to permanently damage someone with Gardasil is if you drowned them in it, or dropped a crate full of it on them.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 13 Sep 2011 #permalink

@ Brian Walsh:

It is very hard to get a person off the air because:

they may bring in advertising money and listeners, or pledges ( if the station is assisted by donation) or they have "connections" or share a philosophy to higher ups. Other issues as well.

How do I know this? For years, folks who support reality-based programming ( especially in regards to HIV/AIDS) have tried to get Gary Null ( who supports every form of alt med that has ever existed plus a few of his own imaginings. see websites -, ProgressiveRadioNetwork- for a sampling) off the air in several venues ( on Pacifica stations/ Public TV fund drives/ NYC radio), they have experienced some success ( he's off the air on Washington DC radio, off TV pledge drives in several major markets like NYC) and failure ( he was returned to Pacifica NYC last year for money reasons).

Two fellows who might know something about this are Seth Kalichman, a prof at UConn ( he has a blog) and Lee Phillips who has an eponymous blog and was sued by the woo-meister ( see Quackwatch recent additions, 2/14/11).

Ms Botha sounds like she has taken power points from the woo-meister of whom I speak as well as Mike Adams. Remember now, that this stuff is popular amongst some folks. I have been in CO and it is certainly not free from Woo - you're not too far from *Boulder*,right?( although good science and normal people also reside there). I wonder if calls and e-mails from folks outside of the area will help?

At any rate good luck! We should defend science from those trying to make a buck off its mis-representation.


By Denice Walter (not verified) on 13 Sep 2011 #permalink


The other thing about abstinence-preaching is that it generally comes with this weird toggle switch: until time/event X, a person is expected to be completely abstinent. After time/event X, they are allowed/expected to be sexually active in specific defined ways, which they have been taught little or nothing about.

For the most part, the pro-abstinence stuff is not saying "this is what sex is, this is how people do it, here are some reasons why you should abstain for now, and when you're ready here's what you need to know." It's "sex is a scary thing that you should save for marriage, and then guess at how to do."

That's my beef with a lot of sex ed programs, and not just the abstinence-only ones. They're generally oriented at life as a teenager, and success is measured strictly in terms of how many kids get pregnant or infected with an STD. There is no preparation for adulthood or pregnancy or sex or parenthood. Every other class you take in high school is about preparing for adulthood, but not that one. It's no surprise, then, that most people have only a dim idea of what to do. Of course, if we did teach kids these things, we know what would happen; schools would be blasted for teaching kids to have sex. But jeepers, somebody's got to teach them. Would you rather it be the school, which can tell them the truth, or a porn video on the Internet?

My sex ed program in high school was not abstinence-only, but even that did a terrible job of preparing us for adulthood. Wanna know where I got my best sex ed class? Church. Seriously. It was sort of a pet crusade of our head pastor to make sure people treated sex in a healthy way and not as this thing to scare children away from and then make adults feel ashamed of. The public school one was crap, but then, so was the teacher, frankly. (And even the school realized it, firing her at the end of the school year.) And I'm willing to bet it was more effective at getting kids to make healthy choices pertaining to sex.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 13 Sep 2011 #permalink

@Denice Walter Believe me, I know how difficult this can be. I am friends with the staff at KRFC, I can't make any headway. But KRFC is a small, volunteer station. Anything that could threaten its existence would be taken seriously. If enough people complian, I think we would actually have a chance.

@ Brian Walsh:

I made a quickie - un-rehearsed - message, I had expected a live person but said my piece anyway: I'm on the East Coast, I worked hard for my education, anti-vax is harmful not entertainment like an astrologer, does station want to be associated with unrealistic alt med or science,we have plenty of spurious nonsense on the air already, the station is trying to do something good with volunteers, etc. Hope it helps.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 13 Sep 2011 #permalink


So everyone's favorite sockpuppeteer has a thing for raw foods and jury nullification? Hmmm.

By Matthew Cline (not verified) on 13 Sep 2011 #permalink

That's what I get for posting late at night to see the sock puppet at work. He got really nasty and vile with me. I think he's using stronger substances than cannabis and he's one sick puppy.