The conspiracy circle is complete: Brian Hooker claims "The Man" has gotten to the "CDC whistleblower"

There is a disturbance in the antivaccine Force. I can sense it.

Actually, it doesn’t take any special talent to detect this. You don't have to be some sort of pro-science Jedi. The evidence is everywhere. The most prominent examples of posts in the antivaccine crankosphere that tipped me off are on—of course!—the antivaccine propaganda blog Age of Autism, which references another blog’s post with blaring capitalized headlines, BREAKING: CDC WHISTLEBLOWER "DR. THOMPSON HAS BEEN HANDLED" SAYS DR. HOOKER AT MANHATTAN VAXXED Q&A. Elsewhere, He Who Shall Not Be Named (and to whom I shall no longer link, even with the rel=”nofollow” tag) proclaims: The vaccine empire strikes back: “Rumors swirl that Dr. Thompson has been bought off by the CDC and will submit 'reanalyzed' MMR research to destroy vaccine safety skeptics.” Google the title if you really want the source.

Regular readers of this blog will remember who William W. Thompson is. He is the so-called “CDC whistleblower.” In brief, Thompson is a CDC scientist who, for whatever reason, thought his concerns about a study examining whether there was a relationship between MMR vaccination and the risk of autism and autism spectrum disorders. were not adequately addressed. Again, for whatever reason, he struck up a budding friendship with Brian Hooker, a biochemical engineer turned incompetent antivaccine epidemiologist and researcher and exchanged several phone calls with him, complaining about the CDC. At the root of Thompson’s anger was his perception that a finding possibly implicating the MMR as a risk factor for autism had been intentionally left out of a paper on which he was co-author (DeStefano et al).

Basically, an almost certainly spurious finding in a small subgroup of the study that MMR vaccination was associated with an increased risk of autism in African-American boys. This increased risk was seen in no other subgroup and disappeared when proper correction for confounders was made. Still, that didn’t stop Thompson from tipping off Brian Hooker, who did a “reanalysis” of the dataset. Consistent with his general incompetence, Hooker did the wrong analysis. He analyzed a dataset designed for a case control study as a cohort study. Basically, Hooker tortured the data until it confessed what he wanted it to, but even then it didn’t confess all that he wanted. Torture the data as he might, the only “result” he could produce was an association between MMR and autism in African-American males. As I said at the time, he basically proved Wakefield wrong, because there wasn’t a hint of a whiff of a whisper of a positive correlation in any other group, and he had to do the wrong analysis to “show” a correlation in African-American boys. So bad was Hooker’s study that a new journal retracted it.

Not surprisingly, Hooker betrayed Thompson, providing recordings of their conversations to Andrew Wakefield, who didn’t waste much time going public with them. Because Hooker and Wakefield’s story seemed to confirm the central conspiracy theory of the antivaccine movement, namely that the CDC was “covering up” some sort of slam-dunk evidence that vaccines cause autism, thus was born the legend of the “CDC whistleblower.” It didn’t matter that Thompson lawyered up and issued a statement that didn’t exactly support Wakefield’s spin. He also gave his documents to Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL). The antivaccine movement used it to complain to the CDC, launch Twitter storms, and to hold protests, while Wakefield used it to make a documentary.

Unfortunately, that documentary, VAXXED: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe, somehow found its way into the Tribeca Film Festival. After a few days of head scratching about how a film that was so obviously a propaganda film that it would have made Leni Reifenstahl blush got into such a prestigious film festival, Robert De Niro himself, one of the festival’s founders who turned out to be antivaccine himself, ‘fessed up and then soon after yanked the film, causing antivaccinationists to lose it. Now the film is being screened in several cities.

At a screening at the smaller Manhattan Film Festival, the Q&A afterwards was videotaped:

Hilariously (and appropriately) the Q&A was moderated by antivaccine “journalist” Sharyl Attkisson and included Brian Hooker, Andrew Wakefield, Polly Tommey, Stephanie Seneff, Del Bigtree, and Mark Blaxill. Attkisson’s introduction of the panel is nauseating, too. Her nose was so far up Wakefield’s nether regions that she could probably tell what Wakefield had for dinner, as she it all the tropes about his being a persecuted truth teller and how science is supposedly broken. She continued on about the HPV vaccine, which she seems particularly to dislike. So busy is Attkisson buffing Wakefield’s credentials and, even more so, hers, that it isn’t until nearly 9 minutes into a 31 minute Q&A that she actually gets to the questions, and even then she starts things rolling with an utter softball question to Wakefield. Not surprisingly, Attkisson's question gives Wakefield the opportunity to repeat the same lie that Thompson is an “inside source” at the CDC who has accused the CDC of fraud and repeat a variant of his offensive sentiment about how autism is a blight.”

No. He. Did. Not. Of course, it is Wakefield, and if Wakefield said it was raining outside I would look out a window to verify it before taking his word. He can’t be trusted. Hilariously, Del Bigtree has the utter lack of proportion to say, not long after Wakefield’s self-serving blather, that the “CDC whistleblower” case “makes Watergate look like a child’s case.” I definitely chuckled when I heard that. The audience, unfortunately, did not. It applauded lustily, leading Bigtree to put on a faux humble act about how he’s “just a journalist.” Meanwhile, Mark Blaxill lays down some seriously burning stupid about Paul Offit. Of course, when it comes to vaccines (or science, for that matter), Blaxill is the very personification of the Dunning-Kruger effect. He has no clue what he’s talking about, but that sure doesn’t stop him from pontificating confidently.

The vast majority of what was said in the Q&A was nothing that regular readers here haven’t heard before. What caught everyone’s attention was when Hooker claimed, in response to a question by Attkisson about whether he’d be surprised if Thompson “recants” (note the choice of a word describing religious belief rather than science):

One of the things I asked Dr. Thompson to do in September 2014 was to leave the CDC and bring this all to light so he could come forward, go public, talk to congress, talk to the press directly — he choose not to. Dr. Thompson has been handled and will most likely submit a revised version of his analysis and try to absolve the MMR vaccine in early May 2016. This is typical of what we’ve seen at the CDC. The CDC analyzes data and when they see an effect they don’t like, they reanalyze data and the effect goes away. The CDC has done this historically from Agent Orange to Thimerosal and now to MMR vaccine.

I did not want this to come but certainly anticipated that while he was in the CDC it would come. In exchange for what Dr. Thompson is doing — and believe this [info] is a little bit shaky — I believe he will get his own autism research foundation. And so there has been some very, very dubious activities that went on because he stayed in the CDC. He also got a major cash reward from the CDC for maintaining his employment he said, until he qualifies for retirement. But there are a lot of things that happened since the last conversation I had with Dr. Thompson which was in September 2014. And I do want to warn you and I do want to anticipate this. But again, it’s the same thing we’ve heard and we’ve seen from an agency that’s been completely captured but the pharmaceutical industry. And it’s [CDC] there not to tell the truth but in order to manipulate the public. In order to do what they think the best thing to do is for society.

My first thought was that Hooker’s just making stuff up, but then I thought about it. Maybe Thompson is getting ready to break his silence, and Hooker’s trying to get ahead of it, to get the story he wants Wakefield’s minions to here out there before Thompson says anything. Thompson has, after all, issued no public statements since late August 2014; he’s long overdue. In any case, given how widely throughout the antivaccine crankosphere this specific quote has traveled, being posted and reposted far and wide, I’m very suspicious that this is an intentional strategy. Given that He Who Shall Not Be Named picked up on this right away, now, more than ever, I suspect Wakefield and he are colluding, or at least coordinating their efforts. One thing I’m surprised Hooker admitted was that, because he knew that it is illegal to record telephone calls in California (where he lives) without both parties’ consent, he drove to Oregon to record; on the other hand, he claims Thompson laughed uproariously when he found out.

Be that as it may, as long as Thompson remained silent, Wakefield and his minions could attribute whatever claims and statements to him that they wanted to attribute to him, and he couldn’t (or wouldn’t) respond. Wakefield even dishonestly spliced together unrelated statements by Thompson in Hooker's recordings to make it appear he was saying something he never said. Of course, this is conspiracy loon thinking writ large. If Thompson says something supportive of Wakefield and Hooker (or at least something that can be spun by Wakefield and Hooker as supportive), he’s the “CDC whistleblower,” a courageous fighter for the truth. If, on the other hand, Thompson says anything critical or does actually do a reanalysis that doesn’t show what Hooker wants it to show, then it’s obvious that “they” got to him and either induced him through financial rewards and protecting his retirement fund or somehow forced him to “recant.” Of course, given his behavior over the years and having cozied up to antivaccinationists as famous as Wakefield, the claim that the CDC and/or someone else would fund some sort of autism research foundation for him to shut him up is risible in the extreme, so much so that even some of the “brain trust” at AoA can’t quite swallow it. The only people likely to fund anything by Thompson would be allies of Wakefield; that is, if they thought he’d churn out reliably anti-MMR work.

Meanwhile, I do wonder if something is up, as He Who Must Not Be Named makes some predictions for May:

Watch for CNN to roll out its usual lineup of sellout doctors and pharma shills. Watch for a major ratcheting up of attacks against Dr. Wakefield and the VAXXED film. Just as importantly, watch out for social media to be taken over by social engineering robots who vilify and shame anyone that questions vaccine safety.

Gee, he says that as though it were a bad thing.

Again, this coordination makes me wonder if someone somewhere heard something. It’s not entirely implausible. On the other hand, this is Brian Hooker. This is Andrew Wakefield. it’s at least equally likely that they’re just pulling this story out of their posteriors.

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Of course, it is Wakefield, and if Wakefield said it was raining outside I would look out a window to verify it before taking his word.

I'd even go one step further - even if rain was seemingly coming down, I'd peek my head out of the house to make sure he wasn't spraying the window with a garden hose to make it appear to be raining.

I note that he did the “Lies of Brian Deer and Rupert Murdoch” number.

Maybe Rupert’s people at Fox didn’t realize that their proprietor twirled his moustache behind the scenes, when it was the only network I know of to interview the charlatan Wakefield recently.

Previously, of course, Wakefield has railed against the lies of Brian Deer and the British Medical Journal. And before that it was the lies of Brian Deer and Channel 4 TV.

And I guess all of it includes the lies of my editors, lawyers, peer-reviewers and fact-checkers. As well as the liars on the 5 member GMC panel, of three doctors and two lay members. As well as the lying of Mr Justice Mitting who ruled that Wakefield’s claim of ethical approval was false. And the wanton lying of the entire medical and scientific community who’ve egregiously failed to come forward and dispute the documentary proof of his misconduct.

Oh, and I forgot, the parents of children enrolled in his research who have come forward and denounced it as “fraud”

By Brian Deer (not verified) on 25 Apr 2016 #permalink

I'm not sure what to make of the new logoization "VaXed" over at AoA (at least), but ISTR that HWSNBN (I think) doesn't have a great track record on the "predictions" front. The real AoA gold came early from esteemed EMF-buy-my-Ebook gasbag Kostoff, who deemed the whole affair a "false flag" in D'ohmsted's from-the-editor[.]html entry "Too Late."

This has all been routinely scrubbed, although the latest incarnation only had around 118 comments, if my memory serves.

@ Orac

There is a disturbance in the antivaccine Force.

Kyle Katarn: "You always say this."

The CDC analyzes data and when they see an effect they don’t like, they reanalyze data and the effect goes away.

OTOH, you have these unqualified antivax people who analyze data and when they fail to see the effect they would like, they reanalyze data and the effect magically comes by.

Who to believe, who?

By Helianthus (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

I note that he did the “Lies of Brian Deer and Rupert Murdoch” number.

If I recall John Stone's inexorably paranoiac pseudo-logic correctly, you're supposed to be a columnist at the Wall Street Journal.

Maybe Rupert’s people at Fox didn’t realize that their proprietor twirled his moustache behind the scenes

Murdoch is exactly the sort of villain who would twirl his moustache, if he had one. And one of the keys to remaining employed at Fox News is to avoid noticing that Murdoch is a moustache-twirling villain. Nice of Hooker to notice, but he's a bit late to the game.

Thompson has, after all, issued no public statements since late August 2014; he’s long overdue.

My understanding all along is that Thompson has had a highly paid lawyer who, among other things, has been advising him to STFU. Maybe Thompson has been following that advice. If so, then barring some change in the legal situation (such as Thompson giving a deposition or firing his lawyer) I expect things to stay that way. Maybe Hooker and/or Wakefield expect some such change in the near future. Or perhaps they are full of it. Those aren't mutually exclusive options.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

Allow me to summarize Hooker's . . . er, let's call them "thoughts": If Thompson does something I dislike or does not do what I like, then he has been bought off or threatened and the proof is that he does or doesn't do these things.

Well, there is a movie to promote.

Total box office receipts were $119,000 as of 4/22/16. They need to fill a hell of a lot more seats.

By ScienceMonkey (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

I'm curious about where that claim of being given a "major cash reward" came from. I wonder if they're trying to spin the comment from Thompson's 2014 statement, released via his lawyer, as the evidence for this "reward". To wit:

My colleagues and supervisors at the CDC have been entirely professional since this matter became public. In fact, I received a performance-based award after this story came out. I have experienced no pressure or retaliation and certainly was not escorted from the building, as some have stated.

My impression is that is what they're using. They haven't spoken to him, apparently, since Sept. 2014, so they need to flog every bit they got from him until it says what they want it to say. I mean, hell, Wakefield had to splice different portions of the phone calls together in the film to make Thompson say something other than what he actually said.

Well, there is a movie to promote.

It's coming to a theater in my area this weekend. I might very well do a review, if I can find time to drive up there and see it. :-)

The date of May 2016 is very specific. It is also very close. If Thompson has a study coming out it already has to be in review - barring being in a pay-to-play journal, but I guess the CDC would never allow that.

So maybe Thompson has intimated to someone that there is something - it is not showing what Hooker and Wakefield wanted and so Hooker is getting in first?

Maybe I just have an over-active imagination.

By Chris Preston (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

Ach, this is all giving me a headache. I'll have to take a Blaxill&trade and lie down.

By palindrom (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

A few things I've noticed..

- Thompson and the CDC is " the biggest fraud in medical history' . Really, Andy?
- AJW is wearing a logo-ised VAXXED shirt peeking out from under his jacket
- Del chimes in with banal quotables: " It's my job", " always question authority, " fourth estate"
- Mark says half of children have a chronic condition- sure if you count what he and Health Choice count ( allergies, asthma, ADHD, autism - that[s just the As) most likely so did children 50 years ago if we counted conditions in the same way.
- Polly got parents to stand- a significant portion of the audience
- the screen is located in a long, narrow screening room. At first the camera pans back through what looks like a large number of viewers but later we see the actual size of the audience.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

@Orac - As much as I'd love to read your review of VAXXED, I'd hate seeing anyone wasting their time and money on it... :/

It's possible this latest "disturbance in the antivax Force" came about after one of the key players attempted to contact Thompson in connection with the release of "Vaxxed". One would expect such an overture in hopes of getting, if not Thompson's endorsement of the film, at least a firm statement of support that would boost its credibility.

Instead, Thompson's silence from deep within the bowels of the CDC Chamber of Horrors continues. Worse, the antivax overture might have been so curtly or vehemently rebuffed that whoever made it felt that the response presaged a Thompson turnabout (it doesn't take much to stoke the fires of conspiracy among these folk).

Hence the need to stage a preemptive strike. It may not make sense to outsiders that antivaxers are trying to destroy Thompson's credibility by claiming that he can be bought off by cash and professional perks. But these are the same people who earlier revealed his alleged mental illness, not seeing how that little factoid might backfire.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

When I was a child I often watched old movies on television and especially enjoyed the *noir* thrillers from the late 1940s and early 1950s- before my time but an era which my parents and relatives frequently discussed. Most of these films focused upon a detective who uncovered a tangled web of corruption amongst the powerful whose life was then threatened by those he investigated- all portrayed in glorious black and white, usually set in Los Angeles.

Later on, I was intrigued by films like "All the President's Men" ( see also today's "Spotlight") where newspaper reporters uncovered the ugly truth lurking beneath the surface of the world's most powerful institutions.

I venture that the people featured in the VAXXED Q and A- at some level- believe that movies represent reality and that they are now protagonists in a drama of earth shattering proportions. They even filmed it.
.
Actually, there is a valid comparison to those old films but not in the way they think.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

Amethyst@1:

Of course, it is Wakefield, and if Wakefield said it was raining outside I would look out a window to verify it before taking his word.

I’d even go one step further – even if rain was seemingly coming down, I’d peek my head out of the house to make sure he wasn’t spraying the window with a garden hose to make it appear to be raining.

Don't. That's not a garden hose.

As much as I’d love to read your review of VAXXED, I’d hate seeing anyone wasting their time and money on it… :/

Exactly why I haven't decided whether to go or not.

Well, if true it will be interesting to see how Hooker and Wakefraud explain why anyone should see Wakey's vid since its star and hero, the "glorious whistleblower" Wm. Thompson, will have become the enemy and a mind controlled minion of the CDC. How is Wakefraud going to rationalize a video about a "whistleblower" exposing the CDC if the "whistleblower" comes out and says, "Ooops! I was mistaken."? I suppose the demographic he is depending upon as a customer base are stupid enough to merely accept - "Konspiracee!!!11!!1!!" as an explanation.

#8 ScienceMonkey,
I wonder how much it costs to present the Q&A panel at these things?
Air fare, hotels, and meals for 5 aren't cheap, especially in Manhattan or LA. I think it's a safe bet none of them are traveling economy.
$100,000 doesn't buy what it used to.

I would take everything Hooker states with a big boulder of salt. His claims have Jon Rappaport writ all over them. I believe Todd W is correct that Thompson's merit award is being spun as his "pay off". Thompson getting an autism foundation from the CDC? That's positively absurd; not only does he not have the expertise but I doubt the CDC is going to put Thompson in charge of anything but the office supplies and they don't "do" foundations. A re-analysis of the same dataset is also absurd and completely pointless. Besides Thompson's been shuttled off to another group. With Thompson's continued silence and no hearing in sight, they are using some spin to keep interest in the movie which is probably slagging off in sales.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

Although I don't spend any money on woo, I think that there may be a way out of this dilemma for Orac-

if he does indeed still earn a few dollars from ads which he used to "put back into the blog" IIRC. He could use that as a research fund.

Personally I thought about having someone else pay but that's not fair either. I DO have money I saved which I found in a ladies' room perhaps quite appropriately.
Maybe I'll just wait until it's free.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

@ Science Mom:

I do recall hearing a figure of 24000 USD being bandied about as Thompson's reward.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

@ Denice, sure I'd sell my soul for a paltry $24K. All should re-read Thompson's statement that Todd W linked to @9, Thompson has offered to re-analyse the data and assist others. Not that there is a re-analysis coming out. Wankfield and Hooker are just a couple of skeevy charlatans.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

# 16: Denice. Spotlight is exactly how those things are done or at least were done before the great hollowing out of newspapers. Much better than Presidents' Men. Totally authentic: right down to the cinderblock stairwells, and the reporter who goes "great" at the prospect of a lawsuit.

It was so real, I felt I was in the room.

Some of it's still happening, but it's so expensive to do. In the case of Wakefield, he kindly arranged for most of his exposure as a research cheat to be paid for by his insurance company.

By Brian Deer (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

If it is not a theater where there is only reserved seating you could buy a ticket for another movie and sneak into vAXxed.

Actually, there is a valid comparison to those old films but not in the way they think.

For every Woodward/Bernstein there are dozens that end up more like Geraldo Rivera opening Al Capone's vault. The people behind Vaxxed are in the latter category.

Actually I'm being kind there. A more apt comparison would be to the character in Carl Hiaasen's Skin Tight who is an over-the-top parody of Geraldo. The character dies a rather karmic death (which I won't spoil here) at the hands of the villain, a doctor who performs cosmetic surgery (and has a way of disposing of his, shall we say, unsuccessful cases).

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

I was thinking it's more along the lines of jerry springer.

@ DW #13 - I'll bet the "chronic condition" that afflicts most of that "50% of children" is obesity. They know full well that their target audience will interpret the technically accurate but deliberately misleading umbrella term "chronic condition" as referring to autoimmune disorders, which could at least somewhat plausibly be linked to vaccination.

If Hooker &co. sincerely believed that the effect Stephano et al reported in black males could potentially be real, they wouldn't be dicking around with "reanalysis" of the original data set - they'd set up a new study to specifically address that question. Given that Thompson does seem to be sincere, I wonder if he somehow convinced the CDC to do just that in hopes of putting this thing to bed once and for all (yeah, right). That's probably hoping too much, though.

#23 Sarah A. I interviewed the first author of the Thompson 2004 paper - Frank de Stefano - about a year ago. CDC then was quite open. They weren't hiding. Later he talked to that woman who was fired from CBS, Sharon somebody.

There appears to be a perfectly legitimate difference of opinion, essentially about one of the tables in the paper, as I would interpret it. There is a line of data that might have been put in, but which could be argued was misleading.

More than that, there's a subgroup analysis of a specific age, gender and race band, which, as with heavily segmented data, would appear to be potentially spurious.

Thompson, however, has made no public allegation of fraud. Indeed, he says "reasonable scientist can and do differ in their interpretation".

And: "The fact that we found a strong statistically significant finding among black males does not mean that there was a true association between the MMR vaccine and autism-like features in this subpopulation."

All the stuff about Thompson being a whistleblower admitting fraud was made up by Wakefield, and spread on crank websites.

The man he originally spoke to - Brian Hooker - and who clandestinely recorded his calls - now appears concerned that Thompson is going to make some written statement on his position: maybe in the journal that published the paper.

If so, the spotlight may now turn back on Wakefield for his consistent - now decades-long - pattern of dishonest behaviour.

By Brian Deer (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

they’d set up a new study to specifically address that question. Given that Thompson does seem to be sincere, I wonder if he somehow convinced the CDC to do just that in hopes of putting this thing to bed once and for all (yeah, right). That’s probably hoping too much, though.

Yup. A rehash of the same dataset is just dumb. Using the MADDSP with more children (plus medica//birth certificate information) and establishing temporal relationship between the jab and ASD diagnosis/first concern would be appropriate. Funny how Hooker and Co. completely ignore Hooker's retracted re-analysis and the loyal faithful keep lapping it up.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

Oh and writ should have been written @ 20.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

Later he talked to that woman who was fired from CBS, Sharon somebody.

That would be the same Sharyl Atkisson who is sitting audience left on that panel. I would consider her reports about current precipitation to be about as accurate as Wakefield's.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

@Orac - driving up there and paying to see it would be heroic devotion to duty. Above and beyond, I'd say.

On the costs of mounting the panel, don't forget the payment to Attkisson. I moderate panels and Q&As occasionally; I charge £1,000 for that kind of thing and I'm cheap. I bet she charges a fair whack more than that.

"For every Woodward/Bernstein there are dozens that end up more like Geraldo Rivera opening Al Capone’s vault. The people behind Vaxxed are in the latter category."

Except for the vault.

'Imagine that there is a vault. Imagine that we find something inside the vault...'

"In the case of Wakefield, he kindly arranged for most of his exposure as a research cheat to be paid for by his insurance company."

Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake (N. Buonaparte).

Unfortunately, the true believers are convinced that some shadowy and nefarious pharmaceutical cabal paid Mr Deer off, just as they are now convinced that Dr Thompson has been bought.

I have to say that I've never worked for the CDC, but during my short career as a bureaucrat I won a couple of performance awards, and none of them came with any cash attached. Does anyone know if Dr Thompson's performance award brought any sort of financial reward other than, possibly, a merit increase?

By shay simmons (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

All we perceive are shadows on the walls of Al Capone's vault?

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

I see Seneff at the far right of the video (didn't listen yet, not sure I want to). Does she look like a grandma? (nothing against grandmas of this world, except for the dachelbot).

Alain

"Unfortunately, the true believers are convinced that some shadowy and nefarious pharmaceutical cabal paid Mr Deer off, just as they are now convinced that Dr Thompson has been bought."

I think if they'd paid me off, I would have bought a car.

By Brian Deer (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

Or, if I were paid off with as much case as Mike Adams, Jake Crosby, and their fellow loons seem to think, a yacht...

If Dr. Thompson received a merit award it tells us several things: 1. Dr. Thompson wants to be at CDC and is trying hard to stay there; 2. CDC wants Dr. Thompson.

I would bet that sometime in the past CDC and Dr. Thompson came to an agreement (probably in a performance eval) that Dr. Thompson would not associate himself with certain people professionally.

Hooker admits that he has had no recent contact with Thompson, yet he somehow "knows" that he has been bought off by the CDC and/or BigPharma. How does he "know" that? Of course he doesn't "know" that; it should be bleedin obvious that he is just making that up as it suits his narrative.

By Craig Payne (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

OT but please please give this, "pastoral-medicine," the Orac treatment?

Kthxbai

" he claims Thompson laughed uproariously when he found out"

Assume for the sake of argument that Hooker isn't making this up.

Now imagine Thompson talking to his wife:

"Hey, remember how I hid from you the fact that I was talking to Brian Hooker and later told you? Well he's been secretly recording my phone calls. Hahahahaha. Don't you get it? Isn't that funny? Haha? Er, honey?"

Or,

"So, as my attorney perhaps you should know that Brian Hooker was secretly taping my phone calls. Hehehehehe. Hello? Are you still on the line?"

By Matt Carey (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

"I see Seneff at the far right of the video"

Yep. And she ties in her "roundup did it" by saying it works synergistically with the MMR vaccine.

It's just amazing. Not in the "that's so amazing that's good" way. No, the other way.

By Matt Carey (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

"My understanding all along is that Thompson has had a highly paid lawyer who,"

I seem to recall, perhaps in the call transcripts, that the attorney is working free.

"Total box office receipts were $119,000 as of 4/22/16"

It's actually respectable for a small documentary like this. It's already at #7 highest grossing film for the distributor. But I worked it out that they are getting about 91 people a day (not showing, a day) on weekends for their recent screenings.

Much of their take is for personal appearances by Wakefield. He was supposed to do 2 appearances opening weekend, but they quickly realized that the only way to pad the box office stats was to have Wakefield be present for a lot more. Well, that and they've been buying tickets to either give away or throw away (there are many facebook discussions of people buying tickets on the hopes that someone can use them).

Wakefield stated a while back that his goal was to influence the election this year. See that happening? Even Donald Trump talking up Vaxxed?

No one is going to do a hearing in an election year based on this.

As advertisement for Andrew Wakefield, it's a success. And who really thought they were working on anything else?

By Matt Carey (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

"If Dr. Thompson received a merit award it tells us several things"

Thompson stated he was given one in his public statement through his attorney.

For people who think that was payoff to keep quiet, yeah, like the government works that fast. Keep believing. Obviously this was in the works before the story went public.

By Matt Carey (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

Air fare, hotels, and meals for 5 aren’t cheap, especially in Manhattan or LA. I think it’s a safe bet none of them are traveling economy.

I looked up the US Government per diem rates for New York City. (Many academics, including myself, use these rates for budget guidelines and meal reimbursement--Seneff may be accustomed to these rates as well, since she works at MIT.) For April 2016 the hotel rate is $270 per night (plus tax) and the meals rate is $74. I'll assume that the actual reimbursement was about double that. Travel costs will vary widely: Seneff could take the Acela train for a few hundred bucks, while Hooker, being from California, would probably cost at least $3k. Let's take $2500 as an average. They'd only need one hotel night each, and two days worth of meals per diem. If Wakefield is covering the costs, he's probably deducting the expense rather than paying himself, so we have six people to pay for. That comes to around $3300 per person, not including honoraria--call that $2k for Atkisson and $1k for everybody else, just to put numbers on it. Which adds up to about $27k for the whole thing.

That's a pretty loose estimate: it could easily be double that, or half that. But unless Wakefield is getting exceptionally good bargains or horrifically overpaying, it shouldn't be much outside that range.

That wouldn't be that much for a film with respectable box office numbers, but it is a lot for a film like this. There should be other production expenses, too, so this film will (like most films aimed at the documentary market, as this one is) be doing well to break even after expenses.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

Hooker's source for the rumour that Thompson will publish an exoneration of MMR in May?
Thompson's lawyer.

Hooker press release. Should be good for another chapter in the RI demolition of the "Whistleblower Fraud".
https://www.focusforhealth.org/dr-brian-hooker-statement-william-thomps…

Hooker doesn't trust any analysis coming out of the CDC. Imagine that, a man who had his analysis unceremoniously retracted for COI and inept science doesn't trust someone else's analysis.
Hahahaha!
Pull the other one, BS.

"Yup. A rehash of the same dataset is just dumb. "

First off, so how exactly does Hooker know what's going on at CDC? He doesn't.

Let's assume that somehow he found out that the CDC submitted a paper This from the guy who had no idea that CDC were working on the SEED project. (For those outside of the autism research community, it's like saying someone who claims interest in particle physics didn't know that there was a project to find the Higgs Boson).

CDC and Thompson looked at that data for years. A reanalysis would make zero sense.

However, there are multiple datasets since that might be available for doing a race based analysis on MMR and autism. SEED, or other datasets from existing studies. It's possible that CDC would do a study on another dataset. Wouldn't this be *exactly* what a true advocate want? Isn't this *exactly* what Brian Hooker asked for in the conclusion of his (now retracted) paper? (answer--yes, it is. He called for more studies).

All this goes to why there's no point in funding autism/vaccine studies for these guys. No matter how many studies, they will be denied by Brian Hooker et al..

Frankly I do hope there's an analysis coming out with a detailed race breakdown. I know people in the African American autism community who want such a study. I'd rather not spend more money on such a study, but if CDC have one in the works, I welcome it. No matter the answer.

By Matt Carey (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

Oooh. I wonder if my post had anything to do with Hooker's deciding to publish a press release today. :-)

" If Wakefield is covering the costs, he’s probably deducting the expense rather than paying himself, so we have six people to pay for."

Wakefield made his "Autism Media Channel" into a charity.

And he's got a lot of wealthy backers. Mark Blaxill is one of the lesser ones.

By Matt Carey (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

"Very recently, Mr. Richard Morgan, Esq., Dr. Thompson’s whistle blower attorney, stated that Dr. Thompson will be publishing a paper in May, 2016, where he will assert that the MMR vaccine is not linked to autism in African American males. Instead Dr. Thompson will state that socioeconomic factors alone in the African American community account for the original MMR-African American male “effect” (the effect that he is on record as stating the CDC purposefully hid). I have not been given access to Dr. Thompson’s reanalysis and therefore cannot comment regarding the forthcoming paper at this time. However, I am suspect of any analysis coming from the CDC due to the historic nature of the agency’s scientific misconduct and conflicts of interest specifically around any link between vaccines and autism."

Interesting. Where does the attorney state that?

By Matt Carey (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

As BD notes, VAXXED puts forth a thesis it can't support: William Thomspon 1) alleged fraud to cover 2) the CDC knew vaccines cause autism. He claims neither in the Hooker transcripts. ( I got a .pdf of the Whistleblower book, OCRed it to make a searchable text file, and WT never uses the word "fraud" in any form...) I've been thinking at some point Hooker is going to have to claim WT framed things as fraud-hiding-MMR-causation in some conversation he didn't record. With VAXXED going so all-in on this narrative, the show has to drop at some point since there's nothing really AV there. The more publicity about VAXXED gets circulated, the more the pressure on Thompson to say or do something clarifying where he stands, beyond that statement authored by Rick Morgan. Hooker's "handled" remark not only gets 'ahead' of developments on the WT front, but may ease the pressure on WT enough that he stays guiet. What make any further statement if they're just going to discount it anyway?

Another player to consider here is Bill Posey. He appears to have been playing politics in trying to appear to be demanding a House hearing w/o actually ever taking action. VAXXED could be turning up the heat on him to deliver something. But now he has an excuse: Thompson has been "handled" so the star witness has become unavailable.

Everythng can still be attributed to murky conspiratorial finagling hidden away from view.

On thing that remains murky to me is exactly why Thompson wanted that AA male data in the published paper in the first place. He seems to pretty clearly have known vaccines don't cause autism. One possibility is that he just wanted all the 't's crossed and 'i's dotted, and his colleagues were so dismissive about the request he fixated, everything snowballed, the personal relationships got worse and worse, and he eventually hatched a revenge plot based almost entirely on personal pique. But such a thesis would mean an awful lot of what he said to Hooker was false or faked.

However, it's occurred to me that his comments about "having great shame" and autism research being set back might be mostly genuine, but not about MMR causation. He says stuff about the CDC being so scared of autism they've gone into a hole, and aren't doing anything. Hooker assumes that 'doing something' would be proving 'it's the vaccines', but maybe Thompson thinks it should be something else, and the AA data was either a clue to that, or somehow publishing it might be a prod to further research in general. Of course, this makes the fact he contacted Hooker ironic, in that the reason CDC would be "scared of autism research" is the political power of the AJW-fueled anti-vax movement. But it kind of makes sense that the CDC was pushed into a corner where all they were doing about autism was saying "It's not the vaccines. Done." But if WT's goal was to get a congressional hearing that would create an opening to push CDC towards other/new areas of autism research, where ese was he going to go — as delusional as hoping that would ever spin back away from anti-vax may have been. But how else do we explain that he reached out to an anti-vax 'scientist' yet never affirmed a Wakefieldian anti-vax thesis, and was trying to get Hooker to "change his mantra" to 'Thimerisal causes tics'?

I have always thought the supposed text exchanges between Thompson and Wakefield were fabricated, and that WT would be POed about that, but would refrain from calling Andy out on that as part of his attorney-advised choice to stay as far away from more of this mess as possible....

In sum, then, I can't help but read this Thompson gossip with the hope that we might someday learn WTF he was actually trying to do with Hooker, and what exactly he thought the CDC should have been doing about autism research. Alas, Hooker (along with Bigtree and Diaz) are just spewing any BS they can think of to promote VAXXED (and I'm convinced they all know they're BSing...) so Hooker's 'revelation' is likely no more than piss hitting the window.

(It's always nice to come home to replies by brilliant people)

To clear up a few things:

Eric. I meant that AJW in real life was the investigatED not the investigatEE .

Sarah, they aren't really talking about obesity although it is a serious issue in the western world- they mean ASD, ADHD, asthma, allergies, cancer and various other conditions that add up to 50%
( see the Canary Party Manifesto/ Health Choice)- that's Blaxill *et compagnie( as per usual..

Now wouldn't 24000 USD be enough to purchase.....
a CAR?

OK, maybe not the type Orac dirves ( Maserati Quatrroporte IIRC) but a car nevertheless.

Of course I'm JOKING
.
I wouldn't want Mikey A to report that " deep sources tell him that one of Orac's minions insinuated that Mr Deer was paid off in cars by Rupert Murdoch" and that Orac has a silver Maserati or that Thompson has a new Toyota now.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

Correction:

AJW was the investigatED not the INVESTIGATOR.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

"I have not been given access to Dr. Thompson’s reanalysis and therefore cannot comment regarding the forthcoming paper at this time. "

Because Brian Hooker has demonstrated such a firm understanding of epidemiology?

Hooker bashes the paper and then says he can't comment on it. Right. Anyone want to take a guess at what Hooker will say about the paper if/when it is published? I'll put $10 on "It's bad. It's corrupt. He should have done a "simple" analysis."

Any takers?

Nice how the first comment on the Focus for Health page with the press release is from an HIV/AIDS denialist. Yep, good company you keep there Hooker. From 9/11 Truthers to AIDS denialists, anyone who supports you can't be called out.

By Matt Carey (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

So, Hooker says this:

"Rather than reporting the results to the public, all data regarding this relationship were destroyed at a secret meeting held some time in August/September of 2002. This fact has been affirmed via an affidavit given by Dr. Thompson to Rep. Bill Posey in September, 2014."

And in an affidavit dated September 9 2014, Thompson said:

“All the associated MMR-Autism Study computer files have been retained on the Immunization Safety Office computer servers since the inception of the study and they continue to reside there today.”

By Brian Deer (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

@ Matt Carey:

And he's not the first Hiv/ Aids denialist involved with this group- there's Celia Farber as well.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

I have not been given access to Dr. Thompson’s reanalysis and therefore cannot comment regarding the forthcoming paper at this time.

As if Hooker is even remotely qualified to comment on an epidemiological study.

However, I am suspect of any analysis coming from the CDC due to the historic nature of the agency’s scientific misconduct and conflicts of interest specifically around any link between vaccines and autism.

Wait wait...When the CDC produces a result that Hooker likes, it's reliable but readily discounts something that hasn't even yet been published.

Yes indeed, the crew are trying to get out ahead of any refutation to their claim. So what is their movie based on again? Hahahaha

By Science Mom (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

"Personally, I predict a massive medical uprising against vaccine mandates. I also predict that every propaganda effort by the CDC will ultimately backfire."

Sure. Massive uprising. I'll mark my calendar.

And the CDC's efforts to inform the public will backfire. Yep. Remember when Vaxxed hit the news and the press thought, "well, let's give this Andy Wakefield guy another chance, shall we?"

Which is to say, someone needs to get out of his echo chamber.

By Matt Carey (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

Thompson in his original statement made it clear that he was willing to work with people inside and out of CDC on vaccines and autism.

But, hey, Brian only wanted Thompson to work with him. You know, walk away from his job and family and join the ConspiraSea Cruise circuit and write oh-so-excellent papers with Hooker and the Geiers and all that.

Brian Hooker seems to live in an alternate reality.

By Matt Carey (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

The question I have for the author of this blog as well as the readers and others who have commented, have any of you actually watched the movie Vaxxed? I ask this only because I have watched the movie, and after reading the indictments in this blog toward Hooker, Wakefield, et al., it seems apparent that there is considerable assumptions being made about the data that was being presented in the movie. Assumptions built on verbose straw man arguments cloaked in science jargon. For example, the following accusatory statements are completely based on assumption and speculation with no factual evidence to support the statement: 1) He analyzed a dataset designed for a case control study as a cohort study, 2) Hooker tortured the data until it confessed what he wanted it to, but even then it didn’t confess all that he wanted, 3) the only “result” he could produce was an association between MMR and autism in African-American males, 4) he basically proved Wakefield wrong, because there wasn’t a hint of a whiff of a whisper of a positive correlation in any other group, 5) he had to do the wrong analysis to “show” a correlation in African-American boys. Accusations 1 and 2 above are based off of pure speculation with no hard evidence; if you actually watch the movie, you will discover that Thompson admitted that the "official" CDC study deviated from their original analysis plan after a link to autism was discovered; once the CDC deviated to an alternate analysis plan, the data sample was reduced from 3000 to 1800, and although a link between MMR and autism was still present in the revised, official data sample, it was determined statistically insignificant (due to the reduced sample size) and thus dismissed from the official findings and conclusions. On to accusation number 3 above, this is just patently false, disinformation that one must have no other choice but to fabricate in a vacuum, unless of course you actually watch the movie to see for yourself; if you actually watch the movie, you'll discover that increasing the data sample to what was supposed to be the original CDC analysis data sample, the link to autism wasn't just isolated to African-American males; in fact, it was also linked to white males. More disturbingly, they examined cases of what is known as "isolated autism", in other words, autism that is present in children who have no other debilitating health conditions or diagnosed disorders. What they found is an alarming risk factor that leads to a 700% increased risk for isolated autism; translation: children who are completely healthy without any previously compromised immune system or neurological disorders are most at risk for autism after taking MMR. Furthermore, they broke the data down even further and discovered an increased risk before 36 months. On to accusation #4, there was nothing to prove Wakefield wrong about, as Wakefield himself admitted (both in his retracted paper) as well as in the movie that he never personally discovered a causal link between MMR and Autism (the only thing Wakefield points out is a positive correlation, but he correctly admits that this does not automatically infer causation), and that the only thing he advocated for were the following: a) conducting more research to conclusively determine a causal link between MMR and Autism and b) giving parents the option to immunize their children using single-dosage vaccines rather than poly or triplicate dosage vaccines until further research provides more conclusive evidence of a real link. The interesting thing is that shortly after Wakefield went public with this recommendation (both in his paper as well as during an open press conference shortly after his paper was published), the vaccine industry shut down the single-dose vaccine option and forced the governments of the UK, US, and other countries to only accept the MMR vaccine. Interestingly enough, Japan was smart enough to do their own research and independently verify that the MMR was dangerous to infants, so much so that they banned MMR and only allow single-dose vaccines. All of this of course is long before the controversy with Thimerisol was discovered, but I digress. On to accusation #5, see my response to accusation #1. In summary, this is totally false, disinformation about the facts presented in this movie that there's no way that the blog of this author, in all intellectual honesty and integrity, could have actually watched this movie well likewise espousing these opinions.

@David
"1) He analyzed a dataset designed for a case control study as a cohort study"

If you read that paper, that is exactly what it did. That is why it was retracted. He did the wrong analysis. Do you think it is acceptable to use the analysis for cohort studies on data collected for a case control design?

There is no speculation there. He got it wrong. No conspiracy there.

By Craig Payne (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by David (not verified)

(I'll try this again to see if the html works right):

There's not enough prescription-strength Blaxill&#8482 in the world to cure this kind of crazy.

By palindrom (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

Ach! Sorry, that's supposed to be a 'trademark' symbol. As someone said on another thread, preview functions are for sissies.

By palindrom (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

@ palindrom:

I do it as: Blaxill (tm)

i.e Name. space left parenthesis no space tm no space right parenthesis

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

#65 David, I doubt whether anyone here will wish to engage with your list, as many of us are very familiar with Andrew Wakefield. We don't really need to be told that, if only we accepted what was in his film, then we would understand the truth.

Perhaps however, you could complete your argument by addressing the following point you make: "Japan was smart enough to do their own research and independently verify that the MMR was dangerous to infants, so much so that they banned MMR and only allow single-dose vaccines."

If Japan was so smart, what happened to the incidence of autism in Japan?

By Brian Deer (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

Poor David, another Wakefraud fanboi who needs his information served to him via movies. Just out of the gate one can look at DeStefano's study description and Hooker's. But ooo, that's hard science stuff.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

Mephistopheles O'Brien@38: <doffs cap>

David: "Assumptions built on verbose straw man arguments cloaked in science jargon."

At least Orac knows how to use paragraphs.

"Interestingly enough, Japan was smart enough to do their own research and independently verify that the MMR was dangerous to infants, so much so that they banned MMR and only allow single-dose vaccines."

Which is very wrong. See:
J Autism Dev Disord 2007; 37(2):210-7
MMR-Vaccine and Regression in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Negative Results Presented from Japan

and:
J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2005 Jun;46(6):572-9.
No effect of MMR withdrawal on the incidence of autism: a total population study

And children actually died. from Measles vaccine coverage and factors related to uncompleted vaccination among 18-month-old and 36-month-old children in Kyoto, Japan:

In 1993, the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MHW) withdrew the domestically produced MMR vaccine [9]. As of 1994, an amendment to the Immunization Law made vaccination voluntary and not mandatory. According to the present law, a single dose of measles vaccine is recommended for children over one year of age. Children are eligible to receive measles vaccination after 12 months following birth but not beyond 90 months. Until January 2004, adminisiration of measles vaccine was recommended between 12 and 24 months of age, instead of between 12 and 15 months when children have the greatest risk of contracting measles [10]. In Japan, measles vaccine coverage has remained low, and either small or moderate outbreaks have occurred repeatedly in communities. According to an infectious disease surveillance (2000), total measles cases were estimated to be from 180,000 to 210,000, and total deaths were estimated to be 88 [11,12]. Measles cases are most frequently observed among non-immunized children, particularly between 12 to 24 months.

In summary, the politically motivated vaccine decisions in Japan did not reduce autism, but it did kill lots of small children. David, you need to do better "research."

David@65: While I'm sure folks here enjoy nothing more than tearing into the Sainted Andy's mendacious bullshıt, alas our review copies appear to have been tragically lost in the mail. Along with your weekly supply of paragraphs, apparently.

N=5 wasn't good enough for Hooker so he changed the lower end of the age range to increase the population size. N<10, but was greater than 5 and was then good enough. Was that the population size he used or am I misreading?

By ScienceMonkey (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

"you will discover that Thompson admitted that the “official” CDC study deviated from their original analysis plan after a link to autism was discovered"

Did you really see the film? I ask because this was the argument Wakefield and Hooker were making before the film. They now are not claiming that the change was made after the analysis.

They had to change that because the documents prove that claim was false.

In the movie they claim that the protocol called for the race variable to be taken from school records but that the researchers shifted to taking the race variable from birth certificates.

Which is also false. Would you like a copy of the analysis plan, the protocol so you can read for yourself?

By Matt Carey (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

Brian Deer@70: If Wakefield's impeccably evidence-based documentary just isn't doing it for you, how about one that proves beyond doubt that souless autistic behaviors are caused by frustrated aliens shooting electrodes into the pituitary glands of the recently deceased? After all, it's all on film so it must be true.

Col. Edwards: This is the most fantastic story I've ever heard.

Jeff: And every word of it's true, too.

Col. Edwards: That's the fantastic part of it.

David: "Wakefield himself admitted (both in his retracted paper) as well as in the movie that he never personally discovered a causal link between MMR and Autism..and that the only thing he advocated for were the following: a) conducting more research to conclusively determine a causal link between MMR and Autism and b) giving parents the option to immunize their children using single-dosage vaccines rather than poly or triplicate dosage vaccines until further research provides more conclusive evidence of a real link."

So why then has Wakefield quite recently declared that the MMR vaccine definitely causes autism?

http://www.newsweek.com/2015/02/20/andrew-wakefield-father-anti-vaccine…

If he was being ultra-cautious back when his fraudulent research was published, then where is the "conclusive evidence of a real link" that now permits him to claim that MMR causes autism?

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

"What they found is an alarming risk factor that leads to a 700% increased risk for isolated autism"

Where the heck did you get 700% from?

Want the real number? Check the original study. De Stefano et al. It is in there. Under autism without mental retardation.

Yep. It was never hidden. Why Thompson decided it was, and why Hooker and Wakefield never bothered to check the facts (or ignored them, more likely) is an open question.

By Matt Carey (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

(Bonus: you won't be charged 10 bucks just to learn the Truth either.)

" Watch for CNN to roll out its usual lineup of sellout doctors and pharma shills. Watch for a major ratcheting up of attacks against Dr. Wakefield and the VAXXED film. Just as importantly, watch out for social media to be taken over by social engineering robots who vilify and shame anyone that questions vaccine safety."

Who's going to bother ratcheting up attacks against Wakefraud and VAXXED?
Sure, Wakefraud will come under criticism whenever he says something egregious (which is, I suppose, often enough); but I predict that VAXXED is going to quietly die of paucity of audience and won't draw further attack unless some other gullible big-name tries to use personal privilege to get it shown at a film festival (the AofA docu-drama festival doesn't count)..

By Derek Freyberg (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

So, we have the claim that
"For example, the following accusatory statements are completely based on assumption and speculation with no factual evidence to support the statement: 1) He analyzed a dataset designed for a case control study as a cohort study"

Is an accusation based on pure speculation.

Hmmmm.

From the CDC paper:

"Methods. A case-control study was conducted in metropolitan Atlanta."

From Hooker's retracted paper:

"In this paper, we present the results of a cohort study using the same data from the Destefano et al. [14] analysis."

Is it "pure speculation" to read the papers you are commenting on, David?

Did you read them or did you misunderstand them?

By Matt Carey (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

Japan [...] banned MMR and only allow single-dose vaccines.

One of these days, one of these disingenuous do-your-own-research gombeens will explain what penalty is exacted, under Japanese law, for possession of the "banned" vaccine. But I'm not holding my breath.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

I really detest that guys like David parrot the brain dead lies about the consequences of what happened with Japan makes political rather than scientific decisions on vaccines. Decisions that killed kids with pertussis in the 1970s, killed kids with measles a bit over a decade ago, and is now contributing to increases in congenital rubella syndrome.

David and his fellow Wakefield fanbois just blindly believe what they read on certain websites, and don't even bother to check what really happen. It is not a secret, they are all there in the PubMed index. But actually following up on the stuff they read requires they actually open their brain and do some work. Apparently that is not allowed on Htrae.

@Craig Payne: My refutation of that statement had to do with the totality of the reanalysis data and methods as presented in the movie, which was 2 years after Hooker's paper was submitted to publication, which was, that the movie detailed a far broader analysis dataset that looked beyond the constrained dataset of AA males. Hooker's paper is constrained to AA males, so for me that's not a broad enough dataset. The movie provides facts based on the full dataset as utilized by the CDC. Furthermore, unless you are a formal peer reviewer or an employee of the publication journal, you're only speculating as to the real reason why Hooker's paper was retracted.

The movie provide no facts on that. You seriously being misled or misunderstanding this.
The real reason that the paper was retracted was the faulty analysis that he used. Nothing more than that. He got it wrong. There is not a statistician or epidemiologist that agree with the way he did it. I ask you again: do you think it is acceptable to use cohort data analysis methods on data that was collected for a case control study?

By Craig Payne (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by David (not verified)

Sarah, they aren’t really talking about obesity although it is a serious issue in the western world- they mean ASD, ADHD, asthma, allergies, cancer and various other conditions that add up to 50%

One common reference is this, but there's another one that's not coming to me at the moment which points out that "chronic" does not necessarily mean "lifelong."

Hooker’s paper is constrained to AA males

Why no, it's not.

so for me that’s not a broad enough dataset. The movie provides facts based on the full dataset as utilized by the CDC.

Which Hooker had. Have you not read the freaking paper?

Which Hooker had. Have you not read the freaking paper?

But he watched the movie. That's totes the same isn't it?

By Science Mom (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

Narad: "Which Hooker had. Have you not read the freaking paper?"

Of course not, that requires that he actually make some kind of effort.

Furthermore, unless you are a formal peer reviewer or an employee of the publication journal, you’re only speculating as to the real reason why Hooker’s paper was retracted.

The journal's statement is clear enough:

there were undeclared competing interests on the part of the author which compromised the peer review process. Furthermore, post-publication peer review raised concerns about the validity of the methods and statistical analysis, therefore the Editors no longer have confidence in the soundness of the findings.

David might prefer to believe that there is a real reason other than this description of Hooker's incompetence and mendacity, but unless David is a formal peer reviewer or an employee of the publication journal, he's only speculating.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

" Furthermore, unless you are a formal peer reviewer or an employee of the publication journal, you’re only speculating as to the real reason why Hooker’s paper was retracted."

Or he read the retraction notice.
http://translationalneurodegeneration.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.118…

"The Editor and Publisher regretfully retract the article [1] as there were undeclared competing interests on the part of the author which compromised the peer review process. Furthermore, post-publication peer review raised concerns about the validity of the methods and statistical analysis, therefore the Editors no longer have confidence in the soundness of the findings. We apologise to all affected parties for the inconvenience caused."

Let's repeat one segment for emphasis (because Wakefield and Hooker always ignore it):

"Furthermore, post-publication peer review raised concerns about the validity of the methods and statistical analysis, therefore the Editors no longer have confidence in the soundness of the findings."

By Matt Carey (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

HDB@82: ISWYDT. Man, the minions are on form tonight.

"hat the movie detailed a far broader analysis dataset that looked beyond the constrained dataset of AA males. "

Nope.

They say the same thing. African American Males (about half way through the film), and "isolated autism".

I have an audio recording of the film. Which I've listened to multiple times. And compared the statements made to facts whenever possible.

But you saw it and believed everything and checked nothing, right?

By Matt Carey (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

"the movie provides facts based on the full dataset as utilized by the CDC. "

Such as? Be specific. If you could give a rough time within the film that these "facts" are presented it would help.

By Matt Carey (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

The interesting thing is that shortly after Wakefield went public with this recommendation (both in his paper as well as during an open press conference shortly after his paper was published), the vaccine industry shut down the single-dose vaccine option and forced the governments of the UK, US, and other countries to only accept the MMR vaccine.

I don't know that I would call ten years (PDF) "shortly after."

Unless you are a formal peer reviewer or an employee of the publication journal, you’re only speculating as to the real reason why Hooker’s paper was retracted.

Well, it's pretty clear that it was due to dishonesty and incompetence. Here's the statement from the journal:

The Editor and Publisher regretfully retract the article as there were undeclared competing interests on the part of the author which compromised the peer review process. Furthermore, post-publication peer review raised concerns about the validity of the methods and statistical analysis, therefore the Editors no longer have confidence in the soundness of the findings.

Brian Deer says (#70),

If Japan was so smart, what happened to the incidence of autism in Japan?

MJD says,

No effect of MMR withdrawal on the incidence of autism in Japan.

http://www.medicine.ox.ac.uk/bandolier/booth/vaccines/nommr.html

Although we are getting smarter about vaccine allergens that may affect the incidence of allergy-induced regressive autism:

http://www.worldallergy.org/ask-the-expert/questions/mmr-vaccine

By Michael J. Dochniak (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

Orac,

I well-understand you have a fetish about vaccinations.

But do you ever write about anything else,
specifically, about health subjects that have led to more deaths?
(You don’t mention, at least in this article, how many deaths are attributed to no-vaxers’ efforts.)

For example, do you ever write about the suicide rate in the U.S. being at its highest in decades?

I understand that
-The suicide rate increased for white middle-aged women by 80 percent from 1999–2014,
-The overall suicide rate for white, middle-age Americans spiked 40% in the last 10 years,
-Drug overdoses (i.e. *possible* suicides) among young whites quintupled from 1999 to 2014.

And the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences says that
“If the white mortality rate for ages 45−54 had held at their 1998 value, 96,000 deaths would have been avoided from 1999–2013, 7,000 in 2013 alone. If it had continued to decline at its previous (1979‒1998) rate, half a million deaths would have been avoided in the period 1999‒2013, comparable to lives lost in the US AIDS epidemic through mid-2015.”

Do you ever write about such clearly-lethal medical issues?

By See Noevo (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

The single measles vaccine talking point by Wakefield is a red herring.

He recommended--with zero evidence provided--the single vaccines. Here's his amazing recommendation from the video that was presented:

"DR ANDREW WAKEFIELD: My opinion, again, is that the monovalent, the single vaccines, measles, mumps and rubella, are likely in this context to be safer than the polyvalent vaccine."

Yes, he scares people (without evidence) and says, "well, gee, perhaps it's safer to use the single vaccine".

I wonder if our new friend can see the multiple ways that was a bad move by Wakefield.
How about this:

"DR ANDREW WAKEFIELD: Well as yet we don’t know, but there is no doubt that if you give three viruses together, three live viruses, then you potentially increase the risk of an adverse event occurring, particularly when one of those viruses influences the immune system in the way that measles does. And it may be - and studies will show this or not - that giving the measles on its own reduces the risk of this particular syndrome developing."

so much badness. Giving the single vaccine reduces the risk? So it's not gone altogether? And he's basically saying "elsewhere I say this isn't proven but here I'm saying it's real and you can reduce the risk by using a single vaccine".

Funny how Wakefield's supporters repeat what he says, but don't check the facts.

By Matt Carey (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

brian @99:
Well, it’s pretty clear that it was due to dishonesty and incompetence. Here’s the statement from the journal:

No, no, those are only the stated reasons; David is talking about the real reasons, the existence of which he is certain, because Truther.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

@Bryan Deer: I don't doubt most of the folks here are familiar with Wakefield, but the bigger question is how many of you here have attempted to directly confront Wakefield and have a conversation with him? There are two sides to every story.

That aside, you raise an interesting point about your question on the rate of Autism in Japan in the post-MMR ban period. Sure, the rates have increased, but the increase is linear, as opposed to the exponential increase we have seen in the U.S. in the last several decades. A linear increase in Autism cases can be most likely attributed to improved detection methods and diagnosis across the entire ASD spectrum. On the other hand, a consistently non-linear increase cannot be merely explained by improved methods of detection and diagnosis. Such an anomaly can only be explained by causal factors that are present in this country that are not present in other countries such as Japan. No one here can deny that there is currently no scientific consensus on the probable causes of ASD, and I would postulate that this is because there may be many causes from a variety of sources including genetic, environmental, and biological/chemical. I would further postulate that due to the complexity of possible causes of ASD, it is difficult to isolate a placebo control group for a long-term study, particularly among children where this seems to be the demographic experiencing the rapid rise in ASD diagnosis.

Given all of that, can you postulate as to why the CDC has yet to do any long-term studies on exposure to MMR and isolated ingredients in MMR such as Thimerisol (i.e., ethyl mercury)? Or why the CDC has yet to perform a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, comparing prevalence of ASD in non-vaccinated children to vaccinated children?

@Matt Carey, I would just implore you to watch the movie for yourself and let you be the judge. What I express is only my opinion for all its worth. The underlying cause of my refutation in this blog is the prevailing narrative being circulated here is not reflecting what is actually being presented in the movie, thus suggesting that those circulating these opinions have not actually seen the movie, or if they have seen the movie then they are conveniently leaving out the additional information that is vital to the total narrative being communicated by the movie.

Sure, the rates have increased, but the increase is linear, as opposed to the exponential increase we have seen in the U.S.

What would that exponent be?

@Matt Carey: Certainly, you can find audio clips from the movie that discuss the AA male portion of the study, that is true. But my point is that the movie goes much further than that. You just need to see the movie in its totality before casting a final verdict. I just saw the movie last night, and I will admit I'm still digesting all of this information and doing my own research, which is hard to do in 24 hours. Certainly going on blogs such as this is not sufficient for doing due diligence in verifying the facts of any movie purporting to provide scientific facts and analysis.

David, it's sort of funny that you don't understand that MMR doesn't contain thimerosal and that you can't even spell the name of the ingredient that MMR does not now and has never contained. You must be rather new to this.

Given all of that, can you postulate as to why the CDC has yet to do any long-term studies on exposure to MMR and isolated ingredients in MMR such as Thimerisol (i.e., ethyl mercury)?

You're really not very good at this.

Or why the CDC has yet to perform a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, comparing prevalence of ASD in non-vaccinated children to vaccinated children?

Specify the level of similarity between the two groups that would convince you that there's nothing there, and you shall have your sample size (leaving aside the endlessly pointed out ethical impossibility of what you described).

@Narad: Here is an example

Um, no. You used the word "exponential." I want the functional form, to demonstrate that you know what the word means.

@Bryan, typos are more common than you might think in these types of exchanges, so if you want to discredit my opinion based on a typo, feel free but that's really a cheap shot if you ask me. Now if I were a professional blogger such as yourself, perhaps I would be more cautious with my spell checking.

I can't personally state equivocally whether or not MMR never historically contained thimerosal, but only that MMR in conjunction with vaccines that contained thimerosal have been suggested to be a causal factor in the development of ASD. For example, claimants in the U.S. National Vaccine Injury Compensation (NVIC) program who were able to receive compensation for ASD injuries alleged to be caused by MMR/Thimerosal, which lasted until 2004, which was when De Stefano et al. 2004 CDC paper was published. After this publication, the NVIC court has refused 100% of all ASD claims linked to MMR and/or Thimerosal-containing vaccines.

Anyone here who isn't familiar with the NVIC should know that it was enacted in 1986 by Congress which provides total legal immunity to drug companies in the event of an injury or adverse reaction that would allegedly be related to a vaccine created by the drug company. This protection does not apply to any other pharmaceutical drug created by these same companies.

@Narad: So you want to have a meaning of words debate? No thanks. Just take a look at the data yourself, I just presented it to you, and tell whether you think that chart mathematically represents an exponential rate of change. I don't have the time or the energy to walk you through a mathematical regression, but visually it should be obvious for anyone who has taken a basic statistics course.

Narad, I doubt he knows what "exponent" even means.

Hey, David what about these studies:

Vaccine. 2015 May 15;33(21):2511-6. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.12.036. Epub 2015 Jan 3.Vaccine. 2012 Jun 13;30(28):4292-8. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.01.093. Epub 2012 Apr 20.
The combined measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines and the total number of vaccines are not associated with development of autism spectrum disorder: the first case-control study in Asia

Early exposure to the combined measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and thimerosal-containing vaccines and risk of autism spectrum disorder.

Oh, crud what happened?

Vaccine. 2015 May 15;33(21):2511-6. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.12.036. Epub 2015 Jan 3.
Early exposure to the combined measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and thimerosal-containing vaccines and risk of autism spectrum disorder.

Vaccine. 2012 Jun 13;30(28):4292-8. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.01.093. Epub 2012 Apr 20.
The combined measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines and the total number of vaccines are not associated with development of autism spectrum disorder: the first case-control study in Asia.

David, ever here about the man that brought a knife to a gun fight? It didn't last long.

I would politely suggest that watching a propaganda movie will not provide you with any information of actual value.

I am indeed starting to feel a bit embarrassed for David. He's clearly new at this and clearly not very familiar with the background. He strikes me as a newbie antivaxers who's just discovered all the claims of vaccine harm and anxious to show off his newfound knowledge. Unfortunately, he seems not to have figured out that he is nowhere near the first (this blog's been around 11 years now) and no study or argument he's yet presented is anything we haven't seen and dealt with dozens, if not hundreds, of times over the last 11+ years.

@Matt Carey: So what makes Wakefield's single vaccine opinion a Red Herring? His opinion is based on decades of proven science that the single Measles vaccine, in isolation, as it's been used for decades before the MMR vaccine came into existence, has a proven efficacy and safety track record through examination of long term epidemiology with over 50 years of documented use throughout the world. Basing an opinion on historical knowledge is problematic until you begin to extrapolate, which is what the Merck did by assuming that the existing track record of the single, isolated Measles vaccine's proven safety record was enough for them to launch a more cost-effective MMR vaccine. Unfortunately, there's not nearly the level of scientific research or long-term health studies to look at the efficacy and safety of MMR compared to the singular Measles vaccine. Wakefield is merely acknowledging historical facts and advocating for more research to provide more conclusive evidence and understanding on the long-term safety of MMR.

Please explain what makes this statement a Red Herring.

Correction on above comment: "Basing an opinion on historical knowledge is *NOT* problematic until you begin to extrapolate..."

His opinion is based on decades of proven science that the single Measles vaccine, in isolation, as it’s been used for decades before the MMR vaccine came into existence, has a proven efficacy and safety track record through examination of long term epidemiology with over 50 years of documented use throughout the world.

When was the first measles vaccine David?
In the US it was licensed in 1963.

When was MMR introduced David?
In the US it was licensed in 1971.

I'll repeat this bit that you wrote

... as it’s been used for decades before the MMR vaccine came into existence...

Can you explain to me how the time between 1963 and 1971 became decades?

By stewartt1982 (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

@Orac: I'm not embarrassed to admit I am new at this, but I am stunned at the shameless, dogmatic attitudes and opinions that are expressed in light of the fact that most of you here have only seen clips and brief audio segments of a movie that you have not seen in its entirety. Sure, perhaps it is a propaganda piece, but at least my mind is open to that idea as well as the idea that maybe there is some truth in it that warrants further discussion and inquiry. However, I'm gradually beginning to discover that there is a prevailing cognitive resistance to changing a prevailing opinion, no matter what facts are presented. What is most embarrassing however is the level of effort devoted to deconstructing a narrative without one having fully heard the complete narrative. That my friend is intellectual dishonesty.

Be careful what you ask for. You might get it. VAXXED will be in my town this weekend.

And intellectual dishonesty is Wakefield. Indeed, Matt explained how he dishonestly spliced together two statements from William Thompson:

https://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2016/03/22/andrew-wakefield-releases-…

That's just the trailer. And we've heard from others:

https://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2016/04/02/movie-review-vaxxed/

And we know from Wakefield's own description of the movie that it's bullshit:

https://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2016/04/21/why-do-people-have-to-see-…

That doesn't even take into account Wakefield's 18+ year history of mendacity, lies, and pseudoscience, not to mention the bullshit that is the "CDC whistleblower" story at the heart of Wakefield's movie:

https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/vaccine-whistleblower-an-antivacci…

https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/review-of-vaccine-whistleblower-a-…

https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/brian-hooker-and-andrew-wakefield-…

Or that Brian Hooker's "reanalysis" was incompetent at best, dishonest at worst.

No. The only intellectual dishonesty is coming from Wakefield and his minions.

I can’t personally state equivocally whether or not MMR never historically contained thimerosal

I suppose that you can't state unequivocally that MMR never contained thimerosal, either, but perhaps you should ask yourself what effect thimerosal would have had on the viruses in the MMR preparation.

What is most embarrassing however is the level of effort devoted to deconstructing a narrative without one having fully heard the complete narrative.

Try doing a search for "CDCwhistleblower" on this blog. We've heard the narrative already. It is not something new, but something that anti-vaxxers have been trumpeting for about 2 years.

By stewartt1982 (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

@stewart1982: My statement on the relevative introductions between MMR and the single Measles vaccine is from a global perspective, not merely a U.S. perspective. Also, there was a period of overlap when MMR was provided as an option along with the single Measles vaccine. While you're correct that MMR was licensed and introduced in the U.S. 1971, it wasn't introduced operationally until 1988 in the UK, which was the country where Wakefield was practicing medicine at the time. Dates of operational introduction will vary depending on the country, but the important thing to be mindful of are the years of overlap as well as the year in which MMR totally replaced the single vaccine, all of which will vary according to country.

David,

So Japan pulls the MMR, and Autism rates go UP? and you are trying somehow to explain how it could STILL be MMRs fault? That is some serious motivated reasoning there (and by that I mean lack of reasoning).

and you say that autism rates are going up exponentially in the US. Proving it was the MMR because the use of MMR has been going up exponentially?

and regarding Wakefield " the only thing he advocated for were the following: a) conducting more research to conclusively determine a causal link between MMR and Autism and b) giving parents the option to immunize their children using single-dosage vaccines rather than poly or triplicate dosage vaccines"

As was pointed out above, why in the world would Wakefield be advocating for a Measles only vaccine with no evidence whatsoever that that would be safer. Why? a thinking man asks why he would say such a thing?

http://briandeer.com/wakefield/vaccine-patent.htm

Thank you Brian Deer. You are my hero.

Captain

By Captian_A (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

..and do not forget that organic food sales have been going up "exponentially", almost exactly in parallel with the autism rates.

By Craig Payne (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Captian_A (not verified)

I can’t personally state equivocally whether or not MMR never historically contained thimerosal,

I will speak slowly. MMR is a live vaccine. Thimerosal is a <preservative, an antibiotic. That means it kills things. You add it to a live-virus vaccine, then the vaccine no longer contains live viri, and is no longer a vaccine.
You should be able to state, unequivocally, that MMR has never contained thimerosal. You can state it equivocally, too, if you want. If you can't, then I have to ask, do you speak to your mother with that much stupid? Aren't you ashamed to say something so gormless with your bare face hanging out?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

@Orac, thank you for providing this additional information. Splicing together statements to provide a narrative is standard operating procedure when creating a 2 minute trailer. It's impossible to show a complete narrative of a 1 hour 30 minute documentary in it's full context in 2 minutes. Furthermore, I read the statements and I'm not seeing the problem with that. You can find this type of thing in nearly every documentary trailer that has been published.

I was not aware that Matt Carey has his own blog. I will take a closer look at that for future reference.

I'm aware of Wakefield's history, but it still surprises me that no one here seems to have the courage to directly confront Wakefield, interview him, ask him the tough "Why" questions, and get his side of the story. I've heard plenty of radio interviews where Wakefield goes into full detail on his side of the story and his perspective is uniquely different from what is being parroted by the establishment media outlets. Why do we have to continue devoting such tremendous effort at demonizing another human being, that while imperfect, is at least making an effort to avail himself in the public arena for criticism and debate? There are far worse people in the world to focus our hatred on in my view.

no one here seems to have the courage to directly confront Wakefield, interview him, ask him the tough “Why” questions, and get his side of the story.
if only you could spell Brian Deer's name correctly, you would be able to look up episodes like this:

After a year of rebuffs, Deer ran Dr Wakefield to ground at an Indianapolis conference on autism. The camera took a bit of a buffet and Dr Wakefield left with Deer following, shouting: "We have very important questions to ask you about your research and your commercial ambitions, sir! Will you stand your ground and answer?" If this was hounding, and it was, Dr Wakefield had only himself to blame for running away.'

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

@David, because generally Wakefield is very careful to go to interviews where he will be treated with kid gloves. The few times he has been in front of real interviewers who know their stuff, e.g. Anderson Cooper for one IIRC, he has been shown up for the crook and charlatan he is and so he tends to avoid such interviews like the plague.

By John Phillips (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

David says "There are far worse people in the world to focus our hatred on in my view."

Because he is a liar, and a fraud, and his lies are leading parents to withhold vaccines from their children. Those children are now at risk to contract potentially life threatening diseases. Some of them will suffer severe consequences of those diseases, and some of them will likely die.

Let me say that again. Children will likely die because of Wakefields lies.

That is why this group is so agitated when someone comes in and promulgates those lies.

You will find that if you want an education on this subject, this board will happily be your teacher. Perhaps there is too much sarcasm and even some ridicule, but ..internet.

Captain

By Captian_A (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

@Captian_A: Wow, have you no shame? You have totally mischaracterized and made claims about my previous statements that are completely not in line with my opinions as already stated. Do you really need me to hold your hand and walk you through this or is this just another half-witted attempt to defame my character and somehow discredit my opinions? I think I'm finally starting to see the true character behind this blog and the followers of this blog and it is very unsettling.

Nonetheless, I will entertain your false deconstruction of my opinions and correct you therein:
1) Japan pulled the MMR and Autism continued it's existing linear upward trajectory with no increase or decrease in it's rate of change of occurrence of ASD.
2) By comparison, the U.S. fully replaced the single Measles vaccine with MMR during this same time period while experiencing an increasing rate of change of the occurrence of ASD.
3) None of the above facts that I previously disclosed was meant to suggest that MMR is still to blame for the increased Autism in Japan.
4) I also mentioned that in addition to improved methods of detection and diagnosis, other factors should be considered as possible causes when the rate of increased cases of Autism is increasing non-linearly, which is what we have seen over the last 20-30 years in the U.S.
5) I never stated whether or not MMR vaccination rates have been changing in the U.S., so the conclusion of MMR vaccination rates being a causal factor cannot be drawn from my previous statements.
6) As to your question why Wakefield would recommend a single vaccine over MMR, look at my previous comments, which in summary are to suggest that there is a mountain of existing evidence that points to a single Measles vaccine being just as effective (if not more so) and perhaps even more safe (although more research is needed to assess this long-term for MMR) compared to MMR. Here you should realize that at the time of Wakefield's infamous 1998 publication, the MMR was only being used operationally in the UK for 10 years. During this same period, Wakefield's patients also had access to the single Measles vaccine. Wakefield did not find any associations with leaky gut syndrome, ASD, and the single Measles vaccine, thus why he held that recommendation with the further recommendation to carry out further research on the matter.

There are far worse people in the world to focus our hatred on in my view.

Outbreak of measles in Memphis, five children and one adult. All unvaccinated - two are too young.

See why we're upset?

By shay simmons (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

@ Captian_A: Clearly you are out of touch and lack any personal interaction with people who have had children damaged by vaccines. Also, you don't seem to have any interaction with anyone who is the least bit skeptical toward the pharmaceutical industry and the revolving door of the FDA and CDC that rewards those who favor the pharmaceutical industry with cushy, high-paying jobs. The fact that you seem to pin all your hatred on just one man speaks volumes. Wakefield is not the source of these people's agitation and skepticism. It's the fact that Big Pharma and Big Government have a much longer, and much more nefarious track record when it comes to lies, fraud, and leading to the injury and deaths of millions upon millions as a result. That is the source of the distrust and discontentment. Wakefield is merely one man who has taken great risk as exposing a deeper fraud and corruption that's been going on far longer than any of us have been alive.

To anyone who has landed here being somewhat new to Wakefield and vax—>autism controversy: The defenders of VAXXED are all singing some version of "you can't criticize a film if you haven't seen it." This may seem a reasonable complaint on the surface, and a sound general principle, but in this case, it's a total red herring.

Matt Carey hasn't found 'a few audio clips' from VAXXED, he has an audio recording of the whole damn thing. So, unless there's 'information' not spoken — presented only in the form of intertitles or lower-thirds — he knows exactly how 'further' it goes, or doesn't. it doesn't 'go further'. Of course, several unbiased film reviewers who have seen VAXXED have reported on what they saw, and noted that it was surprisingly short of substantive content on the whole promised 'CDC Whisleblower revelations. There's also the trailer, promotional materials, Wakefield's YT videos — which collectively establish that VAXXED is fraudulent and mendacious on a number of point, so any 'new' claims it purported to offer would not qualify as 'information' without independent verification — say, peer review.

True, there are things the critics of VAXXED can't know about it until they've seen it. But far from constructing straw-man arguments based on assumptions, they're only commenting on things they do know about VAXXED, Wakefield, Hooker and Thompson. It may be the tip of the iceberg, but it's more than enough to that condemn the supposed 'science' in the film.

Once we actually get to see the thing, we'll have access to all the subtle insinuations it makes, and the way it presents folks with ASD as a "blight". Expect the critique to get stronger — a lot MORE damning — once all the sordid visual details become widely available for analysis.

@David. But the single vaccine is not as effective as the MMR for a number of reasons, e.g. fewer parents complete the full course of vaccines for their children when they are administered singly. There is actual research that backs this up but I don't have the links on this machine but perhaps one of the site's regulars can supply the appropriate links. If not I'll dig it out and post it later.

BTW, I suggest you go read Brian Deer's site on Wakefield so you'll understand just how crooked he was and what conflict of interests he had in all this from the get go, including when, and perhaps why, he advocated for a single vaccine.

By John Phillips (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

@shay simmons: If you're so upset, vaccinate yourself and your children. End of story. The bottom line is that Measles is a natural disease, and the human body has been proven over the millenia that immunity can be developed naturally without vaccination. Statistically, you have a greater chance of dying on your drive to work than from an infectious disease. Your fear is driven by emotion, not rationality.

@ sadmar: I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt that all of what you just said is true. If you really want to stand by these claims of fraud in the movie, then let's stand together and contact our Congressmen/women and urge them to subpoena William Thompson to testify before Congress and put this whole thing to rest. Further, let's lobby for an independent, non-biased (not funded by the FDA, CDC, or Big Pharma) group of scientists to "reanalyze" the complete CDC dataset. Furthermore, let's urge the film makers to engage in a town hall debate with leading, prominent scientists to hear all perspectives. Let's encourage discussion across all spectrums before we unilaterally determine that the blogosphere is our last hope at providing an authoritative verdict on a controversy.

@David, I actually have a daughter who was damaged during the UK's scare about the pertussis vaccine in the 70s. I was working away for long periods and while I was away my wife was persuaded by friends not to vaccinate her. A few years later my daughter was one of a number of young children who caught whooping cough and that is something I would not wish on the worst of people. It took her a year to almost make a full recovery, though she has ongoing health issues that the doctors say are related to her bout of whooping cough. But overall, she was one of the relatively lucky ones. For two died, a small number had immediate long term mild disabilities and a few had serious life long disabilities. All because a know nothing started a scare about the odds of possible damage caused by the vaccine when the odds of damage from the actual whooping cough was orders of magnitude greater. So go screw yourself.

By John Phillips (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

As a follow-up to our last comment, the real "Red Herring" are those who are unwilling to have a fair debate with those they are accusing of committing fraud. If anyone is not willing to take such action to put this thing to rest outside of the blogosphere, they are cowards and hypocrites.

Captian_A: Clearly you are out of touch and lack any personal interaction with people who have had children damaged by vaccines

Captian_A also lacks any personal interaction with people whose children were abducted by leprechauns.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

@David, I have no problem with a reanalysis of the data, though I personally think it a waste of resources. But if I thought it would shut up some of the anti-vaxxers, then I would approve. However, as to a town hall or any other kind of debate, what good would that do. For science isn't decided by debate but by the actual evidence. All a debate proves is that one side are better debaters than the other and says nothing at all about the truth of the matters being debated.

By John Phillips (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

@John Phillips: I am sorry about your experience with your daughter and yours is actually the first I've been told about regarding a non-vaccinated person. I'm sure there are many others as you've indicated. There are definitely those who use scare tactics to get to the emotions of people. I see this on both sides of the debate. Personally, I'm more driven by statistics and a believe in living a clean, natural life as much as possible. I am also a Christian, and am driven by my faith in God and the Bible. I know there are others who do not believe in God and who rely on the wisdom of man and science to address all of there problems, and they are free to do so. However, I don't want to live a society that reduces man's free will to self-determine what to put in or what to not put in their own bodies or their children's bodies. For me, it's a matter of individual sovereignty that is the greatest gift that is not free and must be preserved. If men, women, and parents lose the right to make these types of decisions, we have then entered a point of no return into the greatest level of Tyranny this world has ever witnessed, where the power of the elite oligarchy trumps the free will of the individual person.

The bottom line is that Measles is a natural disease, and the human body has been proven over the millenia that immunity can be developed naturally without vaccination.

Yes, by getting the disease. Which could kill you, or leave you with horrible sequelae. Not always, but often enough.

Statistically, you have a greater chance of dying on your drive to work than from an infectious disease.

Even granting that's true, I wonder how it came to be?

By palindrom (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

David: "Wakefield is merely one man who has taken great risk as exposing a deeper fraud and corruption"

Why, yes - Wakefield's challenge to authority has resulted in his being exiled to an Austin mansion that sits on only five acres - and his swimming pool is less than Olympic-sized! Truly, his sacrifices have been monumental.

http://briandeer.com/solved/slapp-introduction.htm

David: "Your fear is driven by emotion, not rationality."

Irony meters explode into atom-sized particles.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

@John Phillips: What good would debate do? Then please tell me why are you here? What is the nature of this discourse if it is not debate? I'm afraid you have a nihilistic world view in which you believe all problems can only be resolved by an elite oligarchy who claims to have all of the answers and solutions. Think where we would end up if we all practiced group-think and absolute, unquestioning loyalty to this oligarchy.

The bottom line is that Measles is a natural disease, and the human body has been proven over the millenia that immunity can be developed naturally without vaccination.

Tell that to my youngest brother. Make sure he's got his hearing aids in first.

By shay simmons (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

@Dangerous Bacon: All that this proves is that Wakefield has lost faith in the UK government and justice system and he has successfully picked up the pieces and made a new life for himself in the U.S. Do you really believe that Wakefield intentionally planned to be a martyr with supposed grandiose, self-fulfilling delusions of deceiving millions into believing a fraudulent set of lies to gain even more fame as a fraudster and a charlatan? That is the most incredulous, unbelievable conspiracy one could conjure, let alone accept as viable.

how many of you here have attempted to directly confront Wakefield and have a conversation with him?

How many libel suits has Wakefield initiated against people who disagreed with him? Only to cancel the court action at the last minute, rather than face questioning? (it possibly helps that he always uses someone else's money).
I lost count after the third time.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

While this has been an interesting and thought-provoking discussion, I'm afraid I must call it a day and bid everyone here farewell. It's interesting to note that when I first commented there were only 64 comments, now there are 150+ comments. If many of you feel it was pointless to have a debate, then it stands to question why anyone even bothered to respond and have a discourse over the past 3 hours that was far more dynamic than anything that was discussed here in the earlier part of the day. I would postulate that deep inside everyone's hearts and minds there is a burning desire to go deeper than the surface, to hear both sides of a debate, before a final verdict can be cast on any issue. That is how the court system works. The defendant always has an opportunity to speak and provide their testimony. I truly hope that all of you see the value in hearing the full testimony and inquiry on both sides of an issue before casting your final verdict. Love and Peace! - David

Orac,

“There is a disturbance in the antivaccine Force. I can sense it.”

How many deaths do you sense?
I mean, sense as caused by the antivaccine Force?

By See Noevo (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

@David, mainly I'm just passing time with largely like minded people because I can't sleep while seeing what idiocy and infamy anti-vaxxers are getting up to lately. Actually, debate can be fun, interesting etc, but when it comes to scientific questions, it is largely useless as the evidence is what decides the validity of an argument, not debate or opinion. Debate is more about swaying opinion rather than deciding truth, hence my question as to what good would it do beyond proving one side is better at debating than the other.

By John Phillips (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

Measles is a natural disease, and the human body has been proven over the millenia that immunity can be developed naturally without vaccination

Millennia?
Furuse Y, Suzuki A, & Oshitani H (2010). Origin of measles virus: divergence from rinderpest virus between the 11th and 12th centuries. Virology journal, 7 PMID: 20202190

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

@David, we also reply to those who, like yourself, are so obviously wrong with your facts so anybody else reading the blogs who might not have our background doesn't go away with the impression that a know nothing anti-vaxxer, or are you safe vaccine proponent snort, was right. I.E. a lot of what seems like debate is us, though myself only occasionally compared to the real stalwarts on here, correcting misinformation after misinformation promoted by people such as yourself. Think of it as a public service.

By John Phillips (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

@Narad: So you want to have a meaning of words debate?

I'm not the one who tried to make a big hoo-ha over "linear" vs. "expontial," Peaches.

No thanks. Just take a look at the data yourself

Like this? (Note that this would be even flatter if I were to redo it now.)

I just presented it to you

No, you showed a picture...

and tell whether you think that chart mathematically represents an exponential rate of change.

... which you clearly didn't even understand, despite the boldface paragraph at top.

I don’t have the time or the energy to walk you through a mathematical regression

You don't understand what that word means, do you? Hint: It's generally preceded by another word, which begins with l.

but visually it should be obvious for anyone who has taken a basic statistics course.

Your comically inept posturing is duly noted.

@ Narad ( @ 89):

There's a more recent ( past 3 years?) paper that estimated about 50%. It was quoted by AoA and others.

Interestingly, I am unable to find the Canary Party's original manifesto which detailed the specific conditions - the "canary in the coal mine" . They included the illnesses/ conditions which I mention and some others.

The new website is nearly unreadable.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

@Captian_A: Wow, have you no shame?

Did I miss the part where you copped to the following statement's being a crock of shіt?

"The interesting thing is that shortly after Wakefield went public with this recommendation (both in his paper as well as during an open press conference shortly after his paper was published), the vaccine industry shut down the single-dose vaccine option and forced the governments of the UK, US, and other countries to only accept the MMR vaccine."

This is probably unkind of me, but I do enjoy the regulars here dishing out a healthy dose of facts and evidence to a newbie anti-vaxxer who believes the nonsense. Thanks, guys, you're fantastic.

Popcorn, anyone?

“Very recently, Mr. Richard Morgan, Esq., Dr. Thompson’s whistle blower attorney

I don't know how class markers work among US lawyers, but in English circles the "Mr ... Esq" combination is a social solecism and dreadfully non-U.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

the rates have increased, but the increase is linear, as opposed to the exponential increase we have seen in the U.S.
...
This is graphic is explained in further detail here: https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn7076-autism-rises-despite-mmr-ba…

The explanation states explicitly that the values plotted in the graph are not rates.

I can see why David was reluctant to enter into debate on the meanings of words.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

David: "His opinion is based on decades of proven science that the single Measles vaccine, in isolation, as it’s been used for decades before the MMR vaccine came into existence, "

The first measles vaccine was introduced in 1963. The MMR vaccine was approved in the USA in 1971. How is that even one decade?

David: "While you’re correct that MMR was licensed and introduced in the U.S. 1971, it wasn’t introduced operationally until 1988 in the UK, which was the country where Wakefield was practicing medicine at the time."

Except that was just the UK, a version of the MMR was in use in other countries, like Canada. Now do the math: 1988 - 1971 = ?. How many decades is that?

By the way, the USA is a much bigger country than the UK (the only other countries with bigger populations are China and India). A version of the MMR vaccine has been used there since 1971, so if it caused autism it would have been noticed. So where it the documentation that autism increased in the USA in the 1970s and 1980s coinciding with the use of its MMR vaccine?

David: "1) Japan pulled the MMR and Autism continued it’s existing linear upward trajectory with no increase or decrease in it’s rate of change of occurrence of ASD."

Please tell us exactly why they pulled their MMR vaccine. Which component was the culprit, was it the measles, mumps or rubella bit? Hint: it is in the document I posted a link to and quoted from. You know, the one where 88 kids died from measles. Also, why are claiming no real increase when the graphs showed increases in autism in Japan? Have you bothered to find the papers I posted?

"2) By comparison, the U.S. fully replaced the single Measles vaccine with MMR during this same time period while experiencing an increasing rate of change of the occurrence of ASD."

Except the MMR vaccine was the preferred vaccine for the 1978 Measles Elimination Program. Perhaps Merck stopped making the single measles vaccine because there was no market for it, since the American MMR vaccine was pretty much the only one used.

Do you know why I am specific about it being the "American MMR" vaccine? Was the MMR vaccine used in Japan and the ones introduced in the UK in 1988 all identical to the American MMR vaccine introduced in 1978?

David: "@shay simmons: If you’re so upset, vaccinate yourself and your children. End of story."

You seem to not care at all about the American who recently died from measles because of an immune disorder. By the way, those of us who frequent this website frown upon eugenics. Right now you are considered a monster.

"The bottom line is that Measles is a natural disease, and the human body has been proven over the millenia that immunity can be developed naturally without vaccination"

Except those like the young woman mentioned above and Roald Dahl's oldest child. Hey, a movie based the The BFG is coming out. When you read it, or more likely take them to the see the movie, tell them why the book was dedicated to Olivia Dahl.

David: "I am also a Christian, and am driven by my faith in God and the Bible."

There are about eighty souls resting peacefully in small child sized coffins in an Oregon City, OR cemetery that would disagree. Apparently the prayers of that church did not work better than real medical care.

@John Phillips: What good would debate do? Then please tell me why are you here? What is the nature of this discourse if it is not debate? I’m afraid you have a nihilistic world view in which you believe all problems can only be resolved by an elite oligarchy who claims to have all of the answers and solutions. Think where we would end up if we all practiced group-think and absolute, unquestioning loyalty to this oligarchy.

That man to whom you are speaking wrote Twelve Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming To The Canyon) and around here, we treat him with respect.

@ Delphine, You're obviously joking, right? I mean that that John Phillips has been dead since just over 15 years and while I occasionally feel like death warmed up, I'm not quite there yet :). This John Phillips is from across the pond and quite a bit younger than that John Phillips, assuming he was still alive. Though I do remember the song quite well as I was only two years into my teens when it was released and they were one of my favourite bands. Though I don't think I would like that John Phillips much at all, at least not according to one of his daughters.

By John Phillips (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

I wonder what David's real name is? He had a lot of crap info for a newbie.

David, do you eat fish, especially freshwater and salmon? If you eat very much your mercury levels are probably much higher from one years worth of fish eaten than if all the vaccines had mercury would contribute to you in your lifetime. Check your local health department to see what the recommended amount of fish is in your local area.

Do you really believe that Wakefield intentionally planned to be a martyr with supposed grandiose, self-fulfilling delusions of deceiving millions into believing a fraudulent set of lies to gain even more fame as a fraudster and a charlatan?

I think he did plan all of the above, with the possible exception of the martyrdom. That was an unforeseen bonus.

Rich Bly: "I wonder what David’s real name is? He had a lot of crap info for a newbie."

He is someone who does not care that over eighty children died from measles in Japan. Something I both referenced and quoted on this thread. This comment would be permanently moderated if I wrote what I really felt about his disregard of the victims of Japan's politically motivated health decisions.

David reminds me of a story. I have a few friends that are very good chess players, seriously, world-class good. One evening the chess board came out and another friend (played today by David) thought - I'm pretty clever, chess can't be that hard - and then had his arse handed to him.
He went away for a couple of weeks, offered a re-match, and was again whipped but at least it was apparent that he had gone and educated himself on the theory and strategies of chess.

Hopefully, David has gone away to educate himself. I don't mean that to sound patronising, and David, if you come back, this blog is actually full of fantastic information, and a lot of it. Search 'CDC whistleblower' and when you read a post, click the links within it and read those posts, click the links in those posts and read some more.

We have a system for working out what is and is not true - science. It's not up for debate.

By Can't remember… (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

Wow, I had seriously thought the ad hominems would be over once I gave this comment thread a rest since what I had stated were supposed factual mistruths according to the authoritative experts on this blog. Woah is me. All of these personal attacks on my character are an utter disgrace to the pro-vax movement and only serve to drive a deeper wedge between those who are skeptical and those who are dogmatically unflinching in their trust in the Big Pharma controlled medical science establishment. It's only caused me to realize that if this is the type of attitude and character that I am to expect for the wider pro-vax community then maybe Sir John Phillips is correct in saying that a debate between both sides is futile and will serve no purpose. I would have entertained the notion of continuing where things were left off in addressing some of these other comments left unaddressed, although a part of me just feels these were intentionally placed here as a smokescreen to not focus on the issues that the folks here want to conveniently ignore. If you look at what I posted above and see what was not addressed by everyone on here who was attacking me, then that will clue you in on what this community will not touch with a 10 foot pole. It's clear to me that all you want to do is play mind games, word games, discredit, and poke fun at anything I say that doesn't fit your self-proclaimed authoritative handle on what is factually correct. This is hubris beyond reasonable measure and will not promote an environment that is fertile for healthy discussion and exchange of ideas and diverse views. So John's self-fulfilling prophecy, should this attitude persist in the pro-vax community, will hold true indefinitely.

Wow, I had seriously thought the ad hominems would be over once I gave this comment thread a rest

Beg pardon?

All of these personal attacks on my character are an utter disgrace to the pro-vax movement and only serve to drive a deeper wedge between those who are skeptical and those who are dogmatically unflinching in their trust in the Big Pharma controlled medical science establishment

Don't make me laugh. There are no skeptics in the anti-vax movement. They're as Close-minded as you can get - they're psuedoskeptics

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Pseudoskepticism

Secondly, nobody is having blind faith or trust in "Big Pharma" but rather "Big Science" which has demonstrated over and over again that there is absolutely no link between autism and vaccines.

Also, nice tone trolling: stirr up sheeit and then go "Woe is me, u y being so mean?!" You're nothing but a run-of-the-mill anti-vax troll despite your claims to the contrary.

I am also a Christian, and am driven by my faith in God and the Bible... I don’t want to live a society that reduces man’s free will to self-determine what to put in or what to not put in their own bodies or their children’s bodies.

Matthew 15,10-11: 10 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

Jesus wants you to know that the virus or the vaccine that goes into your body does not make you dirty. However the vaccine preventable virus you spread to others will cause harm. Causing harm knowingly and willfully does indeed defile you spiritually.

In this parable Jesus reminds us that

David: "All of these personal attacks on my character are an utter disgrace to the pro-vax movement and only serve to drive a deeper wedge between those who are skeptical and those who are dogmatically unflinching in their trust in the Big Pharma controlled medical science establishment."

Is this because I pointed out that you said nothing about the fact 88 kids died of measles in Japan? Really? Where did you even acknowledge their existence and premature demise?

Oh, you poor child! Being given an "ad hominem" for not reading the relevant literature nor recognizing that political vaccine disease decisions are really quite deadly.

Here I am posting actual PubMed indexed studies versus your little graphics that can't be referenced. And I am the bad guy. Only on Htrae.

By the way the Yokohama graph was exponential. Sorry if you did not know what it meant, next time learn to use a dictionary and take some basic algebra.

Millennia?

So you want to have a meaning of words debate?

P.S. Furuse et al.'s clock has been challenged.

All of these personal attacks on my character are an utter disgrace...

When you say something ignorant, people will correct you. Then you are supposed to say, "oops my bad I guess I need to lurk more," or something like that.

If ignore the fact of your own ignorance and continue to pretend you know more than you do, people will laugh at you. Not just on this blog but on planet Earth. Because that is how human beings respond to derpy behavior. Well at least the kind hearted humans.

I am pro-evidence not pro-vax. It just seems like I am pro-vax because right now the evidence that the benefits of the vaccines we use far outweigh their risks.

But if evidence emerged that some vaccine caused more harm than good, then I would not want people to get that vaccine.

They’re as Close-minded as you can get – they’re psuedoskeptics

I, for one, prefer pleather to psuede.

David said:

More disturbingly, they examined cases of what is known as “isolated autism”, in other words, autism that is present in children who have no other debilitating health conditions or diagnosed disorders. What they found is an alarming risk factor that leads to a 700% increased risk for isolated autism; translation: children who are completely healthy without any previously compromised immune system or neurological disorders are most at risk for autism after taking MMR.

As Matt asked: Where is that 700% increase from?
It is not mentioned in the Desteffano study, It is not mentioned anywhere in dr. Thompson's statemet. And Hooker didn't mention it in his study although that study focused on african-american male children.

... there is a burning desire to go deeper than the surface, to hear both sides of a debate, before a final verdict can be cast on any issue. That is how the court system works. The defendant always has an opportunity to speak and provide their testimony.
Right. Wakefield faced his accusers during a hearing before the GMC years ago. People looked at his patient charts and saw that they did not match what he wrote in his study about them. That is scientific fraud which is not tolerated. For this and other reasons he lost his medical license.

Another part of the court system: once a case is concluded we don't try it again. Unless maybe someone presents important new evidence. But that will not happen for Wakefield. Cuz if the charts don't fit we cannot acquit.

Interesting. Where does the attorney state that?

Indeed (UTC).

As Matt asked: Where is that 700% increase from?

The usual.

#181, Narad

Aha, I see Age of Autism says that Autism have gone up 700% since the 70s.
A couple of days later "VaxTruth" reports that the CDC study showed an increase of 700% in "isolated autism". Sounds like someone is playing "Telephone"/"Chinese whispers".

He had a lot of crap info for a newbie.
I give him 8.5 out of 10 for the Gish-galloping.

a nihilistic world view in which you believe all problems can only be resolved by an elite oligarchy
Nihilists! Feck me!
(I was hoping to be at least a Kantian nihilist).

Another part of the court system: once a case is concluded we don’t try it again.
Remember that Wakefield did have several more bites of the cherry, several opportunities to re-litigate with his various appeals and defamation suits. All of which he either lost, or walked away from after pocketing whatever moneys his supporters were willing to donate.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

Sounds like someone is playing “Telephone”/”Chinese whispers”.

You say "Chinese whispers", I say "Human centipede". Potay-to, potah-to.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

@Narad

They aint got nothin' on the <u<velourskeptics.

David:

If you look at what I posted above and see what was not addressed by everyone on here who was attacking me, then that will clue you in on what this community will not touch with a 10 foot pole

1) You Gish Galloped. You threw out a huge number of false claims in the hopes that we wouldn't have the time to refute them.
2) You also accused the CDC and "Big Pharma" of having a revolving door policy but failed to provide any evidence to support your charge. On this site, a person who makes such claims is usually expected to support them with evidence.
3) You made a number of demonstrably false claims. Around here, we follow the "falsus in unum, falsus in omni" principle. If you write something that is easily refutable and don't support your other claims, the general view is that you're just throwing mud and hope that some sticks.
I'm going to repeat what Orac said, but paraphrased for my own experience. "No study or argument you've yet presented is anything I haven’t seen and seen dealt with dozens, if not hundreds, of times over the last 6+ years."

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 26 Apr 2016 #permalink

David@169:

All of these personal attacks on my character are an utter disgrace to the pro-vax movement and only serve to drive a deeper wedge between those who are skeptical and those who are dogmatically unflinching in their trust in the Big Pharma controlled medical science establishment.

LOL, say what you like about the rest of Brave Sir David's laughable performance, at least he stuck the flounce with gusto. Bravo, young man, you'll make someone a fine winged monkey yet!

Remember that Wakefield did have several more bites of the cherry, several opportunities to re-litigate with his various appeals and defamation suits. All of which he either lost, or walked away from after pocketing whatever moneys his supporters were willing to donate.

I see your point. But please do not confuse David regarding my main point: we do not try a case twice. It's important that David understand this lest he waste his life debating and re-debating stuff already sorted.

In a trial the defendant says, "The charges against me are false," while during an appeal the defendant says, "the judge/administrators didn't do their job." So not the same thing.

I thought that video was hilarious, with Sharon Attkinson reciting (accurately) how much published science is false, riddled with concealed conflicts of interest and fraudulent with Wakefield sitting there, looking gravely at his feet.

If it was a press conference, I'm not sure if I would have asked her views on some of the things he'd been proven to have done (from financial fraud to data fabrication), or whether I'd have asked how much epidemiology showed that cigarette smoking didn't cause lung cancer.

But it wasn't. Damn.

By Brian Deer (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

Anyone here who isn’t familiar with the NVIC should know that it was enacted in 1986 by Congress which provides total legal immunity to drug companies in the event of an injury or adverse reaction that would allegedly be related to a vaccine created by the drug company.

I am probably giving David's chocolate-fountain* more attention than it deserves, but this leaped out when I was scrolling up the screen. He seems to be talking about the NVICP (NVIC is B. Fisher's little hive of scum and villainy). By "1986" he means "1988". And by "total legal immunity" he means "not total legal immunity".

It is difficult that someone could be so wrong or mendacious about so many points just by accident or ignorance.

* Not really chocolate.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

@ hdb

He seems to be talking about the NVICP (NVIC is B. Fisher’s little hive of scum and villainy). By “1986” he means “1988”. And by “total legal immunity” he means “not total legal immunity”.

But apart from these inconsequential factual errors, David was totally right, isn't it?
I mean, the commas were placed correctly in his sentence.

----------------------------------------------
With this whole controversy about vaccines, a student in sociology would have material a-plenty to write a thesis or ten on how information is spread, distorted and rewritten by the rumor mill.
Not long ago, another visitor was telling us about a former Merck employee and whistleblower, a Dr Thompson...

By Helianthus (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

@141

Under other recent, related blog posts here I have posted a link to the W*k*p*d** page on Mr Lying Trousers Fraudy Pants (that'll be Saint Andy to you by the look of things), which makes it abundantly clear, for those who haven't followed his antics for many years, exactly what sort of person he is.

Oh, and I should point out, yet again, that Wakefield had minimal training in anything to do with autism - he was a sodding gastro-enterologist!

I know a couple of professors of child and adolescent psychiatry and paediatrics who would have loved to debate anything to do with MMR, autism, measles and the like with Wakefield, but he ran away and hid in Texas.

Hi, David. I just wanted to go back to your original post and your complaint against 5 claims that were made and are, in your opinion, merely speculation by anyone who has not seen the film.

Please bear in mind that when commenting on Hooker's reanalysis, the best place to look is Hooker's (retracted) paper, not a film produced by people hoping to spin the narrative to agree with their preconceived notions.

1) He analyzed a dataset designed for a case control study as a cohort study,

As others already pointed out, Hooker did, indeed, use data gathered as a case control study to conduct his own cohort study. So that claim is actually true.

2) Hooker tortured the data until it confessed what he wanted it to, but even then it didn’t confess all that he wanted,

Ideally, Hooker wanted to show that MMR causes autism. However, his reanalysis didn't show that. And, as he wrote in his (retracted) paper, he had to change sample sizes in order to get the one spurious result he did obtain (using the wrong statistical methods).

3) the only “result” he could produce was an association between MMR and autism in African-American males,

This is also true. The only association he showed was between AA males and late vaccination with MMR. On-time vaccination (at 12-15 months) was not associated with autism. And MMR was not associated with autism for any other population. He did not show causation, since this type of study cannot show causation to begin with. Furthermore, even if it could show causation, the dataset would not have allowed such an analysis, since there was not information on when the children were diagnosed with autism. Was it before getting the MMR? After getting it? We don't know.

4) he basically proved Wakefield wrong, because there wasn’t a hint of a whiff of a whisper of a positive correlation in any other group,

This, too is a true statement. Hooker's (retracted) paper showed no association between MMR and autism for any of the other groups, yet Wakefield has been claiming that MMR causes autism. If Wakefield were correct, then Hooker's (retracted) paper should have shown a correlation between MMR and autism for all, or at least a majority of, groups.

5) he had to do the wrong analysis to “show” a correlation in African-American boys.

This, like the four previous statements, is also true. The only way that Hooker could obtain results showing an association between MMR and late-vaccination in AA males was to use the wrong statistical methods and to ignore confounding variables.

These are all immediately evident if one reads the actual papers, rather than taking a propaganda film as true and accurate at face value.

And, if I were you, I'd give Matt Carey's comments quite a bit of weight. He has a full audio recording of the film (not just clips or snippets), he has read the original DeStefano paper, Hooker's (retracted) paper, and all of the documents that Thompson provided to Rep. Posey. You could actually read all of those things, too, since they have all been made available. Granted, that would take work, and you'd have to set aside your biases as you read them so that you do not ignore the bits that disagree with the narrative you've swallowed, nor overemphasize the bits the agree with your opinions. Self-criticism is very difficult, but it's essential if you want to arrive at anything near the truth of the matter.

David -- what you're describing as coming from authoritative experts simply isn't something clinically relevant.

But, is it possible that.....No.

@David
I'll had this summary if you want to see if some of the movie's arguments weren't adressed before : http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com/2014/09/mmr-cdc-and-brian-hooker-media…
As far as we know, the movie didn't bring up any new argument.

#104

I don’t doubt most of the folks here are familiar with Wakefield, but the bigger question is how many of you here have attempted to directly confront Wakefield and have a conversation with him? There are two sides to every story.

Wakefield has been interviewed recently here ; he had his chance to answer to pro-vaccination criticisms of the Hooker study : https://violentmetaphors.com/2016/02/15/an-interview-with-andrew-wakefi…

Sharyl Attkisson is well-known at RI.

A while ago, Dan ( AoA) absolutely raved about her book and attended her book party at a posh place in Washington.

In brief, wikip--- has an entry about her storied career. Most recently, she is employed by Sinclair which also has an interesting history ( see wikip-- / political programming section). I imagine that she has managed to finally escape 'liberal bias' at a major network.

I think she does an awful lot of posing which I suppose is alright if you're a model.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

Vaccines are full of spam. And they probably mess with the gut microbiome wherein doing so makes people suffer metabolic dysbiosis making them fat.

There are far worse people in the world to focus our hatred on in my view.”

There are right now three "continents" of garbage floating around on our oceans.
I guess that gives me a good reason to not pick-up the garbage on my front lawn.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

"The bottom line is that Measles is a natural disease, and the human body has been proven over the millenia that immunity can be developed naturally without vaccination."

The bottom line is that rabies is a natural disease, and the human body has been proven over the millennia that immunity can be , um, crap. What was I saying?

By ScienceMonkey (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

SM - I think you were trying to say that the rabies vaccine is the most effective way to combat that infectious disease, but only if given in a timely manner.

"I think she does an awful lot of posing which I suppose is alright if you’re a model".

You may be confusing Sharyl with Polly Tommey. :)

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

@ Murmur:

I've been following the antics of various alties for years and have come to the conclusion that Texas probably provides an excellent environment for woo and its perpetrators.

Supposedly the name itself is derived from an ancient Native American word ( 'Tejas' ) which loosely translates as " a good place to play around in".

So Andy escaped his past and settled there. Krigsman works there part time. Mike Adams left Ecuador, then Arizona, to build his empire nearby. Jake Crosby has connected relatives there and studies at the University. Alex Jones broadcasts his swill as well from Austin. They say " Keep Austin weird". Right.

Famously, Dr Burzynski resides in Houston.. Recently, SBM's persona non grata, Gary Null, began moving his operations to a former oil baron's estate in Mineola where he is trying to establish a spa, retreat, treatment centre and divers other projects that provide the true essence of distilled woo and energy healing.

Why Tejas? The hoary old woo-meister explains that they don't have as many of those pesky regulations that restrict what spiritual, humanitarian healers like himself can do and taxes are LOW.

One of the Thinking Moms is working on getting marihuana accepted as a treatment for autistic children there too.

I've only visited the place once in transit which was the Dallas-Fort Worth airport so I haven't observed directly.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

@ Dangerous Bacon:

No, both of them pose. They're hard to tell apart - that's why one was relegated into wearing a non-black dress.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

One of the Thinking Moms is working on getting marihuana accepted as a treatment for autistic children there too.

I suppose you'd rather keep pumping them full of Risperdal, hu? Little Timmy needs his prolactin raised to the point of sprouting a proud set of knockers.

SN:For example, do you ever write about the suicide rate in the U.S. being at its highest in decades?

I understand that
– The suicide rate increased for white middle-aged women by 80 percent from 1999–2014,
– The overall suicide rate for white, middle-age Americans spiked 40% in the last 10 years,
– Drug overdoses (i.e. *possible* suicides) among young whites quintupled from 1999 to 2014.

And, what exactly is your point? You've been pretty clear that you don't think women are human, so what do you care if they off themselves?
Besides, the whataboutery about suicide is off putting when it's you and all your pals who cause some of it. It ain't just a medical problem buck-o, it's a religious and community problem.
Here's the thing, I bet you know people- or are that person- who's responsible for a few suicides, and you actively endorsed their behavior. The dad who raped his daughter and told her it was her fault for being immodest, and she later killed herself? I bet you lined up squarely behind the dad. The priest who raped dozens of kids and wonders why there's suddenly a bunch of suicides but has no remorse? You support him. The parents who kicked their gay sons or lesbian daughters out of the house and only get told about the funeral when it's over? You support them. The rich Catholic slumlord or mortgage broker who drives families to bankruptcy and shows no remorse? You're also on their side. The families who exorcise their kids rather than getting them actual help? You're ringing the bell.
Don't fucking concern troll about suicide when you're just using it as a flag and don't care about the actual people. Just like God, you're squarely on the side of the rich, the intolerant, and the smug. Go be a smug snake somewhere else, and quit stinking up the the joint.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

PGP, you forgot to castigate him for cheering on his buddy for impregnating his wife over and over again, despite the fact that they couldn't handle or afford so many children.

If you're going for negative Catholic stereotypes, you need to be more inclusive. And why stop there? I'm sure there are some cheap shots you can take at other religions. Oh wait, you already do...

Wow, PgP; Did you take a speech class or something? Such a powerful soliloquy-- Those are right laudable social ills your railing on there. Though one might say *perform exorcism* instead of *exorcise* because the latter implies success.

But you have overreached as all See Noevo's suicide stats are trivially attributed to Justin Bieber and cringing Justin Bieber retrocausal teen and twenty-something angst.

https://i-d.vice.com/en_us/article/justin-bieber-interview-the-teen-ido…

*boing*

I wonder if David was spouting the talking points from Tom Leonard's execrable, offensive, and highly inaccurate piece published at the Daily Fail April 22.

http://www.dailymail.co DOT uk/news/article-3554747/Why-Niro-backing-MMR-doctor-hounded-Britain-Actor-believes-triple-jab-risks-covered-pharmaceutical-giants-son-developed-autism-overnight-vaccination.html

Tom Leonard is The Daily Fail's New York bureau chief. He has a little problem with factual reporting, at least related to Wakefield, vaccines, and autism.

The movie contains a bombshell revelation: the existence of a 1994 study (pre-dating Wakefield's findings in The Lancet) by the U.S. government's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that buried the suggestion the MMR jab was associated with a 340 per cent increased risk of autism in African-American boys

Uh no, just no. The film Vaxxed is all about DeStefano 2004. I have no idea what Leonard is on about with the "1994".

With the commercial value of holding the licence to make a government-prescribed single vaccine worth as much as $30 billion a year in the U.S., Vaxxed suggests that rich pharmaceutical companies could hardly have had a stronger vested interest in promoting their vaccines.

Leonard is making stuff up, or Wakefield is. In 2014 the entire world market for all vaccines, including animal vaccines was $30 billion.

As for Wakefield, he tells me he hasn't 'earned a cent for three and a half years' as he and his wife, Carmel, a classical music radio DJ, survive off the proceeds of selling their home in Kew, South-West London. He now calls himself a professional filmmaker.

Oh sure. I wonder how much Wakefield is being subsidized by say Barry Segal. Vaxxed was funded to the tune of $400K, or about $440/minute. Considering how much of the film was recycled material, I wonder what Wakefield's cut was.

Not surprisingly, many parents of autistic children believe Wakefield, although discredited by his peers, raised worrying issues.

It would be more accurate to say that <0.01% of autistics and maybe 10% of the parents of autistic children buy into the "vaccines cause autism" myth.

Either way, both sides in this vicious battle hopefully realise the most important thing is never to lose sight of the main goal — finding a cure for this soul-destroying condition.

Soul-destroying? My contempt for Leonard knows no depths.

As an antidote to Tom Leonard's spew, Sarah Gill at Australia's The Age declares: Anti-immunisation movie Vaxxed is a platform for its maker, not its message. Amid World Immunisation Week, a film by a frontman for the anti-vaccination movement is being rolled out in US cinemas

What more, one wonders, could Wakefield possibly have to offer on this topic, given his deplorable conduct in the late 1990s when he essentially fabricated a link between autism and the combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and caused a worldwide vaccine scare? What followed over the next decade – including mind-blowing revelations of dishonesty, fraud, avarice and chicanery – culminated in Wakefield's medical deregistration in 2010.

Apparently undeterred by this litany of prior misdemeanours, Wakefield's film – Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe – simply sidesteps his past and reprises the causal link between the MMR vaccine and autism, this time accusing the US Centre for Disease Control of scientific fraud by manipulating data to conceal the correlation between the triple shot and autism. Pot, kettle, black?

http://www.theage.com.au/comment/antiimmunisation-movie-vaxxed-is-a-pla…

@Liz Ditz: She really doesn't pull her punches: What followed over the next decade – including mind-blowing revelations of dishonesty, fraud, avarice and chicanery – culminated in Wakefield’s medical deregistration in 2010. Love it.

Delphine: you forgot to castigate him for cheering on his buddy for impregnating his wife over and over again, despite the fact that they couldn’t handle or afford so many children.

SN's single, which is the only good thing about him.

As for the cheap shots, I'm sorry, but people pretending to care about medical issues just so they can wave their jerk flags really, really pisses me off.
I've seen a "good Catholic couple' deny their daughter urgently needed medical care, to the point where she had to check into a psychiatric unit to get any medical attention at all. And then when she had to move back home, her parents stole her anti-depressants. And no one in her community bothered to care.
Another example of people I hate are anti-vaxxers who pretend to mourn when autistic children die. If it was their kid, they'd be dancing on the grave.
I really hate hypocrisy, and religion's an easy target because of the many hypocrites, abusers and generally shitty people that make up both the rank and file and the clergy. And when abusive behavior comes to light, who gets support? Not the victims, not ever.
If you're a Christian or a Muslim you don't get to enjoy life. You don't read books, as God doesn't like education, science, or literacy. You don't get art or music-well, maybe some art or music if you're a Christian, but of the sugary insipid variety. And then if you're a good Christian, you get an eternity of suburban sanctimony.
I suppose I'd like religious people better if they didn't want to run everyone's lives for them and didn't keep running for office and making a big deal about their faith. I'd also like it if I didn't have to keep punching myself in the uterus or worrying that this'll be the last election I'll be able to vote in.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

@ Liz Ditz:

I know that Carmel Wakefield is presently a dj but wasn't she a physician?
I wonder why she didn't try to get certified in the US-
being struck off isn't contagious.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

If you’re a Christian or a Muslim you don’t get to enjoy life. You don’t read books, as God doesn’t like education, science, or literacy. You don’t get art or music-well

Just when I think you can't get any more stupid, PGP....

By shay simmons (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

Sheesh, completely ignoring S.N. was going so well up until this.

I had forgotten that Carmel was a physician, Denice. I don't know if she actually had a practice or did something else.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/carmel-wakefield-59085913

Medico Legal Consultant and Risk Management Advisor
Carmel O'Donovan Associates
1994 – 2004 (10 years)London, United Kingdom

St Mary's Hospital Medical School London
Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery and Member of the Royal College of Physicians UK

herr doktor bimler@191

It is difficult that someone could be so wrong or mendacious about so many points just by accident or ignorance.

I think this is what they call fractally

Todd W.@194

The only association he showed was between AA males and late vaccination with MMR. On-time vaccination (at 12-15 months) was not associated with autism.

But not too late. IIRC it was only something like 15-18 months.

By capnkrunch (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

PGP, I try so hard to understand your position. I really do.

Here's my problem:
I so WANT to believe that you're just being careless with language, exaggerating your point or that you don't mean what you say.
Hyperbole can be a useful literary device if designated.

I agree that CERTAIN Christians, Catholics, suburbanites and anti-vaxxers CAN be awful and obnoxious and perhaps even hateful. I can give you examples of them.
Perhaps even all of them are.

BUT here's the big problem- we can't know that! We haven't surveyed or met them all.
It's possible that being religious perverts people's better instincts and makes them unbearable.
BUT we don't know that. We haven't observed ALL religious people ALL of their lives in perpetuity to see how they are.

Even if one is not despicable it ruins your argument if you speak as you do.

If you said something like-
" It's been my experience that many ( whomevers) are quite terrible because ( whatever)" .
That's another thing. It might be true. It isn't automatically suspect.

I understand some of what you say and I suspect that you DO use hyperbolic speech often because you are so emotionally involved with subjects which make you angry about certain types of people, how they behave and their political positions which you think are unfair.

BUT you have to be more clear about it and specify that.
Err in the direction of explaining TOO MUCH rather than specifying too little and having us speculate.

People may agree with you if you say SOME not all.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

@ 212: Denice

Carmel Wakefield has done about two days worth of doctoring in her life. She went from being a junior to work for the Medical Defence Society - protecting doctors against their patients - and then set up her own business doing likewise.

Basically, the Wakefields couldn't get away from patients quick enough. The stench of hypocrisy that eminates from that pair (and Ms Tommey, who seems to come between them) is unbelievable.

They do all this "listening to the parents" number, but I think the ones they mostly pay attention to are the rich ones.

By Brian Deer (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

Sorry: Medical Defence Union!

By Brian Deer (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

@capnkrunch

But not too late. IIRC it was only something like 15-18 months.

Nope, the association that Hooker found and gets touted all around by AVers (the alleged 340% increase) was in the 24-36 month group (but he shifted the upper age limit so he wouldn't include cells with less than 5 individuals). There was a lesser association in the 18-24 month group, and no association in the on-time group.

@ Brian Deer:

Really. My goodness.

And the anti-vaxxers are the ones who always say-
'Follow the money'.
Perhaps we should steal that line.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

DW: I do tend to use hyperbole, and I do know that is a bit of a problem. I have met a number of fairly nice religious people, but the problem is that they tend to be really, really quiet, whereas the terrible people tend to float to the top. You see the same thing in parenting circles and most autism organizations.And that kinda makes you wonder about the rank and file.

Shay: Should have put devout in there, sorry for the error. Though I stand by what I said about Christian 'art' 'music' and 'movies.' If you can find non-Catholic,non-Orthodox and non-Anglican examples that don't induce diabetes or retching from three states away, I might be interested. (Excluding those three because Orthodox Christians and Catholics actually have a tradition of iconography and Anglicans because Tolkien.)

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

Gosh, at first when I read comments here, I thought, "Oh! I have to go and throw away all my books, art, and music! I didn't know. No one had told me!" Fortunately, I read further, and found that I Have Been Saved! By Tolkien. Whew!

I think this is what they call fractally wrongness.

@Todd W.
Thanks for the correction.

By capnkrunch (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

@PGP #23:

Tolkien was a devout Catholic. His brother John was a priest.

By The Very Rever… (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

Yes he was, though he could never get Lewis to join him on The Dark Side. Although Lewis was as High Anglican as they come.

One wonders what PGP would do with Blake.

Or even the Song of Solomon.

By shay simmons (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

Or the B Minor Mass, or the St Matthew Passion, or any of the cantatas, or Messiah, or Ein Deutsches Requium, or ....

By palindrom (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

@ PGP:

I thought so! I can read people. You do see the complexity.
At least a little - it's a start. I can deal with it.

On the net, you sometimes can be easily mis-read so you have to be careful. Specify more. Be clear. Don't take short cuts - say what you REALLY mean,

"Terrible people do tend to float to the top" - you said it!

Par example, you read about different characters and even interact with them @ RI:

-Orac is brilliant and presents thoughtful meaningful material- then there's Mikey. WHO is more well-known on the net?
If you were ill, whose advice would you take?

- Brian Deer and his work are exceptional but ANDY is a rock star With groupies.. And films! Who is louder and more strident? Who makes more money?
Whom would you trust with your car?

Then there's me contra the various Momster writers investigating the Truth and Fighting da Power for the CHILDREN!!! Would you rather have a drink with me or Kim Stagliano?

I hereby rest my case

( I won't get into Catholics and Protestants as I am neither.

Art is another province and belongs to no one group because talent and insight don't belong to any sect- .but are INDIVIDUAL although certain cultures may foster particular talents and encourage some artists, discouraging others)

-btw- is it possible that Tolkien's family's religion this, their culture might have influenced him in his choice of iconography, language and celestial hierarchies? Just a thought.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

I've never been a spiritual man, but I'll admit that (some) music is the best thing to come out of church.

http://youtu.be/dWJt3ZUKAWk

It's really strange PGP has such hatred for religious people, when she risk being murdered (or worse) every day riding the bus. I guess its a case of being more comfortable with threats that you face regularly than threats you face less often, even if the regular threat is more dangerous.

Or maybe she just hates everybody.

Denise - never trust a journalist with your car. It's one of the cardinal rules if zombieland, or at least it should be.

@ MarkN:

Ha ha.
Don't laugh but in the good old days of café society c. 1980s I knew a photographer who worked for a tabloid. Hilarious.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

I don't know about journalists, but I'd worry about letting an Englishman drive my car...unless he'd been here a while.

The first thing I did behind the wheel of an American car* after three years in Japan was back it into the side of the carport.

*His. The week before the wedding. He married me anyway.

By shay simmons (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

Shay: Song of Solomon was written by a Jewish person. Blake was one of those spiritualists, wasn't he? Like Emerson? The point is, anyway, that modern day Christianity doesn't really have room for good art.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

Come on, PGP, can't people transcend their environment?
Especially artists? ( guess who studied art)

Seriously, some art historians even believe that the social environment- for good or ill- determines art . Wasn't Renaissance art primarily funded by the Church and the wealthy? Some of it was revolutionary- not directly supportive of its donors- it looked towards the pagan ideals of beauty and perfection as implied in Greek and Roman sculpture- not the Church. Artists exemplified individuality in a system of rigid religious order and value. They changed their social environment.

Did Blake really fit in? Did you ever read some of his works?
( -btw- I got to see some Blakes close- up last year- woo hoo)

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

@ shay simmons:

I once was without a car for about 2 weeks- when I got it back from the shop I felt like I didn't know how to drive it. I was scared for a few days.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

Blake was one of those spiritualists, wasn’t he? Like Emerson?

No, but could you not even be arsed to look it up?

PGP: a devoutly religious Jew, no less. And you have no point except for the one on top of your bigoted little head.

By shay simmons (not verified) on 27 Apr 2016 #permalink

On the topic of Christian music, allow me to quote Hank Hill from King of The Hill on the topic of Christian "Rock":

"You're not making christianity better you're making rock and roll worse!"

.

Kidding aside, I am pretty much an anti-theist at this point but even so I can't deny the facts of history. Early Islamic and Christian scholars and monks contributed greatly to early science. Medival European monasteries were the closest thing you'd get to universites at the time. It was all about exploring God's creation and all it's wonders and trying to figure out how "He did it" so to speak. It was only when science got to the point where the evidence started contradicting established "religious facts" that problems arose.

This early groundwork is often forgotten/ignored over the heavy-handed anti-science attitude, persecution and censorship that followed it.

Or the B Minor Mass, or the St Matthew Passion, or any of the cantatas, or Messiah, or Ein Deutsches Requium, or ….

... a steady diet of Carmina Burana and torrented Jodorowski? Beats me.

http://variety.com/2016/film/news/callous-disregard-movie-vaxxed-120176…

‘Vaxxed’ Director’s Book ‘Callous Disregard’ in Development as Movie

Dave McNary, Film Reporter @Variety_DMcNary

APRIL 27, 2016 | 12:04PM PT

Screenwriter Terry Rossio, best known for “Shrek” and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, has teamed with Dr. Jocelyn Stamat to acquire the film rights to a book by “Vaxxed” director Andrew Wakefield.

Rossio and Stamat will adapt Wakefield’s 2010 book “Callous Disregard: Autism and Vaccines — The Truth Behind a Tragedy” and produce the project through their Chamaeleon Productions banner. As part of the deal, Chamaeleon also secured Wakefield’s life rights.

The book details the key events surrounding the 1998 paper in the British medical journal the Lancet, co-authored by Wakefield, that asserted that the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine was linked to autism. Wakefield was accused of professional misconduct and falsifying information in that study, and the Lancet retracted the piece in 2010 and the United Kingdom’s General Medical Council revoked Wakefield’s medical license.

“Dr. Wakefield is clearly a polarizing figure, reviled by the general public yet also revered by many,” Rossio said. “The details and drama surrounding his life are even more remarkable than generally known.”

Wakefield’s “Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe” was accepted and then rejected by the Tribeca Film Festival. The film is currently playing in New York and Los Angeles through Cinema Libre Studio.

“Vaxxed” was pulled from the Tribeca lineup on March 26 after festival co-founder Robert De Niro explained that it did not contribute to or further the discussion he had hoped for about issues surrounding autism. Cinema Libre came on board to distribute three days later.

“Vaxxed” purports to investigate the claims of a senior scientist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who revealed that the CDC had allegedly manipulated and destroyed data on an important study about autism and the MMR vaccine.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there is no link between vaccination and autism. The anti-vaccination movement has lowered vaccination rates, which in turn has been linked to a recurrence of vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles and mumps.

This is rather disgusting news, as options usually have $$$ attached.

I await some learnèd member of the RI commentariat to let me know the percentage of optioned books that actually make it to the Silver Screen, which might assuage my disgust at St. Andy again raking in unearned $hilblenas..

Thankfully there is evidently a biographical documentary about Maurice Hilleman in the works.

Just wanted to follow up on the claim by David regarding the alleged "total legal immunity" to the drug companies via the NVICP. It seems the U.S. Supreme Court has already made a ruling on this, 6-2, as mentioned here for example:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/supreme-court-vaccine-ruling-parents-cant-s…

As you'll read in the above news article from CBS, the American Academy of Pediatrics is on record as endorsing the decision by the SCOTUS. The dissenters of the SCOTUS decision were Sotomayor and Ginsburg.

The official SCOTUS ruling is provided here: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/09-152.pdf

Here is the overall summary opinion of the ruling as delivered by Justice Antonin Scalia: "We consider whether a preemption provision enacted in the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (NCVIA) bars state-law design-defect claims against vaccine manufacturers."

Now I'm not an attorney, but based upon my understanding of past SCOTUS rulings, one would have fair reason to conclude that this ruling would make it quite difficult for an individual to sue a drug company on an alleged vaccine-related injury.

Is anyone here aware of a successful lawsuit that made it all the way to a jury trial resulting in a loss to a drug company since NVICP was enacted?

I have 2 comments in moderation about Wakefield's book being optioned for film, and the who and what. It's all very Hollywood, as seems to suit Wakefield's current career direction.

So what is the connection between Terry Rossio and Jocelyn Stamat, MD?

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/features/?id=2319

May 25, 2007: Those acting more like Disneyland Cast Members included Pirates of the Caribbean writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio—escorting his lovely pirate girlfriend, Jocelyn Stamat, MD

It turns out that Jocelyn Stamat MD, like Andrew Wakefield and Carmen Wakefield, is a physician who no longer seems to practice medicine, although her license is current. According to her LinkedIN profile Stamat in 2005 was Chief Resident at Northwestern University Hospital's Otolaryngology, then was the medical director at an LA medical spa for 3 years, until 2009. Since then, she has been a writer and director. According to IMDB, her most recent credit was for Night of the Living Deb as an associate producer.

Seems my previous comment was removed in moderation. Can the admin resurrect this? I will attempt to re-post if need be.

@JC, if the post you refer isn't yours a few above this one, then the main reason for posts to go into moderation is multiple links which I assume is a an antiSPAM precaution. When Orac has the time he will free them as it is extremely rare for him to totally block or delete a post.

By John Phillips (not verified) on 28 Apr 2016 #permalink

JC, as I have previously stated I am a scientist not a lawyer, but my understanding of the situation is that for alleged vaccine-related illnesses, plaintiffs have to go through the vaccine court.

That doesn't stop state-level actions being made on the basis of manufacturing faults.

No doubt someone with more knowledge will set me right.

As a principle, it is important to realise that vaccines are essentially a public good, so providing the provider with some protection from frivolous lawsuits is important. This is much less of an issue outside the US I might add where the legal system operates differently. This is counterbalanced by the requirements of the manufacturers to provide data about safety and for vaccines not being listed on the schedule without a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis being conducted.

So one way to think about this is that the Government by making vaccines compulsory accepts some of the risk for known adverse effects.

By Chris Preston (not verified) on 28 Apr 2016 #permalink

@JC

NVICP preempts state actions only for design-defect claims (i.e., the vaccine was manufactured properly and had all of the proper warnings listed in its documentation still caused some injury as a consequence of its design). If someone claims that the vaccine was not properly manufactured and thus led to injury, or that the labeling left out important information, then they could still sue in state court.

If you want a more detailed discussion of it, I wrote a post discussing the topic. One other important note is that it is only for childhood vaccines that are on the recommended schedule. If it is an adult vaccine, the patient can sue the company directly. If it is a childhood vaccine that is not yet on the recommended schedule, the parents can sue the company. At least, that's my understanding of it. I'm sure Narad will correct me if I'm wrong.

Todd,

That's great info - what are the implications for the HPV vaccine & teens?

Does that still count towards the NVICP?

Where's the lawsuit here?

In a post the other day on some kind of flu vaccine mishap in Austria we called it a colossal screw-up. It turns out we may have understated the case. Maybe. Because while more details are leaking out, the company responsible for it, Baxter International, isn’t saying exactly what happened on the grounds that it is confidential business information. You almost have to admire that kind of arrogance...

...Baxter is calling the mixture an “experimental virus material,” whatever that is. All we know is that a nasty live virus cocktail of human and bird influenza virus was made (Baxter says accidentally). Exactly to whom it was given, if anyone, is not being publicly divulged.

http://scienceblogs.com/effectmeasure/2009/02/28/baxter-bird-flu-botch/

Vaccines can be made to be full of nasty spam.

Liz:

Variety says the rights have been "acquired', not "optioned". Buying an option isn't buying the rights, like buying a stock option isn't buying stock. It's buying an exclusive right to buy the rights to the work within a fixed window of time. Options for a possible Hollywood movie are real money to normal people, but chump change in terms of movie biz finances. Most properties that get optioned don't get produced. I'm not well-versed enough in Variety-speak to know if they use "acquired" for stuff that's only been optioned.

Now, if Rossio and Stamat actually bought the rights, not just an option, they could be paying a lot more. But it's still market demand driven. Unless there was competition for AJW's rights, he might have had to sell them outright for less than a mere option would fetch for a 'hotter' property.

The question is how much they paid. If they could get full rights as cheap as an option, they might have bought them as long-shot spec. But, in general, you wouldn't acquire actual rights unless you were confident the film was going to get made, which is to say, financed.

I don't know anything about Rossio's intent, but in general I have to note that films made from biographic material don't always depict the central character as a 'hero'. The protagonist may be an anti-hero, as in Shattered Glass or problematic and contradictory. For such films, buying the rights keeps lawsuits away.

@Gilbert: AAAACCCCKKKK! I didn't know vaccines had SPAM (tm) in them!!! I HATE Spam! I had to eat it WAY too much as a child since it was cheap and easy to carry on camping trips. I'm never going to get vaccinated again! /sarcasm

@ sadmar:

So what do you think are the odds that this paean to St Andy will actually be made as a film?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 28 Apr 2016 #permalink

I don’t know anything about Rossio’s intent, but in general I have to note that films made from biographic material don’t always depict the central character as a ‘hero’. The protagonist may be an anti-hero, as in Shattered Glass or problematic and contradictory. For such films, buying the rights keeps lawsuits away.

Rossio and Stamet have their lips firmly attached to Wakefield's rectum. It's safe to say their going for "brave, maverick, hero doctor who lost his country for the little childrenz".

By Science Mom (not verified) on 28 Apr 2016 #permalink

Narad @245 -- Ya got me. I don't get the Jodorowski/Carmina Burana reference at all ...

By palindrom (not verified) on 28 Apr 2016 #permalink

@ Science Mom:

Wasn't there already a movie like that made prior to Andy's dismissal from medicine/ strike off?

AND who will play Andy? Any guesses, minions?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 28 Apr 2016 #permalink

@Lawrence

The HPV vaccine is on the recommended schedule, so it is covered under VICP, as well. HHS has a handy list of which vaccines are covered.

@Denice Walter

I imagine a Scientologist would probably be cast to play Andy, if Andy doesn't play the role himself.

The boy wonder has published a screed.

Demand Withdrawal of William Thompson’s Bogus Autism-Caused-Vaccination “Reanalysis”!

APRIL 28, 2016 11:00 AM \ 2 COMMENTS \ J@KE CR0SBY
6 redacted

The effect has to occur after the cause (and if there is an expected delay between the cause and expected effect, then the effect must occur after that delay). – Sir Austin Bradford Hill, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, 1965

It might be the most bizarre twist ever to have happened in this weird saga where the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has already told some of the most brazen lies in trying to dupe people into believing vaccines don’t cause autism. It was weird enough for them to claim there was no evidence mercury in vaccines causes harm when they had proof. And now to refute the fact that children have developed autism after vaccination, the CDC is now claiming that it is the autism that is causing the vaccination. Yes, you read that right. And that person apparently pushing that view for CDC will be none other than the federal agency’s so-called vaccine whistleblower: Dr. William Thompson, who has now been “handled.” Needless to say, calling for the withdrawal of such an execrable, egg-laid-the-chicken report is in order. Relevant contact information concerning Thompson, the journal likely to publish his paper and the Committee on Publication Ethics are all provided at the bottom of this post.

While the CDC has not yet made any formal announcements, their excuse has already been scooped by one prominent former CDC adviser. In an article published by Hollywood Reporter, millionaire vaccine industrialist Paul Offit made the below attempt at criticizing “Vaxxed” – the documentary film about Thompson’s 2004 CDC study where the authors buried evidence of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccination causing autism in African-American boys:

The real explanation for Vaxxed’s “revelation” isn’t conspiracy or hidden data; it’s something else. When compared with their Caucasian counterparts, African-American boys in Atlanta in 1994 were under-vaccinated. In order to qualify for autism-support programs, this subset of under-vaccinated children with autism had to get vaccinated. In other words, it wasn’t that MMR had caused autism; it was that the diagnosis of autism had caused them to get MMR. Not surprisingly, this is never explained in the film.

Never mind that African-American children are diagnosed much later and that the diagnoses would have likely been given after age three anyway. Never mind that the significant risks found were in children who received the vaccine in the 12-18 month age group, when no one would have had an autism diagnosis. For the phenomenon that Offit described to occur, one would expect to see a diminished odds of vaccination for those ages among black autistic children compared to vaccination after age three, not an increased risk. In fact, that was probably why the race effect was yanked from the paper and thrown in the garbage in the first place. A comment under Offit’s article seeking to point that out was removed from the thread, even though it was part of an ongoing conversation with a CDC-tied attorney.

But worst of all, this claim will not be confined to Offit’s review. It will also be made in a published “reanalysis” of the CDC’s study due to be published next month, authored by none other than the very coauthor of the original study who raised the alarm in the first place: “whistleblower” William Thompson. According to his initial contact Dr. Brian Hooker, Thompson has been “handled.” He is expected to publish his “reanalysis” with a researcher named Michael Blank – who had advised the MMR vaccine maker GlaxoSmithKline. Among the promises Thompson has been allegedly bribed with are a huge bonus and his own autism research foundation. Not surprisingly, having a scientist claim that vaccination was caused by autism diagnoses likely made after vaccination instead of admitting that vaccines cause autism comes with a steep price. It’s just too bad that that price will also be the unnecessary harm to countless more children. To add insult to injury, Offit will apparently write a commentary accompanying this awful work.

Please write and call Dr. Thompson at the following numbers and email address and tell him to withdraw his “reanalysis” and that he will face ethical complaints against him due to the ridiculous nature of his claims.

redacted@cdc DOT gov

(404) xxx-xxxx (office) Liz writes: the number published is incorrect

(404) xxx-xxxx (cell) Liz writes: the number published is incorrect

Also contact the journal publishing his paper as well and tell them withdraw his paper and that they too will face ethics complaints for publishing it. Here is the email for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, where the “reanalysis” will likely be published. You should let the journal know that it too will face an ethical complaint for publishing Thompson’s analysis and should withdraw it from press: <em<redacted@nas dot edu, Phone: xxx-xxx-xxxx redacted for charity

Also make a complaint to the Committee on Publication Ethics. Let them know you complained to both the author of the piece and to PNAS: http://publicationethics.org/contact-us

lovely.

#264

Never mind that the significant risks found were in children who received the vaccine in the 12-18 month age group, when no one would have had an autism diagnosis.

What results is he talking about? As far as I recall the significant results were with a 24-months threshold and 36. Not 18 months. And I misremembering?

Troels, it's so badly written (Hooker's analysis) that it's hard to suss out. But the results are for >18-24 months and a higher RR for >24-36 months

By Science Mom (not verified) on 28 Apr 2016 #permalink

I'm betting a fiver on Jim Carrey to play St Andy of Texas.

@ Kate:

Hah! Carey is a fellow traveller and is loaded down with money so he could finance.

I had formerly guessed Brad Pitt because I think he could be made to look like AJW easily but he has a life and has already made a film playing an aggressive, self centred hallucination ( iin Fight Club) and a threat to children ( in The Tree of Life).

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 28 Apr 2016 #permalink

Also contact the journal publishing his paper as well and tell them withdraw his paper and that they too will face ethics complaints for publishing it. Here is the email for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, where the “reanalysis” will likely be published. You should let the journal know that it too will face an ethical complaint for publishing Thompson’s analysis and should withdraw it from press: <em<redacted@nas dot edu, Phone: xxx-xxx-xxxx redacted for charity

Calling for the retraction of a paper that hasn't even been been written yet, let alone submitted for publication, and only exists in Hooker's fertile and mendacious imagination? Because JC is certain that it would disagree with his beliefs? That seems a little, umm totalitarian, and ironic, coming so soon after the complaints about people criticising 'Vaxxed' without buying tickets.

But the calls for the readership to stalk Thompson and denounce a potential target journal, that's the work of a truly contemptible low-life sh1tweasel.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 28 Apr 2016 #permalink

I'll let RetractionWatch know about Jake's petulant demands. They might be amused by this concept of pre-emptive retraction.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 28 Apr 2016 #permalink

The PNAS bit is particularly cute. Apparently, Jake hasn't asked himself why Thompson's attorney would be talking to Hooker (or anybody who would be talking to Hooker) in the first place.

Not long ago, another visitor was telling us about a former Merck employee and whistleblower,

There was some suspicion, though, that Marsha was trolling.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 28 Apr 2016 #permalink

Denice:

If "Rossio and Stamet have their lips firmly attached to Wakefield’s rectum" and are going for "brave, maverick, hero doctor who lost his country for the little childrenz”, I'd put the odds that a Hollywood film will go into into production at zero, the odds of a micro-budget direct-to-video thing emerging at maybe 10%, with zero % chance of theatrical distribution.

On the other hand, if Rossio takes a more 'objective' movie-of-the-week type approach, covering 'both sides" of AJW as "a polarizing figure, reviled by the general public yet also revered by many," a low-budget film could get made and distributed. A more indie-art-film approach with a lot of ambiguity and/or contradictions in the voice of the film regarding the central character and events, it could even be good. I didn't care for The Master but it was well received by critics. Just staying with PSH, Capote was hardly hagiography, either. For an example of ambiguous protagonists in recent low-budget indie fiction films w/o A-list stars or directors, Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter comes to mind. I doubt the Pirates of the Caribbean guy could pull off that sort of script.

What any fiction film turns out to be depends a lot on who's cast and, more so, who directs. The cliche, of course, is that everyone wants to direct, and if Rossio wants to helm this himself, I'd predict disaster, assuming he can get any financing, which is hardly guaranteed since AJW isn't a character in long-running comic-book series.

Given that Rossio and Starnet have exactly one dramatic credit between them — Rossio worked on the script for the Tony Scott action/thriller Deja Vu starring Denzel — they might be developing a comedy version imagining Johnny Depp in the lead. Seriously. It's unlikely, but not impossible.

Of course, the whole thing could be a ruse to funnel money and publicity to AJW, and they don't really intend to make a film, just talk about it for the next ten years.

It's extraordinarily difficult to get a serious dramatic film into production, and then into general distribution, w/o a bankable star or 'name-above-the-title' director.

Orac! I know I said 'until 2017', but couldn't resist offering you a suggestion in the context of things.

YOU should do a movie! Call it 'BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR'.

And, so as to follow your own example, I'll give you the review:

'Wish granted!'

By Eddie Unwind (not verified) on 28 Apr 2016 #permalink

Or Box of Blinky Lights.

Frankly, if that consortium of antivaxers just want to keep rolling, I say we go ahead and throw down, prosecute them for creating a public health scare for their own personal gain.

He is expected to publish his “reanalysis” with a researcher named Michael Blank – who had advised the MMR vaccine maker GlaxoSmithKline.

Um, the only Michael Blank who's published with Thompson is this fellow. Something tells me that Jake has more than one of his wires crossed.

@Todd and others curious about the 2011 SCOTUS ruling on NVCIP, here are some interesting quotes I gathered after reading the 57 page ruling summary:

From the majority opinion led by Justice Scalia:
- "[n]o vaccine manufacturer shall be liable in a civil action for damages arising from a vaccine-related injury or death associated with the administration of a vaccine after October 1, 1988, if the injury or death resulted from side-effects that were unavoidable even though the vaccine was properly prepared and was accompanied by proper directions and warnings."

- "Design defects ... do not merit a single mention in the NCVIA or the FDA’s regulations. Indeed, the FDA has never even spelled out in regulations the criteria it uses to decide whether a vaccine is safe and effective for its intended use."

- "Drug manufacturers often could trade a little less efficacy for a little more safety, but the safest design is not always the best one. Striking the right balance between safety and efficacy is especially difficult with respect to vaccines, which affect public as well as individual health."

- "[T]he Act, which in every other respect micromanages manufacturers, is silent on how to evaluate competing designs...Neither the Act nor the FDA regulations provide an answer, leaving the universe of alternative designs to be limited only by an expert’s imagination."

- "[T]he lack of guidance for design defects combined with the exten- sive guidance for the two grounds of liability specifically mentioned in the Act strongly suggests that design defects were not mentioned because they are not a basis for liability."

- "Design-defect torts, broadly speaking, have two beneficial effects: (1) prompting the development of improved designs, and (2) providing compensation for inflicted injuries. The NCVIA provides other means for achieving both effects."

- "[The NVICP Act's] silence regarding design-defect liability was not inadvertent. It instead reflects a sensible choice to leave complex epidemiological judgments about vaccine design to the FDA and the National Vaccine Program rather than juries."

- "Taxing vaccine manufacturers’ product to fund the compensation program, while leaving their liability for design defect virtually unaltered, would hardly coax manufacturers back into the market."

Concurrence statements from Justice Breyer:

- "Congress found that a sharp increase in tort suits brought against whooping cough and other vaccine manufacturers between 1980 and 1985 had “prompted manufacturers to question their continued participation in the vaccine market.”"

- "two whooping cough vaccine manufacturers withdrew from the market, and other vaccine manufacturers, “fac[ing] great difficulty in obtaining [product liability] insurance,” told Congress that they were considering “a similar course of action.”"

- "The American Academy of Pediatrics has also supported the retention of vaccine manufacturer tort liability (provided that federal law structured state-law liability conditions in ways that would take proper account of federal agency views about safety)."

From the dissenting opinion led by Justice Sotomayor:

-"Vaccine manufacturers have long been subject to a legal duty, rooted in basic principles of products liability law, to improve the designs of their vaccines in light of advances in science and technology. Until today, that duty was enforceable through a traditional state-law tort action for defective design."

-"Its decision leaves a regulatory vacuum in which no one ensures that vaccine manufacturers adequately take account of scientific and technological advancements when designing or distributing their products."

-"“unavoidably unsafe” products—i.e., those that “in the present state of human knowledge, are quite incapable of being made safe for their intended and ordinary use”—are not defective."

- "the vaccine for the Pasteur treatment of rabies, which not uncommonly leads to very serious and damaging consequences when it is injected; [s]ince the disease itself invariably leads to a dreadful death, both the marketing and the use of the vaccine are fully justified, notwithstanding the unavoidable high degree of risk which they involve."

-"seller[s]” of “[u]navoidably unsafe” products are “not to be held to strict liability” provided that such products “are properly prepared and marketed, and proper warning is given."

-"1987 had a number of options before it, including adopting an entirely different compensation scheme, as the Reagan administration was proposing; establishing different limitations on tort liability, including eliminating design defect liability, as pharmaceutical industry leaders were advocating."

-"The major- ity’s premise that a vaccine’s side effects can always be “avoid[ed] by use of a differently designed vaccine not containing the harmful element,” ante, at 7, entirely ignores the fact that removing the “harmful element” will often result in a less effective (or entirely ineffective) vaccine. A vaccine, by its nature, ordinarily employs a killed or weakened form of a bacteria or virus to stimulate antibody production; removing that bacteria or virus might remove the “harmful element,” but it would also necessarily render the vaccine inert."

-"nothing in the Vaccine Act or the FDA’s regulations governing vaccines expressly mentions design defects"

- "FDA has never even spelled out in regulations the criteria it uses to decide whether a vaccine is safe and effective for its intended use."

-"Indeed, the FDA does not condition approval of a vaccine on it being the most optimally designed among reasonably available alternatives, nor does it (or any other federal entity) ensure that licensed vaccines keep pace with technological and scientific advances."

-"[T]he specter of damage actions may provide manufacturers with added dynamic incentives to continue to keep abreast of all possible injuries stemming from use of their product[s] so as to forestall such actions through product improvement."

-"Congress relieved vaccine manufacturers of the burden of compensating victims of vaccine-related injuries in the vast majority of cases...an extremely significant economic benefit that “functionally creat[es] a valuable insurance policy for vaccine-related injuries."

-"Manufacturers, given the lack of robust competition in the vaccine market, will often have little or no incentive to improve the designs of vaccines that are already generating significant profit margins."

@JC: I don't intend to dismiss you or try to run you off with the terseness of this comment, but I just can't do anything more lengthy at the moment.

@Todd and others curious about the 2011 SCOTUS ruling on NVCIP

If you think that you're addressing an audience who is unfamiliar with Bruesewitz, you're sorely mistaken.

here are some interesting quotes I gathered after reading the 57 page ruling summary [sic]

Why are they interesting? (For that matter, you're not even differentiating between quotations from the opinion and quotations within the opinion.) There's no shortage of salient analysis of the case on the Intertubes.

For that matter, your cherry-picking of a couple of quotes that mention comment k* (i.e., the phrase "unavoidably unsafe") indicates that you didn't even grasp the actual summary, which explicitly rejects its application – which was requested by the Bruesewitzes, because it provided a state-court theory that would allow them to argue for a case-by-case consideration.

Are you asking something or driving at something? No, one cannot sue in state court for product liability based on vaccine design defects.** (There was an attempt to sue Thimerosal manufacturers directly at one point, but I'm not going to look it up right now.) Moreover, labeling defect is a highly unlikely approach, given that the FDA reviews it in advance. The final product-liability theory is manufacturing defect. It's wide open.

Federal preemption is not unique to vaccines. If you think the NCVIP and Office of Special Masters should be done away with, you are arguing for neither more nor less than a straight lottery system in which plaintiffs (1) are subject to a frankly adversary system with much more stringent evidentiary and procedural rules, (2) overwhelmingly lose, and (3) then are on the hook for their attorney fees.

* Which is going the way of the Dodo in any event.
** I strongly suggest that you look into what this may imply for plaintiffs and juries, including the question of proving a superior, alternative design.

@Todd and others curious about the 2011 SCOTUS ruling on NVCIP, here are some interesting quotes I gathered after reading the 57 page ruling summary:

JC, why are these quotes interesting? Why not a whole host of other quotes?

The ones you have chosen are mostly quotes that indicate vaccines can occasionally cause damage. Everyone knows this and the current US vaccine court system is designed to provide relief to people who can demonstrate they have suffered harm from certain vaccines at the least effort and cost to the plaintiffs. After all, they have their attorney fees paid win or lose regardless.

What is of major importance in the court judgement is the summary and the impact that has, not cherry-picked quotes. Narad above has provided a succinct summary.

I should also point out that this is a feature specific to the US Court system. In other places, other systems are in use.

By Chris Preston (not verified) on 28 Apr 2016 #permalink

Um, the only Michael Blank who’s published with Thompson is this fellow. Something tells me that Jake has more than one of his wires crossed.

Jake has this from Hooker, so it is anyone's guess. Blank is a fellow psycologist, which may mean something and does seem to have some sensitivity to the anti-vaccine position.

By Chris Preston (not verified) on 28 Apr 2016 #permalink

Blank is a fellow psycologist, which may mean something and does seem to have some sensitivity to the anti-vaccine position.

This does not, however, mean that Jake's "advised the MMR vaccine maker GlaxoSmithKline" routine is on the money.

@Narad, Thank you for chiming in. These quotes as you put it are cherry picked indeed, as many quotes commonly are when ideas are being exchanged. Personally I found these quotes quite interesting as I am not trained in legal matters, but yet I found it quite fascinating how definitive and deconstructive the justices were in looking at the totality of the issues surrounding the balance of vaccine safety vs. efficacy, which in my view after reading the 57 page opinion summary transcends the NVCIP Act and even "comment k" for that matter.

These quotes stand out in a sense because it provides a deeper understanding as to the comprehensive nature of facts that were brought to bear as evidence before the SCOTUS came to its final ruling. For instance, while it may be well known among many who follow this blog, it's not well advertised in mainstream press that there are no explicit provisions or regulatory directives for either the Vaccine Act or the FDA to address design defects. This is particularly interesting as this fact stands in conflict with the majority of the SCOTUS' opinion that the NVICP "eflects a sensible choice to leave complex epidemiological judgments about vaccine design to the FDA and the National Vaccine Program rather than juries." Being that this represents the SCOTUS majority interpretation of one of the primary effective bi-products of the NVICP, then it's curious unsolved mystery as to why since 1988, neither the FDA nor the National Vaccine Program has explicitly addressed regulations toward design defects. Are they waiting for Congress to pass another law? The SCOTUS apparently doesn't think so, as this ruling acknowledges inherent authority in the FDA via the National Vaccine Program to enact such regulatory measures, Has the FDA taken any action on this as a result?

There are many more things I could point out for the sake of thought-provoking discussion, but this perhaps is a good starter to get some juices flowing (no pun intended).

Personally I found these quotes quite interesting as I am not trained in legal matters, but yet I found it quite fascinating how definitive and deconstructive [beg pardon?] the justices were in looking at the totality of the issues surrounding the balance of vaccine safety vs. efficacy [um, no, it was a textual analysis by Scalia], which in my view after reading the 57 page opinion summary [sic] transcends the NVCIP Act [sic] and even “comment k” for that matter.

The preface to my foregoing reply was based on a recent reminder that occasional commenter Antaeus Feldspar hasn't been seen in a while – in particular, regarding application of the principle of charity.

The incoherence of your response suggests to me that this may have been unwarranted.

These quotes stand out in a sense because it provides a deeper understanding as to the comprehensive nature of facts that were brought to bear as evidence before the SCOTUS came to its final ruling.

The United States Supreme Court considers law, not evidence.

For instance, while it may be well known among many who follow this blog, it’s not well advertised in mainstream press that there are no explicit provisions or regulatory directives [] for either the Vaccine Act or the FDA to address design defects.

This is prima facie gibberish. If you intend to actually reply to my comment, I suggest that you make some sign of actually understanding it.

Are they [sic] waiting for Congress to pass another law? The SCOTUS apparently doesn’t think so

You really don't understand how this works. Yes, Congress would have to amend the NCVIA. Instead of directly addressing the question whether this might be a Really Bad Idea, you've instead resorted to randomly spunking up the walls.*

as this ruling acknowledges inherent authority in the FDA via the National Vaccine Program to enact such regulatory measures, Has the FDA taken any action on this as a result?

See my remark immediately above.

* I think I've explained this reference to why my (former) dentist stopped renting out the second floor of the building before.

^ That should have been "former, dearly missed." He's not dead or anything; if anyone knows what the "Belmont El stop" means, I can hook you up.

I miss Antaeus Feldspar.

Krebiozen has also been MIA. Does anyone know if they're fine?

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 29 Apr 2016 #permalink

To add to what Narad said, the FDA already addresses design defects, in a way. They have this power called "recall", as well as the ability to revoke licensing for a product. However, when evidence arises that a vaccine's risks outweigh its benefits (e.g., with RotaShield), the manufacturer themselves voluntarily recall the product before FDA has to actually use those powers.

On a completely different off-topic direction, antivax loon and baby-killer apologist Chris Savage* has not featured in RI for a while
http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/09/04/here-we-go-again-the-vile-…

but he is currently featuring in headlines in New Zealand:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/79413689/dhbs-warning-about-anti…

* Evidently removed from the Queensland Police Service for thuggery and incompetence beyond the call of duty, which takes a lot of doing.
ht_tps://reasonablehank.com/2015/07/11/sergeant-damage/

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 29 Apr 2016 #permalink

He’s not dead or anything; if anyone knows what the “Belmont El stop” means, I can hook you up.

Red Line or Blue Line?

Australian media reported last month that Savage, a former Queensland police officer, had returned to Australia from Bali after local authorities there began investigating him over allegations that he was offering medical treatments for autism and other conditions.

When you can't even peddle your snake oil in traditional, woo-prone regions such as Bali you know you're in trouble. Good on the Bali (Balian?) authorities for chasing him off their Island.

Hello Team,

How about we make our own movie? Yes, I'm serious and I know there is a lot of diversity here. The counterpoint for that could be the treat we could have directed to us but what do you all think about the idea?

Al

Alain,

How about: Ten Steps to properly Cure (no nitrates needed) an Anti-Vaxxer ?

Rich@293,

Good title but I'll leave it at that. As you know, it's fine to bring a horse to the water but if she / he ain't drinking it, she / he ain't drinking it, period.

I was thinking about the fence sitters.

Alain

I was just reading about the Dengue Fever vaccinations in the Philippines. It seem that out of 204,000 vaccinations given they've had 364 adverse reactions and 1 death. This works out to a adverse reaction rate of .17% and a death rate of .00048%. The death occurred in a 11 year old boy with unrevealed health issues. The death rate for Dengue Fever was .3 of cases. In this rough comparison you are 625 time more likely to die from Dengue than the vaccine. More than likely the odds of dying from dengue is far higher than 625 times that of the vaccine.

The anti-Vaxxers now will have another vaccine to go after.

The Dengue Fever vaccine is relatively new. There are four serotypes of the virus. If you get one, if you get another serotype your chances for hemorrhagic fever are worse. One reason why it was a very difficult disease to design a vaccine for.

So it is not a surprise that there are issues with the vaccine.

By the way, I caught Dengue Fever as a child living in South America. There is a reason it is called Bone Break Fever.

Chris, I was just reading at CIDRAP that there seems to be a link between dengue anti-bodies and the severity of Zika symptoms.

The language used in this article invokes the image of a fanatic as biased, or worse, than those it seeks to brutally eviscerate. "Brian Hooker, a biochemical engineer turned incompetent antivaccine 'epidemiologist'," "conspira-woo," putting quotes around "journalist" when discussing Sheryl Attkisson...

I am not anti vaccine, but I am open to hearing arguments for them being linked to harm in certain cases if such exist, as any thinking person should be if he or she wants to get things right in the long run. Articles like this claim to promote science over ignorance, but with such clear, aggressive bias, and the fact they are written for and consumed by a closed circle of what seem like extreme cynics, they are hard to take seriously. I came here to read an argument and what I got is a haughty bunch of BS. You want to convince people who are not already converted? Make good, solid, concise points and don't be insulting.

By Gene Danforth (not verified) on 20 Aug 2016 #permalink

I am not anti vaccine, but I am open to hearing arguments for them being linked to harm in certain cases if such exist, as any thinking person should be if he or she wants to get things right in the long run

I don't believe you when you say you are not anti-vaccine. In my experience, if a person needs to deny that they are antivaccine before saying something about vaccine, it's a pretty darned reliable sign the that person is, in fact, antivaccine.

As for the rest of your comment, look up the term "concern trolling" or "tone trolling," because that's all that you're doing. If anything, I was going easy on Brian Hooker when I described him as a biochemical engineer turned incompetent antivaccine epidemiologist. He's actually much worse than that.

Make good, solid, concise points

Does "so, where's the f*cking paper" count?