Why is antivaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. meeting with government health and science officials months after meeting with President Trump?

Poor Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. He went from admired environmental activist to reviled antivaccine campaigner so quickly. It began when he outed himself in 2005 with his infamous conspiracy mongering screed about thimerosal in Salon.com and Rolling Stone. Basically, RFK Jr. is a member of what we used to call the mercury militia, a branch of the antivaccine movement that believes, more than anything else, that it is the mercury-containing preservative thimerosal that used to be in several childhood vaccines until 2002 drove an "epidemic" of autism. He's still a member, too, having recently written with Dr. Mark Hyman a book entitled Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak: Mercury Toxicity in Vaccines and the Political, Regulatory, and Media Failures That Continue to Threaten Public Health. Not surprisingly, it was chock full of antivaccine misinformation and claims that thimerosal in vaccines caused all sorts of horrible neurological problems in children. It didn’t, nor did it cause autism. The idea that thimerosal-containing vaccines cause autism is a failed hypothesis. Just this year, he even went full crank once again and offered a "challenge" worthy of Jock Doubleday's bizarre vaccine challenge to prove that thimerosal is safe. It was rigged, naturally. Basically, RFK Jr., his denials notwithstanding, is antivaccine to the core.

Early in 2017, when President-Elect Donald Trump and his team were working on the transition of administrations, RFK, Jr. was invited to Trump Tower to meet with him. RFK Jr., being RFK Jr., he immediately blabbed to the press that Trump had asked him to form and chair a presidential commission on vaccine safety, or autism, or...something. It wasn't exactly clear what. Of course, those of us who were pro-vaccine were alarmed, as this seemed to signal that as President Trump would act on his oft-expressed idea that vaccines cause autism, particularly in wake of the revelations that he had met with a bunch of antivaccine activists including Andrew Wakefield while campaigning in Florida in August. Fortunately, however, the Trump administration thus far hasn't acted on any "presidential commission" on vaccine safety or autism. Indeed, Trump has appointed pro-vaccine advocates to run both the FDA and CDC.

So I was amused to see an article in STAT News about the vaccine commission that RFK Jr. so much wants to chair. How've things been going on that score? Not so well, it turns out:

Robert Kennedy Jr., the environmental activist and leading vaccine skeptic, says that it has been months since he has talked with White House officials about chairing a vaccine safety commission — and that the idea of such a panel may no longer be under consideration.

“I’ve had no discussions specifically about the vaccine safety commission, probably since February,” Kennedy told STAT. “You’d have to ask the White House. It may be that it’s evolved.”

Before I go on, let me just give Helen Branswell, who wrote this otherwise excellent report, a word of advice: RFK Jr. is not a "vaccine skeptic," leading or otherwise. He is antivaccine to the core and has been spewing antivaccine pseudoscience since at least 2005. Skepticism does not mean reflex rejection of the scientific consensus in favor of pseudoscience, but that is exactly what RFK Jr. does: Reject the scientific consensus and embrace pseudoscience. If there's something that reporters do that really grate on me, it's to use language like this to describe antivaxers. It gives them far more credibility than they deserve.

Of course, this is just RFK Jr. being RFK Jr. He's publicity whoring. He wants attention. He wants you to know how important he is. Unfortunately, the Kennedy name goes a long way. Kennedy met with Dr. Peter Marks, head of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, which regulates vaccines, and other FDA staff on March 30, as he has bragged in his interview with STAT:

Well, I’ve met with high-level officials in the White House. They’ve arranged meetings for me with HHS and White House officials and agency officials. Various agency officials, including [NIH Director] Francis Collins and his deputy, Lawrence Tabak, I think. And I met with Tony Fauci, who’s at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Linda Birnbaum, who’s at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Diana Bianchi, at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at NIH. And over at FDA I’ve met with Peter Marks, the director of [the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research] and some other officials there. I can’t remember everybody at this point, all of the people that we’ve met with.

He even met with NIH Director Francis Collins and other NIH staff, who, appropriately, pushed back:

Kennedy met on May 31 with top leaders of the NIH. Director Francis Collins and Deputy Director Lawrence Tabak attended the meeting, along with the heads of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Institute of Mental Health, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Kennedy laid out his concerns about vaccines at the meeting, presenting the information he views as supporting evidence, according to an official familiar with the discussion who spoke on condition of anonymity. But the NIH participants countered, the agency suggested in an email.

“In the meeting, NIH noted that there is strong and extensive scientific data that support the safety and efficacy of vaccines,” a spokesman said. “NIH reaffirmed with Mr. Kennedy that vaccines are among the most beneficial health interventions in history in terms of the number of lives that have been saved over decades, have been shown to be very safe, and are vital to the public health goal of preventing diseases.”

In his interview, Kennedy claims that the Trump administration asked him to meet with these officials. Given that Kennedy is an inveterate self-promoter who's been known to—shall we say?—stretch the truth on occasion, I wonder if his version of events is reliable. On the other hand, this is the Trump administration. it wouldn't surprise me at all if the administration did ask him to meet with these people, and, given that, these officials could not refuse. I'm glad, though that NIH leaders and, from what I can gather, everyone else forced to meet with Kennedy pushed back at his= pseudoscience and fear mongering about vaccines. The good news is that the message I'm getting from this report and interview with RFK Jr. is that pursuing antivaccine policies—excuse me, investigating "vaccine safety"— does not appear to be a priority for Trump, which means that his appointees to key positions at the CDC, NIH, and FDA have been unequivocally pro-vaccine. For instance:

And:

Oh, how antivaxers howled with outrage!

It's also amusing to read Kennedy as he is asked multiple times if the commission will go forward or if it might go forward with someone else leading it, every time provoking a response along the lines of, "You’d have to ask the White House":

You’d have to ask the White House. It may be that it’s evolved. I’ve been told that the president is still interested in this issue and that he wants me to have further meetings with the regulatory agencies and with the White House. Like I said, I have not talked to anybody in the White House about the commission.

All of this leads me to believe that most of this is just Kennedy promoting himself, as he is very good at doing. Most likely what happened is that when Branswell contacted him to find out if, seven months later, anything had happened regarding the Presidential commission, he saw his chance to blow his own horn.

I do give Branswell props for pushing back against Kennedy's misinformation, though. For instance, Kennedy claims:

We need to do double-blind placebo testing. Because particularly when it comes to injecting aluminum or mercury into babies, the consequences may be latent. In other words, they may not manifest or diagnosed to age 3 or 4. So the current protocols, which require testing for vaccines of sometimes as little as 48 hours, are not going to disclose the kind of dangers that the public and the regulators ought to know about.

The hepatitis B vaccines that are currently approved had fewer than five days of safety testing. That means that if the child has a seizure on the sixth day, it’s never seen. If the child dies, it’s never seen. If the child gets food allergies or ADD or ADHD, which don’t manifest for four or five years or aren’t diagnosed or autism, which usually isn’t diagnosed until age 4, the regulators will never see that prior to licensing the vaccine.

This bit about the hepatitis B vaccine is basically a distortion. For instance, the thimerosal-free version of EngerixB relied on clinical trials that looked at the "occurrence, intensity and relationship to vaccination of solicited local and general signs and symptoms during the 4-day follow-up period. However, that ignores all the other evidence for the safety of hepatitis B vaccination, of which there is plenty.

Here's what Kennedy is doing. He's ignoring all the epidemiological studies that show that vaccines are not associated with autism, a veritable mountain of evidence, and trying to argue that the FDA should assume that it might and require years and years of followup in the double-blind placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials (RCTs) used to license vaccines. This is simply impractical and, more importantly, not scientifically or ethically justified given what we know from epidemiological studies. I'm sure that Kennedy also knows that such a requirement would enormously increase the cost of doing the pre-licensure clinical trials needed for the FDA to approve vaccines.

Branswell, to her credit, pushes back:

Vaccines are tested that way all the time.

You’re wrong about that. It is not required for vaccines. So most of the vaccines — and I know this is surprising to you, and it’s shocking to most people, because journalists like yourself assume that vaccines are encountering the same kind of rigorous safety testing as other drugs, including multiyear double-blind placebo testing. But the fact is that vaccines don’t. And the reason for that is they’re classified as biologics.

I’ve read a lot of vaccine studies. And they are double-blind placebo tested.

No, you’re wrong about that. … But in any case, none of them have more than a few months of double-blind placebo testing, which will not allow you to spot illnesses like autism that aren’t diagnosed before five years. Second of all, in most vaccines, for example the Gardasil vaccine, they don’t use true placebos.

Ha! I just discussed that last one about Gardasil not using "true placeboes" and what utter BS it is. I also like how, right after saying that double-blind, placebo controlled trials aren't required for FDA licensure, Kennedy quickly pivots to admitting, basically, "Well, yes they are, but they don't go on years and years and years and years to detect differences in autism prevalence." Did I also mention that, given that autism prevalence is one in 50, each such trial, to be adequately powered, would require an incredibly large number of subjects. I've written about this issue before in the context of epidemiological studies. Basically, to be adequately powered to detect anything other than large differences in autism prevalence between control and experimental groups would require much larger clinical trials than we have now, likely so large as to be impractical. Also, once again, scientifically it's not justified, taken in context with the totality of the evidence.

I'm happy that nothing much has come of the "presidential commission." I'm also happy to see RFK Jr. remains no more believable or competent at spreading antivaccine misinformation than he's ever been. I am not, however, happy to see that he's still meeting with federal officials in charge of public health, medical research, and vaccine approval. As long as that's still happening, we pro-science public health advocates need to stay frosty.

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I must admit, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., environmentalist and, unfortunately, antivaccine crank of the thimerosal fear mongering variety, has been rather busy lately. After having gone mostly silent on vaccine issues compared to his original flurry of misinformation and conspiracy mongering back that…

I think he's been trying this for years. It used to be that you could trust the government's science institutions to ignore this kind of drivel, but we live in insane times.

If Obama appointed a secretary who would succumb to Kennedy's nonsense, the civil service would effectively stop any anti-factual agenda. Now? Who the hell knows. Environmental policy is set by climate change deniers. Immunisation policy driven by vaccine deniers would not be a surprise.

By Guy Chapman (not verified) on 21 Aug 2017 #permalink

Notice that the hepatitis b trials did not monitor people for just four days. They lasted months, it's a three dose series. They appeared to have collected unsolicited adverse events four days after, I assume, each vaccine dose, but their had check up across months.

So apart from your excellent point about further research, the four day claim is even wrong for the trials. Unless I'm misreading somehow, and if so, I'd like to know how.

By Dorit Reiss (not verified) on 21 Aug 2017 #permalink

FYI the advert on the top right of this very page reads:

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Pretty close to woomedicalcenter chortle.

Given that the White House seems a curious melange of the Keystone Kops, a Borgia court, and Stalin's politburo during the purges, it may just have had a lapse of attention regarding vaccines. Let's hope they just forget the issue completely.

Regarding the picture at the top of the post:Where has this ridiculous practice of buttoning suit jackets come from? It looks very gauche.

By jrkrideau (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

A gentleman always buttons his jacket when standing. Also: one does not fasten the bottom button of one's waistcoat.

By Guy Chapman (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

In reply to by jrkrideau (not verified)

jrkrideau @#4 writes:

"Regarding the picture at the top of the post:Where has this ridiculous practice of buttoning suit jackets come from? It looks very gauche."

Errm, that's how I was taught, back around 1956/57. The very gauche appearance belongs to the ...person...who does NOT button his jacket when standing.

fusilier
James 2:24

I’m happy that nothing much has come of the “presidential commission.”

I, of course, don't know if there will ever be any such presidential commission, but I'd be willing to bet some amount of US dollars RFKjr won't be around. He's served his purpose.

Prior to the election, RFKjr was just a wee bit critical of Trump, but after the election, and after the meeting at Trump tower, he said how great Trump was, just like Mitt Romney did. Where is Mitt now? Not SecState is where.

Trump only values (and rewards) loyalty, and he never forgives or forgets. Trump will tolerate RFKjr as long as RFKjr says nice things about him, but that's as far as it will go.

There's a campaign rally for President Trump here in Phoenix today. I doubt vaccines will appear in the rambling discourse soon to be coming from a podium downtown. However, I do fear greatly for vaccines under a 2nd term for this President.

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

And I fear very much that Trump is likely to be re-elected. My wife gets mad at me when I say that, but, really, the incumbent always has a huge advantage going into a reelection campaign. Short of an economic meltdown in 2020 I don't see how Trump fails to be reelected. Yes, I'm that pessimistic.

A true anti-vaxer should call for every variation and combination of vaccine to be tested to see if Alzheimer's or adrenal cancer rates are increased. Ya, know, stuff that will take decades or require about a million people. Also perhaps grizzly bear attacks - I have a theory they can smell it on you.

Give RFK, Jr. time. Antivaxers can also be incremental in their shifting of the goalposts.

rork@9: Patience, grasshopper. They will get around to moving those goalposts in due time.

jrkrideau@4: If you are a man wearing a suit that fits you properly, you are supposed to, and should be able to, button the top button. The alleged gentleman on the left, however, has a reputation for wearing suits that don't fit properly, even though someone of his claimed net worth should be able to afford properly tailored suits.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

RFK Jr. does have some value - as an element in any thinking person's B.S. meter.

I was shopping in a bookstore yesterday and saw a book by Richard Belzer (the actor portraying Detective Munch on Law and Order: SVU) entitled American Corporate Conspiracies. The lead endorsement on the back cover is by RFK Jr. (another gushing endorsement comes from "Governor Jesse Ventura):

\]https://www.amazon.com/American-Corporate-Conspiracies-Business-Democra…

Just seeing RFK Jr.'s praise is all I need to know about the book's garbage quotient.

*yes, Belzer appears to be even more far-out in real life than Munch has been on the show. He traffics in JFK assassination conspiracy theories and is a buddy of Alex Jones, antivaxer and loon extraordinaire.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

Chris: However, I do fear greatly for vaccines under a 2nd term for this President.

Considering how much damage he's done since taking office, I don't think the US would survive two terms. Maybe it doesn't deserve to.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

Funny how RFK Jr. has abandoned his environmental advocacy because Trump offered him a shiny object. Maybe that was the point.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

AoA's Ann Dachel and the WMP are not happy about the interview because STAT did not include all of it ( see AoA, WMP twitter).

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

Before I forget-
re unbuttoned jackets

Overweight people sometimes deliberately leave a jacket unbuttoned because the contrasting material ( shirt/ tie) breaks up the wide expanse of the dark jacket. Notice that the tie is very long as well -besides the possible symbolism
( heh) it creates a longer slimming effect. Also darker jackets, longer jackets.
TV personalities like Oprah have used this visual trick. Also on What NOT to Wear shows/ UK, US.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

@Denice #14 - The editing on the longer version is pretty minimal. Just bits where Kennedy started talking nonsense and wandering off topic. Given that the topic seemed to be the Vaccine Commission, he seemed very keen to gloss over that and get some anti-vax talking points in - which were quite rightly edited out as irrelevent.

By Rebecca Fisher (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

jrkrideau: "Where has this ridiculous practice of buttoning suit jackets come from? It looks very gauche."

DW: "Overweight people sometimes deliberately leave a jacket unbuttoned because the contrasting material ( shirt/ tie) breaks up the wide expanse of the dark jacket. Notice that the tie is very long as well -besides the possible symbolism
( heh) it creates a longer slimming effect."

Buttoning all the buttons on a suit jacket may have psychological implications. A pioneering profiler predicted that the Mad Bomber who terrorized New York in the 1940s and 1950s would, when caught, be wearing a double-breasted suit with all the buttons buttoned. And when George Metesky was finally captured, that's exactly what he was wearing.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

Short of an economic meltdown in 2020 I don’t see how Trump fails to be reelected.

Having to fend off a primary challenger seems to bode ill for the incumbent in the general election.

Yes, but it's not clear that there will be such a challenger yet, the rumblings now notwithstanding. Also, Trump has already started campaigning and raising funds for re-election. Any primary challenger is likely to face a potentially unsurmountable financial disadvantage.

You claim "I just discussed that last one about Gardasil not using “true placeboes” and what utter BS it is." I asked on that poast and I'll ask again: Could you provide a link to those studies providing statistics on the expected rates of adverse events due to the aluminum adjuvants? I haven’t found them but I would be interested in seeing them.

By Beth Clarkson (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

the incumbent always has a huge advantage going into a reelection campaign

Historically, yes. But Trump has already done so many unprecedented things as President that history is not as good a guide as usual. We are off the looking glass and through the map. I'll worry about Trump's chances of being reelected if he is still in office in early 2020. As an out-of-shape 70-something in the world's most stressful job, Trump has an elevated risk of a stroke or heart attack. Or Putin might decide that Trump has become more of a liability than an asset--remember, Putin is ex-KGB and therefore has ways of dealing with such problems. Or (unlikely for now, but if the Republicans get curb stomped in 2018 it becomes much more likely) Trump might get impeached. Or the Mueller or Schneiderman investigations might turn up a scandal too big to ignore.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

I hope you're right, but after everything I've seen, this sounds like wishful thinking. We're almost certainly stuck with Trump at least through January 2021 and possibly through January 2025.

I haven’t found them but I would be interested in seeing them.

You've taken a position without reviewing available evidence and complaining because others aren't doing your homework for you.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

Orac: We’re almost certainly stuck with Trump at least through January 2021 and possibly through January 2025.

If that happens we probably won't have any more elections. If he's still there by 2021, we'll probably end up with a dynasty like North Korea.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

@Orac:

[T]he incumbent always has a huge advantage going into a reelection campaign.

That may be, but I'm hearing a lot of scuttlebutt that Trump will either get fed up with the job and quit, or be impeached because he's damaging the Republican cause. And it's beginning to sound more and more plausible.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

@ScienceMom - What position do you think I have taken? And what makes you think I haven't reviewed the evidence? I'm asking because I have looked and haven't found it. Could be I missed something - I haven't read everything (no one can) - so I'm prepared to look a little deeper it someone wants to point me at the right place. I have access to most peer-reviewed journals through my University, but the searches I've done there on that subject have some up empty on that particular point. What I'm not prepared to do is accept something as true just because someone said it was so on the internet.

By Beth Clarkson (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

Any primary challenger is likely to face a potentially unsurmountable financial disadvantage.

Sure, but I was assuming a putative challenger would lose in the first place.

Orac: We’re almost certainly stuck with Trump at least through January 2021 and possibly through January 2025.

PGP, do you refuse to use quotation marks because they're too "suburban" or something? It's even more irritating than Doucheniak's routine.

If that happens we probably won’t have any more elections. If he’s still there by 2021, we’ll probably end up with a dynasty like North Korea.

It was silly when the loony right said the same thing about Obama, and it sounds just as silly now.

Other than the KGB, I think friend Eric has it right at #24.

Also remember that Watergate was about 26 months from break in to resignation. Mueller has been on the job just a few months - give the man time to work.

David Brin has been suggesting this for months, and some in or near the halls of power are also suggesting, that the remedy lies in creative interpretation of the 25th Amendment.
The major drawback to that is Mike Pence. Instead of the current barrel full of monkeys on the White House staff, we will have, as Brin says, a cadre of disciplined Dominionists who will make things far worse than they are now.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

#5 Guy Chapman

# 6 fusilier

that’s how I was taught, back around 1956/57

Interesting. Back about 1967-68 I was being taught that a single-breasted jacket is not buttoned and a double-breasted jacket is always buttoned. Of course, it may be depend on what country. I was/am in Canada.

In many cases, a buttoned single-breasted suit jacket makes it appear that the wearer has been stuffed into an overly tight sausage case [1]. I think I'll stick with the unbuttoned, or uncouth, look.

Re waistcoat. Indeed Guy, one never buttons the bottom button on a waistcoat. Mind, we don't seem to see too many waistcoats here. I think the Canadian climate and heating habits discourage them.

1. See almost any picture of our former and unlamented Prime Minister Steven Harper

By jrkrideau (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

#12 Eric Lund

you are supposed to, and should be able to, button the top button

Oh, I agree, I just was taught that one did not.

# 17 Denice Walter

Overweight people sometimes deliberately leave a jacket unbuttoned

Here now, are you implying I'm fat? I'll have you know I still have my boyish figure. It's in here somewhere.

# 20 Dangerous Bacon
But one always wears a double-breasted jacket buttoned. I'm sure even a "Mad Bomber" would not have committed the solecism of an unbuttoned double-breasted jacket back then. It would have been a red flag to any police officer.

By jrkrideau (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

Narad (#31) writes,

It’s even more irritating than Doucheniak’s routine.

Dochniak says,

Warren Buffett, who owns Dairy Queen and the Moon, has donated billions of dollars to support the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and vaccines.

https://www.gatesfoundation.org/Media-Center/Press-Releases/2010/01/Bil…

Q. Why don't cold-blooded antivaxers protest at Dairy Queen restaurants.

A. Because they're scared of the Blizzard.

By Michael J. Dochniak (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

@ScienceMom – What position do you think I have taken?

That aluminium adjuvants cannot be true placebos because something. As per your statement here:

You claim “I just discussed that last one about Gardasil not using “true placeboes” and what utter BS it is.”

And what makes you think I haven’t reviewed the evidence?

Because you keep asking for it here and have clearly taken a position that smells remarkably anti-aluminium.

I’m asking because I have looked and haven’t found it. Could be I missed something – I haven’t read everything (no one can) – so I’m prepared to look a little deeper it someone wants to point me at the right place.

This is at odds with your previous question. You have missed a lot; I have read numerous studies, reviews and government documents which discuss adverse events from aluminium salts.

I’m not prepared to do is accept something as true just because someone said it was so on the internet.

I guess you'd better get crackin' then before calling BS on others.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

If mercury in vaccines is so harmless, why lie about it? Thimerosal is still in a number of vaccines given to children and pregnant women; for example, Tripedia DTaP; the multidose vials of many flu shots--Afluria, FluLaval, Fluvirin, Fluzone; and the multidose Menomune meningococcal vaccine.

Focusing only on the danger of mercury in vaccines is a gatekeeping strategy--just like focusing on autism as the only adverse effect of vaccines. There are many dangerous vaccine ingredients other than mercury, and many serious adverse effects from vaccines other than autism.

I wish RFK were anti-vaccine. It's tiresome listening to so-called "vaccine safety advocates" reiterate the same old pro-vax propaganda. RFK claims his own children are fully vaccinated--he'd never advocate for that if he were anti-vaccine. Of course, like so many pushing vaccines on the rest of the population, only his pediatrician really knows for sure.

RFK is no threat to the vaccine pogrom, any more than the current administration. The pogrom will continue to press forward, even as it faces more and more opposition from its intended targets. But as the truth about vaccines spreads--that vaccines are not safe; not effective for improving the overall health of the population; and did not save the world from any deadly diseases--the vaccine pogrom will eventually be crushed under the weight of its own lies. :)

By NWO Reporter (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

@Science Mom "That aluminium adjuvants cannot be true placebos because something."

Hmmm....substitute "they can cause adverse reactions in subjects by themselves" for "something" and "sufficient placebos for parental decision making regarding vaccination" for "true placebos" and that would be accurate. Do you disagree with that? If so, why?

If I were a parent making such a decision (I'm not, my kids are adults now), I would want to know the risks of the placebos that were used in place of a completely benign substance.

I've looked for that data. I haven't found it. No one has posted any links to it either. Now, my google fu is weak and it's not field, so I don't know the in-profession keywords; I'm not concluding the data doesn't exist. But it's not easy to find either. A link would be appreciated from those professionals in the field, such as ORAC, who might have seen it in the past.

By Beth Clarkson (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

Narad: I was unaware that quoting someone's writing required quotation marks. If it was something someone said, I'd use quotation marks, but written speech has different conventions.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

Johnny: Difference between Obama and Trump: Obama's not nearly as egotistical, and he actually did care what people thought. Also, he was getting pretty ground down by 2016. And he never had as much influence with the armed forces as Trump does now.

Trump doesn't care what anyone else thinks, and wants as much power as he can grab. I don't think democracy matters to him. He's honestly worse than Nixon. At least Nixon had brains and some restraint.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

NWO Reporter, Once again I'm taking exception, angered exception at that, to your use of the word "pogrom".
My ancestors came here in part to leave pogroms behind them.
You clearly don't know what a pogrom is. You have no idea of the proper meaning of it. You have never sat with a pogrom survivor to hear about it first-hand.
The use of substances in tiny amounts in vaccines is no way akin to rioters committing murder, torture, rape, mutilation, and theft against a vulnerable population because of their religion or their perceived race.
Jews have not been the only targets oof pogroms. The night rides and lynchings by the KKK, the spate of destruction and murder of entire black communities bin the USA,between about 1900 and 1925, the zoot suit riots during World War 2, the Notting Hill riots of the '50s. all can reasonably be counted as pogroms.
So let's pile insensitivity and cultural expropriation on top of your never-bow-to-facts Trump-like mindset.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

Off topic, but...

Jake is really proud of himself - he's been noticed outside of his 6 disciples.

PGP - there are about a million differences between Trump and Obama, and what you said would still be in the running for the stupidest thing you've ever said, but the field is too crowded.

And Trump isn't any more popular with the military than he is with the general population, but they aren't allowed to show it.

I was unaware that quoting someone’s writing required quotation marks. If it was something someone said, I’d use quotation marks, but written speech has different conventions.

What? Have you ever written a paper? Failing to use quotation marks or italics/indent to mark quotations could get you in serious trouble for plagiarism. At best, it's confusing.

One might also note that this blog has a set of conventions, and the blockquote tag is there for a reason.

@NWOR-Your claim that RFK Jr. isn't really anti-vaccine is absolutely ridiculous, considering that he has repeatedly made statements like this: “They get the shot, that night they have a fever of a hundred and three, they go to sleep, and three months later their brain is gone,This is a holocaust, what this is doing to our country.”

If that isn't "anti-vaccine", I really don't know what is.

@Jonas, thank you but no, I wasn't asking for HPV vaccine to a saline placebo, I was asking about the risks of the placebos that were used in place of a completely benign substance. My take on what ORAC said in his previous post that such studies had been done. Since those are used in a variety of vaccines, I've looked for that information but haven't found it.

Thank you for the link. I appreciate the effort. It says "A higher proportion of vaccine recipients (75.3%) than placebo recipients (50.0%) reported one or more injection-site adverse experiences following any vaccination. Rates of fever were similar between vaccination groups. No serious vaccine-related adverse experiences were reported." With fewer than 2000 subjects, it's not really adequate to judge if any differences exist for the rare-but-serious type events.

By Beth Clarkson (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

JP (#43) writes,

What? Have you ever written a paper? Failing to use quotation marks or italics/indent to mark quotations could get you in serious trouble for plagiarism. At best, it’s confusing.

MJD says,

You're forgiven PGP and I'm sure someone understands you somewhere?

RI is not for the ignorant or timid, but, if your an Orac admirer consider yourself a minion no matter what atypically you poses.

By Michael J. Dochniak (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

Trump isn't going to last until 2020, much less win a second term. He'll be impeached.

Either Mr. Mueller will find something in his investigation (that he has convened a grand jury suggests meat on that bone), or Trump will do something so outrageous that Ryan and McConnell won't be able to ignore it any more.

Like someone said: Watergate took a long time to shake out. Congress is well aware of Trump's incompetence. Right now he serves a purpose. They want his base. When it gets too much, they'll dump him for Pence.

You can see it in Pence's posturing. He's getting ready to take over.

Old Rockin' Dave, if you can think of a better word than "pogrom" to describe an organized, officially sanctioned program to keep the population sick, weak and obedient, while killing and destroying many lives in the process, feel free to propose it.

Granted, mass vaccination targets the general population, not any specific minority group (at least for the most part--there have been exceptions), but the fact that it targets more people rather than fewer only makes it more evil. Remember, all of the pograms you mentioned had plenty of cheerleaders, just like the vaccine pogrom does.

By NWO Reporter (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

I was unaware that quoting someone’s writing required quotation marks. If it was something someone said, I’d use quotation marks, but written speech has different conventions.

*blink*

Where, pray tell, did you discover this "convention"? This is quite possibly the most insane blanket assertion you've made yet, and that's a very high bar, indeed.

Every time you pull this, it looks like direct address if one is checking back in on the comments and starting from the end. I mean, how does your "convention" handle multiple paragraphs?

I was unaware that quoting someone’s writing required quotation marks.

Yeah, it's a pretty dark "convention" about plagiarism and making it clear what is your original writing and what is not. They hardly ever use it anywhere now. You can just go ahead and write something and we will totally know if it was yours or not. Such is the power of imagination.

Old Rockin’ Dave, if you can think of a better word than “pogrom” to describe an organized, officially sanctioned program to keep the population sick, weak and obedient, while killing and destroying many lives in the process, feel free to propose it.

Ha!
Ha, ha!
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
Before mass vaccination programs Smallpox, Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Rotavirus, HIB, Tuberculosis and Meningitis killed and disabled millions each year. They still kill thousands in unvaccinated people.
Where is your proof that vaccines have killed and maimed the people you claim they have killed and maimed?

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

Julian Frost, the thing is, people are researching those diseases and finding out that vaccines did not save us from any of them--that the vaccine house of cards is built on a foundation of lies. :)

By NWO Reporter (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

NWO Troll: "diseases and finding out that vaccines did not save us from any of them"

Seriously, you went there? You should know what is coming up next, the US Census 20th Century report that includes measles. I will include a link.

Now what you have to do is look at the data and tell exactly what caused the incidence (morbidity) of measles to drop 90% in the USA between 1960 and 1970. Though there are some rules to prevent you from changing the subject:

Do not mention any other disease. It is about measles. Duh!

Do not mention death, which is mortality. The question is about morbidity, which is incidence. Mentioning something else would "changing the subject."

Do not mention any other country. The census data is from the United States of America, a very big country. Which actually does not include any states named "England" nor "Wales."

Do not mention any other decade unless the morbidity dropped at least 90% and never went up again.

Come on! Be the first (with actual evidence) to tell us why measles morbidity dropped 90$ in the USA between 1960 and 1970!

From http://www.census.gov/prod/99pubs/99statab/sec31.pdf
Year.... Rate per 100000 of measles
1912 . . . 310.0
1920 . . . 480.5
1925 . . . 194.3
1930 . . . 340.8
1935 . . . 584.6
1940 . . . 220.7
1945 . . . 110.2
1950 . . . 210.1
1955 . . . 337.9
1960 . . . 245.4
1965 . . . 135.1
1970 . . . . 23.2
1975 . . . . 11.3
1980 . . . . . 5.9
1985 . . . . . 1.2
1990 . . . . .11.2
1991 . . . . . .3.8
1992 . . . . . .0.9
1993 . . . . . .0.1
1994 . . . . . .0.4
1995 . . . . . .0.1
1996 . . . . . .0.2
1997 . . . . . . 0.1

Julian, we will have a few more laughs as she dances around the reduction of measles cases. It always amusing to see what they do!

@NWO Reporter #55:

...people are researching those diseases and finding out that vaccines did not save us from any of them..

What people? What are their qualifications? What research have they done and where was it published?
Smallpox once killed up to a third of people it infected. It's now extinct in the wild, thanks to vaccines.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

@ORD #42

Good job taking on that pogrom bullshit. That jumped out at me too.

You ever hear of a disease called poliomyelitis? Know of any American born after the 1960s who's had it? It once crippled a sitting president and severely sickened a secretary of defense. There used to be rows upon rows of iron lungs in the hospital wards of the 1940s and 1950s to treat children with bulbar polio. Now, not so much. What happened in the 1950s and 1960s? Jonas Salk, Albert Sabin, and Mikhail Chumakov developed effective polio vaccines. Thanks to their efforts, polio is virtually unknown today except in places like Pakistan and Nigeria where folks much like this NWO Reporter fellow have managed to successfully convince large enough numbers of people that vaccines are a Bad Thing.

By Anonymous Coward (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 #permalink

@Beth Clarkson: Are you seriously looking for evidence of the perfect placebo, that causes *NO* symptoms when injected? Let me tell you, honey, ain't no such creature. I've injected people with saline, they reacted. Sterile water, same thing. Clinical placebo of all ingredients EXCEPT the one being tested, same thing.

So if you're looking for a study that says "this is the PERFECT placebo. No one EVER reacts when it's injected", you'll never find it. Now, if you are being serious, and looking for the reactions people have to being injected with a placebo containing aluminium, I suggest you get your little heinie over to pubmed, type in key words like "aluminium as placebo" and start doing some reading.

Chris Shill, I don't think anyone disputes that the measles vaccine prevents the outward expression of symptoms of measles. But at what cost? Measles had become a very MILD disease by the time the vaccine was introduced. It posed no real threat to typical healthy children--mortality from measles had declined more than 98% from 1900-1950 in the industrialized world, WELL BEFORE the vaccine. Apparently you fail to appreciate the significance of that, amidst your excited crowing about the incidence rate.

What was the cost of preventing a mild childhood illness for typical healthy children? Certainly chronic diseases and disabilities have skyrocketed, along with the number of vaccines. People are starting to notice, and ask why. :)

By NWO Reporter (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

Chris Shill, if a vaccine were introduced that was proven to prevent most cases of the common cold, but resulted in an increased risk for diabetes, asthma, serious allergies, epilepsy, cancer and cognitive disabilities, would you crow about the wonders of that vaccine, too? It's a a rhetorical question--I already know the answer. :D

By NWO Reporter (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

Chris @ #57: I guess she fooled you!!
.
She's not dancing, she's moving goalposts, and those suckers are heavy. No dancing to be seen.

@MI Dawn - No, I am not looking for the 'perfect placebo'. I am looking for the reactions people have to being injected with a placebo containing aluminium. When I do as you suggested and type in key words like “aluminium as placebo” the first paper that comes up is the Martínez-Lavín and Amezcua-Guerra paper ORAC was complaining about in his post a few days ago. All the results I found were for vaccine trials, with nothing about a study of the affects of using that type of placebo versus a more benign one. If you are aware of one, I would appreciate a link.

By Beth Clarkson (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

@NWOR-That's false-measles had not "become a very mild disease" prior to the introduction of the vaccine. Prior to the introduction of the vaccine, 400-500 people died of measles , 4,000 people developed measles encephalitis (which leaves many survivors with permanent brain damage) and at least 48,000 people required hospitalization for complications of measles.

And that's not even mentioning the fact that measles induces a sort of "immune amnesia" that leaves even those who have a completely uncomplicated case of measles more vulnerable to other infectious diseases for 2-3 years after recovery from measles.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4823017/

NWOR: "...the vaccine house of cards is built on a foundation of lies."
NWOR: "Measles had become a very MILD disease by the time the vaccine was introduced."

"In a brief history of the disease, the Centers for Disease Control writes that between 1953 and 1963, when the measles vaccine became available, “nearly all children got measles by the time they were 15 years of age.” Yearly, “400 to 500 people died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and 4,000 suffered encephalitis (swelling of the brain) from measles.”

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_vault/2015/02/03/history_of_measles_mort…

That does not describe "a very MILD disease".

Instead of accusing others of lying, NWOR needs to take a long look in the mirror.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

@NWOR-Between 1989 and 1991, there was an increase in measles cases in the U.S., with 55,000 cases of measles occurring during that time. Out of those 55,000 cases, 11,000 were severe enough to require hospitalization, and 123 were fatal.

In Philadelphia alone, 9 children died of measles-5 of them in one 10-day period.

Does that really sound like a "very mild disease" to you?

MI Dawn, if you're trying to suggest that an aluminum containing placebo, or one containing any other vaccine ingredients, is no more reactive than a saline placebo, I'd suggest you get your little heinie over to a grade school science class, honey.

By NWO Reporter (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

NWOR: that is NOT what I said. What I said, in case you couldn't read properly, is that some people respond to ANYTHING used as a placebo injection. I've seen people get hives and need benadryl from an injection of normal saline (only saline. Single use vial). If they had the same reaction to a vaccine, you'd be screaming all over that the vaccine caused the allergic reaction.

As for measles. Yeah. It became a lot "milder" because we had better ways to treat patients in the hospitals so fewer people actually died from the acute measles infection. Infection rates didn't fall until we got the vaccine. I'd rather my child have a sore arm, low fever, and maybe mild rash for a day over being very sick for 1-2 weeks, need hospitalization, and worry about long-term sequelae for years.

Jonas, so you suggesting that measles has become more virulent since the vaccine was introduced. Interesting. Just prior to the introduction of the vaccine, measles was so mild, 9 out of 10 cases were never even reported, even according to the CDC. And even the cases that doctors saw, they weren't reporting a dreaded and feared disease.

"In the majority of children the whole episode has been well and truly over in a week, from the prodromal phase to the disappearance of the rash, and many mothers have remarked ‘how much good the attack has done their children’, as they seem so much better after the measles."

This from another doctor: "In this practice measles is considered as a relatively mild and inevitable childhood ailment that is best encountered any time from 3 to 7 years of age. Over the past 10 years there have been few serious complications at any age, and all children have made complete recoveries.” Both from Measles: Reports from General Practitioners, British Medical Journal, February 7, 1959.

By NWO Reporter (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

Ah, yes. I still see the "one true study" narrative with respect to aluminum adjuvants. It's a favorite crank technique, because for many findings in medicine, there is no single (or even several) "true studies" proving something definitively. The same is true of many scientific findings. For instance, there is no "one true study" (or even a handful of studies" that "prove" the theory of evolution.

It is a long series of various studies and observations over many decades using many different methodologies involving many children showing that, in this case, aluminum adjuvants are incredibly safe, their primary adverse reactions being increased local reactions to injection. This long experience through studies and clinical observations tells us that aluminum is safe as an adjuvant. Here's a taste. https://www.facebook.com/RtAVM/posts/10152027017233831

So, ah, Ginny, exactly how did measles "become" a mild disease? What's the mutation rate? Do you know what a conserved region is? What evolutionary pressure would even drive this fantasy in the first place?

@NWO Reporter #62, #63, #71:

Certainly chronic diseases and disabilities have skyrocketed, along with the number of vaccines.

1) Show us proof that the percentage of individuals inflicted with "chronic diseases and disabilities" has skyrocketed.
2) Show us proof that vaccines are responsible for said increase.

[I]f a vaccine were introduced that was proven to prevent most cases of the common cold, but resulted in an increased risk for diabetes, asthma, serious allergies, epilepsy, cancer and cognitive disabilities

If Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin had confirmed the Moon was made of cheese, would you have wanted to try it? Without proof of causation, your hypothetical is as ridiculous as the one I've just mentioned.

Jonas, so you suggesting that measles has become more virulent since the vaccine was introduced.

Reading comprehension fail, and a massive strawman to boot. You claimed that Measles had 'become a very mild disease by the time the vaccine was introduced". Jonas was refuting that claim.
Your insinuation that the Measles vaccine caused an increase in Measles' virulence is laughable.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

Dangerous Bacon, yes, the CDC estimates that prior to the vaccine, almost all children got measles--about 3.5 million cases every year. You say that 400-500 died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and 4,000 got encephalitis each year from 1953-1963. Even if true, that's a death rate of about .014%, and a total complication rate of about 1.5%--with measles being a mild non-event for 98-99% of the children who got it.

How many children out of 3.5 million vaccinated for measles will get measles anyway and experience complications? How many will die from the vaccine or from measles, including from health problems like cancer that may not manifest until years down the road? How many will be hospitalized for adverse events, or from subsequent chronic health problems attributable to the vaccine, or develop encephalitis, or incur other physical or cognitive damage that may last a lifetime? It's too bad no one is keeping track of the damage--even to the extent it would be possible to do so.

By NWO Reporter (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

Your insinuation that the Measles vaccine caused an increase in Measles’ virulence is laughable.

Particularly given that it would work the other way around.

Orac writes,

This long experience through studies and clinical observations tells us that aluminum is safe as an adjuvant.

MJD says,

The formation of an aluminum hydroxide/antigen complex or aluminum phosphate/antigen complex is not covalently driven, therefore, random associations/interactions with contaminants and/or beneficial proteins before injection is not predictable.

The presence of protein contaminants and beneficial proteins in vaccines can decrease the safety and efficacy of an adjuvant.

Thus, "cleaner vaccines" assure aluminum-based adjuvants choose the right partner before injection.

That's what I'm talking about when Orac rejects some of my comments during auto-moderation.

By Michael J. Dochniak (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

Julian Frost, Jonas claims that between 1989 and 1991, there were 55,000 cases of measles, of which 11,000 were severe enough to require hospitalization, and 123 were fatal. That's a complication rate of 20%--much, much higher than the complication rate for measles that Dangerous Bacon says existed in 1963 before the vaccine, which was only about 1.5%. So either most cases of measles are so mild they are not being reported, which wouldn't be surprising; and/or doctors are hospitalizing people with measles unnecessarily, which also wouldn't be surprising; and/or measles has gotten more virulent since the vaccine was introduced.

Or, there's the most likely possibility of all: the numbers are being manipulated or fabricated to create a false impression that measles is a dangerous disease, in order to sell people on vaccination. Take your pick. :)

By NWO Reporter (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

Beth Clark you are sounding a lot like Travis the Troll.

NWO, find Dorothy and following the yellow brick road and get a brain.

Both of you are doing what you used be called flogging a dead horse.

That should be Clarkson.

So either most cases of measles are so mild they are not being reported, which wouldn’t be surprising; and/or doctors are hospitalizing people with measles unnecessarily, which also wouldn’t be surprising; and/or measles has gotten more virulent since the vaccine was introduced.

Define "unnecessarily," Bitsy.

@Orac #72 - I'm not looking for a perfect study - those don't exist - I'm looking for an estimate of the number of serious adverse reactions to vaccines that would be expected from the active placebos used for vaccine studies. There are legitimate reasons why the study sponsors are interested in the rate of adverse reactions compared with an active placebo. That doesn't make it the appropriate decision-making information for parents.

it appears to me that the information provided to parents making a decision about whether to get the vaccine gives the relative risks of vaccination compared with the active placebo. As a parent, what I wanted to know was the risk compared with not getting the vaccine at all, not the risk compared with getting an active placebo known to have adverse effects. However, this lack could be remedied by combining the risk of the vaccination compared to active placebos with the risk of the placebo. Hence, my interest in that detail.

Unfortunately, none of the sources linked to in the facebook page you linked to give empirical data for the rates of serious adverse reactions to those placebos, such as is provided for the vaccines themselves. Is such information available? If so, where can I find it?

By Beth Clarkson (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

The presence of protein contaminants and beneficial proteins in vaccines can decrease the safety and efficacy of an adjuvant.

Got cite?

@Beth Clarkson: As a parent, what I wanted to know was the risk compared with not getting the vaccine at all, not the risk compared with getting an active placebo known to have adverse effects. However, this lack could be remedied by combining the risk of the vaccination compared to active placebos with the risk of the placebo. Hence, my interest in that detail.

OH good grief. Guess what? The risks of getting many diseases NOW is small, although still greater than getting the vaccine. But you can't compare the risks of not vaccinating with the risks of vaccinating when the majority of people ARE vaccinated, because your risk isn't the same as if no one was vaccinated.

So - example. You and I are going to France, where they are having active measles outbreaks. We're taking our children. My kids are fully vaccinated and I get a booster because, even though I *had* the disease, I don't develop immunity to it.
My kids experienced the 1:10000 risk of a vaccine reaction, but, being vaccinated, have an extremely low risk of getting the disease (vaccines aren't perfect and we don't claim they are). If my kids get ill, it will most likely be very mild.

Your kids aren't vaccinated. They have a greater than 90% chance of getting measles, even with fantastic diets and healthy immune systems. They are at risk of less than 1:1000 of 1)needing to be hospitalized for problems 2)developing sequelae and 3) having the fun of a decreased immune system, leading to 1-3 years of more frequent and severe illnesses due to measles causing an immune system reset.

I'll take my miniscule risk of reaction to aluminium (far less than a daily intake by eating, drinking and breathing) to your risk due to fear of "the ebil toxinzzz".

NWOR: "Dangerous Bacon, yes, the CDC estimates that prior to the vaccine, almost all children got measles–about 3.5 million cases every year. You say that 400-500 died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and 4,000 got encephalitis each year from 1953-1963. Even if true, that’s a death rate of about .014%, and a total complication rate of about 1.5%"

Wrong.

First of all, it's not what _I_ say, it's what the statistics were for reported measles cases in the few years prior to vaccine introduction. And those numbers only account for deaths, hospitalizations and encephalitis complications, not complications of all kinds, which would inflate the numbers/percentages (not to mention underestimates due to inadequate reporting). Other complications of measles that might not require hospitalization but would still be debilitating and frightening for the patient and parents include diarrhea, vomiting, otitis media, conjunctivitis and other eye problems, bronchitis, croup etc. The disease is still not a picnic for the "uncomplicated" cases, where kids feel like crap and miss a couple weeks of school work that has to eventually be made up, while their parents scramble to provide care.

Frankly, even referring to several hundred deaths and 48,000 hospitalizations a year as no biggie makes you sound like an ass.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

Yesterday, I taught a Blood Borne Pathogen class to our Head Start teachers and staff. One of the side topics that we went off on was adult vaccinations. It was amazing how little knowledge they had concerning how vaccinations effectiveness may wane over time and adults may need to update their vaccinations. They also did not understand that vaccines are not 100% effective.

Somehow, a better system of educating adults needs to be found. Anti-vaxxers use fear to educate and it has been an effective tool for them.

@MI Dawn - Yes, I'm aware that the risk of actually catching a VPD varies with the % of people who are vaccinated and whether or not there is an outbreak in your physical location. The risks of vaccination are generally compared to the risks of having the disease without including the probability of getting the disease. Do you feel that such data should be included in the computations? I agree that it would be a more accurate comparison to include that information, but that's not what is usually done. I assume that's because the probability of contracting the disease can vary dramatically and quickly in the event of an outbreak of easily transmitted diseases such as measles.

But the fact that risk of acquiring the disease may vary substantially over time and locale doesn't alter my desire to accurately assess the risks of having a serious adverse reaction to the vaccine compared with not getting the vaccine rather than getting an active placebo. I notice that despite a couple of posts giving links to related information, no one has yet posted a link to a study identifying the risk of adverse outcomes for the active placebos used in vaccination studies in order for parents to accurate judge the relative risks of getting vaccines studies that way versus getting the disease.

BTW, I did get my kids vaccinated. I am not against vaccines. I think they work and for diseases like measles are well worth the risk. I'm not so certain about the risk/benefit analysis for some of the others, such as HPV. While I believe that the risk of contracting cancer is significantly reduced with the vaccine, the risk of contracting that particular cancer is low to begin with so it wouldn't require much of an increase in risk from the vaccination to change the outcome of the risk/benefit equation.

The study posted above on the HPV vaccine with a saline placebo showed a significant increase in minor adverse reactions for the vaccine and the study wasn't large enough to quantify the risk of rare but serious adverse reactions. If there is a significant increase in minor reactions, there is likely also a significant increase in serious reactions, but if those adverse reactions were due not the vaccine, but other ingredients used in the active placebos, they won't be identified in the larger studies that used the active placebos. That's why I was asking for an estimate of the adverse reactions to the active placebo.

By Beth Clarkson (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

"While I believe that the risk of contracting cancer is significantly reduced with the vaccine, the risk of contracting that particular cancer is low to begin with"

Isn't HPV ridiculously common?
I saw something about a recent rise in oral cancers among young people even though use of tobacco products is down. Aren't (some) of those cancers caused by HPV?

By CJTX (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

In reply to by Beth Clarkson (not verified)

Don’t encourage him.

OK. I figured if you let one of MJD's posts thru, it would be fair game to challenge it.

Hmmm….substitute “they can cause adverse reactions in subjects by themselves” for “something” and “sufficient placebos for parental decision making regarding vaccination” for “true placebos” and that would be accurate. Do you disagree with that? If so, why?

Yes because it is a true placebo and you are guilty of the Nirvana fallacy. Most parents aren't very good at assessing risk either so a fail there too.

’ve looked for that data. I haven’t found it. No one has posted any links to it either. Now, my google fu is weak and it’s not field, so I don’t know the in-profession keywords; I’m not concluding the data doesn’t exist. But it’s not easy to find either.

You admit you don't know enough to find this information and rely upon experts to provide you with this information but you don't believe the experts and think you can parse the information better than the experts you want information from but don't believe.

Do you see why people like you can be so exasperating?

By Science Mom (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

Ren and JP: Guys, this is a blog, not an academic conference. I mean, seriously, do you cite everything in conversation with your friends or attach footnotes to a personal email? And the blockquote tag doesn't work for me, not in Mozilla, and the blog crashes in Chrome.

MJD: Go screw yourself, you creepy little man. Not interested in compliments from you.

Johnny: I was pretty sure the military LIKES fighting and the end-of-all-things, so why wouldn't they like a president who's ever ready to go nuclear?

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

PGP, I am sure that some of the people in the military enjoy killing and maiming other people. However, people like that are a very small percentage of the people that make up the military. Most military people are in the military to protect the nation, remember we now have an all volunteer military unlike when I was young. In my experience, military people would prefer tor talk about the people they helped rather than those they had to kill.

I am sure Orac would much rather talk about the lives that he has saved rather the ones that have died. Same can be said for the military. I haven't seen a comment from Wzrd1 for sometime but as a long serving military person he could explain this much better than I can.

Ren and JP: Guys, this is a blog, not an academic conference. I mean, seriously, do you cite everything in conversation with your friends or attach footnotes to a personal email? And the blockquote tag doesn’t work for me, not in Mozilla, and the blog crashes in Chrome.

What a strawman. There are accepted ways to carry on a textual conversation that attributes quotes or at least separates them from your own statements. That's all that they were getting at. I use Mozilla and have no problem with html.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

@Science Mom - As I said, I'm not looking for what you are calling a 'true placebo' just the one appropriate for the decision-making I or other parents would be making wrt vaccinates. There are legitimate reasons for a study sponsor to decide an that active placebo is best. That's fine but if that's what was used to compute the risks, then parents need additional information about the risks of the 'active placebo' to accurately assess the risks and benefits of the vaccination. I don't think such information is impossible to obtain nor unreasonable to ask for.

I do find it concerning that such information is not what is clearly provided to parents who are going to make that decision and instead are given statistics that only tell the risk of a portion of the shot their child will receive without also referencing the risks of other ingredients included in the vaccination. Do you think that is an appropriate policy? Can you understand why some parents might be exasperated in trying to track down the actual risks of vaccinating their child? Such hidden details end up obfuscating what the actual risks are and may be the reason so many parents today do not feel they can trust the information provided to them by experts regarding those risks.

By Beth Clarkson (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

To NWOR, measles is "mild" in that if you survive it then it couldn't have been all that bad (even if you did have to stay in the hospital a few days from pneumonia and dehydration) and if you die from measles, well that doesn't count because clearly you had some sort of defective immune system that didn't let your "natural" immunity do it's thang.

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

Opus: "Chris @ #57: I guess she fooled you!!"

Nah. She was predicable. I said: "Be the first (with actual evidence) to tell us why measles morbidity dropped 90$ in the USA between 1960 and 1970! "

So she did her basic "make stuff up" argument by blatant assertion. Her little dance is to rewrite history.

I was pretty sure the military LIKES fighting and the end-of-all-things, so why wouldn’t they like a president who’s ever ready to go nuclear?

Oh, yes, that is exactly the reason I enlisted way back when. Excuse me, I have to out and randomly kill a few people now, just to keep PGP's fantasies alive.

By shay simmons (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

PGP (#89) writes,

Go screw yourself, you creepy little man. Not interested in compliments from you.

MJD says,

This is beyond respectful insolence, it's embarrasing.

@ Orac,

PGP has consistently shown to be verbally abusive towards me and should be in auto-moderation or banned.

Please advise...

By Michael J. Dochniak (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

RFK was never on the good side of anything.
Long ago he was working with the Venezuelan regime to burnish their reputation and whitewash the Chavez kleptocracy. The Kennedys were in organized crime family at the beginning. Other than Robert Kennedy who was cut down by a Palestinian terrorist before he got a chance to redeem the family, they're pretty much the same organized crime outfit they've always been.
Environmentalism was was simply a stylish celebrity cause for ego hop on; it's one with merit but it can also be damaged when dumbed it down to celebrity level. Celebrities often use environmentalism as a means of wealth and virtue signaling: glitterati can afford to put such things entirely above the need for manufacturing and the large job multiplying effect it has.

By Spectator (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

Huh, can't do editing,or even paragraphs in the comments box.

By Spectator (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

NWO Troll #71: I've already debunked that BS citation in another thread. It's a letter to the editor, not peer reviewed, not a study, not evidence of anything. It's opinion, and it wasn't the prevailing opinion of the medical profession of the day. Every era has its cranks, nuts, and people who are just plain wrong.

#75: "How many children out of 3.5 million vaccinated for measles will get measles anyway and experience complications?"

Very few. If that was happening we would KNOW, because measles is a reportable disease. You're grasping at straws here, Ginny.

PGP: I know plenty of active military members, or retirees, who are horrified by Trump. His senior military leadership has not been quick to jump on the Trump crazy train; witness the tweets and statements of senior admirals and generals over the transgender flap, and Trumps waffling on neo-Nazis. That was reassuring to read, quite frankly.

My sister is a disabled veteran. She joined to serve our country. She was a machinist in the Air Force and repaired planes. She has no interesting in killing anyone, abhors violence on a personal level, and refuses to own a gun.

Panacea Diarrhea, you've debunked nothing. Letters to the editor, really? From what newspaper? You should let them know the British Medical Journal swiped a bunch of their quotes from general practitioners and published them under the heading "Vital Statistics." Sure, the mortality data from the day backed up their observations that measles was a mostly benign disease--but they were cranks! Never let facts interfere with your fear-mongering mission. :D

By NWO Reporter (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

NWO: "Old Rockin’ Dave, if you can think of a better word than “pogrom” to describe an organized, officially sanctioned program to keep the population sick, weak and obedient, while killing and destroying many lives in the process, feel free to propose it."
When it's coming from you I can think of several words. Here's one: delusion.
Let me know if you want some more.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

NWO, you just don't get it. You haven't convinced anyone here the first 500 times;what makes you think the 501st will do it? No logic, no bioscience, no biostatisttics, no public health reporting can penetrate your shield of willful ignorance and illogic. Confronted time after time with facts you resort to even bigger frankly ridiculous claims and puerile insults.
You are clearly wasting your time and effort here.
Go away. Go talk to Rachel from Credit Card Services. She sounds like your perfect discussion partner. And who knows, maybe you'll get a lower interest rate.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

NWO, measles is not and *never was* a "mostly benign disease".
Acute measles encephalitis, which has a case-fatality rate of at least 25%, and leaves more than 30% of survivors with permanent brain damage, occurs in 13 out of 1,000 patients, and subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, a devastating, uniformly fatal disease, develops in 1 in 1,367 children who contracted measles prior to age 5, and in 1 in 609 children who contracted measles prior to one year of age.

Also, you should read the studies that show that measles vaccination results in significantly decreased mortality rates in children. Here's just one:
Aaby, Peter, et al. "Non-specific beneficial effect of measles immunisation: analysis of mortality studies from developing countries." Bmj 311.7003 (1995): 481-485.

@Beth Clarkson: Can you, or anyone else, explain to me what an "active placebo" might be, if there could even be such a beast? Since a placebo (or nocebo) is inherently inactive, would an "active placebo" be actively inactive, or would it be inactively active or passively inactiveor passively active or actively passive or what?

By Se Habla Espol (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

@NWOR-Do you honestly think that your worthless anecdote (which you've brought up in previous discussions, if I recall correctly) trumps the multiple studies that all show that measles vaccination significantly decreases mortality rates, and that measles infection *increases* the risk of death from other infectious diseases for a 2-3 year period following recovery from measles?

"Children with a history of earlier measles infection had a significantly higher mortality rate than children vaccinated against measles. Rather than being a mechanism of natural selection taking the weakest children, measles apparently aggravates the condition of many children, leading to delayed excess mortality."
Aaby, Peter, et al. "Measles vaccination and reduction in child mortality: a community study from Guinea-Bissau." Journal of infection 8.1 (1984): 13-21.

"Children who survived were more likely to have received measles vaccine than children who died, independent of the effects from socioeconomic status, maternal knowledge of oral rehydration solution, maternal literacy, and birth interval (adjusted odds ratio = 6.5, 95% confidence interval 1.6 to 27.1). Estimates of the efficacy of measles vaccine for prevention of mortality from 9 through 39 months of age ranged from 84.7% to 90% by different methods of analysis."
Holt, Elizabeth A., et al. "Childhood survival in Haiti: protective effect of measles vaccination." Pediatrics 85.2 (1990): 188-194.

@NWOR-Here's another one:

"Immunosuppression after measles is known to predispose people to opportunistic infections for a period of several weeks to months. Using population-level data, we show that measles has a more prolonged effect on host resistance, extending over 2 to 3 years. We find that nonmeasles infectious disease mortality in high-income countries is tightly coupled to measles incidence at this lag, in both the pre- and post-vaccine eras. We conclude that long-term immunologic sequelae of measles drive interannual fluctuations in nonmeasles deaths. This is consistent with recent experimental work that attributes the immunosuppressive effects of measles to depletion of B and T lymphocytes. Our data provide an explanation for the long-term benefits of measles vaccination in preventing all-cause infectious disease. By preventing measles-associated immune memory loss, vaccination protects polymicrobial herd immunity."

Mina, Michael J., et al. "Long-term measles-induced immunomodulation increases overall childhood infectious disease mortality." Science 348.6235 (2015): 694-699.

I really don't know how, in the face of overwhelming evidence, you can continue to deny reality. But that's the thing about conspiracy theorists-they aren't known for being reasonable.

The only occurrence of the word "active" in that article is this:

expected for an active vaccine being compared

Personally, I would have used the word 'actual' instead of 'active', but Orac's style is not mine.

In any case, since you fail to address the question with an honest answer, would you like to try again?

By Se Habla Espol (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

In reply to by Beth Clarkson (not verified)

Doltnik: Dude, the remedy is simple. Stop being a creep and smarten up a bit.

Shay: I didn't mean you. It's just a bit surprising, considering all the pandering military people did during the campaign, and the fact that a lot of highranking military men were practically salivating to get into the cabinet, that they're reversing course.

Also, I've heard a lot about apocalyptic evangelicals pursuing relationships with military entities, especially the air force. Not too hard to believe that some people might be tempted to make their own apocalypse.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

PGP has consistently shown to be verbally abusive towards me and should be in auto-moderation or banned.

Please advise…

Get a f*cking room.

NWO: tsk tsk. You do know medical journals have letters to the editor and opinion pieces, don't you? Clearly not. But it's the ONLY thing you've ever been able to find that supports your POV, and you've latched onto it tight.

It's almost a shame. Almost.

Panacea Diarrhea, you’ve debunked nothing.

Keep squirming, NWAD. Or go back to Rappoport's your hole, whatever.

It's obvious that RI needs a fresh perspective based on the plethora of irreconcilable differences.

I suggest an occasional guest author at RI.

If this is acceptable I'd like to submit a post titled, "The lost art of respectful insolence, becoming a political guinea pig".

@ Orac,

Before submitting my posting, what is the word count you prefer?

By Michael J. Dochniak (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

Shay: I didn’t mean you.

Just every other military person/veteran on the planet? Oh, that makes it all right, then.

By shay simmons (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

I do find it concerning that such information is not what is clearly provided to parents who are going to make that decision and instead are given statistics that only tell the risk of a portion of the shot their child will receive without also referencing the risks of other ingredients included in the vaccination. Do you think that is an appropriate policy?

You are being ridiculous. All vaccine ingredients are listed. I don't see you complaining that manufacturers don't provide all stats for polysorbate 80 or neomycin or water for that matter.

Such hidden details end up obfuscating what the actual risks are and may be the reason so many parents today do not feel they can trust the information provided to them by experts regarding those risks.

Good grief you are being hysterical too. These aren't "hidden details", why I have dozens of studies and government documents regarding aluminium salts as adjuvants and adverse effects. Anyone who is going to "mistrust the government" over adjuvants has some problems and aren't going to change their minds because additional info is listed in the package insert. If it's that important, I'm sure you could find it.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

My sister is a disabled veteran. She joined to serve our country. She was a machinist in the Air Force and repaired planes. She has no interesting in killing anyone, abhors violence on a personal level, and refuses to own a gun.

My Air Force job was to keep the various communication circuits that carried orders from the National Command Authority to the field, including nuclear launch orders, working noise and error free, and we practiced rerouting launch orders, in case of an outage, regularly, so we could be sure of getting them out. I also have enough guns to start or put down a revolution in a banana republic, and think a day at the range poking holes in a piece of paper is a fine way to spend a day.

I even live in Dixie, in the suburbs, and I have a pick-up truck.

And the thought of even a limited nuclear exchange scares the h3ll out of me.

When Trump was elected, everyone here was (rightly) concerned that he'd have a negative impact on the world of science and medicine. I thought that too, but my first worry was that he was going to have his finger on the button, and be our chief diplomat. I wasn't happy with any of those ideas, and several others. Several of my old friends feel the same.

I suggest an occasional guest author at RI.

If this is acceptable I’d like to submit a post...

You could start your own blog. I suspect that several of the minions would read it. You know, for the lulz.

Shay: I didn’t mean you.

Seriously PGP? Seriously?
The comment above sounds like somebody saying "All members of [minority group] are [derogatory comment], except for [person]." It's bigoted, prejudiced, and offensive.
Please, just, stop.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

Orac

Only MMR and thimerosal have been studied in relation to autism. Aluminum adjuvant has not been studied in relation to autism or neurological disorders.

So your statement "epidemiological studies that show that vaccines are not associated with autism, a veritable mountain of evidence" Is wrong.

You only have evidence regarding MMR, not vaccines generally.

Dr Frank DeStefano of the CDCs immunization safety office is coauthor of a 2015 paper (Glanz et al) stating:
“To date, there have been no population-based studies specifically designed to evaluate associations between clinically meaningful outcomes and non-antigen ingredients, other than thimerosal.”

This is an admission that aluminum adjuvant has not been studied in this way.

The IOM in the 2011 report could not locate a single study supporting that DTaP does not cause autism and hence concluded: “The evidence is inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship between diphtheria toxoid–, tetanus toxoid–, or acellular pertussis–containing vaccine and autism.”

Orac, studies of MMR cannot be used to assert the safety of other types of vaccines, especially those that contain aluminum adjuvant. It is a logical error to use studies of MMR as evidence for the safety of all vaccines.

By Vaccine Papers (not verified) on 23 Aug 2017 #permalink

Actually, VP - large epidemiological studies, by their very nature, look at the entire schedule - because kids / babies don't just get the MMR in isolation.

If there was a connection, anywhere along the line, it would have shown itself by now, after millions of kids were studied, both here and around the world.

Keep tilting at windmills.

@Se Habla Espol I'm sorry, I thought you had an actual interest in knowing the answer to that question rather it than being a gotcha question. I was using the term 'active' for placebos that included ingredients designed to evoke an immune reaction, such as aluminum, versus 'benign' for a saline placebo that will not provoke that sort of reaction.

@Science Mom, clearly we disagree about whether or not the vaccine literature given to parents should clearly communicate all the risks for their child receiving the vaccine rather than a subset of them.

By Beth Clarkson (not verified) on 24 Aug 2017 #permalink

@Se Habla Espol I’m sorry, I thought you had an actual interest in knowing the answer to that question rather it than being a gotcha question.

I was trying to tease you into seeing your error in a way that "Oh. My bad" would have been a proper answer. Instead, you gave me a wild-goose-chase URL, trying to divert from your issue.

I was using the term ‘active’ for placebos that included ingredients designed to evoke an immune reaction, such as aluminum, versus ‘benign’ for a saline placebo that will not provoke that sort of reaction.

I guessed that you invented the nonsense term "active placebo" for one of two reasons. ignorance or arrogance. You've shown that both are correct: you're ignorant of the proper term and too arrogant to find it. I'll not clue you in, since you obviously don't care about it.

I will repeat, though, that a placebo can never "include[] ingredients designed to evoke an immune reaction".

@Science Mom, clearly we disagree about whether or not the vaccine literature given to parents should clearly communicate all the risks for their child receiving the vaccine rather than a subset of them.

Do you also disagree with the fact that they currently do "communicate [all] the [actual] risks for their child"? Is your problem that they fail to communicate imaginary risks invemnted by and for the anti-vax industry?

By Se Habla Espol (not verified) on 24 Aug 2017 #permalink

In reply to by Beth Clarkson (not verified)

@Science Mom, clearly we disagree about whether or not the vaccine literature given to parents should clearly communicate all the risks for their child receiving the vaccine rather than a subset of them.

Do you also disagree with the fact that they currently do “communicate [all] the [actual] risks for their child”? Is your problem that they fail to communicate imaginary risks invemnted by and for the anti-vax industry?

To piggy back on your point - this is why we have doctors. They have the education, training, and experience to judge the and all its intricacies. No doctor is infallible, but by and large, this is what they do. Does she expect a book on law to full inform the consumer of all the relevant law and interpretations so regular people are informed?

By CJTX (not verified) on 24 Aug 2017 #permalink

In reply to by Se Habla Espol (not verified)

@Science Mom, clearly we disagree about whether or not the vaccine literature given to parents should clearly communicate all the risks for their child receiving the vaccine rather than a subset of them.

This is where you (and Dan Steinberg aka Vaccine Papers) are truly ridiculous. Do you think that the aluminium adjuvant is somehow more dangerous than when an antigen is absorbed onto it? Do the antigens somehow confer magical powers which reduce adverse events of the aluminium adjuvant by itself?

By Science Mom (not verified) on 24 Aug 2017 #permalink

@Science mom, No that's not what I think. I'm not sure why you would make those assumptions about what I think, but your speculation isn't accurate. I don't know whether the risks of adverse reactions due to aluminium adjuvants is altered with an antigen absorbed nor do I particularly care. What I want to know is the total risk of serious adverse reactions to the vaccine and I don't care whether they are caused by the antigen, the adjuvant or their combination. What bothers me is the presentation of the adverse effects of the antigen as the only risk given for the vaccine. Such information doesn't include the risks from manufacturing problems either, which I would also like to see included. The risk benefit analysis done by the policy makers is fine for their purposes, but not complete from a consumer perspective which is what I, as a customer, was interested in.

I do think that parents should be informed of all the risks of vaccination, not given numbers that refer to a subset of adverse reactions. I also think that the practice of doing so gives rise to suspicions that the experts creating the literature given to parents aren't being honest with the public about those risks and contributes to the hesitation many parents have about getting those vaccines for their children. We'll just have to disagree on that point.

By Beth Clarkson (not verified) on 24 Aug 2017 #permalink

# 45 JP

One might also note that this blog has a set of conventions

I agree but you have me snickering. We need to be able to refer offending authors to The Publication Manual of the Respectful Insolence Blog. Orac could have an “Instruction to Authors” note at the top of the blog referring potential contributers to it.

By jrkrideau (not verified) on 24 Aug 2017 #permalink

What bothers me is the presentation of the adverse effects of the antigen as the only risk given for the vaccine. Such information doesn’t include the risks from manufacturing problems either, which I would also like to see included.

That is utterly ridiculous. Yea, we'll disagree all right.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 24 Aug 2017 #permalink

Such information doesn’t include the risks from manufacturing problems either, which I would also like to see included.

So you want vaccine manufacturers to know every possible failure in their process, and know every possible health problem that every possible failure could cause, and publish that information, because it would be useful to us, the consumer?

But you aren't anti-vax, you're just pro-safe-vax , right?

Of course, why don't we include every potential adverse scenario for every single action we take or product we buy?

Did you know that it was possible to drown in a toilet?

Beth appears to believe that every potential event, no matter how unlikely (or even biologically possible) should be included - which is just ridiculous. Why do you think it takes 10 years or more for the average vaccine to get through clinical trials?

I'm imagining that Beth doesn't buy anything; she is totally "off the grid" and grows all her own food, makes all her own clothing, furniture, housing and cooking utensils. She buys no medications but goes out and harvests herbs and spices. Because after all, you can't trust ANYONE who made something, unless you do it yourself. And, if you do buy from someone, that person must document every step they took and every possible place they could have made a mistake in the process before you buy it. After all, that chair could break when you sit on it, if the nail was defective or you didn't hammer it in completely straight!

Really, Beth. You are sounding ridiculous.

I’m not sure why you would make those assumptions about what I think, but your speculation isn’t accurate. I don’t know whether the risks of adverse reactions due to aluminium adjuvants is altered with an antigen absorbed nor do I particularly care. What I want to know is the total risk of serious adverse reactions to the vaccine and I don’t care whether they are caused by the antigen, the adjuvant or their combination.

Strident self-contradiction is not flattering:

If I were a parent making such a decision (I’m not, my kids are adults now), I would want to know the risks of the placebos that were used in place of a completely benign substance.

"Actually, VP – large epidemiological studies, by their very nature, look at the entire schedule – because kids / babies don’t just get the MMR in isolation."

CITATION NEEDED.

Please cite your epi studies that demonstrate neurological safety of aluminum adjuvant.

By Vaccine Papers (not verified) on 24 Aug 2017 #permalink

@Johnny, Lawrence and MI Dawn - I didn't ask for an itemized list of all possible failures, just an estimate of the total risk due to all different types of errors. You can laugh at that desire if you want, but my larger point is that when the statistics quoted regarding the risk of vaccines are for only a subset of potential causes, parents are likely to feel that the risks they are presented with are incomplete and therefore too low. I think this contributes to the hesitation many parents feel about vaccinating their kids.

@Narad - You've ignored the context of the second quote. In context, I was referring to computing the total risk. If the total risk was provided, I would not care how it was apportioned out. Since the total risk was not provided, the additional information about placebos was needed in order to better estimate the total risk. Is that clear or are you still confused by those two seemingly contradictory statements?

If I were a working in the quality assurance department of a vaccine manufacturer, I would care very much how those risks apportioned. But as a consumer, I don't, But when that information isn't available, I can take the risk figures for various causes and combine them to arrive at a value for the total risk.

By Beth Clarkson (not verified) on 24 Aug 2017 #permalink

The risk estimates that I've seen are, indeed, from a sunset of all risks: it's the subset consisting of
• those that have occurred in massive testing, or
• which have occurred in testing other similar products, or
• which are plausible but haven't been reported.
This subset does not include risks that exist solely in the imaginings of the anti-vax industry and reported only in their propaganda: that latter category seems to be the one you're complaining about. The list also does not include certain reports from VAERS (etc.), like the auto accidents or "turning into the Incredible Hulk" fakery.

By Se Habla Espol (not verified) on 24 Aug 2017 #permalink

In reply to by Beth Clarkson (not verified)

Re #99
This is the first time I'm going to agree with MJD. PGP's little tantrum was vile.

By Spectator (not verified) on 24 Aug 2017 #permalink

Beth . . . the problem is, if they were to do that, you'd just complain the answer wasn't comprehensive enough.

It's called "shifting the goal posts." You're asking for something that is not provided in ANY other industry. Why? Because the information becomes mere noise. You can't shift out what's really important. Creating confusing is your point, and we see that.

Unfortunately, PGP resides very close to the "vile" end of the spectrum. I've taken her to task before, and I will continue to do so, because in her own way, she's no better than the people she criticizes.

@Narad – You’ve ignored the context of the second quote. In context, I was referring to computing the total risk. If the total risk was provided, I would not care how it was apportioned out. Since the total risk was not provided, the additional information about placebos was needed in order to better estimate [heh] the total risk. Is that clear or are you still confused by those two seemingly [double heh] contradictory statements?

Sure. Silly me. Of course, I should have divined this already:

It says “A higher proportion of vaccine recipients (75.3%) than placebo recipients (50.0%) reported one or more injection-site adverse experiences following any vaccination. Rates of fever were similar between vaccination groups. No serious vaccine-related adverse experiences were reported.” With fewer than 2000 subjects, it’s not really adequate to judge if any differences exist for the rare-but-serious type events.

So, howsabout you pick one "rare-but-serious type" event, and play Find The Sample Size? Confidence level, power, and your threshold for conceding no effect will suffice.

Science Mom:

The Jefferson 2004 paper is a joke.

Follow up periods for the 8 included studies in Jefferson 2004:

24 h
4 weeks
7 days
24h
7 days
2 weeks
2 weeks
6 weeks

None of these studies had unvaccinated controls.

only 4/8 of the studies used infants. And one of these compared two different types of aluminum adjuvant!

None looked for neurological outcomes.

The studies were low quality. Jefferson states: "Overall, the methodological quality of included studies was low. Few reports gave details of the randomisation process, allocation concealment, reasons for withdrawals, or strategies to deal with them in analysis. Inconsistencies in reporting, lack of clarity on numerators and denominators, variability of outcome definitions, and lack of outcome definitions led to much loss of data."

This is your alleged overwhelming evidence of safety of aluminum adjuvant?

Insanely, Jefferson also states: "Despite a lack of good-quality evidence we do not recommend that any further research on this topic is undertaken."

The widespread belief in the safety of aluminum adjuvant, particular regarding neurological damage, is not supported by scientific evidence.

By Vaccine Papers (not verified) on 24 Aug 2017 #permalink

The widespread belief in the safety of aluminum adjuvant, particular regarding neurological damage, is not supported by scientific evidence.

But the evidence of dangers from aluminium in vaccines is totally f***ing absent.

By Rebecca Fisher (not verified) on 24 Aug 2017 #permalink

But the evidence of dangers from aluminium in vaccines is totally f***ing absent.

Indeed. As any fool could see.

By Chris Preston (not verified) on 24 Aug 2017 #permalink

Not absent at all. Evidence continues to accumulate demonstrating brain injury from dosages (mcg/kg) less than or equal to dosages received from the CDC vaccine schedule.

Here is the latest: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27908630

This study showed Al adjuvant caused behavioral abnormalities and chronic, long term brain inflammation (6 months).

Also showed that the aluminum was transported into the brain, resulting in a 50X increase in aluminum concentration in the brain. This is close to levels known to be toxic.

You guys are SCIENCE DENIERS. You claim to have the mantle of science but you suck at scientific reasoning. All I see here are insults and ridicule. How about a rational explanation of why you think aluminum adjuvant is safe, and supporting scientific evidence that can establish this? Jefferson 2004 cannot, for the reasons explained above.

You have no evidence, so you make up nonsense and cite crappy science that cannot demonstrate it is safe for the nervous system.

And neurological safety is the key issue. Aluminum is a potent neurotoxin. Aluminum from vaccines travels into the brain.

Where is your evidence of safety for aluminum adjuvant? Even Dr DeStefano of CDC admits it does not exist.

By Vaccine Papers (not verified) on 24 Aug 2017 #permalink

I don't have the requisite training or experience to evaluate your study, but your statements above needs to add, "in mice." Cause that's what your link says.

By CJTX (not verified) on 24 Aug 2017 #permalink

In reply to by Vaccine Papers (not verified)

OK, Papers, your science has convinced me. I'll be sure to never use an aluminum adjuvant on my CD1 mice.

By Se Habla Espol (not verified) on 26 Aug 2017 #permalink

In reply to by Vaccine Papers (not verified)

I had a look at the names of the authors.
Shaw was one and Gherardi another.
Only the abstract was available. Another warning sign.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 24 Aug 2017 #permalink

"your statements above needs to add, “in mice.”"

This is irrelevant, because for all we know, humans might be MORE sensitive to aluminum adjuvant than mice, and as I already noted, we dont have any toxicity/safety data for humans. If you think the results cannot apply to humans, then cite some evidence.

Mice were injured at the same or lower dosages given to human infants in the USA. Mice were injured by 200mcg/kg, and human infants get about 500mcg/kg (cumulative) in the first six months. Infants can receive about 250mcg/kg at the 2 month vaccination date alone.

When animal models are studied, a safety factor is used for application to humans. In the FDA Mitkus study of aluminum adjuvant, a safety factor of 30 was used. This is another reason why you cannot reject the results as not applicable to humans.

SO you guys ignore science from anyone you dont like? Thats what SCIENCE DENIERS do. Ridiculous.

For the record, the journal Toxicology, where this paper was published is a top journal in the field. http://www.scimagojr.com/journalrank.php?category=3005&page=1&total_siz…

You dont have any rational basis for rejecting the Crepeaux et al paper. You reject it because it upsets your faith-based belief in vaccine safety.

You guys are like flat earthers and climate change deniers. Facts dont matter, huh?

By Vaccine Papers (not verified) on 25 Aug 2017 #permalink

"This is irrelevant, because for all we know, humans might be MORE sensitive to aluminum adjuvant than mice, and as I already noted, we dont have any toxicity/safety data for humans. If you think the results cannot apply to humans, then cite some evidence."

Maybe you should cite some evidence that it CAN apply to humans.

By CJTX (not verified) on 25 Aug 2017 #permalink

In reply to by Vaccine Papers (not verified)

Hey Dan, did you do safety testing of the Vapor Genie before marketing it? Asking for a friend.

Non-linear dose-response of aluminium hydroxide adjuvant particles: Selective low dose neurotoxicity.

Ha, ha, ha. What a fool.

They decided to treat their mice with aluminium adjuvant with a concentration equivalent of 25, 50 and 100 times the human equivalent, because they based their correction for the size difference between humans and mice on skin area!

Even then, they report significant effects only at the lowest concentration used and make a mahoosive song and dance about this.

There is a whole lot more wrong with this paper, but frankly that is true of all of Christopher Shaw's papers on vaccines. He has a conclusion that has lost its data and he is madly trying to manufacture some.

By Chris Preston (not verified) on 25 Aug 2017 #permalink

"They decided to treat their mice with aluminium adjuvant with a concentration equivalent of 25, 50 and 100 times the human equivalent, because they based their correction for the size difference between humans and mice on skin area!"

WOW. See I had no idea (cause I don't know how to read science texts).

VaccinePapers, isn't it amazing that essentially overdosing tiny mice on amounts that are 25 - 100% higher than what humans get would result in something?

Nice catch - it's why I leave the hard work to you smart folks.

By CJTX (not verified) on 25 Aug 2017 #permalink

In reply to by Chris Preston (not verified)

They decided to treat their mice with aluminium adjuvant with a concentration equivalent of 25, 50 and 100 times the human equivalent

Thanks Chris. I missed that. Interestingly enough, that's not the first time I've seen that evil little trick used by antivaxx "researchers".

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 25 Aug 2017 #permalink

Follow up periods for the 8 included studies in Jefferson 2004:...

Which is sufficient given the ludicrous claims of anti-vaxxers and how their bebes immediately "reacted" to vaccines.

None of these studies had unvaccinated controls.

You're obviously ignorant of ethical study design.

None looked for neurological outcomes.

You do like to cherry-pick don't you. Jefferson et al. used the higher quality studies for the systematic review. That's how it works numpty. And had this to say:

Our meta-analysis of the outcome data has enabled us to reach firm conclusions on the limited amount of comparative data available. Since there was no association with severe adverse events in young children or with induration in older children, we believe any association with chronic outcomes to be unlikely. The results of our review should be interpreted within the limited quantity and quality of available evidence. Within these limits, we found no evidence that aluminium salts cause any serious or long-lasting adverse events.

The Jefferson 2004 paper is a joke.

You don't say Dan. While you are touting Gherardi's rubbish as "good science", this is what Jefferson et al. had to say about that:

We found no comparative evidence assessing any possible associations between exposure to aluminium adjuvants and rare and hitherto little known outcomes such as macrophagic myofasciitis.

Funny how you hold different study outcomes to vastly different standards and still get a systematic review protocol completely wrong because you're ignorant and dishonest.

Insanely, Jefferson also states: “Despite a lack of good-quality evidence we do not recommend that any further research on this topic is undertaken.”

Why don't we look at the entire quote there cherry-picker:

Careful assessment of hundreds of thousands of doses of whole-cell and acellular pertussis vaccines and hepatitis B vaccines (most of which contained aluminium adjuvants) derived from large population trials and cohort studies has shown no evidence of serious or long-term effects. 6,20 We doubt whether there is sufficient evidence to support further research on the topic or a potentially far-reaching decision such as the replacement of aluminium salts in vaccines.

It is only insane to you because you don't agree with the outcome and can't proffer a reasonable critique of the methods. Who are you anyway? Not a scientist nor investigator of any kind, just some hump wannabe.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 25 Aug 2017 #permalink

You dont have any rational basis for rejecting the Crepeaux et al paper. You reject it because it upsets your faith-based belief in vaccine safety.

No, it's rejected because it's crap. You don't even question why mice would show harm at the lowest concentration but none at the higher. There are other sleight-of-hands with this study, not that you could identify or accept though.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 25 Aug 2017 #permalink

"It is only insane to you because you don’t agree with the outcome and can’t proffer a reasonable critique of the methods."

But...if you repeat the studies over and over and over again, there's always the chance of an anomalous, non-statistically significant finding detrimental to vaccination, and if that's debunked instead of being shouted to the rooftops, it means the gummint is suppressing the TRUTH!

We need more studies, lots and lots of them.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 25 Aug 2017 #permalink

@NARAD asked: So, howsabout you pick one “rare-but-serious type” event, and play Find The Sample Size? Confidence level, power, and your threshold for conceding no effect will suffice.

Okay. Death is a rare-but-serious event known to occur with vaccinations.

Here's a convenient web-calculator for computing sample size for a given power and proportions: http://powerandsamplesize.com/Calculators/Test-1-Proportion/1-Sample-1-…

I input the null hypothesis as p = 0.000001 - i.e. an expected rate of 1 in a million. If we hypothesize that the true rate is actually 1 in 10,000 (an increase of two orders of magnitude regarding the rate of death) or more with a 5% error rate and a power of 95%, we need a sample size of 33,341. If we hypothesize that the true rate is actually 1 in 100,000 (an increase of only 1 order of magnitude), we would need a sample size of 577,659. Drop the power to 80% (i.e. a 20% chance of the sample wrongly concluding that there is no effect of the size specified), we can drop that last sample size to only 228,763. The less than 2,000 given in the report that was referenced is simply not large enough to detect rare events
with a probability less than 1 in 10,000.

By Beth Clarkson (not verified) on 25 Aug 2017 #permalink

Vaccine Papers are you sure you are not Travis the Troll. Find a good toxicology reference work and look up the daily aluminum body load for a human (you can find body load data for difference age ranges) and compare the daily aluminum body load to the amount of aluminum in a vaccine. I'll leave it up to you to do the math but percentage is really, really small. Then remember dose makes the poison.

Vaccine Papers are you sure you are not Travis the Troll.

He's not but Travis adores Dan Steinberg aka Vaccine Papers and the royal "we".

By Science Mom (not verified) on 25 Aug 2017 #permalink

Indeed. I haven't seen Travis around lately, but I'm sure he'll try to make a reappearance at some point, unfortunately.

Beth - you really believe that vaccines are killing 1 in 10,000 people?

Yes. Just for comparison Beth's estimate, if it were actually true, would mean that, for every 1,000,000 children vaccinated, 100 die from vaccines. That's an incredible number that no health officials could hide, no matter how hard they tried, given the tens of millions vaccinated every year in just the US and the billions vaccinated over the last five decades.

By way of further comparison, the CDC reports that ~23,000 infants and less than 4,000 children aged 1-4 die every year, or around 27,000 deaths under the age of 5 every year.

@Lawrence - No. I don't think they are that high. I was asked about how large sample sizes need to be to establish rates of rare but serious adverse reactions. I was responding to that question.

By Beth Clarkson (not verified) on 25 Aug 2017 #permalink

@Beth Clarkson:

Death is a rare-but-serious event known to occur with vaccinations.

Citation needed. And not from the Vaccine Package Inserts, which are CYA documents written by lawyers. Actual verifiable proof that a vaccine CAUSED a death.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 25 Aug 2017 #permalink

Science Mom, Orac, I know vaccine papers isn't Travis the Troll. It is just a backhanded insult on my part.

@Julian Frost,

The VICP lists 1234 claims for death from vaccination, but doesn't state how many claims were awarded. I've never seen a cite for the actual number but someone (perhaps Chris?) stated there were at least a few.

We can get a rough estimate of the risk since they are lumped into the 16555 adjudications over 29 years and 2/3 of those were dismissed. So perhaps 411 of those might have been judged as caused by vaccines. If one third of those (137) occurred in the last 10 years when 2,845,946,816 doses were administered, the risk of death per dose is about one in 20.77 million. And that's probably a high estimate.

It's also much lower than Beth's null hypothesis number and much, much lower than the risk of death from diseases like measles, diphtheria, influenza, etc.

Which is why we vaccinate as many people as possible and manufacturers pay up front to compensate the unfortunate few who suffer a major side effect.

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 25 Aug 2017 #permalink

Shay, Johnny, JF: By 'military' I meant the generals and the high-ranking people, not rank and file soldiers. Sorry for not being specific.

SM: MJD was being a creep. As usual.

Lawrence: Categorization is a survival skill. I'm actually nice in real life, I just don't believe in giving quarter.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 25 Aug 2017 #permalink

The less than 2,000 given in the report that was referenced is simply not large enough to detect rare events with a probability less than 1 in 10,000.

Post-marketing surveillance, duh. Why don't you compute the sample size required for death which is reasonably accepted as 1:1,000,000 doses. Tell us what the probability of and practicality of incorporating that into a phase III clinical trial.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 25 Aug 2017 #permalink

Shay, Johnny, JF: By ‘military’ I meant the generals and the high-ranking people, not rank and file soldiers. Sorry for not being specific.

Nope. You're still just as wrong.

But…if you repeat the studies over and over and over again, there’s always the chance of an anomalous, non-statistically significant finding detrimental to vaccination

And once you announce the discovery of a paradoxical non-linear response, then the absence of any toxicity at high dosage leaves open the possibility that there might be an effect at a sufficiently low dose. In fact no study can ever exclude that possibility (maybe the dose in published studies wasn't quite small enough). Huzzah!

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 25 Aug 2017 #permalink

Understood - but don't expect that I'm not going to call you out when necessary.

@Vaccine Papers (Dan)

Why do you persist in calling your cited Crepeaux study as being representative of what happens in human infants?

Firstly, they gace aluminium hydroxide, when much of the human infant adjuvant is phosphate, and you if anyone should know they are not bioequivalent.

Secondly, they gave 200, 400 and 800mcg/kg doses of aluminium equivalent at birth, when humans only recieve a dose of 71mcg/Kg at birth. Why did they so muck up their vax schedule so as to render their results meaningless?

Shay, Johnny, JF: By ‘military’ I meant the generals and the high-ranking people, not rank and file soldiers.

Where...exactly...do you think generals and high ranking people come from?

And Johnny is correct, you're still wrong.

By shay simmons (not verified) on 25 Aug 2017 #permalink

Sometimes I think NWO's mental image of a vaccine looks like that bit in X-Men2 where Mystique injects some liquid metal into Magneto's guard so he (Magneto) can escape.

Pro tip: superhero movies are not real life.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 25 Aug 2017 #permalink

"Since there was no association with severe adverse events in young children or with induration in older children, we believe any association with chronic outcomes to be unlikely"

This is not a logical inference. It can take months or years for neurological or immune damage to manifest. Aluminum adjuvant persists in the body for years, and it slowly accumulates in the brain over months and possibly years. So there is no valid reason to think that a lack of acute effects indicates no long term chronic effects.

Would you argue that asbestos or tobacco are safe because they produce mild or no acute effects? Of course not. SO this statement by Jefferson is unscientific and absurd. Its not scientific and has no supporting evidence.

Most of the studies included in Jefferson 2004 compared adjuvanted vs non-adjuvanted DTP. It is known that non-adjuvanted DTP produces stronger acute inflammation, presumably because Al adjuvant tends to delay/attenuate the acute inflammation.

But acute inflammation is not the concern with Al adjuvant. The concern is long term inflammation created by the Al adjuvant, especially in the brain.

"We found no comparative evidence assessing any possible associations between exposure to aluminium adjuvants and rare and hitherto little known outcomes such as macrophagic myofasciitis."

Im not talking about MF. Im talking about brain injury in INFANTS from the dangerous CDC schedule.

"You’re obviously ignorant of ethical study design."

it is unethical to allow marketing of pharmaceutical products lacking evidence of safety.

"derived from large population trials and cohort studies has shown no evidence of serious or long-term effects. 6,20 "

Ref 6 is: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12706690
Includes studies comparing DTP to "placebos" containing aluminum. So, it cannot be used to assert the safety of aluminum. Thye ":controls" also received aluminum. Also, it looks at only one vaccine, and so does not compare to unvaccinated controls that receive zero aluminum, since all subjects receive aluminum from other vaccines.

Ref 20 is a study of Hep B vaccine and MS in ADULTS. Not relevant to concerns about neurotoxicity in infants.

To show safety of Al adjuvant, you must have studies with controls that do not receive any aluminum adjuvant. Or animal studies would also constitute evidence. But you dont have any of those. ALL animal studies looking at neurotoxicity of Al adjuvant report that it causes brain injury.

":Find a good toxicology reference work and look up the daily aluminum body load for a human (you can find body load data for difference age ranges) and compare the daily aluminum body load to the amount of aluminum in a vaccine."

I have already done that, and the conclusion is that vaccines contain neurotoxic amounts of aluminum, even when the analysis is limited to the solubilized Al3+ released by the adjuvant particles.

Its not scientific to assert Al adjuvant safety while only considering the dissolved Al released by the adjuvant. This is what the Mitkus 2011 paper does, and its a wrong analysis. Aluminum adjuvant comprises low-solubility, persistent particles, which have different kinetics and toxicity compared to soluble aluminum salts. Particles are toxic per se, due to surface chemistry.

And besides, even if only the solubilized portion of aluminum adjuvant is considered, the evidence indicates toxicity. This is because solubilized Al3+ is more toxic than previously believed. The Mitkus analysis is based on a NOAEL of 26 mg/kg/day in animals (from a 2001 study), which has been shown to be wrong in more recent studies. Several studies in animals show toxic effects from ingested Al at much lower dosages (e.g. 3,4 mg/kg/day).

The errors with Mitkus are analysed here: http://vaccinepapers.org/debunking-aluminum-adjuvant-part-2/

By Vaccine Papers (not verified) on 25 Aug 2017 #permalink

But acute inflammation is not the concern with Al adjuvant. The concern is long term inflammation created by the Al adjuvant, especially in the brain.

Im not talking about MF. Im talking about brain injury in INFANTS from the dangerous CDC schedule.

One of the problems, as I keep telling my wife, with kitties, puppies, and babies is that they don't last. In other words, when you're speaking of an infant, there is no long term: the infant stops being an infant PDQ

By Se Habla Espol (not verified) on 26 Aug 2017 #permalink

In reply to by Vaccine Papers (not verified)

The 4 studies in Jefferson 2004 that look at infants have follow-up periods of

24 hours
7 days
2 weeks
up to 6 weeks max.

None of these studies considered neurological outcomes.

So, you cannot use these studies as evidence for neurological safety of Al adjuvant, no matter what OPINIONS are expressed by Jefferson 2004.

The arguments made here in defense of Al adjuvant are not evidence-based. You have no evidence of neurological safety. Like I said, you SUCK at scientific reasoning.

By Vaccine Papers (not verified) on 25 Aug 2017 #permalink

"We doubt whether there is sufficient evidence to support further research on the topic or a potentially far-reaching decision such as the replacement of aluminium salts in vaccines."

This is ARGUMENT FROM CONSEQUENCES, a logical fallacy.

Translation: "the prospect of having to replace aluminum adjuvant is daunting, so lets just assume its safe. Dont rock the boat."

By Vaccine Papers (not verified) on 25 Aug 2017 #permalink

"You don’t even question why mice would show harm at the lowest concentration but none at the higher."

This is thoroughly explained and demonstrated in the study. its because the higher dosages have lower transport into the brain. And thats a result of higher LOCAL inflammation.

High local inflammation at the injected site prevents the aluminum adjuvant from traveling to the brain.

So, once again, you are making stuff up and not reading the papers.

By Vaccine Papers (not verified) on 25 Aug 2017 #permalink

This is thoroughly explained and demonstrated in the study. its because the higher dosages have lower transport into the brain. And thats a result of higher LOCAL inflammation.

This is not a thorough explanation. It is a completely made up reason to fit the data (poor as they are) to the conclusion. There is no external evidence that this argument is even plausible, let alone demonstrated.

You have just quite nicely demonstrated what a fool you are. You have nitpicked Jefferson et al., even to the point of inventing reason for why no differences were found, but have turned around and accepted Crepeaux et al.'s explanations for an unprecedented finding of an inverse dose response at face value. And you expect people to take you seriously.

By Chris Preston (not verified) on 25 Aug 2017 #permalink

@ Chris Preston, you nailed it and Dan's obvious bias. He also pretends as though Jefferson et al. is the only study on aluminium adjuvants, not to mention their legacy. What else can you say to someone like that?

By Science Mom (not verified) on 26 Aug 2017 #permalink

@Vaccine Papers #176:

Aluminum adjuvant persists in the body for years, and it slowly accumulates in the brain over months and possibly years.

Citation needed, and make it something better than the cites you've used so far.

Would you argue that asbestos or tobacco are safe because they produce mild or no acute effects?

Inappropriate comparison. The South African schedule lists 14 vaccines for the first 18 months of life. How is less than one vaccine a month supposed to compare to daily exposure to asbestos fibres or to smoking several cigarettes a day every day?

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 26 Aug 2017 #permalink

Would you argue that asbestos or tobacco are safe because they produce mild or no acute effects?

This will surely come as news to some billion cigarette smokers.

I was asked about how large sample sizes need to be to establish rates of rare but serious adverse reactions.

And your threshold for conceding no effect, but I'll get back to that. (I'm not going to check the sample-size calculation, but as I've learned here, the assumption of a normal distribution is going to break down for some of those outputs, although enormous sample sizes may moot the issue.)

But the point is this:

In context, I was referring to computing the total risk. If the total risk was provided, I would not care how it was apportioned out. Since the total risk was not provided, the additional information about placebos was needed in order to better estimate the total risk.

Well, how do you compute the "total risk" if not by adding up individual risks? And when do you decide which ones aren't worth looking further for – other than by postmarketing surveillance – if they don't show up in smaller samples?

Crepeaux 2017 provides evidence for the relationship between dosage and transport. High dosages produce local granulomas, and low doses do not. High doses do not produce an increase in brain aluminum content, low doses do.

Jefferson does not provide ANY evidence for neurological safety of aluminum adjuvant.

Where is your evidence that aluminum adjuvant is neurologically safe?

Where? Please cite?

Jefferson 2004 does not provide ANY evidence or data supporting the neurological safety of aluminum adjuvant. It only reports ACUTE effects.

By Vaccine Papers (not verified) on 26 Aug 2017 #permalink

High doses do not produce an increase in brain aluminum content, low doses do.

So your argument then is that the vaccines don't have a large enough amount of Aluminum Phosphate to protect the patient from neurological sequelæ. Interesting.

By Se Habla Espol (not verified) on 26 Aug 2017 #permalink

In reply to by Vaccine Papers (not verified)

"He also pretends as though Jefferson et al. is the only study on aluminium adjuvants"

Its the only study of Al adjuvant safety you cited.

There is also Mitkus 2011, but this is also garbage.

There is no evidence that aluminum adjuvants are neurologically safe. All the evidence we have strongly indicates that Al adjuvants cause brain damage and autism specifically.

The link to autism is the cytokine IL-6. Aluminum stimulates IL-6 in the brain, and IL-6 in the brain causes autism.

By Vaccine Papers (not verified) on 26 Aug 2017 #permalink

Out of curiosity - if this connection is real and so clear, why is it allowed in vaccines?

By CJTX (not verified) on 26 Aug 2017 #permalink

In reply to by Vaccine Papers (not verified)

Its the only study of Al adjuvant safety you cited.

Yup but not the only study and you can't even parse that correctly. When there is no indication that something is harmful as used then you don't keep throwing money and labour away tilting at windmills.

There is no evidence that aluminum adjuvants are neurologically safe. All the evidence we have strongly indicates that Al adjuvants cause brain damage and autism specifically.

Sure if you say so Dan not-a-scientist. Except for the rest of us who know how to interpret studies, there is no "strong evidence" of neurological harms. You just accept really crappy methodology.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 26 Aug 2017 #permalink

"When there is no indication that something is harmful..."

Thats another false statement.

"Except for the rest of us who know how to interpret studies, there is no “strong evidence” of neurological harms."

CITATION NEEDED.

"Out of curiosity – if this connection is real and so clear, why is it allowed in vaccines?"

Science denial, as practiced here at Respectful Insolence. Ask the science deniers here why they believe in the safety of aluminum adjuvant without any evidence. You wont get much of an answer. The analysis isnt any better at the highest levels of the corrupt and incompetent medical establishment: the NIH, CDC, FDA etc.

They believe nonsense and refuse to cite science to support their belief in aluminum adjuvant safety.

For example, its common practice to cite studies or MMR when asked about the safety of aluminum adjuvant and autism.

Hey ORAC-where is your evidence that aluminum adjuvant is neurologically safe?

By Vaccine Papers (not verified) on 26 Aug 2017 #permalink

"Out of curiosity – if this connection is real and so clear, why is it allowed in vaccines?"

The science here is relatively recent. All these disooveries have been made in the last 10 years:

1) that microglial activation and IL-6/IL-17 specifically cause autism.
2) that aluminum adjuvant particles travel into the brain.
3) that aluminum adjuvant causes long term, chronic inflammation, microglial activation and IL-6 expression in the brain.

its taking a while for people to understand the connections here. There is political resistance to these new discoveries, which also threaten a huge industry and the reputations of medical institutions. They have been dead wrong for decades about vaccine safety and their reputations will be severely damaged as these discoveries become more widely understood.

By Vaccine Papers (not verified) on 26 Aug 2017 #permalink

"that microglial activation and IL-6/IL-17 specifically cause autism."

Wow, I'm sure that'll be news to all the parents, researchers, and doctors looking for the cause of autism.

How come I haven't read about that yet?

By CJTX (not verified) on 26 Aug 2017 #permalink

In reply to by Vaccine Papers (not verified)

Whose time machine is used to transport the aluminum or the IL-6/IL-17 or whatever from the time of vaccination back in time to the brain's development of autism? There's a link missing in your purported chain of causation, involving that sort of time travel.

By Se Habla Espol (not verified) on 26 Aug 2017 #permalink

In reply to by Vaccine Papers (not verified)

High doses do not produce an increase in brain aluminum content, low doses do.

Only when pigs fly backwards.

Where is your evidence that aluminum adjuvant is neurologically safe?

How about starting with the millions of vaccinations given around the world every year and work from there. There is a thing called post-market surveillance.

There is no evidence that aluminum adjuvants are neurologically safe. All the evidence we have strongly indicates that Al adjuvants cause brain damage and autism specifically.

All the evidence strongly indicates that autism is not caused by vaccines. It has been studied over and over and over again.

By Chris Preston (not verified) on 26 Aug 2017 #permalink

"How about starting with the millions of vaccinations given around the world every year and work from there. There is a thing called post-market surveillance."

Thats meaningless with regard to neurological outcomes. Detecting neuro outcomes requires actual scientific study, with controls that do not receive aluminum adjuvant. This is science 101.

Your argument is mere handwaving. Cite some science.

"All the evidence strongly indicates that autism is not caused by vaccines. It has been studied over and over and over again."

Only MMR has been studied, and MMR does not contain aluminum.

You cannot use studies of MMR to assert the neuro safety of vaccines in general.

By Vaccine Papers (not verified) on 26 Aug 2017 #permalink

Detecting neuro outcomes requires actual scientific study, with controls that do not receive aluminum adjuvant. This is science 101.

So Science 101 is as far as your education got? Apparently you didn't understand even that very well, since you used the word "requires".

Epidemiology was obviously not even hinted at in whatever "education" you got.

By Se Habla Espol (not verified) on 26 Aug 2017 #permalink

In reply to by Vaccine Papers (not verified)

"Only when pigs fly backwards."

So you are a science denier. Got it.

By Vaccine Papers (not verified) on 26 Aug 2017 #permalink

"High doses do not produce an increase in brain aluminum content, low doses do."

Sounds like homeopathy!

Chris Preston: "All the evidence strongly indicates that autism is not caused by vaccines. It has been studied over and over and over again."

Vaccine Papers: "Only MMR has been studied, and MMR does not contain aluminum.

You cannot use studies of MMR to assert the neuro safety of vaccines in general."

Good to see that Vaccine Papers has concluded that the MMR vaccine does not cause autism or any neurologic disorder (the "Vaxxed" crowd must be very displeased with you). :(

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 26 Aug 2017 #permalink

So you are a science denier. Got it.

That's invocation No. 5 and counting from ol' 'ddanimal'.

@DB (20)

The topic has long passed, but I remembered this thread when I watched this video.
It seems you can get away with wearing a double breasted suit completely unbuttoned if you're David Letterman.
https://youtu.be/eBk4Uq49TW0

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 26 Aug 2017 #permalink

CITATION NEEDED.

Sorry snookums. You made the claim; you put up.

Speaking of citations needed:

1) that microglial activation and IL-6/IL-17 specifically cause autism.
2) that aluminum adjuvant particles travel into the brain.
3) that aluminum adjuvant causes long term, chronic inflammation, microglial activation and IL-6 expression in the brain.

1.) That would be Dan abusing in utero infection studies extrapolated to his aluminium obsession.
2.) Hey Dan, what is the order of tissue distribution for aluminium? Hey Dan, how much of that aluminium is excreted in 24 hours and so on before it can even zoom off to the brain? Hey Dan how much actually gets into brain tissue? Please use valid cites that don't involve Shaw, Exley, Gherardi or Crapeaux.
3.) Nothing accepted by anyone but Dan and the aluminium grifters mentioned above. Definitely citation needed.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 26 Aug 2017 #permalink

"Sorry snookums. You made the claim; you put up."

Im talking about YOUR claim that aluminum adjuvant is neurologically safe and does not cause autism.

Where in Jefferson 2004 is there evidence for neurological safety? Because none of the included 8 studies looked at neurological outcomes, and none had follow-up periods long enough to detect neurological outcomes.

"More complete bullshït."

I correct myself: only MMR, thimerosal, and antigen number have been studied. None of these studies can be used as evidence of safety for aluminum adjuvant.

Where is your evidence that aluminum adjuvant is safe with respect to neurological injuries and autism?

What is your reason for rejecting all the papers by Shaw, Exley, Gherardi and Crepeaux? In scientific discourse, papers are fair game if they are peer reviewed and published in competent journals. Thats the case with papers by these scientists.

Nevertheless, here is a new paper reviewing the relationship between aluminum and neurodisorders by Fry of U of Arkansas. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs11011-017-0077-2.pdf

QUOTES:

"aluminium exposure is associated
with the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and
chemokines and with the development of chronic oxidative
stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and glial activation or dysfunction;
these changes in turn are associated with ASD."

"It would seem prudent to try to find an alternative to aluminium adjuvants
as soon as possible and phase out their use."

"how much of that aluminium is excreted in 24 hours and so on before it can even zoom off to the brain? "

Very little. Less than 1%. Flarend 1997 found that Al excretion was 6% and 22% for AlOH and AlPO4 at 28 days. See also Movsas 2013, which found no detectable Al increase in blood or urine.

There are several studies on IL-6/IL-17 and autism, providing evidence of causation.

examples:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22326556

http://www.jneurosci.org/content/27/40/10695

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26822608

By Vaccine Papers (not verified) on 26 Aug 2017 #permalink

High local inflammation at the injected site prevents the aluminum adjuvant from traveling to the brain.

Now I am imagining the aluminium-phosphate particles as little nano-scale zombies, chanting BRAINZZZ in sepulchral voices as they maKe their way through the body towards their teleological destination. Unless their path is blocked by an ad-hoc just-so-story of local inflammation. CURSEZZZ THWARTED AGAIN.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 26 Aug 2017 #permalink

High local inflammation at the injected site prevents the aluminum adjuvant from traveling to the brain.

What happens when the 'high local inflammation' goes down?

“High doses do not produce an increase in brain aluminum content, low doses do.”
.
The implications are mind-boggling: If this is true then a dose without aluminum must be fatal!

In other vaguely related news I see that the World Mercury Project challenge has finished with the World Mercury Project pocketing the proceeds.

Such is life.

By Chris Preston (not verified) on 27 Aug 2017 #permalink

In other vaguely related news I see that the World Mercury Project challenge has finished with the World Mercury Project pocketing the proceeds.

Wow, literally nobody predicted that, apart from people with vowels in their names.

By Guy Chapman (not verified) on 28 Aug 2017 #permalink

In reply to by Chris Preston (not verified)

I almost forgot that Dan was a fluoride crank before turning to vaccines, Science Denialsts.

^ Rats, "Science Deniers."

Just a drive-by comment. This paper, cited above, published by Springer (Nevertheless, here is a new paper reviewing the relationship between aluminum and neurodisorders by Fry of U of Arkansas. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs11011-017-0077-2.pdf) is very odd.

Even within my subspeciality of knowledge, it suddenly goes off into suggesting that MMR contains aluminium, and that a paper by De Stefano in 2007 had been critiqued by Hooker, and all that crap we know about. It even seems to imply that MMR contains mercury.

But, as I understand it, live virus vaccines don't contain aluminium.

Nor was De Stefano's paper critiqued by Hooker published in 2007, or in the journal cited. The paper was in 2004 in Pediatrics.

Nor, of course, does MMR contain mercury.

It really made me wonder about the authors, the first of whom gives no institutional affiliation.

By Brian Deer (not verified) on 27 Aug 2017 #permalink

Well, Richard Frye has testified for the petitioner at least once before in Vaccine Court:

http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions-orders/14-508…

Morris is microbiologist and a self-described "patient advocate" and has been mentioned favorably in Bolen Report by Kent Heckenlively:

http://bolenreport.com/plague-best-science-book-havent-read/

Basant Puri has promoted a supplement he sells (VegEPA) based on dodgy research. Ben Goldacre told the tale:

http://www.badscience.net/2007/03/pushing-the-habit/

Lots of dodgy stuff there for all three, plus the red flags of citing dubious studies.

herr doktor bimler (#207) writes,

... as little nano-scale zombies, chanting BRAINZZZ in sepulchral voices as they maKe their way through the body towards their teleological destination.

MJD says,

An exemplary example of respectful insolence.

Kudos to HDB for showing Politicalguineapig (PGP) that creative writing is more persuasive than crude insults.

Since Orac refuses do anything about the inappropriate comments from PGP, I'm going to consistently and deliberately spell her abbreviated nym backwards in contempt (e.g., PGP).

Q. What happens when aluminum-phosphate particles bind to vaccine contaminants and/or beneficial proteins.

A. Local inflammation and memory b-cell formation that affects antibody formation and neural pruning in a child that is vulnerable to developing an autism spectrum disorder.

By Michael J. Dochniak (not verified) on 27 Aug 2017 #permalink

@ Narad (#211),

Thanks for showing us that Dan (a.k.a., Vaccine Papers) is also a water safety advocate.

By Michael J. Dochniak (not verified) on 27 Aug 2017 #permalink

@Vaccine Papers #206, I clicked on your three links.
Link 1) Error encountered.
Link 2) Money quote from the abstract: "The offspring of women who experience infection while pregnant have an increased risk for [Schizophrenia and Autism]."
It's an argument FOR vaccination, not against it. Influenza during pregnancy is a risk factor for schizophrenia. From the introduction:

Over 25 studies have analyzed schizophrenia incidence after influenza epidemics, and the majority have found an increased incidence among exposed offspring.

Link 3) The very first sentence of the abstract:

Viral infection during pregnancy has been correlated with increased frequency of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in offspring.

In other words, diseases can cause schizophrenia and autism, and vaccines, by preventing these diseases, LOWER the risk of getting them.
Did you even read what you posted? Or did you just post it assuming that it supported your viewpoint?

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 27 Aug 2017 #permalink

Brian Deer (#213) writes,

It really made me wonder about the authors, the first of whom gives no institutional affiliation.

MJD says,

Furthermore, the academic protocol wherein the primary author is listed last, in my opinion, is a twisted display-of-power and manipulative.

Q. Is placing the primary author's name last a display of honesty and integrity.

Notice that Andrew J. Wakefield was listed first on the following controversial paper.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9500320

Was Dr. Wakefield the "least" of secondary authors or a brave primary author?

By Michael J. Dochniak (not verified) on 27 Aug 2017 #permalink

Link 1) Error encountered.

Worked for me. The payload is here. A quick skim led to a bit of mirth; nowhere does it suggest that "IL-6 in the brain causes autism," as, y'know, the title suggests.

@Julian,

The first link worked for me.

It's a 2012 study of mice by Hong end Wei et al.
The mice were injected at birth with an adenovirus to over express IL-6,

Nothing about aluminum that I could see.

They found changes in behavior and brain structure on post mortem.

It also referenced the second link.

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 27 Aug 2017 #permalink

@Narad (#219),

Thanks for showing us that Dan (a.k.a., Vaccine Papers) has the intestinal fortitude to place his ideas into the public domain for the planned betterment of mankind effect on climate change.

By Michael J. Dochniak (not verified) on 27 Aug 2017 #permalink

I see I missed something. In the main body of #206, Vaccine Papers posted a link.
I clicked on the link. It's a PDF on Springer, and Open Access.
Can anyone say "predatory publisher"?

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 27 Aug 2017 #permalink

Can anyone say “predatory publisher”?

Not in the Beall sense.

'In other words, diseases can cause schizophrenia and autism, and vaccines, by preventing these diseases, LOWER the risk of getting them."

Not if the method of prevention also triggers the causal mechanism: inflammation.

And thats what aluminum adjuvant does.

By Vaccine Papers (not verified) on 27 Aug 2017 #permalink

Nevertheless, here is a new paper reviewing the relationship between aluminum and neurodisorders by Fry of U of Arkansas. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs11011-017-0077-2.pdf

Frye &c cite (inter alia)
Siniscalco D, Cirillo A, Bradstreet JJ, Antonucci N (2013) Epigenetic Findings in Autism: New Perspectives for Therapy. Int J Environ Res Public Health 10(9):4261-
4273.

Siniscalco is (alas) a medscammer, and his CV at Frontiers documents an impressively wide range of autism-cure and autism-detection scams -- including stem-cell injections and the GcMAF grift.

In this particular citation he collaborated with Jeff Bradstreet, familiar to RI readers, a broad-spectrum autism exploiter who never saw a scam he didn't want to steal.

But mainly I was wondering about this other Diniscalco citation in Frye &co:
Siniscalco D (2015) Commentary: The Impact of Neuroimmune Alterations in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Front Psychiatry 6:145.
doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2015.00145

The DOI leads nowhere. The link to it within the Frontiers archives is equally defunct. Is this an unannounced retraction, or simply Frontiers incompetence?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 27 Aug 2017 #permalink

It’s a 2012 study of mice by Hong end Wei et al.
The mice were injected at birth with an adenovirus to over express IL-6,

Ah, another specimen of "autistic mice" junk science.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 27 Aug 2017 #permalink

Is this an unannounced retraction, or simply Frontiers incompetence?

I'm guessing the latter. PMC has the published PDF.

^ Then again, it is seemingly pointless semi-English. Why anyone would cite it is beyond me.

Does RFK Jackass have any credibility left with the environmental movement? Here he is sucking up to the Tangerine-in-Chief, completely ignoring (and therefore passively condoning) Trump's actions in destroying established climate science. In other words, he's trading any influence he might have combatting a world-wide threat, for support for his pet delusion. He has become a pathetic joke.

Since Orac refuses do anything about the inappropriate comments from PGP

You could do something about that yourself. Stop posting and save us all the trouble of skipping through your senseless comments.

By Chris Preston (not verified) on 27 Aug 2017 #permalink

Then again, it is seemingly pointless semi-English. Why anyone would cite it is beyond me.

Why Siniscalco paid Frontiers to publish his vapid praise also escapes me. If you check the paper he's commenting on, he turns out to have also reviewed it; perhaps he thought his glowing review was so cogent, it deserved a wider readership.

The second reviewer of "The impact of neuroimmune alterations in autism spectrum disorder" was Hongen Wei, of Shanxi Medical University. Who was also the sole reviewer of Siniscalco's Commentary. It all gets rather log-rolly and incestuous.

Siniscalco has a history of this. He reviewed a notorious Frontiers paper by his business colleagues Bradstreet, Pacini & Ruggiero (on diagnosing autism by incompetent use of an ultrasound scanner and Photoshop), then paid Frontiers to print his review as a fulsome Comment on the paper (which was reviewed by other close colleagues from the same circle of grift).
https://pubpeer.com/publications/EF08BD817D82C7611935C13CB44FAA

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 27 Aug 2017 #permalink

"It’s a 2012 study of mice by Hong end Wei et al.
The mice were injected at birth with an adenovirus to over express IL-6,

Nothing about aluminum that I could see."

Other researchb shows that aluminum adjuvant travels into the brain, causes microglial activation in the brain, and increases IL-6 production in the brain.

Aluminum adjuvant >> inflammation + IL-6 in the brain >>autism

This is where the science is at today. But the pathological skeptics will be the absolute last to understand what has been discovered.

By Vaccine Papers (not verified) on 27 Aug 2017 #permalink

@Vaccine Papers:

Not if the method of prevention also triggers the causal mechanism: inflammation.

Citation needed that inflammation is a causal mechanism for schizophrenia and autism. Citation needed that vaccines cause the type of inflammation that according to you results in autism and schizophrenia.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 27 Aug 2017 #permalink

Oh, almost forgot.
Citation needed that vaccines cause MORE inflammation than the diseases they prevent.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 27 Aug 2017 #permalink

creative writing is more persuasive than crude insults.

My goal is always to combine the two in a single comment.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 27 Aug 2017 #permalink

Nevertheless, here is a new paper reviewing the relationship between aluminum and neurodisorders by Fry of U of Arkansas.

Gerwyn Morris!!!

Oh happy memories of Gerwyn proving he knew next to nothing about biology during the XMRV fiasco.

That was around about the same time as the cyanobacteria cause ME fiasco.

By Chris Preston (not verified) on 27 Aug 2017 #permalink

Wait what, Gerwyn a.k.a. V99 a.k.a. umpteen other sockpuppets, who had a self-diagnosis of ME/CFS and self-taught expertise in microbiology, and had very strong views about the aetiological role of a viral contaminant, largely expressed in the safe environment of friendly bulletin boards? That Gerwyn Morris?

If I am following Morris's oeuvre correctly, XMRV causes autism, and mercury contamination causes autism, and aluminium causes autism. Is there anything that doesn't cause autism?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 28 Aug 2017 #permalink

That Gerwyn Morris?

Indeed that Gerwyn Morris. He has managed a quite impressive oeuvre since he took up writing 'scientific' papers in 2013. He has managed to determine the causes of bipolar disorder, autism, depression, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, cancer and of course chronic fatigue syndrome. Worked out what Coenzyme Q depletion does, the dangers of the Zika virus and identified new drug targets. All without managing to conduct a single piece of experimental work.

By Chris Preston (not verified) on 28 Aug 2017 #permalink

Im talking about YOUR claim that aluminum adjuvant is neurologically safe and does not cause autism.

Do try to keep up Dan:

There is no evidence that aluminum adjuvants are neurologically safe. All the evidence we have strongly indicates that Al adjuvants cause brain damage and autism specifically.

What is your reason for rejecting all the papers by Shaw, Exley, Gherardi and Crepeaux? In scientific discourse, papers are fair game if they are peer reviewed and published in competent journals. Thats the case with papers by these scientists.

Sigh, this is what happens when you have amateurs trying science. Peer review and the publisher are no guarantee of quality. Their methods are poor and results are dodgy. But you'd know that if you knew how to parse a study and have an obvious bias.

Nevertheless, here is a new paper reviewing the relationship between aluminum and neurodisorders by Fry of U of Arkansas. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs11011-017-0077-2.pdf

Whoop de do a review by a person who cosies up to the AutOne crowd and cites all your crap scientists and "research".

Very little. Less than 1%. Flarend 1997 found that Al excretion was 6% and 22% for AlOH and AlPO4 at 28 days. See also Movsas 2013, which found no detectable Al increase in blood or urine.

Let's take a look at the whole passage given your propensity to cherry-pick:

Cumulative urinary excretion of aluminium (Figure 2) indicates that the body is able to eliminate the aluminium absorbed from the adjuvants. The cumulative amount of aluminium eliminated in the urine during the 28 days of the study was 6% of the AH adjuvant dose and 22% of the AP adjuvant dose. Aluminium from both adjuvants was still being excreted at a steady rate at day 28.

You fail to understand that aluminium adjuvants are not immediately absorbed. Now why don't you tell us the tissue distribution Dan? You keep avoiding answering that.

There are several studies on IL-6/IL-17 and autism, providing evidence of causation.

examples:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22326556

http://www.jneurosci.org/content/27/40/10695

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26822608

Anyone can see how you abuse irrelevant literature to support your case. It's really obvious and pathetic.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 28 Aug 2017 #permalink

Aluminum adjuvant >> inflammation + IL-6 in the brain >>autism

This is where the science is at today. But the pathological skeptics will be the absolute last to understand what has been discovered.

I find it truly amazing that not only can aluminium cause all manner of pathologies according to Dan the Vaccine Papers man yet no documented pathologies occur with what aluminium grifters claim aluminium does.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 28 Aug 2017 #permalink

Indeed that Gerwyn Morris. He has managed a quite impressive oeuvre since he took up writing ‘scientific’ papers in 2013.

PubMed says the first Morris-Maes paper was 2012 (in our old friend Med.Hyp.):
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22951418
There was chatter in the ME/CFS bulletin boards that this was one of the papers that Maes had written and was shopping around for someone to co-author (after he had shifted his CFS practice to Thailand in search of a less rigid regulatory environment). Then a whole sequence of Morris-Maes papers, often in Metab Brain Dis.

In the context of the XMRV story, I knew that Mikovits had co-signed off and accepted the conclusion of the "XMRV = contaminant" joint paper; then rescinded her acceptance, in pursuit of a permanent grifting position in Alt-Med circles as Persecuted Maverick Scientist, Brave Enough to speak the truth. Until just now I didn't realise that she had teamed up with Heckenlively to write sign a book-shaped object.

And Gerwyn turns up in the References as Heckenlively's main informant! Huzzah!

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 28 Aug 2017 #permalink

Yes Mikovits disappeared down the rabbit hole pretty quickly. Mind you, the options she had (all of her own making I should add) were not stunning. She could admit to egregiously faking her results and be forever unemployable as a scientist, completely disappear from view and hope everyone forgot about her, or do the brave maverick grifting thing. She showed her true quality of judgement when she hooked up with Heckenlively though.

Morris was a major disciple of XMRV even well after it had been debunked and one of Judy's few remaining supporters, so no surprise he has a star billing in the novel Plague.

By Chris Preston (not verified) on 28 Aug 2017 #permalink

Mikovits seems to be a regular at all the Autism Scamborees, with her new retconned back-story as Erstwhile Insider who was Forced Out of Science when she could No Longer Hide the Truth.

There's a copy circulating of her presentation to Reinwand's "4th International Congress on Integrative Medicine". At least she has learned not to put faked Western Blots in her PPTs.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 28 Aug 2017 #permalink

I see that RFK Jr's World Mercury Project have published their responses to claims for the $100,000 challenge.
There were not many submissions, but every one was batted away, usually by saying the submissions were not eligible, or with the weasel conclusion "This study does not prove it is safe to inject mercury."
https://worldmercuryproject.org/news/entries-for-the-challenge/

Is there any study that proves anything is safe?

By Brian Deer (not verified) on 30 Aug 2017 #permalink

I learned that RFK jr resigned from Riverkeeper** (Spectrum News March 2017) in order to devote more time to the Mercury Project- also he will also be on the West Coast.***

** I used to get invites to soirees/ benefits for them where he would appear
e.g. Have cocktails at a Georgian Manor with an antivaxxer!
( they didn't really say that)
*** poor California

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 30 Aug 2017 #permalink

Dingo199, were the names of who was on the panel that evaluated that challenge made available?