Antivaccine nonsense Medicine

The annals of “I’m not anti-vaccine,” part 3

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

Part 3 begins right here, in the comments of (where else?) the anti-vaccine crank blog Age of Autism, courtesy of commenter Kathy Blanco:

Jeff, believe it or not riply, I think taking mercury out of vaccines, doesn’t magically make them safer. It is proven that vaccines can cause the immune system to “trip” into autoimmnity against your own tissues if you have predispositions such as complement pathway problems, glutathione block, methylation quirks, autoimmunity in mothers or infections like XMRV/Lyme etc etc. Case in point, numerous vet manuals which warn of this, (hmm, wonder why the vets get it)? and not pediatricians and policy makers, including antibodies to neural tissues and cardio muscles. I am sorry, but something more than mercury is at play in these first cases, and it speaks volumes that around the same time, we unleashed DDT’s and toxins, plastics, bottle fed, put mothers under anesthesia while birthing, put iron fortification in our food supply and a ton of sugar into our foods (the age of food processing). Set up to autism, perfect storm, whatever you want to call it…as well as vets coming home after being heavily vaccinated during WW2. I call vaccines the tipping point. How many people, especially todays children have competent immune quality,… practically none! Some of them come into vaccines upon six hours of their birth after being oxidatively stressed by immediate cord clamping, birth drugs, etc. Then the kids are on formulas with MSG, MANGANESE and IRON and god knows what foreign proteins, and then at the same time tylenol for fevers, especially DURING a vaccine reaction, iron supplements (can cause autism all on it’s own), a round or two of antibiotics, GERD coming up to their eyeballs, and expect them to PURPLE CRY themselves to sleep everynight? We are doing a GRAVE inservice to our children, to treat them like chattle and cattle, and I for one, don’t get the mass experment ideal. Case in point, my unvaccinated grandchildren, with NO health problems, NO autism, coming from a predisposition to autism mind you? Never had an ear infection, rarely sick, and if runny nosed, it resolves in a day. Plueez, this is not NORMAL! LOL…no ear infections ever????? PLLUEEZZZ…don’t insult us. Vaccines have NO VALUE, have never proven to WORK, and are in fact, initiators of NEW DISEASES.

Yep. Ms. Blanco believes that vaccines, in concert with all sorts of environmental toxins, cause all sorts of horrible diseases and conditions and that it’s not any one ingredient like thimerosal that is to blame. It’s the evil vaccines themselves. Ms. Blanco also most emphatically believes that vaccines have “NO VALUE” (note the all-caps, which in Internet-speak tell us that she really, really, believes it, so much so that she’s shouting it to the world. Further, she believes that they “have never been proven to WORK.” (I’m quite surprised that she didn’t use all-caps for the word “never,” actually. That was amazing restraint on her part.) And, of course, she believes that vaccines are “initiators of NEW DISEASES.”

Nope, the “pro-safe vaccine” movement isn’t anti-vaccine at all. They just think vaccines don’t work, have no value, and cause new diseases.

Nope. No anti-vaccine sentiment there.

ADDENDUM: Although this is only somewhat related, Steve Salzberg has posted a nice rebuttal to the antivaccine inanity contained in the video that SafeMinds was trying to run in various theaters over what is a very busy movie weekend, namely the Thanksgiving weekend. The anti-vaccine loons have already descended in the form of Age of Autism’s Media Editor Anne Dachel and Dr. Kenneth P. Stoller. Steve might appreciate some tactical air support right about now.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

59 replies on “The annals of “I’m not anti-vaccine,” part 3”

Has she even heard of smallpox? Did that just go away on its own after 10,000 years without a vaccine?

Interesting how the crazy gets stronger and stronger as you go down Blanco’s comment.

I think taking mercury out of vaccines, doesn’t magically make them safer.

Well I suppose she is, technically, correct on that point at least.

“PLLUEEZZ” Louise.

What puzzles me is, if there’s a “tipping point” (due to all those myriad assaults on humanity that Ms. Blanco postulates), why is it vaccines that must be targeted? What aren’t she and her cohorts demanding that we stop feeding babies out of plastic bottles, remove sugary cereals from kids’ diets or ban MSG?


Sorry, I forgot.

Among the craziness, I spotted:

iron supplements (can cause autism all on it’s own)

I… I am at a lost for words. Dunno by which end to take it.

Ah, maybe this one: Does she mean that all these natural diets with plenty of supplements can cause autism? Last time I checked, the multivitamin/micronutrients pills do have a good amount of iron and other metals (well, good in proportion of human needs).

I don’t know why, but whenever I hear “I’m not anti-vaccine but…”, I hear that line from “Gee, Officer Krupke” in the musical West Side Story:

“…it’s not I’m anti-social, it’s just I’m anti-work…”

I don’t know why that happens.

Ms. Blanco’s “argument” seems to boil down to:

“Vaccines cause autism and they don’t work and I’ll shout down anyone who dares to disagree!”

Data?!? We don’t need no stinkin’ data!

It could possibly be funny (in the right context, whatever that might be) if she wasn’t serious.


Iron overload can from repeated blood transfusions, excessive iron intake or disease of iron metabolism such as hemochromatosis. This is an insidious condition that may be asymptomatic, or may cause joint pain, diabetes mellitus, liver disease including cirrhosis and liver failure, chronic fatigue and impotence. I have never heard of iron overload being implicated in autism. I guess they’re grasping at straws after the Mercury Fail.

Well, iron supplements are dangerous for small children and are not recommended under 3 years of age without a doctor’s prescription (severe anemia, for instance). But this is the first time I’ve heard someone describe IRON as causing autism.

Maybe because it’s born in the heart of dying supergiant stars, at the break even point of nuclear fusion, and that its birth signifies the death of the star?

From a comment by Anne Dachel at Forbes:

FACT: The ones with mercury far exceed EPA safety standards and must be disposed of as toxic waste.

(I prefer to comment here.)

A misleading claim like that just irks me. What irks me more is that you explain it to anti-vaxers, and they don’t get it. I don’t know if they pretend not to get it, or if they don’t have the cognitive skills and education required.

The EPA standards for the environment do not apply to the safety of medicines. What matters is the dose, not the concentration, which can be arbitrarily high (and simultaneously safe) if the volume of water is small enough.

A good example is a dandruff shampoo like Selsun Blue, which contains 1% Selenium Sulfide. That’s 10,000 ppm Selenium Sulfide, where the EPA standard for Selenium toxicity is 1 ppm.
Only someone who’s very dishonest would claim that dandruff shampoo exceeds safety standards 10,000-fold.

@ Joseph

Only someone who’s very dishonest would claim that dandruff shampoo exceeds safety standards 10,000-fold.

Hush, you are going to give ideas to Joe Mercola. See Orac’s post on
shampoo woo.

My vaccinated child, extremely premature at birth, with no health problems, no autism, one ear infection, normal viral infections, no diaper rash, no developmental disorders, scoring above his adjusted age on all Bayley skills tests… blah blah blah.

It must be the VACCINES!

You know, based on anti-vaxxer anecdotal logic, since the removal of mercury from vaccines autism rates have “skyrocketed”.

Therefore the only logical conclusion to be reached is that mercury prevents autism and should be in all vaccines.

I went to the link. Undistilled crazy, and any of them that say they are not “anti-vaccine” are lying. I itched to point out that childhood vaccines do not have thimerosal and (I think) never did … but the comments are moderated, and I’m sure it’s been pointed out to them before.

@kittywhumpus: I’m going to “blame” vaccines for the excellent health of my preemie daughter too. In fact, I think the extra shots (in the form of monthly synagis, for 2 winters!) and iron supplements (she was anemic early on) were her physical and mental health tipping point. 🙂

I can’t imagine what it must be like to have a mind that works like that. And no one seems to challenge or correct anyone else on any anti-vaccine claim, no matter how bizarre.

Case in point, numerous vet manuals which warn of this, (hmm, wonder why the vets get it)?

Orac have you written, or do you have any links to, posts about (non-human) animal vaccines in relation to human vaccines? Did a cursory search and didn’t turn up anything.

At AoA Kathy Blanco later goes on to say:

Not just the mercury…then, the next ingredient, then the next, the next, the next…all of them quite capable of an autism explosion.

Hey SC,
I think the “vets” she’s referring to are military vets and not the animal doctors (spelling fail, can’t remember how to spell that word!)
But I could be wrong, that was some Grade-A crazy to wade through.

I think the “vets” she’s referring to are military vets and not the animal doctors

Hm, I’d be surprised. The guidelines appear to be revised regularly and tailored to pets’ circumstances and activities. Given the nuttiness of the context, I can’t be sure, but someone was just mentioning pet vaccinations to me recently and I think it might be useful to discuss.

SC, a few weeks back I remember hearing a letter from a veterinarian being read on the This Week in Virology podcast. I tried to find it, but could not. The participants of that podcast did say they wanted to do a podcast with vets later (the one from this week was with researchers in Mexico).

Oh, wait… I did find the rant. They have all of the letters read in one file: … It is TWiV #104, and the letter is from Connie. Here is a sample:

Sadly, because companion animal medicine has scant research dollars, we are left primarily with manufacturer-funded research and so had no vaccine (other than Rabies) labelled for 3 year duration of immunity until quite recently. Titers are also quite effective for Distemper and Parvo so are frequently done in lieu of vaccines. I will say also that, having spent an externship on the Navajo reservation where vaccination rates are low, the core vaccines are vitally important.

Strange choice of comments Orac, when there are so many crazy ones to choose from. Even if we restrict ourselves to Blanco there was this gem just the other day on the 8 safety questions post.

“no vaccine is safe in any form, on any schedule, or modified from mercury. PERIOD. Until we get the real science, the public will remain confused where we stand. I believe you have a right to say what goes into your body. We should be all about keeping exemptions and our personal medical freedoms. When did we think it alright to murder the central nervous system for life, cutting off all chances seemingly, for lifetime progession, hope, and real potential? Or, think that taking guesses a child can withstand a biological poison as if your cattle in a field? In my book, working with people to work this out, is like saying to a murderer, it’s ok, you just murdered my kid, but we can work with you and trust you have my best interest at heart. PLUEEZ. They are no better than a premeditated murderer. They know fool well what they are doing and get away with it. We are the fools to think it’s acceptible to have these side effects. We have been lulled into a false sense of security. We have trusted the pharmawhores way too long. Personally, I am sick of the game playing. Boycott their products, then they will listen to us. To do less would do an inservice to the damage our kids have been submitted to.”

Personally I find Patrons99 the most consistently insane, however he is occasionally trumped by others. Like this gem by mothafunka on the Burns interview post.

“This is my opinion also. My son being poisoned with Ethyl Mercury was no accident & is part of a sustained, orchestrated & escalating assault on the health, well being & freedom of humanity which includes Pharma bioterror drugs & vaccines, GMO foods, Electromagnetic warfare involving chemtrails & HAARP, fluoridation of water, the use of Bisphenol A in food & drinks containers, the man made global warming myth, false flag operations such as 9/11, 7/7, & the use of war & imagined enemies to disguise that the real war of terror is really a war against us & our children.

If people knew the evidence that is already in the public domain, there would be a worldwide boycott of work, taxes, mortgages, elections until this entire system was dismantled.

History will see this as a time as a time we emerged as humanity from what is in effect a concentration camp & an attempt by a small group of powerful people to exterminate 90% of humanity & enslave the rest.

This is a global corporate power grab & genocide is one means to this end.

Sound crazy? I was a nurse for 20 years & my speciality was vaccinations & testing for a community drug team.

Watch films by Dr Gary Null & Dr Leonard Horowitz on google videos.

Alex Jones’ Infowars is a great resource site.
Human Resources
A new film which documents on going human experimentation by the military industrial complex.
WARNING. It is harrowing.

I am pleased to see people waking to the deliberate poisoning of our children by these psychopaths.

There is so much good in people but we need to see what is happening before our eyes. This requires courage to comprehend the enormity of it.

Love to all.

By the way could someone tell me how to use the quote function on this blog I’m can be a real moron sometimes.

“My unvaccinated gran/children blablabla”
Thos people make me so angry. They’re cashing in on everybody else’s efforts to get their children vaccinated so the risks of actually encountering any of the diseases is pretty low. Furthermore they risk the lives of their own and other people’s children when their unvaccinated poor kids contaminate babies or people who can’t be vaccinated.

If vaccines don’t work I wonder why the schools are not with kids on crutches and hospitals don’t have wards filled with people on iron lungs and why modern graveyards are not full of small pox victims. It sure is a mystery.

I think the “vet” thing really is applying to veterinarians. It’s one of the gospel truths of the anti-vaxers that thimerosal was removed from animal’s shots before it was removed from children’s shots (at least in the USA). This somehow proves that vets are smarter than those awful pediatricians.

Iron and autism. Well, there used to be a yahoo group devoted to exploring that possibility, but it seems to be defunct. And there is a Med Hypotheses article on it (PMID: 12888307). Med Hypotheses has a lot to answer for.

The quote function is ‘blockquote’ – ‘/blockquote’ with the usual html brackets. Preview is always my friend when quoting.

My bad about the vets–I think you’re right that it’s mostly animal vets. But she threw one line in there about “vets from WW2” and that’s where I went astray…

Wow, is there anything that doesn’t cause autism?

Boojum quotes Blanco,

When did we think it alright to murder the central nervous system for life, cutting off all chances seemingly, for lifetime progession, hope, and real potential?

She truly hates autistic children, doesn’t she? I am disgusted when people speak of children like my own this way.

They do progress and their real potential is indefinite-the same as any child. We face an uphill battle, but we are far from hopeless.

@Enkidu How could I forget about Synagis? My son had it for one winter only, and he was also on caffeine for apnea and bradycardia, plus iron supplements. I’ll have to add all those to the equation.

The really crazy thing about patrons99 is that according to this he is a MD

@ rtcontracting, I’m not so sure he is even practising, and if he is, I fear for his patients. He’s not hard to find.

I really threw up my hands at the parts about cord clamping and crying to sleep (“…and expect them to PURPLE CRY themselves to sleep everynight”). I mean, wow. It’s just like hearing a crazy person on a street corner. There seems to be a whole naturalistic, attachment parenting kind of uber crazy going on in this one. It’s more about fear of the whole world than just fear of vaccines. Or maybe it’s just about senility. That was stunning to read. I’m kind of in shock.

I’m sure the cord clamping thing is a reference to this weird natural birth belief that babies should be allowed to somehow benefit from the cord blood a little longer. Some moms even keep the placenta attached until it falls off on its own. Just more mistaken weirdness that medical science is somehow out to get us by cutting us off from nature early…man, how do all these beliefs get mashed up together?

It’s more about fear of the whole world than just fear of vaccines.

I think you’ve nailed it, Julie.

@ SC – Hahahaha!! – but better *that* than ” Green our vaccines!” ( Jenny et al ) or ” Green the ‘clean’!”(ing) ( Deirdre Imus – seriously, she *really* said that!- and incidentally, she sells “green” cleaning products).

re: “vets” – A few years ago I came across *tons* of pet woo that focused on the “dangers” of vaccines ( esp. for cats) and the *evils* of commercial pet food ( the “theory” is that both of these cause cancer, IBD, and decrease longevity). I am nearly out the door now so I can’t provide the refs but believe me, it’s out there** on the ‘net.

** both figuratively and literally.

On a positive note, several sites are reporting a rise in vaccine use in the UK. Not as high as pre-Wakers but increasing steadily. One link is here.

Humorously, I found it right next to a news link from AoA praising Waker’s integrity.

On a positive note, several sites are reporting a rise in vaccine use in the UK. Not as high as pre-Wakers but increasing steadily. One link is here.

Humorously, I found it right next to a news link from AoA praising Waker’s integrity.

At least somebody other than Dick Gregory is onto the MANGANESE.

Carl Spackler?

“You know, manganese. A lot of people don’t even know what that is.”

On a positive note, several sites are reporting a rise in vaccine use in the UK. Not as high as pre-Wakers but increasing steadily. One link is here.

Humorously, I found it right next to a news link from AoA praising Waker’s integrity.

@ rtcontracting, that link worked.

A bit O/T folks but I ran across this gem of a comment today:

a fringe website-no way
Submitted by Anonymous on July 10, 2010 – 9:55am.

Wait until “The Age of Autism” hits the best seller list when it comes out in Sept.(Just like Kirby’s book did in 2005) Then tell me how fringe AOA is. Then comes Kim Stagliano’s book in November-it’ll be another best seller.

And made me think of something else that has not come to fruition on this last day of November. I believe it had something to do with all of us weeping with shame upon the revelation of something that was proclaimed to have happened by now.

Science Mom,

I have also been wondering about this great revelation that STY has been going on about all year. I will be very disappointed it nothing comes of it. I was looking foreword to Orac’s post that would no doubt follow (after he is done crying into his coffee, of course).

C’mon, “Age of Autism” has almost cracked the top 35,000 ranking on

If that doesn’t say “best-seller”…well actually it doesn’t, but Deirdre Imus liked it.

You are absolutely right as always. Keep getting vaccinated. Mercury is good for your brain. There are too many dumb people in the world anyway.

Mr. (you are not) Harrison Ford, please tell us which pediatric vaccines contain mercury and how much. Make sure you include the influenza vaccines without thimerosal in you answer. Be sure to cite the sources of your data.

Also be sure to tell us what the relative risk is between DTaP and diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (you know, the disease that has killed at least ten babies in California this year). Also tell us the relative risk between the Hib vaccine and a toddler actually getting the disease. Do the same for the MMR and IPV. Be sure to cite real science in the documentation you use as evidence.


I guess when you say dumb people, that must include you, since you haven’t responded to the question.

More on Stoller
I do not know what you have tried so far, but I will tell you that in just a few months, Dr. Haley’s OSR will be available for your cats. This is a non-toxic chelator that pulls mercury out in days not weeks, or moths, but days without side effects.”

Mother #2: “Do you know what this Cat chelator will be called when its released?”

Dr. Stoller: “It is being called OSR right now and is a strong antioxidant. That is all I know other than the application is in at the FDA for an NPI which normally only takes 75 days and often less time than that. It can be marketed to cats once the NPI has been issued.”

Mother #3: “I was thinking there was going to be a chelator for kids!! Is he testing it on cats first?”

Dr. Stoller: “you have a cat don’t you?”

Mother #4: “Could off-label use extend to using a vet med on humans :)?”

Dr. Stoller: “If you go to the supper market and buy cat food and eat it yourself, no one is going to stop you from eating cat food. It is not against the law to eat cat food.”

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