If there’s one reliable thing about antivaccine conspiracy theorists, it’s how they react to criticism. (Hint: It’s not good and generally involves as massively asymmetrical a counterattack as they can manage, sometimes with doxing, harassment at work, and personal attacks designed to poison one’s Google reputation.) That’s why there’s one thing that drives them particularly crazy, and that’s when a celebrity whom they can’t hurt espouses pro-vaccine views. For instance, take a look at this Tweet from Chelsea Clinton:
Again, I will never forgive Andrew Wakefield. #VaccinesWork https://t.co/TYLzjuLMTa
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) April 27, 2018
In her Tweet, Clinton is taking note of a measles outbreak in Missouri and Kansas:
St. Joseph Medical Center is among seven new sites where people may have been exposed to measles during an outbreak that has sickened 10 Missourians so far.
Ericka Beeler, a spokeswoman for St. Joseph, said the exposure occurred not in the 310-bed hospital’s inpatient unit, but in a pediatric practice that rents space on the medical center grounds at 1000 Carondelet Drive in south Kansas City.
“We sanitized everything appropriately and did everything we could once we were notified of the positive case,” Beeler said.
The patient with measles went through the main lobby of the medical center and used elevators to get to the pediatric practice, but Beeler said the inpatient tower has a separate entrance and elevators.
The 10 cases in Missouri are not related to a separate measles outbreak that started in a Johnson County day care last month. That has sickened 18 Kansans (14 in Johnson County, three in Linn County and one in Miami County) so far and is the largest outbreak in that state since 1990.
The 10 Missouri cases include three students who attend Liberty Public Schools. Clay County Public Health Center has said everyone who was at South Valley Middle School, which has almost 800 students, on April 18 may have been exposed.
Now let’s unpack what Chelsea Clinton Tweeted. Basically, she said that she would never forgive Andrew Wakefield. My reaction, of course, is: Nor should she! Excellent! Remember, Wakefield’s case series of a mere 12 children (now retracted due to research misconduct) was the study that launched a thousand quacks. (Actually, it was many more than a thousand.) This armada of quacks was (and is) dedicated to the discredited idea that vaccines cause autism. To that end, they produced a form of quackery known as “autism biomed.”
Not surprisingly, antivaxers on Twitter were not pleased. They swarmed in Clinton’s mentions, just as anyone who has paid attention to their antics would have predicted. I can’t help but start with the most inadvertently funny response to Clinton of all:
I guess that Ivy League education really did nothing for your ability to think independently and draw conclusions from actual fact? Sad state of affairs, all that money wasted…Maybe you can try reading the paper? https://t.co/j1IVr5CKxq pic.twitter.com/QNPDo4aL4N
— Just for the Cause (@Just4TheCause) April 29, 2018
Yes, nothing bolsters the credibility of your source like a big red “RETRACTED” stamped across the paper. Word to “Just the Cause,” I have read Andrew Wakefield’s original Lancet case series from 20 years ago. Multiple times. Let’s just say that it doesn’t provide any good evidence that the MMR is associated with autism, and it was fraudulent, to boot. That’s why The Lancetretracted it, albeit several years later than it should have. It’s also, in part, why Wakefield was struck off the UK medical register (i.e., had his medical license revoked). Not that any of that stops Wakefield admirers from citing and defending him at every opportunity.
Just the Cause doesn’t disappoint, digging herself in deeper:
No, the red stamp means the paper was retracted. And, we’re you to actually read the paper, rather than others’ opinions about a paper they have not read, themselves, you might understand this simple fact. Ask yourself, “why was this paper retracted?” #PharmaProfitB4Ppl
— Just for the Cause (@Just4TheCause) May 3, 2018
I know why the paper was retracted. It was fraudulent! Next question…
Not surprisingly, there was more, of which I’ll list here a sampling:
Words matter too. Please read mine. I’m not disputing the ethical misjudgment of Mr. Wakefield. I said he didn’t damage the autism community. He brought the subject to light and gave many families living with vaccine-injured children a voice.
— Palmer Holliday (@palmer_holliday) April 28, 2018
How one can with a straight face say that Andrew Wakefield didn’t damage the autism community, I can’t fathom. His conspiracy mongering about MMR as a cause of autism has led to fear and loathing of vaccines among many parents of children with autism and, worse, led some of them to subject their children to rank quackery known as “autism biomed,” some of the worst examples of which include bleach enemas and chemical castration. Strictly speaking, the rest is true, but a highly incomplete and selective telling of the tale. Yes, Wakefield did “bring the subject to light,” but what he brought to light (MMR as a cause of autism) was, scientifically speaking, pseudoscientific bullshit. Yes, he did give some families living with autism a voice, mainly those who mistakenly equate autism with “vaccine injury.”
More kept chiming in:
I will never forgive myself for blindly vax'ing my son. Please post the vaccine records for your children, that were on time every time according to CDC schedule. Not-so-lucky-with-dat moms would like to know if you practiced what you preach.
— Michelle M Guppy (@CamoMomTX) May 3, 2018
Chelsea, your opinion carries great weight. Do your research before your words make the suffering of parents with children with vaccine injury even more silenced, more maligned and add to their suffering. Vaccine injusty is not everyone's experience but it is tragic for too many
— Feminineisrising (@Noursepatty) April 28, 2018
We, the parents of #VaxXed damaged children, will never forgive you for these lies against him. It is also why your mom lost. I worked on your dad's campaign in my 20's. Voted against her every time I could, due to comments like this. #NotGoingAway #HearUsWell #MyKidMatters
— Shannon Primer (@PITAUP) May 3, 2018
What an unintelligent statement. Vaccine injury & death has been around since vaccination began. Wakefield is brilliant, discovering the gut connection to autism, asking for further research. pic.twitter.com/JiSksSnclR
— vax (@vaxfreedom4all) May 3, 2018
Not surprisingly, that wretched hive of scum and antivaccine quackery, Age of Autism, couldn’t resist jumping in as well. This time around, it’s Kim Rossi (formerly Kim Stagliano), who spins Chelsea Clinton’s Tweet in the usual expected way as Chelsea Clinton Joins the Pro-Vax Injury, Lay the Guilt on the Vaccine Injured Village No doubt she thinks she’s being clever by riffing on Chelsea’s mom Hillary Clinton’s It Takes A Village, but the use of that phrase is so tortured and unoriginal as to be laughed at more than anything else, much like every attempt at wit on AoA. In any event, Rossi feels betrayed—betrayed, I tell you!—By Chelsea Clinton’s pro-vaccine advocacy, and can’t help but piling tortured metaphor upon tortured metaphor into her expression of betrayal:
How many of us defended Chelsea Clinton, the gawky, pre-teen, frizzy haired, adult teeth in the child’s mouth First Child when Bill Clinton was first elected? Leave her alone! She’s a child! Leave her mother alone! She’s First Lady! Chelsea was thrust into the same category as poor Amy Carter. Not as attractive as a Kennedy child in world where the Internet (invented by her father’s Vice President) was just starting to fire photos around the world faster than the clap spreads in a house of ill repute. Speaking of disease…
Which brings us to Chelsea’s recent Tweet gratuitous (not on your life, this is SCRIPTED and part of a larger agenda) attack on Dr. Andrew Wakefield who, some two decades ago postulated that science should look further into whether the MMR vaccine was possibly causing gut injury and related in some way to autism.
Of course, any pro-vaccine statement by a celebrity, government official, or otherwise important and/or famous person can’t be a result of that person’s actual belief that vaccines are safe and effective. Oh, no. It has to be scripted (or SCRIPTED, as Rossi puts it). Indeed, Rossi makes it political by invoking the frequent antivaxer trope of parental rights and attacking the idea that anyone other than the parents have any responsibility to assist with raising children. It’s a right-wing talking point that’s been repeated about Hillary Clinton’s book ever since it was published over 20 years ago, and it’s of a piece with Rand Paul’s famous Freudian slip, “The state doesn’t own the children. Parents own the children, and it is an issue of freedom.” Here’s Rossi’s version, except that she adds a truly vile tortured metaphor to just the lame tortured metaphors elsewhere in her post:
Many years ago, her Mom, Hillary Clinton, then First Lady, told us that it takes a village to raise a child. That doesn’t mean the village owns our kids. We do not live in Shirley Jackson’s “village” of The Lottery. We are not collectively Tessie Hutchinson, here so that the villagers can stone us to death for our medical choices because, “That’s what we’ve always done.”
For those of you who haven’t read this particular short story, It’s a classic, a story that made such an impression on me that I still remember it well more than four decades after having read it in junior high school for the first time, a summary can be found here. (SPOILERS ahead.) Basically, it’s about a rural town that holds a lottery every year. The year of the story, everyone in the town gathers as usual, and designated representatives from each family in the town draw a slip of paper from a bin. The paper with a black spot on it indicates that that family is chosen for the second round, in which each individual member of the family draws a piece of paper. In this case the Hutchinson family representative draws the paper with the black spot. In the next round, every Hutchinson has to draw a slip of paper, and Tess Hutchinson (mentioned by Rossi) draws the paper with the black circle. At this point, each of the villagers picks up a stone and the villagers stone Tess to death.
Yes, you read it right. Rossi just likened vaccination to a story commonly thought to be about conformity gone mad that implied that in small communities like the one in the story there was a darkness lying under the idyllic surface waiting to be released. (Actually, there are several valid interpretations of the story; that’s part of what makes it so good. We don’t have to delve into them now, though, for purposes of this discussion.) One can’t help but think of this latter theme of hidden darkness in small towns in light of the election of Donald Trump. (And, no, I don’t care if you don’t like my briefly bringing up politics here.) Politics aside, Rossi really believes that vaccines are like the lottery in Jackson’s story, in which everyone participates but every year one of the participants must die a horrible death. Her choice of metaphor is a window into the warped thinking of an antivaccine activist.
Then, like Tess Hutchinson as her neighbors close in on her with stones, Rossi cries about how unfair it all is, while taking swipes at Chelsea Clinton’s “vanity” with backhanded compliments:
Chelsea blossomed into quite a pretty woman (thank you hair care products, from this I know.) I looked a lot like Chelsea as a kid. Big teeth. Frizzy hair. Gawkasaurus! I also blossomed into a pretty woman. We both have children. Except my daughters have severe autism. And their village is called special ed day programming.
She WON the Lottery. She’s rich beyond measure. Has two healthy kids. And can use her Twitter account to shame the village as she deems appropriate.
“It isn’t fair, it isn’t right.” (Tess Hutchinson’s final words before being stoned to death.)
Of course, one can’t help but note that, even if she isn’t as famous or wealthy as Chelsea Clinton, Kim Rossi is far from unfortunate. Like the denizens of AoA and many antivaccine activists, she’s white and appears to be well-off and well-educated. In other words, she’s privileged. She might not have won the Megamillions or Powerball lotteries, but she won a lottery compared to many in this country.
Which brings us to Del Bigtree, producer of Andrew Wakefield’s antivaccine propaganda “documentary” VAXXED, who is similarly unhappy with Chelsea Clinton:
His show is two hours long, but don’t worry. You don’t have to watch the whole thing to hear his rant about Clinton. It’s right near the beginning, near 1:45:
Well, once again, for some unknown reason, it appears that Chelsea Clinton has some obsession with Andy Wakefield.
Notice the framing. Clinton is “obsessed” with Andrew Wakefield. Somehow I doubt that that’s really the case, but if you criticize Wakefield more than once, in the mind of a conspiracy theorist like Del Bigtree you must be “obsessed” with him. After showing the Tweet, Bigtree continues:
I don’t know how often Chelsea Clinton thinks of Andrew Wakefield. I don’t know if it’s every time someone gets sick or just those that get measles. But for those of you who do not know who Andy Wakefield is, or what Andy Wakefield is, let me explain it to you. Andy Wakefield is actually a mythological creature that comes from folklore. He’s this elfin-like creature who comes in the middle of the night when children are sleeping and gives them measles.
Bigtree even includes a badly Photoshopped image illustrating his “joke,” which I captured from a screenshot on my computer:
Now, of course I’m kidding when I say that, but the truth is that it’s just about that ridiculous. Every time someone gets measles, Chelsea Clinton wants to blame it on Andy Wakefield. This would be like me every time I see a child lose his job at McDonald’s or his first job mowing lawns saying I will never forgive Bill Clinton for passing NAFTA because that’s why people lose jobs. I mean, this type of connection is ridiculous. And I think it’s totally off base, Chelsea. The truth is that I don’t believe—and I know that you’re referring to the fact that people are not vaccinating because of Andy Wakefield. For those of you who don’t know who he is, he is the doctor who audacity to simply say that he recommended that people should get the measles vaccine by itself instead of the MMR, which grouped the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines together because tens of thousands of parents around the world were complaining that the MMR vaccine had caused their child’s autism, for simply recommending a better product, a single measles vaccine, he has been demonized around the world and his license came under attack and was eventually pulled away.
But, Chelsea, here’s the point. Do you really think this growing body of people who are not vaccinating their children, this question that’s in almost every pregnant mother’s mind when she goes to see her pediatrician for the first time, do you really think they even know who Andy Wakefield is? I don’t. The truth is that the reason that people are questioning vaccines is because of the tens of thousands of mothers that they’re finding on YouTube, on Facebook, on on Twitter that are all telling an eyewitness account of watching their perfectly healthy child regress into autism right after a vaccine, most often MMR or DTaP. Now those stories are credible because people believe real women, especially in this day and age. We no longer are getting away with “mothers are stupid, mothers don’t know better, women don’t know.” We are listening to real mothers, because they’re intelligent. They’re lawyers, they’re doctors, they’re psychiatrists, who are all telling the same story of the destruction of their child right after a vaccine. But unfortunately, in case Chelsea, you do not take women for their word because maybe perhaps they’re too stupid or desperate to know what’s really happening with child, I guess you only listen to people with a PhD after their names. So I want to add a few to your list because I think that these are important PhDs and if you’re not going to forgive Andy Wakefield, perhaps you’re going to have to stop and say, “I don’t forgive these scientists, either.”
Before I discuss the scientists who so impress Bigtree, let me just point out that it is indeed appropriate to blame Andrew Wakefield for his role in promoting the MMR scare. He was not just “recommending” a different vaccine (which, by the way, he had a financial interest in). He blamed MMR for autism, period. Sure, he was measured in his language in the actual Lancet case series, but that’s almost certainly because peer reviewers don’t let authors be too declarative. Everywhere else, though, he was all about MMR fear mongering, and he wasn’t subtle about it, either. Heck, he’s even made an antivaccine propaganda movie with Del Bigtree!
Not surprisingly, the scientists Bigtree praises are all ones we’ve heard of before. First on the list: Luc Montagnier. At this point, I couldn’t stop laughing. Montagnier, as you recall, was the co-recipient of a Nobel Prize for discovering HIV as the cause of AIDS. Since then, he’s become a major crank. He believes in homeopathy. He’s published pseudoscience on DNA “teleportation.” He promoted autism quackery involving the long term administration of antibiotics for…well, I’m still not sure why. He falsely believes that vaccines cause SIDS. I recently learned from a French journalist who called to talk to me about him that Montagnier of late is getting into chronic Lyme disease quackery, because of course he is. Not surprisingly Bigtree is enormously impressed with the fact that Montagnier won the Nobel Prize.
Next up, Bigtree mentions Theresa Deisher. Regular readers are well familiar with her. She’s the antiabortion activist who thinks that DNA from the cell lines derived from aborted fetuses used to grow vaccine virus stocks is getting into the brain and causing autism. It’s an utterly ridiculous hypothesis, both highly implausible and not supported by any evidence that she’s been able to produce. He also credits her with having discovered adult stem cells in the heart, which he refers to as the greatest medical discovery in his lifetime. Uh, no:
She left CellCyte after the firm made claims for its research into a heart treatment based on adult stem cells which were accused of being unwarranted. Subsequently, the Securities and Exchange Commission investigated the firm and reached an agreement with the CEO whereby the latter agreed, without admitting wrongdoing, to hold no executive positions with publicly traded companies for five years and pay a $50,000 fine.
Third on Bigtree’s hit parade: Christopher Shaw. Yes, the man who has tried his best to blame aluminum adjuvants in vaccines for autism and behavioral problems, while trying to blame Gardasil for death. His science, such as it is, on vaccines is uniformly execrable.
Fourth on Bigtree’s hit parade: Christopher Exley. I’ve discussed how awful his science trying to blame aluminum in adjuvants used in vaccines for autism is before. It’s really bad.
Fifth up, Anthony Mawson, he who published a risibly bad (and unkillable) piece of “epidemiology” (now retracted) claiming that unvaccinated children are healthier.
Sixth is Andrew Zimmerman. Longtime readers might recognize him as having glommed onto the Hannah Poling case a decade ago to promote pseudoscience claiming autism is due to vaccines in patients with mitochondrial disorders. He’s mined the “oxidative stress as a cause for autism” well ever since.
Bigtree’s rant goes on longer than I really wanted to deal with, but you get the idea. Each and every scientist he cites is a promoter of autism pseudoscience well known to those of us who’ve been paying attention to the antivaccine movement more than a few years. Bigtree even cites an open-label phase I study of cord blood stem cells that reported improvement in autistic symptoms as slam dunk evidence that autism is not genetic because if it were cord blood wouldn’t have helped, not considering that this study provides no compelling evidence that it did, given that it was unblinded and single arm. He rants about big pharma (of course). He attacks Brian Deer, the dogged investigative journalist who uncovered Wakefield’s fraud, as a “reporter who worked for Rupert Murdoch.” He condescendingly explains things incorrectly to Chelsea Clinton, saying that Andrew Wakefield, standing with more and more scientists, is no longer alone, but that he “fears” that Clinton will be alone if she keeps attacking the great sainted Andy. Finally, he concludes with a nauseatingly overwrought plea to Chelsea Clinton to “join us.” It is a plea that, I know, will rightly fall on deaf ears.
In other words, Chelsea Clinton made antivaxers like those on Twitter who responded to her, Kim Rossi, and Del Bigtree lose their minds, if they ever really had them in the first place. And for that, I thank her.
171 replies on “Thank you, Chelsea Clinton, for speaking out against Andrew Wakefield and driving antivaxers crazy”
The only thing Mr. Bigtree is right about is that the people he mentioned also deserve criticism for helping promote anti-vaccine misinformation and putting children in harm’s way.
The insolence is everywhere, thanks Orac!
Here’s MJD’s respectful insolence:
The image Orac used at the beginning of this post shows Chelsea Clinton happily speaking, and behind her left shoulder are the letters CLIN…
Q. What is the likelihood that the word is “CLINIC”.
Zero. That’s the logo for the Clinton Global Initiative.
I’m kinda new here… Does MJD usually analyze article photos and speculate about what might or might not be partially shown? Does he ever offer anything else?
@Brian, MJD is a commenter with a bee in his bonnet about latex in vaccines. All he usually offers us is irritation.
Chelsea Clinton is not commenting on Wakefield’s effect on vaccination just out of the blue. She has a Master’s in Public Health plus a doctorate in international relations. She knows what she is talking about a whole lot more that Bigtree and his friends:
Re. Chris: Chelsea has a Masters of Public Health + Ph.D. in international relations:
Wow. I really hope she starts running for public office soon. To think, where we could have been right now, instead of where we are.
Re. anti-vaxers’ claim that Chelsea is “obsessed” with Wakefield: Maybe a bit of projection + wishful thinking?, but therein lies a tip for a potential strategy: Has Wakefield had any sex scandals yet? It would be “interesting” if a science-minded woman with a strong stomach infiltrated his world and helped bring him down.
Better, since he’s here on a Green Card, get him thrown out of the country under the “undesirable alien” provisions of the immigration laws. This may have to wait until after the next presidential election, unless the Trump administration can be persuaded that deporting a high-profile Brit might help with public opinion about its immigration policies.
I doubt his disciples would care about his sexual behavior, one way or the other. They forgave him research fraud, abusive tests on autistic children, and glorifying the murder of an autistic child at the beginning of his book. It will all be part of the conspiracy.
And I think he has citizenship now.
That’s my recollection as well. Crimes of moral turpitude (which is more technical than it sounds like) can lead to revocation of permanent-resident status, but I think that ship has sailed.
Thanks but we don’t want him back. We discredited him in the first place and he went to you to ply his wares. Your lot embraced him with open arms and continue to do so. He’s your shit, you clean him up.
“Your lot embraced him with open arms and continue to do so.”
Do we look like we embraced Wakers McFraudypants? From our stance it seemed that the JABS forum, John Stone, Clifford Miller and the terrible horrible rags like the Daily Mail got this whole mess rolling. Here is a fun read for you:
She works in finance with husband I think (hedge funds ….ugh…with political parents bought and paid for by special interests that’s hardly a surprise) not medicine, but you don’t need a medical degree to learn these tools are wrong on vaccines.
It’s amazing to me what the internet has done. It’s made our ability to access CORRECT information so much better but it’s also tied the ignorant together so much tighter in their ignorance, even though the facts are more easily obtainable.
I think this mistrust in the establishment can be aimed squarely at the feet (esp in the US) of political leaders (Clintons among them) for undermining trust in government. In the US at least up until the 70s govt was very trusted. Then after the Vietnam lies, the investigations of all the CIA abuses, Watergate etc it destroyed the public’s trust and with rare exceptions politicians since have continued to undermine that trust. It’s the same in Europe which is why to our horror there are far right parties emerging in France, Germany and Holland and they are in govt in Poland and Hungary. I wonder how those soldiers who stormed the beaches on D-DAY would feel if told a neo-nazi was in the white house in 2018 with a 40% approval rating. A political revolution and a new class of leadership that is more honest and str8 shooting is going to be a KEY part of our recovery from this because trust in authority is in the sewer. Trust in politics has always been a thing but it’s gotten worse. One small example, leader of one of our parties in Ireland campaigned on maintaining free (tax funded) university education, when he got into office though he proposed full up front college fees with no loans/grants even ie not a compromise but the POLAR OPPOSITE of what he campaigned on, and he was so casual about it. the policy was only defeated after massive street protests that almost turned into riots. Thats standard procedure in politics now in lot of the western world – just casually lie lie lie.
With the trust in government this low people seem to automatically trust anyone in opposition to the establishment as long as they fit certain biases. I also (and I’m pushing this in politics) think there needs to be a CRITICAL THINKING class added to high school/secondary school study. How to think skeptically, how to ask about evidence, biases. I notice people who fall for these psudoscience on their FB accounts seem to not understand really basic stuff like the difference between anecdotal evidence and research we have to start teaching this stuff to kids. If teaching them algebra and about various types or rock in geography class is important surely THIS is MORE so?
” In the US at least up until the 70s govt was very trusted.”
You need to work on your American history. You seemed to have missed the McCarthy era where lots of Americans were black listed due to the “Commie” scares. Then there was the mass incarceration of several Americans just because their parents were from Japan. Plus several sedition acts.
It goes on on. Suggested reading is Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen.
“She works in finance with husband I think…”
She must have learned something when she got her Master’s in Public Health:
As I have very little energy, I can only propose seeking out Orson Welles’ narration of [i]The Begatting of the President[/i] from 1968. I found a copy of the illustrated booklet (along with [i]The Wit and Wisdom of Spiro Agnew[/i]) at a Swedenborgian book giveaway. The building has since been taken over by Chabad. So it goes.
A well known person stands up to anti-vax nonsense! Good for her! She’s smart enough to know she’ll be targetted.
I’m sure the loons with brand her with “Clinton Crime Family” and the usual tripe.
Kim Rossi considers herself to be impoverished: barely scraping by, buying food at the discount store and having to scramble to pay for heating oil ( twitter: @ kimrossi1111) caring for three girls with autism ALL BY HERSELF-
oh wait, she has an ex husband Mark and most likely gets some kind of disability payments as two of the young women are adults and all spend time in school or therapeutic day communities.
For years, she’s cried poverty BUT has managed to study karate intensively, attaining two black belts and becoming an instructor AND has travelled to Italy twice this year to assist her instructor.
She writes that she works for a charity and teaches kids karate.
Reading her prose, I feel as tortured as those poor metaphors.
( side note: I believe that as a 10 year old, I read a wildly frightening book by Shirley Jackson )
Andrew Wakefield, an ignorant, greedy prick since before 1998.
Chelsea Clinton, on the right side of science.
“If there’s one reliable thing about antivaccine conspiracy theorists, it’s how they react to criticism. (Hint: It’s not good and generally involves as massively asymmetrical a counterattack as they can manage, sometimes with doxing, harassment at work, and personal attacks designed to poison one’s Google reputation.)”
Without a citation, this is doing nothing more than the same thing. Also, you are not Chelsea Clinton. If this is true, why aren’t you afraid of it happening to you?
This piece, while I have little doubt of it’s overall accuracy, is little more than an attempt to attach Ms. Clinton’s name to your own and target those that you personally believe to deserve targeting. That ain’t good journalism.
You might not have noticed, but Orac isn’t a journalist. What he is, is a doctor who knows what he’s talking about. Who HAS been harrassed at work. Who HAS has his Google reputation poisoned. Etc, etc. You must be new here.
He’s also a type of annoying condescending commenter I’ve encountered so many times before over the years that I really don’t bother to be nice to them any more. After all, if someone comes at me all, “Oh, you’re not doing good journalism and are doing the same sort of thing you’re criticizing,” what other reaction does he expect other than, “Piss off!” (with or without a snarky explanation)?
Does he honestly expect that I’ll say something like, “Oh, thank you, Mr. Little. You’re so right. I’m a terrible journalist. I’ll drop everything and go to journalist school right now and not write another blog post until I’ve graduated and learned to source to your satisfaction every claim and fact I discuss.”
Silly boy. I’m not a journalist. I have never pretended to be or represented myself as a journalist. So why would expect journalism from me? I’m a humble blogger, and this was a blog post expressing my opinions, backed up with fact as needed.
But, hey, how many examples would you like me to provide to you to back up my assertion about antivaccine conspiracy theorists massively attacking those who criticize them? One? Five? Ten? One hundred? I could easily do any of those. (OK, one hundred would take me more time than I would ever want to devote to the task.) In any event, just ask Dorit Rubinstein, Paul Offit, Paul Hotez, some scientists and doctors, any number of bloggers I could name, some journalists, and several others about how antivaxers have attacked them.
Oh, there’s one other person: Me. Yes, it has happened to me. Mike Adams has waged two year campaign consisting of well over 40 defamatory blog posts claiming I committed crimes (I didn’t), saying he was going to report me to the FBI and my state’s attorney general, making up a false claim that I worked with Dr. Farid Fata (Google his name if you’re not familiar with who he is; suffice to say he’s a vile criminal), and even insinuating in one post that I’m a pedophile. It’s not just Adams, either. Antivaxers and other quacks have periodically taken runs at me going back 13 years.
So, no, I’m not afraid—any more. (I was, though.) My Google reputation has already been pretty well trashed; there’s not much more anyone can do to it. On that score, I really do have nothing left to lose. However, I fully understand the reluctance of those who’ve never been targeted, given that I was one of them once and that fear was one reason I adopted my pseudonym originally. Pretty much everyone knows who I really am now; so it’s no protection any more. I only maintain it because I like it and because I’m a bit cussed that way.
Oh, and piss off.
I don’t even have the energy to compose a properly insulting retort. But for relative brevity, this is Billy Madison territory.
You didn’t have to. This paraphrased quote from Billy Madison will suffice nicely.
“What you’ve just written is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever read. At no point in your rambling, incoherent comment were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this forum is now dumber for having seen it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”
This comment is little more than a thinly veiled attempt by Mr. Little to link himself to celebrities such as Orac and Ms. Clinton.
Yes because without citations one could never find a way to justify claiming antivaxxers dox and do other nasty things to opponents….nope…never ever….
Please! They are always playing the man rather than playing the ball it’s their MO
Happy Star Wars Day, everyone!
May the Fourth be with you.
And Sunday will be Revenge of the Sixth.
Someone said 5/4 rightfully belongs to Dave Brubek. I thought that clever enough to repeat.
Yah, but the late Don Ellis owns 19/8.
Orac’s not a criminal: he’s just a cult leader of the SBM Inquisition.
Or so prn tells me.
Wakefield et al. (1998) was retracted not only because of the lead author’s research misconduct, but because the nature of that misconduct called into question the conclusions raised in that paper. Yet multiple people still advocate reading that paper, even after the retraction is called to their attention (as if the bright red “RETRACTED” on the paper were not enough of a clue)? And even after stipulating to the misconduct that led to the retraction? I can’t even.
Not all paper retractions are due to misconduct. Sometimes a scientist acting in good faith makes a serious error which is not noticed until after the paper is published. But a retraction always carries the implication that the editors have strong reason to believe that the results reported in the paper are not reliable. And Wakefield’s misconduct was proven before a hearing conducted by the organization that licenses medical doctors in the UK to have been serious enough to warrant his being stricken off.
BTW, just because many of the current cohort of vaccine refusing parents haven’t heard of Wakefield doesn’t mean Wakefield is not at least partially responsible for their decision not to vaccinate. Wakefield played a pivotal role in getting that misinformation out there. AFAIK he has done nothing to even attempt to counter that misinformation.
I went through the paper and counted 18 big bright RETRACTION stamps on the main body of the paper. Thank heavens I’d finished my tea.
The paper does illustrate how to destroy a career in one go.
Just as a by-note, before the Fakefield paper was retracted, all of the listed coauthors removed their names from it.
Just 10, IIRC.
Meanwhile, there have been over 100 cases of measles in the Czech Republic, most of them in the capital Prague: http://outbreaknewstoday.com/measles-cases-rise-czech-republic-cases-prague-85135/ And three cases in a town in Poland but since Prague is a popular destination for city breaks for Polish tourists and we’re in the middle of a veeeery long weekend (1st and 3rd May are both national holidays, so you can figure everything slows down on the 30th April, 2nd and 4th), unfortunately we could see more soon.
And then there’s the recent measles outbreak in Romania and polio in the Ukraine a couple of years ago – in other words, if you’re planning a holiday in Central/Eastern Europe, be sure you are up to date on your shots.
Polio in Ukraine a couple of years ago? I hadn’t heard of that. Do you have a link to an article about it?
Likely this one:
The introduction is interesting as well, for all the wrong reasons.
“The success achieved during the outbreak response, however, is fragile. Ukraine still has the lowest routine immunization rates in the world, with the Ministry of Health reporting in August of 2016 that only 30% of children are fully immunized against measles, 10% against hepatitis B, and 3% against diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus. ”
@aairfccha That’s exactly what I had in mind, thanks for providing that link. And taking into consideration the political situation over there, I’m afraid the situation will be getting worse, not better.
Confession: I was so outraged at the disparagement of Chelsea’s looks versus the freaking Gore daughters back in the day that I had sort of a mini-shrine of newspaper clippings on a bulletin board in the kitchen and, yes, Tierney’s Clinton family paper dolls.
“Bigtree even cites an open-label phase I study of cord blood stem cells that reported improvement in autistic symptoms as slam dunk evidence that autism is not genetic because if it were cord blood wouldn’t have helped”
Yes, of course, everyone knows that things that are genetic can’t be treated. That’s why surgery and chemo are ineffective against BRCA-mutation cancers, and why T1D patients can’t control their glucose with monitoring and insulin, and why… wait, what?
(That study, as Orac noted, didn’t prove that the stem cells were useful at all, but even if it were a nice big controlled second Phase III showing the same thing as the previous nice big controlled Phase III, it still doesn’t say fuckall about the cause of the condition.)
Beta thalassemia is cured by stem cell transplantation. It is inherited blood disorder, patients red cells produce abnormal hemoglobin. Stem cells are differentiated to red cells that produce normal one. If autism could be cured by stem cell transplantation, it would actually be proof positive that autism is a genetic disorder.
“Happy Star Wars Day, everyone!
May the Fourth be with you.
And Sunday will be Revenge of the Sixth.”
Fine sentiments, but omitting Cinco de Mayo means no margaritas for you.
“in world where the Internet (invented by her father’s Vice President)”
Just another lie that won’t die. Al Gore never claimed to have “invented” the Internet. But, as he was attempting to point out, he was instrumental in getting its development funded. Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the WWW, and Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn, who were the creators of the Internet, highly praised Gore’s role in pushing for and funding its development.
From his induction into the Internet Hall of Fame: Al Gore…was a key proponent of sponsoring legislation that funded the expansion of and greater public access to the Internet. Instrumental in helping to create the ‘Information Superhighway,’ …one of the first government officials to recognize that the Internet’s impact could reach beyond academia to fuel educational and economic growth as well.”
I’m compelled to point out that the Internet still relies on many of its original Al Gore-ithms.
Ouch. You should be proud and ashamed of a pun like that!
Orac, why am I still on moderation, and how did I get there in the first place?
I don’t know. I can’t figure it out, and I’ve tried.
Old Rockin’ Dave’s “Bear with very little brain” pissed me off.
MJD will release him after a sincere apology.
I’ve learned a lot after writing the artificial intelligence book:
blockquote>Old Rockin’ Dave’s “Bear with very little brain” pissed me off.</?blockquote>
Well, me too, after a fashion.
Forgive the off-topic heads-up, but Russell Blaylock has surfaced again with a new etiology for autism: it’s aluminium and fluoride together.
That’s quite some abstract they’ve put together for that thar review.
@ Smut Clyde:
Way back in the earlier part of the 20th Century, a dentist in Colorado noticed that kids from certain areas did not get cavities. Those areas contained natural amounts of fluoride in the water. Later findings that fluoride was present in waters elsewhere. In fact, in some areas, the concentration was so high that kids, though lacking cavities, also had mottled colored teeth. Aluminum is the 3rd most ubiquitous substance on Earth. So, given aluminum process began long before the alleged autism epidemic, one can ask Blaylock et al. why high prevalence of autism was not found in those areas with naturally fluoridated water and aluminum? Oh well,
“…one can ask Blaylock et al. why high prevalence of autism was not found in those areas with naturally fluoridated water and aluminum?”
Ingested Al3+ ions and injected al adjuvant have very different kinetics. They move around the body differently. The difference in kinetics explains why injected Al adjuvant can be so dangerous.
Ingested Al3+ is has low absorption into body fluids. About 0.1-0.3% or so winds up in the blood. Al3+ in the blood is rapidly filtered by the kidneys. its almost all gone in a couple days.
Al adjuvant has low solubility in body fluids, so it remains as particles for months and years. These particles stimulate inflammation wherever they go, and they travel into organs distant from the injection site, like the brain. It takes several weeks or months for the Al adjuvant particles to travel into the brain however. This is why the short-term safety studies of Al adjuvant cannot detect the damage.
Al adjuvant particles stimulate inflammation in the brain, and this inflammation is what causes autism and other long term (life-long) neurological damage and mental illnesses.
Also, the movement of Al adjuvant is stimulated by inflammation. Specifically, the chemokine MCP-1 (macrophage chemoattractant protein) causes the movement of Al adjuvant. This is because Al adjuvant is carried by macrophages, which are attracted to any tissue producing MCP-1. Notably, autistics have very high MCP-1 in the brain (see https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15546155), and high MCP-1 at birth, compared to controls (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4080514/).
As has often been pointed out here, Vinu:
You can’t prove aluminum “moves” into the brain (thereby crossing the blood brain barrier, something notoriously hard to do), or causes any kind of inflammation (note, do not confuse invoking an immune response with inflammation. They are not the same thing).
Citing other quacks to support your quackery does not help your case.
I’ve sat through enough of this discussion. You keep coming back to this same point repeatedly. By what mechanism do these move? These adjuvant particles are insoluble lumps in an aqueous medium, they do not move any more than gold nuggets can travel through a strainer of appropriately small porosity. What usually makes nanoparticles able to move is that they must be functionalized in such a way that they can be essentially soluble part of the time. These aren’t. These are particulate in the first place because of their lack of solubility. Further, in order to exfiltrate their site of injection, they must be small enough to fit through the intercellular milieu, and these aren’t… let alone small enough or lipid soluble enough after a completely improbable migration to pass through the blood-brain barrier since they’re opsonized with protein. Are you claiming some agency of the body is literally picking them up and moving them around?
If these things are scary, you’d better be afraid of the dirt you walk around on, because that’s pretty much what we’re talking about.
Dear fucking G-d, you still can’t get the name right?
Yes, he is. Macrophages (he apparently can’t tell the difference between these an monocytes) are asserted to gobble up aluminum and zoom right up to the brain and then somehow deliver their payload. It’s imbecilic.
It’s very simple. Measles vaccination rates were good before Wakefield. Heck, in 2000 the CDC declared measles endemically eradicated in the US. Then Wakefield makes his play for the big $$$ in his faked paper. He first drove down measles vaccination rates in the UK dramatically–causing measles injuries and deaths staring withing a few years of his paper. Then Brian Deer exposed him (starting in 2003) and the UK government called him out and took him license and measles vaccination rates have largely recovered. Being the opportunistic dirtbag he is, Wakefield flees to the US where he starts driving down vaccination rates here (alongside a handful of despicable US anti-vax physicians). We start getting significant measles outbreaks by 2007-8 which have continued, including those where Wakefield directly discouraged vaccination for measles in specific communities such as Minneapolis and Texas.
Wakefield is to blame for the resurgence of measles. And I wish some group like the AMA or AAP would grow a spine and call him out for the scumbag he is (which they should have done years ago) instead of letting individuals pro-vaxxers take the heat alone. So many parents are swayed online by the BS of anti-vaxxers and nowhere can you find any large US health group with the courage to put out there a public declaration of the damage done by Andrew Wakefield. It’s disgusting.
MJD, you left yourself wide open when you compared yourself to Winnie the Pooh. Just search out the phrase and see for yourself.
Next time, try comparing yourself to Hannibal or Pierre Curie. And keep your head out of the honey jar.
Wakefield’s 1998 article states: “12 children . . . were referred to a pediatric gastroenterology unit.” The children, except one, were either involved in a lawsuit by the Dawburn Law firm alleging harm caused by the MMR vaccine which Wakefield was being paid eventually a total of around $750,000 as a consultant or children from JABS, a British antivaccination organization supporting the lawsuit. In John Walker Smith’s appeal of his loss of medical license to Justice Mitting of the High Court (Smith was a co-author to Wakefield’s study), Mitting made it clear that Wakefield had actively been involved in recruiting the kids. In fact, they did not even reside in the Royal Free’s normal catchment area.
Wakefield was, according to the article, investigating a possible association between chronic enterocolitis and regressive development disorder. Asking the parents their opinion of what caused it, at best, could be seen as an uninformed opinion; but certainly should NOT have been emphasized in the Findings, especially given Wakefield already knew what they would say, given that he had recruited them. Imagine a study looking at attitudes towards the 1st Amendment’s “make no laws . . . religion, claiming it was a “random” sample and only interviewing people from conservative evangelical churches. I would be willing to bet that had their been a recent series in newspapers focusing on an association between pesticides or some food ingredient and regressive disorders, if Wakefield’s study had involved kids actually referred to his unit, not recruited, that many of the parents would have stated they believed pesticides or the food ingredient had been involved.
The Wakefield study involved lumbar punctures, which Wakefield wanted, a highly invasive procedure that would NOT have been used if the kids had simply been seen clinically. And Justice Mitting points this out.
Given it was a case series, with NO controls, and only 12 kids, NO way to determine if findings would have differed from a control group.
I wrote an article:. Andrew Wakefield Has Never Been “Exonerated”: Why Justice Mitting’s Decision in the Professor John Walker-Smith Case Does Not Apply to Wakefield, August 1, 2016, Every Child By Two, which can be found at:
I highly recommend directly carefully reading Justice Mitting’s decision which can be found at:
Just for accuracy’s sake, it’s “A Bear of Very Little Brain”, caps, “of” and not “with”.
One of the problems with the so-called “vaccine controversy” and, of course, other scientific topics, is celebrities giving their opinions. On the anti-vaccine side we have Jenny McCarthy, Jim Carrey, Robert F. Kennedy Jr, etc. Paul Offit has written a book that will soon be out on the market which discusses the problem of relying, even paying attention, to celebrities, despite their having NO expertise, not even minimal knowledge/understanding of the science that undergirds vaccines. While I totally agree with Chelsea Clinton, her opinion, is no more valid in that there is NO indication she has attempted to delve into immunology, microbiology, epidemiology, etc. than those of celebrities representing the antivaxxers. However, it is amusing and sad how antivaccinationists go after anyone who disagrees with them with a vengeance. One of the antivaccinationists comments about her mother’s position on granting amnesty to undocumented immigrants, totally irrelevant both to vaccines and to what Chelsea thinks. They do like to draw illogical irrelevant connections!
At least she has a Master’s in Public Health, so she has some relevant background.
Didn’t know she had MPH. Thus, she does have minimum required to chime into the debate. Thanks for the info! However, if she wasn’t daughter of former President, I doubt anyone would have paid attention; but I see NO problems with “celebrities” using their celebrity if their position is backed by actual “knowledge.”
In any case, I hereby retract part of what I wrote. Again, thanks for correcting me.
She also has a PhD in international studies, so I guess she is interested in global health issues. I posted her faculty page of Columbia University near the top of the comments.
I didn’t know where to put this.
“President Trump intends to nominate Dr. Oz to the Presidential Council on Sport, Fitness and Nutrition.”
Confirmed by Snopes.
At least he could protect everyone from “fake psychics.”
You still have not addressed the growing evidence that aluminum adjuvants cause autism.
You cannot use studies limited to MMR or thimerosal to make claims about vaccines in general, or aluminum adjuvant.
Making safety claims about vaccines in general based on studies of MMR is an egregious misuse of the science. It is totally dishonest.
I am still awaiting citations supporting the safety of aluminum adjuvant, with respect to 1) long term health outcomes, or 2) neurological outcomes like autism. I have provided citations and detailed explanations of how the evidence consistently fits together.
Jefferson 2004 and Mitkus 2011 are completely inadequate as safety evidence for Al adjuvant.
This new review paper debunks the Mitkus 2011 study: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0162013417303380
Dude, are you really this desperate for attention?
Apparently he is.
You guys are unable to respond on the merits of the science.
Because you don’t post relevant science. You just spam your webpage.
“Trolling for attention” / “Ad-hom”. Tomahto, tomayto.
I fail to see any sense of logic here:
Epidemiological studies says that autism isn’t linked to vaccines (i.e. layman interp: vaccines don’t cause autism), yet, this guy claim one component of most vaccine (aluminum) is linked to autism. One would assume that something else in the vaccine cancel out the aluminum effect (closest logical conclusion but one never know).
Aluminium particles from vaccines going around in body ? Are you serious ?
Youngevity sells supplement that contains boatloads of aluminium. No poisonings has been reported, though.
Wakefield was right about one critical fact that has now been proven: dysbiosis and inflammation in the gut contribute to autism.
Other more scientific findings, and definitely not twin studies:
Neither of these findings provide much evidence for your case that autism is mostly genetically determined.
Your page states “The research also helps shed light on the biology of autism. For example, the CHD8 gene is active both in the brain and in the nerve cells of the gut. That might explain why a subset of people with autism also have gastrointestinal issues.”
Which supports Wakefields hypothesis. More evidence that Wakefield was on the right path.
These genes may interact with environmental risk factors, like vaccination. Thats a GXE interaction.
It appears the prevalence of these genetic defects in the autistic population is unknown.
Dr Robert Sapolsky in his new book states:
“Its not meaningful to ask what a gene does, just what it does in a particular environment.” p 248.
“Heritability scores are relevant only to the environment in which the traits have been studied.” p 249
“Gene/environment interactions are ubiquitous and can be dramatic.” p 249
“Neither of these findings provide much evidence for your case that autism is mostly genetically determined.”
Not my point Vapor Dude. It does not support Wakefield at any point because he did not do any actual science, he mucked with the data because he was being paid by a lawyer.
@ “vaccine papers” : If you’d like, I can send you some toilet paper to wipe the feces off your nose from being so far up Wakefield’s arse. Not sure how you can stand the smell and you really should get typhoid vaccine for it–there’s a new one coming out I here.
dysbiosis and inflammation in the gut contribute to autism.
Oh joy. Another feckin “mouse model of autism”.. this time relying on the parallelism of rodent and human digestion.
One thing I have learned from all these “mouse models of autism” is how easy it is to cause social and language deficits in mice. Everyone has their own intervention, and they all lead to autism!
And how easy it is for the researchers to deetermine that behavioral deficits in mice are symptoms of their social and language deficits — that is, by their autism — rather than (say) symptoms of motor problems, or pain.* It must be easy, for they do it all the time.
I’m thinking of Hornig & Lipkin, who gave their mice peripheral parasthesia and called it “autism”. Feckin quacks.
Read the Masson 2018 paper, and write an article about it. Debunk it, if you can.
The evidence you rely on for believing in the safety of Aluminum adjuvant is total garbage.
Orac, you are guilty of fighting with straw men in the vaccine-autism debate. You ignore the strongest science we have, and focus on the junk. Meanwhile, you completely lack evidence for the safety of Al adjuvant.
Among the authors: Christopher Exley and Romain K.Gherardi
So no. They are on the Dwoskin payroll. Anyone who was a speaker at this conference at the Dwoskin compound in Jamaica is not considered reputable:
Respond to the scientific arguments on the merits. If the paper is wrong, then explain why with facts and logic.
First that is not an ad hominem, it is me pointing out that they work with a certain bias.
Plus that is not a study but an editorial critique of other studies.
And it bears repeating: you cannot figure out how a random vaccine ingredient causes cancers until you show that vaccines actually cause autism. Over the past twenty years there have been several large studies covering hundreds of thousands of kids in several countries show no relationship between vaccines and autism.
Because you are a slow learner: you cannot figure out how a random vaccine ingredient causes autism until you show that vaccines actually cause autism. Over the past twenty years there have been several large studies covering hundreds of thousands of kids in several countries show no relationship between vaccines and autism.
Read the Masson 2018 paper, and write an article about it. Debunk it, if you can.
OFFS. Skeptical Raptor debunked it months ago. Petulant demands that someone else should repeat the deconstruction is just bumblefuck trollery.
This “Critical Review’ is a log-rolling circle-jerking repetition of the authors’ own previous work, and makes this particularly clear by citing “Vaccine Papers” as Ref .
SR ignores the merits of the Masson paper, which is focused on Flarend, Keith and Mitkus papers. Instead of taking on the substantive scientific questions, SR focuses on irrelevant nonsense, like petty grammar issues, the introduction etc.
The SR article is a perfect example of what I am complaining about: the refusal by vaccine advocates to defend the alleged safety of Al adjuvants.
The SR article is a perfect example of what I am complaining about
Then why in the name of Arioch are you trolling here to hijack a comment thread, when you could be arguing on an existing comment thread that is devoted to the subject that you claim to want to talk about?
They don’t cite “Vaccine Papers” do they?
Oh, I see they do. That is all the evidence I need that the review is junk. If they cannot recognise good science from nonsense opinion, then they are hardly likely to produce a useful piece of work.
Oh, great, now Dan is giving orders.
Well considering we know better than to click on his blog, it is obvious why he wants Orac to do his work.
Of course it would totally fail, because the paper is full of fail
Why is aluminium more dangerous for boys ? Autism is more prevant with them.
And the fact that gene is expresssed both in gut and brain does not mean that autism is gastrointestal disease.
Oh, for fuck’s sake, isn’t this Bellend’s territory? What, exactly, do the words “contribute to” mean here, Dan?
“Based on the emerging appreciation of a gut-microbiome-brain connection, we asked whether modeling some of the behavioral features of ASD in a mouse model also causes GI abnormalities.”
Clap, clap, clappity fucking clap. Put down the pipe.
“contribute to” means at least a partial cause. Causation is demonstrated in the cited paper.
Read the science and try to understand it.
Orac and his followers rely on insults, jokes and nonsense. It seems the last thing you guys are willing to do is have a rational debate about the evidence, and explain why it supports what you believe.
Its going to be really embarrassing and humiliating for you guys as the evidence continues to accumulate.
It’s not ad hominen when dealing with someone whose intelligence level is far far below hominen.
“as the evidence continues to accumulate”
the debate you’re asking for is over a long time ago
vaccines don’t cause autism, the earth is round, and the sun is hot relative to a refrigerator
Yah. In the opposite direction from that you were hoping to insinuate. Moreover, the world would be a slightly less worse place were Wakefraud to have confined himself to torturing mice, I suppose. Fuck off.*
Not an “ad hominem,” boopsie.
Does that mean that you’re finally going to leave in a huff? I think everyone would be grateful for once.
FTFY. Christ, I’ve already had to deal with one deranged person yammer at me IRL about my inadequate understanding of “virology,” whatever her phone has led her to think this comprises. Same cloth, different cut.
Its going to be really embarrassing and humiliating for you guys as the evidence continues to accumulate.
Is it necessary to remind you of the Li, Shaw & Tomljenovic mouse study with the clumsy forged results, and how you proclaimed it to be the Smoking Gun that would destroy AlOH adjuvants forever?
You should answer comments. Mouse models for autism are bad. Mice do not speak, for one thing.
I have told you several times: You cannot figure out how a certain ingredient in vaccines cause autism unless you determine vaccines do cause autism.
That has not been done. In fact several large epidemiological studies done in several countries show that vaccine really have nothing to do with autism. The actual research that is learning about autism are being done by geneticists, psychologists, speech/language pathologists, physiologists and educational researchers.
This was not even a study, but a critique of other studies and some random proposals. All seen through the filter of what the Dwoskins are paying for.
“In fact several large epidemiological studies done in several countries show that vaccine really have nothing to do with autism.”
AGAIN, these studies are completely irrelevant to Al-containing vaccines. They look only at MMR, thimerosal or antigen #. Such studies cannot be used to support claims about Al adjuvant safety.
No, that is not irrelevant. Your ignorance of the epidemiology studies and perseverance on the most common metal element on this planet’s crust is a sure fire indication of your lack of science/math education, and why you should be ignored.
I think I understand where you are going here. Al adjuvants cause autism, but the remaining ingredients in the vaccines are protective, thus cleverly concealing the evil plot to poison our children by NOT giving them autism! What a devilishly clever plan!
Can I take credit? This was subtly (or not so subtly) intended <a href=https://www.respectfulinsolence.com/2018/05/04/thank-you-chelsea-clinton-speaking-against-wakefield-driving-antivaxers-crazy/#comment-394942″>here.
I meant here
Which “Chris”? I am the one with the avatar, the other one is not me.
The avatar-less Chris.
Vaccine Papers: Hey look! It’s teh toxins!
@ Vaccine Papers:
The study you refer to focuses on three papers, one experimental study and two theoretical papers. Not worth my while to carefully go through both it and the three referred to papers. Masson et al. ignore the extremely low doses of aluminum used as adjuvants, the amount of aluminum from the environment through food, drink, air, and small skin abrasions, and breast milk, far in excess of aluminum adjuvants, the research that has debunked aluminum involved in neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, and they fail to explain how such minuscule doses of aluminum, first some being excreted, so even less still in body, could cause harm compared to the amounts we get daily, which haven’t been found to cause harm. As an example, one article summarizes research on aluminum and Alzheimer’s and why people persist in believing an association despite the evidence:
Theodore I. Lidsky (2014 May). Is the Aluminum Hypothesis Dead? Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine; Vol 56, No. 55: S73-S79. Available at:
And Masson et al. don’t claim that aluminum adjuvant is harmful in any way, all they state is: “It seems to us highly mandatory to conduct new toxico-kinetic experiments, including long-term studies, under the tight control of health authorities, in order to ensure a maximum level of safety of both classical and new generation aluminum adjuvants used in vaccines.”
Well, as stated by other commenters, if in many large scale studies of vaccines comparing vaccinated with non-vaccinated have found no harm, then how could individual ingredients cause harm? First one has to find harm, then one can look at which on ingredients responsible. I guess this escapes you.
Of course, any substance in high enough doses can potentially be harmful; but the amount in vaccines is far too little. And there is ample evidence that such small amounts, e.g. Alzheimer’s, is NOT associated with harm.
You write: “It seems the last thing you guys are willing to do is have a rational debate about the evidence, and explain why it supports what you believe.” The fact that you keep finding one study, which is debunked (e.g. see Smut Clyde above: Li, Shaw & Tomljenovic mouse study with the clumsy forged results, and how you proclaimed it to be the Smoking Gun that would destroy AlOH adjuvants forever?”), then the next study ad infinitum clearly indicates your unwillingness to actually enter into a “rational debate.” If tomorrow a new study clearly refutes Masson or a critique of their methodology, you will either ignore it or go on to the next ingredient in vaccines or something else. For you, vaccines causing harm is a religion, not a subject for rational debate.
“if in many large scale studies of vaccines comparing vaccinated with non-vaccinated have found no harm, then how could individual ingredients cause harm?”
There are no such studies that are relevant to aluminum adjuvant. You only have studies of MMR, thimerosal and antigen #. None of these papers provide any safety evidence for Al adjuvants.
“Not worth my while to carefully go through both it and the three referred to papers.”
LOL. WOW. So your belief in Al adjuvant safety is faith-based.
“Masson et al. ignore the extremely low doses of aluminum used as adjuvants”
Masson explain in the paper why the doses are NOT extremely low. Perhaps you should read the paper before commenting on it?
“Li, Shaw & Tomljenovic mouse study with the clumsy forged results”
I do not cite that paper, and have criticized Shaw et al. for that disaster (which I believe was the fault of Dr Li).
I do not cite that paper, and have criticized Shaw et al. for that disaster (which I believe was the fault of Dr Li).
The concession to reality is appreciated, but please recall your initial gloating comments to Orac, when the paper first appeared and your intention was to be “citing frequently”. Your concern for potential embarrassment among the Oracian commentariat is also appreciated.
Don’t forget that the problems with the paper include the data manipulation and incompetent statistics within its Figure 1, which Shaw and Tomljenovic had already published in two previous papers. Was Dr Li to blame for Figure 1 as well?
“they fail to explain how such minuscule doses of aluminum, first some being excreted, so even less still in body, could cause harm compared to the amounts we get daily, which haven’t been found to cause harm.”
Wrong again. Al adjuvants remain in the body as particles for years. They travel into the brain and cause neuroinflammation. The result is autism, ADHD and other neuro and psychiatric disorders throughout life.
Ingested Al enters the body as Al3+, a water soluble form (not particulate) that is quickly removed by the kidneys.
To understand why Al adjuvants are so damaging and dangerous, you have to understand the kinetics. The kinetics of Al adjuvant nanoparticles are very different from water-soluble forms of Al.
You have failed to prove this, and the cites you have posted don’t prove it either.
Yes, and the adjuvant hypnotizes macrophages to zombie-march directly to the brain. We (tinw) have all heard your idiotic pet theory before, Dan.
I think this one comes under the heading of “answer a fool…”
The fool here has a good command of English, but is also obsessed and perseverating on his/her/xits obsession. Save the headache, waste not your time.
@ Vaccine Papers:
The Masson et al article begins with: “Vaccination helped with the eradication of smallpox, a 99% decline in poliomyelitis between 1988 and 2003, and a 40% decrease in measles cases between 1999 and 2003 worldwide, as well as a decrease in cases of mumps of 859 to 9 per 100,000 inhabitants between 1986 and 2013 in France. The maintenance of good vaccination coverage,
i.e. a high rate of vaccinated persons in the population, is necessary to avoid the resurgence of other infectious diseases, as was observed for pertussis or rubella, with a double benefit, both individually and collectively, by reducing the number of people who can transmit infectious
Yet, though out the history of vaccines people like you have advocated against them, or, paid lip service to them by only claiming you want them to be safer; albeit “safer” a moving goal post. If people like you had had a greater influence, the above introductory statement by Masson et al. would have tragically not been possible. I guess as Toynbee stated: “those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
Masson et al go on to discuss the need for studies because many people nowadays distrust them; but they don’t distrust them out-of-the-blue but because you and others like you create this distrust.
I encourage you to read past the first few sentences of the Masson paper.
Why? Obviously you missed this in his earlier comment: “Well, as stated by other commenters, if in many large scale studies of vaccines comparing vaccinated with non-vaccinated have found no harm, then how could individual ingredients cause harm? First one has to find harm, then one can look at which on ingredients responsible. I guess this escapes you.”
Seriously, why are you obsessing about the most comment metal element on this planet’s crust in vaccines, when there is actually no real evidence to show that vaccines cause autism. Especially since there are more likely explanations, which have been shown in recent research.
The science goes on, even if you and the Dwoskins dislike the results. Seriously, what was your highest level of education in science? It is quite obvious you did not do much biology nor chemistry.
@ Vaccine Papers:
I did read the entire paper; but, as I wrote, don’t want to waste time going through its methodology carefully because I could care less about one animal study and two theoretical papers given, as I clearly wrote, that if the studies of the vaccines found NADA, then why look at the ingredients one by one. And the paper ends with: “The glorious history of vaccines was largely built on an empirical basis during the last century.” The definition of empirical: “based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic. ‘they provided considerable empirical evidence to support their argument.” What do you think “verifiable” means? So, the GLORIOUS history was based on VERIFIABLE OBSERVATIONS.
“I could [not ?] care less about one animal study and two theoretical papers given”
These studies are Flarend 1997, Keith, and Mitkus 2011. They represent the foundation for the alleged safety of Al adjuvant. For example, the CDC and FDA cite only Mitkus 2011 in support of Al adjuvant safety. The FDA just took down their page promoting Mitkus however. Now, the FDA has only this page, which has no scientific citations on Al adjuvant safety: https://www.fda.gov/biologicsbloodvaccines/safetyavailability/vaccinesafety/ucm187810.htm The CDC page also lacks scientific citations: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/adjuvants.html
“as I clearly wrote, that if the studies of the vaccines found NADA, then why look at the ingredients one by one.”
ANSWER: Because none of those studies are capable to detecting long term or neuro/psychiatric effects of Al-containing vaccines. The studies of vaccines and autism only look at MMR, thimerosal or antigen # for example. MMR does not contain aluminum adjuvant. So, the studies you refer to are IRRELEVANT to Al adjuvants.
Mitkus 2011 has several fatal flaws:
1) it ignores particle mediated toxicity and kinetics. Studies of ingested Al salts (water soluble) were used to estimate toxicity of injected Al adjuvant particles. Do you think this is a scientifically valid approach?
2) The NOAEL Mitkus used to determine toxic risk threshold was too high by a factor of at least 7.4X. They used 26mg/kg/day as an NOAEL but recent research shows harm from 3.4mg/kg/day.
Vaccines definitely prevent infectious diseases, most of the time (original antigenic sin is a concern for some vaccines). Efficacy is not the issue I raise. The issue is whether they are safe. Al-containing vaccines are clearly not safe. They cause brain injuries and long term neuro/psychiatric disorders, like autism. Al adjuvants do this because they travel into the brain and cause chronic neuroinflammation. Neuroinflammation is very damaging when it occurs during early brain development.
This is what we have demanded you prove, and what you have so far failed to prove.
An evidenceless assertion. This is your belief, rather than a statement supported by evidence.
Vaccination is not associated with autism. There is no way that a component of vacines that has been in use for more than 60 years could be associated with autism.
“Al-containing vaccines are clearly not safe.”
Which you have yet to prove with real evidence. The most used vaccine with an adjuvant is the DTaP. What you need to do is provide the PubMed indexed studies by qualified reputable researchers not on the Dwoskin payroll that particular vaccine is more dangerous than diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis.
Finally, there is no evidence that autism is the result of a brain injury.
First of all, I did read most of the studies on actual brain tissues by reputable and semi-reputable scientists and there is no evidence of such injury and no more evidence of the injury being causative of autism when an injury is present (say, hypoxia).
I also did ask you lot of antivaxxers to come up with a mechanism causing a carefully defined set of criteria (ADI-R and ADOS-G) out of one or many injury to the brain: Nada. No answer but they all say that the behaviors are so obvious it can’t be anything else than a brain injury. Sorry for you lots but if all you have for tools is a hammer, every problems will look like nails. I worked to improve my toolset; now what are you waiting for?
I want to ask “Vaccine Papers” one question, one that I’m sure some here will recognize: “Who are you, who are so wise in the ways of science?”
Hey, Dan has patents. Maybe MJD can write a book about him.
“A witch! A witch! Burn her!”
I am Arthur, King of the Britons!
We are all Britons, and I am your King.
“Holy Grail” allusions are all very well but I worry that you will set Vinu off with a new theory that autism is caused by coconut shells.
“Vaccination is not associated with autism.”
CORRECTION: Vaccination with MMR is not associated with autism.
You do not have the evidence to make claims about vaccines and autism in general.
Go back to your hole, Dan.
“You do not have the evidence to make claims about vaccines and autism in general.”
Actually you do not.
Actually there are several large epidemiological studies done in many countries that show vaccination is not associated with autism. It is not our fault that you don’t understand them.
“Actually there are several large epidemiological studies done in many countries that show vaccination is not associated with autism.”
Again, those studies have nothing to do with Al adjuvants, because they look only at MMR.
“Again, those studies have nothing to do with Al adjuvants, because they look only at MMR.”
Not really. This shows the level of your ignorance.
For the benefit of Vaccine Papers: Gherardi’s claims about “non-linear low-dose response to AlOH adjuvants” is not looking so good, now that the selective omission of data has come to light.
Oh, Jesus, Vinu tried to invade?
Thats a question for Dr Gherardi.
He tells me that the 133 dose group was accidentally administered one dose instead of 3 (the study protocol required 3 doses). This was an error by an assistant. Because of the error, the 133mcg group was omitted from the final paper.
Thank you for the link.
Dr Gherardi will have been informed of the questions at PubPeer. Sadly, it is below his dignity to answer them.
Hey, maybe you can fill the position.
Note that the inadequacy of the 133 dose group was not a problem in March 2016 when Gherardi et al presented their results to a conference. Instead they left the 400 microgram group out of those analyses. The decision to omit the 133 group and include the 400 group only became evident when the authors had settled on the story that the data were telling. Sadly, when you confer on yourself the right to leave one group or another out of the analyses, the additional unacknowledged degree of freedom means that the conclusions are meaningless.
This was a trash paper.
I ask (not for the first time), do you cite it?
There’s also this other study from Exley that measured the particles in aluminum adjuvants and basically found – as was mentioned here – that they are too big to go through the BBB. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5220009/
Though I don’t know if that lab can be trusted at this point.
And thank you, I haven’t seen that Pub Peer discussion of Gherardi’s work.
Concealing the existence of one of the dosage groups (because it doesn’t fit the desired picture) is a way of faking data. I invite VP to comment on the credibility of any research from a group who fake their results.
Light scattering measurements determine the size of aggregates, which are about 1-20 microns.
However, the PRIMARY particles are nano-scale.
J Pharm Sci. 2002 Jul;91(7):1702-6.
Measuring the surface area of aluminum hydroxide adjuvant.
Johnston CT1, Wang SL, Hem SL.
The traditional method of determining surface area, nitrogen gas sorption, requires complete drying of the sample prior to analysis. This technique is not suitable for aluminum hydroxide adjuvant because it is composed of submicron, fibrous particles that agglomerate irreversibly upon complete removal of water. In this study, the surface area of a commercial aluminum hydroxide adjuvant was determined by a gravimetric/FTIR method that measures the water adsorption capacity. This technique does not require complete drying of the adjuvant. Five replicate determinations gave a mean surface area of 514 m(2)/g and a 95% confidence interval of 36 m(2)/g for a commercial aluminum hydroxide adjuvant. The X-ray diffraction pattern and the Scherrer equation were used to calculate the dimensions of the primary crystallites. The average calculated dimensions were 4.5 x 2.2 x 10 nm. Based on these dimensions, the mean calculated surface area of the commercial aluminum hydroxide adjuvant was 509 m(2)/g, and the 95% confidential interval was 30 m(2)/g. The close agreement between the two surface area values indicates that either method may be used to determine the surface area of aluminum hydroxide adjuvant. The high surface area, which was determined by two methods, is an important property of aluminum hydroxide adjuvants, and is the basis for the intrinsically high protein adsorption capacity.
So blood contains no water ?
Aluminium salts will indeed crystallisize, if water is removed, but this is another thing.
You should prove that aluminium ions selfassemble into nanoparticles in blood, and that this happen more in the case of boys.
You will notice that entropy it is decreasing. That requires external energy.
A fact from science history: disagreeing with everybody does not mean that you are Galilei, it means that are wrong.
What parts of “the primary particles form stable aggregates having diameters ranging from 1 to 5 μm” and “the high surface area obtained by both methods” do you not understand, Steinberg?
I have never seen this addressed, Orac, so perhaps one of the people here could enlighten me, without getting angry. Often, people are angry when a parent chooses to not vaccinate their child for MMR, and we see 4 or 5 cases of Measles happen in one place, let us say a school of 400 children. We can also say that out of that number, 4 have not been vaccinated for MMR, or 1% who have not complied. I simply do not understand what all the other parents are so angry about, since their children are theoretically safe, since they were vaccinated against the disease, and therefore are immune. Unless you say that the vaccination is not completely effective, in which case I argue that how can you then try to force parents to give it to their children, when it is a foreign substance, which may or may not cause harm, and may or may not be effective?
I believe that my question is a fair question, and I hope that I can get fair answers, instead of just angry responses of how off the mark I am, and that I am a Luddite. I do understand the value of a society wanting to keep themselves free from dangerous disease. I also understand the rights of parents. Thank you for hearing me out.
Three reasons. First, two doses of MMR are 97% effective, so yes, 3% of recipients do not get it. Nobody forces parents to give it to their children, but if 5% of parents in the school don’t give it, theoretically we get to 92% immune – which with a disease like measles, may be below the threshold of herd immunity. So the intentionally non-vaccinated create a risk of outbreak that vaccine failure alone would not – and it’s fair to tell those parents that if they don’t want to protect their children, they shouldn’t send it to school. Second, there are children that cannot get MMR – for example, children with cancer – and by sending the intentionally unvaccinated children to school the parents put those children at risk of infection. Third, if a parent brings to school, say, a baby too young to vaccinate – and siblings cannot be kept at home – the intentionally unvaccinated children can infect that baby. So yes, it’s true that it’s the unvaccinated child that is at higher risk from her parents’ failure to protect her – and that’s bad enough – but she also puts others at risk.
Given that Professor Reiss has already provided you with a measured response, I will simply note that your question is one of the hoariest tropes in the antivaccine playbook.
If you’ve never seen that addressed, you definitely need to do some more reading. I suggest starting with this article from PBS.
You can also do a search on this website for MMR and read the blog beginning to end including links by some of our regulars like Narad, Chris, and doritmi, who regularly post useful reference information.
“I have never seen this addressed, Orac, so perhaps one of the people here could enlighten me, without getting angry.”
Actually it has been addressed several times. Here is one example:
In addition to Dorit’s response, the effects of these outbreaks have been written up, they are all available on the PubMed index (somel have a link to the full paper without charge):
Acad Pediatr. 2017 Jul;17(5):571-576. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2017.03.001
Impact of Nonmedical Vaccine Exemption Policies on the Health and Economic Burden of Measles.
Pediatrics. 2010 Apr;125(4):747-55. doi: 10.1542/peds.2009-1653.
Measles outbreak in a highly vaccinated population, San Diego, 2008: role of the intentionally undervaccinated
Lancet Infect Dis. 2016 May;16(5):599-605. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(16)00004-9.
The effect of heterogeneity in uptake of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine on the
potential for outbreaks of measles: a modelling study.
J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc. 2013 Jun;2(2):110-8. doi: 10.1093/jpids/pis132.
Measles Outbreak Associated With International Travel, Indiana, 2011.
N Engl J Med. 2006 Aug 3;355(5):447-55.
Implications of a 2005 measles outbreak in Indiana for sustained elimination of measles in the United States.
pigpen51 calls a vaccine ” a foreign substance” :
actually people – including babies- ingest, breathe in and are exposed to foreign substances ALL of the time:
every time a kid scrapes a knee or hand, he or she is exposed to A VARIETY of substances such as dirt, viruses, bacteria, plant material etc.
AND sometimes ((HORRORS!)) some of the stuff gets into the blood stream ( anti-vaxxers rail about injections “into the bloodstream” – not true- but that happens all of the time from minor accidents).
These are BIG amounts of dirty stuff unlike vaccines that are largely water and sterilised.
Most people w/o serious illness are perfectly able to handle the contaminants of everyday life.
How many times did you, as a child, fall on the sidewalk and bleed? Or have a burn or blister that broke? Or have a cut? Or a dog/ cat/ bug bite?
OMG, this pigpen51 child has never interacted intimately with another human being! No mommy kisses!
And other things.
After having three kids I “love” being lectured at by a virgin. Yeah, I took it there.
If one has not exchanged fluids with another human, you are not allowed to try to “explain” to me the origin of my kid’s autism. Especially if they have not even checked out the “question” they are asking. Seriously. Measles outbreaks are too common, so it does not take much to find out about them. Especially if they show up the mainstream media.
“Especially if they show up the mainstream media.”
Case in point:
Wasn’t there a commenter here who stated that children would avoid contact with dirt? Th1Th2, or something like that?
Yes. And as everyone knows, sidewalks are sterile.
That’s why your parents always warned you not to put anything in your mouth, you picked up from the pavement.
Hey, Food Stamps only go so far.
^ Which reminds me that CIDRAP had a news entry recently about hepatitis A prevalence recently that suggested the homeless were disproportionately afflicted. Their site doesn’t play well with this tablet, though, and I wasn’t able to find it.
Selected in human evolution or not, babies and small children spend a lot of time on the floor or ground, and also put a lot of non-food items in their mouths, which serves to “train” or “teach” the immune system. The load of ingested/inhaled foreign substances is a much bigger challenge to the immune system than probably all the vaccines of a lifetime are. That load is likely to expose children to much larger quantities of the kind of materials in vaccines that antivaxxers complain of, and probably also contains substances that they claim to be in vaccines, and aren’t.
Complaining that others’ responses to antivax queries are “angry”, involves ignoring detailed answers to one’s questions (readily available online and/or provided in the course of a discussion) and if at all possible, zeroing in on a random snarky response as “proof” that The Other Side consists of “angry” people who want to put down innocent parties who are Just Asking Questions.
Another dishonest tactic in the antivax playbook.
The probable end of Bayer/Monsanto will be their cover-up of the cause of vaccine damage: mutations caused by residues of RoundUp Glyphosate that are legal, and quantified. Vaccines are made with eggs, legally sold with 5ppm of the artificial amino acid, glyphosate, which fits in among the hundreds of aminos in the peptide chain reproducing vaccine proteins.
Unknown effects, difficult to test, corroborated by a range of complaints that follow vaccinations: is it a dud, a sore arm, or a baby with autism? How much of that generation are affected in subtle and inconsistent ways, each unique because the proteins could have been mutated in a vast variety of ways with unique interactions? The nature of autism hides each individuals’ expression of random injections of mutated vaccines, futher hidden by the mix of conditions and drug interactions.
This effect is possible with a single errant molecule of glyphosate residue in an egg growing a vaccine.
Where is the study of egg-cultured vaccines & autism?
When will they start to use organic eggs?
References are easy to locate, from MRL FAO Codex, and other relevant searches.
Citation needed. Please provide the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers to support all of your claims.
Especially in regard to the vaccines that are not made in eggs.
And just a reminder: before you can figure out why vaccines cause autism you must provide the evidence that vaccine are cause autism. So far, that step has not been done. Several epidemiological studies done over the last two decades in several countries on multiple continents show no real link between vaccines and autism.
For more information please go to https://sparkforautism.org/discover/ .
I suppose it’s less stale than Vinu.
Don’t count on it. It seems to a standard anti-science rant without any basis in reality.
Standard buzzwords are duly noted.
Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff came up with this nonsense. That is probably all you need to know about it.
I should have also asked for an elaboration on this “nature of” bit.
[…] scientific fraud turned antivaccine icon Andrew Wakefield. When last I mentioned Wakefield, he was being called out by, of all people, Chelsea Clinton, driving his followers into paroxysms of stupid. Of course, […]