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Wake up, Sheeple! Or how a dubious sheep study is being spun by antivaxers

A group of Spanish veterinary researchers claim that aluminum adjuvants in vaccines make sheep sick. To prove it, they injected a small number of sheep with massive amounts of adjuvants and vaccines and did a whole lot of comparisons, including behavioral observations with a large subjective component. Surprise! They think they’ve found something. Less surprising, the antivaxers like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. are pointing to the study as evidence of how dangerous vaccines are.

I must admit that last week, when I saw the study that I’m about to discuss, I basically laughed it off and decided to let it go. It was just that ridiculous. Over the years, I’ve read a whole lot of vaccine studies, some excellent, some good, and a whole lot of truly awful. Naturally, invariably the last of those categories, the truly execrable studies, the ones I like to refer to as “dumpster diving,” the ones people like Mary Holland, Christopher Shaw, Christopher Exley, or Mark and David Geier (and more others than I can remember) or cited by antivaccine activists like Kelly Brogan, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., or J.B. Handley. To give you an idea, I’ve seen lots of vaccine studies seeking to demonize vaccine involving animals, such as monkeys, mice, and rats. I’ve never one that used sheep. It’s almost enough to make me want to yell, “Wake up, sheeple!”

Then I saw that antivaccine pediatrician Dr. Bob Sears had picked up on Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s credulous promotion of this study on his Children’s Health Defense website:

In fairness, “Dr. Bob” seemed a bit puzzled by the study and unsure of it. The same can’t be said of Celeste McGovern’s treatment of it on RFK Jr.’s website, entitled Vaccines Induce Bizarre Anti-Social Behaviour in Sheep:

Just seven injections of vaccines or the aluminum salt added to vaccines caused alarming behavioral changes linked to a fatal nervous system disorder in sheep, a new study from Spanish veterinary researchers shows.

Vaccinated lambs and lambs that received injections of aluminum that is used in human vaccines as well, began aggressively biting the wool from other sheep, pacing restlessly and overeating, according to the study published this week in the journal Pharmacological Research.

Upon reading this paper, the first question that popped into my mind was “WTF?” The second question was: Why sheep, and what were these scientists trying to prove? Before I get into that, however, who are these scientists? They’re a bunch of animal scientists from the University of Zaragoza, Spain. It’s a university that I’ve never heard of. Who they are matters less than the quality of the science, which is not that great.

So let’s move on. First of all, you need to know what the ASIA syndrome is. ASIA stands for Autoimmune/inflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants, and it’s a basically nonexistent syndrome peddled by an Israeli immunologist named Yehuda Shoenfeld (who’s been known to have papers retracted). Its definition is so vague that it can mean almost anything antivaxers want it to be. It’s described in the introduction to this paper after a recounting of how, after vaccination against bluetongue (BT), a serious viral disease of sheep, a previously undescribed syndrome was reported involving severe neurological symptoms with lesions of sterile meningitis, followed by a chronic phase that involved extreme weight loss and neurodegenerative changes in the spinal court.

All known ovine diseases were ruled out as a cause of the syndrome, and it was concluded that the process was associated with the use of Al-adjuvant containing vaccines, and has been included under the umbrella of the Autoimmune/inflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants (ASIA syndrome) [21,22]. In the chronic phase, sheep exhibited a variety of behavioral changes including periods of depression (i. e., lack of response to stimuli, stupor) and lethargy intermixed with periods of excitement, restlessness, polyphagia, and increased aggressiveness, especially compulsive wool biting between animals. Some of those behavioral changes were reproduced in a small cohort of repeatedly vaccinated lambs, but they were not fully characterized [21]. Similar behavioral changes have been observed in experimental laboratory animals that were inoculated with Al adjuvants [23].

I have no idea if these scientists are antivaxers, but they do clearly believe in the existence of ASIA, even though the evidence is overwhelming that the syndrome, whether it exists or not, has nothing to do with vaccines. Indeed, the existence of ASIA is not accepted by the vast majority of scientists and regulatory agencies for good reason. There are large studies that have failed to link aluminum adjuvants with autoimmune syndromes. Of course, these are veterinary scientists; so maybe there is such a syndrome in sheep. Whether it has anything to do with humans is pretty darned unlikely, though, given that we already have large epidemiological studies. Still, let’s see what the antivaccine propaganda version of the story is:

The experiment was part of a research effort to understand a mysterious new disease that had decimated the Spanish sheep industry between 2008 and 2010 following a government-mandated bluetongue vaccine campaign.

Prof. Luján was approached by farmers at the time who were losing entire flocks to the disease. Animals were affected in two phases: in the first acute phase, only a few animals in a flock became nearly unresponsive with an acute meningoencephalitis, and a second chronic phase, sometimes months later and frequently triggered by an exposure to cold weather, affected up to 100 percent of flocks. The sheep became restless and anxious, then showed extreme weight loss and neurological damage. Eventually, all four limbs were paralyzed and they dropped to their front quarters, comatose, and died.

The disease was reproduced experimentally by repetitive vaccination of sheep. Post mortem exams revealed the animals’ nervous tissue was riddled with the toxic metal aluminum.

This was a relatively small study, with two parts. The first part involved only 64 sheep selected and 23 flocks either before or after the compulsory vaccination against bluetongue in 2008 in which the authors reported that the “ASIA syndrom” acute phase was observed in 25% of the flocks they examined and affected only 0.5% of the animals in a given flock. The The second part involved a ridiculously small number of animals, three in each experimental group, with the vaccinated group receiving a ridiculously high number of vaccinations, a total of 1 in 198 days with 4 mg aluminum adjuvant per vaccine. The statistics were dubious. The animals were reported to have behavioral issues, but it sure sounded ot me as though investigators were fishing for results in the postmortem examination and histological examination of the tissues. Nothing impressive was reported.

So what about the current study? Here’s what the investigators did:

The study was carried out at the experimental research farm of the University of Zaragoza. Twenty-one unvaccinated, neutered, male purebred Rasa Aragonesa lambs were selected at 3 months of age from a pedigree flock of certified good health and assigned to one of three groups of seven animals each. Group A (Control) was inoculated with PBS, Group B (Adjuvant-only) was inoculated with the adjuvant only, and Group C (Vaccine) was inoculated with commercial vaccines that contained Al as adjuvant. The experiment ran from Feb 2015 to Feb 2016 (349 days), which included a full summer and a winter period.

Now here’s the rub:

Lambs underwent an accelerated vaccination schedule, designed to inoculate -within an acceptable experimental time frame- an Al load equivalent to that a sheep under local management field conditions usually receives along 6-7 years. Animals in Group C (Vaccine) were inoculated with commercial vaccines against main ovine diseases (Table 1, Fig. 1), receiving 16 vaccine doses within 12 months and a total of 70.861 mg of Al. The recommended application procedures for each product were always followed. Animals in Group B (Adjuvant-only) were inoculated with Al-hydroxide only (Alhydrogel®, CZ Veterinaria, Spain), at concentrations that were identical to those of the corresponding commercial vaccine, measured by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (Table 1). Group A was inoculated with an identical volume of PBS. All inoculations were performed in the subcutaneous tissue of the area encompassing scapula and ribs, using individual, sterile disposable syringe and needle for each injection.

The animals were subjected to behavioral assessments, including a T-maze, open field test, and the novel object test. They were also subjected to other behavioral tests designed to demonstrate social behaviors. It’s not critical to know exactly how these tests are carried out, but in each case videotapes of the animals undergoing the test were evaluated by observers blinded to experimental group. And there was a hell of a lot of video to examine, many hours of recordings.

Here are the results: There were no real differences in the cognitive tests, including the T-maze, open field test, and novel object test carried out in summer and winter. For example:

In the OFT in winter, Group B lambs spent significantly (pW = 0.043) more time exploring than they did in summer and Group C lambs spent significantly (pt = 0.003) less time trying to escape (Fig. 2). In the NOT, in winter, Group B lambs were significantly (pW = 0.043) farther from the novel object in the second exposure than they were in the first exposure (Supplementary Tables S12 – S19).

What does this even mean? There’s no consistency. Remember, group B is the adjuvant-only group, and group C is the vaccine group. So in one test the group B sheep were barely statistically significantly different in while in another test the group C sheep spent more time trying to escape. As far as behavioral tests, the authors reported that sheep in groups B and C spent less time lying down and were more prone to restless pacing and random repetitive behaviors compared to controls. The authors concluded that this is an indication of stress but also that the animals were not housed in stressful conditions, meaning that it must be the adjuvant or vaccines causing these behavioral changes.

Overall, there are a lot of problems with this study. First, it’s not randomized, something that would really be needed to try to prevent any systematic difference in group assignments for sheep. A huge problem, again, is that the authors intentionally tried to accelerate the vaccine schedule for sheep, compressing seven years’ worth of vaccines into a year. Also, although the investigators making the behavioral measurements were blinded, the study was not double-blinded, and the authors relied on observations of the sheep’s behavior with a large subjective component. Given how small the number of animals was, I find it hard to take the results seriously at all. Although some tests use ANOVA and appropriate correction for multiple comparisons, others appear not to, and I have a hard time telling which tests did and did not undergo appropriate statistical analysis. There are also a bunch of t-test comparisons between groups and multiple measures datewise comparisons, but no mention of how many tests turned out to be statistically insignificant. Indeed, as a rule of thumb, if your number of outcomes assessed is greater than the number of subjects in each experimental group, your experiment is poorly designed and statistically dubious.

That’s not all. Prof. Lluís Luján has co-authored at least one paper with Yehuda Shoenfeld on ASIA. Even worse, Christopher Exley, who is, as I like to say, a rising star in the antivaccine movement due to his obsession with aluminum as the cause of autism and other neurological conditions, co-authored one of Luján’s sheep papers.

So, basically, what we have here is yet another in a string of animal models for ASIA in which animals are subjected to treatments that have no resemblance to reality and possibly overdosed on aluminum, lots of comparisons are made on small numbers, and conclusions not justified by the results trumpeted by the authors and picked up by antivaccine sycophantic groups like RFK Jr.’s Children’s Health Defense as evidence of how dangerous vaccines are. Same as it ever was. Crap science begets bogus conclusions.

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]

78 replies on “Wake up, Sheeple! Or how a dubious sheep study is being spun by antivaxers”

Did any of the sheep eat food grown in dirt, such as hay or pasture grass? Since Aluminum is the third most abundant element after oxygen and silicon and the most abundant metal in the crust of the earth, it would seem much more likely that their food was a more significant source of Aluminum than their vaccines. This is also important in questions about whether cooking in Aluminum pans causes Alzheimers. (Shall we sing another chorus of “Correlation Does Not Equal Causation” ?)

This research group have been pushing the Adjuvant barrow for years, and appeared regularly at Exley’s Aluminium Meetings at Keele. So the paper in Immunologic Research (with 6 lambs) was 2013.

(The Topic Editor for Immunoregulation and Autoimmunity at “Immunologic Research”, who presumably chose the reviewers for the paper and weighed their advice on publication, is one Dr Yehuda Shoenfeld).

The collaboration with Shoenfeld — “Immunologic Research” again — was 2017. Then a burst of 2018 papers, which is presumably what brought them to the concerted attention of the antivax network: the paper you mentioned,
But also the collaboration with Gherardi, Published in “Autoimmunity Reviews”, Editor-in-Chief Y. Shoenfeld.
…and the collaboration with Mold and Exley.

Orac–I can’t read the full articles on these sheep studies. The abstract for the original article in 2013 (“Autoimmune/autoinflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA syndrome) in commercial sheep”) claims they found aluminum in brain sections, but you note nothing impressive was reported. Is this more of the anti-vax aluminum crowd claiming they found aluminum but not either doing proper analysis and/or having proper controls?


blockquote>claims they found aluminum in brain sections,



Exley can find aluminium in anything.

If we extrapolate from the sheep model to humans, then immunization with aluminum adjuvant-containing vaccines should also cause extreme weight loss in people. How then to explain current obesity trends?

It is a pretty poor paper really. The methods are a bit opaque, which doesn’t help, but it really looks like they dug through everything to find something significant.

The Introduction and Discussion are full of motivated reasoning, which suggests this was an agenda in search of evidence.

Dr. Bobo sez:

I better see what everyone else thinks about this — that will help me make up my mind.

In other words, he doesn’t know how to read the study and is waiting for someone else to digest it and feed him the ensuing pabulum. I haven’t read the full text of the study but it doesn’t look promising. Who did the tissue analyses for aluminium?

I think this statement “‘Cuz people aren’t sheep. Are we? Wait, now I’m not sure. I better see what everyone else thinks about this — that will help me make up my mind.” is Dr Bob’s anemic attempt at humor. Get it? He states that people aren’t sheep, then he jokingly infers sheep-like thinking with “I better see what everyone else thinks” just as a sheep might think.

Dr Bob seems oblivious to the fact that because he espouses so much anti-vaccine stupidity subtle attempts at humor don’t work…

You’re right. I’ve been arguing with him for years and he really is that stupid which was why I thought that was an actual statement. He reads abstracts and discussions of publications; I’ve challenged him numerous times to explain what something actually said in the methods and he just couldn’t respond, just deflect. That is what comprised his Vaccine Book. And thousands are using that as their guide to vaccinate or not.

Remember, he’s a pediatrician who is too stupid to figure out what to do when a child who was hit in the head with a hammer shows up in his exam room. Sears makes sheep (and hammers) look intelligent.

Exactly. When you routinely espouse pyroclastic stupidity such as “measles isn’t that bad a disease” then reasonable people generally can’t tell whether you’re kidding or not…

I just asked this question on another blog but were the animals tested specifically and appropriately for their species and environment? Also, were the animals behaviourally tested pre-treatment? Were baseline blood values taken?

Why do you consider the accelerated vaccination schedule an issue in this study? Parents who are concerned about “too many too soon” and the effects of adding more vaccines to the schedule are told that human infants can receive any number of vaccines without needing to worry about cumulative effects. Do you think sheep are more sensitive to such effects? Or is there some other reason that it’s a concern with a study of this nature, but not for human infants?

Why do you consider the accelerated vaccination schedule an issue in this study?

Because it reveals an attempt to load the deck, which is dishonest. Are you really that dim, or just disingenuous?

How is it ‘loading the deck’ if there is no cause for concern with the number of vaccines given? If there is cause for concern, i.e. that researchers are more likely to see adverse effects by giving more vaccines or ‘loading the deck’ – then why is there no cause for concern and need for research on the effect of adding more vaccines to the schedule for human infants?

You’re employing circular logic here, Beth.

There is no reason to accelerate a vaccination schedule in sheep in order to test safety for vaccines. If you want a cause for concern you have to demonstrate the concern, and explain why it is a plausible concern before you set up your hypothesis but currently there is no concern other than the one invented by some antivaxxers.

What the investigators did here was to rush a vaccination schedule hoping to find data to let them prove a risk. What they should have done was take seven years and then look at, well I don’t know what they were looking at or what it was supposed to prove. But they were in a hurry so they rushed it, and can’t claim they did good science along the way.

So as someone said, the real attempt here was to prove what the investigator already believed to be true rather than ask a real question.

@Panacea I’m not employing circular logic here. I’m asking questions in an effort to understand the underlying assumptions about the effect of multiple vaccinations. I find it plausible that a schedule of multiple vaccines in a relatively short developmental period could have an effect and cause statistically significantly more problems, which is the concern with regard to this study. What I don’t understand is why that concern is limited to a study in sheep but is not a concern for the multiple vaccines that have been added to the childhood schedule in the past 20 years. My issue is that the position with regard to the study on sheep isn’t consistent with ORAC’s previously stated position on the ‘too many too soon’ concern for human infants. I hope to understand what the difference is between the two situations that resolves this apparent inconsistency. Can you explain why it’s a concern for this study but shouldn’t be a concern for human parents in vaccinating their children?

BTW, researchers having a belief about how the results will come out is not disqualifying for a scientific experiment. All experiments are run with preconceived ideas about what to expect and test whether or not those expectations are correct. The key is whether or not the experimenters are willing to accept the null hypothesis when the results do not support their original predictions.

All experiments are run with preconceived ideas about what to expect and test whether or not those expectations are correct. The key is whether or not the experimenters are willing to accept the null hypothesis when the results do not support their original predictions.

Wrong again. The key is whether the methods adequately test the hypothesis and that the hypothesis is clearly stated. As for the accelerated injection schedule, how does that represent the actual population? I haven’t read the paper yet but some glaring problems such as inadequate group sizes, lack of pre and post treatment testing of all metrics and the number of tests and sloppy reporting of results don’t bode well for this study. Now, why don’t you tell us why you find it so compelling or will we yet again, have another conversation about your confirmation bias?

Beth, the reason it’s a problem is that an obvious attempt to generate the desired results by overdosing throws the whole study into doubt. How can you trust the results, conclusions and analyses when it looks like the researchers are trying to bias the results from the start?

There is a limit to the amount of aluminum adjuvant you can get at a particular time. The vaccine schedule is set up in a way that never exceeds this amount. You can add more vaccines to the schedule and can give a lot of unadjuvated vaccines at the same time, but you can still not go over this amount.

@Sullivanthepoop Could you provide a link for that info? I’m aware that such a study and recommendations were done for thimerosol before it was removed from most vaccines, but not that it has been done for Al adjuvants.

I did find this recently published paper on the subject, “Reconsideration of the immunotherapeutic pediatric safe dose levels of aluminum” which states
• Aluminum levels in vaccine is based on immune efficacy and ignore body weight for safety.
• Several critical mistakes have been made in the consideration of pediatric dosing of aluminum in vaccines.
• Safety inferences of vaccine doses of aluminum have relied solely on dietary exposure studies of adult mice and rats.
• On Day 1 of life, infants receive 17 times more aluminum than would be allowed if doses were adjusted per body weight.

I did find this recently published paper on the subject, “Reconsideration of the immunotherapeutic pediatric safe dose levels of aluminum” which states…

Of course you don’t care who the authors are, nor their expertise and it isn’t a study; it’s a published piece of vanity and profound ignorance of the subject.

Because this acceleration may not be biologically relevant? This is different from the “too many too soon” in that these lambs got 6 years of vaccinations in one. That’s like giving an infant 6 years worth of vaccines at once. That’s completely different from the current schedule, where vaccines are spread out into biologically relevant periods. Multi-shot vaccines like Hep A (for example) are spread out not because of concern about an adjuvant, but because the immune system needs time to process the antigen and build memory.

@Justatech Lambs reach maturity at 6-8 months, so the first six years of vaccinations for human children would need to be compressed into the first couple of weeks of life for a lamb. I don’t know how labor intensive it is to give vaccines to lambs but increasing the dosage on animals to emulate a longer exposure time for humans is a technique that has been used in many experiments. Your response doesn’t explain why the accelerated schedule of adjuvants for lambs was a concern because it might generate additional adverse reactions but adding vaccinations to the schedule for infants is not something that parents need be concerned about. As you point out, adjuvants aren’t currently a consideration in the timing of the vaccinations for humans. But your answer merely reiterates that it isn’t currently given consideration by policy makers. It doesn’t explain why parents don’t need to be concerned or why vaccine policy makers shouldn’t research the potential for cumulative effects and take it into consideration when making changes to the recommended schedule.

Beth the current vaccine schedule for humans is carefully scheduled based on what is biologically appropriate. I don’t know how else to say that so you get it. Every new vaccine is carefully considered when it is added to the schedule.

The vaccine schedule for sheep is presumably also based on what is biologically relevant. Compressing that schedule makes it less biologically relevant. This is not the same as adding a new vaccine. It’s like listening to the audiobook of War an Peace at 100X. You’re not getting anything out of it, and it might hurt your ears.

Here, let’s try another analogy. If you tried to eat all the sugar you eat in a year in one go you would probably choke to death. Does that mean you eat a “deadly” amount of sugar in a year? No. Is it a good way to look at the impact of an extra glass of juice a week on the weight of 2-year-olds? Also no. It is in fact completely irrelevant to parents’ concerns about the impact of fruit on their children’s weight. So a person would only do such a “study” if the intended outcome was to frighten people.

@Justatech Thanks for the analogy. Are you familiar with the history of Saccharine? There were attempts to ban it based on studies of larges doses given to mice over a short period of time. They were later concluded to be unconvincing. I can understand that the concern with that aspect of the study, what I don’t understand is how someone could simultaneously dismiss concerns regarding overall sugar intake with obesity by proclaiming that the average amount of sugar in the diet of the American child is fine, there’s no cause for concern and no reason to conclude there is a relationship between the rising amount of sugar in their diet and the rising levels of obesity. Now, I don’t claim the relationship between vaccines and auto-immune disorders is anywhere near as compelling, but you picked the sugar analogy.

Yeah, it seems testing biological systems is not the same as testing the fatigue stress of aircraft wings. You can accelerate one but not the other.

Go figure. Presently reading The Crash Detectives by Christine Negroni.

Beth, what I was trying to say with the sugar analogy is that having a test subject choke to death on a amount of sugar that represents a year’s consumption doesn’t tell us anything about what the sugar is doing in small amounts over time.

First: No one eats 152 pounds of sugar in one go. So that’s not relevant to how people are exposed to sugar.
Second: the most likely mechanism of harm from trying to eat 152 pounds of sugar at once would be choking. Which doesn’t tell us a single darn thing about obesity.

By changing the time parameters the test is no longer relevant at all.

@NumberWang says “Beth, the reason it’s a problem is that an obvious attempt to generate the desired results by overdosing throws the whole study into doubt. How can you trust the results, conclusions and analyses when it looks like the researchers are trying to bias the results from the start?” I understand why it is stated as being a concern for this study. My issue is that the position with regard to the study on sheep isn’t consistent with ORAC’s previously stated position on the ‘too many too soon’ concern for human infants. Telling me why it’s an issue for this study doesn’t explain why it’s simultaneously reasonable to dismiss the concerns of parents who question the current schedule for childhood vaccinations as “too many too soon”.

Aluminum is an immunological adjuvant. The FDA analyzed aluminum pharmacokinetics ALONE and declared that aluminum in vaccines is safe! So we have a regulator who is clueless as to even what aspects of safety need to be analyzed. How then can we expect vaccines to be safe? So vaccine safety is an oxymoron. There is no science behind vaccines or the schedule. They just make stuff up as they go. And they will change their mind often, as it suits them.

Safety studies of aluminum in vaccines lack immunotoxicity analysis of this immunological adjuvant: Ignorance or deception?

Linking to another self-cite that argues by assertion and doesn’t contain anything amounting to hard evidence does not constitute proof of anything other than arrogance and stubbornness on your part.

A. I have tried to find anything about a sheep disease crisis killin sheep in Spain online and am coming up short. I am finding report of a bear attack killing sheep. I realize most of the materials would be in Spanish, but does anyone have any indication that there is, in fact, such a problem?

B. I thought, personally, Dr. Bob was trying to be sarcastic, and just doing it badly.

But that’s not a mystery illness killing sheep after vaccination campaigns that needs investigation, as addressed here. That’s a trigger for vaccinating, and a known problem.

There is a disease that is decimating flocks in the Basque region of Spain, but most scientist think it is a tick-borne disease in the same family as another well known sheep disease because they start showing symptoms after being taken to the mountains to graze and have antibodies that cross react to the other well known tick-borne disease. Both diseases cause encephalomyelitis

I’m sure that this study will be used as supporting evidence by those who already question pet vaccinations:
” Is your dog or cat autistic? Pet vaccinations…” Natural News 4-29-2017 SD Wells
Articles like these have been featured at AoA and woo-meisters routinely describe their extremely healthy unvaccinated 25 year old dogs and cats.

How can you tell if pets are autistic? Wells says dogs may chase their tails. S/he had no examples of cats but I assume that it’s not responding to their names, staring into space, being focused upon parts of objects…
Oh wait..

“All known ovine diseases were ruled out as a cause of the syndrome, and it was concluded that the process was associated with the use of Al-adjuvant containing vaccines”.

Well, I’m sure these anti-vaxxers would never miss scapie, which is a bovine spongiform encephalopathy similar to mad cow disease.

“Lambs underwent an accelerated vaccination schedule, designed to inoculate -within an acceptable experimental time frame- ”

Translation – we accelerated the schedule so the grad students could get the data for their dissertation in less than than 6 years.

That 2010 paper by González et al. seems to be the source of most of Luján’s clinical descriptions (e.g. the acute / chronic distinction). I couldn’t find anything more recent from the authors on the syndrome they reported. It could be worth contacting the corresponding author (M. De las Heras) to see if any more is known.

The sheep paper merely confirms my darkest suspicions that vaccines are baaa-aaad.

Beth: “I’m asking questions”

Beth has turned up here before, Just Asking Questions. Inquiring minds like hers are to be cherished, not discouraged with brute facts.

Prof. Lluís Luján was an editor of the book:

Controversies in Vaccine Safety
A Critical Review

There were chapters written by 30 or so experts. The book also included a chapter on Vaccine induced allergies by yours truly. It was available for pre-order for a month and then it was mysteriously pulled. The truth was too hot to handle …

Preface Christopher A. Shaw, Lisa Claire Dwoskin, Lluis Lujan and Lucija Tomljenovic Foreword Alan Cassels 1. Vaccine safety concerns: separating fact from fiction Donald E. Greydanus 2. Vaccine effectiveness: several views from the historical record Christopher A. Shaw and Jessica Morrice 3. Vaccines as tools against infectious diseases in veterinary medicine James Roth 4. Vaccines and Autoimmunity Yehuda Shoenfeld, Nancy Agmon-Levin and Jose Jiram Torres 5. Dietary, infectious and vaccine antigens and toxic metals as contributors of autoimmunity Aristo Vojdani 6. Vaccine components and host interactions: genetics, epigenetics, antigenic load and compromised immunity Judy Mikovits and Francis Ruscetti 7. Low dose thimerosal (ethyl-mercury) neurotoxicity and vaccines Jose G. Dorea 8. Vaccine Induced Allergies Vinu Arumugham 9. Immunotoxicology of vaccine adjuvants Alexander Batista-Duharte 10. Aluminum adjuvants Christopher Exley 11. Aluminium adjuvant alternatives: a chemist’s point of view Vincent Vande Velde 12. Characterization and pathophysiology of macrophagic myofasciitis syndrome Romain K. Gherardi, Francois Jerome Authier and Guillemette Crepeaux 13. Neurodevelopmental toxicity associated with the use of aluminum vaccine adjuvants Christopher A. Shaw and Lucija Tomljenovic 14. Immunotoxicity of nanoparticles: implication in vaccine adjuvant use Georgi Yordanov 15. Alternatives to current adjuvants Nikolai Petrovsky 16. The significance of heterologous immunity in shaping immune responses to vaccinations and infections: a double edged sword Lucija Tomljenovic and Christopher A. Shaw 17. Controversies in Vaccines safety, Adjuvants and ASIA syndrome Abdulla Watad and Yehuda Shoenfeld 18. Vaccine safety in veterinary practice W. Jean Dodds 19. Over-immunization in sheep and associated neurodegenerative syndromes Lluis Lujan 20. Adverse reactions associated with HPV vaccines : examination of epidemiological studies and pharmacovigilance data Rokuro Hama 21. HPV vaccine and orthostatic hypotension Louise Schouborg Brinth, Svetlana Blitshteyn, Jeanne Hendrickson and Manuel Martinez-Lavin 22. Research on drugs and vaccines: a call for formal study of drug harm Beatrice Golomb 23. Seeking the correct balance between vaccine social benefits versus individual adverse effects Rajesh K. Gupta 24. New classification of vaccine adverse events causality criteria by the WHO Jacob Mammen Puliyel 25. HPV vaccine and ovarian failure: deficiencies in the clinical trial study design and vaccine surveillance systems reporting guidelines which impede accurate assessment of vaccine-related risks Deirdre T. Little 26. Reanalysis of the U.S CDC data on the timing of the first MMR vaccine and autism incidence Brian Hooker 27. The role of institutional scientific misconduct David L. Lewis

Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it. -Niels Bohr

Anyone who is not shocked by vaccine safety problems has not understood it.…

After billions and decades wasted barking up the wrong tree, the medical establishment has no answers for most non-communicable disorders. The “antivaxers” are establishing root cause and providing the solutions. You can pull your head out of the sand and pay attention or go obsolete.

The “antivaxers” are establishing root cause and providing the solutions.

No, they’re not. They’re starting with the conclusion “vaccines are bad” and attempting to prove it. They rely on fallacies like loading the deck, confusing correlation with causation, and working to a predefined answer.

Vinu, if you’re so unhappy here, perhaps you should start your own blog.
You could call it Contemptible Arrogance – the ramblings of a know-nothing about nothing of consequence.

The book also included a chapter on Vaccine induced allergies by yours truly. It was available for pre-order for a month and then it was mysteriously pulled.

I assure you that there is no mystery.

The list of authors could be summarized as “The Usual Gang of Idiots” (with thanks to Mad Magazine).

You cannot explain why desensitation therapy works (for allergy).
You cannot explain why autism is more prevalent amongst boys a(for autism)
You cannot explain autism twin studies.
You do not know receptor (or enzyme) concentrations in vaccines (for autoimmunity).

“You cannot explain why desensitation therapy works (for allergy). You cannot explain why autism is more prevalent amongst boys a(for autism) You cannot explain autism twin studies.You do not know receptor (or enzyme) concentrations in vaccines (for autoimmunity).”
Nor can you. That you don’t know something isn’t a licence to fill in the gap with any odd crap that wanders into the forefront of your consciousness.
I might hypothesize that magnets work because tiny invisible gnomes fly out from the magnet to the steel and bind the two with tiny invisible cables, but I don’t think I’d get much funding for experimentation..
The Lakota word for mystery means, approximately, “that which I don’t know yet”. It’s a good attitude to take into the lab.

After billions and decades wasted barking up the wrong tree, the medical establishment has no answers for most non-communicable disorders.

That statement may seem to make sense to anyone who doesn’t understand genetics and developmental biology.

That statement wouldn’t make sense to anyone who’s ever had medical care for just about anything.
Unless they’re dumb as a box of hammers.

Wait. Does vinu think that all “non-communicable disorders” have the same root cause?

On what planet does Down syndrome have the same root cause as obesity?

ORD is right. vinu is at least as dumb as a box of hammers.

Please both, don’t insult the boxes of hammers 😉

They’re pissed off being in the same company as vinu.


Aarno, I apologize for my mistake. In my all-too-often muddled way, I thought I was responding to Vinu. And I thought it was a pretty good response, too. Oh well, Shinola happens.
Vinu, if you’re reading this, no apologies. I really do think you’re as wrongheaded as can be.

Suppose you’re a soft drink manufacturer and you have a new Isotonic Sports drink out and you want to show how much better it is than water.

You grab two athletes and run some (hypothetical) tests that show the levels of minerals & salts in the blood as well as hydration levels. The tests may show that after a workout the Sports drink is a little better but not by enough to make a difference.

Now you try to show that over a week it works out better but you don’t have time so decide to pack a weeks worth of drinks into a day (because, reasons). Suddenly your water guy falls over with Water Poisoning (
Result!!, see our sports drink is better!!

You can’t change the dosing schedule and use those results against the current schedule unless you can first prove that the results will be comparable.

Even simpler version, you can take a couple of Paracetamol (acetaminophen) for a headache with no worries, taking a dozen leads to a good chance of killing yourself.

Kennedy’s group has a link to the sheep study, so in the comments I posted a link to here.
With any luck some of his sycophants will have to spend some time on the fainting couch.

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