Was Rahm behind this?

Jenny McCarthy will cut this bogus retraction to shreds:

The Lancet medical journal formally retracted a paper Tuesday that caused a 12-year international battle over links between autism and the childhood vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella.

The paper, written by British doctor Andrew Wakefield, suggests that the combined shot might be linked to autism and bowel disease.

His assertion, now widely discredited, caused one of the biggest medical rows in a generation and led to a steep drop in vaccinations in the United States, Britain and other parts of Europe, prompting a rise in measles cases.

“It has become clear that several elements of the 1998 paper by Wakefield . . . are incorrect,” the British journal said in a statement.

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267 replies
  1. 1
    cleek says:

    the cover-up just got a layer deeper.

    which increases how nefarious it its by a factor of two.

  2. 2
    Cassidy says:

    Few things drive me crazier than parents who won’t vaccinate thier kids. That and all that holistic medicine crap.

  3. 3
  4. 4
    Midnight Marauder says:

    Between this and Bill Gates dropping a cool $10 billion on vaccinations, this has not been a good start to the decade for Jenny McCarthy.

    @John:

    Huh?

    You must be new here…

  5. 5
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    Yes. Now I am going to go read what you wrote.

  6. 6

    Yeah, I wonder if that asshole RFK Jr. will withdraw his Deadly Immunity article or if he’ll just double down and say that Wakefield is being suppressed by nefarious big Pharma (who would really rather be developing new boner pills because customers for boner pills keep coming back for more, whereas vaccines are a one-off).

  7. 7
    Alice B. Stuck says:

    I want to see stolen emails from Russian Hackers for what really happened.

  8. 8
    Moonbatting Average says:

    @Cassidy: My sister is among those, her baby is 16 months old. It pisses me off.

  9. 9
    Max says:

    Bill Mahr is not going to like this at all.

  10. 10
    DougJ says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    Good question.

  11. 11
    calling all toasters says:

    OK, so vaccines don’t cause autism. But pyramid power still cures it, right?

  12. 12
    mcc says:

    This is a really big deal.

    Respectful Insolence today has some pretty good posts about the ruling by the UK’s General Medical Council that Wakefield had conducted his research unethically (their investigation is apparently what lead to the Lancet pulling the paper).

  13. 13
    tootiredoftheright says:

    @Moonbatting Average:

    Tell her that autism is caused by the parents genes hence why entire families who didn’t get vaccines have it. The Amish have a high rate of autism and other neurological disorders and very rarely vaccinate in the Amish who got vaccinated rarely developed autism while the unvaccinated Amish comprise most of the autistic Amish.

    Explain that in idential twins if one twin was vaccinated and the other wasn’t. The unvaccinated twin often developed autism if the vaccinated twin did.

    Also tell her that a single fish sandwhich has more mercury and otehr chemicals that Jenny Mccarthy claims cause austim then a thousand vaccine shots do.

  14. 14
    Punchy says:

    McCarthy’s Operation Whatever already released a presser basically saying this is a Big Pharma coverup, coersion by vac makers, and other sickening bullshit.

    This zombie lie will not die. EVER.

  15. 15
    mai naem says:

    Well, Rahm wasn’t behind it. Rahm’s the politician. The doctor in that family is Ezekiel and he’s the one behind the conspiracy. Christ, can’t you people even keep these brothers apart.
    Seriously, though, my sis had real issues with vaccinating her kids because her BIL got some form of cerebal palsy after receiving his vaccinations when he was a child. Granted this was in the 50s, but it still makes one think seriously when vaccinating your kids.

  16. 16

    Don’t worry folks, Bill Maher will just pull some quote from the nineteenth century about the dangers of vaccines to slay this foul beast that is western medicine.

  17. 17
    mcc says:

    @Angry Space Cadet: Did you know that Louis Pasteur recanted the MMR vaccine on his deathbed

  18. 18
    C Liss says:

    I have to say I disagree with you here. I’ve had mercury poisoning from my fillings, and it’s pretty terrible stuff. A lot of the people who are sick from mercury (and who posted on a message board that was as much of a community as this one) became strongly symptomatic after seasonal flu shots. Moreover, some of the posters were parents with autistic kids – the chelation (ALA, DMPS on a very specific schedule) according to many of them caused vast improvements. There’s no medically recognized cure for autism, but a lot of these kids got much better with the same therapy that I took to get the mercury out. If/when I have kids, I will only vaccinate the absolute minimum necessary. Finally, one of the great things about this blog (and many others) is that unlike the MSM, it actually believes our elected representatives and financial establishment can be evil, corrupt and even criminal. I’m not sure why so many give a pass to our medical one.

  19. 19
    evie says:

    The Rahm-hate may go too far, but so does the defending him at all costs. He is an asshole and he does abandon progressive causes in a second while preening to the GOP whenever possible.

    But Obama is the one in charge. Rahm is a favorite “lightening rod,” as they say, but not really the point.

  20. 20
    Crusty Dem says:

    This could’ve happened a year ago, that’s when it was discovered that the basic data was faked, pretty impressive considering it was really just a case study anyway. Despite the lack of real data, it was the only study to ever make a real correlation between vaccination and disease.

    Vaccinate those kids, people!

  21. 21
    Crusty Dem says:

    C Liss, I’m pretty sure none of the vaccines have mercury anymore (except flu, I believe), and even when they did, it was a hell of a lot less than you’ll get out of a bad filling.

  22. 22

    @mcc:

    No, but now that I do know I’m switching to tried and true medieval folk remedies that predate big pharma.

  23. 23
    cleek says:

    quackery is big business.

    it will be with us forever.

  24. 24
    Anne Laurie says:

    @tootiredoftheright:

    Tell her that autism is caused by the parents genes hence why entire families who didn’t get vaccines have it.

    That’s part of the problem. Parents would rather blame an outside agency than accept that something as immutable as their own genes might have “caused” their kid’s problems. Actually, best guess we have right now is that it’s a polyfactorial combination of the ‘wrong’ gene set inherited from the ‘wrong’ parental pairing plus some as-yet-undetermined set of environmental triggers, but it’s sooo much easier to blame the Monster-of-the-Week than to accept that sometimes a tragedy is just random juju. If Jenny McCarthy were living in colonial America, or certain modern African Talibangelical communities, she’d be calling for one or more of her unfortunate neighbors to be burned at the stake for casting the evil eye at her son… partially for the warm feeling of righteousness in “solving” her problem, and partially so the rest of the neighbors didn’t start whispering about what Jenny must’ve done to “deserve” such an sick child. Eighty-five percent of the time, we haven’t moved past the paleolithic, we’ve just invented more sophisticated jargon to disguise our lack of progress.

  25. 25
    de stijl says:

    He’s gotta have his dip-tet, honey.

  26. 26
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @C Liss: Of course anyone can be evil, but that doesn’t mean they actually are. Thimerosal was removed from vaccines a while ago, yet autism rates continue to increase. There is no reason to believe that the thimerosal in vaccines caused the autism.

  27. 27
    C Liss says:

    It’s true that the vaccines have far less than fillings. But for people who are genetically bad at getting rid of it, or very young children who are susceptible, maybe it can be enough. I know I’m done with flu shots, and that’s after having a nasty bout with the swine flu a month ago. I’m not sure if all the vaccines are thimerosal-free (that’s the preservative that has mercury). I’d bet even money that mercury was *one* cause of autism, though whether that mercury came from vaccines or some other environmental source, I can’t say. I do know that on the message boards I used to frequent, many reported both getting sick/worse after vaccination and also their kids showing signs of autism after it. Some of the people were crackpots, easily deluded by a conspiracy, but most were just people struggling to get themselves and their kids well, and were as honestly as possible recounting their experiences.

  28. 28
    cleek says:

    the title is funny to me because, for whatever reason, there is a large overlap in my mental images of the set of Hamsters and the set of anti-vaccine liberals.

    or maybe it’s because i think they’re all idiots.

    +5.

  29. 29
    mcc says:

    @C Liss: I’m pretty certain the UK MMR vaccine Wakefield’s paper was about was not one of the Thimerosal (mercury compound) vaccines in the first place! The controversy about the MMR vaccine and autism from the OP story was entirely separate from the controversy about mercury-compound preservatives in vaccines and autism in the US. Wakefield’s theory about MMR being dangerous revolved around something to do with too many vaccines in a short span having a negative effect on the gastrointestinal system, or something.

    This is one of the most consistently fascinating things about the vaccines=mercury paranoia to me– how it keeps going even in the case of vaccines that never did or don’t anymore contain Thimerosal. Even aside from the mercury scare being baseless, even aside from Thimerosal not being “mercury” any much more than table salt is chlorine, how can anyone get “mercury poisoning” from a vaccine that doesn’t even contain Thimerosal?

  30. 30
    cleek says:

    @C Liss:

    I do know that on the message boards I used to frequent, many reported both getting sick/worse after vaccination and also their kids showing signs of autism after it.

    there’s an old saying about anecdotes and data. and it’s true for many reasons, not the least of which is the tendency for people who believe X to gather together with other people who believe X and reinforce each other – you can get a whole lot of anecdotes in one place, if the people with the anecdotes are self-selecting.

    that’s why pollsters call random people. and it’s why good scientists don’t pick out data that only supports what they want to prove.

  31. 31
    Flugelhorn says:

    Good. Next to go will be the man-made global warming lie.

  32. 32
    gex says:

    @C Liss: Well, we are talking about a specific medical claim by a specific researcher with very specific complaints about his conflicts of interest and professionalism and very specific findings that his research did not meet standards. There are also very specific pieces of evidence with fewer questionable aspects that contradict Wakefield’s claims.

    I’m not sure we need to be scolded about blindly giving the medical industry a pass.

  33. 33
    Crusty Dem says:

    C Liss, I don’t doubt that there are kids who develop symptoms after vaccinations, but many large studies have looked for a correlation for vaccines with and without mercury and found nothing. Some studies have been sponsored by drug companies, others by NIH, and some have been performed in other countries. There’s no evidence for a link.

    There’s a very human need to identify a cause, determine a culprit, etc, but in this case, it’s just not real. The disease likely has a genetic cause, as identical twins have an amazingly high concordance rate (63-98% vs 0-10% for dizygotic twins). Environmental diseases do not produce this kind of data..

  34. 34
    Jackie says:

    There is even a flu vaccine that is mercury free.

    There are no doubt some small number of people who have unusual reactions to vaccines. No one is suggesting that anything is perfectly safe. You play the odds. Infectious diseases are alot more dangerous than vaccines. I watched a healthy 29 year old woman die a slow agonizing death from the chicken pox that her 3 year old brought home from daycare. And chicken pox is on the way nice end of the bugs
    vaccines prevent.

  35. 35
    mcd410x says:

    Most infant vaccines have been thiomerosal-free since 2001.

  36. 36
    C Liss says:

    @thoroughly pizzled – I agree. Most doctors and many researchers are trying their best to help people get and stay well. But the idea that vaccine makers and other profit-motivated medical businesses are above “juking the stats” on studies either to sell something or avoid liability is naive. Even now, the ADA (American Dental Association) assures the public that mercury fillings are safe, when I know for a fact they are not, and they have been banned in several European countries. The liability should they admit that would be enormous. If vaccines caused autism, the vaccine-makers would be similarly incentivized to deny it and fiercely oppose and ridicule anyone purporting to show otherwise, whether or not that person had a good case. When you consider how wrong just about ALL of our financial experts were (and the incentive they had to be wrong), I don’t see how one can’t be skeptical of medical claims that something is harmless. I don’t have an answer for why the autism rates have gone up when the vaccines have had less or no mercury, though. Maybe there’s another environmental factor involved.

  37. 37
    Comrade Kevin says:

    It’s funny how someone can praise a victory for science, and in the same comment, engage in anti-reality bullshit.

  38. 38
    Anne Laurie says:

    @C Liss:

    I know I’m done with flu shots, and that’s after having a nasty bout with the swine flu a month ago.

    Well, flu shots always give me 72 hours of achey joints & mild fever, but that’s the same reaction I get from vacuuming the basement (dust / mold spore allergies). I still get the dam’ things, especially when I’m sharing office space with pregnant women and/or elderly cancer patients. My hyperactive immune system is a minor inconvenience, in comparison to their potential suffering.

  39. 39
    de stijl says:

    Use iodine, you might save on orthodonture. Won’t knock a thing off the university.

  40. 40
    scav says:

    C Liss, by your logic, because some people get food poisoning, who knows why and you even admit you don’t know why, you should give up eating. Because Cargill is mean.

    Besides, apparently, it was Dr. Recently Debunked Wakefield who didn’t reveal that he was allied with lawyers trying to sue vaccine makers and was, also, go figure, developing a vaccine of his own.

  41. 41
    Jackie says:

    @C Liss: You are making a case not that manufacturers could conceal harm for profit but that the entire research establishment around the world has managed to so be co opted that the multiple studies in multiple countries done by both governments and private institutions are lying. And that this guy, who is demonstrably gaming his data for whatever reason, is the only one to not be in on the plot.

  42. 42
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @C Liss: After some rudimentary research, it seems that there scientists agree that mercury fillings leach some mercury into the body, but they disagree on the amount and whether or not the mercury affects the body significantly.

    The vast majority of people who get mercury fillings are fine, and although mercury poisoning is definitely a serious problem, I think the more likely source for it is (as mentioned earlier) fish consumption, and there may be trace amounts of mercury in our water supply.

    You talked about chelation therapy earlier, but its curative effects on autism haven’t been proven yet, and the therapy itself can be somewhat dangerous.

    Medicine’s imperfect, and every treatment will have side effects and drawbacks. But just because something may cause harm to a small percentage of people doesn’t mean we should pick an alternative that makes more people sick.

  43. 43
    C Liss says:

    @scav – I actually do try to avoid anything with ingredients from a company like Monsanto or Cargill as much as possible. I buy most of my food from the local farmer’s market including grass-fed bison, bacon, eggs and cheese. I get other dairy products from a raw-food co-op – raw sour cream tastes much better than the processed kind, and it’s much better for you. So yes, I agree – I don’t trust companies like that to look out for me over the long haul. Obviously, nothing that’s legal to sell (medically or food-wise) is going to kill people tomorrow – that’s the stuff you’d be busted for. But 20, 30, 40 years down the road? How is anyone going to prove that. The cigarette companies got around to settling up just 10 years ago or so.

  44. 44
    Ash Can says:

    @Flugelhorn:

    Next to go will be the man-made global warming lie.

    Because, just like in this vaccination case, the entire case for man-made global warming hinges on one single, solitary controversial report that flies in the face of reams of independently verifiable scientific data collected over years of study. Right? And it’ll be debunked any minute now. In fact, you could even hold your breath till then. Go ahead.

    @C Liss:

    When you consider how wrong just about ALL of our financial experts were (and the incentive they had to be wrong), I don’t see how one can’t be skeptical of medical claims that something is harmless.

    See my point about “independently verifiable scientific data, reams of” directly above. If you’re going to equate medical data with Wall Street ponzi schemes and give the information you find on an online message board greater credence than mountains of scientific evidence, I see little difference between your way of thinking and that of Flugelhorn’s.

  45. 45
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    It is nice to see Rahm calling Senate Liberals ‘fucking retarded’. It should also be noted that retards, specifically mentioning Special Olympians, can still possess Talent.

    Here, a retard advises Barack on bowling. This particular retard is pretty articulate, for a retard.

    Barack bowled a 37. Drunk girls, in my recent experience, usually can score a 70.

  46. 46
    Yutsano says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: You are A) about five threads too late and B) offensive as usual. Obviously sin binning you is having little effect on your behavior.

  47. 47
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    Drunk girls, in my recent experience, usually can score a 70.

    Is that before or after you give them the rohypnol, BOB?

  48. 48
    C Liss says:

    @thoroughly pizzled. I’d argue that the vast majority of people who get mercury fillings appear to be fine insofar as their subsequent ailments are difficult to trace to mercury poisoning. What if your brain and endocrine system can hold it together despite the poisoning for 15 or 25 years depending upon your genetics and health habits, but then over time, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, autoimmune disease, etc. settles in. How would one prove that mercury was a cause or a contributing factor to those diseases? It would be difficult and meet a lot of resistance. And chelation IS extremely dangerous the way it’s typically administered because most doctors have no clue what they’re doing, and they often make the patient worse. Chelators wear off, and if you don’t take them according to their half lives, they’ll pick up the mercury and redistribute it with terrible effects. But if you dose (low at first) according to half life and keep a constant supply in the blood for a period of days (including at night), you can minimize (but not eliminate) the side effects. I know I’ve gone far afield of the original conversation on vaccines – many of which no longer have mercury. I’d still probably stay away from them even if there was a thimerosal-free flu shot available to me. Who knows what else is in there – many of the effects of these things take time to be known. In 20-25 years, we’ll probably know a lot about the effect of constant cell phone use that we can’t possibly know now. (I do have a cell phone, but try to keep it away from my head as much as possible). My overall point is that those who question vaccines, like Bill Maher, should not be dismissed for questioning the medical establishment on vaccines and other health claims.

  49. 49
    scav says:

    @C Liss: you just really don’t get it. you can leap over the entire part about who’s got better evidence of having solid reasons to lie and pick up on a cheap laugh-line about cargill. um, how do you know those cows are really grass-fed? do you follow them around the fields?

  50. 50
    maus says:

    There’s actually a huge link between Alt-Med quackery and the teabaggers.

    The first nationwide (and international) conservative talk-radio star huckstered people into getting goat glands implanted in their bodies for “vigor”. He also invented modern political PR.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_R._Brinkley

  51. 51
    maus says:

    @48

    I don’t have an answer for why the autism rates have gone up when the vaccines have had less or no mercury, though. Maybe there’s another environmental factor involved.

    That is what every single piece of medical evidence so far has shown. Find another bogeyman.

    Also I’m not particularly frightened that I might not know the true effects of my mercury fillings over the next 70 years.

  52. 52

    Hooray for sanity and the power of reason.

    http://mblogs.discovermagazine.....lds-paper/

    http://www.jennymccarthybodyco...../Home.html

    yay, science!
    Boo, woo-woo fucktards

    schadenfreude, and your antivaxx retarded tears taste like justice.

  53. 53
    Quackosaur says:

    @Jackie:

    But vast conspiracies are fun! Never mind that the existence of such would require levels of competency and secrecy that usually elude large bureaucratic systems. Of course, the only logical answer is that there is in a fact a secret Shadow Government and/or Council of Plutocrats which uses incompetency as a smokescreen for its nefarious activities!

    @C Liss:

    Have you considered the vague criteria for an autism diagnosis (combined with parents scrutinizing their kids’ behavior because of the autism hoopla) as the source of the rising rates of occurrence?

  54. 54
    Yutsano says:

    @scav: It’s called certitude. S/he KNOWS hir conclusion is the correct one, therefore no matter of facts or evidence to the contrary matters. It’s essentially the same as evangelism, not even hir child getting sick and/or dying from an easily vaccinated against disease will convince them, because at least they were safe from autism!

  55. 55
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @freelancer (itouch): Phil Plait’s awesome.

  56. 56
    BDeevDad says:

    I tell parents that don’t vaccinate their kids that they are not only stupid, but selfish and putting a lot of other children at risk.

    This is what they cause.

    I meet a lot of anti-vaxers on boards for parents of special needs kids. As my wife says, they are looking for someone to blame and can’t deal with the fact that sometimes, bad things happen.

  57. 57
    Martin says:

    @Yutsano: I thought that was called Bushitude?

  58. 58
    burnspbesq says:

    @C Liss:

    You do understand the difference between anecdotal evidence and empirical evidence, I presume?

    You’re welcome to believe whatever you choose to believe, and I have no intention of trying to talk you out of those beliefs. Just recognize that there is no rational basis for them, ‘K?

  59. 59
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @BDeevDad: That’s pretty powerful, and very sad.

  60. 60
    scav says:

    @Yutsano: I’d pretty much figured that out, just was feeling a little unexpectedly Quixotic. That and the idea of getting her to follow the cows around the fields confirming they munched on the correct grasses amused me.

  61. 61
    Martin says:

    @Quackosaur: I’ve met no fewer than a dozen people that thought they or their kids had Aspergers. Autism is the cool thing to have these days.

  62. 62
    mcd410x says:

    I have a theory — and it’s probably totally crackpot — that autism may in part be caused by pregnant mothers eating “organic” foods that are missing the trace levels of heavy metals that at one point would have killed humans but through evolution have become nutritionally necessary. The unborn child doesn’t develop a need/resistance for/to them and unfortunately upon eventual contact becomes very sick.

    As I said, probably totally crackpot.

    (Or through science/medicine, we’re overcoming evolution: Passing on a lot of “bad” genes that would have normally been removed due to natural selection.)

  63. 63
    MikeJ says:

    @Martin: And sometimes buys your kid extra time on standardized tests.

    When Big Parent has such an incentive to have the tests come out one way, they tests tend to come out that way.

  64. 64
    C Liss says:

    I’m by no means an expert on autism – I do know quite a bit about mercury poisoning, and many of the people on the boards I frequented were using chelation therapy under the proper “Cutler” protocol to great effect. (Yes, it’s anecdotal, but there were a lot of sensible people who were expressing their honest observations insofar as I could tell, and tracking what was going on over time). So as I said, I’d bet even money that mercury is *one*, not necessarily the only, cause of autism. Because vaccines had been rumored to be linked to autism, some of them had a preservative that contained mercury at one time, and many of the people specifically detailed their own, and their kids’ symptoms after vaccination, I am wary of vaccines with the preservative. Because the vaccine makers produced a product with thimerosal in the past, I’m not going to trust their substitute ingredients as a matter of faith. I might be incorrect that mercury causes autism (I said even money, not that I’d lay 10 to 1), but I am sure mercury from fillings causes many very unpleasant symptoms and diseases because I know that personally. Moreover, no one really takes that seriously, and those who try to treat mercury poisoning usually do more harm than good. So whether or not you agree with anything I say, once again, my point is just that I am every bit as skeptical of our medical establishment as our financial one. The idea that medicine is “science” while Wall Street had ponzi schemes is also naive. Three years ago, those guys were geniuses for creating these great algorithms that created so much wealth for so many. Also, we had regulators who signed off on Wall Street’s products as AAA. I don’t think the medical establishment and the protections therein are all that much better. Again, you’ll never get a product that will kill you right away. But long term, I think people should be very skeptical.

  65. 65
    Yutsano says:

    @Martin: Funny thing about that. I have a good friend who has Asperger’s but is high-functioning. It’s very interesting to have a conversation with him, we will be talking about one thing then suddenly the topic will shift and he’s off on the next thought in his head and you cannot get him back to the old one. Even with this deficit he still graduated from the RCMP academy and has a very successful career as a Mountie. So I think there is more truth to what you say than C Liss wants to acknowledge.

  66. 66
    BDeevDad says:

    @Martin: I’d also say that it is the new catch-all. Also, autism is one of only 4 conditions that is considered for receiving services from the CA state regional centers after age 3.

    We have multiple friends whose children we’re diagnosed autistic that have switched to gluten free diets and made remarkable turnarounds, including one child that is no longer on the spectrum.

  67. 67
    maus says:

    many of the people on the boards I frequented were using chelation therapy under the proper “Cutler” protocol to great effect.

    http://www.quackwatch.org/01Qu.....ation.html

    No, they didn’t, outside of the internet webforum echo chamber. There’s no science behind it.

  68. 68
    mcd410x says:

    @BDeevDad: Wonderful link.

    We get vaccinated not only for ourselves but for the common good. For those who, because of age or immune-deficiencies, etc., can’t.

  69. 69
    scav says:

    Disentangling diagnosis trends from changes due to treatments is mind-bending and a lot of fun to beat your head against (for me only a hobby). Wasn’t there a fair bit of work done trying to figure out how much the longer survival rates in breast cancer were due to a) actual treatment or simply b) earlier detection?

  70. 70
    BDeevDad says:

    @BDeevDad: One caveat to the gluten free diet stuff. Our friends kids have also received an immense amount of therapy (ABC, OT, Speech, etc) so how much was due to the diet and how much was due to intense early intervention is up for debate.

  71. 71
    C Liss says:

    The Cutler protocol is legit – that I’m sure of because it basically saved my ass. I’m persuaded that it works for autism because of the community on the Yahoo Frequent Dose Chelation board, but I’m admittedly relying on anecdotal evidence for that. But these were people with nothing to gain by lying, and many were properly skeptical, but desperate to try something and even surprised that it worked. Whether vaccines were the cause – that’s more speculative, but many on the boards believed that due to specific personal experiences they recounting in detail. That’s not a peer-reviewed study with proper scientific controls – I get it. But knowing personally what mercury does and how the medical establishment dismisses that, I am far from dismissive of these people’s claims. I can’t speak for quackwatch – no idea what the agenda there is – I’ve read that many of the treatments he purports to debunk work, and I know for sure the Cutler one does.

  72. 72
    Yutsano says:

    @BDeevDad: Bag on Time magazine all you want (and much of it is deserved) but they did a fantastic article about how early intervention can really help the worst ravages of autism. I learned a ton about how they are getting better and better at analyzing the symptoms even at 12 months and starting therapies earlier. Also making sure that the therapy is a multi-pronged approach helps as well. It was very very good journalism in a sea of lack these days.

  73. 73
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @C Liss: Questioning authority is nice as long as you have a good reason to. There’s no evidence that mercury fillings causes all the disorders you mentioned. Correlation is not causation. Just because we don’t know something doesn’t mean we should start the blame game or indulging in conspiracy theories.

  74. 74
    Fencedude says:

    @C Liss:

    Isn’t it amazing how the mere mention of vaccines pulls in the cranks?

    Anyway, your posts are full of anecdotal bullshit and you are avoiding answering any of the points raised, just responding with worthless walls of text that kill braincells faster than severe mercury poisoning.

    (and you do realize that Thimerosol is not Mercury, right? Or do you worry constantly about the possibility of your salt shaker spontaneously combusting as well? Since that is about as likely as you getting mercury poisoning from the fucking thimerosol in a tiny little shot of vaccine)

  75. 75
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Yutsano: Hi, hon. I’m stalking you now. I left you a comment on the Lost Open Thread.

  76. 76
    mcd410x says:

    It’s funny (or not, really): People see reporting about this scientific study or that scientific study which essentially say opposite things. I’m not surprised that they’re skeptical of science, that they don’t know what to believe.

    Our media do such a poor job reporting, even understanding science. Never is it mentioned that this is how the scientific process works. Never is it mentioned, in this world of instant gratification, that science is about replication, about the test of time. So it goes.

  77. 77
    hamletta says:

    Rising autism rates most likely have to do with better cognitive/behavioral screening tools, and more widespread use of same.

    Treating children’s development as something to be monitored along with height, weight, etc. is a relatively recent phenomenon. Many older pediatricians won’t bother with such tools, thinking they can spot a child with a delay or disability, but if they can do so in a 15-minute well-child visit, they’ve already lost valuable time.

    Parent report is the most reliable source of information about development.

    That said, the MMR/autism “link” was being debunked in real time. I surprised it took The Lancet this long to retract it. It isn’t just any ol’ quack newsletter, it’s up there with the New England Journal of Medicine among top-flight, peer-reviewed journals.

  78. 78
    scav says:

    @mcd410x: back a step, they’re apparently not even taught how to evaluate evidence logically or string together an argument in schools. How do they evaluate competing advertisements?

  79. 79
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @C Liss:

    You’ve been insinuating the whole time that the medical establishment embraces vaccines and other stuff because there’s financial incentives to keep everybody poisoned with heavy metals. While on the other hand, the people who believe that mercury poisoning caused their kid’s autism have nothing to gain, so their testimony is more trustworthy.

    This is a dangerous argument to make. You could essentially use it to dismiss every treatment your doctor ever proposed. If you had a tumor and the oncologist wanted it treated, you could tell him that he had a financial stake in it and couldn’t be trusted. Whereas the person in the chatroom has no financial stake when he tells you to treat the cancer by eating celery.

    Just because someone has the potential to make money off of something doesn’t mean he can’t be trusted to speak about it.

  80. 80
    Yutsano says:

    @mcd410x: I blame the lack of science editors in major news publications. This also includes most major news websites as well. Not that there isn’t a ton of science information available out there, but let’s face it: without major links it just stays within its own niches. It’s pretty much tragic.

  81. 81
    The Main Gauche of Mild Reason says:

    CLiss will next tell us how the poisonous gluten in bread destroyed her intestines. Seriously, never underestimate the ability of new age woo to turn understood illnesses with well-defined causes into mysterious pervasive conspiracies to destroy our health.

  82. 82
    C Liss says:

    @thoroughly pizzled – I can’t lay out the evidence here, but Andy Cutler, who’s a PhD chemist from Princeton actually makes a pretty good case that (1) mercury poisoning is prevalent (millions of people suffer from it in some form) and (2) that it is a cause of many chronic diseases. He does so in his book “Amalgam Illness”. It’s not the type of book you’d ever buy unless you strongly suspected you were sick from mercury poisoning (or if you were sick and every doctor you visited didn’t know what it was and told you it was psychosomatic. But the scientific case is laid out there, if you were curious. Also, I don’t question the efficacy of ACL repairs, or emergency heart attack treatment. That’s not based on some drug company funded study – pro athletes are playing on repaired joints, and lives are saved in the emergency room all that time. But when it comes to side effects of vaccines, mercury fillings, genetically modified crops, high-fructose corn syrup, transfats (all stuff that was green-lighted by the FDA and medical establishment), I think the evidence is overwhelming that one should be skeptical, and the burden shifts for long-term proof that new products are safe.

  83. 83
    Sly says:

    Time: Your collaborator recommends that parents accept only the haemophilus influenzae type B (HIB) and tetanus vaccine for newborns and then think about the rest. Not polio? What about the polio clusters in unvaccinated communities like the Amish in the U.S.? What about the 2004 outbreak that swept across Africa and Southeast Asia after a single province in northern Nigeria banned vaccines?

    McCarthy: I do believe sadly it’s going to take some diseases coming back to realize that we need to change and develop vaccines that are safe. If the vaccine companies are not listening to us, it’s their f___ing fault that the diseases are coming back. They’re making a product that’s s___. If you give us a safe vaccine, we’ll use it. It shouldn’t be polio versus autism.

    Jesus Christ.

  84. 84
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @mcd410x: Well, and the fact that things change the more you study them. Therefore, something that was true twenty years ago may not be as true now. Science is not a concrete, discrete thing. Even with repetition, there will be variances in the results.

  85. 85

    @C Liss:

    The Cutler protocol is legit – that I’m sure of because it basically saved my ass. I’m persuaded that it works for autism because of the community on the Yahoo Frequent Dose Chelation board, but I’m admittedly relying on anecdotal evidence for that

    Yes, because a Yahoo board is a substitute for a rigorous set of clinical trials and long term efficacy studies. You know the company I used to work for should have gone to the FDA and said “Hey, these goddamned clinical trials and double blind studies are costing us a fuckload of money. We’re going to get rid of them and distribute our product over the internet and tell people it cures cancer and lupus, and we’ll set up a Yahoo board, or maybe a Facebook page, to collect our results.”

    In short You’re a chump, C Liss, your cure is anecdotal evidence. You followed this protocol, you got better. Now, perhaps all of the mercury in your fillings fucked up your brain but are you aware of the principle that correlation does not equal causation. You might have gotten better even if you hadn’t followed this bogus protocol. What I find amazing about chumps like you is that you’ll eat whatever shit some quack like Andy Cutler tells you to put into your body, despite the fact that Cutler has no FDA approved trials to back up his claims, and then you’ll turn around and spout your “Big pharma is not above juking the results” bullshit without realizing that if Big Pharma does juke their results they’re more likely to get busted for it than some quack like Cutler because they have to submit those results to the FDA.

  86. 86

    @Sly:
    Wow. Just wow.

    I do believe sadly it’s going to take some diseases coming back to realize that we need to change and develop vaccines that are safe.

    Translation: You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet. Because FSM knows the deaths, pain and suffering from an outbreak of polio or smallpox would be far preferable to the incidence of vaccination problems.

  87. 87
    BDeevDad says:

    You mean the “Cutler Protocol” created by a chemical engineer that shows up nowhere in PubMed?

  88. 88
    Anne Laurie says:

    @hamletta:

    That said, the MMR/autism “link” was being debunked in real time. I surprised it took The Lancet this long to retract it.

    The Lancet explicitly retracted a specific article by this specific anti-vax huxter, because once an article has appeared in print there’s a protocol to follow before it can be, as it were, taken out of the canon. Doesn’t mean the Lancet has blindly supported Wakefield’s conclusions, much less the even more scattershot jenny-mccarthyism he spawned. What happened today was really the cherry on the debunking sundae, as it were: The British Medical Institute officially said, “Not only have Dr. Wakefield’s conclusions not been supported by any other of the many subsequent studies, BUT after a long examination we now conclude that his study was not done to the minimal standards required.” Which is about as close as an institution can come, under rules of evidence, to saying that Wakefield fudged his working methods to ensure he’d get the results he was looking for — the opposite of how scientific research is supposed to work.

  89. 89
    The Main Gauche of Mild Reason says:

    @C Liss:

    I give you, from what I can tell, a typical devotee of Andy Cutler.

    http://curezone.com/faq/q.asp?a=3,76&q=102

    http://www.mercurypoisoned.com/update.html

    The latter states “My doctor recommended that I also start going to the sauna to sweat the mercury out of my body” which is complete hogwash.

    The gist is that there are many people who feel unwell in modern society for a variety of reasons. Many of these are psychological. As someone who has been treated for depression and anxiety disorders, I can speak to the amazing ability of the psyche to manifest physical symptoms with no true physiological cause. But people are very eager to attribute their suffering to nefarious industrial/medical conspiracy du jour, and the anecdotal thinking style which most people default to (“I did chelation therapy x, and I felt a lot better!” Nevermind if there was actually a connection between the two) is quite compatible with the new age woo vendors eager to make a quick buck or gain a loyal following.

  90. 90
    BDeevDad says:

    @Sly: Hell, she is still defending Wakefield as of last week on her Generation Rescue site and blaming the pharmaceutical companies.

    I refuse to post a link to them.

  91. 91
    C Liss says:

    You know what’s funny – I think I made a pretty good argument that a lot of stuff that was bad for us long term has been green lighted. And how a lot of industries from medical to financial to government have let us down. And I’ve also had personal experience with a couple things, which I’ve mentioned not as proof for you, but as 100 percent proof for me (I can’t go into all the details), but I would lay 100 to 1 that the Cutler protocol works if in fact you have mercury poisoning. But whether or not you agree with what I’m saying or not, what’s up with the rage about it, and the lack of respect? I’m not enraged that few if any of you agree with me. I’m just making my case – I think you guys are far too credulous when it comes to things like vaccines. Have you read Cutler’s book to determine whether it’s pseudo-science or rigorous research? Is medicine not backed up by a $100 million double-blind study inherently ineffective? And again, why so pissed off about it?

  92. 92
    jcricket says:

    I give up.

    The most life-saving, earth-changing medical discoveries to come along in 150 years are now to be suspect and avoided because a fucking playboy playmate with big tits and a bigger mouth says her kid is all the science she needs.

    Thousand Scientists, doctors, researchers and pharmaceutical companies (no saints, but bear with me) are all to be totally distrusted b/c they are evil to the core. They have nothing to gain but money, and they have never saved a life and this is all their fault.

    But a single researcher, studying 12 kids, making up data and being paid $400k by lawyers for parents who already bought the mercury/vaccine/autism link – he’s the SECOND FUCKING COMING OF JESUS HIMSELF.

    If that’s enough to get people to stop vaccinating their kids in large amounts (which it was), we’re fucking doomed as a people.

  93. 93
    de stijl says:

    I’ve gotten good results recently from the University of Minnesota Spankological Protocol.

    (I was having more fun when I was quoting random bits from the picnic scene in Raising Arizona. I have one more in me that I just gotta get out: What would Ed and little angel do if a truck splattered your brains over the interstate?)

  94. 94
    The Main Gauche of Mild Reason says:

    @C Liss:

    I give you two of what seem by my judgement to be typical devotees of Andy Cutler:

    http://curezone.com/faq/q.asp?a=3,76&q=102

    http://www.mercurypoisoned.com/update.html

    The latter even refers to “sweating out” mercury, which is complete hogwash.

    The gist is that there are a lot of people in the modern world who feel unwell for a variety of reasons, many of which are psychosomatic. As someone who has been treated for depression and an anxiety disorder, I can speak to the amazing ability of the psyche to manifest physical symptoms with no genuine physiological cause. But many people are eager to attribute their discomfort to “nefarious industrial/medical conspiracy du jour” because of the sense of cosmic justice it gives them. It doesn’t help that the anecdotal thinking style that most people default to (“I tried therapy x and I felt better!”) is ideal for exploitation by new age woo vendors eager to make a quick buck/loyal following.

  95. 95
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @C Liss: The thing that all medicine should be evaluated by is efficacy, not who funded the research. You still haven’t shown any evidence that modern medicine is a failure.

    I love how you cite trans fats and high-fructose corn syrup as examples of the medical establishment’s failure, as if doctors are prescribing them to treat the flu or something.

  96. 96
    jcricket says:

    @BDeevDad: We should all spend the next 400 comments debating its relative merits, though. In fact, we should keep a mind so open that any new idea that comes along where someone claims to have been cured is given equal time to, you know, medicines with 150 years of proven results.

    Vaccine science is solid. When there are problems and errors (which there have been) they get tracked and corrected. I’d be willing to entertain a debate about which vaccines are required, and on what schedule, but that’s about it. I’ll take the word of people savings 10s of millions around the world from horrible deaths from polio, whooping cough, pertussis or even rotovirus (once the largest cause of infant hospitalization) over pretty much any critic (esp. when they’ve offered nothing in the way of proof).

    Yeah, big Pharma spends too much time making “me too” drugs and boner pills. Yeah, big chemical companies make shit that’s polluting our water and possibly poisoning us (BPA?). But in my 15 years of following this debate alternative medicine has moved not ONE FUCKING IOTA closer to offering any real medical help for anyone other than a placebo effect.

    Science doesn’t know everything, that’s why it’s called science, not religion. If people who follow alternative treatments used even 1/10th the skepticism to their own cures that they place on “western” medicine – homeopaths, chiropracters, the whole lot would be out of business tomorrow.

  97. 97
    BDeevDad says:

    @jcricket: I love the Big Pharma is evil argument. You know what, because of Big Pharma, I can work and be productive for a long time to come, where even 20-30 years ago, I would not have been so hopeful.

  98. 98
    C Liss says:

    @thorough pizzled: I freely admit there are some things the system is very good at – I had ankle surgery this summer, and the doctor did a great job. And I cite transfats and HFCS as examples of things that eventually kill you that were greenlighted into the food supply en masse and passed whatever regulatory health hurdles were required. And margarine was supposed to be healthier than butter. I bet many doctors told people with high cholesterol to switch 20 years ago.

  99. 99
    scav says:

    will somebody tuck C Liss in bed? It was amusing for a while but I’m missing our usual trolls. BoB doesn’t pretend to be logical, isn’t as long winded and is sometimes unexpectedly amusing in spite of himself.

  100. 100
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @C Liss: Oh, you’re going with the classic argument: I seem to be making all of you mad, and you’re only mad because you’re too ashamed to admit that I’m right, so I’m right!

    Do you think that the eradication of smallpox was a triumph of pseudo-science? Or the near total defeat of polio? The science behind vaccines themselves has never been discredited.

    Of course, vaccines have some side effects (not autism, just the risk of contracting the illness meant to be prevented), just like everything else. But they still provide net benefits. There’s no holy grail of medicine, despite what the alternative medicine quacks say.

  101. 101
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @C Liss: Of course there have been mistakes before, and we should approach everything with a degree of skepticism. But if you cite a lack of perfection as reason to dismiss something entirely, it’s entirely self-defeating.

    Wait, this sounds eerily familiar.

  102. 102
    Fencedude says:

    @C Liss:

    You aren’t actually responding to the points at hand.

    And answer my question about your salt shaker. Or should I say, TIME BOMB!!111!!

  103. 103

    FSM, where are the front pagers when you need an open thread?

  104. 104
    Yutsano says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Paging Anne Laurie! Anne Laurie please pick up the white courtesy phone.

  105. 105
    C Liss says:

    When did I say that people taking shots at me means I’m right? Of course, it doesn’t. I’m pointing out that it’s classless and uncalled for. That’s the shit I’d expect at NRO’s blog if I said something nice about Obama. It’s teabagger shit. Get enraged and attack the guy you’re arguing with. And you’re attacking a straw man here with your polio argument. I even wrote I’d get kids all the absolutely necessary vaccines. I’m not a fundamentalist on this. Nor am I arguing that the Cutler protocol or any other alternative medicine is a cure all. Can we have a disagreement without distorting one another’s arguments. I’m simply arguing that one should not be overly credulous when it comes to the claims of vaccine makers about flu shots and child vaccinations regarding their side effects or lack thereof. The initial point of the thread is that it’s preposterous to think any of our increasing number of childhood vaccines could be implicated in autism. I think while they may not be, it’s far from crazy to think that some of them might have serious side effects, one of which could be autism. Even if the one study was flawed or discredited. I know for a fact what mercury fillings can do, and our medical establishment is in denial about them, though in Europe they’ve already been banned based on the evidence because they don’t have powerful ADA lobby.

  106. 106
    BDeevDad says:

    they don’t have powerful ADA lobby.

    OMFG

  107. 107

    @C Liss:
    I wish you could have an argument in more than one paragraph.

    Space (return) between them.

  108. 108
    Yutsano says:

    @C Liss:

    Even if the one study was flawed or discredited.

    Fair enough. Now find me another peer reviewed study that shows a link between autism and vaccination. The problem with your defense is you put the burden of proof upon yourself then chose to complain rather than back up your assertions. And falling back on one author doesn’t cut it. If what you are saying is true then the science should be on your side. So show us where you’re right and we’re wrong. Otherwise you’re not going to change any opinions here.

  109. 109

    Jesus, when did BJ get overrun with anti-vax Huffpo loons?

  110. 110
    Ben says:

    @C Liss:

    I’m simply arguing that one should not be overly credulous when it comes to the claims of vaccine makers about flu shots and child vaccinations regarding their side effects or lack thereof. The initial point of the thread is that it’s preposterous to think any of our increasing number of childhood vaccines could be implicated in autism. I think while they may not be, it’s far from crazy to think that some of them might have serious side effects, one of which could be autism. Even if the one study was flawed or discredited.

    For fuck’s sake.

    You have no evidence at all for saying we should be suspicious of the long-term effects of vaccines. NONE. You say you had mercury poisoning from dental work and that a specific treatment helped you. What kind of alchemy are you using to turn that into an argument against vaccines?

    It IS preposterous to think vaccines are implicated in autism, because there is no evidence that they do despite several determined searches for such evidence. It’s no less preposterous to claim that vaccines MAY cause male-pattern baldness — because who knows, right? Could be that one-in-a-billon chance, right? Better not risk it!

    We have HUNDREDS OF YEARS’ WORTH of evidence that vaccines are awesome at stopping infectious disease, though. Kids not dying from measles or suffering permanent damage from mumps — that kicks ass, and vaccines are proven to do it. No question.

    So take your superstition somewhere else, somewhere where I don’t have to read it and spend what should be a comfy pre-sleep snuggle with my sweetheart yelling at some dumbass on the internets.

  111. 111

    @freelancer (itouch):
    When their “Jennie McCarthy vaccine” google alerts went off while you were gone, apparently.

  112. 112

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Lol, look at the other threads AWS. I was never gone my friend. Just avoiding the hail of stupidy from fucking retards.

    /palinbaiting

  113. 113
    Yutsano says:

    @Ben: Vaccination is even older than that. Modern vaccination was originally done for smallpox (remember smallpox? It was virtually gone until anti-vaccination nuts surfaced) based upon Turkish practices of inoculating their children. All vaccination is based upon that idea. It’s actually a medieval Muslim practice we adapted and expanded.

  114. 114

    Programming note: We are discussing Unitarian Universalism and secular humanism in the previous thread if anyone wants a calmer room. :)

  115. 115
    Yutsano says:

    @freelancer (itouch): Ooh well played sir. Well played.

    @arguingwithsignposts: I’m having more fun thread jumping and trying to talk C Liss back from the crackpot edge. It’s most likely a futile exercise but meh I’m bored anyway.

  116. 116

    Ha! Edit function is getting fickle. She gave me a grand total of 15 seconds to walk back anything I said.

  117. 117

    @Yutsano:

    It’s actually a medieval Muslim practice we adapted and expanded.

    I knew it was the Mooslims’ fault!

  118. 118
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @C Liss: Actually, it’s only been banned in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.

  119. 119

    @Yutsano:
    Well, I’ve got them both open too, but I think you’re butting your head against a wall here. Speaking of interesting questions, I’m curious what percentage of anti-vaccine types are fundamentalist Christians. It’s right up their wheelhouse, even if a former Playboy Playmate is their lead spokesmodel.

  120. 120
    Yutsano says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Depends on their strain of anti-government feeling also. The stronger that all the the less likely they are to be for vaccination since it represents government control. Plus if you home school your kids you don’t have to provide a vaccination record.

  121. 121
    Mayken says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: I know quite a number of anti-vaxers who are Evangelicals and vice versa. Unfortunately there are also a not-insignificant number of anti-vaxers who are otherwise highly educated liberals. It give me a sad.

  122. 122

    @Yutsano: Somehow, DougJ must be made to pay for putting up this anti-vacc red meat before the night was over.

  123. 123
    Yutsano says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: I’m thinking Colette should whip him mercilessly with the gigantor wine glass. Or he puts up a mugshot, one of the two.

  124. 124

    @Mayken: I guess anti-vax, like politics, makes strange bedfellows.

    I like the suggestion someone made on an episode of This American Life about the anti-vaccine crowd: If you want to subject your children to the risk, then set up a special state or something where all these people can live in harmony without putting the rest of the population at risk.

    Because it’s not just your kid that’s at risk, it’s mine as well if yours gets one of these illnesses and passes it on.

  125. 125
    Mayken says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Yeah, their decisions would not bug me nearly so much if it weren’t for that tiny little fact that their decisions sicken and kill other people’s children.
    Love the idea of a separate state for the anti-vax crowd. Said state, however, would have to be very far away from anyone and would be a one way trip. Which may also be a feature not a bug. ;-)

  126. 126
    maus says:

    @C Liss:

    The Cutler protocol is legit – that I’m sure of because it basically saved my ass.

    You are not a scientist or in any manner educated enough to make that decision. Nobody believes you, or cares about your opinion.

    Like I mentioned earlier, there were thousands of great anecdotes in the past from people who had goat testicles sewed inside their bodies.

  127. 127
    Yutsano says:

    @Mayken: They can’t have Hawai’i. I volunteer Alaska.

  128. 128
    C Liss says:

    Ok, so it’s been banned in three European countries that typically enact pretty sensible policy. By the way, reading the WaPo article, maybe there’s a great basis for discrediting the study, (and I certainly don’t have the expertise one way or the other) but the specifics cited are pretty weak.

    presented his research in an “irresponsible and dishonest” way and shown a “callous disregard” for the suffering of the children he studied.

    and

    The Lancet said that after the GMC ruling, it was clear that parts of Wakefield’s paper were wrong. It highlighted, for example, assertions that investigations of children for the study were “approved” by the local ethics committee.

    Not saying there weren’t good reasons to discredit it, but could they not say – “his data didn’t lead to the conclusion he drew” or “it was shown that he falsified data.” Just saying.

    It’s not like the British government (and probably ours, too) had a lot at stake at getting the journal to retract the paper.

    I actually think the government believes that vaccines are highly necessary, and that this paper caused a lot of damage and was terrible for the public. So there was probably a good deal of pressure brought to bear on the journal to retract it on any grounds.

    They might have found legit ones – who knows? Hard to tell from the article though how the retraction casts doubt on the validity of the study.

  129. 129
    Yutsano says:

    @C Liss: ROTFL. Oh it gets better. Attacking the retraction after the major publication already admitted the original study was hokum. What in the world do you think peer review means? It means you present your conclusions then have them scrutinized by other scientists, including your methodologies to check for soundness and accuracy. You’re not even trying anymore. Come back when your sauce is less weak.

  130. 130
    Mayken says:

    @Yutsano: That is a pretty good thought. However, the indigenous peoples and Canadians might not like it. I think an island may be best, but I agree, they cannot have Hawai’i!

  131. 131
    MikeJ says:

    but could they not say – “his data didn’t lead to the conclusion he drew” or “it was shown that he falsified data.” Just saying.

    http://www.psychologytoday.com.....tless-home

    Regardless of Wakefield’s unethical conduct, is there evidence that supports this hypothesis? A study published in Pediatrics attempted to determine whether measles was more likely to found in the bodies of children with ASDs than in typically developing children. D’Souza and colleagues (2006) collected the largest sample of subjects for this type of study and used the same technique, polymerase chain reaction assays, that had purportedly detected measles in children with ASDs. They found that this technique produced many positive reactions in both children with ASDs and typical children. However, these reactions were further analyzed and found to be false positives for all subjects. The products of the reactions were cloned and genetically sequenced and none of these sequences contained the components of the measles virus. That is, neither the children with ASDs nor the typical children showed any evidence of measles virus in their bodies. Furthermore, there were no differences found in anti-measles antibodies across the study groups of children.

  132. 132

    @C Liss:

    The GMC case did not investigate whether Dr Wakefield’s findings were right or wrong, instead it was focused on the methods of research.

    There’s a reason for those types of judgment calls (see, Tuskegee experiments). It’s why there’s a Human Subjects Review Board at every university in the U.S.
    The findings have been examined elsewhere for their veracity. Methodology is crucial in experimental design.

  133. 133
    C Liss says:

    What are you talking about – that paper was from 1998. It passed muster then from the peer review. Were people that much stupider in 1998? Or maybe 12 years later when the Swine Flu pandemic struck, and people were getting urged to get vaccinated, but many didn’t based on fears stoked by that paper among other things, that suddenly, the peer review process saw the light about how the scientist was mean to children and said he got the local ethics board to approve it when he didn’t?

    I admit – I should have read the Post article before commenting initially and getting caught up. I didn’t realize how shaky the retraction sounds. But who knows, maybe it’s all on the up and up, and this year coincidentally was the one where everyone decided to take a second look at it.

  134. 134
    maus says:

    @C Liss:

    Not saying there weren’t good reasons to discredit it, but could they not say – “his data didn’t lead to the conclusion he drew” or “it was shown that he falsified data.” Just saying.

    They don’t need to, but without being there, it’s difficult to state with absolute certainty.

    That not one researcher has ever been able to replicate his findings under controlled testing is proof enough. And believe me, people have.

    Point being, you’re on the wrong side of the discussion and anecdotes don’t make science, especially since these anecdotes break down under observation.

  135. 135
    Yutsano says:

    @C Liss: No, it passed editorial review, which is nowhere near the same thing. After it was published, the experiment was attempted to be repeated, and the results could not be replicated. THAT is called peer review. Understand the difference now?

    EDIT: What maus said too.

  136. 136
    maus says:

    @C Liss:

    What are you talking about – that paper was from 1998. It passed muster then from the peer review

    Read the links here and then come back when you’re done reading the links.

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=3660

    (Also, the lanced RETRACTED the study because of its shitty quality.)

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH.....tml?hpt=T2

  137. 137
    Warren Terra says:

    C Liss, you do understand that we, as a society, have done the experiment? We stopped using mercury compounds in vaccines years ago; the incidence of autism didn’t drop. So how can you blame mercury?

  138. 138
    C Liss says:

    Ok, fair enough – maybe the retraction was legit. Didn’t get much from the WaPo article. The Psychology Today was more detailed. That doesn’t change my skepticism about vaccines, even if this study was garbage.

  139. 139
    Yutsano says:

    Well this has been swell but the swelling’s gone down. I’m off to make coffee for the morning and find my pillow.

    @C Liss: Look up the definition of certitude. It’s why you’re choosing to believe vaccines are bad even though the evidence overwhelmingly says otherwise. And in the words of Edward R. Murrow, good night and good luck.

  140. 140

    @C Liss:

    U R fucking Re. Tard. Ed.

    Wakefield was exposed as a fraud last year. Explicitly, the co-authors of this study as well as closer examination of his methodology as well as words out of his own mouth caused peers in other specialties like statisticians an epidemiologists to look at his data again, and it looked gooey enough that science was able to show he was manipulating his observations in order to establish a correlation between MMR and Autism diagnoses.

    Reality. She drink UR milkshake.

    Where’s my Big Pharma check?

  141. 141
    maus says:

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=3660

    Read this. Read every bit of this. Then stop to consider what life would be like if you were incredibly gullible, no matter how much money you spent to feel good.

    Also, the “study” was retracted due to the research being of an extremely poor nature.

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH.....tml?hpt=T2

    According to The Lancet’s editor, it was “utterly clear, without any ambiguity at all, that the statements in the paper were utterly false.”

  142. 142
    Warren Terra says:

    Peer review means a few qualified people read it, decided its hypothesis was interesting enough to publish and the results reported, if true, could support it. But might not, and the “if true” is key.

  143. 143

    @C Liss:

    It passed muster then from the peer review. Were people that much stupider in 1998?

    The “editorial review” process, also called “peer review” often in the U.S. looks at the data presented and such and tries to see if they match the conclusions drawn. They do not – to the best of my knowledge – actually go back to original data, or have the ability to examine things that the researcher does not present in the paper.

    To quote the editor of the Lancet, interestingly enough:

    Richard Horton, editor of the British medical journal The Lancet, has said that “The mistake, of course, is to have thought that peer review was any more than a crude means of discovering the acceptability — not the validity — of a new finding. Editors and scientists alike insist on the pivotal importance of peer review. We portray peer review to the public as a quasi-sacred process that helps to make science our most objective truth teller. But we know that the system of peer review is biased, unjust, unaccountable, incomplete, easily fixed, often insulting, usually ignorant, occasionally foolish, and frequently wrong.” [9]

    Yutsano makes the crucial point: The *real* peer review is in replication of findings.

  144. 144
    C Liss says:

    I didn’t say mercury was the *only* cause of autism, and there might be other environmental factors that are getting worse. So even if the vaccines of the last few years are not causing autism, that does mean that mercury doesn’t cause it because

    (1) Children are exposed to mercury in the environment – even from breast milk if the mother has a high mercury burden (2) And maybe other causes of autism are on the rise.

    The main reason I think mercury causes autism is that people’s autistic kids got better using the same protocol I used to get mercury out of my system. The other reason is that when you have it, you kind of feel like you’d have been autistic had you not already developed language, motor skills, etc. You pretty much are highly sensitive to light, want to be left alone, extremely irritable, etc. Basically the symptoms are pretty similar.

  145. 145

    Peer Review:

    Richard Horton, editor of the British medical journal The Lancet, has said that “The mistake, of course, is to have thought that peer review was any more than a crude means of discovering the acceptability — not the validity — of a new finding. Editors and scientists alike insist on the pivotal importance of peer review. We portray peer review to the public as a quasi-sacred process that helps to make science our most objective truth teller. But we know that the system of peer review is biased, unjust, unaccountable, incomplete, easily fixed, often insulting, usually ignorant, occasionally foolish, and frequently wrong.” [9]

  146. 146
    Mayken says:

    @C Liss: Being opposed to something simply because it makes you vaguely uncomfortable is bigotry, not reason.

  147. 147

    Why is WP eating all my comments?

  148. 148

    Richard Horton, editor of the British medical journal The Lancet, has said that “The mistake, of course, is to have thought that peer review was any more than a crude means of discovering the acceptability — not the validity — of a new finding. Editors and scientists alike insist on the pivotal importance of peer review. We portray peer review to the public as a quasi-sacred process that helps to make science our most objective truth teller. But we know that the system of peer review is biased, unjust, unaccountable, incomplete, easily fixed, often insulting, usually ignorant, occasionally foolish, and frequently wrong.

  149. 149
    C Liss says:

    Um, you’re accusing me of bigotry now? That probably means it time to drop it and hit the hay. It was fun, though I now have to watch Lost tomorrow on the Tivo.

  150. 150

    @C Liss:

    We need a better class of trolls, this one sucks.

  151. 151
    maus says:

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=3660

    Read this. Read every bit of this. Then stop to consider what life would be like if you were incredibly gullible, no matter how much money you spent to feel good.

    Also, the “study” was retracted due to the research being of an extremely poor nature.

    According to The Lancet’s editor, it was “utterly clear, without any ambiguity at all, that the statements in the paper were utterly false.”

  152. 152
    maus says:

    @140

    Why is WP eating all my comments?

    Mine too :(

  153. 153
    Mayken says:

    @C Liss: Um… yep. You’re opposed to vaccinations for no good reason and remain so even in the face of the evidence that a) the original study was fraudulent and b) vaccines are overwhelmingly safe. Stubbornly clinging to your vague discomfort with vaccinations is not a reasonable position by any standard.

  154. 154
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @C Liss:

    Ok, fair enough – maybe the retraction was legit. Didn’t get much from the WaPo article. The Psychology Today was more detailed. That doesn’t change my skepticism about vaccines, even if this study was garbage.

    Hilarious.

  155. 155
    C Liss says:

    Btw – and I really am hitting the hay – if anyone (not just to argue to win an argument or score points) is interested in checking out some of the science behind this – here’s a link:

    http://home.earthlink.net/~mor.....tml#autism

  156. 156
    Platonicspoof says:

    @freelancer (itouch):

    Wakefield was exposed as a fraud last year.

    Actually his conflicts of interest were being reported at least a couple of years ago.
    I hope C Liss is still around.
    “Andrew Wakefield . . . was paid more than £400,000 by lawyers trying to prove that the vaccine was unsafe.”

  157. 157

    @C Liss:

    The main reason I think mercury causes autism is that people’s autistic kids got better using the same protocol I used to get mercury out of my system.

    Aha, now I get it. So I can now formulate my theory that taking anti-biotics and painkillers leads to limb loss. I was in the hospital, I was on lots and lots of anti-biotics, I was also on lots and lots of painkillers and after five weeks of this they had to cut my leg off. I know other people who lost limbs who had the same thing happen to them, lots and lots of anti-biotics, lots and lots of painkillers and they ended up losing limbs as well. I now realize that the fact that my leg had been crushed when I was hit by a truck while riding my motorcycle had nothing to do with my subsequent amputation. It was the fault of the anti-biotics and painkillers. Or maybe the hospital macaroni and cheese (which was actually pretty good, nice and cheesy with the noodles cooked just right.). Damnit! We need to stop those bastards in Big Pharma because it’s obvious that painkillers and antibiotics lead to limb loss. We also need to stop those bastards in Big Pasta because their product could be implicated as well (which is a bummer because I really like mac and cheese, especially if you add some chopped up bacon and ham to it).

  158. 158
    MelodyMaker says:

    I was holding this for the open thread, but fuggit. again, bedways.

    Thanks to everyone who replied to my little dead tortie bomb in last night’s thread. It was nice to wake up today and read those comments.
    Who knew that a bunch of pseudonymous phonies could help me feel better? Very helpful phonies, you are.
    Love your kitties, people. They like it.

    Hey, did I mention I’m losing my job too?

  159. 159
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: @maus:

    It hungers for knowledge. One day it will communicate with us, be patient. You will be assimilated, you have been chosen.

  160. 160
    Platonicspoof says:

    @C Liss:

    The Cutler protocol is legit . . .

    This is (or was) also from a believer:
    Severe side effects with Cutler Protocol, please help!
    You should be able to just mouse-over the replies to see a pop-up window previewing each reply.

    Hang in there Bjers (thanks WEQ), the upper left hand corner of that site claims 3200 visitors online.

  161. 161
    A Mom Anon says:

    OK,I’ve been gone for awhile,dealing with life,but this shit irks me to the core of my soul.

    If it’s curable,it’s NOT FUCKING AUTISM. Period. There is no “cure”. Sorry. I’ve tried the gluten free diets,the supplements,the homeopathic remedies and nothing changed my son’s diagnosis. It’s autism. He’s autistic. He is NOT BROKEN. Not stupid. Not an idiot. Not a mental patient. And certainly not less than any other kid. Autism isn’t a death sentence and I am SO over the notion that it’s always,always something that simply had to be fixed because the person who has it is defective.

    Jenny McCarthy needs her fucking ass kicked. I loathe her. Why? Because she’s caused divisions in the”autism community” and made it that much more difficult for parents to support each other through what is at best a tough road to travel. She’s in this for money,attention and some sort of validation. The only service her book about her son provided was mention of the effect of autism on marriages and how stressful that is.

    I wish these anti vax jackasses would focus that energy on helping teens with autism because once your kid is out of elementary school there just isn’t alot out there that’s helpful. Even the best public schools don’t have the trained professionals and programs needed to help teens with autism. Early intervention is great(it helped my son tremendously),but if there’s nothing past age 10 to help the kid,all those early gains can lose ground.

    Jenny McCarthy and her buddies and fans need to stand down and stfu and THINK ahead a little before opening their mouths. (insert my primal scream here)

  162. 162
    Platonicspoof says:

    @MelodyMaker:
    Condolences if you have to grieve for a job as well as for your tortie.

  163. 163
    Uncle Glenny says:

    @C Liss:

    Dang, looks like I got here too late to play.

    C Liss, I just have a couple comments:

    You distrust the motives of vaccine manufacturers – but what about the people who will sell you other remedies, such as chelation therapy, or a book on how bad amalgam fillings are, or perhaps some supplements?

    You say you’ve found people who (something-or-other) helps, and they have no reason to lie to you. Perhaps. But they are a self-selected group and may have vested, emotional interests in reporting positive outcomes.

    You didn’t say, but I imagine you have had some heavy metal testing done – if so, was the lab truly independent and certifiably accurate? Through whom did you find it? Do you see how this could be part of a potential scam?

    Has the efficacy of any of the treatments you might have received or consider receiving been reproducibly tested? No? Unlike vaccines?

    I’m not at all familiar with the issue of amalgam fillings being prohibited in some places, but it sounded like these were the, erhm, European socialist nanny states some people like to make fun of? I can speculate that, given that I believe suitable technological solutions now exist, they could be prohibited simply as no longer necessary – and keep in mind it’s not just the wearer of the fillings who gets exposed, but it could also be an occupational hazard for dentists. (I don’t know, just speculating.) The prohibition does not directly imply that they were a proven hazard to the wearer.

    Similarly, the removal of thimerosal from childhood vaccines was precautionary based more on the hysteria than proof of harm – although it had the unintended consequence, being removed in different countries at different times, of doing a good job of failing to show a correlation between thimerosal content and autism.

    One more thing to note. When you were informed about the virtual absence of thimerosal from childhood vaccines, you moved the goalposts, shrugging off that inconvenient fact (shifting autism or other illness blame to other sources) yet without seeming to make and admission of vaccine safety. That’s the sort of thing that, well, makes people start to get rude.

    There are others here more knowledgeable on autism, so I’ll let them deal with such things as how childhood vaccines just happen to be administered near the age when autism symptoms might appear (whether or not the vaccinations are given) and how some children do improve with age without respect for quack treatments

    p.s. You didn’t specifically say you use raw dairy products, but they are a great vector for food-borne illness, especially when the milk is pooled (milk from more than one cow mixed). I’m not sure of the risks of cultured raw dairy products but imported cheeses made from raw dairy have been the source of food poisining outbreaks.

  164. 164
    Xenos says:

    @freelancer (itouch): Wow! 90 pediatric influenza deaths in 2008 compared to 45 in 2002. I suppose the increase to 360 in 2009 is mostly due to Swine/Smithfield Factory Farming Influenza.

    I was not aware that Jenny McCarthy was a major celebrity in this field of quackery. I have been happily Imus free for years now – is he still going on with Deirdre’s new age nonsense and thimerasol activism?

  165. 165
    Carol says:

    “Rising autism rates most likely have to do with better cognitive/behavioral screening tools, and more widespread use of same.”

    I would also add that society has changed too. There is a lot less stigma on having mental and cognitive challenges these days, so parents and autistic people more readily admit there is a problem. Once admitting a problem meant lifelong stigma and possible institutionalization, so people would prefer not to talk about it. But when the snake pits ended, so did a lot of the fear. And in addition, there was now a new emphasis on helping people cope on the outside, especially with the new medicines.

    In the old days, those kids who dodged institutionalization were allowed to drop out of school and work in a factory or drive a truck, where cognitive difficulties could be worked around. Today, everyone must at least finish high school, so there’s more concern for an autistic child because of their difficulties in school.

    I fell ill the day after I had my swine flu medicine. Wasn’t sure if it was that or standing outside in the cold for hours, but I have no regrets. I work in a place where there are no cubicles and where people work side by side.

    I subscribe to the notion of comparative risk. What’s worse, the vaccine effects, or dying of swine flu (I’m one of the high-risk people). At least the vaccine would help, and the effects were bearable. Taking a chance of catching swine flu was simply a random unacceptable risk.

  166. 166
    WereBear says:

    @maus: There’s a good book out on in, can’t remember now… but there can’t be very many, either.

    Eventually, we got the Food and Drug Association. Until the Republicans took it away. President Obama is trying to fix it.

    Speaking of which, the Chemnutra sentencing is back in the news. Don’t know the verdict yet. I got a letter from one of the victims.

  167. 167
    aimai says:

    A Mom Anon,

    Couldn’t agree with you more. Put Palin down in the same mold. You can bet when Trig’s an adolescent she’s not going to be hauling him out as a prop. Families that have had to wrestle with the long term needs of their children with an intractable developmental disorder are done a huge disservice by both the “its curable!” and “its cute!” celebrity factions. People with Autism spectrum disorders and their families need support–long term support. Not quackery.

    aimai

  168. 168
    chopper says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    yeah, but the article was garbage on its face. seriously, it should never have made it past peer review in the first place. n=12? seriously? they didn’t bother to notice his clear conflict of interest?

    the lancet really screwed the pooch letting that dreck get in.

  169. 169
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    We’ve discussed the moon landing and now vaccines this week. Can we get up a thread on the Masons or the Kennedy assassination?

  170. 170
    DougJ says:

    @C Liss:

    No one makes any money off the vaccines that we’re talking about here. And the suits go through a special vaccine court. So the Big Pharam conspiracy angle is bullshit.

  171. 171
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @Thoroughly Pizzled: I tried to go there yesterday.

  172. 172
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @Yutsano:
    __

    S/he KNOWS hir conclusion

    Is “hir” misspelled, or is it a riff on the “zie/zir” thing?

  173. 173
    Punchy says:

    But for people who are genetically bad at getting rid of it, or very young children who are susceptible, maybe it can be enough.

    “genetically bad at getting rid of it”? You just made that shit up. No, the trace levels of mercury in a vacc CANNOT cause a reaction.

    Zombie lies……never die!

  174. 174
    tdd says:

    You have to be an idiot to use chelation therapy.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/.....6364.story

  175. 175
    norbizness says:

    And here you see compelling evidence that the best way to make somebody you believe is a troll stop posting is to respond to them constantly.

  176. 176
    celticdragonchick says:

    I was an anti vaccine believer for years…but I am also a believer in science. I have to say that the science simply does not support the conclusions I had reached and they became untenable. I cannot reliably point to any study demonstrating a causal link between vaccination and autism.

    That being said, I still support removing thimerosal from vaccine. Organic Mercury does not belong in any consumable product.

  177. 177
    Punchy says:

    And chelation IS extremely dangerous the way it’s typically administered because most doctors have no clue what they’re doing, and they often make the patient worse. Chelators wear off, and if you don’t take them according to their half lives, they’ll pick up the mercury and redistribute it with terrible effects.

    How the fuck do you chelate a fat-soluble metal like mercury by ingesting a water soluble chelator?

  178. 178
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Punchy:

    “genetically bad at getting rid of it”? You just made that shit up. No, the trace levels of mercury in a vacc CANNOT cause a reaction.
    Zombie lies……never die!

    There have been documented cases of children with ridiculously high (something like 2000 times the EPA/DOH guidelines) levels of Mercury in their blood after a battery of shots.

    It appears to be some sort of anomaly, but is dangerous for anybody with that predisposition.

  179. 179
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Carol:

    “Rising autism rates most likely have to do with better cognitive/behavioral screening tools, and more widespread use of same.”

    If that were the case, than we should be able to find all the undiagnosed 60 year autistic people.

    So far, that hasn’t happened.

  180. 180
    Dork says:

    “Cutler Protocol”

    This would be throwing myriad interceptions in the red zone over and over and over, killing your team’s chances while you smirk about it on the sidelines.

  181. 181
    Xenos says:

    That being said, I still support removing thimerosal from vaccine. Organic Mercury does not belong in any consumable product.

    Thimerasol is an effective way to preserve some vaccines that would otherwise require refrigeration. It certainly has legitimate uses, even if you stipulate that there is a health risk.

    Right now the burden for proving that health risk has clearly shifted to the anti-vaxxers.

  182. 182
    BigSwami says:

    @C Liss:
    It’s an Earthlink page, that’s how f*cking real that is.

  183. 183
    Ash Can says:

    @norbizness: There’s more to it than this. There’s an awful lot of potentially harmful disinformation being thrown around in this thread, and kudos to all the folks who are calling it out and debunking it.

  184. 184
    lurkergirl says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    If that were the case, than we should be able to find all the undiagnosed 60 year autistic people. So far, that hasn’t happened.

    DUH. You don’t know much about how developmental disabilities were treated 60 years ago, do you? Those people were most likely diagnosed with something else and/or institutionalized as children and no one’s bothered with them since then. You’re also assuming they all managed to survive this long. Highly unlikely.

  185. 185
    eemom says:

    @Punchy:

    Late to the thread, but I gotta say I love any comment that begins with the words “How the fuck do you chelate”.

    This is the bestest blog EVAH.

  186. 186
    Carol says:

    A link:

    The Dino-Aspie Cafe (for Those 40+… or feeling creaky)

    Older people with these conditions are finally coming out of the closet now that they no longer fear being institutionalized.

  187. 187
    lurkergirl says:

    @BDeevDad: Jesus – I was in tears by the time I finished that story. I really want to send it to my husband’s aunt, who (god help us) used to be a public health nurse but is now a complete sucker for every alt-health quack theory that comes down the pipe (chelation therapy will stop you from aging!)

    And of course, she’s totally bought into all the anti-vax nonsense – her line is “they call them childhood diseases because you’re supposed to get them!” Well, there’s what happens when you “let” children get childhood diseases. An innocent baby dies a horrible, pointless death because people have forgotten how dangerous those diseases were due to….the success of mass vaccination programs!

    So please, no more nonsensical conspiracy theories. Just face it anti-vax folks, YOU’RE WRONG. VACCINATION WORKS. NO LEGIT RESEARCHER EVER FOUND A LINK BETWEEN VACCINATION AND AUTISM. Please go find an obsession that’s less harmful to others.

  188. 188
    Carol says:

    Have these people walk through a cemetery and notice the older tombstones surrounded by several smaller ones of children who died at 3,4,5.

    Then go to the newer section and notice that most of the nearby graves of families have mostly people who lived to be an adult, even elderly. The obituaries are now people in the 70’s, 80’s 90’s.

    The difference? Vaccination.

    Families used to be 5, 6, 7 or more members, and often had at least one kid who died before adolescence. Now there are only two kids per family.

    The difference? vaccination.

  189. 189
    Leo says:

    Interesting theory on rising autism diagnoses. Skip down to the discussion of “assortive mating.”

  190. 190
    Froley says:

    And chicken pox is on the way nice end of the bugs
    vaccines prevent.

    This weekend I was flipping through a book about infectious diseases. It had several bar graphs for each disease that showed things like ease of transmission, severity of the disease once acquired and survivability. I was shocked how closely measles was (and in some cases surpassing) in terms of nastiness to some more infamous diseases.

  191. 191
    Evinfuilt says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    You’re one of the great lil heroes of the every day. Purposefully trying to keep herd immunity going to help the few that can’t.

    Thank you :)

    May Jenny McCarthy and her ilk find a nice place to live alone with their Polio and Measles (well, they won’t be alive too long.)

  192. 192
    Tim Cooper says:

    The rising Autism rate seems to be more about different patterns of diagnosis than anything else. Including:

    1) Better distinction between Autism and what used to be called “Mental Retardation” and is now called “intellectually or developmentally disabled” The second condition defined as a broad-spectrum mental deficiency, the first as a set of mentally based symptoms that don’t usually involve a lack of intelligence.

    Probably the biggest single factor, the higher the level of health care and the better the school district, the more likely you will get an Autism diagnosis as opposed to what used to be called an “EMR” diagnosis.

    2) Drastically broadened criteria for what constitutes autism. In the old days, they just called you “touchy” or “weird” or “eccentric”. Now it’s usually called Asperger’s, an autism spectrum disorder.

    3) This is going to be somewhat anecdotal, but I’ve seen half a dozen examples in the last ten years so here goes….
    Autism is a more desirable condition than what used to be called Mental Retardation. I see kids in school who don’t evidence any autistic behavior that I have seen, but carry that diagnosis. When tested, they show broad based low scores in every area. Which is not what you should see in a child with autism. All have the same local doctor, who is believed to diagnose whatever parents ask him to diagnose. (we’ve had a ton of issues with him diagnosing children with ADD as well) So I suspect, but lack the evidence to prove, that this might be a factor as well.

  193. 193
    lou says:

    I have a friend who got seriously ill with mercury poisoning. Want to know how he got it? Eating fish every day because he wasn’t ready to become a vegetarian but wanted to give up meat.

    So if you don’t want mercury poisoning, instead of focusing on fillings or vaccines, how about avoiding seafood and pushing for tougher anti-pollution rules to clean our oceans?

  194. 194
    Wag says:

    how can anyone get “mercury poisoning” from a vaccine that doesn’t even contain Thimerosal?

    In exactly the same way one can benefit from homeopathic dilutions that physically cannot contain a single molecule of the supposed medication. A homeopathic dilution contains the “esseence” of the benefitial compound. Any vaccine is contaminated by the “essence” of thimerosol just by being called a “vaccine.” Actually containing Thimerosol is completely beside the point. Don’t you realize that an essence is a very powerful thing?

  195. 195
    celticdragonchick says:

    @lurkergirl:

    DUH. You don’t know much about how developmental disabilities were treated 60 years ago, do you? Those people were most likely diagnosed with something else and/or institutionalized as children and no one’s bothered with them since then. You’re also assuming they all managed to survive this long. Highly unlikely.

    Ah.

    You don’t have to prove it, because you say so.

    And maybe they died or something.

    It’s like magic!

  196. 196
    redbeardjim says:

    @Froley:

    Measles, influenza and smallpox were the Big Three killers of the native American populations, after their introduction from the Eastern Hemisphere.

  197. 197
    brantl says:

    The vaccine industry has agreed to voluntarily take thimerosol out of human vaccines. They were forced to take them out of animal vaccines. (Why was that, do you think? Because the animals that we vaccinate ARE LARGELY IN THE FOOD CHAIN!) The amount of mercury that can be in an 18 month or 2 year old’s vaccination series (I can’t remember which) is many, many times what is considered a safe exposure in a day. RFK got ahold of a CDC study (Through FOIA) that they never published, they then had a big meeting with the industry and agreed never to publish it.

    The guy who wrote the study then went to work for Glaxxo Smith-Klein (they make vaccines, among other things). The study showed a link between an increase in autism and the level of thimerosol (a mercury salt, do you know how well salt components bond when ionized?) people received in their vaccinations. Since various people got various levels of thimerosol and this was a very big study, the indications were hard to argue with. I can go into all of the logical reasons that show you why that’s true, but if you’re fairly intelligent, you can figure that out for yourself. The Bush administration covered all this up.

    And the only reason to use thimerosol is to allow you to stick the needle in the bottle repeatedly, to save trivial amounts of money on packaging. Not a great reason to take the chance, is it?

    And any of you people that think that mercury levels can’t play a major role in brain development disorders? You’re idiots.

  198. 198
    Maus says:

    @195 There are a number of possibilities. Sure, it’s possible but doubtful that there are environmental factors at work, it’s possible that tech clusters allow people with autism to be more viable partners, or it’s possible that rates of autism are rising due to better screening processes.

    And no, your attempts to ridicule for suggesting that 60 year olds are regularly screened for mental health conditions fall flat. Mental health isn’t covered under most average US health plans so people out of their teenage years aren’t going to be rushing out to be rediagnosed.
    Regardless of the cause, expecting someone to believe YOU by your opinion alone is laughable, and faux-disproving doesn’t prove the vaccine link.

  199. 199
    Maus says:

    @197 The amount of mercury involved does NOT play a significant enough risk for any qualified medical doctor not selling fake autism cures to suggest that a child skips. The evidence is weighty on the side of safety.

  200. 200
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tim Cooper:

    Autism is a more desirable condition than what used to be called Mental Retardation.

    I’ve run into this in my own family — my dad has started referring to my developmentally disabled cousin as “autistic” because he thinks it sounds more respectable than “retarded.” If you actually meet her and talk to her, she has zero symptoms of autism (she’s very social and talkative, interacts very well with others, etc.), plus most of her issues can be traced back to brain damage she suffered at birth.

    I’m guessing she’s not the only one who people refer to as “autistic” because they don’t want to admit to a more embarrassing disability in their child.

  201. 201
    gwangung says:

    @brantl:

    Son, you REALLY don’t know what you’re talking about.

    The one peer-reviewed paper that showed a mercury-autism link was withdrawn by the journal for ethical violations and none of the findings were ever replicated.

  202. 202
    Mnemosyne says:

    @brantl:

    RFK got ahold of a CDC study (Through FOIA) that they never published, they then had a big meeting with the industry and agreed never to publish it.

    You mean the RFK article that has been completely debunked?

    You should probably try to keep up to date on these things — the RFK article was discredited at least 5 years ago.

  203. 203
    C Liss says:

    Listen, I’m a bit disappointed in this blog – I stated the reasons I’m against many (but not all) vaccinations, provided a link (which admittedly is old as many of the posts were fro, 8-10 years ago – the newer ones are behind a registration firewall) which was deleted (no idea why, I have no commercial interest in this, only experience with it), and pretty much unanimously, I’ve been insulted, called a crackpot, dismissed, etc.

    I don’t expect people here to agree with me, but I’m really not the one being dogmatic or ideological. There’s a post saying a study about vaccines was retracted, and that some crazy person I’ve never heard of will spin it. I commented that it’s not crazy to be against vaccines. And made my case.

    Is dissent not tolerated on this blog? Why is everyone so sure you should get every vaccine your doctor tells you to? That some vaccines couldn’t possibly do more harm than good, or that they couldn’t have contributed to autism. We know for a fact that they had/have thimerosal which has mercury. We know for a fact that mercury causes neurological problems. The childhood ones no longer have mercury (apparently) – what do they have instead?

    You want to do what your doctor says unquestioningly? You trust our medical establishment that much? Okay, fine. It shouldn’t threaten you that I don’t. I see it along the same axis of our financial one – susceptible to error, groupthink, corruption.

    Bottom line, have some manners, and show some respect when you debate someone. I’m not here trolling or shilling for anything. This is actually not a dem/repub issue, though obviously I voted for Obama – take a look at my fucking grammar and sentence structure. I have some experience with something and bring a different point of view to it. You’re free to take it or leave it. Or even be a snide douchebag about, I suppose. But that doesn’t mean it’s not poor form.

  204. 204
    maus says:

    @C Liss:

    We know for a fact that they had/have thimerosal which has mercury

    The difference between the thimerosol and “mercury” is the difference between the alcohol that you drink at night and the alcohol that comes from wood.

    You’re coming out and expecting people to listen to the same arguments we’ve heard over and over, but we’re tired of them. You expect us to take you at some sort of weighted respect, but you’ve given us no actual facts other than “mercury is bad and some vaccines are bad but i have no evidence of either causing harm in children, but I do endorse Chelation, which actually has been linked in the deaths of children, but it’s PERFECTLY SAFE”. Stop expecting a respect you haven’t earned.

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=3660

    Read the links here and come back, otherwise we’re not interested.

  205. 205
    maus says:

    @C Liss:

    We know for a fact that they had/have thimerosal which has mercury

    The difference between the thimerosol and “mercury” is the difference between the alcohol that you drink at night and the alcohol that comes from wood.

    You’re coming out and expecting people to listen to the same arguments we’ve heard over and over, but we’re tired of them. You expect us to take you at some sort of weighted respect, but you’ve given us no actual facts other than “mercury is bad and some vaccines are bad but i have no evidence of either causing harm in children, but I do endorse Chelation, which actually has been linked in the deaths of children, but it’s PERFECTLY SAFE”. Stop expecting a respect you haven’t earned.

    http:// http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=3660

    Read the links here and come back, otherwise we’re not interested.

  206. 206
    maus says:

    @C Liss:

    We know for a fact that they had/have thimerosal which has mercury

    The difference between the thimerosol and “mercury” is the difference between the alcohol that you drink at night and the alcohol that comes from wood.

    You’re coming out and expecting people to listen to the same arguments we’ve heard over and over, but we’re tired of them. You expect us to take you at some sort of weighted respect, but you’ve given us no actual facts other than “mercury is bad and some vaccines are bad but i have no evidence of either causing harm in children, but I do endorse Chelation, which actually has been linked in the deaths of children, but it’s PERFECTLY SAFE”. Stop expecting a respect you haven’t earned.

  207. 207
    maus says:

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=3660

    Read this, follow all the links. Concern trolling about “well what if there WERE risks?!!” doesn’t make you look any more educated.

  208. 208
    Carol says:

    Some professions you do have to trust to a certain degree. Medicine is one of them. Not blind trust-educate yourself. But in all of the anti-vaccination flurry one thing stands out: the reason why we can worry about autism is because of the very medicine the anti-vaxxers distain. Because childhood diseases like mumps and measles are increasingly rare in the First World, there is now room to pay closer attention to developmental issues. Families now are assured their kids will live to grow up, so the families are smaller and each child is more closely watched then in the past when a mother might have to divide her attention among 13 children.

  209. 209
    Mayken says:

    @C Liss: Wait, your argument was that “Vaccines are bad because of mercury.” A bunch of people then went on to thoroughly discredit this notion based on actual, ya know, science. You then pretty much state “vaccines are bad because I just don’t trust doctors and stuff.” Who’s being ideological and dogmatic again?

    No one, no one, here said they trust their doctors or Pharma or whatever conspiracy-fodder you popped up unquestioningly. What we do trust is more than 150 years of a proven medical technique, vaccines, that have demonstrably saved untold millions of lives. And that demonstrably people are getting sick and dying because some other people chose to believe in debunked, profit-motivated pseudo-science over above-said century a half of proven science.

    Continuing to say “I don’t like vaccines just ’cause” will win you no arguments, here or elsewhere.

    ETA: I should note that vaccines actually go back more than a century and a half as someone pointed out. Small pox “vaccination” is at least 2 1/2 centuries old. John Adams used it and had his whole family inoculated this way.

  210. 210
    Tim Cooper says:

    The problem is C Liss, your position and the paranoia you espouse kills people.

    I accept that you are well-meaning and sincere. But you are not engaging in rational skepticism. Believing in UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, Big Foot, and even Cubic Time are harmless things and making fun of people who honestly accept them is indeed bad form, but espousing a belief which sickens, paralyzes and kills children is not something that should be tolerated. You just won’t find the respect you are looking for here.

  211. 211
    C Liss says:

    I’ll also say this is the problem with our political discourse generally, and apparently it’s not just on the right. Someone disagrees with you, so you distort what they’re saying, exaggerate their claims, insult them, begin with the premise that he’s a crackpot, use straw men arguments to score points.

    It’s no wonder the two sides are so entrenched. If I’m against *some* vaccines I must be an idiot, anti-science, anti-medication, etc. I must have no idea what I’m talking about, my experience with mercury poisoning means nothing because I lack the expertise to evaluate it, the Cutler protocol can’t possibly work because some guy has a website says it doesn’t.

    There’s no possible way you could be mistaken or have something to learn. Notice how easily, I let go of the notion that the paper was retracted solely due to government pressure after someone provided a more detailed link to an explanation. Notice that I don’t say with certainty that none of you should ever take vaccines and that you’re idiots for even thinking about taking them. Only that I personally would not take flu shots and do not trust vaccines generally, though admit some are necessary. That makes me a troll, a teabagger, a crackpot, a bigot, etc.

    There’s something seriously wrong with the discourse here.

  212. 212
    Mnemosyne says:

    @C Liss:

    We know for a fact that they had/have thimerosal which has mercury. We know for a fact that mercury causes neurological problems.

    And we know for a fact that mercury in vaccines does not cause autism. We have 20 years of studies that show that.

    People don’t respect you because you are making fact-free arguments, using internet anecdotes as data, and claiming that anyone who doesn’t agree with you must be in the pocket of Big Pharma.

    Your point of view has led to children dying — not only from skipped vaccinations, but from the very therapy that you keep claiming will help them. People are becoming angry with you because you keep claiming that those childrens’ deaths are insignificant because you were helped by the treatment.

    Your indifference to the death and suffering of others so you can maintain your fantasy world in opposition to all of the facts you have been presented with is what people are responding to.

  213. 213
    YellowJournalism says:

    @BDeevDad: I used to like Jenny McCarthy as a celebrity because she seemed more down-to-earth than most. Now I despise the woman for the way she is helping to push back years of progress against diseases like polio and whooping cough. Her so-called reasoning for allowing such diseases to resurface into the North American population makes me enraged to the point where I have to flip channels when she’s on TV or I’ll scare my family by screaming at it. A Mom Anon says it best:

    Jenny McCarthy needs her fucking ass kicked. I loathe her. Why? Because she’s caused divisions in the”autism community” and made it that much more difficult for parents to support each other through what is at best a tough road to travel. She’s in this for money,attention and some sort of validation. The only service her book about her son provided was mention of the effect of autism on marriages and how stressful that is.

    It pains me to see people who should be pulling together being pulled apart by the rantings and ravings of a woman and her followers. I also do not trust the fact that she dragged her son from doctor to doctor until she basically got the diagnosis she wanted for him. I’m all for second (or even third and fourth) opinions, but even the way McCarthy herself describes it makes it sound as though her son’s condition may not even fall under the category of autism. I’m sorry, but spending time with Jim Carrey and avoiding white bread does not cure autism.

  214. 214
    maus says:

    I think half the reason why people are getting so irate in this thread is because WordPress eats nearly every single one of my posts where I offer citations, or secretly holds them for moderation, to the point where I’m annoyed as hell.

    But mostly it’s the fearmongering. If you’re actually interested in knowing why we’re so hesitant to believe you, start with the ideas that

    1) There are many quacks out there, and many of them with actual Medical licences. Some of them started out rotten, some of them developed that way over time, through moral failings, or some even with the best of intentions (and the most horrific outcomes.)

    2) People will always look for a quick fix for idiopathic conditions. Media scaremongering doesn’t make science. A single unsubstantiated study doesn’t make science. Proper medical science involves multiple studies through multiple sources before something is accepted as the current best understanding.

    3) Individuals are not reliable sources on their own. Individuals on a message board are not reliable sources on their own.

  215. 215
    Morbo says:

    Funny, this episode of South Park was on last night. Specifically, 1:10 is relevant to this conversation.

  216. 216
    maus says:

    @YellowJournalism:

    I also do not trust the fact that she dragged her son from doctor to doctor until she basically got the diagnosis she wanted for him. I’m all for second (or even third and fourth) opinions, but even the way McCarthy herself describes it makes it sound as though her son’s condition may not even fall under the category of autism.

    Have you read any of the interviews she did when she first had her kid? She spoke at length about how he was “not like other kids”, he was a special indigo child ( http:\\en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indigo_children , http://www.childrenofthenewear.....y/article1) and naturally had issues with authority, so she would try to raise him differently. Since she’s not going to have her child taken to a qualified physician people will never know for sure, but it’s just as possible that she raises her child (as the Indigos are) to be selfish and with no discipline or balance.

  217. 217
    C Liss says:

    This really is the problem with the left – you guys really encourage, stoke and create right wingers. I’m left of center on most things, but even I’m feeling the pull rightward after reading this blog – (what you say kills people!). But I’m the one that’s being paranoid.

    If I disagree with you, then what I say kills people. Not the diseases, the fact that we’re eating unhealthy processed food and have weakened immune systems, but it’s my word that are killing people. The right tries the same thing to stifle dissent, too. What you’re saying aids the terrorists! How about we’re having a disagreement on the blog.

    I’m not trusting of our financial or medical establishment, so I believe in minimizing vaccination to the absolutely necessary. But you are terrified that if you and everyone else doesn’t get vaccinated, you’ll get some horrible disease and die. Why am I the paranoid one.

    And as for science, I believe you’re mistaken about the studies. If you ever read Cutler’s book and all the actual studies he cites, you’d see it was based on science, not whatever was politically viable in establishment medicine. There were studies done on HFCS, transfats, too. Apparently those were all fine to flood the food supply with. Now, we know a bit more. It’s not whether you trust in science. It’s whether you trust our profit-driven medical establishment to get the science right often enough to do what they say unfailingly – I don’t.

    I’m beating a dead horse and speaking to a deaf ear, I know. Maybe one person will get what I’m saying. Maybe not.

    Finally, I’m not asking for personal respect or even respect for my point of view. Only respectful discourse or disagreement. Privately, you can think what you want of me personally, and you can go all out to debunk my views. I’m just saying we ought to do it respectfully.

  218. 218
    YellowJournalism says:

    @maus: It’s funny because I’ve seen interviews where she’s actually said she went from doctor to doctor to specialist. Take specialist as you will.

    After reading what you directed me to, I’m just holding back on banging my head on the desk at the sheer madness of it all. My favorite part is that some woman walked up to her and informed her of her “Indigo” status, therefore it must have been true. That basically sums up how she and others like her look at the whole autism-caused-by-vaccines debate.

  219. 219
    maus says:

    This really is the problem with the left – you guys really encourage, stoke and create right wingers. I’m left of center on most things, but even I’m feeling the pull rightward after reading this blog – (what you say kills people!). But I’m the one that’s being paranoid.

    That’s because the right pulls more towards feelings, emotions, just KNOWING what is reality, rather than taking a more clinical view. I’m willing to keep my options open, but these people don’t get respect because their claims are not repeatable, or they cite legitimate studies that don’t agree with their premises.

    http://www.quackwatch.com/01Qu.....ation.html

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=164
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=118

  220. 220
    Mnemosyne says:

    @C Liss:

    If I disagree with you, then what I say kills people. Not the diseases, the fact that we’re eating unhealthy processed food and have weakened immune systems, but it’s my word that are killing people.

    No, it’s the fact that you are recommending unsafe therapies and telling people to pass up vaccines that could save their child’s life that is killing people. And yet all you can see is yourself, isn’t it?

    But you are terrified that if you and everyone else doesn’t get vaccinated, you’ll get some horrible disease and die. Why am I the paranoid one.

    The worldwide death rate from measles dropped from 700,000 to 150,000 in the course of only 7 years thanks to vaccination. But we’re the paranoid ones for pointing out that it’s bad for 700,000 people to die every year from a preventable disease that’s had an available vaccination for at least 40 years.

    Again — your point of view is killing people. If the WHO had followed your recommendations, there would be an additional half-million dead from measles. And yet all you can see is that we’re being meeeaaaannnn for not telling you that your point of view is totally legitimate and those 500,000 people don’t really matter.

  221. 221
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Maus: \

    And no, your attempts to ridicule for suggesting that 60 year olds are regularly screened for mental health conditions fall flat. Mental health isn’t covered under most average US health plans so people out of their teenage years aren’t going to be rushing out to be rediagnosed.
    Regardless of the cause, expecting someone to believe YOU by your opinion alone is laughable, and faux-disproving doesn’t prove the vaccine link.

    Uh huh.

    This isn’t rocket science, people.

    If you claim that the autism rate increase can be explained by testing improvements, than the burden is on you to prove it. In 1960, the autism rate was published as 1 in 10,000. Today it is 1 in 121 (subject to change…). That is several orders of magnitude.

    So…

    If there are undiagnosed people with autism who are between 50 and 60 years of age, they should be readily accessible for study somewhere…

    Otherwise, you are just, uh, what is that phrase…

    Oh yeah!

    Making shit up!

  222. 222
    Mayken says:

    @C Liss: Herd immunity is a known scientific fact. So fearing that if enough “someone elses” do not, in fact, get vaccinated then a lot of someone elses, possibly even ourselves or our children, will get sick or die is not paranoia. It is, once again, actual fact. It is currently, demonstrably, happening, right now, in this country, in the 21st frakin’ century. And yes, it is because people with your beliefs chose to pass up vaccinating their children.

  223. 223
    maus says:

    @celticdragonchick: I said all these are possible/plausible. Right now, autism remains idiopathic.

    Seeing as the vaccine-related correlation/causation has fallen apart under any and all scrutiny, it’s not up to me to “prove” anything.

    All that matters is that the rates of autism stay the same between the vaccinated and unvaccinated.

    This isn’t rocket science, people.

    Oh, you are just precious. It is science-science. Again, the one thing extreme leftwingers have in common with the teabaggers is that they believe that reality is “easy” if you go with your gut beliefs independent of any research, statistics, or powers of observation. It’s magical thinking, nothing more. It is not admirable to dumb yourself down and be proud of willful ignorance.

  224. 224
    maus says:

    This really is the problem with the left – you guys really encourage, stoke and create right wingers.

    Being right all the time and appealing to the un-authority feels good, man. What do those doctors and researchers know anyway? If I see the invisible hand of the free market working for me, it works for me. Deregulate “big gov/pharma”, privatize everything and let us sort out what works from what it works!

    Remove the SOCIALIST FDA and get rid of government oversight, citizens can use Personal Responsibility to discern which private certification body to get their medication from, (it works with UL certification!)

    And, of course, when the certification bodies fail, we get them re-certified by another certification body, and it’s turtles all the way down.

    Or yeah, you could get an iota of self-reflection and try to discern why “feeling good” is the very reason that controlled experimentation is so important to separating reality from an otherwise “good” idea, or a fictional narrative.

  225. 225
    C Liss says:

    Again with the straw man argument – did I say people shouldn’t get vaccinated? Did I tell people not to vaccinate their kids? No, I said I’d give my own kids the minimum necessary vaccinations, and I won’t get flu shots. And I gave my reasons why repeatedly.

    Why is it impossible to have an honest debate about something on a blog without distortions? I’m really not an absolutist about this, and again, I’m 100 percent in agreement that science should dictate our response. But I do not have faith in our for-profit medical establishment to get the science right often enough to trust them blindly. *Some* vaccinations are necessary. I don’t think that’s in dispute.

    But I don’t think it’s crazy for people to be concerned that many have harmful side effects (due to my personal experience with mercury poisoning and the extensive research I did as a result which touched on autism, vaccinations, etc. Anyone is free to do the research on Cutler and his methods, but looking up quackwatch is not sufficient). As a result I would minimize my exposure to them.

    I don’t think we should live in a society where we must inject whatever the government says we should because it says so. I think we should be skeptical, get informed and make our own choices about these things on a case by case basis. I choose not to get flu shots. You can choose what you like. I’m only presenting MY personal point of view. Apparently that makes some of you apoplectic – I’m sorry for that.

  226. 226
    Mayken says:

    @celticdragonchick: Here’s some not made up shit:
    http://www.time.com/time/healt.....15,00.html

    It is the first and only study ever (so far) to look for the rate of autism in adults. The study shows the rates are the same in adults and children.

    Researchers found no significant differences in autism prevalence among people they surveyed in their 20s, 30s, 40s, right up through their 70s.

    Which goes a long way toward the hypothosis that ASDs have been with us all along but we’re just now really noticing how widely.

    Admittedly this is only one study and time may show that something is wrong here. Or the results may not be reproducible by a teams.

    I don’t know of any other studies trying to do this but I think it would be a very good idea to study this further.

  227. 227
    Mayken says:

    @C Liss: Except, once again, oh that pesky herd immunity and the fact that in choosing not to get “unnecessary” (in your view!) vaccinations for yourself or your kids, you (and people who act in a similar manner) are increasing the chances that those who cannot, for reasons of age etc., will get sick or die from diseases that are readily preventable if only the rest of us had immunity. The problem with this issue is it’s not a “live and let live” thing. It is NOT OK that people don’t vaccinate, or pick and chose vaccinations, because a lot of the people suffer for the choices of an unfortunately large minority. That is the problem I have with your position, underlying it all.

    If I thought your views were just clueless but harmless, I would have no problem with saying, go ahead and believe whatever you like.

  228. 228
    maus says:

    Again with the straw man argument – did I say people shouldn’t get vaccinated? Did I tell people not to vaccinate their kids? No, I said I’d give my own kids the minimum necessary vaccinations, and I won’t get flu shots. And I gave my reasons why repeatedly.

    Why is it impossible to have an honest debate about something on a blog without distortions?

    Because you’re sincerely or insincerely concern trolling about thimerosal, mercury, chelation and autism. And, others are bringing it up.

    If you’re inadvertently getting lumped in with the rest, stop actively defending the quacks that promote their ideas.

    It’s your opinions, and your feelings, but they’re not based on actual evidence, just your lay thoughts. We’re not debating your opinions here, we’re discussing what has been conclusively discovered, which is that

    Vaccines have never been found to cause autism.
    Thimerosal has never been found to cause autism.

    The mercury in Thimerosal does not bioaccumulate. It wouldn’t matter if it was “banned” in animals or not, if it doesn’t bioaccumulate, it doesn’t pass into our systems as other forms of mercury do.

    All these things that are “not rocket science easy” are so because the words are dumbed down to the point where the lack any meaning and context.

  229. 229
    celticdragonchick says:

    @maus:

    Oh, you are just precious. It is science-science. Again, the one thing extreme leftwingers have in common with the teabaggers is that they believe that reality is “easy” if you go with your gut beliefs independent of any research, statistics, or powers of observation. It’s magical thinking, nothing more. It is not admirable to dumb yourself down and be proud of willful ignorance.

    Show me the peer reviewed study or admit that you are proceeding on unsupported hunches.

  230. 230
    maus says:

    it doesn’t pass into our systems as other forms of mercury do.

    Er, “remain in our systems as some other forms may”.

  231. 231
    maus says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Show me the peer reviewed study or admit that you are proceeding on unsupported hunches.

    Specify what you’re talking about. There’s not one study where Wakefield’s work has been unable to be replicated, there are hundreds so narrowing down the focus is helpful.

    If you’d like to start looking for “general” studies, sciencebasedmedicine has acutal doctors discussing actual studies on many of their Vaccination topics.

  232. 232
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Mayken:

    Good for you!

    *tennis clap*

    You actually tried to find something to back up the previously unsupported statements you were throwing out.

    One limitation of the study is its relatively small size, says Brugha. Being the first of its kind, it also needs to be confirmed by other studies.

    Let’s see if this actually holds now. I will say that it is about time that somebody actually started doing the work.

  233. 233
    Mayken says:

    @celticdragonchick: I made no statement on the fight between you and Maus until just now. Not sure why you are yelling at me for unsupported statements. I’ve made none.

    ETA: I also thoroughly agree it is about time we started investigating the actual prevalence of ASD in our population.

  234. 234
    Mayken says:

    @Mayken: I’ll add further that, until I saw this, I really did think that there was an increase in the incidents of autism in our children. That belief was tempered by my further belief that it might not be as great as the leap from 1 in 10000 to 1 in 150 (depending on whom you are citing) but I really did think there was good evidence for the increase. Your comment about where were all the 60 something with autism got me thinking, for which I thank you. That’s what prompted me to see if there were any studies looking at the adult rate. As I said, this seems to be the only one so far. And it is now casting doubt in my mind that we are seeing a true increase in rates versus an increase in well, noticing.
    I used your “making shit up” line to be cute. Sorry.

  235. 235
    maus says:

    @maus:

    There’s not one study where Wakefield’s work has been unable to be replicated, there are hundreds so narrowing down the focus is helpful.

    Able to be replicated, aughhhh. All these server glitches are making editing posts difficult.

  236. 236
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @C Liss:

    In 20-25 years, we’ll probably know a lot about the effect of constant cell phone use that we can’t possibly know now. (I do have a cell phone, but try to keep it away from my head as much as possible).

    Must be hard to use a cell phone if you keep it away from your head while talking or listening. But judging from your comments here, you seem to talk out of your ass, and never bother to listen.

  237. 237
    tootiredoftheright says:

    @C Liss:

    The thing is vaccines haven’t used mercury btw it was a certain type of mercury for over a decade. Not even flu shots use it.

    You get sick from a flu shot because it has the live virus in a weakened form.

    Also chelation therapy the real deal costs about a 1000 dollars a treatment and you have to have about ten treatments total.

  238. 238
    maus says:

    @tootiredoftheright:
    Specifically-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethylmercury

    Unlike methylmercury, ethylmercury has not been found to bioaccumulate.[2] The toxicity of ethylmercury is not well studied, but exposure standards based on methylmercury (such as those currently recommended by the United States Environmental Protection Agency‎) are not demonstrated to be equivalent for ethylmercury.[3]

    Not that the actual facts get in the way, it’s all confusion and conflation. Mercury = mercury and that’s all they hear. Even after it’s unused in the modern vaccines, they still go back to that old fiction, because that’s all they want to know.

    Again, it’s the same thing you’ll see in conservative policy and magical thinking. Things long disproven brought up to placate the masses that don’t want to move on.

  239. 239
    tootiredoftheright says:

    Mercury poisoning does exist and is treatable. A woman I know as a child got it from the thermometers the doctors used. They told children to bit down on them and guess what that glass cracked. For decades she suffered issues until finally one doctor did a blood test, found she had elevated mercury levels, did the chelation therapy and most of her neurological problems disappeared.

    Lead poisoning is also treatable and is a well known heavy metal poisoning dating from the 1940s and used to be people in certain occupations got it frequently.

    Mercury you have to admit looks cool but don’t touch it!
    Used to be it was a common medicine and yet despite reports thousands of years old people still ingested it.

    Much like how arsenic used to be in makeups even when peopel knew it was a poison.

    Then again everything is poison! Water can kill you just by you drinking enough of it.

  240. 240
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Mayken:

    Sorry about that. I confused you with Maus. Apologies for the snark.

  241. 241
    maus says:

    @tootiredoftheright: ethylmercury != methylmercury.

    http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/topi.....ccines.htm

    Ethyl vs. Methyl Mercury

    Mercury is a naturally occurring chemical element found throughout the environment. Mercury is found in three forms: as a pure metal (as found in thermometers), as inorganic salts, and as an organic derivative. Humans and wildlife are exposed to all three forms, though most of the mercury in the environment is in metallic or inorganic forms. Organic forms of mercury are more easily absorbed when ingested and some forms are eliminated from the body very slowly. Because mercury is everywhere, it is not possible to prevent all exposure to it. Exposure to high levels of mercury can be toxic.

    Methyl mercury is the most common organic derivative of mercury and is mainly produced by microorganisms in water and soil. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s safe exposure guidelines for mercury are based on exposure to methyl mercury.
    There are important differences, however, between methyl mercury exposure and thimerosal exposure.

    Thimerosal contains ethyl mercury, which is chemically different from methyl mercury.

    The timing and route of exposure are different for these two chemicals.

    Methyl Mercury
    People usually become exposed to methyl mercury by eating contaminated fish, and methyl mercury can accumulate in the body when contaminated fish are consumed regularly over time. Exposure to high levels of methyl mercury is toxic and can cause mental retardation, cerebral palsy, and seizures in children exposed to methyl mercury before birth. Methyl mercury is passed from the mother to the fetus before birth and to infants through breast milk. The developing brain (before birth) is the most sensitive to damage by methyl mercury.

    Ethyl Mercury
    Prior to the removal of thimerosal from childhood recommended vaccines, infants were exposed to ethyl mercury by intramuscular injection during vaccination, not by ingestion. Furthermore, infants received thimerosal from childhood vaccines that were administered days or months apart. In contrast, methyl mercury exposure, primarily from foods, tends to occur over a longer sustained period of time.

  242. 242
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Mayken:

    I’ll add further that, until I saw this, I really did think that there was an increase in the incidents of autism in our children. That belief was tempered by my further belief that it might not be as great as the leap from 1 in 10000 to 1 in 150 (depending on whom you are citing) but I really did think there was good evidence for the increase. Your comment about where were all the 60 something with autism got me thinking, for which I thank you. That’s what prompted me to see if there were any studies looking at the adult rate. As I said, this seems to be the only one so far. And it is now casting doubt in my mind that we are seeing a true increase in rates versus an increase in well, noticing.

    Good comment. I am interested in if there will be follow up studies with a larger sample size that confirm this study.

  243. 243
    maus says:

    You could sidestep all the snark in the world by noting the actual study you’re looking for to give you the information you’re supposed to be looking for. Just saying “a study” without clarification gives the (not-uncommon) issue of re-setting goalposts or making you look insincerely interested in actually reading, learning, or altering your preconceptions. If you’re interested in being taken seriously for anything other than your opinion, don’t sneer as you offer no productive information in return.

  244. 244
    C Liss says:

    It’s funny – I have a right wing friend I’d debate with from time to time, and he always argued that the fascism we have to fear would come from the left. I thought he was nuts – given the all the Bush/Cheney abuses. He cited stuff like cigarettes being banned most places, seat belt laws, etc. I told him those were minor inconveniences for the public good. He said, “yeah, but wait and see – you give them an inch, they take a mile.” I told him he was paranoid.

    But @Mayken, you’re really making his case by suggesting that I should have to take every vaccine recommended these days including flu shots (based on the general concept of herd immunity) whether I want to or not, whether I believe it’s safe or not and that even saying otherwise is harmful and dangerous.

    That sticking only with the absolutely necessary ones but not all of them is somehow killing massive numbers of people. That sounds pretty extremist to me.

    I think people should go with the stuff that’s worked for a long time and been proven necessary and safe, but be wary of adding the newer stuff the system throws at us. And whether it’s mercury or some other factor, autism is on the rise, and one of the things it’s correlated with is a massive increase in vaccinations. I believe thimerosal (based on what I’ve read) does cause problems in kids, but I never said it or mercury is the *sole* cause of autism.

    Maybe it’s other stuff in the vaccinations, maybe it’s some other factor that’s increased significantly over the last 10 years. But given the correlation and the poor track record of our establishment from keeping mercury out of our fillings, asbestos out of our homes, HCFS and transfats out of our foods, I do not think it’s crazy to wonder whether many of the new vaccinations (or just simply the sum total of them) is safe. Regardless of what the peer-reviewed studies say (they greenlighted other stuff, too before people got sick from it).

    One other point that should be made is that while there’s no doubt that vaccination has been a huge benefit to human beings, it does not follow that more is better.

    I honestly don’t know if the newer vaccinations are unsafe or not. Or whether they’re unsafe only for some people. I do know that I’m glad we live in a country where I’m free to decline getting them. Even if that makes me a teabagger in these parts.

  245. 245
    celticdragonchick says:

    @maus:

    If you’re interested in being taken seriously for anything other than your opinion, don’t sneer as you offer no productive information in return.

    It isn’t up to me to present evidence for your claim. That’s on you, kiddo.

  246. 246
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @C Liss: Wow. You win the concern troll award of the last 24 hours. Single-handedly, you’ve gotten more responses than I’ve seen since helicopter guy, and most have been, by the standards of this place, fairly moderate.

    Me, I think you’re either getting off on pulling the anti-vax chain, or you’re one dangerous dumbfuck. But congrats for all the dead electrons that have been wasted on you.

  247. 247
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @maus: You, too, but you’re an amateur compared to c. liss. (C all is?)

  248. 248
    Cassidy says:

    And whether it’s mercury or some other factor, autism is on the rise,

    It has nothing to do with vaccines. Autism is this era’s ADHD. First, it’s underdiagnosed. Then it’s overdiagnosed. Now finally, it’s being addressed clinically and more tools are being developed to accurately diagnose autism.

    Consider the shortage of Developmental Pediatricians.

    Have you checked for a correlation in falling diagnoses of other childhood conditions, or have you only jumped on the vaccine band wagon?

  249. 249
    maus says:

    Re: Fillings-

    http://www.quackwatch.com/01Qu.....rcury.html

    I honestly don’t know if the newer vaccinations are unsafe or not. Or whether they’re unsafe only for some people. I do know that I’m glad we live in a country where I’m free to decline getting them. Even if that makes me a teabagger in these parts.

    Going with gut-feelings and anti-elitism, a “what do DOCTORS know anyway?” way of life brings the extreme leftwingers in line with extreme-right wingers.

    Do whatever you want to do with your body, but not vaccinating your children for MMR and others does objective harm to the rest of the country. That willfully ignorant selfishness at the expense of reality also brings the attitudes in line with the teabaggers.

  250. 250
    maus says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    It isn’t up to me to present evidence for your claim. That’s on you, kiddo.

    WHAT AM I CLAIMING FOR FUCK’S SAKE. Stop this “no u” and actually tell me what you’re trying to research. Otherwise I’m going to assume you’re some sort of postbot set to “troll”.

    @Comrade Scrutinizer: I don’t follow.

  251. 251
    Cassidy says:

    Even if that makes me a teabagger in these parts.

    No, it just makes you willing to put other people’s children at risk for your….beliefs. As a parent who could be living near you, I find that unacceptable. Would you allow me to blow my cigarette smoke in your child’s face?

  252. 252
    C Liss says:

    @cassidy

    Right, my choosing not to get every vaccination is exactly like blowing cigarette smoke in a child’s face.

    Where do you draw the line? Should we stop driving cars and eating meat? Both contribute to global warming which could ruin the environment for your precious little baby. And cars get into accidents – you never know whose precious little baby might be in the other vehicle. What else should we all be compelled to do or stop doing because it might hurt someone else.

    Seriously, this is ridiculous. My point is that it’s not crazy to question whether we should shoot chemicals into our bodies at the behest of the medical establishment. That is all.

  253. 253
    maus says:

    @C Liss:

    Right, my choosing not to get every vaccination is exactly like blowing cigarette smoke in a child’s face.

    Depending on the vaccinations-

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=516 describes what he was referring to. It is a very important principle for public health.

    Seriously, this is ridiculous. My point is that it’s not crazy to question whether we should shoot chemicals into our bodies at the behest of the medical establishment. That is all.

    Is your body not made of chemicals? That’s as useless a word as “toxins”.

  254. 254
    Anne Laurie says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    If that were the case, than we should be able to find all the undiagnosed 60 year autistic people.

    The most severe cases were diagnosed as “retarded” or sometimes “schizophrenic” and institutionalized. The “mere” Aspergers of the Boomer generation were “only” socially ostracized until they found or lucked into a niche where their talents were valued more than their deficits… quite a few of those people ended up congregated in places like MIT and Silicon Valley. (Some of them married each other and their kids and grandkids are pushing up the autistic statistics there.) But the easiest way to find a lot of undiagnosed pre-1980s autistic people would be to check the homeless population, sadly.

  255. 255
    Cassidy says:

    @C Liss: It is exactly the same thing. By not vaccinating your children, you are potentially exposing my kids to terminal illnesses. By blowing smoke in your kids face, I am potentially exposing them to a terminal illness.

    So…where do we draw the line? Well, we have seatbelt laws saying you have to buckle in your kids and have child restraints, etc. Is that too far for you? Do you allow your kids to drink soda or kool-aid? Do you feed your kids vegetables from a can? How about high fructose corn syrup? Do the rugrats eat only oatmeal or do they get their favorite chocolate, frosted sugar bombs?

    My point being, unless you’re one of the few people out there who have the level of income to eat wholly organic, local, blah, blah, blah…food, you are quite possibly poisoning your kids more just by grocery shopping than by vaccinating, the only benefit being that you aren’t possibly spreading contagious, terminal illnesses to other kids.

  256. 256
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Tim Cooper:

    Autism is a more desirable condition than what used to be called Mental Retardation. I see kids in school who don’t evidence any autistic behavior that I have seen, but carry that diagnosis. When tested, they show broad based low scores in every area.

    Yeah, anecdotal, but I have to agree about that gray area. There’s been a societal ‘flip’ over the last twenty years or so — successful middle-class parents whose own parents would have fought any attempt to label their “slow” kids as “psychologically damaged” are fighting to have their less-than-Mensa-smart kids labelled as non-neurotypical. The stigma has changed labels.

  257. 257
    maus says:

    @C Liss:

    Right, my choosing not to get every vaccination is exactly like blowing cigarette smoke in a child’s face.

    Depending on the vaccination, his description is accurate re: herd immunity. http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=516

    Seriously, this is ridiculous. My point is that it’s not crazy to question whether we should shoot chemicals into our bodies at the behest of the medical establishment. That is all.

    “Chemicals” is as useless a word as “toxins”. You’re shooting chemicals into your body every day with everything you drink and eat.

  258. 258
    maus says:

    @C Liss:

    Right, my choosing not to get every vaccination is exactly like blowing cigarette smoke in a child’s face.

    Depending on the vaccination, his description is accurate re: herd immunity. Go to sciencebasedmedicine.org / ? p = 516 to understand more.

    Seriously, this is ridiculous. My point is that it’s not crazy to question whether we should shoot chemicals into our bodies at the behest of the medical establishment. That is all.

    “Chemicals” is as useless a word as “toxins”. You’re shooting chemicals into your body every day with everything you drink and eat.

  259. 259
    C Liss says:

    @Cassidy – I agree – you should shop at farmer’s markets and other healthy places as much as possible. And I’m in favor of seatbelt laws, and I would make every effort to minimize a kid’s exposure to refined sugars. And I am also in favor of basic vaccinations like I got in the early 1970s, provided they are spread out over a couple months preferably. But it’s not like blowing smoke in someone’s face which would be intentional, malicious and without benefit.

    It’s more like allowing your kids to eat unhealthy products. By doing so, you keep those companies in business, increase their advertising budget, and make it more likely that my hypothetical kids would be tempted by them. But I’m not going to get into your business about that. I’d rather you fed them healthy food for their and everyone else’s sake, but really that’s up to you. I draw the line at policing other people’s personal behavior on the off chance that it could indirectly be bad for society and affect me.

    And I am not in favor of all the new vaccinations. It’s shooting chemicals into one’s body, and I’ve been persuaded that it is not safe. Some worship at the altar of our medical establishment – if they say do it, and there’s no definitive peer-reviewed study (only anecdotal evidence) against it, then they do what they’re told. I would not, though of course I would re-evaluate years from now if they found out the true cause of autism beyond any doubt, or if they definitively ruled out vaccines, not merely cast doubt on a study that supported that hypothesis.

    A question for all of you? How sure are you that the new vaccines (or just getting a lot of them in a short span) isn’t partially responsible for the rise in autism rates? 80%? 95%? 99%? Or are you 100 percent certain beyond all doubt that vaccines never caused autism in ever. Because I don’t think the science is there for 100 percent.

    And even if there’s a 1 percent chance of the correlation being causation (I’m persuaded it’s quite a bit more), do you roll the dice on that? I mean when you ride an airplane you’re rolling the dice. But it’s like 1 in a million or less. But 1 in 100 is a real risk for something incurable. So it really depends on what you think the risk is. If it’s like an airplane, you take it. If it’s 1 in 100, you don’t.

  260. 260
    maus says:

    @C Liss:

    Right, my choosing not to get every vaccination is exactly like blowing cigarette smoke in a child’s face.

    Depending on the vaccination, his description is accurate re: herd immunity. Go to sciencebasedmedicine dot org article 516 to understand more. (for some reason certain links I post here cause the post to not go through.)

    Seriously, this is ridiculous. My point is that it’s not crazy to question whether we should shoot chemicals into our bodies at the behest of the medical establishment. That is all.

    “Chemicals” is as useless a word as “toxins”. You’re shooting chemicals into your body every day with everything you drink and eat.

    And no, Herd Immunity has nothing to do with “allowing your kids to eat unhealthy products”, that’s a poor analogy. What you allow to happen to your children has the potential of affecting all children.

  261. 261
    Cassidy says:

    Because I don’t think the science is there for 100 percent.

    Science is never 100%. But, I am/was confident enough to have my children vaccinated.

  262. 262
    gwangung says:

    A question for all of you? How sure are you that the new vaccines (or just getting a lot of them in a short span) isn’t partially responsible for the rise in autism rates? 80%? 95%? 99%? Or are you 100 percent certain beyond all doubt that vaccines never caused autism in ever. Because I don’t think the science is there for 100 percent.

    Science is NEVER there for 100%. Not even relativity or quantum mechanics. And QM is how you’re communicating with the rest of us.

    I just don’t think you understand either the science or the evidence well enough to draw the conclusions you’re drawing. There’s no mechanism, there’s not even a correlation between vaccines and autism. Without even a relationship, you’re throwing words around without any understanding.

  263. 263
    Mayken says:

    @C Liss: If we can ever overcome the BS and convince the 95% needed for herd immunity against diseases such as Rotavirus and hep B etc that they are better off, I and my decedents will just have to live with the weight of you or your winger buddy believing I am a fascist. If wanting to eliminate communicable diseases through centuries’ old medical techniques is wrong, I do not want to be right. ;-)
    Geez, is it any wonder why we all might think you’re a concern troll?
    Though I am beginning to think you may just be jerking all our chains and 300 comments later we are still falling for it.
    Hope you had a good laugh!

  264. 264
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Mayken:

    Small pox “vaccination” is at least 2 1/2 centuries old. John Adams used it and had his whole family inoculated this way.

    And some of his neighbors called him an over-educated elitist who was willing to put his unfortunate children, not to mention the community, at risk of grave injury just because he’d fallen for the latest medical fad. Imagine deliberately infecting little children just to avoid an illness that any sensible person understood required strict quarantine! And besides, if God wanted some of us to die of smallpox, who were we mortals to argue with Him? Same shite, from both ends of the bell curve, different century.

  265. 265
    Mnemosyne says:

    @C Liss:

    I draw the line at policing other people’s personal behavior on the off chance that it could indirectly be bad for society and affect me.

    Infecting other people with potentially deadly diseases as a lifestyle choice. That’s certainly an interesting way to defend your otherwise indefensible stand that it should be your right to infect your neighbor’s children with pertussis if you so choose. Hey, if that kid dies, she dies, nothing to do with the germs that you coughed into her face.

  266. 266
    brantl says:

    When you provide a link that comes from somebody who actually may have the chops to put expertise behind an opinion Maus, I may believe it. You haven’t yet. Let me know when you do. An actual scientist, Maus. Not some indiscriminate blogger.

  267. 267
    Mayken says:

    Not for nothing but Sciencebasedmedicine.org is much more than “some indiscriminate blogger.”

    I think this guy: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?page_id=223 has some pretty serious chops to put behind his opinions.

    As does this guy:
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?page_id=224

    This one probably knows a thing or two about childhood vaccines: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?page_id=627

    There are nearly a dozen more…

    I don’t want to get weigh into someone else’s fight too much but this site is about as far from some wanker with a blog as it is possible to get.

    Ah, but in a bit I’m going to be shot down by a certain troll for being “too trusting” of doctors and $hit. Ah, well…

    Cheers,

    Mayken, who really isn’t just here to defend maus, honest!

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