It’s official: Wakefield joins the ranks of Truthers, New World Order conspiracists

Last Thursday, I appeared on World Science Festival panel titled “Telling Stories in Print and on the Web. ” (Here’s a great write up–with illustrations!) After the event, an audience member chastised me for ignoring the evidence that vaccines cause autism — and repeatedly cited Andrew Wakefield’s 1998 retracted, disgraced, never-replicated study in The Lancet as proof.

It’s incredible to me that Wakefield remains such a hero to the anti-vaccine movement — and that he continues to be taken seriously be anyone.

This Saturday, Andrew Wakefield will be one of the featured speakers at a rally in Dublin, Ireland titled “The Masterplan: The Hidden Agenda for a Global Scientific Dictatorship.”

These are the event’s other speakers:

Richard Gage: The founder of AE911Truth, a group “dedicated to exposing the falsehoods and to revealing truths about the ‘collapses’ of the 3 World Trade Center high-rises on September 11, 2001.”

Luke Rudkowski: Another Truther. Rudkowski’s fame stems from an incident where he shouted down Zbigniew Brzezinski, who served as President Carter’s National Security Advisor, at a Council of Foreign Relations event: “You are CFR scum. You are CFR and New World Order scum. You and David Rockefeller will never have a new world order.”

Jim Corr: He claims that 9/11 was “the nexus doorway into the bigger picture, being the push towards global governance, the formation of an elite run totalitarian One World Government with the subjugated masses underneath”

Alan Watt: He believes the government and the media are conspiring to exert mind control on the population — and cites the Beatles’ “Magical Mystery Tour” as proof of his theory.

Walter Graham: An anti-fluoridationist who has this to say about the fluoridation of drinking water in Ireland: “In 1976 Margaret Thatcher suggested fluoride for Northern Ireland. German research shows fluoride has mind-controlling properties. It made people lethargic. Remember, Mrs Thatcher has a chemistry degree. So why should she suggest fluoride for Northern Ireland?’”

F. William Engdahl: Engdahl says that global warming and the theory that oil has a biological origin are scare tactics “by powerful vested interests to convince the world to sacrifice [so] that they remain in control of the events of this planet.”

Memo to the parents (and the press): The next time someone tells you the MMR vaccine causes autism (or pitches you a story on the “controversy” over the measles vaccine and autism), remember — this is the man whose discredited, debunked research is the source for all of that.

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    82 Responses to It’s official: Wakefield joins the ranks of Truthers, New World Order conspiracists

    1. Mary says:

      I’m almost sorry I can’t be there. It’s like the festival of crankery, and there’s nothing that would amuse me more than talking to the faithful all day. With Guinness.

      However, I went to a CDC meeting on H1N1 in my town a while back, and it drew all the same stuff. I nearly leaped over the table at a troofer who brought incredible amounts of crazy.

      But actually more insidious is the alt-med vax denier types, I think. I mean sure–the festival of crankery is hilarious. But the real damage right now is in the schools and communities.

    2. Mary Sparrowdancer says:

      Take that tampon out of your ear/head, Mnookin, and do some homework. Many people who are being “discredited” by mainstream media are being falsely discredited. Mainstream media is fanned and paid for by the Pharmaceutical Industry, which is making windfall profits for the problems being caused by the toxins we’re being forced to consume. Who cares that someone finds fault with your “National Security Advisor, at a Council of Foreign Relations” supposed royalty. After my daughter was forced to take the MMR vaccine in order to enter college (she was no longer living at my home), she then infected me, my son, and 3 pregnant women with measles, mumps and rubella – a new strain that none of us had ever had. I am a journalist with over 30 years background in study of laboratory sciences. Do some homework.

      • Chris says:

        You are either being sarcastic or are employing the Pharma Shill Gambit.

        In any case, your anecdote does not count unless you can produce the case report. It is so outlandish it would not only have been a published case report, it would have made it to the national news. A link to the case report would be sufficient.

      • New strain of Rubeola? That I have to see… I call troll unless you produce the evidence, which I’m sure includes a lab report from an accredited lab since it was “a new strain that none of us had ever had”. (I’m a lab scientist with a lifetime of experience in actual labs, not fever-induced fantasies like yours.)

    3. ResearchGuy says:

      Sneering is not science, Mr. Mnookin.

      People who assess the issues fairly need to read what we say before they read what our critics say. People also need to keep in mind the familiar phenomenon of confirmation bias, in which people dismiss any evidence that contradicts their current worldview.

      http://ae911truth.org/en/news/66-911-investigator-broadsheet/356-welcome-to-our-broadsheet-newspaper-q911-investigatorq.html

      There are perhaps half a dozen simple proofs that the official story is a fraud. One is the admitted two seconds of freefall by WTC 7, whose technical meaning was also admitted by the US government’s chief investigative engineer — back when he was denying that freefall had occurred.

      http://911speakout.org/

      Please lose the ad hominem attacks and take a look at what’s really going on here.

      • Venna says:

        I think you missed the gist of this post. It wasn’t about 9/11 and conspiracy theories regarding it so let’s not start that. Anyone, anywhere could make a claim, take some shoddy photos and raise questions about statements made by people while the entire country was gripped by panic and, well… terror, and turn them into something convoluted and sinister. What happened is a lot of people died pointlessly and I don’t believe, personally, it matters who, or why they did. We just need to remember them now.

        Now, back to the subject at hand… Do you have anything to add relating to vaccines and/or Wakefield?

        All I can think is he’s losing the funding for his comfy lifestyle so he’s breaking out to try and get more and what better place do to it then with a bunch of other people with half baked ideas and theories. Birds of a feather, eh?

      • “Please lose the ad hominem attacks and take a look at what’s really going on here.”

        Having seen the airplanes fly into the Twin Towers, it is difficult to take your website as anything other than an insult to the intelligence, but let it pass.

        If merely quoting a person peddling nutty ideas is an ad hominem attack in your world, please check that you are in fact living in the real one.

      • David Kyte says:

        Two seconds of free fall of SOME parts of WTC7 out of a total collapse time of 16 to 18 seconds is not unusual and certainly does not imply a controlled demolition, only an ignorance of basic physics. Truthers have for ages tried to say the buildings fell at free fall, but the ability to count shows them to be dead wrong.

    4. Rene Najera says:

      How hard would it be to track down Wakefield’s parents? I want to know what his mother thinks of him… Or, rather, if he ever had a mother at all. My mom would have back-hand slapped me into reality if I tried to pull off such bullish¡t.

    5. Sharon says:

      A fitting turn of events. Conspiracy theories are Wakefield’s gravy train these days.

    6. Soleilmavis says:

      The development of mind control weapons had a long history.
      Nazi researchers used concentration camp inmates to test a cocaine-based “wonder drug” they hoped would enhance the performance of German troops.
      (http://www.amphetamines.com/nazidrug.html , 19/11/2002)
      There were plenty evidences proving that Mk-ultra (America’s Central Intelligence Agency brainwashing project) existed.
      (http://peacepink.ning.com/forum/topics/proof-mkultra-exists )

      Even government still covered Electronic Chips “implant”, Nano technologies “implant” mind control weapons, many researchers had developed implantable electronic chip that may help establish new nerve connections in the part of the brain that controls movement or even alters emotion, thought.
      (http://peacepink.ning.com/forum/topics/information-about-brain )

      In 2002, the Air Force Research Laboratory patented precisely such a technology: Nonleghal weapon which includes (1) a neuro-electromagnetic device which uses microwave transmission of sound into the skull of persons or animals by way of pulse-modulated microwave radiation; and (2) a silent sound device which can transmit sound into the skull of person or animals. NOTE: The sound modulation may be voice or audio subliminal messages. One application of Voice to Skull is use as an electronic scarecrow to frighten birds in the vicinity of airports. Many mind control victims also have claimed to be harassed by Voice to Skull technologies.
      (http://peacepink.ning.com/forum/topics/introduce-v2k-voice-to-skull )

      It is possible to read someone’s mind by remotely measuring their brain activity, researchers have shown. The technique can even extract information from subjects that they are not aware of themselves.
      ( http://peacepink.ning.com/forum/topics/information-about-mind-reading )

      Microwave mind control weapons and Electromagnetic mind control weapons combine with high technology such as satellite; it is hard for victims to find evidences. Some articles had started to report that government developed electromagnetic mind control weapons.
      ( http://peacepink.ning.com/forum/topics/introduce-mind-control-and )

      Patents were also the proving of well development of Mind Control technologies. ( http://peacepink.ning.com/forum/topics/mind-control-patents )

      I wish to file my lawsuits to against government who covered such horrible mind control weapons (and Directed Energy Weapons) abuses and tortures.
      Some lawsuits filed by Soleilmavis
      http://peacepink.ning.com/profiles/blogs/some-lawsuits-filed-by

    7. Liz Ditz says:

      Oh, wow, Seth, you’ve hit the trifecta:

      1. Andrew with the explanation of crank magnetism
      2. Rense’s own Mary Sparrowdancer
      3. Research Guy.

    8. Sally says:

      If the MMR doesn’t cause autism then why has the US Government been compensating parents who legally proved that the MMR caused their child’s autism? I really would like to know.

      And, as far as I’m aware, Wakefield’s study – which looked at whether children with autism also suffered bowel disease – has been replicated, at least five times. Could be more. I haven’t looked in a while.

      It’s little overlooked facts like these that make you realise Seth Mnookin isn’t quite as accurate as he likes to make out.

      • Todd W. says:

        If the MMR doesn’t cause autism then why has the US Government been compensating parents who legally proved that the MMR caused their child’s autism?

        Umm, they haven’t. And please do not cite that Pace Environmental Review study that said “autism” and “autism-like symptoms” are the same thing. They aren’t. That would be like saying that “polio” and “polio-like symptoms” (fatigue, muscle weakness/aches) are the same thing (I’ve experienced the latter the day after a strenuous exercise session and never been infected w/ polio). Likewise, brain damage is not the same thing as autism, nor is encephalitis the same thing as autism. These are all unique diagnoses and conditions.

        Wakefield’s study – which looked at whether children with autism also suffered bowel disease – has been replicated, at least five times.

        Except it hasn’t. The studies that purportedly replicate Wakefield’s work either predate his study, included Wakefield in the study staff or were conducted by people affiliated with Wakefield (e.g., colleagues at Thoughtful House). There has been no independent replication of Wakefield’s study. Indeed, one group that tried to replicate Wakefield’s study in a larger, more rigorous fashion, found that he was wrong (study by Buie, et al.). There have been other attempts since then, as well, and they have all come up negative.

        You should try looking at the actual scientific literature instead of getting your information from anti-scientific sites like Age of Autism, mercola or Wakefield’s own book (no bias there, I’m sure). PubMed is a very useful tool.

      • René Najera says:

        “Why has the US Government been compensating parents who legally proved that the MMR caused their child’s autism?”

        Simple, because the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Those people whined and screamed and yelled and cursed to the point where the vaccine court said, “screw it, here’s your money”. After all, that’s what really is behind all this… Money. Cold hard cash.

        They may have proved it “legally”, but they fell way short from proving it scientifically. I mean, the vaccine court asked the anti-vaxers to “bring it”, so to speak, by having them gather the best cases, and even those were thoroughly turned down for lack of evidence.

        “…has been replicated, at least five times.” Haven’t looked in a while? Lucky for you someone has looked just last month: http://justthevax.blogspot.com/2011/05/still-no-independent-confirmation-of.html

        Yeah, won’t change your mind. I know. I know. I have better things to worry about. You’ll still be an anti-vaxer.

        • Sally says:

          It’s interesting how it gets personal and nasty so very quickly. The points I made were measured and reasonable. Not so the comments that come after.

          The parents who were compensated had to prove that their children had been developing normally before receiving the vaccines and that the vaccines triggered a catastrophic health event that has left them disabled for life. There would be no vaccine damage compensation scheme if vaccines weren’t capable of causing serious damage. The health authorities know that. Vaccines did damage these children, and the government agreed and paid accordingly. The parents aren’t simply handed a cheque either. The compensation is paid as an annuity and towards the child’s care, not into the bank account of the parents. So bang goes that theory presumably.

          I wonder why questioning the safety of vaccines makes one anti-vaccine? I wonder why parents who seek compensation for their vaccine damaged children are called anti-vaccine. They all took their children to have the jabs. How is that anti-vaccine?

          • René Najera says:

            “The parents who were compensated had to prove that their children had been developing normally before receiving the vaccines and that the vaccines triggered a catastrophic health event that has left them disabled for life.”

            Uh, no. The parents just had to prove that the regression happened AFTER the vaccines not BECAUSE OF the vaccines. There is a difference between correlation and causation. With all that googling, you should know this by now.

            “I wonder why questioning the safety of vaccines makes one anti-vaccine? I wonder why parents who seek compensation for their vaccine damaged children are called anti-vaccine. They all took their children to have the jabs. How is that anti-vaccine?”

            That one is easy… Because the questioning of vaccine safety is done in the context of attempting to deter others from vaccinating. Hence, “anti-”. Again, google the prefix. It’s not hard to do.

          • Venna says:

            “The points I made were measured and reasonable”

            Actually there was nothing reasonable about them at all. Nothing in any peer reviewed and scientifically accepted study has been able to find a link between vaccines and autism.

            There have been parents of children compensated by the vaccine injury court, but the ‘evidence’ that needs to be presented to ‘prove’ any case isn’t like in a criminal court where it must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. And none of the children compensated have ever been compensated for autism as a vaccine injury.

            As for those that believe ‘autism-like symptoms’ and autism are the same thing, they aren’t. My older brother has cerebral palsy, not autism, yet he has some very distinct ‘autism-like symptoms’, such as inability to maintain eye contact, he moves his hands in an odd fashion, he has been known to rock and could become very violent when upset. But he didn’t have autism. There are three specific traits that a person must exhibit in order to be determined to have autistic disorder or another disorder on the spectrum. If all of these traits are not present the person doesn’t have autism.

            My son has autism and while some of his behavior is similar to my brothers, it’s still quiet distinctly separate from his too. My brother never spent hours lining up his toys, or spinning the wheels on his cars. My brother could talk very young while my son is still struggling with speech and communication at four years old. My son’s violent meltdowns can be redirected if I see him hedging in that direction by simply removing whatever stimulus is too much for him. Once my brother stepped over the anger line to violence, nothing could bring him back from it other then just time for him to cool down. Luckily we could all run away from him which made him more angry that he had nobody close to lash out at, but without a focus for his violence he soon was able to calm down.

            You also pointed the finger at Seth Mnookin for over looking facts and yet your own facts are woefully inaccurate if you follow actual science and not the anti-vaccine propaganda. The only reason for your comment was to stir up trouble. I don’t believe anyone insulted you or called you stupid or anything of the sort and they provided you with reasonable and accurate answers to your question. If there was a bit of impatience in the tone, it’s because everyone gets tired of this same debate being played over and over when there isn’t anything real to support your side of the debate. I’d hardly say anyone was nasty to you.

      • Matt Carey says:

        Ask the petitioner’s steering committee–they are the group of lawyers who put together a case around the MMR vaccine for the Omnibus Autism Proceeding. They used a lot of Mr. Wakefield’s ideas.

        They gave it their best–and Wakefield’s best. It wasn’t even close in the end. There just isn’t any data there that supports the idea.

        And this was before much of the research fraud information behind Wakefield’s research came out.

        Tell me, how does the MMR cause autism? Remember, Wakefield’s theories have been tested and found incorrect.

    9. Physicsandreason says:

      The 100 foot freefall of WTC 7 is impossible with the “official story”, based on Newton’s laws of motion.

      The uniform acceleration of the WTC 1 roof with no “jolts” is impossible with a gravity driven collapse, based on momentum laws.

      The second law of thermodynamics tells us it’s impossible for nano-thermite , a military explosive found all through the dust at ground zero to form naturally.

      Chemical laws and experimental proof demonstrates that it’s impossible for the eutectic formations found on the steel (described in Appendix C of the FEMA report) to be caused from gypsum board or building rubble.

      Thermodynamic laws makes it impossible for office or jet fuel fires to create the iron microspheres found in the WTC dust by the USGS.

      And it’s impossible for those fires to cut all the inner core columns observed with the “spires” of WTC 1 and 2.

      None of the above, or the actual collapse mechanism of the twin towers were ever explained with the “official story”.

      So all one has to do is ignore fundamental laws (not “theories” ) of physics, over look all the unanswered evidence because they just do not “believe” it, and then label anyone like Richard Gage and over 1500 other architects /engineers (and millions of others) who do understand the science of 9/11, as crazy “conspiracy theorists”, to dismiss the obvious physics.

      No doubt Isaac Newton were he around today, would also be lumped in the “conspiracy” camp.

      • René Najera says:

        I’m going to do EXACTLY what you did and copy and paste from another person’s work, except that I will cite it. The following is from the Popular Mechanics article on 9/11 myths ( http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military/news/1227842 ):

        On WTC7… “Many conspiracy theorists point to FEMA’s preliminary report, which said there was relatively light damage to WTC 7 prior to its collapse. With the benefit of more time and resources, NIST researchers now support the working hypothesis that WTC 7 was far more compromised by falling debris than the FEMA report indicated. “The most important thing we found was that there was, in fact, physical damage to the south face of building 7,” NIST’s Sunder tells PM. “On about a third of the face to the center and to the bottom—approximately 10 stories—about 25 percent of the depth of the building was scooped out.” NIST also discovered previously undocumented damage to WTC 7′s upper stories and its southwest corner.”

        Now, I could go through the rest of your delirious ramblings, but the article is pretty good and should be read by anyone with doubts over what really happened on 9/11/01. Of course, the rest of us in the real world saw the planes and read/heard/saw what happened afterward. The rest of us in the real world hold the memories of those who died too dearly to stain them with conspiracy theories.

        Oh, and Isaac Newton was a scientist. He believed the apple fell because of gravity, not because a CIA agent traveled in time, climbed the tree unnoticed, cut the apple, and then dropped it right onto Newton’s head. The simplest answers are, on the average and in the long run, the right ones… Newton would agree.

        • ResearchGuy says:

          You are incorrect about the copy/paste remark, but that’s an ad hominem fallacy anyway, and a ridiculous one at that. Who cares whether the poster came up with the criticisms himself?

          People who uncritically defend the official government conspiracy theory love to cite Popular Mechanics either without knowing or without wanting to admit that PM got soundly thrashed at http://911research.wtc7.net/essays/gopm/index.html.

          PM has never replied to these criticisms even though probably more than 100,000 people have seen them by now. They can’t begin to defend themselves against the criticisms because the criticisms are all rock-solid. PM is Hearst yellow journalism in the service of empire.

          The alleged scoop-out damage has never been substantiated, and even if it were, it wouldn’t explain the more than 2 seconds of freefall and the almost 7 seconds of close to freefall acceleration. You are overcomplicating the issue. Nothing can do work when it’s in freefall. Do you agree with that or not? Why can’t you answer my very reasonable, simple, physics-based question?

          • René Najera says:

            Hahahahaha! “PM is Hearst yellow journalism in the service of the empire.” No, not an ad hominem, not at all. Shame on those who dare use ad hominems.

            Oh, God, I’m laughing so hard right now. Wish you could see it.

            Dude, you just gave me the perfect thing to quote when I want to refer to something hypocritical.

            Anyway, your very reasonable, simple, physics-based question arises from a failed idea to begin with, so it’s not really worth answering. Whatever the answer I give you, you will disagree with and attack… Maybe I’M at the service of “the empire”?

            The empire? Seriously, man. Real life here, not science fiction.

            • Matt Carey says:

              Rene,

              they are doing a great job showing the parallel between the truthers and the vaccine “skeptics”.

              “Research guy”

              “Nothing can do work when it’s in freefall. Do you agree with that or not? Why can’t you answer my very reasonable, simple, physics-based question?”

              Here’s a simple, physics-based answer:

              gravity is doing work in a freefall. Work equals force times distance. Gravity is the force, distance an object falls, well, the distance.

              The fact that an object in freefall is accelerating tells you that work is being done on it. The kinetic energy is increasing.

              Halliday and Resnick has a nice chapter on work. It was a big, fat, green book back in my day. Every freshman carried it around. When I taught, we used a different book, but I was always fond of H&R.

              I’m sure that this has something to do with your arguments about the “truth” of 911. You have an advantage of Andrew Wakefield and his followers: you are not causing direct harm (public health, autistic children and parents being the victims in the case of Mr. Wakefield).

              If you are in the same mold as the vaccine skeptics I know, you will come back with some sort of technical mumbo jumbo which makes you look like an expert. At least to people who can’t see through the pseudoscience you spout.

              My guess is that leaving the last word, especially by someone who actually understands physics, will prove too much of a challenge for you. Go ahead. Just remember, my lack of a response is because I find your entire discussion a huge waste of time. I really don’t care about people who are wrong and harmless. Andrew Wakefield is not harmless.

      • David Kyte says:

        Don’t you love it when truthers pretend they know physics. And then simply parrot long debunked or down and out lie from conspiracy theorist sites?

        Did you know Richard Gage was nothing more than a guy who did paperwork at an architectural firm, NOT a structural engineer? Did you know 12 people survived in the core of WTC1? Did you know Steven Jones nano-thermite paper was published by a “Pay to publish” journal because no real science journal would do so? Did you know iron microspheres are created by cutting wheels and thermic lances used to clear debris from the site?

        You don’t seem to know much. Newton, like me would laugh at you.

    10. Twyla says:

      It’s incredible to me that:

      - You and others of like mind continue to refer to those with concerns about vaccines as “the anti-vaccine movement”. Are those who work to prevent plane crashes part of an “anti-airplane movement”? Are those who found e-coli in bean sprouts part of an “anti-bean sprout movement”?

      - You & others continue to say that Dr. Wakefield is “the source for all of that” belief in a link between MMR and autism. Before and after the 1998 Lancet study, many parents reported MMR-induced autism. A search of VAERS finds many reports of MMR adverse events resulting in autism prior to the Lancet paper, as well as after. Wakefield and his colleagues merely responded to parental concerns. John Walker-Smith is the most prominent pediatric gastroenterologist in the world. The simple case series report written by these twelve authors simply reported on the health and histories of a small group of children, and called for more research. The extreme reaction against this paper shows more about the established defensive interests than about the paper.

      Is the MMR vaccine generally safe for most people? Is it more beneficial than harmful? I honestly don’t know. Certainly all three of these diseases can have harmful complications. But clearly there is some risk from the vaccine. Parents are simply asking that this risk be honestly evaluated. For the sake of prevention and treatment of adverse reactions we need to better understand what causes these reactions and who is susceptible. And it seems to me that the risk is increased when the MMR is given at the same time as other vaccines such as varicela, DTaP, or shots containing thimerosal. The reports of adverse effects from the MMR exist independent of Dr. Wakefield. He is being made into a larger than life scapegoat, but he is in reality the messenger — a doctor who listened to his patients and their parents, and tried to help these children.

      That’s all for now — I have to sign off.

      • Todd W. says:

        Twyla

        You and others of like mind continue to refer to those with concerns about vaccines as “the anti-vaccine movement”.

        Okay. Please list the vaccines that you are fine with as they are and administered as they are recommended.

        Is the MMR vaccine generally safe for most people? Is it more beneficial than harmful?

        Yes and yes. In general, the vaccine is quite safe and the benefits outweigh the risks, especially when also accounting for the risks from the diseases and not vaccinating. We know that thanks to clinical trials and other research.

        But clearly there is some risk from the vaccine. Parents are simply asking that this risk be honestly evaluated.

        Yes, there is some risk. No one denies that. And the risks are honestly evaluated by many researchers, including those charged with protecting the public health (e.g., the CDC, who monitors a hell of a lot more than you might imagine).

        And it seems to me that the risk is increased when the MMR is given at the same time as other vaccines such as varicela, DTaP, or shots containing thimerosal.

        If we only had some way to investigate these things, like, oh, premarket clinical trials, post-market surveillance and similar tools. Oh, right. We do. And they all realistically evaluate the safety and efficacy of the vaccines. For example, any vaccine that is going to be administered in combination with/at the same time as other vaccines must pass clinical trials first, showing that neither vaccine’s efficacy is diminished nor that adverse events increase. But clinical trials can only show us so much; getting the size to show all AEs is unfeasible. Thankfully, post-market surveillance can catch increases in rarer AEs. When AEs arise that are particularly dangerous, the FDA steps in to remove it from market.

        I know you don’t trust government agencies, but they really do know a fair bit more than armchair epidemiologists with no science background and a degree from Google U.

        And lest you think I am merely an apologist for Big PharmaTM, there are vaccines that should not be used in the U.S. as part of a regular, routine schedule. The OPV vaccine carries risks that make it a poor choice for regions that are not actively plagued by polio. BCG vaccine is not particularly effective and carries the side effect of always having a positive skin test for TB if you have received it. Rotashield was properly removed from market because the rate of adverse events was unacceptably high.

        Just as there are bad vaccines, there are plenty of good ones. If you take your blinders off and objectively evaluate the data, you might see that.

        • Sally says:

          I think you answered your own question, “clinical trials can only show us so much…” That’s why there is follow-up reporting. It’s just that if they don’t like what comes later they ignore it. We know the drugs companies are capable of making catastrophic mistakes – VIOXX, thalidomide – the list is endless. We know that drugs kill thousands of people unnecessarily every year.

          We don’t know what the effect of the vaccine schedule is on babies and children, because the drugs companies have never tested vaccines in combination. We do know that the original measles virus was tested on ‘idiots and imbeciles’ in the UK, and when one child died during the trial, they said it was nothing to do with the vaccine. We don’t know whether children who remain unvaccinated are healthier than those who are vaccinated because there are no studies to tell us. We know that the measles vaccine was totally unnecessary because it was a disease that was dying out anyway (where’s the vaccine for scarlet fever? It’s a far more serious disease, but no longer a public health threat. No vaccine was ever produced to prevent it.) Deaths from measles had reduced by over 95% before any vaccine was introduced. Deaths would have ceased naturally by 2001 without any intervention. I think a little more clarity is needed don’t you?

          • René Najera says:

            Wait one minute. If VIOXX and thialomide were covered-up by the Lucifer-borne pharmaceutical companies, how come we know about them? How were they accepted to be harmful?

            Oh, yes, by post-market surveillance and follow-up. But you omit that point.

            You know, for being such a well-organized conspiracy, it amuses me how these things are not really covered up.

            “Deaths from measles had reduced by over 95% before any vaccine was introduced. Deaths would have ceased naturally by 2001.”

            The first one is an attempt of a sleight-of-hand. Of course deaths had gone down! Medical technology managed to keep alive kids who were infected. Many of them were maimed by said infection. But you won’t say how new infections and sequelae declined ONLY AFTER the vaccine. No, that would be too much “clarity” for your anti-vaccine aims.

            Now, show me the evidence where “deaths would have ceased naturally”. What? The measles virus all of a sudden becomes harmless?

            I suppose you’ll next tell us to hold off on those antivirals for HIV because that too will “cease naturally”. As kids nowadays type on their phones, LOL, WTF, and OMG.

          • Chris says:

            “thalidomide”… I love it when that gets brought into a discussion.

            Sally, can you tell us how many American babies were affected by thalidomide? Do you know who Dr. Frances Kelsey was, and what she did that affected the pharmaceutical regulations on at least two continents?

            Come on. Show that you really know what you are writing about.

            • Todd W. says:

              Chris,

              You beat me to it. I, too, am curious, Sally. When was thalidomide approved for use in the U.S.?

              We don’t know what the effect of the vaccine schedule is on babies and children, because the drugs companies have never tested vaccines in combination.

              Not entirely accurate, Sally. We do have a pretty good idea of what the effect of the vaccine schedule is. You see, the CDC keeps up surveillance on the schedule and reviews and modifies it every year based on data it collects.

              Also, vaccine companies do test vaccines in combination. You see, they are required to test them with other vaccines that will be given around the same time, as I mentioned, to ensure that efficacy and safety are not negatively affected.

              We know that the measles vaccine was totally unnecessary because it was a disease that was dying out anyway (where’s the vaccine for scarlet fever?

              When did measles incidence decrease? Oh, yes…after the vaccine was introduced. As for a scarlet fever vaccine, I imagine we don’t have one because either a) the bacterium that causes strep throat/scarlet fever mutates too rapidly or b) a stable and effective portion of the bacterium has yet to be identified. Personally, I would love for there to be a strep vaccine (since strep loves me).

              No vaccine was ever produced to prevent it.

              Probably because if strep is treated quickly enough, it doesn’t progress to scarlet fever and is pretty easily controlled with antibiotics. But then again, antibiotics aren’t without their side effects (diarrhea, contribution to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, allergic reaction, etc.).

              Deaths would have ceased naturally by 2001 without any intervention.

              And your evidence for this is…? As René said, improved medical technology was almost certainly what kept kids alive that otherwise would have died from the disease. Are you suggesting that treating the disease is better than preventing it?

              I think a little more clarity is needed don’t you?

              That’s what we’re trying to do, but groups like Age of Autism, SafeMinds, Mercola, etc. keep muddying things up.

          • Chris says:

            Because I obviously missed this part because of the glaring bit about thalidomide:

            We know that the measles vaccine was totally unnecessary because it was a disease that was dying out anyway (where’s the vaccine for scarlet fever? It’s a far more serious disease, but no longer a public health threat. No vaccine was ever produced to prevent it.)

            Scarlet fever is what happens when strep throat is not treated with antibiotics. How can you not know that? It is basic knowledge! Even when I was a kid back days in the era before Disco (that was in the early 1970s) if I had a sore throat I was checked for strep throat, and then given antibiotics if the test was positive.

            How in the world did you miss the invention of antibiotics? Or even that a bacterial infection like strep throat, which can turn into scarlet fever, has been tested for in the last forty years?

            I have this list that I made from census data (the link is included, it is a big file and you’ll have to look for it). I want you too look at it and tell me why the incidence of measles declined in the USA between 1960 and 1970 by over 90%. Be sure to reference your answer with documentation I can find in my local medical school library:
            From http://www.census.gov/prod/99pubs/99statab/sec31.pdf
            Year…. Rate per 100000 of measles
            1912 . . . 310.0
            1920 . . . 480.5
            1925 . . . 194.3
            1930 . . . 340.8
            1935 . . . 584.6
            1940 . . . 220.7
            1945 . . . 110.2
            1950 . . . 210.1
            1955 . . . 337.9
            1960 . . . 245.4
            1965 . . . 135.1
            1970 . . . . 23.2
            1975 . . . . 11.3
            1980 . . . . . 5.9
            1985 . . . . . 1.2
            1990 . . . . .11.2
            1991 . . . . . .3.8
            1992 . . . . . .0.9
            1993 . . . . . .0.1
            1994 . . . . . .0.4
            1995 . . . . . .0.1
            1996 . . . . . .0.2
            1997 . . . . . . 0.1

      • Venna says:

        Andrew Wakefield is no longer a doctor, he has been stripped of his license to practice. He was actually approached to perform his ‘study’ by a lawyer who wanted to represent the parents of the children involved in a vaccine injury law suit against the pharmaceutical company who manufactured it. Essentially, Wakefield heard the tales and his eyes turned into dollar signs. He was dispassionate, callous and abusive to the children and had no regard for them as feeling human beings at all. That’s probably why he still sees nothing wrong with bribing them with money and a birthday party to collect their blood and then making jokes about it.

        For the record, my son turned 4 in March, he has autism and just last Friday he went to his pediatrician and got his four year old vaccinations. He got his second dose MMR, Varicella, DTaP and PCV 13 and only mild, normal reactions to them, which is the case in the VAST majority of people. He had slight swelling in the injection sight, a slight fever, but that was easily remedied with a dose of ibuprofen. He wasn’t even cranky or lethargic even though we did a lot of walking to run errands, spent a couple hours on the bus and two hours after he got his shots he spent 45 minutes at a pet store just watching the different fish (his latest obsession). After the pet store, we walked down the street to the park where his pre school was having his end of school picnic and he played nearly the entire two hours we were there. He ate his dinner but didn’t want any ice cream and was so excited when we road the train to catch the bus to take us home. He had a great day and was exhausted when we got home and slept really well, but he was happy the entire time. Today the fever is nonexistent, swelling is nearly gone and he is still happy, except when I won’t let him have a cookie for dinner.

    11. Daniel Noel says:

      Mnookin’s silly piece reminds the discerning readers that many so-called conspiracy theories are disbelievable, which means that people with average intelligence and minimal education can reasonably doubt them, especially if their trusted sources of information, starting with TV, do not grant them credibility.

      One of the very few exceptions to this rule may be the elegant 9/11 baby step, at http://www.911babystep.com, which forces the reader through a 6th grade-level intellectual exercise that necessarily results in entering the 9/11 rabbit hole.

      Love,

      • Chris says:

        Your evidence that Wakefield is being truthful about the MMR vaccine, which has been used in the USA since 1971, is where?

        • Daniel Noel says:

          Nowhere. The vaccine conspiracies are disbelievable. Advocating them is a waste of time.

          Only undisbelievable conspiracies are worth pursuing, such as http://www.911babystep.com.

          Love,

          • Chris says:

            So is advocating for your conspiracies. I suggest you try to remain on topic in the future, and the topic of this article is how Wakefield has fallen to a new low.

          • jre says:

            Oh, rats. Made me look. Daniel figures WTC 7 must have fallen from controlled demolition because, well, that’s what it looks like to him.

            NIST, in contrast, said (after spending humpty bazillion hours on it) that “NIST has seen no evidence that the collapse of WTC 7
            was caused by bombs, missiles, or controlled demolition.” Huh.

            They’re either incompetent, part of the conspiracy, or both. I sure can’t think of any other explanation.

            Your work here is done, Daniel. I’d get right on that moon landing thing if I were you.

    12. Venna says:

      Is it just me or is it always the same litany of misinformation that all these anti-vaxers bring to the table. Do you ever feel like a recording being played over and over and over and over…

      Too bad there just can’t be a comment bot responder that will post a response when it recognizes key words or phrases from other commenters so real people can participate in more engaging conversations.

      • René Najera says:

        I’d be willing to bet good money that there is an anti-vax fax (or e-mail) going out each morning with all that day’s talking points. Fortunately for them, they can just fax or send the same page over and over again each day.

      • Sarah says:

        So these “engaging conversations” between “real people” would be only between like-minded people. Those with a different stance would be relegated to the bot response category. Yeah, that sounds really interesting . What’s the point of that? And while we’re on the topic of points, what’s the point of having such a dismissive attitude towards the comments of those with a different opinion than yourself? Is that ever a way to win people over to your mind set or even sway them in your direction? Why bother posting if you’re going to be so off-putting? I have read/followed the vaccine debate for about 3 1/2 years now and one thing is for sure- I have learned from both sides of this argument, perhaps in nearly equal amounts. Both sides have valid points and different ways of interpreting the same information. At times, it’s almost like a religion- for both groups. Isn’t it possible that vaccines do both harm and good, in varying amounts, to different people? And isn’t it also possible that people taking an active interest in their health and the health of their children is a good thing? Sure, mistakes will be made. And in hindsight we may find that there were unvaccinated children who would have possibly been better off vaccinated and vaccinated children who would have possibly been better off unvaccinated. We should watch these cases and learn from them so we can better identify them up front. This isn’t an all or nothing thing. It is a complex system of which more remains to be learned than what we already know. And shutting ourselves off in a room (or chatroom) with only like-minded individuals accomplishes nothing more than a stroke to our own egos.

        • JJ says:

          Sarah, you make a good point about communication and debate – there is real danger in groups isolating themselves into like-minded groups and shutting out other sources of information. It is a danger to any group as it promotes ideology and creates echo-chambers.

          In my anecdotal experience the blogs like Seth’s, SBM, various ScienceBlogs affiliates – the ones that might be called ‘pro-vax’ – tend to be very permissive about what can be posted. Misinformation tends to be tolerated (moderation-wise) so that it can be addressed in an open way.

          There is certainly a visible frustration as the same users respond to the same misinformation again and again. I think the responses I see at these blogs are generally informative and the attitude is an impediment to dialog less often than more.

          The blogs that tend to most strongly promote the root misinformation are also, in my experience, the ones most likely to show no tolerance for dissenting opinions. The classic example is the infamous moderation on AoA.

          The rest of your post strikes me as a false balance. I certainly cannot tell you how you should or shouldn’t feel about this issue but I’ll add my own perspective. Over the past couple of years I’ve observed ‘both sides’ of many debates that rage on the Internet – climate change, evolution, vaccination, fluoridation, 9/11, numerous conspiracies – and what strikes me the most are the parallels.

          In these debates there’s usually a viewpoint supported by not just a few studies but by a convergence of different scientific disciplines that do the best job of presenting a convincing and consistent viewpoint backed by the best evidence available. These are most often the viewpoints of the largest relevant organizations involved in these debates, often government or health-related ones.

          The other most striking parallel is how misinformation is commonly used – misquoted or cherry picked studies, wall of text lists (often of the same misquoted studies), “JAQing off” (look it up), FUD (look it up), not understanding the tiers/quality of types of evidence – most often repeated by people who are genuinely concerned because they have bought into the misinformation.

          Where am I going with this? To say that there is so rarely the balance that you describe. In my experience, certainly not in the vaccine debate nor in the 9/11 debate.

          • Sarah says:

            Thanks JJ,

            I have to admit I was hesitant to type “JAQing off” into my google search…ha! Interesting, and funny to find it’s something I’ve done a time or two myself without really realizing what tactic I was up to.

            You’re right that the balance is rarely there. It’s just that I’m noticing more and more (even while observing the relationship between my 5 and 7 year old boys) that shouting matches rarely result in genuine attitude changes on either end.

            As far as misinformation goes, believe me, it’s out there on both sides. I’ve gotten some of my greatest doses of misinformation from my children’s doctor, which I find ironic. Anyway, I guess I was just trying to point out the whole purpose of being here is to have a conversation, which usually involves a little give and take.

            • Venna says:

              Sarah

              I apologize if what I said offended you. I’ve been visiting these forums to gather information to education myself because I have a son with autism and he got it without the vaccines. Therefore, my own experience, coupled with the factual evidence of research studies, tells me vaccines don’t have a causal link to autism.

              In visiting these forums and reading the comments, it’s always the same arguments brought up over and over and over. It isn’t always the same people bringing them up, but sometimes it is and it gets frustrating not being able to get beyond that initial defense stage to the heart of real open discussion. It’s the same arguments, the same counters, over and over.

              I want to know more, I want to dig deeper. I want to know about what new studies are being done in regard to autism that have nothing to do with vaccines too. But no matter what forum you go to, if it’s related to autism, the vaccine issue always comes up. I actually attempted to get some support at AoA about nine months ago or so, before I knew what they were about. I found out really quick when there was the mention of autism causing vaccines and some rally they held. I posted a comment stating that vaccines don’t cause autism because the research says there isn’t a link. I mentioned my son having autism but not getting vaccines until after his symptoms were well established and documented. I was insulted, called all manner of rude, vile names, told my son doesn’t count since he isn’t among the unfortunate ‘vaccine injured’ and that I should keep my mouth shut and stop spreading lies. I didn’t keep my mouth shut. I posted twice more before I was blocked. And that is the acceptance a mother with a four year old son with autism gets from AoA. That is just one example of the anti vaccine rudeness I personally have experienced. It is frustrating not being able to speak your mind in some of these ‘autism support’ forums for fear of being verbally assaulted or threatened with physical harm (yes, I’ve gotten that too.) To me, that almost more then the evidence itself proved to me that they are wrong. You don’t treat people like that, I don’t care how much you believe your stance in something is right, that is just wrong.

              Obviously having a bot to respond to comments to a blog wouldn’t work, so in effect it was kind of meant as a joke. The same arguments are brought up every time there’s a new article, post or whatever released and the same things are always said to counter those arguments. It is like there is a bot except that each response is hand typed by a person. Perhaps it’s a plot (this is a joke too) to keep us from getting too in depth in discussions about the science behind the vaccine autism debate to keep us from being able to make too much sense of it and shedding light on fact and truth for someone else out there. Smokescreen in other words to keep the truth hidden and the falsehood ever at the forefront of discussion.

        • René Najera says:

          Both sides have valid points? Uh, no. There is no “on the other hand” to something that has been settled. Vaccines DO NOT cause autism, period. Time after time, study after study has proven this. Anti-vaccine people just move the goalposts each and every single time. That is what leads to a lack of a “conversation”. If I tell you that X study failed to show causation between vaccines and autism, you will tell me that X study was funded by big pharma, didn’t study a population of your liking, failed to consult with you, etc. It’s a never-ending game. That’s why it gets tiring, boring even. It’s like trying to teach a rock how to be a bird.

          • Sarah says:

            Venna,

            I get what you are saying. I’m sorry about your experience with AoA. What a horrible experience. I also understand that personal experience is usually what shapes our views. That’s actually what brought me here (these types of forums) in the first place. While I absolutely believe autism can obviously exist outside of vaccines, my own son was vaccine damaged. It was clear and obvious that my child’s autism symptoms began immediately following a vaccine- and instead of being written off by a chat room, my child was written off by mainstream medicine. The very doctors who prescribed/administered his vaccinations out of their supposed deep concern for his health suddenly found him to be an embarrassment to have in their office. They were immediately sure that he could not be “cured” and wrote him off within seconds of seeing him. His behaviors were parenting related, his diarrhea was from juice (he drank none, so obviously we were lying), his skin issues were irrelevant, his immune system was obviously flawed in the first place, etc. When we finally found someone to take us and him seriously, we had one very sick little boy. He has recovered now, but now even our medical doctors who buy the vaccine theory hook line and sinker agree that another vaccine could kill him, or at the very least cause the swelling in his brain again that caused the first issues. There IS a link between vaccines and behaviors that are so close to autism that experts were unable to tell the difference until he recovered. I know there is a link because I saw it happen myself, and every doctor who has seen him since has admitted it. And in my small neighborhood I have 3 friends with eerily similar stories. I’ve had coffee in their kitchens and watched their sweet children play. They are not making up their stories either. One little girl descended into regressive autism immediately after a series of “catch-up” shots while headed for a trip out of the country. So we can read studies all day. I’ve already seen the one that matters most to me. As it turns out, most of the decisions I make in my life are not based on peer-reviewed studies or what the AAP has to say about them. They are based on my experience, my own ability to make decisions, judge the outcome, and make different decisions the next time. And I’m ok with that.

            • Venna says:

              Sarah,

              I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware you had a background in virology, immunology, internal medicine, psychology, and every other ‘ology’ that allowed you to diagnose your son when nobody else could.

              Where is the study that proves your theory? There isn’t one. You can state your belief all you like, but that is ALL it is is belief, it isn’t truth and it CANNOT and HAS NOT ever been proved to be the case.

              Now, vaccines do have reactions and in rare cases they can be severe. But they DON’T cause autism, never have and this has been proved so regardless of what you say you believe, it just isn’t possible.

              My own son’s autism was regressive, it is in 20 – 40% of cases of children who develop autism. It isn’t the vaccines causing regression or more children would regress then the 20 – 40% that do as more then that get vaccines.

              You said it yourself, maybe what your son and these other children have isn’t autism, maybe it’s something else. That being the case, that kind of proves the other side that vaccines don’t cause autism. This is what I mean about the same arguments and the same counters always being said. We aren’t ever able to get past this stage to really discuss the deeper issues and that is what I’m looking for.

            • Sarah says:

              Venna,

              No, you are not aware of my background. And I never said my son was not diagnosed. I implied the experts DID diagnose autism, but that his recovery was then explained as though perhaps he had something different- as most parents of recovered children will experience. If your son were to recover tomorrow, you would hear the same thing from more than one source. But autism isn’t a single thing so that explanation is ludicrous. And no, I don’t mean it’s a spectrum. Rather it’s a group of similar symptoms with no other diagnosis. If you can cure it by finding the cause, it was something specific in hindsight, and not “autism” in the first place as that is not something specific. All autism is caused by something, and probably a group of unknown somethings that varies case by case. When we eventually know what causes it, we will have a variety of diagnoses, each with specific names that correlate to the cause. Sort of like asthma or eczema.

              I don’t need a study to prove what happened. I saw it. If I saw my child get hit by a car, I wouldn’t need a study to prove that was where his injuries occurred. I believe plenty of things for which there is no study to “prove.” I don’t have a problem with that at all. And I can at least acknowledge that I can sincerely believe something and there’s still the possibility that I’m sincerely wrong. That could be the case here. I also think those who sincerely believe vaccines can’t cause autism could be sincerely wrong. And we may never know. So I dialogue and hopefully stay open to allowing my beliefs and knowledge to evolve over the years. And for now I’m blessed to have outrageously happy, healthy kids, which is more than enough for me.

    13. Andrew says:

      Mnookin’s religious cult which an unholy mix of paganism, and mother earth worship and scientism rears its ugly head.
      I bet he is cheering the United Nations “mother earth day” using his cult of climate change.

    14. Pingback: Autism Blog - Autism and vaccines, 911 truths and fluoridation « Left Brain/Right Brain

    15. jre says:

      Don’t get me started on how Mnookin promotes his Rosicrucian masters’ fraud that man landed on the moon.

    16. Denice Walter says:

      A few weeks ago, I walked out of a cafe in a painfully hip river-side town and was accosted by a fellow who wanted to give me a free dvd which would explain *in great detail* how 911 was a sign of the endtimes, the NWO, and something else which I’ve already forgotten- he was decked out in a shirt covered with buttons proclaiming his many “truths” and standing beside a car similarly covered in declarative bumper stickers. I can only ask: ” Is this the next stop for Andy?”

    17. Venna says:

      Denice,

      Hahaha! I think I would pay money to see Andrew Wakefield in that situation; accosting strangers on the street to hand out free DVDs that explain why he’s the only one who’s right and the ‘establishment’ discredited him to shut him up. I wonder how many photo ops he’d get then?

      • René Najera says:

        Wouldn’t be too funny if it ends up like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Believers_%28film%29

        • Venna says:

          I remember in college when I took an acting class and the instructor said to us, it was a common misconception that art (theater in this case) imitates life because more often then not, particularly with the advent of motion pictures and their prominence in modern life (granted this was back in the late 1980′s) that now it has switched and life imitates art.

          At first when she said this I could only stare at her in disbelief that she would say that, but then she gave examples where that was the case (I can’t recall what they were now, it was a while ago) but I was able to see her point. Why she brought this up in an acting class I’m not sure, but I have found that as the imagination of the human race produces more and more outrageous stories of fiction and science fiction, the real world starts to emulate them. Remember the Star Trek communicators? I know that smart phones are more common now, but who ever had a flip type cell phone? I have one now. The motion detector automatic doors are used all over the place, those are from Star Trek too. What else has science actually developed that was originally an idea in a move or story? Does art imitate life or is it the other way around? It’s scary to think that some ideas that are current and are found laughable by the vast majority of human population could in fact become the religious movements of tomorrow overtaking the world.

    18. Venna says:

      @Sarah,

      There is a BIG difference between witnessing a car hit your son and knowing that is what injured him and assuming vaccines caused autism because you ‘saw it happen’. I sincerely doubt you have vision capable of looking into your son’s body at the molecular level to witness what action the vaccine takes in his body. Correlation is not causation.

      There was a question of did vaccines lead to autism, numerous studies were done, no cause was ever found between vaccines and autism. The question has been answered. Where on the spectrum does your son fall? Does he have Asperger’s Syndrome? PDD-NOS? CDD? My son was diagnosed with actual autistic disorder or ‘classic autism’. In order for a child or person to have this diagnosis there are key developmental delays that must be present:
      (Please forgive typos, I am typing this from the 100-day kit from Autism Speaks, which in turns comes from the DSM-IV)
      I. A total of six (or more) items from heading (A), (B) and (C), with at least two from (A) and one each from (B) and (C):
      (A) Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:
      * Marked impairment in the use of multiple behaviors such as eye-to-eye gazes, facial expression, body posture, and gestures to regulate social interaction.
      * Failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level.
      * A lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people, (e.g. by a lack of showing, bringing or pointing out objects of interest to other people).
      * A lack of social or emotional reciprocity.

      (B) Qualitative impairments in communication as manifested by at least one of the following:
      * Delay in or total lack of, the development of spoken language (not accompanied by an attempt to compensate through alternative modes of communication such as gestures or mime).
      * In individuals with adequate speech, marked impairment in the ability to initiate of sustain a conversation with others.
      * Stereotyped and repetitive use of language or idiosyncratic language.
      * Lack of varied, spontaneous make-believe play or social imitative play appropriate to developmental level.

      (C) Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities, as manifested by at least two of the following:
      * Encompassing preoccupation with one of more stereotyped and restrictive patters of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus.
      * Apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals.
      * Stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g. Hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements).
      * Persistent preoccupation with parts of objects.

      II. Delays or abnormal functioning in at least one of the following areas, with onset prior to age 3 years:
      (A) Social interaction.
      (B) Language is used in social communication.
      (C) Symbolic or imaginative play.

      III. The disturbance is not better accounted for by Rett’s Disorder of Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

      That is just for autism, that doesn’t even encompass the other disorders that fall on the spectrum. I have that information too if you’d like it.

      Yes there are those that can recover from autism with therapies to the point they no longer qualify as autistic under these criteria, but that isn’t the case every time and the biomed therapies are not the therapies that would help with autism anyway. ABA, OT, Speech and Language therapy will help, but putting a child through chelation, special diets, hyperbaric chamber therapy, these don’t have any effect on autism. Autism isn’t a biomedical condition, therefore it cannot be treated with biomedical treatments. It is neurological and developmental. The functioning of the brain and how it works and allows the person to learn is different and this is what we need to focus on to essentially train the brain how to work better with the extra synapses it has which create too much chaotic noise and cause the sensory issues that many autistic children are plagued with. Neuro-pathways can be reformed, or retrained, after birth, but they are there at birth, in the autistic brain. MRI scans show it and they have been traced back to the second trimester of pregnancy. How can a vaccine have caused that when it was before the child was even born?

      • Sarah says:

        You’ll have to excuse me if I choose not to air my son’s entire medical files here for you to pick apart and apply your own expertise to. Suffice it to say we had multiple experts (more than 4) agree that we were dealing with a spectrum disorder, although they were split into two camps on the specific spectrum diagnosis. When I say I saw it happen, I mean I saw it happen. I carried a smiling, functioning child in for a shot, held him down, carried out an angry crying child who was nearly too lethargic to walk from our car when we got home. He was feverish and dazed for a few days, and for 6 months after that did not make eye contact or smile. His BM’s looked like chewed up food. He spun, flapped, chanted and flew into rages. His joints were swollen and he was in too much pain to even sit down with his legs out straight in front of him. It was clear and obvious and any one with half a wit who observed it would be able to tell what happened. And if I were the only one in the world with this story we could chalk it up to coincidence but I’m not. You believe whatever you want to. But this did not just happen to my child before he was born. We don’t understand everything about how the brain works yet and we probably never will. The truth is, we can’t say for certain that ANYTHING does or does not cause autism. But there are some suspects out there, and for my son, vaccines played a role in it. Period.

        I also had some people tell me that biomedical therapies don’t work. Thank God I didn’t take their word for the final truth. For some kids, they do. My son is smiling, socializing, functioning proof. It may be a long shot, but when it works, it’s worth it. (To be clear, we never did any biomed we felt had the potential to harm, so I can’t speak to therapies such as chelation, etc.) So if other parents out there are reading this in the situation I was in 3+ years ago. There IS hope.

        Best of luck, Venna.

      • Sarah says:

        And by the way, it is simply ridiculous to state that diet can not influence neurological changes. Deficient diets can cause neurological issues, some of which are corrected as the deficiency is addressed. Your brain is literally made from what you eat, as is the rest of your body.

        • Venna says:

          I didn’t air my son’s entire medical file, and I wasn’t asking you to do that, just where he falls on the spectrum. I provided the diagnostic criteria from the DSM-IV that must be met for a child to be labeled with autistic disorder, as my son has. From what you say, it doesn’t sound like your son has autism. Perhaps he has autistic like symptoms, which aren’t the same and wouldn’t necessarily fall under the spectrum of ASD either. I’ve not ever heard of swollen joints as a symptom of autism. As for the digestive issues, that isn’t exclusive to autism either. Many children with autism or ASD may have them, but they are apart from the neurological disorder of autism.

          Diet can effect brain chemistry; omega 3 can improve your mood as well as adequate amounts of vitamin D, etc. The patterns of neurons and neural pathways are created or deleted by thoughts, feelings, actions and behaviors. Certain rituals associated with the food we eat can have a neurological effect, but it isn’t the food itself that does. Essentially, you’re treating two different things then, one is biological, the other is neurological and both have very different treatments.

          In a child with autism, if there is no intestinal issues or digestive concerns (my son has none) diet would make no difference. In an autistic child that does have these issues, a diet to relieve these issues would allow the other therapies that modify behavior, which in turn modifies neural pathways, to be more effective for them. Since none of the people that have given their autistic children a modified or specialized diet did so without the behavioral therapies, there isn’t any support that the diet itself would make any difference, other then to relieve pain in the child which may in turn make him or her less violent or sullen and help him or her be happier.

          Deficiencies can cause brain chemistry imbalances, which isn’t the same and a neurological disorder. A person can’t become autistic if they don’t eat certain food, therefore certain food can’t make a person un-autistic either.

          • Sarah says:

            My son met the criteria as outlined in DSM-IV and several experts agreed that he did have autism. The only reason any of them were stumped AT ALL is that he remained verbal, although he lost over 1000 words in Spanish; this prompted different categorization in at least one opinion. He no longer meets the criteria and has now been declared “neurotypical”. I have already said this, yet here you are, declaring that you can somehow tell he did not have autism. And that’s my earlier point. If your child recovers, as mine did, other parents and medical professionals simply dismiss the whole experience rather than trying to learn from the experiences of those who were able to recover. What a waste. I guess it doesn’t really matter, but it gets on my nerves because it dismisses everything he went through. It’s like telling a breast cancer surviver that she must not ever have really had breast cancer because there’s no trace of it now. Or someone who suffered from asthma their entire childhood but not as an adult that they must have just had “asthma like symptoms.” Why is it so important to you that real autism be essentially incurable in all cases? Are you just angry that my son’s particular circumstances were different and he was able to recover? You should be glad, not only for the implications that may have for autism, but also because he’s a person. And to get back to one of my very first points, how could you possibly expect to have the credibility to get me to listen to ANYTHING you might have to say to me about vaccines when you’re sitting here arguing with my about my son’s very diagnosis? THIS is why you find yourself repeating yourself and frustrated- because you lack the first requirement in getting people to really listen to you- genuine caring.

    19. Venna says:

      I am not making lite of what your son went through at all. I’m sure it was horrendous, but it doesn’t sound like ASD but something else. I am glad he recovered from it but again it doesn’t sound like ASD as typically, from what developmental experts have told me, ‘recovery’ from autism takes lots of therapy and many years and it doesn’t happen dramatically but slowly over time as they improve and progress into adolescence and adulthood.

      I haven’t insulted you or your son nor have I threatened you with physical violence or called you a liar as anti-vaxers have done to me, all I’ve said, is the same things the studies have said that vaccines don’t cause autism. That being the case, what your son had was possibly something else that had autism like symptoms which can be confused with autism or ASD. Is it possible the reasons they were disagreeing on which diagnosis is because he didn’t fully fall under either of them?

      And you think I don’t care? Of course I care, to the point that it makes me angry when people insist that one thing is caused by something else when studies, science and fact have proven it doesn’t. I don’t deny that something may have happened to your son after his vaccines were given, but whatever it was wasn’t autism. If, in your son’s case, it was a biomedical problem that effected his brain functionality, then correct the biomedical issue and the brain will begin to function normally again.

      That isn’t autism and there isn’t a cure for autism, but treatment that can help an individual improve to the point where they no longer fall under the diagnosis of autism, but it isn’t a cure. It’s retraining and rewiring to allow the patterns and habits of behavior that are associated with autism to be unlearned and new patters and behaviors that are associated with neurotypicals to be learned. I just want to get beyond this debate because it’s nonsense to continue. The case is closed and continuing this this vein is not conducive to furthering research into causes or treatments or prevention of autism and ASDs.

      • Sarah says:

        Whatever. I can’t believe you would actually argue with the diagnosis of experts without even having any information more than a few lines in a blog comment section. The diagnosis was autism and if we hadn’t pursued biomedical avenues of recovery, the diagnosis would still be autism. There was no disagreement that he had autism. He just fit a couple of possible categories. The recovery wasn’t dramatic and fast. It cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, years of therapy, massive lifestyle change, thousands of supplements, the list goes on.

        But I don’t get your point. You agree that vaccines could cause something that would be diagnosed as autism but not autism? Well, couldn’t that be why there are so many kids being diagnosed with autism? But somehow you just magically know isn’t autism because it was curable? Because your developmental experts have given you a different answer than mine? Yeah, I agree that my son responded unusually well to the therapies we tried. But we never would have known if we hadn’t tried. And there are other kids out there for whom these therapies also work. Other kids who will either live their entire lives with autism or be cured through biomedical therapies. And there are other kids out there whose symptoms showed up directly after a vaccine. The case isn’t closed. It is a long way from closed. There are parents like me who will never discount our children’s experience. Never.

    20. Venna says:

      “Autistic-like symptoms” isn’t the same as autism. My brother exhibited autistic-like symptoms but he had cerebral palsy, not autism. There are many disorders that can exhibit autistic like symptoms and not actually meet the diagnostic criteria for autism or another ASD. Therefore one can display ‘autistic-like symptoms’ and not have autism or any other ASD.

      Nobody has ever said that vaccines don’t have rare side effects in some children. There are even some people that can’t be vaccinated due to these potential risks, and they are reliant on herd immunity to keep them safe. When people who have no reason, other then fear based on propaganda, decide against vaccination, the rates of vaccination decrease and herd immunity is compromised and those that rely on it are in danger of succumbing to the diseases that break out in the wake of lowered vaccinations rates.

      Multiple studies have been done encompassing more then a decade and never has any of them found any causal link between vaccines and autism. Why is it so difficult to believe that if vaccines don’t cause autism, then what your son developed was something else that exhibited ‘autistic-like’ symptoms but wasn’t actually autism?

      I’m not arguing anything other then fact against intuition and opinion which has never been used to ‘prove’ anything. I am sorry for your experience and I’m glad you were able to find remedies that helped to relieve your son’s suffering, but I can’t take your belief over what science shows us. I’m not asking you to discount anything, just merely suggesting that perhaps it wasn’t what you thought or even doctors thought it was and that is why he recovered so quickly. It takes opening your mind to all possibilities and realizing that there are people out there that study this sort of thing for a living.

      I’m sorry if this offends you, but I’ll take the word of the experts over your word and your belief. My son has autism, classic autism. He didn’t get vaccines, had regression in his development (as 20 – 40% of autistic people do) and I’ve been told by the anti-vaccine crowd that I’m a liar and need to shut up and my son’s case doesn’t count and isn’t as important because he wasn’t vaccine injured. I’ve not told you to shut up, I’ve not called you a liar, I’ve merely offered other possibilities. Not all experts will agree and even some will down right disagree. It all depends on their school of thought. Are they alternative practitioners or traditional doctors? These will have completely opposing view points and again no offense, but I, personally, wouldn’t rely on any alternative practitioner to diagnose my son with autism or anything else. You are free to feel and think whatever you wish, as am I. I choose not to believe what you believe.

      • Sarah says:

        Wait. I have to ask- why are you arguing FOR vaccines but also saying your son never had them? Were you against vaccines before and changed your mind? How can you be so hard on parents who choose not to vaccinate when you have an unvaccinated child yourself?

        My son was not diagnosed by alternative practitioners but thanks for the assumption. He was diagnosed by a neuropsychologist, a behavioral expert, and two different medical doctors. The school agreed with the diagnosis. Autism isn’t one thing. It is a collection of symptoms. “Autistic like symptoms” IS autism if it meets the DSM requirements and has no other diagnosis, which was our situation. The only thing that offends me is your insistence that my child did not have autism. How would you possibly know that and why are you so bogged down with it? And seeing your willingness to jump in and behave as if you have some sort of knowledge about something you clearly do not (my son’s particular illness) how could I possibly see you as a credible source of vaccine information? Because trust me, I’d like to find one. I still have tons of questions I can’t get answered. But until I do, I’m not going to take what I perceive as too great a risk with my children. And I’ve never said I’m against vaccination in general. I believe my children have some risk factors that others may not. I just don’t think denying what vaccines can sometimes cause is helpful to the argument.

    21. Sarah says:

      And to answer your question specifically “Why is it so difficult to believe that if vaccines don’t cause autism, then what your son developed was something else that exhibited ‘autistic-like’ symptoms but wasn’t actually autism?”

      Ok, for argument’s sake, he had something different. Let’s call it peanut butter sandwich disease. In his case PBSD was caused by vaccines. And it was incorrectly diagnosed as autism. There are thousands of parents out there in the same situation. Their kids have been diagnosed with autism, but it’s probably actually PBSD. Vaccines can cause PBSD. They don’t cause autism, thank God, but they cause this thing called PBSD. Perhaps we should try to find a way to make vaccines safer because PBSD really sucks, plus it’s so much like autism no one can really tell the difference. But don’t worry, a vaccine can’t cause autism, just PBSD, so whew, now we all feel so much better.

      What difference does it make what you call it? That’s why.

      • Venna says:

        I didn’t say that my son was unvaccinated, in fact he is fully vaccinated now. But he developed autism without them. It wasn’t a choice I wanted to make, not vaccinating him, but finances didn’t allow for it. When I finally was able to get him state welfare medical because they changed the rules and my income was no longer a factor (they said before I made too much to qualify, even though I only made $11.50 an hour) I got him the welfare medical coverage and it was the same time I took him in for evaluation for possible autism.

        He was just over two and a half and was approved for Early Intervention with profound developmental delays. Over the next six months, while he partook in the Early Intervention services, we worked to get his vaccines current so when he turned 3 he could start attending the Early Childhood Special Education Pre School. After his third birthday, they spent the next three months evaluating him at home and at school. About 8 specialists in early childhood development and behavior, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists and child psychologists and in June 2010 he was given an educational label of ASD. Not an official medical diagnosis though.

        On the last day in May this year we finally got in to the CDRC Autism Clinic at OHSU for a medical evaluation. We were there for 5 and a half hours and we saw several different specialists, I answered a lot of questionnaires and questions, he was observed with me and without me in the room and they tried to give him a hearing test but he wouldn’t tolerate the probe in his ear or the headphones on his head. He was given tests for sensory issues, tested for his language development, to see if he could maintain eye contact, checked if he could carry on any kind of conversation. They tested him for imaginative play and sharing of things that interest him with those around him. Fine and gross motor movement, how well he transitioned from one activity to another, etc. Basically, everything that needs to be checked for autism to be diagnosed they checked and he failed every test. He’s just over four years old and his development is that of a one year old. In my son, it’s just too obvious and I was one of the fortunate ones that they were able to give me the diagnosis the same day. There was very little deliberation of the data that was needed.

        They gave me the diagnosis of autistic disorder and a handful of other disorders also and said they suspect even more disorders but didn’t want to subject him to any more testing on that day. How long did it take the specialists who saw your son to diagnosis him with autism? How many questionnaires did you fill out about his behavior?

        What difference does it make what you call it? If it isn’t autism, calling it autism doesn’t make it so. I don’t know what your son had, if it was autism then he would still have the neurological differences in his brain because those differences don’t change per se, the behaviors rewire the brain and alternate synapses are formed to allow the child to function better. The physical differences in the brain are still there though. If it wasn’t autism, then he was misdiagnosed and whatever he did have has been corrected and he’s recovered so you should be happy about it.

        For the record, I’m not being hard on anyone, merely speaking up for the sake of my child. There is a lot more to my story then you are aware, but I won’t bore you with it. I am frustrated by the anti-vaccine movement causing parents to shy away from vaccines with false information. There is not any scientific data that backs up their claims. The fact that they take so little consideration for my son who has autism and got it without vaccines infuriates me. I’m not hard on anyone. I reached out for support to other parents with autistic children and because I don’t believe that vaccines cause autism, I was shunned. I speak out for the sake of other children who developed autism without vaccines because their parents bought into the hype of the anti-vaccine movement, for the children who’s parents might be considering the non-vaccine route because autism isn’t that bad even if vaccines did cause it, but mumps hurts really bad, pertussis is exhausting and if you survive you’ll never be the same, meningitis can kill and maim and so can any number of other diseases that the vaccines can prevent. I tell my story as reassurance that vaccines aren’t going to cause their child’s soul to be snatched away. My son didn’t get vaccines until after his symptoms were well established and documented. If a child is going to develop autism, that child will do so with or without vaccines.

        Eye witnesses have been wrong in the past and innocent people have been convicted of crimes they didn’t commit. It’s also *possible* that what you believe you witnessed was nothing more then a child distraught from getting poked with a needle, it does hurt, and then exhausted by the time you got home because he’d been crying so hard. There are any number of possibilities that it could have been INCLUDING he being one of the rare cases that had a reaction to the vaccine (and for the record I never said I didn’t believe the vaccine may have damaged him, I merely said the vaccine didn’t give him autism). In that case, I’m sorry that he went through that, but what happened to him wasn’t autism because vaccines DON’T cause autism. Autism CANNOT be ‘cured’ by biomedical treatments, but behavioral therapies, intensive behavioral therapies, can improve behavior and social interaction and learning skills to where in adolescence or adulthood the can lose the diagnosis of autism. If your son recovered in just three short years, and without any behavioral therapies but only biomedical treatments, that again leaves me skeptical that what he suffered from was autism. I’m sorry if you feel that’s me making assumptions or being hard on you, but based on everything I’ve read and been told and learned about autism, your son’s recovery doesn’t fit.

        The science is out there in support of the fact that vaccines don’t cause autism, overwhelming science in fact. The anti-vaccine people have stories and belief but no science or fact to back it up. It’s all opinion and conjecture. Just because they want something to be true doesn’t mean it’s going to be true. Science doesn’t work that way. If you haven’t read Seth’s book, I recommend you do. He has done an amazing job of sharing both sides of the argument in a logical, unbiased manner.

        • Sarah says:

          Actually it sounds like we went through a somewhat similar process in determining my son’s diagnosis. We filled out so many questionnaires I believe I could do them in my sleep! His teachers also filled out at least four. He was observed for an entire 5 hour day at school on 3 separate occasions. We took him into the neuropsych’s office for two days of testing away from us. He was observed in the offices of multiple specialists. We also set up a website that allowed all the experts we had consulted to work jointly on his case and we were occasionally able to bring them together. I also did not mean to imply that we used ONLY biomedical therapies. We drove an hour each way to see one of the best occupational therapists in the country multiple times a week for over three years. As for the changes still being present in his brain, sure- that may be the case. We will always have a tendency towards some issues. He will always have a SPD, but it’s manageable now with simple things like earplugs at movies, etc. He will always be a bit tactile defensive and sensory seeking, but he’s able to manage it in appropriate ways. He has a tendency to chant but can be reminded now to stop. At least 5 times a day I remind him “Look (whoever) in the eyes while you’re talking.” But it’s all at manageable levels now. If you were to meet him he would seem like a pretty typical boy- perhaps energetic and a bit loud, but also a child able to handle normal life situations. Someday he will be able to get married and raise children, if that’s what he desires. He will be able to hold a job and function independently.

          But you can’t even imagine what it feels like to observe what I did and live through this situation with my child and have someone have the nerve to tell me that what happened “was nothing more then a child distraught from getting poked with a needle.” That’s BS. Total and complete BS. He did not get so upset from a shot that 6 months later he was still slamming his head against the wall and shrieking in pain and terror through the nights. You keep saying that others have called you a liar- well you’re doing the same thing. What happened to my son was real. And you are doing a great disservice to your cause by taking the ridiculous stance you have here. You have no knowledge of his case that gives you the right to make those statements, and it takes away all your credibility.

          As for Seth’s book, I have every intention of reading it- It’s ready to go on my Kindle right now. But he has already demonstrated to me in brief contact a fundamental lack of understanding of how the Dtap vaccine works that directly contradicts what the vaccine inserts themselves say. So I’m not too sure how accurate his information could possibly be. But we’ll see. I’m sure I’ll learn some useful things from it.

          And again, I’m not totally anti-vaccine. This situation happened with my son almost 4 years ago. My own most recent vaccine was 2 years ago. As I said, it’s not an all or nothing thing. At least for some of us.

    22. Venna says:

      Sarah,

      I’ve not called you a liar. I’ve not ever said I don’t believe your son went through something and I’ve never said that he didn’t have autism. I’ve merely suggested other possibilities and stated if he did have autism, it didn’t come from vaccines since vaccines don’t cause autism. This is pointless to continue because you are only picking bits and pieces out that you want to find issue with.

      As for Seth not understanding the science behind a particular vaccine, well, he’s a writer. Not a scientist, not a virologist, not an immunologist. In order for anyone to understand the truth of this particular debate they don’t need to understand the science behind the vaccines. A person doesn’t need to be a scientist to be able to see what science has shown us as far as vaccines go and what they can and cannot do for society. I don’t understand how vaccines work all the time either, but I know they will protect me and my children, and those around us who can’t be vaccinated will be safer also because we are.

      IN MY OPINION (just so we are clear I’m not calling you a liar) you have already made your decision and nothing anyone can say will dissuade you from your decision. Don’t blame your choice on someone else (“And you are doing a great disservice to your cause by taking the ridiculous stance you have here. You have no knowledge of his case that gives you the right to make those statements, and it takes away all your credibility.”) Since I’ve never said that your son DIDN’T have autism, nor have I either stated that the vaccine DIDN’T cause damage, your stance is illogical. I’ve said merely the same thing science has said, autism doesn’t come from vaccines. If you are going to not believe science because you believe I’ve called you a liar and you believe I’ve said things that I didn’t (just SUGGESTING POSSIBILITIES and MAYBE NOT EVERYTHING HAPPENED ACCORDING TO YOUR PERCEPTION AS IT SOMETIMES CAN BE WRONG). This is the very heart of the anti-vaccine movement (and most parents of children with autism don’t believe they got it from vaccines) taking out the parts they want to hear and making a case with them. I’m done. I still recommend you read Seth’s book. If you truly do have questions, his book will answer a lot as it pertains to this particular debate. If you are looking for a science related look, it might be wiser to look into the books Paul Offit has written as he is a scientist and he does understand how vaccines work. You have options out there to find the answers to the questions you say you have. If you don’t seek for the answers, then PERHAPS you don’t really have any questions to begin with.

    23. Sarah says:

      Sigh. Of course I know my perceptions can be wrong. I am a person who can be wrong. I KNOW that. That’s why I’m still reading, still questioning, still open to making different decisions in the future. I want what’s best for my kids, as I think most people do. I worry all the time that missing a vaccination may cause them or someone else harm. But I’ve seen the other side of the coin. Vaccines can cause damage. You say perhaps I didn’t have any questions to begin with. Well here’s my biggest one. And it moves us away from this silly debate about my son’s diagnosis.
      Vaccines work by stimulating an immune response so the body will create antibodies to certain proteins in the vaccine. So, if there are other proteins present (say from an egg), what stops the body from also creating antibodies to the other (egg) protein at the same time?
      There you have it. My biggest vaccine question boiled down as simply as I am able to boil it down.

    24. Venna says:

      I know that if someone has an egg allergy they are advised by their doctors not to get vaccines that have egg in them. I knew a woman who was told exactly that (regarding the flu vaccine) because she was allergic to eggs. She was elderly, late 80′s I believe, possibly early 90′s. And she came down with the flu and she was bed ridden from it. We went to visit her in the first week and when it was asked why she didn’t get the flu vaccine, she told us her doctor told her not to because she’s allergic to eggs. She actually died of this same flu infection when it progressed to pneumonia and couldn’t be arrested in her.

      I don’t know how many vaccines contain eggs or other proteins that people could be allergic to. These are those people I had referred to who are unable to get the vaccines that rely on herd immunity to keep from getting diseases. Do egg allergies run in families like other allergies can? I’m fairly certain it isn’t something that is assumed in a child. I believe in most cases they aren’t tested for it until there is reason to and since it’s also recommended not to give eggs to children prior to one year of age to prevent potential allergies from developing, same with peanut butter, if we waited until a child was old enough to eat eggs to determine if they can be vaccinated, they’d miss a lot of vaccines that are generally given prior to one year of age.

      There are rare situations where someone may be injured or have a reaction to a vaccine that isn’t specifically an allergic reaction. Unfortunately there is not testing that can be done prior to the vaccine being administered (as far as I am aware or I think it would be done routinely by this point) to check for potential reactions or side effects in those individuals. Perhaps, rather then refusing vaccines and assuming vaccines are dangerous (because in the vast majority of cases they aren’t) maybe the real focus should be determining what in these people is present that causes the reactions to happen and figuring out if there is a way to test for it prior to inoculation taking place.

      If that could be done, we could possibly identify those at risk and hold off vaccines until they are older and better able to integrate or process the vaccine, or perhaps not vaccinate all together depending on what their particular issue is as there are many different potential issues, from mitochondrial disorder, (which could be triggered by vaccines or by catching ANY other infection also) to allergies to certain ingredients in the vaccines, to auto immune disorders.

      My personal feelings on this, if it were possible to get pre-vaccine testing done to determine level of reaction, and then dispense vaccines accordingly, I doubt it would have much effect on autism rates. It might however, settle this debate once and for all. I don’t know if it’s even possible to determine why some people react when others don’t unless it’s clear why the reaction happened. This might be something to look into, I’m not a doctor, scientist or immunologist so I don’t know if it’s even possible. It would be interesting to find out though.

      I think the first step would be for everyone to agree that vaccines don’t cause autism. Then next step would be for everyone to agree that vaccines can cause damage or reactions in some people and we need to find out why. Essentially, the vaccine debate needs to shift away from the cause of autism and toward something else. Even though most people don’t buy the vaccine autism link, the group of people who do (e.g. anti-vaccine group) are very loud and seem unable to move beyond it. That being the case, I don’t see the debate being dropped and everyone coming together any time soon.

    25. Sarah says:

      Venna,

      Thanks for your thoughtful answer, however I think you answered a different question then I meant to ask. I mean to ask this- If vaccines are designed to cause our bodies to create antibodies to virus proteins present in the vaccine after vaccination, what stops our bodies from also creating antibodies to other proteins in the vaccine after vaccination? In short, I don’t mean can you have an allergic reaction to a vaccine because of a preexisting allergy, but can a vaccine cause an allergy to be created? Antibodies to viruses we call “immunity.” Antibodies to benign protein we call “allergy.” But they are essentially the same thing. Couldn’t the unintended consequence of food proteins in vaccines be the creation of allergies?

      And I partially agree with you about taking autism out of the vaccine debate. You may be surprised to know that autism is not my primary concern regarding vaccines. It’s barely even in my top 10. My number one concern is what I see as the potential to create allergies. If you look at adjuvant patents, you will see that the top 8 allergens are present in vaccines. The most common oil found in adjuvants is peanut. Couldn’t our bodies respond to those proteins the same way it responds to virus proteins (or toxoids, etc.)? My concern is that vaccines actually work, and our bodies DO create antibodies (obviously they do to some extent, this has been proven) but that they create antibodies to ALL the proteins in a vaccine, not just a select few. Does that not seem plausible? Reading a scientific study that proves allergies are not created by vaccines would go a long way towards easing my mind about vaccine usage in general and in my (other) children.

    26. Venna says:

      Sarah,

      If I understand what you mean, I believe that is what happens in auto immune disorders. The immune system tries to attack things that aren’t viruses, things the body doesn’t need an immune response to. I could be wrong as I’ve not done a lot of reading about auto immune disorders, but I believe that is what that is. So yes, it entirely possible for that to happen with vaccines, which is why people with auto immune disorders shouldn’t get vaccines. I believe generally speaking, most people aren’t aware of an auto immune disorder right away. I don’t know what the tell tale signs are of that condition, what triggers it or how it’s tested for.

      As far as food allergies and generally benign proteins/oils/adjuvants in vaccines from common food sources that people may have allergies to, I can’t say. I don’t know if it’s possible for something like that to actually be the root of allergies, but since it is recommended for a lot of them not to be consumed prior to one year of age so to lessen the likelihood of allergy developing, hmm, who’s to say the vaccines that contain these allergens won’t do the same thing as giving the food before it’s recommended? I don’t know how food allergies work, also something I’ve not read a lot about. I’ve never had one that I’m aware of, I don’t think the mild stinging on my tongue from eating walnuts would be considered an allergic reaction. My ex husband was allergic to hazelnuts and his dad was allergic to ALL nuts. It’s an interesting idea though and something that should probably be looked into. I mean, they have warning labels on food that contain or were prepared on machinery that was used to process peanuts and tree nuts, milk, wheat, or gluten, why shouldn’t the same consideration for potential allergic reaction be taken for vaccines? Particularly because most children wouldn’t have eaten these foods prior to getting the vaccines, therefore if there is an allergy (like in the egg example) nobody would yet know. I don’t see many 2 month olds eating peanuts anyway. I wonder if anyone has done that kind of research. Does anyone know? (Or has everyone else left this thread for other ones?)

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