Dr. Andrew Wakefield on the Autism/Vaccine Controversy and His Ongoing Professional Persecution
The Daily Bell is pleased to present an exclusive interview with Dr. Andrew Wakefield.
Introduction: Dr Andrew Wakefield, MB, BS, FRCS, FRCPath, is an academic gastroenterologist. He received his medical degree from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School (part of the University of London) in 1981, one of the third generation of his family to have studied medicine at that teaching hospital. He pursued a career in gastrointestinal surgery with a particular interest in inflammatory bowel disease. He qualified as Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1985 and in 1996 was awarded a Wellcome Trust Traveling Fellowship to study small-intestinal transplantation in Toronto, Canada. He was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists in 2001. He has published over 130 original scientific articles, book chapters, and invited scientific commentaries. In the pursuit of possible links between childhood vaccines, intestinal inflammation, and neurologic injury in children, Dr. Wakefield lost his job in the Department of Medicine at London's Royal Free Hospital, his country, his career, and his medical license.
Daily Bell: Can you fill our readers in on the controversy that has cost you so dearly?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: Certainly. Let me give you a bit of background as to who I am. I am a gastroenterologist and an entirely conventional physician. I trained at St. Mary's Hospital in London, qualifying in 1981 and then went on to study surgery and became a fellow at the Royal College of Surgeons. I had a particular interest in Crohn's Disease, Bowel disease, Osteo-Colitis and pursued an academic career. I published about 130 papers in bowel disease prior to becoming involved in Autism in 1995.
Daily Bell: How did that happen?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: A mother called me and said a child is developing perfectly normally and then had their MR vaccine. The child became extremely unwell, high fever for days and upon recovery was never the same. The child deteriorated into Autism – lost speech, communication, language, inter-action. I said, I'm terribly sorry, I'm a gastroenterologist, you must have rung the wrong number. I knew nothing about Autism; when I was in medical school, it was so rare – we were not even taught about it. And she said, No, you don't understand my child has terrible bowel problems; he's having diarrhea 12 times a day he's lost continence; I know he's in pain but he can't tell me he's in pain. He's hitting himself, banging his head, biting himself and attacking people and I know this is because he is in pain.
Daily Bell: Did you believe her?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: The first and most fundamental rule of clinical medicine, the kind of medicine I was trained to practice and my parents and grandparents were trained to practice, is to listen to the patient or the patient's parents and they will tell you the problem. Now here is a mother who is not anti-vaccine, who took her child to be vaccinated, did all the right things and lo-and-behold this is what happened to her child. We eventually had a series of children whose mothers told exactly the same story. We decided, a team of us, at the Royal Free Hospital – including some of the most eminent pediatric gastroenterologists in the world such as Professor John Walker-Smith – to take a closer look at these children because they were clearly suffering. The children underwent a series of tests, colonoscopy and biopsy and we discovered they had bowel disease.
We treated the bowel disease, the inflammation, just as you might treat Crohn's disease or Colitis with anti-inflammatory and diet and the children got better, not only from the bowel disease perspective; their diarrhea improved and also their behavior improved. That was very, very interesting. So we decided to pursue this.
Daily Bell: How did you pursue it exactly?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: By the time I left the Royal Free in 2001, nearly 200 hundred children with this condition had been seen and diagnosed. The problem came of course, when the parent said, my child regressed after the vaccine. If the child had regressed after, let's say natural chicken pox, we would not be having this conversation right now. There would have been no controversy, it would have been, "that's extremely interesting, let's have a look at it." There would have been no problem, but because it happened after a vaccine, all hell broke loose.
Daily Bell: And you are still living with the results.
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: My job is not to pander to the whims of the pharmaceutical industry or to government policy. My job is to answer the question that the parent presents to me when they call me or confront me at a meeting. That is my job and my duty as a doctor. So one came to a crossroads ... well, if the parents are right about the bowel disease, are they right about the vaccine? We decided to look into that in more detail. And that's where the controversy began. I am not in any way anti-vaccine, by the way, and my own children were vaccinated. But I had to understand the background. I put together a 250-page report on these safety studies and they were appalling, they were totally unsatisfactory.
Daily Bell: You're saying those who make and regulate vaccines – both – were not properly vetting the effects of vaccines? That's a strong statement to make.
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: They did not look at the outcomes of the vaccine beyond the short-term. To put this in context, we are dealing with viruses that can cause disease many years later. Thus, you do not confine your safety studies to 3 – 6 weeks. As a result of this understanding, it became my clear conviction that parents deserved access to the option to access single vaccines – the way it was done before, which was perfectly effective.
Daily Bell: Sounds reasonable.
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: In fact, Measles, Mumps and Rubella had separate vaccines. The combined risk of three viruses in a vaccine, MMR, is a way in which nature has never seen them before. Never. And to subject those to inadequate safety studies is in my opinion, not acceptable. That was the essence of the controversy and what has happened ever since has been in essence what medicine and science have done perhaps for all time – crush dissent by discrediting the messenger ... me.
It is simply an effort to silence me because of the egregious errors that have been made in vaccination safety studies. But this has happened since time immemorial. One of the classic cases has to do with the drug Thalidomide. The doctor who first described abnormalities following mothers taking Thalidomide during pregnancy was strongly attacked.
Daily Bell: Let's back up to be clear. Exactly what did you suggest parents do as a result of your famous study published in the Lancet Journal in 1988?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: The Autism study was a simple case series of 12 children and all it did was to tell the parents story of what they told us. It was to document the pinnacle findings in the children. Further research was needed into causes of autism.
Daily Bell: As we understand it, the paper suggested further research specifically regarding linkage between the MMR vaccine and autism, and thus you have been held responsible for the plunge in children getting vaccinated with MMR. However, it also seems to us that in thousands of articles written about all this recently that you've been constantly accused of making a direct link between vaccines and autism in that now-retracted paper.
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: Never before in the history of human endeavor has so much been said about a paper that has been read or understood by so few. It is quite extraordinary. The fact that we published 19 papers on the subject after that one is irrelevant. It's never mentioned. Critics dwell only upon that one paper. I listened to the parents' story and acted according to my professional and moral obligations to determine what was happening with these children.
Daily Bell: Did you pursue the logical ramifications of your work at The Thoughtful House in Texas – a clinic from where you have just recently resigned?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: Did I continue the work that I started in England? Yes. Certainly. We continued to investigate the bowel disease; we looked for evidence of the measles virus from the vaccine being involved. Most importantly, what we did was a seven-year study looking at monkeys, infant primates, exposed to the vaccine schedule. It was something that had never been done before, but it should have been done and that is to ask what happens in the real world. Not test vaccines in isolation but test the schedule that children actually get.
This is a study that we did in primates because vaccines are tested on primates in pre-clinical studies. What we found, even with just the Hepatitis B vaccine containing mercury preservatives, even on the first day of life, even just after that vaccine, there was evidence of neurological damage. What was alarming to me, again, is that there had never been any safety studies that I could find of giving the Hepatitis B vaccine on day-one of life. That again is not acceptable.
Safety first. This must be the priority, particularly when you are dealing with the health of children who are well, who don't have a disease, perfectly healthy and you are extending this policy to every child in the world. All these issues are now covered in my new book, Callous Disregard, just published.
Daily Bell: Did you see cures? Improvement? Give us details of the treatment.
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: Did we do trials for medical improvement? Yes, we endeavored to do several trials. What we see at an anecdotal level in individual patients, is a substantial improvement in symptoms following treatment of the bowel disease. And the treatment of the bowel disease is through the use of anti-inflammatory medications and diet. We found benefits from using exclusion diets for children who were sensitive to various foods such as wheat and gluten. We went on to do a clinical trial of hydro-therapy, which some people had suggested could benefit children with Autism. We did not find any benefit in our trial, publishing those results accordingly. So part of my role at Thoughtful House was to put the anecdotal observations into a scientific context to determine whether there were benefits or not.
Daily Bell: Guess that's why it was called Thoughtful House. Obviously, this has attracted antipathy in some quarters.
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: Well, I think when you are in a field where there is so much vested interest in current beliefs, and where you are challenging public health policy and pharmaceutical industry profits, then you are inevitably going to invite huge controversy.
That is a matter of fact and it happened with Vioxx; it happened with Thalidomide and will happen every time a popular and profitable drug or treatment is challenged. It happened with smoking. You will remember we went through a period for at least 15-20 years where papers were published in medical literature saying how good smoking was for you. Well we now know that not to be true. But it was a challenge then to industrial interests and just as it is now to pharmaceutical interests. That is undoubtedly going to bring on controversy.
Daily Bell: Are you angry over your treatment?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: When I went into it, I knew to some extent what it was going to involve. I am a student of medical history and I realized that there was going to be fallout from this. So, anger on my part, what has happened to me ... not really, no. Frustration and sadness because I went into medicine believing it to be one thing – a discipline that puts the patients well-being, the patient's welfare, above all other considerations. No compromise. So to find that many colleagues have departed from that ideology is sad to me, but nonetheless we have to deal with the real world.
What I think frustrates me and perhaps even angers me more is the way in which the children have been discarded. The children with this condition represent an uncomfortable truth and there has been an effort to erase them from the realm. Commit, if you like, editorial genocide to get rid of these children because they put at risk government policy, World Health organization policy and also drug company profits, but to me that is not acceptable. I find this very difficult to deal with.
Daily Bell: You have many supporters.
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: Without them I don't think it would be possible to continue. They are absolutely extraordinary. I mean, there's never been a complaint against me from a parent or an infected child. There's only been support. I have only ever acted in their best interests and the parents instinctively know that. Mothers know their children, they know when they are well, they know when they are ill and they know when people are acting in their best interest. So, parental support has been absolutely marvelous. There are now more and more scientists and doctors who have realized what is going on and realized that the emperor has no clothes and that they must act in a way that their duty demands.
There are a very large number of people who are joining in with this now. I have just come back from China where they estimate there are some 4-5 million children with autism. One home has 3,000 children in it and has no idea how to treat them. I met with doctors and scientists in Hong Kong who were of a similar opinion that there is a major problem with the vaccination program in the context of childhood mental disorder. So that kind of support makes it possible to continue and do this kind of work.
Daily Bell: Would you pursue your autism/vaccine study if you had it to do over?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: Yes, I think I would. I have no regrets about anything that has happened other than what has happened to the children or what hasn't happened for them as a consequence of the controversy. I would like to think that I would follow exactly the same course even knowing what the consequences were, if presented with the same challenges again. It's very difficult to look back and predict what one might have done then but I would like to think that I would have had the courage knowing what I know now.
Daily Bell: We've already touched on it, but explain please in detail why the initial paper was disavowed by the Lancet?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: In the first instance, the Editor of the Lancet asked us to retract an interpretation of the paper. And that interpretation was that MMR vaccine was the cause of autism.
Daily Bell: But you didn't make this claim did you?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: No, the paper did not make that claim. It did not provide the interpretation that MMR vaccine is the cause of autism. However, it did raise the possibility that vaccines may be associated with autism. But you cannot retract a possibility. A possibility exists. It remains a possibility and therefore to retract it is illogical and was done purely as a political expedient.
Daily Bell: So you weren't prepared to retract a possibility?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: My two colleagues and I were not prepared to get involved in that kind of illogical, political process. The other reason that we were asked to withdraw the paper or retract that part of the paper is because I had not told the Editor of the Lancet that I was funded to do a study, a quite separate study, to investigate whether vaccines could cause this bowel disease at all.
Daily Bell: Was that somehow unethical?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: This is very important, and it may be a little complex, but in 1997 when the paper was submitted, the rules of that disclosure said that the author (that is me) had to decide whether something constituted a conflict or not. It was in the active voice. It was up to me to decide and I thought very hard about it. Those were the rules then. The rules now are very different. The rules now require that you put yourself in the third person and ask what might be perceived to be a conflict of interest. That is very much more onerous. But those were not the rules at the time. This is covered in my book.
Daily Bell: Do you believe in your paper despite the Lancet retraction?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: Do I believe in what was in the paper? Absolutely. The bowel disease has now been confirmed in five separate countries. Papers have been published from Italy, Venezuela, the United States, from Canada and the UK confirming the presence of bowel disease. So that discovery stands absolutely. A vaccine issue – well, we will see. As yet we don't know but we are continuing to investigate.
Daily Bell: Why did your co-writers disavow the study? Or did they?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: This is a very good question and probably one for them – but they wanted to make it clear, I think, that they didn't believe MMR caused autism. But in fact, that really is not what happened. Because as I say, the paper did not make that claim and we cannot retract a possibility so why they retracted is really a question for them.
Daily Bell: Was it fair of them?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: I think they were frightened, I think they were very, very frightened at the time. And there were misunderstandings. Pressure was brought on them and me. I resisted.
Daily Bell: Are you surprised by the antipathy and inaccuracy of mainstream media – generally or specifically?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: Yes I am. I am most disappointed by it. I think a lot of the problem has been the original Sunday Times article on this whole affair was grossly, factually inaccurate but that was the lead story that people have followed. Certain things became imbedded as part of the truth and people came to believe them simply because they were repeated time and time again. So, the media, I don't think, for the most part has taken the trouble to examine the background of this and part of the reason for writing the book I've just written [Ed. Note: see information below] is to provide the media with some insight into what actually happened and the accuracies of the original report.
Daily Bell: Do you feel big pharmaceutical companies have targeted you and your research?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: Do I feel that it is my impression that they have, absolutely.
Daily Bell: Is Big Pharma acting ethically regarding continued pressure for mandatory use of more and more vaccines?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: No absolutely not. Firstly there is no ethical basis for mandatory vaccination at all. Ethics, the fundamental core of ethics, is fully informed consent; you cannot provide fully informed consent if your information is derelict; if your information is inadequate; and if the information you are providing is wrong. And in the case of the vaccines all three of those pertain.
I will give you a very recent example of this kind of problem. It was recently reported that a vaccine was found to contain two pig viruses, fragments of two pig viruses, one which caused a wasting-disease in pigs. This vaccine should have been withdrawn from the market immediately and indefinitely until the problem had been resolved. That the vaccine was allowed to be used on the market is absolutely unacceptable because the consequences are unknown. I am afraid that is the kind of extraordinary attitude towards safety that pervades the vaccine policy makers in this country at the moment.
Daily Bell: Are vaccines effective in your opinion, or could immunity occur in other ways?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: Well certainly immunity can occur in other ways, through natural exposure. Vaccines are effective and I am in no way anti-vaccine. Again, I reiterate that I am for a safety-first vaccination policy.
There are certain vaccines which I see no use for whatsoever. They are purely there for commercial reasons, and in fact they have done more harm than good. We are in a state of some confusion because the safety studies have not been done properly from the onset. And by safely, what I mean is whether vaccines can be given in combination with the rest of the vaccine schedule – or whether they interact with or potentiate the reactions of those vaccines.
Daily Bell: Are vaccines bad for a certain number of children?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: I think there are a certain number of children who simply cannot tolerate vaccines the same way as the majority of the population. Who those children are or why that should be I don't know. But I can give you some observations from a clinical standpoint – and that is to say that children who are given multiple vaccines on the same day seem to be particularly at risk. So it is a matter of policy now for some children, they may have missed an appointment with the doctor so they get nine shots on the same day. They come out with a Band-Aid on each arm and each leg; that is unacceptable. It has never been tested for safety ever, ever, ever.
You have children who are unwell when they are vaccinated; they are on antibiotics; they have an ear infection; they've got some kind of gastroenteritis. Nonetheless, because they are at the doctors, they should get their shots. NO. You do not vaccinate a child whose system is already under pressure.
The family histories with many of the children with Autism or Lupus in the mother, Multiple Sclerosis, bowel disease such as Crohn's Disease, a strong family history with these types of diseases, is really a red flag. So again, there is a safer way of doing things, a way that complications can be avoided but which still allows the children to be protected against serious infectious disease.
Daily Bell: Do vaccines have other side effects such as asthma, etc?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: Again, a fascinating question and it is not something that I have worked in specifically, but there has been a paper from the University of Manitoba very recently, last January and it asks the question, "Is it the exposure to a vaccine per se that's the risk, or the age at which you are exposed that is a risk for asthma?"
And they looked at the DTP vaccine, and they compared children who had received the vaccine on schedule starting at two, four and six months and then children who had been delayed in receiving the schedule. It was a study with 11,500 children, a very big study.
And they found that if you delayed exposure to the first dose of the DTP by just two months, then you halved the risk of asthma, half the risk! That is huge. If you delayed the whole schedule, the three shots, then you reduced it to almost a third! So there you have a major finding where you can dramatically reduce the risk of a serious adverse reaction by simply changing the schedule to make it safer. Why would you not want to do that if you could reduce the risk of what may be a fatal disease?
Daily Bell: Do you believe you have been responsible for a diminution of children taking the measles vaccine?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: No, it's very interesting in the UK, when I suggested the single vaccine instead of the MMR, those single vaccines were available and so a lot of parents generally concerned opted for the single vaccines. Children continued to be protected and parent's could choose from MMR or single vaccines. That was in February of 1998; in August of 1998, the British government withdrew the importation license for single vaccines. In other words, when the demand for single vaccines was at its peak they withdrew the option of the single vaccines.
It is "our way" or you do it no way. Now let me ask you, if your concern is for the protection of children against these diseases would you not allow parents to do it in the way of their choosing as long as they did it? Of course you would. To me that is extraordinary.
Daily Bell: Why did you resign from The Thoughtful House? Your enemies say you were pushed.
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: My enemies are saying a great number of things. The decision was taken by me in discussion with my colleague. The continued controversy was really making it difficult for my colleagues to continue in their work. It was becoming a distraction and I wanted the opportunity to write the book and get the facts out there so people could read them. That is what I have now done. So within three months of leaving Thoughtful House, the book is written and on the shelf so the people can read the truth.
Daily Bell: Fill us in on your monkey/vaccine study. You've spoken about it in the past. Is it groundbreaking in your opinion?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: The World Health Organization recommends to vaccine manufacturers that they test vaccines in primates/monkeys. And they do this for two reasons. First, because monkeys are most similar to humans. Second, certain infections like the measles, are primate infections; they don't infect sub-primate species. So you have to use monkeys.
Now, somewhat bizarrely, what the World Health Organization requires is that – with measles, for instance – you inject the vaccine virus directly into the brain and look at its effects. Well this is ridiculous. We do not inject vaccine into children's brains. We inject them into the skin.
Our first study was a study of the effects of the hepatitis B vaccine given the day of birth, the first day of life and we looked at the acquisition of reflexes, central and survival of the monkey in the wild, eating reflexes such as sucking and rooting. Grasping and clasping ... What we found was there was a similar delay in the acquisition of these reflexes in the vaccinated animals. As early as the first day of life, the vaccine was having an adverse effect on the brain development which meant that in the wild for example, many of these animals would not have survived. And that is really very alarming. I can't say much about the second paper as it is waiting to be published, but we look at a range of adverse events.
Daily Bell: Will it find a journal?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: Yes it has. The first paper was published on line by a journal called Neurotoxicology. And one of the consequences of the GMC hearing was that when the announcement was made that my colleagues and I had been found guilty, the journal was retracted, not on the science, but merely because my name was attached to it.
Daily Bell: We hadn't heard that.
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: Then it turned out that it wasn't the Journal editor who retracted the paper on scientific grounds – it was the publishing house, Elsevier. It also happens that Elsevier owns the Lancet. The Chairman of Elsevier is also a non Executive Director on the board of GlaxoSmithKline. Now there is a conflict of interest that was not disclosed at the time of the retraction of our paper. Since that time, the paper has found a home in another scientific journal. For obvious reasons I won't be giving that name away, but it will be published soon. So it seems that science is available to the highest bidder at the moment.
Daily Bell: Are you being blacklisted?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: I am sure I am. Yes. I am sure I am. I am not ashamed; it's just a fact of life. I hope that people will take the time to read the book, to understand what has happened, to understand whether science has been corrupted and distorted and people have been manipulated into believing things which are not true. People can judge for themselves.
Daily Bell: How has this whole episode made you feel? Is there corruption throughout mainstream Western medicine?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: Yes, undoubtedly. Let me give you another example. In the Merck trial in Australia, Merck revealed how they were determined to deal with doctors who dissented from the use of Vioxx, or considered Vioxx unsafe. And those internal memos talked about how they would discredit them and neutralize them and the last internal memo to be read out had the following line, referring to those doctors, 'We may have to seek them out and destroy them where they live."
Those are their own words. So sometimes it appears that it's corporate policy rather than conspiracy theory, but that is the environment in which doctors work and operate and the problems they face if they confront drug company policy. So in answer to your question is the corruption? Is there distortion? Is there manipulation? Absolutely.
Daily Bell: Sounds like the same tactics that were used to suppress dissent against global warming. Are you a believer generally in alternative treatments now – homeopathy, acupuncture, etc?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: I know nothing about it I am afraid; I have no experience using it. I am entirely traditional physician and what I would say is that acupuncture in contrast, is now accepted as mainstream and in fact is used by many anesthesiologists. I have had acupuncture myself with considerable benefits. So acupuncture, I wouldn't put in the same realm as alternative therapies. But with regard to alternative therapy I have no experience of them.
Daily Bell: Give us a summary perspective on vaccines. Where do you stand on them generally?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: Vaccines have the potential to achieve enormous good and we have an absolute obligation as physicians and scientists to maximize that benefit and not to squander it because we have become indifferent to the possible adverse reactions to the vaccines. We have become obsessed with the idea that one size fits all. it does not. Children are different; everyone is different. We must not put policy and profit before a safety-first agenda.
Daily Bell: What is the future for vaccines?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: The future of vaccines depends entirely upon the confidence of the people. To vaccinate the population will require that the parents, for the most part, have confidence in the vaccine policy makers and the pharmaceutical industry. There is the utmost need to preserve parental confidence in what you are doing. You have to be absolutely honest with parents; you have to be honest with consumers. If you are not, you risk squandering all the good that vaccination has done.
Daily Bell: Tell us about your book Callous Disregard, just released.
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: Callous Disregard is a story about what happened behind the scenes, the documentary evidence that has revealed the hypocrisy, the lies, the deception, and the double dealing that has lead to the circumstances of which I find myself now. It is a story also about the introduction by the British government of an unsafe vaccine in the late 1980s, which they knew to be unsafe at the time. As a consequence, there has been a concerted effort to deny this ever happened. It is revealed in the book. It is one reason that the British government had to silence me and stop my work.
Daily Bell: Do you have any final thoughts in closing?
Dr. Andrew Wakefield: Just two things and one is a practical. First, if people do want to get the book, the website is www.callous-disregard.com.
Second, to parents out there, I would say please trust your instincts. In particular, maternal instinct has been a steady hand on the tiller of evolution for many thousands of years and we wouldn't be here without it. Parents have tended to relinquish that instinct in favor of a medical community. We assume doctors know a lot when in fact they know very little. Please mothers, trust your instincts. No one knows your child like you do and no one can take that away from you, so trust that. That is my most important message.
Daily Bell: Good luck with your work and your book.
We think this interview speaks for itself, but nonetheless, some things should be said. Most importantly, (given the Bell's focus on dominant social themes) we should point out that the mechanism used against Dr. Wakefield is the same one that was employed to silence dissenters as regards global warming. Papers were suppressed or retracted and the full weight of establishment institutions was brought to bear in terms of ridiculing those who dared question the "established science" of global warming. At the same time, the mainstream press itself supported the power-elite global-warming promotion with article after article – thousands of them over the years. In the case of Dr. Wakefield there have been further ramifications. He has lost his license to practice medicine in the UK.
What's the good news? The failure of the global warming dominant social theme and, now, the ongoing unraveling of the "one-size-fits-all" vaccine meme is again proof of the power of the Internet. It is impossible for the powers-that-be to keep from the public information that undermines their fear-based promotions. There are too many on-line avenues for Dr. Wakefield to get the word out, and he didn't even have to find a major publisher to market his book – he can provide it himself, on-line, and he has.
We have no doubt that Dr. Wakefield's incredibly reasonable point of view (especially that "safety-first" ought to be of paramount importance when it comes to vaccines) will eventually win the day. What is being done to him now, this campaign of apparent de-legitimization, is fairly puzzling given obvious conclusions almost any fair-minded person would reach regarding this controversy.
There is, in fact, a disturbing element of vindictiveness in it. And one wonders why. The poor guy was trying to solve a problem that needs to be solved. Parents are horribly tortured by what they feel they've done to their children. The children themselves are in pain and helpless. "Autism" is a terrible condition. The conflict-of-interest stuff that he's been tarred with is really beyond the pale given the conflicted nature of Western medicine generally as a result of its seeming virtual takeover by pharmaceutical companies.
But no matter. The Internet has radically leveled the playing field. The word is out to millions. Wakefield's public evisceration has probably done nothing more than to generate sympathy for him in many quarters. These days the elite, protecting its many franchises, cannot do much right. The playbook is moribund, the tactics incredibly heavy handed. What's been done to Wakefield merely puts off the day of reckoning, but does not remove it.
Eventually, in our opinion, vaccine makers (and their enablers in government regulatory agencies and especially within the World Health Organization) will be forced by the market itself – by concerned parents – to admit that certain vaccines apparently have certain side-effects – at least when given to certain children at certain times in their lives. Presumably, this has not already been admitted because bureaucrats are worried over their jobs and because vaccine-makers are worried about the fallout. Alternatively, the concern is simply that once a major problem like this is admitted as regards to vaccines, other equally destructive practices of Western medicine will come under attack.
Here at the Bell, anyway, we would welcome further scrutiny of Big Pharma generally. We think finding natural cures in the Amazon and elsewhere and then mimicking them artificially in the laboratory is fundamentally questionable and leads to dangerous medicine. In fact, we hope at some point the whole science of vaccines comes in for more serious scrutiny. There are more and more disease-specific vaccines these days, but from our humble point of view the evidence for the efficacy of many of these is scant. Certainly, according to Dr. Wakefield, not a lot of safety testing is going on.
Anyway, we've gone on longer than we wanted to. Below we've reprinted some additional material so that readers can see that our point of view is not merely an idiosyncratic one but is shared by others. Good luck, Dr. Wakefield!
National Autism Association Says GMC Actions Against Wakefield Show Lack of Scientific Integrity
Decision viewed as further attempt to hinder scientific investigation of vaccine safety issues
WASHINGTON, May 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today's decision by the UK's General Medical Council (GMC) to strike Dr. Andrew Wakefield from the medical registry provides further evidence that science linking vaccines and autism is being suppressed at the expense of children's health, according to families affected by autism. Dr. Wakefield co-authored the case series reported in the British Journal, The Lancet, in 1998, which identified a novel inflammatory bowel disease in children diagnosed with autism. This association has been repeatedly confirmed by subsequent studies.(i ii iii iv v) The actual findings were not the subject of the GMC hearings, which many parents believe to have been an attempt to derail future autism research efforts that might bring vaccine safety concerns to light.
"Unquestionably, the GMC had predetermined they would find The Lancet doctors guilty of professional misconduct in an effort to discredit not only their work with these twelve children, but any possible association between the MMR vaccine and autism," says Washington DC-based public interest attorney Jim Moody, Esq. "They acted on two false premises: first by confusing diagnostic clinical tests with research, and second by claiming there were no ethics committee approvals that covered the research aspects of The Lancet paper. There was -- but the prosecution failed in their duty to identify it."
While government agencies at home and abroad claim a link between vaccines and autism has been disproven, supporters of Dr. Wakefield say the epidemiological studies purportedly exonerating the shots are fatally flawed and could never account for susceptible populations. Repeated requests for studies comparing health outcomes in fully vaccinated versus unvaccinated populations have been ignored by federal health agencies.
"With this decision, the GMC is taking an active part in the suppression of vaccine safety science," said National Autism Association (NAA) board chair Lori McIlwain. "The message is clear, scientists who dare to question the safety of vaccines do so at the risk of their careers. Meanwhile, public confidence in the vaccine program continues to erode, and desperately needed answers for families dealing with autism are further delayed."
i Evaluation, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Gastrointestinal Disorders in Individuals With ASDs: A Consensus Report, Timothy Buie, MD, et al, Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School Pediatrics, Vol. 125 Supplement January 2010
ii Clinical Presentation and Histologic Findings at Ileocolonoscopy in Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Chronic Gastrointestinal Symptoms, Arthur Krigsman, MD, et al, New York University School of Medicine, Autism Insights, 27 Jan 2010
iii Endoscopic and Histological Characteristics of the Digestive Mucosa in Autistic Children with gastro-Intestinal Symptoms. Gonzalez L, et al. ArchVenez Pueric Pediatr, 2005;69:19-25.
iv Panenteric IBD-like disease in a patient with regressive autism shown for the first time by wireless capsulenteroscopy: Another piece in the jig-saw of the gut-brain syndrome? Balzola F, et al. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2005. 100(4):979-981.
v Childhood autism and eosinophilic colitis. Chen B, Girgis S, El-Matary W.. Digestion. 2010;81:127-9. Epub 2010 Jan 9.
Contacts: Rita Shreffler (Nixa, MO) 417-818-9030, or Leslie Phillips (Katy, TX) 281-794-1283
SOURCE National Autism Association
Book Reviews for Dr. Wakefield's "Callous Disregard" ...
"I'm so glad Andy Wakefield finally has the chance to tell his story. Perhaps no debate on the planet right now is more confusing, more conflicting, or more maddening for parents than the debate over the causes and treatments of autism . . . For hundreds of thousands of parents around the world, myself included, Andy Wakefield is a symbol of strength and conviction that all parents of children with autism can use to fight for truth and the best lives possible for their kids."
– from the foreword by Jenny McCarthy
"Dr. Wakefield sets the record straight. It was not he who showed callous disregard towards vulnerable, sick children with autism. It was the British medical establishment, the General Medical Council, the media and the pharmaceutical industry that threw the children under the bus to protect the vaccine program. This is a book for everyone who cares about our future."
– Mary Holland, Esq., Co-founder, Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law and Advocacy
"Andrew Wakefield has been subjected to extraordinary criticism and condemnation from professional colleagues and the wider community since he first questioned the safety of the MMR vaccine. In this book he answers his critics—powerfully and comprehensively—and sets the record straight. It is essential reading for anyone wanting to know the truth behind the MMR debate and the politics of vaccination policy."
– Dr. Richard Halvorsen, author of The Truth about Vaccines
"As a mother of a boy who regressed into autism immediately following his MMR vaccination, I welcome this book unreservedly . . . Whatever your thoughts on the issue, if you read nothing else at all on the vaccine-autism debate, this has to be the most crucial book you read."
– Polly Tommey, Editor-in-Chief, The Autism File
"Meeting Dr. Andy Wakefield changed our lives and . . . we are forever grateful. His wise and measured advice about vaccinations helped us dodge a bullet . . . Our fourth son [had] multiple allergies and repeated infections . . . We now fully realize [he] would have been a victim of immune overload had we followed the regular vaccine schedule . . . [He] is [now] bright and healthy . . . This book provides a terrifying insight into what has been happening behind the scenes as efforts redouble to silence Dr. Wakefield . . . It is a wake-up call to those who think [he] is anything other than a modern day hero fighting for all of our children."
– Robert Rodriguez and Elizabeth Avellan, Troublemaker Studios, Austin, Texas
Posted by Scotty Smith on 04/20/11 05:34 AM
Posted by Redhotjalapeno7 on 04/19/11 10:12 AM
I am puzzled by your fierce statement that Wakefield is somehow covering something up about the 'Interpretation' on the original paper which he was asked to retract. From the paper you link to, this interpretation was:
"We identified associated gastrointestinal disease and developmental regression in a group of previously normal children, which was generally associated in time with possible environmental triggers."
Now, my (admittedly layman's) interpretation of this is that:
- He found an association in 12 children between gut problems and developmental problems (as brought to his attention by the parents).
- These problems appeared to happen following the MMR vaccine.
- Therefore a POSSIBLE link between MMR and autism is proposed.
Unless I have missed something, this sentence has caused the whole furore, and yet I do not see the problem.
Remove the emotion, and where I work we would call this "making progress".
Posted by Samix on 01/07/11 08:48 AM
I strongly feel and request that you should catch people like Dr. Duesberg and Kelly Mullins and do a piece on the HIV/AIDS killer disease meme. You will be surprised by the inconsistencies and lies out there that the pharmaceutical companies have spread to enhance their empire. Peter Duesbergs website is itself a good place to begin ...
Posted by George on 01/06/11 01:29 AM
I have been a medical lab professional for 32 years and find this situation with Dr. Wakefield very interesting medically and politically. It is essential that all perspectives of an idea or issue be expressed and let critical thinking be allowed to sort out the possible conclusions.
This ordeal does not make logical sense to any reasonable thinking person. It warrants further investigation to get at the factual truth. We all know journalism and government entities do not deal in fact, or have public safety as a priority if there are powerful influences involved that control their reaction to any explosive event that surfaces (i.e. "Mad Cow Desease").
I have read that Autism has been linked to something in the Mother's physiology during gestation. If this is true, there may be an immunophysiological componant to the cause of autism and vaccines may indeed react badly in young children. Who really knows, but I think this needs to be studied further for public safety concerns.
Posted by Kelvin on 08/10/10 07:06 AM
Nice interview....i had to use this interview in one of my essays in my school which was about "controversies surrounding vaccines" and i had to use Dr Wakefield as a case study. Thumbs up mate.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Glad the school is broaching the subject.
Posted by Arnie on 07/05/10 02:45 PM
As I understand it, Wakefield was found guilty by a statutory tribunal of four counts of dishonesty and 12 involving the abuse of developmentally-challenged children.
Do you plan to give further opportunities to criminals to explain that they didn't commit the crime, that the police arrested the wrong person, that the judge was bribed, and that the whole thing was a fit up?
I think this was a very poor piece of work, where you didn't ask him one difficult question or challenge his claims in any way whatsoever.
Here's one you can check for yourselves. Read what he says about the "interpretation", and how he was asked to retract "an" interpretation, and how that's a logical impossibility etc. Well, there is a section on the first page of the original paper called, would you believe, "interpretation". That is what was retracted: a set of words claiming that autism and bowel disease were generally associated in time with "possible environmental triggers" – ie MMR. That is what was retracted. Wakefield knows that. Here is the text:
Click to view link
That's what was retracted. Now go back and look at what he has told you. And, believe me, his whole account is exactly like that.
Posted by David on 06/15/10 09:58 AM
Unfortunately, I see that "Penn and Teller's BULLS**T" show on USA's Showtime network is doing a show on Dr. Wakefield, and it is not positive.
Reply from The Daily Bell
They sometimes disappoint.
Posted by Jenny Forster on 06/12/10 01:30 AM
I am a mother of two young adult men who were born in Hong Kong, where government policy included mandatory Hepatitis B shots at birth. One of my sons, who has always had weak health, had an immediate negative negative reaction to the first MMR shot.
The paediatrician remarked that he had seen that kind of reaction before and he recommended that my son was not given any further multi-vaccine shots. This indicates that Dr Wakefield is not the only doctor who has had suspicions about the safety of the combined vaccinations, but perhaps the only one with enough courage and strength of his convictions to "do the right thing".
A recent media report indicated that Hong Kong babies had extremely high levels of mercury in their blood, and put this down to high consumption of seafood by their mothers during pregnancy. However Western homeopaths in Hong Kong who deal with mostly expartriate children and have reported increasing incidence of ADHD and autism, have long pointed to the role of vaccines. Governments must listen to the evidence and stop shooting the messenger. Dr Wakefield is a hero in my book.
Posted by Pros And Cons on 06/08/10 03:10 PM
Check out Click to view link to read the pros and cons of mandatory vaccination. I would never rely on the testimony of one person on any matter - much less one that could involve life or death or disfigurement. Read opinions from dozens of experts and make up your own mind. I have and will continue to vaccinate my 8 month old son.
Posted by Nicholas Lee on 06/04/10 06:04 PM
One of your respondents mentions the swine 'flu vaccine episode in which live avian 'flu virus was found in a batch of swine 'flu vaccine by a technician who just happened to test a sample of the batch on his own initiative. Those who wish to know more about this episode should go to YouTube and punch in 'Bell Tolling for Swine Flu' This is a presentation through six videos by a Catalonian Benedictine Nun who also happens to be a Consultant in Medicine and who also has a PhD in Public Health. She makes a convincing case for what appears to be an attempt to spread swine 'flu by using the vaccine as a vector to spread it.
Further to my previous post about Andrew Wakefield's interview, I saw a news item in today's (4 June 2010) 'Daily Mail' (London) 'The Instant Test that can detect Autism'. It is based on research at Imperial College, London, that is based on the observation that people with autism have different bacteria in their guts from others. There would appear to be a link between this research and Dr.Wakefield's.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Wow - wonder if Dr. Wakefield knows ...
Posted by Nicholas Lee on 06/04/10 06:00 AM
Thank you for publishing the interview with Dr.Andrew Wakefield. As a doctor, I have found it extraordinarily difficult to try and get an impartial grip on all the factors surrounding his demonisation by a profession that should be proud to have him as a member.
Now that I have read this interview, I have a much better understanding of the kind of man that he is, and I salute him and his work. I have always had a love-hate relationship with vaccines. At their best, and when wisely used, they are a major weapon in preventive medicine. However, as Dr.Wakefield so clearly points out, they are not without their dangers, and need to be used with a full understanding of the risk/benefit ratio.
As a former editor of a national medical journal, I am also well aware of the constraints under which journal editors work, and I well remember when a paper was published that was critical of a particular medication. The next day, the pharmaceutical company concerned pulled all their advertising, and left us in no doubt that it would not be coming back to us. As most medical journals rely heavily on advertising revenue from pharmaceutical companies, editors do not have the freedom to be able to publish what they would like to.
Finally, this is the first time that I have read the Daily Bell. It most certainly will not be the last. Very many thanks.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Thanks for writing.
Posted by NoMoreShots on 06/03/10 10:45 PM
Profitable Depopulation Plot Links JP Morgan-Chase And Goldman Sachs To Vaccination Contaminations And BigPharma Corruption By Dr. Leonard Horowitz 4-29-10
"Corruption in the drug industry is rampant and transparent," Dr. Horowitz explains. "Investment bankers at JPMC and GS, who acquired controlling interests in the largest drug firms during mergers and acquisitions, have placed 'depopulation' near the top of their list of geopolitical priorites. Their depopulation agents are now in top positions of government, finance, and industry.
The depopulation plan is supported by the world's wealthiest people, including Bill Gates, who admittedly funds vaccinations to reduce global populations by 10-15%. Leading population planners and economic developers advance identical plans to cull the world's population to 1 billion.
"Killing 6-out-of-7 people globally, most profitably, requires planning and an unprecedented conspiracy to commit genocide by applying advances in genetic biotechnologies exclusively available and affordable to drug companies controlled by the investment bankers," Dr. Horowitz adds.
Click to view link
Posted by Melll on 06/02/10 02:53 PM
Thank you to the Daily Bell!
God Bless you Dr. Wakefield for your pioneering spirit and committement to our young which are being poisoned and compromised every day. Thanks! Nature provides many remedies. Big Pharma doesn't want us to know.
Posted by Wrusssr on 06/02/10 02:03 AM
This interview with Doctor Wakefield, the Bell's summary, and the reader exchange that followed is the richest exchange of information that counts I have ever read or seen on the Web.
The best. I particularly enjoyed listening to the Expert's ox bellow.
I can add little and only that, in my opinion, the "swine flu pandemic" was to have been a key event for the elite. The Level 6 pandemic declaration (not alert) from the WHO - their go-point - was already primed through Madam Chang.
The vax-manufacturers had been paid and the kettles were full. Rockefeller's companies had committed a couple hundred million doses to the WHO so they could ". . . vaccinate the world's poor."
All they lacked was the pandemic.
Then . . . no need to wait on it. "We'll ship you the vaccine and you can start the jabs." (Or words to that effect.)
A lab employee in Latvia (if memory serves) decided to test the 72kg of "swine flu" vaccine that Baxter International - an elite-controlled vaccine manufacturer - had shipped to 16 labs in four European countries (if memory serves) to be given as shots to the thousands.
But a funny thing happened. All the lab ferrets that got the shot died. The lab employee hadn't even been required to test the vaccine. He/she just did it out of curiosity. The contaminated vaccine had come from a Level 3 Lab. Meaning it couldn't have been accidentally contaminated. This was quickly muffled and swept under.
Too late. The alarm had already gone out, thanks to the Internet. Opinion here: Had the countries with this vaccine initiated the shots, it would have started the pandemic in Europe.
What motivated the lab employee to test it? What motivated Dr. David Ray Griffin, a retired theologian and professor who doesn't have a hysterical bone in his body, to methodically expose the 9/11 false flag hoax using the scientific method in his 10 books? (An updated overview of the hoax can be found in The New Pearl Harbor Revisited). He has amassed all the evidence - which is being confirmed from other researches monthly - for prosecutors, yet they won't indict.
What motivated a hacker to distribute on the Internet the climateers' emails, files, data, and codes used for their deceptive computer models; laying bare for the world and experts alike their unquestionable, deliberate, perpetration of this elite global warming hoax on the world?
What motivated Doctor Wakefield and Doctor Duesberg and Celia Farber? Humanity owes these, them, and the dedicated unknown a debt. God has His ways. The Bell embodies what investigative journalism once was and should be. Thank you.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Thanks for the kind words and for another most interesting feedback.
Posted by Heidi Carabine on 06/01/10 06:12 PM
Dr. Wakefield, thank you for all you do and continue to do for our children. You are an extraordinary man - a true spiritual warrior. Thank you for exposing the truth for what it is...versus allowing big business to continue to pull the wool over our eyes.
I have been studying your work since my son was 2 1/2 here in Austin, Texas. I too, with my last breath will look out for what is right and just...and your work is not only benefiting children, but adults...I pray they will wake up and realize what is happening with toxins first in vaccines and then in our foods, etc. in our environment and the corelation to many serious disease processes...
Posted by Laura Hall on 06/01/10 04:03 PM
I was completely unfamiliar with this story and Dr. Wakefield until I saw it covered by NBC news. I have no connection with any children or parents of children with autism, hence "no dog in this race". But I must say, it is obvious that Dr. Wakefield is both sincere and competent while his detractors are clearly without integrity. I will get the book and recommend it to any new parents I meet. As for the NBC coverage, it was biased in the extreme against Dr. Wakefield and is one more example of journalistic decay.
Posted by Boatman on 06/01/10 10:15 AM
Statistically the Amish should have 5,000 autistic children.....they do not vaccinate.
they have 3 and these were adopted (vaccinated)
enough proof for me.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Interesting, if so! Somehow such statistics do not receive a great deal of attention.
Posted by John Danforth on 06/01/10 08:50 AM
Premise One: There seems to be a genetic component to Autism.
Premise Two: It seems that a severe insult to the system might trigger Autism in those who are susceptible.
Conclusion One: In the absence of more complete information, it might be prudent to attempt to avoid such an insult to the system.
Conclusion Two: If the State or Profession attempts to prevent the increase in knowledge of the situation, attempts to prevent the ability of people to minimize insults to the systems of their children, and attempts to discredit people who are adding to our knowledge, then we have the right to resist.
It appears that the State and the Profession are doing all three things here. People have unique strengths and weaknesses. If your child happens to be among the unlucky 1% .....
If you choose not to inoculate your child, he or she will be a 'free rider', benefiting from the fact that most everyone else is vaccinated, thus the risk of contracting the disease is minimized. What you need to watch out for is that bureaucracy requires 'one policy' solutions to every problem. They may decide that those who opt out are a real threat to the welfare of the herd (why, if the vaccinated ones are immune?)(the real threat is to the credibility of the system, as this issue demonstrates). One percent fallout is considered by the bureaucrat to be an excellent track record. Your child is expendable for the well-being of the herd.
If you are ever stuck in a herd and some calamity happens, and the authorities are urging everyone to go in one direction, consider running the other way! Most times, they don't know what you think they know.
This is not to discredit the value of vaccines that have helped eliminate scourges that can wipe out large numbers of people. It is to emphasize that anyone that attempts to prevent you from learning more is your mortal enemy.
Posted by Ed Lebeau on 05/31/10 11:25 PM
This reminds me in some respects of the initial reception Dr. Barry Marshall and Dr. Robin Warren received when they suggested that the bacterium Helicobacter pylori was responsible for a significant percentage of stomach ulcers. My understanding is that their evidence was very solid, yet it still took more than 10 years for their discovery to get the attention it deserved. And just how many patients suffered unnecessarily during those 10 years?
The issue of innoculating newborns is a whole other can of worms. The medical profession long ago decided that extended breastfeeding (beyond, say 6 weeks) was neither important nor particularly desirable. There is some (and maybe more than just a little) movement toward longer breastfeeding today. Many believe that mother's milk provides immune support making vaccines unnecessary if the child is breastfed, and thus advocate breastfeeding for a year or more. This is considered "counter-cultural" in some quarters, and will probably not resonate well with the broader audience. Keep in mind how little money is to be made if mothers breastfeed their children. Follow the money.
Posted by Not Anti-military Per Se on 05/31/10 08:48 PM
The strength of Dr. Wakefield's contribution has nothing to do with the weight of the evidence he provides but rather the fact that his suggestion that vaccines should be studied for safety resonates among multiple millions (counting family members) of victims.
Combine this with the fact that reasonable safety data (particularly on total vaccine burden) simply does not exist, renders your points quite hollow indeed and make them sound to be more likely purchased rather than experienced. Millions of people with beautiful healthy children one day and then beautiful permanently disabled offspring the next with only a vaccine(s) in between are not calmed by your expertise nor the Big Pharma owned and operated medical establishment mantra of "nobody has ever proven a link between vaccines and your child's problem."
Vilifying Dr. Wakefield for simply suggesting vaccines should be convincingly tested for safety is a unreasonable and egregious act consistent with the power elite control meme world view espoused by The Bell and puts the sentiment of your points in the camp of the oppressor. When it comes to inflicting harm on children for profit a call for safety data in the presence of a verifiable plague is unfortunately not simply reasonable but heroic in this mercantilistic world we inhabit.
Plague is not overstated if one considers the list of immune mediated diseases that have ravaged our children. Eczema, asthma, food allergies, Type I diabetes, autism spectrum disorders, and autism itself are all known to have a immune mediated disfunction as the basis of their pathophysiology. Each of these diseases have increased dramatically since 1990. Most were so rare as to not be commonly known.
Currently there is barely a family that hasn't been profoundly affected by one on these chronic disabling diseases. Notably 1990 was when scheduled vaccination which impact the immune system, was dramatically expanded. This year represent more vaccines and a dramatic rise in immune mediated disease, not limited to autism. All this in the absence of reasonable, non pharmacy sponsored, safety data. The horror.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Remarkable. Things seem to be getting worse, not better. As you eloquently point out, that's not, perhaps, an accident.