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 MetaCynic on 05/31/10 04:11 PM
This interview with Dr. Wakefield fits in perfectly with the DB's overall mission to expose the power-elite's machinations to accrue ever more wealth and power over our lives.
Just as mercantilism is the root cause of the financial trauma gripping the world, so it is also the force behind the increasingly expensive, dangerous and ineffective healthcare model which merely treats symptoms while ignoring and even persecuting methods that actually cure. It's a safe bet that any full blown single payer system in the U.S. would promote this expensive symptom treating medical paradigm and shun the affordable holistic approach.
It seems that the people in the nations of the West are in the grip of a severe mental disorder. They are firm believers in the principle that the gun is the solution to all our problems. Forget about education, persuasion, competition and boycotts. Tolerance and understanding is regarded as weakness. If you fear, dislike or are offended by something or someone, just clamor for laws and regulations to be administered with threats of arrest and incarceration. The gun of the nanny state will make all well.
Too few understand that even saints and geniuses will fail at employing the gun to make the world safe, prosperous and virtuous. The horrors of at least the last century, are the history of that gun in the hands of careerist psychopaths in government serving their profit hungry allies in the private world. It is the presence of the gun in situations that require cooperation and competition that has corrupted not only finance but scientific research and medical care as well. Tragically, we are all poorer and sicker as a result, with too few becoming any wiser.
There are now high profile, enlightened individuals and institutions fighting courageously against the corrupt and dangerous Western medical paradigm, and they are slowly turning the tide, winning through education. Having exposed the FDA as a tool of Big Pharma and the corporate food industry, they are providing evidence that holistic approaches using a natural diet, exercise and nutrient supplements can actually prevent and even cure degenerative diseases which have Western medicine baffled. The Life Extension Foundation, Click to view link is one. Dr. Joseph Mercola, a one time conventional doctor is another, Click to view link
There are many other open-minded doctors who, having witnessed the evidence, have also embraced natural, holistic treatments. Dr. Jonathan Wright, Dr. julian Whitaker and Dr. Russell Blaylock come to mind.
I recently had the occasion to use a doctor trained and licensed to practice both Western and Chinese medicine. He prescribed Chinese herbs to bolster my immune system to successfully (and very inexpensively) treat a years long viral infection. He also explained that even though he can prescribe Western patent drugs, he doesn't do so because they treat symptoms allowing underlying causes to worsen. For 20 years he has seen the evidence in his own practice that Chinese medicine succeeds where Western medicine fails. According to him Chinese medicine will actually cure disease by mobilizing the human body's own disease destroying mechanisms.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Well done. Dr. Mercola is wonderful. He interviewed Dr. Wakefield recently.
Posted by Swainsong on 05/31/10 02:32 PM
"Dr. Wakefield is a reputable physician supported by grieving, furious parents. This sort of power base should guarantee a sustained conversation that will eventually flush issues out into the open, whatever they are."
I'd like to point out, as Dr Wakefield also did, that it is the MOTHERS whom, as a general rule, know best about problems with their children. And thus it is their ferocity that often drives disclosure. Lest we not forget, it was the wives of four victims in the Towers on 9-11 who pressed so hard for truth and so effectively stultified the puppet Commission. Nothing like the wrath of women scorned, eh.
However, as with 9-11, I fear we will never get a complete accounting behind the pharmaceutical facade. Nevertheless, what a wonderful interview, and wholly engaging follow-up conversation.
My girl friend for going on three years lives in the US, me in Canada. I used to commute regularly but ever since the swine flu, um, pandemic, and the subsequent research into vaccines that farce forced me to do, I came to the conclusion I will never again vaccinate anyone I love.
That means, as of this month, I can no longer take my dogs across the border. Their rabies vaccination "papers" have expired. They have never been kennelled, and never will be. So... some tough choices ahead. But the more these issues are flushed out into the open, the more I think I'm making the right ones.
"There are no experts. Ever. Anywhere. Anytime. We are born in blood and die amidst our own waste. In the meantime we talk - and sometimes act."
That gave me my morning smile - mind if I quote you on that? But it seems to me that it's mostly men who do the talking while women act, as a general rule. So it's great to see folks like Dr Wakefield stand their ground so firmly, and thanks to The Bell for continuing to talk with them.
Posted by Msquared on 05/31/10 01:49 PM
As a medical professional myself, you cannot discredit what you obviously cannot ignore, with the likes of this medical doctor, it is not only the responsibility of Dr. Wakefield but of those concerned as well. Better medicine, better people!
Posted by Bill on 05/31/10 01:18 PM
Dr. Wakefield will be vindicated. We often forget that Lister was scoffed at by other doctors of his time for suggesting they wash their hands before seeing patients.
Posted by Matt R. on 05/31/10 01:17 PM
Great interview. And after reading this, I'm even more glad that my wife and I didn't get our daughter the hep B vaccine at birth!
Posted by Bernardpalmer on 05/31/10 10:46 AM
Though the rapier like strokes between the heavyweights is wonderful to watch in this particular foray but there is another battle far more important which was partly pointed out by This Guy.
"If I want my newborn (due any day now!!!) to have the MMR combo, then I should be able to buy it. If I want it separated out and over a longer period of time, then I should be able to do that as well."
If the free market was allowed into medicine probably none of these problems would arise in the first place. What we are complaining about here is the lack of freedom that is part and parcel of all Socialized functions be it Socialized medicine, Socialized insurance, Socialized transport, Socialized schooling or anything where big government has the controlling hand.
The good thing is all these problems are hopefully about to be addressed with the collapse of the world's fiat currencies. The common denominator in all these problems is Socialism which is Communism Lite. Like Communism it simply does not work. Socialism is government taking responsibility away from the individual. This is why I keep pushing the idea of a Primary Fundamental Right. We all have to become responsible for our selves and for our own.
The Bell seems to be at the forefront of pushing for greater personal freedoms and by seeking out those groups intent on keeping the status quo, the so called Elites who are well represented by the medical cabal as well as the political class.
We should all be aware that even after the collapse the Elites will probably still be in power simply because they will own the most gold and whoever owns the gold usually calls the shots. The objective here should be to get the Elites to see, through these pages, the loss of profits that they are about to endure is because of their promotion of Socialism and the warfare /welfare states.
They are bound to be aware of their detractors here and elsewhere so let these pages be their study guide showing them where things have gone wrong just from the simple lack of freedom in the world.
Contrary to popular belief no one in the western world legally owns their own body. We are all legally slaves. As the Elites control the laws they don't need their protection.
Whether we are pro or anti Andrew Wakefield doesn't really matter. Andrew is just a marker on Socialism road. As long as we are all prepared for the coming collapse of the present system and work towards making the new system much freer otherwise Fascism is the next stop on the downward road to Totalitarianism and Fascism means less profits for everyone. Remember that the lack of money is the root of all evil.
Click to view link
Reply from The Daily Bell
Well done. The elites will be with us always but in the 21st century they may have to take a step back.
Posted by Paul Weber on 05/31/10 10:19 AM
The claim that autism is absolutely, exclusively, and undeniably a "genetic disease," has a lot of problems.
If autism were completely a genetic condition, one would expect it to stay about level in the general population. For example, consider other other purely genetic conditions, like albinism. Albinism exists in a small percentage of people, across different races. It is rare, but continues to pop up in small numbers, fairly consistently, across time.
Albinism has never, to my knowledge experienced a "break out", in which it increases a hundred or a thousand fold. That would truly be an extraordinary event. The same is true of other purely genetic problems, such as Down Syndrome or Tay Sachs.
Yet autism HAS broken out, increasing many thousand fold since it was first diagnosed and described by Hans Asperger in 1938. It was once an extraordinarily RARE condition. Yet, now, it occurs in almost one percent of the population--an extraordinary, "hockey-stick" increase. Increases of this sort indicate some sort of environmental cause. It is quite a stretch to say that thousands and thousands of parents are somehow developing a gene that causes this problem.
Now, I suppose it MIGHT be true that a genetic mutation creating autism has suddenly, inexplicably multiplied itself in the general population. I would like to see a hypothesis as to WHY this would occur.
I believe "genetics" is often a lazy doctor's way of explaining a way a problem he doesn't have an answer to. Diabetes? Too bad--purely genetic, can't do anything about it.
Now, is there a genetic COMPONENT to the astounding increase in autism? THAT would be a credible hypothesis, worthy--in the words of Dr. Wakefield--of "further research." It may well be that environmental factors--many of which are not fully understood--may act to "touch off" an underlying genetic predisposition to autism. And one of those factors may indeed be vaccination.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Yes, probably there is a genetic component to autism. And the spike in American autism can be explained in part by new US health care rules (and money) that allow a broader interpretation of symptoms and make it advantageous to document the condition.
But autism is a problem worldwide (see China), and given that it does seem apocryphally to be growing, it is certainly possible if not likely, that vaccinations are aggravating the neurological and physical difficulties (see asthma) of the most fragile among us.
Posted by Brian on 05/31/10 09:54 AM
A wonderful interview and a very timely one as well. I read a number of news articles on Dr. Wakefield's disbarment last week when he made global headlines. Most of these articles sided with Britain's General Medical Council and thus further discredited his name. I appreciate how the Daily Bell's interview allowed Dr. Wakefield to tell his story and explain the reasons for his actions. Too often we rely on news agency staff writers and their "independent" reporters.
As I read today's interview with Dr. Wakefield I kept being reminded of Andrew Jackson's quote: "One man with courage makes a majority." I hope Dr. Wakefield's courageous stand inspires other doctors with similar testimonies to go public with their experiences pertaining to the harmful side effects of government vaccines. I am not in the medical field but I have a couple of friends who have permanent health problems, which they partially attribute to as complications as a result of government administered vaccines. I have emailed today's interview with Dr. Wakefield to them and I look forward to receiving their feedback.
P.S. Thank you "Mahatma" for posting the list of 'not-so-uncommon' ingredients found in vaccines and their potential toxicities along with the suggested reading.
Posted by Fairebanke on 05/31/10 09:48 AM
Just curious, did The Autism Expert ever give any evidence of what made him/her an "expert". I just have this opinion that real "experts" wouldn't use the word "bullshit" to refute an arguable theory/practice/opinion.
Reply from The Daily Bell
There are no experts. Ever. Anywhere. Anytime. We are born in blood and die amidst our own waste. In the meantime we talk - and sometimes act.
Posted by JAW on 05/31/10 09:06 AM
If not already done so, this article should be forwarded to national and state level La Leche Leagues organizations and home school organizations.
Posted by Angus Holliday on 05/31/10 06:31 AM
You can't cure a Chronic disease without converting it to an Acute disease and fasting.
Living Foods, Sunlight, Fresh Air, Pure Water(hydrotherapy too), Exercise, Rest, Mental Pose/Happiness and Posture.
Once you do these things all together - simultaneously and you get the Flu - don't suppress it - don't eat for a few days - your health will be better than before.
Of course you need more information on nature cure and natural hygiene - but research it because ALL vaccines are a wrong PHILOSOPHY on disease causation.
Remove the CAUSE. - mental, mechanical and chemical(bad food/drugs) cause disease - not deficiencies or germs.
Posted by Ashlie Witt on 05/31/10 05:29 AM
Wow, these responses are more fascinating than the actual interview! May I suggest further reading and riveting audio
@ Click to view link
Her web page is filled with so much text,links and audio it can be overwhelming but well worth scrolling through! She has also done research on adverse vaccine reactions in pets as well.
Her child is a victim of vaccine induced autism. On a side note, one of my cats was injected with multiple vaccinations (including the rabies shot) in 1997 and years later developed a tumor at the injection site.
The vet told me the cancer was caused due to the vaccines given at the same time. Fortunately, I noticed it just in time and after surgery, he fully recovered and the cancer did not return! My two cats who have never been vaccinated have never been sick or thrown up and they have the most energy.
I am also an advocate of nutritional supplements, fresh food, and lots of exercise outdoors for humans and animals. These are the ingredients for optimal health and fighting disease. The only thing about this article that makes me very sad is the exploitation and abuse of the monkeys used for research. I have seen undercover videos and anyone with a oonscience would be equally disturbed and outraged.
Thanks Daily Bell for your interest in this subject! I've been a fan for a long time.
Posted by This Guy on 05/31/10 03:05 AM
I don't think there is a hard-and-fast conflict of interest with Dr. Wakefield in either of the two cases you allege his being bought, the first being his half a million GBP in the class action suit and his development/patent of a measles vaccine.
First, class-action suits in medical communities must sponsor research to back up their case, especially if their case is against an institutionally-established product, with billions on the line, plus gov't mandates and guarantees towards use, safety and effectiveness.
There is no inherent conflict of interest there (there may be in reality, but not of necessity, which is an important distinction to make in this case). In a criminal trial, the defense is perfectly legit to get their own experts and to do their own tests to refute State's evidence. The apparent conflict of interest (being paid by defense to reach defense's desired conclusion) does not necessitate that expert was bought off. To assert that is folly. You need evidence of that, which you have none (and nor I to the contrary).
Second, don't you think it is reasonable for Dr. Wakefield to patent a competing measles vaccine when his ENTIRE tirade is not against vaccines, nor vaccines for MMR, but against "potentially" dangerous combinations of vaccines and "potentially" dangerous vaccination schedules for infants/children whose immune systems may not be able to handle the traditional MMR? Maybe his thousands of man-hours of research into vaccines has given him unique insight into, you guessed it, vaccines! And maybe he's produced a safer vaccine for measles than the gov't mandated MMR combo vaccine.
Thirdly, Dr. Wakefield's contention is not- which you cannot seem to comprehend- that MMR caused Autism in children, but that the documented safety research from the medical community was insufficient because it was only short-term and not real-world-applicable (Cf. monkey brain injections), thus allowing for a possible connection. Please note: there are ZERO claims in Wakefield's paper of causality, only "possible connection".
There is plenty of room in such a statement and his subsequent research that allows for genetic causality. He's pushing for analysis of correlation, not sheerly asserting causality, which you consistently charge against him. He thinks the correlation may be substantial, thus he "suggests further research", which is scientifically responsible. The natural sciences are to be maximally open to contradiction. The Daily Bell runs such an interview because the Big Business/Big Gov't connection is what prevents openness to contradiction. There is no such thing as "Perfect Knowledge" in natural sciences, only better knowledge. Big gov/big pharma gets in the way of increase scrutiny, refutation or critique.
Fourthly, and I should stop here, the problem lies with the relationship between gov't and industry. When the two- no matter the industry- are paired intimately together, then always the power-politics of gov't overrides the self-interests of the industry, and political correctness (aka through consensus) dominates thinking. When private industry, whose sole purpose is creating and selling in order to make a profit (this is no secret), unites with the public sphere of gov't, then we have the immorality of forcing products, through gov't coercion, onto the general public. That is the real conflict of interest that may cost far more lives than a few nervous parents not getting their child's MMR immediately upon exiting the birth canal.
If the UK says "No more separate vaccines for MMR. All parents must purchase the MMR vaccine", then that destroys parental choice, options, and responsibility. It destroys personal freedom. It also provides massive increases in not just coercion, but cover-ups if anything were defective with the mandated product. If I want my newborn (due any day now!!!) to have the MMR combo, then I should be able to buy it. If I want it separated out and over a longer period of time, then I should be able to do that as well.
Everyone is biased. "Pure objectivity" is a fiction created by Enlightenment philosophers who were establishing zealously the new sciences following the Renaissance. There is simply no such thing. Dr. Wakefield is biased. He is biased towards his own research, his own fields of practice, and his own theories. He achieves objectivity when he publishes his findings in peer-reviewed journals, which he has done 100 times, in order to be maximally open to critique and refutation. The response, however, was a political lynching instead. That should at least signal to you that something is fundamentally wrong with this situation.
--i'm sorry i'm long winded. maybe i should have spread this out over several posts or something
Reply from The Daily Bell
Well done. Thanks.
Posted by Autism Expert on 05/31/10 02:10 AM
"You are attacking a flea with great vigor while ignoring the gorilla sitting in front of you."
Two wrongs don't make a right. Think about it.
Reply from The Daily Bell
We are aware of the arc of this case, from the London Times hit piece to the current disciplinary action. But it is not a crime to make money in the medical profession, and many doctors do. You think his study weak, but Dr. Wakefield has raised points, courageously we think, that needed to be raised and further research seems to have borne out certain findings. We don't think Dr. Wakefield was "wrong" for these reasons and others we have already stated. He is continuing to fight his detractors, and he has good reason to.
Posted by Autism Expert on 05/31/10 02:02 AM
I am concerned with autism and autism research. Big Pharma may/is a problem, but is not in my focus. From my point of view Dr. Wakefield's activities are harmful. You are concerned with Big Pharma and thus your point of view is a little different.
Reply from The Daily Bell
We think the multi-year campaign to "get" Dr. Wakefield is part and parcel of a terrible problem that the medical profession is faced with. We think there are very few willing in the medical industry willing to stand up to Big Pharma's intimidating tactics. We think THIS is the problem, and the (undeserved) attacks on Dr. Wakefield are the symptom.
Posted by Autism Expert on 05/31/10 01:57 AM
Maybe I am just a little paranoid, but one of my replies has disappeared. Let's say that it was caused by a software glitch... Don't feel like writing the whole thing again... So I will just repeat my answer to your last question: No I am not in any way affiliated with the pharmaceutical industry.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Are you sure it disappeared? Sometimes the posting mechanism is a little delayed. You already responded to the issue of affiliation.
Posted by Autism Expert on 05/31/10 01:51 AM
"No, of course not. Conflicts of interest are RIFE in a marketplace. Problems arise not from conflicts of interest but from their EFFECTS. Since Dr. Wakefield's study did not in any sense state a proven link between autism and MMR the conflict-of-interest charge seems vindictive rather than viable. And even though he had patented a measles vaccine, he STILL didn't find a provable link."
He sure didn't do much to calm down the MMR-autism hysteria that he caused. And because he found no link, he recommended replacing the MMR vaccine with other vaccines - makes sense. [/sarcasm]
"You would think with so much on the line he would have managed to come up with SOME sort of link."
This is just funny. You make it look as if he actually didn't say anything at all. And still refuse to address the obvious and fatal weaknesses of his study.
"Finally, why should patenting a measles vaccine bar him from further research on the topic?"
Of course not. But if you are willing to question the motives of Big Pharma, then for the sake of objectivity, you should also question the motives of Dr. Wakefield. Not everyone who looks like David fighting the Goliath is pure and just.
Reply from The Daily Bell
You are attacking a flea with great vigor while ignoring the gorilla sitting in front of you.
Posted by Autism Expert. on 05/31/10 01:41 AM
"We find the medical profession, in league with Big Pharma, to be a "little hypocritical" on this issue. You are concerned with further sullying Dr. Wakefield's reputation, but you seem far less concerned with the larger, lamentable problems and conflicts of interest regarding Western health care today. And that includes the poor children with autism and their parents."'
Failed again! I have never claimed that the pharma industry is clean and that the intentions of Big Pharma are always pure. The topic of Big Pharma is irrelevant to my argument. What is relevant is Dr. Wakefield motivations and his biased study and falsified data.
"He didn't draw any significant conclusions. He SUGGESTED further study and then refused to retract a SUGGESTION based on a POSSIBILITY."
He suggested that MMR should not be used and instead three separate vaccines (maybe his own?) should be administered over a longer time period.
"If you say so. But couldn't the vaccines have aggravated the condition, or even triggered a full-blown onset? Who knows?"
This is pure speculation. I am concerned with facts. And facts speak against Dr. Wakefields theory.
"This is an illogical statement. Just because a condition exists in the past or is genetic does not mean that it cannot be aggravated or triggered by outside circumstances, shocks to the system, etc."
Well, OK, you have a small point, although the word "illogical" is too strong. The point is that today we know that autism is genetic and this whole vaccine controversy based on very bad science is not doing any good.
"Are you affiliated with the pharmaceutical industry?"
Reply from The Daily Bell
You make logical points, though we believe them to be incorrect. The larger issue (leaving aside unwarranted attacks on Dr. Wakefield) is that there is a great deal of vituperation aimed at Dr. Wakefield, but the lamentable state of the medical industry itself - bought and paid for by Big Pharma's flawed pharmacology - is rarely or never criticized.
Your children, if you have any, will have to live with this increasingly toxic medical environment and its synthetic, linear and often poisonous treatments.
If CODEX ALIMENTARIUS comes fully into law, your children and ours may have to get a prescription to purchase vitamins. Again the outrage over Dr. Wakefield's supposed indiscretions seems hypocritical when compared to this larger arc of destruction.
Posted by Autism Expert on 05/31/10 01:27 AM
Oh, I forgot to mention that Dr. Wakefield patented a competing measles vaccine. And yet, you believe that he is unbiased?
Reply from The Daily Bell
No, of course not. Conflicts of interest are RIFE in a marketplace. Problems arise not from conflicts of interest but from their EFFECTS. Since Dr. Wakefield's study did not in any sense state a proven link between autism and MMR the conflict-of-interest charge seems vindictive rather than viable. And even though he had patented a measles vaccine, he STILL didn't find a provable link. You would think with so much on the line he would have managed to come up with SOME sort of link. Finally, why should patenting a measles vaccine bar him from further research on the topic?
Posted by Autism Expert on 05/31/10 01:21 AM
"And why the steady increase in autism - just because definitions have changed (or is there more money in it now?)."
This is part of the story. Many children that would be just "odd" in the past are diagnosed as "autistic" today. And then there is assortative mating, which is probably responsible for autism clusters in places like Silicon Valley.
And last - there may be environmental factors too (This could include vaccines among many other things, however, Dr. Wakefields evidence is weak and fradulent.)
Reply from The Daily Bell
"This could include vaccines among many other things, however, Dr. Wakefields evidence is weak and fraudulent."
You can be damn sure that it will be a cold day in Hell before anyone in the Western world's medical community attempts to link autism or any other condition to vaccines - given what Dr. Wakefield's going through. You are upset over Wakefield, but your lack of indignation over what has happened to the medical profession itself (not to mention Western science in general) is saddening and all too prevalent.