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Jenny McCarthy “absolutely loves” injecting toxins into her bloodstream

I realize I’m a bit late on this, but it’s hard not to take the antivaccine movement’s icon and apply her own misinformation about vaccines being “toxins” injected into the bloodstream against her. In fact, doing so is far more justified, given that last week she was quoted in an interview as singing paeans of praise to one of the most deadly poisons known to humankind: Botulinum toxin. See:

I think plastic surgery is fun if it makes you feel good. I’m all for looking better, so I plan on doing whatever I want when the time comes. I love Botox, I absolutely love it. I get it minimally, so I can still move my face. But I really do think it’s a savior.

The irony is delicious.

After all, antivaccine macher J.B. Handley has willingly allowed Jenny McCarthy to supplant his position in his own organization, Generation Rescue, which has recently been rebranded as “Jenny McCarthy’s Autism Organization.” Given that Jenny McCarthy has repeatedly characterized vaccines as full of “poisons,” so much so that that has become a standard antivaccinationist trope, I have to wonder: Does Generation Rescue now support injecting poisons into skin and muscle? If not, why not? And before anyone points out that Botox doesn’t get into the bloodstream, I point out that vaccines are not “injected into the bloodstream” either, but that doesn’t stop the antivaccine movement from characterizing intramuscular injections that way.

In any case, it’s pretty hard for the most famouse spokeswoman for the antivaccine movement on the one hand to claim that vaccines are full ot “toxins” (an antivaccinationist lie, of course, but it is the Official Antivaccine Propaganda line) and decry injecting them into children, while at the same time singing the praises of injecting a toxin far worse than even mercury into her skin. To her, injecting babies and children with vaccines that prevent many horrific dieseases and have saved more lives in the history of medicine than any other medical intervention ever devised by physicians is scary and horrible because of her irrational fear that it somehow causes autism, but injecting an incredibly lethal toxin into her face to keep her from looking old is not only hunky dory but a “savior,” as is having plastic surgery. Apparently McCarthy actually does implicitly understand the dictum that the “dose makes the poison” for Botox. Why can’t she understand that the dictum applies to formaldehyde, mercury, and all the other horrific “toxins” she fears in vaccines?

This is the intellectual face of the antivaccine movement? This is the best they could come up with? After all, earlier in the same interview, she says:

Since the increase in the number of vaccinations, there has been an increase in autism. I can understand why the other side won’t admit to it, because they’re afraid of all of these deadly diseases coming back and people not vaccinating [their children]. But right now, you’ve got a 1 in 84 chance of a boy having autism. Those numbers, to me, are a lot scarier than my kid getting the chicken pox. And that’s where I get so upset with people thinking that I am part of an antivaccine group. Everyone is missing the point here. It is: Slow down the vaccines, pick the ones that are the most important to you, and clean out the horrible ingredients that are still in there.

Jenny, you are part of an antivaccine group. Period. In fact, you are its public face. You are also too dumb to understand that correlation does not equal causation. We’ve had an enormous increase in the use of the Internet since the early 1990s. Hey, maybe Internet use causes autism! So be as “upset” as you like; I don’t care. The truth hurts, and I keep hoping against hope that through pain comes wisdom.

I realize that I probably hope in vain.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: ora[email protected]

88 replies on “Jenny McCarthy “absolutely loves” injecting toxins into her bloodstream”

1 in 84? I thought the usual claim was 1 in 150 kids, did I miss something or do they just pick random numbers?

Maybe the thought, if we may call it that, is that some “toxins” (like botox) are less “toxic” than others (like whatever she thinks is in vaccines)…….

Careful. Don’t say “Maybe internet use causes autism” too loudly when ubiquitous British media-scientist Baroness (sic)Professor Susan Greenfield is about. Before you know it she’ll have repeated it on TV, or re-published the idea in a newspaper column.

Indeed, I fear she may already have done it…

*sigh*

For US readers who don’t know her, Susan Greenfield is a bit like a mixture of Candace Pert and Bernardine Healy, though without the Woo (mostly) and lacking either Pert’s early scientific distinction or Healy’s right wing political stance.

Jenny says, “I love Botox” ie, I love jabbing my face with botulinum toxin, the most toxic protein there is (so I’ve read).

But I hate vaccines and all those nasty toxins.
Green our poisons!

@ Ramel, it’s 1 in 150 people, not just kids, and the people are on the whole Autism spectrum. (It’s supposed to give the impression, that they’re all low-functioning.)
That “1 in 150 children” statistic is a misleading scare tactic from curebie organizations like CAN, to fabricate an epidemic.
Generation Rescue are not just misleading, but the most blatant liars when it comes to Autism statistics, as well as anything else that’s Autism related.

Whether Jenny uses Botox and whether that is hypocritical is irrelevant IMHO, she gets paid by quack mongers to advertise their products, who in return promote her book, and also promote Generation Rescue, who in return promote the quack companies. GR is such a sewage of money-grubbing snake-oil peddlers, who just hired Jenny for playing the Autism mum.
(…and for this she has to look young. :P)

I’ve written a whole series of (satirical) posts about Jenny McCarthy and Generation Rescue, so anyone who’s interested in their lies and quack mongering should have a look at my blog for more on that.
(Apologies for the shameless blog-promo.)

Here’s a listing of the contents of Botox Cosmetic that Jenny is enthusiastically having injected into her face:

“BOTOX® (Botulinum Toxin Type A) Purified Neurotoxin Complex is a sterile, vacuum-dried purified botulinum toxin type A, produced from fermentation of Hall strain Clostridium botulinum type A grown in a medium containing casein hydrolysate, glucose and yeast extract. It is purified from the culture solution by dialysis and a series of acid precipitations to a complex consisting of the neurotoxin, and several accessory proteins. The complex is dissolved in sterile sodium chloride solution containing Albumin (Human) and is sterile filtered (0.2 microns) prior to filling and vacuum-drying.”

http://www.rxlist.com/botox-drug.htm

“Clostridium botulinum! Casein hydrolysate! “Acid precipitations” (shudder) and “several accessory proteins”, whatever they are. And human albumin, from God knows what kind of humans! Drug addicts selling their albumin? Aborted fetuses? They’re not telling us! What sorts of horrible things are these chemicals doing to people? Jenny, stop using this stuff immediately and help us lead the charge to “green our Botox”.

A little* sagging is a small price to pay to prevent ADHD, hives, multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome and who knows what other dreadful afflictions that are probably caused by all these toxins. Evidence? I _feel_ that it must be true. Don’t call me anti-Botox.

*well, maybe more than a little.

Here’s something to mess with her head: Was she using botox during or before her pregnancy?

BTW, the 1 in 84 number is for boys, and that’s probably right. Though anti-vaxers do constantly look for ways to inflate the numbers to make them seem scary. See this post.

Does Generation Rescue now support injecting poisons into skin and muscle?

What about autism woo’s beloved chelation ‘therapies’? Plenty of toxic chemicals being ingested or injected directly into bloodstream or muscle of innocent children right there.

The standard argument is one of comparing getting disease A to the risk of disease B. By avoiding the vaccine for disease A, Jenny thinks people can keep their kids from getting autism. However, with the complete lack of evidence to support a link between the two, this is more like tossing virgins into a volcano to appease the gods and prevent an eruption. The two aren’t connected, and real people suffer from being sacrifices to ignorance.

I’m not anti-vax, but:

1) Isn’t this an ad hominem? Whatever she might do in her life doesn’t have any bearing on the (lack of) validity of her arguments.

2) The anti-vaxxers would probably point out the the brains of children, especially of babies and toddlers, is still developing, while the brains of adults are fully developed.

It’s questionable whether Jenny McCarthy’s brain is fully developed.

I would say Orac’s critique is not ad hominem, but rather points out an inconsistency in her position. If toxins in injections are bad, why is she getting them? Even if she is an adult, that doesn’t mean toxins will have no effect on her, possibly different effects from those they have on children.

Is it true that chelating agents are entirely natural, and that Lupron is an eggplant extract ?

But Botox is a product of a natural bacterium, therefore it must be safe. You’ve just got to think a bit more like them… 🙂

For comparison:
LD50s* of various psychoactive substances (including VX nerve gas):
http://www.erowid.org/psychoactives/health/psychoactives_ld50s.shtml
LD50s of various animal poison/venoms:
http://www.seanthomas.net/oldsite/ld50tot.html

All of those are in mg/kg, and the most potent from each page:
VX Nerve gas (intravenous): 0.0154 mg/kg
Coastal Taipan (intravenous): 0.009 mg/kg

Botulinum toxin? 1-4 ng/kg
That is, 0.000001 – 0.000004 mg/kg

*LD50: the amount of substance needed to kill 50% of the exposed population.
(click my name for link to source for botulinum toxin – a pdf on it, no less)

But she’s getting said natural product from a natural bacteria in an unnatural way. Tsk tsk tsk.

🙂

Pointing out that correlation does not equal causation is I think unproductive. Because really good correlations do suggest causation. The problem is that the vaccine-autism correlation is really bad; I would say, absent.

Autism diagnoses have increased smoothly and dramatically over the past 20 years, whereas vaccination has most certainly *not* increased smoothly and dramatically over the past 20 years. Rather, vaccination has had longish periods (5 years or so) of essentially no changes, with occasional additions or changes to the regimen, dramatic decreases in the use of mercury, and significantly reduced coverage. In fact the reduced vaccination rates have already resulted in significantly increased incidence of measles.

Since the lag time between vaccination and autism is claimed to be on the order of weeks or months, the autism rates should have seen plateaus during periods of essentially unchanging vaccinations, and decreases resulting from the elimination of thimerosal, and lower vaccination rates. But there has not been a blip in the autism curve in response to any changes in the vaccine regimen, constituents, or coverage. In short, the correlation is absent.

I believe laptop emissions (or cell phones attached to the belt) during pregnancy definitely causes autism (who tests these things really, the “FCC” or the “FCFC”…think about it right next to the fetus/baby) Money for the rich.
To Orac, let’s just stop all this education=qualification thing, it’s condescending to us who just know we’re smart. We don’t need to be talked down to, talk to us as an equal and we’ll either agree or disagree. It’s America right, not the Soviet Union or Russia or whatever…Now stem cells and what’s next, that God’s will is complicated.

Jenny, you are part of an antivaccine group. Period. In fact, you are its public face.

The public face of the antivax movement is paralysed with toxins. I love it.

“I would say Orac’s critique is not ad hominem”

Of course it is. That’s the only thing he knows how to do.

Perhaps this is her motto:

“It is better to look good than to feel good.”

–Fernando Lamas (later appropriated by Billy Crystal for his Fernando character)

1) Isn’t this an ad hominem?

No, it’s further evidence that whenever Jenny scaremongers about “injecting poisons”, she has no earthly clue what she’s talking about.

Actually I think her new motto will be “Green Our Rystelene”

What about this????
if you scroll down there is a video piece under the heading “Will MCain and Obama talk Autism with Jenny?”

http://omg.yahoo.com/videos/will-mccain-and-obama-talk-autism-with-jenny/5466

Not only is her son cured of Autism but he must stay home to avoid germs? “Any exposure to germs could cause violent seizures”. WTF???
They just blurt that one out like a fart at ball game. surrounding group smells a slight hydrogen sulfide odor but everyone just goes back to watching the game again.

Good toxins make happy faces.
Bad toxins leave autism traces.

signed,
Jenny

GonzoGirl: @ Ramel, it’s 1 in 150 people, not just kids, and the people are on the whole Autism spectrum. (It’s supposed to give the impression, that they’re all low-functioning.)
That “1 in 150 children” statistic is a misleading scare tactic from curebie organizations like CAN, to fabricate an epidemic.

Thank you, GG, for pointing that out. People new to ASDs think it’s a relatively new phenomenon when persons with autism spectrum disorders have been around all along. There’s many adult Aspies and Auties who are being diagnosed in their middle and older years, and many who realize on their own but who don’t go for a formal diagnosis because why? They are either getting treatment under another diagnosis, or they are functional…just the knowledge is relief.

And what cracks me up about Jenny McCarthy is that she’s injecting a known neurotoxin into her face while squeeking about the “dangers” of vaccines with absolutely no evidence.

Irony, or what?

It figures. Ms Google U has decided that hey, Botulism is fine! But damn you don’t touch my child with that icky stuff that will prevent him getting potentially fatal diseases!
She’s fine with him getting chicken pox. . . wonder how she feels about him getting shingles ? How about measles ?

and have saved more lives in the history of medicine than any other medical intervention ever devised by physicians

I hate to be a pedant – no wait, that’s not right, I love to be a pedant – but I was lead to understood that the medical intervention that has saved more lives than any other was the WHO Oral Rehydration Recipe, which has saved in the order of 40 million children since it’s introduction in the 70’s?

I can’t find estimates for how many lives have been saved by vaccines (which is probably not straightforward to work out as mortality from infectious diseases probably varies with population density which has changed a lot since the introduction of vaccines), so I can’t be sure which comes out on top.

Autism/mercury link

In the beginning, the hoax starts with the false study of a guy who wants make money with a previous patent on “safe method” using the traditionnal model of fear business.

http://briandeer.com/wakefield/wakefield-patents.htm

Than a well known international sect and quakers relay the hoax to exploit vulnerable parents with costly dangerous pseudo medecine.

http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/?p=1386

Use of chelation is a result of the hoax and killed at least a boy and how many ‘ll be injuried without vaccine.

http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/?p=584

When words are killing, the fear business and exploit of vulnerable people must be prosecuted.

Elements of the discourse on autism is the signature, just take the time to check this.

I’m so discouraged this morning about autism “advocacy” by idiots. Between Jenny and
this book I’m coming to the conclusion that my kids just don’t have a chance to have a world that accepts them, no matter what we do.

Rjaye, yeah, my dad is on the spectrum, too, it only became obvious to us after I’ve been diagnosed. All of a sudden everyone could make sense of him, but he’s 77 and more concerned about his typical old age health problems than learning about his neurological differences.
I thought of this, after having read Skepticos blog entries about vaccines and Autism, where John Best kept asking a dozen times where the 77 year old Autistics are.
(He’s convinced that Autism didn’t exist before vaccines were introduced, the tool)

I have to also add, that Joseph is right, about the 1 in 84 boys, I meant to say that GR are liars in *general*, who like to twist the truth wherever they can, even if occassionally a No. is correct.

confuseddave, vaccines win by far. The largest single disease would be smallpox. That has a normal fatality rate of more than 30% in unvaccinated populations. There has been vaccination for smallpox for centuries in the west, and even before then in Africa.

Smallpox was eliminated in 1977 (by vaccination). Since then, the Earth’s population has increased from 4 billion in 1975 to 6.7 billion in 2008. If we assume births equal 2.5x deaths, then for the 2.7 billion increase there have been 1.8 billion deaths and 4.5 billion births for an increase of 2.7 billion. At a 30% fatality rate of the 4.5 billion born since smallpox was eradicated, 1.35 billion would have died from smallpox. Well over a billion saved by the smallpox vaccine alone, and that is just since 1977.

Is that quote really any more hypocritical than this one by Amanda Peet?

“I buy 99 percent organic food for Frankie, and I don’t like to give her medicine or put sunscreen on her,” says Peet. “But now that I’ve done my research, vaccines do not concern me.”

So, she won’t buy produce that was sprayed with pesticides even though DDT is moderately toxic to humans, but she WILL inject here 18 month old baby with quantities of aluminum and thimerosal, which is very toxic to humans and far exceeds accepted levels of safety.

Except that Amanda Peet would only be hypocritical if those claims were not totally wrong and misleading, the product of outrageous cherry-picking.

First, poison makes the dose. Second, what is inside vaccines is within *an enormous safety-margin* by many orders of magnitude.

So, she won’t buy produce that was sprayed with pesticides even though DDT is moderately toxic to humans, but she WILL inject here 18 month old baby with quantities of aluminum and thimerosal, which is very toxic to humans and far exceeds accepted levels of safety.

2005 called. It wants its canard back.

DDT was banned for agricultural use in the U.S. in 1972, so indeed in Jake’s eyes, Peet faces a false dichotomy. Avoid a substance that isn’t even on the produce, or buy produce that also isn’t treated with said substance for some unqualified wacky celebrity reason.

Breast milk contains quantities of mercury. Should mothers avoid breastfeeding Jake? Are they hypocrites if they don’t?

Hey Jake, I just read JB Handley’s latest screed (grandiose, and disconnected from reality) at the blog linked with your name.

Is it true that autism is really misdiagnosis for airplane food poisoning?

“SCARY MOVIE 3 actress JENNY McCARTHY has sworn off ever using Botox again, after the cosmetic procedure ruined her ability to smile for her latest book cover.” (May 5, 2005)

So do we call this latest revelation evidence of relapse?

Produce like vegetables and fruit, organic or otherwise, is full of aluminum. If it grew in the ground it has aluminum in it. Green our dirt!

Kathleen @ 4:48: Great catch! Yes, yes, I think we could.

Don’t even get me started on the real and proven dangers of silicone breast implants (or even worse, directly injecting silicone into one’s boobies).

Phoenix Woman, how about the dangers of smoking tobacco while pregnant? Something that Jenny also did.

I would actually say that the increase of internet usage is a strong positive correlation with the increase in ASD diagnoses. For those of us at either end of the spectrum–both those who can pass for ‘normal’ some days, and those who need assistance in all aspects of their lives–the internet has allowed more doctors, parents, and potential diagnose-ees to learn about autism. Previously, we were ignored or classified otherwise in the DSM (usually MR for the latter, and anxiety disorders if anything for the former). I feel profoundly relieved to have found the diagnosis that best fits me.

“DDT was banned for agricultural use in the U.S. in 1972”

Exactly, pesticides as bad as DDT aren’t even sprayed on fruits and vegetables anymore and Peet is still avoiding them while willingly injecting quantities mercury and aluminum into her child because a Merck consultant who made at least $29 million off vaccine royalties and bragged that the money he made was like winning the lottery told her to.

“Should mothers avoid breastfeeding Jake? Are they hypocrites if they don’t?”

No, they should take out all their amalgams and heed the EPA warnings on fish consumption first. I wish my mother did, I might not have been autistic…

No, they should take out all their amalgams and heed the EPA warnings on fish consumption first. I wish my mother did, I might not have been autistic…

Mercury poisoning is not autism. All the best studies have failed to find a connection between thimerosal and autism.

Jake, I’m glad to see you visiting and offering your opinions here. I do hope you’re also taking the time to read Orac’s articles that inspire these discussions. I welcome you to do the same at my own weblog. As you yourself acknowledged in the comments thread for your most recent article, it’s generally a good idea to actually read articles that you intend to critique, rather than formulate an opinion about them based on other people’s characterizations and your own assumptions.

So, she won’t buy produce that was sprayed with pesticides even though DDT is moderately toxic to humans, but she WILL inject here 18 month old baby with quantities of aluminum and thimerosal, which is very toxic to humans and far exceeds accepted levels of safety.

There’s no evidence that aluminum exceeds safety levels in vaccines. Thimerosal, based on studies of neurological outcomes, clearly didn’t exceed levels of safety even when there were thimerosal-containing vaccines. The trace amounts in vaccines today don’t amount to anything worth considering (you get multiple times more mercury from breathing, eating and drinking.)

Of course, if you creatively apply EPA concentration-based standards meant for drinking water and such to vaccines, you can fool people into thinking safety standards have been exceeded.

Jake Crosby writes:

No, they should take out all their amalgams and heed the EPA warnings on fish consumption first. I wish my mother did, I might not have been autistic…

Your being autistic might have been caused by elemental and methylmercury? How does that work? I mean, biologically, what happens? Is there a relationship between mercurism and Asperger’s?

It appears that you write for a blog that claims there is an autism epidemic. It’s pretty clear that thimerosal was an unlikely contributor to increased autism diagnoses. See Schechter and Grether, 2008.

Has there been a corresponding increase the use of dental amalgams and fish consumption that offsets the reduction of thimerosal in childhood vaccines that somebody missed?

If so, do the toxicokinetics for elemental mercury, ethylmercury, and methylmercury, match up so that corresponding reductions and increases produce near linear growth1 in the 3-5 year old autism caseload cohort in California over the past 10-12 years?

1 http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/65/1/19/YOA70046F3

Patience, there is a correlation with autism and the internet because it was people with Asperger’s who created the internet.

Jake, mercury exposure was higher 60 years ago. That was when there was mercury in teething powders, 65,000 micrograms of HgCl per dose. Many tens of millions of doses containing that much were sold per year. In 1949 48% of children were given teething powders, many were given multiple doses. Exposure to this mercury caused pink disease, over 1,000 children died from pink disease, it was a leading cause of death in children. In England and Wales in 1947 and 1948 there were 174 deaths due to pink disease and 585 due to other causes. 23% of child deaths were due to mercury poisoning from teething powders. Not a surprise when many tens (or hundreds) of thousands of micrograms of mercury was given to many tens of millions of children.

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=10645305

What was the death rate from mercury poisoning during the height of the thimerosal exposure? Oh yes, it was zero. Not the cause of 23% of child deaths.

So where is the epidemic of autism from the first half of the 20th century from the many tens of millions of children who received many thousands of times more mercury from teething powder than ever received from vaccines?

Modern pesticides mostly depend on disrupting metabolic pathways that mammals (including humans) don’t even have and so have little effect on humans. However, produce can be labelled “organic” if it is sprayed with certain older “natural” pesticides, including (IIRC) copper sulfide. So I think that Peet is wrong on the organic issue: she may actually be exposing her child to higher doses of potentially toxic substances than if she bought “conventionally grown” produce. However, that doesn’t change the fact that there is no evidence of a correlation between vaccines and autism. Or even mercury exposure and autism. There have been several incidents of mass mercury exposure. People got sick, people died, the rate of autism didn’t change.

Isn’t it obvious? In the life of an actress, appearance is much more important than health. This doesn’t surprise me at all. Women with wrinkles don’t get the jobs.

“All the best studies…” Best studies? The study held up by Dr. Paul Offit as the “most comprehensive and definitive to date,” is the one on the CDC website exonerating thimerosal, published in NEJM, the first author is a former Merck employee, many other authors have similar COIs, excluded 70% of its original sample size, well above the maximum accepted level of sample elimination which is 30%. Of course, 30% is still ridiculously high for a study examining how something affects around 1 in 150 people. It even excluded neurological diseases such as meningitis and encephalitis. Hannah Poling would not have made it into this study.
PS: if this were 2005, would you change the year of the canard to 2001?

Mrs. Seidel, I have been on these websites many times already; I just haven’t commented on them like I am now. I’ll stay on as long as people stick with argumentation and do not resort to name-calling.

Joseph, aluminum levels in vaccines exceed IV safety levels for infants (10-20mcg). The Hep B vaccine given on the day of birth alone contains 250 mcg Al.
http://www.mothering.com/articles/growing_child/vaccines/aluminum-new-thimerosal.html
I’m not even going to get into it with you on studies of neurological outcomes, the last study “exonerating” thimerosal excluded 30% of its sample size, included one autistic child, only examined thimerosal exposed groups and was done by a doctor whose grant support from Wyeth was not disclosed to Pediatrics, a huge conflict of interest. It’s no wonder it only found weak associations on other neurological disorders that “might have been attributable to chance.” Furthermore, the journal’s new editor Dr. Lewis First even mistated that it examined zero exposure groups, even though he graduated from Harvard School of Public Health with a masters in epidemiology. David Kirby had to correct him on that.

Do’C, there is an association between mercury and all ASDs, by mercury entering the brain, breaking down into inorganic mercury (if it’s initially organic), inhibiting methylation pathways, and causing oxidative stress.
Crematoriums are a release of elemantal mercury from amalgams, that’s increased, methylmercury comes from coal-burning plants, especially from those in rapidly industrializing China, that’s increased, for that matter thimerosal exposure has increased since it is given the flu shots that have increased over that period for pregnant women and children. Plus, DTaP, Hib and Hep B shots with thimerosal have remained on the shelves throughout the studied period.

I’m no statistics expert, I even dropped a class in statistics this semester because of my procrastination, careless errors, and difficulty adjusting to Microsoft Excel thanks to my functioning level being hindered by my ASD. However, I do know that when you have a gradual decrease of one source of mercury, offset by increases of multiple sources of mercury, you will naturally have an overall gradual increase where the rate will roughly stay consistent.

daedalus2u, unfortunately no large epidemiological study has been done on that population for autism but one has been done on a Japanese population in the Minamata region that showed increases in autism as methylmercury dumped into the bay by the Chisso Corporation accumulated.

Dianne, see my previous response to daedalus2u.

Orac, it appeears the NDs are giving you the majority of readership and support on this post. You must be very grateful to neurodiversity for making them support you and preventing them from turning against you. Surely it wouldn’t be good if all that came crashing down, would it?

Anyway, I appreciate the responses guys, and look forward to reading more posts on “Respectful Insolence.” Keep ’em coming.

“All the best studies…” Best studies? The study held up by Dr. Paul Offit as the “most comprehensive and definitive to date,” published in NEJM, excluded 70% of its original sample size, well above the maximum accepted level of sample elimination which is 30%. Of course, 30% is ridiculously high for a study examining how something affects around 1 in 150 people. It even excluded neurological disorders such as meningitis and encephalitis. Hannah Poling would not have made it into this study.

Mrs. Seidel, I have been on these websites many times already. I just haven’t commented on them.

Joseph, aluminum levels in vaccines exceed IV safety levels for infants (10-20mcg). The Hep B vaccine given on the day of birth contains 250 mcg.
http://www.mothering.com/articles/growing_child/vaccines/aluminum-new-thimerosal.html
I’m not even going to get into it with you on studies of neurological outcomes, the last study “exonerating” thimerosal excluded 30% of its sample size, included one autistic child, only examined thimerosal exposed groups and was done by a doctor whose grant support from Wyeth was not disclosed to Pediatrics, a huge conflict of interest.

Do’C, there is an association between mercury and all ASDs, by thimerosal entering the brain, breaking down into inorganic mercury, inhibiting methylation pathways, and causing oxidative stress.
Crematoriums are a huge release of elemantal mercury from amalgams, that’s increased, methylmercury comes from coal-burning plants, especially from rapidly industrializing China, that’s increased, for that matter thimerosal exposure has increased since it is given the flu shots that have increased over that period for pregnant women and children.
I’m no statistics expert, I even dropped a class in statistics because of my procrastination, careless errors, and difficulty adjusting to Excel thanks my functioning level being hindered by my ASD. However, I do know that when you have a gradual decrease of one source of mercury, offset by increases of multiple sources of mercury, you will naturally have an overall gradual increase that will roughly conform to a straight line.

daedalus2u, unfortunately no large epidemiological study has been done on that population for autism but one has been done on a Japanese population in the Minamata region that showed increases in autism as methylmercury dumped into the bay by the Chisso Corporation accumulated.

Dianne, see my previous response to daedalus.

Orac,
Apparently, most of your insolent responses come from NDs. You must be very grateful to neurodiversity given that it’s causing them to support you and preventing them from turning against you. It would be a shame if that all came crashing down.

Anyway, thanks for the responses guys. I look forward to more posts on “Respectful Insolence.” Keep ’em coming.

Jake, just a friendly word of advice: Referencing “Mothering” is not recommended. It is similar to the whale.to website (look up Scopie’s Law).

In the future you should try citing real research that is indexed at http://www.pubmed.gov (though even that has some pitfalls in that there are some questionable journals there like Medical Hypothesis).

Chris, I’m not going to eliminate a source just because of a comment posted on the website of an research psychiatrist for the IoP says so, especially since the IoP gets considerable amounts of funding from pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly etc. I could more easily discredit studies in the Archives of General Psychiatry or Pediatrics purely because of the funding sources of those journals.

Furthermore, this information did not originally come from the website you mention, but from pediatrician Dr. Robert Sears.

You have a point about citing real research however, the NEJM study, the California study and Tozzi et al. will all get you flunked in an introductory statistics class.

Not to butt in, but I think you’ll find the IV safety is:

a: for IV not IM
b: for IV over an extended period of time
c: is based on studies of premature infants with kidney problems. i.e. for infants who are ill enough to need IV.

These premature, light weight infants, with kidney disfunction, received 100mcg IV with no ill effect, yet the other group needed 500mcg IV to show a ‘comparative’ ill effect after 18 months – a totally different outcome to those that claim immediate and apparant loss of function after their otherwise healthy child ‘regressed’ after a IM injection.

In other words, it’s yet again another attempt at applying a correct figure to the wrong situation.

Huh? Okay, I got lost, who exactly is “research psychiatrist for the IoP”?

Just to let you know as a mother of a kid with several health issues, the “Mothering” magazine is a crappy place to get information. I bought one copy almost twenty years ago, and it was crappy enough then that I tossed it (essentially because of the chiropractors who claimed they could cure ear infections!).

I tossed it into the recycle bin. I was even a crunchy kind of mom. I used cloth diapers, breastfed for almost two years, and made homemade baby food… but I knew what was crappy information even then.

Do’C, there is an association between mercury and all ASDs, by thimerosal entering the brain, breaking down into inorganic mercury, inhibiting methylation pathways, and causing oxidative stress.

An interesting hypothesis. A completely unsupported hypothesis.

Crematoriums are a huge release of elemantal mercury from amalgams, that’s increased, methylmercury comes from coal-burning plants, especially from rapidly industrializing China, that’s increased, for that matter thimerosal exposure has increased since it is given the flu shots that have increased over that period for pregnant women and children.

Another interesting hypothesis. Do you have any data that will support it whatsoever? I’d skip Olmsted and go straight to Kirby, if I were you, in search of such data. I’d also go back and check your thimerosal-containing flu shot uptake data for pregnant women if I were you (assuming your statement is based on data). When you’ve got the data to fit this all together, including corresponding increases and decreases that would produce a nearly flat trendline during the time thimerosal was removed, please don’t forget to carefully outline the toxicokinetics of the differing mercury species at the applicable points of exposure in time – so we can see that even though the increases and decreases won’t have exactly corresponding magnitudes, the toxicokinetics fit it all back together.

I’m no statistics expert, I even dropped a class in statistics because of my procrastination, careless errors, and difficulty adjusting to Excel thanks my functioning level being hindered by my ASD. However, I do know that when you have a gradual decrease of one source of mercury, offset by increases of multiple sources of mercury, you will naturally have an overall gradual increase that will roughly conform to a straight line.

You haven’t read Burbacher et al., 2005? Let’s have some data to back up this whole fantastic story please. I’m not interested in what you think you know (about statistics or anything else). I want to see the data that will show all of us that you are correct, and not just parroting anti-vax nonsense.

You have a point about citing real research however, the NEJM study, the California study and Tozzi et al. will all get you flunked in an introductory statistics class.

The NEJM study would be Thompson et al. (2007), in which Sallie Bernard from SafeMinds participated as a consultant in the design phase; that is, until she saw the results.

OK Jake; state one convincing criticism of Thompson et al. (2007). Then provide two examples of retrospective studies (of anything) that have been more thorough, better designed, or more complex than Thompson et al.

Then explain how the caseload in California (of any cohort of young children, like 3 year-olds or 3-5 year olds) could have the pattern it has had for the last 10 years if thimerosal in pediatric vaccines is a significant risk factor for autism.

The study held up by Dr. Paul Offit as the “most comprehensive and definitive to date,” published in NEJM, excluded 70% of its original sample size, well above the maximum accepted level of sample elimination which is 30%. Of course, 30% is ridiculously high for a study examining how something affects around 1 in 150 people.

Thompson et al. is quite thorough in the way it addresses all of its methodological limitations. It’s all in the paper. It’s not like the researchers were not smart enough to think about these problems. I count at least 18 authors in that paper. They also contracted many outside consultants, including Sallie Bernard from SafeMinds. You should read the paper, Jake.

The 30% matters only if the 30% had not been representative. But they checked to see if they were representative. Basically, they found that the distribution of thimerosal exposure in the 30% group was the same as in the whole group.

If they could’ve assessed all the children in the cohort, they would have. That’s not doable, though. But assessing children (as opposed to relying on recorded diagnoses) is a major strength of this study. It’s not confounded by coincidental cultural shifts.

Joseph, aluminum levels in vaccines exceed IV safety levels for infants (10-20mcg). The Hep B vaccine given on the day of birth alone contains 250 mcg Al.
http://www.mothering.com/articles/growing_child/vaccines/aluminum-new-thimerosal.html

What do IV safety levels have to do with vaccines? I didn’t find anywhere that those are safety levels either; just the maximum levels they normally have in IVs. Basically, if someone is in a hospital and takes 2 liters of IV a day, they will have received about 200 mcg of aluminum in 5 days. In 50 days, that’s 2000 mcg.

The CDC website has additional information on aluminum toxicity.

The total body burden of aluminum in
healthy individuals is 30 to 50 mg.

Concentration in soil varies widely
ranging from 7 to over 100 g/kg.

Generally below 0.1 mg/L in surface
water.

Aluminum is the most abundant metal in
the earth’s crust.

An [Minimal Risk Level] of 1 mg aluminum/kg/day has been derived for intermediate-duration oral exposure (15-364 days).

That would be 5000 micrograms for a 5 Kg baby in one day.

Jake said “Furthermore, this information did not originally come from the website you mention, but from pediatrician Dr. Robert Sears.”

Robert Sears is an idiot:
http://mainstreamparenting.wordpress.com/2008/09/19/dr-bob-vs-the-mmr/ (which has links to her analysis of his aluminum scaremongering)
http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=333

I remember when my oldest was a baby my family doctor mentioned something about his dad, that he was a nut! — though being a crunchy mom he thought I would accept some of his ideas. Though the advice was to carry the baby around (which I had to do with Child #2). The advice to sleep with the babies, not so much. We had a waterbed and knowing how that could lead to itty bitty baby suffocation, I opted for the nearby bassinet. Close enough to stagger over to feed, and then put back and go to sleep in my own sloshy bed.

“I didn’t find anywhere that those are safety levels either;”

They aren’t.

That just happens to be the value that was chosen for the lower dose group. I think it was based on what they could filter from the IV. The ‘safe dose’ (for light weight premature infants with kidney problems) could easily be twice that amount and the study could not have picked up on it.

It’s not even a proper safety study, like the anti-vaxxors demand, yet they’ll happily dismiss similar studies that look for a dose response relationship whilst holding any study – really, any study at all – that might hint at a connection.

None of this changes the fact that the majority of the studies presented do not have outcomes even remotely similar to what the vaccine skeptics are claiming has happened/ is happening to their children. ‘Comparative’ impairments in functioning after 18 months is nothing close to the immediate, radical and obvious changes that are being claimed.

Must…resist…urge…to…smack…troll…

Jakers writes “daedalus2u, unfortunately no large epidemiological study has been done on that population for autism but one has been done on a Japanese population in the Minamata region that showed increases in autism as methylmercury dumped into the bay by the Chisso Corporation accumulated.”

FAIL

Source?

Plunk “Minamata” and “autism” into Pubmed; tell us what you get, Jakers. Go on, we’ll wait.

That’s right, you get NADA, because Minamata disease–aka methylmercury poisoning–has different symptomatology from autism. Sensory/coordination issues, auditory problems, potential memory impairment, but no expressive language disorder in conjunction with social impairment. Not in the adults, not in the children, not even in the exposed fetuses. Apparently whoever told you so is just a wee bit, how shall I put it, WRONG.

Jake “I’m no statistics expert, I even dropped a class in statistics because of my…careless errors”–still stuck in your ways?

Jake is a lot like another autistic I’m familiar with, Jonathan Mitchell, in that they both attribute their personal failures to autism. Unlike Jonathan, Jake in turn blames Big Pharma and even his mom for the way he is.

I guess it’s very convenient to blame autism for failing college. Given the stereotypes of autism, most people probably find this reasonable, and will pity Jake. That’s what he wants no doubt: pity. The thing is, if he weren’t autistic, he’d probably find other external culprits for his personal failures. Because, you see, not only autistic people fail in college, by any stretch of the imagination.

If Jake thinks that autistics who go to college generally fail, I can only conclude he hasn’t read Szatmari et al. (1989). Half of the sample from this study attended college, and 44% obtained a degree.

But instead of realizing that autism is a poor excuse for things like this, I bet Jake is now trying to find how Dr. Szatmari is connected to Big Pharma, and how it is that the conspiracy dates back to 1989.

“I’m no statistics expert, I even dropped a class in statistics because of my procrastination, careless errors, and difficulty adjusting to Excel thanks my functioning level being hindered by my ASD. However, I do know that when you have a gradual decrease of one source of mercury, offset by increases of multiple sources of mercury, you will naturally have an overall gradual increase that will roughly conform to a straight line.”

That’s like saying “I know that if you start at zero, and subtract one number, and add one other number, and add one other number, and add one other number, you will end with a result that is greater than zero.” The person saying it is either a) reprehensibly sloppy, for saying “you will end up with” when the accurate version is “you might or might not end up with”; b) reprehensibly dishonest, for saying “you will end up with” when the accurate version is “you might or might not end up with”; or c) reprehensibly ignorant, for actually believing that you can confidently assert what the result will be of adding and subtracting multiple unknown, unquantified variables.

“I do know that … you will naturally have an overall gradual increase [in mercury levels] that will roughly conform to a straight line” — no, Jake. You don’t know that. You were told that by David Kirby. You have chosen to swallow that improbable tale. But it’s nonsense.

“Apparently, most of your insolent responses come from NDs. You must be very grateful to neurodiversity given that it’s causing them to support you and preventing them from turning against you. It would be a shame if that all came crashing down.”

This is such woeful thinking but informative. Neurodiversity has a mind of its own?

How can you discuss Thompson 2007 with someone who hasn’t read it and has no clue on the methodology? Not that Jake would because he does not have a grounding in basic science and never bothered to correct the deficit. Anyone who swallows conspiracy theory as automatically true has more than a few cognitive screws loose. But I think much worse than that is borrowing AoA canned reasoning uncritically and simply regurgitating it. It does not inspire confidence in the critical thinking skills of Jake Crosby, though there are lots of indicators that this was a problem from the start.

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