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Is the misrepresentation of scientific findings by antivaxers leading to self-censorship by scientists?

Melinda Wenner Moyer published an article in The New York Times arguing that fear of how antivaxers will react to scientific findings is leading scientists to indulge in self-censorship. I’m not convinced that this is the case.

It’s rare that I’m mentioned in The New York Times (or any other national media outlet). It’s happened, but only a handful of times (e.g., this NYT article on “right to try” and this article about the Food Babe). I must admit that I do have a Google Alert set for my name and variants of it, so I usually know when I’m mentioned in the media. This time around, I was blissfully unaware because, although a NYT article published a weak ago linked to a post of mine, it didn’t mention my name; that is, I was unaware until readers burst that bubble of blissful ignorance. It turns out that it’s an article about a topic very relevant to my writings and that it also (somewhat) misrepresents (or at least incompletely represents) my position on whether certain studies should be funded or not. It’s by Melinda Wenner Moyer and entitled “Anti-Vaccine Activists Have Taken Vaccine Science Hostage“. It’s basically about how the manner in which antivaccine activists leap on any study that questions the efficacy or safety of vaccines could be causing some scientists to indulge in self-censorship. It’s a worthwhile discussion, and certainly there is a germ of truth in the article, but I think Moyer overstates her case and conflates two different things. This article reminded me of a PLoS blog post by Moyer in which I thought she was a bit too eager to cite preclinical studies to argue for biological plausibility of a cell-phone cancer link that really isn’t there, at least not in the way she appeared to think. It’s one of those things where I agreed with her that those who claim that, because radio waves can’t break chemical bonds, then cell phone radiation can’t possibly cause cancer are being overly simplistic but thought the form her argument took went too far the other way. These are the most niggling kinds of disagreements, where I agree with the gist of the post but have problems with it that keep me from wholeheartedly agreeing.

To show you what I mean, let’s look at the passage that irked me a little, and after that I’ll discuss the rest of her article, as well as a couple of the studies mentioned in it. Part way through her article, Moyer states:

Last September, researchers with the Vaccine Safety Datalink, a collaborative project between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and various health care organizations, published a study in the journal Vaccine that found an association — not a causal link, the authors were careful to note — between a flu vaccine and miscarriage. Soon after, Paul Offit, the director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and co-inventor of a lifesaving rotavirus vaccine, said in The Daily Beast that the paper shouldn’t have been published, in part because the study was small and conflicted with earlier research. He also suggested that the authors had cherry-picked their data — a charge they vehemently deny. One physician questioned in the popular blog Science-Based Medicine why the research had been funded in the first place.

Let’s begin. It is true that I did question why the study had been funded in the first place, but the paragraph above doesn’t tell the whole story. At the risk of being self-indulgent, let me cite the relevant passage in my previous post from last September about the study, specifically my analysis of the introduction to the study in which the authors discussed the background and tried to justify their research:

Notice the eight studies cited (references 5-12) that failed to find significant safety issues with the vaccine in pregnancy, and a study (reference 14) using VSD data failed to find an association between flu vaccination with spontaneous abortion. That’s actually a lot of data for the safety of the flu vaccine during pregnancy, which makes me wonder what the justification for yet another study looking for an association between influenza vaccination and miscarriages. If I were a funding agency and received a grant application to do a study like this with text above in the “Background and Significance” or the “Impact” section, my first reaction would be: Why on earth would we fund this? It’s all been done before, many, many times. Yet the CDC funded this study. So much for antivax claims about the CDC not being concerned about vaccine safety and not being willing to look for adverse reactions due to vaccines.

I also find it rather odd that the authors would say that few studies have been done looking for a correlation between vaccination against influenza, even in early pregnancy, when in fact there have been a lot, many well-designed, and they’ve pretty much all been negative. Whenever you see a study that finds something a lot different from the bulk of the studies that have been done before, the first question to be asked is: Are the results of the current study so robust that they indicate a hole in the existing data addressing the question asked that we should begin to question the cumulative results of all the studies that have gone before? Keep that question in mind as I continue.

So, yes, I’m guilty as charged. I did question why the CDC funded this study. However, in my defense I argue that the reason that I questioned why the CDC funded this study is very, very important (and valid) indeed, so much so that the paragraph in Moyer’s NYT article misrepresents what I said by omission. I hate to say this, but that’s the conclusion I came to about it. Indeed, one commenter named Mike noticed this as well:

As a matter of curiosity, I looked at the post in Science-Based that the author describes as “question[ing] *** why the research had been funded in the first place.” From context, you’d think that the blog author, David Gorski, was suggesting that such research should be avoided altogether. Gorski’s point, like Paul Offit’s point, is statistical and quite different than anything Moyer is suggesting. Gorski points out that the study he was critiquing cited eight prior studies of flu vaccines and miscarriages, none of which suggested an association. Because of the prior studies, a small study would not be powerful enough to shift the views of anyone who has a sense of how scientific evidence accumulates by replication. This was Offit’s point, too. Once a fair bit of research has been done, useful follow up can come only from much larger studies–that’s a bit of an oversimplification, but all that fits in a comment. Smaller studies won’t and shouldn’t change the clinical consensus, but they can be used to spread “fear, uncertainty, and doubt.”

And that’s basically it. Unfortunately, in 2018, science-funding is a zero-sum game. Funding granted to an unnecessary study like the small study of the flu vaccine and miscarriages that I wrote about is funding that didn’t go to a study of vaccine safety that might actually have told us something new, rather than retreading where many investigators have trod before and muddying the waters in such a way that even more funding will have to be devoted to a larger followup study on what is almost certainly a false positive. I get it. A NYT article has strict word limits, and something’s got to give. A reporter or op-ed columnist can’t always explain everything, and it’s good that this reporter linked to my post, so that the interested reader could check out what I said for himself. But, really, how many readers will do that? I know from a long history of blogging that no more than around 10% ever clink on a prominent link; for links buried in the middle of the text it’s more like 1-5%. And what about print readers? There’s no link for them to click.

Now let’s go back to the beginning. After reiterating the dangers caused by the antivaccine movement and citing her bona fides as a pro-vaccine science journalist, Moyer then goes on to warn:

As a science journalist, I’ve written several articles to quell vaccine angst and encourage immunization. But lately, I’ve noticed that the cloud of fear surrounding vaccines is having another nefarious effect: It is eroding the integrity of vaccine science.

Later, she argues:

But concerns over what these groups might do are starting to take precedence over scientific progress.

So there’s Moyer’s central thesis. Fear of the antivaccine movement is eroding the integrity of science. Whenever I see a statement this bold, I have to ask: Is the evidence presented adequate enough to support the “hypothesis,” if you will, strongly enough that I buy it? After reading Moyer’s op-ed, I must say that the answer is: No, but I could change my mind with more.

First, what does she mean by “eroding the integrity of science”? This:

In February I was awarded a fellowship by the nonpartisan Alicia Patterson Foundation to report on vaccines. Soon after, I found myself hitting a wall. When I tried to report on unexpected or controversial aspects of vaccine efficacy or safety, scientists often didn’t want to talk with me. When I did get them on the phone, a worrying theme emerged: Scientists are so terrified of the public’s vaccine hesitancy that they are censoring themselves, playing down undesirable findings and perhaps even avoiding undertaking studies that could show unwanted effects. Those who break these unwritten rules are criticized.

The evidence presented by Moyer is basically all anecdotal, the typical “both sides” construct so beloved of journalists, with examples of scientists who feel apprehensive about talking to reporters about studies of vaccines that show less benefit or more risk from vaccines and report having experienced pressure not to publish. On the one side, we have Dr. Paul Offit arguing that “small, inconclusive, worrying studies should not be published because they could do more harm than good.” He has a point, but I would have phrased it differently.

Let’s take a look at the examples of “science stifled” that Moyers chooses to use. There are three, and I’ve already discussed one, namely the study of whether influenza vaccination during pregnancy. It was actually the third example cited by Moyers. Let’s go back to the first:

Here’s a case that typifies this problem and illustrates how beneficial it can be when critical findings get published. In 2005, Lone Simonsen, who was then with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and her colleagues published a study in JAMA Internal Medicine showing that the flu vaccine prevented fewer deaths than expected in people over 65.

“I had interesting conversations with vaccine people. They said, ‘What are you doing, Lone? You are ruining everything,’” recalls Dr. Simonsen, who is now a global public health researcher at George Washington University. Her work helped lead to the development of a more effective flu vaccine for older people, yet she felt ostracized. “I felt it personally, because I wasn’t really invited to meetings,” she says. “It took a good decade before it was no longer controversial.”

Interestingly, Moyers cites what she characterizes quite correctly as a “ridiculous” article about how Simonsen’s study inspired an article by antivaxers entitled “Flu Vaccines Are Killing Senior Citizens, Study Warns“. Ironically, her example demonstrates just what scientists could be afraid of. The article is dated November 17, 2017, and Simonsen’s study is from 2005. Basically, well over 12 years later, antivaxers are still writing articles citing Simonsen’s study as “evidence” that the flu vaccine is dangerous to seniors.

I can’t help but note that, even in that “ridiculous” article, there is something that Moyers missed. It cites an article by Peter Doshi, who’s been discussed on SBM a few times before. Basically, he’s now an associate editor for The BMJ, and he frequently uses his position to parrot antivaccine tropes. In other words, the wall of pro-vaccine scientists is not nearly as strong as Moyer would have us believe. There are antivaccine-sympathetic, if not outright antivaccine, scientists at the highest levels of biomedial publishing. Heck, there is even one at the highest levels of evidence-based medicine. Yes, I’m referring to Tom Jefferson, who’s even head of the Vaccine Field Group at the Cochrane Database Collaboration, a man who’s consistently tried to argue that the flu vaccine doesn’t really work and has even appeared on über-quack Gary Null’s radio show, which is hardly what a respectable scientist does). They’re in the minority by far, to be sure, but they’re not insignificant and belie the portrait of an utterly united pro-vaccine front that, if it can’t shut down studies not showing the utter perfection of vaccines.

So what’s the other example? It’s this:

In 2009, Danuta Skowronski, the lead epidemiologist in the division of Influenza and Emerging Respiratory Pathogens at the British Columbia Center for Disease Control, and her colleagues stumbled across unexpected data that suggested a link between seasonal flu shots and an increased risk for pandemic flu. The findings could not prove a causal link — perhaps people who get seasonal flu shots differ from those who don’t in ways that make them more susceptible to pandemic strains. But one possible interpretation is that seasonal flu shots inhibit immunity to those strains. Dr. Skowronski’s team replicated the findings in five different studies and then shared the data with trusted colleagues. “There was tremendous pushback,” Dr. Skowronski recalls, and some questioned whether “the findings were appropriate for publication.”

“I believed I had no right to not publish those findings,” Dr. Skowronski says. “They were too important.” The findings were submitted to three journals and underwent at least eight lengthy reviews before the final study was published in PloS Medicine.

I can’t help but note that this study was very careful to point out, “The occurrence of bias (selection, information) or confounding cannot be ruled out.” In these cases, it’s always hard to ascertain whether a journal’s refusal to publish a study is due to flaws in the study or bias among the peer reviewers. Three journals? I’ve had papers that took submission to four different journals to get them published, and they were not anywhere near as controversial as this paper. Bottom line: Science is tough, and/or my science wasn’t good enough. Either way, it doesn’t show that there’s some sort of systemic bias to exclude my scientific findings from the peer-reviewed medical literature.

So what are we left with?

Well, I can’t help but note this particular Tweetstorm:

And I can’t help but note this part of the Tweetstorm:

That’s how antivaxers will spin it, that scientists are engaging in massive self-censorship because they know antivaxers are right and our afraid. The question is: What should vaccine scientists do?

Although I can conceive of cases where self-censorship could be appropriate (albeit quite few and then involving findings that could easily be weaponized by, for example terrorists), I’m nonetheless sympathetic with Moyers in that I like to think that self-censorship of scientific findings is generally a bad thing. Scientific findings should, in general, be reported, and let the chips fall where they may. On the other hand, I understand that it’s naïve not to recognize how scientific findings will be spun by the antivaccine movement and that scientists need to be careful about how science is reported. It’s not just vaccine science, either. Those of us who have tried to serve as science advocates understand that it’s also climate science, evolution, and other areas of science where ideology all too frequently trumps evidence. Are vaccine scientists “suppressing” science unfavorable to vaccines? In the end, even Moyer doesn’t seem to think so:

This is not to say that anyone is covering up major safety problems, by the way; critical studies generally concern minor issues in specific contexts. But scientists could one day miss more important problems if they embrace a culture that suppresses research.

While Moyer is correct that “good science needs to be heard even if some people will twist its meaning”, I’m not sure that she understands how little of what is “being heard” is actually good science and just how relentlessly antivaxers will “twist its meaning”. Scientists in fields under attack by ideologues understand that and are struggling about how to be true to science without making it too easy for these ideologues to distort and attack science. In the end, I left this story with a concern that what Moyers describes might be starting to happen, but the entirely anecdotal case she built for this phenomenon, coupled with a mere three examples, none of which were particularly compelling to me, didn’t convince me that vaccine safety research is suffering because of fear of how antivaxers might use it. At least not yet.

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: [email protected]

57 replies on “Is the misrepresentation of scientific findings by antivaxers leading to self-censorship by scientists?”

Orac asks,

Is the misrepresentation of scientific findings by antivaxers leading to self-censorship by scientists?

MJD says,

If I was bestowed the honor of writing a guest post for Respectful Insolence, MJD would ask, “Is the realization of “we-did-harm” swept under the rug when vaccine safety advocates succeed ?”

Google search the words “Vaccines” and “Michael J. Dochniak” to find an example wherein vaccine scientists failed to see the forest from the trees.

Is the reason you’re so deserate to have a guest post here (despite the fact it’ll never happen) because you realise that if you were to get your own blog and post there, nobody would bother reading it?

Google search the words “Vaccines” and “Michael J. Dochniak”

No. Just fuck the fuck off, you tediously whiny little shit.

Three swear words in a senseless sentence, Narad. Thirty percent (30%) of the words in said sentence are swear words.

@ Orac,

Please consider auto-moderating Narad at your convenience.

Thirty percent (30%) of the words in said sentence are swear words.

And I meant every one of them. You comment here to annoy and because you can. The signal-to-noise ratio is desperately close to zero.

Simultaneously, AoA discusses how Moyers’ article has different titles in the print vs web versions. It must be a plot.

Of course, anti-vaxxers bang on about that flu study for 12 years, AND they carry on about Wakefield for twenty years and hell, MJD perseverates on forever.

They only have a few concepts or studies so…
How many times are Jefferson, Doshi and a few others brought out?
What’s funny to me is how woo-meisters/ anti-vaxxers insult SBM, journals, universities BUT if they can find ANYTHING vaguely related that they can TWIST entirely out of shape to fit into their mindset, well..
then you have Marcia Angell, John Ioannis, someone fro Harvard or the BMJ constantly being quoted
But sure right now, Jefferson and Doshi are their faves.

“What’s funny to me is how woo-meisters/ anti-vaxxers insult SBM, journals, universities BUT if they can find ANYTHING vaguely related that they can TWIST entirely out of shape to fit into their mindset, well..”

And don’t forget, the CDC is evil, conspiratorial and you can’t trust anything it says or does, but lookit here at this CDC page about vaccine excipients/TOXINS!!!!!

@ DB:

Seriously: isn’t it hilarious when they trumpet thousands upon thousands of studies on PubMed** yet totally misinterpret or misquote whatever they find But their followers don’t know that because they wouldn’t read the actual studies most of the time’
( except for the Teresa Conricks of the world who then confabulate the results)

** such as prn.fm today

There’s also the fact that we know that pertussis vaccines are of limited effectiveness, that flu vaccine are nowhere near as effective as we would like, that there are problems with mumps. When a vaccine causes a side effect, there’s investigation.

I think we should all be concerned about whether there is self-censorship, because we need to know and it’s a real problem if it happens. And I agreed with her gist that we really, really don’t want it. But I come out more and more thinking she didn’t make a very good case for the existence of self-censorship.

She made a horrible case for self-censorship. It boils down to, “Scientists won’t talk to me so they must be self censoring.”

Although I can conceive of cases where self-censorship could be appropriate (albeit quite few and then involving findings that could easily be weaponized by, for example terrorists)

One might recall the hullaballo over gain-of-function research.

I think Moyer had a valid point to raise, though she would’ve been more accurate if she’d said the problem “has the potential to erode the integrity of vaccine science”. All those tentative findings she mentioned did get published after all.

As for repetition of studies that have consistently found a lack of harm from vaccination, a somewhat analogous situation might be the case of a patient who (for example) has had periodic mild abdominal pain for a couple of years, and had comprehensive workups including multiple rounds of liver function testing which were consistently normal. Her condition is stable, but a new physician decides to repeat the liver function tests yet again, and one of the transaminases is moderately elevated. This provokes a detailed liver workup with scans and a whole bunch of new tests including liver biopsy, which are all negative.

One might legitimately ask why it was felt necessary to repeat the liver function tests in the first place (isolated false positives are far from uncommon in laboratory testing).

Thus when multiple studies show no association between vaccination and miscarriage*, one can ask why a new study** is needed without being castigated as someone who wants to hush up possible bad news.

*have any antivaxers flogging this study noted that in 1964-65, a major rubella epidemic caused at least 11,000 miscarriages (and over two thousand dead infants)?
**rather than having a guest RI article written by a perseverating antivaxer, it might be more interesting to host one of the authors of that study (Frank DeStefano?) going into more detail as to why it was done.

How are people getting seasonal flu vaccine different ? Well, mainly, they are more vulnerable to flu; thats why they get it in first place. Strange that Ms Moyers did not notice that.

One of the things I find fascinating about antivaccinationists is how they jump on studies that show a vaccine less effective than previously believed. Since they want a world where vaccines are 100% effective with zero side-effects, they really don’t care what level of effectiveness it has. Just an excuse to say something negative about vaccines. Well, even if the flu vaccine were half as effective, it would still prevent deaths, hospitalizations, and suffering. Even an effectiveness of 20% would translate to far more than a 1,000 deaths prevented. Not long ago it was found that the mumps portion of the MMR was less effective than thought. Again, still better than no protection. Since the risks from the flu or mumps vaccine are far far less than from the diseases, any protection is a plus. However, I’m sure most of us agree that the higher the effectiveness the better. I, for one, always get the flu vaccine and try to get all my friends to do the same. Maybe it isn’t perfect; but the choice is NO protection or some.

Recently Age of Autism pointed out that the Shingrix vaccine causes unpleasant side-effects in up to 10% of recipients, headache, fever, malaise, etc. Well, I got the Shingrix and for about 36 hours had a really sore arm, headache (ibuprofen took care of), and felt out of sorts. On the other hand, I saw my parents and grandparents suffer from shingles, really nasty for several weeks, and my grandmother’s lasted a couple of months. So, 36 – 48 mildly unpleasant hours versus several weeks or longer of a really nasty experience. I was planning on getting the second shot; but there is a shortage, so I will get it as soon as available. With a little luck I won’t experience the side-effects since the research shows that just because one experiences the side-effects once doesn’t mean both time. However, I am prepared and still far better than getting shingles.

Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH writes,

Just an excuse to say something negative about vaccines.

MJD says,

Vaccine side-effects are a reason to say something negative, Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH. The acceptance of vaccine side-effects inhibits the costly pursuant of continuous improvement. When people complain about vaccine side-effects, such individuals are essentially a canary-in-a-cage helping medical science understand there may be a problem. Therefore, respect and honor those who rattle their cage in an effort to bring about vaccine continuous-improvement.

@ Dochniak:

First, if you are relying on VAERS reports, they are investigated and many turn out not to be vaccine related. Second, despite what antivaccinationists claim about underreporting, reporting of serious conditions to VAERS is much higher. In fact, many VAERS reports are submitted by lawyers representing clients. Third, yes, there are probably no medical interventions without any risks. Fourth, the actual serious adverse events found associated with vaccines are infinitesimal compared to the risks from the actual diseases. Would it be nice to have vaccines and other medical interventions that are risk free or, at least, have fewer risks? Yep. And is it possible with more research we may eventually obtain them? Yep. But, the benefit to risk ratio for all current mandated vaccines is enormous and, research is being conducted all the time to improve vaccines; but there is only so much time and funds available. We could devote considerably more funding to improving current vaccines, despite their high benefits/risk ratio, or devote the time and funding to vaccines to reduce/prevent other serious diseases. This isn’t a perfect world.

Just one example. The Salk vaccine was about 90% effective against two polio serotypes and only 70% effective against one. After a few years with the Salk vaccine, paralytic cases of polio had been reduced from over 7,000 a decade earlier to less than 1,400 by 1962. In 1962 the oral attenuated polio vaccine developed by Sabin was introduced and the number of cases of wild-type paralytic polio reached zero. Unfortunately, a half dozen or so cases were caused by the vaccine. So 1,400 to zero and half dozen vaccine caused cases. While every case of a paralyzed child or adult is a tragedy, benefit/risk ratio was 1,400/6. And, given that polio has a genetic component, it is likely that some of the six if exposed to the wild-type virus would have been paralyzed. Then an improved version of the killed vaccine was developed, with an effectiveness for all three serotypes of around 99% and polio completely disappeared in the US. If my child had been paralyzed by the oral vaccine would I have been upset. Yep. But the over 1,300 families of kids who weren’t paralyzed would have been happy that the oral vaccine was given.

I repeat, any child paralyzed, whether from wild-type polio or the oral vaccine is a tragedy; but we don’t live in a perfect world and knowing the odds, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the oral vaccine if it were the only one available.

Nope. The people who report adverse events aren’t the canary in the cage. They are just supplying additional data, some valid, most not so. Anyone I know working with vaccines is quite aware they aren’t perfect and research is being carried out to improve them. However, claims of Autism Spectrum Disorders have been debunked over and over again; yet, additional research keeps getting published. Perhaps, in the future, we will have genetic tests easy to use and highly accurate, and will be able to tailor, at least offer, a range of vaccines; but right now, they are far far better than the alternative. However, there is a difference between people reporting adverse events and the gross exaggerations and one-side approach of anti vaccine websites.

And despite what antivaccinationists would like to believe, I and every doctor and epidemiologist I know made sure their kids, families, selves, and friends received all the required vaccines. I’ve actually had the smallpox vaccine three times, yellow fever, typhoid/paratyphoid, and a host of others and always get the flu shot, got both types of pneumococcal vaccines and both meningococcal vaccines and will, hopefully, shortly get the second Shingrix shot.

You just keep posting and most who view your comments find you tiresome.

Good grief, MJD. If you were offered “cake or death” by the Spanish Inquisition you would complain about the flavor of the cake, or that it was too sweet and hurt your teeth.

Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH writes,

You just keep posting and most who view your comments find you tiresome.

MJD says,

Let’s get personal Dr. Harrison, I wish my twenty seven (27) year old severely autistic son could read my comments at RI and consider MJD tiresome. Dr. Harrison, you’re a wonderful spokesman (i.e., retired epidemiologist) for vaccines and their risk/benefit ratio, but, lack real-life experience in the etiology of allergy-induced regressive autism. If you find my comments/teachings on said autism “tiresome”, please understand it is not my intention. Thanks for being a pro-vaccine advocate, knowing the risk/benefit ratio is constantly in YOUR favor.

I wish my twenty seven (27) year old severely autistic son could read my comments at RI and consider MJD tiresome.

As opposed to finding you tiresome in person?

Dr. Harrison, you’re a wonderful spokesman (i.e., retired epidemiologist)

That’s not what “i.e.” means.

for vaccines and their risk/benefit ratio, but, lack real-life experience in the etiology of allergy-induced regressive autism. If you find my comments/teachings

“Teachings”? Dear fucking G-d.

on said autism “tiresome”, please understand it is not my intention.

Of course it’s not your intention, because you’re too damned stupid to engage in self-reflection.

Oh, snap.

Joel hit a nerve, I think. And Michael exposes what the real issue is for him: feeling helpless in the face of raising a child who is now an adult and will likely never be independent.

I sympathize with that, Michael. I really do. But not enough to tolerate your nonsense, which is of actual harm to patients by increasing the risks of preventable disease, and distracting valuable resources from research into the real cause(s) of autism, and effective treatments or management strategies.

Hey, MJD, how about instead of yelling at strangers on the internet, why don’t you go for a walk? Clear your head, get some fresh air, get a little bit of exercise. It’ll do you a world of good, maybe even help you find some perspective.

@ Orac ( not really OT because I respond to a query on @gorskon)

Whatever happened to the Food Babe?

She had a Babe-y!
I saw something IIRC this past winter that said she had had a baby in the past year.
Seeing your tweet I quickly looked over her website/ blog but didn’t see anything ( I recall that there was material, which is how I learned about it in the first place)
Perhaps writing about your baby cramps your image/ style as hot chick, Babe-ette.
Truthfully, she does have a section on the blog about pregnancy but I didn’t read everything.

I’ll look some more.

FOUND IT!

The Science Post Aug 2 2016: Food Babe announces pregnancy, prepare for 9 months …

Also:
Her blog: How I lost the baby weight ( with PHOTOS)
Great now she has a daughter to teach how food is something to obsess about and that you NEED to be really thin or feel like a loser your entire life

Did her site lose popularity? I don’t know. I hear nothing about her recently.

OT but RI-relevant:

There’s an op-ed in today’s Wall St. Journal by Paul Marangos, arguing that Right to Try legislation is fine but doesn’t go nearly far enough.

Marangos wants to slash FDA requirements by eliminating Phase III trials. “Instead, one Phase II clinical trial of at least 100 patients would suffice” to get a treatment for terminal disease (i.e. cancer or Alzheimer’s) approved. He wants this change to be retroactive, so all such treatments currently in Phase III trials would be immediately approved. In addition, he thinks a 10-year period of marketing exclusivity should be granted for all these treatments.

Sounds like a terrific deal…at least for drug companies, like SD Pharmaceuticals of which Marangos is the CEO. Companies could run out a heavily hyped “terminal disease treatment” based on a tiny Phase II trial, have exclusive rights to it for 10 years and whether or not it does any good or winds up substantially eroding quality of remaining life*, end up making a pot of money. Who could argue against such a “reform”?

Marangos by the way is also CEO of Biomedica Partners, a “health policy reform corporation” pushing to get drugs into the hands of patients without all that regulatory fiddle-faddle.

*Our nation’s lonely eyes turn to Nicholas Gonzalez, who saw a massive supplement and coffee enema regimen for pancreatic cancer crash and burn in a much-publicized clinical trial in which patients treated with his regimen not only had substantially shorter remaining life, but it was poorer quality to boot. Maybe he could’ve steered 100 patients through a Phase II trial and had just enough positive-seeming results to get a10-year marketing exclusivity deal having the potential to make enough $$ for at least a Mercola-style mansion.

Jesus wept (says the atheist). What the ever-loving fuck is wrong with these people? This CEO is a monster, straight up. There is a reason we do Phase III trials, because Phase II doesn’t tell the whole story and PEOPLE DIE.

I could scream and weep and wish terrible things upon him, but it’s time for me to get into the lab and working on bringing a real, tested cancer treatment to more people.
Gah!

May I suggest a personality disorder and psychopathy literacy book club?

Yes, I’m serious. Some 12 to 10 years ago, I was being harassed by random strangers (University student for the most part) with public ridicule, shame over my ability to attend university which in the view of these harasser was worthless because autism == mental retardation in their eyes. I got even sexual innuendos.

One of the book from Robert Hare, PhD gave me the much needed information to save my life because all of this originated from what I thought to be a friend but in the end, If I remember correctly, he scored 26 out of 36 (36, also IIRC). I gave him a room to live at my place for a 1 month or 2 month basis and it turned out it was me who had to run out of the place a year and a half later.

Alain

@ Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH:

A few things…

First of all, you’re doing a great job. I especially like how you tore Jake apart. Even if he banned you, every time he sees your nym with “PhD, MPH”, he must die a little. His grandiosity might be cut down a little: you’re a public service.

Next, you discuss how anti-vaxxers say that vaccines are “neither safe nor effective” because they would only accept perfection
( the Nirvana fallacy), this is especially relevant because woo-meisters use this in a manner that suggests that vaccines are unlike other products- imperfect. I think that they, by highlighting individual cases ( anecdotes) they give their audience the impression that these complaints are common or even average. Plus, they repeat ENDLESSLY.
I suggest that the vaccine fearful look into complaints columns/ web entries about cars, computers, appliances, airlines etc.

Finally, MJD. good work, again.
I have tired of even trying to get through to him. BUT one note as a psychologist, we look carefully when an adult has trouble with abstract concepts, metaphors and gets common idioms wrong ( “canary-in-a-cage”) or uses simple phrases incorrectly.

and gets common idioms wrong ( “canary-in-a-cage”)

Ah, I missed that bit of MJD’s genius. “Costly pursuant” isn’t bad, either.

Ah, and in the first post here it is “forest from the trees” rather than “forest for the trees”.

A modest proposal re MJD’s comments:
.
In past years I have seen comments ‘disemvowelled’ on other blogs. (Apparently, a simple script was used to remove all vowels, leaving the essence of the post for those who really wanted to plow through a post.) Would it be possible to do that for his posts with wordpress? A more complicated process, but one that I really like, would be to disemvowel and then replace all instances of the letter T with a random vowel.
.
One potential upside with the second option: he might actually, accidentally, produce something worth the time invested in reading it.

And a roomful of monkeys banging away at typewriters might come up with the collected works of Shakespeare.

@ Panacea:

Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I used to have a poster with a chimp in front of a typewriter that said: “Give enough chimps enough typewrites and enough time and you’ll get Shakespeare.” I left it with my parents when I was traveling and, against my mother’s wishes, my dad gave it to a friend. Oh well. Despite that he was a great dad.

Opus writes,

…he might actually, accidentally, produce something worth the time invested in reading it.

MJD says,

If you’re really interested in reading some of MJD’s productions please consider the following:

https://www.amazon.com/Michael-J.-Dochniak/e/B002P9CA2K

@ Orac,

I’d gladly send Opus a free copy of each of my books for the opportunity to write a guest post for Respectful Insolence.

What say you? Please be kind.

Opus says:
.
Opus is getting ready for a class on making paper. It would seem that free books would be perfect for grinding up for this. However Opus must decline since there is no absolute 100% guarantee that the idiocy of the thoughts expressed in the books will not ruin the paper fibers.
.
Opus also thinks that Opus is far more qualified to write a guest post than MJD. Opus is willing to opine upon any topic from Aachen folk dancing to Zwolle street names, with a 100% guarantee that Opus would be more accurate and entertaining than anything MJD could conceivably write.
.
Opus respectfully requests that all suggestions for guest posts be rejected, including the above offer by Opus.
.
Opus says this is all for now.
.
Signed, Opus.

@ Dochniak:

I too wish your son could read your comments. Who knows, 27, maybe, hopefully, research will lead to something that can help him. My kid brother had lots of problems and was misdiagnosed for years before a correct diagnosis and, thus, treatments before that did lots of harm. He didn’t have autism; but problems that were not psychological; but neurological. Thanks to the misguided treatments he received, in addition to neurological problems, he developed psychological ones as well. I won’t go into the details. Suffice it to say I grew up in a family spending everything they had to help him, hearing my mother crying when discussing him with my father. My refuge growing up was lots of time in my bedroom with a book and my dog. Fortunately, I was able to work my way through college when tuitions and books were a lot cheaper, my family couldn’t help, though I know they wanted to.

On the other hand, your comments keep implying that adverse events are being downplayed, even fraud involved; yet, as another commenter made clear, all the questionable studies dealt with in Moyer’s article were published,

As I’ve made clear in comment after comment, neither I nor anyone else I know claim vaccines are absolutely safe, just that the alternative, the actual diseases are far worse. No one accepts the side-effects. That is like saying doctors ignore the risk of anaphylaxis from penicillin but penicillin literally saved millions of lives.

As for my: “lack real-life experience in the etiology of allergy-induced regressive autism.” Yep, and I have never seen someone suffering from smallpox or numerous other medical problems. But I read a lot and have spoken with people who have and seen documentaries. The fact you have a son with problems gains my sympathy; but doesn’t accord you any expertise and you come across over and over as believing that adverse events are downplayed/ignored, so you are very tiresome!

@ Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH,

Thanks for your story, Dr. Harrison. Yes, my son has problems that are irreversible and I’ve spent the last fifteen (15) years of my life explaining its etiology. We don’t see eye to eye Dr. Harrison. I’d like to say loud and clear that MJD seeks vaccine perfection in an effort to reduce/eliminate allergy-induced regressive autism.

Every generation improves the one before.

@ Dochniak:

So, you seek “vaccine perfection.” That says it all. “Perfection” vs huge benefit/cost ratio. And so far, and I doubt future research will change it, an association with autism has not been found. So, exactly as I suspected, you want a perfect world and believe it possible, so, obviously, if vaccines are not 100% effective and 100% safe, then, given they should be in your mind, the only explanation is that those promoting vaccines are ignoring/suppressing risks, despite the fact one can go to, among others, CDC website and find list of adverse events for each vaccine, frequent minor ones, and rare serious ones. And despite your fantasy world, one can just search PubMed and find recent papers on vaccine safety.

There are actually several genetic conditions where a child appears to reach all the milestones and then regresses, for instance: Landau-Kleffner Syndrome; Alexander Disease; Rett Syndrome. There are probably several more that have not been discovered.

And, though I wish all children were born healthy and continued to be so, while you have spent years trying to explain your kids condition, actually you have focused/blamed vaccines, not considering possibility that a rare, not yet determined genetic condition, or epigenetic is responsible.

One last thing. while I sympathize, from around 4 years of age, my entire childhood was affected by my brother’s problems. Fortunately, my maternal grandparents lived close by. And, as an adult, I always felt because my parents were good people and it wasn’t my brother’s fault that I also had a responsibility. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t let me help, and he was found dead a couple of years ago in his Section 8 apartment. He had an IQ around 85, reading and arithmetic at a 5th grade level, and poor coordination; but when I would ask him if there was anything I could help with, his answer would be: “You aren’t the only one who is smart.” I offered to take him out for dinner and/or to movies; but he refused. After he died, I found out from his neighbors that all he did was brag about his brother, the doctor. Though I didn’t know and he wouldn’t tell me about his heart condition, I still feel guilty. I know the cause though, not genetic. My mother had toxemia, a toxin from a bacterial infection, while pregnant with him in the 1st trimester. And I know how the therapies he received made him worse. I guess that’s some consolation. I’m sorry you can’t explain your son’s condition; but your are tiresome. I spent 70 years with my brother’s condition and, though he is gone, still experience it.

If you want “perfection” join a religion as each promises some form of absolute truth; but anything humans do can only be weighed as benefit/cost and vaccines confer a much greater benefit than cost and, again, there is NO compelling scientific evidence that vaccines cause autism.

Marangos had a similar op-ed published last month in the Washington Examiner, arguing for a “Terminal Disease Administration” to bypass the FDA.

“The TDA would set new regulatory approval requirements designed specifically for terminal disease drugs and be independent of the FDA. These new guidelines would provide patient access to new treatments after a phase I safety study of 32 patients and one phase II study of at least 100 patients, rather than the thousands of patients currently required for phase III studies. This will greatly speed drug approvals and reduce the cost, both of which would incentivize industry to work with the TDA and focus on cures. Industry would be eager to pay for working in such an accelerating setting that would greatly simplify the development path.

To further speed progress and incentivize entrepreneurs, industry, and innovation, Congress should legislate that terminal disease drugs be afforded marketing exclusivity for 15 years post-approval without regard to patent requirements (similar to what the Waxman-Hatch Act did for Orphan drugs in 1983). This would open vast amounts of public domain science for exploitation that is currently gathering dust on library shelves, not patentable and therefore unable to be developed to anyone’s profit. This would provide an explosive incentive for applied research focused on these death sentence diseases.”

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/a-completely-different-approach-to-healthcare-reform

The Examiner, like the Wall St. Journal didn’t bother to tell readers that Marangos is the CEO of a pharma outfit making cancer drugs, which might just explain part of why he’s so eager about the plan.

*wonder why his latest position in the WSJ lops 5 years off the proposed marketing exclusivity deal. Maybe an editor told him the 15-year arrangement wouldn’t fly.

@ Dangerous Bacon:

Actually terminally ill patients can get drugs that have only gone through phase 1 or 2. It’s called the Compassionate Use Program. Ones doctor contacts the company with details of patient’s diagnosis and prognosis and agrees to report how the drug works. The company in turn uses these reports as additional data when seeking FDA approval. However, some companies are more willing than others.

On the other hand, even if a drug seems worth using in a terminally ill patient after only phase 1 or 2, it may turn out to shorten their life and/or because of severe side-effects, make the remaining time’s quality of life worse. So, it’s not as simple as it sounds.

@ Joel A. Harrison , PhD, MPH

“One of the things I find fascinating about antivaccinationists is how they jump on studies that show a vaccine less effective than previously believed.”

I imagine any individual, irrespective of whether or not they are anti vaccine or pro vaccine would take issue with a vaccine which turns out to have a different level of efficacy from that stated. It’s really got nothing to do with what was “believed” but more to do with what was stated in the data accompanying the vaccine following the numerous clinical trials and studies carried out in the pre marketing era. We the public are advised over and over to put our trust in the data generated in pre licensing trials and it’s a matter of concern if somewhere down the line, the product is found not to be as initially portrayed. It surely doesn’t follow that anyone taking issue with a vaccine being less effective than originally stated, would be viewed as an antivaccinationist for doing so.

I imagine that every parent, including those 100% in favour of vaccines, would still be concerned to learn that a vaccine given to their children was not as effective as they had been led to believe. That may have implications. Just as lowered vaccine uptake rates negatively impact on the overall figure of coverage in the population so too would the lowered rates created when a vaccine isn’t as efficient as it is said to be.

You may take the view that mumps vaccine failure rates and lower levels of vaccine induced immunogenicity from that originally stated in the data, are still more tolerable than the problems encountered in contracting wild mumps infection, but try telling that to the young men who contract mumps in adulthood because the immunity provided in childhood via a vaccine, has waned.

I for one, when taking my children for vaccines had a reasonable expectation that what the GP and the accompanying information sheet told me, with regard to the protection provided, were correct. If at a later date it turned out that the vaccine was less effective than stated I would have been concerned about the implications for my children. As it was, one of my children who had the MMR in infancy did go on to have mumps when she was fourteen.

A vaccine which is shown to be less effective than stated should be a matter of concern to everyone, (for many different reasons), including healthcare professionals. It has nothing to do with one’s stance on vaccination and it does not follow that anyone who ‘jumps’ on studies showing vaccines to be less effective than they were said to be, is an antivaccinationist.

@ Wendy Stephen:

I wondered when you would crawl out from under your rock. You claimed in an exchange long ago that your daughter suffered hearing loss in one ear from the Urabe strain version of mumps vaccine and that the Brits refused compensation because her disability was below a certain percentage. You said you would send a copy of the British boards decision attached to an e-mail; but never did. And when I asked you since the Jeryl-Lynn strain of mumps used today has not been associated with problems if you would endorse it since you claimed to not be antivaccination; but you never did. And you have NEVER endorsed any vaccine as far as I can tell. And even the earlier findings of the Urabe strain problems later research found not as frequent and several earlier reported problems not associated with it. Every new medicine results in reports of adverse events that later prove to be either not the case or rarer. I suggest you look up phrase: Post Hoc Ergo Prompter Hoc Fallacy.

As for the mumps vaccine not being as effective and the risk to adults, prior to a mumps vaccine, many adults did get mumps and a simple booster is all that is needed. It would be nice if one shot conferred lifetime protection and maybe someday they will.

If you actually took the time to carefully read my comments above, you would see that I both emphasized the benefits/cost ratio and made clear that research does continue to improve vaccines; but you are so fixated, despite claiming to not be anti vaccine, that whatever someone writes just doesn’t sink in.

Yep, they found the mumps vaccine to not confer as long lasting immunity as one would like; but, again, a simple booster will do the job. And, in addition, the risk of an adult getting mumps is far less today than prior to any vaccine because enough kids are vaccinated and many adults got boosters that chance of being infected much much less than prior to vaccine.

As I’ve written umpteen times, we don’t live in a perfect world. I get the flu shot every year. I am a vegan, low sugar, high fiber, lots of fruits, vegetables, beans, rice, nuts, and grains and I exercise regularly; but despite the flu shot and aforementioned, I could still get the flu. I get the shot because it is all that is currently available to reduce my risk of getting flu and reducing, if I get flu, risk of serious complications. Would I want a more effective flu shot? Of course! And they are working on it; but in the meantime, I get the current shot because it is far better than nothing.

So, you have ECBT e-mail address. I would still like a copy of Brits decision on your daughter, unless what you claim isn’t true. Just white-out any personal info, e.g. birthdate, address, etc. and scan in and attach to e-mail sent to ECBT with subject heading for Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

Wendy, I had mumps twice. The second time was during the mumps epidemic in 1968. That was when there was a common “old wives’ tale” that you could get mumps on one side, and then on the other because it was common to get mumps more than once!

Even suffering from mumps (which I did twice!) does not confer “perfect” immunity, It is not realistic to think the vaccine should work better at immunity than suffering through the actual disease.

I have told you this more than a few times. But it seems that you seem to be immune to actual information.

Of course, the Compassionate Use Program does not automatically grant pre-approval to every single cancer or other “terminal disease” drug and give the manufacturers a ten or fifteen year waiver to sell it without competition.

@ Dangerous Bacon:

If any drug, after submitting phase 3 clinical trials, fails to get FDA approval, of course, it would not be sold; but the point I made is that it would be available to terminal patients while still being investigated. Maybe a few terminally ill patients would still want a drug after Phase 3 trials found it either lacking effectiveness and/or with serious adverse events; but I doubt a company would want to risk the lawsuits from continuing to market it to the few idiots who would still want it, even if law allowed.

Your comment appears to be more just to mouth off than enter into any type of reasonable dialogue.

Paul Offit has an article posted on Medscape, responding to the Moyer op-ed. His take largely boils down to saying there’s no suppression, in that studies (of variable quality) suggesting the possibility of vaccine harms are published all the time, The study about influenza vaccine and miscarriages gets a poor reception.

“Ironically, one of the studies Moyer highlighted, which was published in the journal Vaccine, directly contradicted her claims. Moyer criticized scientists who felt that the Vaccine study shouldn’t have been published because it might frighten people. In this, Moyer had misread scientists’ reactions to the study. Scientists weren’t concerned that the study had uncovered a rare and frightening problem—spontaneous abortion caused by influenza vaccine; they were concerned that the study was, for many reasons, critically flawed.

First, six previous, large, well-controlled studies had shown that influenza vaccination during pregnancy didn’t cause spontaneous abortion. As an outlier, the Vaccine paper should have been held to a higher standard of proof.

Second, the Vaccine study found an increased risk in one year but not the next. This was an inexplicable finding that remained unexplained.

Third, the only way that the study authors could show a possible problem was to alter their original hypothesis and substratify their data—something that epidemiologists frown upon. The authors of the Vaccine paper found that the risk for spontaneous abortion was present only in patients who had also received an influenza vaccine the previous year. Again, a curious finding that remained unexplained.

Fourth, the final numbers were small: 14 in the vaccine group and four in the nonvaccine group. Small numbers derived from large databases are often misleading.

Finally, the authors offered neither biological proof nor a plausible explanation for their finding.”

@ Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

“And when I asked you since the Jeryl-Lynn strain of mumps used today has not been associated with problems if you would endorse it since you claimed to not be antivaccination; but you never did.”

You have repeatedly asked me to respond to you on this point and I have previously chosen not to. However, in order to have closure on this particular issue, I will tell you why it wasn’t possible for me to comply with your request to endorse the fact that the “Jeryl Lynn strain of mumps used today has not been associated with problems”.

I was aware of the following.

On 23rd September 1989, a letter was published in The Lancet by W. Ehrengut stating that his data indicated that “ meningoencephalitic untoward reactions were associated with both Jeryl Lynn and Urabe Am 9 mumps vaccines.” He further added that “data from Canada and Sweden support this conclusion”

In what he describes as a “personally observed case” the “mumps virus was isolated from the CSF of a 6 year old boy who had meningitis 21 days after administration of Jeryl Lynn mumps vaccine”

In addition he adds that “4 other cases of meningitis following ‘Mumpsvax’ (Jeryl Lynn) were reported in another review in 1979”

From the Table provided in the letter we see that one case of meningoencephalitis described as “fatal” was ascribed to “M-M Vax- Moraten /Jeryl Lynn”

Interestingly, only one case of meningitis is reported in respect of Pariorix (Urabe Am 9)

I’m hoping you will appreciate why it was impossible for me to comply with your request. I will however voluntarily offer to endorse the fact that the Jeryl Lynn strain was not associated with the same volume of problems or incidence of meningitis as Urabe. On the basis of Ehrengut’s findings it’s simply not possible for me to do as you ask, even of it is going to secure my release from the term antivaccinationist.

@ Wendy Stephen:

Typical, you find one letter by Ehrengut, and assume, because it confirms your already rigid belief, that you are right; but you ignore numerous later actual studies and reviews. I also pointed out that, as far as I can tell, you have NEVER endorsed other vaccines, e.g., rubella, measles, HiB. Wow And you have continuously ignored the fact that, for instance, numerous studies have found that, among other things, hospitalization for aseptic meningitis is much higher from natural mumps than any association with the vaccine. And in an 1983 published paper, Ehrengut found “in our studies the Urabe Am 9 mumps vaccine strain did not cause severe reactions” (Ehrengut (1983) The reactogencity and immunogenicity of the Urabe Am 9 live mumps vaccine and persistence of vaccine induced antibodies. Journal of Biological Standardization; 11: 105-113). And in another Letter to the Lancet which includes Ehrengut’s letter in its reference list, it states exactly what I wrote regarding incidence of hospitalized aseptic meningitis higher from natural infection and it also makes clear that the rare incidence of encephalitis did not differ from general population.(Letter (1989 Oct 28). Mumps meningitis and MMR Vaccination. Lancet pp. 1015-1016). Typical how you find one Letter that supports your position; but ignore all else.

I imagine if you were member of a jury and the defense had refuted all witnesses but one, if you decided the person was guilty, you would ignore all the other evidence. Unfortunately, there are more like you in the world, not only antivaccinationists, but convicting innocent people based on flimsy evidence at best.

And, as far as I’m concerned, what you claim about your daughter is simply your delusions. You continue to refuse to e-mail me a copy of the findings. I don’t trust people who make claims that can not be verified. What are you hiding???

I sincerely believe that what you really need is psychiatric help as you seem to have a tenuous grip on reality.

Next time I’m at University library I’ll get copy of Ehrengut’s letter to add to my collection.

@ Wendy Stephen:

A friend managed to get me Ehrengut’s letter and e-mail it to me. The letter ends with: “These data indicate that meningoencephalitic untoward reactions are associated with both Jeryl Lynn and Urabe Am 9 mumps vaccines. Data from Canada’ and Sweden8 support this conclusion. However, the benefit/risk ratio remains in favour of mumps vaccination, since the frequency of these untoward reactions is low and all children with mumps meningitis recovered without sequelae.” So, you point out that both versions of mumps associated with rare reactions; but didn’t include the conclusion that the kids “recovered without sequelae.” And though this particular letter doesn’t mention it, other papers by Ehrengut and other researchers make it clear that mumps meningitis risk much higher from natural infection. There are lies of commission and lies of omission. You omitted the fact that the kids did fine. You really are just plain dishonest, so I really don’t believe and no one else should, what you claim about your daughter’s case.

@ Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

I’m pretty confident I’ve gone over this with you before…….. but, once more for the record.

The facts of my daughter’s story were the subject of at least three publications including one in The Times newspaper, “MMR vaccine caused children’s deafness.”

Even you must be aware that no newspaper or respectable journal is going to publish an article in the absence of absolute proof to support the contents. I very happily provided all three publications with copies of the relevant, original, authentic documents and they were happy to publish the facts.

The Times article, in line with respectable journalism, also includes comment and feedback from the relevant defendant in our ongoing struggle. Additionally, the story is the subject of a very insightful and relevant commentary by a doctor who expertly provides balance between the problems encountered when an individual contracts a vaccine preventable disease and someone like my daughter who suffered because of a vaccine.

Not even you could imagine that the article would be permitted to go into print and remain accessible for all these years if it wasn’t factually accurate and deviated from the truth in any way.

In conclusion, let me assure you of one thing. Given your repeated rabid attacks on my character, conscience, intentions, integrity and sanity there is nothing in this world which would persuade me to share our documents with you.

@ Wendy Stephen

First, I have the newspaper articles and nowhere do they state they had/checked/looked at the original documents, simply they interviewed you. Second, while newspapers are supposed to verify their stories; they don’t always. In fact, when it comes to vaccines, newspapers have all too often written what a parent said, maybe in a later article giving what real scientists found; but this is too late to avoid affecting some people who once they decide something is correct, refuse to accept any contradictory information. Third, a long time ago you said you would supply me with the documents. Fourth, if the documents back what you claim, what do you have to hide? If all they do is say what what in the newspapers, what is your problem?

I remember you writing about UK negotiating in 1991 or 2 for Jeryl-Lynn vaccine to show they could have had it in 1988. Apparently you are so delusional that you believe the Brits could have leaped into the future and brought the future available vaccine back.

I have contacts in UK and will eventually get the documents; but I have much more important priorities than dealing with one probably delusional and/or dishonest person. Life is too short. If I do get the documents and they back what you say, I will post such. I have NO problem when confronted with actual hard clad evidence of accepting it; but until that day, as far as I’m concerned you lack any credibility.

You really are tiresome, claiming newspapers always require some sort of proof. Perhaps, you heard about the US invasion of Iraq? The UN weapons inspectors said there was NO evidence that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and there was NO credible evidence that he was allied with Al Qaeda, a crazy idea since they are religious fanatics and he had a Christian vice-President, women drove, went to university, worked as doctors and in government, and Jews and other religious groups did quite well. Hussein was not a nice guy; but as long as he wasn’t challenged, Iraq had a good education system, good infrastructure, and was a reasonably safe place to live. And the International Atomic Energy Commission had debunked his buying yellow cake uranium a year earlier; yet President Bush included this in his State of the Union message and newspapers didn’t challenge this. So, American newspapers, including the New York Times, supported our government and, thus, are guilty of promoting the crime of aggressive war. So, NO, Wendy Stephen, newspapers did NOT verify what our government told them, even though they could have.

So, you write: “Even you must be aware that no newspaper or respectable journal is going to publish an article in the absence of absolute proof to support the contents. . . Not even you could imagine that the article would be permitted to go into print and remain accessible for all these years if it wasn’t factually accurate and deviated from the truth in any way.”

Well, sometimes much later some newspapers do admit they were wrong; but not always and when they do admit they were wrong they seldom admit they were wrong because they didn’t do their homework. Your claims about newspapers reflects on your claims about vaccines, both lacking any reality testing.

You defend yourself with empty generalizations that don’t reflect reality which just reinforces my opinion that what you claim about your daughter is not accurate.

Either prove what you claim is true or crawl back under your rock

@ Wendy Stephen

First, I have the newspaper articles and nowhere do they state they had/checked/looked at the original documents, simply they interviewed you. Second, while newspapers are supposed to verify their stories; they don’t always. In fact, when it comes to vaccines, newspapers have all too often written what a parent said, maybe in a later article giving what real scientists found; but this is too late to avoid affecting some people who once they decide something is correct, refuse to accept any contradictory information. Third, a long time ago you said you would supply me with the documents. Fourth, if the documents back what you claim, what do you have to hide? If all they do is say what what in the newspapers, what is your problem?

I remember you writing about UK negotiating in 1991 or 2 for Jeryl-Lynn vaccine to show they could have had it in 1988. Apparently you are so delusional that you believe the Brits could have leaped into the future and brought the future available vaccine back.

I have contacts in UK and will eventually get the documents; but I have much more important priorities than dealing with one probably delusional and/or dishonest person. Life is too short. If I do get the documents and they back what you say, I will post such. I have NO problem when confronted with actual hard clad evidence of accepting it; but until that day, as far as I’m concerned you lack any credibility.

You really are tiresome, claiming newspapers always require some sort of proof. Perhaps, you heard about the US invasion of Iraq? The UN weapons inspectors said there was NO evidence that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and there was NO credible evidence that he was allied with Al Qaeda, a crazy idea since they are religious fanatics and he had a Christian vice-President, women drove, went to university, worked as doctors and in government, and Jews and other religious groups did quite well. Hussein was not a nice guy; but as long as he wasn’t challenged, Iraq had a good education system, good infrastructure, and was a reasonably safe place to live. And the International Atomic Energy Commission had debunked his buying yellow cake uranium a year earlier; yet President Bush included this in his State of the Union message and newspapers didn’t challenge this. So, American newspapers, including the New York Times, supported our government and, thus, are guilty of promoting the crime of aggressive war. So, NO, Wendy Stephen, newspapers did NOT verify what our government told them, even though they could have.

So, you write: “Even you must be aware that no newspaper or respectable journal is going to publish an article in the absence of absolute proof to support the contents. . . Not even you could imagine that the article would be permitted to go into print and remain accessible for all these years if it wasn’t factually accurate and deviated from the truth in any way.”

Well, sometimes much later some newspapers do admit they were wrong; but not always and when they do admit they were wrong they seldom admit they were wrong because they didn’t do their homework. Your claims about newspapers reflects on your claims about vaccines, both lacking any reality testing.

You defend yourself with empty generalizations that don’t reflect reality which just reinforces my opinion that what you claim about your daughter is not accurate.

Comments are closed.