Last week, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla approved a ballot initiative to collect signatures that would, if passed, reverse school vaccine mandates, ban GMOs, and demonize chemicals. It sounds like something Mike Adams would have written. Fortunately, 365,880 signatures of registered voters are needed, which makes it unlikely that this will pass.
David and Collet Stephan stand convicted of not having provided their son Ezekiel with essential medical care, which led to his death from meningitis. None of this stopped the "wellness" industry from featuring David as a speaker at its expos; that is, until it started causing bad publicity. When that happened, Stephan was unceremoniously dumped. But the quackery in "wellness" remains unchanged.
There is a type of “vaccine injury” story promoted by the antivaccine movement that is particularly pernicious, a narrative I call “death by Gardasil.” The stories, which use tenuous connections between vaccination against HPV to prevent cervical cancer and the unexpected death of a teen or young adult, are always tragic, and you can’t help but feel incredible empathy for the parents. However, none of these stories constitute compelling evidence that Gardasil kills young people. Basically, antivaxers exploit the grief of these parents and their understandable desire to find a cause for their child’s demise to demonize HPV vaccinations as …
Yesterday's crank fight continues, as James Lyons-Weiler, antivax warrior and founder of the Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge, stung by Leslie Manookian's attack painting him as insufficiently antivaccine and even a tool of the vaccine-industrial complex, strikes back. Hilarity ensues as he battles Manookian for the title of Most Antivaccine Crank in the World.
I always love a good crank fight, and we seem to be witnessing an entertaining one, as Leslie Manookian attacks fellow antivaxer James Lyons-Weiler for not being antivaccine enough. Get out the popcorn!
Autism quack Dr. Mark Geier recently won a $2.5 million judgment against the Maryland Board of Physicians for having violated his medical privacy by including the name of a drug he was taking in a public cease-and-decist order. Antivaxers are trying to spin this as some sort of vindication of his antivaccine quackery. Make no mistake, the board appears to have screwed up, but that has nothing to do with whether its revocation of Geier's medical license was justified.
Parents Magazine published an article in which it listed what various celebrity moms think of vaccines. Unfortunately, it was an example of false equivalence. Indeed, it was one of the worst examples of false equivalence I've ever seen.
Science advocate and Goop critic Dr. Jen Gunter managed to infiltrate Gwyneth Paltrow's quackfest In Goop Health by hiding in plain sight. (Actually, she just bought a ticket and attended.) What she found was a wretched hive of scum and quackery, plus a psychic who claims that death is not real. In addition to the nonsense, there was a dark side, as well,with quacks promoting the idea that you can cure cancer with thought alone and don't need medication to treat depression.
Almost alone among celebrities, Stephen Colbert used to ruthlessly (and justifiably) mock Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle brand Goop on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. So eyebrows were raised (at least mine were) when it was learned that Paltrow would be a guest on The Late Show. During a bout of insomnia last night I saw the episode and had time to write about it. Her appearance was worse than I expected, a veritable puff piece promoting her her quackiest In Goop Health, where a featured speaker is a rabidly antivaccine doctor named Kelly Brogan.
In Michigan, we have succeeded in decreasing the rate of nonmedical exemptions by requiring parents requesting them to attend an educational session before they can claim such exemptions. Unfortunately, my state senator, Patrick Colbeck, thinks this is a bad idea and has revealed himself to be, if not antivaccine, antivaccine-sympathetic.