Autism Awareness Month is nearly upon us again. Unfortunately, the antivaccine movement has found a new way to ruin it by hijacking autism awareness to promote their antivaccine pseudoscience and quackery, along with contempt for autistic people. Behold #SaidNoMother and #SaidNoFather.
One of the central myths of the antivaccine movement is that vaccines cause autism. Consequently, researchers looked at vaccination rates in children with autism spectrum disorder and their younger siblings and found both groups were significantly less likely to be fully vaccinated. Thanks, antivaxers.
A year ago, I wrote about some bad science from Italy from Stefano Montanari and Antonietta Gatti, in which an electron microscope was used and abused to claim that vaccines are contaminated with horrific "nanoparticles." A year later, Gatti and Montanari's homes, labs, and offices were raided and their computers seized in an investigation. Not surprisingly, the antivaccine movement has spun a conspiracy theory out of the raid. The real explanation is likely to be much less sinister.
For credibility, the antivaccine movement needs antivaccine pediatricians, such as Dr. Jay Gordon and Dr. Bob Sears. Meet the pediatrician who is the latest rising star in the antivaccine movement, Dr. Paul Thomas. He even claims to have his very own "vaxed vs. unvaxed" study.
Nearly six years ago, I learned of parents who treated their children's autism by feeding them "Miracle Mineral Solution"—or even giving it to them in enemas. It turns out that MMS is a strong bleach. I had thought this cult of bleaching away autism had gone away. I was wrong. Incredibly, parents are still giving their children bleach enemas and tearing up their colons.
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.
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.
Antivaccine quacks like to argue that a healthy immune system will protect you from infectious disease, rendering vaccines unnecessary. It's a ridiculous claim, well-refuted by the history of medicine. A naturopath whom I had somehow never heard of before, Henele E'ale, is now spewing that very same lie.