An open letter to Jim Carrey

22 Apr

Today on The Huffngton Post, actor Jim Carrey posted his thoughts about autism and vaccines. With his very first paragraph it became apparent how little Carrey understood the issues involved:

Recently, I was amazed to hear a commentary by CNN’s Campbell Brown on the controversial vaccine issue. After a ruling by the ‘special vaccine court’ saying the Measles, Mumps, Rubella shot wasn’t found to be responsible for the plaintiffs’ autism, she and others in the media began making assertions that the judgment was in, and vaccines had been proven safe. No one would be more relieved than Jenny and I if that were true. But with all due respect to Ms. Brown, a ruling against causation in three cases out of more than 5000 hardly proves that other children won’t be adversely affected by the MMR…

Point one Mr Carrey. The vaccine issue is only controversial to adherents of your belief system. Within scientific, medical, legal, autistic and parental circles its not even slightly controversial.

Point two, the three cases chosen were chosen – by the plaintiffs legal team – to represent their absolute best chance of winning. If they had won, there was an excellent chance all the cases that were suggesting MMR as causation would have just ‘won’ automatically. Thats why its called an Omnibus.

Point three, regarding the MMR, it has been firmly established that:

a) The data supporting the MMR hypothesis was fixed.

b) The science supporting the MMR theory was badly wrong – both badly done and exposed to contaminants.

You might also note that the court was not attempting to see if the children were ‘adversely affected by the MMR’, it was looking to see – using the three cases the legal team representing the families thought were the absolute best – if MMR caused autism. It didn’t. Thats probably why your Campbell Brown found it easy to say the MMR hypothesis was dead and buried.

You go to say Mr Carrey that:

Not everyone gets cancer from smoking, but cigarettes do cause cancer. After 100 years and many rulings in favor of the tobacco companies, we finally figured that out.

Yes, we did – and do you know how? With _good science_ – just like the science that established in the three MMR test cases that the MMR didn’t cause autism. And its fascinating that you bring up this parallel to the smoking issue and then later in your blog post invoke the name of Bernadine Healy. Healy – who’s ‘more sensible voice’ you say you’d rather listen to. Did you know Healy used to be a member of TASSC:

TASSC was created in 1993 by the APCO Worldwide public relations firm, and was funded by tobacco company Philip Morris (now Altria)….

According to Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber in their article How Big Tobacco Helped Create “the Junkman”, one of the forerunners of TASSC at Philip Morris was a 1988 “Proposal for the Whitecoat Project,” named after the white laboratory coats that scientists sometimes wear. The project had four goals: “Resist and roll back smoking restrictions. Restore smoker confidence. Reverse scientific and popular misconception that ETS (passive smoking) is harmful. Restore social acceptability of smoking.”

[own inserts]

Is that what you consider a sensible voice Mr Carrey? Someone who supported the tobacco agenda?

Moving on, you say:

If we are to believe that the ruling of the ‘vaccine court’ in these cases mean that all vaccines are safe, then we must also consider the rulings of that same court in the Hannah Polling and Bailey Banks cases, which ruled vaccines were the cause of autism and therefore assume that all vaccines are unsafe. Clearly both are irresponsible assumptions, and neither option is prudent.

First and foremost, the vaccine court did not rule at all in the Hannah Poling case. HHS conceded. And what they conceded was that Hannah Poling was damaged by vaccines resulting in ‘autism like features’. In fact, when we look at the the one piece of medical science carried out on Hannah Poling (co-authored by her own father), we see that only three of the symptoms described as being the result of vaccine injury appear on the DSM (IV) diagnostic criteria for autism.

As for Bailey Banks, this is a perfect illustration of both how the vaccine court in the USA was designed to work and also how terrible the evidence was in the three MMR test cases.

The Banks ruling (subtitled ‘Non-autistic developmental delay’ by the way) drew a line of causation from vaccine to PDD-NOS. It is able to do this as the burden of proof for any science presented to the vaccine court is ‘50% plus a feather’. In other words, it just has to be plausible, no causation needs to be shown.

What doesn’t seem in doubt is that Bailey was injured by a vaccine which resulted in a condition called ADEM. The judge in the case then went on to accept the plaintiffs position that the ADEM in turn caused PDD-NOS. He did this seemingly because there was no evidence to the contrary – e.g. no evidence that ADEM *doesn’t* cause PDD-NOS.

In any scientific situation – including civil court in the US – this would never have been accepted. The plaintiff would have had to have demonstrated that ADEM *did* cause PDD-NOS. And a search of PubMed reveals nothing for ‘ADEM autism’ or ‘ADEM PDD’.

So, in the Banks case, because there was no evidence that ADEM does not cause PDD-NOS, they won. In every situation bar the vaccine court, the Banks’ would not have won their case. There is no science to support the idea ADEM causes autism.

Bearing this ‘50% plus a feather’ concept in mind it is clear just how utterly dreadful the evidence was to support the idea MMR caused autism. Not only could plaintiffs not provide any evidence that MMR causes autism, respondents produced reams of evidence to show it clearly doesn’t.

You carry on Mr Carrey to say:

I’ve also heard it said that no evidence of a link between vaccines and autism has ever been found. That statement is only true for the CDC, the AAP and the vaccine makers who’ve been ignoring mountains of scientific information and testimony. There’s no evidence of the Lincoln Memorial if you look the other way and refuse to turn around. But if you care to look, it’s really quite impressive. For a sample of vaccine injury evidence go to http://www.generationrescue.org/lincolnmemorial.html.

Your analogy is ridiculous. I could go to any library and find evidence for the Lincoln Memorial without ever seeing it. In fact, what your analogy does is demonstrate exactly how blinkered and able to only face one direction at one time you and your colleagues are.

The evidence you present as that being supportive of evidence between a link between vaccines and autism is equally ridiculous and blinkered. I simply don;t have the time to tackle the mountain of misinformation presented on the page you link to suffice to say there’s not a single section that doesn’t have a major error. Most of them have been tackled on this and other blogs over the years.

Next you say:

In all likelihood the truth about vaccines is that they are both good and bad. While ingredients like aluminum, mercury, ether, formaldehyde and anti-freeze may help preserve and enhance vaccines, they can be toxic as well. The assortment of viruses delivered by multiple immunizations may also be a hazard. I agree with the growing number of voices within the medical and scientific community who believe that vaccines, like every other drug, have risks as well as benefits and that for the sake of profit, American children are being given too many, too soon. One thing is certain. We don’t know enough to announce that all vaccines are safe!

Mr Carrey, *vaccines do not contain anti-freeze* – for goodness sake, even Jay Gordon, Evan’s Paediatrician knows that! Did you also know that (to quote myself):

There’s also Aluminium in breast milk so lets compare the two.

According to this paper (which is from 1990 – any more up to date papers welcomed) the amount of Aluminium in breast milk is 49 ?g/L. The average amount of breast milk expressed per day is 0.85 liters.

This means that 41.65?g Aluminium per day is in breast milk.

Now, according to this paper, there is between 125 – 850?g of Aluminium per dose in a vaccine.

So, for a 6 year old, total Aluminium is between 2,125 – 14,450?g.

In real terms this means that after between 51 and 346 days breast feeding, a 6 year old will have taken onboard the same amount of Aluminium as from the total US vaccine schedule.

Now I couldn’t find out what vaccines contained the lower amount or which contained the higher amount. Even so, this means that if every vaccine a 6 year old has that contains Aluminium contains the highest possible amount, within a year of breast feeding they will have matched that.

Or to put it another way, an anti-vax tree-hugger soccer mom who doesn’t vaccinate her baby will have given him the same amount of Aluminium he would’ve had in six years after one year of breast feeding.

And thats of course, not even touched on the fact that:

In the Earth’s crust, aluminium is the most abundant (8.13%) metallic element, and the third most abundant of all elements (after oxygen and silicon)

And is found naturally occurring in sea water, fresh water, the human body etc etc.

[Regarding Formaldehyde]…There’s also Formaldehyde in Apples, Apricots, Banana’s and….ah, I lost interest. Lots of stuff. Including the human body.

So – how much is in vaccines?

According to this and using it in combination with the US vaccine schedule referenced above, we can see that the total amount of Formaldehyde in vaccines from the vaccine schedule for a 6 year old child is 1.2016mg (again, do your own maths, correct me if I’m wrong).

For comparison to that 1.2mg in all vaccines for a 6 year old, 1 (one) banana contains 16.3mg Formaldehyde.

Mr Carrey, you’ve got to stop throwing these scaremongering nonfacts around. Its damned irresponsible for a start.

Lastly Mr Carrey, you say:

If the CDC, the AAP and Ms. Brown insist that our children take twice as many shots as the rest of the western world, we need more independent vaccine research not done by the drug companies selling the vaccines or by organizations under their influence. Studies that cannot be internally suppressed.

In terms of autism, if you want to make a big deal out of the fact that ‘our children take twice as many shots as the rest of the western world’ then please consider this – the UK has less shots than you. We also have a higher prevalence than you. 1 in 100 vs 1 in 150.

And please also don’t invoke silly conspiracy theories. Think about how science works. A study is done, funded by Eli Lily for example. It is peer reviewed and found to be good quality and it is published in, lets say NEJM. Now, *every single reader of that study* can see exactly what methods and means were used to reach the studies conclusions. I ask you Mr Carrey, how much more independent can you get? How much more transparent? Basically anyone, anywhere can try and replicate that same studies results. If they can and a few others can – the results are good. If nobody can (think Andrew Wakefield) then the results must be bad.

And for goodness sake man, grow up, who is ‘suppressing’ what study exactly? Have you _any_ evidence at all that any study ever has been internally suppressed? Or are you just throwing this stuff out to scare people?

Mr Carrey, I loved the Truman Show but this isn’t it. There’s no god like figure overseeing every aspect of your life and wanting to control it. I ask you – get in contact with an actual scientist and go through your concerns with them. At the very least they’ll be able to stop you saying silly things like there’s anti-freeze in vaccines.

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34 Responses to “An open letter to Jim Carrey”

  1. Margaret Romao Toigo April 22, 2009 at 22:36 #

    That was really really good. As for Mr. Carrey’s article, I have no words.

  2. Squillo April 22, 2009 at 23:36 #

    Oh, I do. “Dumb and dumber.”

    I’d like Mr. Carrey to explain, once and for all, what exactly he believes the oft-mentioned secret agendas of the CDC and AAP to be?

  3. brian April 22, 2009 at 23:47 #

    “I’d like Mr. Carrey to explain, once and for all, what exactly he believes the oft-mentioned secret agendas of the CDC and AAP to be?”

    I can give you a hint, since the anonymity of the web will protect me from otherwise certain retribution from the organizations to which I have sworn fealty. My little daughter recently told me, “When I grow up I want to be a doctor like you and Mommy so I can hurt children!”

  4. kwombles April 22, 2009 at 23:47 #

    Excellent rebuttal. Wouldn’t it be lovely if he and all the hundreds of folks similarly blinded read it and saw the light? :-)

  5. Roger April 23, 2009 at 06:10 #

    Brilliant quote from Richard Dawkins.He’s talking about Darwin,and creationists,but it’s just as applicable to Carrey,Jenny MCcArthy,and their ilk.

    “There is a spectacular amount of ignorance among people who profess opinions for which they really don’t have a right because they don’t know anything about it.”

    http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/apr/20/1c20dawkins202019/

  6. paulcreighton44 April 23, 2009 at 10:40 #

    Jim Carrey is raising the red flag. His fame puts a spotlight on this important issue, a good thing for this Autism generation.

    However the environmental issue gets glossed over. Prenatal exposure to mercury put these kids on the precipice. The vaccines, other triggers or pollutants were the tipping point.

  7. kiless April 23, 2009 at 13:22 #

    Hello! EXCELLENT run-down. I did have this comment on my blog: “I’m not signed up to LOB blog but someone should mention that the micrograms (I assume) are showing as ?g in his aluminium comparisons.
    Need to use code “μg/L” “

  8. me.yahoo.com/a/TuRz.joYnfzpKUWMPSYwTtN6HTLFunmLzPblUMkn April 23, 2009 at 22:08 #

    .
    .
    “There is a spectacular amount of ignorance among people who profess opinions for which they really don’t have a right because they don’t know anything about it.” Dawkins

    This coming from someone who is changing from atheism to agnosticism but has made a mint ftom selling atheism, tries to destroy benign Christianity but doesnt attack Mohammed and Moslems with equal vigour i,e, a hypocrite. Not the best example to quote – almost as bad as quoting Carrey.

    Perhaps a better quote is from The Onion regarding the current state of autism belief systems:
    “I am unmoved by these findings. The amount of scientific evidence I’ve made up in my mind is too significant to refute.”

  9. Kev April 23, 2009 at 22:25 #

    That is pretty good lol…

  10. kc2ny April 24, 2009 at 02:07 #

    Just an adjunct to what you wrote. I actually clicked on Carrey’s link, reviewed the peer reviewed citations there (yes, every single one) and found that the overwhelming majority (>90%) have nothing to do with vaccines at all. A few that are cited actually refute the link. It is readily apparent that Carrey hasn’t bothered to look at the “Lincoln Memorial” he speaks of.

    http://bleakonomy.blogspot.com/2009/04/reading-this-crap-so-you-dont-have-to.html

  11. cpu52362 April 24, 2009 at 21:53 #

    “No one would be more relieved…” Jim, remember what the language arts instructor said. (Oh, you missed the part about fallacies?)

    How can you personally know this? YOU CAN’T, you’re not omniscient and full of Solomnic wisdom, or you would probably already have (and expressed) a real solution to all this.

  12. justlikeitsoundz April 29, 2009 at 14:45 #

    The Romans had a word for it: “Cui Bono?” — who benefits?

    Obvs.ly, CDC, AAP, USDA, FDA, and any number or combination of other entities controlled by humans who have a nest to feather, a position or career to prolong, an agenda to promote, or merely because of wilfull/woefull ignorance, or apathy. They wont readily accept responsibility, or culpability, nor admit defeat.
    We’re talking BIG dollar$, big ego’$, big aspiration$.

    It’s obv.s Jim Carrey and others are concerned for the welfare of the kidz; I’m not sure what motivates most of the folks who posted to this site, or all those who deny the possibility of a causal link. Ignorance; a willingness to believe anything they see or hear in the bought-and-paid-for Media, p’r’aps even fear that, if it IS true, their nanny government, and all the mo’ swonnerful corporations who make our lives so comfy and satisfying, have lied to them.

    It’s easy to poke fun, mock others, shoot holes in their claims.
    It’s difficult to get off our rearends and do some studying, some digging, some researching of our own to PROVE to ourselves our ideas and beliefs are REALLY ours, and not merely some feel-good fluff we see or hear in the media. When you rely on the media you dont have an opinion or belief. You’re brainwashed.

    We need to wake up and get a whiff of the effluvia inundating society in this, our age.
    Thanks for dialoguing, eh?!
    kenn
    1RmSchlHse

  13. justlikeitsoundz April 29, 2009 at 21:26 #

    A couple thots I didnt offer in my original post (above):
    Our mo’ swonnerful U.S. Media somehow failed to mention the Bailey Banks or Hannah Poling cases, which indeed WERE news, whatever the reason for their “victories”.

    The author of the Open Letter to Jim Carey states:

    I beg to differ; in point of fact within the scientific, medical, and most esp.ly the pharmaceutical circles it is a VERY hot topic.
    Why else do you think the Vaccine Court was created, other than to provide relief to those very circular Mentoids from lawsuit, damages, and accountability.
    The Vaccine Court was created in 1986 by the pharmaceutical industry, with the okay of our conniving Congress. We The Poverty Stricken American Taxpayers foot the bill for it all.

    Then the author states:

    and:

    Of course they concede. That’s why they’re in Vaccine Court in the first place. They willingly concede and pay a pittance to the poor parents who are literally impoverished by the costs of taking care of their (autistic) children.
    Again–THAT’s why the pharmaceutical and medical industries created the Vaccine Court–to provide an alternative to having to go to civil court, cause as the years pass and more and more evidence is discovered, and more scientific and medical personnel continue to study and discover, they are finding indisputable proof that indeed there is a causal link.
    We are inexorably drawing closer to the place where the evidence not only WILL BE preponderable–it is now to anyone with a discerning independent mind–but will one day be DEMONSTRATED to all the world, the 50% plus a society load of bricks.

    Whoever the author of the AOLTJC article is, (s)he obvs.ly is someone the talking heads love and appreciate; prob.ly a product of the GOOPES (Government Owned & Operated Public Education Synagogues/Seminaries–it’s a religion, doncha know?!).

    The Vaccine Court has dispensed about US$ 2 Billion over the past 20+ years. That’s taxpayer dollar$, and that’s pure profit for the big pharmer$.

    Another item showing there’s no limits beyond which the U.S. Government wont go to cozzen up to big bidnez, esp.ly the pharmaceutical/medical industry is National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act which essentially preempts all design defect claims–it provides that manufacturers are immune from lawsuits dealing with “…unavoidable side effects…”
    A British study commissioned in the 1980’s showed 1 in 140,000 doses of DPT resulted in neurological problems including seizures, decreased consciousness, or brain disease.

    We mite wanna consider MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus), which is no longer restricted to hospitals, and of course the new strain of Swine Flu, brought to you by the collusion between USDA, FDA, the Genetic Food industries, and a whole lot of others who are profiteering at the expense of the human occupants of this once friendly planet.

    This is indeed a glorius age in which to be living, eh?!

    Thanks for dialoguing!
    kenn
    1RmSchlHse

  14. Annie August 8, 2009 at 04:24 #

    I am a victim of the MMR vaccine. I’m not referring to autism.

    Do some research. Vaccines are not completely safe. I never would have had any clue had the MMR vaccine not compromised my immune system, and subsequently damaged my ovaries and pancreas.

  15. Chris August 8, 2009 at 05:11 #

    No one has every claimed vaccines are 100% safe.

    You have made a claim that is very unusual, but without any evidence. Could you please point to the case report on PubMed that details how these injuries were determined to be from the MMR vaccine? Thank you.

  16. Ross Coe January 22, 2010 at 23:08 #

    I’d like to say I’ve rarely read a more confusing and exaggerated attempt at explaining the controversies that surround vaccines. No one should form an opinion either way, based on this mish-mash of nonsense mixed with fact. There are far better sources. This one is designed to confuse the reader by denegrating one side. Its simply not balanced and certainly not professional. Its pig-slop.

  17. Josephine November 7, 2011 at 22:34 #

    Laugh all you want, but if you have a child suffering from autism, go to http://www.generationrescue.org to get some valuable help for your child. Testimonials do not lie. Biomedical treatments work! It’s all about the kids, not your puffed up opinions.

    • Sullivan November 7, 2011 at 22:43 #

      “Testimonials do not lie. ”

      But they are sometimes inaccurate. Remember Desiree Jennings? Generation Rescue pushed her story a great deal. Until it became clear that it wasn’t what she thought. Then GR dropped her story without a mention.

      And, yeah, there are no “puffed up opinions” from anyone at Generation Rescue….

  18. Josephine November 9, 2011 at 20:39 #

    It’s all about exporing all options to help children. Grow up.

  19. Chris November 9, 2011 at 20:44 #

    Josephine, please explain what options that Mr. Carrey is exploring to help children.

  20. Andrew November 9, 2011 at 22:48 #

    >Laugh all you want, but if you have a child suffering from autism,
    >go to http://www.generationrescue.org to get some valuable help
    >for your child.

    Thank you for the laugh. You’ll find that if you keep trying to sell this nonsense to the parents of autistic children, you’ll get a lot of laughter at your expense.

    >Testimonials do not lie. Biomedical treatments work!

    Another amusing joke. Thanks again.

    >It’s all about the kids, not your puffed up opinions.

    You’re half right – it’s all about the kids and not your fraudulent “cures”.

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