The hearing that wasn’t

21 Nov

There’s been a lot of internet chatter for the past few months about a hearing by the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The hearing, if we are to believe the internet chatter, was promised by the committee chair, Darrell Issa but has been cancelled, postponed, or by some other name has gone from a hope to nothing. By what is surely pure coincidence, a prominent member of one of the groups calling for and talking about the hearing was one of Representative Issa’s largest political donors this year. Perhaps it was due to the Committee’s busy schedule, investigating hot topics like “Reviewing Alternatives to Amtrak’s Annual Losses in Food and Beverage Service

Oversight has held a number of hearings in the past on autism and vaccines. Most were in the old days, when Congressman Burton was pushing his agenda hard (but not his witnesses–he let Andrew Wakefield pass on a misleading response to a question of how his research was funded). Last year Congressman Issa (again after donations) held a hearing on the government’s response to the rise in autism prevalence. Congressman Issa then proceeded to not support autism or vaccine related legislation. Not that I’m cynical, mind you, but I don’t see the value behind all the work and donations to get a few YouTube videos of members of congress talking about a topic they aren’t going to really throw their support behind. Then again, I don’t see the point in trying to make a political movement out of a failed hypothesis (or two or three) and a shrinking base of support.

The autism communities could use the support of congress. We could use some legislation. If I may say so, I think we need support to re-authorize the Combatting Autism Act, which sunsets next year. We need support for the disability communities, like services. Do the parents (and the support for this hearing was from a subset of the autism parent community) involved with the hearing feel that, say, the schools have the money and tools they need? Do they feel that there’s adequate support for autistic adults? Probably not. But they throw their passion, their time and their money behind hearings which wouldn’t even result in a diffrence for their own focus on vaccines.

Congress has better things to do. Like gridlock. We parents have better things to do, like making congress stop gridlock long enough to make a difference in our kids’ lives.


Matt Carey

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105 Responses to “The hearing that wasn’t”

  1. Moms Who Vax November 21, 2013 at 14:44 #

    This is a victory that can be credited to the pro-vaccine voices that rose up, collectively, to oppose this hearing. And not just providers this time–parents as well. It also helped that it was pointed out that Issa had received these substantial donations from the Canary Party.

  2. passionlessdrone November 21, 2013 at 15:06 #

    It just surprises me so much that Issa can’t be counted on. He seems like such a trustworthy individual.

    • brian November 21, 2013 at 23:43 #

      Good one, pD.

  3. ibelievetheparents November 21, 2013 at 16:57 #

    So where are we from the first alarm bell – Dr Wakefield ? 16 yrs on….
    We now have more autism, more parents claiming the link,
    more specialist groups like Age of Autism, Jabs, Canary Party, Generation Rescue.
    The list grows…
    …if it really was nothing, this would not be happening…!!?

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) November 21, 2013 at 19:40 #

      The first alarm bell that unethical people are targeting the autism community? That predates Andrew Wakefield.

    • Lara Lohne November 21, 2013 at 23:10 #

      Rates and incidence of autism have not risen, as some people would have you believe. The rates have remained stable for the past several generations, even though there aren’t actual diagnoses on record. More have been diagnosed in recent years due to diagnostic shift and better detection and awareness, and a good percentage of those being diagnosed are adults now, with children of their. Typically it is the diagnosis of their children that allows them to finally understand why they are the way they are (once they start learning what autism is) and are able to get their own diagnosis from there. Those adults were still autistic as children, they were just missed because autism didn’t exist or was too specific to the ‘low functioning’ group that they couldn’t have been. That isn’t increase in actual cases, just increase in detention and diagnoses, which is not the same thing.

      There aren’t more people claiming vaccines cause autism, it’s the same people that it’s always been. Those who refuse to see what science has clearly found relating to vaccines and autism prevalence; that there is no relation. In fact, studies have shown that vaccines prevent autism, because autism is a known side effect of congenital rubella syndrome…

      Those same, few individuals are just getting louder and louder. These different parties, organizations, groups, are not being started and joined by different people. They are being started, run and joined by all the same people. They are a very tight knit group and they stick together in all things relating to their belief system, but condemn everyone who doesn’t share their belief. What they believe has been proven false time and time again. Their refusal to accept it just makes them look silly at this point and fewer and fewer people are even listening to them, which accounts for them getting louder and louder. It’s the political equivalent of a toddler throwing a temper tantrum.

    • novalox November 23, 2013 at 18:37 #

      Just from my past experiences and from history, autism has existed and has been at or near similar levels. It is just that in the past, autism would have been labeled differently, such as “mentally retarded” or “imbecilic”.

  4. lilady November 22, 2013 at 00:00 #

    “So where are we from the first alarm bell – Dr Wakefield ? 16 yrs on….
    We now have more autism, more parents claiming the link,
    more specialist groups like Age of Autism, Jabs, Canary Party, Generation Rescue.”

    Age of Autism, Generation Rescue and The Canary Party are incestuous groups.

    Au contraire. JABS was the anti-vaccine, anti-science U.K. group which referred parents to the lawyer Richard Barr who was fixing the case to sue manufacturers of the MMR vaccine. Richard Barr, who paid Wakefield $750,000 USD to become the “expert witness” for those parents, then sent those parents to Wakefield to be part of his “study”.

    http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.c5347

    “….But Mr 11 was not the first parent with a child in the study whom I interviewed during my inquiries. That was Mrs 2: the first of the parents to approach Wakefield. She was sent to him by an anti-vaccine campaign called JABS.19 Her son had regressive autism,20 longstanding problems with diarrhoea,21 and was the prime example of the purported bowel and brain syndrome—still unsubstantiated 14 years later.22 This boy would appear in countless media reports, and was one of the four “best” cases in Barr’s lawsuit….”

    No. I don’t believe the parents who claim their autistic children are “vaccine damaged”:

    http://www2.aap.org/immunization/families/faq/vaccinestudies.pdf

  5. brian November 22, 2013 at 00:11 #

    Members of the Canary Party et al. might have had a better chance of actually participating in the highly-anticipated Congressional clown show if they had not first emphatically demonstrated the weakness of their position in a pre-hearing briefing that featured Mary Holland, Rolf Hazlehurst, and the fatuous Canary Party video. How could they have dreamed that revealing profound ignorance of the scientific evidence, repeating false claims that have already been refuted (e.g., by Hannah Poling’s mother) and spritzing seltzer water while honking a bicycle horn would help them get to the center ring?

    • Lawrence November 22, 2013 at 10:12 #

      @brian – the average Congressional staffer is a pretty sharp cookie. The draft a majority of the bills we see before Congress (with their Congress-person’s guidance, most of the time) and are pretty much required to stay on top of the issues (as to help their bosses remain popular in the districts and off the news, related to wacky issues).

      I think, once they got a gander of the full-on crazy on display at the briefing (and probably performed a few Google searches) it became evident that this was a “bad issue” and not one that was likely to garner much in the way of positive attention (or votes).

  6. Lara Lohne November 22, 2013 at 08:03 #

    Why didn’t my comment post from earlier? Weird. Is there moderation issues here too? That’s why I stopped commenting at Shotofprevention.com because only about 1/4 of my comments were got posted. It was too much trouble.

    • lilady November 22, 2013 at 18:45 #

      @ Lara Lohne: My comment was delayed in moderation for a number of hours and your comment was worth waiting for. :-)

      Surprise, surprise. All the quirks that prevented us from posting on the Shot of Prevention blog seem to be resolved. I posted on two of their threads.

      • Lara Lohne November 22, 2013 at 19:28 #

        Ahh, I see it now. Weird. I’ve never had a comment go into moderation here before. I guess it’s been too long since I’ve commented. Lots of stuff going on with my family so not a lot of time do be as active online in certain situations.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) November 23, 2013 at 07:30 #

        I can’t tell what caused that comment go into moderation.

  7. ibelievetheparents November 23, 2013 at 14:08 #

    $3B payout to vaccine injured families so far… and counting.
    Special education budgets going through the roof …and counting.

    What does the panel members think of the vaccine schedule number?
    how many more vaccines could be added to a baby’s list?

    • Science Mom November 23, 2013 at 15:17 #

      What does the total payout number mean? Do you even know what that represents or is it an alarming soundbite that you like to spread about? I think it’s nice that a compensation scheme exists to help people who were truly or at least presumptively injured by vaccines. You’re going to have to accept the fact that the NVICP doesn’t exist as a payout system for people who simply say so.

      • ibelievetheparents November 23, 2013 at 19:06 #

        You’re gonna have to accept this isn’t going away.
        and when the facts eventually get aired in mainstream media
        your group of people will be labelled the ones that
        added insult to the vaccine injury.

        It’s real and getting bigger.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) November 23, 2013 at 19:34 #

        You should consider that the facts have been aired in the mainstream media. You are not on the side of the facts.

      • Lara Lohne November 23, 2013 at 19:34 #

        Our group of people, as you call us, is a vast majority of the population of the world. Those who believe vaccines are the cause of various disorders and ailments as you claim are perhaps 10k world wide, and that is being generous. The numbers of those haven’t grown at all in the past decade since science has shown there isn’t any causation between vaccines and autism, asthma, ADD/ADHD, autoimmune disorders, etc. In fact, those numbers have fallen drastically, and more and more people are able to see past the fear mongering and sensationalism of opinion and belief to the facts of science. As for the main stream media, they have done enough damage in the past perpetuating a myth that vaccines are the cause of childhood disorders/illness, etc. Their job though, anymore, isn’t reporting based on fact, but whatever is going to create sensation. And yeah, personal stories of self pity and woe from parents claiming their children were injured by vaccines, even when the least restrictive court in the US nation couldn’t find causation plausible, are good drama for the news media. They eat it up, but very rarely do they report on the actual science. Yeah, they have done enough damage in the past. Thankfully the public is waking up and beginning to hold them responsible for their irresponsible reporting. Thankfully irresponsible media are not in charge of deciding public health policy. News isn’t supposed to be opinion or belief, but fact. Cold, hard fact. And the fact is, the vast majority of people who have ever been vaccinated in the history of the vaccination program, have never had even a slight reaction. Those who have legitimate vaccination injury and it is vanishingly small, (less than 3k in the US in the entire history of the vaccination injury compensation court) have a legitimate claim to compensation. Those who don’t have legitimate claim yet still blame vaccines are minimizing those who were truly affected by vaccines. And that is disrespectful to those who were injured. It isn’t real, and it’s shrinking. Your claims that it is getting bigger is illusion and only said to make you and your small group feel better about believing in something that everything says in incorrect.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) November 23, 2013 at 19:34 #

      How many more diseases are causing harm and death?

    • Just another parent to believe November 23, 2013 at 23:17 #

      Thank you for believing the parents like Matt Carey, Kathleen Seidel, Ken Reibel, and all the others who have rejected the fantasy that vaccines cause autism. We appreciate your support; every dollar wasted on such ideas is a dollar that could be helping my son and others.

    • Chris November 23, 2013 at 23:20 #

      “$3B payout to vaccine injured families so far… and counting.
      Special education budgets going through the roof …and counting.”

      Over how many years? What is the ratio of those compensated over the total number of vaccine doses? And how does it compare to the costs of not vaccinating?

      Would the medical and societal costs go up or down if the MMR vaccine was no longer used? Do tell us, with verifiable references.

      Here is a hint from An Economic Analysis of the Current Universal 2-dose measles-mumps-rubella Vaccination Program in the United States. They used historical data to see what would happen to the 3.8 million kids born in 2001 were not vaccinated, and the costs over the next 40 years. They accounted for possible hospitalizations, disability costs, work time lost while a parent cared for a sick child and on and on. Here is what they found:

      Our study shows that the current 2-dose MMR vaccination program results in substantial cost savings (∼$3.5 billion and ∼$7.6 billion from the direct cost and societal perspectives,respectively) and high BC ratios: For every dollar spent, the program saves >$14 of direct costs and >$10 of additional costs to society.

      Oh, and they did include (quoting the paper) “The federal excise tax that supports the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was included in all vaccine prices ($2.25 for each MMR vaccine administered)”.

      Anyway, those are some numbers to ponder. If you disagree, then please post some figures of your own. Remember that the NVICP has only compensated a bit less than 3500 cases in the past 25 years, so you need to compare it to the total number of vaccines given over that time to everyone (there are about four million kids born in the USA each year, and some of the compensations were to adults).

  8. Science Mom November 24, 2013 at 00:52 #

    You should consider that the facts have been aired in the mainstream media. You are not on the side of the facts.

    I know right?

    It’s real and getting bigger.

    Not true at all; your lot are just getting more shrill. If I was you I’d be livid that one of my “leaders” would dump 40K into a politician’s PAC for a hearing that wasn’t even scheduled and even if it did come off wouldn’t have done anything. What kind of services/devices for autistic children could that 40K have bought for say, Jennifer Larson’s school district? Or what about a donation to the M.I.N.D institute for research?

    Priorities: you need to establish them a little better.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) November 24, 2013 at 15:33 #

      Hell, what real change would the hearing have produced? YouTube videos showing their selected “experts”? It would have been a good recruitment tool, but little else.

  9. ibelievetheparents November 24, 2013 at 06:56 #

    So there we have it ? one in fifty and counting….
    and everyones looking in the wrong places for the cause.
    so much you state is untrue, just disinformation.
    There are plenty of alarm bells going off – studies, claims, support groups
    if only you could have a truly scientific mind and ask the questions
    join the dots they all point to the ”elephant in the room”.

    I’m not trolling (honest) I have confidence the truth will out – eventually.

    • Science Mom November 24, 2013 at 15:05 #

      There are plenty of alarm bells going off – studies, claims, support groups
      if only you could have a truly scientific mind and ask the questions
      join the dots they all point to the ”elephant in the room”.

      That would be laughable if you weren’t actively harming autistics and standing in the way of viable issues. Studies? Show them. Claims and “support groups” are meaningless; I guess you never heard of repetition confirmation which is exactly what is going on with these claims and support groups.

      • Lawrence November 24, 2013 at 15:10 #

        About $3B dollars paid out over the course of three decades vs. $244 Billion dollars that are paid out / result of car accidents each and every year…..I think some people lack perspective….(and knowledge of simple math)

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) November 24, 2013 at 15:30 #

      If by everyone you mean Mark Geier, Mark Blaxill, Dan Olmsted, and company, then you are right. Or do you mean “everyone except those who publish junk studies or run junk blogs”

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) November 24, 2013 at 15:31 #

      The truth came out for mercury and MMR, they don’t increase autism risk. Accept it or stop lecturing others on the “truth”

  10. ibelievetheparents November 24, 2013 at 17:41 #

    Sure autism has always been one in fifty !? – now lets look at this with logic and common sense….
    World war one – World war two – both conscripted a massive population of young males
    evaluated, appraised and examined their abilities for fitness and mental capabilities
    tested to the extreme for combat roles.
    YOU TELLING ME THEY MISSED AUTISM ??? really !!!!! don’t you think they would
    spot that…? how stupid does that theory sound now.

    excuses that’s all you people make, and you claim to be scientific.!

    • Lawrence November 24, 2013 at 17:45 #

      @IBTP – there were plenty of 4Fs you realize, right? Plus massive state institutions that housed thousands, if not tens of thousands of non-verbal individuals we would now classify as autistic…..you know nothing about the history of mental health in this country, do you?

      • Father November 26, 2013 at 00:07 #

        Mr “I Believe that The Parents Are Dupes” apparently longs for the good old days when children like ours were hidden from public view to avoid embarrassing so-called decent folks like him. I wonder how much of the antivaccine movement is motivated by such nostalgia for the shameful way society treated autistics in the past.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) November 24, 2013 at 17:50 #

      We aren’t even identifying all autistics today in the u.s. take a look at the CDC prevalence estimates. In the last one about 1/3 of those counted had no previous diagnosis. So, somehow 100 years ago, before the diagnosis existed, they were better than we are today?

    • Science Mom November 24, 2013 at 18:49 #

      excuses that’s all you people make, and you claim to be scientific.!

      How about stop making excuses then and show us all of these compelling studies.

    • Lara Lohne November 24, 2013 at 20:25 #

      Logical fallacy RE: autism prevalence from 50+ years ago – You are assuming that autistic diagnostic criteria was the same during those time periods you state as they are today. They were not, by a long shot. In fact, prior to 1938, there was not even a label at all, and even when there was, it’s was called Infantile Schizophrenia and autism was a symptoms of that diagnosis.

      Here is a history of the DSM releases: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diagnostic_and_Statistical_Manual_of_Mental_Disorders

      In 1952 the DSM I was released, there was no mention of autism at all. It wasn’t listed until the DSM II released in 1968 and then it was Infantile Schizophrenia. In 1980 the DSM III was released and further specified the characteristics of autistic disorder, as it was now referred, and it was six, very specific characteristics. Anyone who didn’t fit all six to a T was classified instead as *Mentally Retarded (now called Intellectual Disability.) These criteria still only caught the most severely impacted and most of those were shut away in institutions to be abused, neglected and die of starvation and disease.

      In 1994, the DSM IV was released and finally we saw a much broader spectrum that fell under the autism heading, with different subsets within the spectrum, including, for the first time, Asperger’s Syndrome, and PDD-NOS. We finally began to catch many of those who would have been missed under the previous diagnostic criteria. And this brings us to today and the DSM V. We no longer have separate and distinct labels, it’s all a spectrum rated as 1 – 5. No more Asperger’s, no more PDD-NOS. We are still missing people though, all the time, not to mention many adults that are now receiving their own diagnoses that didn’t have the option as children because it just didn’t exist.

      The fact that people prior to the diagnostic criteria catching those who could fake it better than others, touches on the presumption of competence that autistic advocates are fighting for. Just because someone has a diagnosis of autism, doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of many, many things. And in fact, due to their love of routine and sameness, the armed forces would have been an ideal environment for them to thrive in.

      There is a flip side though, to so many adults being missed as children, the supports and accommodations that were needed during school, in employment situations, were non-existent and we couldn’t ask for them, because we were told everything was our fault and we just weren’t trying hard enough (yes, I am autistic, I was missed and have yet to receive an official diagnosis, but self assessments and other autistics tell me that yes, I am definitely autistic. Just like my son, my partner and possibly a couple other of my children who also would have been missed.)

      There are people with autism who can ‘fake it’ and pass for ‘normal’. That doesn’t mean they aren’t autistic and it doesn’t mean we don’t struggle. But I don’t wish to digress from the topic of this discussion so I will leave it at this. Being autistic doesn’t mean we all ‘obviously; autistic. But there are certain things that are telling, if one looks closely enough. And these are the ones, we are the ones, who got missed.

      • ibelievetheparents December 3, 2013 at 07:00 #

        The DSM is not real science !!!
        Political bull crap at times.

      • novalox December 3, 2013 at 15:30 #

        @ibelievetheparents

        [citation needed]

      • ibelievetheparents December 3, 2013 at 18:31 #

        novalox

        @ibelievetheparents

        [citation needed]

        Asked a homosexual !!

      • ibelievetheparents December 3, 2013 at 18:34 #

        novalox

        @ibelievetheparents

        [citation needed]

        Ask a homosexual….
        Or do you think homosexualality should still be classed a mental disorder??

      • Lawrence December 3, 2013 at 20:42 #

        @IBTP – without the DSM, we wouldn’t have a diagnosis of Autism…..back in the day, Autistics were given the label of “mentally retarded” and “mentally deficient.”

        The evidence is there, if you cared to look for it.

  11. ibelievetheparents November 24, 2013 at 22:14 #

    You defend a corrupt industry… Pharmaceutical companies run an organize crime business model… WAKE UP !

    • Chris November 24, 2013 at 22:47 #

      Okay…. so you are using a video on psychiatric medications for evidence. What does that have to do with vaccines and autism?

      Now tell me how not vaccinating with the MMR would reduce the use of pharmaceuticals. Show us that allowing every child in the USA to actually get measles would save money. Especially since about one in ten cases requires hospital care, mostly for pneumonia. Also about one in a thousand get encephalitis, which can cause permanent neurological damage. Both the pneumonia and encephalitis can cause death.

      Show us the documented numbers that disprove this paper that I posted earlier. Or did you not understand it?

      • brian November 25, 2013 at 02:03 #

        Ah, well just forgoing the MMR would certainly CAUSE additional cases of autism as well as deafness, cataracts, encephalitis, heart abnormalities, and mental retardation associated with the cases of congenital rubella syndrome commonly prevented by that ebil vaccine: the MMR prevented an estimated 8,300 to 62,250 cases of CRS in the US between 2001 and 2010. [BMC Public Health. 2011; 11: 340.]

        MMR vaccination prevents thousands of cases of ASD each year from CRS, in addition protecting against the pain, pneumonia, and deaths associated with measles virus infection.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) November 25, 2013 at 03:20 #

        There was a paper last year which estimated the number of ASD cases prevented by the MMR vaccine. Funny how that wasn’t picked up by the groups that claim to have a focus on environmental causation and prevention. Not “funny ha-ha” but, “not funny at all. In fact, predictable since they have such animosity towards vaccines that they would never acknowledge this”.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) November 24, 2013 at 22:54 #

      Since when is pointing out your multiple errors defending anything?

      You are getting more shrill. It is not helping your case.

    • Science Mom November 24, 2013 at 23:36 #

      Oh good grief as if on cue. What does this video have to do with vaccines and related research? Flaws in your arguments are being pointed out and you are being asked to substantiate your claims but instead are just barfing up more claims and getting more bizarre. Answer the previous questions posed to you. Typical anti-vax play.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) November 25, 2013 at 00:14 #

        It’s a Godwin-type rule: any discussion of vaccines if it goes on long enough will include at least one big pharma conspiracy comment.

      • novalox November 26, 2013 at 04:06 #

        @Sullivan

        I’m just waiting until an actual Godwin comes up by ibelievetheparents.

        The way he/she/it has been going, it’s only a matter of time.

  12. karla fisher December 2, 2013 at 02:35 #

    It’s almost surreal how disconnected the anti-vax community is from the world. The one here (ibelievetheparents) is a hoot and typical weird social behavior that I see in that community. Spewing accusations of not being scientific then disregarding all the actual science being presented while posting videos (Sponsored ones at that) as if that might count more for science than the actual science in the links shared here. It is almost a little sad to watch how outclassed the brain power is on this one. So here is a hint. If you are going to com to a place where there exists really smart people talking about science, you really ought to bring a little bit of science with you to the table.

    I tend to be a tiny bit more opened about this topic than I typically see on pro-vaccine type boards. My personal way to research is to look at hard science first (peer reviewed. unbiased with control type of stuff). I then cast my eyes to actual field data. (stuff that is being reported by professionals in the field) and finally to anecdotal evidence. I think that there is enough anecdotal and field data for us to be suspicious BUT the hard science tells us that it isn’t time to do rash stuff like refuse vaccines. With respect to Autism, there is honestly zero of any sort of evidence for me to see an actual link at this time.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) December 2, 2013 at 02:44 #

      “I tend to be a tiny bit more opened about this topic than I typically see on pro-vaccine type boards. ”

      A lot of pro-vaccine type boards are run by people who went through the steps you describe. I took a hard look at the evidence a long time ago. If someone comes up with something compelling, sure I’ll take another look. But there’s just no there, there, as they say.

      • Karla Fisher December 2, 2013 at 04:39 #

        Yes of course. I did not mean to imply that these steps were not taken by you. I meant to say that I see a lot of very black/white views expressed on this topic on most pro-vaccine boards and I tend to think the answer is closer to the middle ground. :)

    • ibelievetheparents December 2, 2013 at 09:23 #

      Go ahead pat yourself on the back. the science stands, there are
      contradictory studies showing the autism/vaccine debate isn’t going away.
      dismissed by government/pharma backed ‘tobacco science’.
      of course the government or pharmaceutical companies wouldn’t lie…
      would they!!!
      …Oh wait a minute !… they have a history of doing just that!

      The truth will come out eventually.

      • Chris December 2, 2013 at 12:29 #

        “The truth will come out eventually.”

        I think I first saw that claim from the Mercury Militia after one tried to get me banned from a disability group after mentioning that the MMR vaccine never contained thimerosal… about ten years ago.

        The big piece of “evidence” that was supposed to be the “truth” was the silly Novel Form of Mercury Poisoning paper published in Medical Hypothesis. It is cute to see someone try to use the same claim again. It is like they don’t realize repeating claims without any scientific basis over and over will not change the facts.

        Oh, and saying “the science stands, there are
        contradictory studies showing the autism/vaccine debate isn’t going away” over and over again when all you post as “proof” are videos and bad papers is not convincing.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) December 2, 2013 at 14:33 #

        The truth has come out. Those studies are scientifically worthless.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) December 3, 2013 at 14:49 #

        The truth has come out. It’s just not what you were hoping to hear.

      • ibelievetheparents December 4, 2013 at 07:48 #

        Chris
        I think I first saw that claim from the Mercury Militia after one tried to get me banned from a disability group after mentioning that the MMR vaccine never contained thimerosal… about ten years ago.

        (Yeah some of mine aren’t getting posted here ?)

        In the UK the blame is on MMR (with credible evidence)
        In the USA the blame is on Mercury (with credible evidence)
        That’s why I won’t get pulled into the fine details because nobody
        knows for sure yet.

        ”We may never know the actual component in the vaccines that trigger autism, it could be we are just creating the perfect storm.”

        ~ Dr A Wakefield (or words to that effect)

        Have you ever played the kids game Buckaroo ?

      • Chris December 4, 2013 at 16:45 #

        “Have you ever played the kids game Buckaroo ?”

        Have you ever been coherent?

        Come on, where is that documentation dated before 1990 that shows a sharp increase in autism during the 1970s and 1980s in the USA due to the use of the MMR vaccine starting in 1971?

        And, do tell us which vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule is only available with thimerosal.

        The latter does not require you to do into fine detail, it involves you looking at a table and choosing the vaccine where in all versions does not contain the word “free” in the “thimerosal” column. Is that too difficult?

        And neither does the first one… it just involves you looking into your copy of Callous Disregard and telling what paper Wakefield used to come up with his hypothesis. Until you do, we’ll just assume he made it all up and probably had no idea an MMR had been used for two decades prior to him meeting Richard Barr.

  13. lilady December 2, 2013 at 09:22 #

    I’ve read all the hundreds of studies and scientific papers presented by “pro-vaccine types” and all the studies that the “anti-vaccine types” presented as proof that a particular vaccine, a culture medium/preservative/adjuvant/excipient and/or combinations of ingredients in vaccines or the timing and spacing of vaccines are implicated in the onset of autism. There is no connection between vaccines and the onset of autism or any other developmental disability.

    Why should we take “the middle ground” when it comes to preventing childhood diseases? We don’t take “the middle ground” when it comes to other sciences…so as not to offend flat earthers, AIDS denialists and other crank pseudoscientists.

    I don’t hang out in “the middle ground”. I’m pro vaccine and pro science and proud of it.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) December 3, 2013 at 14:52 #

      Ah, the “middle ground” argument.

      If someone publishes a paper saying 1=2 do we take the middle ground and say, “well it’s probably 1=1.5 then”?

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) December 3, 2013 at 14:53 #

      Isn’t it funny that people who take extreme and indefensible positions like there is an epidemic of vaccine induced autism want to claim a “middle ground”?

      • lilady December 3, 2013 at 19:05 #

        I think the “middle grounders” are the fallback positions for people who cannot present any valid arguments for their belief that their special needs children were (somehow) harmed by vaccines.

        Those parents cannot or will not accept the child they have and cannot or will not discard their dream about the “ideal child”…despicable.

        1+1=2 and Vaccines.Do.Not.Cause.Autism.Period

  14. ibelievetheparents December 2, 2013 at 10:05 #

    Chris
    They are also discussed here:

    http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2013/08/-those-lists-of-papers-that-claim-vaccines-cause-autism-part-1.html

    Dear Lord… you’re not serious ! please tell me you’re having a laugh.

    • Chris December 2, 2013 at 12:16 #

      It is a handy place to show you where that list of studies were dissected. Please explain why it is humorous, right after you answer the question I asked here.

      • ibelievetheparents December 2, 2013 at 17:53 #

        Those are (like it or not) Bona fide published studies/research conducted by doctors and Universities from all across the world. Academics & medical professionals with weight behind them.

        You don’t like or agree with their findings is irrelevant – the science stands.

        If you think an anonymous criticism holds water then ask why have they not been ‘wakefielded’ retracted?

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) December 3, 2013 at 14:48 #

        An appeal to authority. Because they are published they must be correct.

        First note that this is a dodge on your part. Rather than actually discuss the studies and show you’ve read and understood them you tell us the science stands.

        Tell us, for example, why the HepB /neonates paper is not just using the time correlation of autism incidence with the introduction of the HepB shot to claim a connection? IE a correlation=causation argument (you can find this discussion on this site in my analysis of the paper if the above is not clear). Or why the country by country comparison in the aluminum paper is not a case of cherry picking and comparing apples and oranges.

        You don’t discuss. You give empty defenses.

        Second, note that you use a double standard. The papers that support your idea are valid because they haven’t been retracted but the large body of work showing no link between vaccines and autism is discarded by you.

      • brian December 2, 2013 at 18:34 #

        the science stands

        Ah, that explains some of your difficulty: you don’t have a clue how science works. This might help:

        Leo Kanner wrote in 1943 that parents of autistic children demonstrated a lack of warmth and suggested that such parents just happened “to defrost enough to produce a child,” leading to the proposed “refrigerator mother” etiology of autism. Were those papers ever retracted? Does that science “stand” although it has been repeatedly and thoroughly eviscerated by subsequent work, just because it was thrown in the dustbin rather than retracted?

        You are obviously confused regarding the retraction of scientific papers. Many papers turn out to be wrong, but retraction is rare. For example, Wakefield’s litigation-driven article was not retracted because he turned out to be wrong, but because of his proven dishonesty; if that paper had not been retracted, it would still belong in the dustbin.

      • Chris December 2, 2013 at 20:21 #

        “If you think an anonymous criticism holds water then ask why have they not been ‘wakefielded’ retracted?”

        The first “study” you posted was “Hepatitis B vaccination of male neonates and autism diagnosis, NHIS 1997-2002.” It happens to be the first one mentioned in the link I provided. If you happened to even click on that link you would have found that there were four links that discussed it. The first two are to this blog and the other is to Liz Ditz’s blog. Ms. Ditz is not anonymous.

        I hardly think that the ones written by this blog are “anonymous”:

        http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/about/

        Not only has he presented a poster IMFAR, he is a member of the IACC, the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee.

        Also papers are not retracted due to incompetence, but for fraud. The authors of that paper were just incompetent, Andrew Wakefield actually lied, and committed several layers of research fraud.

      • ibelievetheparents December 3, 2013 at 07:07 #

        Chris
        Also papers are not retracted due to incompetence, but for fraud. The authors of that paper were just incompetent, Andrew Wakefield actually lied, and committed several layers of research fraud.

        You haven’t read callous disregard.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) December 3, 2013 at 14:34 #

        I did. Painfully bad prose. A long winded exercise in blame shifting.

        Did you read it or is it like the papers you cite? Did you check his citations? Did you notice that they often have nothing to do with what he claims they support?

        Did you read his prologue? Are you OK with him glorifying a murder/suicide? Do you think that might have influenced the woman he recruited for his “reality show” who tried the same thing?

      • Chris December 3, 2013 at 16:31 #

        “You haven’t read callous disregard.”

        Nor shall I. I will tell what I am interested in reading: the evidence that autism sharply increased in the USA with the use of MMR that is dated before 1990.

        The MMR with the Jeryl Lynn mumps component was introduced in 1971, and was the preferred vaccine for the Measles Elimination Program. So if the MMR caused autism it would have been noticed in the 1970s and 1980s in a much larger country over a longer period than the UK by the time Wakefield “studied” it.

        So just go into your copy of his book and pull out that reference.

      • ibelievetheparents December 3, 2013 at 18:53 #

        Sullivan (Matt Carey)
        Second, note that you use a double standard. The papers that support your idea are valid because they haven’t been retracted but the large body of work showing no link between vaccines and autism is discarded by you.

        Discarded because their financing can be traced back to either
        Pharmaceutical companies or Government ?
        It is a very corrupt system, they lie about the efficiency (not talking about vaccines) of their drugs and hid the adverse side effects.
        Pharma is one of the biggest killers yet not many people know it?
        maybe because they own the media.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) December 4, 2013 at 04:20 #

        When confronted with the lack of substance to your argument you rely upon conspiracy theories.

        There is a subset of the population that gets tricked by that. So it keeps coming up in most discussions where parents talk of vaccines and autism.

        But, here and now, how about showing that you actually understand the papers you cite. You keep dodging that one.

        Did you ever try to read them? Seriously, I suspect you just provide links and expect that will substitute for actual discussion.

      • ibelievetheparents December 3, 2013 at 19:04 #

        Chris
        Nor shall I. I will tell what I am interested in reading: the evidence that autism sharply increased in the USA with the use of MMR that is dated before 1990.

        There was a Russian study in 1977 showing a mercury link with
        brain damage – but I can’t find it.
        I’ll try again later.

      • Chris December 3, 2013 at 19:16 #

        “There was a Russian ”

        You do know that Russia has never been part of the USA, right? And that no form of the MMR vaccine has ever contained mercury, right? Even the Russian forms of measles vaccination (different vaccine strains).

        The question is to show a paper from before 1990 that showed that the MMR vaccine introduced in the USA in 1971 and was the preferred vaccine for the 1978 Measles Elimination Program caused more autism in the 1970s and 1980s.

        This means in the Unitied States of American, and only for the MMR vaccine used there. What part did you not understand?

        This question is to find out what Wakefield based his hypothesis on. What evidenced did he have to attempt to connect one of the three MMR vaccines approved in the UK in 1988 to autism? Was it the almost twenty years of MMR use in the USA or was it the wad of cash given to him by Richard Barr to create “evidence” for lawsuits?

    • Lawrence December 2, 2013 at 14:19 #

      @Ibelieve – how about, for once, articulating exactly what you find wrong with what has been posted?

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) December 2, 2013 at 14:45 #

      As I’ve already noted, many of those papers are discussed on this site. If you had a substantive reply you could have responded here or in one of those discussions. Instead you resort to schoolyard taunts.

      It’s not laughable, it’s sad. Sad you’ve been misled and you are seeking to mislead others with information you probably don’t even understand. Show me I’m wrong: give an intelligent response to the criticisms of those papers.

  15. ibelievetheparents December 2, 2013 at 18:48 #

    Brian
    Ah, that explains some of your difficulty: you don’t have a clue how science works. This might help:

    No need for help, just try to understand this issue is not over or finished!
    keep following the news.

    • Chris December 2, 2013 at 20:37 #

      “Ah, that explains some of your difficulty: you don’t have a clue how science works”

      Ah, the irony from the person who posted a video on psychiatric drugs, another video on “Pink Disease” where the child was only pink on the rash… and not pink all over, plus the cut and paste of studies that have been dissected due there incompetence and conflict of interests.

      By the way, the last link in your Gish Gallop is DeSoto’s “Blood levels of mercury are related to diagnosis of autism: a reanalysis of an important data set.” That is paper #17 on the link I posted. It was so bad that Ms. Ditz has a link to a separate blog posts of all the criticism:

      http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2012/07/12-blood-levels-of-mercury-are-related-to-diagnosis-of-autism-a-reanalysis-of-an-important-data-set-.html

      And what is even more fun are the titles to their attempt to “clarify” at:

      http://jcn.sagepub.com/content/22/11/1308.abstract

      Unfortunately I can’t read them, but this has got to be an interesting take on that paper: “3 . . 2 . . 1 . . Impact [Factor]: Target [Academic Career] Destroyed!”: Just Another Statistical Casualty

      No, ibelievetheparents, you do not understand science. You should probably leave that to others.

      • ibelievetheparents December 3, 2013 at 06:55 #

        brain
        No, ibelievetheparents, you do not understand science. You should probably leave that to others.

        Huh? grown ups like yourself.

        The pink disease link was to demonstrate the credible connection
        others made between autism and mercury in the system.
        did you watch the video…? here’s another.

        Autism before autism.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) December 3, 2013 at 14:36 #

        Yes, bad science and misuse of science can mislead. You were taken in.so were a lot of people. Doesnt make the bad science good

      • Chris December 3, 2013 at 16:19 #

        “The pink disease link was to demonstrate the credible connection
        others made between autism and mercury in the system.”

        No, there is not. The dose is substantially higher, it is a different form of mercury and the symptoms are not the same.

        I did watch the video and noticed the rash on what she claimed was her daughter looked nothing like the substantial pink skin on the twin girls (the pink ladies) in the case study I posted.

        You obviously did not read it, nor even click the link to look at the photos. Nor did you read the next link which went into detail why SakeMinds was, and still is, wrong about vaccines causing mercury poisoning.

        No matter how many papers, books (David Kirby) and videos they pay for to make that claim, it is not going to change the science.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) December 3, 2013 at 05:44 #

      Another empty reply with a schoolyard taunt.

      • ibelievetheparents December 3, 2013 at 07:10 #

        Matt
        Another empty reply with a schoolyard taunt.

        No Sir, just an opposing opinion.

      • novalox December 3, 2013 at 15:34 #

        @ibelievetheparents

        Nope, just another vapid and unsupportable response from a liar.

  16. Science Mom December 2, 2013 at 20:12 #

    Those are (like it or not) Bona fide published studies/research conducted by doctors and Universities from all across the world. Academics & medical professionals with weight behind them.

    No they’re not actually; they’re just saying what you want to hear. You can’t even see the disparity between your “experts”; one says ‘measles’, another say it’s mercury, another says ‘hep b vaccine’ and yet another says ‘aluminium’. You even have one who doesn’t even know what autism is. So much for your “bona fide” studies and “academics and medical professionals”. Their “work” is disregarded as the crankery it is.

    You don’t like or agree with their findings is irrelevant – the science stands.

    You seem to have a great deal of difficulty understanding how this works. It’s not a matter of simply disagreeing with them; they are completely wrong and have conducted studies which are highly flawed methodologically.

    If you think an anonymous criticism holds water then ask why have they not been ‘wakefielded’ retracted?

    I know science is hard which is why people like you shouldn’t try it at home.

    • Chris December 2, 2013 at 20:45 #

      “You even have one who doesn’t even know what autism is.”

      Ah, yes. The infamous paper by the economics professor and former board member of SafeMinds, Gayle DeLong. She thinks any child who gets speech language intervention at a school is automatically considered autistic. That was a hoot!

      I am sure my kids’ friends who were getting speech/language therapy due to hearing loss would be interested in their “new” diagnosis (it just happened that the district’s deaf/hard of hearing program was at their elementary school, and then the middle and high school). Somewhere in this house is a pair of hearing aids that one friend lost on a sleepover.

    • ibelievetheparents December 3, 2013 at 18:03 #

      The things is, if you were right (which you are not) you would have
      won the debate and things would return to normal – but they are not?

      Your science is right and the opposing science is wrong is very
      obviously not working…?

      I’m not here to change your mind.

      Congratulations on delaying the hearing Government reform.committee
      You are part of a corrupt system suppressing the true science.

      I guess you will be working harder to get Jenny Mccarthy sacked next !
      How’s that campaign going?

      The sad true is, if the concern of vaccine safety was addressed correctly earlier, it would limit the damage to the vaccine industry
      later. because try as hard as you can you won’t stop the truth from
      coming out.

      I’m not anti-vaccine !!!!
      I’m anti-vaccine policy (which to you makes me anti-vaccine)

      • Chris December 3, 2013 at 18:32 #

        What does the above rant even mean?

        “I’m not here to change your mind.”

        Perhaps, but you have shown the deficiency of most anti-vaccine arguments. You have posted pointless videos that have nothing to do with science, and papers that do not prove what you claim they prove.

        You seem to think that just because one is published that it is true. Yet one of them include a paper by a business professor of economics that decided that any child receive speech/language intervention is considered autism. How is that anything but sheer unmitigated incompetence?

        Oh, and we had nothing to do with the delay of those hearings. It may be that someone on the staff realized that mucking with the law that Barbara Loe Fisher was part of designing would hamper the prevention of diseases, and that would cost lots more in real dollars.

        Now go back and ponder the economic points I brought up in this comment. Then tell us why, with appropriate documentation, how dismantling the vaccine policy would economically benefit this country.

      • ibelievetheparents December 3, 2013 at 18:44 #

        Chris
        Now go back and ponder the economic points I brought up in this comment. Then tell us why, with appropriate documentation, how dismantling the vaccine policy would economically benefit this country.

        Safety first chris. we need to know for sure that increasing the amount of vaccines and multiple cocktail vaccines given to newborns and unborns is safe. money should not be the first
        priority unless you want/intend to make a sick nation.

        and we are getting sicker.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) December 4, 2013 at 04:22 #

        If you are getting sicker, seek medical attention.

      • Chris December 3, 2013 at 19:06 #

        “and we are getting sicker.”

        Prove it. Where is the verifiable documentation?

      • Lawrence December 3, 2013 at 20:47 #

        Well, for one – if we discontinue vaccinations, we certainly will be a “sicker” nation, because people will start to get these diseases again – lots of people (just look at the current situation in Europe) – which translates into many more hospital stays, serious side-effects like blindness, deafness & of course, my personal “in-“favorite – congenital birth defects and autism from Rubella…..

        You do not have a sustainable argument on any level – you really need to go out and do some real research for a change, instead of parroting anti-vaccine talking points.

  17. Science Mom December 3, 2013 at 16:14 #

    You haven’t read callous disregard.

    Geez, it’s a book. Anyone can write anything in a book. And you’re telling us to “wake up”. And you wonder why anti-vaxxers are failing and flailing.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) December 4, 2013 at 04:29 #

      I read callous disregard. That’s a few hours of my life gone forever.

      One wonders if our friend has read it. One really does. S/he waves citations like a light saber, expecting them to cut through arguments.

      Clearly our friend is not a technical/scientific person. No one in a technical field throws out a citation and expects that to be sufficient.

      It’s one thing to know a paper exists

      It is another to read it

      It is another to understand what the author said

      It is yet another to understand the limitations of the study which are not explained in the paper.

      Our friend is stuck on step one.

  18. lilady December 3, 2013 at 19:39 #

    You’re ranting “ibelieve”. Have you got any, um, proof that vaccines are implicated in the onset of autism?

    Time to put up or shut up, “ibelieve”.

    • Lawrence December 3, 2013 at 20:48 #

      @lilady – she provided her “proof” you know, all of those studies that don’t say what she thinks they say……

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