The Art of Green Our Vaccines

9 Jun

Before the “Green our Vaccines” rally (already much discussed–such as here, here, here, here, here), I spent a lot of time thinking about what sort of questions I would ask Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey if I had the chance.

I don’t know how much time Arthur Allen put into thinking about the problem, but I do know he nailed it with two succinct questions.

As part of his story on the rally, he recounts his brief opportunity to pose questions to the couple. Ms. McCarthy and Mr. Carrey passed near him at the same time that they were allowing an opportunity for “sound bites”. Art saw an opportunity and got a few quick questions in, as he recounts:

At which point I saw my opportunity and after checking for rally monitors, asked, “How many vaccines, exactly, is too many?”

“Too Many, Too Soon” is the slogan. It’s on the back of about 500 T-Shirts (with one each on Jenny and Jim). Given that, you’d think they’d have a damned good answer. At the very least, a reasonable, on-topic “sound bite”. Instead they answered (again as recounted by Art):

“In 1983,” McCarthy said, “our kids only got 10 vaccines. Now it’s 36” (actually, it’s 28, max, by age 2). I asked, “So should they only be getting 10? Which ones shouldn’t they get?” I saw McCarthy turning and asking someone, “Who is this guy?” Carrey responded, gamely. “Kids aren’t a bottomless pit you can pour toxins into, there has to be a limit,” he said.

Was that a sound bite or were they just caught flat-footed? Thankfully, Art had a great followup question which shows us the answer:

“So what’s a vaccine they shouldn’t get?” I asked. “A lot of parents of autistic children would have opted not to get the tetanus shot,” he said.

Huh?!? Tetanus? Wow, did I miss the Andy Wakefield study on Tetanus in the guts of autistic kids? Or, was it the Mady Hornig rats with Tetanus study? No, wait, isn’t the Generation Rescue motto, “It’s the tetanus, stupid”?

The answers are “no” to all of the above.

Generation Rescue (who have Jenny as their board-member/spokesperson) doesn’t mention “tetanus” at all on their vaccine page. As in, no “tetanus vaccines cause autism” statements. However, in the link to their “favorite” vaccine schedule (which is a recipe for disaster in this person’s eye), they include tetanus. Yep, they “recommend” kids get tetanus shots. In their number II recommended schedule, they include tetanus 5 times, starting at 2 months (is that “too soon”? as in “too many too soon”?). Their number III (and final) schedule has tetanus 3 times.

Is it possble the Generation Rescue spokespeople don’t know about their own recommended vaccine schedules? Is it possible that in months of planning, Jim and Jenny never prepared for what is one of the most obvious questions?

Jenny. McCarthy has awarded herself an honorary doctorate from Google U in vaccines and autism. From the above exchange with Arthur Allen, it looks like she and Mr. Carrey just failed their “Google SAT” in the “alt-med” view of autism and vaccines. (Let’s not even go down the path of how badly they would fail the entrance exam to Google kindergarden on the actual science of autism and vaccines.)

Don’t look for them to get caught like this by a journalist again. First, don’t expect real journalists to get access often. If they do, all future questions will likely be met with “Generation Rescue has some alternate schedules on their website”. (without noting that “alternate schedule” means “measles outbreaks are Jim-Dandy”).

This time, however, there was a real journalist and he caught them unprepared. Now we know that Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey have basically no depth to their understanding of even the alt-med version of vaccines and autism. Anyone surprised?

But, hey, the day wasn’t a complete waste for Jenny. Access Hollywood named Jim and her the “Green Couple of the Week”. Can someone find this Grand Award on the Access Hollywood website? I admit I didn’t try hard (I’m not trying for a Google Ph.D. in “Access Hollywood”), but is this a…dare we say it….fake award? Sorta like Dr. Corbier and the “Rock Award”? (OK, that one is kinda obscure–tossed in for those who followed the Omnibus too closely.)

Which leads me to the last thought–Jenny has a Google Ph.D. and a fake award…heck, if she could just use the library and go to a couple parties at UCSF, she could be an expert witness for the Autism Omnibus. (Think Vera Byers).

Art, should you read this, I (without consultation with anyone) award you the “LeftBrainRightBrain” Award for Excellence in Journalism. For those who will accuse me of making it up right now–ha!, I made it up a few weeks ago and secretly gave it to AutismNewsBeat.

57 Responses to “The Art of Green Our Vaccines”

  1. Socrates June 9, 2008 at 16:24 #

    One simple, and yet devastating question. Here’s another for Jim and Jenny – “Is your child autistic?”

  2. kristina June 9, 2008 at 17:27 #

    I second the nomination for Art to get the award!

  3. century June 9, 2008 at 20:03 #

    “How many vaccines, exactly, is too many?”

    With the increasing number of vaccines (becoming) available, at what point do you say enough is enough? Or is that point never reached?

  4. Kev June 9, 2008 at 20:15 #

    I would say enough is enough when kids around the world stop dying and being hospitalized as a result of contracting vaccine preventable diseases.

  5. Keithp June 9, 2008 at 20:49 #

    “I would say enough is enough when kids around the world stop dying and being hospitalized as a result of contracting vaccine preventable diseases.”

    *No matter how many kids we mentally cripple as a result of ‘protecting’ them…*

    Sounds about right

    Spreading out the vaccines is SOOO difficult, it’s really not worth it for people to remove the toxins and just come up with a comprehensive schedule, screw that! Let’s just wait until it hits OUR kids, and then pretend we weren’t part of the problem…

    such a lazy attitude…

  6. Dedj June 9, 2008 at 21:14 #

    It still amazes me that none of these anti-vaxxers appear to have put any thought into why those “toxins” are in vaccines in the first place.

    Yes! Let’s spend more money making the process more complex, in order to increase our risk of getting sued for shit-loads!

    Amazing. Absolutly amazing.

  7. passionlessDrone June 9, 2008 at 21:20 #

    Hi Century –

    A great question, but one that won’t be seriously entertained here, as Kev’s response quite clearly indicates. With literally dozens of new vaccines under development our schedule could easily triple or more in the coming decades, but while the microbial scourge affects any children, anywhere, requiring any hospitalization, development of vaccines cannot be questioned.

    Consider the mandatory DTAP boosters being implemented in New Jersey. This is the craziest program that I have ever heard of, yet by Kev’s logic, is completely valid. Each year in the US, a country with 300,000,000 people, there are 43 cases of tetanus, 5 cases of diptheria, and ~ 3200 cases of whooping cough.

    http://www.cdc.gov/MMWR/PREVIEW/MMWRHTML/ss5203a1.htm
    http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/DBMD/diseaseinfo/diptheria_t.htm
    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/hestats/pertussis/pertussis.htm

    Yet we are seriously entertaining mandatory vaccinations to try to lower the rates of these diseases! The hypothetical reason is that pertussis rates could be lowered in infants to young to be vaccinated by reducing it’s presence in grade school children. How many cases can we seriously expect to reduce in New Jersey? A hundred? And for this, we will vaccinate every single school child in the state? Lets say we implement these boosters, and cut rates in half, so that there are 20 cases of tetanus, 3 of diptheria, and 1600 of whooping cough? We have still failed Kev’s test, so maybe a booster at high school is in order. Or maybe a booster every year, until there are zero cases of these disease, at all, anywhere, in the entire United States. Yet any questioning of more vaccinations in the interest of reducing disease rates even furhter is viewed as heretical, anti science, and child hating; especially if you question if the cumulative impacts of these things might conceivably call out for research.

    Imagine what might be done if the same resources used to innoculate every child in New Jersey were instead directed it towards anti smoking campaigns, or ways to get children eating healthier, or developing healthy attitudes towards exercise?

    Of course, this does nothing to address the fact that children in America occassionally get malaria, yellow fever, or dozens of other ‘preventable’ diseases in miniscule amounts every year. Children get hospitalized for colds sometimes, when will we have a vaccination for that?

    It is madness.

    – pD

  8. Kev June 9, 2008 at 22:29 #

    _”No matter how many kids we mentally cripple as a result of ‘protecting’ them…”_

    And your evidence for that happening is….?

  9. mayfly June 9, 2008 at 22:36 #

    Of course vaccination schedules need periodic review. Are additional boosters needed? Are there differences in the schedules of various countries with more or less equal GDP’s per capita? Do those differences result in a greater prevalence of disease?

  10. Socrates June 9, 2008 at 23:47 #

    pD, maybe the reason there is so little tetanus, diptheria and whooping cough in the US, is because most people are vaccinated against them. Would you set out for us, what vx schedule you would consider acceptable?

  11. Ms. Clark June 10, 2008 at 00:26 #

    I don’t think there’s any evidence that even sophisticated extensive anti-smoking campaigns work. I got that from a lecture by a professor of public health and epidemiology at UC Berkeley (it’s a podcast). He delineated a couple differen antismoking campaigns one that blanketed an entire town with anti-smoking literature, posters, screenings, pubic events and so forth and it had no effect at all. They compared the outcome for that town with a similar town with zero specially targeted anti-smoking campaigns. The two towns had the same outcome.

    The problem is that the toxic antivax rhetoric has invaded the brains of some people so that they start from the point that vaccines are dangerous and they don’t like to be budged from that point. They think they are “open minded” to “allow” for this or that vaccine if “spread out” and “mercury free” and blah blah blah. They take the wild-type germs as their friends and consider them to be toxin free even though those “100% natural” germs kill and maim by means of “potent neurotoxins”.

    To them, if you could vaccinate against 20 more germs that would eliminate 20 more diseases, then automatically that would mean 2,000 or 2 billion children a year would become brain damaged. It’s antivax math. It’s easy. They just make stuff up. They make up stuff like the amount of aluminum in vaccines is “toxic”. They make up stuff like the amount of mercury in vaccines is “toxic” when it plainly is not and never was. They make up stuff like “if you inject it it’s BAAAD!!!” But if you get wild-type pertussis,diphtheria, rubella, tetanus or measles it’s all good. It’s all yummy and natural. And no one ever really dies of vaccine preventable diseases and no one really ends up in the hospital for weeks with meningitis and babies with nice white clean mommies never ever contract Hep B. Never. Not ever. Because their mommies are nice clean ladies with Bachelor’s degrees and everything.

    There is no reason not to keep increasing the vaccine schedule so long as the risk from the disease is higher than the risk for the vaccine and the cost of the vaccine is reasonable. (Like it wouldn’t make sense to try to vaccinate everyone with a very expensive vaccine for a low risk, non deadly disease.)

    These same antivaxers (who deny that they are antivaccine but speak with the unmistakeable antivaccine speech impediment that they pick up from reading antivax screeds) would gladly add ten new vitamins, minerals and herbs to their kid’s pills, colonics or IVs without thinking about it. So long as quack told them it was ok. Because in the same way that they believe that vaccines are inherently bad, they believe that anything an “alternative” or DAN! doc sells them is good. Even a colonic with mom’s feces in it or worm eggs or a fake HBOT balloon hooked up to an oxygen concentrator or two. They’ll spend thousands of dollars on quack stem cell therapy overseas, but they fear vaccines. Go figure.

    I get all the vaccines that are appropriate, including boosters. I got an MMR when I was 40 years old or so (I had to in order to go to the community college). I got the two Hep A vaccines a year or so after that. I got mine a couple of years ago. I got the TDaP a couple of years ago and I get the flu shot every year. If I had an infant now I’d get it fully vaccinated according to the CDC schedule and not think twice about it. The antivaccine paranoia is utterly bizarre and the antivaxers have no way of seeing how bizarre they are, they are too much in the middle of they hysteria to see they are victims of it.

  12. keithp June 10, 2008 at 01:37 #

    “And your evidence for that happening is….?”

    My child. I already told you she bombed after her vaccination. Stopped speaking, stopped all eye contact, stopped all progress.

    The CDC tells me that it’s just coincidence.
    People LIKE YOU tell thousands of us that its just coincidence…

    It’s not fuzzy math- you only make yourself look ignorant and bitter, which if ANYONE should be bitter, it’s me.

  13. keithp June 10, 2008 at 01:46 #

    Ms. Clark, perhaps you should stop speaking about stuff you obviously know nothing about.

    First, we’re NOT anti-vax. Your continued referral to us as anti-vax is intellectually dishonest. Second, all of the information you are citing that “WE (greeners, for lack of a better term)” are supposedly preaching is altered and again, extremely intellectually dishonest. You are putting words in my, and others’ mouths, and lying to support your flacid argument.

    Just stop now and save us your attempted doctor talk. If you were smart enough understand toxicology, you would be able to debate the topic without having to resort to lying and insults.

    All we ask is that the government REGULATES, TESTS, detox, and WAIT until children have a properly developed immunity system capable of handling vaccinations.

    Do you really want me to stoop to your level and start asking you why you hate children so much? See how dumb that sounds?

  14. Ms. Clark June 10, 2008 at 02:57 #

    Keith, you are wrong. I realize you probably get told that a lot, but whether or not that’s the case, I’m telling you. You need to get an education in toxicology before you start screaming or whining about the “toxins” in vaccines. Such talk makes you look utterly clueless. Sorry but that’s a fact. If you want some free, in depth lessons on mercury toxicology and vaccine in the context of the mercury/autism insanity, set aside a week or two and listen to all of the autism omnibus audio transcripts, or read the ones available in pdf. It’s very specific and dumbed down enough for all but the most dense of the antivax troglodytes.

    Oh, and I can’t for the life of me figure why you thought I was talking about you. If you aren’t antivax then the shoe doesn’t fit, sweety. If you are then stop trying to terrorize people away from vaccines! People who do that may personally already be responsible for death and injury of innocent children (and adults, particularly the frail and those with poor immune systems who depend on the heard immunity that antivaxers are working so hard to destroy).

  15. keithp June 10, 2008 at 04:01 #

    *you are wrong. I realize you probably get told that a lot*

    Nice insult, clever, suttle, and usually spoken to preceed a more direct insult.

    *you start screaming or whining*

    And there it is.

    *Sorry but that’s a fact*

    Because you say so.. well how about this:

    Click to access EXPERT%20PAPER%20-%20Thimerosal%20VSD%20study001%20-%20Internet%20File.pdf

    PROOF, not a blog, or propaganda news story, actual scans of the simpson-woods report.

    *and dumbed down enough for all but the most dense of the antivax troglodytes.*

    More insults, big surprise there.

    *why you thought I was talking about you*

    Don’t flatter yourself, I was just correcting your inaccurate assumptions based on YOUR perspective on this topic. One day, you will have to come to terms that you are wrong. The sooner, the better.

    And furthermore, why did you neglect to answer any of my questions specifically? I will pose them again to see if you can grasp the concept of “green” vaccines:

    *All we ask is that the government REGULATES, TESTS, detox, and WAIT until children have a properly developed immunity system capable of handling vaccinations.*

    Are you against SAFE vaccines?

    and regarding this quote of yours:
    *terrorize people away from vaccines! People who do that may personally already be responsible for death and injury of innocent children*

    Touche`
    You just did exactly what you accused “antivax” people of doing.

    Again, nothing wrong with what I suggested. If you had a shred of integrity (which I doubt, as you use personal insults and propaganda to sell your position), you would acknowledge and answer my question about why we can’t test, dextox, etc…

  16. Ms. Clark June 10, 2008 at 04:24 #

    I realize you are going to get your feelings hurt by this, but you have got to be kidding did you just fall off the turnip truck and land in antivax land? Don’t answer, it’s plain to see you’ve been drinking the kool-ade. (sigh) Do try to keep up to date with the arguments will you? There is no evidence in the least that thimerosal in vaccines ever has ever (notice, ever… that’s never ever ever… ever) caused one case of autism. See when they removed the thimerosal to a degree where thimerosal exposure dropped to pre-1970 exposures autism diagnoses kept going up. Verstraeten’s paper is like from the early cave-man days, dude. Do try to keep up. Srlsly.

  17. keithp June 10, 2008 at 04:33 #

    Ms. Clark,
    You have proven yourself to be nothing but a mean person who just insults in place of logical argument.

    You never answered the question, so I will pose another:

    Why do you hate children? By refusing to acknowledge that the vaccines COULD be spread out and cleaned up, you are encouraging big pharma to poison children. Did you know that the US government has paid out 750million in settlements of vaccine-related injuries since 1986? None even autism related. Your misguided hatred towards those who don’t agree with you is obvious and I’m clearly wasting my time arguing with you, as I think I’ve sufficiently argued my side, while all you’ve done is insult and berate me, and others who have had our lives and the lives of our children CRIPPLED by vaccine-related injury.

    Believe it or not, we are one of the only “clubs” in the world that doesn’t want any new members. seriously, up yours.

  18. Ms. Clark June 10, 2008 at 04:52 #

    Look Sweety. Darling. I’m sorry you got your witty bitty feewdings hurtied. But you are so wrong it’s hysterical. I don’t know where to begin to try to reach your brain because you have zero concept of what you are talking about. You are spouting off a bunch of tripe you have heard. I feel like I’m talking to a 4 year old who thinks they know how make big grown up decisions.

    There is no reason to spread out the vaccines. Zero reason. No reason. Absolutely no reason.

    The vaccine schedule as is prevents death and injury. Delaying vaccines leaves kids open to death and injury.

    Seriously dude, you are just talking stupid. You want me to pretend like you know what the reality is with public health and vaccinology? You don’t. You are a rube. A babe in the woods. Deary, you have been duped. Lied to. Deceived. You are under a bad understanding. Get some education on the subject from real sources, not antivax websites and come back when you know at least that ABCs of public health, immunology and vaccinology. OK? Thanks.

  19. culvercitycynic June 10, 2008 at 05:02 #

    “Believe it or not, we are one of the only “clubs” in the world that doesn’t want any new members.”

    Yeah, that’s sorta the point: You’re the ones spreading the hate everywhere.

  20. Kev June 10, 2008 at 07:30 #

    _”My child. I already told you she bombed after her vaccination. Stopped speaking, stopped all eye contact, stopped all progress.”_

    No, I asked for _evidence_ – not your personal anecdote. Where is your _evidence_ that vaccines cause autism? Its basically a scientific question: do vaccines cause autism? The answer is not ‘my child’ – the answer will be science. So far, over 10 years of science has said ‘nope’.

    _”It’s not fuzzy math- you only make yourself look ignorant and bitter, which if ANYONE should be bitter, it’s me.”_

    Keith, you’re ranting and raving all over my blog. I think you’re demonstrating your bitterness perfectly. By insisting – despite all evidence to the contrary – that vaccines cause autism you’re again demonstrating that bitterness.

    Stop being angry and read the science. You can also have your conspiracy theories about Simpsonwood quashed here, free of charge.

  21. Catherina June 10, 2008 at 08:15 #

    Keith – vaccines are risk reduction – why would you want to wait to reduce a risk when you can do it right away? It would be like not putting your child in a car seat until you reach the freeway.

  22. century June 10, 2008 at 10:32 #

    “I would say enough is enough when kids around the world stop dying and being hospitalized as a result of contracting vaccine preventable diseases.”

    Our “western world” kids are only just over a third of the way to being fully covered!

    Vaccine-preventable diseases
    http://www.who.int/vaccines/en/vaccprevdis.shtml

    Cholera
    Pertussis
    Dengue
    Pneumococcus
    Diphtheria
    Poliomyelitis
    E coli
    Rabies
    Influenza
    Rotavirus
    Haemophillus influenzae B
    Rubella
    Hepatitis A
    Shigella
    Hepatitis B
    Smallpox
    HIV-AIDS
    Tuberculosis
    Human Papillomavirus
    Typhoid
    Japanese encephalitis
    Yellow fever
    Measles
    Varicella
    Meningococcus
    Vitamin A
    Mumps
    Tetanus/Neonatal tetanus

  23. passionlessDrone June 10, 2008 at 12:51 #

    Hi Socrates –

    pD, maybe the reason there is so little tetanus, diptheria and whooping cough in the US, is because most people are vaccinated against them. Would you set out for us, what vx schedule you would consider acceptable?

    Of course this is the reason why the levels are so low. My point being, however, there is a point at which we should question the marginal gains to be made in terms of disease reduction by additional vaccinations.

    As for setting something out, for starters, I’d say that, at this point, boosters for things like tetanus, diptheria, and to a lesser extent, whooping cough are completely unnecessary. Considering the values I provided, do you disagree?

    Likewise, I’d say that we could probably apply more intelligence to the application of the Hep B vaccine; well in excess of 95% of the children who get this vaccine have no need for this vaccine so early in life.

    In order to get to a place where a new schedule can be discussed, first, we need to agree that there can possibly be such a thing as enough, or even, too much unenecessary vaccination. Thus far, with the exception of Century, no one even seems open to this idea.

    By the way, if you are the Socrates of the new replublic blog, I find your blog and writing style quite interesting.

    Take care.

    – pD

  24. Keithp June 10, 2008 at 14:28 #

    *Keith – vaccines are risk reduction – why would you want to wait to reduce a risk when you can do it right away? It would be like not putting your child in a car seat until you reach the freeway.*

    All I asked for was a safer approach to giving them, and detoxing them. Further testing is evidently needed. All I’ve seen here is denial, and hatred.

    So what do YOU ALL think is causing autism?

    Don’t say “genetics”.. I’ve already agreed there is a disposition to being genetically ‘susceptible’, but no matter how you look at it, to suggest that autism has always been around and we’re just realizing it now is outright the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.

    For a “free thinking” blog, I’m shocked and amazed to see so many closed minds. What’s worse is people like Ms. Clark, who has such a superiority complex that she feels the need to talk anyone, who doesn’t share her point of view, with a snide, arrogant, uppity demeanor, that only demonstrates her own self-loathing and the need to hurt other people. Seek counseling, Ms. You probably also need to go on a aggressive diet, judging from your personality disorders.

    And Kev-
    You should be ashamed to call this your blog. Sure, I’m bitter. I’ve been lied to for 5.5 years now. I’ve been given nothing but contradictory information regarding autism from pediatricians, neurologists, local, state, and federal agencies.

    Someone is lying. Nothing adds up.

    Except the ordeals ALL of us parents are going through, one after another, the same set of circumstances, the same results, the same stories.

    Check out the Amish, among those never vaccinated, there are NO reported or confirmed cases of autism. Independent studies could find no Amish with autistic features. None, not one.

    I never seen so many closed minds in an intellectual community.

  25. Joseph June 10, 2008 at 15:08 #

    Except the ordeals ALL of us parents are going through, one after another, the same set of circumstances, the same results, the same stories.

    Again, please stop making stuff up. There’s no evidence that all parents of autistic children are going through what you describe. In fact, they are not. Kev, Ms. Clark and me here are parents.

  26. Catherina June 10, 2008 at 15:46 #

    Keith,

    why would spaced out be “safer”?

    What would you take out of the vaccines to “detox” them and why?

    What would you say if someone showed you Older Order Amish kids that have been diagnosed with regressive autism according to DSM4?

  27. Socrates June 10, 2008 at 15:46 #

    pD, I don’t know enough to really contribute properly, but I do look at the number of vx’s in the US and think maybe things are getting out hand. (We’re a little more reticent in the UK, although I think the number is creeping up). The marginal gains point seems to have merit. I think the medical profession accepts that vx’s can cause harm and I suppose parents need to weigh up the pro’s and con’s. I’ll work on my knowledge and eventually I’ll have something useful to say. And yes, unfortunately I am the Socrates from tNR, although I wish I wasn’t. Regards.

  28. Keithp June 10, 2008 at 16:38 #

    *why would spaced out be “safer”?*

    Common sense tells me that a 3 year old would tolerate a vaccine better than a 3 month old.

    *What would you take out of the vaccines to “detox” them and why?*

    Obviously, thermisol. There are safer alternatives. The kicker though for me may be the anti-freeze. A very small dosage can kill a full sized adult. I would have to be presented with some pretty compelling evidence that it’s not only absolutely necessary, but that there are not other viable alternatives. Same with Aluminum, Aluminum sulfate, and formaldehyde.

    *What would you say if someone showed you Older Order Amish kids that have been diagnosed with regressive autism according to DSM4?*

    I would say I don’t know what you mean by “older order”, but my response would be that the diagnosed were most likely vaccinated, either against the protocols of their community, or were adopted and vaccinated before the adoption took place. The Amish I referred to are the Pennsylvania Amish, and not the progressive communities, but the “older order” if I get your meaning.

    There are only 3 cases, 2 of which went against their community protocols and had their children vaccinated, and the third was an adopted, vaccinated child.

    Of the unvaccinated Amish, there are no cases of known autism, diagnosed or implied.

  29. Keithp June 10, 2008 at 16:43 #

    *Again, please stop making stuff up. There’s no evidence that all parents of autistic children are going through what you describe. In fact, they are not. Kev, Ms. Clark and me here are parents.*

    And I suggest that in the USA, vaccines are different than UK, and that I refer to the parents in my own community, and those around me, rather than halfway across the world.

    And you, kev, ms clark have not responded to what YOU think is the cause of autism. I’d be surprised if Ms. Clark accepted the notion here in the states that the cause is the mother’s genetics. That’s what the government and neurologists are peddling to us now…

  30. Joseph June 10, 2008 at 16:54 #

    And I suggest that in the USA, vaccines are different than UK, and that I refer to the parents in my own community, and those around me, rather than halfway across the world.

    You make far too many assumptions. Again, there is no evidence that in the US parents’ experiences can be generalized that way.

    And you, kev, ms clark have not responded to what YOU think is the cause of autism.

    Why is this relevant? Are you suggesting that vaccines are the default cause of autism if we don’t provide an answer? That makes absolutely no sense.

    If you want me to speculate about the cause of your child’s autism, sure, I can do that. It could be some kind of as of yet unidentified genetic mutation. Can you say this has been ruled out?

  31. Catherina June 10, 2008 at 17:28 #

    Common sense tells me that if we leave children unprotected until they are 3 years old, we will see a resurgence of VPDs like pertussis (this has happened in Japan, Sweden and Germany) and measles/mumps (this is happening in the UK and Japan). How would you protect the children until they are 3? As I said, vaccines are risk reduction. It makes no sense to let children run around for 3 years at full risk.

    “Toxins” You can vaccinate your child according to currently recommended schedules without so much as a microgramm of thimerosal. Thimerosal also needs no “alternative”, so why are proposing one?

    There is no “anti-freeze” in vaccines. How would you want to take something out, if it is not in there in the first place?

    Formaldehyde is a normal metabolite in our bodies. It has a half life of about 1 to 2 minutes and we process about 50 milligramms per day. Where is the problem?

    Autism in the Amish:

    http://www.medpagetoday.com/Neurology/Seizures/tb/2954
    http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/354/13/1370
    From table 1: In the six patients who were older than 48 months of age, the diagnoses were made on the basis of criteria listes in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition.

    From the text, describing the patients:
    In general, language comprehension was good before the onset of seizures, and cognitive and social development were age-appropriate in eight of the nine children by the age of 18 months. Patients had no distinguishing physical features, and growth trajectories were normal, although all patients had relatively large heads and diminished or absent deep-tendon reflexes.

    And yes, the patients were from Lancaster County in Pennsylvania and not adopted.

    Keith, you have obviously fallen victim to some anti-vaccine activists and are posting their lies here. I hope you’ll be open minded enough to research and learn (things like “there is no anti-freeze in vaccines” and “there is regressive, monogenetic autism amongst non adopted Pennsylvania Amish”).

  32. Keithp June 10, 2008 at 18:17 #

    *Why is this relevant? Are you suggesting that vaccines are the default cause of autism if we don’t provide an answer? That makes absolutely no sense.*

    I never said such a thing, I asked because I’m curious that so many of you have entirely ruled out vaccines, and included in that ruling is mercury, anti-freeze, aluminum, and formaldehyde. So what else is there?

    *If you want me to speculate about the cause of your child’s autism*

    No, I asked you to speculate on the cause of autism itself, my child nonwithstanding.

    *It could be some kind of as of yet unidentified genetic mutation. Can you say this has been ruled out?*

    If you read what I wrote, you would clearly see that I have not ruled that out, so much as even suggested that more likely, it’s a genetic intolerance, rather than a mutation.

    But going with the mutation theory, that in itself is not the cause, it’s a symptom. So what would you speculate is causing the genetic mutation?

  33. Sullivan June 10, 2008 at 18:55 #

    No, I asked you to speculate on the cause of autism itself, my child nonwithstanding.

    Well, if you want “the” cause, no one here can help you. There are multiple causes already known and many more to be found. So far, vaccine injury doesn’t seem to be a cause of autism.

    Now, if you are also thinking of “the cause of autism” as being “the cause of the increase in the number of people identified with autism”, well, sorry again, but unless you can deconvolute the huge increases in prevalence due to increased awareness, access to services, etc., you can’t start using the increases to argue for something like a genetic mutation.

    If you think the big increase in autism prevalence (note, not the true incidence) is due to vaccines and/or thimerosal, I will refer you to Saunder Greenland. He was an epidemiolgist for the petitioners for the Autism Omnibus Proceding. He says any increase due to thimerosal is too small to be observed.

  34. Sullivan June 10, 2008 at 19:03 #

    Is anyone going to attempt to defend the ignorance demonstrated by Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey? Is this because it is so blatantly clear that they goofed up on their answers?

    Frankly, I think they were expecting nothing more than the “Access Hollywood” crowd to ask them questions. They were expecting to be given a live feed to CNN, but with no questions asked. Ms. McCarthy is used to the Larry King show where her position wasn’t questioned.

    Beyond that–no one has a good idea of “how many is too many”. We can go off into tangent land of whether the NJ booster is a good idea or would be too many, but that doesn’t answer the question. How many is too many and how soon is too soon?

    Without an answer to that, half of the the “Green Our Vaccines” campaign is nonsense. (the other half, devoted to toxins has about as much real backing as the too many too soon half, by the way).

    The lack of real answers by anyone here just shows that the Jim and Jenny weren’t caught flat footed–the entire movement is poorly thought out. The slogans are empty.

  35. Sullivan June 10, 2008 at 19:22 #

    “The kicker though for me may be the anti-freeze. ”

    Good thing there isn’t any antifreeze in the vaccines, then, isn’t it?

    Quoting from Orac’s blog:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/06/the_jenny_mccarthy_rally_tomorrow_antivaccine.php

    Antivaccinationists are also not too concerned with getting the actual niceties of the chemistry right, confusing ethylene glycol (antifreeze, which is not in vaccines) with polyethylene glycol (PEG, which is in some vaccines and is also in a number of skin creams, toothpaste, and medications, including laxatives)…

    The ingredient in vaccines that people call “antifreeze” is in toothpaste. If it could kill a grown man, most of us would be dead.

    This is not news, groups like GR and TACA know this. They went ahead and printed this onto 500 T-shirts.

    There is no way to be polite about this–that is lying. The organizations use lies like that to frighten people. Judging by your response, it works.

  36. Keithp June 10, 2008 at 19:23 #

    *There are multiple causes already known and many more to be found*

    What an incredibly convenient politician answer, or lack thereof.

    I’ve been open enough here to listen to your side(s), debate, and keep a somewhat open mind to this. NONE of you have made even a remote attempt to do the same. You are right, I am wrong, that’s all you see.

    Forget that the same science you declare to be absolute in disproving the vaccine/toxin links, no more proves, than dis-proves any other sciences outside the toxin/vaccine link.

    Critical thinking? Here? *laugh*

  37. Kev June 10, 2008 at 19:23 #

    Keith, its very difficult to take you seriously when you insist in one comment that there are no autistic amish – ‘none, not one’ then in the next one tell us about 3 or 4.

    In fact, the Amish seem to vaccinate pretty well:

    84% of Amish households reported all their kids had received vaccinations. Only 4% reported that none of their kids had received vaccinations.

    Among all respondents who knew their own vaccination status, 281/313 (90%) reported that they had received vaccinations
    as children

    That by the way is independent science in action.

    And you, kev, ms clark have not responded to what YOU think is the cause of autism.

    Actually, I did. But I’ll repeat my answer here for you:

    The cause of autism? I wish there was one straight answer. I don’t think there’s even one thing, I think there’s many slightly differing autismS. In the main, I think its mostly genetic with an environmental component but that’s just my opinion. Nobody KNOWS Keith.

    mercury, anti-freeze, aluminum, and formaldehyde.

    You seem to have swallowed various anti-vaccine canards whole. Lets go through them:

    Mercury: as we’ve seen, no science exists that indicates mercury causes autism. Only last week, expert toxicologists in the Autism Omnibus testified that the amount of glutathione in anyone’s body would easily cope with the amount of mercury in vaccines (if it were still in there)

    Anti-freeze: There is no antifreeze in vaccines. A single component of antifreeze – polyethylene glycol – is used to inactivate the flu virus in one brand of that vaccine; it is also used in the purification of certain vaccines. This chemical is also widely and safely used in personal care products, such as skin creams and toothpaste.

    Aluminium: Aluminium is in breast milk. And water. Quite probably at doses larger than in vaccines.

    Formaldehyde: Also occurs naturally in pears. As in the fruit.

    You’ve been lied to all right Keith but not by who you think.

  38. Keithp June 10, 2008 at 19:28 #

    *Good thing there isn’t any antifreeze in the vaccines, then, isn’t it?*

    *Quoting from Orac’s blog:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insole…..accine.php*

    you trust internet blogs to deliver precise scientific facts?? newsflash, blogs are OPINION… without cited references and fact checking cites, it’s as useful as a transvestite truck driver forum.

    wow… BYE. This entire website, now that I’ve looked it over, is unbelievably harsh, overdramatic, presumptive, arrogant, and you people actually RELISH in putting other people down, regardless of thier good intentions.

    You are what’s gone wrong with this world.

  39. Sullivan June 10, 2008 at 19:43 #

    Keith,

    as a person who writes posts to an internet blog, I’d say “yes” I consider some blogs to have useful information.

    Orac’s blog is written by a rather intelligent, very well educated person.

    If you think it is wrong, demonstrate it with facts. I chose Orac’s blog because I knew the reference was made recently.

    You are left with the fact that there is no antifreeze in vaccines. It isn’t there.

    I don’t relish pulling other people down. I get rather annoyed with the misinformation that is propogated on the web and in rally’s like the “Green Our Vaccines” rally.

    Here is the MSDS for PEG:

    http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/p5029.htm

    It isn’t what you’ve been told

  40. Kev June 10, 2008 at 20:24 #

    _”you trust internet blogs to deliver precise scientific facts?? newsflash, blogs are OPINION… without cited references and fact checking cites, it’s as useful as a transvestite truck driver forum.”_

    Thats true, but what we cite are factual references. And weren’t you the guy who told me that there was no good science?

  41. Joseph June 10, 2008 at 21:19 #

    So what would you speculate is causing the genetic mutation?

    Seriously? They can be spontaneous or induced. Any number of things can cause mutations, including ultraviolet radiation, viruses, and random chance. Parental age is a risk factor.

  42. Joseph June 10, 2008 at 21:24 #

    Check out the Amish, among those never vaccinated, there are NO reported or confirmed cases of autism. Independent studies could find no Amish with autistic features. None, not one.

    I missed that the first time. See my minimum prevalence analysis.

  43. Joseph June 10, 2008 at 21:30 #

    BTW, if you trust Olmsted’s reporting, I don’t see why you wouldn’t consider information from blogs. What’s the difference?

    Blogs are not like peer-reviewed journals, but you can be sure that popular blogs are scrutinized by other blogs, and by visitors who comment, provided open debate is allowed. It’s generally possible to have a pretty good idea of whether a blog can be trusted based on its track record and on whether it allows dissenting views, in my opinion.

  44. Ms. Clark June 11, 2008 at 00:49 #

    Why do I get the feeling that keithp got all of his autism and vaccine education from reading signs at the Jenny McBunny Rally?

    Keith, if the science shows that grandmothers pass on CNVs to their daughters and those daughters pass them on to their sons who have the CNVs and who are autistic (when these same kinds of CNVs are not showing up in non-autistic children), then what’s the big deal? Just because you don’t like a fact doesn’t mean it’s not true. And just because you think it’s not true doesn’t mean that it’s all part of a conspiracy to make parents look “bad.”

    There has been no autism epidemic, that is clear. What is fuzzy is whether or not there has been a small increase over the past 50 years or so. If you don’t like that fact, I suggest you learn to deal with it. Deep breathing might help. Raging about conspiracies only will only make one look like a bumpkin or delusional.

    And I don’t live in the UK, neither does Joseph, but Kev does. Most of the regular commenters here are parents of “low functioning” or “middle functioning” offspring. Some of us parents are on the autism spectrum ourselves. Some commenters are people on the spectrum who are not parents. And of course, some are just interested in the topic without being any kind of parent and are not on the spectrum.

  45. keithp June 11, 2008 at 02:41 #

    *There has been no autism epidemic, that is clear. What is fuzzy is whether or not there has been a small increase over the past 50 years or so.*

    Ignorant and misleading. I really didn’t plan on coming back here, until I saw my email with this remark.

    Autism IS on the rise.

    The current ‘official’ statistic is 1 in 150, and do you really think ANYONE (outside this site) believes that it’s just been misdiagnosed for the last century?? That’s beyond denial, it’s outright willful ignorance, which eventually hurts a lot of kids.

    The lack of eye contact, flapping hands, are tell-tale signs that NEARLY ALL autistics have in common. You can’t honestly expect anyone to believe that doctors just missed that for 50 years, until just recently. Oh, but they were able to catch such easily diagnosed and common mental illnesses as turrets, and schizophrenia… yeah… right. You would have me believe that doctors 50 years ago were that freekin dumb? It would then be a miracle that they ever figured out how to create aspirin. Give me a break.

    What would you say if I told you I work inside the pharma industry, and have knowledge about the stats that would put the latest rates at 1 in 67?

    You would call me a liar, ask me to prove it, deny any proof I gave, no matter how compelling, and then insult me. I’ll save you the trouble.. Those stats are unpublished and classified, and will remain unpublished until the sponsor of the study can shave those numbers. If they can’t, well those stats will never, ever, see a publication in any peer or public forum.

    I get it. I’ve met in the middle, and just asked for you all to do the same and all you people do is deny, deny deny deny. You wholly believe the “evidence” and “science” that supports your argument, and discount the equal science and evidence that suggests that all may not be as it seems.

    You can continue to accept spoon-fed information from government and pharma sponsored studies. I, at least, can say that I have, and currently still do, explore all options -I have read and checked out the links you all provided, yet cannot even discuss it because if I don’t buy into every bit of it, 100%, like you all, I just get told “You’re wrong” because you feel that your evidence is better than mine, for no evident reason.

    I wont be coming back, and I’m sure that you will all flame me as you have been..

    You should take a good look at yourselves and this site and see it for the hateful and arrogant presumptive people you are.

    I will leave you with this:

    believe nothing,
    no matter where you read it
    or who has said it,
    not even if I have said it,
    unless it agrees with
    your own reason and
    your own common sense.
    ~buddha

  46. Ms. Clark June 11, 2008 at 03:11 #

    My goodness. Keith’s a classic. I believe he hit on every unsupportable and/or patently idiotic belief of the mercury parents in his brief visit here. I think that means we’ll see him blogging on the clown blog soon.

  47. Sullivan June 11, 2008 at 03:34 #

    What would you say if I told you I work inside the pharma industry, and have knowledge about the stats that would put the latest rates at 1 in 67?

    You would call me a liar, ask me to prove it, deny any proof I gave, no matter how compelling, and then insult me. I’ll save you the trouble.. Those stats are unpublished and classified, and will remain unpublished until the sponsor of the study can shave those numbers. If they can’t, well those stats will never, ever, see a publication in any peer or public forum.

    I have to admit, I’ve never seen the “I am a pharma shill” gambit from the other side.

    At the same time, it makes no sense with the rest of his argument.

    The current ‘official’ statistic is 1 in 150

    If the real number is 1 in 67, then we can expect to see the CDC number increase in the next few versions of their prevalence reports…without an increase in the actual incidence of autism.

    I would have more respect if he had ever acknowledged the very small fact that there is no antifreeze in vaccines.

  48. Kev June 11, 2008 at 07:29 #

    _”The current ‘official’ statistic is 1 in 150, and do you really think ANYONE (outside this site) believes that it’s just been misdiagnosed for the last century?? That’s beyond denial, it’s outright willful ignorance, which eventually hurts a lot of kids.”_

    In fact Keith, that’s pretty much what the peer reviewed science shows. For a good non-technical overview you might try reading Unstrange Minds by Professor Roy Richard Grinker.

    _”I get it. I’ve met in the middle, and just asked for you all to do the same and all you people do is deny, deny deny deny. You wholly believe the “evidence” and “science” that supports your argument, and discount the equal science and evidence that suggests that all may not be as it seems.”_

    As far as I’ve seen you’ve not presented _any_ science.

  49. Dedj June 11, 2008 at 11:12 #

    Keith, please be aware that some of us here have developed an interest in autism, not just from having family members with autism, but from having worked with people with autism in addition to thier index problem.

    As such, some of us have met people who have not recieved thier autism diagnosis until well into older adulthood – some times not until they were turfed out of institutions during healhcare reforms or not until after thier parents/carers died.

    To try to tell us that the diagnosis of autism has not changed in the past ( and therefore the rate of diagnosis has not changed) is stupid. There is no way you could be as informed as you claim to be and yet not realise that a broadening in criteria will automatically result in more diagnosis.

    The only conclusion, therefore, is that you’re not as well informed as you think you are.

    PS, please improve your conditional knowledge. A great many people on the spectrum are not as you describe. Your invalid extrapolation from a single case study is classically aspergers in it’s ‘my experience, therefore yours’ style of thinking.

    PPS, no offence intended to anyone with aspergers (which includes myself and several of my social group) by comparing them to people like keith, but we must be aware that ‘We’ have our share of ignorami too.

  50. Dedj June 11, 2008 at 11:15 #

    PPPS as well as Grinker, Wing and Gould may be good places to start given that , you know, they were instrumental in expanding the criteria into what it is today.

    Of course, anyone as informed as you think you are would already know this.

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