Bogus Urine Metals Testing Fails In Vaccine Court

13 Mar

The Thimersoal “test cases” in the OAP relied on bogus urine mercury testing. Among many other common problems the petitioners had in providing any sound scientific support for the notion that mecury can cause autism, that, was at least in part, the apparent conclusion of all three of the special masters.

I just skimmed through the recent decisions by the US Court Of Federal Claims in the Thimerosal “test cases” that were part of the Omnibus Autism Proceeding, and the expert testimony provided by Dr. Brent (respondent) in this regard is pretty clear:

From the Mead Decision

When specifically asked about the urine mercury tests that were performed on William, Dr. Brent said that the tests “showed pretty much exactly what you’d expect for the normal population, that their unprovoked specimens are normal. Yet, when they give chelators, most of [mercury excretion results] are increased.” Id. at 1852-1853. Dr. Brent expressed a concern about the use of data in this way to suggest that a condition exists that, in fact, does not. See id. at 1853. He stated that “it’s data like this that has been used as an excuse to subject these children to chelation therapy where the data supports [a finding] that their urine mercury status is totally normal.” Id. at 1853.

From the King Decision

Moreover, Dr. Brent explained that when the results of mercury testing of Jordan, both provoked and non-provoked, are viewed in their entirety, they are exactly what one would expect from an individual without any mercury-related problem. That is, Jordan’s non-provoked test results were within the normal range for non-provoked testing. (Tr. 1852-53, 4340.) At the same time, while his provoked results were outside the normal range for non-provoked testing, that is not surprising since the provocation/chelation process is designed to specifically provoke an increased excretion of metals. (Tr. 1852-53, 4340-41, 4347.) As Drs. Brent and Fombonne explained, administration of a chelating agent to anyone, autistic or not, mercury-poisoned or not, will always be followed by increased excretion of mercury.118 (Ex. M, p. 74; Tr. 1852, 4340-41, 4343.)

Interestingly, the added scientific clarity of the special masters with regard to bogus urine metals testing is also present to some degree in all three test cases:

Here’s one example from the Mead Decision

Moreover, a subsequent study, as reported in the 2007 Soden article filed as RMRL 458,150 could not confirm the 2003 Bradstreet study results. See Mead Tr. at 1844. The investigators found that “DMSA provoked excretion testing did not produce evidence of an excess chelatable body burden among the autistic [study] participants.” RMRL 458 at 480. The investigators concluded that “[i]n the absence of a novel mechanism of heavy metal toxicity or an alternate therapeutic action of chelators, the data presented provide[d] no justification for chelation therapy for the [study] participants.”

Many will remember the conclusion of Soden et al.

“In the absence a proven novel mode of heavy metal toxicity, the proportion of autistic participants in this study whose DMSA provoked excretion results demonstrate an excess chelatable body burden of As, Cd, Pb, or Hg is zero.”

But perhaps the most interesting of all, is the common thread that the reliance upon the bogus mercury testing seems pretty much acknowledged for what it is by both the special masters and the petitioners’ expert:

From the Dwyer Decision

Doctor Mumper’s willingness to rely on Colin’s mercury test results as evidence of high levels of mercury in his body was particularly troubling. She admitted that his results were not typical of those she saw in other autistic children. She admitted that she knew of no research into normal mercury excretion levels after chelation against which Colin’s one positive mercury test could be measured.741 It appeared that regardless of the results for mercury levels, Dr. Mumper was willing to opine that they reflected mercury’s role in ASD.

From the King Decision

In short, a careful analysis of the record demonstrates that there is no valid basis for Dr. Mumper’s view that the results of mercury excretion testing on Jordan King offer support for a conclusion that thimerosal-containing vaccines played a role in causing Jordan’s autism. To the contrary, the evidence supports a conclusion that Dr. Mumper’s reliance on such mercury tests has no basis in science or logic. Indeed, upon cross-examination even Dr. Mumper acknowledged that there is no particular profile or pattern of post-provocation test results that points to a finding that a child has mercury-induced autism. (Tr. 1555-60, 1568-69.) When pressed, Dr. Mumper could not even suggest an example of any type of result on a post-provocation mercury urine test that would not, in her analysis, support a claim of mercury-induced autism. (Tr. 1558-60.) Dr. Mumper’s analysis in this regard was illogical, and completely unpersuasive.119

Yep, regardless of the results of a scientifically meaningless test, it’s the mercury. Right.

Remember, these were the three Thimerosal “test cases”, presumably chosen by the Petitioner’s Steering Committee (PSC) because they offered the best opportunity to introduce good, and representative scientific evidence for the hypothesized role of thimerosal in the etiology of autism. It looks like they failed miserably, and this doesn’t seem surprising when it’s clear the cases leaned on at least one form of laboratory testing that’s clearly scientifically meaningless.

It won’t be surprising when many of the die-hard anti-vaccine and “alternative” autism medicine brigade ignore the fact that bogus urine toxic metals testing just had a bright light shined on it by the vaccine court. They’ll be likely to claim some form of conspiracy or politics about the cases, despite the fact that the spotlight revealed an apparent decision-making tool of many a “DAN! doctor” to not only be worthless in medicine, but also worthless in court.

On a related note, there has been recent news that a couple of “DAN! doctors” are facing a lawsuit in which bogus urine toxic metals testing is called out directly. Aside from numerous other problems they face in the complaint, it should be interesting to see how the defendants (Dr. Dan Rossignol, Dr. Anjum Usman, and Doctors Data, Inc.) explain the potential role of comparing chelator-provoked urine metals levels to a non-provoked reference range. If the three test cases in the OAP are an indication of the state of actual scientific support for such testing, the defendants would seem to have plenty to worry about.

Additional reading:

Mead v. Secretary of Health and Human Services Case No. 03-215V
King v. Secretary of Health and Human Services Case No. 03-584V
Dwyer v. Secretary of Health and Human Services Case No. 03-1202V
Thimerosal-Autism Test Cases Dismissed
Doctors sued over ‘dangerous’ autism treatment
Suing DAN! practitioners for malpractice: It’s about time
How the “Urine Toxic Metals” Test Is Used to Defraud Patients
24-hour provoked urine excretion test for heavy metals in children with autism and typically developing controls, a pilot study

64 Responses to “Bogus Urine Metals Testing Fails In Vaccine Court”

  1. Chris March 18, 2010 at 00:18 #

    How can we agree to the amount of thimerosal used on your child when we:

    1) Do not know when the child was born?

    2) And in which country?

    Your body’s cells make formaldehyde. You are scaremongering on something that is created as part of your own metabolism, and in greater quantities than is in the vaccine.

    It has about the same logic of screaming about squalene, which is created in your liver and you would not be very healthy if it did not.

    As noted before many many times, the levels of mercury was for methylmercury, not ethylmercury. There is no evidence that the levels of thimerosal in vaccines was ever a health issue. Especially in light that just a few years before mercury was used in Merthiolate and Mercurochrome, which was that red stuff our mothers used to paint us with when ever we had a scrape or cut!

    Do, please, try to read the summary of the court findings above, and stop cutting and pasting scare bits from websites without reading them first. This way you would avoid trying to scare us with table salt and gelatine.

    Also, read the article posted today about the Reader’s Digest article. In it there is discussion of making vaccines without eggs. This is great news. But will you find it on any of the websites you cut and paste your scare ingredients from?

  2. Joseph March 18, 2010 at 00:30 #

    but sullivan you do agree that they INJECTED 187.5 into MY baby!

    You think it would’ve made a difference if it was only 3 mcg or none? Any basis for that belief, or just a hunch?

  3. Science Mom March 18, 2010 at 00:37 #

    respect the gut ecology. Dr mcbride “GAPS diet” Stay away from pediatricians the wellness visit is an oxymoron. Teach doctors about how the human body actually works, importance of nutrition and a little bit of humility and respect for mother nature.

    Especially when the extra six had MERCURY!
    Oh sullivan and brian you forgot the formaldehyde and thimerasol. Like I said its not just one antigen and not one adjunct its the whole stinking thing.

    Oh my, these posts are a white-hot mess and I don’t even know where to begin. But these quotes are so full of win, I want them to stand on their own. I think there are some things better left unsaid and let that stand on its own merits.

  4. Laurentius Rex March 18, 2010 at 00:52 #

    Sommats amiss here, ALL those CAPITALS.

    Logic needs no emphasis, it is what it is and truth needs no hype it is what it is.

    I was born one morning when the sun didn’t shine, I ….

    Well whether the sun shone or not when I was born, it’s irrelevant.

    That Autism appeared to appear (and I doubt it ever did) after a vaccine shot is irrelevant, I am willing to bet it happened on a Wednesday as well, come on own up, how many had there shots on a Wednesday?

  5. Prometheus March 18, 2010 at 03:16 #

    Mary Durkan, while listing all the “scary” ingredients in vaccines, listed:

    “Triton X-100 – Harmful if swallowed. Causes severe eye irritation. May be harmful if inhaled or in contact with skin. Toxicology not fully investigated.”

    I just about sprayed my computer monitor with coffee. Triton X-100, scary name notwithstanding, is a detergent. It is used in extremely small amounts in vaccines.

    Go to your laundry room and take down the detergent – it probably has the same warnings (e.g. “harmful if swallowed”, “causes severe eye irritation”, etc.)

    I’m not too impressed with Mary’s “research”.

    Prometheus

  6. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. March 18, 2010 at 04:40 #

    Chris (to Richard Diaz):

    “Mr. Diaz, how about you checking out a basic biology book and read about how DNA works.”

    Might be a good idea.

    Richard Diaz:

    “Why not prove me wrong with a cheap and effective test.”

    Might be a good idea to get a book on scientific methodology and philosophy and find out on whom the burden of proof rests!

  7. Do'C March 18, 2010 at 05:01 #

    Hi Mary,

    In case you couldn’t tell, when you use 3,4,5,6, or 7 exclamation marks in a row, the comment system chokes. Please stop.

    I’m also in agreement with Dawn – Please consider knocking off the Gish Gallops.

  8. ebohlman March 18, 2010 at 14:00 #

    Prometheus: She (or rather her source) is reading off Material Safety Datasheets, which detail the hazards of handling industrial quantities of substances. Most people would be surprised to see the datasheets for everyday common things that they handle in much smaller quantities.

    That is, except for the bit about gelatin. That’s not a description of hazards, that’s about how it makes vaccines incompatible with the personal spiritual choice of veganism (google “search for micrograms”).

  9. Laurentius Rex March 18, 2010 at 14:17 #

    I fear some people will never understand what is happening because they are like I used to be when I was learning to swim, I did not have the confidence to trust that I could float in water.

    In order to learn about science you need to have confidence in the background to it, and not just judge by the surface foam of misinformation put out by people who use the language of science but do not understand the process, for they are like people who sing in a foreign language phonetically.

    1. Ethyl Mercury and Methyl Mercury are not the same. To say that they are is like saying Hydrogen Peroxide and Water are the same because they both contain Hydrogen and Oxygen atoms, You wouldn’t drink Hydrogen Peroxide, and wouldn’t bleach your hair in water.

    2. Genuine mercury poisoning is a well understood phenomenon and in no way resembles autism. It is like saying that the flu and typhoid are the same because you exhibit a raised temperature in both.

    3. Before there was Big Pharma, there was and still is Big Oil, yes the people who put lead in Petrol (gasolene) which is known to have an effect on the intellect of growing children. But whoa, do I see anyone suing Exxon? no because a convenient mechanism does not exist, the vaccine controversy is litigation driven, because a convenient mechanism exists to pursue compensation. This has been exploited ad nauseam to the detriment of genuine claimants.

    4. Co-incidence is just that. If you walk past an orchard and an apple falls as you are walking by, can you suppose it would not have fallen where you not there to observe it?

    5. Development follows a complex and chaotic trajectory, what is observed on the surface is like the breaking of a wave on the shore. It didn’t just happen because you just got your surfboard out. What is called regressive autism, is something that was set in motion long before any vaccine was delivered. You have to trust science for that, because observation is fallible, if you had have jumped up and down as you passed that orchard you might think you had caused the apple to fall, but no, it was ready to fall before that and only the apples that were going to fall ever did, the rest you forget are still up in the trees.

    Anyway DNA is complex stuff if anyone is interested they may note this fascinating article. http://www.nature.com/embor/journal/v4/n1/full/embor719.html

    And before I collapse my own wave funtion and bid you all adieu, to reemerge in the non cyber world.

    Thinking outside the box, that is what scientific method is about, the box is the blinkers you wear when you trust to single observations, co-incidence and then try to generalise from it without either data, methodology, or testable hypothesis.

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