Brian Deer challenges Andrew Wakefields words

5 Apr

Andrew Wakefield has recently published a series of videos on YouTube (the only media outlet still left interested in his ramblings). Fascinating in largely no aspect, they do however remain riddled with innaccuracies which Brian Deer has challenged in his own response video which is below.

19 Responses to “Brian Deer challenges Andrew Wakefields words”

  1. Brian Deer April 5, 2010 at 20:23 #

    As some of you will know, in recent years I’ve pursued Andrew Wakefield’s conduct to the molecular level. But if you watch this video, you don’t need to know any medicine or science. You really don’t need any factual information at all. All you need is to pay close attention to his argument, and his account, and then to think about it. Think about whether what he is saying is coherent, makes any sense, in its own terms.

    If you like, listen to it with the screen turned off. Then you won’t be biased by my commentary.

    And then I think you will know the Wakefield story. It goes right back through the epidemiology, the clinical medicine, immunohistochemistry, histopathology, molecular biology… I doubt whether I could ever really take you to those places, but I can assure you that the story is the same.

    I really hope this video is seen by people who know Wakefield. People like Richard Barr, and all those who were involved in the years of painful litigation in the UK, and those whose hopes were similarly raised and dashed in the US.

    One of the most moving and pitiable moments in the UK litigation was when, after the measles theory collapsed and the claimaints’ lawyers told the Legal Services Commission that, as the evidence stood, they couldn’t make the case that MMR causes autism, many of the families were simply bewildered. Really bewildered more than angry.

    And there was a strange moment when they started saying, “well, what about Urabe, can’t we sue over Immravax and Pluserix?”. And counsel for one of the drug companies stood up in court and said, essentially, “Well, you did.” The claimants lawyers had spent all their money on what Wakefield had told them: how it was all measles virus in the gut, opioid peptides and so forth, which was just made up in early 1997. “Too late, mate,” was pretty much the industry position. And then, of course, the US cases went down the same track… to disaster.

    I think possibly all of the lead eight cases in the UK, or at least the large majority, were children who had received Pluserix or Immravax. But they had sued on the measles virus mechanism. That’s the one Wakefield held patents on, and which he was researching to see if it caused Crohn’s disease.

    I’m not a doctor and I don’t give medical advice, but I can remember meeting Jackie Fletcher of the JABS group in court. And I said to her, “If I wanted to show a link between MMR and autism, I wouldn’t go through the gut.” She was neutral, but naturally, I was showered with abuse by others.

    Those parents would likely have lost whatever mechanism was put forward. But I think a good number of them would feel absolute outrage today to see Wakefield smirking as he betrays someone who gave information in confidence, and then pretend that the GMC prosecution was something to do with his role in the Urabe issue.

  2. Sullivan April 5, 2010 at 21:30 #

    When I google “Alistair Thores” and George, I don’t get any hits. The same for “Alistair Thores” and Wakefield.

    So, is this the first time Dr. Thores has been outed?

  3. Sullivan April 5, 2010 at 21:52 #

    Brian Deer,

    perhaps you can answer this. Dr. Wakefield was promoting the idea of single vaccines. Many in the UK, if I recall correctly, traveled to France for separate vaccines or imported separate measles, mumps and rubella vaccines.

    France was using the Urabe strain in their vaccine

    So, is the 2010 Dr. Wakefield making statments that would imply that the 1998 Dr. Wakefield’s recommendations were potentially putting children at greater risk?

  4. sheldon101 April 5, 2010 at 22:30 #


    I don’t see how the parents would get far with the urabe mumps vaccine — because the connection was with meningitis and not autism. Are you just saying they would do better than with measles, but ultimately fail?

    I’m also not sure if you believe that Wakefield set out to deliberately engage in an unethical study or not. In particular, do you agree that Wakefield and the others needed autistic-type kids who did not have the usual symptoms that called for a colonoscopy? They did not want autistic kids who likely would have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. That did not seem clear from your web site.

    Finally, congratulations on watching the Wakefield video. I only watched a bit. I’ll try again when I have an empty stomach. Me, I’m hoping for a transcript.

  5. Mike Stanton April 5, 2010 at 23:25 #

    Regarding the Urabe strain of mumps vaccine, I am reminded of the Cedillo case in the Autism Omnibus. Given the plaintiff friendly evidentiary standards in the Vaccine Court, the Cedillos would have likely won their initial table injury claim if they had not been persuaded to join the Omnibus instead.

  6. Oriel April 6, 2010 at 00:02 #

    Previously described by the GMC as callous and dishonest, something which his followers vehemently deny, Wakefield now tells a story which not only begs belief but shows a blatant lack of empathy for the children in the UK who suffered identical adverse reactions to those in Canada, following the use of the Pluserix vaccine.
    What Wakefield makes crystal clear is that he and Richard Barr the lead solicitor in the MMR litigation, were party to information in 1999 which he now says identified adverse reactions, regulatory failures and questionable dealings in respect of Pluserix, a Urabe containing MMR, and ignored it.
    Given what he now says was revealed at the meeting in Newcastle Railway Station, it must have been apparent that there was a potentially viable claim for children who had received the problematic Pluserix vaccine containing the Urabe mumps virus and who had suffered aseptic meningitis with lasting neurological damage. How can it be argued that they served the best interests of the children who had received Pluserix if this material is only being voiced now, long after the collapse of the litigation?
    Both were present at the meeting in their capacity of paid experts to represent the best interests of the children in the MMR litigation so why did they then take the litigation off in an entirely different direction by bringing a case to prove a causal link between the measles component in the MR/MMR vaccine and ASD/IBD?

    In a nauseating, fanciful attempt to link the material he obtained at the meeting in 1999 with his appearance before the GMC, Wakefield shows a total disregard for the families who, following his revelations, are suddenly faced with the prospect that their solicitor and lead expert were party to material which could have supported their claims in relation to the Urabe mumps component of the Pluserix vaccine,instead of which, they furthered a claim on the basis that the measles component caused ASD/IBD, which, when it failed, resulted in the collapse of the entire litigation for all the children.

  7. Science Mom April 6, 2010 at 00:18 #

    Excellent points Mr. Deer and to add to one:
    The number of investigators discredited for questioning the safety of the whole-cell DTP vaccine: NONE

    The number of investigators discredited for questioning the safety of Rotashield: NONE

    The number of investigators discredited for questioning the safety of the 1976 Swine Flu vaccine: NONE

    Amazing how poor little Wakers is so singled out. I’ve said this before, but Big Pharma can’t be very competent at silencing their detractors if it took them over 12 years to get Wakefield’s 1998 fiasco study retracted and let all but one of his other publications intact.

  8. sheldon101 April 6, 2010 at 00:31 #

    The nice folks at (yeah, right) have a fairly accurate transcript of the urabe part of Wakefield’s fable.

    I have watched all 3 Wakefield videos now available at

    I don’t understand why Wakefield brings up urabe at all. It disproves his explanation of the reason for the GMC hearing, if you spend a minute thinking about it. If the government wanted to cover up the urabe business, then why bring charges against the three doctors, who might then talk about it.

    After all, it appears that this interview may be one of the first times Wakefield has spoken on urabe. I googled Wakefield urabe and put a date qualifier of before 2005 and didn’t find much.

    • Sullivan April 6, 2010 at 00:43 #


      from The Lancet and the Royal Free to Probably not the career path Dr. Wakefield would have chosen.

  9. Chris April 6, 2010 at 00:34 #

    Totally off topic: Mr. Deer, I browsed about your youtube page. You look quite spiffy in that bow tie.

  10. Science Mom April 6, 2010 at 01:32 #

    I don’t understand why Wakefield brings up urabe at all. It disproves his explanation of the reason for the GMC hearing, if you spend a minute thinking about it. If the government wanted to cover up the urabe business, then why bring charges against the three doctors, who might then talk about it.

    @Sheldon101, I would suspect that Wakers is trying to re-invent himself and summon up a new line of work in the aftermath of his failed measles-autism hypothesis. Let’s face it, there are 2 more viruses in the MMR that they can whip up new claims about.

    There was also no cover-up with regards to the Urabe strains; there are numerous publications on the subject on PubMed and, surprise, not a single one of those scientists have been railroaded, nor censured.

  11. Oriel April 6, 2010 at 10:34 #


    Wakefield’s speech at the Autism One Conference 2008 covered much of the material in this latest interview.

  12. Dr Two Cents April 15, 2010 at 18:34 #

    Too bad that the Wakefield people are so scared of Brian Deer they had his response to Mr. Wakefield removed because of ‘copyright’ issues. Why are they so afraid of Brian Deer’s commentary?

  13. Sullivan April 15, 2010 at 23:05 #

    Dr. Two Cents,

    “why are they so afraid of Brian Deer’s commentary”?

    Take a look at our latest post,

    and the article in the BMJ.

    I’d put the YouTube “copyright” argument down to vengeance. Unable to stop the BMJ article and the Sunday Times articles, they do whatever little they can.

  14. Sullivan April 19, 2010 at 23:15 #

    Too bad that the Wakefield people are so scared of Brian Deer they had his response to Mr. Wakefield removed because of ‘copyright’ issues. Why are they so afraid of Brian Deer’s commentary?

    Because Mr. Deer is the one person who has done the most to expose what the CMC has called Dr. Wakefield’s unethical behavior.

    There is an effort underway to repair Dr. Wakefield’s image. The original for this video is one big example. The interview with Dr. Mercola is another.

    People are not spending the time and money on this image campaign only to have it challenged.

  15. Joseph April 19, 2010 at 23:25 #

    Isn’t that a clear case of “fair use”? I guess YouTube is all too happy to grant requests of removal due to copyright.

    • Sullivan April 20, 2010 at 19:05 #


      this is an interesting question to me. From my recolllection, the original video (i.e. before Mr. Deer’s commentary was added) were first placed on YouTube. I don’t know if there was a copyright notice at the time.

      There is a copyright notice now on the website for the producer of the videos. The videos carry commercials.

  16. Video watcher May 2, 2010 at 10:43 #

    The video is restored.

    • Sullivan May 3, 2010 at 19:56 #

      Video watcher,

      thanks for that update. Good to see some sort of discussion is allowed.

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