How much do autism parents really buy into the vaccine causation idea? Not so much.

13 Apr

Yeah, they are loud. They are on the internet forums. They are on the blogs. They are seemingly a huge presence. Who am I talking about? The people who push the idea that there is an epidemic of autism caused by vaccines. Stop vaccinating, they say, and autism will go away.

Yeah, we all hear the message. Some people buy into the idea that vaccines can cause autism. But, do they really believe that their child was made autistic by vaccines?

People who believe that their child was injured by vaccines in the U.S. can apply for compensation from the government. They “petition” the government. If you’ve followed this story, you’ve no doubt heard that over 5,000 families have petitioned the government claiming autism as a vaccine injury.

How many people petitioned the government in 2009?

Eleven.

Yep, fewer than one a month. About 250 times fewer than the peak. The 2010 count is much lower than the 2009 count (108) that I wrote about last year.

Here’s a graph of the number of petitions by year,
from the U.S. government statistics.
.

The Natural Variation Autism Blog discusses the fact that the number of reports to VAERS system, and the number of autism/vaccine news stories has dropped dramatically too.

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59 Responses to “How much do autism parents really buy into the vaccine causation idea? Not so much.”

  1. Kwombles April 13, 2010 at 23:26 #

    This would seem to suggest that while they like the noise and bluster, they at heart don’t believe it strongly enough to do anything other than the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

  2. Chuck April 13, 2010 at 23:48 #

    All it goes to show is that people have learned that NVICP is just like every other government run bureaucracy. It will take Herculean efforts to get any form of payment and the payment is usually pennies on the dollar compared to the life long expenses that may be incurred. (Every filing, not just ASD)

    You would have better luck getting blood from a stone. The problem is that it would be your own blood, so why bother?

  3. Joseph April 13, 2010 at 23:50 #

    It’s also a generational thing. Most of the anti-vaxers you hear about have been anti-vaxers for years. I don’t think very many new parents get sucked in so easily, especially since pediatric vaccines practically don’t have thimerosal anymore (in the US at least.)

  4. Kent Adams April 13, 2010 at 23:59 #

    You should be covering and condemning the NC Medical Board for letting off Rashid Buttar. I get tired of you defending the establishment. Like I’ve been saying for years, you are hooking your wagon to a group (AMA) that doesn’t give a shit about our children. The fact that the NC Medical Board practically let this guy go with no punishment is, to me, more proof that establishments don’t give a shit about autistic children/adults.

    Kent Adams

  5. Ian MacGregor April 14, 2010 at 00:10 #

    The real test is the rate of vaccination and how many are infected by vaccine-preventable diseases. I thought those trends especially concerning measles pointed to a small, but growing population of non-vaccinated children.

    Joseph, if thimerosal were totally removed from all vaccines or indeed never in them, then there would be groups blaming autism on aluminum. If all ingredients except the antigen itself were removed, then there would be groups claiming the immunization process itself was responsible for autism.

  6. Kent April 14, 2010 at 00:39 #

    I guess you can stop lying too by telling me my comments get trapped in spam. I’ve figured out your filter system.

  7. Robert April 14, 2010 at 00:41 #

    It would have been best not to have lied to me Matt. That was a really dumb thing to do on your part.

  8. Science Mom April 14, 2010 at 00:58 #

    All it goes to show is that people have learned that NVICP is just like every other government run bureaucracy. It will take Herculean efforts to get any form of payment and the payment is usually pennies on the dollar compared to the life long expenses that may be incurred. (Every filing, not just ASD)

    You would have better luck getting blood from a stone. The problem is that it would be your own blood, so why bother

    Except Chuck, that the number of ASD claims from 2003-2004 fell by 55%; 2004-2005 fell by 46% and 2005-2006 fell by 71%. Years before the decisions were rendered and before the test cases were even heard.

    The evidentiary standard of NVICP does not take a ‘Herculean effort’ either as it is very low, much lower than in full tort litigation. It is often likened to ‘50% and a feather’. Petitioners’ legal and expert fees are also paid for as long as the filing was in good faith (almost all are as far as the court is concerned). I think the problem was, was that petitioners expected to just file a claim, show up and collect their checks since they had been so duped by their ‘experts’ and shyster attorneys into believing that they had a case. Look who ended up with the payouts after all.

  9. Joseph April 14, 2010 at 01:27 #

    The real test is the rate of vaccination and how many are infected by vaccine-preventable diseases.

    I think that’s what anti-vaxers mean when they say they are “winning.” But there are a couple issues here. One, there’s a lag from cause to effect. Second, I don’t believe the data actually supports this. See, for example, “Tracking mothers’ attitudes to MMR immunisation” (Smith et al. 2007.) Note that mothers’ concerns also peaked in 2002. That’s clearly the year when the modern anti-vax movement peaked.

  10. Tony Bateson April 14, 2010 at 10:54 #

    The modern anti-vax movement has never existed in the UK. There are people like me who have strong convictions that their child was harmed by a vaccine and that led to autism. I have never met anyone with these views who was not a parent or grandparent. I have met hundreds or even thousands of the latter. It is a typical response of a beleagured industry and its cohorts to dismiss those actually involved in this way.

    The latest seems to be some guy who says he has established that it’s genetic. Well this is the most remarkable genetic epidemic anyone has ever heard of. It predisposes the child’s parents to vaccinate their kids whilst those not carrying this gene are predisposed not to vaccinate! Of course such a genetic anomaly (leaving aside the testosterone one that’s more plausible) would explain why there are no unvaccinated autistic kids in Britain.

    Tony Bateson, Oxford, UK.

  11. Julian Frost April 14, 2010 at 12:23 #

    Tony, please justify your assertion that there are no unvaccinated autistic children in Britain. Alternatively, would somebody else please show that there ARE unvaccinated autistic children in Britain.

  12. Tony Bateson April 14, 2010 at 13:24 #

    In response to Julian Frost. I am very happy to do that. There has been no formal research on that issue as far as I and dozens of others with whom I communicate are aware. I have written at least two dozen articles or letters to the editor etc that have appeared in UK national and regional papers. I have spoken at or attended and raised the question from the floor at more than twenty conferences aggregate attendance over 2,000. I have written over 250 letters to medics and researchers etc., asking for data about the prevalence of autism in unvaccinated groups. I asked the question too in a website that had over 4,000 hits by 2004. Half a dozen only have ever been notified to me. One had been exposed to mercury amalgams in the womb, three were assuming I referred only to the MMR and a couple never gave further information when asked for supporting data. In short out of a total UK population (unvaccinated with childhood vaccines) of well over two millions born since 1966 net data about unvaccinated autistic people=nil. Is it just possible that the parents of unvaccinated autistic people are so shy they en masse opt not to respond to these enquiries? I certainly do not think so. Oh I forgot I broadcast on BBC mid morning Radio West twice with the same question in ten minute interviews. They are just not there and any reasonable person would also conclude that this is the case. It is the only reason why the UK government did not back up its claim that vaccination is neutral to autism by demonstrating that not having the MMR (for example) gained no
    exemption from the condition.

    Tony Bateson, Oxford, UK.

    • Sullivan April 14, 2010 at 18:02 #

      Tony Bateson,

      Do you realize that your “qualifications” actually make you look less credible than if you hadn’t mentioned them? Writing letters to the editors of local newspapers, asking questions at parent conventions…if you have to pad your “resume” with such noise, you have little to stand on.

      Your sort of ad-hoc pseudo-research is exactly the type of junk passing for science that has caused so much harm to the autism communities.

  13. Joseph April 14, 2010 at 14:06 #

    I have spoken at or attended and raised the question from the floor at more than twenty conferences aggregate attendance over 2,000. I have written over 250 letters to medics and researchers etc., asking for data about the prevalence of autism in unvaccinated groups. I asked the question too in a website that had over 4,000 hits by 2004. Half a dozen only have ever been notified to me. One had been exposed to mercury amalgams in the womb, three were assuming I referred only to the MMR and a couple never gave further information when asked for supporting data.

    @Tony Bateson: Is that 4,000 “hits” a day? That’s not very much, and the number of people willing to comment in websites is small.

    I can’t evaluate your experience without knowing, for example, what sort of conferences these were. If these were anti-vax conferences, what at the odds that someone would’ve wanted to put themselves on the spot? What are the odds that people with unvaccinated autistic kids would go there?

    If these were not autism-related conferences, the math doesn’t actually work out for you.

    How do you explain Generation Rescue’s finding of a 6% ASD rate in completely unvaccinated US children?

  14. Joseph April 14, 2010 at 14:32 #

    Also, Tony Bateson seems to have found 3 possible autistic children who were completely unvaccinated, out of what I presume is a sample of 2,000 children or so. In a random sample of 2,000 US children, you should theoretically find 0.06 unvaccinated autistic children. While Tony Bateson’s group is likely not a random sample, I think it’s remarkable to find two orders of magnitude more unvaccinated autistic children than you’d expect.

  15. Chuck April 14, 2010 at 15:05 #

    “Except Chuck, that the number of ASD claims from 2003-2004 fell by 55%; 2004-2005 fell by 46% and 2005-2006 fell by 71%. Years before the decisions were rendered and before the test cases were even heard.”

    The reason the drop off was so sudden in 2004 was that the NVICP prevented the 5000+ cases that were in the process from going forwards before the cases were even heard. The subsequent rulings, years later were a cherry picked release of a percentage of 1% of those 5000+ cases that were politically locked in a permanent limbo where all but a few STILL reside.

    Citizens heard and realized years before the decisions were rendered and before the test cases were even heard that the government was not going to allow the cases to go forward and that the government had bastardized the political process of the NVICP to the government’s advantage.

  16. Dedj April 14, 2010 at 16:32 #

    Mr Bateson, we established last time around that the response rate to your inquiries was very close to zero – something you ‘somehow’ fail to admit to whenever you announce your ‘research’.

    I’m sure your failure to admit to being ignored – and having a significant minority of parents blank you when you ask them – is a total ovwersight on your part, and not a avoidance of giving pertinent information that would fully and properly inform any observer as to the lack of data that you are working with.

    To others – Mr Bateson has repeatedly been giving examples of unvaccinated people with autism. He has thus far:

    Turned up in person (apparently without invite and without any reason to be in the area) to a clinicians office demanding to see confidential files.
    Denied the validity of a case he knows personally on the basis of an apparently entirely self-constructed allegation that the mother had fillings during pregnancy.
    Refused to read and/or discuss multiple studies that he has been reffered to.
    Refused to acknowledge or discuss multiple internationally known cases of children of vaxx-skeptic parents with autism, despite being reffered directly to them.
    Refused to discuss the justification for his selection of his current methodology, or even why he thinks his data collection methods may be valid, instead preferring to accuse his questioners of demanding excessive amounts of information.

  17. Smarter Than You April 14, 2010 at 16:51 #

    Hmmmmm….could this be just a huge coincidence? The chart drops off at the exact time you all claim the childhood thimerosal tainted vaccines ran out. Now it’s the in utero fetuses who are being destroyed by the thimerosal loaded flu shots and swine flu shots, but we simply can’t see the destruction because we are not inside of the placenta to see it!!! I love how you guys on this blog help prove my points. It’s just funny that you are too stupid to know that you even did it.

    • Sullivan April 14, 2010 at 17:55 #

      So, Smarter Than You:

      The “too many too soon” hypothesis is wrong, then. According to your “smarter than me” logic.

      The mercury hypothesis failed dramatically under scrutiny in the Court. “Not even close”. As did the MMR hypothesis.

      What is there left to the vaccine-causation idea?

  18. Dedj April 14, 2010 at 17:05 #

    “Hmmmmm….could this be just a huge coincidence?”

    No, to be a co-incidence, the chart would have to look like what we would expect it to if your badly stated and rather muddled point was true. As it looks nothing like what it would do if your point was true, it therefore cannot feasibly regarded as a co-incidence.

    If your point was true, we should NOT see the huge spike at the beginning of the chart. Nor does your point tally with research into autism incidence, or the lack of similar trends in non-autism cases. Odd, given that you claim to have wide reaching experience of talking to experts in exactly these areas. Very odd indeed.

    Unless you think there was a movement amongst parents to fudge the numbers higher, you are left with no explanation for this trend under your arguement.

    As was discussed in the previous thread, there are multiple lines of explanation for the numbers. None of which help you.

  19. Joseph April 14, 2010 at 17:10 #

    Chuck writes:

    The reason the drop off was so sudden in 2004 was that the NVICP prevented the 5000+ cases that were in the process from going forwards before the cases were even heard.

    I don’t think this is even close to a fair characterization of what actually transpired with the OAP and so on.

    I think the actual reason why there were so many cases in 2002 is that litigators were recruiting parents, and the thimerosal hypothesis had not been examined yet. It seemed plausible even to medical authorities at the time. I’ve mentioned this previously. The main anti-vax organization at the time was SafeMinds (there was no GR.) If you look at the Safeminds site in early 2002, you’ll see that they were advertising about a lawsuit in their home page. The advertisement read:

    If you believe that either yourself, or a loved one, has been injured by the thimerosal contained in vaccines, you are encouraged to contact Waters & Kraus so that the attorneys specializing in these types of actions can evaluate the potential of your case. You can reach the firm by telephone using the toll free number 1-866-NO-HGVAX

    You had Lynn Redwood making the rounds in the media discussing vaccine injury litigation and so on. VAERS reports also tell the same story about 2002, and it’s well known that the bulk of autism VAERS reports were submitted by litigators.

  20. Liz Ditz April 14, 2010 at 18:04 #

    The real test is the rate of vaccination and how many are infected by vaccine-preventable diseases. I thought those trends especially concerning measles pointed to a small, but growing population of non-vaccinated children.

    You know that new social distance and autism diagnosis paper?. I suspect a similar mechanism is at work with middle- to upper-class parents and vaccine refusal. It’s not so much the fear of autism any more, but a sort of vague, twinned notion that vaccines are “bad” and that the diseases they prevent aren’t so serious.

    The mechanism I’m speculating exists is: take a new mom’s group. Posit a socially-dominant mom who wants to prove she’s a better mother than her peers in the group, and has the vaccines-bad-diseases-not-so-dangerous belief. She talks up her belief in the context that she’s being a better mother by refusing vaccination (what do those doctors know anyway) and by-and-by you have a cohort of unvaccinated kids.

    I’d love to see somebody do a “sociology of vaccine refusal” study in an upscale suburb.

  21. David N. Brown April 14, 2010 at 18:10 #

    “The real test is the rate of vaccination and how many are infected by vaccine-preventable diseases.”
    A potentially relevant factoid: A study back in the ’80s about the “Procter and Gamble Satanism” urban legend found that, of the small percentage who said they believed the tale, 95% admitted they were not buying fewer P&G products. I extrapolate from this that, if ca. 25% of the population believes the vaccine-caused autism urban legend, the foreseeable result would be a 1.25% drop in the vaccination rate. This makes me wonder if larger recorded drops reflect more complex factors.

  22. Science Mom April 14, 2010 at 18:37 #

    Citizens heard and realized years before the decisions were rendered and before the test cases were even heard that the government was not going to allow the cases to go forward and that the government had bastardized the political process of the NVICP to the government’s advantage.

    @Chuck, Joseph answered your other claim so I will respond to this. It is bollocks. How can you claim this when the HHS allowed the cases to go forward and agreed with the Petitioners’ Steering Committee (PSC), that test cases for each claim of causation would be selected in order to expedite the other claims, should the test cases prevail?

    The PSC picked their best test cases, had their best experts. The fact that they failed to show any modicum of causation was their own fault. There was full transparency as evidenced by the publication of transcripts and audio of the hearings. Any claim of a stacked deck or ‘bastardisation’ is just sour grapes and not based upon the actual expert testimonies and evidence submitted.

  23. Tony Bateson April 14, 2010 at 18:41 #

    Many of your correspondents are free with dismissive putdowns and offensive language. I need no qualifications (although I no doubt have relevant ones) to work out that unvaccinated autistic people are so thin on the ground they can’t be found. In fact all I need is math and I’ve got plenty of that. More obviously than Sullivan, who thinks that unvaccinated people are only rather fewer than 1% of the US population. In Britain which I claim to know somewhat better than Sullivan the Head of the group that advises the UK government on vaccine policy agreed with me only a couple of weeks ago that the prevailing rate of no uptake of pediatric vaccines has been around 10/12% for twenty years at least. Look Sullivan, do the work find out the facts when you are ready I will debate the issue with you in any public place at my expense. Don’t treat people like idiots unless you know they are more stupid than you.

    Tony Bateson, Oxford, UK.

  24. Tony Bateson April 14, 2010 at 18:56 #

    I don’t know who dedj is but he is a simple distorter of the facts. I did not visit a clinician without an appointment. He agreed to see me. I did not ask for confidential papers I offered to accept data anonymously. I did not construct a case about mercury amalgams the child’s father gave me this information, the child was unvaccinated except for vitamin K.
    I have never been ignored I have a long history of leading groups to develop resources for autistic kids. Nor have I ignored suggested research reading, the problem is that most of it has Mr Thoresen’s fingers all over it and is corrupt. I have never been directly or indirectly referred to parents of a child who is unvaccinated autistic. I dont have a ‘methodology’ its simple arithmetic where are they? Just as with Sullivan if you think you know what you are talking about debate it with me in a public place.

    Tony Bateson, Oxford, UK.

  25. Tony Bateson April 14, 2010 at 19:27 #

    Well here’s another one, it is Joseph. He says I trawled 2,000 kids! Where did he get that from I spoke at autism/parents/professionals conferences attended by 2,000 plus attendees. He has trouble with my figures he say you would expect to find 0.06 unvaccinated autistic children, why didn’t he just say ‘you would expect to find as many as there are in the general population one in one hundred and sixty is that’!

    Tony Bateson, Oxford, UK.

  26. Science Mom April 14, 2010 at 19:32 #

    Don’t treat people like idiots unless you know they are more stupid than you.

    I think that’s a given Bateson and posters here have been far more polite and patient with you than most would be. If you were so qualified to be collecting, collating and analysing data that demonstrated the claim you are making, then we should be reading the published results in a legitimate, peer-reviewed journal.

    But we aren’t and never will be. Furthermore, you certainly wouldn’t accept such ludicrous claims from those on the other side of the equation and in fact, go to ridiculous lengths to attempt to disqualify valid research because it doesn’t fit with your confirmation bias. Your attempt to puff up your qualifications and so-called ‘investigation’ into your hypothesis has only served to demonstrate what a poseur you really are.

  27. Orange Lantern April 14, 2010 at 19:45 #

    I don’t think that we’re willing to take your word on it that the rate of fully unvaccinated children in the UK is 10%. A reputable link would be welcome. Are you sure the 10-12% isn’t the rate of children that aren’t fully vaccinated, but includes the partially vaccinated?

    Even if your 10% statistic is accurate, out of a sample of 2000 people you would only expect 2 to be unvaccinated and autistic. (Assuming 1 in 100 children have autism). It sounds like you have met at least three, if not more. And do you suppose that maybe you are not important enough that parents of unvaccinated autistic children care to reveal themselves to you? And I imagine if you are demanding full proof (like the “couple” that you mentioned), they would get annoyed and leave you alone.

    You say you are never ignored, but I certainly would ignore you.

  28. Dedj April 14, 2010 at 19:48 #

    “I don’t know who dedj is but he is a simple distorter of the facts. I did not visit a clinician without an appointment. He agreed to see me.”

    You did not state this in your original story. If you did, you will go back and quote the passage that makes this clear.

    Here it is :

    “But when I insisted upon visiting him in his Harley Street consulting rooms…”

    Nothing in that passage indicates anything other than the visit being entirely of your ‘insistance’, whether through forcing agreement or simply turning up.

    I can not be blamed for reading what you write. If you habitually omit important details, then all reasonable inferrences derived from that omission is your responsibility.

    “…he said he had lost his files and couldn’t say who they were (anonymously or not) later he said the files were in his Dubai consulting rooms. They never turned up!”

    Again, you claim one story, yet your depiction of it is another. There is nothing in your original story that indicates that you did not ask for confidential files, or the identity of the clients.

    The clinician is utterly correct in saying he could not tell you who they were, even anonymously. If he had told you (or even provided sufficient indicators for it to have been possible to work out who they were) – then it wouldn’t have been anonymous!

    I’m not convinced you understand what anonymous means.

    Read more: https://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2010/01/another-hit-job-from-aoa/#ixzz0l6CrtZ00

    Your story appears to change each time someone questions you on it.

    Most notable in your response, is the complete and absolute absence of any sort of validation for why we should regard your research (especially the clearly flawed data collection) as valid. That you don’t even appear to understand what a methodology even is, nor why you should have one, calls into question your level of competance.

    Not only are there multiple cases of you being reffered to unvaccinated autistic children, both here and at respectful insolence, but you admitted knowledge of such children in your Jan 23rd 2010 exchange, and – bizarrely – in your reply stating you have never met such a child.

    Again, your story appears to change each time.

    Also “the child was unvaccinated except for vitamin K.”, that you don’t know that Vit.K. is not a vaccine – despite being called a vitamin – calls into question the accuracy of your knowledge base.

    I am, once again, left utterly bemused and peeved at your repeated attempts to distort or deliberetly misunderstand the concerns that I have put to you. By the way – what on earth does leading groups have to do with not having your attempts at data collection ignored? It is adundantly clear to any reasonably informed reader that we we’re talking about your ‘research’, thus your defence is not only irrelevent to the concern, but it indicates a lack of understanding of it.

    I’ve looked for evidence that your research is competant and valid. Thus far, you’ve presented no such evidence. Thusly, by your own logic, we can all safely dismiss your opinion.

  29. Science Mom April 14, 2010 at 20:15 #

    Dedj, Thanks for providing that LB/RB link. A poster there was kind enough to provide the link with the email exchange between that doctor and Bateson. Bateson was not only informed of unvaccinated ASD children in that particular practise but acknowledges some himself. http://www.autismobserved.net/Danczak2.htm

    Bateson, seriously, don’t you have anything better to do?

  30. autismnostrum April 14, 2010 at 20:18 #

    Personally, I’m still chewing on the bit about flu shots “destroying” babies in utero. I didn’t have a flu shot while pregnant with my son, but that aside, I’m bothered by this whole “destroyed” argument.
    He’s an amazing boy with different challenges than the average kid, but he isn’t by any stretch destroyed. The soul didn’t die from his eyes. He’s not a shadow. His life is not worthless. It’s this sort of defeatist, pity-party, race to the bottom, my-kid-is-more-disabled-than-you attitude that prevents people from working on what our kids really need and utterly dismisses adults already in the community.

  31. Chuck April 14, 2010 at 20:21 #

    “Chuck, Joseph answered your other claim so I will respond to this. It is bollocks. How can you claim this when the HHS allowed the cases to go forward and agreed with the Petitioners’ Steering Committee (PSC), that test cases for each claim of causation would be selected in order to expedite the other claims, should the test cases prevail?”

    Petitions are filed with NVICP on an individual basis with each individual case needing to be reviewed. The PSC is treating the 500+ petitions, already on file as a “class action suite” and summarily dismissing the 500+ petitions based on the outcomes of the 3 or 4 that already have decisions. That is the bastardization of the process. By my accounts 4 cases down 4,996+ cases to go. If all the cases are not individually reviewed then the system is highly flawed, bureaucratically ineffective, and highly biased, making it completely impotent in the intended results it is regulated to resolve.

  32. Smarter Than You April 14, 2010 at 20:28 #

    Sullivan, you are assuming I believe too many vaccines too soon causes autism? That is an incorrect assumption. I don’t believe frosted flakes are the cause of your allergies…something in the frosted flakes is.

    And I will laugh at your other point that the mercury hypothesis failed in court. Ha ha ha ha! That is hilarious! I’m sure you would be found innocent of murder too if your brothers were the people deciding on your fate. Too bad it didn’t go to a jury of peers like it should have, we would have had an entirely different end result. Hey I have a great idea, let’s ask government judges to rule on the fate of our government. There wasn’t even a .1% chance of them ruling the other way. This would have been our government judges acknowledging that our government is responsible for this worldwide devastating epidemic. Not a chance buddy, it’s called National Security. At the end of this year these poor pathetic judges are going to eat the very words that came out of their mouths, and they too will finally realize they were totally wrong, just like yourself.

    And to Dedj…how do you pronounce that? Actually this chart is exactly what would be expected. 1999, the red flag goes up, 2002 people are finally understanding what has happened here and this is the peak, post 2002 is the fallout and residuals from the damage that has already occurred. There are going to be much less now because these in utero shots will not result in petitions because you simply can’t see the damage occur in front of your eyes like many many many have already, even though the in utero damage is incredibly worse. It is genius of us to not recall thimerosal, but simply move it all around to different locations (in utero) and keep acting like it’s been removed. But wait, the rates should be going down because the mercury has been removed right? Just keep telling yourselves that and you will remain as lost as you all currently are right now.

    I can assure you first hand that 25 mcg can steal the very person you currently are, or was meant to be, depending on the case, right out from under you, psychologically and physically…and the outcome is Autism!

    • Sullivan April 14, 2010 at 20:33 #

      Smarter than You,

      laugh all you want. Laugh at the tide coming in.

      I agree, there wasn’t much of a chance of the Court deciding with the petitioners. But, that is because the theories the petitioners presented had no sound basis in science.

      If you want to troll with comments about mercury “stealing the very person” resulting in autism, you only show yourself as a troll.

  33. Smarter Than You April 14, 2010 at 20:46 #

    Hey Sullivan, just a quick question for you. Would you be willing to take 62.5 micrograms of mercury by itself in a single shot right now? Keeping in mind you would have to weigh 1653 pounds to be within the guideline for mercury exposure. Better yet, would you be willing to take 1000 micrograms of mercury by itself in a single shot? Babies at 2 months received 62.5 micrograms of mercury in a single day. From a weight/guideline standpoint, this would be the equivalent of someone your size receiving somewhere around 1100 micrograms in a single day. I would love to see what your blog posts would like like then!

    • Sullivan April 14, 2010 at 20:57 #

      “Hey Sullivan, just a quick question for you. Would you be willing to take 62.5 micrograms of mercury by itself in a single shot right now? ”

      If that would protect my kid from infectious diseases, absolutely.

  34. Smarter Than You April 14, 2010 at 20:53 #

    Autismnostrum…get over it…your comment is so stupid and rediculous…you relate everything to how your child is…well guess what? There are many children much worse off then your child and damaged to the point of destroyed is not very far off. Say something of substance instead of it being all about your child reflecting how every other autistic child is.

  35. Dedj April 14, 2010 at 20:56 #

    “Actually this chart is exactly what would be expected. 1999, the red flag goes up,”

    Then one would expect the numbers of petitions to go up with the ‘red flag’. Curious that you’ve omitted that the ‘red flag’ went up in 1998, not 1999.

    But hey, whatever post-hoc rationalisation floats your boat.

    As pointed out in the previous thread, there are already multiple streams of explanations for the observed trend. Your one is by far the most poorly supported.

    Live with it.

  36. Joseph April 14, 2010 at 20:57 #

    Well here’s another one, it is Joseph. He says I trawled 2,000 kids! Where did he get that from I spoke at autism/parents/professionals conferences attended by 2,000 plus attendees. He has trouble with my figures he say you would expect to find 0.06 unvaccinated autistic children, why didn’t he just say ‘you would expect to find as many as there are in the general population one in one hundred and sixty is that’!

    Tony Bateson, Oxford, UK.

    I said no such thing. I said I presumed we might be talking about a sample in the order of 2,000 children. I bet not even you know how many children we might be talking about, unless you surveyed your audience. We sort of have to guess from your ad-hoc descriptions and take your word for it.

    You also completely misunderstand the 0.06 figure. That’s not 1 in 160. That’s 0.3% (the rate of complete lack of vaccination according to Smith et al. 2003) of 2,000 (the presumed sample) times 1% (the prevalence of ASD.) That’s 0.06 children; or in other words, zero.

    But again, you haven’t given any specifics about the composition of your audience.

  37. Joseph April 14, 2010 at 21:01 #

    In Britain which I claim to know somewhat better than Sullivan the Head of the group that advises the UK government on vaccine policy agreed with me only a couple of weeks ago that the prevailing rate of no uptake of pediatric vaccines has been around 10/12% for twenty years at least.

    I get the sense this is completely made up. For MMR, maybe that’s the rate. For complete lack of vaccination, I doubt it’s anywhere near that.

    Let’s see a source.

    • Sullivan April 14, 2010 at 21:13 #

      Joseph,

      here’s one source.
      “Primary Immunisation Uptake Rates by 12 months old”

      I may be outside the UK, but I believe that Scotland is a part of the United Kingdom (that whole cross of Saint Andrew in the Union Jack thing).

      Anyway, Scotland in 1997 had a ~97% uptake of Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis and Polio in their infants (12 month age).

      That was the first link on a search for vaccine uptake united kingdom in google from my computer.

  38. Joseph April 14, 2010 at 21:13 #

    I need no qualifications (although I no doubt have relevant ones) to work out that unvaccinated autistic people are so thin on the ground they can’t be found.

    I actually don’t care about your qualifications. But I sure wish you had some data and methodology we could evaluate. As it stands, all you provide are vague claims that are impossible to assess. For example, how do you know you’ve surveyed 2,000 different people total? How do you know they are not repeat attendees? How do you know about the number of children they would be able to report on? Any idea about the response rate?

    You do need skills to be able to do data analysis. I get the sense you don’t have them, Tony.

  39. Dedj April 14, 2010 at 21:14 #

    “Dedj, Thanks for providing that LB/RB link. A poster there was kind enough to provide the link with the email exchange between that doctor and Bateson. Bateson was not only informed of unvaccinated ASD children in that particular practise but acknowledges some himself. http://www.autismobserved.net/Danczak2.htm

    Science Mom – thank you for that link.

    First, the email does in fact validate Mr Batesons new version of the story, which therefore brings into question why he stated that he ‘insisted’ on visiting Dr Danzcak. The word ‘insisted’ implies some form of reticence on the behalf of Dr Danczak, yet the emails demonstrate that Dr Danscak was utterly amenable and rather facilitative of the visit.

    It does bring up the question of why Mr Bateson elected to represent the exchange in a way that implied that ‘insistance’ was required, why he claimed Dr Danscek said he had lost the files when no such claim is evident in the emails (it appears to have been a technical issue – most likely simply not having access to the spine server), and why he chose to depict the files as having ‘turned up’ in another office when that is apparently where the records were all along anyway?

    So Mr Bateson – care to explain why your depicition of the exchange is so utterly departed from that evident in the emails, and why it chages under questioning?

    And, are you ever going to provide any form of reasoning for why anyone should regard your research as valid?

  40. Smarter Than You April 14, 2010 at 21:16 #

    By the answer to that question Sullivan….you know absolutely nothing about the toxicity of mercury. If you did, you would rather take trace amounts of the Ebola Virus than trace amounts of mercury.

    • Sullivan April 14, 2010 at 21:23 #

      Smarter than You,

      I just had lunch. No doubt there were trace amounts of mercury in it as it is composed of substances on earth, a planet where mercury is everywhere in trace amounts.

      I have not now, nor do I ever intend to be, exposed to the Ebola virus.

      Having communicated with medical toxicologists and having read much (too much, really) about mercury intoxication, I feel safe in considering trace amounts of mercury to be less risky than exposure to the ebola virus.

  41. David N. Brown April 14, 2010 at 21:26 #

    Replies to a couple egregious comments:
    “Babies at 2 months received 62.5 micrograms of mercury”
    At one time, maybe, but the only shots currently containing thimerosal are flu vaccines containing 25 mcg each, and these aren’t supposed to be administered to children under 4 years old. Even the infamous NVIC acknowledges this.

    “Now it’s the in utero fetuses who are being destroyed by the thimerosal loaded flu shots and swine flu shots.”
    This, and similar claims of prenatal vaccine injuries, strike me as implausible at best. A fetus is surprisingly well-insulated from the mother’s body. A notable demonstration of this is that HIV-positive mothers can give birth to an uninfected child. Thus, the question is begged, how likely is it that thimerosal (or anything else in a vaccine) would get through a biological barrier that can stop the “AIDS” virus?

    • Sullivan April 14, 2010 at 21:36 #

      The idea that somehow the flu shot is the reason why the autism rates haven’t fallen after the reduction in mercury in the pediatric vaccine schedule is a pretty weak crutch to lean on.

      Flu vaccine uptake amongst pregnant women is quite low. From a recent paper in The Lancet:

      The USA reached just 16% influenza vaccination coverage of pregnant women in 2005. Improvements in vaccine uptake will require practical efforts to reduce barriers and address any concerns of pregnant women and their health providers.

  42. Socrates April 14, 2010 at 21:34 #

    Forgive me for saying but this all seems naval-gazing (albeit erudite) of little consequence to the battles that we are currently facing.

    Autism Speaks are currently working very hard and spending money on influencing European Union policy on Autism and none of you even realise what’s going on…

    http://blog.autismspeaks.org/2010/04/08/europe-autism/

    • Sullivan April 15, 2010 at 22:55 #

      Socrates,

      apologies for the delay in responding.

      I appreciate at some level the link. On another level, reading the Autism Speaks blog is not something I like to do. I didn’t know about this event. But, that doesn’t mean that “none” of the readers here did.

      That said, Autism Speaks is not limiting itself to the US and Europe. They are, sadly, taking their message internationally. I hope that as time goes on, more groups go the way of Autistica and disengage from autism speaks (http://www.autismspeaks.org/press/autism_speaks_autistica.php).

      My guess is that Autism Speaks will not make the same “mistakes” in the future and will have a greater control over their foreign namesakes.

  43. Chuck April 14, 2010 at 23:12 #

    “VAERS reports also tell the same story about 2002, and it’s well known that the bulk of autism VAERS reports were submitted by litigators.”

    And the VAERS reports that were submitted by parents with supporting medical documentation? Those babies were thrown out with the bathwater.

    The government and all it’s bureaucracies never had any intention of assisting ASD individuals. Never has and never will.

  44. Chris April 14, 2010 at 23:20 #

    I’m busy, but I just have time to post this bit for Chuck and friends: Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System Reporting Source: A Possible Source of Bias in Longitudinal Studies

  45. Science Mom April 15, 2010 at 00:37 #

    Petitions are filed with NVICP on an individual basis with each individual case needing to be reviewed. The PSC is treating the 500+ petitions, already on file as a “class action suite” and summarily dismissing the 500+ petitions based on the outcomes of the 3 or 4 that already have decisions. That is the bastardization of the process. By my accounts 4 cases down 4,996+ cases to go. If all the cases are not individually reviewed then the system is highly flawed, bureaucratically ineffective, and highly biased, making it completely impotent in the intended results it is regulated to resolve.

    @Chuck, the OAP only treated the cases as a ‘class action’ in the sense that the claims fell under, essentially, 2 theories of causation. Test cases were selected as the best (and supposedly strongest) representations of the claims, by the PSC. Let me repeat, this was done in order to expedite all of the subsequent cases, so expert testimony would not have to be repeated thousands of times. This makes perfect sense and the petitioners stood to greatly benefit from this process had their test cases prevailed.

    The other cases were not dismissed; they can still go ahead with claims although they stand to not be compensated for legal fees unless they have new evidence to present. It would be outlandish to hear all of the cases with full-fledged expert testimonies in each case and would bankrupt the NVICP. That may be worth it to you but it makes no sense from any way you look at it.

    There were also 5 test cases combined for the 2 claims of causation, which were allegedly consistent with all of the claimants. Your only complaint is that they lost and trying to wave your hands at a non-existent conspiracy. I can only conclude that you haven’t bothered to read any of the testimonies, nor the decisions because it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to see how utterly implausible the claims were.

    And the VAERS reports that were submitted by parents with supporting medical documentation? Those babies were thrown out with the bathwater.

    What supporting medical documentation would that be? The PSC’s experts were heard, given tremendous latitude with their submissions and they still couldn’t meet the low burden of proof. So please tell me, what was so compelling that was dismissed by the Special Masters?

  46. Joseph April 15, 2010 at 01:16 #

    http://www.ic.nhs.uk/statistic…..-2005-2006″ rel=”nofollow”>Immunisation statistics, England 2005-2006

    That link was broken. Note that they list coverage for individual vaccines, which is roughly 95% for each, except MMR, which had a low in 2003-2004. MMR coverage has been recovering since.

    Coverage is – I believe – comparable to the US coverage of individual vaccines. Hence, I’d suggest that the rate of complete lack of vaccination in the UK is similar to that of the US, i.e. around 0.3%.

    And to put this in further perspective, the prevalence of children who are unvaccinated and autistic should be 0.3 in 10,000. That’s rarer than, say, Rett Syndrome.

  47. daedalus2u April 15, 2010 at 17:44 #

    Canned albacore tuna fish has an average of 35 micrograms of mercury per 100 grams of fish.

    http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/Product-SpecificInformation/Seafood/FoodbornePathogensContaminants/Methylmercury/ucm115644.htm

    You would get more than 62 micrograms of mercury from 6.5 ounces of tuna fish.

    I have eaten more than 6.5 ounces of canned tuna fish in a single day. I presume that many other people have too.

    Per capita canned tuna fish consumption in the US is 3.3 pounds per year. At 0.35 ppm, that is over 500 micrograms per year.

    http://www.foodreference.com/html/ffishconsumption.html

  48. Socrates April 15, 2010 at 23:06 #

    Sullivan,

    Unfortunately I have reason to believe the Autism Speaks UK to Autistica metamorphosis is nothing more than a PR job. I’ll be posting on the subject soon.

    • Sullivan April 15, 2010 at 23:11 #

      Socrates,

      Thanks for that–please post a link to the comments somewhere on LBRB when you do.

  49. Regan April 15, 2010 at 23:37 #

    I see that the AS blog is making itself look like it had a leadership role on events, although the main website of the European Commission makes me wonder how true that actually is.

    In any event, if one wishes to keep in touch with upcoming meetings (there is a link to the agenda of the March meeting in Luxembourg, which was referred to by the AS blogpost).

    European Commission page on “major and chronic diseases” has the list of related events, and links to registration for the Autism Europe IX International Congress
    http://ec.europa.eu/health/major_chronic_diseases/events/index_en.htm

    12 November 2010
    European Autism Action 2020: Working Conference on a Strategic Plan for Autism
    Dublin, Ireland
    (tbc)

    08 October 2010
    Autism Europe IX International Congress
    Catania, Italy
    http://www.autismeurope2010.org/

    11 March 2010
    3rd Panel of European Experts on Autistic Spectrum Disorders

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